Category Archives: Social Media

One platform to rule them all..

I often hear no one can beat facebook as a social network or linkedin for professional networking or twitter for short messages. I hear it from individuals who are either risk adverse, cannot look to the future, prefer one standardized model or have agenda. Or even worse have forgot recent history.

So for the quickstarts..

Human nature

Ok you want more context = IBM or Blackberry or Microsoft or AOL (for US readers)

There we are done, seriously… ok for those still in need of caffeine or a sleep pill.. here is the longer version.

“Monopolies last as long as consumers buys from them”

I wonder if there was a time in Rome where they thought that they were invincible?

Wasn’t there also a time when most IT managers were trying to force the uniform system setup throughout their whole organisations you know Microsoft Windows and Dell or HP. Maybe you got a pass if you were part of the creative people tribe e.g. artist, designers and maybe even occasionally marketing.

For a time Microsoft was a monopoly, recognised by the whole planet, except the America Government (those tax dollars were just too important).  Even Blackberries (er crack berries or the best whip a slave driver could develop) owned the market.

So how did it work out for Microsoft and Blackberry?

“Ease of use wins and device shifting is a great opportunity for all”

But it was users, not economists, or Angels or VCs who defined the next step; because amazing people from Apple and Google came up with something easier to use. And maybe people were ready for a change.

Apple and Google took the initiative as we moved from one platform to the next. It was users who revolted with their iphones? And now their ipads? And now Andriod based er everything..

So quick side trip – future device shifts yet to take hold include:

  1. augmented reality,
  2. using your X Box Kinect to do office work maybe with a 3D TV screen,
  3. the use of contact lenses or sunglasses to be our computer screens,
  4. Virtual Reality and there will be a few shifts in between.

“Distribute your consumer power”

In a past life as a political campaigner I would often hear people who voted for one political party at a national level would vote differently at a local level.  When I asked why, the number one reason was “I don’t want either political party to have too much power.”

Do we consume the same as we vote?  Are consumers savvy enough to ensure that they have a competitive market by buying from different companies to ensure one does not take over the world and we end up living in the Robo Cop, Aliens, Cyber punk or maybe even Shadowrun world.  For you non sci fi lovers I am referring to a world where corporations have more power than government (hmm is that not now), most first world countries are run by VERY conservative (ok to be fair fascist) governments (ummm) and the corporations are armed with private military forces (phew this has not happened yet).

So for some humans we care from where we consume, for the majority I guess not, until its too late.

“Rebellion is part of us all”

There are always enough people who do not want their freedom to be taken away from them. Thinking you have a choice may be enough for some humans.  I think also some humans will always take the anti-ethnomethodolgy approach e.g. they will take the current behaviours/methods and choose to do the opposite or severely different approach. Because we don’t all think or feel alike. Need proof become a parent and raise a teenager.

We don’t want to all conform. We don’t want all to live in the same infrastructure.  Past infrastructures were harder to change than they are now. More places will be built so we can talk to whom we want to talk and in the manner that we prefer.

“We don’t all talk the same language”

The big wheel keeps turning and we are raised with different cultural inputs or TV, Music and Films.  For each of us, our understanding of the planet is different.  The way we express our needs and wants changes with each generation. And that is before you even bring national culture and languages.

“Alignment of values, it’s more than ethics or the environment”

We often hire for aptitude but fire attitude.  I wonder if this can applied to companies we choose to work with..  While saving me time and making things easy, may drive me onto your platform but will I stay if there is another company with a closer value alignment e.g. facebook and privacy vs. Diaspora.  Would you prefer to work for a boss who helps you grow or one keeps you in ‘your place’.

“Specificity or Narrowcast vs. Broadcast is it inevitable?”

A bit like what has happened in TV and its movement from few channels too many and very specific. Or once upon a time there was just soap, than there was soap with rose petals, now there is soap for different parts of your body!

“Change will happen whether it’s through evolution or revolution”

I think all communities whether a nation, a business or a sports team change.

In healthy democracies we see change the cycle maybe 18 years or 9/10, but it happens.  The luckiest leaders are the ones where their party just missed it in the last election and than you see a landslide the next time round. They have the ability to change more.

I believe that communities don’t die per se but they continually evolve, and if they don’t a revolution will occur. Online ones are no different.

The end, well nearly..

So not all of these apply to all humans but I think enough apply to most humans.

So big platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin will continue to exist until someone finds an easier or better way to do the same thing or maybe the market will be re-segmented time and time again and we will have many smaller communities

Come on you have seen what happens when one ring controls all the others.. its not good.. just ask Frodo

At what point do the facts matter?

Like many Tech junkies I have being following the rumours, the comments and the suggestions about the iPhone 4 and its so called antenna ‘issue’.  I think its fair to say that most rumour sites and newspapers have really exaggerated the overall impact of this issue.  I was left with the impression that about 50% of users were ‘suffering’.  Some experts and  journalists were ‘suggesting’ a product recall.  The Consumer reports were not recommending the phone implying this issue did not affect any other phone, as it was not mentioned for other Smart Phones..  And of course this was Apples’ Vista from Microsoft..

So I thought I would watch Steve Jobs press conference with his side.

  • All Smartphones have issues, interesting comparison here
  • He stated only 0.55% of iPhone 4 customers have called AppleCare about the antenna issue.
  • Return rates through AT&T for iPhone 4 are at 1.7% for comparison iPhone 3GS return rate was 6%.
  • AT&T data on dropped call rates. Less than one call per 100 more than iPhone 3GS.

I was very surprised to hear these figures, not because I don’t believe Mr Jobs but because my impression from the collective media was so out of sync with the facts.

Consumer Reports apparently missed the same issue with all of the great smartphones out there.  It makes me wonder the quality of their testing. Were they driven by listening to the buzz?  A quick web search shows a lot of smart phones with simliar problems..

It did not escape my attention that the vast number of critics making comments about the iPhone 4 did not actually own one.  Was this a form of iPhone envy?  It goes without saying that general public view Apple as the leader in the market, which from figures they have a bit to go, why worry about facts..  But humans do love to knock the ‘perceived’ leader in the market.

This social media hype, reminded of the DJ that was announced dead on Twitter, until he tweeted revealing it was not true. What if he did not have a twitter account?  What if he titled is next album “From beyond the grave (according to twitter)”

People really like to pass bad news fast, regardless of if it is true.. mobs seem to form on the online social media tools quicker around negative issues.  I think online social media tools can pass stupidity, far faster than any tool we have had in the past.  And I think the human race will prove this too the extreme.  But of course we should not forget the other side, that social media tools are very effective for passing propaganda from one firm to another.

I feel disappointed that most of the reports from professional journalists, including the New York Times had sources that stated things which according to Apple are “patently false.” hmm does that mean I trust a corporation over a newspaper..

It worries me that facts are not important, that there is no accountability for untruths.  It seems less and less people check the sources of information or at least confirm with another source. It feels like people are lazy about their information and its’ validity.  This is often covered up as ‘opinion’ and maybe I am just as guilty.  I am a little old fashioned I will try to check the facts, read different newspapers to get past the propaganda pieces and past the editors ‘view’ or the owners ‘view’… but like many on this planet my thirst for ‘knowledge’ sometimes outsteps the need for proven facts..