Focused needs Unfocused

Just read a good post by Seth Godin about traffic hitting your website.

This is a truth of the Internet: When traffic comes to your site without focused intent, it bounces.
75% of all unfocused visitors leave within three seconds.
Any site, anywhere, anytime. 75% bounce rate within three seconds.

His point is that it’s not important how many hits your site gets but how engaged your readers are. I agree. Quality over quantity. Got it.
Unless you are Digg, where these one-hit-wonder links are at the core of it’s business strategy. They could also have deep and engaging links in there too, but it doesn’t really matter to Digg. Digg feeds on links, links of all kinds.
Digg takes these fleeting links to the extreme by providing data visualization tools in Digg Labs.
Digg makes the unfocused its focus.
Yin needs Yang.
You get the idea.
screengrab: Digg Stack
screengrab: Digg BigSpy
screengrab: Digg Arc

Stupid questions do exist

From the Dallas Morning News: Why doesn’t Microsoft out-innovate Apple?
First off, what the hell is in the water in Texas? Either the writer is extremely dumb, or they published this “blog” post just to get a lot of comments (and you’ll see there’s a lot).
The writer ends the piece by answering his own question. Yes, innovation has nothing to do with how much money you pump into a company, or a department. Also, giving a company an ‘innovation lab’ does not infuse them with forward thinking.
Innovation comes from the DNA of a company. It has to start from leaders and weaves through everyone else in that company. Innovation can never come from the other direction. Innovation cannot stem from a junior level employee and spread throughout the company and all the way up to senior management.
As a hypothetical – transplanting Jonathan Ive from Apple into Microsoft will not help Microsoft spawn a breakthrough product. The only think it will help spawn is an angry mutant version of Ive.

just observing

I was out this weekend in Central Park and then I decided to go downtown, to one of the places I usually dread going – Broadway in SoHo.
What made Broadway tolerable for me was the fact that I had no destination. I was not there to buy anything, just to grab shots of all the consumers.
The complete set, NYC 4.19.2008
people at the reservoir, central park
blonde on broadway
stripe girl on broadway


Samsung skips the touchscreen, patents gesture-based phone interface
Microsoft adds twist to handhelds with force-sensing technology
So Samsung is working on gestures, and Microsoft is working on force-sensing.
Is everyone already throwing in the towel on multi-touch interfaces?
Listen, as happy iPhone owner, I know from experience that Apple has created a paradigm – but not the paradigm for multi-touch interaction. There’s a lot of room for more innovation within this realm.
Don’t be desperate
It’s one thing to jump into a new technology out of desire, but it’s another thing to do it out of desperation.
Most people will agree that has created one of the paradigms for e-commerce. If you’re developing a e-commerce site, be sure to spend a lot of time on to understand how one of the masters does it.
Now image if every company selling products online decided to completely change the e-commerce model, not because shopping carts and recommendation weren’t working, but just to do something different.
When in doubt, copy the shit of out the competition
When companies aren’t trying to come up with the next, new, new thing out of desperation, they seem to be straight up, blatantly copying the competition. It’s easy to do this. Innovation is risky and it costs a lot of money. By bypassing the whole, silly ‘innovation thing’, you can save a lot of time and money.
What you don’t bypass is looking like a jackass to the whole industry.
Hell, I’m just going to start copying the work of group94 because I think they’ve established the only way to creative engaging Flash websites.
What you’re missing out on
While you’re trying to out-innovate or copy the achievements of other companies, you’re missing out on a great opportunity to compete by creating meaningful work.
We’ve barely scratched the surface of multi-touch interfaces. Companies should be jumping on the opportunity to create new paradigms in this field (and modifying existing ones).
The LG Voyager. The Samsung F700. The LG Prada.
These aren’t phones, they’re Canal Street rip-offs.
Let’s start making some real work.

No Meds Necessary

For about two years, I’ve had to deal with sharp pains in my legs and feet. This wasn’t muscle pain, it felt more like it was coming from my nerves.
About 2 months ago, I decided to go to the doctor to this condition diagnosed. My doctor told me it was RLS – restless leg syndrome. RLS is sort of a distant ‘cousin’ of Parkinson’s (but in no way debilitating, more of an annoyance). He prescribed me a drug called Requip. I started taking Requip and it helped alleviate the pain. One of the side effects is that is makes you drowsy, so I would only take it before bed.
Then, two weeks ago, I decided it was time to get back in shape so I began running around the Reservoir in Central Park after work. Like any good exercise regime, I’m always sure to include a solid amount of stretching before, during and after my workouts.
Since I’ve started running again, I’ve stopped taking Requip and I’ve noticed the pain in my legs and feet have almost completely disappeared.
I’m not saying this is the solution to anyone dealing with RLS (or RLS symptoms), I’m just saying that drugs are only one of many solutions to health ailments.
The Reservoir in Central Park

Nice Euphamism

Ballmer Calls Vista ‘A Work In Progress’ (via)

In the modern era of regular online updates, most pieces of software are effectively works in progress, even after their release. But Ballmer’s use of the phrase is surprising, because to most people it would tend to connote “something unfinished,” said Michael Gartenberg, a Jupiter Research analyst.
“It’s hard to imagine that a comment like that is the type of thing that is going to instill greater confidence” about Windows Vista in the minds of companies and individual PC users, he said.

Wow. It sounds like Ballmer is taking cues right from the Iraqi War playbook. Both are ‘works in progress’, right?
Why don’t you have the balls to call it what it is – failure on an epic scale*.

*please note I am in no way saying Windows Vista is comparable in damage to the War in Iraq, I’m merely comparing the use of rhetoric.