Thursday, July 31, 2008


You are participating in a link loop which generates potentially infinite clicks on a single unit of content. Not really, I just embedded this because I like it and it said to on the site. Please keep going...going...30s a good number...15 is keen.

Samsung Makes Illegal Advertising - Follow The Story You Want

Interesting use of online video from Samsung that I first saw on Illegal Advertising. In this video you can follow the story on YouTube and choose the path you want.

I think we will be seeing a lot more of this type of thing now that videos are becoming clickable and interactive.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Scaling conversations infinitely still not possible

In almost every medium, in every space, across every generation it would appear that one common trend eventually surfaces.

Conversations don't scale infinitely.

Scaling conversations is achieved through two primary methodologies both of which will eventually degrade the conversation into a monologue, a free-for-all or an asynchronous experience.

In method 1 for scaling conversations, digital and analogue communication devices are utilized together with practical geographic and architectural gathering centres into forums known as meetings. These degrade for a variety of reasons including apathy, empathy, tardiness and even practical reasons such as schedules and task completeness.

In method 2 for scaling conversations each person, being, voice or messenger acts as their own epicentre, gathers bits of information over time and even during the conversation through a variety of means and then scattering, displaying, vocalizing or dispersing this through their various channels. Examples of this include webinars, instant messaging, micro-blogging, marketing and advertising. Feedback, comments, and requests to intervene are achieved in either real time or with some latency and are met with varying degrees of openness depending on the epicentral being. Network and software configuration issues also result in tons of side conversations during the conversation and can often delay or completely destroy the conversation.

As you can see, real-time conversations just don't scale. Sad.

Perhaps this is why Twitter works so well. It gracefully and immediately accepts its asynchronous nature, and its most avid users actually work with this in mind, gathering followers and friends who have their own lists of other followers and friends and randomly participating in hundreds or even thousands of conversations over an extended period of time.

Now the question is, when will Twitter scale? And if and when it does then will my hypothesis herein be proven wrong? Will I finally finish that other post I have been asynchronously writing called "When is this conversation about scaling conversations ever going to end?".


David can't click, but you can click David

In the example below, David (Kevin Nalts, the YouTube superstar) is having trouble figuring out how to use YouTube. While he works it out you can click on the things in the video including the BudLight and Panasonic on the phone.

You can click the Edit in the upper left corner and play with the editing tools.

You can see other videos by Kevin at or you can check out more overlays at Overlay.TV.

Overlay.TV Beta 0.9 (I flog on my blog ;-)

As many of you already know, I left Yahoo! in California a couple months ago to join a Canadian startup called Overlay.TV. Well, I am happy to say today that we have completed a major milestone on our road to launching - Overlay.TV 0.9 Beta.

This is officially the last phase of our beta, and the good news is that many of the widgets, payment system and more are now fully functional in this beta version. Check it out at Overlay.TV or to stay on top of future updates, follow the Overlay.TV blog at

One interesting way to get a handle on how people are using Overlays is to browse through the Overlays with the Most Referrals - these Overlays have ultimately produced the most traffic for their creators.

While you are deciding whether or not to do that ;-) I have embedded a recent Overlay below that gives a basic example of how you can add text, links and products to an Overlay. Here the sock puppets have been given an interactive upgrade so you can order the socks, the toy guitar or the CD that provided the original inspiration.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Let's work out this Social Media for Business thing....

This morning on Twitter @AmandaChapel (strumpette to some) took a line of fire on @ChrisBrogan regarding the "social media elite prove their disconnect from business" based on this article about GM layoffs.

Amanda Chapel tweeted, "Social Media Elite Demonstrate Complete Disconnect With Business @chrisbrogan, 'But GM uses Twitter?' WTF?"

Everyone including GM, Amanda and Chris are right and there is perhaps a potential for more intelligent debate to continue in order for the community to arrive at a common voice about strategy, objectives, tactics, measurement and efficacy in this emerging media or medium (you choose).

To prove the point that we in the web and software space have known this all along I took a blog post from Mercury Rising's Scott Annan over at Mercury Grove and did a find/replace on software/autos.

Read it here:

The next generation of autos will be built by companies with vision, the ability to execute, and a vibrant, engaged, and active customer community that will drive product innovation.
The idea is pretty obvious and the execution is pretty radical.
Today autos companies use a prescriptive approach to autos design - the autos defines how people should work (”A better way to do things!”) - and use forums, salespeople, and conferences to create a passive feedback loop with their users.
This leads to innovation being led by a small number of marketers and engineers who want to develop autos to make money.
The future of autos will move the company from the center of the innovation process to the periphery, replaced by the people who use the autos who will drive innovation by engaging in discussions about best practices, success stories, shared metrics, and ideas for radical improvements.
This leads to innovation being led by a large number of subject matter experts who want to use autos to achieve business objectives.
Which makes a lot more sense.
Success will be determined by the strength of the community, the quality of the ideas that come from the community, and the ability of the company to execute them - which is radically different than the current model with success being defined by winners of “feature wars”.
At Mercury Grove (ed: out here in the social media world), we believe that the foundation of community-driven autos requires three ingredients:
1. Professional, passionate people with the proven ability to execute.
2. Effective, transparent processes that actively and aggressively engage people.
3. Passionate people who want to be involved in the process of achieving more with autos
This is the future of autos.

...that's it. Nothing changes but the names... Hopefully Scott Annan won't mind what I did with his thoughts to prove the point.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Very cool launch today from AideRSS - PostRank measures the myriad ways that readers link to, vote up, comment on, Twitter about, or bookmark a post. You can also integrate it with Google Reader, but rather than go on about it, I will let @melle explain it:

You can read the story on TechCrunch here or just jump right in and grab it from AideRSS

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

No users. No experts. Just plain old peeps.

One thing that is clear today (literally, today) is that the crowd is actively outpacing the journalists, technorati and experts with a constantly corrective, scathing, responsible approach to fixing the flaws in the FUD.

Several articles I have read today on TechCrunch, Chris Brogan's site and others had way more depth, interest and diversity of thought and input in the comments than in the actual articles.

Someone killed the "wooots" and "love it" and "idiot" commentors I guess, or moderated their one through three word binary wastefulness into the dust. And in its place grew a learning tree, a sharing place and the collective wisdom of the masses.

We are not users.

We are not experts.

We have spoken.

We are right.