Daily Archives: December 23, 2008

Ahh, the echo chamber

Ahhh, it’s always fun to look at the referrer log in WordPress and see who is linking to me and how much traffic they send me. Here’s mine from today. What are some trends here? Arrington rules. Techmeme is OK. Where’s the rest of the traffic? 

We are talking to ourselves. Mike. This is the real danger. 

I think I’ll go back to Facebook where 140 million people are hanging out. 
:-)

My blog's referrers today

It’s time for the geeks to sit down and shut up

Eight years ago, during the last downturn, I would have supported things like Scrapplet with open arms. If you look at it the geeky way Scrapplet is incredible: it lets you drag and drop pieces of the web over to your canvas and create a new web page. The technology underneath — all developed by one guy, Steve Repetti, is absolutely incredible.

But it is way too unapproachable for normal people.

Why would I have supported it last time and not this time? Last time we didn’t have so many choices about where to put our attention. There was no iPhone. No Facebook. No Twitter. No PlayStation3. No Xbox. Etc. Etc. This time the small companies are still getting funded so there still is enough for TechCrunch to talk about and TechMeme to link to. Last time those two didn’t even exist. There simply isn’t room in the marketplace for a geeky technology like there was last time. Sorry Scrapplet.

Here, quick, read Webware’s post on the Scrapplet. Then read TechCrunch’s post. And finally, check out Louis Gray’s post.

Do you have a clue what this thing does yet?

I do, but only because Steve gave me a demo and, even, made me a page to demonstrate some of the key things behind the technology.

The problem is that Steve can’t give everyone in the world a demo.

And the other problem is that the world has changed. We’ve become a nation of Twitterers and Facebookers. Not of people who want to geek around and build mashups of our own. We want to push a button and have it all done for us. Which is why Twitter is the ultimate tool and why so many think the little-bit-more-complex friendfeed is awful.

If you can’t handle friendfeed you definitely can’t handle Scraplet.

So, here’s the deal: Ripetti is onto something here — being able to embed any code, URL, or drag and drop pieces of pages into the editor here is extremely powerful and the fact that he got all the geeky bloggers to talk about it demonstrates he got us all hot and bothered over the weekend. But he needs to go back and find a much simpler way to bring his technology to the masses.

Until he does it’ll only be us geeks playing with it.

The world-wide-talk-show host: Loic Le Meur

Now that the real-time web is upon us (and very addicting, as we’ve discovered) there is a need for new services, new events, new leaders who will take us through the rapids.

Loic Le Meur is one of those.

He’s an entrepreneur who has purchased Twhirl, a popular Twitter and social networking client, and is in the middle of a major rearchitecting and redesign of that. He, and his team, developed Seesmic which lets you communicate on the web with video, either at the home site or via video comments on tons of sites (TechCrunch, for instance, lets you video comment). He also started, and runs, the LeWeb conference in Paris, France, which has become the most international of all the conferences I attend.

So I wanted to sit down with him and get an update. I have three videos with him:

1. Our “pro” video that was shot on two HD camcorders and edited. 27 minutes (this was way edited down, by the way, our original conversation was about an hour). We talk about the real-time web and what he’s focusing on now.
2. His update on Twhirl. 4.55 minutes. And how it’ll compete with the new TweetDeck, which is releasing a new version, according to Louis Gray.
3. Loic demonstrating Seesmic’s new features to Joi Ito, CEO of Creative Commons. 7:32 minutes.

Some things he said in the first video?

  • That Twitter brought Seesmic the most traffic when they rolled out new features last week.
  • How Seesmic might make money.
  • Why “paid” accounts seem more serious and show one way to make revenues.
  • Discussion of European startups.
  • Seesmic will turn from being a video only service to being one that also lets you talk with friends via text.
  • Wrapup of controversy at LeWeb.

Watch these and you’ll see why I call Loic “the world-wide-talk-show host.” Follow his blogs, tweets, videos, and more on FriendFeed.

TechFuga makes it clear TechMeme is not innovating

OK, OK, I’m back to my blog thanks to popular demand. :-)

One new service came up this morning that caught my eye: TechFuga.

As Louis Gray says, it’s like TechMeme and AllTop had a baby.

Now, whether or not you think this will prove successful (the jury is out, especially since TechMeme’s traffic has flatlined the past year) this points to something else: TechMeme hasn’t innovated and that lack of innovation is opening the door to competitors.

How has it not innovated? TechMeme has not acknowledged that there is something interesting going on elsewhere. That people are using other aggregators, like Reddit and Digg, along with other social networks, like Twitter and friendfeed, to get their news.

Now that we see a service that, while imperfect, demonstrates what new features look like, we see that TechMeme has stalled.

Gabe Rivera (he’s the founder of TechMeme), are you going to answer this, or are you going to keep on the flat track saying that only “high end articles and blogs” matter?

Amazon Web Services from the view of a customer

One of the hottest trends this year was the move to cloud services. Especially Amazon’s S3 Web services.

Now the big guns have all started aiming at Amazon. Rackspace. Google. Microsoft. With more battles expected from Sun Microsystems, Adobe, Oracle, and others.

They all want a piece of this pie, so I asked Syncplicity‘s CEO, Leonard Chung, about why he’s using Amazon’s services and what would get him to switch to the others. Listen along.

I filmed two videos with Leonard. The one embedded here, and this one where he demos his company’s service to me. Really interesting way to sync up all sorts of files with a bunch of online services like Zoho and Google’s Docs and Spreadsheets.

[kyte.tv appKey=MarbachViewerEmbedded&uri=channels/6118/299220&tbid=k_926&premium=true&height=500&width=425]