This blog covers everything except sports and gardening, unless we find a really good link about using dead professional bowlers for mulch. The author is a StarTribune columnist, has been passing off fiction and hyperbole as insight since 1997, has run his own website since the Jurassic era of AOL, and was online when today’s college sophomores were a year away from being born. So get off his lawn.

The new Facebook killer is . . .

Posted by: James Lileks under Gripes, Praise, Technology Updated: February 21, 2013 - 12:27 PM

  . . . a question I'll answer in a few minutes. First, a question: what does this app do?

Write down your guess, and compare with the answer at the bottom of the post. 

WEB Posterous’ blog, last March, after the service was bought by Twitter:

We’d like to offer thanks to all of our users, especially those who have been with Posterous since day one. The last four years have been an amazing journey. Your encouragement, praise and criticism have made us better.  Thanks for that. We look forward to building great things for you over at Twitter.

Posterous blog, earlier this week:

Posterous launched in 2008. Our mission was to make it easier to share photos and connect with your social networks. Since joining Twitter almost one year ago, we’ve been able to continue that journey, building features to help you discover and share what’s happening in the world – on an even larger scale.

 On April 30th, we will turn off posterous.com and our mobile apps in order to focus 100% of our efforts on Twitter. This means that as of April 30, Posterous Spaces will no longer be available either to view or to edit.

Why did Twittter buy it? Were they considering some sort of Tumblresque service? Did Posterous contain some secret chunk of code they wanted to incorporate into Twitter? One theory:

I think the main appeal for Twitter is being able to test its Interest Graph Advertising Offerings Network on a significant property that is not Twitter.

Another theory:

If our suspicions for the future of Twitter are right, the Posterous hacquisition is vital to seamlessly zipping Twitter deeply into Apple's iOS... and possibly its desktop experience, too.

Another theory, from Dan Gilmour:

Why did Twitter buy Posterous? To kill it, among other things.

I switched my Tumblr to Posterous a few years ago, because Tumblr had become unstable and unreliable, and because Posterous was new and shiny. A lot of people had high hopes; in those early days, you could post a picture from your pocket telephone! Amazing.

But it remained a backwater, and was done in by two things: Facebook, of course, and Tumblr’s own improvements. About a year ago I moved everything back to Tumblr, signed out of Posterous, and that was that. Finding out that it’s closing down is like learning that a house you lived in during college burned down. Sad, but, well, life goes on.

As for Tumblr, wise people are saying it’s the Next Facebook.

As I’ve written before, Tumblr seems to have found a sweet spot between traditional blogging platforms like WordPress (please see the disclosure below) and social networks or “micro-blogging” platforms like Facebook and Twitter. While it’s relatively easy to set up a WordPress blog, creating and using a Tumblr blog makes that process seem complex by comparison. But even more important than that is the Twitter-style “following” that the site allows, and the fact that content can be “reblogged” on your own site with a single click — both of which can drive content on the network to “viral” levels in the blink of an eye.

While all these “things” are “true,” the use of “quotes” makes me suspect he’s talking to a “non-tech” audience. They won’t use Tumblr, because Facebook is easy, and the cluttered look and endless data-mining opportunities don’t bother them. It’s just what everyone’s on, and who has time to learn these other things? So Tumblr appeals to “Web-savvy” users who’ve been “blogging” for a while, but can’t get anyone to read their stuff, because it’s “boring.” What looks wan in a blogpost, though, is just another thing in the endless stream of Tumblr detritus, and if you’re trying to target a smaller group of like-minded friends, it’s much, much easier. The ability to like and follow and reblog makes the experience almost like flipping through a Twitter stream on a smartphone, doling out faves and clicking on links and following new people. It’s the constant twitchy NOW of the internet, a cornucopia, much more attuned to the mindset of people who grew up with the internet.

How they’ll make money I have no idea. Oh: ads! Fine. Put ads on my site; I don’t care. This will cause shrieks - How can they monetize MY content? Easily, that’s the answer.

Perhaps Facebook will turn out to be the tool of the older demographic, and Tumblr goes to the 35and-under. We’ll see.

That’s my bold prediction, anyway. We’ll see. Okay, new subject.

