Our guest today: Josh Green
Josh Green helps create digital experiences and the organizational change to realize them. What does that mean? In Part 1 (of 2) of my discussion with Josh, he breaks down these concepts and processes for you. He takes a deep-dive into the world of digital strategy, answering questions such as “Why and when was ‘digital’ associated with ‘strategy’?” Josh offers advice for people fresh out of school, as well as experienced professionals who are considering Digital Strategy as a new career path. In Part 2 (of 2) of our conversation, Josh talks about one of his books called Spreadable Media, which analyzes logic that helps understand how content moves around the internet. Josh discuss some fascinating findings that “bond comes in a variety of forms and multitudes of reasons why people share”. Listen in and find out what Justin Bieber has to do with all this…
Part 1 highlights:
- What is Digital Strategy?
- What type of experience/pre-reqs are necessary for a digital strategist?
- What does it take to become a good one?
- Daily routine on learning, reading and working (stay curious, stay relevant)
- Sneak-peak to Josh’s new project and how you can stay in touch
Part 2 highlights:
- How Josh started his book Spreadable Media
- Why is it so difficult to determine what good content is before publishing – Josh speaks to many factors involved in solving this complexed problem.
- Big reveal: “The cultural understandings (of people) are more important than scientific propositions” and why
- Case study: what has contributed to Justin Bieber’s success
- The book publishing process – for new authors who are interested in the nitty-gritty, and what you can do if you hate writing (not kidding!)
With a background in consulting and the academy, Josh believes “nothing is as complex as a simple solution” and that “small ball wins”. Josh earned a PhD in Media Studies from MIT and wrote 300+ pages about Dawson’s Creek and Australian television. Josh’s passion for mass transit reveals itself immediately as we kick off this episode.
The best part of all this is that Josh has a serious Australian accent. I hope that alone will make your time well spent.
Do you enjoy this podcast? If so, please leave your comment below and share the podcast with your family and friends. Your support will keep me on track and bring many other unsung heroes to this podcast.
Selected Links from the Episode (aka Josh’s Daily Read):
- Spreadable Media – official site for the book (also check it out on Amazon)
- Metafilter (Community webblog)
Podcasts Josh listens to:
- Future Tense (Australian programming)
- This American Life
- The Infinite Monkey Cage (physics)
- Background Briefing (invested reporting)
- Serial (spin off of This American Life)
Welcome to the Feisworld Podcast, engaging conversations that cross the boundaries between business art and the digital world. Welcome back to episode two of the Feisworld Podcast. Since releasing episode one just about a week ago, I received some really good feedback from friends, coworkers, and those of you who stumbled upon my blog online via iTunes and Stitcher, but please know that hearing from you means a lot to me and seeing 76 unique shares out of Facebook from my blog really encouraged me to keep going. I feel flattered, and knowing that most of you listened to NPR’s fresh air This American Life Freakonomics and added my podcast in the mix. So today on Feisworld Podcast you have a very special guest waiting for you. His name is Josh Green. Josh helps create digital experiences and the organizational changes to realize them. So what does that mean? In part one of my discussion with Josh, he will break down these concepts for you. Furthermore, he dives into the world of digital strategy, including the curious questions such as how and when was digital appended to general strategy. Josh also offers advice for people fresh out of school or experienced people who are willing to consider digital strategy. As a new career path, the best part of all this is that Josh has a serious Australian accent. I hope that alone will make your time well spent. With a background in consulting and the Academy, Josh believes nothing ends up as complex as a simple solution and that small ball wins. Josh has earned a PhD in media studies from MIT, writing 300 pages about Dawson’s Creek and Australian television. He is a fan of home cooking and mass transit. He’s welcome Joshua. So welcome to our screen to my podcast Feisworld Podcast, and I’ve already given our audience in the intro of you.
Fei Wu: Fantastic.
Fei Wu: Great, but I would still like you to actually introduce yourself in your own words so they could actually hear in your own voice for a couple of minutes if you don’t mind.
Josh Green: Sure my name is Joshua Green I. Whose strategy? Here at Arnold I? I am working advertising now which is kind of an interesting experience for me because I started my career as an academic. I used to do a lot of work about the changing nature of media distribution and consumption patterns and the implication of digital technologies on how we understood practices of viewing and the way that we were responding as audiences and content creators and industrial structures and regulatory bodies. But I stopped doing that a couple of years ago and. Moved into management consulting, which was fun for a while and now here I am working in advertising. I have very thick Australian accent, so that’s fun and I like home cooking and mass transit. Those are two of my favorite things.
