31
Mar 11

Don’t Flush Your Good Ideas Down The Plan

Zsa Zsa Gabor once said that:”Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans”. Or was it John Lennon? I always get those two mixed-up. But the sentiment of the quote is clear – your best laid plans usually disappear down the pan faster than the time it takes for a coherent thought to leave Sarah Palin’s head. A small percentage of people do end up realizing their dreams via a strictly adhered to life plan, but most end up in situations they’d never conceived of at the beginning of life’s journey. But while we accept that it’s difficult – and maybe pointless – to try and intricately plan out every detail of our life, this is not the case in business. Businesses – especially corporations – are obsessed with plans. Short, mid, long – any kind of term you can think of – they want a plan for it. And here’s why this approach is completely wrong. Continue reading →


30
Mar 11

Google Launches +1: A Socially Confused “Like” Button

After spending many years convincing the world it isn’t evil, Google also wants to let everyone know it isn’t anti-social either. While Facebook and its merry band of 90 gazillion members have been sowing the seeds of a new social Web, Google has been sitting in the corner, face pressed up against the glass in envy, using handfuls of $50 bills as Kleenex to wipe away those Trillionaire Tears. But now Google is showing the world it’s more than just a data-driven money-printing machine and that it can hang with the cool kids. Move over “Like” button and get ready for the “+1″ button – which is kind of the same, just with a more awkward name. Except it isn’t. Because at first glance the +1 button makes no sense at all. Continue reading →


29
Mar 11

Pro-Voice

Curation is a topic I’ve covered multiple times on this blog. Newspapers hate it. New media types love it. But the Web is starting to resemble a gigantic tropical beach filled with leather-torsoed European tourists and a BP  deepwater drilling rig looming offshore. We’re getting to the point where we need something – or someone – to help us sift through the oil sludge in order to find an uncontaminated sun lounger. But while curation is clearly useful, I do worry that it stifles creativity and makes the Internet – dare I say it – a more **boring** place. Continue reading →


25
Mar 11

Reformed Slideshow-aholic

I’m not ashamed to admit that once upon a time I had an unhealthy relationship with image slideshows. The prospect of an extra page view in Omniture when somebody clicked a horribly clunky “Next” button thrilled me with joy. The traffic potential of an endless stream of stock photographs of people smiling and pointing – or a close-up of an egg – made me shake with anticipation. And the joy of dissecting a 400 word piece of content in 10 separate 40-word chunk pages was too much to resist. In short, I had a problem.

Continue reading →


23
Mar 11

Why Amazon Is Apple’s Biggest Competitor

There’s been a lot of talk in tech circles about how the next great conflict – the war for mobile computing market share – will be raged between Apple and Google. In the green corner you have Google, with its rapidly growing Android operating system and suite of products (search, gmail, docs etc) that work seamlessly across platforms. In the brushed aluminum corner there’s apple, with the most graceful and user friendly hardware and software and the pioneer of moving Apps into the mainstream. But while these two giants slug it out, another player that’s quickly emerging as a potential threat – if it chooses to fully enter this space – is Amazon. Continue reading →


23
Mar 11

3-D Phone Home

As a frequent train passenger on New Jersey Transit I was amused at its recent policy to introduce cell phone free ‘quiet’ cars on the line that I take. Not that I think this is a bad idea in principal – because the last thing you need after a busy day is for a crumple-suited hedge fund lawyer to interfere with your sleep with his/her incessant self-absorbed banter. But it’s a good idea that should be added to the “service improvements” list right after ensuring trains leave on schedule more than 50 per cent of the time, providing adequate seats for more than 50 per cent of the passengers and keeping 50 per cent of the cars clear of half-eaten breakfast sandwiches and bottles of Sunkist. Running before you can walk either shows incredible ambition, or an appalling lack of focus on the fundamentals. Continue reading →


21
Mar 11

Apple to release OS 4.3.3.1.Idon’tgiveaf***

Spinning Hamster EXCLUSIVE

Word has reached the offices of The Spinning Hamster that Apple is prepping its latest release of iOS – 4.3.1.1.Idon’tgiveaf*** – that sources say could be available for download as early as next Wednesday.

Continue reading →


21
Mar 11

Dropped Calls, Dropped Balls

Competition – one of the central lynchpins of our free market system – is a wonderful thing as long as there are players who are actually competing. When that happens services improve, prices fall and customers get a great deal. But once this honeymoon period is over, the natural endgame is for the vast majority of competitors to disappear – having either gone bust or been swallowed by  bigger fish in the ocean. This usually leaves 2-3 bloated organizations who can feast on the spoils of victory and have the opportunity to screw their customers for an extended period of time. Continue reading →


18
Mar 11

Blunderwall: The New York Times Paywall

By nature, people are fairly simple creatures. We generally don’t like to do anything if we don’t have to. And the way society has been built reflects this fact. We don’t like to think which is why we have cable news. We don’t like to move which is why we have drive-through everything. We’re not too keen on lengthy face-to-face communication, so we can take care of that via our pudgy, trans-fat lubricated fingers and Twitter. I’m waiting for the day when breathing becomes too much of an effort and we’re all just hooked-up to sugar-coated respirators. So it was with interest that I dug into the details of the New York Times paywall, which was announced this week. Because simple it is not. Continue reading →


15
Mar 11

Product review: Logitech Harmony 650 Remote

Logitech 650 RemoteGo back ten years and the balance of power within a marriage could be directly gauged by who commanded the remote control to the TV. But back then the remote was a scarce resource and worth fighting for. Today the problem isn’t one of scarcity, but over-supply. While gadget manufacturers are able to create Internet-enabled devices that are smaller than Piers Morgan’s humility gene, they still can’t figure out how to make them live harmoniously under one roof. There are now separate remotes for every device. TV. Surround sound system. DVD player. Cable box. Apple TV. The list goes on. Continue reading →