Mark Slater’s Weblog

Musings about work, life, and all things in between


Its been quiet on my blog now for a little while.

With all that transpired with my last company and the responsibility of leading the new one, i’ve found that my time writing has been limited mostly to things over there

here are some tidbits over here:

1. why dont you call it what it really is mayor: a total friggin shakedown. your version of cleaning up is issuing 1000’s – i mean 1000’s of tickets today as its the first day of “street cleaning” – go ahead post how many tickets you’ve issued for street cleaning in the city.

2. new beastie’s is out

3. No.2 is on the way at the slater family! now the pressure is really on!

4. Facebook has defaulted to you seeing ONLY posts from people who you’ve recently interacted with or interacted the most with (which would be limited to the couple of weeks just before people started switching to the new profile) So in other words, for both business and personal pages, unless your friends/fans commented on one of your posts within those few weeks or vice versa – you are now invisible to them and they are invisible to you!!

there is a fix but seriously WTF?

Filed under: going out in boston

At the intersection of location, time and purchase

We’ve seen two distinct trends emerge over the last 2 years or so. your phone knows where you are (location) and depending upon the action you take (checking in etc) can timestamp this position. But this is truly where these services stop. The gulf between the location/timestamp combination and the purchase goal is vast. Its vast because these services have misunderstood that both location and time are a ‘means’ to an end, and not the end.

take Foursquare. They overlay a location instance with a rather neat timestamping tool called checking in. the reason i refer to this as a timestamp rather than some other description is that it is the the combination of time and location, that aims to drive the world of opportunity associated with the service. Some might argue that their is value in this social graph – the accumulation of time/location check ins has some derived cumulative value in the form of a virtual currency ( in their instance a badge) but i place this firmly in the fad bucket and this is why.

the “end” as opposed to the “means” to all of this in my view is a purchase of something. i want to be able to say i am hear at this location at this time and i am looking for XXXXX. Not, i am here at this location at this time and i am interested in where you are, what this place is like, and how big my crown is. Because i have already discovered my city, and i really don’t care for a badge. you see if i want to know about a place – i tap in to the curated web. there are milliions of ways for me to do this today. If i want to know where my friends are i can call them, and do i really need to go somewhere because it looks really popular or crowded? these are all nice pieces of information – but they are really a means to something as my primary concern is that i have decided to do something or buy something and i want to engage with the appropriate selling universe in real-time so that i can make my decision.

i am looking to eat italian tonight with 3 friends
i need a baby sitter
i want to go clubbing, or golfing or on and on and on with examples

and i want an audience of merchants to respond to me in 140 characters and tell me why i should buy from them, and why i should tell my friends that i bought from them.

i dont want curated discovery and review – or even curated recommendation – i want to find out whats in it for me to do what i want to do – and i want a real merchant to tell me so.

i want responses from real people, who want my business – not from a proxy of stored coupons. I want to control my universe of merchants so that i can build relationships – i only want to consider others if a friend reccomends and so on….

See this is the “end” and not the “means”. and i know that merchants will pay for my custom. they’ll pay all day. they can get new business using 140 characters and they can get new customers within minutes – and only pay when they do.

UPDATE: it turns out that some others are thinking of this and are coining the phrase THE INTEREST GRAPH

Getabl has the opportunity to be the onramp to this graph. =- very exciting.

Filed under: Geolocation and RFID, going out in boston, social media, Uncategorized

Radiohead and the RIAA

Radiohead - In LEGO
Image by woordenaar via Flickr

i am a huge music lover. i spend hours and hours a week – whether on a plane or working on a spreadsheet or at the gym discovering, sharing and listening to music. I have been a highly interested spectator to the industry over the last decade, and i have strong opinions about artist rights, and the internet at large.

so it came as no surprise that i stumbled upon this article this morning claiming that Radiohead are taking the stand against the RIAA. To be sure, the internet has disintermediated large swaths of the music value chain and it is still not clear to me how the artist community replaces its revenue stream. I personally think that the industry is going through permanent and tectonic change.

What i do know is that the organization known as the RIAA is a parasite. they neither represent the true interests of the artist nor those of the industry at large – they are litigating an extinct business model, they are suing their own customers (name another industry doing this) and they need to go away.

the future of music lies in discovery, sharing and experiencing using a new set of tools. the future has no place for them as distribution – the very business they monopolized and exploited for several decades – has imploded and no longer can be controlled.

Update: Just received this gem – worth a watch if you have the time

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Filed under: going out in boston, social media, , ,

Friday Night at the ICA

I was invited to attend the opening of Supply and Demand by Shepard Fairey on friday night and it certainly did not dissapoint. Aside from the highly covered news of said Artist being arrested before he could attend the opening of his own show, the crowd were in a highly festive spirit. There was a line outside in the bitter cold, the event was sold out, and tickets were rumored to be going for silly prices.

Shepard went to college with my brother at RISD, many years ago, and we used to know him fondly as the T-shirt guy. We used to organize large electronic events in the new England area, and Shep used to run a silk screening business and supply us with t-shirts. he also used to sticker up each venue with no end of the early Andre Stickers!

The event was a true mish mash of several generations of the more alternative Boston population. Clearly Shep has struck a chord that transcends ages, and styles. Its been a very long time since i went out and saw such a diverse and interesting crowd. the exhibition did not disappoint, and i will surely go back for a more peaceful visit over the next few months. I highly reccomend it.

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Filed under: going out in boston, , ,

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