GigaOM Reads: A look back at the week in tech

The Seven-Year Twit: Seven years ago, Jack sent out his first tweet and thus began the Twitter (or as it was known as the Twttr) revolution. The company turned seven this week — an eternity in Silicon Valley’s here-today-gone-tomorrow landscape. The company coincidentally (if you believe in coincidences) said it had 200 million users. While nowhere close to being Facebook, Twitter’s influence extends far beyond its digital borders. It is a fixture in everyday conversation, media and marketing. There’s no doubt that Twitter has been instrumental for recording and documenting current events and pop culture phenomenons — from the Arab Spring and Osama Bin Laden’s capture, to epic Kanye West rants and the World Cup — but the truth is that Twitter has the potential to be so much more than an RSS feed of what trouble Lindsay Lohan is getting into today.
twitter-birdHashTag It: When talking about Twitter, the at-name and hashtag are its calling card. And last week, hashtag hit the big time when it was copied by Facebook (s fb). And yeah, Yahoo’s (s yhoo) Flickr started using hashtags as well. Capitalizing on the organizational capabilities, Flickr has already updated its mobile platform to include the hashtag, while Facebook has plans to use them to group conversations in an upcoming facelift. The reason why people are falling in love with hashtag: it makes clustering of data easier, which in turn makes it easy to — guess what — inject appropriate (contextual) ads. HashTag is the new like, or whatever.
veronica mars movie
Kickstarting a Revolution? Lucky sevens again! A seven-year absence can’t keep “Veronica Mars” fans down — they helped to fund the biggest film project in Kickstarter history this week as The “Veronica Mars” movie raised its goal of $2 million in two hours. Some might say that the project will allow other beloved, canceled-before-their-time TV shows to continue their sagas on the silver screen, but some filmmakers are wary of the precedent this “little” project’s success is setting — asking fans to pay to get a movie made, then forcing them to pay again at the box office. It’s true that the movie’s production costs will be covered by the contributions, but after the wild popularity of the project, Warner Bros. has decided to green-light marketing and distribution costs. Obviously, this leaves a bitter taste in the mouths of artists, as “The Man” stands to profit from the films’ success, instead of the ones who opened their wallets to get the thing made in the first place.
Keeping It Real: Let’s just say we are smarting from the death of Google Reader and that is why we (and we are not alone) are wary of Google’s newest offering, Google Keep. Keep is a note-taking, Evernote-competing, web-clipping app that drops saved items into your Google Drive for storage, and syncs across all your devices for easy access. Sounds great, but we are staying away.

iWatch or iNot: We have been privately musing that Apple’s iWatch might just be a head fake, a way to throw off the rivals (and even insiders at the company) and send them on a wild goose chase. Our theory is that we might see something else that is along the lines of a watch, is wearable on a wrist and is focused on health. Why? Because we think that is a bigger market, regardless of what techno-watch wearing friends of ours say.
Apparently we are not alone in our conspiracy-theory like thinking. Jean-Louis Gassee (formerly of Apple) also mused about this on Twitter. He was of course reacting to this article about Google’s watch plans, just like Samsung’s watch plans. Not to be mean or anything, one has to wonder why Samsung (and Google) have not invented (or reinvented) a new category since you know, the iPad launch. Maybe waiting for Apple to announce something?
What can Google Glasses do? Open the garage door and handle the fridge, along with giving you a lot of details about people around you. We admit, we are GG nerds and will be looking forward to its release, for we know that our focus on keeping Google (or for that matter anyone else) on its toes doesn’t win us many friends.

Structure Data 2013 Sean Gourley Quid

Sean Gourley, Co-Founder and CTO, Quid Structure Data 2013 Albert Chau /

Less data science, more data art: In 2009, when we started talking about using data to think smartly about the world around us, I (Om) pointed out that “data is the new plastic.” We can create nasty landfill or amazing furniture from plastic, and data is the same way. It has been a while, but finally people are glomming on to that idea. And it was the common theme at our fourth Structure Data conference in New York. Here are some standout ideas, tweets and comments: a tl:dr version of sorts for those short on time. We have all the videos and all sessions transcribed and packaged for you, and you can catch up with all of our Structure Data 2013 coverage here on GigaOM.
One session you can’t miss: a keynote by Sean Gourley of Quid, who stepped up to say: less science and more intelligence from data. I say, bring it on.
Plus here is what CIA knows about you, even when you think they don’t.
And now for the stories you might have missed:

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