ships new player, new API, new iPhone playback

I just interviewed Daniel Graf, CEO of Kyte just shipped a bunch of new stuff today, including a new player (you’re looking at it now), new API, new iPhone playback and chat, and a new KyteFeed where you can subscribe to other channels. Permalinks to specific shows instead of just the channel. And much more. In this 20-minute conversation Daniel and I explore some of the changes and what they mean. Kyte also now works on any mobile phone.

Sorry for the scratchy audio. I was just using the microphone built into my MacBookPro and it didn’t come out that well.

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Collaborative Chandler revealed

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I’ve been hearing about the Chandler project for years. It’s one of the things that Mitch Kapor funded through the Open Source Applications Foundation. Some people thought it might be an Outlook killer. My friend Ted Leung worked on it and I’ve always wanted to check it out.

A few days ago I got my chance when I was invited over to meet Mimi Yin, project designer, and Katie Capps Parlante, general manager to get a look. They explained to me that Chandler is aimed at small groups who want to work together in a way that email doesn’t afford.

This interview and demo combo is pretty long, but we need that length to get into some depth about this project.

What do you think?

UPDATE: Ted Leung, who works on the project, added a lot more detail onto his blog and reponded to some things he saw on the interview.

Facebook $100 billion?

At the Graphing Social Patterns conference there was a guy who said that Facebook was worth $100 billion. He was properly derided, in my view, by most of the people at the conference.

But, one of his arguments was “would you have said that Google wasn’t going to be worth $100 billion back in 1999?” Yeah, I probably would have said you were smoking good crack if you told me that back then.

Problem is that if you said that back then you would actually have been right.

Now, in eight years will Facebook be worth $100 billion?

Well, let’s go back and study the conditions that caused Google to get there.

1. They shipped a real ad platform that opened up a new kind of advertising: contextual advertising.
2. Search turned out to be one of the best ways to concentrate people with intent to do something together. Think about it. If you search for, say, baby strollers, aren’t you being concentrated into a pool of other people who are looking for baby strollers? That’s what made Google’s ad platform so potent. Does Facebook concentrate people who have intent to do something together? Not as clearly.
3. Microsoft and other major players left them alone. Ballmer admitted to the company employees in a meeting I attended that he had made a mistake by ignoring Google. His belief probably was that Google would never be a $100 million company, much less one with a $194 billion market cap.

So, will these three things happen for Facebook?

No. #3 definitely won’t. Already there are tons of companies jumping into Facebook’s waters.
#2? We don’t yet know if that will play out. I think it might. Many other people who are far smarter than me don’t think so.
#1? Yes, that one will definitely happen.

Translation: I agree with Henry Blodgett (damn, never thought I’d say that) that Mark Zuckerberg should take any money being offered to him at a $15 billion valuation. Yeah, the planets might align for Facebook to get to a higher valuation but there are very real risks that it won’t.

On the other hand, Zuckerberg has turned down such advice to “sell out” before and so far he’s been right. Is he still right? I wouldn’t be making that bet.

Kara Swisher is right about Facebook apps (new player)

Kara! Kara! Kara!

Kara Swisher SSSSSOOOOO nails what is wrong
with the application developers who are trying to make money over on Facebook.

The other night I was on a panel at the Graphing Social Patterns conference where I helped judge a bunch of Facebook apps.

With each one I asked myself “would I install this?”

The answer with almost all of them is: no. The sad fact, though, is that most people WILL install the stupider apps.

The winners? Three were great, one was really lame.

The Game, by Robert Fan
Judge-O-Rama by Chris Heald
Visual Bookshelf, by Aaron Battalion
Resume, by Joe Suh

Let’s throw out the lame one, the Game, which is a lewd “Hot or Not” app. The others were pretty interesting, though. The Resume app lets you integrate LinkedIn stuff into your Facebook profile. I’m not a fan of LinkedIn, but this app was well done for those of you who are.

If you read books Visual Bookshelf is an awesome way to share your bookshelf with others. Definitely shows a lot of thought and goes way beyond the stupider types of apps.

I have a long list of apps waiting for me. Some are interesting like file sharing, but most are pretty toyish kinds of apps.

I’m really looking forward to the second wave of apps that really do something interesting with the social network of people I’ve added to my Facebook account.

Another problem that Kara doesn’t touch upon is that a lot of these apps simply don’t scale and break for people with thousands of friends.

Looking forward to seeing if Facebook apps improve at the SNAP Summit in San Francisco on October 26.

Oh, and here’s Steve Broback talking about his Facebook Conference, Web Community Forum, up in Seattle on December 5-6, on a walk recently near my house.

Oh #2: has a new look. I’m going over there today to talk about the changes that are coming to over the next few weeks. I’m not sure I like this new look. How about you?

UPDATE: I used my Nikon S51C pocket camera to film this video. But Kyte wouldn’t let me upload the high resolution version (said that it was bigger than 50MB, which it couldn’t accept), so you get the small version which makes the player look lame. I’ll push Kyte to increase the limit so we can do more interesting videos.

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Can't get a word in edgewise on this panel…

Damn, what happens when you’re on a panel with Mike Arrington and Jason Calacanis? You have to fight just to find a place to get a word in edgewise! I’ve been getting lots of notes from people who says that this was the best panel at the Graphing Social Media conference. I don’t know about THAT but it was pretty entertaining at parts. Especially when Mike told security to remove a guy who thought Facebook was worth $100 billion.

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