December 12, 2010

Michael Mace has a very nice post about what you might call "Peak Customers" (by analogy with Peak Oil).

Time passes, and that middle portion of the market gets consumed. Eventually demand growth starts to drop, and you make another price cut. Sales go up again, sometimes a lot. With revenue rising, you and your investors talk proudly about the benefits of reaching the "mainstream" market.

...

What you don't realize at this point is that you're not "reaching the mainstream," you're actually consuming the late adopters. Unfortunately, it's very difficult to tell when you're selling to the late adopters. They don't wear signs. Companies tend to assume that because the adoption curve is drawn as a smooth-sided bell, your demand will tail off at the end as gradually as it built up in the beginning. But that isn't how it works. At the start, you are slowly building up momentum from a base of nothing. That takes years. But by the time you saturate the market you have built up huge sales momentum. You have a strong brand, you have advertising, you have a big distribution channel. You'll gulp through the late adopters really rapidly. The result is that sales continue to grow until they drop suddenly, like a sprinter running off the edge of a cliff.

December 10, 2010

More on enterprise iPad :

An informal survey of more than 5,000 Citrix customers point to the popularity of the iPad among businesses and the enterprise, and to the still spotty response by IT management for access to company resources.

Support within organizations appears strong: some 72 percent of respondents said they currently have access to corporate resources.

More than 60 percent of respondents said they were prepared to purchase an iPad for work. Company purchases of iPads came to 43 percent.

The number of people depending on the iPad and using it daily (46 percent) is remarkable given it’s only been on the market for 7 months. In fact 13 percent say the iPad is mission critical for their job. If a business can increase employee productivity and respond faster to customers, the payback can be significant.

The look on the upside is revealing: 88 percent said the iPad increases the means to work remotely, whether at home or “anywhere.” A close second place was the iPad’s help in increasing productivity and computing satisfaction. And more than half of respondents (59.3 percent) said that it allowed access to business applications and documents while keeping data secure. Perhaps this last item is all about the remote wipe capability of the iPad.

Some respondents (32 percent) appear to believe they can do without some other computing devices (likely notebooks). A similar number believe that the friendly iPad needs less tech support than PCs.

December 09, 2010

Umair Haque puts out a great post about wikileaks. I'm quoting a chunk here. But read the whole thing.

Consider just how moribund yesterday's institutions are when it comes to information collecting and sharing. Take transparency in corporations. It's built on a set of institutions crafted in and for the industrial age — like annual and quarterly reports. Four times a year, boardrooms publish updates to their accounts, and once a year, a hefty report explaining and discussing them.

Now ask yourself: does that make even a tiny sliver of sense in a world where I can trade equities from nearly any beach in the world, hundreds of times a minute, using my iPhone? It's an obsolete institution, where my demand for information — to analyze, synthesize, and integrate — has vastly outstripped the capacity to supply it. Hence, stocks froth up and down before and after earnings report releases. When I can't get new information from the horse's mouth, I rely on your opinion, the latest rumor, or what talking heads are paid to say. Result: boom, crash, rinse, repeat. But the real question is one of institutional obsolescence. Why, for example, can't we have continuously updated earnings releases — that let us see what companies are earning in real-time — for a continuously connected world?

Sure: there's a balance to be struck between confidentiality and disclosure. But I'd argue that we're not even close to discovering it. Right now, yesterday's organizations — from corporations to Congress — have a gaping, yawning disclosure gap: the how, what, why, how and when of disclosure simply isn't good enough for markets and communities to be able to allocate and utilize resources productively or efficiently. That's why the traditional understanding of everything from GDP to "jobs" to "profit" to "IPO" is limited.

And the result of an undersupply of disclosure is toxic, perverse incentives. A CEO can make hundreds of millions for running a once-thriving company into the ground because he (or she) can earn his mega-bonus faster than you can stop him from earning it. And the systemic result of that is crisis, stagnation, and decline.

My guess is that, like updating GDP for the 21st century, real-time corporate reporting could create new markets, companies, and much-needed jobs. It might ignite novel sources of advantage — while of course creating disadvantage for companies who won't or can't play by its rules. But prosperity is always going to accrue to those who innovate yesterday's rusting, creaking institutions.



(BTW : my personal / political thoughts about wikileaks are on my other blog.)

November 29, 2010

Google's high hopes for ChromeOS.

