Monday, February 28, 2011

Unimportant Update

Uhm, hello.

It feels a bit awkward since it's been quite some times that I don't blog. The reason? I don't know. You may want to say Twitter, but I don't twit as many as other twitteratis do. Let us just say that I am busy doing something else -- or it is more costly to blog lately.

What is the "something else"? One of them, by default, is working on something economics. Like getting back to drawing board and trying to digest more on the financial crisis, both from micro and macro approach. The micro part is on theories for banking and financial market instrument, including strategic portfolio management. The macro part is on information problem and business cycle -- at this point, it's on how to model self-fulfilling proficiency and move from multiple to single equilibrium commonly found in the model of financial crisis.

And the more I learn about those stuff, the more I feel how stupid and slow I am.

The other thing is to enjoy an extended winter up here. More to come.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Unintended consequence #258

(Warning: subjective judgment ahead)

This is funny. Arguably the most popular twitter application in Indonesia -UberTwitter just got spanked by the duke, Twitter. Why?

Before speculating on that, let's first establish the claim above, namely "UberTwitter is the most popular twitter app in Indonesia". How's that so? Maybe because most people who mobile-tweet use BlackBerry and this BB is arguably the most popular smartphone for those who tweet (or those who want to use its network scale advantage: it has a free and secure chat service, so many people use it or 'forced-by-peers-to-use-it'. Then came twitter frenzy and UberTwitter happened to be right there in the corner). Yes this sounds like an endogeneity problem, but who cares.

OK back to the Twitter's spanking on UberTwitter. According to some friends (yes, I'm that lazy to do fact-check to the official source, why should I?), it's because UT 'monetizes' its service while carrying Twitter's name. Others say Twitter doesn't like the fact that UT's name is half Twitter's (and the child becomes more popular than the parent, no?). Whatever the reason is, let's move on to the unintended consequence(s).

First, this is like a happy day for SocialScope - that's another app but less famous than UT (at least until yesterday). Now that Twitter had punished UT, people started to find a good replacement. Some tried the Twitter-for-BB. My verdict: "It's OK but not so impressive, in my opinion. Next!" So next came SocialScope. Hey, this feels cool. And I just noticed, many, so many, of my friends migrated from UT to SS, passing the endorsed-by-the-duke Twitter-for-BB. Ah, sorry TfBB.

Then the next round of unintended consequence. Some people have been using SS for quite some time (esp those with iPhones, no?). Not that many but sufficient enough to form some kind of elite-group (I don't know how to put this, but you know that feeling when only a handful of persons including you use some cool stuff? Snob or whatever, it feels good, weird good, but you got my point). Now, suddenly the demand for SS is shooting up. Back then it took days (even weeks) to use it (it requires you to beg to become its user -wtf?). But now, you can use within 4 minutes since first download of the app. And it's cool.

So what's the implication? The snobs are now seeing the price of their eliteness is falling steadily! Like "damn it, now we're not so special anymore". Ha, sorry dudes.

Now what's the last, possible unintended consequence? The emergence of other applications, obviously. I've been using Twitellator for iPad and I love it. Maybe it's time for them guys there to hit BB market. If they are willing to give it out for free, unlike that on iPad.

OK, my coffee is getting cold.