Tuesday, September 8, 2009

(empo-tymshft) Further reflections on events occurring at different times in different locations

First, let me catch everybody up. Back in January 2008, I wrote a post in my mrontemp blog entitled Hashtagging Challenges When Events Occur at Different Times in Different Locations. It described two perceptions of that year's Rose Bowl Parade - my perception, gained from watching TV coverage toward the beginning of the parade route, and Phil Hodgen's perception, gained from being physically near the end of the parade route.

KTLA's coverage of the Rose Parade (which was also supplied to other stations) was based at a vantage point near the beginning of the parade, at Colorado Boulevard and Orange Grove Avenue in Pasadena, California. But Phil Hodgen, who was much farther down Colorado Boulevard, had a different impression. Almost three quarters of the parade had passed me (well, the TV cameras) by 9:21 when Hodgen tweeted the following from his vantage point:

#roseparade the first banner!

After presenting our series of tweets, in which Hodgen was covering one part of the parade while I was covering another, I commented:

If people had missed our earlier tweets that specified our relative locations along the parade route, people looking at the feed could have reached some erroneous conclusions - for example, that the Salvation Army band was marching next to women in coconut bras....Or (if you take all of our tweets into consideration) that many of the entries appeared in the parade twice.

But the problems aren't only limited to hashtags and parades. While you can look at events at the same time in two locations, you can also look at different times, as it were. There were some difficulties in some of the recent comparisons of Twitter and FriendFeed - namely, when people simply stated without analysis that Twitter had many more users than FriendFeed did. While there certainly are some reasons why Twitter may be more popular than FriendFeed, some of those accounts failed to note that Twitter was a much older service than FriendFeed. Therefore, the analysis may (or may not) be more accurate if you compared Twitter and FriendFeed at similar points in their development. Now I'll grant that a comparison of Twitter's usage in its tenth month and FriendFeed's usage in its tenth month may not be an apples-to-apples comparison, but it's certainly a possible way to study the two services.

But time-shifted comparisons only work to a point. For example, if I were to tell you that an investor put $80,000 into a company and also gave the company a $170,000 loan, you wouldn't be all that impressed. But that's exactly what Mike Markkula did in 1977 to kick-start the incorporation of Apple. Needless to say, that investment (which gave Markkula one-third of Apple) was a success. But what would a budding entrepreneur do today if someone offered 80 grand?

That's easy. The entrepreneur would thank the angel. The entrepreneur needs the money. But he/she might not give a third of the company away for that sum.
blog comments powered by Disqus