Monday, December 22, 2014

Twisdom from xeni, December 22, 2014 at 04:24PM




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December 22, 2014 at 04:24PM

Friday, December 12, 2014

Twisdom from Iron_Spike, December 12, 2014 at 01:11PM




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December 12, 2014 at 01:11PM

Monday, December 08, 2014

Twisdom from KameronHurley, December 08, 2014 at 02:56PM




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December 08, 2014 at 02:56PM

Friday, December 05, 2014

Twisdom from MattFnWallace, December 05, 2014 at 02:40PM




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December 05, 2014 at 02:40PM

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Twisdom from BrianReed, December 02, 2014 at 04:12PM




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December 02, 2014 at 04:12PM

Twisdom from atfmb, December 02, 2014 at 02:09PM




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December 02, 2014 at 02:09PM

Friday, October 17, 2014

Twisdom from josswhedon, October 17, 2014 at 11:06AM




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October 17, 2014 at 11:06AM

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Twisdom from jasonhiner, October 16, 2014 at 09:19AM




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October 16, 2014 at 09:19AM

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Twisdom from guygavrielkay, October 14, 2014 at 10:19AM




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October 14, 2014 at 10:19AM

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Twisdom from stringsn88keys, October 09, 2014 at 01:58PM




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October 09, 2014 at 01:58PM

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Twisdom from MattFnWallace, October 07, 2014 at 01:06PM




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October 07, 2014 at 01:06PM

Monday, September 29, 2014

Twisdom from stringsn88keys, September 29, 2014 at 03:18PM




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September 29, 2014 at 03:18PM

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Twisdom from sempf, September 23, 2014 at 01:56PM




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September 23, 2014 at 01:56PM

Monday, September 15, 2014

Twisdom from MattFnWallace, September 15, 2014 at 05:32PM




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September 15, 2014 at 05:32PM

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Twisdom from ghostwritingcow, September 03, 2014 at 01:56PM




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September 03, 2014 at 01:56PM

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Twisdom from Mike_Eagle, August 28, 2014 at 12:02PM




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August 28, 2014 at 12:02PM

Friday, August 22, 2014

Twisdom from KieranHD, August 22, 2014 at 04:47AM




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August 22, 2014 at 04:47AM

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

My controversial opinion on why rebooting comic book characters isn't controversial

Beta Ray Bill
Beta Ray Bill (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Sci-fi fandom's biggest mensch, Paul "Prince Jvstin" Weimer, allowed me to ruin an otherwise perfectly wonderful SF Signal Mind Meld discussing the fallout from Marvel's recent recasting of Thor as a woman and Captain America as a black man, and to follow up with a proposed reboot of a comic book icon.

Basically, I jump right on the landmine of why comics fans who hate change are idiots, and explain why the "still pure" Batman isn't just boring, but nigh-offensive.

Thankfully, authors and experts like Seanan "Mira Grant" McGuire, Sigrid Ellis, Sara KuhnErika Ensign, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Cheryl Morgan, Shira Lipkin, Michael Lee, Cassandra Rose Clarke, Andrew Wheeler, Fabio Fernandes, Erica McGillivray, Abhinav Jain, Lynn M. & Michael Damian Thomas, and my occasional podcast sparring partner Jeff Patterson are there to add a few thousand cogent words to overwhelm my fanboyish pedantry and trolling of narrow-minded Batman traditionalists.

The unabridged (and voluminous) article is available here. Don't judge my peers by their company.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Twisdom from ChuckWendig, August 07, 2014 at 12:33PM




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August 07, 2014 at 12:33PM

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Three qualified experts (and me) discuss the Amazon/Hachette showdown

Amazon Packaging
Amazon Packaging (Photo credit: Nic Taylor Photography)
After a well deserved absence from the SF Signal podcast, Hugo-Winning audio-auteur Patrick Hester got desperate and allowed me back on the show to discuss the showdown between Amazon and Hachette, which saw books by Stephen King and JK Rowling suddenly unavailable from the most powerful bookstore on Earth.

