Tag: social networks

Why “social” applications are no longer present on my phone

Yesterday morning I deleted Twitter for Blackberry from my phone. This follows elimination of the Facebook application a few weeks back. I do not have nitpicks against either software – both worked just fine for their intended purpose. I won’t denounce others’ use of this software, or any like it, either. This is a personal choice, based on trial and error, and reason.

When I’m away from my desk I’m usually doing one of the following: fly-fishing, driving, walking the dog, reading, sleeping, eating, or any number of other things that are either escapes from the daily grind or require my utmost concentration (i.e. the fishing). These activities are not particular conducive to mobile phone use in general, let alone receiving and sending updates from social networks.

Further, I originally tested these apps based on recommendation of a friend – one who uses an iPhone. This person’s original premise was it was great to have these social applications available when out. This was particularly the case if and when you were carousing about town and wanted an easy way to let your friends know where you were so they could join you. I hold this person in high regard, but they’ve since moved to a homestead in the middle of nowhere to, uh, be alone. So much for that theory.

Finally, I thank everyone who’s followed or friend-ed me on Twitter and Facebook. I appreciate the fact that you’re interested in what I’m up to, but I don’t think you want (or need) to know what I’m doing every moment of the day.

I’m much more interested in what you are doing – and what you have to say – anyway. It’s just that I can’t really listen when I’m behind the wheel.

MG signing off (to shut up and pay attention, except when casting)

Really important stuff you must worry about all weekend

Unless you are watching college hoops, playing with the kids, waxing the vintage auto, balancing the checkbook, vacuuming the rug, fly fishing, playing fetch with the dog, sharing a beautiful mountain sunset with a loved one, smoking a fine cigar, taking a backcountry hike, reading a classic novel, [UPDATE INSERTED AT THE REQUEST OF A VIP: ‘mapping with your GPS’] or any of the other useless stuff you might do instead of absorbing the following…

    Technology

  • Social networking is purportedly now more popular than email. I read the report, and it felt mostly like (yet another) Facebook sales pitch. Of course, if Nielson can’t sell the most popular social network on earth, I’ll bet Oprah can.
  • Google sales chief Tim Armstrong is leaving for the CEO post at AOL, and the move is generally being hailed as a good one (at least for AOL). There’s even speculation Mr. Armstrong will have his choice regarding keeping AOL under the Time Warner umbrella, or spinning it out. Either way, I believe one of Tim’s first moves is to find a growing property to rejuvenate AOL’s tired ship – I think that engine should be network of social networks Ning (logic to follow…later…maybe).
  • Finance

  • One trillion dollars is a heck of a lot of money, and it’ll seem that way to just about everyone except a government official writing checks against other people’s accounts that are already long overdrawn. Yep, one-thousand billion bucks, on double stacked pallets covering an area bigger than a football field. Visualize it here.
  • Value investor Ben Graham would think the S&P still too high, were he alive today. Further, that declaration was made by Bloomberg on Monday – the market chalked up a roughly 10% gain this week. Meanwhile, Nouriel Roubini already said there could be a suckers rally – maybe he’s not as tired as I thought he might be.
  • Fly Fishing

  • Bryan Gregson’s 15+ pound pig got a mention in Fly Rod & Reel – I say it’s about time. I was kind of surprised the Madison beast hadn’t generated a little more press, until I read the recent article. See…much as Bryan lives for the outdoors (i.e. he respects the streams, and fish he chases – and conveys it openly), that grand Madison brown died after the catch. It wasn’t bleeding at the gills, or beat with a bat and then slung on a grill. It fought the good fight, but simply couldn’t be revived. For that reason (death) publications shunned the story.
  •    And my take…

  • I’m beginning to notice a pattern: skilled anglers who just so happen to grasp the notion that fly fishing is a sport grounded in “the hunt” are putting up trophies, while a pack of panda-food-slinging, latte-sipping nancy boys jump to high-browed conclusions under cover of their keyboards. It is no wonder kids would rather play shoot-em-up video games than go outdoors – it’s genuine, unlike than the flavor of fly fishing the overzealous Gucci-elite would like to cram down their throats. The player gets a chance to comprehend finality, which is, in fact, reality.

Adieu.

Around the world in nine links flat – 03/05/09

World MapTechnology

  • Surprise – cyber-crooks are targeting Facebook. This is like shooting fish in a barrel, but Facebook participants won’t understand that until it’s too late. They are busy throwing up pages in a vain attempt to garner attention, and have to figure out that the barrel is already too big first.
  • Speaking of social networks, you only have five core friends anyway. The rest are, I guess, ‘fake friends’.
  • But if you still think you have more friends than that, Yahoo! is on their way to helping you stay caught up with them. It’s a collaboration with JS-Kit for access everywhere.

