Chickens and Eggs
Which comes first: A widespread behavior, or the tools that support it?
Did online get social because we built social media, or did the apps arise in response to our itch to be more social online? Did we start posting pics because our smartphones added cameras, or did the cameras show up when apps made it fun and easy to share photos?
Those of us who lived through those evolutions can debate the cause-and-effect. (And those who didn’t can share a good laugh at the idea of a world without such basic ‘necessities’!)
But like most chicken-egg questions, the sequence between tools and behaviors is less important than the inextricable link between them. Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Youtube… these and countless other apps would lose much of their appeal, or even basic function, without the ability to post personal media. And much of that media would be far less compelling without an arena in which to post them.
So it really doesn’t matter which came first. What matters is that, for those popular functions, the behaviors and the tools that support them fit each other like a glove.
But what happens when what we do isn’t well served by the tools we use to do it? What if the tools actually make the behavior harder?
At GlideBar, we think that’s precisely the situation when it comes to a behavior so widespread that it arguably defines the modern digital user: multitasking.
A Bad Fit
Our phones. Our tablets. Our laptops, TVs and gaming systems. The vast majority of Americans between ages 15 and 50 spend hours of their day actively juggling two or more of these devices. We do it surprisingly well (if we do say so ourselves)… which is all the more surprising when you recognize that none of these tools is actually designed for multitasking.
On the contrary, today’s tools and the apps they support are designed to engage. Which is to say, they’re built to grab and absorb our time and attention. They’re hands-on, lean-in, user driven; a car we drive, not a delivery service we enjoy. They’re meant not to help us as much as to win us.
If you're a device maker or media property, you see your users' time as a zero sum game. Every minute a user spends in THEIR arena is a win; their goal is not to serve you but to capture your time so they can monetize it. So it's no surprise that the environments they create are 'sticky' -- built to pull you in and keep your attention.
That's good for them. But not for you.
Plays Nicely With Others
At GlideBar, we think consumers deserve better. And we also think that a media platform can win, not by outcompeting other tools and platforms for their users' time and attention, but by providing a service that complements multitasking behaviors and makes them easier.
So when we designed GlideBar, we set out to create a user experience that makes it easier for users to find, scan and watch great video... while actually living their lives.
We know people will be doing other things while using GlideBar (making breakfast, watching TV, gaming, checking texts and posts.) And we know people will continue to use many of the great content services out there (services like YouTube, Twitter, Vimeo, Daily Motion, Tumblr, and Pinterest.)
We get it. (We like them, too.) So we see it as our job, not to win users away from their favorite sources and devices, but to make it easier to enjoy them all.
We believe the answer is Moving Media. A platform that gathers video you want, based on your content connections and custom interests, and a user interface that delivers them in an easy, moving stream that lets you sit back or lean in as you choose. Your videos roll by, like a news feed or score ticker, making it easy to scan and manage your video viewing at your own pace.
Some users may leave their GlideBar scrolling for hours, checking on and off, maybe adding videos to their Watch Later playlist to view later. Others may use their GlideBar for a quick catch-up first thing in the morning or lying in bed at night. Others may find that GB is the perfect way to keep one eye on their personal video feed while focusing mostly on their TV, email or gaming.
The truth is we don't know what activities you'll find yourself juggling. We just know that the tools you've been using to do it weren't made for that purpose, and in fact are built to make it harder.
We believe we can do better. And we think you deserve it.