Monday, December 04, 2006

ITU Conference

Didier Philippe, President of Micro-Enterprise Acceleration Institute speaking in Hong Kong This week I attend the largest technology conference I have seen to date. Typically held in Geneva, the International Telecommunication Union Conference (ITU) was held in Hong Kong December 2006.

Held once every 4 years, this event has drawn over 150,000 attendees from all over the world. Those who know me will understand the sheer nirvana I am experiencing in connecting with people from so many countries all discussing and understand opportunities to extend technology and improve social conditions. Very few people I spoke with in the US before the event even knew what the ITU was, including me, so I learned that the ITU is the telecommunications committee for the United Nations (UN).

This morning, among a diverse and experienced group of telecommunication leaders in a panel on this first official day of the event, were Andre Smit of Cisco and Didier Philippe, President of the Micro-Enterprise Acceleration Institute in Switzerland, who is working with HP. They spoke about the convergence of culture and technology, how technology is driving a change in the way that organizations serve employees and consumers and what each company is doing to respond to issues surrounding globalization. Mr. Smit highlighted the changing way that youth will prefer to be communicated with, while Mr. Philippe focused on the mechanisms by which HP is tailoring programs for ‘micro-enterprises’, those of 10 employees of less.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

"Mashery" out of stealth mode

Mashery made headlines last week at Web 2.0, not by presenting but by being present.

Mashery launches with two versions of it's service, "free" and "pro". The free version offers a place online for people to find a company's API, along with documentation and peer support. Also cool, this version includes an integrated forum, wiki, and blog (and you only need one login). The pro account, which typically runs around $1000/month, includes extensive metrics (such as precisely who is using the API and how much), issuing of developer keys, security features and server load protection. You can, however, sign up developers for your community with the free version.

I think this service has so very much potential in aiding companies in being successful, in fact, if it had been around in 2000 I bet there would be fewer professionals returning to the Midwest waning "I used to be in that there Internet." So, wood wittlers of Wichita, dust off your IP and sign up for Mashery.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

DowJones VentureWire Panel on Web Services

When asked about the latest trends of hosted office applications and how they are built, Marco Boerries (SVP Connected Life, Yahoo!) said at the DowJones VentureWire Consumer Technology Ventures Conference (pics) this morning that he did not think it mattered whether these were built in AJAX or Java, what was important was the “openness” of these services. For the office, things like open document formats and rich text editors would continually grow in importance whereas consumers will be mostly about getting media and being able to open it. His response to a question from the audience about open source applications and their future was tepid. Boerries feels that the value chain created by companies such as Microsoft, Intel and Dell is a huge inertia to overcome but the fact is that we do use fewer Windows applications than we did 10 years ago and he looks forward to more Linux-based solutions.

“Less time in front of the PC, more time in front of the phone,” says Boerries. Time that is spent in front of the PC is also changing and Yahoo! is working on the 'lean back user interface', that is, for those who sit back from the keyboard to watch rather than work or create. These interfaces contain less or no menus and they are more simple, more visual. If the cable and satellite guys open up the grip of the set top boxes, Boerries added, there will be a great opportunity for hybrid devices like the one Yahoo! has created with AT&T called Home Zone. Home Zone marries traditional broadcast programming with Internet content.

Next, Larry Gerbrandt, GM and SVP of Neilsen Analytics paneled with Eric Kintz, VP of Global Marketing and Strategy & Excellence among others. Kintz writes HP's most successful blog. Customers and consumers are tuning out to traditional advertising. Nothing new there. But Kintz talked about what HP is doing to respond to that, there several things, he said.

1) HP massively shifted their advertising online. Two years ago, an enterprise campaign (the CIO Dream) launched a huge print campaign. Today they are 100% online for this target and they invite c-level executives online for video and podcasts. Not a new marketing transition, many companies are doing this, however, the activities online visitors are participating in are rich and interactive.

2) More interesting, HP recognizes that they need to follow consumers into their fascination with multiple devices. They are trying out new platforms, placing sponsorships on RSS feeds, doing mobile banners and polls, driving users back to microsites and partnering with companies like Napster to deliver content to the places people are viewing and interacting with services. Viral video promotions are key and are virtually free as someone else is paying for the bandwidth (broadband penetration in the U.S. has reached more than 50%) Gerbrant added. Video is HPs number 1 focus.