Finance

  • Everyone who disagrees with the present administration’s economic policies is now evil, at least in the eyes of Paul Krugman. Greg Mankiw is willing to bet hard money that the GDP forecasts being floated to justify the massive spending are, for the most part, bunk. Will Vegas take side bets?
  • The Fed is not only bailing out ‘unfortunate’ homeowners – now that third mortgages for widescreen TVs are passe, they are going to start funding credit card balances instead.
  • And just in case anyone is still wondering where the financial world is headed, let’s ask the world’s presently most popular prognosticator, Nouriel Roubini: Mr. Roubini, what say ye? The U.S. financial system is effectively insolvent. Ok, got it.

Fly Fishing

  • Science folks speculate that hunting trophies leads to smaller fish. There’s a lot of killing mentioned, which leads me to believe the studies may be funded by PETA. Meanwhile, down in the Keys, it’s long been known that the biggest bonefish reside in Islamorada specifically because so many trophy fish are released there during tournaments.
  • Speaking of Florida, high-income earners aren’t the only one’s who may be seeing tax hikes. Guides have long had an exemption from sales tax, but the state legislature is discussing a change to that. Ron Brooks notes (correctly) that not only will guide/charter fishing rates go up, but the bookkeeping will add additional burden to an already very hard working group of folks.
  • And finally…

  • The Roughfisher is ready for spring – it’s just that spring isn’t ready for him. Spring has been in and out of Colorado for weeks – we’d weep for the rough dude, but we’re too busy fishing. I’m not being spiteful, really I’m not.

Adieu.

Reversing the downward trend in fly fishing

A fly fishing geek’s disjointed broad brush perspective

Rods and reels too high priced? Cantankerous farts told one too many newbies how it must be done? Or is A River Runs Through It just last century’s metaphor?

It doesn’t matter which way you cut it, interest in fly fishing has been waning…

Google Trends - fly fishing

…at least as long as perennial search engine Google has been keeping tabs on search trends. Seasonality is quite apparent, and you really couldn’t say that news coverage of the sport is the issue – while there’s a little volatility it has otherwise been fairly steady.

Around the world, South Africans, Americans, and New Zealanders top the charts in fly fishing searches, with the Irish and Brits rounding out the top five.

Fly Fishing Regions

Among cities the US pounces, and the Denver metro area definitely has fish on the brain – Boise, Salt Lake City, and Portland follow.

Fly Fishing Cities

And note, the heaviest concentrations of the search term actually occurred in Montana, followed by Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado, and Alaska – no surprise, but the leader doesn’t have big population centers to garner it a city spot.

Still, the trend is disturbing.  As Matt Dunn noted after working in a fly shop for a while, knowledgeable catalysts can help:

I’m spent several years here exploring local creeks, finding access, finding fish, and now I have to tell every random person that wants to know where it all is. Well, at least where some of it is. This is necessary, of course, because without places to fish, people won’t buy tackle and flies and new Fishpond chest packs. And the more people fish, the more things they will buy. And this is good because, at least from one perspective, the more they fish the more passionate about fishing they will be and the more they will protect fisheries and the better those fisheries will be.

A chain reaction kicks off, and the benefits come on the back end.

The fishing mindset has always been about the top secret hole and the fly I’m not telling you about, and that must change. I think the discussion taking place amongst blogs, combined with information/social networks such as Fish Explorer and The Fin, are a step in the right direction.

What more is needed still escapes me, but it makes sense on all levels (personal, commercial, and environmental) for those of us who love the sport to find it.

male-brown-trout
Put a smile on someone’s face – tell them where the fish are. Ok, start with a hint?

News you gotta have to start your week – 1/19/09

Knowledge leads to success…sometimes

  • Wealthy men give women more orgasms – the statistically insignificant polling sample is going to lead to a lot of controversy, and a lot of men looking for second jobs;
  • Roughfisher Beast of the Year – this is an honor suitable for kings, and an idea for trouters who don’t know what to do with last year’s waders;
  • Cracking the (Social) Code – business speak, for anyone trying to figure out how to create a Facebook group for plastics extrusion or become the go to twitterer on CNC machining;
  • IFPI Says 95% of Music Downloads Are Illegal – they omit that the other 5% weren’t illegal because the songs were created with GarageBand;
  • And…

  • Jim Rogers Says Worried About Dollar, Favors China – I admire the guy, but still I wonder where Jim Rogers’ money already is.
  • Adieu.

