Buzzwire: audio and video for your cell phone

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Buzzwire is another company that’s trying to bring audio, video reports along with Internet radio stations to your cell phone. I liked their approach. Here Andrew MacFarlane, CEO, demonstrates the new service.

In a separate interview I learn more about Buzzwire’s plans and how they plan to make money at this.

They just turned on this service tonight.

UPDATE: Venture Wire has a good writeup for those of you who don’t want to watch video.

Business plan obfuscation: Twitter style

Charles Hudson says it: “why the ‘you don’t need a business plan’ meme is crazy talk.

Where did that come from? Well, there’s this little theory that was reported on a bunch of blogs that Twitter and other companies don’t have business plans.

That’s bulls**t.

But here’s why the story gets told: Twitter doesn’t want to talk about its business plan in public. If they told you what they are doing, how they are planning on making revenues and spending their money they’d be handing their competitors a MAJOR advantage.

Twitter is brilliant, though, because they told a believable story instead of just saying “we’re not showing you our business plan.” When I was there Friday interviewing Twitter’s execs I asked about the business plan. Biz Stone told me they were doing research. He told a great story! We’ll have that video up shortly so you can hear exactly how they are positioning the company.

I wish I was smart like those Twitter folks.

The thing is I’ve met a couple of VCs who were considering investing in Twitter. The word on the street is that Twitter HAS a business plan and has done a lot of thought about where future revenues will come from. THAT is why they got invested in.

They just aren’t going to show it to us. And they shouldn’t.

Oh, and if you REALLY think you can get funded without having a business plan you’re probably smoking something illegal. Can I come along and film you trying to pitch a VC if you think you can do that?

Traveling with

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Teresa Williamson, founder of Tango Diva had breakfast with Maryam and I and I thought it would be fun to show her so we did a little interview for my channel over there. At the TechCrunch party, Kyte’s CEO, Daniel was showing me a ton of new features on Kyte (you can now send audio from your cell phone) and I wanted to see what’s up. Looking good. Anyway, we spent 16 minutes talking about traveling and women traveling especially, since that’s her passion. She’ll be on the Today Show on August 11 talking about her site and her new book too. Fun times on a Sunday afternoon, hope you’re having fun.

UPDATE: Jeremiah Owyang has an interesting post on “micromedia” and if you visit my Facebook profile I answer him, and another question about how microblogging services are changing how we blog. My Kyte video also shows up on my Facebook profile page as well (as does my blog, and my Twitters, and everything else I do).

UPDATE2: now I can embed my channel here. That’s cool.

When Kevin Rose says you’re a rockstar…

Wow, Kevin Rose has a list of people you might want to add when you are on Pownce (which continues growing faster than Twitter or Jaiku) and he says I’m a video rockstar on it. I wonder if he’ll say that after he sees the next Fast Company column I wrote where I talk up Pownce competitor Twitter? Unfortunately that was written right before Pownce came out. Sigh. I hate writing things for dead trees that have two-to-three month lead times. Kevin Rose not withstanding Twitter still has more users and more message flow. It’s going to be interesting to see these services compete with each other.

That said, lots of people read dead trees. Example? A childhood neighbor (who now works at Oracle) that I haven’t seen for 30 years saw my Fast Company article and dropped me a line. Wild.

Pownce is getting some mainstream media coverage of its own, too. The New York Times covers it today.

I’m testing out CoComment

CoComment CEO Matt Colebourne

I’m now signed into CoComment in preparation for the launch of the service on Monday. My username is: RobertScoble. It’ll be interesting to see how the new version works — they are turning on a ton of new features, CEO Matt Colebourne told me at the Satisfactory party on Thursday. That’s a photo of Matt included on this post. I’m off to comment on some other people’s blogs and I’ll let you know how it goes. This service has come a long way since I broke the story about the first version from a Swiss Chalet.

While I’m here I’m including some code to claim my link blog over on Technorati.

Technorati Profile

Los Angeles Fire Department Twitters

When I interviewed the Twitter team yesterday I talked about its use during disasters. Well, looks like the Los Angeles Fire Department is using Twitter to tell people about what its department is doing. How did I learn about this? In my comments where Brian Humphrey, Public Service Officer of the LA Fire Department, left me a note.

I’m hearing about a ton of organizations who are looking at using Twitter (and other services like Pownce, Jaiku, and Facebook) to get information out.

My interview with the Twitter team should be up next week.

Calacanis asks deep questions about social networks

So Jason “no comments” Calacanis answers me, and others, back about his increasing dislike of Facebook and other social networks.

First of all, for the record, Jason is right. Facebook sucks. Twitter sucks. Pownce sucks. Jaiku sucks. Kyte sucks. Etc and etc.

Why? Because they take time.

But then managing my Outlook contact list took time. Managing my business card collection took time. My mom took time to keep a filing cabinet and an address book and a rolodex.

Facebook is the modern day rolodex. It is the replacement for the business card.

First of all, let me attack a claim Jason made that simply is wrong: that it takes 30 minutes a day to add hundreds of new friends into Facebook or other social networks (on big days I’ve actually had hundreds of people wanting into my social network, so I timed it: I can add hundreds in less than five minutes).

