welp after inadvertently text-bombing tumblr with mountains of text in the past two posterous submissions, I’ve disconnected tumblr and posterous. posterous will still post to every blog I’ve got as well as twitter, and tumblr will post to twitter as well.
reason i’ve disconnected everything via posterous is because i’m bringing it all together on http://flavors.me/bigopinion, a swank little site I rather enjoyed immediately after finding it. posterous can be for big huge blocks of text, and that’s fine. tumblr can be for pictures and audio and posting funnier smaller pieces of text and tumblr reblogs. everything goes to twitter. everything is linked back up at flavors.me. i like that.
This is a great critical evaluation of the iPad. I can see why people say their iPhone, or to a lesser extent iTouch, is an invaluable asset to their lives. College students will be the first to tell you they are completely addicted to theirs. In all fairness, though, the iPhone does allow people to do a whole lot more with a whole lot less — gone are the days where productivity only came with a bulky laptop in tow. That said, Doctrow brings up a number of good points as to why one should consider buying — or rather, not buying — an iPad: it’s both a question of necessity and a question of practicality. Are you an iPhone/iTouch owner so enamored by the system that you need a larger, tablet-sized device that works just like it? Do you find yourself needing more real estate on your iPhone? Beyond the physical questions, though, Doctrow brings up some good points as to the psychology behind the device, and the implications it carries:
“The way you improve your iPad isn’t to figure out how it works and making it better. The way you improve the iPad is to buy iApps. Buying an iPad for your kids isn’t a means of jump-starting the realization that the world is yours to take apart and reassemble; it’s a way of telling your offspring that even changing the batteries is something you have to leave to the professionals.”
One might argue that this era of hands-off computing really started with laptops, but those are not nearly as proprietary and safeguarded away from consumers’ prying hands and eyes as Apple products are. Overlooking that, this may very well mark the beginning of an uncomfortable time for more hardware-oriented PC engineers and retailers, who risk being further marginalized from an incredibly large market share lest they enter the market with a competing product. The number of future hardware engineers will probably dwindle with the influx of hands-off product development. For every 30 kids that enter into some sort of computer science field for college, the number of kids that will want to work with hardware — embedded systems, microprocessors, all of the physical attributes of what makes Apple products so desirable — could continually drop due to a lack of exposure to physical systems. Many of them may know multiple programming languages before they even show up — some of them could even be already-successful iPad developers — but their knowledge of hardware will continue to steadily decline as they are exposed to products that protect them from the very systems they would like to make careers out of manipulating. Not to mention the software development groundswell that has all but turned into a flood, with thousands of iPhone apps fully compatible with the iPad as well as over 3,000 apps currently available exclusively for the iPad with no signs of stopping. Is this developing craze of making individual components of a veritable all-in-one tool going to become a bubble, careening headlong into bursting itself further down the line? Is there really a limit to the kinds of apps one could make if the marketplace is immediately international, and your distribution and storage channels are taken care of for you? If you hope not and say no, respectively, keep going. The issue then, with applications for the iPad/iPhone as well as other platforms (Droid, Blackberry, etc.), is not the distribution of your product, but rather raising awareness: if the playing field is completely level when it comes to distribution, your competitive options are limited to how much your service offers over another competitor, and how much awareness is raised for the app itself. This is why I insist now — and will continue to insist — that a vital role for any app developer, if not one of the most vital roles, is on the creative end. Because, let’s face it: apps are a social experience now. Sure, you can have your Twitter account and your Facebook page and your news leaks to tech blogs, but the absolute best advertisers you have are your customers, now moreso than ever. People download your app, show their iPad/iPhone-equipped friends how much they like it, and boom: more guaranteed downloads. The aforementioned services give you an international presence, but only online: by mounting your software to a mobile platform, you essentially make your product tangible, and with that, offline word-of-mouth becomes much more viable. The best programmer in the world will hold a small stake in the app market if they don’t have a strong social presence, and it works both ways: a mediocre app with many legitimate, technically-stronger competitors may win customers over simply because of a stellar social campaign. In order to move an app into the spotlight, you have to not only be aware of how valuable each customer is, but you also have to make a concerted effort to become the facilitator of that “hey, that’s cool!” word-of-mouth advertising. Simply tossing your apps to the wolves with no social presence is like removing the McDonald’s from the Big Mac: it’s just another burger, and one that the Big Mac’s competitors would like you to compare to their equivalent product and will actively pursue making you do so. It’s easier than most think, especially with how common blogs have become and the advent of Twitter. It’s sometimes astounding how often social presence is neglected, overlooked, or underestimated. So if, then, the app bubble is indeed a bubble, there’s nothing to suggest that it would stop growing for years to come, nor may it ever burst…until Apple once again makes its own product obsolete, at least. Until then, the best apps—both old and new—will either dominate their line of service, or have a stellar social campaign supporting them. Or, as many successful apps have already proven, both.