Don't know how to bet on this. Could Google steal the corporate OS market from Microsoft? It's a crazy plan but might it just work? Or is it a pipe-dream?

I still think that the key to unlocking M$'s corporate ownership is the iPad. If the iPad becomes the boss's tool of choice for overseeing the business (corporate dashboard) then we'll see a sudden drop in enthusiasm for Windows. And then ChromeOS (or Linux or anything significantly cheaper than Windows) will turn out to be good enough for the underlings. ChromeOS isn't going to unleash that aspirational energy. Only Apple can.

But there's another joker in the pack : RIM (Blackberry). Could the Playbook be good enough to take that dashboard role instead of the iPad?

What would it take for that to happen?
Behance becomes a market.

November 17, 2010

I'm asking, over on Quora :

In my current search for a new laptop I keep finding what seem to be surprising lacks in the market.

In particular, how come it's 2010 and overt support for Linux from major laptop manufacturers is still non-existent?

It occurs to me, that even if they refuse to supply linux pre-installed, any major laptop maker could at least afford to hire a couple of linux geeks to a) try to get linux working on each of their models, b) blog about the experience (ie. what did they have to do? what drivers needed recompiling? where do you get them? etc.)

As far as I can see, none of the major suppliers : Dell, HP, Sony, Samsung, Asus, Toshiba etc. have anything like a URL ( linux-geeks.dell.com etc.) where you can go and get information about running linux on their machines.

The more I think about it, that absence is pretty amazing. Is there really NO market advantage in supporting Linux users of your machines? Are Microsoft (not so) subtly discouraging them?

So, the question part :

- are any PC makers doing interesting things to support Linux on their hardware (and I just didn't notice)?

- if not, why not? What blind-spots are preventing them grabbing a bit of competitive advantage this way?

November 14, 2010

Facebook Mail : Facebook are absolutely rampant at this point.

This has got to hurt Google (and Microsoft). Leveraging Gmail is still Google's best hope of getting some kind of successful YASN off the ground. If FB can puncture that, then Google's fails in this area may start to look as tragic as Microsoft's floundering in mobile-land. (Basically Google would have to buy Twitter to stay in the game.)

October 28, 2010

October 20, 2010

Well now, what was I saying about app-stores for PCs?

Apple did it.

October 18, 2010

Ray Ozzie drops out of Microsoft.

Frankly, there's not a lot of point kicking M$ any more when things look this hopeless.

Update : Hold on. I just noticed. Microsoft are migrating their blogging platform customers to WordPress????!!!!

I mean, WP is absolutely great. And on the one hand, this is a good sign for M$ the company. But what does it say about M$'s aspirations as a web-service provider that they're moving people off their technology onto a PHP-based, open-source competitor? How hard is it to write blogging software?

October 15, 2010

As far as I can see, the only real hope for Microsoft in the smartphone market is to buy RIM (Blackberry).

There is no pure software market in selling mobile operating systems. Just as there wasn't in selling operating systems for web-servers.

As with web-servers, the only os likely to gain traction is one which is effectively free like Android.

Or you make your own handsets.

Buying Blackberry would give M$ a handset manufacturer, a valuable enterprise brand, and the headache of merging its engineers and software with RIM's. Nevertheless, I suspect that the latter is a price worth paying for the first two.

Ideally, forget the "Windows Phone" brand and concentrate on using M$ muscle to promote the Blackberry with enterprises, carriers, retailers etc. Then merge specific interesting new M$ technologies, apps, UI innovations, engineering teams into Blackberry.

Won't happen, of course, as long as the "cult of Windows" remains dominant at M$.

October 03, 2010

Here's a question. Why shouldn't Ubuntu's Synaptic package manager / package store count the number of people who are using each package? Or allow people to vote for packages that they find good / useful?
Over on Quora, we're discussing who would benefit from buying Yahoo.

September 21, 2010

Nice piece on the founder of Behance.

I really like Behance. Scott Belsky seems to have figured out the idea of a purposive YASN, and is doing some striking things with the community :

1) Selling his "Action Method" (a kind of Getting Things Done for creatives) around it

2) Organizing a conference.

3) Spinning off show-case sites.

4) Plugging into other professional networks like LinkedIn

etc.
Alex Payne, ex-twitter developer, on #newtwitter.

September 20, 2010

There is, apparently, going to be an app-store in Windows 8.