 

ART Hurrah for this: 15 reasons why Frank Tashlin was Awesome. Yesterday marked “the centennial of Frank Tashlin (February 19, 1913 – May 5, 1972), one of the most important figures in the history of American animation. Frank who?’’ Read and find out who, and why. Related, also from Cartoon Brew:

 

 

 

GEEK Harrison Ford, it’s rumored, will be in “Star Wars VII.” Now Mark Hamill:

Lucasfilm is in talks with Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford to return for Star Wars Episode VII. Talking to Entertainment Tonight, Hamill said:

 

"George [Lucas] wanted to know whether we'd be interested. He did say that if we didn't want to do it, they wouldn't cast another actor in our parts – they would write us out. I can tell you right away that we haven't signed any contracts.

(Via.)

The sequels were always a better idea than the prequels, for several reasons: 1) Lucas can’t write, and B) We already knew how the story ended. If something greater than a 10-year-old mentality is brought to this tale, you could be looking at the difference between the first Bale “Batman” movie and the last one with George Clooney. That’s the hope, anyway. If I was writing the Star Wars VII - something on the list of probability right up there with a guest post from the ghost of Anthony Burgess - I would do this:

1. Great crashing chord as the logo appears the same way it’s appeared for all our lives, theme gathers itself together and unfurls as the credits roll into space; something about how the Emperor has been killed and the galaxy is in chaos, with Imperial forces regrouping to maintain control over large segments of the former empire.

2. From the starfield, pan down to a small vessel, insignificant in the great cosmic void.

3. Interior shot: Jar-Jar Binks at the helm. Meesa on vacation!

4. At this point all hope and joy drains from the fans, who will have a moment of such unbelievable shock and dismay they cannot believe this is happening again. Jar-Jar prattles on his unmistakable style - until the front of his ship strikes some unseen object, like a car going into a wall, and is crushed in seconds to the sounds of Gungun shrieks. A vast imperial vessel decloaks; Jar-Jar’s ship explodes and the pieces bounce off the hull as we continue to zoom in on the ship’s bridge, where we meet the new villain.

Something like that. Something that tells everyone right up front: we know. We know. Don’t worry.

The fate of the provinces after the fall of the Capital is a great story, but they can’t tell what happened right after the Empire fell, because Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher are too old. The entire premise of the next three movies must be rejiggered to accommodate cameos.

It’s been done before. 

 

Bones McCoy showed up in the first Star Trek: Next Generation episode, at the age of 157 or something, but it was a passing of the torch. He was a doctor, not a damned plot device!

Or was he really a doctor?

 

 

 

Anyway. Some theories say Luke rose to political prominence post-Empire, because he was a good fighter pilot and helped the rebellion by screaming in pain while the Emperor shocked him, which made Darth Vader turn on him, after which Luke helped Darth because it was suddenly Father’s Day and he’d never given him anything, not even a tie. That’ll go down well with all the civilizations freed from the Imperial yoke. The new government will include Darth Vader’s son! Don’t worry, he’s okay. Really.

You can’t imagine Han Solo sticking around for anything; you don’t want him to stick around. A bad script would have him marry the Princess and be a grumpy old guy hanging around, bored and useless while she does Government Stuff. He’s itching for action! When Luke shows up and says “the script has detected a threat in the beginning of the second act - come with me and investigate,” and by gum it’s like old times.

We’ve seen that movie, and it’s “Space Cowboys.” Or maybe Han is living in some backwater town in a Boston Marriage with Chewie, and he doesn’t want to go fight anything because he’s old, and making the Kessel Run is a young man’s game, etc etc. This would set him up for appearing at a critical junction in the third act, shooting yee-haa, which wouldn’t be all that bad - if he has to be in the picture at all, I guess.

I hope they get the cameos out of the way fast, then start fresh.

I can't believe I still care about this stuff at all. Okay, new subject.

APPS I asked you to name the function of the app with this logo:

 

 

It's an internet radio app called Radium. I use it; it's good. But for the new version they decided that a chocolate heart said "internet radio" to people. Here's the old logo:

 

Yeah, I don't know why they thought that would make sense to anyone. Unless people kept clicking that icon expecting chocolate to shoot out of a USB port. 

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