What I’m thinking today…

1.Google’s ‘20% time’ is now ‘0% time’
2.Make Instagram, Instabetter.
3.Google’s ‘pay per gaze’ just blew my mind

1. Eventually, reality gets in the way. Google is finding that out as it announced its ‘20% time’ is no longer. The 20% time program allowed employees to take one day off a week to work on side projects. The program was successful as it yielded programs like AdSense, Gmail, Google Transit, Google Talk, and Google News.

But now CEO, Larry Page, is doing away with it. As I was reading about this I was first jealous, thinking how cool it would be to dedicate time to ‘just think’ about how you can impact your company in a positive, innovative way. And then, as I kept reading it, I became a little discouraged as I realized that the idea of ‘thinking’ may be extinct itself.

Even for a company like Google, which can draw a direct line of success to such a program (AdSense represents roughly 25% of Google’s revenue) is realizing that to stay focused (hey, they are a $5B company now) they need to optimize their employees’ time and rethink their innovation strategy. But in reality the idea of dedicating time to think is quickly becoming extinct. Ironic when you consider how much more efficient we’re supposed to be with so much online and so much information at our fingertips.

This all makes me think; we’re seeing a lot about how we have to rethink our lifestyle when it comes to eating, exercising – studies showing how dangerous it is to be stationary. In five – 10 years will we be encouraged to change our mental lifestyle? Will there be studies that show what happens to our brains when we don’t ‘disconnect’ and engage in some independent and free thinking? I think we will see this and I think it will be sooner than later.

2. Instagram? More like Instagreat! Admit it. You want to know how you can get more people to like those pictures of food you’re always taking and posting to Instagram. Or, maybe you want to see what things you should consider when you’re getting ready to pose for that next selfie. Well this blog is for you.

On the ReadWriteWeb blog they covered the four things you can do to improve your Instagram pics. I think they’re all solid pieces of advice but check out number two – Statigram. Statigram feeds you key metrics about your account including the best time for you to actually post those pictures and when engagement may start to trail off.

Of course, a tried and true piece of advice also shows up – engage, engage, engage. If you want someone to like or comment on your stuff, be sure you’re doing the same thing. Weird how that works, no? In real life we treat friendships and relationships like a delicate flower. We nurture it, care for it, check on it – we don’t sit across from our friends, blab for hours and walk away. They’re not a communications receptacle. They are there to engage you just as you are there to engage them. There is nothing different about the online version. Good advice that I think I need to follow as well. That thumb/heart/star – whatever the ‘like’ icon is sure makes us lazy, no?

3. Whoa. You just blew my mind Mashable. Well, Chris Taylor at Mashable actually. He wrote an op-ed about how Google was granted a patent last Thursday for a Google Glass-based ad system. The program is being nicknamed ‘pay per gaze’ and will charge advertisers for the number of time someone looks at their ad. Which they can track because, you know, the whole glasses thing.

But Chris took it to the next level, talking about how maybe one day your ‘gaze’ can be tied to your thoughts. And if your thoughts are tied to a credit card this could change our whole commerce program. Think about it – buying something simply by gazing at it.

We’ve been waiting for a while to see what would put us over the edge, so to speak. What would be the flying car that signifies we have arrived at the future? Is it fair to say this would be it? I have to think that it is. The idea of tying actions to mental or physical gestures…it’s endless. Why stop at purchasing? Why not think about starting your car – and it starts? Turning our your lights? The TV? Calling someone? Redefines the ‘smart phone’, no?

You’re probably reading this or reading Chris’ blog saying ‘yea, but when is that going to actually happen?’ Well, that’s a good question. And one I was thinking as I read the piece. But I quickly counter myself with one thought – social media is less than 10 years old. Mobile advancements are even younger – the iPhone was released in 2007. And look where we are now.

Chris’ take seems somewhat accurate in my opinion. And personally I feel the technology and the capabilities to do this may already exist. Given this, where do you think this leaves Google? By harvesting, owning and trafficking so much information about us and what we are thinking…it’s almost too much to even comprehend.