Anti-depression thinking: what do we do?

I’m watching the economic news this morning flow through FriendFeed and I can feel the fear. The depression. Apple is down 14%. Startups won’t get funded. Etc. Etc. It’s all there, if you want to follow along. Lately I’ve been clicking “Like” on a lot of unlikeable news (that’s how I share interesting stuff with you on FriendFeed).

I’ve been through all the emotions too. Depression. Fear. But now I’m working through all these and I’m wondering what we can do? After all, we don’t have the ability to ask Congress for a bailout. I’d love to see ideas for everyone thrown around here and we’ll sift through the best ones. If you were a big-company executive, what would you do? What if you were a startup CEO? A VC? A geek churning out code?

I know a financial trader in Europe and he told me about losing a lot of money in one morning. I asked him what he did. He said he kept working the problem and by the end of the day he had made it mostly back.

So, let’s work the problem together. Here’s my challenge to Techcrunch, GigaOm, ReadWriteWeb, Center Networks, Mashable, and all my other thought leader friends.

Work the problem. Give us some things we can do right now. Feel free to link your URLs in the comments here. Make sure your blog is on FriendFeed, I’ll also share the best ideas there.

UPDATE: we are discussing this over on FriendFeed too.

A tale of two photos on Flickr

Last night I uploaded two photos at the same time.

As of this posting one had 96 views on Flickr and the other had 1,389 views.

Some other facts:

The photo with 96 views used a fisheye lens that cost 4x more than the other photo. (Thank you to Pro Photo Rental for coming along on the Las Vegas Blog World Expo photo walk and bringing $40,000 worth of equipment for all of us to try!) Shows that exotic equipment isn’t guaranteed to bring in views.
The photo with 96 views required better camera technique to make than the other photo.
The photo with 96 views is of a far more recognizable landmark than the other photo (the Bellagio in Las Vegas).

Yet one photo has gotten more than 13x more views.


A few things.

1. Promotion. I Twittered the photo that got a lot of views and kept the conversation going on both Twitter and on FriendFeed throughout the evening. Also, my first Tweet about this photo was designed to get all six of these items communicated to my audience.
2. The subject. The photo with all the hits is Hugh Macleod, famous blogging artist who did the art on the SXSW bags and the TechCrunch party posters and, among bloggers and other influentials, is very popular (about 20% of all business cards I have from well-known bloggers, including my own, were done by Hugh).
3. Scarcity. There are thousands of cool photos of the Bellagio. But how many photos of the Las Vegas Convention Hall of it empty with one person standing in it have you seen?
4. Socialness. People “favorited” the photo of Hugh 17 times while the other one was only favorited twice. Each time someone clicks “Favorite” on a photo, it is sent to their audiences. Plus, if you’ve registered Flickr on FriendFeed it will get reshared there. Also, many people retweeted my Twitter message and sent it to their friends.
5. Humor. Hugh’s blog is called “gapingvoid.” The fact that I got him to stand inside a gaping void long enough to make a photo of him is funny.
6. Serendipitous. The photo with 96 visits was prepared for. We were on a planned photo walk. We all had our cameras, expensive equipment ready, and were looking for photos. The one of Hugh? Totally unplanned. A friend had to pick something up at a Kinkos down there, I saw this opportunity, pulled my camera out of my bag, and took 20 seconds making the image. If I hadn’t carried my camera everywhere I would never have gotten the more viewed shot.

All of these demonstrate how to succeed in the media business. The same formula works with blog posts, videos, or photos.

Oh, one other thing. The Web actually works against the photo of Hugh. It’s hard to see him on the average laptop monitor. This works a lot better as a 16×20-inch or larger print (I’m going to make one for Hugh, cause he’s brought me so much joy).

Other things I’ve learned from the photos I uploaded last night? Laughing baby photos pull 3x more than regular baby photos. Also, photos with women in them outpull photos with men in them.