3) Finally HP is collaborating with companies like Personiva to offer interactivity, allowing users to play with advertising. Users create their own campaign and blog it. Through programs like this, HP is engaging in a conversation with the customer.

So. Is it working?

So far, anecdotal evidence shows that HP is connecting with young or c-level audiences (a deeper reach) but the experiements are still new. They are currently putting tools in place to track success. Success at HP means that they are selling. The jury is still out on these programs.

After the discussion, I asked Kintz, on a separate note, how HP's internal blogging and wiki programs were performing. He told me that these intel communication mechanisms, which rose out of the engineering teams, have been in play for 2 years and are still growing in awareness and usage. HP offers their employees blogging courses (for both internal and external blogging) to help with this.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

An effective community/technology event

Yesterday I attended the ACM West conference in San Jose. Most of the attendees were from the Public Access community. One session I attended was on the topic of Youth Media, mainly with regard to camps, outreach programs and intern training through public access TV stations. i was struck by the community element, something I feel is missing in most of the competitive, fund-seeking world of Silicon Valley startups. But there are some really great programs out there, and some great volunteers and production professionals looking to share learning about video broadcasting. As example, the Youth Media session began with no moderation or leadership -- they actually didn't show up. So the group looked around, quickly and without question nominated a moderator and turned the session into a very productive roundtable discussion. I'm not sure that would happen as readily at a technology conference.

Later in the evening I met with a couple of people at a Halloween party thrown by my friend Brian Solis who is one of the organizers pulling together PodCamp West. They asked me to program the sessions and conference and to find sponsors. I guess I finally get to pull one together instead of critiquing other's events.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Boyd on Office 2.0

Stowe Boyd is someone who attends a lot of conferences on technology, all around the world. He is widely regarded as an expert in social and business applications. I caught him for a few minutes to discuss his thoughts about the first annual Office 2.0 Conference (pictures here), it's relative success to similar conferences and the building and selling of enterprise software.

He raised a good question that wasn't covered at the conference and that was in essence "If we're talking about Office 2.0 software and that it's the future, what elements of Office 1.0 are not going to survive in the future enterprise?".

I was less enticed by the OpenID presentation and it's potential for adoption and more interested in the ideas IBM presented about longer-term document management and protection. Early adopters like Stowe and me, might be picking up one-off feature applications like signature managers or even, but we agreed that those will fold into larger solutions for the work place. I'd be interested in reader's thoughts - please comment.

Here's the interview: Stowe Boyd on Office 2.0.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Must it be "live"?

Live Billbaord projectOn Saturday night this week I witnessed something interesting. It was the Live Billboard Project in San Francisco. It wasn't interesting because it was effective. It seemed to sell nothing more than the concept alone. What was interesting was that it arrested the attention of hundreds of people on Mission Street. When I came upon them, they were standing completely silent, staring up at the building. I wondered at first if there were a band performing on the roof, but I found that not to be the case. I'm all for performace art (not really) and for experimental advertising (if it sells). Calvin Klein did a live billboard about a year ago, and models danced around above their store in the clothes. That probably sold a few more clothes. But on Mission Street, the cafe scene meets gymnast act meets lack of purpose, seemed to mesmerize a group of people, again, to complete silence. The only sound beside the cars passing by was a man on the opposite corner telling everyone that the U.S. had too many ships in Iraq and we were headed for a nuclear war. A strange conversation in light of the billboard over his head claiming to sell a story of love and desire.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Ethics beat out favors

HP favors
In the end anyway. Says the article: Sept. 28, 2006: HP announces the resignation of General Counsel Ann Baskins, who helped oversee the leaks probe.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

As to making this API business easier

My favorite acronym for a great deal of time has been "API". It was one of the only things that made me feel better to hear after the past 5 years hearing overly-used terms such as AI (as in not so), SEC (as in investigation), and IPO (as in not currently planned). API said to me, "We're going to make this easier for you. We're going to get this software into your hands and continue the growth of the information age." And engineering managers prided themselves on having one if they were tuned in to the sales and distribution goals of their respective companies. Here is an example of the Google Maps API:

There are hundreds, if not thousands of APIs, written. Yet not that many are used. Why? Several reasons, and one being that engineering teams need to stay on bug fixes and developing new features to meet competitive demand. But I hear Oren Michels is working on serving that very problem. His new company, addressing the rush of Web 2.0 services, is called Mashery.

