I have always been a creative person and the Internet always seemed like an ideal place to share and explore creativity. However, before Tumblr, there was was no singular place that felt like a proper platform for showcasing creativity across different media.
The first time I started my Tumblr account four years ago, I felt like I was getting a glimpse into what the future of the internet would be like. I loved how simple it was and how intuitive it was to host all kinds of media. The simple top bar with the icons for text, audio, video, etc, captures my excitement every time I see it.
When I started using Tumblr, most people I knew didn’t know about it. A lot of them were introduced to the platform through following my blog. Over the years I have become a sort of ‘Tumblr expert’ in my circles. I’ve helped many of my friends start up their own. It’s been fascinating to see how different people make use of the platform.
I have a ton of different media properties on the internet. But the single most valuable one, is my main Tumblr. That is the link that I send people who want to know more about me. It expresses who I am the best. People can browse my last four years of creative output and understand what makes me tick. I have used my main Tumblr to tell my life story of living in Japan, to show my professional advertising work and to capture the sights and sounds that have moved me.
Over the past four years, I feel like other platforms have added bells and whistles to try and come closer to what Tumblr is. But none of the other platforms have gained on the simple promise that Tumblr never fails to deliver on: Tumblr is the best way to express your creative life online. There is no runner up in this category.
I’ve been using Tumblr consistently for 4 years, but I still feel like I am only scratching the surface of possibility with the platform.
Darvish displayed the first signs of his major league mojo yesterday against the Yankees.
His control was sharp, throwing 83 strikes over the course of 8 and 1/3 innings of scoreless ball. That is one of the higher strike totals in the majors this year. I especially liked his swagger coming of the mound. He had the look of a dude who knows he is the Man.
In his previous starts, Darvish seemed to only have mastery of one of his pitches at a time. So far his curveball has been his most dominant pitch. But against the Yankees, Darvish was locating both of his fastballs, throwing a cutter with nasty movement, and knifing in and out of the zone with his slider and curve. It’s unconfirmed, but it even looked like he threw a couple of change-ups. I have never noticed Darvish throwing a change-up before. In Japan he had no need for one. But in the majors, adding a change of pace pitch will make him all the more deadly. Maybe this is the first sign of his tutelage by the brothers Maddux.
If Darvish is this consistent with locating all of his pitches, he will be unstoppable. Any time his game is on like it was against the Yankees, no major league lineups will have success.
He has gotten into trouble when his breaking balls are not sharp and when his fastball drifts into the middle of the plate. That happened a few times against the Yankees, but he was able to isolate those mistakes and strand all runners.
A quality start like this is a big step to calming down the haters and solidifying Darvish as a major league ace in the making.
Looking forward to his next time out.
They’ve got these toilets in Japan that come with a remote control wand. The remote is mounted to the wall, but I guess if the spirit moves you you are free to detach it and roam around the stall for a bit. I guess it’s good to be able to pace around when you are faced with a tough decision like which of the twenty buttons you should press once you’ve finished your business. Should I just flush the thing? Or should I spray some water around? Start a laser light show? Play some easy listening music? I wonder if this toilet has wi-fi… I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before they start marketing these things as ‘smart toilets.’
There are thousands of these cafes in Tokyo that only serve teeny, tiny portions of food. When you walk down the street, and see a laminated poster displaying their menu, it looks damn good. But when you go inside and order, you are presented with a side dish that sells for full meal price. It’s a lady cafe. Sometimes you can look in the window and notice the complete absence of men. But other times, there is no view inside, and you have to take a leap of faith. A typical lady cafe menu offers tasty looking dishes like chicken curry, taco rice and pork bowls. All worthy dishes, that presented in regular sized dishes with regular sized portions make amazing lunches. But, in the context of a lady cafe, you will walk away from lunch unfulfilled and wishing you had ventured a bit deeper into the alleyway.
Since the Internet proved it could attract a mass audience, companies have been looking for ways to lasso its unlimited potential. However, during the short history of the Internet, no company’s lasso has proven big enough. AOL tried to reign in the potential by sending out trillions of CDs promising hours of free dial-up access. The strategy worked for a while, but in the end, free choice and competition burst AOL’s lasso by proving people had mail elsewhere.
More recently, social networks have been hiring the smartest minds, coders and magicians they could find to construct intelligent lassos. MySpace burned out fast and bright in a twinkling animated GIF of glory, but the system it presented promised a new, possibly sustainable model.
Facebook entered the game and learned from MySpace’s mistakes. They kept more control of their visual identity and provided a more neutral way for people to claim their online presences. They extended their product beyond the walls of their garden by passing out ‘Like’ buttons that we can install at will on every bit of content on our blogs and personal sites. The ‘Like’ button became the political yard signs in Facebook’s campaign to win the Internet.
Google took note of Facebook’s intelligent lasso, and put an army of Googlers on a crusade to build a bigger, more Googley lasso. Google has already conquered the Internet’s search game, turning itself into a non-ironic verb in the process. ‘Google me, dude.’
But Google’s success at building the world’s best search lasso didn’t quell their ambition to build an ever better lasso. With the Internet now segmented, total control and gatekeeping of it’s information, memes and all the cats is proving to be an intense battle.
Startups emerge overnight that win legions of dedicated users, and threaten to offset the delicate balance of corporate Internet ownership. Instagram gains millions of followers in a matter of months and becomes a billion dollar asset.
Facebook swallows the photo-sharing asset, and must not find a way to incorporate the intelligence of Instagram (and whatever intelligence they buy) onto a working part of their new Internet lasso.
Meanwhile Google is scheming to not be out +1ed at their own game. They are quickly iterating their own product Google+.
While Facebook and Google see each other as mortal, virtual e-enemies, I see them, as a consumer of their products, as serving two vastly different needs. Facebook is the tool that organizes my inward facing life, friends and family. Its Timeline marks the roller coaster of my personal life. Google+ is proving to be about connecting with EVERY ONE ELSE. Google+ represents the outward facing world, the people I haven’t met yet. Potential audience members. Potential employers. Potential partners.
For now it makes sense to keep my accounts with both Facebook and Google+ active. They serve two distinct needs for me. However I think in the future, that connecting with the larger world, and the people you don’t know yet, but perhaps need to to accelerate your personal arc, will prove to be the more valuable service.
So for now I will keep all social media lassos twirling. And I’ll judge their effectiveness as this crazy rodeo called the Internet evolves into a bull.
Darvish is making some very fast adjustments.
The biggest thing I noticed in Darvish’s second start of the season was that he simplified his motion from the windup. In the first start he pumped his gloved over his head, but against the Twins, he eliminated that. It makes his presence on the mound similar to how Randy Johnson used to appear before he pitched. This will be good in the long run.
Darvish also looked very relaxed on the mound. He still had issues with his control at times, but overall, this game felt more solid than his debut. When his breaking pitches are on, they are deadly, even at the major league level. He needs to make sure he keeps his fastball away from the middle of the plate. That’s when he gets hit. With his speed hovering around 91-92 MPH, he will not blow the ball by hitters the way he did in Japan. I haven’t seen him throw any change-ups yet. I’m thinking that would be a great weapon the Maddux brothers could start tutoring him on.
Overall, I’m damn impressed with Darvish’s transition so far. He isn’t dominating, but he has the look and feel of a major league ace. With some more experience and consistency, I think Darvish can evolve into a Mark Prior / Adam Wainwright type of fastball pitcher with great breaking stuff.