Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Apple still defines the future of computing interfaces

It's been nearly two years since I first wrote about Apple defining the touch computing experience. Now they're taking us all a step further with the introduction of the iPad, which has earned the unfortunate monicker of an 'iPod on Steroids'. This new, larger touch interface brings a whole new range of possibilities for how people can interact with the device. Things that felt cramped before now have room to breath.

Along with the added space, Apple is taking the opportunity to introduce entirely new interface capabilities, and in the process continuing to write the book on user experience. I expect that the general conventions that Apple includes as part of their touch-capable OS will eventually become the standard across the industry.

Take a look at the guided tours they put up this week and you get a sense of what I'm talking about...

The only New Yorker cartoon caption you'll ever need


Monday, March 29, 2010

Pageview Pumping

Interesting perspective, but a little extreme in my opinion...

Pageviews are still an important part of measuring any audience online and how engaged they are with the content. And there are many a tactic available to publishers that help drive traffic, and thus pageviews, and many publishers who do engage in the type of hype-writing described here simply to drive traffic. I work for a media company where we measure success in pageviews, and it is misleading. But breaking articles into multiple pieces is no different than a newspaper continuing a front page article at the back of the section. Are those valueless pageviews as well? Are the advertisers on the back page the victims of a scan? We still need a way to cut things off for people who aren't interested in the remaining 54,632 words in the article and just want to move on to the next thing.

What we need is a way to measure a complete session, and how engaged the user is with the different pieces of content they encounter along the way...

PS. Ads are content...and don't you forget it!

Pageview Pumping:

MG Siegler:

But what interests me about all this is the underlying war going on between those playing the pageview game, and those that hate the pageview game. To put it another (simplified) way: the war between quality versus quantity.

Siegler comes close to getting it, but falls short. Pageviews, as a metric used for directly billing advertisers, are a scam. Publishers game it with sensational link-bait articles and bullshit tricks like breaking articles into multiple “pages”. Advertisers get stuck paying for valueless impressions. Readers get stuck with the sensational bullshit articles, the tricks (like breaking single articles into multiple “pages”), and suffer through too many annoying ads surrounding actual content.

It is, as Jim Coudal and I argued at SXSW, a race to the bottom. Be careful of the “everyones” who say pageviews are imperfect but the best we can do. They’re the ones who are happy with the web as a market for bullshit.

Not Much of an Argument, Really

I believe the other argument amounts to "But Flash is good...enough".

From Daring Fireball:

Not Much of an Argument, Really:

Matt Buchanan:

It’s interesting, to say the least, that a device promising to be the best browsing experience — cue Scott Forestall crazy eyes — is in fact reshaping the internet. You could argue it’s for the better, moving sites away from proprietary formats and heavy, resource-sucking designs to more open standards, and more efficient layouts that are easier to use (as many have, convincingly).

What’s the other argument?

Google already running into problems with Android development

In case I wasn't clear...

One company controlling the source, while other companies try to develop different interfaces for the core product, leads to massive fragmentation. Things just don't work right everywhere.

Google's Solution to Android Fragmentation: Break It Apart [Rumor
Click here to read Google's Solution to Android Fragmentation: Break It ApartAndroid's problem: There's a lot of Androids out there! 1.5, 1.6, 2.0 and 2.1, just to name the major current versions. A problem, 'cause spiffy apps that'll run on 2.0 won't run on 1.5, and now everybody's confused. Google's solution? More »

Android will overtake the iPhone, guaranteed

But that's not really much of a statement. Of course it will overtake the iPhone. There are at least 5 major phone manufacturers building phones on the Android platform. It's only a matter of time before there are more Android handsets out there than iPhones. Whether or not they will be as capable or streamlined as the iPhone remains to be seen.

There is no question that there will be more Android phones, but will they be as good? Will apps be as simple, move effortlessly between devices? Will things just work? It's entirely possible that some day, Android phones will be far better than the iPhone...but that's not today.

How the iPhone Could End Up In Second Place [Smartphones]:

Here are the US mobile web traffic figures for iPhone OS and Android, getting ready to collide: Android, on its way up; iPhone, on its way down. So when will Android overtake the iPhone? Try next month. More »


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Hulu blocking yet another browser, trying to drive customers away

When are they going to figure out that preventing customers from accessing your content isn't a sound business model.

Hulu blocking a specific web browser is like a broadcaster trying to keep their shows off Sony TVs. Pure idiocy...

Read more on Mashable.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Foursquare, Twitter & Gowalla: Innovating themselves into irrelevance?

The biggest concern I have with services like Foursquare, Gowalla and Twitter isn't whether they have value (I think they've clearly demonstrated they do), but it's whether or not they are building sustainable businesses. All these services seem like they are developing feature sets that their larger competitors (read Facebook and Yelp) will simply be able to add to their existing service as a major enhancement. Why would I use a dedicated service, when the broader services I do mostly the same thing?

TechCrunch: Facebook QR codes and location

TechCrunch: The Location War

Video: The End of Publishing (or media as we know it for that matter)

Great video examining the current issues facing the publishing industry. Replace 'publishing' and 'books' with 'media', and you start to see the big picture...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Twitter to roll out '@anywhere' service

Have I mentioned that I'm not particularly fond of Twitter, and think they'll be more or less irrelevant in 5 years?

Well there, I said it...

Twitter to roll out '@anywhere' service: "The new service, unveiled at the South By Southwest conference, will allow Twitter users to connect to their accounts through third-party Websites."