Fei Wu: I I saw that on your LinkedIn profile start cracking up. I mean, I understand the first one, but but mass transit like Oh my.
Josh Green: God, mass transit mass transit is amazing, so I grew up in a satellite city, a small town called. The switch, which is once a mining town, has many towns called Ipswich. Are anyways. Anyway, Ipswich was 45 minutes outside of the Big Smoke Major City, Brisbane, the capital of Queensland and it was a product of urban sprawl, was very suburban, small central business district. I spent a lot of time writing my bicycle around and then later you know driving cars around and the way that we got around in this small crappy little town that I grew up in was that we drove cars. So for me, one of the markers of a big city which I was always fascinated by was a mass transit system. So you know, we had commuter rail trains, but even in Brisbane, Brisbane is a large expansive city. But it’s a city that grew up in an era when the world moved a little slower, and when population density was was low, it’s only been in the last 15 years that the population density in Brisbane has increased sufficient enough to justify the development of significant public transit infrastructure. That’s not a bus system, but they don’t have a subway. They don’t have light rail. A little bit of light rail. Those sorts of things anyway, so for me, one of the markers of a big city and the excitement. Of like a real town was always a mass transit system and one of my favorite mass transit systems is of course the New York subway in New New York City. But I like the subway here in Boston. I love the MBTA’s first subway in the country, but I like mass transit systems and I like mass transit systems because they represent, like the excitement of a big city. They represent modernity which I have this really complex relationship with and. Think at the same time they are a fascinating way to understand transiting through space, moving populations where you exist and how your existence can be defined by the environment in which you live. How you shape the environment around you. You know there’s a real sense of mastery to being able to use a mass transit system, especially one that has a complex network like the subway in New York. One of the challenges of mass transit systems, I think. But for certain populations are that they are the only option. So if all you have is a single bus from your house into town or where you work right? I mean that’s a you know, that’s that’s a difficult way for you to get around. But if you are, say, traversing a small, densely populated stretch of land like Manhattan. Or, you know, a slightly larger but still densely populated stretch of land like so in New New York City. Being able to. Successfully navigate. On the subway system is an exercise in understanding how the city operates, right knowing which trains go from A to B. Understanding where you can like where the junction points are. You know where you should be. A friend of mine, Jim loves to talk about the pre walk, like when we would. He and I worked in New York together. We would always. Sometimes we would commute home together and we both had the same pre walk in. We both walked to the same spot on the platform in order to board the. Right carriage so that when it pulled up it was next to the stairs that we needed to get out on when we wanted to go to our respective stops. So you know, there’s a certain degree of mastery. I think to being able to navigate a system you know like that to being confident it gives you control over the city and the space as well as just the sheer joy of all of the complex analog and digital machinery that makes all that work. If you got a Union Square in New York and you’re writing the four train. The platform is actually on a curve and so they have these bits of platform that extend out in order to make sure that you don’t fall down the gap like stuff like that just gets the little boy inside of me. Super excited. It’s a closest thing we have to giant battling robots.
Fei Wu: I’m so glad you said all that because I think you’re very close to answering the next question, which I’m going to let you know anyway, because my next question is actually related to digital strategy. OK, and I have a sense that as the podcast continues to grow, I have more audience who subscribe to it. I think will self identify it to. Potentially this is our assumption. People are very interested in sort of digital strategy, advertising and all that, but assume for now that there’s like half of our audience aren’t quite clear on what digital strategy even is. I love the story because you already started to like touch upon. The way I really like the way you think, like patterns of your thinking, which I think is very unique right from given your background, which we’re going to kind of drill in a little bit more so if you don’t mind providing sort of a how to generalization, but sort of your interpretation for what digital strategy is.
