Lurking on Twitter

As an update to my post on abandoning social media channels, I recently started "lurking" (e.g. reading but not posting) on Twitter. More than a few folks suggested this is how they use Twitter. They selectively follow people they want to keep up with, but never post.

I like this technique so far. I'm slowly following people whose knowledge about non-political topics I love to read. This is the thing I've always loved about Twitter and missed when I completely left the platform.

Beta tests create relationships, not email lists

Some time ago a colleague recommended Superhuman, an email client in beta. I read up on the product, got very interested, and signed up for their beta. It clearly stated that they are working closely with every new tester, so entry into the beta program might be delayed. I understood this and waited.

and waited. and waited. and then I forgot about it. and lost interest.

Why do companies leave their "door" open in terms of beta test application? I can think of a few reasons:
The company is using the beta test application process as a proxy for customer demand by capturing as many names as possibleThe company plans to expand their beta program in waves and needs many potential testers for later stages of the programThe company is aggressively filtering candidates and will likely remove most applicants, therefore requiring a large initial candidate poolThe company is not being smart about their beta program The first (#1) is often to appease VCs who want to find some metric to d…

Everyday Carry: iPhone X

Everyday Carry builds on a popular theme of exploring the items that travel everywhere with us. My modification is to only explore objects I've carried and used regularly for at least three months. If it doesn't have scratches and/or a patina, it doesn't make it here.

Starting Everyday Carry talking about the iPhone X feels like the beginning of an endurance race. Everyone starts in the same place and time, but we'll separate as time goes by. Same is true of the iPhone X; many seem to carry one but I'll explore more distinct objects as time goes by.

I'm less of an Apple fan boy than I was in the past, so I do buy Android phones on occasion to see if one can dislodge the current iPhone in my pocket. I use Google's core services so at some level it is ironic I use an iPhone. iTunes used to be an ecosystem bind between me and the iPhone, but that has eroded to near irrelevance due to iTunes's well documented shortcomings. The net-net is that I carry an iPh…

Social Media

I deleted my Facebook account many years ago. I felt well connected to friends and current events on the then young Twitter (fail whale era) and felt Facebook was redundant and a bit superfluous. Until recently, this seemed like a point decision.

Last week, I stopped using my Twitter account and deleted my Instagram account. Today I deleted all of my old blog posts. The tipping point was watching the Black Mirror episode Nosedive.  The episode crystallized many feelings I've been having about social media:
Social media was designed by very smart people to create an addiction loop. I simply could not stop checking Twitter when I had a free moment. It had gone from a tool to keep up with close  friends and topics of interest to a full blown data addiction. I use the word data instead of information or intelligence by choice. Social media, in my opinion, has transitioned to a flood of data I find overwhelming yet compelled to try to digest, curated by someone or something I don't …