Maybe there will even be Timehop for our kids: They can subscribe to our social media updates and see what happened to us on one day in our twenties as they live that same day in theirs.
what about providing tools to make "empty text boxes" more expressive? What's the equivalent of tone online? Emojis? Gifs? Video chat? Audio? How can we better combine the publishing power of the web with our finely tuned (millennia in the making!) expressive capabilities?
My advice is to assume, then ignore, the 80/20 distribution. (Long-tailed distributions are as close to a natural law of internet use as we have). Concentrate, instead, on making something where participants generate value for themselves and others. The resulting powerlaw will be entirely epiphenomenal, but, when it appears, can be taken as a sign of a healthy service.
Sure...although, what I see this meaning a lot these days is the bar is very low for "creating" something and getting that satisfaction, but the ceiling is very low, as well. Meaning, there are whole services of "easy to create" stuff, which has low community value. I think designers should strive to let people contribute very easily and then make better and better things if they're willing to put in the effort. Even better: Let people create even better things together.
This is where relationships are key: put people around you whom you trust and then over-communicate with them. The more you do, the more they’ll understand your intent and act like bumpers in bowling—if you stray, they can help you perceive and course-correct.
On the question of what we can do to stop sincerity, I've always tried to practice what I would call Radical Not Giving a Shit or "The New Whatever." Basically as Paul said we're all secretly a little sincere deep down (or less deep if you're very shallow, Choire) and that's ok. But if you find yourself getting offended by things it's probably time to restate your assumptions and start planning... the trepanation. When dealing with other people, it's vitally important to simply not care what they think, whether you're being sincere (which is ok because it's you) or they are and you hate it because sincere people suck when they aren't you. Also every rose has its thorn and its so important to stop GMOs.
Another angle is that many of these new mobile users are mobile only. They bought a smart phone because they wanted email and basic access to websites, but these people have no need for a computer beyond what their cheap tablet/phone does. Because of this, I think most companies building online products should focus heavily on mobile. Many (most?) people don't have a need for a full computer, so... these kinds of users are going to dominate the market in the coming years. I also suspect that most people would be perfectly happy with an iPad + Bluetooth keyboard for 99% of the things they do. If you only focus on "desktop" devices, your market will get smaller and smaller while tablet + mobile focused products grow and grow.
When people ventured out into the Wild Wild West, it was pure anarchy. You could get away with murder - until certain infrastructures were put into place (like a sheriff.) The Internet is like the Wild Wild West. But over time, you can see certain infrastructures being put in place. AOL created the roads, Facebook created the Town Square, PayPal created the bank, Twitter created the newspaper, Path is creating the home, and Skillshare is creating the school. We still need a sheriff.
Recently on Timehop I am replaying what was a very tough time in my life. But the "Timehop version" is a much more positive story than what I still remember quite vividly. As that happens over successive years, do I increasingly whitewash my own version of my life story? Is that a desirable outcome?
For me, publishing on a platform I have some ownership and control over is a matter of future-proofing my work. If I'm going to spend time making something I really care about on the web--even if it's a tweet, brevity doesn't mean it's not meaningful--I don't want to do it somewhere that will make it inaccessible after a certain amount of time, or somewhere that might go away, get acquired, or... change unrecognizably. When you get old and your memory is long and you lose parents and start having kids, you value your own and others' personal archive much more.
Instead of never being in doubt, I try to favor "strong opinions, weakly held". So I'll tell a team something provocative, but be very willing to be persuaded otherwise. The key is, if nobody can argue us out of it, then we've got a radical goal that stands up to scrutiny, and that can act as a pretty powerful "north star".
I try to favor "strong opinions, weakly held". So I'll tell a team something provocative, but be very willing to be persuaded otherwise. The key is, if nobody can argue us out of it, then we've got a radical goal that stands up to scrutiny, and that can act as a pretty powerful "north star".