Josh Green: So digital strategy is like asking what chocolate ice cream is right in order to understand what chocolate ice cream is, you need to know what ice cream is, right? So? So ice cream in this instance is made from a custard. No ice cream in this instance is this is this activity called strategy, you know, and and strategy is a function. You know, we talk about it as if it’s a role, but really, it’s a thing that we do and it’s a is a planning and vision function, right? So strategy is about understanding. Determining how you need to achieve the objectives that lie before you, right it requires you to build some models, perhaps, or understand the outcomes that you’re trying to achieve, and that’s to determine what are the best ways in order for you to get from the point that you’re at right now, to the point that you’d like to be so. Strategy grows itself, so strategy as a discipline grows out of the emergence of consulting the 19. 50s and 66 and 70s so. The growth of of BCG, Bain and and McKinsey really brings us to the the emergence of of business strategy, which is this proposition that you need to pay attention to market forces rather than just, you know, continuing to do the things that I’m making you profits. Strategy grows out of this notion that you as a business owner will not be able to see all of the things that will potentially cause you challenges in the future. And so you need to. Start to imagine potential futures. Determine ways in which you would like your business to to grow and to to focus on ways to confront those those futures. So strategy becomes this discipline of plan building. If you like of understanding what the potential transitions, challenges, obstacles and successes you’re going to face in the future might be to determine where you would like to. End up at a certain future point. And then to, you know, construct a a set of plans in order to get there, I use the word planning, but it’s not planning the way that we think about, you know brand planning, planning, media planning, or anything like that. You know it’s not economic planning. It’s not business planning. Strategy is more about determining the activities that you need to take, not sequencing them up and looking at the minutiae of the day-to-day factors. So broadly, I realized that was a tumbling. Kind of definition. So strategy is the act of, you know, working out how to get from from A to B and overcoming the obstacles in the way it is the act of determining where your business would like to end up and what it needs to do in order to realize those objectives. When we talk about digital strategy, that’s where we talk about chocolate ice cream. So you know digital strategy is just a particular flavor of strategy, and like many other parts of the of the the, the, the business and media world, and in fact culture at large. You know the last 25 to 30 years has been defined by one of the defining factors of the last 25 to 30 years has been the appending or the addition of the word digital to a whole range of things. In order to try and mark them out. As somewhat different from what came before them, right? So you know, we talk about digital television, although that is distinct from analog TV, right? Analog TV, being the use of analog radio waves to broadcast television signals, digital TV being a construction of a digital signal that is then broadcast out to sets. We talk about digital advertising being the leveraging of digital platforms for advertising purposes, right? But at the end of the day. How is it different from advertising generally? Well, it’s just a you know another form. It’s another type. So digital strategy you know is a particular focus. If you like for strategic activities that look specifically at how we can take advantage of digital tools or respond to changes within the emerging digital landscape in order to sort of plan out our next steps.
Fei Wu: That is a fantastic answer. I am I am really just. Kind of laughing at myself right now. To my audience. We have not rehearsed this, but The funny thing is I had a sequence of questions. Oh, how is digital strategy different from the general strategy? And then you actually answered two more questions, which is wonderful. I find this conversation to be very fascinating because. Bob Goodman, one of our senior UX designers, sent to us. I think there were twenty people on that e-mail thread, a deck, a presentation to people who don’t know what the deck is of you, and I think it’s I think it was titled Josh Green, Digital strategist.
Josh Green: Yes, I made that to explain what it was I do for the agency.
Fei Wu: Fantastic. I was wondering if I could leverage that if I could maybe save it on the website and I reference as part of the post. Fantastic and I also love. The fact that you know. I remember my earlier conversation with Caleb, who is sort of, he said. I’m really turned off when people ask me to kind of like say, what is my title and sort of labeling me in such a way. And I do this. I don’t do that because as we all know Caleb Canada as a whole array of things.
Josh Green: Kind of expensive and his capabilities.
Fei Wu: Exactly right and I, but I also love the fact that you are very clear on who you are, what you do and be very comfortable. That’s kind of my my. Take on that reading that presentation and I love how it was a beautifully constructed, very kind of a simple, you know vector approach, black and white and actually read the whole thing. And for someone like me being in the industry for about 8 years, right? Oftentimes we especially working in a bigger agency where there are hundreds of departments. I got confused. What do you do? Who are you again like? What is the sequence of things you explained it very well. So I was wondering, you’re young. I mean, you know Josh, you’re young and but obviously we both have more experience than somebody who’s fresh out of school and you are in a position. If I were to mention digital strategies versus my role project manager, I mean, I would assume 80% of the general population will find your position to be way more compelling.
