let's assume that you're a talented musician hoping for a big break. given that, if you could sing or play one song with one band - what would that night look like? the song (could be a cover), the band, the venue. but what i really want to know: what would you wear? thanks!
As we all know, the east coast is dealing with Hurricane Irene.
And as result, there are a lot of posts on various social networks about the storm (photos, videos, commentary, news, etc).
It’s dominating various streams I hang out in.
I’m sure I’m missing some stuff but the great stuff is being retweeted or fav’d and I’m getting it that way.
This brings up the age old topic: signal-to-nose ratio.
That is, how do we get more signal and less noise.
I hear from many folks that there is a signal to noise problem in our social streams. I don’t agree for a few reasons.
1. The vast majority of folks don’t follow that many people.
Here are two examples of very active twitter users. My wife @laurensabet checks twitter out every day but as you can see she only follows 50 people. She gets great content from those followers and the stuff they tweet and retweet. She didn’t directly follow a lot of folks tweeting about the hurricane but she followed enough folks that were retweeting some interesting things.
@benkweller is an active twitter user but only follows 100 people. These folks don’t need less noise - they need more signal.
I would guess that most people on most social nets don’t follow/friend zillions of folks. They follow a small number. Their feed isn’t noisy.
2. Often, the biggest complaints about noise are from folks that have decided to friend and follow vast numbers of folks. The post that stands out in my mind is Robert Scoble’s post about Instagram. Here’s the headline:
“I deleted 4,200 I was following on Instagram, it helped there a lot, why not here?”
I’ve got no beef with Robert or how he uses various social stuff. I love that he’s early and embraces new things all the time. But following 4200 people and having a tough time isn’t surprising. So why would someone follow 4200 people?
My guess is that they don’t want to miss out on great content.
And that’s the heart of the matter. There is so much awesome content being shared on various social networks.
But the key is finding more good stuff or letting that good stuff find you.
Twitter delivers awesome stuff to you in a few ways.
Both of these services are getting better and better as more content flows through their networks.
The same is true on foursquare. There are many ways to find great content - people you friend, Foursquare Explore and now Foursquare Lists.
It all starts with a highly curated list of folks to follow or friend. And then the network starts delivering the goods from there.
I think the opportunity is there and stands in front of us. Give us more great stuff. But that doesn’t mean I want to get rid of the noise. It’s actually not noise. It’s awesome and I love every post, check in and tweet from folks I choose to follow & friend.
The opportunity isn’t to nuke stuff. It’s bring me more.
About a month ago or so we ditched our Microsoft Exchange server and moved everyone at our firm to Google.
I had moved to Google about a year before everyone else but it was a hack. I basically forwarded all my Spark Capital mail to google. It was messy. I had a screwed up address book. And I had mail in gmail and contacts and calendar on the Exchange server. Like I said - it was a hack.
Now we are all on Google, the good clearly outweighs the bad although some of my colleagues despise how gmail handles “coversations”. I love it but it’s not for everyone.
I won’t list out all of the good stuff. It’s a long list and probably obvious to many.
But here are the shortcomings of an all google world. hopefully the folks in Mtn View are working on these things.
-Calendar font is too small and squished. Scanning my week at glance isn’t very useful. i usually just pull out my iphone to see a specific entry more clearly. I even have a tough time when i’m looking at a day at a time.
-Contacts. There is no way to easily share your address book inside of an organization. there is a way to share a master group but that’s not what I want. I don’t want to create a new address book. I just want to share my address book with everyone at Spark and I can’t do it.
-Gmail. Offline mail doesn’t work in Chrome. My work around is to use the native mail client on the ipad when i’m on a plane. I realize I could use Apple Mail on MacOS or Sparrow but I’m addicted to the keyboard shortcuts, starring and search. other desktop apps dont do it for me right now. maybe I should give it another try.
Like I said the good is so damn good.
I hope some of the rough edges improve and Google can address some of the stuff listed above.
I’m just happy we don’t have proprietary servers behind our firewall anymore. I like living in the cloud.
“Last night we passed our goal of raising $50,000 for teacher’s projects that bring families closer to the classroom. The Gotham Gal and I are delighted. This has been an amazing gift that all of you have given us. Almost 10,000 students and their families will benefit from your generosity.”—
when are you going to respond to my questions about comments? a blog without comments isn't a blog -- its a soapbox. what happened to the emphasis on "conversation"? steve
i’ve been thinking about your question and I’m not sure I’m ready to turn back on comments. It’s been about a two month test so far and I’m going to keep it this way for the time being.
I do agree conversation is very important. That’s why I participate so much online and other people’s blogs, etc.
And comments on Tumblr works for many folks. But I dont think it’s the best for me. at least not now.
Just like Twitter doesn’t have comments per tweet, I want my own Tumblr without comments. I’d rather hear from you and others via Tumblr Replies, Tumblr Ask, Tumblr reblogs, tumblr likes, or tweets via @bijan or email.
I recently finished “The Life”, an autobiography by Keith Richards. Now I’m in the middle of Philips Norman’s biography of John Lennon.
