internet Tag

Snapchat Appeals To Kids For The Same Reasons Myspace Did. But Can It Escape The Same Fate?

Remember Myspace? (I have to say that now when I intro myself to new people — my years working there are still a key part of my career history).

More importantly, can you remember the countless millions of teenagers who learnt HTML so they could ‘pimp’ their pages?

Kids Were Coding on Myspace!

That is unbelievable in retrospect. We got kids learning to handle (if not completely write) code just so they could make glitter fall down their page and have sexier buttons in their ‘contact box’. They knew how to open style tags, albeit simple ones like <b>, and then close them</b>.

Parents of course thought they had finally lost their young. They were witnessing their kids type and paste pure gobbledegook into boxes in some very confusing admin panel. Kids made their Myspace profiles resemble a sort of digital bedroom wall, plastered with a mess of everything they were into, and everyone they were associated with.

Confusing to ‘Olds’

The more I work with Snapchat (in my capacity running London creative digital agency Harkable), the more I’m struck with how this is the first platform since Myspace to appeal to kids largely because it bewilders and even scares their parents.

Even at my tender age I can still remember the sheer confusion the first time I used Snapchat. This of course was closely followed by a more composed, professional criticism of the UX (user experience).

The Thrill of the Dangerous

Just knowing you could send absolutely any kind of photo or video to anyone on Snapchat is in itself exciting.

Everything there is out of the gaze of authority. Seeing their parents’ horror just makes it all the more fun. And so it was on Myspace, you could be anyone and do anything. There were serial killers and sex offenders but we all accepted that the entire human spectrum was represented there, before everyone left for Facebook that is.

Is Snapchat Destined for Decline?

So the big questions looms. Can Snapchat avoid the fatal death spiral that Myspace disappeared into so rapidly? Ultimately the odds aren’t in their favour.

The only reason Facebook and Twitter have stuck around is because:

  1. their general utility — messaging, groups, events, photos, news
  2. their unprecedentedly high levels of adoption across all demographics — i.e. your grandparents use it, people in places with less access to technology use it
  3. integration across the web and the wider media landscape — Facebook ‘like’ buttons on websites, hashtags in TV shows etc

Will my Mum really get on Snapchat before the youth leave for something new? Will it replace current forms of private messaging like email and WhatsApp? Can it really become woven into our other media experiences such as surfing the web and watching TV?

Seems unlikely but then the entire premise of the app would have sounded bonkers five years ago, so don’t write them off completely.

So Many Users, So Little Money

The big challenge for them will be monetisation. They are the classic example of the social media startup having boomed in user numbers, only to be faced with the task of turning that into a profitable business.

They currently sell vertical video ads (portrait video as opposed to the traditional landscape) which are inserted in between Stories and Discover, kind of like TV ads. They trialled sponsored lenses — augmented reality animated overlays for selfie photos and videos — but have discontinued that for now. There’s no self-serve ad buying platform, and agencies are struggling to justify significant media spend because of the lack of any robust analytics, other than reports on views and reach.

Snapchat’s Future Is Not In Mass Market

They’ll need to bring a much more rounded advertising offering with the ability to target ads and report on exactly what the money achieved.

But like Myspace failed to do, they’ll need to keep its core users interested. And rather than trying to attract that wider demographic, it might mean keeping mum and dad a little bit scared of it.

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Your Weekly Social Media Diet

So many social media sites, so little time. This is my plan for keeping on top of it all, and getting more out of your social media life.

Weekdays

Breakfast – catch up and schedule

Get the latest on what’s happening and find shareable content with Digg Reader for news and blogs, YouTrends for the latest trending videos, Reddit for trending funnies and Twitter for the big conversations globally or in your area. Instantly share the most interesting stuff using Buffer (and its brilliant Chrome plugin), which staggers your updates throughout the day. This keeps your Twitter and Facebook filled with good content, taking the pressure off in case you have a busy day. 

Lunch – respond and engage

This is when everyone jumps on Facebook and Twitter so a good time to check in on the ‘big two’. Use TweetDeck to view Twitter and respond to  engagement from your Buffered posts – thank any retweets and mentions with replies or favorites. Then have a scan for any recent developments worth commenting on or adding to your Buffer.

As you’re probably at a computer, this is also a great time to show some love on Pinterest, trawling through your feed to find great images to like and re-pin.