Keep in mind that I haven’t applied ANY of Thomas Hawk’s lessons (he does a lot of post-processing, er, Photoshop manipulation to make his photos more “social.”) Watch his photo blog and see just how much more interesting his images are than mine. That’s cause none of mine have any post-processing done to them yet.

Anyway, just some fun on a Sunday afternoon. Here’s the two original photos.

96 views, Bellagio at Night:

Vegas at night

1,389 views, Hugh Macleod standing in South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center:

Hugh Macleod of

The Scoble Top Tech Blogger/FriendFeed/Social Media List

This is my hand-picked list of the people who provide the most interesting tech blogging/tweeting/FriendFeeding. All of these point to FriendFeed. If you know someone who deserves to be on this list, please post their FriendFeed URL. Mine is:

I watch this list very closely and put the best stuff from these people onto my FriendFeed “Like” and “Comment” feed here:

I will also add a few notes here and there so you can understand how these people got on my list. They aren’t all techies. Jay Rosen, for instance, is a journalism professor, but he puts enough tech news that’s different from anyone else into my feed to have caught my eye.

This list is also being discussed over on FriendFeed.

Aaron Brazell Founder and lead editor of TechnoSailor.
Adam Lasnik Google search evangelist.
Alana Taylor She did the Twitter song, and brings me fun tech news.
Alan Lee Lead Developer/Designer of Witty twitter client.
Alex Albrecht One of the co-hosts of Diggnation.
Alex Williams Geek from Portland who hosts Podcast Hotels.
Allen Stern Founder of Center Networks, one of my favorite tech blogs.
Andrew Baron Founder of Rocketboom, which is still one of the best online video shows and led the way for a whole bunch of us.
Andru Edwards Founder of Gearlive, a consumer electronics site out of Seattle — lately he’s been breaking a lot of iPhone news.
Andy Beal Internet marketing consultant specializing in search engine marketing, online reputation management, and business blogging
Andy Ihnatko Technology journalist for Chicago Sun Times, among other things.
Anthony Citrano
Ars Technica. Great tech blog.
Atul Arora
Benjamin Golub Works as a dev on FriendFeed.
Ben Metcalfe Worked at BBC, now works at MySpace.
Benjamin Higginbotham
Beth Kanter
Bhaskar Roy Founder of Qik.
Bret Taylor Co-founder of FriendFeed.
Brian Shields Tech journalist for KRON-TV (San Francisco TV station).
Brian Solis Mr. PR.
Charlene Li Social networking analyst and expert.
charles cooper Tech journalist for CNET.
Charles Hudson Worked at Google and hosts Virtual Goods Summit.
Charlie Anzman Charlie Anzman is the founder of SEO and Tech Daily, a popular news and opinion blog.
Chris Brogan Everyone knows him in social media world.
Chris Messina Was a dev for Flock, major proponent of microformats.
Chris Nuttall Tech journalist for Financial Times.
Chris Saad Started the Data
Christopher Allen Entrepreneur, leader in iPhone dev camp.
Christopher Galtenberg site & tech lead of
Chuq Von Rospach Used to work at Apple.
Colide81 (James)
Craig Eddy
Craig Newmark Founder of Craig’s List.
Chris Sacca Used to be an executive at Google, now does investing.
Cyndy Writes a good tech blog.
dan farber Runs CNet’s tech and blogger journalism. One of my favorite tech journalists, too.
Dan Fernandez Works at Microsoft on PopFly.
Daniel J. Pritchett He’s an SAP Business Intelligence solution developer building data warehousing solutions for a Fortune 100 manufacturer.
Danny O’Brien He is the International Outreach Coordinator for the EFF.
dannysullivan Search engine expert.
Dare Obasanjo Works at Microsoft as a dev.
Darren Barefoot A technologist, writer, marketer and miscellanist who lives in Vancouver, Canada.
dave mcclure Does a whole bunch of stuff, teaches a Facebook class at Stanford.
Dave Morin Runs Facebook’s developer platform.
Dave Zatz
Dave Taylor Runs “Ask Dave Taylor” website.
Dave Winer Brought us XML-RPC, RSS, and was the father of blogging, in my mind at least.
David Armano VP of Experience Design with Critical Mass
David Sifry Founder of Technorati and Offbeat Guides.
David Swain PR for Facebook.
david weinberger One of the authors of Cluetrain Manifesto, and smart dude.