Amazing that both artists were blown away by the same song - Heartbreak Hotel.
"Heartbreak Hotel’ sounded a corny title, and his name seemed strange in those days. But then when I heard it, it was the end for me…I remember rushing home with the record"
"Good records just get better with age. But the one that really turned me on, like an explosion one night, listening to Radio Luxembourg on my little radio when I was supposed to be in bed and asleep, was "Heartbreak Hotel." That was the stunner. I’d never heard it before, or anything like it. I’d never heard of Elvis before. It was almost as if I’d been waiting for it to happen. When I woke up the next day I was a different guy."
Elements does a number of things in addition to keeping things simple and clean.
It connects to Dropbox so all the documents I create with Elements are automatically saved to the cloud. It supports Markdown which the inner geek in me appreciates.
And best of all - it’s extremely easy to send anything I create in Elements to Tumblr.
I love apps that embrace that write once, share anywhere view of the world.
Instagram does a fine job of this as well. I take a photo with Instagram, pick a filter and then I can share anywhere. This is what the share options look like:
I’d like to see more apps take that approach. Let me create the content in one place and send it to any place I choose.
For example, gmail could offer a way to offer a URL for every conversation thread. It would only be accessible to those on the email list through some sort of authentication. From there, I could think of lots of ways to send that link to various places of interest.
API’s changed the web forever. It brought together services in compelling ways that were unavailable to individual apps. Now we need more services to take advantage of this and let us send our bits anywhere.
To be clear I am not a macro economics expert. I loved the class in undergrad but that was a few years ago :)
I have a very simple way of looking at this
1. I would like to see the country do more with less waste. Everyone does. When I hear people say we shouldn’t have a national health plan unless we can guarantee it won’t have any waste, I throw up a little. Having some waste is unfortunately the cost of goods sold. If no waste was truly a requirement for government programs, we wouldn’t have a military (count the pork projects) or public education. I’m glad we have both.
Id like to remove as much waste as possible. But there will always be some.
2. In a troubled economy like ours, there is a massive and growing population that needs help. They need better education and they need jobs. And yes, they need healthcare. What happens if the government funds a new bridge and the worker gets hurt and doesn’t have healthcare. A simple example but a real one. Healthcare costs are bringing many families down
3. There are two reasons why we as a nation need to help the growing population here that is suffering.
-because we should care about those less fortunate. Forget tax breaks, tax deductions. Forget how or why the less fortunate got there for a moment. The point is that a huge population (add up unemployment + underemployment and you get a number at or over 20%). That’s an insane percentage of our nation that live in crisis. We should take care of them. It’s the right thing to do.
-if you don’t agree with the above reason there is another reason that is self serving to wealthy people. If there isn’t a change, and gets worse , and the percentage grows from 20% of our country to 25% and then goes up again. What happens next? It wont be pretty. See London for recent examples.
4. Preserving bush tax cuts for the rich don’t make sense in the world we live in. Trickle down economics don’t work. If they did work we wouldn’t see a the accelerated spread between the rich and poor.
5. If VCs and entrepreneurs have to pay an increase on taxes, it won’t have an impact on my love for my work. I wouldn’t give it up. And I don’t know any founders that wouldnt have started their company if there was a different tax code.
6. I’m sure I’m gonna get a lot of heat for this post to many. There are clearly many that see red when they hear that we as a society should take care of each others.
People will suggest, the way to help those on need is to give them jobs not raise taxes on the wealthy. Of course I violently agree that job creation is a must. I see startup land and innovation as a critical path forward. But it will take time and what should we do I’m the interim?
Now there will be others that will just say, hey dude you are free to pay as much as you want in taxes. Just send the government more money. I get the reaction. But snark aside, we need a thoughtful and complete plan to get our country going. Not an ad hoc move by a few.
That’s all I got on the subject for now.
Update: a few folks have pointed out that our needless wars should stop to help with our cost control. I agree completely. Bring our troops home now.
(please excuse the typos and poor writing. Wrote this quickly on my iPhone)
Unfortunately it’s as hard as ever for startup to get licensed. Thats not good for anyone.
We need a way for artists to get paid and for consumers to get smooth and easy access
Last week I had lunch with my friend Anthony (twitter.com/fascinated) who is the creator of the Hype Machine (http://hypem.com).
I mentioned that as much as I love rdio and spotify, the idea of sharing links to songs from those paid services to Twitter was the functional equivalent of tweeting a link to a news story sitting behind a pay wall. That’s a poor user experience and as a result i never tweet a link to a story behind a paywall. And I don’t tweet a song that sits behind a pay wall either.
I’d love to see music labels adopt a porous wall as well. It would increase shared links to music and I bet it would increase subscriptions too.
Update 5:24pm: a number of folks have pointed out by email and Twitter (eg https://twitter.com/pegobry/status/102831734369959936) that spotify is porous because of their ad model. I think it’s a nice start but porous in my mind means they should get rid of the desktop app requirement, lose registration requirement and work on all platforms.
(please excuse typos and lack of links. wrote this in my iPad).