A Knee-jerk response to Showyou.
So I just loaded the new iOS app Showyou on my iPad. It’s basically Flipboard for video, in that it combs your facebook and twitter feeds for video links, then shows them to you in a single spot.
Anyway, Showyou. It’s nice enough, and it does what it says it does. It’s got two viewing modes: a grid-view, and a list view that for some reason only showed me two videos that Liz Gannes shared somewhere. I’m honestly not making either of those things up.
While the grid, with its differently-sized screenshots of the video, looks nice enough, it scrolls both vertically AND horizontally, such that you kind of just slide around aimlessly looking at videos. And when you scroll, it takes a second to update, and you get the checkerboard. Now, I may be an old man who’s currently drunk — that’s more than a little likely — but this is confusing. Scrolling around I have no idea if I’ve seen all there is to offer. Where the crap am I in this goddamn grid? I have no idea. Constraining the scrolling to a single axis would make it pretty and stop it from being confusing.
Regarding the list view, I’m assuming that’s supposed to be the less-fun-but-more-usable viewing mode, but honestly, it showed me links to two videos shared by Liz Gannes, and while I tried to scroll past, it wouldn’t show me anything more.
TechCrunch wrote about Showyou, and Scoble made the first comment, chastising Aaarrrrrington et al for not giving it more ink, or recognizing it’s “one of the most important new iPad apps.” Really, Scoble? One of the most important apps? Because it lets you look at links people are already sharing with you? What makes this important? Ever the self-promoter, Scoble links to his own blog, so that TechCrunch readers can see the proper technique for a blowjob — if your knees aren’t bleeding, you’re doing it wrong — where he goes on and on about the importance of AirPlay. Is AirPlay a big deal? No, not yet, because you need to have an Apple TV to get the full living-room experience, and most people don’t even know the thing exists. But he personally likes it, so he thinks it’ll be a huge success. Judging by many of his past comments, he actually thinks that his liking a thing will make it a huge success.
Scoble, you arrogant twat, most people aren’t like you. They don’t have twenty-seven boxes connected to their TV. They don’t want that. They’re still trying to get used to the goddamn magical intensity of the iPad that they’ve owned for a year. And since AirPlay isn’t yet open, it’s not going anywhere. If TVs themselves supported it, sure, but that system failed when it was called DLNA, and despite your incomprehensible assertion that it failed was because the iPad didn’t exist and didn’t support it, it failed because in general, not enough things had it, so you couldn’t reliably use the fucking thing, and so no user would get into the habit of using it, if they ever had the right combination of gear to use it in the first place.
I don’t know why I’m getting upset at Scoble. It’s not like he’s even remotely credible when it comes to technology: after all, this is the guy who, in his conversation about why AirPlay is so fantastic and will totally catch on, said:
RSS was NOT open, by the way. It was largely controlled first by Netscape and later by Dave Winer. It was a standard that was made popular by Dave Winer and his company UserLand. It became a defacto standard because everyone started using it. The same way people are already starting to adopt AirPlay (thanks Rob Mitchell for the Lifehacker links that demonstrate such).
RSS is a de-facto standard that any developer can use. That doesn’t mean it’s open. Dave Winer controls it.
Of course, father of RSS Dave Winer stepped in and defended his honor, saying:
Scoble, RSS was and is completely open. Someone creates everything. Please.
Scoble did not respond to this.
Seriously, getting upset at his portrayal of technology is like criticizing the specifics of your infant child’s plans for a rocketship to Mars: Scoble thinks that a freely published spec for a text file isn’t open, and that Dave Winer is sitting in some goddamn castle somewhere, rubbing his fingers together cackling over all the control he has over it. And thinks that a proprietary piece of tech made by Apple is somehow more open an accessible than a free and clear spec for text files.
I could write down all of Scoble’s technical expertise on a single sheet of paper, then be able to use the entire paper to write something worthwhile, because it would still be blank.