“The Internet is the greatest generation gap since rock and roll. We’re now witnessing one aspect of that generation gap: the younger generation chats digitally, and the older generation treats those chats as written correspondence. Until our CEOs blog, our Congressmen Twitter, and our world leaders send each other LOLcats – until we have a Presidential election where both candidates have a complete history on social networking sites from before they were teenagers– we aren’t fully an information age society.”—Bruce Schneier, Why Obama Should Keep His BlackBerry - WSJ.com
Chris Brogan wonders if “America’s Favorite!” or “#1 Brand!” on canned products actually influences our grocery shopping decisions.
I’ll flatly assert, yes.
Both messages are indicators of “Social Proof”, one of the ‘big six’ influencers on behavior according to research done by social psychologist Robert Cialdini. [you’ll love reading each of his books, like so many others have] Are the can designs ugly? Yes. Effective? Probably. Who knows for sure? The can makers.
It’s easy to identify when a design decision rubs your aesthetic sense wrong, but that is by no means a measurement of its effectiveness. Cockroaches hold the simultaneous honor of being one of the most effective, and ugliest creatures that nature has ever produced.
This week it was rock climbing & yoga, next week it’s my first 5k.
I’m very pleased with the addition of a few new activities into my workout routine, and eager to try more. Part of my motivation is the need to prove that winter in New England can be made tolerable by more than just skiing/snowboarding. Mostly though, I’m concerned with graduating into adulthood with the proper mindset and habits.
My blog was auto-classified as “INTJ : The Scientist”. Not bad! My Briggs/Myer is ENTJ, and I can’t imagine anything more extroverted than tying my real name to an open journal of my thoughts, but still a close assessment by Typealyzer.
(Full disclosure, I know close to zero about the business of Yahoo)
Here’s what I’d do:
1) I’d focus R&D to develop a deep scientific understanding of community behavior online (as a function of feature-set), and perfect a suite of services that grow existing communities, and create new ones. I’d make these services open for the web at large to use. (If Amazon can provide the techinical infrastructure for the web, Yahoo can certainly provide the feature/community infrastructure)
2) I’d also focus R&D on cracking the social-advertising/recommendation ’nut’. Google has won on keyword based advertising. It’s over. However, I believe Zuckerburg is correct that something bigger is on the horizon, and even if Facebook cracks it, Yahoo must as well.
3) I’d do a few strategic acquisitions to help R&D here: off the top of my head, Ning for it’s wealth of different communities and user-data, and Lookery for their forward thinking demographic based ad-serving on the web.
4) I’m ambivalent on Yahoo search. Personally, I never use it, nor the portal itself. Whatever makes the most financial sense, Yahoo should explore. I would however be careful to manage image internally: traditional search is not the future of Yahoo.
Combining a success in social advertising with Yahoo’s already impressive understanding of communities, and breadth of communities, would cement Yahoo back into the center of the social web.
Community, community, community, community!
Now, I’ll go read about what Yahoo *actually* does…
Google gives me chills. Actually, Google might prevent me from getting the chills: introducing Google Flu Trends!
"We’ve found that certain search terms are good indicators of flu activity. Google Flu Trends uses aggregated Google search data to estimate flu activity in your state up to two weeks faster than traditional systems.”
Incredibly cool. I’m aware of systems that track aggregate grocery store purchasing behavior to detect disease outbreaks, and I’m extremely excited that the same principle works on the web.
This is great advice. Interestingly, this is how toy manufacturers decide on what to make: they test advertising for non-existent toys, and of those that test well, they build, market, and ultimately sell.
“Microsites attend to the problem on both ends. Through a radical reduction in scope, the creator makes each of her decisions more relevant, more expressive, and each option more evident. At the same time, by simplifying the user’s experience, by rejecting all but the essential, the creator reduces the strain placed on the audience in identifying and ultimately connecting with their creative decisions.”—
Tumblr's New 'Like' Feature Lacks Personal Utility
Tumblr just rolled out the “liking” feature into my dashboard. I can “heart” any post, but why? It fails the “Delicious Lesson” (read Josh Porter’s excellent post here) The idea is that network value cannot proceed personal value. I can see how Tumblr gets value out of my ‘liking things’, perhaps this will help it determine what is ‘hot’. I can see how other authors get value out of it: they know that I liked their post. The problem is, Tumblr hasn’t closed the loop for me: *why* should I like anything (or not)? Can I search over posts I like? Nope. Is there a gallery of what I like? Not yet. Can I export them as a feed? Nope. So what does it do for me? Nothing… except…
Except it could put my tumblog in the “notes” or notification section of everyone’s dashboard, without compromising the continuity of my blog.
A scary prediction: The “like” mechanism will become a new form of spammy self-promotion. Why wouldn’t I like everything I could to put my blog’s name in front of more people? If a wide audience was my goal, I’d be foolish not to.
I hope Tumblr can close the utility loop before this becomes a real problem.