Nineteenth-century America concentrated on the uniform ethos of a smokestack economy: to be specialist, isolated, and self-directed in its world aims. Extractive industries and agriculture held dominion. A left-hemisphere sense of significant order held sway. The U.S. population was relatively small and determined to spread itself as far west as possible. Like James Fenimore Cooper’s Leatherstocking, Americans were always moving over the hill, through the forest, to the next clearing.Twentieth-century America, from now until about 2020, will not be engaged single-mindedly in raising crops or throwing up steel mills as much as nurturing people, in an inner-directed way largely as a result of legal and illegal immigration. Military adventure in Japan, China, Southeast Asia and Central America have brought about and will continue to be the source of continuous migrations to the American mainland, which will splinter the white Anglo-Saxon cast of U.S. government, education and business structures and create a salad-like melange of ethnic minorities without any single one being predominant.The recipients of this racial trek will be the supercities of the West Coast and Atlantic South, cities which have doubled or tripled in size as the United States passed through its century-old movement from country to city and air-conditioning has made year-round work possible.
Many extractive, agricultural, and low-level manufacturing industries — largely due to high labor cost — will be lost to Third World countries, transforming the United States and some part of of Canada into hard-scrabble competitors in the making of “high ticket” consumer goods, like consumer robotics and electric commuter cars. While a segment of the U.S. population will be educated and mentally attuned enough to become participants in high technology, most native-born Americans will be unprepared for the new consumer economy which will emerge, offering service-related jobs not always suited to their intelligence or training. Ethnic diversity will help to ignite a full-blown economy based on information exchange.The Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Arabs, Lebanese, Mexicans, Central Americans, and Indians who are washing up on U.S. shores by the tens of thousands, legally and illegally, will be well served by the new media technologies. Hundred channel systems will be divided up by culture and language. (Already a hundred and seven languages are being spoken in Southern California.) Videocassettes and videodiscs will spawn new markets for ethnic music, cinema, and stage productions. Regional banks will employ electronic means to create new lending and accounting methods geared to the minority traditions of handling money. Neighborhood schools, as in the last century, will be tailor-made linguistically. Whether rich or poor, the new ethnics, largely as a backspin against too rapid assimilation, will develop complex and self-intergraded barrios.Although most third- and fourth-generation Americans will be numbed by the coming changes, government and business leaders, with recent foreign backgrounds, will be quick to recognize one inescapable fact about U.S. cities: whereas in the past they were primary transfer and warehousing points for railroad, air and sea trade, by 1994 many principal cities will be gestaltic political conglomeratations of white, blacks, Asians, and Hispanics fighting with each other for what is left of the economic pie in a nation of declining birthrate of native-born Americans and aging white population. In many older cities, like Buffalo and Detroit, the tax base will have foundered due to loss of trade functions and heavy industry, prompting a furious competition for federal support.
Wednesday, November 02, 2016
Saturday, August 27, 2016
Iceland has a strong place in JSConf history. The second JSConf in the US was disrupted by the 2011 volcano the exploded behind a nearby Icelandic farm. Most airline flights between Europe and the US were cancelled for a week. Several speakers were stranded in the US and one speaker could not make it. This created an opportunity for Jed Schmidt to give an excellent, humous presentation and so a JSConf star was born. Over the years Jed has given back to the community with more talks at JSConf and helping to create one of the strongest local JSConf meetups in Brooklyn, New York. Brooklyn has now given back to Iceland as several of the speakers are Brooklyn alumni.
JSConfis also benefited from the JSConfeu. Many of the JSConfeu team were in attendance. They were mentors and two spoke. Only the JSConfis organizers can tell the full story of all the assistance. But as an example, I found out about JSConfis from a JSConfeu announcement.
Why did I attend JSConfis? I've been fortunate to have attend all eight JSConfus. I've also attended one JSConfeu. With JSConfus cancelled, I had planned to attend JSConfeu this year. However, when that too was cancelled for this year, I followed Jan's recommendation and bought a ticket for JSConfis. I'm so glad that I did because I was once again inspired by JSConf.
