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    The Big Lebowski (Limited Edition) [Blu-ray Book + Digital Copy]
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Bye Bye Boredom, We Hardly Knew Ya

Boring by PhoenixDailyPhoto

I am writing this blog post from high above the US as I fly back to NY after a quick overnight trip to Chicago. However, I am not writing it on a computer, rather I am using just a smartphone.

This trip was unusual. For only the second time I left my laptop at home and traveled with just a smartphone (in my case an iPhone), a Verizon Mifi router and an 8gb Lacie Iamakey USB drive. Nevertheless, I was remarkably able to do just about everything I needed.

Despite the challeneges of working with a virtual keyboard I have become rather adept at typing on the iPhone. I use apps like The Thumb to train myself. In fact, I am composing this post using the outstanding QuickOffice suite, which is available on virtually every mobile platform. My experience this week is encouraging me to go "laptopless" on short trips from here on in, unless I feel I will need a computer to work on a PowerPoint document or to project one.

All of the excitement in technology sector these days is in the mobile space - especially this summer with the gaggle of new devices that are launching. TechCrunch even calls this the summer of smartphone love. But beyond all the hype of the devices, there is a fundamentally bigger story here about how these platforms are tranforming society.

What's notable is that pundits in the tech press aren't even calling the new devices "phones" - as much as they used to. Notice how both Ed Baig from USA Today and Walt Mossberg from The Wall Street Journal refer to the new Palm Pre not so much as a phone but rather a "pocket computer." (Palm is an Edelman client.) The same of course can be said for the entire group: Android, Windows Mobile, iPhones and Blackberries .

This language represents a subtle but important shift. The phone isn't a phone any more. It has become the connected computer that is with us all the time. And just as our PCs serve as a virually endless fountain of information and entertainment so too do our "pocket computers." And it's going to become the focal point for marketers in a short order

Even though I am disconected from the ether as I pen this post I am awed by the sheer amount of content that's sitting on my device just waiting to be consumed. It includes a rented movie, three video and audio podcasts, two thousand songs, five Amazon Kindle ebooks, 10 games, 125 unread RSS items in NetNewswire plus dozens of cached articles in Instapaper, the New York Times and WSJ apps. It would literally take me months to go through it all. Plus once I landed my magical pocket computer filled up with even more - emails, tweets, feeds, etc.

What this has me thinking is that it is simply impossible to be bored anymore. Anyone with a mobile phone (and these days that's everyone) has infinite choices to keep them occupied no matter how idle he/she might be. In addition we have a myriad of ways to use the device to create content as well. Just look at the runaway success of the Brushes application for the iPhone.

So boredom is dead. I for one am happy to see it go. However I wonder how this will impact those of us who grew up at times bored as well as subsequent generations who will never experience it. As always, I am eager for your thoughts either here or on Twitter, Facebook or Friendfeed.


What is the Future of Twitter? Only You Know

The Future of Twitter

A larger, much more readable version of the above is here.

Yesterday during my keynote on the future of Twitter at the TWTRCON conference in San Francisco I decided to do something different. For one day, at least, I put away PowerPoint and fired up a mind mapping program (in my case I use Mind Node for the Mac).

I really enjoyed the experience and, anecdotally from what others told me, so did the audience. For one, It made the session more interactive. Second, because it was different, it seemed to capture people's attention more than a deck would have. (Hmm, is PowerPoint making us blind and deaf?) Still, since this was my first time out mind mapping with the audience I know much can be improved.

To build the mind map I started (conceptually) with a framework that built off of Brian Solis' great Twiiterverse diagram.

Then, I divided the map in half - Twitter as an OS (think "Twitter Inside") and Twitter and the Ecosystem (think Twitter and others). Then, for the next 25 minutes, I took the audience through my initial thinking but opened it up to more feedback and input so that we grow it. Now it's your turn.

I have published the mind map on Flickr. In addition, you can download it here in PDF and OPML format. The OPML file should open up in any mind mapping application like MindManager for Mac or Windows or Mindmeister (a web app).

Let's see if we can take this concept to the next level and perhaps use it to bring Twitter new ideas, which they seem quite open to - at least that's what they said during the session that preceded mine. Leave comments here or on Twitter with the hash #futureoftwitter and let's see where we can take this.

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GigaOm Network Launches Syndicated Research Arm

GigaOm Pro

Years ago I had a chance to work with Alan Meckler, founder of what was then Mecklermedia, now WebMediaBrands. Alan was one of the early pioneers of online media. Back then he developed a media business that was grounded in four pillars: print, online, research and events. It's a model many B2B media companies have followed since.

A lot has changed in 15 years. The Internet has unleashed the expertise that exists within us and in the process completely democratized media. Some things never change, however, and some bloggers are following the same course Alan did (without the print part, of course and at a far lower cost). There's no reason why they shouldn't.

The GigaOm Network is one such group. They already have a robust network of sites and events. Now, Om informed me last night that they are launching a subscription-only research arm today called GigaOm Pro. At an introductory subscription price of $79 it's a steal. The unit will rely on all-star, free-agent analysts and cover clean tech, infrastructure, "the Connected Consumer" and mobile. A subscription includes ton of original weekly content as well as reports.

When I asked Om Malik about his new venture last night and he made it clear that he is not trying to take on Forrester Research or financial analysts. Rather, he is trying to carve out his own niche. He feels (and I agree) that he can assemble a team of experts from within his network and the commons that creates a compelling value proposition for the technology industry.

Despite what Om says, however, I feel that people who are spending on research will make choices. A $79 offering might be more than suitable for many more casual buyers and begin to disrupt the syndicated research market if it proves successful.


Visits to Twitter Search Soar, Indicating Social Search Has Arrived

Twitter's growth over the last several months has been well chronicled. But there's another story line here that's even more interesting - visits to Twitter Search are also soaring.

According to data from visits to the Twitter search page grew more than 400% in the last six months. This sub-domain alone recorded 2.7M unique visitors in April, up from just shy of 536,000 in October. Even more remarkable, traffic to the site, which is tucked away, grew 24% in April.

Twitter Search Traffic Stats

The data closely mirrors the overall growth of Twitter, which saw unique visitors increase from 3.4M in October to 19.4M in April. However, the search subdomain seems to be following its own trend line.

Visits to Twitter Search Soar

There's more. Now that Twitter has added search functionality into the main interface, the data doesn't account for the full spectrum of users that might be executing queries off the main page. In addition, the data doesn't accurately account for the power users who are searching Twitter from inside clients like Seesmic Desktop, Tweetdeck or Tweetie.

However, I think there's something fundamentally new that's going on here: more technically savvy users (and one would assume this includes journalists) are searching Twitter for information. Presumably this is in a tiny way eroding searches from Google. Mark Cuban, for example, is one who is getting more traffic to his blog from Twitter and Facebook than Google.

For over a year now I have been saying that social search could be disruptive to Google. It seems now that, for some, habits are beginning to shift. I know that on Easter Sunday when I wanted to find out if my local Walmart store was open (Walmart is an Edelman client), Twitter Search was the fastest way to find out.

As long as it can maintain its community, search will remain pivotal to Twitter's future and probably one of the first places it will monetize. But the bigger story here is that some users are clearly getting value out of searching social content. This space will only get more interesting once Facebook gets serious about search and Google races to transform itself into more of a live search engine, rather than a static one.

Also, let's not forget that right Friendfeed is the king of social search. It lets you do something no one else can - search just your friends' content. That's a big deal.

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