Sunday, July 17, 2016

Be careful who you poke fun at

One should be careful who one pokes fun at. Last week, I publicly made fun of folks wasting their time chasing Pokemon. To me it was like fiddling while Rome is burning.

Pokemon Go is really big. Like bigger than big. Data is emerging that shows the game is catching on more than dating, chatting with celebrities, all things social media. Even bigger than all professional sports combined. It’s hard to process how massive this phenomenon is - and growing. Reddit is one of the most-visited websites in the world.This graph shows the most popular subreddit (sections) on the website for the month of July. AskReddit (a subreddit where celebrities answer questions from the general public) had a staggering 38 million page views from 4.5 million unique visitors in the week after Pokemon Go was released.

See the dark blue line? That is the Pokemon Go subreddit, and the green line is AskReddit. The game wasn’t out the month before. That week after Pokemon Go this dedicated subreddit accrued 92 million page views from almost 8 million unique visitors.

Google Trends graph: the most frequently searched terms from January 2010 to the present day. The first green hump you see on the left there is Game of Thrones which jumps around the same time every year. The red line is ”Gangnam Style.” The purple line is Breaking Bad. The yellow line is the term “Trump” spiking around the time he won the New Hampshire primary. That giant blue line on the far right is Pokemon Go.

This graph shows Android phones that have Tinder installed versus Pokemon Go. New installs went viral. 

A game about chasing things that do not exist has now crushed an app that involves meeting new people and going out on dates.The app has shot past Tinder and looks to rival Twitter for dominance.

Not all countries can install Pokemon Go from the Google Play Store. 

Users are downloading the app’s APK file and loading onto their device via a very cumbersome process. People are doing whatever it takes to get the game and play the game. Despite these limitations, Pokemon Go is installed on over 7% of Canadian Android devices that are in use. 

I made fun of people running around outside chasing things that do not exist. Well the thing that DOES exist? The people doing the chasing. These people exist, big time.

I can’t wait to see what the next seven days does to these numbers. This is bigger than big. And it looks like it is speeding up with no signs of slowing down. I have yet to play the game but I am no longer ruling it out. Ah yes, be careful who you "poke" fun at. 

Maybe I can launch a game called "Eating Crow"?

Sunday, July 3, 2016

WHY us?

Simon Sinek "The WHY of the USA"

Two years ago, I did my Sunday blog during the Fourth of July holiday weekend, and I called it 

This morning, our good friend Simon Sinek of Start with WHY fame was my muse for today's holiday blog. If you have not watched Simon's talk, you should. Today is Sunday, tomorrow is a holiday. No excuses - go watch that talk before your next day at work. 

Why America is NOT the greatest country in the world, anymore?

Remember this one? HBO is a major media provider, so there is a good chance that you have seen "The Newsroom" series. YouTube says this video has well over 4 million views. So, if you are reading my blog, that you probably have seen this clip more than once. 

If you did not watch Simon's video above, and if you truly never watched the above clip from "The Newsroom" you can continue reading, but it will make more sense if you have watched them. So please, go ahead, I'll wait.

OK, ready?
I found this on the Internet. Now, some of you are cheering and shouting YES! And some of you are now violently ill. I get that. But let's break it down:
  • This "hat" assumes that we can "make" our country (or any country) great.
  • This "hat" assumes that our country once was great, but for some reason stopped being great, but (have no fear) it can be fixed and made great again (like we took a wrong turn on our family vacation, while driving to Yosemite).
  • Did anyone actually look up the definition of the word again before they made this hat?

Examples from Cambridge (get it?  USA <> UK? Oh never mind...) Dictionary Online:

  • If you think it's wrong, cross it out and write it again.
  • "I never want to see you ever again, " he shouted as he stormed out of the house.
  • I'm not going to let him repair my bike again because he made a really bad job of it last time.
  • I was very nervous about driving again after the accident.
  • If the phone lines are busy, please try again later.

From what I can see, the word "again" is often associated with errors. Mistakes. Negative experiences. Experiments gone wrong.

The Great Experiment is often a reference to the United States. I love the word experiment. A procedure undertaken to make a discovery, test a hypothesis, or demonstrate a known fact.

Two years ago, I blogged on "Dependence Day" in an attempt to tie all things technology to our everyday world. You would not be reading this blog it were not for the Internet. You would not have HBO, or YouTube, or the iPad or laptop or tablet that you are using to read this post (hopefully from the beach). Colleges and Universities would not be "in the cloud" and there would be no Telemedicine, no Netfllix, no Uber and certainly no self driving cars. 

If it were not for "The Great Experiment" of the USA, we would not have 99% of the things that we take for granted. Sure, many other countries might have followed our path. Many others might have eventually went to the moon, and cured polio, and invented the laser. But we did it. The USA. The land of the free, the home of the brave. 

And with our "laboratory tools" such as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, our WHY, our HOW and our WHAT have become an amazing talk with "Ideas Worth Spreading". 

I'm not sure if America needs fixing. I'm not sure if it was ever broken. I am not sure if it was ever great, or if ever stopped being great. What I am sure of is this: I'm glad it exists. 

Is a good thing? I think so. I guess someone out there probably hates and says it is a terrible idea. But for me, the fact that was created, the fact that was "born" and that then "spread" is a good thing. It was a good experiment.  

We should always seek out and support and spread the good experiments. But the only way to get to the "good experiments" is to go through the pain and suffering of the bad ones. 

And now, through the miracle of "The Internet" (Thank you, USA) here are the last minutes of "The Newsroom" to bring it all home for you. Enjoy. 

What makes America the greatest country in the world?
You do.

The Internet is the global system of interconnected computer networks that use the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to link billions of devices worldwide. It is a network of networks that consists of millions of private, public, academic, business, and government networks of local to global scope, linked by a broad array of electronic, wireless, and optical networking technologies. The Internet carries an extensive range of information resources and services, such as the inter-linked hypertext documents and applications of the World Wide Web (WWW), electronic mail, telephony, and peer-to-peer networks for file sharing.
The origins of the Internet date back to research commissioned by the United States federal government in the 1960s to build robust, fault-tolerant communication via computer networks.