September 15, 2010

Another cool demo from the Microsoft world, that would be great to see M$ actually turning into a product.

September 02, 2010

This is exciting. Ponoko team up with SparkFun.

The on-line, on-demand making market starts to evolve.

August 28, 2010

Paul Graham on what went wrong at Yahoo.
Diaspora is bizarre, isn't it?

There are so many free-as-in-speech social networking software frameworks out there, what is one more? There is no way on earth that this is going to be even a blip on Facebook's radar.

Having said that, here's why this might be interesting.

If they get a combination of three things right :

a) the encryption / security / privacy
b) the user interface (so it's easy to install and administrate)
c) the hype, to get a critical mass of developers looking at it

If they do, then this could become an interesting basis of what you might call a "Virtual Private Intranet". A cheap way for a small distributed company to securely share profiles / discussions / news-tweets / files across the public internet.

Interestingly, although Facebook lets you create groups, it's not a great tool for say, people who like Dubstep,to set up a space where they can easily share their collections of mp3s with each other.

The trend is for social networks to get more private as they become more serious and more important. And there's plenty of room for growth in what you could call the "darknet" sector. (Criminals and cypherpunks have encrypted p2p sharing networks, but ordinary people and businesses still can't get them very easily.) So, if Diaspora
could make a cheap, easy-to-setup synthesis of Dropbox, LinkedIn and Twitter then they might have something interesting.

Of course, Ampify might get there first :-)

August 20, 2010

August 16, 2010

Good interview with head of Google.

Interesting :


Example: Google is obliged to share with Apple search revenue generated by iPhone users. On Android, Google gets to keep 100%. That difference alone, says Mr. Schmidt, is more than enough to foot the bill for Android's continued development.


Yuck! :-(

"I actually think most people don't want Google to answer their questions," he elaborates. "They want Google to tell them what they should be doing next."


Boooo!


Isn't the future of the Internet wireless these days? Isn't wireless the very basis of the new partnership between Google and Verizon, built on promoting Google's Android software? But Google has now broken ranks with its allies and dared to speak about the sheer impracticality of net neutrality on mobile networks where demand is likely to outstrip capacity for the foreseeable future.

August 10, 2010

Using cloud computing to launch cheap DDoS attacks. It's surprisingly affordable.

August 05, 2010

David Weinberger :

So, because Google is growing a TV business, it now gets to decide that TV needs to shoulder aside all other traffic on the Net.


:-(

August 04, 2010

Essential reading from Dave Winer on the cycle.

After IBM gave up being the platform vendor, that's basically what they did -- they became a consultancy and investment banker. Microsoft will eventually move there as their investors get fed up with quarter after quarter of flat growth. Google will get there as well, but first they have to get this tidal wave of fear out of their system ...


(I've commented over there.)
Sweet! LinkedIn just offered me a widget to embed my Behance portfolio.

I like this for two reasons :

1) I'm about to start taking my Behance / artistic portfolio more seriously. (More on that soon, over on Composing.) So it's handy for me personally.

2) LinkedIn and Behance are a good complement. LinkedIn still fascinates as an example of a successful YASN which isn't competing directly with Facebook. And Behance is another example of a purposive social utility which seeks to tie its portfolio hosting to more specific products and services for creative people.

I wonder if this signifies any deeper connection between the two companies, or whether it's just that the OpenSocial Behance widget became available for OpenSocial containers such as LinkedIn.

August 03, 2010

Dare Obasanjo on many social graphs. (Or what I used to call "typed links", but will probably start calling "tagged links")

I commented :

Surely it depends if Facebook succeed in getting people to tag (or classify) their social links.

There are ways to do this on FB, but it doesn't promote it much. But someone could write an app. which could somehow classify the relationship between two people based on things you tell it, even what your interests are etc. Then it could export that knowledge to widgets on the Engadget site.

Why not even make this a query option on the widget : "show me things that work-colleagues like", or "show me things that geek buddies like" or even "show me places that friends with higher than 85% similarity to me on the RockYou survey of "best things to do on my day off" like"

July 29, 2010

Another package manager for Windows.

How hard would it be for a third-party to build an app-store on Windows that effectively wrapped it? That placed itself and its brand between the customer and Microsoft?
Disney buying into social gaming.

July 27, 2010

Pandas and Lobsters : Why Google Cannot Build Social Applications...

Compare what I wrote here.
Facebook + Amazon : Social Shopping
Interesting, ZDNet has an article about Debian / Ubuntu package management.

