Stories by Mike Elgan

Why Google wants to replace Gmail

I'm predicting that Google will end Gmail within the next five years. The company hasn't announced such a move -- nor would it.

How to control trolls with Google+

Every major social network is a mixed bag of good qualities and bad. For example, the best quality of Twitter might be its limit on the length of tweets, which enables you to follow many people and organizations without getting bogged down in long-winded, complicated posts.

Silicon Valley's next disruption: Reality!

We're right on the edge of dual revolutions in artificial reality and augmented reality. It's an exciting time because we're in the final days of a world in which these technologies are considered "futuristic." By next year, early adopters will have them in their homes. Within three years they'll be mainstream.

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Why Google+ is the place for passions

The single biggest controversy about social media, and one that has persisted for two or three years now without resolution, is whether Google+ is a dying wasteland of non-activity, or a hive of conversation and engagement.

Why do contextual ads fail?

The issue of the decade is privacy.

Why the Internet of Things may never happen

The Internet of Things is great - if, that is, you like the Internet and you also own some things.

How haptics will transform your gadgets

Haptics have been part of consumer electronics for a long time. When you put your smartphone on "vibrate," or when you play first-person shooters on Xbox, those vibrations are called haptics.

What Apple knows about smartwatches that Google doesn't

What's wrong with the debate around the Apple Watch, what's wrong with the watch itself, and why is it a profound revolution?

Forget the iPhone: It's all about iWatch

Every time Apple announces a new iPhone, the device has a few features and surprises that put the company's most profitable product ahead of the competition, at least for a few months. That's probably going to happen again on Tuesday.

Why in-air gestures failed, and why they'll soon win

Four years ago, in-the-air gestures were the future of gaming and the desktop PC user interface.

How to understand Twitter's bad new direction

Twitter has made two small changes that indicate a big shift in direction for everybody's favorite microblogging service

The trouble with trolls (and how to beat them)

A vulnerable person. A sociopath or two on social media tormenting that person without consequence. That's trolling in a nutshell.

Google, Facebook go beyond social, beyond identity

In order to understand the strange but spectacularly profitable world of Google and Facebook today, it's important to start in the fall of 2010.

In search of a social site that doesn't lie

Mike Elgan would like to find a social network that doesn't lie to users, doesn't experiment on users without their clear knowledge, and delivers by default all the posts of the people they follow.

If you can't check in, is it really Foursquare?

In their quest to copy competitors, social sites and apps increasingly drop features that are part of the popularity and identity of their products, says columnist Mike Elgan.