Posts tagged "Twitter"

Does every new technology have to be a ‘killer?’

Recently, there have been several devices, applications, technologies, etc. that have been released that were dubbed ‘killers’ in their category, and I wanted to take a moment to analyze this phenomenon.  Why must these new tools ‘kill’ the existing tools in order to be relevant?  Is this just a case of the media, tech bloggers, etc. gone awry with the hype?

Here are a few examples to demonstrate what I’m talking about:

Google Nexus One, Motorola Droid – ‘iPhone killers’
Facebook Titan – ‘Gmail killer’
Google Buzz – ‘Twitter killer’

and an oldie, but goodie: Facebook – ‘MySpace killer’

For a moment, let’s just imagine that you are one of the millions of happy people that are using the latter mentioned platforms.  Do you welcome the thought of your beloved technology, application, etc. being ‘killed’ by a new entrant to the market?  If you’re an iPhone user or developer, do you welcome the idea of that platform being trounced by a competitor? Or how about Gmail users?  Do you welcome the idea that Facebook Titan could roll in and crush Gmail?  In some cases, new entrants enhance the offering that exists and making things better for everyone, but it doesn’t always work that way.

Maybe I’m just growing weary of the constant barrage of new tools that seem to be trying to take down the market leaders that people are happily using currently instead of figuring out ways to incorporate them into their new offering.  On the other hand, I welcome tools that help aggregate the vast volume of information that’s floating around out on the social web.  Google has the potential to provide some real value here if they play nice.  I was encouraged by an article I read this morning on the Salmon Protocol that Google is developing currently that would allow comments to flow in real time between the original source out to aggregators, thereby reducing redundant data and allowing a more seamless experience for users.  Right on!  That sounds like a step in the right direction.  I’d love to see more of this kind of improvements to the social graph for everyone.

The reality is that companies don’t always have to kill off a ‘competitor’ to be successful, but they do have to offer something of value that doesn’t exist already.  It’s not enough to just build a ‘me-too’ app and pressure people into using it.  Frankly, that’s what Google Buzz felt like to many people due to the way it was released.  Looking back at some old rivalries such as Microsoft vs. Apple, which has been going on for decades, history teaches us that there is room for multiple profitable players in the market.  In fact, competition is the main driver of progress, so let’s celebrate this competitive spirit!

Think about it – do we really want any of the tools or applications that we use today to be killed off by a big monolithic corporation?  Personally, I like my iPhone, I like Facebook, I like Twitter, and I like MySpace (although I don’t use it as much anymore).  I’ll keep an open mind about any new technology, but I’m much more apt to be receptive if the new tools help me with the volume of social data I’m already processing and not try to pry me away onto another platform or service or abandon the tools that are working for me today.

What do you think?  Is this just media hype or are there underlying motives behind some of these moves?


photo credit: iStock Photo

Does every new technology have to be a 'killer?'

Recently, there have been several devices, applications, technologies, etc. that have been released that were dubbed ‘killers’ in their category, and I wanted to take a moment to analyze this phenomenon.  Why must these new tools ‘kill’ the existing tools in order to be relevant?  Is this just a case of the media, tech bloggers, etc. gone awry with the hype?

Here are a few examples to demonstrate what I’m talking about:

Google Nexus One, Motorola Droid – ‘iPhone killers’
Facebook Titan – ‘Gmail killer’
Google Buzz – ‘Twitter killer’

and an oldie, but goodie: Facebook – ‘MySpace killer’

For a moment, let’s just imagine that you are one of the millions of happy people that are using the latter mentioned platforms.  Do you welcome the thought of your beloved technology, application, etc. being ‘killed’ by a new entrant to the market?  If you’re an iPhone user or developer, do you welcome the idea of that platform being trounced by a competitor? Or how about Gmail users?  Do you welcome the idea that Facebook Titan could roll in and crush Gmail?  In some cases, new entrants enhance the offering that exists and making things better for everyone, but it doesn’t always work that way.

