Twitter's lists make Chris Brogan feel bad

Chris Brogan wrote that Twitter’s Lists make Chris Brogan feel bad. Why? Because he sees them as exclusionary. Chris doesn’t like that lists exclude people, by their very design.

Here, look at my list of programmers. It excludes me.

That makes me feel bad, according to Chris Brogan.

Except, well, I’m NOT a programmer so why should I be on a list of programmers?

I can’t STAND this attitude that everyone should be included in everything.

I should NOT be on a list of golfing greats. Heck, I’ve never even played the game, but let’s say I played. Are you KIDDING ME by saying I should be mentioned in the same breath as Tiger Woods?

I’m not on my Venture Capitalists list either. Should I be included in that list? NOOOOO! First, I don’t have the money. Second of all, I don’t invest in companies. I SHOULD BE EXCLUDED from such a list and being excluded from such a list does NOT make me feel bad.

Oh, I didn’t make my Web Innovators list either. Come, now, is writing about the web innovative? No. I don’t deserve to be on that list. Damn it.

Sorry Chris, but life isn’t fair. Steve Gillmor tells me all the time I’m not in control of how people view me. That’s why I don’t feel bad about lists I’m not on.

I CAN control my own lists, though, and even when I do my own lists I leave myself off of most of them. That does NOT make me feel bad.

Chris: I think you just got included on my list of people who have bad opinions about lists. 🙂

UPDATE: I had lunch yesterday with @nk who runs the team at Twitter who makes lists. He says “following” someone is just another form of lists. Since there’s 45 million people on Twitter and only about 100,000 that Chris is following, I’d guess that Chris is exclusionary.

Calling all Web Hosting Companies

Be helpful, even to people who want to take their business somewhere else. It’s a tough thing to do sometimes, but I want to have the most complete list of Web Hosting Companies on Twitter. Are you one? Do I not have you listed yet? Let me know. Leave a comment here.

By the way, I’m making a list of all Rackspace employees too (at more than 200 employees already it’s far from complete). Why? We want to be the most available, most helpful, and most knowledgeable Web Hosting Company out there. Tweet on!

Why I switch services so often (why I don't use Google Reader anymore)

Terry Storch, over on Twitter, noticed I was slamming Google Reader and wrote “is it me…or did you go from Google Reader being the best thing in tech, to Google Reader sucks? Hot or Not with Scoble…”

Yes, two years ago I thought Google Reader was the best thing to come along for news freaks like me. Then they started adding features and messed it up.

See, teams can go off the rails.

How bad did they mess it up? My account, today, took 1 minute and 16 seconds to start up. This is a very common experience.

Why does it take so long to start up?

Because I have about 1,500 friends and the code that starts up is VERY POORLY DESIGNED.

Now, lots of people point out that I’m an exception. Joel Houseman, for instance, did just that. “I would point out that you are the exception. With my 150 feeds and 20-30 friends, it loads very fast and is snappy.”

The thing is, I’m an exception everywhere, right? But over on Twitter I have 12,128 friends and Twitter loads in less than a second. Over on FriendFeed I have more than 10,000 friends and it loads in less than a second. Over on Facebook I have about the same number of friends as I have on Google Reader and it opens in a second or two. Heck, even on FourSquare, a service that has not gone mainstream yet, I have more than 1,000 friends and it always opens fast.

So, yes, I loved Google Reader. Before they added crapily-written and crapily-designed code to it.

Now I hate it and never use it.

What does this mean for regular users? Maybe not much. BUT I remember the days when people like Joel used to make fun of me for being the first person to hit more than 1,000 friends on Twitter. Now that is very commonplace.

Keep that in mind if you are using Google Reader. Do NOT use its social networking features.

Oh, and I can’t figure out how to delete all my friends there so I can make it work again.

No biggie. Twitter has replaced Google Reader for me anyway. Howso?

Check out my Twitter list of Tech News Brands. This is far better than anything I ever had in Google Reader, even with thousands of RSS feeds coming in there.

And head over to Twitter’s list feature has only been around a day and look at how many lists there already are. This is FAR FASTER GROWTH than Google Reader EVER saw. Especially among “normal” users. Did you notice how many celebrities are on Twitter but aren’t on Google Reader? There’s a reason for that.

Twitter's favorites added to my blog

If you visit my blog and look at the right side you’ll see a new widget: my favorite Tweets from Twitter. I am now watching more than 10,000 accounts and I click “favorite” on the best ones, which instantly puts them here. In the past two months I’ve favorited more than 7,000 tweets: all by hand and all by myself.

Hope you enjoy these. Unfortunately the widget only shows a few of my latest favorites while I usually favorite close to 100 tweets per day. So, to get the full set of favorites you should just visit my Twitter favorite page.

