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Saturday
Feb272010

500 Days of Twitter

It's been around one year since I decided to give Twitter a chance. I was completely against the concept at the beginning, but I decided to give it a shot and during the South by Southwest Festival last year I saw how it started to explode into a massive hit. 

AT&T was jammed around the Hilton (where I was staying) and the Austin Convention Center. Everyone was Tweeting about every little detail about the festival. I was shocked and impressed and hooked. 

I was still skeptical. I didn't know how long the craziness would last. I didn't know if I would get into it as much as I did with Facebook. In many ways, Facebook just seemed more useful and addictive. I started tweeting and following interesting people and getting some random people to follow me as well, just for the hell of it. 

I have to admit today that I find Twitter much more interesting than Facebook. The funniest thing about it is that the reason why this is happening is because Mark Zuckberberg and his Twitter obsession turned Facebook into an overwhelming pile of crap. As much as Facebook continues to grow in other areas, like social games and media sharing in general, the social component of keeping in touch with friends and sharing information is a complete mess. 

Whatever algorithm decides what goes into the home page and what doesn't is inexplicable to me. It doesn't have to do with the number of comments, or the nature of the post, or the person who posted it. It seems arbitrary and annoying. Stuff that I don't have about is there, and stuff that I would care about I don't even see because it gets filtered out.

And what is going on with Privacy? All the privacy obsession of a couple of years ago vanished into making something that has no privacy whatsoever. You cannot hide stuff from certain people, which made a lot of people disappear from it or stop being open and honest on the site for fear of losing their jobs or getting in trouble. 

On Twitter, I don't follow so many people. I add new interesting people constantly, but I actually like finding interesting stuff, exchanging opinions, sharing my thoughts, photos, cool links, etc. Short and simple. If you are interested follow me, click on it, or move on. That's it. 

If it wasn't for BOLA and to chat every now and then with a handful of people, I would have deactivated my Facebook a long time ago. It's just too messy, and I hope they get it together and don't scare away the people who are still interested in sharing their lives online. They still have the biggest goldmine in the online world and everyones attention. The site is more popular than ever, social games are booming, they are integrating e-commerce into it, and hopefully they will be able to realize what Facebook was all about when it started before people start running away like they did on MySpace. 

Follow me on Twitter :)

Saturday
Feb272010

Genius Marketing

I saw this a while ago and for some reason I forgot to post it. I should have done it sooner because it really is one of the most fun and brilliant marketing ideas for beer I have ever seen. 

Andes Beer, a company from Mendoza in Argentina, developed a campaign called "Andes Teletransporter". I won't explain how it works as you have to watch it yourself, but let's say that they figured out a way for men to go to bars and have fun with friends without having to worry about their girlfriends getting mad. 

I wonder if the significant investment and success of this campaign will help Andes Beer expand. They are #1 in some regions of Argentina, but I don't think you can get it in Buenos Aires, the largest market of the country of course, or anywhere else in the world.

Not only this campaign should open doors for Andes to distribute its product in other countries, but the investment of actually building many of these Teletransporters and having them in bars in cities across the globe would probably be one of the best expansion strategies for a beer ever made. I wonder if they are considering this or planning a strategy around it. 

Anyways, watch the commercial embedded below!

Saturday
Feb272010

New Name, Improved Thoughts

DON'T GO ANYWHERE!

The name has changed but you are in the right place.

I realized a while ago that the blog wasn't just about me. Unless you are Bill Gates, or maybe trying to become famous, I don't see the point of having a blog with your name on it, or in my case called ANDYK.NET. I wanted a new name that reflected what I try to talk about with this blog. 

So what is this blog about? I usually write about topics that interest me and that are going through a major change, or that are influencing us or will become a major influence in the near future. I like when something goes through a significant change and we witness the process. The film industry, music business, sports, television, online startups, games, innovative new ideas, and mostly things that will result in a dramatic revolution for that particular industry or topic.

Like Larry David, I consider myself an 'improver' of things (not an inventor :), so I try to give my opinion every now on then if I think I can say something that makes sense. I hope you like the new name for the blog and continue to enjoy reading my posts. Thank you!

Tuesday
Feb162010

Stop the Internet!

Everyone who knows me remembers how hooked I was to the Internet very early. I used to hang out in chat rooms and publish websites and search for my homework online way before it became the standard. It was definitely the way of the future, as we clearly see today. 

