Monday, January 27, 2014

Happy Birthday Vine!

It's interesting to watch social media evolve...from Myspace to facebook and now to apps like SnapChat and Vine.  I haven't done the research on demographics but I'm thinking SnapChat and Vine are increasingly popular with the Millenials while Facebook and even Instagram are more popular with the Gen X-ers and well Myspace...not even sure if anyone even goes on Myspace anymore. 

An app that is rising in popularity is Vine.  There are a lot of apps and programs that over time have made a lot of sense to me...and it's easy to see how they evolved.  If someone would have told me that Vine would be so popular a few years ago, I never would have believed app that allows you to post videos with a maximum clip length of 6 seconds?!   Vine started out a as service that made it easier to share video through your cell phone and now is one of the fastest growing apps world wide.  After only four months, Vine had 13 million users and in August the company announced it had over 40 million!  The growth rate is unbelievable that basically this is just a short video that loops and is all about humor.

To celebrate Vine’s first birthday, the Vine team put together a collection of some of the most viral videos.
With the video medium exploding the way it is, I really look forward to seeing what the next year brings. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Thursday, January 16, 2014

All Internet Traffic Will Not Be Treated Equal

Whether you are an entrepreneur who wants to build on an open network that requires no money to a middle man or just a consumer who has grown reliant on the most innovative communications network ever invented (like me!), you now need to consider the network operators (Verizon, Comcast and AT&T) to be your enemy.  Although, Comcast won’t be able to immediately take advantage of the new ruling. To get government approval for its acquisition of NBCUniversal, Comcast agreed to abide by the Open Internet rules until 2018 regardless of the outcome of this case.

As of today, the Internet which was designed as an open, level-playing field now has the potential of being dominated by a few wealthy and large entities thanks to the US Appeals court throwing out the federal rules requiring that broadband providers treat all internet traffic equally.

A little background on this:
In 2010 the Federal Communications Commission approved the "high-level rules of the road" designed to ensure that internet providers grant everyone equal access to the Web.

This required high-speed internet service providers to treat all types of Web content equally and made sure the availability of Internet information wasn’t determined by the size of someone’s checkbook

The rules were designed to keep the companies that own the internet's real-world infrastructure from playing favorites (slowing down some websites or speeding up others for high paying clients).
This level playing ground concept was termed "net neutrality". 

For average internet users, this guaranteed we'd continue to have access to all web content, regardless of our internet provider's wishes, and whether we get that content as quickly as businesses or individuals able to pay more for it.

Today, a U.S. federal appeals court struck down the Federal Communications Commission's Open Internet Act and pretty much handed control of free speech on the Internet to a handful of companies. Essentially throwing out the federal rules requiring broadband providers to treat all Internet traffic equally.  The ruling raises the prospect that bandwidth-hungry websites like Netflix and Youtube may have to pay tolls to ensure quality service which would throw a wrench in their current business models and potentially raise prices for consumers.

In Netflix's case their business model assumes it will need to make large investments to acquire the rights to TV shows and movies that it offers and also factors in some costs related to moving data efficiently on the Internet's backbone. But a new fee charged by Internet providers, if it were sizable, could dent the company's profit and possibly force it to raise prices for consumers.

For consumers, the ruling could bring on an era of tiered Internet service, in which they get some content at full speed while other websites appear slower because their owners chose not to pay up.

For small businesses and entrepreneurs, the competitive landscape just got a lot more power to the bigger companies able to pay the most.

The argument for this appeal by service providers and their supporters essentially say this is a free-enterprise issue. They say they provide a service and, therefore, should be able to decide how to deliver it and how they charge customers for it.  Providers can now start charging a premium to websites for services and it's only natural that those sites will turn around and pass the cost on to their customers.

Verizon has insisted it isn’t interested in blocking content. Rather, it is hoping to unlock a new marketplace by offering premium services to companies willing to pay more to deliver content faster or more seamlessly to end users. (read this paragraph again!).

There's a lot of noise surrounding this one with some people talking about re-regulating ISPs, others talking about building municipal fiber network, references to Google Fiber and FCC policing broadband use.  I'm honestly not sure what the answer is and trust me, I'll definitely be paying attention to this the meantime, I'm switching to T-Mobile.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Guess who Facebook just made a content expert?!

That would be me!   Oh yeah and you...and all my facebook friends!  Hooray.  

I think the idea behind what Facebook is doing (putting the power into the consumer's hands) was an inevitable move because let's face it - we have all the power and it's time they come to terms with it, embrace it and realize they need to evolve fast than we do if they want to be the best.

I think the methodology here needs work for a few reasons...  I'm not sure having the masses judge what "quality content" is really makes sense.  When I look at the Facebook "quality check" in action, I can't help but think the surveys that pop up are wrong.  If I see a pop up of my best friend's baby with a caption of any kind, of course I would rate that "high quality". I have to wonder in the end if all the most popular political jokes, baby faces, funny cat pics, etc are going to end up getting ranked "high quality" content.  I mean are we really rating "high quality" or are we rating what we find most interesting?  Most original?  What if we rate a quote high quality content when someone was merely just posting a quote?  Shouldn't we give more credit to original thinkers?

