52 Quotes of John Battelle

” As you grow older, you learn a few things. One of them is to actually take the time you’ve allotted for vacation. “
” I have done a pretty good job of partitioning my life digitally, posting utterances and stories that I’m happy to share with anyone on Twitter, leaving a few sparse comments and ‘Likes’ on Facebook (I’m not a huge user of the service, I’ll be honest), and sending any number of photos to thousands of ‘followers’ on Instagram and Tumblr. “
” Bill Gates has become the patron saint of philanthropy and the poster child of rebirth, and from what I can tell, rightly so. “
” The smart phone isn’t a perfect device, as we all know. It forces the world into a tiny screen. It runs out of battery, bandwidth, and power. It distracts us from the world around us. “
” We speak of ‘software eating the world,’ ‘the Internet of Things,’ and we massify ‘data’ by declaring it ‘Big.’ But these concepts remain for the most part abstract. It’s hard for many of us to grasp the impact of digital technology on the ‘real world’ of things like rocks, homes, cars, and trees. We lack a metaphor that hits home. “
” Prior to email, our private correspondence was secured by a government institution called the postal service. Today, we trust AOL, Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook, or Gmail with our private utterances. “
” Drones ply the liminal space between the physical and the digital – pilots fly them, but aren’t in them. They are versatile and fascinating objects – the things they can do range from the mundane (aerial photography) to the spectacular – killing people, for example. “
” The open web is full of spam, shady operators, and blatant falsehoods. Outside of a relatively small percentage of high quality sites, most of the web is chock full of popup ads and other interruptive come-ons. It’s nearly impossible to find signal in that noise, and the web is in danger of being overrun by all that crap. “
” I started my career as a liberal arts major from Berkeley, wrote about enterprise IT for a few years, then followed my passion for the digital narrative into graduate school as well (also at Berkeley, the Oxford of the West or, perhaps, the Harvard – sorry Stanford!). My first project out of grad school was ‘Wired’ magazine. “
” I like Diaspora because it’s audacious, it’s driven by passion, and it’s very, very hard to do. After all, who in their right mind would set as a goal taking on Facebook? That’s sort of like deciding to build a better search engine – very expensive, with a high likelihood of failure. “
” The largest issue with search is that we learned about it when the web was young, when the universe was ‘complete’ – the entire web was searchable! Now our digital lives are utterly fractured – in apps, in walled gardens like Facebook, across clunky interfaces like those in automobiles or Comcast cable boxes. “
” In the past, Google has used teams of humans to ‘read’ its street address images – in essence, to render images into actionable data. But using neural network technology, the company has trained computers to extract that data automatically – and with a level of accuracy that meets or beats human operators. “
” As the border between physical and digital gets more permeable, a new kind of literacy emerges. And that literacy is built on a foundation of code – whether it’s the codes of letters and words, or the code of bits and algorithms. “
” Google is a global Rorschach test. We see in it what we want to see. Google has built an infrastructure that makes a lot of dreams closer to reality. “
” Building out a professional profile on LinkedIn certainly makes sense, and bolstering that CV with intelligent pieces of writing is also a great idea. But if you’re going to take the time to create content, you should also take the time to create a home for that content that is yours and yours alone. “
” I find web browsing, checking multiple email accounts, and Google mapping rather tiresome on an iPhone – the iPhone’s native interface, for all its supposed perfection, has all kinds of wrong baked in – and the screen is just far too small. “
” Way back in 2008, when the iPhone was new and Instagram was a gleam in Kevin Systrom’s eye, I was involved in creating a service called CrowdFire. It was a way for fans at a festival (the first was Outside Lands) to share photos, tweets, and texts in a location and event specific way. “
” WordPress makes it drop-dead easy to start a site. Take my advice and go do it. “
” You happily give Facebook terabytes of structured data about yourself, content with the implicit tradeoff that Facebook is going to give you a social service that makes your life better. “
” I found the iPad to be too large and heavy to use comfortably in casual situations (like reading in bed, for example), and too limited to use as a replacement for my laptop. By comparison, the Nexus 7 is just the right size for use anywhere – it’s very similar in size to my daughter’s Kindle Fire, but lighter. “
” The only thing Google has failed to do, so far, is fail. “
” I think ad networks is an ongoing story. Federated was a chapter in that story, and it continues to write a new one. “
” When you bring the scale and precision of data-driven platforms to the brilliance of great media executions, magic will happen. Delivering on that vision for the Independent Web is the mission of Federated Media Publishing. “
” I’ve been a Mac guy for almost my entire adult life. I wrote my first college papers on a typewriter, but by the end of my freshman year – almost 20 years ago – I was on an IBM PC. Then, in 1984, I found the Mac, and I never looked back. “
” We all know the future is mobile, right? And the iPhone and iPad are Perfect Expressions of Beauty, Ideal Combinations of Form and Function. Except they’re Not. “
” It’s not easy being number two. As a marketer, you have limited choices – you can pretend you’re not defined by the market leader, or, you can embrace your position and go directly after your nemesis. “
” ‘The Victorian Internet’ is a must read for anyone interested in the history of technology and in the cycles of hype, boom, and bust that seem to only quicken with each new wave of innovation. Highly recommended. “
