#### We’ve transitioned from your feed portal to your lock screen mini-newsletter. The smartwatch will put us in crisis mode. But there is a solution …
A few weeks ago, I was crossing the street. It’s cold – late February in Winter From Hell on the east coast – and I’m wearing a thick jacket with an inner pocket for my iPhone. The machine is buzzing and vibrating. My heart beats fast. I ran the remaining few yards onto the curb. I took off my gloves, fumbled for the button on my jacket, and nearly dropped my bag. I finally pulled out my phone. On the screen was the following message:
This message is sent to me in a standard message format, no different from one The New York Times a warning informing me of a building two blocks away from my apartment has exploded or an iChat message that my sister is trying to contact me. Please note that I am not a relative of BJ – sorry, Melvin – Upton, I’m not even a fan of the Atlanta Braves. In other words…This may have been waiting. However, MLB.com At Bat seems to think this is important enough to broadcast to hundreds of thousands of users who clicked previously without having to think twice, on a dialog asking if they want to receive notifications from Major League Baseball or not. No matter what these users are doing – enduring a meeting, playing basketball, presenting to a book club, daydreaming, watching movies, enjoying family meals, drawing their masterpieces, proposing , interviewing a job candidate, sex or any combination of it – news about Rename Melvin (continued Robert Ludlum novels?) infiltrate their personal radar, prompting them Look at me! Even if they keep the phone, the simple truth is that is already a warning popped up in their brains, leaving them only slightly off balance until they finally picked up the phone to explore the contents of the buzz.
The Melvin rebranding was just one hiatus among the billions that is now undoubtedly The Age of Alerts. As our reliance on electronically distributed information increases, a series of brief emergency hints to that information have been infused into our devices, illuminating their lock screens. by these brief documents. Rarely do apps ignore the requirement that you opt-in to these notifications. Most often – because you see the dialog when you’re entering your honeymoon with the app, right after fullness – you say yes.
The major mobile OS manufacturers try to manage this cataclysm: Android has a “notification drawer” and Apple has a “notification center”. (For example, Apple weighs enough to set a “do not disturb” state to prevent those from waking you up, oh, hundreds of times a night.) But that hardly works – and now, with Apple Tracking’s impending shipment and the next wearable devices, we are about to experience the hyperdrive acceleration of notifications, pushing us into crisis situations.
This has happened long ago.
Let’s explore the ages of knowledge distribution, as if we were geologists exploring underground rock layers. The early days of online information provision focused on the portal, a diverse collection of news, sports, weather and front page messages from a service such as AOL or Yahoo. These portals are expected to dominate the niches that the press used to hold in the digital currency world.
Exactly these portals have not disappeared yet, but they have been superseded by feeds that live inside services like Facebook. The idea of organizing content in a continuous stream of updates is simple, engaging, and fits well with our regular visits to the services we love. The two feed giants – still at the top of their games – are Facebook and Twitter. Meanwhile, many other services and applications have adopted the feed approach. Yahoo uses it for its homepage. LinkedIn has completely redefined its website to put its stream in your face. And newer items like Snapchat embraced it in the first place. But as time went on, two big feed giants, Facebook and Twitter – and excluding Google in this competition – started entertaining the idea that their service could be some sort of uber stream, where other apps and services will jump into their waters and become items in that mighty stream. Users will still use other feed-based services and apps (Snapchat as a standalone app won’t go away), but the chalice for major Internet companies is bringing up their feeds. They feed into your digital feed, go-to feed, feed that gives you news, music, uplifting videos and the latest information about what your friends are up to.