Daily Archives: September 27, 2006

ScobleShow post mortem (wow, Ask blog search rocks!)

So Freyburg doesn’t like the ScobleShow (or Revision 3 either). Cool. It doesn’t seem like he even watched a single show.

It’s a bootstrap, though, so I’m willing to admit it sucks. What did Freyburg expect? Lost? I think my show is going to suck for the first two months. Why? I’m still playing around. Learning what works. Listening to people who are watching. And brainstorming. I see all the flaws in what I’m doing. Even if you all are too nice to point them out to me for now (thank you, that’s much appreciated).

The whole videoblogging community is bootstrapping right now. Just like the early bloggers were figuring out what worked. Remember, Jason Calacanis wasn’t there in 2000, but he watched what was going on, learned, and then built his network and sold it to AOL later.

By the way, I haven’t tried Ask’s blog search for quite some time. It really is quite a bit better than it used to be — I think it is going to be my favorite blog search, but I need to do some more comparisons. I used it to find the best commentary from blogs about ScobleShow:

Jonathan Schwartz, CEO of Sun Microsystems: “the next Katie Couric.”
Frank Barnako, of CBS MarketWatch: “it’s firm and fully packed!”
Jason Calacanis, VP at AOL: “Way to go Robert!”
NMM Medical Informatics Blog: “If you are interested in the world of tech, you should definitely check out the new Scoble Show on Podtech.”
Loren Heiny, software entrepreneur and Tablet PC freak like me: “I really like the wide format of the video. Nicely done.”
Duncan Reilly: “got to say it’s pretty damn good.”
Brian Bailey said “congrats on the launch, Robert! You should be very proud.” But he definitely gave me the most feedback on what I did, too. I really appreciate that.

What went wrong?

1) RSS feeds didn’t work. I should be fired for that. The ScobleShow RSS feed is here. I almost called my show “RobertScobleShow.” Which would have spelled out RSS. But it was too corny, I thought.
2) The site’s design is uninspired.
3) There’s no wiki. I want a wiki where everyone can talk with me about future story ideas and where I post next week’s shows. Also where I link in transcripts.
4) No transcripts. Anyone have a good methodology for doing this?
5) No audio only versions of the videos. That sucks.
6) No formats other than Quicktime. I have iPod versions done, need to get those linked in. Also, in future, will do WMV and Sony Playstation formats.
7) No links to other blogs. Because the engineers were putting up my posts I didn’t really do a good job of linking to a bunch of other “related items.” That’ll change on future shows.
8) My audio sucked on some of the interviews. I only had one microphone. I’ll soon have more.

Anything else?

Oh, now the hard work starts. Who to interview? Let’s look at my business cards. Here’s who I’m gonna beg for an interview. What do you think? Which are your favorites from this list?

Presented in no particular order (links to blogs where Google can find them). This is not a comprehensive list. I have now more than 1,400 business cards, but these ones caught my eye.

