This is the story of how an unlikely threesome—a girl, a heavy metal band and their fans — pioneered the web at its infancy, bucked the status quo and proved that the Internet wasn’t a fad.
It’s 1994. I’m working at Capitol Records in Hollywood, California.
With 150 million users sharing 16 billion photos and liking a billion of them every single day, Instagram is getting to be a more and more crowded platform. As such, if you want to stand out, it’s getting harder and harder.
After analyzing over eight million images, Curulate found the common elements of shareable, likable Instagram images.
I hope that I have a few more years left before I come to die, but I have gotten incalculable pleasure from not owning a cellphone, even if I never did make it, as Thoreau did, to the woods. But in a few weeks, I will buy a phone. I am scared. I am afraid of losing a small part of my identity, goodbye to No-Phone Gary, cousin to Dial-Up Dave, wherever you are. I’m afraid of becoming rude, of placing my phone faceup on a restaurant table, or playing "Words with Friends" at a funeral because the deceased did, after all, like words and have friends.What I’m most afraid of, though, is becoming a tool of my tool, of having one less weapon in the never-ending battle to protect—to paraphrase Saul Bellow, another hero—the territory of my consciousness. I have intentions to be a different kind of smartphone user. I’ll use it only when I travel. At home, I’ll stow it far away from me, in a terrarium, with a snake. I’ll never text.
Q: Let’s jump right in. How do you do business in 2013?
A: As crazy as it might sound, I run my entire business off of my iPhone, meaning that my audience can reach me directly by e-mail, text, and phone. I believe that that level of direct interaction is far more valuable than interaction on what I consider to be passive social-media channels like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
Q: When did you come to that realization?
A: Two months ago.
Q: So, up until two months ago, you believed in the power of Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to reach your fans?
A: Up until two months ago, I did not believe in them. I wasn’t getting the results I wanted from any of them. I was looking at my numbers. I had 550,000 Twitter followers and eight retweets. Or if I had something pseudo profound to say, a hundred-plus retweets. And I’m like, There’s no way that this is engaging. There’s no way that this is effective. There’s no way that this is a good use of my time. It was valuable to Twitter.
Like dozens of other brick-and-mortar retailers, Nordstrom wanted to learn more about its customers — how many came through the doors, how many were repeat visitors — the kind of information that e-commerce sites like Amazon have in spades. So last fall the company started testing new technology that allowed it to track customers’ movements by following the Wi-Fi signals from their smartphones.
Twitter has quietly opened up its various analytics tools to the public, giving everyone access to in-depth data about the people and brands who follow them, as well as the performance of their most recent tweets.
Since testing can amount to as much as 10 percent of a mobile development budget, this headache can quickly avalanche into a disaster without the right direction and tools.
So what options are available to help companies get through this frustrating period before launching a mobile application? It’s easiest if you consider the four types of testing — unit, functional, data, and user experience — as building blocks that can be put together to create more comprehensive testing.
Kids aren’t leaving social networks. They’re redefining the word “social.” Rather, they’re actually using the word with the intent of its original meaning: making contact with other human beings. Communicating. Back-and-forth, fairly immediate dialogue. Most of it digitally. But most of it with the intent of a conversation where two (or more) people are exchanging information and emotion. Not posting it. Exchanging it.
That’s “social.” That’s why they’re increasingly skipping over static, interface-based URLs and apps in order to define “social” as messaging services.
For once the kids get it, and we don’t. Hats off to you, kids. Metaphorically, not literally. Keep your hats—and all of your other clothes—on. Please. Especially if you’re thinking of using Snapchat.