Maybe I’m just growing weary of the constant barrage of new tools that seem to be trying to take down the market leaders that people are happily using currently instead of figuring out ways to incorporate them into their new offering.  On the other hand, I welcome tools that help aggregate the vast volume of information that’s floating around out on the social web.  Google has the potential to provide some real value here if they play nice.  I was encouraged by an article I read this morning on the Salmon Protocol that Google is developing currently that would allow comments to flow in real time between the original source out to aggregators, thereby reducing redundant data and allowing a more seamless experience for users.  Right on!  That sounds like a step in the right direction.  I’d love to see more of this kind of improvements to the social graph for everyone.

The reality is that companies don’t always have to kill off a ‘competitor’ to be successful, but they do have to offer something of value that doesn’t exist already.  It’s not enough to just build a ‘me-too’ app and pressure people into using it.  Frankly, that’s what Google Buzz felt like to many people due to the way it was released.  Looking back at some old rivalries such as Microsoft vs. Apple, which has been going on for decades, history teaches us that there is room for multiple profitable players in the market.  In fact, competition is the main driver of progress, so let’s celebrate this competitive spirit!

Think about it – do we really want any of the tools or applications that we use today to be killed off by a big monolithic corporation?  Personally, I like my iPhone, I like Facebook, I like Twitter, and I like MySpace (although I don’t use it as much anymore).  I’ll keep an open mind about any new technology, but I’m much more apt to be receptive if the new tools help me with the volume of social data I’m already processing and not try to pry me away onto another platform or service or abandon the tools that are working for me today.

What do you think?  Is this just media hype or are there underlying motives behind some of these moves?


photo credit: iStock Photo

Shooting Higher & Teaching Kids About Food

This morning a little voice inside my head told me that I need to shoot higher with my goals, and in that moment, I realized that I have not done a very good job of aligning my desires with what I’m ultimately seeking in life.  I have focused on short-term goals as of late, and it’s time for me to look a little further out if I ever expect to get there.  As the morning progressed, I was fortunate to run across a very inspiring piece of content through Twitter.  I took the time to watch and I now have some much needed clarity on what I want to do next.

My friend Sean Wood tweeted about a TED award winner, Jamie Oliver that is advocating for what could prove to be one of the most important movements of our time – teaching kids about food.  In his words: “I wish for everyone to create a strong, sustainable movement to educate every child about food, inspire families to cook again and empower people everywhere to fight obesity.” This may not sound very exciting or conjure up the imagery that other major issues in our society bring forth, but trust me – this is a big one.  Perhaps this is even the biggest challenge we face in our ‘modern’ society today.  Check out this must-watch video (embedded below) and see if you don’t agree.  Hopefully it might even change your life.

In recent years, I have come to appreciate food more and certainly have a respect for fresh, local ingredients and home cooking.  I prefer to eat food that I have prepared myself or that friends, neighbors, and family have prepared with health in mind over eating out where I am less certain about what is on the plate in front of me.  Paying attention to the food that I eat has made a huge difference in my life, and my body is much happier now than it has ever been because of the good fuel that I’m feeding it regularly.

So, what does this have to do with shooting higher?  It occurs to me that this movement needs some serious attention and a coordinated effort by many different entities.  Governments, corporations, individuals, communities, schools, etc. all need to band together to fix the problems that we are facing in our food supply, which of course cause major health problems that cost everyone a lot of money and ultimately a lot of lives.  This is a big problem to tackle that will not be solved easily, so shooting high is necessary to make meaningful progress.  How do we start?

We are in an age of hyper-connectedness, which means that spreading the word about any topic you can imagine is easier now than it has ever been, particularly with kids.  The recent Pew Social Media & Mobile Internet Use Among Teens and Young Adults Report confirms that kids have more access to the internet and mobile phones more than ever, which of course is no surprise.  This provides an incredible opportunity to engage these kids in creative ways and help them understand the concerns and also the opportunities around food.  Consider the following statistics and charts:

  • Three‐quarters (75%) of teens and 93% of adults ages 18‐29 now have a cell phone.*
  • In the past five years, cell phone ownership has become mainstream among even the youngest teens. Fully 58% of 12‐year olds now own a cell phone, up from just 18% of such teens as recently as 2004.*
  • As of September 2009, 73% of online American teens ages 12-17 used an online social network website. *

*Pew Internet & American Life Project, Social Media & Mobile Internet Use Among Teens and Young Adults

Pew Internet & American Life Project

Pew Internet & American LIfe Project
Even more interesting is the fact that kids and adults are actively searching online for information on health and dieting.  Check out the charts below:

Pew Internet & American LIfe Project

Pew Internet & American LIfe Project

Now is the time to educate kids and adults on food and its importance to health and well-being.  People are looking, so we need to make sure they are finding good information, especially in social and mobile channels, which are clearly important connecting points across a broad spectrum of the population.

