soon after his time with Saarinen, Woods turned toward entirely theoretical, experimental architecture that often created more impact in its virtual state than real buildings in real cities ever could. Some compare his work to science fiction, because it resisted being fixed in the now and was always traveling past boundaries to what possibly could be
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: Instagram, Tango, Shazam, maybe 2 or 3 others (Games drive short-term revenue but don’t get me started on that topic – sell a billion $0.99 games with 30% taken off the top by Apple/Google and you now have the equivalent revenue of a Call Of Duty opening weekend). Take Path, one of the most promising mobile-first startups. I don’t want to rag on them because I love the app, but it’s just a good example. Color would also work well. With 5-10 million downloads, Path has retained less than 200,000/users a day according to AppData. You can also check their download rank in the Social category and see that it has dropped from 5 to 94. That’s anywhere between 2 and 4% retention and a couple hundred downloads a day. Even if that’s wrong by 5x or 20x, it still doesn’t make sense as a business for many years. A boutique social network user is not exactly the type of person to click on an ad.
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. You can fix a critical bug that crashes your app on load 15 minutes after discovery (See Circa). You can show 10 different landing pages and decide in real-time which one is working the best for a particular user. You can also close a viral loop: A user can click an email and immediately be using your app with you. You can’t put parameters on a download link and people don’t download apps from their computer to their phone. 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, as is with Google. In addition, the experience of signing up for a service is superior in every way. Typing is easier. Sign-up with OAuth is faster. Tab to the next field. Provide marketing alongside sign-up as encouragement. Auto-fill information is a feature in every browser. 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
A very, very smart analysis of why web-first is better for the entrepreneur, the investor, and — ultimately — for the user.
“Boilerplate disclaimer copy for use of in-store data-capture surveillance” – adamgreenfield
Gamasutra> A year ago I had no knowledge of the skills necessary to develop games, but I’ve self taught everything required to create a huge 2D puzzle game, from coding to art & VGM. In this series I’ll share the ways I’ve found most efficient to learn quickly. http://goo.gl/dIXzf #games #AltNate
I did end up making a working cloth RFID tag. This is a 2×3 inch iron-on patch with an antenna coil made of conductive thread. I sewed the bulk of the antenna by machine (and it would have been thicker if my thread hadn’t broke) then I did the more intricate bits by hand. The antenna itself is actually conductive only on one side, since I had insulating thread in the bobbin. I ran the conductive thread back from the outside of the coil to the center of the tag by sewing on the opposite side, so as not to short-circuit the coil. The black blob is an ATtiny85 microcontroller in a SOIC-8 package. In this tag, I attached the chip to the antenna using conductive epoxy. In my next prototype, I’ll probably use crimp beads as Leah Buechley suggests. The antenna should also really use more ‘turns’ of thread. This tag works with my Parallax RFID reader, but the range is only a few millimeters. On the right is a larger coil I was sewing for practice. This one would have been larger too, but I had problems with the thread breaking. I plan to make more prototype RFID tags, both to practice my sewing and to try and increase the range. (via Soft RFID tags and cuddly plushies : scanlime)
“The First Use of OMG was in a 1917 Letter to Winston Churchill” (via Smithsonianmag)
Under the current conditions of debt and exposure, nation-states can’t bear to admit their abjection, can’t bear that they have become mere supplicants for the wealth that they have allowed to become privately held on behalf of a spectral growth on whose tithing the state has come to depend. The Euro-American state is a cowardly lion, a weeping bully, a plaintive lover to finance capital. It cannot bear to admit that, having grown its own administrative limbs to serve at the pleasure of the new sovereign of privatized wealth, that the wealthy feel no obligation to feed the state. So the state bails out banks and tells the polis to tighten up, claiming that the people are too expensive to be borne through their state, which can no longer afford their appetite for risk. They are told that they should feel shame for having wanted more than they could bear responsibility for and are told that they should take satisfaction in ratcheting down their image of the good life and the pleasures to be had in the process of its production. The affective orchestration of the crisis has required blaming the vulnerable for feeling vulnerable; not due only to a general precarity but also to the political fact that there is no longer an infrastructure for holding the public as a public. The public must become entrepreneurial individuals. All of the strikes and tea parties in response to the state’s demand for an austere sacrifice under the burden of shame tell us that this incitement for the public to become archaic as a public is not going down too easily.
Affect & the Politics of Austerity
An interview exchange with Lauren Berlant
Ms elektro… is onto something special today in calling our attention to this interview. I have now subscribed to Lauren Berlant’s blog. I did not know of her before this. Here’s the last bit of the interview:
To make possible the time and space for flourishing affective infrastructures, of grace and graciousness, such as those I’ve described could make happiness and social optimism possible not as prophylactic fantasy or credit psychosis but in ordinary existence. All of the hustling that goes on amongst the working and non-working poor and the generally stressed has to do with the desire to coast a little instead of work and police ourselves to death. But right now there’s not a lot of easy coasting going around outside of the zones of disinhibition that provide episodes of relief from the daily exhaustion, and people seem to think that if they’re policed, if they’re always auditioning for citizenship and social membership, so too should others be forced to live near the edge of the cliff and earn standing, the right to stand. Welfare used to be called ‘relief’. ‘Relief’ must have said much more than it was bearable to say about the capitalist stress position.