Why I don't use Google Reader anymore

An hour or so ago I wrote a post over on my Posterous Blog about why I don’t use Google Reader much anymore and it’s already gotten a ton of interesting comments and been viewed 1,600 times. Since it’s the middle of the night in San Francisco, that tells me it was a popular post and I wanted to make sure that those of you who are just reading me only here (probably because you’re using an RSS reader) I wanted to make sure you had a chance to see this and comment on it.

What Mark Zuckerberg said that bugged Mitch Kapor


Yesterday at the Startup School (a freaking awesome event for entrepreneurs, by the way) I was sitting next to Mitch Kapor while Facebook founder/CEO Mark Zuckerberg was on stage. The picture above is of Startup School hearing from Zynga CEO Mark Pincus, who gave a great talk. More on that in a second.

At one point Mark said something that made Mitch flinch.

What was it?

Mark said that one of the best decisions he made was to move Facebook out of Boston and into Silicon Valley. Then he said that the business infrastructure here was key and that he couldn’t have gotten that infrastructure anywhere else.

Why did that make Mitch flinch? Well, Mitch started Lotus in Boston, which was a highly successful company (Mitch, in his own speech, told about his experiences starting Lotus). But since then has Boston been able to keep a great tech startup and help it get to the big time?

No. That’s why only I saw Mitch’s reaction and why Mitch didn’t call Mark on it.

As to Mark Pincus’ talk, the recording is on and he explained how he wanted to build an “Internet Treasure.” He already has, his company has built Farmville which is a VERY popular game on Facebook.

Other talks worth watching from Startup School? Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos talking about how he delivers happiness.

Evan Williams and Biz Stone telling stories about starting Twitter.

Thanks to YCombinator for inviting me to Startup School. I learned a lot and the networking was over the top.

85,000 reasons why Apple's iPhone isn't going to be disrupted

There’s nothing geeks love more than to argue mobile phone platforms. Here’s Matt Blaisdell saying that apps weren’t key to iPhone’s success. That’s true, but now that Apple has apps the world has changed and challengers to the iPhone will find it very tough.

Here’s why: everyone is using a different set of 20 apps. Trillions of combinations. You can see this on Appsfire’s VIP list (my iPhone apps are listed there, along with a number of others). None of us have the same set of apps.

So, to get me off of the iPhone you are going to have to duplicate all my apps (and I’ve gotten several more since doing this list a couple of weeks ago).

Here, let’s play a game. Let’s say that a Chinese manufacturer ships an Android phone that makes me hot and bothered. Something, say, that’s half the thickness of the iPhone, has a screen that’s sharper, and the battery lasts twice as long, oh, and let’s just say it costs $50 less than buying an iPhone.

Would it get me to switch away from my iPhone? Probably not, truth be told. (I do have a second SIM, though, waiting, just in case that I use to test phones).

Why not?

Because I’ve grown addicted to Tweetie. So, now you’ll have to build an app, or get a third-party developer to build an app that works better. Let’s say you do that.

But do you have my favorite game? Tap Tap Revenge?

Do you have Facebook? Do you have Photoshop? Just today NASDAQ came out with a cool new app. Do you have that? And so on and so forth.

Every app is lockin.

I’m not going to be switching anytime soon, and neither are you.

So, what the other manufacturers are hoping is that enough users remain ignorant of all the uses of the apps and that they get enough of them built either by themselves (not gonna happen) or by developers outside the company before Apple just locks in everyone.

Joe Wilcox, on Twitter, says that iPhone users are “beyond reason.”

No, Joe, I just want my Kindle app on Android before I’ll switch. I have lots of books that I’ve invested in that I can read on my iPHone.

Or, I want my TripIt app on Android or Nokia before I’ll switch. My entire flight information is stuck inside there.

Or, I want to watch Leo Laporte’s show this afternoon (or more accurately, listen to it on my Prius thanks to UStream’s app).

Or I want to use Yelp’s app to find a great restaurant.

Etc. Etc. Etc.

If you get me all those, and all the other 85,000 apps, but on a device that is sexier and more fun to use (and more productive) then I’ll definitely be reasonable and switch.

Until then I have 85,000 reasons to be unreasonable. Oh, did you see this app called “RedLaser?” You point your phone at barcodes, and it gives you information about the products you are looking at, including what the price is on Very cool.

Now I’m sure you’ll say you have an app like RedLaser on your device, right? (I’ve seen similar on Nokia devices, for instance) But do you have all the others I use?

Yes, I’m unreasonable. Let me know when I can stop being unreasonable! 🙂

Oh, and I met the guy who runs the iPhone app team (he asked to remain anonymous) and he told me his team approves hundreds of new apps every day. So, that’s HUNDREDS of new reasons every day that I will remain unreasonable. Sorry to Nokia, Palm, Microsoft, RIM, and all the other players.