I ran into Mr. Michels at last week's techcrunch / August Capital party and he told me a bit about this professional services company aiming to help companies distribute and integrate APIs.

So, API remains my favorite acronym.

Thanks, Oren. Your timing looks good and your target looks spot on. Looking forward to Mashery's non-stealth status.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Ikanos and Doradus sitting in a tree, making better IPTV

Around this time last year. Ikanos sold 6.4 million shares of common stock at $12 per share to maintain a competitive position in its market space (IPTV).

Now, they have bring out a fifth-generation FX family of VDSL chipsets optimized for use with IPTV, believing that this will be the enabling technology to drive fiber first to the home while overall adoption of IP-centric storage and networking technologies will eventually do the same for fiber to the business.

I spoke with Jeff Schwartz, of Disruptive Strategies, who believes that fiber is still on top, beating out copper "every time". Mr. Schwartz is a person with more mobile knowledge than most and provides PR services to some lucky and up and coming businesses from here in the valley.

I recently read that Ikanos has entered into an agreement to acquire Doradus Technologies, a startup developer of digital signal processing technologies that can be used in areas such as IPTV.

Further research from the 451group says that:

"Ikanos believes that the advanced quality of service (QOS) that it has developed for its chipsets will be the differentiating technology for this market. It sees the home space merging with the business market, but says that the business sector is held back by lack of a killer application."

In January, the company said that they aim to provide significantly greater distances with their latest-generation VDSL2 chipsets and believe that they will open multi-tenant buildings to its broadband technology.

The relationship between IPTV and user-generated content is interesting. I'm looking forward to companies like Ikanos enabling the distribution and ease of access to new media.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Dear A-List Bloggers

I write to you frustrated and discouraged in hopes that you might shed light on a 'cold prickly' feeling I have. We could agree for the sake of my inquiry, that just as many people in the information movement, I struggle with the selection of who to read, who to agree with and my own voice in the blogosphere as it rises to capture it's own A-Listesque audience. To make a difference. A positive one. Frequently identified by others as a having a positive, energetic, and nearly Polyanna-like position, I am concerned to find myself presently disenchanted with our collective efforts to expose and analyze media's growth and expansion and its effect on our societies.

Is it the liquid bombing threat this week in London? Dave Winer taking little Liz Henry to task about sexism? The howels of pain from inside AOL? The inspiring conversations I have with people at conferences that fade into oblivious memory weeks later? I've approached several industry pundits and challenged them to build something meaningful with me, sure that my heart was in the right place, only to be ignored and put on the A-(shit)List by unrelated reasoning. What do these events have in common?

I have this disheartening sense that for every precaution we take or campaign we take on that there is an equally motivated anti-presence. Is life too big an animal to fix? At times it feels like we are changing the world with our conversations. I sat in South Korea last month and watched an Israeli and a Palestinian man talking -- each of them sensitive, intelligent, well-meaning citizen journalists. There is little need to highlight how little that moment translated a few days later as 200 missles plunged into Israel. Christ!

Tell me, what of the roll of the eyes of the cabby who hears me say "bloggers" and states plainly "I hate reading them, there is so much bullshit out there". We seem to register and train for the race, take a deep breath at the starting line and as surely skin our knees to bloody pulp of flesh once the starting gun goes off because our shoelaces are tied to the bleachers.

- B-list representative

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

15 million hours of fame

Ed Leonard, CTO of DreamWorks, is on stage talking about making CG animated films, stating that generally over 200 people work on a film like this. The 1500 scenes in Over the Hedge took the equivalent of 15 million man hours.

If I tried to convince my 10-year old that I'm "at work" this evening, I'd have a hard time selling it. We're watching clips from the cartoon, listening to the process of story telling and creation of characters. She'll benefit from those 15 million hours like many of us, for much of her life to come. She might pay for it, but she'll only pay for it once.

The summary of those companies who were granted the AO100 status was made with one word: Consumer. That sounds like the result of what investors have been saying to those running such companies, "Where's the revenue?" Enterprise targets, even prosumers are ok, but they need to be 'sumers of some sort. The money must change hands. Up and coming companies are rightfully excited about the large member audiences they've been gathering because they might translate into revenue. The next question might to evaluate how the younger, most-fully adopting audience, spends.

Monday, July 17, 2006

OhmyNews Citizen Journalism Forum 2006 (now on Flickr)

A few pictures from the OhmyNews forum to keep you busy while I'm editing video and notes from the conference:

What a great experience.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Oh My, Look How Journalism is Changing

2nd Annual OhmyNews International Citizen Journalism Forum 2006

Beautiful live webcast, by the way.

