I've got some good stuff for you this week: A couple items on Google+ (c'mon, how could I not? The thing is blowing up!), a reminder about web advertising, an eye opening usability study, and then some audio and video stuff that is fantastic!
If you've been watching (or participating in) the meteoric rise of Google+, you may have already heard about this phenomenon—people redirecting their personal URLs to their Google+ profiles. Bad idea, in my book. Here's Technology Review on it: Google+ Marks the End of Blogging As a Means of Personal Expression. Not sure I agree with the conclusion, but I'm keeping an eye on it.
If you are interested in the origins of Google+, take a look at this presentation that Paul Adams gave when he was on the Google UX team (before he left for Facebook) called The Real Life Social Network. He pointed out that no one really has a monolithic social group, but that we have various segments that don't always mix. Duh, right? But Google needed to hear it at the time and Adams' presentation did that very, very well.
Finally, this one speaks for itself: You Are More Likely to Survive a Plane Crash than Click a Banner Ad.
It's really easy to assume that everyone in the world knows how to use a computer. This blog post is incredible as it reveals how untrue that is: User Testing in the Wild: Joe's First Computer Encounter.
If you're more into listening/watching stuff, here are a few audio/video links worth your time:
Kevin Slavin's Mobile Monday Amsterdam presentation, Reality is *Plenty*, Thanks, is really fantastic. It's a bit raw and off the cuff (he changed his topic last minute), but really hits on all kinds of important issues around why approaches to information and marketing like augmented reality are off base. For those who follow my column at Print magazine, my entry in the October issue will cover this topic—I mentioned Slavin and his talk.
NPR's OnPoint did a broadcast on Tuesday asking Are We Facing a New Tech Bubble? Guests included Gregory Zuckerman (writer at the Wall Street Journal), Peter Thiel (venture capitalist), Mark Suster (angel investor/parter at GRP Partners), and Steven Levy (fantastic writer at WIRED magazine).
This is more of an inspiration thing, but still, it's only a couple of minutes and definitely worth watching. Independent filmmaker JW Griffiths created a short, Splitscreen: A Love Story shot entirely on the Nokia N8 mobile phone. So, yeah, that's the rationalization—if you're watching the mobile industry, here's an indication of how ridiculously powerful these devices have become.
Finally, if you write as much as I do, you'll find this interesting: Writer Scott Berkun created a time-lapse video of himself writing a short essay called How to Write 1000 Words which he narrates to give you a great behind the scenes look at what his writing process is actually like.