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Monthly Archives: March 2012
March 18, 2012Posted by on
Well, I wanted to tweet out a question that I knew would spawn off a number of conversations that would far exceed 140 characters. So here goes:
Will Facebook ever be usurped, as was MySpace?
The typical answer is “of course!” All good things come to an end, and Facebook will inevitably fall to someone else given enough time. That’s the rationale most people I talk to about this have, anyway. I think it’s a little deeper, and more complex than that.
Most people look at Facebook in its current form. They see it as a website they have to visit (albeit, one they visit a LOT, presently). Even with the mobile shift Facebook has seen, people still look at loading up that app as “visiting Facebook.” Right now, Facebook is a destination for people. But what people aren’t thinking about is: “What happens when Facebook becomes the source?”
Just how far off is Facebook from becoming the universal authentication / online identity registry for the entire connected world?
What I mean is, consider the number of apps that currently connect with Facebook. Now consider the rate at which businesses are embracing Facebook. Couple that with the direction Facebook seems to be moving with the Graph and other platform infrastructure (Google it, I won’t waste everyone’s time here)…. Hell, some companies / applications / games with their own separate business models and corporate structures are 100% reliant on Facebook for their revenue.
Facebook makes it incredibly easy to give companies access to an alarmingly well defined, well analyzed install base of customers who use Facebook every single day. It’s almost taboo if your company doesn’t connect with Facebook these days… Are we really that far off from a shift whereby all companies exclusively connect their users via Facebook?
Personally, I hate having different authentication policies & profiles for practically any site I visit on the web. I have never had my Facebook (or any) personal account compromised (excepting security breaches outside of my control). So for me, if I could authenticate with every site on the Internet, through Facebook? I’d totally be down with that! As I’m sure many other people would be as well – especially if (pronounced: “when”) security and privacy innovations are bolstered to further lock down my life should that fateful account breach occur.
So I guess what I’m asking is, can you imagine a connected world – Internet, mobile, you name it – powered completely and utterly by Facebook? Is that possibility practical? Rather than trying to comprehend the magnitude of such a question (and invariably failing, so just defaulting to “No, that’s not possible” as your answer), try asking the reverse: “What’s to stop this from happening?” If Facebook makes it so easy for businesses and governments to access its constituents – what stands in their way?
“Well the user, of course!” The users stand in their way, and people wouldn’t tolerate this kind of change. I’ve heard this argument once today. Facebook talked about a stat a year or two ago, I can’t find it now and don’t want to waste time sourcing it, but it said that the majority of users who “quit” Facebook, return. The social pull from their friends is too overwhelming to resist. If that social pull is too overwhelming to resist, do you really think if all your favorite companies and brands began utilizing Facebook for authentication, you could resist it? If the only way you can order a pizza online is by signing in with Facebook, would you really stop ordering pizzas online?
So ultimately, this feeds back into my original question: Will Facebook ever be usurped? If they keep innovating at the pace which they are currently setup to maintain, such that at a product level consumers always remain happy — And if they continue to colonize world economies, governments, organizations, and industries as they have been — Is there any real way to stop Facebook?
And if this is indeed the direction Facebook is heading, will that be too much power and responsibility for one company, public or private, to handle?
I expect a lot of people at all levels of society – consumers, businesses, and especially politicians – are asking these very same questions. Regardless of Facebook’s publicly stated and planned direction, I expect to see a great deal of scrutiny from world governments, beyond your average “company Xyz going public” probing.
What are your thoughts? Please share them in the comments below . Oh and if you liked this post, please share it with the buttons up top! <3
March 16, 2012Posted by on
Myoelectric‘s Zombies Ventrilo Montages are of my favorite YouTube content for a few reasons. First, it’s Zombies! Zombies (especially the Call of Duty variety) are near and dear to my heart. Second, most of their content comes from the PC, which is where my gaming roots come from. Third, they’re a hilarious group of people, whose comedic timing in their video editing is nothing short of genius.
I liked their Ventrilo Montages so much, I just had to participate in one. Back when I was still working at Treyarch, we recorded a bunch of games, which were combined to produce this remarkably hilarious video montage!
Now there are some references in there to previous montages they made, which were equally (if not more) hilarious. I’ve embedded them here for your viewing pleasure:
As bonus content, they’ve been uploading some of the raw full gameplays from our recording sessions on their YouTube channel. So head over there if you’d like to see more. Regardless of whether I participated in their content or not, I highly recommend their stuff.
