Thursday, August 31, 2006
Product blogs: NY Times First Look works
Just shows that although the concept of keeping in touch with your customers is wonderful, figuring out how to talk to them on a daily basis can be challenging.
One of the product blogs I always enjoy is from flickr-- heather and stuart know how to package ideas and news.
The latest product blog to capture my attention is First Look from The New York Times--this deliberately small scale effort seems like a nifty way for the Times to launch and discuss new features and products. Richard MacManus points to their discussion of the new Times Reader, a new NYTimes/Microsoft app that lets users read the NY Times electronically using advanced screen reading technology from Microsoft--and the First Look discussion seems just right.
Yep, it's going on the blog roll.
Quote of the Day
--Violet Blue, birthday girl and new SF Chronicle sex columnist
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
NYTimes: Why the economy is NOT doing better for everyone
- Median income rose 1.1 percent in 2005, to $46,326, the first increase since it peaked in 1999. But the gain is likely from investment income and Social Security, not wages and salaries.
- Median income for the under-65 group was $2,000 lower in 2005 than in 2001, when the last recession bottomed out.
- The number of Americans living in poverty in 2005 --37 million -- was the same as in 2004. The share of the population now in poverty -- 12.6 percent --is higher than in the last recession, when it was 11.7 percent.
- 46.6 million, or 15.9 percent of the population have NO medical insurance. That?s greater than in the recession year 2001.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Quote of the day
--Frances Katz, Harvard Law blogger, writing about Free Beer, a brewery that "applies modern free software / open source methods to a traditional real-world product (beer)" so that anyone can make--and mash up--free beer.
Lisa Williams does 100K bike race; proves super-girl status
Bonus Links: Short film--Citizen Journalism, from Pamphlet to Blog, made by a Cambridge Community Televison class in Massachusetts working to create a short documentary on citizen journalism (Via legally brunette de)
Update--Okay, it was 64 miles!
Monday, August 28, 2006
Yahoo: Hack Day Sept 29-Oct 1
Expect creativity, sleeping bags, singing and technology innovation.
Saturday, August 26, 2006
Ev Williams: Great rules to live (and work) by
- At any given time, focus on as few things as possible.
- Always start simply.
- There are always more opportunties and ideas.
- Good people want to kick ass. Join forces with good people and let them.
- Take the long view.
- There are few things more important than where you put your attention.
- Measure. Machines are better than humans at knowing what is really going on inside machines and can even be helpful in figuring out what's going on inside humans. Make them tell you and make better decisions.
- Pretty much everything is about user experience.
(Susan sez: I recognize it's partly my perfectionism that consistently draws me to these kinds of lists, but it's also my ability to learn from other people--and this is good advice.)
Founder Mark Pincus returns to lead Tribe
Is there a business there no one else could imagine?
And how big a business might that be?
When folks get back from Burning Man, guess we'll find out...I think Mark is going to have a pretty interesting run with this one...and I wish him all the best.
Friday, August 25, 2006
Quote of the Day
--Developer Dave Winer, explaining why Google seems to be more and more like the mid-90's incarnation of the *evil * Microsoft as they develop more and more of their own APIs...rather than help create open source standards.
Ad Age: Will myspace launch a print magazine? (Susan sez: And will it make (enough) money from advertisers?)
NYTimes: Breaking news story--couples take laptops to bed! (Okay, I wanted a third link so I could publish this..story is insipid but cute.)
kottke: What's a tumbleblog?
Thursday, August 24, 2006
My vacation update, aka Hamptons report
I was a tad ambivalent about this trip before I came out, because last year I had three instances of tourist rage aka bad visitor attitude in four days--a woman threatened me in the checkout line in Old Navy, for example--but this time, everything has been amazingly mellow and calm.
The basic routine is get up, walk, have breakfast, read the paper, check email, go to the beach or some other activity, eat a late lunch, more beach, shower, casual dinner, walk or hang out a bit before going up to the room, read blogs, check email, go to sleep.
In other words, mellow and relaxing.
Still have a couple days to go, but definitely starting to think about heading back home--and anticipating getting back to work.
Blogging outside the Silicon Valley Bubble--my rant on how to get there
For me, that usually means the NYTimes and Techmeme as two starting points.
I'm finding these days that the more I read TechMeme, the less I want to write about emerging technology, social media, product development and most of the other geeky things that float my boat.
