Archive for the 'Web' Category

Missing Categories In Mashable! Open Web Awards

Check out the list of categories for the 2nd Annual Open Web Awards, presented by Mashable!  You see tons of items related to social media, social networking, etc., but some categories are missing – where is personal productivity?  Tools, like online source control, project management, and analytics?

It smells as if the people who put together the list were somewhat technical, but not *very* technical – and the output reflected that result.

UGC is important, and it’s important to solicit user content earlier and earlier in the process.  Back in the day, you’d have Letters To The Editor.  Now users can actually suggest, and contribute funds to, stories that they want to see investigated.  It would have been nice if Mashable! ran the list of suggested categories past the user base first, or had a specific mechanism to suggest additional categories.

No Lab Love For Google Apps Users

UPDATE: Love from Twitter: Tweep Marina Martin showed me this Greasemonkey script that simulates the Labs functions: Just hit “l” and the “Apply Label” function pops up. Hit the first letter of your label and it starts to drill down. Amazing, and useful. Thanks Marina!


I learned tonight that Google Apps users aren’t able to take advantage of the slew of Google Labs features that are made available to Gmail users. Google has recently released new labeling features that I would like to try out, but without the Labs link in Google Apps I’m out of luck.

Google: when will we get Labs in Google Apps? to Twitter Bridge

Based on @marinamartin’s experience, I’ve decided to set up a bridge between and Twitter, so that updates I make in one tool can be viewed in the other.

My first experiment was with Brad Williams’ tool, but that appears to be one-way only, from to Twitter.

Another search pulled up kshep’s bridge, which ALSO appears to be one-way only.

Is there such a thing as a two-way bridge?

While I was searching, I saw some tweets that seemed to indicate that there may be a conscious decision NOT to program in two-way updates, due the “closed nature” of twitter and in order to make a “political statement”. Oh snap. I suppose that’s what happens when you get a bunch of talented open-source hackers on a project in an election year :)

So here’s where I’m at: if I can’t get two-way updates, then I will mainly use Twitter for the near future. If I can get two-way updates, I’ll use

Federation, heal thyself?

Whrrl is Whonderrful

UPDATE: As she promised, Danielle Morrill from Whrrl has posted a blog entry outlining the release of their fix for the problem I had mentioned. I tested “Portage Bay Cafe” on my iPhone, and, well, it just works!

Good job to everyone on the Whrrl team!

Continue reading ‘Whrrl is Whonderrful’

Presentation Tennis

I love this.  Presentation Tennis is a social experiment by SlideShare/Ethos 3 in “collaborative creativity”.  Users upload slides and create a single combined presentation on a given topic.

This kind of thing could never realistically be done pre-Internet.  It’s fun to see the creativity in the models, because for a lot of the internet-using population, the Internet is an extension of traditional ways of doing things (“Clicks and mortar”, anyone?).

Fellow tweep Connie Crosby contributed slide 11 to the presentation.  I encourage you to check it out!

Anonymity On The Internet

I ran into an interesting post here on the Tiger Blog that commented on the nPost startup event last week that I also attended.  I naturally tried to check out who wrote the post, but I got the internet version of the runaround – lots of about pages, but no info.

The author is apparently:

  • A former Zillow employee
  • Who is working on a stealth startup named Eggsprout
  • and whose initials might be BMA

I don’t know about you, but it bugs me when I can’t figure out the person behind the post.  10 or 15 years ago, anonymity – in the form of handles, nicks, anonymizers, etc. — were all the rage, but the internet has matured enough that anonymous posts / comments are now the exception, rather than the norm, among polite company.

Over on FriendFeed, Robert Scoble’s #1 change request for the internet is No Anonymity.  I like to poke fun at Robert, but I admire him a lot and I think he’s right on with this one – with one important caveat.  And that is – if you’re in a dissident / whistleblower situation where you are in jeapordy in real life, then by all means I think that anonymity is crucial.

However, the run-of-the-mill “I went to this networking event and met up  with a lot of cool people” posts deserve a name and a face.

I think it’s ironic that BMA has authored a post titled 10 great startup tips.  Tip #9? Be transparent.

What do you think about anonymity?

Useless Distinctions: Twitter as Microblogging

Steven Hodson has a post up on Mashable! where he whines that “Twitter is not microblogging”. Before I get into my own thoughts on the topic, I have an initial question:

Who the Hell Cares?

