America’s First Internet Generation Presidency


P060509PS-1245
Originally uploaded by The Official White House Photostream

Oddly, I just discovered that the White House now has a flickr feed with high-resolution photos available for public viewing and civic use. Duh, of course a social media enabled campaign leads naturally to a social media enabled White House. Our political discourse takes a leap forward permanently (unless the next American President deletes all these social media accounts, or these social media services cease operations).

Wow, elementary school SHOULD be awesome now, assuming kids get to use digital media tools and the Internet to assemble commentaries and reflections with all this great material available for mashup (somehow, I fear we’re not even close to this at the moment).

CEO 2.0

CEO 2.0

This is the desk of Zappo’s CEO/founder Tony Hsieh. It may be a humorous jab at old-school images of CEO desks. But maybe it reflects the realities of the modern Internet-enabled organization and executive. Heck, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings doesn’t even have a desk/office/cube… just walks around to his meetings or sits in an empty meeting room with his laptop on the wireless network.

They’re all computer monitors now

They’re all computer monitors now

Back around 1991, at the dawn of the interactive media “revolution”, I made a silly vow that the largest video display in my home would always be a computer monitor. The line of reasoning was “everthing worthwhile would emit from a computer screen rather than a television screen”.

Now, 18 years later, the vow seems silly, but I actually kept it, and my thinking proved essentially correct. Because today, the largest and best screen in many of our homes is a flat-panel screen with a multitude of connectors for various video, computing and gaming (e.g. specialized computing) devices. Yeah, we can call it an LCD or plasma TV if we want, but we know it’s much more that that.

So I found it rather odd that this recent New York Times piece on why we no longer need TVs came so close to reaching a similar conclusion, yet unnecessarily backed off at the end.

Pre versus post Internet era mindsets

Pre versus post Internet era mindsets

Interesting essay by Bruce Schneier in the Wall Street Journal about Barack Obama’s right to use a personal PDA. The essay closes with an astute observation:

The Internet is the greatest generation gap since rock and roll. We’re now witnessing one aspect of that generation gap: the younger generation chats digitally, and the older generation treats those chats as written correspondence. Until our CEOs blog, our Congressmen Twitter, and our world leaders send each other LOLcats – until we have a Presidential election where both candidates have a complete history on social networking sites from before they were teenagers– we aren’t fully an information age society.

When everyone leaves a public digital trail of their personal thoughts since birth, no one will think twice about it being there. Obama might be on the younger side of the generation gap, but the rules he’s operating under were written by the older side. It will take another generation before society’s tolerance for digital ephemera changes.

Now I recall mulling over this same issue a couple of years ago…framed at the time as the “transparent versus opaque generation gap“.

Yahoo! Smart Ads still kicking

Yahoo! Smart Ads still kicking


Yahoo! Smart Ads still kicking
Originally uploaded by Lyndon Wong

Ironically gratifying to see Y! Smart Ads, the initiative I incubated with many wonderful collaborators, featured on this slide about Yahoo’s efforts to maintain a leadership position in display advertising. Part of a shareholder presentation, filed with the SEC in late June 2008, that argues to preserve the company’s present strategy, management team and board of directors.

Back to the Future: Netflix TV

Back to the Future: Netflix TV

As of an hour ago, Netflix and Roku unveiled a $99 little wifi-enabled box that brings Netflix to the television. This finally makes one of the original dreams of the broadband internet a pragmatic reality for the mass market (or at least that part of it with broadband in the home).

Here’s some screen captures of one of these devices in action with my personal Netflix queue:

Much like the Netflix service overall, the Netflix TV offering is refreshingly simple, easy-to-use, and grounded in the realities of what can be delivered today. It’s a reflection of everyone involved from Reed Hastings onward, and it’s part of what has made my first couple of months of employment at Netflix so enjoyable.

I look back a decade to my stint with the @Home Network and realize with some nostalgia, that I really have gone back to the future.