Being present on a variety of social platforms, I’ve noticed that there’s a fundamental difference between LinkedIn and, say, Twitter. Continue reading
Trawling the depths of the Twitter ocean (there are whales, aren’t there?) you can’t help noticing that the major part of your catch consists of individual fish. Especially if you’re following marketing people or a creative profession. True, there are companies around, but solo professionals are extremely well represented.
I’ve noticed this sometimes leads to something of an identity problem. If you’re working through your own company, are you “I” or “we”? Continue reading
I ran into a blog post where someone told a story about taking a photograph while on holiday, posting it on Flickr with CC rights, and six years later, the photo found its way to a newspaper article.
So far so good. And great for the photographer that her image was deemed worthy enough to be picked into a publication.
What followed was a salvo of negative comments from professional photographers, mostly in the “you’re robbing my children of their future by giving away stuff I do for a living” category. Continue reading
Nearly two years ago, I wrote about my disappointment with Feedly, the online content curation service. But I left the door unlocked:
I will certainly re-install it if/when the bug is fixed.
Now it is.
So, from today, I’m once again a happy Feedly user. The problems that irritated me in 2010 have been ironed out, the service works perfectly and looks absolutely great!
Feedly is a content curation service that enhances your feed reader (like Google Reader) experience. You can install Feedly for free as a Firefox add-on or iPhone/iPad, Android or Kindle app at www.feedly.com.
(Disclosure: I’m in no way affiliated with Feedly nor do I gain any material benefit from this post. I’m just a previously unhappy user now made happy again.)
SEO, search engine optimization, is something you come to do almost automatically when you’ve blogged for some time. It’s easy to go overboard, though.
When you’ve read about a quarter of this post, for example, the terms unconventional headlines and conventional blog post headlines — with a few variations — almost make you stop reading. Despite the article making a good point.
It’s been said a thousand times before, but needs to be said once again: write with a natural flow. You don’t repeat yourself in speech every two sentences, do you?
Stuffing your writing with keywords might also harm your content. Google’s recently introduced Penguin algorithm will penalize you by pushing overoptimized content down in the search results.
How is it with you? Fed up with keyword repetition in the stuff you read? How do you optimize your own content?
I’ve long been doubtful about the success of QR codes, and the most recent study I found seems to corroborate my view.
- Companies want to spread information about themselves and their offering through QR codes.
- People want good deals through QR codes.
Looks like a fairly huge disconnect to me.
I’m not saying QR codes are a failure. It’s just that they were originally invented for tracking the movement of industrial components, not for marketing. A wrong tool for the wrong purpose seldom achieves anything.
Perhaps companies should think twice about how much they invest in this particular communication channel. And more importantly, how they could better match their audience’s needs and wishes. They might find other tools much more efficient.
The moral of the story: don’t be blinded by nifty new tweaks to technology, find out what your audience wants and deliver it the way they want.
Reading this article in Computerworld prompted me to chime in.
The gist of the article is that PCs as we know them now are gradually becoming obsolete and replaced by tablet-like terminal devices.
The writer, Mike Elgan, of course has a point insofar as the two worlds, desktop and tablet, are certainly converging. Tablet features, such as touchscreen operability, are making their way into desktops, and desktop computing power is making its way into tablets.
The article is a bit of a troll, though. On the surface it seems to suggest the death of PCs (read: desktops) but if you look at it closely, it talks about the majority of consumers gradually switching to tablets for everyday information consumption AND tablet features (mostly the ease of deploying and getting rid of applications) coming to desktops.
Tablets are for consumption, desktops for creation
Yes, tablet-like devices are perfect for content consumption. As long as you’re reading stuff, watching videos or listening to audio content, even a small device is sufficient.
Even Elgan doesn’t deny that hardcore content creation will require powerful desktop equipment. My subhead above is a direct quote of one of the commenters on the article. Very true.
Perhaps the most interesting sentence in the article is this:
As an increasing number of consumers embrace iPads and other tablets as their full-time computing device, they’re going to want bigger ones for the desktop.
That is clearly a point well made. The keyword being ‘bigger’. As long as humankind is limited by its ability to see and the size of its hands, there’s a limit to how small devices can be made. We are reading news about credit card size, fully functional computers, but the user interface still needs to conform to human physiology.
Time for prediction
So where will computer development be heading a few years from now?
