The End Of Yahoo – What Begins Now?

Earlier this week I read “Yahoo’s Demise Is a Death Knell for Digital News Orgs” over at the Atlantic. I’ve been thinking about Yahoo! as it’s final ending has been playing out.

Yahoo was the first real search engine that excited me. I’d utilized web crawlers, which were fine. Quite amazing in their time. Yahoo! was the first site I’d experienced that considered relevance. Revolutionary at the time.

The unwinding of Yahoo!’s relevance has been slow and painful. I actually used their portals for news and ways to dig deeper into research. It was a great way to find out information on companies, for instance.

Slowly, surely, Google and Facebook kept taking more and more of Yahoo!’s lunch money. Now another survivor of the dot com bust collapses (the 18th was the last day of public trading for it. And Verizon will smoosh it and AOL into “Oath”.  I guess there’s something poetic about two venerable brands of Web 1.0 morphing into some new entity, Ghost in the Shell-esque. I wonder what will happen with this, but lean towards it drifting from irrelevancy into obscurity.

Within the Atlantic’s article, though, is a telling statistic: “Facebook and Google account for 85-percent of every new dollar spent on digital advertising”. As someone who cares about digital marketing, this alarms me a great deal. Yet I’ve spent most of my digital marketing dollars via these two platforms, so I need to own part of the problem. It’s weird, the proverbially vicious cycle. Monopolization of advertising in the digital sphere makes me concerned about costs rising. I guess the only way to respond is wait and see what GoogleFace does.

And one last thought: as AOL and Yahoo! teach us, the digital world evolves quickly…and viciously. Both were dominant brands in their day, and both dwindled in influence, fading to obscurity. Both Google and Facebook have the potential to do so, and, if history is any guide, are quite likely to suffer similar fates.

Now, what will come next? That’s the bold question, isn’t it?

Comotion Labs, Friends And VR’s Potential 

A friend of mine is working out Comotion Labs here in Seattle. Sunday afternoon, I got a tour of the space and an update on his projects. 

This for me thinking about VR and the cool stuff that’s coming down the pike. 

So elements are easy to predict. Things like entertainment, gaming and porn will in the first wave of adopters. Having the past several years in real estate, I see all kinds of potential disruption in that sector. Virtual tours have massive possibilities with VR. 

One thing I’m not hearing about, but that hit me this weekend: engineering. The ability to conceptualize a space will be immense. I see an amazing change simply being able to rotate an object in space. It will also make equipment training much better. Brings able to see all the pieces of a project will radically help operators.

I see medical possibilities, and so many other possibilities. Within 10 years, our lives will be radically different. It’ll be fun getting there. 

Some thoughts on “Serious academics take the media seriously”

I found this post over at Small Pond Science fascinating. As a fan of science, if not a scientist, and deeply interested in social media’s presence in our society, Terry’s McGlynn’s post is very relevant. Terry calls out an anonymous article over at The Guardian basically dismissing efforts by scientists to engage with their work in the world of Facebook & Twitter.

I, for one, think there’s great value in the public debate. Not everything on social media is fluff. And, if it’s to be taken seriously, we need to encourage more, not less engagement by scholars online.

Bloody Small Screens

If you know anything about me, I LOVE the mobile revolution. However, I’m noticing that posting on the small screens increases the rate of small errors. Little autocorrect word substitutions, mainly. Ones small enough, and having enough of the right letters in a similar sequence as the desired word that they go live wrong.

Had such this morning. Posted an update to a Facebook page I manage with “create” in place of “great”. I read the post several times before hitting publish. Ugh!

I take my writing seriously, so even small grammatical errors bother me. So, with that, I have been trying to post more from a computer, something with a monitor. I notice that my erorr rate is much smaller that way. Plus, I feel more focused.

And I need to recognize I’m human and mistakes will happen. But I never intend to like it, and will be satisfied with any mistakes. Ever.

Online Advertising and the Mobile Revolution

As I’ve focused the past few years on marketing, I have no issue with web ads. Currently, they’re the way many web personalities and other sites pay their bills. Family feeding is a fun, fantastic feeling.

However, web designers need to build advertising around mobile. Too often advertising either destroys the user experience, or critically hampers it. Pop ups that can’t be cleared are big issues. Several times this week I’ve struggled with sites where the “close” button was off the screen, AND clicking on the ad took you to a new website. (Sidenote: web devs and designers, use the target attribute on anchor tags. Don’t build ads that push your readers away from your site!)

These things make your site unusable on mobile. And, let me reiterate what’s been stated myriad times: the web’s future is mobile. If your mobile experience sucks, you’re are already behind. Perhaps you’re ahead of the curve on being an anachronism. It’s hardly ideal.

