1:27 Of Monday Morning Zaniness

This brought a smile to my face. It’s wacky and nostalgic (in a lo-fi video game sort of way) and it’s called 8-Bit Waterslide. And then, about half way through, it yells out “Super Mega Hyper Boost Pipe.” What else can you ask for?

The Better Project

Implicit in the pervasive message of “change” that swirls around us these days, is “change for the better.” After all, nobody would suggest change for the worse. To date, there really hasn’t been a platform that taps the collaborative power of the Web to help change things for the better…until now.

The Better Project let’s anyone create a place where they can meet and collaborate with others who share a common goal. It’s a completely free to use.

Arc90’s very own Jen Epting sums it up nicely in 90 seconds:

So what are you waiting for? Act now!

Fullsize : Building On The Good Ol’ Web

There’s a great little pitch at www.addfullsize.com :

Fullsize is an attempt to get a new <IMG> attribute called fullsize into the next version of HTML. Hopefully this site will get the attention of the W3C, and they will add fullsize to HTML and make it a standard.

In essence, it’s trying to cut through all the libraries, tools, frameworks and technical hoops you have to jump through and propose a really simple way to create full size views of images. The creator (Drew Wilson) even created a JQuery plugin the drive the point home. It’s a very slick useful little tool.

What bugs me about ideas like that is that their path to true adoption is at the mercy of the W3C (HTML 5 anyone?) and worse, the cabal of web browser providers. I’ve written in the past about how the new wave of dynamic, AJAX-y Web stuff is great and all but it left a massive population of enablers behind. Tools like Fullsize are brave attempts to invite the masses back into the fold.

What we need is a way to flip a switch and enable simple, easy-to-use additions like Fullsize with very little additional work. How about a way to get this stuff out there without waiting seven years for the W3C or Internet Explorer 9?

I may have to bug the mad scientists at the Arc90 lab for this one…

Common Sense In The Wonderful World of Warez

Ah, the weird, twisted world of software piracy. Installous (a free app for jailbroken iPhones that lets you grab pirated versions of iPhone apps) has declared war on Mega (a service that does the same thing, except they charge money).

The created an app called Grabulous (you with me so far?) that makes all the apps on Installous freely available. The rationale:

“Grabulous should be saluted and applauded by consumers AND devs. This is common sense, it’s not cracking , it’s not hacking. Paying for cracked apps is a crime against common sense.”

Someone needs to help me sort out the 2009 definition of “common sense.” Nonetheless, it makes for very entertaining reading.

Found via Waxy.

The Internet’s New Inconveniences

The Internet is awesome, right?

It’s so awesome that it’s changing entire landscapes and uplifting whole business sectors. The music industry is all confused. Newspapers are gasping for air. Television and film are trying to sort themselves out. During the dot-com era, we just thought the damage would be contained to bricks & mortars (“Watch out Home Depot!”).

You can debate the good or bad of it and wax nostalgically about how good books and newspapers feel in your hands, but you can’t question the undeterred march of the Internet. It is rendering once vibrant and alive business models dead.

Continue reading

Twitter Observation #2 : The Boy Who Twittered Wolf

There’s a basic rule when it comes to streamed broadcasting of any kind. I’ll just hack something I said two years ago about RSS:

The perceived importance and value of entries tweets to readers followers is inversely proportional to the frequency of entries tweets on any given day.

I’m not going to pass judgment on any given thing someone says on Twitter. Enough has been written about how nobody wants to know that someone else just finished boiling their potatoes. I’d rather tweak the sentiment a bit: if you rarely speak, whatever you say will matter more to me.

But that’s not really fair. Twitter users want to express themselves any way they like and different recipients will have different sentiments about what is worth hearing and what isn’t. If my kid is off at college I want the constant stream of what goes on in her life. Everyone else following my kid? Probably not.

Twitter users have done a great job hacking Twitter. The @ call actually evolved into real functionality and hash tags have been helpful as well. So let me throw out another:

Prefix all your messages with a decibel level. It would go something like this:

  • (No Prefix) – I’m about to share some inane normalcy about my life. You probably don’t want to hear this unless you really want to hear this.
  • * – You might find what I’m about to say or share interesting.
  • ** – I’m announcing something major for everyone to hear and pay attention to.

On the receiving end, I can filter out tweets that have no prefix. This would spare me the everyday bullshit that goes on in your life but still allows me to tune into your insights and occasional blockbuster announcement. If people start utilizing this, we’d be glad to build a simple bookmarklet that filters on decibel level in Twitter (yes, we like building bookmarklets).

2129257593_54bab10c92The other option is for people to start giving a bit more consideration to what they throw onto the airwaves. Because let’s face it, the big bad wolf will actually show up one day…and nobody will care to listen.

Twitter Observation #1 : Nice Thought, Mind If I Follow You Home?

Making the call to follow someone on Twitter has no social precedent. I’m not really talking about Shaq or other celebrities or people that you may know personally. I’m more referring to following someone for some other reason.

Usually, we’ll follow someone because they said or shared something interesting – once. This is the equivalent of walking by a newsstand, catching a quick glance at a blurb on a magazine cover and then – right then and there – subscribing to this magazine for a year.

The act of following is trivial in Twitter. It takes just a second. The consequence of following, on the other hand, is a whole other story. Before I knew it, I was in someone else’s world and 99% of the time I didn’t care to be there.

In the world of Twitter, following equals flattery. In the real world, following leads to a restraining order. Still, users of Twitter love to be followed. It implies leadership. Charisma. “I have followers.” Well, you may have followers, but take my word, if you’ve got more than fifty and you’re not a celebrity, you’re not being followed. People just forgot to turn your volume down. The issue of information overload in the age of the Internet has been discussed ad nauseam. Twitter runs the risk of people overload. Too many people saying too many things to too many other people. The outcome is incessant noise that drowns out the worthwhile sounds.

Still, we’re playing with the knobs right now. Speaking for myself, I’m still trying to sort out how to make this thing click. Yes, I’m fumbling around, confused and disoriented…and you’re following me around.

Observations & Meditations On Twitter

twitter It’s been about a week now since I fessed up  and started using Twitter. Now that I’ve been in the mix a bit, I’d like to share some observations about this strange, strange world. Over the next couple of weeks I’ll put smaller, bite-sized observations about using and experiencing Twitter.

I could draft one long blog post, but nobody has the patience to read anything that long anyway.