Fortunately, Patrick got some actual, qualified experts on the line to tamp down my corrupting influence, including acclaimed authors Gail Carriger (best known for the Parasol Protectorate series) and Michael R. Underwood (best known for the Ree Reyes series), and the world's most under-appreciated sci-fi movie reviewer, Derek Austin Johnson (best known for always being right about sci-fi movies). They more than make up for my inane utterings.

You can listen to the podcast here.

You gluttons for auditory punishment can peruse my complete rapsheet of past podcast crimes here.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Twisdom from JustinKownacki, July 29, 2014 at 11:23AM




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July 29, 2014 at 11:23AM

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Twisdom from ChuckWendig, July 24, 2014 at 11:09AM




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July 24, 2014 at 11:09AM

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Twisdom from TimAkers, July 09, 2014 at 07:43PM




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July 09, 2014 at 07:43PM

Friday, June 27, 2014

Twisdom from AaronMarshall, June 27, 2014 at 11:27AM




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June 27, 2014 at 11:27AM

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Twisdom from LordGrimdark, June 17, 2014 at 10:41AM




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June 17, 2014 at 10:41AM

Monday, June 09, 2014

Twisdom from sacca, June 09, 2014 at 01:44PM




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June 09, 2014 at 01:44PM

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Three Commandments of Web Site Feature Development

Lesson #1: The 90-9-1 Rule - The rule breaks down like this: 90 percent of the readers of any blog or Web site will never leave a comment, nine percent will comment once during their entire tenure of readership, and one percent will do the vast majority of the commenting. If you think that sounds unreasonable, consider any of the radio call-in shows you may have listened to in your life. How many calls do those shows get, as a percentage of their total audience? How many times have you called into those shows? Yet there are regular callers; they're just a tiny percentage of the overall audience.

I've found the 90-9-1 rule to be strikingly true online and, if anything, optimistic in the percentage of the audience which are regular posters. And that's just for a very basic interactive activity like posting comments. The percentages drop steeply as you get into interactive functions that require more time and effort, like filling out profiles or writing reviews. I took a stab at setting interactivity expectations here, based on what we learned at TechRepublic with some flamingly unsuccessful blog, profile, and social bookmarking projects. I can say with a straight face that getting a decent user-submitted video is literally a one-in-a-million proposition.

Moral: Design for the 90 percent, not the one percent, if you want to actually see an increase in activity, visits, and traffic. Focusing on the power users will almost never move the needle, especially since your usage zealots are already doing almost everything they can or will on your site.

Lesson #2: Design for an Audience of One - Flickr and YouTube get a lot of hype for how 99.999 percent of their content was acquired for free from users, and how the users employ tagging and groups to create wonderful emergent communities, content, and traffic bursts. What people don't talk about is that those are side effects of YouTube and Flickr's business model and use cases.

The vast majority of YouTube's initial users didn't give a crap about making viral videos or monetizing video content, they just wanted an easy way to format videos and post them online. Almost all Flickr users don't care about aggregated group feeds or discovering like-minded photogs via tags, they just want an easy way to post and store pictures online. Flickr and YouTube have value to me even if I'm the only guy using them. All those group-dependent features are a result of Flickr and YouTube's scale. You can't start with those features, you tack them on once you're massive.

Moral:
Any feature spec that includes the phrase "will be useful once a bunch of people join in" will almost certainly fail because there is no value for the initial users.

Lesson #3: More of the Same is the Only Feature That Matters - Nobody bookmarks a page anymore. They either search Google directly for what they want (and don't care where it comes from) or get it sent to them in an RSS feed or social network from whichever sources they prefer. Again, your zealous users are a tiny percentage of your audience, so any efforts made to be the be-all, end-all of your audience's activity are likely to fail because most of your users aren't devoted to your site and prefer to go elsewhere.

That upvoting feature that works just like Reddit? They'll use actual Reddit instead. Your blog platform? If they wanted to blog, they'd use WordPress, Blogger, or any of the other services out there first. A user profile? Maybe you've heard of Facebook. Until you reach the stratospheric heights of traffic, there's no point in trying to create new user behaviors on your site. The best thing you can do is reinforce the existing user behaviors. If they came to you for content, the best thing you can do is show them more content. If they came here looking for help making a buying decision, help them make a buying decision.

