Blogging from the ballpark

I love San Francisco. We have free wifi when we come to ballgames here. And the Giants page that comes up with the WiFi is pretty interesting too! (It shows lots of stats of the ballgame we’re watching).

Patrick says he doesn’t like baseball. I told him that there’s Garlic Fries and free WiFi and he’s happy now.

So, if you’re in San Francisco and you attend a baseball game, remember to bring your mit AND your laptop!

Giants won 8-0.


I hate John Comokaz

UPDATE: Looked like Elliott Back was the author of that site, but now I learn he just wrote the software (Elliott just called me and says he’s not involved). This guy John Comokaz ( is bothering Elliott too, by dragging his Elliott’s name through the mud. I just did a whois lookup and found the guy who does the crazyfactor site is John Comokaz.

Anyway, now that I have more facts I see that John Comokaz is doing CrazyFactor which is stealing my content without proper attribution, spamming blogs via trackbacks, and doing other crappy things. Anything we can do about this guy?

Sorry to Elliott Back. I should have done a whois to start with.

UPDATE: Ajay says his site is being ripped off too.

Google not serious about Web spam?

Ian Kallen writes about webspam in the Google ecosystem. This is one area that Windows Live Spaces got right. Until Microsoft has an effective spam blocking system it’ll stick with requiring commenters to register.

On the other hand, why doesn’t Google get more aggressive about blocking spammers? Because to do so would require either shelling out some serious cash to acquire Akismet or another spam blocking system or it would require making things a LOT tougher for its users. Translation: that would retard adoption, something that an advertising-distribution network like what Google really is will have a VERY hard time doing.

I need to go back to my little blog counting experiment that flamed out last weekend. When I was looking through the various blog systems I found that while most Live Spaces have no content, Google’s Blogger has a ton of spammers. Not sure which one is better, to tell the truth. 

Thanks to Doc Searls for linking me here.

UPDATE: Matt Cutts, of Google, points out this article is old (April, 2006) and that Blogger has a new system that’s a lot better at cutting down spam. Might be true, but I saw a ton that still was getting through the system last week.

Why I love Automattic

It took less than an hour to wake Toni up (the CEO) and get him to acknowledge the problems here. On a Sunday morning.

I’ve seen so many things written about so many companies who never show up and say a simple “I’m listening.”

And people wonder why WordPress is seeing very rapid growth in both blogs produced on WordPress as well as readers-per-blog?

That’s why. And it’s why everytime I speak to corporate types I tell them how to use Technorati to LISTEN to what bloggers are saying. These are the interactions that get your customers to be wildly enthusiastic (even during times where the product isn’t quite working right).

Update: WordPress tech support says the problem should be fixed now.

Akismet is still down…(If you’re at Foocamp wake Toni Schneider up)

Whew, the comment spam is still pouring in. I miss my Akismet! Someone wake Matt Mullenweg up! Heheh. I already emailed him. Interesting that this story isn’t on TechMeme or TailRank yet.

The problem is that bloggers who don’t use blogs mostly don’t see this as an issue. It’s a HORRIBLE issue here when Akismet isn’t doing its job. Since I’ve started using Akismet has blocked more than 64,000 spams.

Why does this matter? Cause imagine how bad the comments here would be if you had to wade through 64,000 spams just to participate. Whew.

Hey, if you’re at Foocamp can you wake Toni Schneider up and tell him Akismet is down? (He’s Automattic’s CEO and is at Foocamp).

Help, we’re drowning in spam here…

UPDATE: Looks like it’s fixed now. No more spam, yeah!

Where do you learn more? Small or big audience events?

Last Friday I was at TechCrunch’s big mondo party. I met the guy who built Guy Kawasaki. Dave Winer. Kevin Rose. And many other “famous geeks and technologists” and I spent more than six hours at that event.

So, why did I, in the first hour today at nofoo learn more Web sites and hear more original ideas discussed than at that entire six-hour event? Keep in mind that at today’s event. Keep in mind that for the first hour there was just one guy, Bud Ozborn, there. And he’s not a famous technologist.

Anyway, he told me about Joe Satriani’s “Guitarist TV” that is done using Brightcove, an Internet TV service.

Later as a few other people showed up I noticed we all were learning a lot faster and riffing off of each other’s ideas a lot more than at most of the other events I’ve attended this summer.

I learned about Swaptree, which will let me trade books, DVDs, and other things with you.

Joseph A. Paolantonio joined us and we started talking about identity and presence (he wrote up what he remembers of the afternoon on his blog). I forget why we were talking about Anne Galloway’s blog (she’s a PhD candidate at the department of sociology and anthropology at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada) but I’m glad we did cause she talks about stuff I would never consider. Ahh, it was when we started talking about how we relate to each other and physical spaces.

Anyway at the end we all noted that we had a great time and a great conversation — better than we usually have, even at events where the people are smarter or more accomplished — and started thinking about why that was?

I realized that you can really only talk with three other people at one time. If there’s more than four, then you’ll actually start spliting up into two separate conversations. Get to about six or seven people and you’ll have two conversations and you’ll want to pay attention to both.

So, we’re now already in ADD land for conversations. Pay attention to the interesting one.

It gets worse the more people that get added. Then you want to “graze” for the best conversation — at TechCrunch there were so many interesting people that you couldn’t spend more than a few minutes talking to any one (and there was the social pressure of knowing that the guy behind you listening in could have been a journalist or a blogger that’d put your stupid opinions up for the world to make fun of). If you’re stuck talking to someone at such an event, even someone who is damn brilliant and interesting you keep looking around for someone who is even MORE brilliant and interesting.

And, even if you are a brilliant conversationalist and stay focused on the person in front of you the noise level goes up and up and up. I remember talking with one guy at TechCrunch and I literally couldn’t hear his answers so I gave up on any type of intelligent conversation.

Out of my two years when I attended FooCamp I remember only two conversations clearly. And both of them were in this very small-group clustering and stayed in that cluster for a very long time. One was where the two guys who started Google walked in on Patrick and me at about 11 p.m. in an empty cafeteria. That was an experience I’ll never forget.

Another one was where I was sitting at lunch with Esther Dyson, Stewart Brand, Jeff Bezos.

In what setting have you learned the most in one hour from other people?