Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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Some Ideas to Chew On

I’ve got a couple big ideas floating around in my head that I’d
like to write more about, but I’m not quite sure how to form any of
them into full entries. So I figured I’d just throw them out there
and see what sticks.

Theory People

You know those people who are always saying “I have a theory
that . . .”? Well my friend Shana has a theory that those
are the most interesting people. When you have theories about things
you are showing that your observant and that you make connections
between seemingly disconnected things. I also think you’re exposing a
lot about yourself and how you view the world. (By the way, Shana
requested that link herself.)

It’s All in Your Mind

Credit on this one goes to Martin. We had a long conversation about the idea that brands only exist
in the mind of the beholder. It’s kind of like color: Two people see
green in completely different ways. Or, to take it a step further
(courtesy of Noah), there is no color unless there
is light. In the dark color ceases to exist. You can put your product
out there and do your best to control a person’s experience, but the
brand belongs to them. It’s not so easy to comprehend, but as Martin
wrote in Adweek, “What I realized is that this idea [that all products are brands]
may have been true in the past, when product, brand and need (or,
said another way, ‘the consumer’) were all neatly aligned. But it’s
not true now. Now they are three distinct entities. And as such, each
requires its own champion.”

Desire Lines

I wrote this in May: “Desire lines are
the unpaved paths that people wear down over time. In a way, does
that represent collective intelligence? What about the “ask the
audience” feature on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Yeah, it’s post
internet, but the idea is not revolutionary. When people can
contribute to the group anonymously, without worry of social
repercussions, honest answers will emerge. When aggregated, those
honest answers will represent collective intelligence.” I first read about it in an Adaptive Path article titled “Metadata for the Masses”. It’s one of those ideas that pops up all the time, but I’m just not quite sure how to apply it. Go any good ideas?

Blog Everything

Really, all these different services we use (del.icio.us, last.fm and even Netflix) are blogging platforms in one way or another. The way I see it is if you’re sharing information about what you’re paying attention to you’re ‘blogging.’ That can be what movies you’re watching or what links you’ve read lately. This isn’t a new idea or anything, but I’ve been thinking about it more now that Netflix offers a mass example to us (the friend feature exposes your queue to people).

Well, that’s it for now. Any thoughts on any of these ideas would be greatly appreciated. If there’s any one in particular you’d like to read more about I can write a full post on them in the future.

November 13, 2006