I’m jealous of Open Hack Day’ers

Beck showed up last night at the Yahoo Open Hack Day. Wow. Michael Arrington, who helped arrange the event, begged me to come and said I’d really be blowing it if I didn’t go.

Phil Wolff has a comparison between the Yahoo event and an eBay one.

I got the consolation prize, though. Jason Calacanis gave me a ride in his Yellow Corvette to dinner. Not quite as good as a private Beck concert, but had its own attributes!

Sorry the blog has been lame. Been having too many meetings to put my hands on a keyboard.

There’s a lot of photos and reports on the event on Technorati.

New UMPCs rock

I agree with Engadget. The new UMPCs (basically small Tablet PCs) are MUCH better than the first ones. The new Sony is tiny and interesting. The only thing wrong is still the price.

In fact, at Microsoft they did a lot of price testing. If these ever get to $500 they’ll sell like hotcakes. The OEMs don’t believe Microsoft’s own price testing, though. That’s too bad.

At the Intel Developer Forum I got a demo of one that interacted with a new prototype VW and it was awesome. Those new markets won’t really appear for several more years, but I talked with representatives from VW and they can see a whole bunch of things to do with them.

More Photowalking with Thomas Hawk

Cool, all four parts of the Photowalking tour with Thomas Hawk are up on the ScobleShow. We’re also looking for other photographers to walk around with. Must be located within driving distance of San Francisco — for now.

In the second segment, it is fun watching Thomas get wet and then get on the ground to get some unique shots. Love that lens cleaning technique too!

In the third segment we go dark. Low light shooting of the Golden Gate bridge. In the fourth segment we go into the city for some urban photography.

Would love to know what you think, especially if you have a digital SLR camera. Is this kind of stuff useful or interesting? What would you like to see us shoot in the future? Models? Scenery? In a studio? Wine country? Gold country? Beaches? Sports?
Thomas has more, including links to the photos he made during this session, on his blog.

Out of all the stuff that I’ve done, for even the shows that’ll come up in a couple of weeks, this is my favorite. I wonder if you agree?

Leo Challenges Podcasting Assumptions

Lots of people assume that you need to do short podcasts. After all, people’s time is valuable, right? And we’re all overloaded with too much info anyway.

But Leo asked his audience and 20,000 people responded, Phil Windley reported from a keynote Leo did today. They told him “do longer, more technical podcasts.”

Leo’s show? It’s TWiT. Length? 120 minutes.

That said, on ScobleShow you won’t find me shying away from weird length podcasts and videoblogs. Why do we need to fit into a format? If it only takes three minutes to demo a product, why take six? On the other hand, if walking through San Francisco with Thomas Hawk is interesting, even after two hours, why shorten it to 10 minutes?

We’re playing the Web 2.0 drinking game tonight

Hey, we’re going drinking tonight. At the Podcasting Expo here in Ontario, CA. But now I see we have a Web 2.0 drinking game to play with, thanks to a Steve Rubel link.

How about we customize this game for the Podcasting expo?

Everytime someone says something about Adam Curry, take a drink.
Everytime someone mentions Revision 3, take a drink.
Anytime Kevin Rose is standing next to you, take a drink.
If you see Chris Pirillo naked, don’t take a drink, just turn off Valleywag.
If Leo Laporte mentions Robert Scoble in his keynote, take a drink (I have to take three).
If Jason Calacanis offers you $10 to blog for him, take a drink.
If your picture ends up on Valleywag because of your drinking behavior, you must take a week off of alcohol.

Anyway, say hi if you’re at one of the places in Ontario we’re at. Cell phone is 425-205-1921, but I usually can’t hear it ringing when we’re out partying.

Yeah, I know I’m not funny. So make up your own game. :-)

It’s about being part of the conversation

I love Jacob Bowser. He gets it. He said “it felt like you were right there, part of the conversation.”

Exactly.