So I guess while I figure out what I should bring in from older blogs and how I’ll go about doing it — since Posterous isn’t importing some blog content correctly and other pieces I’ve gotta import manually — I’ll go into a little more detail about this whole Japan thing.
Basically over the past week the possibility of going to Japan over the summer has gone from “wouldn’t it be cool if…” to “LET’S DO THIS SHIT, YEAAAAHHHH!!!” The current itinerary is looking like the first two or three weeks of July, hopping from Tokyo, Nikko, Kamakura, then there’s a big week of question marks, then back to Tokyo and departing out of Narita. We’re gonna be doing a lot of hiking and have a couple of trail guide books that talk about neat trails in the back country that travel through farms and along smaller, less traveled roads.
I dunno about everyone else, but that’s my ideal vacation — taking the roads less traveled, seeing the stuff someone bunking in Tokyo for a few days wouldn’t possibly get to check out. Dunno if Fujiyama is even on our radar, we’re just that cool. B) I’m penning in an obligatory nerd pilgrimage to Akihabara; that’ll probably be an endeavor taken on the last leg of the trip out rather than in the beginning. I imagine hiking with five pounds of plastic anime figurines and folded-up french maid costumes is difficult, not to mention awkward.
I’ll be wearing my FiveFingers…or at least I’d like to. It would be nice to get at least a little notice from vibram, but a few pictures of “I’m wearing your wacky toe shoes at/under the floating torii at Miyajima” should at least get someone’s attention. They’re great shoes. They feel magical. /unpaid advertisement
Anyways yeah. Easter weekend family dinner calls. I wanna see if gmail emoticons work in crossposts, so if you see a wakaba here
So now everything is linked up to Posterous. I’m pretty much cramming my entire online identity into this one service so we’ll see how that goes. Convenient service, or security issue? Guess we’ll find out. This is all part of a shift in how I use my computin’ time: I’ve moved to Google Chrome from Firefox mainly due to the bloat. I’ll still use Firefox until the Rikaichan extension is fully imported and functional in Chrome (Rikaikun for anyone looking for it), but pretty much everything else I use Firefox for is either easily transferred (bookmarks, read later ext., etc.) or expendable (bookmarks i’ll never look at again, built-in mp3 player as if it was really necessary, etc.).
Syncing everything up into Posterous serves multiple purposes. I’m trying to figure out ways to send as much info as possible out with as little tech as possible while I’m in Japan this summer. I figure we can send voice posts via tumblr for call-in posts and the like, and posterous for images/text/etc. for when we stumble upon internet access. (Lol as if internet access in Japan will be hard to find.) Plus, the more I do, the more I’ll want to do, and right now I really should be writing for other things. (www.fanserviceftw.com and www.flashfictiononline.com specifically.) I guess in struggling against the spectre of “english majors have shitty job opportunities,” it’s only natural that I’m looking for self-publishing platforms. If I don’t publish me, who will? At least I know what I’m doing, I guess.
That said, I suppose the issue of personal vs. professional posting comes into question. I figure, welp, I’m not getting paid to post any of this, so it’s all technically personal now matter how professional it is or isn’t sometimes. So I guess the best answer to that is…*puts on coolshades*…deal with it. I most certainly could go for professional articles only, but that would be boring, and I would look like a huge tool. A wise PR blogger once said “the more you talk, the less you’re probably getting paid for it.” True!
That and maybe now I don’t have to mash refresh on Twitter and Facebook and Tumblr every ten seconds hoping for replies and mentions and talkie-time.
“That is one fast-ass fat man, dude what the hell, quit that Snake Strike shit. Snake Strike, EX Messiah, Space Opera Symphony. Every time. Every goddamn time. You know how to do anything else?” “Haha why, it works every time on you.” “Naw shut up whatever man, whatever.”