Josh Green: Come come.
Fei Wu: Yeah, seriously. The call. I could imagine people very early were even on their career. To to ask you the question. Sure, what does it take to be a strategist or digital strategist right on? Furthermore, and then one of the struggles is that what you do based on what you just said? But I think your role kind of thrives on knowledge experience. Very much of that may be intimidating to people who are kind of new to their career was sort of what’s your take on that?
Josh Green: I think so. Strategy as I practice it. So for whatever that’s worth, so humble strategy is our practice is fundamentally about problem solving. And I think one of the keys to being a good strategist within the within an agency context, right? Because you know there are. There are different types of of scenarios in which you will encounter people who do something called strategy. But I think I think in an agency context. One of the best things what So what are the skills that we’re needed that are needed? Let me just read OK, here we go. So I think that. How do you be a good strategist? So I think that you need to focus on problem solving. I think that you need to think outside of the trappings of the agency. So I don’t know that it would be possible for someone to get an entry level job as a strategist, quote UN quote, and grow up to be a good one because I think in order to be a good strategist you need to have done things other than just worked within an agency. And I say that because many of the ways in which we do things within the agency. Uh, very curious, and one would say dumb, and that’s true of any organization, right? Any organization has a set of behaviors and logics that at times it can have trouble thinking outside of, and one of the key things to do in good strategy is being able to think outside of the current frames so you know part of what you need to focus on when you’re doing strategy is the outcome that you want to. Achieve often the reason you can’t achieve that outcome, if indeed you can define what it is. So let’s assume that you define what that outcome is. The reason you can’t achieve that outcome is because you don’t have the right tools. You need to recognize that the tools that you have right now are not the only tools. There is nothing natural about the formation of an advertising agency, or indeed of any corporation in the world. Any corporate structure, and I would dare say any organizational structure right? There are very few things which are natural, which is to say. Nothing needs be the way that it is right now. We can find different ways to do things, and part of the role of strategy is to determine how best you can do something. Now yes, you need to sometimes play with the tools that you have, right? We can’t say, hey, I really wish this ice cream was a Margarita right? And then magically have it become Margarita right? You cannot make an ice cream into a Margarita even if you can freeze a Margarita that’s not ice cream, which is just, you know, you have to work with some of the ingredients that. That you have, but you know those ingredients. You may not be the only ones. Those ingredients may not be the right ones and you need to be able to look beyond the set that you have. So if we say we really want to be a Margarita right now, we’re ice cream. What we might need to do is I don’t know, invent ice cream. Flavored margaritas have no idea how we’re going to do that, but that’s a whole set of jobs. By saying we are ice cream, we’d like to be Margarita, but we can only work with eggs and milk and ice and mixer and. That other stuff they put into the help solidify and like the machine they have on Top Chef, you know, like those are, those tools are on and ingredients are only ever going to create ice cream. So if you want to do be something else. If you can achieve some goal then you need to be able to think beyond the tools that you have. So I would say that key at doing good strategy is having done something else and that’s in part because the more other things you do, the fresher. Perspectives you learn, but also the more you realise that the world doesn’t have to be the way that it is right now. And that helps you confront disruption. It helps you become adaptive. It helps you, you know, find new ways. It also you know means that you don’t see the ways that things are right now as necessarily predetermined or the only way that things can be achieved. So that’s the first thing that I would say I do something else. To be better at your job, now I’m do something else. I think the second thing that I would say is that if you want to be a good digital strategist, you need to know about how business is done. Like that’s true of any strategist. I think that I think that all strategy needs to be focused on delivering upon business outcomes. If it’s, you know if it’s not focused on driving business value, it’s not focused on achieving the objectives of the overall business, then it ends up being a little self serving, and it’s very easy to make plans that make it easy for us to make ads within the agency context. But what say the solution to the problem isn’t a set of ads. Right, what say the solution to the problem actually is like fire, you’re ad agency. I think as a strategist you need to say, OK, well this is, you know these are, you know, in order to achieve these objectives, this is the way forward. You need to dump your ad agency, take on capabilities internally and act in that manner. Well, that’s kind of. I mean that’s is a confronting recommendation. I’ve no idea if that’s a recommendation. Well, that actually made that recommendation before, but you know so. You need, I suppose, to be focused on what’s best for the business, which means you need to understand how business operates. You need to think of all that kind of stuff, and then I think the third thing I would say is that and this is, I