CBS Chris Henry Thanksgiving Story

Because I'm now over in London, I pretty much miss the traditional American Thanksgiving Thursday that features 3 NFL games. One of my favorite parts of that day is the stories that get told about the NFL teams, the broadcaster crews and the people who are most interested in the game.

The top story - by far - that day was one that CBS put together about Chris Henry. Henry, only 26, passed away last year during the season and his team, the Cincinnati Bengals, as well as the NFL was struck by the tragedy for the remainder of the season.

CBS put together a story about Henry's mother and the legacy that he's left behind. If you don't tear up while watching this, there's something wrong with you:

What I love about this piece isn't just that it's a great story - it's that it is told in a superb way. Although follows a typical narrative, it's incredibly personal and uses the medium perfectly. It is also, to me, the definition of great content: the minute after you see it, you can't help but share it.


Apps - In Our Own Words

I recently came across a great script that the developer of Instapaper wrote in his spare time that highlights some great insights about how we rate apps. The script was designed to crawl through the US Apple App store for the top 100 applications for every category and compile the most common words from the 1-star and 5-star reviews.

Here is the list of the most common reviews from the 5-star group:
  • Awesome, worth, thanks, amazing, simple, perfect, price, everything, ever, must, ipod, before, found, store, never, recommend, done, take, always, touch
And here is the list from the 1-star group:
  • Waste, money, crashes, tried, useless, nothing, paid, open, deleted, downloaded, didn't, says, stupid, anything, actually, account, bought, apple, already
What jumped out at me when I first read this list was that positive reviews really confirmed a lot of the terms that you commonly associate with strong digital experiences - simple, awesome, always, perfect. Applications that are associated with those words have been carefully crafted and thought through. They haven't been rushed to market and they aren't just extensions of something that already exists - they are unique to the device, to the system and to the expectations of the user.

On the flip side, apps that got the worst reviews were summarized in the language of disappointment - waste, useless, stupid, crashes.

Breaking through in the application market is just as (if not more) difficult as doing so on a site. When I consider my own application usage on my iPad / iPhone, if the application isn't awesome or simple within the first five minutes, I'm done. Research into application usage reflects that I'm not alone. Most apps are deleted within the first 30 days of their download. People try them, get bored, and move on.

The interesting insight about applications, though, is that we can rate all of them in the same place where they are downloaded. Imagine if the same was possible for every brand website that's ever existed? I suspect we'd see a lot of the same words associated to the 1-star reviews that we get on apps. If only we had a place to put them.