In this 20-country representated conference, Craig Newmark is currently speaking following up Dan Gillmor's opening keynote.

Mr. Gillmor talked about citizen journalism and how it's not just blogs, not just technology.

“Technology is the least important aspect”
He says it’s about journalism (i.e. thoroughness, accuracy, independence and transparency), those components are more important.

What's coming? Gillmor says "The Daily Me." My news the way I want it assembled. The wisdom of crowds. Getting together and producing results that teach everyone.

Not just hardware, he adds. It’s the software too. The alphabet soup...RSS, OPML, API, etc. Technologys enabling mashups and so on.

He also suggests a journalism project using maps where he suggests that we ask people in the communities to put on these maps the problems that exist with the community or city infrastructure (such as potholes or broken traffic lights).

Citizens can tell people who can do something about it, what’s wrong. Nice idea.

Let's see what else the conference has to offer...

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

A fall back plan

The story continues, as net neutrality legislation moves through the Senate. I'm not sure the ease of offering subscription TV is a win for most in the long run. However, this is just a stepping stone I believe to the inevitable release the big companies have on the rest of the media generators. From the article:

Maine Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe and Sen. Byron Dorgan, a North Dakota Democrat, tried to add further protections by barring discrimination of content or service based on origin, destination or ownership, but it failed to get a majority vote. The final tally was 11 to 11.

"That means for the first time we are going to have a two-tiered Internet," said Snowe, who bucked her party. "Broadband operators will be able to pick winners and losers, they will be able to choose the Web sites of their choice."

11 to 11. That says to me that maybe 1/2 of the people understand the future impact of laws like these, which designate the mouthpieces that will teach our childen what's what and mold their understanding of what can or should be. Before the Internet, an awful lot of us were placing great authority in television. If you didn't beleive what you saw, you could fall back on talk radio. Before tv, when radio was la plus grande chose au monde, if you didn't believe what you heard, you could fall back on books. Sure some of the books were written by white men and others were missed due to controversial content but primarily, if you wanted data to make sense of, there it was, in a quiet, well-lit place for the sense making. The rate of time absorption is much smaller now, which means that more information moves to more places, more quickly.

Evermore the reasons to educate the 11. To take control of the fumbled rule-making. To participate in communities that are growing the ideas of owner-generated content. Because we're not just "using", we're making and we own, if we want to, the next most widely distributed media of our time. I guess the fall back idea is this. I stopped watching TV for the most part, a couple for years ago (except for Battlestar Galactica and the Colbert Report). Reality just TV killed it for me, in a nasty, camera-on-the-wrong-people, foul-mouthed, poorly dressed and talk-show-gone-full-time kind of way. I took a hiatus from the news even, because I was spending so much post-news time trying to sort out the news from the politics-driven-information. I realized, in the wake of my doubt, I had no real fall back plan for staying informed. Informed in a way that didn't make me a donkey or an elephant. Same goes for the newspapers. Software makers started trying to sort this problem out, applying logic to trends in the 're-distribution' of a story and giving it credence that way or 'popularity', as if I give a &*%$ what complete strangers think.

I heard a rumor that somewhere there is being maintained, a historical, electronic archive. Does anyone know, is that true? Is there a filter running on it? Can one be run retroactively? More importantly, can one be run retro once we determine which filters make sense? What do I care about for any given piece of news?

1. Credibility. Have the facts been checked? Is the person reporting wearing a chicken suit?

2. Association. Is the author of the news associated with anyone I dislike? Or should dislike? Can I toggle my likes and dislikes? I'm moody.

3. Related stories. How many other stories/media types that meet cares #1 and 2 can be related to the orignal piece? Media choices make me demanding. Future generations will probably absorb more with rich choices.

4. Accessibility. I want it here and now.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Mike Arrington and the bloody death of Web 2.0

A quick snippet of Mike Arrington at the Under the Radar Conference (2006) voicing what's happened with Web 2.0.

Find a satisfying bit of humor, here:

Kids Can Podcast Too, It's Easy

The link below is my daughter Cameron's podcast. She was 9 when she recorded this show -- her first. She talks about music, geography, and politics. Still the most fun I've had podcasting so far.