debbie landa. Co-founder of Under the Radar, a conference for startups.
Deborah Micek She is a new media marketing strategist.
DeWitt Clinton Works at Google.
Dion Almaer He is the co-founder of, the leading source of the Ajax community.
Doc Searls One of the cofounders of Cluetrain Manifesto, and now a Harvard Berkman fellow (IE, smart guy).
Don Dodge Works at Microsoft in M&A group.
Don MacAskill CEO/founder of SmugMug.
Duncan Riley Founder of Inquisitor, one of my favorite tech blogs.
Dwight Silverman Tech journalist for Houston Chronicle.
Ed Bott. Long-time Microsoft expert (wrote big books about Windows).
engadget. If you are into gadgets you probably visit here a lot.
Erhan Erdogan Writer/Analyst at Webrazzi
Erica Baker. IT field technician who works at Google.
Eric Eldon tech journalist for Venture Beat.
Eric @ CS Techcast
Eric Rice The guy who first gave me a tour around Second Life and he hasn’t lived it down since. (He answers: Ugh, I’m on the list as Second Life-related and that’s the last f***ing thing I’m paying attention to. I’m about 42 steps beyond that and constantly have to PR my way out of it. New urbanism, game design/development, AI/AGI, augmented reality, architecture, cybernetics and such. Design, media, art, and fiction.)
Erin Kotecki Vest. Political blogger, but covers tech too.
Evan Williams. Guy who started Blogger and Twitter.
Francine Hardaway smart entrepreneur and investor.
Fred Wilson famous VC in tech industry.
Gabe Rivera Runs TechMeme.
GigaOm. One of my favorite tech bloggers.
Glen Campbell Was lead tech for Yahoo.
Hacker News.
Harry McCracken Writes “Technologizer” but used to be a tech journalist at PC World.
Hutch Carpenter One of my favorite tech bloggers.
J Phil Glockner
James Kendrick Tablets and gadgets and more.
James Urquhart
Jason Falls
Jay Rosen Journalism professor, but who keeps me up to date on tech advances in that field.
(jeff)isageek He’s a geek, what else do you need to know?
Jeff Jarvis One of the leading political bloggers, but brings tech into things often.
Jennifer Leggio Social media; security research; analyst relations; market share reporting and competitive analysis; crisis management and ZDNet blogger.
Jeremiah Owyang Social Media analyst for Forrester.
Jeremy Toeman One of the smartest marketers around. Launched BugLabs and got the CEO on CNBC’s Donny Deutsch’s show.
Jesse Stay Develops apps for Facebook/Twitter, etc.
Jessica Guynn Tech journalist for Los Angeles Times.
Joe Wilcox Tech blogger for CNET.
John Furrier Entrepreneur, was my boss for a couple of years at PodTech.
John McCrea. Heads up marketing at Plaxo who got me in trouble with Facebook.
Joi Ito CEO of Creative Commons, among other things (Japanese VC).
Joshua Dilworth
Josh Bancroft. Most interesting blogger at Intel.
joshua schachter Founder of
Justin Korn
kamla bhatt
Kara Swisher. Runs the D Conference with Walt Mossberg and generally beats me to all the good stories.
Karim Always has a fun comment.
Karsten Januszewski One of the smartest devs I worked with at Microsoft.
Keith Teare Investor in Silicon Valley.
Ken Camp
Leo Laporte runs this week in tech, my favorite tech podcast.
l0ckergn0me Chris Pirillo, founder of Gnomedex conference and Lockergnome newsletter/blogs.
laura “@pistachio” fitton One of my favorite Twitterers.
Laurel Papworth
Liz Gannes She writes for GigaOm, covering the new video market.
Loic Le Meur. Runs the Le Web conference in Paris, France and is founder/CEO of Seesmic.
Long Zheng Student in Australia and gives good insights often.
Layne Heiny. The smart one in the Tablet PC family (he teaches, and all three of the Heiny’s are whip smart).
Lora Heiny She works on Tablet PC team at Microsoft.
Loren Heiny Builds software for Tablet PCs.
Louis Gray The guy who got me into FriendFeed.
Marc Canter founder of Macromind, which later became Macromedia. Now founder of Broadband Mechanics and is one of the leading thinkers on the Web.
Mark “Rizzn” Hopkins Tech blogger at Mashable.
Mark Krynsky Web producer for X PRIZE Foundation and author of Lifestream Blog.”
Mark Trapp One of my favorite FriendFeeders.
Make Magazine The best magazine for people who want to do it yourself.
Marshall Kirkpatrick One of my favorite tech bloggers.
Mashable One of the most famous tech blogs.
mathew ingram Writes one of my favorite tech blogs.