I would re-think the whole survey thing too.  I mean, without sounding snobby, weren't surveys like so last year?  

Read article on how Facebook Wants "High Quality" content

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


Couldn't help but laugh reading this well written post which pretty much makes fun of the majority.  I have to admit that I'm guilty of some of this.  Love his advice and definitely plan on taking a vow of silence when it comes to my health/exercise goals this year. My personal faves here are of course incorporating a regular massage and reading more books.  I need to work more reading into my daily routine.

Here's the entire post originally posted by Business Insider:

Exercise more. Drink less. Travel. Save money.
These are your unoriginal regurgitated New Year’s resolutions. And they are getting pretty tiresome, especially considering the vast majority of you never fulfill them, choosing instead to wallow in the banality of your own existence, and roll them over again next year.
So stop telling yourself that you are going to take the stairs, cut back on the $6 Starbucks lattes, or park as far away from the Whole Foods entrance as you can, and just follow my advice…

1. Take a vow of silence. Join CrossFit. Do P90X. Detox in January. Become a vegan. Sell your TV.  Train for a marathon. Start the Paleo diet. Go for any or all of these, but please shut the f--k up about it.
2. Read more. Yes, that’s a permanent boring fixture on most people’s lists, but this year, be more specific and realistic. Make a list of 10 books to read, a healthy mix of fiction and non-fiction. Throw in a couple of classics that you’re embarrassed you never read in college. Purchase the hardcover copies, and keep them as a small trophy of your accomplishment. The Economist puts together a great “Books of the Year” list, but I’ll get you started with “The Private Life of Chairman Mao.”
3. Befriend a World War II veteran. Spend time with him. Talk to him. Because there aren’t too many of them left. I certainly regret not helping the red-coated Chelsea Pensioners with their Tesco’s bags down the King’s Road.
4. Wash your hands more frequently. An actual study has shown that the average New Yorker indirectly touches 24 penises per day, and twice as many if they work at 1585 Broadway.
5. Take an online course. Why continue talking hollowly about self-improvement when leading colleges and graduate schools, including Duke, Wharton, and MIT, are investing significant resources into free education. Ironically, statistics have shown that it tends to be the better-educated and wealthier who take advantage of this.  But, who among us couldn’t benefit from knowing more about accounting, marketing, child psychology, or real estate and contract law?
6. Watch "The Sopranos" from start to finish. Even if you’ve already seen it.
7. Freshen up the starting lineup in your wardrobe. Go get 2 new suits, 10 dress shirts, 2 pairs of jeans, 2 pairs of shoes, and 50 pairs of socks. Maybe this guide will help. Why? For the same reason that Michael Jordan wore a brand-new pair of shoes every single game.
8. Avoid extreme and unrealistic health pledges. Eat right, exercise sensibly, and drink mostly in moderation; it’s not rocket science.
9. Drink more green tea. Add manuka honey and some fresh ginger.
10. Skip the dramatic savings scheme. Don’t go crazy with unrealistic goals about how much you’re going to save this year. Keep it simple; spend less than you make, and save up for the big-ticket items until you can afford them. There’s no need for an extreme savings plan, so be sensible… but don’t forget to enjoy your expendable income.
11. Read my guide on “How To Be A Man.” Over two million people already have. Ladies, let me know what you think
12. Write down your goals. Most people never fulfill their resolutions, but the people who write them down have a proven higher success rate. Take it a step further and make a list of what you want to accomplish each day, week, and month. Just write them down and check them off the old-fashioned way. And tell Mr. There’s-an-App-for-that to go f--k himself.
13. Go get a comprehensive health exam. Make your partner get one too.
14. Put your phone away at dinner.  
15. Laugh more. That means: socialize more often, drink more, have long lazy brunches, throw parties, host drunken game nights. Be spontaneous… Upgrade your friends if necessary.
16. Don’t just rely on the gym. Remember that feeling of playing a competitive sport as a kid, when you’re on the field, and not thinking about anything else. Most of us have forgotten what that feels like. So join a team or find someone to play tennis with.
17. Drink more. I’m not contradicting myself from earlier… If you’re healthy, eating well, and exercising, then your body can handle a few more drinks every now and then. There is nothing wrong with the occasional black out, and you’re just going to lie to your doctor anyway. “At most, maybe 15 to 17 units per week, doc.”
“The 1st bottle is for health, the 2nd for love, and the 3rd for sleep.” – Eubulus, 350 BC
18. Help a pet get adopted, if for no other reason than to prove that you can. I’ll get it started with Spirit and Peony currently residing at the North Shore Animal League shelter in Port Washington, New York. (Tweet me; I’ll pay for the adoption fees.)
“WASPs kiss their wives on the forehead and their dogs on the mouth.”
19. Get a regular foot massage. A dark room. No TV. No loud voices. It’s the most peaceful and productive 75 minutes I have every week. I go on Saturdays with the Weekend FT and The Economist.
20. Stay in on New Year's Eve. It’s amateur night and it rarely lives up to your expectations anyhow. Get dressed up, strap on the Patek, go out for some Per Se gnocchi and get drunk on Krug? That sounds like my Tuesdays. This year, stay in… And then start January 1st early and productively.
You can find source for this post here:  Best.Resolutions.Ever