… It Isn’t Your Dad’s News

I met someone the other day and having looked over their website, I happened to mention that the RSS feed from the site’s blog was called ‘RSS Feed’ – and not something useful like ‘John’s RSS Feed For All Things Amazing’ …..

The reply :

“It’s so funny when you mentioned the RSS feed – I didn’t know people still did that so I’ll definitely look into it.”

This person strikes me as very bolted into the world of business and tech, definitely switched on to the social media circus circuit … and her response is all too typical of what I hear from so many people. Which in turn means that I think it is one of the most serious issues we face today.

Surely you jest Mr. Philpin? I do not ….

(Consider the news that emerged over the weekend that Facebook 'unknowingly' sold advertising to Russian Troll Farms ..

"The ads -- both traditional advertisements and sponsored posts -- were intended to sow discord among the American electorate by amplifying "divisive social and political messages," Stamos said. These ranged from "LGBT matters to race issues to immigration to gun rights."

Allow that to sink in for a moment - and I know you would never be caught out by such obvious false influences .... except you are. We all are. All the time. That is why the art of the con is alive and well.

And no, RSS doesn't fix that all by itself - but it sure does help.

I wrote a long reply to my new friend about why RSS was important … and when it was finished, decided not to send it, but rather turn it into a blog post and just send the link, because it is something I come across a lot. This article is a personal position on RSS, a recognition that it needs to get easier and a plea that really – if you want news – getting it from your Social Feeds is not a good idea. Continue reading

            <a href="http://www.pcworld.com/article/3082593/software-social/facebook-to-users-download-moments-or-say-goodbye-to-your-synced-photos.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Facebook to users: Download Moments or say goodbye to your synced photos</a>

Facebook is notifying users who automatically synced photos between their phones and Facebook that it’ll soon delete those photos—unless you download the Facebook Moments app, that is.

If you aren’t paying you are their product


            It should be anyway. I comment a lot about the importance of keeping the web open. <a href="http://bgr.com/2016/06/08/inventor-of-world-wide-web-wants-it-to-change/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Now Tim Berners Lee is talking about it.</a> Trust me - powerful forces are working hard to keep it closed.

Facebook for example. This article doesn’t quite go into why they are a threat to the open web – but Vanity Fair definitely explores the single minded focus of that organization and their leader and why we should tread carefully.

I submit he is an old-school genius, the fiery force of nature possessed by a tutelary spirit of seemingly supernatural provenance that fuels and guides him, intoxicates his circle, and compels his retinue to be great as well. The Jefferson, the Napoléon, the Alexander… the Jim Jones, the L. Ron Hubbard, the Joseph Smith. Keeper of a messianic vision…” From Antonio Garcia Martinez in Vanity Fair: How Mark Zuckerberg Led Facebook’s War To Crush Google Plus.

            As Dave Winer wrote in a post last week ... "<a href="http://scripting.com/liveblog/users/davewiner/2016/01/20/0900.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Anywhere but Medium</a>"

I remember how much RSS suffered for being dominated by Google. And Google was a huge company and could have afforded to run Google Reader forever at a loss. Medium is a startup, a well-funded one for sure, but they could easily pivot and leave all the stories poorly served, or not served at all.

Dave has a steady drum beat that continually raises the concerns of the growing silos across the web. We should pay more attention. Robert Scoble would be a start.

Continue reading

            ... and not just pay lip service.

On August 6th 2014, Robert Scoble wrote …

After giving it some thought I have completely moved to Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RobertScoble

I am putting TONS of great content into there. If you aren’t on Facebook, I’m also on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/scobleizer or on Google+ at https://www.google.com/+Scobleizer

Someday I might come back to the blog, but the world has moved and it is on social media.

And then nothing, until December 11th 2015, when he wrote Continue reading

            <a href="http://beyondbridges.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/IMG_0031.jpg"><img src="http://beyondbridges.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/IMG_0031.jpg" alt="" /></a>

I know this article is not talking about me – because I left Facebook a year ago – but it doesn’t mean that I’m not guilty of it. Then again the first step is to recognize what you don’t know. In my case … A lot.