Dinner – longer reads

Chances are you’re in the majority that have flirted with Google+ but don’t use it regularly. I find that people get great value out of it once they start, so get the ball rolling by posting something and actively joining a conversation in a Community relevant to you or on your timeline, every afternoon. It’s a heavily American audience so early evening is a good time to start posting if you’re in UK/Europe.

This time is also when a lot of commuters are bored on the train, reading Twitter, so your Buffer should have a few scheduled slots between 5pm and 7pm. A good time to post links to well-written content (like the best stuff on Medium, for example)

Supper – prime time conversations

The peak of social media traffic in the week is always at around 8pm, in line with TV’s prime time. Conversation on Twitter is largely driven by real-time conversation around TV, so if you’re watching a popular show get tweeting about it with the hashtag, make any witty observations and retweet other people’s. Share relevant bite-sized content on the topic such as memes – as opposed to long blogs or videos.

If you’re really keen, now is a good time to put a few things in your Buffer so you have content going out to followers in other time zones while you sleep.

Weekend

It goes without saying you should try to maintain your weekday activity where possible, especially the ‘breakfast’ and ‘supper’ ones, but here are some weekend-specific to-dos:

Saturday – capture your moments

Typically the quietest day in social media as people spend the least time at screens on Saturdays, instead opting for shopping, seeing friends and doing stuff around the house. This is however when you’re likely to do your most interesting stuff so take lots of pictures with your phone’s camera app, and then Instagram them both on the day and later. Think of your fun weekend activities as opportunities to capture photos for use throughout the week.

Sunday – putting time into bigger content pieces

In opposition to Saturday, Sunday is traditionally the busiest day online, particularly in the mid-afternoon post-lunch lull. It’s when the most people are online, they have the most time and are most relaxed – meaning the best content to put out here is long-form content such as blogs, articles and videos. It’s also when you have the most time to properly produce and promote it.
Write a blog post or record your video blog or podcast in the morning, post it in the afternoon and then take the time to promote it across all your platforms. Beyond putting links with great hooks such as questions or counter-intuitive statements (e.g. Why Drinking is Good For You, Could Drinking Really Be Healthy?) generate conversation where possible through reaching out to passion centres of the topic e.g. tweet at influential people in that sphere asking them what they think, go to the Google+ Community or sub-Reddit and ask people there what they think. Remember to not take a promotional tone, but a human and conversational one.

Weekly Tasks

Twitter – follow new people, @mention influencers and keep an eye on your Buffer analytics to learn what’s working and what’s not. Use ManageFlitter to find new people to follow and clean out your Following list if bloated.

Blog – at least one post per week, but always as many as you can manage. Use Google Analytics to see what worked and where traffic is coming from.

Pinterest – find new boards and people to follow to keep your feed fresh. Pin cool stuff from around the web (sites like Tumblr, FFFFOUND!, editorial and interest-specific sites).

Periodical Tasks

Review your blog theme and any widgets you’re using. Is everything up-to-date? Is your bio still true or relevant across all networks? Do you still have links to sites you’ve abandoned?

Use ManageFlitter or Klout to chart your growth on Twitter and in social media over the year.

Most of all, have fun and enjoy it. I don’t get round to all of the above but now I’ve actually written it down in this post I’m going to start trying! Let me know any useful habits of yours in the comments below!

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The Pirate Bay Movie Now Available. Free.

Today, the movie TPB AFK (The Pirate Bay – Away From Keyboard) will be premiered online, free to download and even re-edit under a Creative Commons Licence. Filmmaker Simon Klose has spent the last four years following the founders of The Pirate Bay through its legal struggles, technical issues, and ongoing battle with some of the most powerful corporations on Earth. There’s a good interview with him on The Verge.

image

The Pirate Bay is still the go-to place for downloading movies, songs, software and literature, all for free, for millions of internet users worldwide. Even in 2013 it is still the only means of obtaining much of the major studios’ catalogues because of the relatively small selection still available on streaming services. But the Swedish site also stands for something more than freeloading off the creative industries, they have been fighting the much wider cause of net neutrality – the idea that the internet should be the same for everyone and not controlled or selectively throttled by ISPs, corporations or governments.

