Looking forward to the Post-Facebook Social Renaissance

You really have to watch out for any feelings of wistful nostalgia that may creep into your contemplative moments. That’s a sure sign of getting old. It’s such a cliche to look back and believe it was better when we still had [blank], or before there was [blank]. And yet. And yet… I wonder if it isn’t worse to suffer under a strong conviction that positive transformation may be effected in the future, and (worse still) that one may be the agent of such change. That is the hallmark of youth; that is its central folly, and its occasional redemption.

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In Defense of Apple and Skeuomorphism in Software Design

A skeuomorph is something that’s deliberately designed to resemble something else. The word skeuomorph, though still generally pretty obscure, has probably been used more in the last two years than in all the time in history before then. 

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NBC, the Olympics, Advertising and Evil

One good thing about persistent evils is that they are instructive. We can generally rely that human ingenuity will continue to exert itself against the things that irritate us. Years pass, the enemy changes form, reinvents itself. But, given enough time, and a little luck, sometimes we win, and even evils of long standing fall asunder.

It helps, also, if occasionally evil rears its head nice and high, and gives us all a good, close look.

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Don’t let the Facebook IPO scandal distract you from a great investment

Readers of this blog may have by now appreciated that I like to venture into territories about which I know very little, armed only with common sense and intuition. Now, I’m no investment banker, but this whole hullaballoo over the Facebook IPO seems rather, to me, to have missed the point that Facebook is still a great investment at IPO. 

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The Social Video App Race is just getting started

Ever since Facebook bought Instagram, there’s been a sudden shift in attention to the video app space. We observe the suddenly conspicuous absence of an app based on video that is as successful inside Facebook as Instagram. A couple of companies have embraced the self-description (we are the) “Instagram for Video”, but have perhaps taken the comparison too much to heart. 

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Will somebody please disrupt Poetry already

A few weeks back I wrote about Artists, Gatekeepers and Disruption. The theme of that piece was how individual artists, empowered by new online tools, have been able to circumvent the old, “Gatekeeper” distribution models in entertainment — the Movies, Music and Books. What put that theme in my head in the first place was trying to understand why Poetry, specifically, still seems so “undisrupted”. Working titles included “Why does Poetry suck?” and “What the hell is wrong with Poetry?”

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American Inequality: Resistance may be Futile

The subject of American Inequality is almost too hot to handle right now with any objectivity. It has that same volatile quality of so many American issues, like abortion. The moral core of the subject is expected to be self-evident. People are expected to choose a side as a matter of moral reflex, rather than intellectual deliberation.

The result is a contentious debate between two seemingly irreconcilable sides. Everything you can find to read about it is a tirade.

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The Independent Artist & the Tyranny of the Gatekeeper

A Report on the Uneven Progress of Disruption in Digital Entertainment

This is ultimately not about Race at all, but that’s where it began.  

I still had The State of Race in America on the brain this morning when I followed the #stateofrace hashtag on Twitter to this video of Spike Lee. Spike, as it happened, was appearing on a panel at the Aspen Institute called “The State of Race in the Media”.

Spike is slow to get rolling, but at about the 3:30 mark of the video, he starts to talk about why Black creativity is still frustrated in the Movies:

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The State of Race in America & Barack Obama’s 2nd Term

Now that Mitt Romney has been selected as the face of Republican candidacy for November, it feels like a good opportunity to take a Big Picture look at the upcoming contest and the operative factors.  

Disappointed as we may feel by it, it’s already clear that Race will be a factor, and that it will be used in divisive ways in the Campaign Conversation.  Behold, also how the mere possibility that Rick Santorum may have begun to uttter the n-word ignited America.  

We acknowledge the presence of Race in the Race.

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Facebook Buys a Big Slice of the Social Data Set: Instagram

Facebook’s purchase of Instagram for a billion dollars makes it clear that pictures, and the sharing behaviors we attach to them, are an incredibly important and valuable slice of the social data set.  

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