            <a href="http://beyondbridges.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Unified-Inbox-to-buy-cloud-solution-Smak-for-LifeModes-integration.jpg"><img class="alignleft size-thumbnail wp-image-4923" src="http://beyondbridges.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Unified-Inbox-to-buy-cloud-solution-Smak-for-LifeModes-integration-150x150.jpg" alt="Unified-Inbox-to-buy-cloud-solution-Smak-for-LifeModes-integration" width="150" height="150" /></a>Anyone else remember the idea of the ‘unified inbox’ ? I am talking waaaay back in the day when we ‘wanted’ voice mail, texts and emails all to appear in one place ? It never happened. In fact it is worse. We now have an explosion of message mechanisms and apps - to which we need to add the balkanization of those streams and walled gardens adding to the complexity. With that challenge we all have our own favorites which means no matter how good our own particular favorite is - we are never going to get all our friends onto the same engine - because they have theirs. (You love Skype, I love FaceTime, my brother lives in Google).

And then I thought – I wonder if these guys might solve it ?

Doubt it – certainly while the likes of Facebook insist on a walled garden approach.

So yes – we have a unified EMAIL Inbox, but we have IMs, Twitter DMs and Facebook and What’sApp, WeChat, iMessage, SMS, MMS …. and then voice …. and then video ….

Meanwhile on my Apple Mac – I used to use Adium for a single IM app – it was perfect – but I stopped that maybe 2 years ago … so what changed there ? Maybe when they added Twitter  and FB — way too many interrupts !!! And that is just what we face as individuals – the enterprise issues are orders of magnitude more complex.

Upside ? What a GREAT opportunity … for the Enterprise.

A single ‘app’ that an enterprise can use that can connect to voice, IM, Social, Message, SMS, MMS….. in a unified inbox – so if i call today, email tomorrow about the message I texted last week to ‘said enterprise’ – it is all in a threaded conversation that the enterprise’s customer contact center can use to understand the full context of MY request.

Because at the end of the day – if it really IS about the customer – then we. the people (customer is what a ‘brand’ calls us), should use the channel that is right and appropriate for them at the time they use it. And we should not have to keep repeating ourselves (I’m talking to you Comcast) .. and absolutely not be forced into using the comms center that is convenient for the enterprise.

Who’s going to hold their breath with me ?


I belong to an email discussion group called Only Influencers - which you can join - but if email is not a major interest / passion - you can also experience some of the expertise for free here. Bear with us, it is a new space on Reddit - so as I write - just getting going. 

This post was inspired by one of the debates on that discussion thread, which I decided was one to throw out into the wider world. Special thanks to Craig Swerdloff, Loren T. McDonald, Karen Talavera and Derek Harding for the reminder and inspiration - though they might not know that they did.

            I've been in it a long time. It always has. But. Despite what your CMO would have you believe - it isn't getting better. Just a few choice articles from ONE source [ <a href="http://venturebeat.com" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Venture Beat</a> ].

The average person under 25 is texting more each day than the average person over 55 texts each year, Gladwell says. That’s what the data can tell us. What it can’t tell us is why.

            I was reminded of <a href="https://plus.google.com/+RipRowan/posts/eVeouesvaVX" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">this post found here</a> - but detailed in full below - in case the source is ever taken down. <a href="https://plus.google.com/110981030061712822816/posts/bwJ7kAELRnf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Like the original was</a>. Came to mind while thinking about <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/16/technology/inside-amazon-wrestling-big-ideas-in-a-bruising-workplace.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">this</a> ... and then <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/18/technology/amazon-bezos-workplace-management-practices.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">this</a>.

Meanwhile – I used The Rant as a framework when I first arrived at Lyris, calling out the Bezos mandate – highlighted below. Somehow we didn’t quite have the same success! But I still think it was right – and powerful. So I have reposted.

Continue reading

            <a href="http://venturebeat.com/2015/08/04/facebook-patents-technology-to-help-lenders-discriminate-against-borrowers-based-on-social-connections/">This just in ...</a> - well not 'just' - it was last week - but I wanted to share a paragraph from the patent ... 

In a fourth embodiment of the invention, the service provider is a lender. When an individual applies for a loan, the lender examines the credit ratings of members of the individual’s social network who are connected to the individual through authorized nodes. If the average credit rating of these members is at least a minimum credit score, the lender continues to process the loan application. Otherwise, the loan application is rejected.

As someone commented on an email list I am part of …

Better not associate with any poor people on the web!