Well, inside the Silicon Valley bubble, events happen at the (breathless) speed of light.
And the bubble needs to hype itself.
Many people are looking to generate as much buzz as possible, as quickly as possible, as a means of driving viral marketing or customer acqusition or some sort of a quick score (funding, potential acquisition).
So every new product is great, amazing, revolutionary or brilliant.
To live up to that billing, categories are sliced and diced into niches narrow as needles, then companies are covered, evaluated and discussed.
So what if the market share is miniscule, or the product is barely beta?
It's the bubble, baby, an emerging markets monster that has to be fed in anticipation of a future liquidity event.
Needless to say, for me, opinionated, stubborn and working for a big company,the razzle-ride on the SV Bubble express train ain't happening.
My interest in the new tech geniuses of the last 5 minutes is flagging, and the breathless noise makes me want to hold my breath (and scream loudly).
Soooo..I am going to try a little experiment.
No more TechMeme for 2 weeks. No digg and no Slashdot.
Back to reading blogs the semi-old fashioned way--in my newsreader.
I want to see if stepping back from the hype edge revives my interest in favorite tech topics--or if I'm just ready to move on to new ideas.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Noer article: If Forbes editors worked at AOL, they'd have to resign
"The more successful she is the more likely she is to grow dissatisfied with you."
If the editors who approved posting this pathetic piece by one Michael Noer worked at AOL Search, they'd all be fired ASAP (or leave to pursue other interests) so appalling is the lack of judgement in every letting this silly and misguided story see the light.
Technorati links here.
Update: Dossy points out Forbes has respun this story and reposted it with a he said-she said debate....Is this new packaging a case of putting lipstick on a pig, aka shameless driving for page views? (Susan sez: Sure it is, but so what...)
Monday, August 21, 2006
Quote of the day
Other people have these things. Why can't I?
My blessing is the company that I keep. I don't know how I stumbled into such an eclectic mix of dreamers, thinkers, idealists, and brave warriors, but how grateful I am to be surrounded by these people. These people who love me, and don't judge my vices or the work I do. The ones who have my back, my hand, and a shoulder. I am so very grateful."
--Erotic NYC blogger CherryBomb, reminding us the tech boom doesn't fund everyone, but that good friends are crucial, no matter what your passion is.
Sunday, August 20, 2006
Quote of the day (and the moment)
--TechCruncher Mike Arrington on his recent party, affirming that yes, the Silicon Valley bubble is back and that this time it's also about fun.
Saturday, August 19, 2006
On vacation, starting now (with blogging included)
Tomorrow, I take the bus out to the beach, for a week with family. I expect to do more blogging, more reading, and more walking than usual--since I get to do much less work (make that almost no work...)
At this very minute, I am at a relative's house, listening to the kids melt down on their way to bed time and remembering why NYC apartments can be challenging places for families.
Plan for this week is to hang out, see friends, enjoy the beach, get lots of exercise and have a great time writing blog posts and developing some ideas I haven't had time to work on.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Steve Gillmor says nice things about me and I link to that
Even better, he's pegged me as "the synthesist" while Calcanis is "the lightening rod."
It is fun to watch Steve hold forth in net spaces that are increasingly his own, spinning his lore till the language reaches a pinnacle somewhere between NeoPrimitive VRMLer Mark Pesce and gonzo journaliste Hunter S. Thompson, while the younger guys in sneakers first snicker a little and then hungrily ask for more.
Sometimes I feel like I get Attention, other times it feels like the Emperor's New Clothes, but yes, I care what this man has to say--and it's usually pretty interesting, thought-provoking, and okay, sometimes obtuse.
As people in the Valley ponder the new mediarati--the Arringtons, Maliks, and the swam of snarkers in their wake--Steve's move from tech columnist to finger in many pies maven needs to be noted as well.
Quote of the day
--I don't think that teenagers are the only population facing impaired judgment. In fact, i'm curious at what age one's judgment is really all that functional. "
--danah boyd, writing on the life lessons teens should be taught--and that the rest of us learn somehow
Scenes from the highway in Northern California
Her bumper sticker: NO FUR: Be Kind to Animals.