Click here to listen

Left Column Marketing, Why it's Going On

A respected collegue recently asked me for advice in terms of advertising barter with a company he wants to be connected with. The company is AlwaysOn. The houses a great database of movers and shakers, and his company sells email marketing software. Since users, even business and other consumers when they are shopping, are numb to the skyscapers and pop-up instrusions, though people buy through them, eventually, sure, after millions of eyeballs pass by them without thought. When you search for something you want, the results are vendor web sites and editorial (left column) content. More and more, there is greater credibility in the user-generated, specialized left column content, opportunities to connect directly on a theme or feature. Left column. Get in there. It's going on.

In the Category of Cool

BloggerCon is being webcast live! Right now! Check it out. Very nice. I can listen at my desk. Fantastic. Thank you Dave and thank you Brian Oberkirch for those sweet tunes.

Find it here:

Don't forget to fill out the survey about the conference so that future shows are the best they can be.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Pitch Me, Please

I signed up for a rash of unconferences last month, v/bloggercon, UTR, Barcamp SF and others. I love the people who come to these conferences, fewer ties and more people from different walks of life; a better respresentation of the "users". And while some of the commercializing gets out of control, I still believe that the capitalists and organization drivers are in the right place to move their products. They are gauging response with people who have time and inclination to try their products, getting direct feedback and finding partners, distributors and customers for mostly all of the right reasons.

There has been an argument posed that the unconference is for the users, not for the companies. But, as a user, let me be hardly the first to say that I want to learn about the companies, their technology and how I can use their products (email me here if you want to show me your stuff). I want to see it. I do. I'll use your pen or wear your t-shirt too, technology is cool. What about a "Pitch Me" conference? It'd be the ununconference. One in which we support this movement we're all part of, and lucky to be part of.

Friday, June 16, 2006

The future of shopping is "super"

Last night I had dinner with the CEO of an IPTV-focused shopping service and we talked about many things, including cross-platforming his service, and it's unique business model, onto the Internet. "The Web bores me," he said.

With a background in film, the former TiVo and EA employee was relaying a concept I heard repeatedly at Under the Radar. It is the notion that the challenge of software as we mourn the death of Web 2.0, evidently a violent one per Mike Arrington, is to stop creating 6 billion new devices with new models of use (phone navigation versus Web navigation versus cable system menus and so on) and rather, to marry compelling services with the standing behavior of the consumer. Serve the buyer. My dinner accompanyment stated that their company's system (one I'll talk about once it's out of stealth mode) "allows users to do more without learning a new technology or menu structures". At the other end of this argument are companies like United Keys, who are talking with large PC manufacturers about replacing keyboards with a software-driven LED type scenario. As stated on the United Keys website:

"The bottleneck of PC computing is the laborious nature of hierarchical command structures," said Chris Shipley, executive producer of the DEMO conferences. "It limits the user experience and leads to feature underutilization."
Denmark West, EVP of Strategy and Business Development for MTV, sat with Rafe Needleman at the Under the Radar conference and asked him what MTV is looking forward to. Mr. West said that MTV is looking to "super" serve the audience. To me, that means more than 'every option available under the sun' and instead 'any option you will find useful'. Will that be more intelligent underlying software or new devices such as United Keys, in customized user installations of software we already use or in algorythims which identify conditions and patterns and respond accordingly?

All, I'd say. Without regulation and with the intelligence and technology barrier so low, we're still parallel developing all kinds of things, racing to super serve the consumers. I'm officially finished wanting to win this race. The glory isn't in getting the sale, enabling the debt and filling the whole with non-biodegradable materials. The glory is in being socially conscience.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Under the Radar 2006: "Showing" Digital Media

Live from the show...complete with American Idol-style text voting enabled by Mozes (cool, Andy!),, Flukiest, Grouper and Tagworld presented in the first session of the Digital Media track. These companies focus on the "showing" of video and pictures. Stowe Boyd (panelist) highlighted a Burst Media statistic that 3 of 5 teenagers on social apps once a week and mentioned the end of traditional network broadcast. Other panelists included a representative from Adobe Systems/Macromedia's Corporate Development department since 1993 and Stephen Horowitz, Media Group at Yahoo!