Michael Wiley, Director, Emerging Technology at General Motors (conversation with him on Hobson and Holtz report)
Janice Fraser, CEO of Adaptive Path
Chris DiBona, Open Source Program Manager, Google
Kelly Goto, principal, gotomedia inc. (great designer)
Tom Conrad, VP of Engineering, Pandora
Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist
Gene Kavner, director of Amazon.com Associates
Travis Kalanick, founder of red/swoosh (hear him on the Chris Pirillo show)
Mike Sitrin, VP of Grouper (company bio site)
John Tokash, director software development at Homestead
Tara Hunt, online mischief marketer (she’s a geek, let’s be honest)
Dick Hardt, CEO of SXIP
Tim O’Reilly, founder of O’Reilly & Associates
Jeff Clavier, Managing Partner, SoftTech
Nick Bradbury, NewsGator architect
Jonathan Rosenberg, Vice President, Product Management, Google
Dave Girouard, General Manager, Enterprise
Michael Tanne, CEO of Wink
Christopher Sacca, Principal, Google
Jeff Jarvis, Buzzmachine
Royal Farros, entrepreneur on the loose (started Message Cast)
Jason Calacanis, VP at AOL
Caterina Fake and Stewart Butterfield, Flickr co-founders
David Allen, productivity expert
Bill Evjen, Technical Director at Reuters
Virgina Postrel, author, the Future and Its Enemies (wikipedia entry)
Ben and Mena Trott, co-founders, Six Apart
Matt Mullenweg, founder, Automattic
Kevin Wen, Chinese blogger
Wade Roush, senior editor, MIT Technology Review
Greg Reinacker, CEO of NewsGator
Christopher Payne, Vice President of MSN
Christine Herron, director of investments, at Omidar Network
Daniel Rohrer, manager, DirectX Graphics, at NVidia
Bob Giampietro, VP strategic alliances at Target Corporation (innovator at Target)
Web Augustine, co-founder of Xelerate Venture Partners (went to high school with Bill Gates)
Bill McCoy, director of platform product management at Adobe
John Moe, host of KUOW’s tech show in Seattle
Some guy I’ve heard of named Dave Winer
Mark Uhrmacher, CTO of FreeBandProject.com
Walter Mossberg, columnist at the Wall Street Journal
Tariq Krim, founder of Netvibes
Richard Anderson, professor, University of Washington computer science and engineering school
Debbie Landa, CEO of IBD network (they just put on the Momentum conference today that I missed).
Steve Olechowski, co-founder of FeedBurner
William Martin-Gill, manager of corporate strategy at eBay
Larry Magid, BlogSafety.com
Steven Levy of Newsweek
Vinton G. Cerf, chief Internet evangelist, Google (wikipedia entry)
Chris Anderson, editor in chief, Wired
Jackie Huba, creating customer evangelists co-founder
Eric Rice, Second Life slumlord
David Young, founder, Joyent
Ted Cohen, Senior Vice President, EMI Music (Newsweek article)
Donald Graham, chairman of the board, Washington Post Company (wikipedia entry)
Kurt Garbe, Vice President, Platforms, Adobe
John Kao, author, jamming.com (I heard him speak at Google’s Zeitgeist conference and he played a killer piano)
Ralph Koster, Chief Creative Officer, Sony Online Entertainment
Vassil Mladjov, founder of BlogTronix
Cory Ondrejka, VP of product development, Linden Labs
Ian Forrester, Software Engineer/New Media, BBC
Martin Nisenholtz, senior vice president, digital operations, The New York Times Company
Tim Bourquin, founder, Podcast and Portable Media Expo
Rebecca MacKinnon, research fellow, Global Voices Online
Jonathan Carson, CEO Buzz Metrics
Netanel Jacobsson, SVP, Maxthon
Alan Cooper, founder of Cooper.com

OK, those are all people I collected business cards from. There are many others I’d like to interview too, but this is a start. Which person, if interviewed, would make you watch the ScobleShow?

More about finding good stuff from Demo

I think we need a new blog search engine and a new blog community service. The ones we have now just really suck. Sorry to Google BlogSearch. Sorry to Technorati. Sorry even to my favorite TechMeme, TailRank, or to Digg. No, Slashdot didn’t do a good job either.

Here’s your assignment: find me the best blogs from Demo Fall 2006.

Within 10 minutes.

I just spent an hour at it and it’s amazingly difficult to pick out who has the best blogs on a single topic.

Let’s start on blog search.

Search Google’s Blog Search service (did you even know they had a blog search service?) for the words “Demo 2006.” Now, you get a nice list of all sorts of blogs. But, is there anything on any of these posts that tells you one post is better than another? No. You just get a freaking long list and there’s even some noise in this result set. See “Military Recruiting Station Demo.”

Which brings me to a way Google could improve. Why doesn’t it ask me “are you looking for recruiting Demos or are you looking for DemoFall 2006?” It could easily constrain the search down a bit. Search on “DemoFall 2006″ with quotes, for instance, and you get a much cleaner resultset.

