Mar 21, 2012

How do we access our social media content?

Increasingly, mobile users accumulate and sit on top of large amounts of social media content. The content consists of comments and photos that individual users post, and the content that the user's friends or celebrities on the user's subscription list generate. But, how does the user make use of this information?

Suppose that you want to find a favorite restaurant among a local circle of friends. How would you find out?

On the business side, companies are beginning to monetize social media assets by furnishing tools to interface with the data.

What appearance will interfaces and interactions take on the consumer side?

Mar 18, 2012

What problem does instagram solve?

Thumb poll of popular apps by Anthony Ha. Ha used the Thumb app to crowdsource an answer to what apps are popular with the masses.

Instagram is at the top of that list. Is that surprising? A startup friend recently asked me what problem does Instagram solve.

I think Instagram delivers beauty. Beauty is a fundamental problem for human beings, but few companies address such a problem.

Increasingly, products with the highest value offering will be those that allow people to experience beauty, meaning, transformation, values which are not forefront when more mundane problems persist. But, as people increasingly cover the 'basic needs', demand for such abstract items will rise.

I think this is true of many millions who have their basic needs met, but do not have an outlet to escape the office drudgery or express themselves more fully.  More beautifully.

[update] Or just more cutely!

Cats are the rockstars of instagram
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On social assets - reviewing Karma

A few days ago, I downloaded a new app called Karma. On the surface, it is an app that makes gift giving easier. Karma does this by taking your facebook data, and parsing words that suggest appropriate actions. For example, certain words suggest that your friend is having a tough time in life (family death) or is due for celebration (birthday). And Karma links these to ready-for-made gifts that you can send to your friend.

Peal back a layer, and you see that Karma is about connecting friends more easily and substantively beyond the means available through Facebook. Where Facebook connects by informing, Karma allows friends to connect more deeply through filtered info. Is that wise? The thing that sticks out most is ... why gifts? I'm not sure that the founders share a compelling answer.

However, I can see they have a great eye for design. I love the opening quote "only good things will follow."

See more info about this app and its founders in this interview by Techcrunch writer Colleen Taylor.