Monday, 30 July 2007

What If…

  • ….email apps didn’t consider reading and writing separate modes?
  • …you could post to your blog, from mine?
  • …your online profile was filled out by your friends?
  • …Popularity was measured by the size of the group of people that are everywhere you are.
  • …only robots exchanged messages on Twitter.
  • …I stopped getting distracted by hypotheticals?

UPDATE 19 May 2011

“How can you tell if the person at the other end is real or a kid in Guatemala or Malaysia being paid by the message to engage with people to help build cred for some spam-issuing Twitter account?” – Dave Winer

Thursday, 26 July 2007

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Hello Nokia 6806 and TMobile HotSpot @Home

After watching my Treo 650 looping restart all morning, I’ve decided to leave it 1 and move to a very utilitarian Nokia 6086.

Things I dislike about the Nokia:

  • Flip phone. I’m just not a big fan.
  • Display is much less attractive than the Treo’s.
  • Only 500 slots in the Contacts list (I had to clean out my Address Book).
  • Clumbsy and ill-organized menu system, pointless ‘my shortcuts’ menu.
  • Mute isn’t a button on the keypad.
  • Need to clear messages (‘Battery Full’, etc) before it recognizes keypad entry

Things I like quite a bit about the Nokia

  • Uses Apple’s iSync thanks to a small hack from shadowmoon 2. Even with Missing Sync, the Treo’s syncing was unreliable.
  • BluePhoneElite2 support. Neither Treo or iPhone have this to any useful manner.
  • Calls over WiFi.
  • It’s a disposable phone that I can’t wait to dispose of.

Dave Winer’s review-at-one-month confirms I made the right decision not picking up an iPhone.

“Because the iPhone doesn’t have a search command, and apparently doesn’t store messages locally, it makes a poor choice for a mobile email client. “

I just added a synchronization command to my regular backup script. Feels like tech working for me, not me playing with tech. A good feeling.

UPDATE 31 July 2007:
My number has been ported to the new Nokia. Yea! So far, with my little playing around, it works as expected. I’m actually finding I can dial much faster and more reliably from the Nokia keypad than I ever could from the Treo. I’ll miss Chatter – but I think I’ll get over it. 🙂

1. And unless something very interesting happens, Palm for good.
2. As simple as it looks, I hosed my system the first time I did it. Had to restart in Safe Mode and wait through an fsck to get back to normal. No fun. Second time, no problems.

UPDATE 21 August 2007:
I’m happy for 2 things:

  1. The Nokia moves so seamlessly and actively between the wifi and TMobile networks. Even sitting right next to my router, the phone is constantly bouncing back and forth.
  2. Call initiated on the wifi network that move to the TMobile network don’t go against my minutes.

UPDATE 26 November 2007
This Nokia is turning out to be a pretty horrible phone. Mute & loudspeaker, my two most used functions during conference calls, are a pain to access – even when the screen doesn’t fall asleep and go black during a call. While dialing is faster than the Treo, it’s still cumbersome – using this keypad for text messages makes me cringe. And needing to clear every message the phone wants to tell me before I can tell it to do something isn’t right. Plus, I’ve gotten lost enough to justify hiring a full-time guide, let alone a magical device w/ Google Maps on it.

As I suspected, T-Mobile has added more phones to the WiFi lineup – namely a. Blackberry Curve. Attractive, but I’m not sure if I want to go back to Missing Sync.

Sunday, 22 July 2007

Kris Takes the Un out of Unconference

As much as I like Kris, I disagree with his How to save your unconference post.

It’s #2 that gives it away:

“Awesome hallway conversations”

If you’re having awesome hallway conversations, it’s not an unconference. It’s a regular conference. Sorry.

A good unconference has the awesome conversations within the sessions. Otherwise – why bother with the sessions? Maybe you enjoy sitting quietly while being pitched to?

If the goal of the event is to be a conference – then absolutely take Kris’ advice. Be a conference; plan the hell out of it, have tracks, boring lecture/presentations, and tasteless box lunches. Sounds like a waste of time for everyone.

Friday, 20 July 2007

I had a brief conversation this morning about future-proofing websites.

What persists centuries?

Not commercial endeavors. Religious ones.

OurSpace – One Small Step in Commons

Who would really enjoy this book?
An art history, marketing, or communications professor who doesn’t yet grok the significance and importance of Creative Commons.

In all honestly, considering the 2007 publication date of the OurSpace by Christine Harold, I was hoping for a deep dive into all the culture under the Creative Commons license. Harold starts that conversation, after a deep dive into the history of the Situationalists, Adbusters, and some fairly opaque rhetoric. While I found both the first 2 enjoyable from an art history perspective (even if their tactics seem juvenile and parasitic), the latter détournemented me all around. As if there is only one Culture.

I found the pranks and hoaxes chapter amusing ( Sasha Baron Cohen amusing), where Harold illustrated how pranksters used the sound bite and specatle bias of broadcast media to distributed performance art pieces. Also know as ‘getting the media to cover fake stories’. But, I still don’t think the joke is funny. See, I have hope the confrontational tone and parasitic mindset around the natural instinct to maniuplate cultural artifacts is limited to history books like Harold’s. I have hope that 10 minutes from now the symbiotic relationship between corporate marketing culture and our marketing culture will be legitimate.

Or at least, we’ll be waving to each other from across the commons.

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Twitter Ends Friendship

In a move that should rock the ‘social network space’, Twitter just removed the vague, confusing, juvenile label of ‘friend‘, replacing it with the more descriptive ‘following1.

Aside from the label being more accurate 2 it creates a nice symmetry with ‘followers‘. You and I could say ‘friend‘ is the overlap between the two, but as Biz states, it’s not for a server to define.

“After careful consideration and user testing, we are no longer going to define people as your ‘friends.’ – Biz

The /following and /followers listing is also nicely cleaned up. Insted of the confusing ‘add‘ and ‘follow‘ links, ‘follow‘ is only offered for the people that you’re not (but are you). Within /follows a radio button specifies if you’ll get ‘notifications3.

Now, if we could finally kill off ‘user‘.

1. As of this writing, the URLs have yet to update.
2. Only ‘stalking‘ would be more accurate.
3 Still not a great label, I say ‘stalking‘ is appropriate here.

Robert Scoble outlines how to be his “friend” (Hint: live in Facebook) that’s after this childish outburst:

“He didn’t add me as a friend to his Facebook network…..they wouldn’t get access to my walled garden.”

Oh no, do you mean to say your feelings toward someone else aren’t reciprocal? Welcome to being an adult.

Steve Rubel laments the changing definition of “friend”.

The current usage of ‘friend’ in these ‘social networks’ is simplistic, heavy-handed, and juvenile. Even in IRL, relationships are more nuanced and asymmetrical (e.g. “fuck buddy”, “stalker”, “BFF”) – if these networks want to be relevant in a decade, they need to reflect the actual relationships. But then, most adults don’t need training wheels on their bikes or chaperones when they go out.