Steven’s apparently pissed that hardworking OBs (Original Bloggers) aren’t getting the respect that they used to, what with the upstarts like Twitter and Tumblr and Plurk infringing on the blogging turf.

I just have one thing to say: for shit’s sake. Get off your high horse already.

Now, as to the question of where Twitter fits in the new evolution of blogging: Twitter and its lifestreaming brethren are definitely blogging tools, if you are smart enough to see blogging in context, and not just as a collection of tools and techniques.  What are the key features of blogging in the historical sense?  Let me take a stab:

  • Public
  • Personal
  • Direct
  • Timely
  • Subjective
  • Worldwide

You tell me how Twitter doesn’t meet those criteria.

Somebody commented on Hodson’s article that his post must have been linkbait.  I doubt it – I just think he’s stuck in a mental trap and can’t – for the moment anyway – dig himself out of his current worldview.  The fact that he came in behind several dozen commenters and tried to turn this into a juvenile “Yay if you’re with me, Boo if you’re against me” doesn’t speak well for his near-term enlightenment.

The Twelve People You Meet On Twitter

If you’ve been around Twitter long enough, certain patterns start to emerge. People start to develop tweeting habits, and for better or worse, those patterns tend to stay fairly stable, at least in my experience.  Some people are composite creatures; others are definitely single-tracking.

Do you recognize any of these people?

  1. GHOST: Starts Twittering, posts a handful of times, then disappears.
  2. NERDCORE: Hopelessly geeky (and proud of it), writes tweets like this: “ states eDonkey as best P2P client on linux But it was shutdown, wasn’t it? Can anyone confirm it?”
  3. FLIRT: Writes a lot of tweets with the word “sexy” and “boobs” and “naked” (not necessarily in the same tweet).
  4. WHORE: Shameless self-promoter of blog posts.  Has 10,000 followers.
  5. WHORE IN TRAINING: Just like a WHORE, but sheepishly apologizes for it every now and then.  Wants 10,000 followers.
  6. MR. GUILTY: Endless naughty-boy revelations about alcohol, gambling, or behaving badly.
  7. ST. CRISPIN: Today is an opportunity! Carpe Diem! I can’t believe I’m lucky enough to be alive on THIS VERY DAY!
  8. HIPSTER: Goes to all the cool social networking events and meets with Loic and Scoble and Guy every month.  Lets you know about it.
  9. POLITICAL HARRIDAN: Sends 140-character rants about this or that politician or policy proposal.
  10. INQUISTOR: 90% of their tweets are questions to their “audience”.
  11. DILBERT: My office is dysfunctional and I sort of like it because I can tweet about it.
  12. ZZZ: Sends tweets like “I’m on my 2nd cup of coffee” or “heading home”.

So, which are you? Which other tweeter archetypes am I missing?

Firefox 3.0 Is A Winner

If you’re still using FF2 you should immediately stop what you’re doing and upgrade to FF3. I say this with the confidence of someone who has been using FF3 for a few months now.

The key advantages: it’s fast and spares your RAM.

Operational speed is amazing in this version. It’s so good that I have (at least temporarily) given up on Flock because FF3’s new engine is so much faster. I have no hard metrics for you quants to chew on, but all the anecdotal evidence I’ve accumulated is compelling.

Second: memory usage is way more optimized. I could have never kept 15 or 20 tabs open in FF2, but in FF3 I do it all the time. It’s to the point where I am about to begin looking around for a tab management plugin because I have so many open tabs during typical usage. My total memory debt right now with about 15 tabs open is 188 MB, and it’s stable.

Why I Won’t Follow @BreakingNewsOn

Friend @waynesutton tweets:

waynesutton Just read some sad news on the @BreakingNewsOn tweet time line, if you’re not following @BreakingNewsOn you should be

I checked out their tweetstream and won’t be following them anytime soon.  Why?  Too much negative news.  Here’s a one-liner summary of their recent tweets:

death, death, NASA, death, death, destruction, destruction, destruction, politics, politics, death, death, drill, injury, destruction, politics, politics, injury, injury, service announcement.

I don’t want to fill my brain up with death, destruction, injury, and the like. It’s the same reason I don’t watch local news: you’d think that Seattle is filled with meth-addicted gangster hos who leave newborns in trash cans before robbing the local Evergreen Bank branch. Not my cup of tea.

Give me uplifting, thought-provoking commentary that talks about the best that the human race can offer, and I’ll subscribe to *that*.


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