Daily Archives: October 18, 2007

Web 2.0 Summit LobbyRat

So, I was standing in the middle of the lobby — I have a badge, but didn’t use it cause the hallway was so awesome. I met Douglas Engelbart, inventor of the Mouse, among many other cool things. I asked him if he’d seen anything cool. Said “no.” Then I turned on the camera and he wouldn’t answer me. Heh.

Anyway, a group of MySpace executives met me in the hallway and said they don’t limit people to 5,000 friends.

I didn’t get their names, but anyway, we talked about the new MySpace platform that’s coming soon.

They told me that their platform will show you a lot more information about each application before you install it. Unlike Facebook.

Anyway, great place to network. How often do you see Dave Winer and Doug Engelbart together?

Here’s a video I shot of SmugMug CEO, Don MacAskill, who has a shirt that shows whether there are wifi signals in the area or not. It rocks.

Here’s the lobby shot when I first got there. We also interviewed the NewsGator guys (really great feed service for enterprises — the longer video will be up in a couple of weeks).

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China blocks search engines…(or not, according to Blognation)

UPDATE: BlogNation ‘s David Feng, who lives in Beijing, says this story is false and that search engines are NOT being blocked. I just talked with Sam Sethi in London and he says to watch this story for more info.

Wow, China blocks all search engines.

NASDAQ should delist Baidu immediately in retaliation, if this is true. The USA should pull out of the Olympics next year. China is counting on that to make a ton of great PR and make China look like a world leader (which it is, but things like this set it way back in my mind). We shouldn’t enable the American media to be used with the Olympics if this turns out to be true.

I’m going to the Web 2.0 Summit today. I imagine this will be the topic of conversation. If it’s not, it immediately should be on stage and out in the hallways.

Thank you to Duncan Riley of TechCrunch for staying on top of this story.

This is a reminder that China is a communist country where the people aren’t really allowed to own things and where businesses don’t really need to play fair.

It’s ironic because many of Google/Yahoo/Microsoft’s best employees are Chinese (all three have big operations in China and Google hired away one of the most famous Chinese employees from Microsoft, Dr. Kai-Fu Lee. So famous that I hear football stadiums get filled when he speaks). These companies are so dependent on these workers that they aren’t willing to pull out and punish the Chinese for actions like these.

Translation: the Chinese get to have their cake (our money coming over for everything from toys to paying their top software researchers) as well as eat it too (keep our brands and technology out of the country). I wonder what Rebecca MacKinnon will say about this. She’s a journalist that’s covered China for a very long time.

Also will be interesting to see what Global Voices Online will say about this. They track Internet censorship and business disruptions around the world.

It’s important to note that some people, in TechCrunch’s comments, are saying that this isn’t going on across the board.

What do you think? If you’re in China, what are you seeing?

By the way, I’ve really got to compliment TechMeme. Some times it looks pretty lame, but over the past three days I’ve dug through more than 10,500 posts according to Google Reader and it’s really hard to find legitimate news that belongs on TechMeme that isn’t already there. Gabe Rivera has built something that does have real value, even if once in a while something stupid gets up there too.

Where did Forrester get its Twitter data?

Peter Kim of Forrester writes on his blog “Our data shows that 6% of US online adults use Twitter regularly.”

I say bulls**t.

There is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY that many people are using Twitter.

My data shows that the regular users are between 50,000 and 300,000. A high percentage of which are outside the United States. That doesn’t come anywhere close to the numbers required for 6%.

Keep in mind that Hotmail has about 200 million users every month. Yahoo Mail says they have about 250 million worldwide users.

But, I’d love to be proved wrong. Where did this data come from? How was it collected? Does Forrester stand behind it? What’s in the report that Peter linked to (I am not a Forrester client, so don’t have access)? Does it contain other numbers that just don’t jibe with common experience?

UPDATE: Someone just Twittered me this: “Peter Kims’s source on the unique users (he says 447,000 in Aug07) is Nielsen//NetRatings.” I doubt that’s data for “regular” users, or even online adult users in the US. I could see total registered users being that high, but that’d be world-wide. Watch twittervision.com someday and you’ll see that there are lots of users outside America.

UPDATE 2: Peter Kim responded here, and says they didn’t get the data from Nielsen. I still think the survey is very flawed if it’s bringing back such numbers.

Tour of Keynote’s data center and network ops center

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Ever wonder who is running the Internet? This video, a tour of Keynote Systems, takes you inside one of the hubs that control Internet traffic, among other things. They made their own machine that can act like hundreds of cell phones and test the network, for instance. Cool stuff that most of us never get to see.

A separate video discusses Keynote and what kinds of things it does for companies that are building Web services (they measure how your Web Service does around the world under different conditions and help you optimize your stuff).

Thanks to Shawn White, director of external operations, and Manny Gonzalez, senior director of mobile technology, for giving me an awesome tour.