I’m not a computer expert by any stretch of the imagination, but my guess is that Elgan is right about the convergence. The future computer that will cater for both creation and consumption of content will probably have these characteristics:
- 10–12″ screen (aging population can’t use much smaller, device requires sufficient width for nearly-full keyboard—see next point)
- slide-out keyboard (analogous to QWERTY smartphones today)
- tilt-up screen (also like some of today’s smartphones)
- very thin and lightweight alloy casing (MacBook Air type)
- powerful combination of processor speed, RAM and flash HDD
- WLAN/WiFi capabilities built in
- 3G, 4G (or whatever is state-of-the-art at the time of launch) telephony capabilities
- applications available on-demand (much like Apple Store) and installed/uninstalled very simply
Another alternative might be to go the route of what Motorola introduced with its Atrix smartphone:
- smartphone with a high-end processor
- dockable to a terminal with screen, keyboard and local storage capacity
So in a way we’re talking about the rebirth of the netbook, wouldn’t you say?
Price will always be an issue
From the technology point of view, I can’t see any reason why such devices couldn’t be available within a couple of years. The price, however, will have to match the market’s expectations.
For a device like I outlined above to become popular among the masses, I think its price can’t be much more than $300–400 initially. The challenge, therefore, is who can produce it in that price bracket? We will probably see, at least in the beginning, telecom operator subsidised packages with minimum contract length. (And lots of jailbreaking advice on the net.)
A writer myself, I would heartily welcome such a device. How about you? Shoot back in the comments!
Let me start the year with an encouraging quote by Robert Middleton, the person whose e-zine and blog I’ve been following for several years now. In fact, you could say Robert is one of my virtual mentors (now you know that, too, Robert…).
I’ve talked about perfectionism jeopardizing even the best efforts to be just “very good”. Read what Robert has to say about this:
If we expect perfect every time or even “our very best” everyBut people of great accomplishment know they will never be
single time we will inevitably disappoint ourselves sooner or later.
Many people have this realization and it leads to resignation: “If I
can’t be perfect or do better than others, why even try?” So we
settle for mediocrity.
perfect, not even always the best, but never give up because they
know that once in awhile their work will be, if not perfect, “pretty
damn good.” When they have a down day, it’s just a part of the
process of success, not a failure in any way.
Let’s have this in the back of our minds when starting our journey into 2012!
I’m sure we all have our pet peeves as far as other people’s online behaviour is concerned, but listening to other people and adding my own, you might want to reconsider if you’re doing any (or, horrors, all) of these:
- Post incessant Foursquare updates. Okay, if you’re looking for company when sitting at the local Starbucks between meetings, fine, but people who send their whereabouts every 25 minutes just drive their readers crazy.
- Automatically cross-post everything. I know many people are present on multiple social media platforms, but for heaven’s sake, make those hangouts of yours differ from each other SOMEHOW. It’s really annoying to read the same thank-yous for Twitter FFs on every site you can be found on.
- Post all your Klout +Ks. This might be a built-in thing Klout does without you even wanting to (I don’t know), so my apologies if I’m accusing you wrongfully.
- Wander too far away from the topic your audience perceives you as an expert in. Personal blog posts, tweets and what-have-you are OK occasionally, but you’ll just perplex your readers if you usually blog about social media and suddenly spend two days on dog breeding.
- Rant or swear. Differing opinions and dissent are fine. But nobody wants to be in the company of someone who’s permanently whining or cursing. The F-word is a great attention-grabber, but what does it say about you as a professional?
Perhaps I should add number 6: write yet another “X things not to…” post. What’s your take?
Yeah, I’ve come across many Big Names on Twitter. Suggested to me by Twitter itself, or being retweeted or otherwise recommended by someone else.
But the thing is, I don’t follow anyone without first checking their, hm, credentials.
Sounds arrogant, doesn’t it — me, a relative nobody, talking about the credentials of the gurus?
I think many of the big shots have a problem, from an outsider’s point of view (like mine). They’re too popular.
Let me explain. Looking at their Twitter streams, all I see is them hobnobbing with their friends (as much as you can have “friends” on social networks).
The waterfall of “Hey, nice to see you”, “Yeah, wasn’t that great” and “How you doing” tweets doesn’t really give me much. No wonder, though, if they have 30,000+ people to rub shoulders with, that’s probably what you’ll end up doing: replying to thousands of messages coming from all sides.
The point of social networks, at least to me, a nobody, is to learn something new. Participate. Exchange views. Being a bystander on the outskirts of a conversation is not what I’m looking for.
So, in the absence of anything interesting or original to say to me, sorry, I’ll pass you.