Friday, September 21, 2012

Zuckerberg, Heisenberg.

I manage several Facebook business pages, and since the IPO I've noticed some weird action on the stats. 

By doing the usual stuff, that is not spending ANY money on any ads or promotion, there've been a spike on the 'reach'. And when I say 'spike' I mean quadruple the amount of people who 'liked' the pages. For example, my own petty photography page with 200 likes had apparently 'reached' 1300 users in a single week last month. 

And then out of nowhere, the spike crashed and now the stats are back to how it used to be. 

This little anomaly scared the shit out of the business owners. They thought something was wrong with the pages and now are paranoid with numbers, trying to emulate the same posts or notification that caused the 'spike'. 

Now hold on a second, a free 'high', followed by a crash, and then the desperation to get 'high' again. 

Sounds familiar? 

Reach is the new drug on the internet. And guess who is the kingpin?

My theory, is that since Facebook controls how many people see your posts, they can easily adjust the number to cause this 'reach anxiety'. 

Who could stand being a nobody again after enjoying the thrill of being a rockstar?

But the business owners didn't ask the most important question: did the spike in popularity generate any extra sales?

Saturday, September 08, 2012

A case on keyboard cases.

For the past month I've seen 3 people using this iPad keyboard case: a college friend of mine, a celebrity chef I was shooting, and a complete stranger in a cafe. I think that's a wide enough spectrum to sample and assume that this Logitech keyboard is catching on. 

And I find this interesting. 

Isn't the whole point of iPad is to not have a keyboard so we can simply touch and scroll at ease?

So what these people want, is something that's not a laptop, but can be a laptop if needed to? 

The cheapest MacBook Air ($1099) still has better specs (USB port, anyone?) than the best iPad ($899) available. If you're willing to drop $150 for a keyboard why not invest $200 more and get a MacBook Air? 

Even if most people just want the $550 entry level iPad, this is still the sort of weird consumer behaviour that drives competitors bonkers. If we were to conduct research on people who've bought the keyboards, the conclusion will be 'iPad users want either a better input interface, or a laptop that is the same size and half the price'. And the CEO of ASUS would probably throw the chair into the wall screaming: We HAVE smaller laptops! We HAVE cheaper laptops!

I think the purchase of an iPad is an emotional one. The keyboard case is merely a justification trying to rationalise the purchase / induction into the Apple religion. (See honey? See? It's like a laptop now! I'm still the same man!)

Coming up next, smaller iPads and bigger iPhones.