Scripting News


Will Twitter try to move mainstream?

Business Insider has looked at the road show for the Twitter IPO, and says slide 41 is the most interesting because it says that Twitter would like to be "mainstream." But their numbers show that it's used by elite newsmakers and journalists. Something I've been saying for a long time. It's at least a dress rehearsal for the way we'll do news in the future.

Why isn't this good enough? Does it have to be mainstream? Can't they find a way to make money even if it's primarily for newsmakers and news producers? Look at all the money Bloomberg made, with information designed for a much smaller group of the elite, stock traders.

Question for the rest of us, if Twitter as it chases the mainstream user, limits its utility as a news platform by -- for example -- navigating to where Facebook is, what's Plan B? Where will we congregate then?

With its growth slowing, and the public market certain to demand more monetization, it does seem possible for Twitter to try to navigate away from being an elite communication platform.

Twitter trying to be something new is risky, like Microsoft trying to make Windows into an iOS competitor.

 10/25/2013; 4:33:50 PM.

Obama's gullibility re tech and NSA

So if President Obama allowed to open in an unusable state, what are the chances that he correctly understands the supposed self-imposed limits on domestic spying of the NSA? The President is obviously a really bad tech manager. I think the chances that the NSA put one over on him are pretty good. The chances that they're getting serious oversight, practically nil.

Also, I am not a "liberal," and though I voted for Obama twice, I never consented to what they're doing with the NSA. Pretty sure McCain and Romney would not have been any better. (Understatement.)

 10/25/2013; 11:18:22 AM.

Men and multitasking

I read this BBC piece about a study that showed that women are better at multitasking than men. Which is of course a big "No shit, Sherlock."

I ran a company in the 80s, and learned then that projects that pulled together a lot of people and resources were generally better handled by women. Multitasking projects.

For example, if you asked a man to get the company to a trade show, or ship a product, there would be one really neat aspect of the event or product, and most other things would be left for the last minute, if they were dealt with at all.

Now, as a man, I can do multitasking -- if I have to. Because I am single, I have to deal with all the things that come with running a house, living a life. If I don't, no one else will. So the dishes get cleaned, the bills get paid, the tax returns filed, but all of it, by the skin of my teeth. Like everyone, I live with a lot of chaos, but I can push it aside and focus only on the things I care about.

I'd much rather spend a whole day solving a problem, writing a story or reading one, taking a long train ride, or just thinking about something until it's resolved. One thing done really well -- that's my "normal."

I've run four conferences, so I know I can multitask. I've also developed products that have taken years of concentrating, every day, all day, to the exclusion of everything. Iterating, puzzling, thinking, trying ideas out. It's highly creative work, but progress comes slowly. Just a little progress, and some days no progress at all. It can be discouraging, but if you know where you're going and you really want to get there, you don't give up. I am very stubborn that way. Sometimes with good results, but many times with nothing to show for it. Sometimes a whole year goes by with nothing to show for it.

Someday we will be able to handle stories about things men generally do better than women without having a huge eruption of rage. But for now, it's best to remind women that they do things better than we do, before asking them to consider there might be things we do better than them.

Do I think this is right? No of course not. I think we should love all of us for the things we do and don't do. For the things that make us who we are. We should tolerate ideas that we don't like, and try to learn from them. But that's not the world we live in, unfortunately.

Someday it will all be right... Until then,

Namaste and buongiorno!

A picture of a slice of cheese cake.

PS: As I get ready to publish this piece, just want to say it's fucking exhausting writing about myself as a man, trying to anticipate all the verbal violence that's going to come at me. But I do it because we have to go through this, get to a point where we all learn that we can survive men talking about themselves in a positive way.

 10/25/2013; 10:08:50 AM.

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