There is a gross sense of entitlement in this country that really aggravates me. Our current first world problem is that DVD and Web streaming service Netflix increased their prices. THE HORROR!
First of all, they only raised prices on the combination plans that include both DVDs and streaming. You can still have the $9/month rate if you choose one or the other. While the combo plans now start at a whopping $16/month, an apparent 60% increase, the backlash it is generating is just plain silly.Â $16 a month for hundreds, maybe thousands of movies and TV shows? Really? You’re going to complain and freak out about that?
Am I wealthy? No. Do I have boatloads of college loan debt? Yep. Can I afford $16 a month for Netflix? Yeah, I can.
Let’s put it into perspective: My first job was at Blockbuster Video. To rent a single movie it was about $4 (and I’m rounding down here). So if your month movie budget was $16 a month, you could rent 4 movies, or one a week if you wanted to evenly break it up. Now that’s just the movie rental. This does not include gas to get there or, heaven forbid you returned you movie late, late fees. Movies were either rented for 2 days for new releases or 5 days for older titles so you didn’t even get the entire week to watch it.
Netflix single handedly killed the video store business. Now movies either arrive in your mailbox or on your computer. You pay a standard monthly fee and can keep your DVDs as long as you want without any late charges. And we’re spoiled by it. There have been articles and blog posts saying “Oh Netflix doesn’t need the money, their just being selfish!”. Well just because profits are up, doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t raise prices. Do you think it’s cheap to license all those titles? To build a cloud based system (with a super back up in case that fails) so your service is always available?
Part of the reason is to drive more customers away from DVDs and to the streaming service.Â In my opinion, this makes sense. Mailing DVDs is expensive. DVDs get damaged and have to be replaced and Netflix has to stock multiple copies of popular titles.
Even now, you can’t even purchase a single, non special edition DVD for less than $5. And how much do you pay for cable? I’m willing to bet it is a lot more than you pay for Netflix and that’s without any movie channels like HBO.
We just want it all. We want to pay less than $10/month for movies we could ever watch in a lifetime, delivered the second we want them AND delivered to our doorstep. We don’t appreciate how convenient Netflix has made movie viewing or how cheap. I leave you with this clip from Louis CK that I always watch during times like this:
I think I’m going to keep this was a weekly entry moving forward…
Have you ever noticed how some pop songs sound so similar? That’s because they are. No really, there are countless pop songs that use the same chords. Don’t believe me? Allow me to introduce you to The Axis of Awesome. They will prove it to you:
From pop songs to personal spacecraft, this video is pretty ridiculous. I was shown this in a meeting yesterday. What a cool, inventive use of a pocket camcorder! Not sure what brand they sent up there, probably a Flip, but holy science project Batman! It actually made it to outer space! Can you imagine if this is what you entered in your school science fair as a kid? Talk about instant notoriety…mixed with some mega nerd points for all the precise calculations involved.
The sci-fi geek in me can’t help but wonder…what if they weren’t the only ones looking down on earth? I distantly remember another story about a weather balloon crashing down in New Mexico about 60 years ago…
Dun dun duhhhhhhh!
UPDATE: Just came across this: Muppet Game of Thrones!
Very well done. Love this. See the rest at the link above. Who else from Game of Thrones would you like to see as a Muppet and which one would they be?
I keep finding myself writing about the battle for mobile supremacy. I think part of the fascination with smart phones is that I was late to the cell phone game. I got my first cell phone in 2001 for my 18th birthday. It was a Nokia 5190 and quite a brick. I think this was even before texting — can you believe we once lived in a world without text messages?!
I should also mention, one of the highlights of this phone were the interchangeable face-plates…
Another Nokia, several LGs and a Samsung later, I’m an Android user now. I just couldn’t give up Verizon, even for the ever-alluring iPhone. Patience paid off though and as soon as it is time to upgrade, I’m going for Verizon’s iPhone 4. While I remain loyal to Verizon, Android has a way to go.
According to Gartner, research shows I’m not alone here. Android is projected to have half the mobile market by 2012.
As I mentioned in a previous post (on another blog), the Android Market has left much to be desired. It has become clear that Apple’s rigorous app approval process if for a reason. There is a lot of junk in the Android Market.
As for the phone itself, the interface isn’t as user intuitive as the iPhone’s. Can I find my apps easily? Well, yeah but they aren’t as nicely organized as the iPhone. Also, because of its ability to run multiple apps at the same time, often times it decides to open apps I never use and run them all day, draining my battery.
Speaking of apps, there most developers still go for the iPhone version first. I’m lucky if the Android version comes out at all. For most major apps like Twitter and Facebook, it is fine. But more specialized or apps produced by smaller companies and/or start-ups tend to go the way of the iPhone. I’m talking about you Instagram, Words With Friends and Localmind!
But in Android’s defense, it is easier to come by and less expensive. You can also insure your Android phone, unlike with the iPhone where if you break it or lose it, you need to purchase a new one.
I think Android should credit some of their success to Verizon and their network. Verizon’s reliability has really helped both their own brand and the cell phone brands they carry. I was so grateful to have an Android phone at Comic Con last year. While I was tweeting and texting, none of my iPhone friends could get a signal in the Convention Center and if they did, AT&T’s network was quickly maxed out.