Moral:
Any feature spec that includes the phrase "if we can just get the users to do X" will fail, because if they aren't doing X already, they aren't likely to start.

[This post was originally published on Jan. 18, 2010.]

Monday, May 19, 2014

Twisdom from jayewells, May 19, 2014 at 02:10PM




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May 19, 2014 at 02:10PM

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Twisdom from btcoop71, May 13, 2014 at 08:41AM




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May 13, 2014 at 08:41AM

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Twisdom from sacca, April 15, 2014 at 01:02PM




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April 15, 2014 at 01:02PM

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Twisdom from loresjoberg, April 08, 2014 at 04:11PM




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April 08, 2014 at 04:11PM

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Twisdom from NathanFillion, April 03, 2014 at 02:38PM




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April 03, 2014 at 02:38PM

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Twisdom from damiengwalter, March 19, 2014 at 02:40PM




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March 19, 2014 at 02:40PM

Thursday, February 27, 2014

For a brief period of time, I was the Tina Fey of mocking the Food Network (#humblebrag)

Because many people who have to come to know me from my recent professional exploits are somewhat unaware of exactly how odd my career has been -- seriously, seriously odd -- I'll just take this moment to remind everyone I was once the lead writer for an online-only ripoff of The Daily Show dedicated entirely to mocking The Food Network.

This was the pilot for that show, which I wrote. The series ran for the better part of a year. No, I have no idea how that happened, either.



The host, for those asking, is Sarah East. She still works as an actress here locally. She was amazingly good at handling my awful and complicated scripts.

One of my stable of writers was none other than Chris-Rachael Oseland, who went on to found Kitchen Overlord and author the mega-popular Unofficial Dr. Who Cookbook.

My boss at this bizarre enterprise? Rob May, founder and CEO of cloud-to-cloud backup pioneer Backupify. (Or, as I prefer to think of him, author of Coconut Headsets.)

I cannot explain how I was lucky enough to get this job, nor luckier still not to have this job prevent me from getting more muggle-based work. As I said to Jeff Patterson the other day, I'm a beneficiary of an amoral universe.

Twisdom from damiengwalter, February 27, 2014 at 11:46AM




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February 27, 2014 at 11:46AM

Monday, February 10, 2014

Twisdom from lisaspindler, February 10, 2014 at 12:21PM




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February 10, 2014 at 12:21PM

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Twisdom from ThinkKentucky, February 04, 2014 at 01:58PM




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February 04, 2014 at 01:58PM

Friday, January 31, 2014

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Twisdom from TheRealNimoy, January 29, 2014 at 09:44PM




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January 29, 2014 at 09:44PM

The DC Comics reboot I wish had happened

Lee's depiction of DC Comics' Superman and Batman.
Lee's depiction of DC Comics' Superman and Batman. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)UPDATE
Whatever you think of the recent DC Comics reboot (AKA DCnU AKA New 52), most of us agree that it hasn't been all that new-reader-friendly. The real goal of Geoff Johns and Jim Lee appears to have been attracting lapsed readers -- those of us that gave up on DC after one too many crossover events or needlessly grim storylines.

I wish DC had been serious about a bold story direction designed to attract new, first-time comics fans. If I was somehow granted carte blanche to remake the DC universe, here are the fairly radical changes I would institute.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Twisdom from ALeeMartinez, January 27, 2014 at 03:37PM




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January 27, 2014 at 03:37PM

Friday, January 24, 2014

Twisdom from stringsn88keys, January 24, 2014 at 02:11PM




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January 24, 2014 at 02:11PM

Monday, January 20, 2014

Twisdom from josswhedon, January 20, 2014 at 01:32PM




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January 20, 2014 at 01:32PM

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Twisdom from cmpriest, January 18, 2014 at 10:08AM




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January 18, 2014 at 10:08AM

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Twisdom from hnshah, January 08, 2014 at 11:30AM




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January 08, 2014 at 11:30AM

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Twisdom from josswhedon, January 05, 2014 at 02:53PM




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January 05, 2014 at 02:53PM

Friday, January 03, 2014

Twisdom from robmay, January 03, 2014 at 07:37PM




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January 03, 2014 at 07:37PM