March 11, 2012Posted by on
As you probably already know from Twitter, I attended GDC 2012 this year. The most you’d probably gather from Twitter, however, is that I drank, partied, and had good times with good people. But I want to make something clear… Much more goes on than just those things. And it’s important not to characterize GDC (or its participants, myself included) as one big party.
The much more boring side to hear about (albeit quite enjoyable to do in-person) are all the lectures, seminars, workshops, and of course exhibits. But the business that goes on during the day – often times behind closed doors – is simply not as exciting or even practical to go talking about publicly, so you naturally see less of it on Twitter feeds and Facebook timelines.
The night life, however…
Some GDC attendees choose not to participate in the after-parties, which is fine. Other people in the industry will thumb their noses at the mixers and parties that go on (as if alcohol and fun don’t belong at GDC? Or like they’re above it even?). But I’ve found some of the best business and networking goes on at such venues, post-convention business hours. And under the right circumstances, I’d even trade my expo badge in exchange for all-access to the after-parties and social mixers.
It’s not about getting a potential client or employer drunk, and building a deal on questionable moral grounds. It’s about taking what might otherwise be uptight business down a notch and breathing a little. Like in any good negotiation, it should just flow naturally and casually. Business (and networking) over cocktails is a great way to take the harsh edge off of things.
And don’t get me wrong, it’s not just about the alcohol either. I am a fan of it, believe me. But not everybody is – which is fine! Actually, if you choose not to partake in consuming poison, you’re probably smarter than I am. But you can’t just do business with fellow straight-edge persons like yourself. The mixer or after-party is a great place to catch people in a less scrupulous, casual environment, even if you’re not drinking that particular night. (For me, that’s usually because I’m hungover from last night!)
Of course the part about trading my badge for the parties was mostly a joke. Not all business is done at an after party, and in reality not much useful business typically is done at a party, period. However, the relationships built at a mixer often times lead to a more meaningful, professional meeting the next day or week, so it has its place in the order of things.
But yeah let’s face it, you’re not going to pitch a venture to an investment board with Party Rock Anthem blasting in the background at 140 decibels.
One last useful bit about after-parties though? They’re like a douche bag’s natural environment. See, during the course of your normal business day, in a formal setting, a douche bag can conceal himself quite cleverly. Often times you can never tell the douche bag apart from a genuine fellow looking to network or do business. You get a few drinks into a bona fide douche bag in and around a VIP lounge, however, and they suddenly feel more comfortable and at-home… They tend to let their guard down. Before you know it, he’s babbling on, boasting similarities between his life and episodes of the TV show “Entourage”… Bingo! Now you know who maybe isn’t such a good prospect after all.
Now that’s not to say everyone socializing at these parties are douche bags, because they’re not – so let me stop you right there Internet before you try to twist my words around! The analogy: I like honey, and bees like honey (arguably more than I do). That does not, however, make me a bee.
Bees are douche bags, though. Known fact.
March 3, 2012Posted by on
Alright. At the behest of the majority of my Twitter followers tired of reading poorly formatted TwitLonger rants, I have decided to start a blog where I can share my views and opinions (whether they be gaming, politics, or whatever) with anybody who cares to hear them.
I come from a web background, so setting up a blog was the easy part. The hard part was picking a domain name. After considering all the usual suspects (and discovering JD2020.com was taken by a fan…), I decided that the standard “FirstNameLastName.com” format was too boring for me. So I looked to one of my favorite JD_2020 memes around, #BlameJD, for inspiration. Frankly, I assumed the domain was taken long ago, but figured it wouldn’t hurt to see who owns it or when it would expire….
But, it was available! What are the odds? I ask not out of arrogance, but out of sheer probability. Ignoring who I am, or what I did in the industry for a minute – just imagine all the people that go by “JD” in the world. Wouldn’t somebody somewhere have created a parody site making fun of their buddy, blaming him for something stupid he did or something along those lines?
And yeah, in the Call of Duty community, Blaming JD became quite a common occurrence during my tenure. Hell, t-shirts were made. Considering all the parody sites that *did* exist poking fun at me, you’d think this, the most obvious .com, would have been one of them.
Well, it wasn’t. So now it’s mine! If you want a little more history on #BlameJD, click here. And otherwise, welcome to the blog. Hope to see some familiar faces join me as I continue to navigate through the industry!