2012 saw the tipping point for online movie watching. More movies were watched legally online than on physical media such as DVD and Blu-Ray, which is a huge story for services like Netflix, LoveFilm, Sony Playstation et al. But even though the movie industry is finally waking up to the reality of the digital age, The Pirate Bay and sites like it still offer the convenience of choosing a film and knowing you can download it in full for free within an hour. I’ve always been a big believer in the convenience factor being much more significant than many people consider. Whereas most observers assume illegal downloaders just love a free ride, successful businesses such as Netflix, Kindle and iTunes show that if you just make it easy people will pay the price of a couple of coffees for a film, book or album because it’s still very good value for money. There’s also the quality assurance and nice feeling from supporting art too of course.

Hopefully, 2013 will see entertainment media even easier to access legally and give us less reason to resort to torrenting, proxy IPs and illegal streaming services etc, so the idealists behind The Pirate Bay can get on with the really important business of campaigning for an open internet. Worldwide. Neutral. Forever.

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Google Launch Project Glass: A Computer In Your Head

Today Google announced Project Glass – an ambitious augmented reality project which they’re asking for our help with here. The hardware (spectacles) and software (a simplified Android variant) work together to add the best of today’s web services to your field of vision. Sound like hell or the most useful thing ever? I’m certain this will be part of our lives within 10 years. Maddening as having an ever-present computer in your head sounds, it’s going to make pulling your phone out of your pocket and firing up an app seem like an awfully old-fashioned way to do something.

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Why I Quit Foursquare and Gowalla (And You Will Too)

I recently had a look over my profiles on Foursquare and Gowalla (the latter always being my favourite on aesthetic grounds) and seeing my patterns of behaviour spelt out in check-ins made me feel a bit uneasy.  Even though I was always careful to never check in at home, or any locations near home I could instantly see that every Saturday I go to the same organic deli. Once or twice a week I take a train from the same mainline train station. I’m the ‘mayor’ of the MySpace UK office and have made it clear which places in proximity to work I hang out at. Basically I’ve made it incredibly easy for people to find me. People who I do not know.

I get a lot of friend requests on Foursquare and Gowalla, all from people who are listed by their supposedly real names like Alex Hunt or Jenny Vergara, to take two random examples from my Gowalla friends. Despite the reality that they’re no less of a threat than if their handles were ‘s3ri4lki11er’ and ‘SocMedManiac666’ it feels fairly harmless to accept their requests because one imagines that they, like me, are just trying out this cool new thing and if they have iPhones and are into new social media fads they must be pretty harmless, right? Well, far be it from me to demonise the internet but we all know that the online revolution has been to paedos, murderers and stalkers what the advent of the chainsaw was to lumberjacks and whilst I can’t even say for sure what the real risks are to me of releasing this data, it just feels too much. And for what payoff?

People often ask me about social media, and the most common question, usually delivered in a fairly incredulous tone, is “why?”. When it comes to Twitter, MySpace, Flickr, Tumblr etc the answers are easy because these services have such obvious benefits which when explained and demonstrated can fill even the most staunch Luddite with dumb wonder. My sister recently asked me why I use location-based services Foursquare and Gowalla. My honest reply was that location is a factor which is playing an increasingly significant role in social media so it is in my interest to know everything about it so that I may wield this new technology to further my own projects. Outside of this reason, I could not find any purpose for it whatsoever. This is not to say that I think LBS (location-based services) have no use or future, I think you can do amazing things with geodata such as The Museum of London’s ingenious ‘Street Museum’ app which, using the iPhone’s built in GPS and compass, can tell exactly where you are and which direction you’re facing and overlay old photographs from their archive over the physical scenery before you. You could expand that idea and have a location-based content-sharing network so people could leave media in places, or dump files. The possibilities in that area are endless and very exciting.

Now I do understand that the ‘check in, get points to beat your friends, get badges’ mechanic taps into what we call ‘game theory’ which dictates that if you give people things to do and rewards (even ones without any real value) they will have a natural compulsion to complete the tasks and collect the rewards. That’s great for Foursquare, the mechanic is getting people using their service in droves. But to what actual end? What use is any of this to its users? When I’m on my deathbed am I going to think to myself “what was this life all about? What did I do for the world? Oh, I got the ‘Douchebag’ badge and ten others on Foursquare! I wonder if I can check in at heaven’s gates… Byeeee!”. Probably not. You might of course be tempted to level this sort of trivialisation at tweets, blogs and shared photos or videos, but content and information sharing has some indubitably genuine value. It educates, informs, entertains and drives the effort to make the world a smaller, more accessible and hopefully democratic place. This, which was once referred to quite sincerely as ‘Web 2.0’, has truly driven a human revolution. Is checking in at McDonald’s this afternoon and earning the ‘Super Size Me’ badge supporting a crucial pillar of this step-change in human history?