Matt Cutts Google’s most famous blogger. Covers intersection of media and technology.
MG Siegler Good video blog.
michael arrington/TechCrunch The Techcrunch feed, which is my favorite tech blog, according to FriendFeed.
Michael Krigsman Enterprise blogger I like a lot.
Michael Wesch A cultural anthropologist and media ecologist exploring the impacts of new media on human interaction at Kansas State University (made the famous Web 2.0 video).
mike “glemak” dunn
Mike Butcher/TechCrunch UK
Mike Cannon-Brookes CEO of Atlassian.
Mike Cassidy
Mike Doeff
Mike Fruchter One of my favorite FriendFeeders.
MikeAmundsen Longtime developer, I’ve been following him since mid 1990s.
Mitchell Tsai Out of 19,000 following me on FriendFeed he’s my biggest fan.
Molly E. Holzschlag She helped form Web Standards Project now works at Microsoft.
nateridder. Web application developer, database administrator, project manager, and product manager in a wide variety of business applications.
Niall Kennedy. Operates, an analyst site for web technology startup
Nick O’Neill Facebook expert.
Nir Ben Yona Lawyer and Internet saavy
noah kagan Used to work at Facebook, now runs a variety of conferences in tech industry.
Nova Spivack Founder of Twine, semantic bookmarking service (among other things).
Omar Shahine Works on Microsoft’s Hotmail team.
Ontario Emperor
Orli Yakuel
Ouriel. Writes TechCrunch France and Israel.
Patphelan CEO of MaxRoam in Ireland.
Paul Buchheit Co-founder of FriendFeed.
paul mooney I have been meeting him at tech conferences for past few years.
Paul Stamatiou Skribit Co-Founder known for his prowess with all things tech.
Paul Thurrott Microsoft journalist.
Pete Blackshaw Worked at Procter and Gamble and is the most interesting marketing guy out there.
Pete Steege Works at Seagate.
Peter Semmelhack Founder of BugLabs, one of my favorite consumer electronics products of 2007.
Rachel Clarke Web marketing expert in UK.
Rafe Needleman Founder of Web Ware and one of the best tech journalists out there.
Rebecca MacKinnon Worked for CNN in China, started Global Voices online.
Richard Binhammer Marketer at Dell.
Richard MacManus of Read/Write Web.
Rob Bushway Writes about Tablet PCs and Netbooks.
Rob Diana
Robert Hof Tech journalist at BusinessWeek.
Robert Sanzalone
Rodney Rumford Writes one of the best Facebook blogs out there, now starting a new company.
Roger Kondrat Writes for TechWinter a European Social Media and Mobile blog.
Ryan Block Used to run Engadget.
Sanjeev Singh. Dev who works at FriendFeed.
Sarah Perez
Scott Beale Founder of Laughing Squid.
ScottBourne Co-host of This Week in Photography, works at Photrade now.
Sean Alexander Microsoft guy in the Entertainment & Devices Division at Microsoft. Worked on many digital media efforts including Silverlight, Media Center, and Windows XP.
sean percival I met him when he was a dev at Mahalo.
seth goldstein
Shel Israel My former partner in crime (we wrote Naked Conversations together).
slashdot The famous tech blog.
Steve Broback I worked for him back in late 90s, now he runs a variety of blogs and conferences.
steve clayton Works at Microsoft in UK.
Steve Garfield. Video blogging expert.
Steve Gillmor Runs Gillmor Gang.
Steve Lacey Used to be a dev on Flight Sim team at Microsoft now is doing some weird stuff at Google that no one understands.
Steve Outing Journalist/entrepreneur at intersection of media & Internet
Steve Rubel VP of Edelman, but I knew him back when he was merely a blogger.
Steven Hodson
Stowe Boyd Social media expert.
Stupid Blogger (aka Tina)
susan mernit I met her when she worked at Yahoo, always shows up in interesting places.
Susan Scrupski
Svetlana Gladkova Writes a great tech blog.
Tamar Weinberg
Terry Heaton
Thomas Hawk My favorite Flickr-famous photographer.
Thomas Vander Wal
Tim O’Reilly The guy who coined term “Web 2.0.” One of the smartest people in tech, runs O’Reilly Publishing.
Todd Cochrane
Tom Foremski Tech journalist at Silicon Valley Watcher.
Tom Merritt
Veronica Belmont Co-host of Revision3’s tech-centric show, Tekzilla, and Qore on the PlayStation Network
Warner Crocker Tablet PC freak.
Werner Vogels CTO of Amazon.
Woody Pewitt Was an old school VB programmer that I’ve known since early 90s.
Yaron Samid
Zee from WeDoCreative
zefrank Funny. Enough said.
Zoli Erdos