JSConfs provide a way to gauge community trends. React, which was introduced at JSConfus in 2013, has a major role. "Pivoting to React, at scale" by Tilde Ann Thurium provided hard numbers on improvements from using React. I complemented her on how her presentation scaled down from her 160 person shop to my one man shop. There were several other react talks which I could not attend. Simultaneously, in Salt Lake City, Utah, US, my friend Kevin Old was speaking at React Rally. So no doubt, I should study up on React - which I've said before.
Speaking of entertaining, with two musical interludes Visnu Pitiyanuvath talked and sang about "HSL: The RGB You've Been Waiting For." He convinced me. Liv Erickson's keynote on "Why you should care about the VR Web - and how to build it!" was convincing because of her personal passion for the technology. Perhaps it needs to be tempered by the "Laws of Media", but I will definitely explore this. David Khourshid convinced me in "Reactive Animations with CSS Variables" that I need to know CSS variables.
Not all the talks are covered above. Often it was a coin flip as to which track to attend which attests to the high quality of the conference. For example, I missed the talk by Azat Mardan who is also from Virginia in the US.
Again, the entire JSConf community should be proud of the team behind JSConfis. Thanks to everyone who made the conference possible and provided a great experience for me and my family. Congratulations on creating a great JSConf.
[Note: I'll come back to this post when I return home and add links to videos and presentations.]
PS Our family spent a week prior to the conference touring Iceland. Wow! It is beautiful and exceptional. This just enhanced our enjoyment of JSConfis.
Sunday, December 06, 2015
2009 - Looking back at the first JSConf one must marvel at the talks and the atmosphere. Magical describes about half of it. These are the talks that still influence me:
YayQuery’s Lunch Spectacular. Ryan Dahl on Less is More in Node.js. Dmitry Baranovskiy on Raphaël the Great which showed me that JS has no limits. And Steve Souders on performance.
Mary Rose Cook’s Fakery, AI, Collision Detection, a 2D Platform Shooter in JS may not hold up with time but I thought it was a great moment. I also liked Ben Combee’s talk on Enyo, an early framework which I enjoyed.
2012 - Now in warm Arizona with a great pool so my family came along. Jake Archibald’s Application Cache is a Douchebag was a stunning title and he just kept me on the edge of my seat. And lastly, Chris Williams and Avni Khatri discussed Diversity In Computing. A topic we are still dealing with and having more successes every year.
2014 - Kawandeep Verde’s Open Web Art showed that JS really could be used for art. Yet another way to be creative or express oneself. Jenn Schiffer’s What the Harm In Sorting was hilarious. The talk that had the most impact on me was Patrick Hamann’s was CSS and the Critical Path given at CSSConf. He proved a concept I’ve argued for embedding CSS and JS in the HTML page for performance.
[Update expected with links to videos and later about LastCall.]
Saturday, October 31, 2015
- What do you call an aligator wearing a vest? An Investigator!
- Why does Waldo wear stripes? He does not want to be spotted.
- Knock, knock. Who's there? BooHoo. BooHoo who? Why are you crying?
- Knock, knock. Who's there? Panther. Panther who? Pants or no pants, I'm going swimming.
- Why did the chicken cross the road? To go trick or treating.
- Why did the chicken cross the road? To avoid Chick fil A.
- Knock, knock. Who's there? Dishes? Dishes who? D'is the police, come out with your hands up.
- What did candy say to corn? Want to become candy corn?
- How does a mom dress up for Halloween? As a mummy!
- What did the skeleton waiter say after serving the food? Bone appetite!
- On Halloween, what did the bird say after knocking on the door? Twrick or Tweet!
- What did the teal crayon say to mom? I don't teal well.
- Knock, knock. Cashew. Cashew who? No thanks, I'd rather have a peanut.