OK, so I hear you thinking “what’s the alternative? How do we pull together groups or conversations around a geographic location?”. Call me old-fashioned but in my mind a tweet saying “having coffee at Frank’s café, a guy just walked in with a cat on a lead twitpic.com/xxxxx” is of more value than a check-in through Foursquare from that same place. Not only is Twitter a bigger, more established network and easier to access and use but you can now geotag tweets if you so wish. It’s first and foremost about the content, which is after all the important stuff, with location being one of several optional identifiers, or meta data, attached. Conversely the LBS is firstly about location and has barely begun to start implementing content-sharing. Furthermore, the hashtag is yet to be written off as a great way of stringing tweets together. Nothing beats it for conferences and events as it’s very easy to track, search for and generate RSS feeds from. So seriously, if anyone reading this can provide a solid explanation outlining why we need Foursquare and Gowalla I will literally check in at my own house with an attached photo of my stretched, Gowalla-branded scrotum.

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Tech Disappointments of 2010

OK, so here we are, well into 2010. A well-used date in the science fiction of the mid twentieth century, by which time we would be zipping between space ports, taking one-second ion showers in the morning and generally looking pretty sodding slick. It didn’t turn out quite how we expected, and we’ve seen it coming a long time.

Different versions of the future down the ages have always fascinated me (that’s a whole other blog post). It’s interesting that since the 1980s science fiction has started to be a lot more realistic with its timelines, placing plots 300 or 3,000 years hence, not 30 years ahead as in Back To The Future II which depicted people going about on hover-skateboards and wearing shit baseball caps made out of hologram-foil:

I guess they kinda got that last bit right…

This realism was no doubt due to the space race cooling off and the harsh realisation that space travel is actually quite hard and even getting someone to Mars would be a bit of a ballache. Whilst coming to terms with our unstellar, essentially-medieval-but-cleaner present and future existence we’ve made some truly amazing advances in more useful, mundane technology which allows us to make telephone calls on the move and listen to any music in the world from the comfort of home. There are however some aspects of consumer technology that really need to pull their socks up:

Video connections – should it still be this hard to send and receive moving images with sound, in the same room? We still have no standard, other than HDMI which is still far from universal. The DVI out on my MacBook Pro has to be converted into VGA and I still have to pipe the audio out from my headphone socket into the TV or a hi-fi. Too many cables and hassle. We really should have a wireless, lossless video transmission protocol which is adopted by all TVs, DVD players, computers etc.
ETA: Development is slow and offices the world over seem happy with a VGA cable limply hanging out from a flatscreen TV for those who dare to risk looking like they can’t operate their own laptop. I’m setting the flux capacitor to 2015 on this one.

Internet connectivity – use a laptop? Who doesn’t? And yet it’s still a stroke of luck if you manage to get wifi anywhere. I rely on my jailbroken iPhone and an app that lets me turn it into a wifi hotspot for internet on the move. It seems crazy that modern laptops don’t come with 3G as standard, and that 3G isn’t quite a bit faster.
ETA: The iPad will put the pressure on laptop manufacturers and 3G (or even forthcoming 4G) will become standard in 2012

File-sharing – use a shared drive at work? Crap, isn’t it? Ideally we should all be working in ‘the cloud’, perhaps on Google, though even Google Docs is a tad hokey. It really feels that by now we should have full Microsoft Office-level publishing software that allows seamless collaboration and publication.
ETA: Feels close, with the likes of Dropbox and Google, not to mention Microsoft Office Live, I expect us all to be working nebulously by next year.

Mobile internet – thank the Lord for the iPhone. Without Apple’s groundbreaking dog-and-bone we’d still be struggling with mashed up, half-loaded webpages on screens the size of postage stamps. But it feels we’re still a long way off the dream of mobile internet access being anything other than a crippled ‘lite’ version of the real www. And then there’s document management. We need to be able to make PowerPoint presentations, images and webpages on the move. Maybe the iPad will resolve this but it remains to be seen how portable we’ll feel Jobs’ latest creation to be.
ETA: Another job for iPad. Expect mobile devices and networks to step up their game this year. We could be living the dream of a full web experience on mobile by next summer.