I also believe that the opportunity exists to transform the conversation around diet and health due to the extreme attention that has been paid to our health care situation in America as of late. The question is, who will be the key players that can frame the discussion for positive results?  I’m inspired by what the First Lady, Michelle Obama is spearheading with the Let’s Move initiative, which focuses on childhood obesity, diet, and exercise.  This is the kind of leadership that the issue needs in order to pick up steam.  Allison Rose Levy wrote a great article about the initiative yesterday.  Check it out here.   Looking ahead, who are the brands and organizations that will step up and become a driving force in this area?  Perhaps you work for one of them?  If so, let’s talk!

The opportunities are rife to expand this conversation with kids and young adults using social and mobile tools, and we need to shoot high to propel the message into the mainstream.  My goal with this post is to expand my own thinking and find out who is doing the ground work in this area so I can connect with them and discover how I can plug in.  It has been my intention to do meaningful work that makes a positive difference in the world, and I can’t think of a more worthy pursuit than this one.

This is what I’m doing today to shoot higher.  What about you?  Are there big ideas that you are working on?

Shooting Higher & Teaching Kids About Food

This morning a little voice inside my head told me that I need to shoot higher with my goals, and in that moment, I realized that I have not done a very good job of aligning my desires with what I’m ultimately seeking in life.  I have focused on short-term goals as of late, and it’s time for me to look a little further out if I ever expect to get there.  As the morning progressed, I was fortunate to run across a very inspiring piece of content through Twitter.  I took the time to watch and I now have some much needed clarity on what I want to do next.

My friend Sean Wood tweeted about a TED award winner, Jamie Oliver that is advocating for what could prove to be one of the most important movements of our time – teaching kids about food.  In his words: “I wish for everyone to create a strong, sustainable movement to educate every child about food, inspire families to cook again and empower people everywhere to fight obesity.” This may not sound very exciting or conjure up the imagery that other major issues in our society bring forth, but trust me – this is a big one.  Perhaps this is even the biggest challenge we face in our ‘modern’ society today.  Check out this must-watch video (embedded below) and see if you don’t agree.  Hopefully it might even change your life.

In recent years, I have come to appreciate food more and certainly have a respect for fresh, local ingredients and home cooking.  I prefer to eat food that I have prepared myself or that friends, neighbors, and family have prepared with health in mind over eating out where I am less certain about what is on the plate in front of me.  Paying attention to the food that I eat has made a huge difference in my life, and my body is much happier now than it has ever been because of the good fuel that I’m feeding it regularly.

So, what does this have to do with shooting higher?  It occurs to me that this movement needs some serious attention and a coordinated effort by many different entities.  Governments, corporations, individuals, communities, schools, etc. all need to band together to fix the problems that we are facing in our food supply, which of course cause major health problems that cost everyone a lot of money and ultimately a lot of lives.  This is a big problem to tackle that will not be solved easily, so shooting high is necessary to make meaningful progress.  How do we start?

