Video break

So, how can I get away with not talking about “G,” or “Y,” or “M?”

It’s really hard. I see so much I want to talk about.

But, I’ll keep going. It’s a good exercise. It’s making me look elsewhere for patterns. And, anyway, we’ve been putting up some interesting videos over on Channel 9:

Coding for Fun.
Meet the Windows Vista Print Team. (This is my favorite, look at all those printers!)
First Look at Exchange 12.
CRM 3.0 Preview.

OK, back to no GYM.

#47: Podtech adds Jason Lopez

How do you know that John Furrier is going big time? Well, he passed two million downloads and now he has Jason Lopez helping him out (he’s a seasoned radio pro who has been heard on NPR).

By the way, is podcasting’s quality going up? Listen to It’s as good as anything you’ll hear on commercial radio. Add in IT Conversations and you have two really great audio resources to listen on your portable media player.

What tech podcasts do you listen to?

#46: Blogging does not integrate, Shel says

Shel is writing up a storm over on our book blog, Naked Conversations.

He and I met the other day and he told me that he is hearing lots of companies thinking about integrating blogging into their marketing plans. You know, treating it as yet another marketing “chore” that teams need to do to be able to ship. He thought that idea is lame and will end in failure for those who approach blogs that way. I agree.

Anyway, here’s the three part rant titled “Why Blogging Doesn’t Integrate:”

Part 1
Part 2

Part 3

He makes an interesting point for entrepreneurs in his “Launch Small” post. If you don’t know who Shel is he’s helped lots of small companies launch. The latest? He was doing PR for Riya, which is rumored to have been sold even before it could totally launch (I’ll be attending the launch party tomorrow night, albeit I’ll be there toward the tail end of the party).

Oh, and we’ll soon have our own launch party. Shel and I are talking with Michael Arrington about doing a TechCrunch/Naked Conversations launch event in January (our book is available on store shelves January 9). If you haven’t heard about our book, we interviewed dozens of businesses about how they are using blogs to improve the relationship they are having with their customers.

Other book stuff?

Marc E. Babej has an interview he did with Shel.
Nicole Simon has a “not so naked conversation” with Shel and me in preparation for the Les Blogs conference in Paris, France, where Shel and I are speaking.
Robin Stavinsky has a review of three great new books for the Entprepreneur (we’re one of the three books she recommends). Funny enough, I really like the other two books on her list and highly recommend those.
We’d love you to review our book on Amazon, here’s how.
We’ve gotten to know our editor, Jim Minatel pretty well, and would recommend him to other aspiring authors in a minute. His little trip to help New Orleans demonstrates what kind of guy he is.
The company that hosts our book blog, Six Apart, got a customer service award from Shel.
Jeff Clavier, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist, reviews our book.
Neville Hobson says Naked Conversations is a “cracking read.”

Keep the reviews and mail coming! Oh, and order our book darn it!

#45: Services for Digital Lifestyle

On Wednesday afternoon I spent a bunch of time with ePlatform’s CEO, Ramana Kovi. He called me up and told me that now that we’re interested in services that I might be interested in seeing what his team has been building for the past few years.

And, wow, does he have a ton of services. More than 70 at last count.

He’s run away from the Web 2.0 look that other Silicon Valley entrepreneurs are going with, though. He’s built a services portal (he calls it an integrated digital lifestyle service) and made it look similar to Outlook 2003. Why do that? Cause he says he noticed that most of his target users use Outlook and in his testing they were more comfortable with a set of services that look like Microsoft’s offerings. Smart, although I think it could use some more polish.

It’s in alpha testing right now, he expects to release a beta within weeks. I’ll let you know when it’s out. I played with several of the services and they were well done. He tells me that his team has been working on this for years and has written about 20 million lines of .NET code to build this set of services and the host container for them.

Definitely another Silicon Valley company to watch.

#44: My business card starts conversations

I made some custom business cards and Lyndon of Laszlo was the first to upload it. It is a custom card done by Hugh Macleod. I’ve handed hundreds of them out in the past three weeks. Almost every time I hand it to someone they say “that’s cool.”

I often then get asked “how did you get that past the branding police?” Shhhh, don’t tell anyone. 😉

The story behind the card is that Hugh penned that for me over lunch at the Reboot conference. Thanks, Hugh! Yes, I tell people I’m on the HughTrain.

I highly believe a business card should start a conversation and be memorable. So many of the ones I get are boring. What are you doing to make your business card memorable? Other things I’ve done? Gotten my business cards punched in braille. Why is that good? It’s easy to find your card in your pocket cause it feels very distinctive. Another card I had was done in a distinctive rubbery material. Matt Mullenweg told me he wanted to use that material and couldn’t find it anywhere.

What things do you do with business cards?

#43: Ultimate Ears to visit Microsoft/Bellevue

Ken Levy invited the Ultimate Ears folks to Microsoft’s campus in Redmond tomorrow. They’ll also have an open-to-the-public meeting on Saturday. Ken’s blog has all the details.

These headphones are — by far — the best I’ve ever heard. If you travel a lot you should check them out. I’ve had babies crying next to me in the airplane and with these on you can hardly even hear them. Their top of the line pairs are very expensive at $900 (they are custom made for your ears specifically) but they have a new pair that Ken tells me are almost as good for less than 1/3 the price.

Anyway, you can always drop by and hang out with the geeks in the mall.

#42: Slinging on portable phones

Last night I was at a dinner with Chris Shipley (yes, that Chris, she runs the Demo conference) and sitting next to me were Trimergent and Sling Media. Brian Jaquet, director of public relations, couldn’t help but show me his new mobile phone running Sling’s new mobile software (not yet in beta, coming soon). Oh, he knows how to make a geek cry in envy!

That so rocks. I can’t tell you what phone he was running cause I’m not supposed to talk about “M.” 😉

I love my SlingBox. I can’t wait to get this running on my phone (although he was using a phone that ran on a more advanced network than the lowly GPRS that mine works on, so I sense a new phone is in my future).