Yahoo! launched a user-generated video upload service (currently free, like many others) on May 31, 2006. Mr. Horowitz talked about the previous fear of cannibalization, which has been a trend with the head content providers, and loss of broadcast revenue anxiety changing to a monetization-friendly model. No hints on how. This everything-is-free thing really makes me suspicious and scares me. I'm afraid that I'll place my media there and not be able to get it back out, archive it, etc. without paying or becoming dependent (i.e. have to go to login on top of the 50,000 other sites I log into each day, meaning that these companies won't release an API so that the eventual unified login technology happens).

I've been asking people at this show and vloggercon 1) where is the export button for these "free" service or do I lose control of my media and 2) where are the access levels for podcast and video production workflow, not JUST categorization or groups.

Monday, June 12, 2006


The beginnings of technology adoption bring together wide groups of interested parties. This is a good thing. And a serious challenge for organizers of events such as vloggercon in San Francisco (2006).

I missed day one of the show but heard terrible things about missing the mark for attendees from respectable tech people who had attended. I hoped for the best and went for day two anyhow.

My conclusions were that a clear perforation should have been made between technology and consumer attendees. The technologists were bored. The newbies were asking for help. Hands-on, tutorial style help so that they could learn to vlog. Rather, there was far too much social stroking and talking about "What an important thing called vlogging is, man," and how It's hippy dippy community, man"We all need to join arms and make a big happy people fence" like that old Coca Cola commerical. There were questions from the panelists like "Why do you vlog?", "What it is that you are passionate about?", "Why do you mashup?", "What does it all mean?".

Why, why, why? But people really wanted to know how, how, how! The why is a given and there are too many whys. Wonderful whys. But we are the leaders here. We are a bit short of evangelizing, we should be organizing. Concentrate on the how, we are low on how. The Learning Center helps both (wow!) and they also have the best I've seen compiled for usable, mashable media. Marc Canter and Lasica are brilliant. Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you have created. Give me the how and I'll show you what it can mean. Yes, we can put together digital scrapbooks and they will be touching, generations beyond us will thankfully enjoy and expand them. But there are seriously impactful social, educational and political changes to be made and vlogging is going to enable us all to move to the next level.

Politics and congresspeople are a joke to almost everyone I know. Friends on both sides of the fence (and underneath it) who feel passionately about legislation and civic management don't even vote. Schools are lagging in technology. There are too many dating sites and not enough services concentrated on different, and more important types of social interaction or global improvement. We need to take our eye off the ball and focus on the field.

In my client's office this morning I received a call from KRON4 inviting me to a seminar about effective advertising. He said that he'd like to discuss with me how businesses are making the most of TV outdoor and radio ads. I asked him if he was going to talk about vlogging. "About what?" he said. In 6 months time, that will not be the response from a TV station. In another 6 months, the same curiosity and transition that that journalists are making into and around blogging will be what major label broadcast TV guys (and gals) will be doing too. And vloggercon will become more on target. I hope to see some more focused vlogging meetups on the local level, whereby we can really grow the medium.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Social network aggregator, a lot of dimes

Where is the aggregate social network, for Pete's sake!

Not so long ago, I talked with John Merrells from sxip about unified registration and the compilation of user identities across the digital land but surely right behind that is the need to also aggregate other personal and professional information contained within the deeply specific preferences and data contained in social network services. I was so excited to see GoingOn get it on, and out and public, but when I come to the site, and few people are actually there or participating yet -- we must assume they are reading blogs from their various readers, writing their own blogs from their various blog publishing platforms, doing their 9 to 5 thing but not at, as the name leads us to want, "Always"-- and not at the same time, "On."

Where is the social network aggregator? I log in once, it has multi access like individual systems do, but it's multi-system. I 'm abreast to the changes in blog and media postings, new users, comments and users hanging out I could chat with. Some people can see me, sometimes, others have full access to the Lisa. It could be called "SocialEyes. See or be seen." playing lightly on the growing vlogging community. It would be multi-platform and totally customizable. Trillian-like. Rich like Flickr. Easy like Skype. Open like Socialtext. Come on, give me what we want. Or do I have to make it myself just to save myself from the little game I play? The game is, "how fast can I (remember) and then type my login for any given site."

I only have 5 or 6 passwords, sometimes I have to type them all. If I had a dime for each login I actively use, even. And as for filling out profiles, if I had a dime for each one of those I've done and another dime for how many of those are not updated because my address or preferences have changed, well that's a lot of dimes. Not only don't I have those dimes, but I'm losing dimes every minute I have to spend logging in or creating and editing profiles. And I have to choose who to hang out around. Why do I have to choose? If I'm missing some technology that solves this problem, please send me a comment. I will send a dime in return.