We are in an age of hyper-connectedness, which means that spreading the word about any topic you can imagine is easier now than it has ever been, particularly with kids.  The recent Pew Social Media & Mobile Internet Use Among Teens and Young Adults Report confirms that kids have more access to the internet and mobile phones more than ever, which of course is no surprise.  This provides an incredible opportunity to engage these kids in creative ways and help them understand the concerns and also the opportunities around food.  Consider the following statistics and charts:

  • Three‐quarters (75%) of teens and 93% of adults ages 18‐29 now have a cell phone.*
  • In the past five years, cell phone ownership has become mainstream among even the youngest teens. Fully 58% of 12‐year olds now own a cell phone, up from just 18% of such teens as recently as 2004.*
  • As of September 2009, 73% of online American teens ages 12-17 used an online social network website. *

*Pew Internet & American Life Project, Social Media & Mobile Internet Use Among Teens and Young Adults

Pew Internet & American Life Project

Pew Internet & American LIfe Project
Even more interesting is the fact that kids and adults are actively searching online for information on health and dieting.  Check out the charts below:

Pew Internet & American LIfe Project

Pew Internet & American LIfe Project

Now is the time to educate kids and adults on food and its importance to health and well-being.  People are looking, so we need to make sure they are finding good information, especially in social and mobile channels, which are clearly important connecting points across a broad spectrum of the population.

I also believe that the opportunity exists to transform the conversation around diet and health due to the extreme attention that has been paid to our health care situation in America as of late. The question is, who will be the key players that can frame the discussion for positive results?  I’m inspired by what the First Lady, Michelle Obama is spearheading with the Let’s Move initiative, which focuses on childhood obesity, diet, and exercise.  This is the kind of leadership that the issue needs in order to pick up steam.  Allison Rose Levy wrote a great article about the initiative yesterday.  Check it out here.   Looking ahead, who are the brands and organizations that will step up and become a driving force in this area?  Perhaps you work for one of them?  If so, let’s talk!

The opportunities are rife to expand this conversation with kids and young adults using social and mobile tools, and we need to shoot high to propel the message into the mainstream.  My goal with this post is to expand my own thinking and find out who is doing the ground work in this area so I can connect with them and discover how I can plug in.  It has been my intention to do meaningful work that makes a positive difference in the world, and I can’t think of a more worthy pursuit than this one.

This is what I’m doing today to shoot higher.  What about you?  Are there big ideas that you are working on?

How Does Social Media Affect Elections?

Today is a big day in Atlanta politics, and I thought it would be appropriate to revisit the topic of social media’s role in politics.  I won’t be getting into the candidates or my affiliation here, but the issue that I want to discuss is how important it is to use all the tools that are available to engage people through the channels they are already using.

VoteLast year, I wrote a post titled ‘Is This the Facebook and YouTube Election?‘ where I mentioned that Facebook and YouTube changed the dynamics of the Presidential election of 2008 in a profound manner.  Many more people were engaged in the process than ever before, and there was an outlet to connect with people in a way that we had never seen in the political process.  The Atlanta Mayoral race reminds me of that dynamic, and perhaps there is even MORE engagement this time.  I find this to be remarkable because local politics rarely gets this kind of attention.  Sure, people get fired up during a Presidential election, but the city level races are rarely in the limelight in this way.

What we’re seeing in the Atlanta race is a willingness to discuss the issues that the community is passionate about, and there has been a great deal of back and forth about the merits of the individual candidates in social channels.  Interestingly, in my conversations with friends, neighbors, etc., very few of those that I’ve spoken with have actually watched the candidates debate on TV.  There have been several televised debates, but many people are simply not tuning in.  But these same people are on Facebook constantly and are engaged in wall posts, video posts, etc. that relate to the race.  There have been several threads that I’ve participated in that have significant engagement with people that I know, and people that I’ve never met before.  Great information is being spread, and hopefully it’s helping people in their decision in the voting booth.  Many people have said they are on the fence, and I can’t think of a better way to get them off the fence than engaging them directly with information and opinions through a trusted friend network on Facebook.

There’s a lesson in this for brands.  People are engaging with each other in these spaces and for many of them it’s the primary way they engage with brands.  In this example, the political candidates are each their own brand, and it will be particularly interesting to see how the candidates use of social media factors into the results of the election.  It’s an incredibly tight race, and they are both doing what they can to get their supporters out to the polls.  There is a difference however – one has a much more robust following on Twitter and Facebook, while the other one is a relative newcomer to the scene.  There was a similar dynamic during the Presidential election last year.  I’m very interested to see if the same pattern holds this time around.

What lessons do you take from this?  Have you been a part of a political discussion through social media that would never have happened otherwise?  How do you think social media affects elections?