    Stuff worth reading before 2009 (UPDATED)

    Take your time – you’ve got about 36 hours

    • Cheap cement is pouring into the US, and it’s creating headaches for Cemex, the largest US producer. Don’t feel sorry for them though – they’ve been pushing through price increases in the midst of plummeting construction. I wonder how this will effect the ‘replacement cost’ line on all those home refinancing appraisals being jammed through right now.
    • If you’re a skier, there’s hardly a better time to come to Colorado than now – snowpack is at 120% of normal. If you’re the fly fishing type, you might want to check clarity conditions before heading out this spring, and you may want to pick up another hobby for the first half of the summer – if this keeps up, we are going to be wading in chocolate.
    • If you just got laid off, there is no reason to lie about it. It’s hardly ever personal when the economy is in the tank, so talk it up – you might land that next job as a result. However, you could also discuss a made-up controversy designed to distract you from making next month’s mortgage payment, or log into the social network de jour so everyone knows you’re doing nothing but sitting in a coffee shop.
    • And…

    • If you are a hedge fund manager, just write 2008 off. If you were thinking about blogging for a living next year, forget about it. UPDATE: Ditto (i.e. I don’t think Denton is panicking – I think he knows his shit).

    Adieu.

    Post-Thanksgiving things to be thankful for

    A list not worth saving

  • I’m thankful one of my guests yesterday was an attorney.  He’s already threatened to sue me over my cooking and I need a good lawsuit to keep my mind off work this holiday season.
  • US investors should be thankful for the SEC. They’re keeping their priorities straight.
  • The fishing industry should be thankful that nobody weighed this roosterfish.  They’re gonna save a lot of endorsement money as a result.
  • Retailers should be thankful gas prices are plummeting.  Consumer confidence is on the rise, just in time for the holidays.
  • Social network addicts should be thankful they have so many online friends, and that getting rid of them is such a good laugh for the rest of us.
  • And…

  • Those that have written off the mainstream media and its associated lackeys as toddlers in constant need of a new binky should be thankful that there are still some real grownups around.
  • Adieu.

    Bye bye social network. Hello social networks?

    Facebook and MySpace are yesterday – Movable Type and WordPress are today? The next question is: how many bloggers are going to take on the task of trying to build and manage a base of social network constituents? Maintaining an audience is hard enough – getting them to consistently engage at disparate locations (based on their disparate interests) and manage that engagement is going to require a staff (or a more lucrative business model for bloggers than mere advertising). Nevertheless, it seems the technology is on it’s way.

    I have little experience with Movable Type (at least in the last couple of years – was once a licensee), but I played with WordPress MU on several different occasions, and not too long ago. The development community was a bit lighter than the single user install base, but there were plenty of interesting things going on there, including OpenID, user profile management, etc. And I found the ease of use paralleled regular WordPress (with just a few more kinks).

    Further refinement and branding of the technologies should attract some favor, and I suspect there will be a ton of folks tinkering around with the first clean release. However, Drupal has had social capabilities for some time, although I think part of the problem with adoption there was the complexity of the platform (i.e. working around that byzantine API). Nevertheless, whether anyone can build a competitive brand with companies like Ning around is just going to require less hacking and more marketing.

    End note: social networking and blogging process seems to be converging and diverging simultaneously. On one hand you have the developments above, yet at the same time you have ABC-list bloggers happily moving their conversations to places like Friendfeed and Twitter (and tiring of that too – funny how actual work can get in the way). And they’ve been allowing “second party” platforms such as Disqus and Intense Debate to collaborate from within on discussion.

    At once too many players vying to control over a very limited core audience? Not sure. But I am fairly certain that the incremental benefit of using the myriad of tools (or is that toys?) is far smaller than the amount of time everyone spends on them. Unless you own the platform…or get very very lucky.

    Tidbits to start the week

    Tidbits are small, until they grow up

    UPDATE (8/13/08): A week later Roubini is right.

    Does “cleaning house” portend widget backlash?

    VCs are doing it. Should you?

    It’s pretty obvious by looking at these pages that I don’t have much taste for widgets. Now, it seems, at least one blogging venture capitalist is taking widgets to task – cleaning them out because they slow down page loading time. While I’d like to say I’m a trendsetter, alas it’s really just a matter of having no time and/or patience to find useful, easy to use widgets to slap on the site. The ones I have found that are useful simply take too much time to create and/or maintain.

    [singlepic id=358 w=240 h=122 float=left]I would have commented on Mr. Wilson’s blog – maybe snarkily offering the New York venture capitalist my stylesheet – but the comment section didn’t load. I’m now wondering if it too is a widget of some sort.

    I’ve cursorily seen a trend towards cleaner blog pages, and web pages in general. Even one of Mr. Wilson’s own investments, Tumblr, is built on the idea of clean, easy to read pages full of content originating from the owner. Yet, widgets seem to be growing and thriving in places like MySpace and Facebook (and yes, I know all the junk on Facebook pages are called “apps” – sorry, but they look like widgets to me).

    Is there a shift in the midst – widgets coming off of personal/independent pages…finally finding their rightful place in social networks? Or are widgets beginning to join the ranks of the homeless?

    UPDATE: If social network widgets can’t start producing real revenue, extinction may be the foregone conclusion.