What’s in your Facebook News Feed?

A number of years ago, I trimmed back the number of friends I had on Facebook. You can say, I turned FB into Path before there was a Path :)

This morning I went through my Facebook News Feed.

The vast majority (well over 70%) of posts came from third party apps. And a signficant percentage of those came from passive/automatic shares vs actives shares. Examples include my friends watching a Socialcam video or listening to a song on Rdio.

If I strip out all the tweets, instagram, tumblr, foursquare check ins of my FB news feed, I’m left with a mostly native FB photos. 

It’s interesting to compare Facebook to things like Tumblr and Path which take a great deal of care about how things are posted.

The other day I noticed a friend ask on Path, “why do people use Path?”. Many folks replied because it’s their chance to do a Facebook do-over and start a new graph from scratch. Others said they thought Path was well designed.

I think both of those are true but for me it’s the purety of the feed. There is only one way to get things into Path. You gotta use their app. That means that all posts are there because the author intended it to be that way.

Tumblr used to have a feature where you can import RSS feeds and other content sources automatically. They still have the auto-Twitter import feed but I think that’s the only one. Tumblr’s Dashboard is extremely clean as a result and that works for me. 

The interesting thing about all of this is that while I’m drawn to the pure feeds of Tumblr and Path, I tend to selectively cross post content all the time (ie sending photos from Path to Foursquare). Is that adding more noise to my friends feeds or something else? 

What’s in your Facebook news feed? And do you like it that way? 

Saying goodbye to Jackson

In the summer of 1997, Lauren and I had been married for a few years, and we decided to get a puppy. 

We adopted a yellow lab at 8 weeks and brought him home. We named him Jackson because we thought it suited him and because we had lived on a place at the corner of Webster and Jackson Street in San Francisco. 

Jackson instantly became part of our family. I have endless memories of the mischief and the love. When he was young, he tore up our yard, ate one of Lauren’s homemade apple pies when no one was looking, ate a hacky sack and no loose sock was safe when Jackson was around. The stories are endless. 

He was there when our first child was born and our second and our third. They have always known Jackson being part of this house. Hanging with them at the bus stop and chilling out under the kitchen table. My dad would slip him bagels when no one was looking.

For years, I would come home from an out of town flight and he was the first one to greet me at the door regardless of the hour. Tailing wagging and letting me know he was glad to see me. 

The last year has not been kind to Jackson. After he turned 14 last summer, his health took a turn. He couldn’t run around, had trouble getting out of his bed. And the last few weeks he developed a severe respiratory problem. The suffering took over and became too much for him and for us.

Last night we said good bye to Jackson. Everyone was crying in our house. My daughter Ellie asked Lauren if dogs ever come back to life.

This morning when I woke up, his life and our lives together overwhelmed me so I wanted to write this all down.

I will miss that dog with all my heart. He was so good to us.

Goodbye Jackson. 

Core iOS apps being replaced, one at a time

The home screen on my iPhone has changed quite a bit over the years.

The most obvious thing is Apple’s very own core apps have been replaced by 3rd parties.

The default camera app has been replaced by Camera+, Hipstamatic and Instagram

The default notes app has been replaced by Simplenote

The default messenger app has been replaced by Kik

The default calendar app has been replaced by Calvetica

The default music app has been replaced by exfm, soundcloud and rdio

The default mail client has been replaced by Sparrow

There will always be competition between the platform and the ecosytem. This tension is normal and healthy to some extent, as long as the platform keeps innovating and growing. For example, Apple came out with an Instapaper competitor with Reading List. But that only pushed Marco to come out with strong Instapaper updates.

Apple launched iBooks & Newstand to compete with the Kindle app. But Kindle is still much more compelling. 

The next step I’d like to see as iOS matures is a way for the ecosystem to get more access.

For example, when I swipe right from the home page, i want to replace Apple’s search with Duck Duck Go. Or when I tap on an email address on a webpage, I want it to open Sparrow instead of Apple’s mail client. When I tap on a phone number in an app, I want it to open Google Voice, not Apple’s native dialer. When I see a beautiful photo, let me share it to Tumblr and any other app I love.

Developers deserve that access and consumers deserve that choice.

Android has done an excellent job at giving 3rd parties equal capabilities on their platform. That’s the thing they got right – even much more than the much hyped openness of Google’s “open” app store model vs Apple’s controlled app store model. 

Disruptions: DIY, a Site for Children, Is Instructive for Start-Ups – NYTimes.com

via NYT:

DIY is seeking to be like a Boy Scout troop for the modern day. Instead of teaching children how to tie a clove hitch that seems fit for teenagers in the 1920s, DIY, a Web site and mobile app, will encourage children to build things, document them with an iPhone or iPod, and then receive rewards for their work.

This is such a great idea. I’m so glad we had the opportunity to back Zach and the team. 

Disruptions: DIY, a Site for Children, Is Instructive for Start-Ups – NYTimes.com

Backbeat Go (review)

The other day I saw these wireless headphones called the Backbeat Go

They looked pretty sweet so I ordered them and they arrived on Friday. 

Here’s my quick review.

-very simple to pair with the iphone. the iphone also does smart things when you are near other paired bluetooth devices. for example, when i get in my car and make a call, the iphone lets you toggle between which device you want to use. it’s very fast.

-i like the short length a lot. it means it can hang around my neck without getting in the way and for once I don’t have headphones that tangle up

-they fit me fine when you just walk around the city or wherever. although on my run today, i noticed the left earbud wasn’t the best fit. it wasn’t too much of a big deal. I’m going to try one of the other buds they provided in the box. obviously your own ears may have a better or worse fit. sweat didn’t cause a problem.

-the only downside to these things is that it’s another device to charge every night. it has a standard micro-usb connector and comes with a charger. for my use, i get a full day without a problem. 

-i’m happy with the audio quality for music and for making phone calls. better than the standard headset that apple provides with the iphone. 

so that’s it. hope it helps.