Here’s how.

Let’s go to Facebook and look. Gary Chan just asked to be added to my network. I click confirm. Then “skip this step.” Done. Typing this sentence took four times longer. You don’t need to do anything more. You don’t need to explain why you know Gary Chan. Etc. Etc. I never do and I don’t feel guilty about it. If I know people I know why and how I know them and I don’t need to tell you all that. Later on I might add some value to my contact list that way.

So, why do I say it’s my new business card collection? Well, if I am looking for a contact, at, say, Yahoo, I troll through my Facebook collection. Most Yahoo employees leave their phone numbers and email addresses on their Facebook profile. Hint: they work on the iPhone. So, I visit their profile and click on their phone number and I’m instantly connected.

Plus, I know everything about them that they’ve wanted to share.

For instance, Bradley Horowitz, of Yahoo, is on my contact list. By looking at his profile page I know all sorts of stuff about him. His relationship status, his political views, who his friends are, what kind of music he likes, his favorite TV shows, his favorite movies, his favorite books.

He has the Snapvine app, so I can leave a voice mail for him. He tells his friends where he lives (has a Yahoo Map gadget that shows that, of course). Puts all his Flickr photos up. I know his mood. I know what party he’ll be at tonight. I know someone at Microsoft that he’s talking with and who visits his page, so I know some influence networking that I could do with him. I know his college experience and his past work experience.

All voluntarily turned over and when I interview him do you want to bet this stuff comes up? Damn straight it will.

If I go to the party he’s going to tonight (I might, it’s on my calendar too) I’ll have TONS of stuff to talk with him about. Music. Movies. TV shows. Politics. College experience. And other stuff.

Oh, heck, let’s go look at Jason’s Facebook. I see his religious views. Jason has put his mobile number there. His educational experience. And more. Plus I can see who wants to suck up to Jason on his wall (I’m there, so read into that what you want. By the way, so is the co-founder of Flickr, the founder of B5 Media network, and a bunch of other interesting people).

I also like that all his Twitters are there, so I can see what else Jason’s been ranting about without being forced to chase Jason all over the Net. On my profile you can see my Twitter, Jaiku, Pownce, Kyte, WordPress, Google Reader, and many other things. That saves you time of figuring out everything I’m doing.

Now, can I get this info any other way? LinkedIn? Maybe. Twitter? No. Pownce? No. Jaiku? No. Following his blog? No. Kyte? No. MySpace? Don’t be ridiculous.

Could I have called him? Yeah. I have his business card and his mobile phone in my contacts. But why would you waste Jason’s time asking stupid questions when the answer is already online? Will that lead to a good result? A ride in his Corvette, for instance? Or a business partnership?

Anyway, let’s specifically answer some questions Jason asked, cause they are interesting:

1. Facebook is a multilevel marketing platform. Jason’s right. But, then, so is my rolodex from the 1980s and 90s. Some people in that rolodex are a LOT more important to me than other people. Some people in that old-school rolodex introduced me to TONS of other people and influenced my life in major ways. That rolodex is now moving to Facebook where it’s getting MUCH stronger than it was on little business cards or in Outlook where I didn’t have pictures and didn’t have an ability to see inside the networks of friends each person has (Facebook lets me see all of your friends as well, if you leave that open, which most people do).
2. Facebook is a great way for me to promote what I’m doing. Absolutely. Jason’s right there! But it’s NOT one way! Hint: great parties, great people come to you, too. I’ll have a lot more to say about that soon.
3. Are we creating a social system to communicate with each other at a distance because the reality of creating and maintaining that social networking face-to-face is, well, scary? Well, I’m sure that some people would be scared by getting a ride in Jason’s Corvette, but I’ve been there and it was one of the greatest thrills of my life. Can I experience that over Facebook? No, but Jason’s phone number is on his Facebook so you can always call and invite him out for dinner.
4. Is Facebook a more efficient, rejection-free, surrogate for the real world? Um, Nick Denton didn’t accept my friend request. So, no, it’s just like the real world where some people think you’re an asshole and other people think you’re cool. I notice that Jason has enough people who think he’s cool that there’s an entire group of people who think he’s cool on Facebook. Seriously. Do a search on Jason’s name and you’ll find the group.
5. At a certain point social networks create negative returns on your investment. Absolutely. These things get noisy the more people you add to them. So, if you want to have no noise definitely don’t have any friends. Or keep your networks down to only your “real” friends instead of anyone who wants to come in. My strategy? I’m going with the noise cause I don’t know where the gold is going to come from. I realize not everyone is a weirdo like me in that regard.
6. Are we going to hire someone to manage our social networks? I haven’t yet and I doubt I will. My friend network is too important to me and there’s all sorts of gestures that are coming to me through it that I’d miss if some intern was tending to my network.

Anyways, interesting discussion. If I were really smart I wouldn’t be engaging in this right now and, instead, testing out the new CoComment that came out yesterday. Now THAT is interesting.

Of course now that Jason has closed down comments maybe that’s not so interesting after all.