Monthly Archives: November 2008

The Twitterization of Conversations

Yesterday I filmed a video about the half-life of conversations. When I started blogging back in 2000 a blog conversation could go for a week or more. Those days are long gone. In this video I cover why, and show you some ways that tools can be used to lengthen the conversation’s half life (which, on Twitter, can be as short as five minutes).

This video caused a conversation to break out on FriendFeed.

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Close look at Vholdr, sports video camera

Vholdr is a sports video camera designed for sky diving, skateboarding, surfing, swimming, including on RC helicopters, etc. If you are into sports, you should check out this very cool camera, here’s a short video I filmed on Friday with the founder of the company, Marc Barros, who showed me how it all works. If you visit Vholdr’s site you’ll see a ton of video made by their users with these cameras.

Cool 3D cards from Israeli startup: Snapily

On Friday Snapily‘s founders visited me and showed me a bunch of cool 3D cards. They also made me some new 3D business cards that start conversations everytime I hand one to someone. Here’s the video I filmed of how these things work.

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Look inside Meraki, wifi for cities

On Friday I visited Meraki. They build wifi devices for cities and businesses. San Francisco’s wifi was built by them. So was Google’s efforts in Mountain View, CA (Google was an investor). I shot two videos of CEO Sanjit Biswas:

1. A look at their new indoor products for businesses (just released last week).
2. A look at their solar-powered systems for light poles and such so a city could put wifi on its main streets.

Interesting business, thanks to Sanjit for showing me around.

Obsessing about new news

Fred Wilson, a Venture Capitalist based in New York, writes this morning that he’s obsessed with TechMeme and that he’s noticing changes in his obsession (he’s moving more toward Twitter and other places for his news). Oh, I grok that. I used to be obsessed with TechMeme too. Now I’m just an average user, checking in every day or two (I used to check this page every 10 minutes). What happened?

FriendFeed. See, in February I wasn’t following anyone on FriendFeed and no one was following me. Now I’m following more than 4,000 hand-picked people. More than 21,000 are following me there today — that’s better growth than I got in the first nine months of being on Twitter, by far.

Some of my friends say I’m really stupid to stop spending so much time obsessing over TechMeme and blogging and to be spending so much time on FriendFeed and Twitter.

That might be so. But already my inbound news is more diverse AND faster than TechMeme and my outbound “Likes” and “Comment” feed is pretty damn good cause it includes all sorts of different data types. Quick, how often have you seen a video on TechMeme? I can’t remember the time. But video is a HUGE part of news today and video and photos are huge parts of the experience on FriendFeed. Especially live video. That shows up on FriendFeed, it doesn’t show up on TechMeme. Well, except when YouTube throws a big concert. Then you see the news stories about the concert, but you need to click through articles to see the live video.

Also, FriendFeed’s realtime features (as long as you have about 100 people you are following or more) really rock during news events, like during election night or a big earthquake.

Of course TechMeme’s Gabe Rivera, who follows all of our TechMeme obsession writings, replies back with ““Congrats to @fredwilson for discovering @scobleizer’s racket. You can claim you’re reading Techmeme less and less literally for years!”” Where did I see that? FriendFeed, of course. :-)

So, what do you think? Is the tech blogging news world moving toward TechMeme or away from it toward places like FriendFeed, Twitter, Reddit, YCombinator, or Stack Overflow? Is how you get your tech news different today than it was a year ago?

Mike Arrington is wrong about Google search

Mike Arrington, founder of the famous tech blog TechCrunch, hates the new Google search features. They even tell you how to kill the new wiki-style features using GreaseMonkey on Firefox. Mike does take the time to explain the new features here, though.

The problem is, Mike is wrong.

These features rock. They let me add notes to entries in Google. They let me tell the search engine which entries are better for me and they help Google’s business BIG TIME.

See, truth is Google is too perfect lately.

Eye track research shows that most of us aren’t going past the first link. That is a HUGE change from five years ago when we didn’t trust Google that much so we’d look down the first page looking at all the links and we’d probably even click on the second page to see what’s there.

Tell me, when is the last time you’ve clicked on the second page. I can’t remember anymore and I use Google dozens of times a day.

So, Google has a problem. It is an advertising-supported service and we’re just not sticking around on its pages very long. It NEEDS to increase the time we spend interacting with it.

I’m sure Google’s leaders are looking at FriendFeed and Facebook’s news feed and seeing all the time that their members are interacting and spending time on the page and are saying “we could do that.”

These features already are dramatically increasing the time I’m spending on Google search pages. That’s a HUGE win for Google.

Personally, I think Google is right to put these features in and I already am enjoying using them. By the way, when you search for TechCrunch can you see the note I left on TechCrunch’s entry?

Mike, you’re wrong about this one.