But, what I really want is a human touch. I want a wiki! Is there one? If there were we could all link to stories about Demo and we could add editorial commentary onto those links.

Lacking a wiki, though, we need a hierarchy.

So, let’s head over to Technorati. I like the UI on Technorati a lot more than Google Blog Search. It’s amazing that Google hasn’t invested any time on that yet. It’s why I still go back to Technorati.

Oh, and I just tried its “authority” ranking. Here, compare. “DemoFall 2006″ with a lot of authority. That brings back 61 results. Change the drop down setting to “Any Authority” and you get 411 results.

The problem is, authority is based on global links, not links about a specific post from DemoFall. So, it’s really not as useful as it might seem. In practice, though, it works better than you might expect since people who have built a good reputation and earned a lot of links over time do tend to have the better blog posts.

But, now, let’s change the rules. Let’s find the best products, as chosen from the bloggers? Finding that is nearly impossible. You have to read every blog.

I’d like to be able to read all the blog posts about the new Zing, for instance, and have a UI that would let me read “positive reviews” and “negative reviews.”

None of the news sources or blog search engines give you anything like that.

But, how do you find the best posts from an event? How do you figure out what was important that happened there? What would you like to know about what happened at Demo yesterday and today? Using today’s tools just totally leaves me unsatisfied.

There has got to be a better way to get news from Demo

When Buzz Bruggeman called me from Demo last night I asked him “what was the coolest stuff?” Here’s what he told me:

The Mojopac. Turns your iPod into a storage device for your PC.
Grand Central. One number for your phone (LifeHacker has a good writeup). That does a whole lot more.
Sirius Zing. Cool Satellite radio portable device. (That link points to Gizmodo, I couldn’t find the home page for this device funny enough).

Buzz is blogging Demo here.

While I’m talking new stuff, here’s a couple more things that caught my eye over on Gizmodo.

Gizmodo knows how to get my attention: sex in my ear canals. Oh, I already have Ultimate Ears headphones. They BLOW AWAY those that come with the new Apple iPods. Disclaimer, I got a free pair of the custom ones (not the new ones that Gizmodo is talking about). There’s no other investment you can make that’s better. I wish they sold iPod’s without headphones for a small discount so I could upgrade to third-party headphones.

Heheh, I always knew that PC users were smarter than Mac users. Don’t shoot me, I use both.

Who has the best blogs from Demo? It’s amazingly difficult to find good stuff from the blogosphere. More shortly on that.

It’s DemoWeek

I see over on the Webreakstuff blog that Fred says that Demo is only for VC’s cause they charge companies to get on stage.

I used to feel that way too, but now I’m not sure anymore. Here’s my new view:

Money is a filter.

“Huh?”

Well, look at my blogthis folder. It contains emails from companies that want my attention (and, hence, yours). If all I did every day all day long was blog I still wouldn’t be able to write about all the cool companies and their cool products.

It’s even worse than that, actually. Head over to Digg and click on the “Upcoming” tab. More than 1,000 items. Or, head over to Google News. Or to TechMeme. Or to Slashdot.

All these products, companies, bloggers, and other people yelling to try to get your attention.

I can’t pay attention anymore. It’s too overwhelming. I look at TechMeme and get depressed by all the stuff I’m supposed to keep up to date on.

So, now I’m looking at filters. Human ones, for instance. I asked Buzz Bruggeman and John Furrier what really was cool at Demo (more on that later). They cut the list of 67 companies down to five. Now we’re getting somewhere!

But, Demo itself is a filter. I heard it costs up to $30,000 to get on stage. So, for people who are overloaded it makes it easier to deal with. It’s a filter.

Which gets me to my point. I hate filters. When I worked at Winnov I hated that the big-name journalists wouldn’t pay attention to me. Now I understand why. There’s simply too many voices in the marketplaces yelling and screaming for their attention and they had filters that I wasn’t getting through.

What are your favorite filters for figuring out what’s important?

How are sites like TechMeme and Digg changing how you find out things?