suppose if you’re interested in becoming a digital strategist, is that you need to have an expansive view of what constitutes digital. I don’t think a lot about digital. I think a lot about user experiences. I think a lot about customer experiences. I think a lot about business models. I think a lot about what it what it is to be an audience. I think about reading and how enjoyable reading is. I think about how enjoyable looking at things are. I think about how enjoyable navigating environments can be. You know, none of that is thinking about like digital stuff now. I have a rudimentary knowledge of a whole bunch of digital things right. I like I I, I know, you know, a little bit of coding. I know devices and I know protocols and I can talk about how you develop digital products. But in order to properly be, I think a digital strategist, you need to think about all of the and be immersed in all of the things that digital actually does. You know. And that is that, you know, digital is about a set of tools. It’s about utility. It’s about control. You know digital provides us with tactility, so where previous mediums and we think particularly broadcast mediums, and I would include static advertising in this so printed word. Out of home materials are broadcast media, both radio and television. You know, those are not particularly plastic, right? They? They they’re relatively fixed when you receive them, you know, yes, we do a lot of meaning making, and we can choose to read things in different ways. You know, there’s not a lot of things that we can do within those mediums themselves, right? You can recut audio. You can recut video, you can. You’re physically cut print materials. You can write your own print materials you know. But in terms of actually manipulating the artifacts within the medium in which they were delivered, you know it’s pretty much a one way St. When we look at at digital. On the other hand, it’s very easy for us to actually take the physical artifacts themselves, so take the website and the components of the website or pieces of an application or whatever it might be breaking them apart and reconstitute them in such a way that they look. Function and feel a lot like the original thing, right? So you know you can remake something which is digital and redistribute it in a format that is as seamless as the format in which you got it in the 1st place, right? So I think that I think that that tactility, I think that the extent to which we can and do change and expect to be able to manipulate and take action with digital tools. You know, it means that we’re focused on what it is to actually engage with and interact with. You know, with with the communications mediums and also with sort of the texture of the world around us. So I think a lot about that, you know. I think a lot about the fact that the drive towards automation that has come about in the last 30 to 40 years, with the emergence of you know, we think about touch style phones you think about phone trees, customer service, self-service automation, ATM’s, all those sorts of things. You know, that’s all of drive to make us the customer into a set of users you know who are expected to navigate complex systems without a guide. Hmm, I think digital has accelerated that, and we see increasingly with things like Click to chat, but also forums for support. If you think about what it is to like, try and fix a piece of technology these days that often involves going on to the Internet and searching for the problem or the solution and then finding you know a discussion or a blog. Or video that somebody who may not be the manufacturer. In fact, who incredibly likely is not the manufacturer, right? The wonderful crowds that you know, surround and support us. They are the ones who provide us with the solutions and then you don’t take it in for servicing the way you used to with the television. You know you just try and fix it yourself, right? And sometimes that doesn’t work and so you have to go off and get some assistance, but oftentimes that does.
Fei Wu: It’s so true, like you just reminded me of the massive success Stack Overflow. You know, like.
Josh Green: Ohh Stack Overflow GitHub, stack exchange, Quora, we talk about Wikipedia, you know we can talk about any discussion from apples discussion forms that fascinating because there is a company that is actively tried to hermetically seal its products. And yet you can within the ecosphere of Apple find solutions for the very products they’re trying to like lock up from.
Josh Green: You this is so true every time. I mean I we are severely like sort of index on Max. You know anything the agency we are all using, Macs, you’re designers and non designers. But what I find fascinating is we constantly run into issues and I call help desk directly and whenever I stumble upon an apple sort of community forum, there’s no problem that’s being solved. I mean usually you see, you read the issue 13 threads later there’s no solution and it’s so funny now I think. Got it, thanks for bringing up and honestly there was like 200 questions in my accumulated in my in my brain. Just now. One of the things I find fascinating is kind of going back to them was like something you mentioned 5 minutes ago was how you mentioned that you like to sort of. You didn’t use the word condition, but I wonder how do you condition yourself to become even more sort of more intelligent, more condition when it comes sort of the the digital world and. To suit your your job or possibly decisions and your life outside of work right? As well, I mean, that’s lightly touching upon sort of what your daily routine. What is your day like? What are some of the blocks you read? Do you block out any time right? Like I see most of the people come to work, they just work. Go to meetings. Do you carve out a certain period of your day? Go to conferences and things along that line.