Media-sharing – remember when Bluetooth came out? Suddenly the future of effortlessly swooshing files between devices wherever you were started to look like a reality. Not quite… it’s slow and still not universal. And the marriage of TV and internet has hardly been idyllic. We all access an increasing amount of music and video online and yet we will always, even in 2510, want to just sit back from time to time with a box of Tunnocks teacakes and a cup of Lady Grey on a welcoming, tattered sofa and just watch. No interactivity, no options, certainly no plugging in DVI cables, audio cables, transferring files to/from games consoles etc. Apple TV was supposed to address this but has too many restrictions and is far from widely adopted. Recent Boxee integration might help.
ETA: Getting better, and with an increasing amount of new TVs coming with net connections this could be two or three years away.

Video game purchases – most home connections can download 3GB in an hour (if from a fast server). I guarantee that on average people spend longer than that travelling to and from physical retail stores to obtain video games in plastic boxes. It’s frankly madness that I can’t just buy and download any game through the Playstation Store or Xbox Live. If anyone can explain the business sense of this to me please do in the comments below.
ETA: Plastic boxes will start to die out in the next 12 months. Expect digital game releases to dominate by Christmas 2011. This is admittedly optimism on my part!

In writing this I’ve been pondering why these gaps (and others, please discuss them in the comments) even exist. I think a large part of it is the lack of standardisation. In some ways standardisation isn’t good for the tech industry as it often relates to monopolisation and the lack of competition can leave development stagnating. It can however be great for the consumer as advances in functionality and usability can be concentrated on widely adopted products and formats instead of spread thinly amongst millions of them. An example of this could be on the horizon in the form of the proposed universal mobile phone charger which some major mobile manufacturers have agreed to conform to. As well as making consumers’ life a lot easier this initiative will inevitably cut down on waste, which is another great reason for widespread standardisation.

I guess it’s a delicate balance to strike between a free marketplace that fosters innovation and one which provides individuals what they need to innovate but in controlled parameters. A bit like liberals vs socialists then. Which makes me a technology commy. Does that make Steve Jobs the tech equivalent of Lenin? He’s certainly getting the look.

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Thought Shower: Is the web a democracy or a meritocracy?

After a pub conversation the other night where various parties were espousing their views on the web and its democratic nature I argued that the web isn’t democratic at all, that in fact it’s meritocratic. This seemed to hold up for about a minute before realising it’s actually neither, rather somewhere between the two. In fact its characteristics are more than that and unique enough to require a name, albeit one you might get punched for using – webocracy

I’ve pulled out the definition for democracy and meritocracy. Both words, like almost all words, have several definitions listed but here they are with the appropriate definition for the usage we’re discussing:

de⋅moc⋅ra⋅cy

[di-mok-ruh-see]

the common people of a community as distinguished from any privileged class; the common people with respect to their political power.

mer⋅i⋅toc⋅ra⋅cy

[mer-i-tok-ruh-see]
a system in which such persons are rewarded and advanced: e.g. The dean believes the educational system should be a meritocracy.

(Thanks to dictionary.com for the definitions there)

So if we were to build a dictionary definition for the webocracy what would it look like? Let’s list the characteristics:

  • The internet is a place where almost anyone in the world can create or curate, and then share content.
  • Each morning when you look at the internet it has changed from what it was yesterday. This constant change is informed by its billions of nodes. Each node is a human in front of a computer, just as you are now. Hello node.
  • Money can buy the creation, development and exposure of any content. This money can come from anywhere and need not have been generated through online activity, meaning a previously offline entity can immediately enter and penetrate the online market. Success, however the creator measures it, is not guaranteed.
  • The content you create (ie personally author) or curate (ie find and gather together) is, if you wish, viewable by anyone with access to the internet, meaning that potentially your reach is the number of people in the world with internet access.
  • You have almost complete freedom of speech on the internet, though within the mainstream (ie outside of the likes of Freenet and underground groups) there are widely adopted standards that do not permit subjects such as terrorism and paedophilia. In reality this degree of freedom is similar to that of a western country in the physical world.
  • The internet is not significantly affected by Earth’s geography.

