Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Google Wave

Six tiny words that adequately defines my opinion of Google Wave: "too many features with no direction".

When I was first invited to play with Google Wave, I was all excited about it but immediately became overwhelmed with the sheer amount of features it had. It had features like my instant messenger. It had features like my email. It had features like a PowerPoint presentation. The problem? I needed to relearn everything. Again.

Then came the question of who the software was built for. Who were the target demographics? Who benefits from using this software? These things are relevent because the majority of people aren't creative enough to figure out how their lives can be enhanced by these tools.

To this day, I've yet to figure out the full benefits of Google Wave. Perhaps I will play with it again some time, but by then, it probably won't be around.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


Since I come from a background of several different cultures, it shouldn't be any surprise that the music I listen to and the films I see aren't necessarily isolated to North American media. My iTunes has an array of music spanning North America, Europe and Asia. From my experience with iTunes, there doesn't seem to be any simply way of organizing my media based on my chosen preferences.

I have jazz music performed by Taiwanese artists. I have pop music from Hong Kong, Hiphop in Korean, and even triphop where the lyrics are a mixture of Japanese and French. iTunes will only allow the music to be categorized into one "genre". How silly is that? Is it possible to organize the film "The Dark Knight" into just one category? Science fiction? Suspense? Crime? Drama?

At the moment, there are independent taxonomy projects on the web where groups of developers are forming standards that can allow developers to create software which will easily talk to each other. iTunes hasn't changed much in terms of features but I'm hoping Apple will consider giving users the ability to organize their collected media.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Scaling strategies

One of the things that upset me when reading articles written by "social media experts" is how they look to established platforms, like Facebook, and derive strategic conclusions that only work for powerhouses like Facebook. Rarely will I find authors who take into account the size of a company.

A small web development studio creating simple scripts can be seen as an independent startup trying to provide frontend tools to the public. A large web development company, like Facebook, developing the Javascript behind the "Like" feature? They're not creating tools; they're creating a search engine.

With the successful proliferation of Facebook's "Like" feature on tens of thousands of websites, I'd say they now have a very rudimentary search engine which is driven by user promotion rather than (Google's) keyword ranking. Regardless, Google has some insanely smart people on their team. I'm waiting to see whether Google retaliates.