Josh Green: A couple of things to start with, I suppose. I believe very much that all things in life. Ebb and flow. And so there have been periods in my life of intense study and periods in my life. Of absolutely no study. I am probably right now about to. Turn the corner into a period of intense study so you know what has happened is that I haven’t. I have not. I mean, I I don’t. I don’t have regular good reading habits, right I? I often do a bit of catch as catch can, but anyway, so that’s just a little so yes, I start every single day by reading meta filter which is and remains the greatest community forum on the Internet. Cora be damned. So I spend every morning I begin the day by reading Metafilter and the curious thing about Metafilter is that it is a group blog, right where anyone can write a. Of an article and it has a form. It has a form and I really like the form. You know, it’s often link link heavy hmm. They encourage the writing of of sort of short paragraph style posts with links that point you to direct things you know rather than just sort of. Here’s a link and something interesting. But what I find often about Metafilter is that increasingly, I read fewer and fewer of the linked articles, and more and more of the discussion and commentary about them, you know. And that’s in part, because Metafilter is a it’s a success full. The community online community. They’re struggling a little around monetization because some changes to the way that Google indexes the page kind of dinged their ad views, but they have active moderators and a real community based moderation policy that works. And so anyway, it’s a community that I like, and so I enjoy that I spend. So I spend the morning. The first thing I do in the morning as I have my breakfast is I like to read Metafilter. I then like to find out what long form articles have popped up on medium. Hmm, and then hopefully I will ride my bicycle to work and often. On the way to work, especially if I’m on the bus, I like to do a little bit of podcasting, yes? So there are a number of quite enjoyable podcasts that I like to soak in. Name a few, name a few. There’s one called future tense, which is from the Eastern Broadcasting Corporation. I like This American Life because I’m a nerd. I like to listen to there’s a a British program called Infinite Monkey Cage which is about physics. There’s an Australian news program called Background Briefing which is investigative reporting. There are a couple of media related podcasts that I enjoy a whole lot. And a few other bits and pieces. Really enjoying cereal right now, which is a spin off of This American Life. And it’s very interesting. We think about the future standard investigative or the contemporary state of investigative reporting, podcasting, radio and journalism. And all of that.
Fei Wu: I have to get on that.
Josh Green: Yeah, and then I’ll do some work and then often of the afternoon I will read things which interest me and then I like to read. Fiction of an evening. So there you go. That’s what my day looks.
Fei Wu: Like so.
Josh Green: And I read a lot of red.
Josh Green: A lot of red.
Josh Green: A lot of.
Fei Wu: Nice things I’m going to include some of the recommended sure recommendations in the show notes as well. Sure, they take pretty seriously and I love the fact that you mentioned reading a lot. We’re listening. Multiple sort of channels to kind of really get your hands on, you know knowledge base and some of these mentioned. You know, I wouldn’t argue like I would argue they’re not so tightly related to digital strategy to what we do. Back to your point of let’s, you know, could be a hodgepodge, but you might be able to surprise.
Josh Green: Yourself, and yet the way that the curatorial current moment that we’re living in. The way that it it it works is that you know a lot of what I read on medium are articles written by or referred by Friends of mine about design or strategy or UX or customer experiences. You know, I like to trawl through foresters, customer experience, sort of stuff. There’s a lot of I swim a lot in the world of lean startup, Agile methodology, agile, business, lean business, agile, agile, business. Company disrupt disrupt buzzword buzzword, which I find kind of tiring. I will admit because I had to stop reading Tech Crunch a little while ago because I it felt like we were constantly locked in the hype cycle, you know, but I so I do read relatively regularly about startup things and that keeps you close to the digital business side of things. I think if you want to be a good digital strategist, you need to understand design. A terrible designer of 0 artistic bones in my body, but you know, I like to read about design. I mean, you know, design is one of the most crucial things at the moment, right? When we think about the significant tools that we have to help people navigate the world, design is becoming increasingly important as we have more and more products and more and more tools are being created that ask and expect us to respond. To interact with them, you know, increasingly design decisions. Are you know, helping to shape the logics of of, you, know, the way that we interface with technologies. Think about the hamburger button, right? The invention of the hamburger, you know. I mean, I do not know what its history is, although I did read once about the history of the hamburger, but it’s completely gone out of my brain, you know. But like it’s that is a convention now, but at some point somebody had to develop that as a solution. No problem and has now become fixed and standard and you know we are still, I think at a period of rapidly evolving. How you can interact with screens and with digital tools and so I don’t, you know, I think we’re still rapidly creating, you know, the the the conventions you know, pull down to refresh was an invention of a single app developer sometime in 2006 I think at 7 I think it was after the release of the first iPhone, you know so soon after it was released we needed a whole new set of logics. You know whole new set of language. And and a whole so a whole new literacy to understand how to interact with you know, these touch screen devices and we’re still developing that. And so I think you know, I think you need to understand design principles of design, but also the impact significance of design. What design can do? What good design is? What contemporary design trends are, you know, I think. Those are as important for being a digital strategist as understanding you know, startups and lean software development and mobile first platform creation and all that kind of other jargony stuff that we talk about disruption and.