Aside: second installment of Photowalking with Thomas Hawk is up. I should have titled this “it gets darker.” The other installments should be up soon.

Being part of the conversation is the key to this new world. It’s why I hate talking about advertising and CPM (cost per thousand visits) or ad units or interstitals. I’d rather talk about what is on Digg or Techmeme or on Dori Smith’s blog.
There has got to be a new kind of advertising where companies can get their products found and discussed, but not cause they shoved them in your face like they do in TV where they interrupt your football game to talk about shavers or beer.

I wish I had better answers, though. If you were a company trying to find new customers, how would you approach advertising?

And, yes, we need advertising to fund content development. Even a “cheap” show like mine is expensive. You should see the bandwidth bill we’re running up, not to mention that doing it right (with multiple formats, better audio quality, better lighting, etc) costs money.

How do I provide value to my sponsor so that they are happy and keep doing it? I love how Hugh Macleod made Stormhoek wine part of the conversation. How so? He gave me a bottle of the stuff. Now I’m addicted and keep asking for it at the local store. That draws stares cause the local store already has something like 100 different kinds of wines. But they don’t cause a conversation with my friends the way that Stormhoek does.

I pour that sucker and everyone starts talking about their favorite Hugh cartoon.

Or, go over and see Ze Frank. I don’t even need to link to him anymore. If you don’t know how to find Ze’s show you don’t deserve to watch. Have you clicked on his “snack?” I have. It’s getting tastier and tastier as time goes along.

I can imagine finding a little treasure from an advertiser in there someday. Imagine if someone like Starbucks says “free lattes for Ze viewers.” I’d be there, and my loyalty to Starbucks would grow cause they are supporting something I love. Not to mention, it’d cause a conversation.

Yahoo this week is about to cause a conversation. Watch what they do on Friday night. Watch your Flickr feeds. Your videoblog feeds. Your podcasting feeds. I bet Yahoo gets in there. Why? Cause they figured out a way to cause a conversation. Even better. They figured out how to bring the conversation to their front lawn.

What conversations are you a part of?

Google Reader updates (and a video too!)

Wow, just read this over on TechCrunch that Google Reader has been updated and they put up a video too. Nice! But I’ll still go over and do a more in depth video. I’m also downloading it and will see if it gets me to switch off of my favorite NewsGator.

UPDATE: I’ve loaded all my feeds into it. It’s quite nice. Works fast, clean UI. Does what you’d expect a news reader to do (brought in my OPML file from NewsGator without complaining).

Some things I’m still missing. Is there a “river of news” option here? That’s what I’m looking for. I want to just have a continuous scroll where I can go through my news feed. No folders, just a chronilogical view of all my items. OnFolio used to get pretty close to that, but I haven’t see any company really change the news reader metaphor very much. I’d also love to see a reordering of the list of feeds based on who publishes most (right now it’s just alphabetical). Or, who has the most links according to Google BlogSearch. Wouldn’t that be cool?

Some problems exist. I clicked on “email” at the bottom of a feed item and it gave me a “Bad Request” error. “Your client has issued a malformed or illegal request.” I’m using latest version of Firefox.

I don’t understand what the “Share” icon does at the bottom of each item. I click on it and it just changes to “Unshare.” OK, I guess I gotta go do some homework about where that gets shared to. It’s a mystery to me. But, what do I know? I’m blonde.

Oh, yeah, where’s the integration with Google Blog Search? One of the most powerful things I’ve been showing audiences lately is you can track anyone in the world who says anything on a blog. Say someone says “Scoble sucks” on a blog, even one without any readers, well, it could show up in my Google Reader. I don’t see a way to build a “search subscription.” NewsGator has that built into its online reader. NewsGator also has a community ranking feature built right in. Imagine if Google were going to build its own “Digg-style” community? In fact, there’s a URL where you can star things, but it’s not clear that there’ll be a site where I can subscribe to everything that people have “starred.”

It’ll be interesting to read the reviews about this and see where it goes.