” When it broke out in the mid 1990s, the web was society’s first at-scale digital artifact. It spread in orders of ten, first thousands, then millions, then hundreds of millions of pages – and on it went, to the billions it now encompasses. “
” Search is now more than a web destination and a few words plugged into a box. Search is a mode, a method of interaction with the physical and virtual worlds. What is Siri but search? What are apps like Yelp or Foursquare, but structured search machines? Search has become embedded into everything and has reached well beyond its web-based roots. “
” When you use Facebook, you’re always logged in, and your identity and relationships – to others, to content, to apps and services – are assets Facebook can use to customize your experience (oh, and your ads). “
” Anytime Facebook wants to change how it might use all that data about you, in any way, across any service it has within the Facebook ecosystem, all it has to do is change one privacy policy, tell you about it, and that’s that. “
” If we as a society do not understand ‘the cloud,’ in all its aspects – what data it holds, how it works, what the bargains are we make as we engage with it, we’ll all be the poorer for it, I believe. “
” Nearly all web publications are driven by the display model, which is in turn driven by page views. But we all know the web is shifting, thanks to mobile devices and the walled gardens they erect. The new landscape of the web is far more complicated, and new products must emerge. “
” As much as I love scores of wonderful sites across the web, most of them are driven by the daily grind of the display/pageview hamster wheel. They create 20, 30, 40 ‘content snacks’ a day, and I miss far more than I consume. “
” The truth is, truly passionate media creators don’t get into the media business to make huge gains from spectacular unicorn exits. When it happens, we certainly all cheer (and perhaps secretly hope it happens to us). But the fact is, we make media because we don’t know what else to do with ourselves. It’s how we’re wired, so to speak. “
” Making media companies that you hope to sell is not a lot of fun for anyone who cares deeply about making media. “
” I’m quite certain the Windows 8 team is preparing to market IE 10 – and by extension, Windows 8 – as the safe, privacy-enhancing choice, capitalizing on Google’s many government woes and consumers’ overall unease with the search giant’s power. “
” Advertising and content have always been bound together – in print, on television, and on the web. Sure, you can skip the ad – just flip the page, or press ‘ffwd’ on your DVR. But great advertising, as I’ve long argued, adds value to the content ecosystem, and has as much a right to be in the conversation as does the publisher and the consumer. “
” Just as like the music industry still wishes for the days when it controlled its own production and distribution, the media and marketing world still yearns for the silver bullet of the thirty-second spot on ‘Seinfeld,’ even as it knows those days are over. “
” Call it a hunch, but I sense that many of us are not entirely comfortable with a world in which every single thing we buy creates a cloud of data. I’d like to have an option to not have a record of how much I tipped, or what I bought at 1:08 A.M. at a corner market in New York City. “
” The Nexus 7 is about the same size as a Moleskine notebook, and it just ‘feels’ like the right form factor for doing all those things you want to do on a smart phone, but can’t quite do in the right way. It’s not too big, and not too small – just right. “
” Facebook’s data trove is enviable, and its moves into nearly every aspect of our lives – from payment to media, will create even more of it. The company also has created a huge base of developers for its platform, but the ecosystem is incomplete compared to vertically integrated OSes like iOS, Mac or Windows. “
” Obama will win the 2012 election, thanks in part to the tech community rallying behind him due to issues like SOPA, visas, and free speech. “
” I’ll admit it: I’m one of those people who has a Google News alert set for my own name. “
” When documents were analog, they were protected by government laws against unreasonable search and seizure. When they live in the cloud… the ground is shifting. “
” The home phone is relatively cheap, incredibly reliable, and – if you buy the right phone – will work for years without replacement. Oh, and far as I can tell, a home phone won’t give you brain cancer. In a perfect world, the hard line should have become a platform for building out an entire app ecosystem for the home. And yet… it didn’t. “
” An elaborate system of etiquette and social standards flowered around the home phone: how long a child might be allowed to stay on the phone, how late one could call without being impolite, and of course, the dread implications of a late night call which violated that norm. “
” Boxes and rectangles on the side or top of a website simply do not deliver against brand advertising goals. Like it or not, boxes and rectangles have for the most part become the province of direct response advertising, or brand advertising that pays, on average, as if it’s driven by direct response metrics. “
” Ideally, content should be shared, mixed, mashed, and reposted – it wants to flow through the Internet like water. This was the point of RSS, after all – a technology that has actually been declared dead more often than the lowly display banner. “
” The ‘old’ Internet is shrinking and being replaced by walled gardens over which Google’s crawlers can’t climb. Sure, Google can crawl Facebook’s ‘public pages,’ but those represent a tiny fraction of the ‘pages’ on Faceboo, and are not informed by the crucial signals of identity and relationship which give those pages meaning. “
” There are essentially two main reasons to hold a phone up at a show. First, to capture a memory for yourself, a reminder of the moment you’re enjoying. And second, to share that moment with someone – to express your emotions socially. Both seem perfectly legitimate to me. “
” I sense that the sea of smart phones lit up at concerts is a temporary phenomenon. The integration of technology, sharing, and social into our physical world, on the other hand, well, that ain’t going away. “