Monthly Archives: November 2007

Digging an elite news source

Dave Winer has a great post about the next step in Digg clones.

This is something I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about too.

What makes a great selection of links? Does it take a million people? Or only a handful.

I’ve been comparing my link blog to TechMeme and Digg and others enough to know that my links are pretty darn interesting. But there are times when I fall down on the job. When Milan is smiling at me, for instance. Or when I have chores. Or, when I have to speak, like I’m doing this morning at San Francisco State University, or with a bunch of journalists and famous VC’s on Wednesday night at a PRSA shindig in Silicon Valley.

One app in Facebook, FeedHeads, taught me that a small number of people can really pick some killer things. But one problem: that app is often down for me and I find I don’t trust it and it’s not fast like TechMeme is, so I usually default back to TechMeme.

The top shared item view in FeedHeads, though, is really much faster than Digg or TechMeme to get cool stuff up on it. Something about it is really intriguing.

Steve Gillmor has talked with me a lot about this, too. He’s noticed that if he chooses the news reading behaviors of only a handful of people that he can get much better results than if he has a larger group.

Why is that?

I think it’s because we like our news focused. So if we find a news junkie who thinks like us we’ll find that person to have high utility. If you put him in a group of other people his utility will go down and the noise we’ll have to slog through to find a good set of articles that interest us will go up.

That sure explains Digg and its problems to me. I used to love Digg. Now it’s just a stream of noise that largely duplicates what’s coming through my feed reader.

Google Reader tells me that over the past 30 days I’ve read 39,712 items and shared 1,045 items. The thing is that’s probably only about half of the good items cause I can’t read around the clock and have other things to do than just read feeds.

So, lets say I hooked up with five other people who picked the same kinds of items. We could hit nearly 100% of the feeds that I read (and we could add some other feeds). Five people could beat TechMeme. Why? TechMeme is slow. I often put stuff on my link blog before TechMeme gets it. If we had a team reading feeds around the clock we’d regularly beat TechMeme or Google News or Digg or Reddit or TailRank.

And we’d have less noise. At least if you liked the things the five of us pick. If you don’t, then Digg will look better to you.

Anyway, this is a long way of saying that I’m looking forward to seeing what Dave Winer does in this space. There certainly is a lot of great stuff that doesn’t get proper attention on sites like TechMeme, Digg, etc. If this effort helps great stuff get more people to read it, I’m all for it.

Question: what do you think about Digg or TechMeme or Google News or other news aggregation sites? What are you hoping to see?

The future of ScobleShow?

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I’ve been thinking a lot about my future, which is one reason I’ve slowed down my posting, Twittering, reading, and all that. The other reason being this cute kid who keeps smiling at me which is a lot more fun than being online.

Anyway, one technology that really impressed me is Mogulus, a company that lets you do your own streaming video show from your bedroom if you want (competes with and, but has a lot more features that serious TV stations will want). Mogulus is the company that streamed the NewTeeVee conference. Right after that conference Mogulus’ CEO, Max Haot, came to my house to show me how they did it. If you’re wanting to see the future of TV, this is it so far and Max goes into depth about the whole process and sets up a TV studio in Patrick’s (my 13-year-old son) bedroom.

Is this the future of ScobleShow? Hmmm, Chris Pirillo better watch out! :-)

Dear Jeff Bezos (one-week Kindle review)

I’ve read two books on it, which explains why I haven’t been on Twitter very much in the past week. But the Kindle really bugs me now. I’m hitting all sorts of little things that the Kindle team simply didn’t think through very well.

Here’s my one-week review of Amazon’s Kindle.

I focus on a few areas:

1. No ability to buy paper goods from Amazon through Kindle.
2. Usability sucks. They didn’t think about how people would hold this device.
3. UI sucks. Menus? Did they hire some out-of-work Microsoft employees?
4. No ability to send electronic goods to anyone else. I know Mike Arrington has one. I wanted to send him a gift through this of Alan Greenspan’s new book. I couldn’t. That’s lame.
5. No social network. Why don’t I have a list of all my friends who also have Kindles and let them see what I’m reading?
6. No touch screen. The iPhone has taught everyone that I’ve shown this to that screens are meant to be touched. Yet we’re stuck with a silly navigation system because the screen isn’t touchable.

Would I buy it? Yes, but I’m a geek. I can’t really recommend this to other people yet. Sorry.

It’s obvious that they never had this device in their hands when they were designing it.

Whoever designed this should be fired and the team should start over.

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Thank you from me and Tango Diva

I have so many people to be thankful for I can not do them all justice by trying to list them all here.

Our families are about to arrive. The turkey is smelling up the house. The Kindle and our new son, Milan, is being played with by Teresa, founder of Tango Diva, a site for women who travel.

Hope you’re having a great Thanksgiving (if you’re in the United States). If you’re not, back to work darn it!

Milan brings such joy to our lives. First Thanksgivings are so special. I wish Patrick were here too, then it’d be really over the top.

Photojournalist shows off new way to tell photostories

San Jose Mercury News (our local newspaper)’s photo journalist Richard Hernandez shows off the photo collage he did for the newspaper. He’s worked there for 13 years and is one of the top photojournalists in the world. Hear how he did this cool photo collage.

If you’re into photography this is a real treat.