Josh Green: Anyway, I think curiosity is sort of a theme here as well.
Fei Wu: I’ve been curious.
Josh Green: Yeah, I think that’s a super important. I remember that also in my 20s like kind of always fear that I didn’t know what I didn’t know. Versus now I should have know I should be getting to the. I know what I don’t know part and it’s almost like what a relief and to be able to admit. That and it’s so kind of soak myself in to many of the channels you mentioned. I list my personal favorite podcast are, you know one of the being the Tim Ferriss guy who created the four hour work week and James Altucher. So it’s really fascinating. So it was wondering if if someone, one of one or many of. Our audience wants to kind of live in your brain and kind of follow you around a little bit.
Fei Wu: Umm?
Fei Wu: Where would you? Where should they find you Twitter? I mean, what are some of the channels where you kind of share your?
Josh Green: Knowledge, so I mentioned that I was on the cusp of so I’ve been really bad lately. I haven’t written. I haven’t written anything significant. Six months, seven months. So I I gave up. I I banned Facebook years ago. Many many many years ago. And I abandoned Twitter for the same reason about two years ago. I find the signal to noise ratio. They are I. I have this theory about. I have this theory about social networking platforms that once they reach a tipping point. Their ability to provide meaningful interactions to clients exponentially, and so I think that the greatest challenge and we’ve seen Facebook twist itself into knots in trying to sort of to sort of get this right, is that once you get mass appeal and Twitter suffers from the same problem. You know it. It is too onerous for users to filter their feeds in order to get the information that they want, and as a result value declines. So we’ve seen if you think about the ways that Facebook has been tweaking their algorithm for what gets displayed in the news feed and percentage of fans and all of that sort of stuff. All of that is an attempt to keep utility high in an environment where there is more and more noise. Anyway, all of which is to say I gave up on social networking because the noise signal to noise ratio was was off. What I’m mostly interested in right now, and. I’m about to embark on a new project soon and I think that that what I find fascinating right now is medium as a platform because it forces us to think about writing.
Fei Wu: And.
Fei Wu: Longform?
Josh Green: Writing.
Josh Green: Also provides inline inline comments which are amazing. Well, you know, I I’m. I’m fascinated by the ability to, you know, to do long form writing at medium, and I think that that gorkas Kinja platform. You know, despite the recent problems they had with, you know, regulating comments and. Just to be honest, more of a. Problem with the. That the the the nature of terrible people on the Internet. But anyway on you know you know Gorkhas challenges. Regulating comments aside, I think that Kinja is a fascinating platform for opening up, publishing, and and and blogging. It’s such a flexible platform.
Fei Wu: How to spell Kinja.
Josh Green: Kin-ja
Fei Wu: great.
Josh Green: So yeah, so I don’t know if you want to follow me around. You’d have a difficult time right now because I’m not particularly public. If you wanted to do the things that I do, however, I very encourage people to indulge themselves at least once a week chasing a rabbit hole on Wikipedia, because getting into Wikipedia is just so.
Fei Wu: Fascinating. To listen to more episodes of the Feisworld Podcast, please subscribe on iTunes or visitfaceworld.com. That is FEISWORLD where you can find show notes, links and other tools and resources. You can also follow me on Twitter at Feisworld until next time. Thanks for listening.
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