Twitter integration the new shiznit

Lots of systems are integrating into Twitter. The Qik.com live cell phone streaming system lets me tell my Twitter followers that I’m sending live streaming video. I just hit “55″ on my phone and it automatically sends a message to Twitter.

Now Kyte.tv is doing the same thing.

Twitter could become the new presence infrastructure company if this trend continues. You might never even read Twitter but Twitter could pass messages between systems to tell various apps and services when you’re online, or when you’re available.

How does Twitter turn that into a business? That’s the $64,000 question, isn’t it?

Also, Twitter has had a lot of uptime problems lately. If they are going to be used as infrastructure by more companies their reliability has to improve.

Google starts linking social networks

Let’s see. I’m on Twitter, Facebook, WordPress, Upcoming, Pownce, Plaxo, Yelp, MySpace, Flickr, Dopplr, and a few others.

The problem? They don’t know about each other.

Google, today, with its new Social Graph API, is trying to hook all of those together.

Another problem? If you’re a developer and build a “foograph” your new application doesn’t have anyone on it. There’s nothing lamer than a new social network that has no one on it.

Google’s new effort lets you import friends from other social networks into your new application.

The details are on the new Google Social API site (the sample apps should be turned on shortly but weren’t working when published this blog post) with more background from Brad Fitzgerald on the Google Code blog.

The problem is that for apps to be able to sense all your connections you’ll need to add (rel=”me”) tags.

Mike Arrington at TechCrunch has a few more details
on this announcement.

In the test that they ran for me it showed about half of my social networks. I expect that will increase pretty rapidly as more social networking systems support the “rel=”me”” system.

UPDATE: Plaxo just shipped the first app (they claim) using this new API.

Larry Lessig talks about copyright concerns

Yesterday I streamed Larry Lessig’s last talk on free culture via my cell phone. Sorry the audio is tough to hear, but it was an important speech and other recordings will eventually show up (it was professionally recorded). The Stanford Daily wrote it up. He took on the issue of copyright and corruption. Rumors are swirling that Lessig is planning on running for Congress. Lessig’s blog is here. For those who don’t know Lessig, he’s the founder and CEO of Creative Commons and as a Stanford Law Professor has launched a bunch of interesting and important initiatives there.

Microsoft to buy Yahoo: Ray Ozzie roars

OK, everyone is already talking about Microsoft buying Yahoo.

But what I find interesting is that Bill Gates is out and now Ray Ozzie is roaring. Microsoft has been so damn boring since I left in June of 2006. This shoots the boring in the head.

Why is “Microhoo” not boring?

No, not my pet service Flickr. But, damn, Gates could have bought that for $40 million. Instead Ray and Kevin had to spend billions. Wow. Nah, what makes Yahoo/Microsoft interesting is the email audience. That’s another 300 million people to add to Hotmail’s audience of close to the same. Yahoo has a ton of interesting Web properties that are far more interesting than anything Microsoft has done lately. Groups. Finance. Upcoming. Etc.

This gets Microsoft back into the Web game in a big way and puts a defense around Microsoft’s Office cash-generating-machine. I bet that some of Yahoo’s smartest engineers get moved over to the Office team to help build an online Office that’ll keep Google’s docs and spreadsheets from getting major marketshare inroads.

It’s the fear that Google’s Docs and Spreadsheets might someday take marketshare away from Office that I think was driving this deal.

Sad thing? I still own Microsoft stock, which went down today on the news. But I think that long-term this is a good deal for Microsoft’s shareholders too. With one caveat: Microsoft and Yahoo employees need to work together to create value, not destroy it. That’s going to be pretty tough since the cultures of the two companies aren’t a total fit.

Both companies also have lots of fat that can be cut, so it’ll be interesting to see whether Microsoft keeps the fat around (on both sides, as they have done so far) or if they cut back to make both companies together leaner and meaner.

Microsoft has a world-class advertising sales team and this gives that team a ton of new inventory to sell.

Anyway, this is what happens when a blogger tries to get some sleep: the entire world changes and he misses the boat. :-)