That was fifteen or almost twenty years ago, and it is amazing how much the world has changed since because of the Internet. In many ways it changed for the better, and made our lives easier. In other ways, there are serious disadvantages and problems that will only continue to get worse. 

If I could stop the Internet and get off, I would. There is no such thing. If you delete your Facebook profile people think that you vanished from the planet or went to prison. If you stop answering emails you must be on vacation in the Himalayas with no reception. For someone who has been connected and online for such a long time as myself, it seems almost impossible to go back. I envy people who still don't have Facebook and minimize their online activities. It's liberating and refreshing to do stuff like a human being in the outside world. 

For example, I was one of the first users trying Netflix the moment it opened its doors. For someone who loves movies as much as I do, it was a dream come true. After several years I cancelled my membership and today I feel a lot happier with the old school routine of getting off my ass, driving to the video store and browsing around to decide "what I want to watch tonight?." The same goes with books. Not only I'm reluctant to buy a Kindle (as tempting as it is every time I see one), but I started buying my books in person at Barnes & Noble and not in Amazon. Sometimes I can't find something in the store and have no choice but to buy it online, which is the reason why Amazon is great. But when I know that I can find the book anywhere, I feel better if I go and physically pick it up. Not to mention used-book stores, which are great to kill time and find stuff you didn't know existed. 

Yes, the Internet opens lots of doors we didn't have before. It's great that we could reconnect with old friends on Facebook, or keep in touch with people who live far away. That doesn't mean we have to communicate with everyone through Facebook or Blackberry Messenger. What happened with the personal connections? What happened with talking to random strangers at a bar instead of in a chat room? And don't even get me started on that. When I started chatting with people in the early 90's, it was innocent and fun. It was the true meaning of people exploring a new technology to meet others with similar interests and build connections that became real in life. I have friends that I met online many years ago who continue to be my good friends in life today. But today its different. People don't look for real people. People are just bored out of their freaking minds. 

I can summarize this disgust I have with one word: Chatroulette (it may be two words but whatever). Did you see the sick motherfuckers on this website? It's a brilliant concept, created by a 17 year old kid, and obviously proof that there are still some simple and yet original ideas to do online. If you are not familiar with this, Chatroulette.com allows anybody to chat with random strangers using the camera, and as soon as you see a person you can click "next" and go to the next person, and so on. I can't even remember the amount of disgusting freaks that I saw jerking off to the camera, or doing some other weird shit that is definitely not meant to be public. 

I don't know what the solution is at this point. There is no turning back, and we shouldn't really have to. The advantages in technology and communications are unbelievable and it will only get better. The problem is how our society uses these tools and how we can limit the amount of negative stuff out there. Kids today are being influenced by very negative people online and their values are corrupted from a early age. That is very different to change later in life, especially when everything around you is the same. Jersey Shore? Perez Hilton? Who gives these people so much power and influence? The Internet for starters, and everyone else who allows them to get away with it. 

Ok I'm talking about too many different things here. Coming back to the original point, I'm happy to be spending a lot more time outside. The world is a beautiful place and we forget sometimes. The Internet is useful for many things, but we need to make sure it doesn't take over our lives and every aspect of it. I cannot say things where better before when we didn't have it, but I'm sure that things can be a lot better now if we use it differently and we value the importance of real human connections and our personal connection to the Earth. 

Sunday
Jan242010

Game Time!

I'm happy to announce that the first version of Bola is now online on Facebook. The open beta has been up for about a week and thousands of people are already playing and sending us excellent feedback and encouraging comments. The Three Melons team worked very hard, and continue to do so everyday to put out the best soccer game in the world. 

If you are reading this and have no idea of what I'm talking about, Bola is a soccer game on Facebook. You start by creating your own team from scratch, pick your colors, build your stadium, get fans to cheer for your team, but most importantly you get to invite and play with your friends, tease them and compete to see who wins more games, who has the coolest stadium and who gets the biggest fan base. 

Hope you play the game and send me some feedback. We are working hard to improve the game and make it better everyday. During the next few weeks there will be significant upgrades done to the game, including the virtual goods store, tournaments, trading players and much more! 

Check out Bola by clicking here. 

Follow Bola on Twitter for all the latest updates.

Become a fan of Bola on Facebook and share your experience with friends and other Bola users.