Saturday, September 14, 2013

Is Twitter a destination for all or just harvesting grounds for brands?

The numbers are very indicative of what we all know.  If Twitter is an open microblogging platform accelerated by the ego-centrism of being followed to achieve the hope of notoriety, then it is obvious that people will mislead, over-share, promote, and over produce content that will most likely go unnoticed.  This content and practice contamination is the real issue for Twitter providing value in its second wave of value proposition. 

Twitter has made a fundamental mistake in cornering itself in targeting revenues from companies that seek to know what people express themselves about.  Most of these enterprise customers/partners are only interested to know what is being said about them for market research analytics, risk mitigation and creating campaigns that are not necessarily reaching the people they target.  Or perhaps reaching fake prospects and mercenary promotors that only serve to falsify the performance analytics.

Now Twitter is fixated on delivering the noise, and the growing corrupted content of the crowd to these companies , however they are ignoring the elephant in the room: Twitter is not a destination-drive service, it remains a push medium and it is not designed to help people consume the information that matters to them.  This simple yet obvious distinction of pull and push is what Twitter is not grasping, and reason why users do not spend time reading tweets.

It is time to change the way Twitter can be helpful for everyone.  It is time to shift the Twitter paradigm from push to pull, and from follower-center context to individual-centric context.  

How can Twitter expect to make money on long-tail advertisement opportunity that made the success of Google and now Facebook, when Twitter is not achieving more 21 minutes per month of its user attention?  They don’t because they did not think about it and they are loosing themselves by the promise of being saved by companies that are trying to make sense of this open social media platform.

Ask anyone if they use Twitter to find useful information.  Most will say no, they simply post for their friends and they now understand that following too many people and having too many followers is not necessary beneficial.  Some professionals will tell you that they use TweetDeck (purchased by Twitter) to do have real-time search on tweets to see if people are responding to them.  Yet they all complained that they have to look at the screen to see a result pop-up.  Other more fancy users will talk about Radian6 (purchased by Salesforce.com),  but they also told us that they are not quite sure of its value, other than creating work for social media experts reporting on progress that might not have an actual impact.

Now an IPO for Twitter when they have not figured out how to make money from long-tail advertisement? Just look at the tweetzup ZUP dedicated to the Twitter's IPO to see what's up.



TweetDeck is free and can help if you know what you are looking for.  Radian6 is pricy and useful to a minute and highly specific segment of the professional population.   So what is being done to help everyday people and professionals consume what’s up -in the twittersphere?  Quite simply, we have applied our Darwin Ecosystem fetching, correlation and visualization model to create tweetzup.com, in order to help anyone monitor and create shareable topics of interests, and the ability of have real alerts based on the monitoring of the frequency of tweets containing key terms of interest.  

We strongly believe that by introducing a true information consumption platform for tweets by revealing their real-time correlated movement over time, we can help anyone make the most of twitter by being informed and discover people of similar interests. This simple reversal of perspective should also transform what people tweet about.  Tweetzup allows promoter/advertisers not to have to tweet all the time to be noticed, but rather tweet something meaningful that will emerge in the right context when the individual is most receptive. That alone will reduce the noise of promotional tweets and reverse the tweet contamination that we see today.



Tuesday, September 10, 2013

My take in real-time on Apple's September 10, 2013 event.

iTunes Festival

Franky I do not care about the event.  20 million people wanted in, so they are live streaming for free.  So what the point?  I need my Apple device to join the party and see the streaming event.   And that is not free, but then we are enough Apple users to enjoy it.  Join the club other humanoids...  I guess.

Retail Focus

Ok the stores serve many customers and provide sidewalk assistance.  Can you please stop impressing us with design to help our "experience".  I am waiting for breakthrough technology, not marketing breakthrough.

IOS7

About to ship 7M IOS devices next month to become the world most popular mobile operating system. Here are the innovations.  Gorgeous home-screen, gorgeous colors, ok enough with the gorgeous, now the goodies...  So far nice design, navigation and responsive page stacking.  I personally like Siri and I glad to see that they increased its capacity and reach.   Different and sounds - so what?  Cool but really, bringing this up as an improvement?  I like the new collection picture browsing.  Much much better.  My wife will be happy as she has been complaining about the pictures' organization for years.  The Share Sheet is also very well designed which now includes airdrop P2P.  Now you are talking distributed and privacy features. Cool!   The New iTunes offers stations that challenges Pandora.  About time!  

With over 200 features we can expect great  applications with better design.  This should finally give me what I wanted to bring tweetzup to the mobile platform.  Apple made a comment about IOS7 being free - Why would you charge for a platform that supports your on-line commerce.  Of course it is free.  That comment takes us, just a little, for idiots here.  Drop the free argument Apple.  We get your business model.

Applications on IOS

Apple can be a serious competitor to Google Docs with its iWork suite.  I have been using it and love them.  The new announcement abut making these 5 apps free is the needed approach to challenge Google Docs.  The issues still remains in the war for cross-platform shareability.  XML anyone?

iPhones

Apple claims that The iPhone 5 is the most liked model, bringing the iPhone to new levels.  The new price announcement is pared with a customer penetration strategy to increase its market share.  

