The latest attempt to wrangle the hydra of firehoses that social media has become is This., an invitation-only network that limits users to just one post a day.
In a New York Times article, This. founder Andrew Golis says:
“The quality of the entertainment, art and journalism being published on the web has never been higher, but the places we find and share links tend to value quantity over quality,” Mr. Golis said. “By limiting each user to sharing just a link a day, we give curators the ability to mark something as special and their audience the ability to find just the best from those curators they trust.”
It’s a brilliant stroke. Rather than filter the endless waterfall of noisy content, why not limit the source of all that content and let only a golden trickle through?
My question is this: Once the network grows and you’re following a couple hundred people (or more), won’t you still have a firehose of content to deal with? Granted, it’ll be a higher quality firehose, but I fear we’ll be right back where we started: drowning.
Hat tip: Ave Carrillo. Image credit: Kat Northern Lights Man.
Google on the importance of motion design
Design is continually evolving. Users are getting more sophisticated. The design landscape is more sophisticated. In particular, motion has become incredibly important over the last few years.
We [at Google] wanted something that was taking the very best of graphic design clarity and the innovations in motion graphics and motion communication but that still tapped into those elements of tangibility, of physicality that industrial designers themselves use.
The end of Mad Men
While fans of the television show Mad Men are familiar with how the ad industry once created consumer desire during Madison Avenue’s golden era, those days are long gone. A multiscreen world of ad-wary consumers has rendered Don Draper’s big-budget brainwashing useless to all but the biggest brands.
For the last several years, much of the web has focused on creating and sharing content. Now we’re drowning in the stuff. Social networking provided an ad hoc way to filter content by privileging stuff our friends like. But then all the likes (and favorites and retweets) became so innumerable that they lost their value.
Rather than cutting through through the noise, social media has amplified it.
We need some help making sense of it all. We need a life raft to keep our heads above water. What we need, in a word, is curation. Not social media masquerading as curation, but real, human-powered curation.
Header image CC by mnorman
Consider the trivial but revealing hallmarks of urban hipsterdom: faux vintage photography, the handlebar mustache, and vinyl record players all hark back to an earlier time when people were still optimistic about the future. If everything worth doing has already been done, you may as well feign an allergy to achievement and become a barista.
There’s a rising backlash against the preponderance of mobile devices in our lives. The argument goes something like this:
We’re all glued to our devices, oblivious to the exciting swirl of humanity around us. We’re focused on tiny glowing screens instead of each other’s faces.
Even smartphone manufacturers — the people fueling the adoption of mobile devices — got in on the game:
There’s an undercurrent of nostalgia for a time before all this technology.
A time when we walked down the street and smiled at each other, waving hello. At bars, we chatted with our barstool neighbors. Our children always had our undivided attention. Our dog’s ears were always scratched.
When I was an undergraduate student, a new listing popped up in course catalogs across the country: Writing for the Web. At the dawn of the internet age, these classes appealed to forward-looking marketers and tech-savvy English majors (like me) who understood that the way we communicate was about to change.
Today, these classes have all but disappeared. Writing for the web has become, simply, writing.
What does it mean to write for the web?
It means writing for perpetually shrinking attention spans. It means writing in a way that it is visually appealing as well as verbally appealing. It means writing what you mean to say in 140 characters or less — which is much harder than merely writing what’s on your mind in 140 characters or less.
It means writing clearly, concisely and compellingly. (It also means avoiding adverbs.)
One master of this writing style died before the web was even a glimmer on the horizon. His keyboard of choice was a sturdy Remington typewriter, and when his hands weren’t wrapped around it, they were likely wrapped around a bottle, a woman or a gun.
Or so the legend goes.
Microsoft Research shares news of the new video stabilization technology, Hyperlapse:
We present a method for converting first-person videos, for example, captured with a helmet camera during activities such as rock climbing or bicycling, into hyper-lapse videos, i.e., time-lapse videos with a smoothly moving camera.
The results are impressive. This is what it must feel like to be Superman on his way home from picking up milk at the corner store.
So when will it be available?
We are working hard on making our Hyperlapse algorithm available as a Windows app. Stay tuned!
Cross-posted on Motionographer.