Video bullies

"The net neutrality crowd calls this nonsense and argues that setting up a fast lane on the Internet will only wreck its open and democratic character."

That's from Jessica Holzer's recent read from, an article about the 135-page bill in legislation right now to allow telcos the ability to deliver video in ways the rest of us won't be able to (yet). Don't worry. It won't be like that forever.Toshiba's HDD video camera

"The defeat of the amendment, on a 269-151 vote that fell largely along party lines, more or less dashes the hopes of a big coalition of Internet companies and Democratic groups that strict "network neutrality" regulations will become law this year, since such legislation has only slightly better odds of passing the Republican Senate."

You can hear JD Lasica's comments on net neutrality during NPR's All Things Considered, aired yesterday.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Don't be afraid of the Darknet

Read Darknet, by JD LasicaI am finally reading JD Lasica's Darknet, an educated vigilante conversation accessible to understanding even to those who aren't in the space. And for those who are, it's a nice chewy account of what's been and what can be in the underground Internet. JD's approach is like no one I know; he's a little off and it gets your attention. Lisa likes the slightly offbeat. I first learned of Lasica while working with Marc Canter (founder of Broadband Mechanics; who can't love this guy to whom we owe thanks for Ms. Pacman, Macromedia Director and an anti-orthodox project process which has often looked chaotic but nearly as often produced brilliant work).

Read Darknet and send me comments about the Internet underground, the communal digital pockets you like. More colonization.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Vistify Me

eWeek says:

For those who wish to take advantage of all of Vista's new features and run a full-blown version of the forthcoming OS, a so-called Premium Ready PC will require at least a 1GHz processor, 1GB of main memory and 128MB of graphics memory, along with a graphics processor that meets numerous requirements, those familiar with the plan said.

To be sure, Vista will run on most PCs produced in the last several years. So-called Vista Capable PCs, Microsoft is expected to say, will require an 800MHz processor, 512MB of RAM, and a DirectX9 capable graphics processor, the sources said.

Most recent PCs meet Vista Capable requirements. But in order for Vista to display its most advanced features, namely its three-dimensional Aero interface, a PC must meet Microsoft's Premium Ready guidelines, the sources said.

Forced upgrades are brutal.Windows Vista
But they say that we'll be able to use Vista without upgrading our
computers, just not be able see its true colors (at least on half of the
machines being used today.) Who did that spreadhseet at MS? Maybe this guy,
The six Windows Vista variants are: Windows Starter 2007; Windows Vista Enterprise; Windows Vista Home Basic, Windows Vista Home Premium, Windows Vista ultimate, and Windows Vista Business.

Also on the list are two additional releases, Windows Vista Home Basic N and Windows Vista Business N. The "N" releases are those which do not include Media Player.

Microsoft currently offers six core Windows XP SKUs: The line up includes XP Home, Professional, Media Center, Tablet PC, and Professional x64, and Windows XP Starter. (Microsoft also offers "N" versions of its XP Home and XP Professional releases, as stipulated by the European antitrust regulators.)

With Vista, there will not be separate Tablet, Media Center or x64 SKUs, said Barry Goffe, director of Windows client product management. All of the planned Vista versions, except Windows Vista Starter, will be available in both 32- and 64-bit flavors. All SKUs will integrate Internet Explorer 7.0, the new Vista desktop search, parental controls and Windows Defender antispyware technology. And all of the Windows Vista business SKUs will embed features designed to appeal to small/mid-size businesses (SMBs), Goffe said, obviating the need for a separate Vista small-business variant.

The new line up is "more focused on how people will use their PCs, rather than around hardware types," Goffe explained.

I wonder if that'll be true next year at this time. More and more people I thought were PC have Macs now.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Managing attention

My client this week is attending the largest conference in their industry. For this, I have been preparing materials and redesigning their website. As happens sometimes at the last minute with websites, software didn't come through in time (they aren't a start-up remember) and we missed the launch. Yet all of the executives and materials are at the conference. And the website launch goes into a list of Post-Conference Tasks. There is no contact form, no tracking, no optimized keywords, the list goes on. My demand generation dream just turned into a nightmare. I half want to go to the conference and tell everyone I see, yes I'm the marketing manager but that's NOT my design. Yes I have materials to send to you on their products. No, they won't look like anything you've seen from the company. Yes there is an 800 number, but no we can't post it yet. For a moment, I miss the light stepping start-ups, get-it-done-now environment. Not the 4 page change control document I was given here, which, funny enough, doesn't change a darn thing.