First the iPhone 5C includes all the iPhone 5 features and new design.  I think that the color is trivial, but then again I am not a teenage girl.  I wish that they could toned down the beautiful design and experience argument during these shows.  The cases are poorly designed where the name iPhone show "non" which means "no" in french.  That is such a basic design mistake, especially for a company that prides itself about design.  Nonetheless, it is not revolutionary but it does what it should do for the right age group at the right price of $99 and $199 with a contract.   Unlike for the iPad, I think that the covers are just idiotic given the strong independent manufacturers and the fact that it is made out of plastic.  Why the redundancy?  Not needed.  Also, what about the eco-friendly and recyclable mission?  Dixit Jony Ive, senior VP of Design: "It's quite remarkable when something feel familiar, and yet it's new at the same time." Sounds like a rationalization for weak design innovation to me.

Now the iPhone 5S. I was waiting for innovation and here is what we got.  Again drop the design and let's explore the substance.  Gold with diamond cut edges?  Yep the gold standard.  Now let's look at the innovations.  Performance is key and this phone appears to have it with the A7 with the first 64bit chip in a phone.  Now we are talking, but if we design powerful applications for this phone we will need to dumb them down for the other phones.  Well, c'est la vie.  At least we can be 32 bit compatible.  This is god news.  Can you believe that the power has increased by 40X since the first iPhone and 56X for the graphics. Impressive.  The power of OpenGL/ES will help us create our tweetzup cloud animation. 

M7 works with the A7 as a motion co-processor what can truly improve application addressing environmental motions.  The fact that the M7 is separated from the A7 allows better resource management and performance for many applications.   As to the battery life, Apple has been able to pack the new features without depleting the battery capacity.  

The new iSight camera appears to have the right new hardware with F2.2 aperture and better sensors, the real improvement is the 1.5 micron for better color range and light capture.  Now the software appears to be keeping up with the hardware.  It has preemptive environment detection about lighting and other sensing capability.  The new True Tone Flash is now capable of producing the right color variation to adapt itself to the ambient situation.  This is true innovation providing more natural colors.  The image stabilization is also a great addition through multiple shots selecting the crispier areas to build the right picture automatically.  More features are also included in video multiple shot selection are included through real-time processing.  And now slow-motion camera can create great scenes.  What a great use of its processors and software.  That is very cool and innovative advancement without user editing.

Security is now stronger and smarter.  Apple's innovation in using the finger prints is right on target, and they have achieved what IBM failed to do on its ThinkPad over ten years ago.   The Touch ID capacitive sensor is right on the home button.   That makes sense to me, and it is effortless.  The extended authentication  to other services is also great.  I can see many new usage for this innovation.  But please replace Jony Ive videos, his tone and voice makes me feel like he is trying to control my brain. Sorry Jony.

The iPhone 5S priced reasonably, but the case... you could have left that to the store and not the show.

Apple starts to take orders on Friday 13.  Thankfully I am not superstitious.


The overall presentation was just OK.  The real gems have been hidden by silly distractions like iTunes festival, music, colors and cases.  This always feel like a substitution for substance.  And substance was presented, but lacked the focus the lighter touchy-feely distractions received.    Will I remain a faithful Apple user.  Sure.  But next time wow me with a freaking iWatch that lightens my bag-o-tech.











  


Steve Jobs. Where are you? - Bad design @ work.

Ok this is just dumb,

I had to blog about this.  Can you believe that the new iPhone 5C's cover hides the name iPhone and shows the word "non" which means NO in french.  Please fire the idiots who will kill the Apple company.  Please hire a bright college drop-out and empower him/her to run the show.  It seams to work best that way.



Tweetzup + YouTube = Serendipitous Searchless Discovery

This summer we expanded the reach of tweetzup results (correlated clusters of emerging topics from twitter) by plugging in a dynamic YouTube search result driven by the user’s expressed interest.  As a result, we have discovered that our users are now accessing YouTube videos based on the awareness of movement from tweets. This makes it more focused and provides entertaining ways to discover videos that are popular or recently posted. With tweetzup, the user does not need to subscribe to YouTube channels and be limited to only those videos.  Instead, users can now choose their topics of interests, see if they are chirping as an indication of something happening, and then be exposed to any contextual video without search.

Tweetzup also offers its users’ the ability to set alerts when a theme is showing some movement from their followed topics. This also makes it easy not to have to be glued to the screen to see what’s up. The system let’s you know via email, or you can choose to tweet the alert to your community automatically. This is what I do on my twitter account @thierryhubert.

For instance, this morning the system tweeted the alert on my behalf the following message: “DISRUPT is Emerging on the STARTUP #TweetzUp report http://tweetzup.com/startup?interval=15034636&term=disrupt …”.  Clearly I follow tweetzup’s STARTUP, and I set an alert a few months ago on the term DISRUPT.  I clicked on the link and saw the following:



Right away the system highlighted in orange the correlated keywords associated with DISRUPT, showed the tweets and displayed the most recent videos posted this very morning as the TechCrunch Disrupt event in San Francisco is occurring. Needless to say, I would have waited for a late Google alert, depended on my social network friends, or spent too much time searching Google/YouTube and other news/blog aggregates to achieve this kind of result. Crucially, it would not have been on one page that also allows me to see other emerging terms occurring simultaneously about the theme STARTUP.

About that serendipitous searchless discovery? Well, being exposed to my topics of interests when something is going on is very fertile ground of serendipitous opportunities. In this case, I discovered a cool application being presented at Startup Alley at Tech Crunch which offers a strategic angle for our business.  This is what I call serendipitous business intelligence.