Thanks to the woman who asked if I was from the midwest. I spent by trick or treat years in northern Indiana. She commented that in Iowa she was always asked to do something before taking a treat and loved the idea of the joke house.
Thursday, October 08, 2015
I worked at The Washington Post on the mobile web. This was the mobile browser version of The Washington Post and our job as a front end developers was to deliver the news as fast as possible for readers. We had some success and were pioneers in the off-line first efforts. Later work by both USAToday and The Guardian pushed performance even further getting delivery in under a second.
So I am very positive about Google's introduction of AMP. It is a great step forward for readers, journalism, news publishers and the web.
Disclosure: The project lead of AMP, Malte Ubl, is a friend. He is also the curator of JSConfEU which I have attended.
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
My view is heavily influenced by Marshall McLuhan. Perhaps the title should be "Vox is old media, the content of new media."
Let me know if there is any interest in seeing a prototype of a news site powered by a graph database where news and profiles get equal weight. I would be an interesting hackaton project at Startup Weekend DC - Media Edition
Erza Klein’s provocative article “Is media becoming a wire service?” contains a hidden subheading asking “Is the golden age of media innovation over before it’s even begun?” The answer to both is yes in the right context, but the real answer to about news media innovation is no.
Klien laments that his “new media” is “like the old media.” Vox.com and other new news media startups like FiveThirtyEight.com are just spin offs of The Washington Post and The New York Times. These startups were found by some great journalists (disclosure: I was a Washington Post web developer and colleague of some) who were constrained by the confines of the technologies of these newspapers. When they started anew the print edition was dropped but they kept the underlying technology. All news organizations publish using a Content Management System (CMS).
Vox Media’s Chorus is maybe a better CMS than Methode that The Washington’s Post uses. Chorus and some of the CMS enhancements by Greg Franczyk at The Washington Post improved the delivery of news on the web and in the internet. But in the end Vox.com like The Washington Post and most others are still CMS driven news organizations. Klein acknowledge’s this when using the term “on-platform”. On-platform news is not disruptive or significantly new. It may be better, but not new.
RSS is given a casual mention in the article and Klein infers that it is “nothing new”. I would strongly disagree. The vast majority of news organizations did not embrace Dave Winer’s RSS technology. First, few news organizations used RSS to distribute content. Most just feed out summaries because they wanted readers to click back to the platform. It should be noted that Vox.com provides full articles. Second, time and again Dave Winer has discussed the River of News on his blog and in NiemanLab. It would have been interesting to see a new organization make RSS their core technology instead of CMS.
Marshall McLuhan said “the content of any medium is always another medium”. He shows many examples of the content of new media is old media. This is Klein’s lament. Vox.com is becoming content for the new journalism medium of social feeds. [McLuhan is famous for saying The Medium is The Message, but he did not mean medium.com.]
Vox.com has a choice: Accept that Vox.com is old media which can be very profitable. Or innovate by embracing a core technology beyond CMS.
Reimagining the way we explain the news means reinventing newsroom technology…..The engine of those sites is a world-class technology platform, Chorus, that blows apart many of the old limitations. — Ezra Klein on announcing Vox is our next in January 2014.
Beyond the CMS News OrganizationThe environment, the circumstances for creating a truly, powerful new medium for news are present. Contrary to Ben Thompson’s dire conclusion on “Facebook Reckoning”, this is the perfect time for innovation as Robert Johnson describes in his book “Where Do Good Ideas Come From”.
To create a new medium instead of just self-describing a news organization as “new media”, the CMS must not be the core technology. A CMS can produce a better web site, but that is old media. A new medium must fully embrace a new technology.
Let’s discuss two givens. Melissa Bell at Vox.com was almost correct that “The home page is dead!”. She built one anyways. The home page really is obsolete, not dead. It should be an app which I called VoxDeck. Right now most home pages are very weak apps with the majority of code serving ads and business analytics. It should be an app for the reader, a personal dashboard for the news and personal information.