Another thing to keep in mind, Apple isn’t the only player in the game. Gartner has predicted a rise in Microsoft’s Windows 7 phone based on their partnership with Nokia (oh how far they’ve come since my first cell phone). And while the Windows 7 phone has a MUCH nicer user experience than Android, it is still cursed by AT&T.
If Android cleans up their Market and focus more on UX, I can see them taking over 50% of the market but until then, I think that prediction is a tiny bit inflated.
This was my first trip to SXSW and my first work conference. My only prior conference experience was Comic Con, which I think actually helped prepare me for the insanity. I went to panels and parties. I talked to lots of different people about everything from apps to social media. These are my top 5 takeaways from the whole shebang:
1. Social Media is this year’s Mobile.
2. That iPadâ€¦so hot right now. No, seriously, I did not see another kind of tablet the entire conference.
3. In Austin it is totally acceptable to have a full beard and a scarf on an 80 degree day.
4. Having a great moderator is one of the keys to have a great panel. A perfect example was Bob Garfield during “Brand Journalism: The Rise of Non-Fiction Advertising”.
5. The true value of SXSW comes from talking to people face to face rather than being online the whole time. In an industry where most of us spend the better part of the day in front of a computer, it is a great opportunity to meet with other professionals and discuss the latest tech trends.
Originally posted on Digithoughts:
Social Media is everywhere. It is on the tip of everyoneâ€™s tongue in one way or another. People tweeting this and Facebooking that. There are very few people who donâ€™t have at least one account these days. But what was once used for fun and for connecting with friends can be used for business. And for those who are just finishing college, Social Media could be a good way to not only get a job, but to get the job you really want. This is your chance to market yourself. But, in a world where information is instant and we broadcast our lives to the world, we need to be conscious of what weâ€™re putting out there.
Below are a few doâ€™s and donâ€™t to keep in mind as you move forward:
DO: Have a plan. What is the best way to get your thoughts and ideas out there? How many different forms of social will you use? Who do you want to target? Having a detailed strategy is the best way to go. It doesnâ€™t have to be formal. Here is an example.
Identify My Top 10 Companies I want to work for: Creating a list is the best way to tailor you efforts and go after where you really want to work.
Set up a professional Twitter account and a LinkedIn account: These are just 2 examples. Use social networking sites that you are familiar with first, and then move on to more industry-related sites.
Follow my Top 10 and @reply to tweets and links I find interesting, read any company blogs. The more you know about the places you want to work, the better.
Add my LinkedIn and Twitter to my e-mail signature: The easier it is for potential employers to view your work, your thoughts, and your experience, the better.
Update my Facebook: Include career goals, links to LinkedIn and Twitter, review all pictures and change privacy settings on any that are not professional. Even if it is primarily for personal use, make sure all your bases are covered.
Make sure all my information is correct, up to date, and consistent across all sites: Nothing worse than having the wrong phone number listed on a resume or having different information on different profiles. Keep your story the same whenever possible. Add details where you need to, but overall, follow the same timeline. If you include job x on Facebook, make sure it is on LinkedIn as well.
DONâ€™T: Give us the intimate details of your life. Or at the very least, keep those tweets and those entries private for friends only. When everyone can see what you post, you donâ€™t want future employers knowing how drunk you were last weekend, the things youâ€™d like to do to Megan Fox, how your boyfriend is a jerk, orâ€¦most importantly, how much you hate your current job. Same thing goes for pictures. There are privacy settings for a reason. We all know whatâ€™s in the red plastic cup. Youâ€™re not fooling anyone. This is also something to keep in mind once you are employed as well.
DO: Show your stuff. Whether youâ€™re an avid blogger or maybe Twitter works better for you, let the world know what your interests are and what you are most knowledgeable about. Are you a total techie? Write about the latest iPhone apps or link to an article you think is cool. Are you looking for a job in the Interactive world? Lets see what you think about the latest industry trends and what websites you think are cool and why. Tailor it to what industry you would like to work in. You are marketing yourself; make sure you know your target audience.
Be creative! With so many potential candidates out there, find a way to stand out. Maybe instead of your tradition PDF resume, a video discussing your experience. Donâ€™t go too crazy, keep it in the professional realm, but any way to differentiate yourself from the crowd and show your qualifications is a smart move.
DONâ€™T: Be a stalker. Following companies on Twitter and an @reply here and a retweet there is great, but donâ€™t go overboard. Same with blog comments. Comment on what you are the most interested in and keep it short and to the point. You want to give them enough to say, â€œWho is this person? They have some great ideasâ€, but as the saying goes, always leave them wanting more.
Here is a good example of having a balance: Our intern Adam really wanted to work here. He sent in his resume and was forward off to me. What really made him stand out was this- â€œP.S. Yesterday I stumbled upon your blog. Very interesting! You have a very fun taste in music. I voted for Olive on CuteAsHell.com. Good luck with the next tournament.â€ Just enough to show he paid attention and read my blog, but not too much where I felt concerned. It showed interest and because of that, I recommended he come in for an interview. Which brings me to my next tipâ€¦
DO: Your research. Know the company you want to work for inside and out. Read their press releases, tweets, and blog entries. Get a feel for what they are about. Make sure you know what their core mission is. This is not being an overachiever; it is showing you are serious about the position. Nothing looks worse than coming to an interview unprepared and not knowing about the company you are applying at. If they have their thoughts, their information, and their mission statement online, they expect you to know what they are about.