Last year’s whole Google mobile-gedon thing should have pivoted sites over, but, well, nope. But then folks still build auto-play videos on their sites. Thought that went out with MySpace. Since I’m simply griping now, let me add popups asking me to subscribe upon page load. Let them learn what you’re about first. I’ve neverr subscribed to a site BEFORE I’VE READ ANYTHING! NEVER!!!! Build the pop-up to launch towards the end, if you must use them at all. I’d put the ask in the post body, personally.

Developers, build sites for positive USER experiences. Delight your readers, inspire them to come back again. Don’t give in to greed or desperation. They’re ugly.

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Friendship in the Digital Age

Lately I’ve pondered “connection”. With several hundred Facebook friends, LinkedIn connection, over a thousand Twitter followers….maintaining connection starts to feel easy. Too easy.

I’m noticing that I interact with a smallish group of the same people on those different channels. These are dear friends, but not  even close to the larger group of people I want to maintain relationship with. So many good folks that I keep thinking “why don’t we get together more often?” That bothers me.

I signed up for Plaxo ages ago, and I really haven’t done anything to maintain that list. But I get emails reminding me of birthdays and any other events (anniversaries) that I noted in my contact when I synced. These reminders are nice in that they trigger me to reach out. That’s a start.

So, I’m trying to “up my game”. Going to build a list of those contacts to, well, contact. I would like to start sending notecards out, too. That just seems nice.

Any of you feeling this lament? This disconnect from connection. What are you doing about it?

Life, Death and Social Media

Yesterday had one of the surrealer moments in my life. A friend from childhood has been ailing at Stevens hospital (properly, it’s now Swedish Edmonds), and was given a few days/weeks to live. So, last night he posted on Facebook that he had just hours to live and that this was his last post. With his deteriorating health, I fully believed the statement.
There’s much within this, but I’m focused on the newness of this. Since he has a phone, which can be worked pretty easily even when weak and exhausted, this contact was able to be pushed out.  Made me think of the last minute letters sent by rebels, resisters, those executed for political gain. Those letters were far more effort, and would only be readily sharable with a small group of people. Now, with a few strokes of your thumb, messages are sent to out to thousands, potentially millions. The ease of mass communication deeply changes our connection.
As shocking as such a message is, I expect this to become more commonplace. Perhaps we can eliminate the feeling of isolation. And, in the end, perhaps it’s good. Maintaining connection in the most challenging and intimate of times.

The Ever Changing World Of Social Media

Was just reading this piece over at Business Insider: Teens are ditching Instagram for Snapchat at a stunning rate. Well, this reinforces one of my underlying assumptions: that what we’ve currently labeled “social media” is a highly unstable sector.

So, we see that Twitter is falling in relevance; that’s been prognosticated about forever. And the same with the Facebook and it’s sidekick Instagram. But we’re seeing growth with Snapchat. Again, the focus of this article is teens, but I expect they’ll be the leading edge of social media trends.

They have two graphs that really capture things:

And this guy, which I think is more telling:

So, the world is shifting and shifting rapidly. It’ll be good to dive into Snapchat, if you’re not already there.

Time Management and Some Advice From Om Malik

Lately, I’ve been thinking about how heavily I use social media. As it’s part of my function for the C&K Team, I easily can spend hours each day wrapper up in it. Lately, I’ve noticed I’m slipping on things I value, the most obvious one writing. The quality of my writing has slipped, as my focus has been on getting content out, not on writing the best stuff I can, on magnifying my quality.

Om Malik posted this recently: Non-Social. He’s backing away from high-level engagement upon all the social media platforms. Going so far as deleting the apps from his devices, so I assume that means he’s only using Twitter/Facebook writ-large from laptops/desktops.

I don’t know if I’m ready to go that far (yes, he’s only going dark for a week, but still…) but I feel that backing off from social stuff will give me more time to focus. I’ve had several folks requesting me finish some of the books I’ve had on the back-burner. With NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) coming up, this might be a good way to leverage my time. However, I haven’t put much thought into novels lately. So, we’ll see.

Anyway, I have some essay ideas I’m pulling together for Medium  (I will have new content up there this weekend) and have some short-story ideas to flesh out. So, I must cut back in other places. Of course, I shan’t disappear entirely. If anything, I hope to be more relevant on the internets.

Other sites to find my writing

My foci have moved lately.

If you’re a fan of my poetry, this page is focused on that. I’m quite pleased with the results. Less than a year ago, I had no followers. Now, over 1,400. ‘Tis very validating.

My more general writing has been over here at NotJustSeattle. Over 2,200 subscribers since launch. Again, quite pleasing.

So, come over to these sites and say “hi”.