Monday, August 14, 2006
Sunday night supper: Napa
Of course, we made dinner, and the collaborative effort was as follows:
Cheese, olives, salami
Grilled hanger steak
Baked potatoes with (real) sour cream
Westwood Winery Grenache Rose
Fresh strawberries, english toffee and almonds in dark chocolate
Friday, August 11, 2006
Quote of the Day
--Former online CJRDaily.org Web Editor in Chief Steve Lovelady, who resigned after CJS Dean Nicholas Lehmann cut the web site budget to fund a direct mail campaign for the print edition (via NYTimes)
Thursday, August 10, 2006
TechCrunch begats CrunchGear; empire spawning
It's a dirty job, starting a digital media empire, but someone's got to do it, and it's a wise mood for Mike to capitalize on all the traffic he's getting and spread the franchise out a bit--time will tell whether CrunchGear pulls audience away from Gizmodo, Engadget and other gear blogs and/or brings in their own new aficionados.
Burning Man mashups
Dept. of Do you think this is true?
--Mark May, analyst at Needham & Co, quoted in a BusinessWeek story about Google's lucrative new deal with NewsCorp/MySpace.
Logical argument--or defacto rationalization?
Seems like a bit of both.
Busy, busy, busy
(Susan sez: I'll be working in the city for a couple days, then heading for a family vacation. I may be one of the few people on the planet who contemplated the Hamptons with my sibling or Burning Man with friends as the August vacation choices. This year, family won. Next year...)
Monday, August 07, 2006
Search: AOL lets search data loose
Given that what we are able tol look at is Google search used by AOL members, one wonders exactly what the team releasing this data meant to acconmplish. The quote:
"AOL just released the logs of all searches done by 500,000 of their users over the course of three months earlier this year. That means that if you happened to be randomly chosen as one of these users, everything you searched for from March to May (2006) is now public information on the internet."
The links are down this am, but this sounds like a big mistake.
Quote of the day
I blog to know myself better. I blog to keep myself intellectually honest. I blog to question my own assumptions. I blog to open my mind. "
--Blogher co-founder and president reviewing comments on the recent BlogHer conference from attendees and the blogosphere.
Sunday, August 06, 2006
Quote of the Day, 2
There is a subtext in what Dave says that if women aren't sexy, flirty, smiling, glad to see him, and good-natured, then they're not worth listening to, or they're not going to be listened to. There is a message for women in that pervasive societal message. I feel sure he didn't mean that - but honest to god that's how it comes off to me. "
-Liz Henry, taking a jab at regendering post-BlogHer comments and aligning them to a larger perspective of how men's expectations sometimes trivialize women (and singleing out one blogger to make her point is a way that probably isn't totally fair...)
Quote of the Day
I needed reassurance that my presence was welcome, after a lifetime of being told to shut up. Gradually, if the door stays open, something great is going to happen. "
--Dave Winer, working through ideas about sexism and gender, post BlogHer
Susan sez: Anyone who encourages open and equal conversation has my support--and I think Dave--and many of the men who came to BlogHer--were actively listening and looking to learn.
Friday, August 04, 2006
CrunchBoard: TechCrunch spawns an insider's jobs board. $200 and your job is inside.
Ted Leonsis: Ted takes over 2,0000 words to tell why AOL giving up its access business is great news.
Washington Post: Reporter takes 1200 words to explain why this great news means AOL is laying off 25% of its workforce.
Battelle's SearchBlog: Realtime and virtual: Others Online launches--a high class way to be stalked or the coolest thing since, uh, Orkut?
Lisa Williams: How many blogs about real places are out there? Lisa bets she can find 1,000.
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Yahoo in da (blog)house
A corporate blog that tries not to be corporate and that speaks the truth of 20-year olds to kick itself off?
In this case, that would be the brand-new and shiny Yodel Anecdotal, the Y! equivalent of 10,000 Sun Micosystems blogs and hundreds of Microsoft Channel 9 blogs when it comes to ripping the covers off what Yahoo is really like.
(We're super nice, are you surprised?)
Congrats to Havi Hoffman and everyone else who pulled together this sunny bit of shiny parts--it's your flag and long may it wave. Now the truth about those mounds in front of Sunnyvale's Building G is going to be revealed, right?
Quote of the Day 2
--Journalist Om Malik, wondering if AOL's big bet will go wrong.
(Susan sez: I feel exactlythe same way as Om...this is risky business...but they know that.)
Quote of the Day 1
--Time Warner COO Jeff Bewkes, explaining why AOL is changing their strategy in no longer charging subscribers for services such as e-mail, software, and safety and security services and looking to advertising as the big revenue driver.
(via Paid Content)