Browsing articles from "July, 2011"

A Picture Is Worth 20 Million Users

Sometimes a simple graph says more then an entire blog, check out the growth below of Google+ when compared to Twitter & Facebook. Click here for a larger view by Leon Haland , very interesting!


Heart Candy

Once in a while, there are moments that call for no conversation, because that moment is so beautiful and perfect already… without all the noise of nouns and adjectives.

In that mindset, here’s a video with absolutely no explanation, but one you will enjoy.


Of Hamburgers and Social Media

A Five Guys (restaurant)hamburger.

Image via Wikipedia

From the moment I walked into my first Five Guys, I was in awe.  All the peanuts you can eat, a simple no-nonsense menu, and a burger buried in a bag of tasty fries.   Forget Jimmy Buffet.  The stark white and red-trimmed interior of Five Guys is the true cheeseburger paradise.  But I digress…

In light of this Ode to Five Guys (I swear I have no stake in the company), you’d think I go there all the time, and, for a while, that was the case.  But no more.  Now I try to avoid the place for two reasons.  One, as much as I love it, I know the food’s only real purpose is to take up permanent residence in my arteries.  Two, the “new” wore off.    Yes, I’m no more than a shallow reflection of society at large.  I gobble up novelty and then, unless there’s a more meaningful permanence to the relationship, I move on.

Now, I do have a reason for writing all of this and, rest assured, it has little to do with actual hamburgers.  The point is, there’s change in the air.    Google+ is waving its digital fist at Facebook and Twitter.  Once fresh off the fryer,  these platforms are starting to lose their exotic  hamburger sizzle.  The fries are cooling.    Some people are starting to see them for what they are.  Still tasty, but, are they what you really want, now that you can see past the “new”?    And what about this Google+?   This may or may not be the new contender that topples the old.  However, you know something will.   It’s only a matter of time – meaning we’re all going to have to be nimble in the next few years.  We can expect the first wave of social media players who need to find and “early adopt”  new online communities as a means of maintaining a hold on the cutting edge.   Then the masses, scared of irrelevance, follow whether they’re truly personally motivated or not.  Not making judgements here.  That’s just organisms in flow, and systems in flux.

I sense the current is turning against Facebook and Twitter.  I’m not predicting their out and out demise or downfall.  Just saying that humans are predictable.   In real estate and desirable destinations, whether they’re real or virtual,  allure comes not with the established old haunts, but with what’s around the corner.

That said, I still love Five Guys. I swear I’ll still visit every once in a while.

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Later Aggregator

There’s no doubt.  Our world of shared media and endless distribution outlets – oh, internet, you bane and blessing – forces all of us to continually shift our weight in a struggle to find the right equilibrium.   We want to share.  We don’t want to steal.    It used to be that only professional journalists had to wrestle with these issues.  Now, we’re all in it together.

Witness what’s been happening in the last couple of days over at the Huffington Post.   Ad Age’s “MediaGuy”, Simon Dumenco, wrote an article, alleging and decrying the Huffington Post’s practice of helping themselves to other writers’ content, all in the name of “aggregation”.   Specifically, Dumenco cites the use of material from one of his earlier AdAge articles which magically found it’s way  –  somewhat reworked – onto HuffPo‘s pages.  Apparently, HuffPo responded with an indefinite suspension of the writer in question. In turn, Dumenco now says HuffPo missed the point –  it wasn’t just one writer being irresponsible.  Dumenco maintains that, in fact, that writer was simply following long-established practices that are at the very core of HuffPo’s way of doing business.  He asserts that the methods in question flow from the top, with accountability resting on the shoulders of HuffPo Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Arianna Huffington.

Personally, I’m a longstanding HuffPo fan.  I don’t always agree with their individual stances, but I have enjoyed the site as a convenient one-stop for news and opinion.  With no direct insight on Dumenco’s allegations, and no knowledge of the Huffington’s Post’s actual established practices, I would simply guess that some protocols will be reassessed, if nothing else than for the sake of good PR.   However, I do think this incident serves to cast light on a broader ethical issue that affects us all: Are we in the blogging community acting responsibly as pass-throughs for the works of others?   What, exactly, are the new rules for sharing, attribution, and aggregation?    I’m sure upcoming classes of media and communications students will sit through lengthy dissertations on the subject.  As for the rest of us, it looks like some may have to learn the hard way.

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Especially YOU!

I am writing to you, personally and directly.   Yes, YOU!

What?  You think this blog goes out to the masses and there’s no way I can anticipate and cater to the attention and interests of one isolated blog reader?  Not so!

Alas, I haven’t the time needed to delve into the whole superpowers backstory.  Suffice to say, several years back, I fell into a giant industrial vat of some mega-syllable caustic chemical compound and emerged with the power to anticipate individual bloggers’ interests and thoughts.

There, now that we’ve established trust….

Again, I’m talking to you.  What are you doing not creating?  Ha!!  I’ve called you out on it.  I know.  You rationalize that you ARE creative in some ways, and that your life really doesn’t offer enough creative outlets, and that if you did try to be more creative, you’d simply be out-shined by others.  Well, that’s just kitchen swill for pigs! (aka, hogwash)

This is YOUR time to be creative.  Why?  Because you’re desperately needed.  Have you looked around lately?  Wait, I’ve just been handed a list by our Aggregators of Calamitous Events and Ruinous Maladies (CERM) here at Mindclay Central.  Posting the abridged version:


As with all lists, even our own Aggregators will admit this one is imperfect and subject to the variances of personal priorities and differing views.  You are welcome to make your own.

The point is – there’s a lot of work to do and, really, most of it boils down to creativity. These are, inarguably, momentous times.  Momentous times require greatness on all fronts, but especially in the areas of inspiration and creativity.  We’ve never been in more dire need of creative solutions.  At the same time, there’s never been such a woeful dearth of them.   The great thing is creativity, when unleashed, is pretty much self-perpetuating and takes all forms, from technical innovation, to inspired leadership, to new ways of communicating and sharing ideas.

Now, as we’ve established earlier, I’m imbued with a special type of blog clairvoyance.  I can sense that you have what it takes. You’re capable of tons more than just sitting on the sidelines and tossing snark bombs. You’ve got the ability to truly contribute and make a dent in at least one of the problems on your own personal CERM list.   So, that’s it. Life is all about creation.  You are a creative being.   Therefore, it’s your responsibility to outweigh destruction with creation – to counterbalance decay with improvement – at every possible moment.

Hey, what do you mean you’re pointing the finger back at me!?   You’re asking if I’ve made any dents on my own CERM list?  Fine! Not that I have anything to prove, but rest assured that, from this point forward,  I’ll work on creative solutions to Endless Transformers Movies and Couscous.   I think I’ll start by writing to my congressional representatives  (I might mention the debt ceiling impasse while I’m at it).

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