But having an Instagram account is like having an abundance of money in a dead currency. So much nostalgia and meaning have been shoveled at us that the aesthetic has lost much of its ability to affect. Merely making your photos evocative of photo scarcity doesn’t make them actually scarce or make others covet them. There’s a deep mismatch between the aesthetic language of Instagram and the affordances of the network. Despite all the manufactured nostalgia, your photo disappears down the stream, largely unnoticed.
Sidenote: Seems like the permanence of images (Flickr) vs (Instagram) the impermanence of images (Snapchat) is on a lot of people’s minds today. It’s a huge divide and proponents are both sides are drawing lines in the sand.
I’m having a hard time switching between my ‘nice’ camera vs my phone, going back into my camera roll for images I took months ago - images that deserve some reflection, between keeping around ‘ugly’ images that I had taken just in the moment (receipts, dimly lit bar funnies, ugly food shots, jokes) and nice shots when I travel or am on photowalks, between synching everything into Dropbox, Drive, or Facebook vs keeping images on my hard drive, between storing the increasing visual detritus that I accumulate and have little use other than links on Twitter or Tumblr — the floaty world between communication, documenting, curating and self-expression… I’m not even going to get into how I want to edit my past; services like Timehop only increases the feeling that I not only have to maintain my current digital image, but also now I need to get a handle on my past.
I’m having a hard time. Anyone who thinks photosharing is solved is nuts. We’re just getting started - because The Image is still the single best medium to get meaning - whether it’s narratives or moments or reactions or commentary - across in the digital world, it means that we’ll continue to generate more images: the problem is how to make sense of it all.
Some recent writings I’ve noticed:
In reponse to Fred Wilson’s post:
First, I think you can’t abandon mobile. It is the future like it or not. And second, I think it is critical to design for mobile first and then build a web companion.
Which was a response to a post I really enjoyed last week from Vibhu Norby:
We want to place our chips where we believe we have the best chance of succeeding based on our theories and data. For us, mobile is not that place, which is why our new product is going to be launching web-first in the next couple months, with mobile as a companion app. We are taking a big bet on the web and the Internet in general, as you’ll see by how it functions. We are also going revenue-first because we believe in privacy and we’re willing to trade a smaller, slower-growing audience for it.
Here are some consumer companies who I wished had a mobile first product, cause they would totally rock.
… Wow, it was actually really hard for me to come up with companies who aren’t building mobile as their primary platform even if they should. Instead, I can think of lots companies I respect who are mobile-awesome:
What’s more interesting are companies that evolved to kick ass on the web, and their opportunities on mobile isn’t clear cut. Transferring everything you can do on the web to the mobile screen is a recipe for bloat and a messy incoherent product. They all have great mobile apps and I’m curious to see how their mobile footprint plays out, because they have opportunities to tweak and selectively dice up their ecosystems in wonderful ways (or even go in a new direction) depending on the platform.
All in all, mobile service apps turn out to be a horrible place to close viral loops and win at the retention game. Only a handful of apps have succeeded mobile-first… You have an entirely different onboarding story on the web. You can test easily, cheaply, and fast enough to make a difference on the web… Without the barrier of a download + opening the app to try your product, you can prove value to the user immediately upon their first impression…. The open eco-system of the web and 20 years of innovation has solved many of the most difficult parts of onboarding. With mobile, that kind of innovation is lagging significantly behind because we create apps at the leisure of two companies, neither of which have a great incentive to help free app makers succeed.
- Vibhu Norby, Why We’re Pivoting from Mobile-first to Web-first
Some contrarian thinking about product development. Well worth a read vs the “me-too” commentary from the major tech blogs.
A wonderful application to add to your iPhone when you want to find something really fun and spontaneous to do. Great for families, date ideas and anyone who likes to try new things. I would highly recommend it!
I sometimes forgot that I did this a while back. Oh, the early days of the App Store. cc @christenduong
Fuck yeah for building things (even if you look back and know all the things you should’ve done).