Tech News you can't use

OK, I’m over at TechMeme where there is a TON of tech news today. I can’t keep up.

Let’s run through the headlines and see how much of it you can use.

1. Next-gen MacBook, MacBookPro spotted in matching outfits. Can’t use. (They aren’t out yet).
2. Apple’s iPhone Developer NDA Kills Book for iPhone Developers. Can’t use. (I haven’t signed the NDA).
3. Initial Thoughts on MySpace Music. CAN use!
4. SDK shoot-out: Android vs. iPhone. Can’t use. (Android now out yet).
5. Eee PC to Feature 3.75G for Internet Access Anywhere. Can’t use. Not out yet.
6. Hands on with the Slingbox PRO-HD. Can use. Units just started shipping. I want one.
7. Adobe Talks Open Source, Innovation and the Future of Flash. Can’t use.
8. Yahoo Overhauls System for Selling Display Ads. Can use, but not for consumers, so earns an asterisk.
9. Is Chrome a security risk? Can use.
10. China Mobile Seeking Cut-Down Version of Apple’s iPhone. Can’t use.
11. Announcing the Virtual Earth Web Service and Virtual Earth Map Control 6.2. CAN use!
12. BoomTown Decodes Jerry Yang’s Here-Comes-the-Weasel-Consultants Memo. Can’t use.
13. Y Combinator’s SocialBrowse Launches to the Public. CAN use!
14. Microsoft’s Mundie outlines the future of computing. CAN use!
15. Introducing Google Moderator on App Engine. CAN use, but only for developers.
16. Apple proposes improvements to Safari browsing experience. Can’t use.
17. RWW Interviews David Tosh of Elgg The Open Source Social Networking Platform. Can’t use.
18. Layoffs at ad network Glam Media. Can’t use.
19. Apple Seeds iPhone Firmware 2.2 Beta1. Can’t use.
20. Activity Centered Design. Can’t use.
21. Yahoo Buys Site for Nebraska Data Center. Can’t use.
22. Schwarzennegger outlaws text-messaging while driving. Can’t use.
23. China space mission article hits Web before launch. Can’t use.

So, what can we learn from this?

Well, most of the news we can’t use.

