leslie hitchcock

A Petite Woman’s Experience With The iPhone 6

In reviews on September 26, 2014 at 11:24 pm

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Being easily excited by newfangled gadetry, I waited with glee for Apple to announce the iPhone 6. However, it was not without trepidation. In spite of my eagerness for a new device, I feared the new iPhone would be significantly larger than the previous iterations and for good reason: I’m a delicate 5’2″. Electronics are greatly exaggerated against my slight frame.

Upon receiving the package, my excitement tempered when the iPhone 6 turned out to be larger than my hand. Cue the sad trombone.

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Immediately, basic maneuvering between applications became yoga for my thumbs as they stretched as far as possible to reach once-accessible buttons. Texting, previously effortless, became arduous, requiring more concentration and balancing skills than I care to admit. Pinky fingers turned into stabilizers with not-so-deft precision in order to mitigate the unwieldy phone body in my small hands. Panic ensues when it slips from my grasp after…

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Ello, A Case Study In App Adoption By The Gay Community

In thoughts on September 25, 2014 at 9:17 pm

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The great gay Facebook exodus begins

Ello launched in March to a whisper and now suddenly finds itself experiencing incredible growth. It is the first time where my non-tech “normal” friends had heard of a startup prior to me. I find the critical mass surrounding it fascinating, but unsurprising.

The gay community has long felt undermined by Facebook, first with the exclusion of non-gender-specific pronouns and now with the removal of accounts using stage names, primarily those of fabulous drag queens. In their eyes, Ello gives them the freedom to be themselves in a way they aren’t currently finding on Facebook.

I live in the Castro, San Francisco and have many, many LGBTQI friends. Chatting with one of my queer-identified housemates tonight about Ello, I mentioned how it was experiencing an insane amount of sign-ups. Her response: “The queers will mobilize.”

Sound familiar? It bears repeating: if you want your product to get adopted quickly, focus on the gay community. And prepare your servers.

WUT?? No, Seriously, WUT.

In reviews on June 30, 2014 at 9:00 am

Wut.Filed under mobile apps I completely missed during an insanely busy time in my life is WUT. Seriously, that’s its name. Honestly, I can understand how it flew under my radar because the purpose of an app like WUT genuinely perplexes me.

Learning of WUT this weekend, I sent my first one and I’m not sure what happens next. Before I dig into why that is a problem, let’s run through the premise, according to the founders.

Much like Secret and Whisper, WUT [I giggle each time I say its name] aims to live within the genre of anonymish apps, where thoughts can be shared to members of your network without identifying the original poster. The difference between WUT [still giggling] and those other apps is that much like Snapchat, the messages disappear off a user’s home screen and cannot be resurfaced upon opening the app. In WUT’s case, my network is my Facebook friends. Upon sending a WUT it can be WUTWUT-ed, meaning reshared by a member of my network. An alert is pushed when that happens, as well. If a friend in my network is spammy with their WUTs, I can mute them. Beyond that there are no more features.

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All I can say to this is, “Why?” Someone seems to think this is relevant, but it doesn’t compute for me. Perhaps I’m not the target market. After all, I don’t use Snapchat. I downloaded the app, but never opened it; it has since been deleted. WUT’s ephemerality doesn’t really appeal to me. I enjoy knowing what my friends are thinking and up to – Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare make me feel connected to people whom I care about. Yes, Secret (which I certainly enjoy) is also an anonymized app, but because I can engage with my network, it feels more connected.

WUT is a visually appealing app, and I love aesthetics. I enjoy the soothing pastel background and clever integration of emoji into the interface (ask anyone who regularly texts with me how much I adore emoji – especially camels, since there are no lions). As has been stated by TechCrunch, its ease of use is WUTs most noted aspect, but all you’re doing is sending a message into the ether which “dozens” of your friends will see until it vanishes. Not too much needs to be involved when that is the gist.

My friend who introduced me to WUT had not received a single WUT since installing the app, which leads me to believe our network of “dozens” of WUT users is not so bullish on the experience. However, last night a flurry of WUT activity occurred and I even participated in my first WUTWUT.

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Hopefully the “dozens” of friends I have on WUT will continue to participate in the chatter WUT founders envisioned. I hope so; already feel like an old lady who doesn’t “get” Snapchat and the like, so understanding this would salvage my reputation. Otherwise, perhaps WUT will go the way of WUFPH, which I also find endlessly hysterical:

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