Ok, you see me. Now what?As a marketeer, managing the attention you are lucky enough to draw up is important. Digging up the interest is only half the war. What happens when the eyes or ears or fingers eagar to click the next exciting thing are sitting in front of you? I learned some lessons last week at the OnHollywood conference put on by Tony Perkins in this regard, after some kind words were wrapped around a spot-on critisism of me, that managing attention is something I could do better. Always have a backup plan, always be considering your offline channel mix, always use licensed software if your customers will be touched by your services and listen to smart people who say smart things.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Consumer solice

For all colonies who are dependent on gasoline. Updated every evening. Find the lowest gas near you by zipcode.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

AlwaysOn pre-conference mixer

This is Vincent who provided me a sober conversation about some of the challenges of software building.

More commonly discussed at this conference (, this being the last day, has been the power of advertising and marketing and it's role beside software development, adoption and all of the journalism surrounding technology. The most fantastic discussion thus far and by far was with David Nordfors ( This current focus within journalism and within the ever-growing grassroots, user generated media is to me the most interesting thing happening in the industry.

I guess there are other discussions of interest right now, we still see content management or advertising conferences. But I feel a real fire inside the media meshing; the large, powerful and sometimes threatened traditional journalists and the perhaps more street aware, tapped in but less committment-oriented bl-/vl-/phloggers (photo bloggers).

I had the pleasure of speaking a bit with Steve Gilllmoore*, who let me know I am part of a great number of people who consistently and inconsistently mispell his name. Every time I meet this guy, I seem to leave the wrong impression. I can only hope he knows there is a best of me to be appreciated.

* At least I'm going to spell it like no one else does.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

How much of journalism is innovative?

I am lucky to attend this week David Nordfors’ 3rd Annual Innovation Journalism conference at Standford University. Opening day was peppered with defining and aligning attendees, many European-based fellows. What is "Innovation Journalism", or InJo, and is journalism innovative? Business editors say that "innovation journalism" is the same as "business journalism". Science editors say that "innovation journalism" is synonymous with "science journalism". And then so on. InJo. Hmm. I guess my assumption has been that, today, we are all innovative, at least in relative to a great percentage of our species.

What are we really talking about? Web 2.0 (what Ross Mayfield called "bullshit" yesterday). Hmm. So the importance of accuracy in our terms is crucial and that's why we spend so much time trying to get it right. Web 2.0 and mashups are terms for technology solutions that have been around for several years. Concepts and services pushing two-way communication (also a relative term) and the latest programming languages is nothing new. What I think, I think, the conference is about is maybe 'how' to be be innovative in journalism. Journalism is a bit like software development in the sense that it's competitive and therefore squashes some of the community and sharing aspects that would be most beneficial for the world (of news reporting, of technology).

There is a strong need to track this conference. Science editors have different requirements and research styles depending sometimes on the topic they report on versus say Technology Editors. A drug in clinical trials is interesting whereas a (mostly, at leat) finished product is key for technology reporters. Each track could really take off with some sponsorship and strategy.

I asked a safely polarized panel which they would give up today if they had to: established media with their research infrastructure and editorial staff or new media (blogging, casting, etc.). Dan Gillmor was the only one probably felt that they could be honest, the other two maybe not, Mr. Gillmor answered that he would very reluctantly give up traditional media because he felt we really needed them.

I had a drink I couldn’t break away from with the very interesting and therefore monopolized Mary Granmar, Editor-in-Chief for Process Nordic. We talked about some of the challenges in reaching out beyond her readership in north European region. She was a science editor for 7 years before her post at Process. Smart cookie, that girl. I am hereby planning a trip to the area.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Sinbad's podcast

Podlunch at Sinbad's in San Mateo. March 2006.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Podcasting and production studio

Here are some pictures from the studio in the Bay Area. I cut and mix and edit and broadcast and publish, all from a very neatly organized room of production nirvana, though I can work almost anywhere.

Cool technology interviews

Stowe Boyd's New Visionaries pilot video series is to launch on Stowe talks with some of the most interesting people coming up and pushing along in technology. Great stuff.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Where do I put my media?

Here's a comprehensive, though sort of low-res chart posted on Flickr by Michael Arrington.

Online storage provider comparison