This past week, I was at SXSW Interactive, where all sorts of internet startups show off their latest and greatest and try to be the next huge launch, like Twitter and Foursquare. Amidst all the hoopla, free food, open bars and other assorted freebies sponsored by the different companies, it’s tough to tell what each company is promoting and what exactly they do.
There are plenty of comparisons to social media and startups to pop stars like Lady Gaga. Unfortunately, most of these artists they compare against are flash in the pans who are popular in the moment for quick search results, but sometimes a startup doesn’t just want to be the taste of the moment and should look at an artist with longevity who influenced many of the current artists, like Alice Cooper.
Gamification creates user behaviors and train users to act certain ways within a website or app. By creating a points and reward system, like badges on Foursquare and Huffington Post, the creators of a system can get users to do things that normally wouldn’t, but what happens when the gamification overtakes the usefulness of the app?
Monday night, while I was working, I suddenly got a pop-up message saying my computer had disconnected from my network harddrive. My Western Digital MyBook World Edition network harddrive suddenly began having problems powering up. The lack of a harddrive not only limited my productivity and took my time, but also sent me on a roller coaster of customer service.
In an audacious move, Rupert Murdoch decided to create an iPad only magazine called The Daily. Every day of the year, a new issue is to be released directly to the Apple tablet via application to subscribers of the magazine at a cost of 99 cents a week or 40 dollars a year. But is this magazine worth it or is it merely more FUD reflecting old school media on a modern media device?
At the December New York Tech Meetup, a new startup called Wanderfly presented their new vacation finding startup. As part of this presentation, they had a contest to win a trip by coming to their website, creating a trip and tweeting it out. I was lucky enough to win the contest and took the time to work with their service fairly in depth.
With Facebook Connect, it makes it easy for a developer to integrate Facebook’s login to their website and use a user’s Facebook credentials on another website. The only problem with this is is if a user has a login problem, there’s nothing you can do if a user has issues logging in, it makes it very hard to deal with. I recently had such an issue, where I learned the extent of this problem.
When I created my geek and tech gift guide last week, I found I wanted to add too many books and felt it would be tter to have Sandman represent books and graphic novels on that list and follow up later with a second list focusing on reading material. This list focuses exclusively on things to read and not things to read on, like the Kindle and iPad.
The day after Thanksgiving in the United States has been dubbed Black Friday and is considered the first day of the holiday shopping season. Although the stores begin selling their holiday wares as soon as Halloween ends, many sales are centered around this popular shopping day and there were two such deals on the location based social media network Foursquare.
On Monday, Apple changed the frontpage of their website to announce their next big thing. “Tomorrow is just another day. That you will never forget.” teased the “exciting announcement” on their website along with clocks citing world times – 10 am in New York and 7 am in California for those of us in the United States – and at that time came the most anti-climactic announcement since Steve Jobs returned to Apple, the Beatles have come to the iTunes store.