Social Insights

jaymug:

It Works Fingerprint Security System

Lovely. 

jaymug:

It Works Fingerprint Security System

Lovely. 

Will the Average Person Adopt Google Plus?

I have two types of friends. There are the tech-types and the others. The others are all my friends who are not on twitter. I have to be very careful navigating these two groups mostly because, if I “go tech” on any friends who aren’t in the tech category, I might as well break mid-conversation into German. Like the other day when I was hanging out with a group of friends who aren’t on twitter, who have never heard of Mashable, who wouldn’t know how to bold a letter in html if their life depended on it, and not once but twice! I made a tech joke that fell flat. One was a hashtag reference (#fail). The other was an instance where I awarded a verbal +1 to someone who had done something cool. The +1 comment was met with abrupt silence. No one had heard of a +1. No one had even heard of  Google +.

And this is why I don’t think Google + will be hugely successful. Because – excluding the tech-types, socialites and trendsetters – it simply isn’t appealing. My friends are average folks, 25-35, with average office jobs doing anything from sales to architecture to graphic design. And they are all occasionally active on facebook. So why would they want to start all over somewhere else? Why would they want to learn a new interface and track down existing friends and download new mobile apps? The average person is busy and lazy. And as much as they bitch about their crazy friends on facebook, at the end of the day, they aren’t going anywhere. All their pictures, friends, memories – even their parents — are on facebook.

My experience on Google + so far (and it’s early, I know – it’s like showing up to a party before anyone has had a chance to drink) is that it’s all business and no play. Thank god they haven’t allowed brands on there yet or I would just DIE – it’s already become a dog-and-pony show of people attempting to out-alpha others in their social niche. The beautiful, sometimes annoying thing about facebook is that its an awful lot like reality TV, with an occasional informational nugget for consumption. Google + is like watching PBS all day long – I like it, but where’s the fun part? 

daverozman:

Have you heard of Planking? Well it has recently made it’s way to the US and I have seen many Facebook and twitter posts dedicated to this new fad.  Check out this video for more information or this site to get caught up on the basics.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lying_down_game

My take on this…I do planks all the time while exercising. I see this as a great way to get teens engaged in physical activity (insert sarcasm).

Netflix Prices Increase - Now What?

Netflix emailed me yesterday. Their rates are going up. So my $7.99/month package to stream super old/irrelevant yet decidedly entertaining movies AND continue to get just-released DVDs in the mail just jumped to $16/month. 

Netflix is tired of mailing me DVDs, and they are tired of waiting for me to mail them back. They’re moving to a stream-only model — which I would totally support if they streamed movies that were current. 

As it were, I’ve been experimenting with the new service Zediva.com. Basically, the best thing I can compare Zediva to is Red Box. You “rent” a movie online, stream it and “return” it within a few hours for $2 a pop.

Zediva Pros:

  • New movies. Straight from the box office, almost.
  • Cheap + no commitment
  • Once I’ve rented, I can check-out the movie up to 14 more times 

Zediva Cons:

  • Really bad, 1987-ish style picture quality
  • Fast-paced films are even harder to watch due to pixilation. Don’t bother.
  • Volume goes in and out.
  • You can’t really control fast forward or go back. Which means, if the dog gets into the trash in the other room and you forget to hit pause, you’re SOL on any scenes you may have missed.

So the cons certainly outweigh the pros. And yet, I’ll still be using Zediva. I like the convenience, the selection is both good and current — and this is more important to me than picture quality. For now.

22 Books Every Writer Should Own (How I Rank)

PR Daily just released a list of the 22 books every writer should own (and I suppose they ought to have read them, as well.) Here’s how I stack up:

How-to/self-help writing books:

The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White—a classic (Of course - this book goes with me everywhere)
The Elements of Grammar by Margaret D. Shertzer (Own)
On Becoming a Novelist by John Gardner
Make Your Words Work by Gary Provost 
On Writing Well by William Zinsser
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott 
Zen and the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury — No, but I love Ray Bradbury so this is going on my shopping list.
How to Write a Lot by Paul Silvia
Eats, Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss — Love! Own.
On Writing by Stephen King (Add it to the list.)
The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield

Reference guides:

The dictionary: Expand that vocabulary. (What English major doesn’t have several of these lying around? And M&W book marked online?)
The thesaurus: There’s always a simpler (or, at least, better) way to say it. (See above.)
The AP Stylebook: It’s many writers’ bible. (Yes!)

Fiction – for inspiration:

The Works of F. Scott Fitzgerald by F. Scott Fitzgerald (Owned at one time.)
Ulysses by James Joyce. It’s “like eating incredibly rich cheesecake,” said public affairs professionalWilliam Mecke
The House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski 
Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins 
The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (A top-10 fav.)
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (Studied Steinbeck in France. Beautiful fiction.)
On the Road by Jack Kerouac. The trend-setting novel “gives a writer permission to stay within technical accuracy while cruising prose and lobbing emotion,” said learning consultant David Harris— I suppose some day I should read this book; it’s sitting on my shelf in plain sight but always overlooked.

Bonus—essay: 

“Mark Twain’s Rules of Writing” by Mark Twain (part of the longer Twain essay “Literary Offenses of James Fenimore Cooper.”) - Have Twain’s complete collection. <3

Here’s the full article: http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/8841.aspx

Saying Goodbye to Cable

The gods of productivity are trying to tell me something. In the past three years, I have had three (brand new) televisions get struck by lightening. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say flat screen television probably isn’t for me. My three-year-old Toshiba laptop on the other hand, has been exceptionally reliable. And, not having functional tv has taught me a lot about internet entertaining. Hulu and Netflix have become week-night standards. And the best thing about Hulu and Netflix? Limited-to-no advertising! Woohoo – take that, marketing industry! (Oh wait, that’s me!)

So it’s been pretty cool watching how commercials online have evolved to meet the demands of the new “television” audience. Interactive commercials are catching on and honestly, I like them. I like choosing which Subaru commercial I’m going to have to watch. I sometimes have the option of watching a full three-minute video to enjoy a commercial-free 23-minute program (87% of Hulu viewers choose this path). And it turns out, I’m not the only one – loads of internet TV viewers don’t mind catching up on a few new commercials (says a 2010 study by comScore). How else are you going to find out about a new movie release?

Best of all? All this clicking and choosing information has to be going somewhere, right? Are these forward-thinking companies pulling all of my information into a neat little folder of profiling so that I’ll never have to watch an irrelevant-to-my-lifestyle ad again? I sure hope so.

Twitter and Google Break Up — Now What?

 

Today, Google announced they will no longer be featuring real-time Twitter feeds in their search results. This two-year relationship ended quietly — and in my mind, leaves Twitter looking rather snubbed. A Google official, having the upper hand in the matter, mentioned ”Twitter has been a valuable partner for nearly two years, and we remain open to exploring other collaborations in the future,” while a smarting, and I can only imagine defensive, Twitter rebutted meekly (this is my own interpretation): I’d still take them back.

Although the breakup will leave me feeling a little bored reverting back to the standard Google search results of yore, I am left wondering: now what? Google must have some big plans on the horizon…and everyone is pointing their fingers at their new Google + social site as the instigator in all this drama. Boy am I looking forward to this! Google must have an ace in their pocket, and one up their sleeve — cause there’s no way they’d sever relationships as big as Twitter if they were sitting on a dud, right? Only time will tell