There are some interesting comments about why this wouldn't work in the Windows ecosystem. They're good arguments, but I think Apple just proved that a closely vetted app-store *does* work.

So, sure, an official M$ app-store wouldn't be the only place you could get Windows apps. Maybe Microsoft would only certify a handful of them given that there's an implied approval. Maybe M$ would have to be able to see the source-code and compile it themselves as part of their approval process. Nevertheless I think the app-store model would be incredibly valuable to Microsoft.

July 26, 2010

Question : Why the hell don't Microsoft have an app-store?

I don't mean why they haven't built an entirely new distribution network for some projected new Windows mobile phone operating system. I mean, why didn't Windows 7 Desktop launch with a complete "give us your credit card number and we automatically install, manage, upgrade everything for you automatically" sort of thing?

I had managed applications from a central repository of packages on my Debian system in 2001. I have it seamlessly on Ubuntu (and have had for a good while). When Apple came along and showed the world that owning an app-store was a great business to be in, all the other mobile providers rushed in and started building their own.

What M$ could have done, is set a few engineers building something similar, for integration with Windows 7. I don't mean a website, I mean something more like win-get (or Debian's apt-get).

I'm installing software on my wife's new Windows 7 laptop today, and I'm amazed, now I come to think about it, that there's no "buy apps" option under the Windows Start button, right next to the list of already installed applications. Why is there no search-box built into Windows to let me find Microsoft-approved 3rd party applications to buy?

Think what a feature this could have been for Windows 7. How it would have driven corporates to upgrade (too expensive to pay our own IT people to install software, better to pay for the new Windows and let Microsoft sort it out.) How it would have energized the MicroISVs and lone developers to continue to invest their energy in Windows (rather than start dabbling on Android and iOS). How it would have given M$ a cut of all the software sold in the Windows eco-system.

The more I think about it, the more this seems like it would have been a good idea, and the more the absence of an app-store in Windows 7 seems like an extraordinary oversight. Was one planned but not finished in time? Was Microsoft too scared of potential legal implications to do with competition? Did they just slip up?
Some great insider anecdotes on Google's 20% time.
Gamasutra on Google's investment in Zynga, possible games platform.

WTF? Why are Google doing this? Smells very wrong (ie. defensive / me-too-ism) to me. And not at all core. (How is this organizing all the world's information?)

But let's see if they have an angle.

Update : I guess Farmville et. al. as a social gaming network that's folded into Google TV might make sense.

July 23, 2010

Stowe Boyd quickly summarizes the Flipboard debate.

Someone *ought* to be getting ready to buy this.

July 21, 2010

More on Apple getting into the Enterprise.

July 09, 2010

This is important. iPads getting into the Enterprise.

iPads are an ideal vehicle for "corporate dashboards". Expect to see every senior(ish) manager want to control their own little empire from one.

It will be very problematic for Microsoft if the iPad becomes the aspirational machine for executives. Here's why : Excel. If M$ don't get Excel onto the iPad, soon, then the iPad will pull people away from Excel. (Rather than Excel keeping people on Windows.)

Suddenly, as well as those dynamic dashboards, executive summaries, quick to-do lists and project plans will all be migrating to whatever catches the imagination of iPad users.

And if M$ lose Excel, then the whole Office edifice starts to collapse.
Very good Douglas Rushkoff talk.

July 02, 2010

Cringely :

Remember when Ballmer talked through his hat a few years ago about how Microsoft was headed to a model of Windows based primarily on ad revenue? There’s no way in Hell that business model can be sustained for Windows or the PC (or for Macs, either). But make the platform cost $199 and be replaced every 24 months, build-in mobile subscription revenue, MobileMe subscription revenue, content revenue, app revenue and ad revenue, with none of those involving much effort or expense on Apple’s part at all and the future becomes clear.
Worth a listen.

June 25, 2010

I've long argued that Microsoft are a company built around a profound and fundamental belief : that it was possible to be a pure software company and allow someone else to produce commodity hardware.

Microsoft's DNA is to be a maker and seller of software qua product but not of hardware and not a provider of services.

This was an idea that served them well during the 80s and the explosion of the microcomputer, but served them badly in the 90s during the rise of the internet and its twin correlates : free software and software as a service.

