Archive for September 2008
In my observations, there is always going to be a new technology, device, killer app, whatever next year. Companies have an increasingly hard time convincing people to buy them, limiting sales to the early adopters. With dot UI, people won’t have to learn how to use that shiny new gadget. It will have to seamlessly fit into their lifestyle and budget.
Recently, Twitter finally announced that they were no longer going to support XMPP, the open-standard protocol that Jabber uses for IM. This decision also negates the vaunted “track” feature that automatically copied you on a message that contained a key word you were tracking. Are they moving in a more proprietary direction?
How quickly have derivative services started up? Jaiku, Pownce, Plurk, FriendFeed, Tumblr, and most recently, the open-source Identi.ca. Now the evangelists @samharrelson and @karoli are trying to get social media personalities to move discussions over to Identi.ca, at least they were the ones that got me to finally notice. However, since I like to link all my status updates together, namely, Plaxo, Twitter, Pownce, LinkedIn, Facebook and FriendFeed AND I don’t like visit their webpages very often, I rely on 3rd party user interfaces to this Social Web. This has replaced my Googling, because each network provides me a different window into the buzz. This is the first example that I heard John Chambers, CEO of Cisco say at the Member Appreciation dinner at CES 2008, content will not only follow you, it will find you. Later, at @sunstartup, I heard a similar thing. That if my network isn’t talking about it, its probably not that important.
So, its my network, not the service or platform that matters right? Well, how come VCs are investing in platforms then? They should be investing in networks. But, they can’t do that right? Now, in order to efficiently monitor, engage, and update my status, I’ve come to rely on many different tools based on where I am and what device I have near me. For a whole 2 months, I’ve been happy with Twhirl. coincidentally, one of the first AIR apps available. But, the dilemna is that I want to use Identi.ca now. And, I’ve stopped using IM except for Skype. Enter, a new shareware app, Posty. Rougher, but has a single window for more services than anything else I know of. The point is, the average shelf life for a UI app is about 3 months until something better comes along. And, platforms have maybe a year or three if they’re successful. For the moment, they are indispensible. But tomorrow, they are expendable. I’ve made no investment locking me in.
So, early adopters are changing their habits faster and faster. What about the rest of us? What is the average age of new Facebook members these days? I would guess that they are trending up. Something clicked in each new member that prompted them to learn a new user interface and become a newbie at something again. They simply want to join the crowd. No one wants to be left out. But, CE manufacturers have to spend a lot of money to get their product mass acceptance. They can avoid this by adopting a standard to make their products easier to use. My mission is to convince the world that they need their own personal user interface to the Internet of Things.