Fairwell Old Internet Friend

This week marked the end of an era in Internet lore as Yahoo! was officially sold off to Verizon, thus ending its position as an independent company. Over the past 10-15 years, Yahoo! has been the butt of too many jokes and a cautionary tale of how a sprawling, rudderless organization grew too quickly and did not have the leadership and management chops to take advantage of their once dominant position.

Let us not forget that at one time, Yahoo! was THE most dominant online property on the Internet. They had a leadership position in Search, in Email and as a “portal” of content. They purchased Flickr, a once dominant, innovative and highly influential photo sharing site that is today a shell of its former self, a victim of Yahoo! completely missing the mobile revolution. They once owned Delicious, another highly influential web bookmarking service that – like Flickr – introduced the Internet to tagging and RSS Feeds of your favorite internet links. The amount of data that was generated by Delicious was staggering, but Yahoo didn’t see it and that too withered on the vine. And I have not even touched on Yahoo!’s self grown and highly regarded services like Fantasy Sports, Yahoo! Finance and of course, Yahoo Mail.

I won’t go any further in waxing poetic about the opportunities that Yahoo! (not to mention AOL, who they will be joining at Verizon) squandered as they proceeded to get Googled before they ever knew what was happening.

I will, however, leave you with one of the classic Yahoo! commercials from the late 1990s that will bring a smile to your face and make you think back to the wonder and joy of discovery that was present back when Yahoo! was, well, Yahoo!:

The Week In Tweets

The Week In Tweets

Still Bringing The Heat

This past Sunday, I went to NJPAC (New Jersey Performing Arts Center) to see a screening of Young Frankenstein, followed by a ‘conversation’ with Mel Brooks himself…all of 90 years young.

Watching the movie in a theater the size of NJPAC was fantastic. I’ve only watched Young Frankenstein (more times than I can count) at home on TV, so listening to an audience laughing and reacting to the movie was a unique experience. It made me appreciate even more the subltle nuances of Gene Wilder’s reactions, and the classic facial expressions of Cloris Leachman and Marty Feldman. You just don’t get that from watching the movie in your living room.

But the real joy came during the conversation with Mel Brooks after the show, where he shared stories and memories of filming Young Frankenstein: how Marty Feldman kept on switching the shoulder of Igor’s hump until someone on the set noticed, upon which Mel thought it funny enough to write it into the script; how in the grave digging scene, an off the cuff quip from Feldman (again) led to him writing in the downpour of rain as being the only thing that could make digging up a grave worse.

Near the end of the conversation, the host read some questions that the audience got to submit for Mel to answer and there were two interactions that illustrated how quick and brilliantly funny Mel Brooks still is:

The Underwear Question

Audience Question: Mel, boxers or briefs?
Mel (without missing a beat): I’m going to give you an honest answer. Depends.
Brought down the house.

Don’t Kiss And Tell Question

Initial Audience Question: Katie asks if you would consider marrying her?
Mel: I’ll think about it. I’ll definitely think about it
Next Audience Question: Jennifer says that she is a huge fan and was wondering if she could give you a kiss?
Mel (again, without missing a beat): Oh, I’m sorry Jennifer, I’m engaged to Katie now and I don’t think that would be appropriate.
Brings down the house again.

Of course, the most popular questions were: When are “Spaceballs II” and “History of the World, Part 2” coming out?

The Week In Tweets

The Week In Tweets

The Week In Tweets

A Billion Websites In The Naked City

And yet, the vast majority of the traffic goes to the top 100 or so properties.

There are over 1.1 billion websites on the internet, but the vast majority of all traffic actually goes to a very select list of them. Google.com, for example, has an astounding 28 billion visits per month. The next closest is also a Google-owned property, Youtube.com, which brings in 20.5 billion visits.

This just illustrates just how long the long tail of websites is and how many different elements are out there to be explored. Cyberspace has never been a more apt description. The top 100 properties see the vast majority of traffic while the remaining 1.0999 billion sites/properties have relatively small volume of visitors.

Looking at the infographic and the properties that are listed is a really interesting visual into our world.

  • Google takes the top spot with the aforementioned Google, Youtube, Blogger, etc.
  • Facebook and Instagram represent a formidable combination
  • Yahoo, for all its troubles, still is listed as the #5 site online
  • News sites from all different angles have a significant presence with CNN (#22), HuffPo (#49), NY Times (#31), Wash Post (#54), along with Breitbart (#45), Fox News (#50) to name a few.

Click through below to see the original size of the infographic.

The Week In Tweets

The Week In Tweets

The Week In Tweets

The Week In Tweets

Comparing NHL All Star Uniforms

To me, the NHL and their uniform designs (or sweaters) have always struck a great balance between honoring the history of the game while still embracing the opportunities to try new and innovative visual design ideas. The All Star game has always been a great place to test out said new ideas, whether it’s a neon colored uniform or some silly puck tracking visual on the TV broadcast. And over at NHL.com, Chris Creamer took a look at past All Star uniforms going all the way back to the 1930’s.

From orange-and-black with stars all over to neon green and reflective crests, the NHL All-Star Game has always been the ideal event to experiment with new designs and give fans a visually unique uniform matchup.

This year’s black and white with neon green trim All Star uniforms are a good example of that willingness to embrace a look that will appeal to hockey fans young and old.

For my tastes, the All Star uniforms from the 2004 game (featured image above via cited NHL post) were pretty sweet.

Source: NHL.com

There’s A Dongle For That

The annual tech pilgrimage to Vegas for CES has come and gone. As usual, Apple was not present – they never have a booth – but they have been known to have a big presence in terms of buzz, apps, and other items within the Mac ecosystem. Apparently, according to ReCode, this year there was one big area of “innovation” within the Mac ecosystem:

The large iProducts section of the convention hall boasted the usual array of cases and chargers, but not a lot that was really new or exciting. Perhaps the biggest area of innovation was around trying to replace all the ports Apple took away on its latest MacBook Pro.

Courage.

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