Apple, by contrast, have always been a hardware / software company; which put them at a disadvantage in the 80s and 90s, but proved to be surprisingly fit when they adapted their "full stack" philosophy to become a hardware / software / service company in the last decade (starting with the ipod / itunes / itunes store ecology and moving on to the iphone / ipad etc.)

Anyway, I always thought that, due to free software, and software-as-a-service, the vision of a pure software company was on the wrong side of history.

Today I just had an intriguing thought. What if I was wrong? What if Microsoft's big vision wasn't out-of-date as I supposed? What if it were possible to thrive as a pure software company?

What if the only problem was Microsoft's bad execution? Or if, from their dominant position, Microsoft had come to believe that their role was to capture and dominate platforms, and to extract rent from them? That it was their birthright to own platforms?

That belief has proven to be spectacularly wrong. What if M$ did try to live according to their DNA? And did try to be a pure software company in 2010?

What would they look like?

Well, they would support all important platforms. They wouldn't worry about *owning* platforms, just selling software to take advantage of them. The important platforms today are the web, Apple's iOS, Google's Android, Linux, Facebook, Twitter etc. So if M$ were true to their DNA they'd start producing apps. for these platforms.

When did you last see M$ producing a popular iPhone or iPad app? Or a killer game on Facebook? Or a great Twitter client? Or making sure that Office and Sharepoint and IE and IIS ran on Linux?

If you do start seeing this, then you might start to have some hope for them. That maybe they have started to rediscover their true nature.

May 21, 2010

Daniel Lyons :

The most telling thing to me was Google's tone toward Apple at the event. Instead of pretending to still be an Apple ally, Google today basically threw down the gantlet and admitted that it's engaged in total war with Apple.

And unlike other Apple rivals, like Adobe, Google execs weren't huffing and puffing and wringing their hands about Apple's bad behavior. No, instead, Google was mocking Apple. Making fun of it. Laughing at it.
So ... GoogleTV. Clearly some interesting ideas.

(I still think they should have gone for the YouTube brand, though.)

May 17, 2010

Phil Windley's Technometria is a really good. This podcast about Facebook is well worth the listen.

May 12, 2010

Jonathan Edwards :

App Ads are potentially a Google-scale cash flow, and Jobs wants it. He wants to sell ads and inject them into apps on the iPhone/iPad/iDesk, just like Google injects ads into web pages. He can’t do that unless all the apps are using his libraries. If he lets Flash apps in, then Adobe would be able to sell the ads instead. That is why section 3.3.9 of the new developer agreement says “the use of third party software in Your Application to collect and send Device Data to a third party for processing or analysis is expressly prohibited”. Like, for example, Ad networks.

May 10, 2010

Festo is arguably the coolest company in the world at the moment.

April 30, 2010

After HP buys Palm, some fantasy matchmaking :

Adobe and Microsoft. If Apple keeps hammering at Flash then maybe Adobe has to cuddle up somewhere. What Adobe and Microsoft have in common is that they're good old-fashioned desktop application companies and don't really know how to be anything else. The combination, if not exciting, is at least comfortably compatible.

OTOH, here's what would be exciting : Adobe and Behance. (or Adobe and DesignOutpost etc.)

Apple are dominating markets for creative work through iTunes and the app-store. They're gunning for the rest of it with the iPad as book / magazine / news market as well.

Adobe is the only other brand with such a high profile among creative professionals. It should ask itself whether it's in the business of providing commodity video stream plugins, or whether it's really in the business of helping creative people to produce great work, to distribute that work to their audience, and to get paid.

Why is Adobe not running the most popular site for web and print designers to host their portfolios? Why can I not go to an Adobe site to find a freelancer? (And why are Adobe not a clip-art company? A photo-agency? A talent agency for the kind of people who work on Avatar?)

Adobe is never likely to compete directly with Facebook. But the world is going to get more niche and specialist networks. Adobe ought to grow a presence there; one that will, in turn, help it to understand the creative community it caters to.

Even better, what about Adobe and Ponoko? The future for creatives is to go beyond traditional print / video / web design and move into making : physical objects, product design, smart-materials, desktop manufacturing, etc.

Adobe started as the company that made a programming language to drive laser printers. Where is the programming language to drive RepRaps and the coming breed of 3D printers? Where's the design software for the art school student that wants to design printable furniture? Or jewellery?

Update : Adobe and Behance? It happened!