But even more. We as bloggers aren’t looking at how to really put any of this new stuff to use in our daily lives. That’s a change for the blogosphere. I remember when Dave Winer and Mike Arrington were always telling us how to use this stuff to make our lives better. I miss that kind of blogging, and probably explains why I like Lifehacker so much.

Tomorrow on we’ll get back to news you can use. We’ll have Sumit Agarwal, product manager for Google Mobile, on the show and we’ll talk about some ways you can use your mobile phone to actually do more business (that’ll be shared live at 10 a.m. Pacific Time and after the show we’ll be on my Kyte channel so you can ask him questions ). Later in the afternoon we’ll also have the CEO of TripIt on a separate show where he talks about services to help you travel better.

These kinds of things might not get hundreds of thousands of visits. They won’t get on Digg. Won’t get on Google News. Won’t get on TechMeme. But I think they are more useful and in these days shouldn’t you get something useful out of your news? I should start a new site called “tech news you can use.” I’m shocked no one has already.

One other example? Check out the video of MoneyAisle. If you are looking to invest money in CDs (lots of people are lately because you need to make sure you don’t have any more than $100,000 in any one account since so many banks are close to failing) then this service will get you a much better rate (they do auctions with 80 different banks). Now THAT is cool news to me (a longer video shot with our HD camcorders will be up soon where we dig into the very cool technology behind this service).

Anyway, hope that’s useful. Now we’re off to catch a flight home to San Francisco from Boston.

Two-word blogging

Lately I’ve been experimenting with saying less and seeing where that takes us. Today’s two word blog? Depression and Fear.

In a world of information overload maybe two-word posts are going to be a trend. Who knew that two words could kick off so many more words? 🙂

Chalk this up to my laziness. I could have woken up early and documented what Microsoft’s CTO said, like CNet’s Dan Farber did. But I didn’t.

Shoot me.

Coolest thing at MIT conference is the badges?

I’m still getting around to see a bunch of cool things here in Boston as I attend the MIT Emerging Technology conference but the coolest thing just might be the badges. They are electronic devices made by nTAG Interactive. First of all they got the visual part right. You can read people’s names from a good way away. It’s amazing how many conferences get that simple thing wrong.

Underneath the name badge is a device that’s a little longer than an iPhone. It is connected via wireless to a home server. They know which sessions you’ve attended and they can ask you survey questions (speakers can use the devices to get feedback in real time from the audience). But you can also use them to exchange an electronic business card. My device shows me I’ve exchanged cards with eight people so far. It’s weird, I don’t like using the device for that as much as just gathering a paper card. Partly because you have to hold the devices together to exchange cards.

Anyway, the coolest thing is that you can study how audiences interact with each other. Over on the NTAG blog they have interesting posts about whether men or women are better networkers or how people from the same company hang out together at events around the world and lots more.

They’ve also done a quick analysis of the people at the MIT conference.

Also on the device you can send messages to other attendees, plan your schedule, and more.

The one problem is that events are too short. Just when you figure out how cool the device is and how useful it might be you need to turn in the device and head to the airport, which is what I’m doing after I finish this post. We’re flying from Boston to San Francisco tonight.

Oh, and why doesn’t this add data to Dopplr and other services? Also, any photos I took could be matched up with data from this device to make tags on Flickr or other photo sharing service. My friends think I’m geeky when I ask for such things, but someday our devices WILL talk to such services.

One last thing: privacy is dead. Get over it. Off to the airport now.

Canon takes good PR and throws it in the trash

Amazing, remember last night when we were all slobbering over the new 5D MKII’s video capabilities? Well, today Don MacAskill, CEO of SmugMug, wrote that Canon had forced him to take down the videos. Why? He doesn’t quite know, but says it seems to be around the fact that SmugMug’s HD video was far better than the one Canon is able to host and SmugMug was making someone look bad at Canon. Don talked more about it on his Twitter account. Either way they took what was extremely good PR and decided to trash that for some reason. I’d sure like to know who made this decision and why.