How people find stuff

I was reading Fred Wilsons blog the other day where he argued that twitter and facebook traffic would surpass google referral traffic in the future. The interesting part of that discussion is for me less about which of these companies that will win or loose out. The core question is really about how people will discover stuff in the future. How will people find stuff online.
The very first method of discovery was editorial. The web only had a few websites where people went to find ‘good stuff’. The web have since been very much centered about using search as its primary discovery methods. The web has essentially been spinning around Mother Google making business that was well disposed for this kind of discovery the first to prosper. We are now moving towards a time where new social discovery tools are being created. The initial wave of these tools were around one to one sharing, (e.g. send this to a friend) but are now becoming more sophisticated (e.g behavior generated content). Together the three ways of discovery matches the ones we have offline:

– editorial. you are browsing around in a magazine or a site and someone suggest you to read/try/do something
– search. you are looking for something in a shop or you ask google to find it for you
– social. you get a ping from a friend, a social trigger, that prompts you to do something.

These three categories can be divided into sub categories. For example, editorial can be either be done by a blogger or by a computer (like amazon) – but at the end of the day its a form of expert who recommend something. So while social discovery online is growing, its hardly a new concept and we can probably expect the split between them to follow the offline world – which is probably editorial 30%, search 35%, social 35%.

The new questions then become – how will the online tools look like that make people explore ‘stuff they didnt know they were looking for’ and what new formats will be effective in influencing those three discovery methods. In a video world, social discovery mean new content discovery methods like; personalized subscriptions, facebook connected notifications, auto twitter viewing reports, co-watching in realtime (join what your friends are watching), content exploration via friends viewing data visulazations – but all that is probably a worth a post of its own 🙂


Great software install on your new mac

A friend of mine just converted from PC to a Mac and asked me what  smart programs he should install. As I was writing the list, I thought, I might as well share it here on the blog. So here goes in no specific order:

  • Numbu – for a simple twitter client
  • Evernote – for taking notes and have a backup of them online and on my iphone
  • Cocktail – for cleaning of the mac on a weekly basis
  • FormulatePro – to sign pdf files with my scanned signature
  • Freemind – for making quick mindmaps
  • Skitch – for taking screen shots and sharing them quickly
  • Firefox – for browsing
  • Firefox plugins:
    • Drop.io – for quick big file sharing
    • GreaseMonkey – for installing all sort of geeky scripts
    • FireBug – for doing quick changes to websites to explain changes or see how cool stuff is done
    • Delicious – for quick bookmapping
    • FireFtp – for easy and quick ftp tasks inside firefox
    • Google Redesigned – for a nicer design of gmail and google apps
  • Skype – for video and video calls
  • Adium – for being online with msn/aim/jabber/gchat
  • Google Quick Search Box – for general quick search across my computers and the web
  • Dropbox – for quick/easy file sharing with girlfriend and freelancers
  • Logmein – for quick remote controlling my mac when I am away from it
  • TimeMachine – for doing local backups of my pc
  • JungleDisk for remote backup of my archive and my weekly backup
  • MobileMe – for sync of my settings across multiple macs and calendar sync to Iphone
  • CardScan – for keeping digital copies of all the business cards I get and having an online backup of them
  • 1Password – for keeping track of all my passwords (and sync’ing it with my Iphone)
  • Iphoto – for general handling of my pictures
  • Imovie – for editing of my videos
  • ITunes – to listen to call podcasts and buy tvshows for long haul travel (as well as music of cause)
  • Smultron – for the few times where I wanna read code – or hack up some html/css
  • Balsamiq Mockups – for doing quick prototypes and mockups
  • FacebookSync – for getting my friends pictures into “Address Book”
  • GrandPerspective – for cleaning up my harddrive and figure out where all the harddisk went
  • Opera 10 – for when I am on a super flacky wifi or gprs connection and still want to browse
  • Seashore – for free very basic picture editing
  • VLC – for when people send me a odd video format that nothing else will play
  • ScreenFlow – for when I need to do screencapture to explain something. (think there is a cheaper version out there)
  • Ical connected to Google Calendar – for getting a calendar for work, private and a shared one with my GF

Online services (I use many online services almost like apps, so they are included here)

  • Gmail – for all my emails
  • MotionBox – for cloud storage of all my videos
  • Picassa – for cloud storage of all my pictures
  • Facebook – for getting in touch with friends
  • Twitter – for getting in touch with friends I dont know yet
  • Delicious – for getting track of all the websites I find and like
  • WordPress – for writing random thoughts and keeping some info about myself online
  • Google reader – for reading RSS feeds and subscribing to blogs
  • Last.fm – for listening to music I didnt know I would like
  • Jigsaw – for when I want an 1-click music video channel
  • Joost – for when I watch great TV

Think thats about it.