Friday 5 — 5.8.2015


No matter how much time I spend trying to do a respectable job managing my digital assets, I take a look at the state of my photos online and despair. If you feel the same way, these photo management tips are for you. The Instagram engineering blog performed a fascinating machine-learning analysis of the rise of a new language: emoji. Fun fact: a mere 38% of posts in the United States contain...

Friday 5 — 10.10.2014


Google has enhanced its search results with an “In the News” box. These results include blogs and other content sites that are not traditionally indexed as news. This would explain the travesty above, where a Chelsea blog is listed related to a search for Arsenal F.C. Here’s a thoughtful recap and lessons learned from the NYTNow and soon-to-be-shuttered NYT Opinion apps. Being...

Friday 5 — 5.16.2014


Foursquare begets Swarm, a mobile app that enables users to keep up and meet up with their connected friends. The check-in experience is largely the same, but new passive tracking allows for Neighborhood Sharing — which you can enable or disable with a swipe. Techcrunch describes the larger trend represented by Swarm and other invisible apps, as they move from a battle for the real estate...

Friday 5 — 5.2.14


For a few years now, Foursquare has felt like a location data layer in search of a business model. The company just announced a move toward a more explicit user value proposition by revising its core app and splitting off a new Swarm app — a social heat map that doesn’t require an explicit check-in. How can we stop wasting users’ time? Here are some practical ways to design...

Friday 5 — 4.18.2014


Now that we’re all shooting more photos and videos than ever before, Dropbox is hell bent on storing them for you. Dropbox knows there’s a high switching cost for moving all your personal stuff (hassle, trust) so they’re making it easy and appealing to store and share, particularly via mobile. And yesterday Dropbox purchased iOS photo app Loom to continue the offensive. This...

Friday 5 — 12.6.2013


Google Trends is a handy, visual tool for comparing topics by their relative search volume — see graph of search trends for Hong Kong and Singapore above. This latest release uses its vast historical data to offer dotted-line predictions of future search interest. Another useful feature: the algorithms now aggregate different searches likely to be related. Foursquare has released a new...

Friday 5 — 09.13.2013


So, the iPhone 5C/5S launched and turned out to be more evolutionary than revolutionary. Is Apple more about fashion than electronics these days? Infographics are everywhere, and their stepchildren “snackables” are likely clogging your social media stream. “Get me an infographic” has replaced “Make me a viral video” as the new top-down, digital/social mandate...

Friday 5 – 06.21.2013


Every Friday, find five quick links about compelling technologies, emerging trends, and interesting ideas. Source: the internet. Facebook, as widely predicted, rolled out a comprehensive Instagram video offering. Instagram opted for a 15-second format — practically longform compared to the mere 6-second Vine. Will 13 filters, editing capability, and a stabilization feature topple Vine...

Visualize your city with Foursquare checkins


Last week an analyst firm predicted that Foursquare will fail in 2013, citing (among other issues) low revenues despite 3 billion check-ins to date. As an early adopter, I agree that there’s a need to create value for the user, with more concrete benefit either in content (à la Yelp) or deals (for people other than Amex users). Other apps now make me more aware of others’ physical...

Tying transaction to check-in


The friction inherent to the foursquare check-in becomes a harder sell in an attention economy full of competing distractions – the value had better be high. Today, foursquare announced a partnership with OpenTable. Marrying the “Explore” feature’s social reviews by friends with the transaction and history of OpenTable’s reservation system is a big win, especially for travelers. It’s...

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