April 28, 2010

April 21, 2010

Apple vs. Adobe

So this is what the whole "originally compiled" thing was about. To prevent Apple's OS's getting wrapped and commoditized by Adobe Flash.

There may be real technical issues to be solved (eg. the "hover problem"). But the real question is the power-struggle.

April 16, 2010

Wow!

SmartSheet puts The Mechanical Turk behind a Spreadsheet interface.

Clever.

April 06, 2010

Cory Doctorow gives the definitive verdict on the iPad.

The way you improve your iPad isn't to figure out how it works and making it better. The way you improve the iPad is to buy iApps. Buying an iPad for your kids isn't a means of jump-starting the realization that the world is yours to take apart and reassemble; it's a way of telling your offspring that even changing the batteries is something you have to leave to the professionals.

March 09, 2010

How Apple uses patents to kill an industry.

Bleah!

February 09, 2010

Steve Crossan commented (on Facebook, of course) that he likes the new FB design.

I couldn't agree more. This is the first time I think Facebook have got it absolutely right. Of course, I guess this is the result of them buying in Friendfeed. But I'm intrigued ... was it the technology they needed from FF? Or the understanding of feed-based user-experience?

Whatever it was, if FF was a material contribution to the new FB, the synthesis was brilliantly executed (in less than six months!). And the result is a triumph. It's disturbingly compelling. Facebook have again shown themselves to be very clever at learning from others, at adapting to changing fashions, and taking their large base of existing users with them. (In this, they're reminiscent of Microsoft in their heyday.)

If I was running Twitter, at this point, I'd start to seriously worry. They aren't going to grow their network at Facebook's expense. Whereas the opposite is highly plausible. So what do they do now?

On first glance, Google's Buzz, reminds me of Microsoft in all the wrong ways. It looks like a "me too" clone of Twitter / Facefeed that exists for no other reason than that Google are frightened that there's a space they don't dominate. And now they want to muscle in on it.

A couple of things may change my mind :

1) Dion Hinchcliffe says Buzz has loftier goals. (Then again, doesn't Bing?)

2) At this point, the fact that it's hung off of Gmail is merely not dumb, as opposed to actively smart. Nevertheless, maybe this is the beginning of the wavifying of Gmail. In which case, that's an interesting evolution to watch. Gmail is a very nice upgrade of the standard email client. It could potentially turn into "the next Outlook" if Google do the right things with it. [1]

OTOH, lose the f***ing brand! "Buzz" is truly horrid; like a tired celebrity gossip page in one of those free newspapers you find on the tube. Except worse.[2]

But back to Dion's article. If the main claim of Buzz is that it brings better algorithms to the social web, then I think we need to be highly sceptical.

Firstly, the attraction of the social web, may not really be its data-processing efficacy. Yes, we all go round saying that it *is* useful. But it's also, necessarily phatic. Strip out that phatic, community forming flava, reduce it to factoid sharing, and your social network may become as charmless as dmoz.org. For many, FB will always be about little lost vampires turning up in your Mafia pizza emporium. And Twitter would never have found its way into my heart without Chinposin' Fridays.

Secondly, while Google are pretty smart at algorithms, returns diminish rapidly in hyperlocal social space. PageRank is not a genius algorithm : it's a clever heuristic based on some statistical characteristics of large datasets. By definition, neither the hyperlocal nor your meaningful social-network are anything like large enough for simple statistical algorithms to deduce much of any significance from. To add some kind of real value to that, we're talking "A.I. Complete"

As a comparison, think of it this way : Google is allegedly an algorithm company. Gmail has made a much better email experience. But Google have never been stupid enough to pretend that they can prioritize and schedule your email. Are they really going to add much value to a slurry of 140 character tweets?[3]




[1] With the right calendaring / feed-reading / tweeting / waving) Google could write a decent downloadable client (built on Chrome technology) as a direct replacement for Outlook, with their eyes shut. Why do this? Because it would signal that Gmail is ready to fight that battle.

[2] Buzz is not going to be Facefeed. It's not going to be a fun, populist social network. And Google already have too many brands; they don't need more. And they particularly don't need more failed attempts to be "groovy" that make them sound as desperate as Microsoft.

[3] Your tweet-stream is good because you've already chosen who's got a high-enough signal to noise ratio to pay attention to. And if you're wrong, you tolerate it 'cos it's your mistake. No way will a Google algorithm make that decision for you better than you could. And no way would you trust it to.