Second, the internet makes news sites into membership organizations. When Bezos bought The Washington Post the value was the audience or the members of the paywall (i.e., credit cards on file). Revenue from advertisers is in decline while member revenue is just starting. In the age of social media, members deserve and expect equal treatment.
This new medium will give personal profiles equal weight as news. In the organization the Membership Services Director will have equal resources as the Editor-In-Cheif. The app will be on many devices that sync and will use APIs into the profiles, ads, products, sources, stories and news. The backend is certainly a graph database like neo4j. Interestingly neo4j started as a CMS according to Emil Eifrem’s recent talk at Sweden House in Washington, DC. A graph database equalizes personal profiles and news data creating a relationship.
So Erza Klein can lament that Vox.com is old media and enjoy those profits. Or he can embrace that his readers’ profiles deserve equal company resources as the news. It will be interesting to see which path he and Vox Media take.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Thursday, July 09, 2015
Best song ever. Yes that was a period.
You must listen in headphones. My top players: Hendrix, Windwood and Casidy. A dream supergroup!
If you watch the DVDS you might yell at the screen "Call Steve Winwood! !!!"
Please listen in headphones. Anything else is mono. Or worse.
Friday, March 20, 2015
In this changed environment there are a few new terms to describe successful marketing methods. Reading these books about these methods will change your view of marketing. Note that the links are to my Amazon Associate account - that I rarely use - but I wanted a easy way to show the book covers. The books are:
- Hooked: How To Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal
- Traction: A Startup Guide to Getting Customers by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares
- Growth Hacker Marketing by Ryan Holiday
Nir Eyal's book and workbook are guides to building habit forming products. He examined many different companies including Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and others. This resulted in the Hook Model. The four components are: Trigger, Action, Investment and Variable Reward.
The book is recommended because with this model, you can examine any technology and see how small changes can make it habit forming and thus more profitable. One of the great aspects of the book is that he examines the ethical aspects of using this model. It is great to go viral but the profit is in customer retention which requires making your product a habit.
You can receive the workbook free by signing up for his newsletter. I bought the Kindle version.
|The Bullseye Framework will help you focus on the best method to get traction for your startup. The book has chapters on 19 channels (eg Viral Marketing, Pr, etc.). There are interviews with 40 founder about traction and case studies validate the work. Even if you've already decided on a channel, it is worth considering others.|
However, the book makes a convincing case to focus on one channel while the framework makes you consider all. It is a good exercise to really consider all as it helps define your product with some perspective. For my app viral marketing is my focus. The chapter on viral marketing helped with some specific suggestions on how to measure if the strategy is work.
The book's website will give you the first three chapters free when you subscribe to their newsletter. Also links to other reviews. I own the hard cover.
Growth Hacker Marketing
|Ryan Holiday comes from a marketing background and convinces us that Growth Hacking is replacing traditional marketing. He ties it into "Product Market Fit" in such a way that Product Market Fit now makes more sense. And I must now emphasis AB testing in my plans.|
More than any other blog, article or book, Growth Hacker Marketing validate for me that I'm on the right path in creating my apps. It is not "build it and they will come" but build it and growth hack it without the traditional marketing and advertising.
The book's website will give you a sample chapter and bonuses. There is also a course available. The author has also written an article on 99u called "A Creative Guide to Growth Hacking" which is a good synopsis of the book.
I own the softcover Revised and Expanded version.
So which book do you buy or start with? While I recommend buying all three, I've read them in the order presented above. However, I'd recommend starting with Growth Hacker Marketing.
Obviously, as you can follow the links above, there is alot about these topics available for free on the web, so in some sense the books are optional. But I highly recommend the ideas and concepts that they discuss. Happy growth hacking, getting traction and hooking your users.
PS The app I' working on is http://reading.email - a better way to read newsletters. In alpha.