So in conclusion, the web is a level playing field where some people just rock up better equipped than others. Talent will often out but artificial help is a definite advantage. Here’s the dictionary definition, I’ll get on the phone to Oxford English Dictionary tomorrow as I expect to see this in their next edition:

web⋅oc⋅ra⋅cy

[web-ok-ruh-see]
the unique social system extant on the world wide web in which every user operates a terminal of potentially equal value, resulting in a broad and vast cultural environment driven by the open choice of consumers and publishers, two groups that the webocracy has rendered indistinguishable. The paths between consumer and publisher are now many million times more numerous than previously existed in non-digital media.
E.g. OMG, my video of the cat licking the mirror has got like forty thousand views on YouTube, that’s twice as many as that stupid Wrigleys ‘viral’. Webocracy FTW!

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The internet is full of rubbish…?

In a charity shop recently I overheard a conversation involving a scruffy internet-phobic man in his fifties, whose ambivelence towards modernity clearly extended to hot water and shower gel. He said that trying to wade through the abyss of crap on the internet was like trying to find a needle in a haystack. I desperately wanted to sidle up to him and suggest that if every piece of hay in that haystack had just one string of metadata, perhaps ‘title=“hay”’, and the needle also contained just one string of metadata, let’s say ‘title=“needle”’, you would be able to locate it within a matter of nanoseconds.

In fact, by that same principle, you would be able to locate the needle amongst any number of other objects such as the pieces of grit in the rings of frigging Saturn so long as, just like every webpage on the internet, there was text content or metadata and there had at some point since the needle’s appearance been a process of indexing (when search engines do this it is known as ‘crawling’ which refers to automated ‘spider’ processes that index ‘the web’) but somehow I don’t think that explanation would have resonated with him.

The fact is that the Internet, much like the world it reflects with increasing fidelity, is mostly rubbish. Or more accurately it’s mostly not what you are looking for. It’s largely forests of photos, oceans of apps, wastelands of wikis and mountains of music when all you really want is a shop that sells .46mm Jim Dunlop guitar picks in packs of five or a photograph of your hometown in the 1920s.

Bad searching infuriates me. People should be given information packs when they buy a computer, or even at birth, on how to search properly. If anyone out there is putting together such a document here are four tips off the top of my head:

  • There isn’t someone at the other end. And there definitely isn’t a butler, whatever search engine you use. So don’t type in full questions unless you think words like ‘what’, ‘do’, ‘find’, ‘to’ and ‘is’ are unique to the thing you seek (unlikely).
  • Start specific. If you’re looking for a recipe for something with pine nuts, mozzarella and aubergine and you think you saw Gordon Ramsay cook something a few weeks back on Channel 4 search “pine nuts aubergine mozzarella gordon ramsay channel 4” as this might immediately serve up the recipe on C4’s website. If that fails, take a step back by removing the most obscure term. Repeat until you find something.
  • Trying to find a guitar with a floating tremolo but definitely not interested in a Fender? Simply search ‘electric guitar floating tremolo -fender’. Because of the minus sign next to ‘fender’, Google will return results for ‘electric guitar floating tremolo’ omitting any which contain ‘fender’.
  • Use www.google.com and change your default search provider in your browser to google.com. It has become the standard and for good reason. Whatever you do, do not use Ask unless you are trying to build a convincing case for a free council flat.

Without search engines such as GoogleBing and Yahoo! navigating this growing online world would be linear, lengthy and laborious. But with any one of them and a little bit of thought even the hairy old guy in the charity shop has access to and control over a depth of information beyond that of any human mind or even library at their fingertips. Enjoy it. Contribute to it. Be thankful for it. Use it to buy a shower on eBay.

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My Two Conclusions on Apple’s iPad

1. Its success will rely on the apps that developers make for it.
They’ve been given the SDK so many are hard at work to have apps out for the March launch. If the iPhone’s history is anything to go by there will be some mindblowing applications. Only then will potential buyers see the device’s true potential.
Also, Adobe are upping the pressure on Apple to adopt Flash support which would open up a lot of content to users.

2. It will take at least another version to become a must-have, game-changing product.
Again, this draws partly on experience with the iPhone. With Apple’s revolutionary mobile telephone, it took annual revisions based on what users were clamouring for, and what hackers were building into custom firmware, to arrive at the 3G and 3GS. I predict the inclusion of a camera in the next iteration as frankly I was amazed that the iPad wasn’t launched with one. Some might say that holding back such features is a cynical strategy on Apple’s part to sell more units to an avid fanbase who’ll happily fork out for every new version.

See you in the queue on launch day 😉

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