In a dark sea of unreadable terms of service, Tumblr’s version rises to the surface as a life raft for users looking to get a grasp of what they are actually agreeing to when they use the blogging service.

Terms & Conditions: Every company should copy Tumblr | Digital Trends (via rickwebb)

The readability is completely due to David.  His obsessiveness with details (even the seemingly boring ones – come on who gets excited about ToS) is a very special gift.  

(via derekg)

Can a social graph last more than 10 years?

Hunter Walk wrote an excellent post the other day about whether one social graph can rule them all or not. Hunter is in the latter camp. And it’s clear by our investments at Spark and my social mobile/web activity that I agree with him (location, mobile, music, education, photos, television, et al).

But the one thing Hunter points out is something I’ve heard a number of folks bring up and it always make me pause. And it’s independent of the “one social graph to rule them all question”. Namely, can any social graph last more than 10 years?

We haven’t seen it yet. 

But I believe the answer to this questions is yes. At least for the best ones.

Because the graph we have today is much more interesting and useful than previous graphs. We are connected in new ways that touch us deeply. And they have their own characteristics. And many of the previous graphs that died at before their 10th birthday self imploded with feature creep and bloatware. I don’t think MySpace died because of fatigue. I think it died because of a combination of neglect and poor product decisions. 

Earlier today, I made my 10k tweet. I did that in over 5 years. I’m betting I’ll certainly be using Twitter 5 years from now. The service has stayed remarkably clean as hundreds of millions of users have joined. I can’t think of another service that reach such scale and kept the same discipline. It’s simply extraordinary. 

The other thing that makes me optimistic is how we see the best graphs have single player and multiplayer characteristics. Fred highlights his use of Foursquare Lists and that’s a wonderful example. (And I benefited big time from his lists on my vacation!)

I find Tumblr has it’s own unique single and mutliplayer modes. My posts on Tumblr live on and get user enagement and feedback days or weeks after the post goes live. I’ve never seen ongoing activity like that with any other graph or network.  

Take this post for example. I wrote it at the end of October.


Pretty much every week, I see in my Tumblr feed that someone has liked or reblogged it. So far it has received over 1k notes (likes and reblogs). 

I wrote that post for my benefit. It is a quote I keep in the back of mind almost daily. But clearly others are appreciating/benefiting from that line as well. 

My Tumblr also bears my own custom domain. Most people view my Tumblr content in their Tumblr Dashboard (feed) but many hit it directly. And it feels like its mine. It’s my little piece of the web that I call my own. And I take care of it daily. I hope it will be here tomorrow, next month, next year and next decade.

But the question remains and the jury is still out. Will the companies of today keep their social graphs vibrant, healthy, disciplined and fulfilling for 10 years or more.

I’m hoping the best ones can do it. 

That Leica feel

Marco recently wrote up his thoughts on using a Leica M9.

The M9 has been my primary shooter for over a year. Marco’s post was a fair and thorough review like all of his other product reviews.

He’s correct in that it is slow.  It’s not easy for action photos. And it’s quite challenging in low light. And the price is outrageous. It takes time to learn. I’m still discovering the qualities of the Leica M system. Marco’s full frame DSLR is likely superior for many conditions thats useful for his needs. And truth be told, I do use a Nikon D800 when I need a telephoto for my daughter’s ballet or my other kids soccer and lacrosse games.

But the Leica M9 gives me a feeling that no other camera has ever given me and I’ve been shooting for a few decades now. It combines the beauty of analog with the convenience of digital.

It took me about a month to get comfortable with the manual/rangefinder focusing system in good light. It took me another 3 months to figure it out in low light. And the Leica glass gives me a feeling when I look at my prints that I can’t replicate with other cameras. I love the Leica warm creamy colors and also black & white.

My friend Nick Bilton is a wonder photographer. He recently switched to a Leica M9 and is completely hooked. Check out his flickr stream which is filled with beautiful captures.

I’m also inspired by other M9 photographers that can make photos like this even when there is a lot of action.

The other special thing about the Leica M9 is it gives me a full frame experience in a compact size. I don’t mind carrying it n a small bag or over my shoulder for the day. I can’t say the same for a big honking full frame DSLR.

This post isn’t meant to convince Marco or anyone else to change their mind about this unique camera. It’s quirky. It takes time to figure out. It’s beyond expensive.

But it’s beautiful. It’s filled with nostalgia. I love holding it. I love its minimal design. I love the intuitive controls. I love the noise it makes when i press the shutter. The glass feels like it was made with care, purpose and a mission. It’s the one camera for me.


(Leica M9 | 1/8 sec, f/1.7, ISO 800, 35mm)