Daily Archives: December 22, 2009

A new addition here: the Meebo bar

Yesterday I went over to Meebo‘s headquarters in Mountain View, CA, to see their latest: the Meebo bar.

What is cool about this? It makes it super easy to share things on my blog with other people. How do you do it? Just drag and drop this video of the Meebo team showing me the Meebo bar, for instance, and you’ll be able to share it to a variety of social networks like Twitter or Facebook.

Plus it does a few other things, but watch the video to learn more about Meebo and how it works.

I thought it was so cool that both I and Rob La Gesse (who does stuff on my blog too) added it to our sites and we’ll add it to building43 too.

Anyway, try it out. Drag one of my videos around!

A 2010 real-time app development platform from Kynetx

I think this is such an interesting new development platform that I’m reprinting this video and post from building43.com:

+++++

A new platform from Kynetx has tools that let developers use customer preferences to add features to Web sites, regardless of the browser.

Phillip Windley, CTO, and Stephen Fulling, CEO of the Utah-based startup, came to Robert Scoble’s home to explain how the platform works and to show us the application in action in this building43 video.

“Our elevator speech is that we provide a development system for building applications that respond to context in the user environment,” Fulling explains in the video.

What does that mean?

It means that customers can get something extra when they come to a Web site. For example, if a AAA subscriber has her or his membership card information installed on PC or mobile device, an extra box with “AAA discounts” will be listed next to companies whose names turn up in a Google search for keywords such as rental cars or hotels.

Another application, through the Minutemen Library Network, alerts members that “this book is available in your local library,” after scanning book titles on a Web site. That application leverages the Jon Udell Library Lookup Project.

“As a developer, you can create the client-side experience” using rules-based platform and Javascript, says Windley.

Kynetx (pronounced Kuh-neh-ticks) is less than two years old. According to the founders, it was bootstrapped for the first year with the money Windley and Fulling got when they sold the small plane they jointly owned.

The Kynetx Developer Conference in November drew 150 people, and the company plans another one in the spring of 2010.

At the developer conference, Doc Searls, senior editor of the Linux Journal and co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto, said platforms such as Kynetx show the balance of power is shifting.

“As customers gain more power to express their actual intentions, we will move from an economy that places a premium on guesswork – especially advertising, an ‘attention economy’ — to one that places a premium on knowledge that can only come from customers: the customers’ actual intentions. For example, their shopping lists. The result will be an ‘intention economy’ that is a vast improvement on the attention economy,” Searls said.

CrunchBase, the technology company profile Web site, lists AdaptiveBlue and Greasemonkey as compettitors.

Links relevant to this video include:

Kynetx Web site — http://www.kynetx.com

Kynetx developer blog — http://code.kynetx.com/

Kynetx AppBuilder — http://appbuilder.kynetx.com/

Kynetx Developer Conference – http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/permalink/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20091119006051&newsLang=en&usg=AFQjCNEFHmA004Lfl3dLpVPX3V1ibZ4tWA

CrunchBase company profile — http://www.crunchbase.com/company/kynetx

A VC view of 2010 with Accel Partners’ Rich Wong

Rich Wong had a good year in 2009. He helped fund AdMob which sold to Google and he’s invested in a raft of interesting companies as one of the guys at Accel Partners (who are one of the biggest investors in Facebook, for one).

Yesterday I sat down with him and had a 33-minute wide-ranging conversation about what’s coming in 2010. We cover real time, social networking, mobile (Android vs. iPhone), energy, and what prospects are like for VCs.

Other things discussed: browser vs. apps on mobile, content curation, real time search, the coming identity wars between Facebook/Twitter and Google.

The best and worst thing Twitter did in 2009: RT

A representative tweet from tonight says it all: “how can new RT’s be cool? No context, no editing possible.” (TechCrunch’s Mike Butcher said that).

The new retweet feature is definitely the worst and best thing Twitter did this year.

Why does it suck?

Well, a few reasons:

1. Twitter doesn’t use it consistently everywhere. For instance, if you use Twitter’s new list feature you won’t get a choice to retweet there. Why not? Well, @nk who built the list feature at Twitter says “we actually deliberately excluded them. Some people complained they were annoying.” (In this case Twitter should ignore the customers — if you listen to Porsche customers they’ll design you a Volvo, that’s the case here).
2. The new RT did NOT match how people were using old RTs. Old RTs are more like a quote. You’d put “RT” at the beginning of a Tweet, copy and paste the Tweet you wanted to tell everyone about, then add a little comment onto the end, if you had space. The new RT doesn’t let you edit the Tweet you are quoting and doesn’t let you explain to your readers why you think that Tweet is worth RT’ing.
3. Not every client supports the new RT and they don’t support it in the same way. This is VERY confusing. Seesmic, for instance, doesn’t support it the same way across all of their clients and that’s from one company.
4. Twitter didn’t do a good job of explaining WHY this new functionality was needed (it was for a future version of search that they don’t want to discuss in public yet — instead they explained it that users were doing RT’ing wrong. That pissed everyone off and tainted this feature).

I commented at the time of its release that Twitter should NOT have called this “retweeting.” Instead they should have called it “sharing” or “favoriting” or “liking.” In reality this is a copy of liking features that FriendFeed has had for quite a while.

OK, so, now that we got all the bad out of this, here’s why I love the new RT feature:

1. It works on mobile. I use it all the time on Tweetie, my favorite iPhone app. It is easier to do than the old RT feature. Plus, it’s impossible to screw up (on mobile it’s very easy to copy and paste something wrong, or mess something up). I use the new RT feature all the time because it is two clicks and everyone gets to see something cool I just saw.
2. The retweets by others page is one of my favorite pages on Twitter now. Why? Because I get to see tons of stuff that I wouldn’t have seen otherwise (and I’m following 16,000 people so I get to see a lot of stuff you probably don’t see).
3. It paves the way to a new Twitter world: one where metadata gets included OUTSIDE the Tweet rather than inside. This new world gives me characters back and makes Twitter potentially dramatically more useful.
4. It will make search dramatically better. Now that Google is adding tweets to real time results we see just how bad these results are (see Danny Sullivan’s post about Brittany Murphy’s death and the results on Google for awesome examples). Why? Because everyone’s tweets are treated the same. To make search better we need more data about which tweets really are important. Tweets that have a ton of RT’s are dramatically more important for search results than ones that don’t have RT’s (the new RT feature is a lot easier for third-party services like TweetMeme and other search engines to count).
5. If someone starts retweeting too many items, or items you don’t want to see you can turn them off (I was doing too many RT’s yesterday, for instance, to turn them off to protect yourself just click the green retweet button at the top of my page to turn off RT’s from me, for instance).

That said, I’ve switched my behavior and urge you to switch too.

I still do old-style RTs, but on Tweetie I use the “Quote” feature to do that. Usually I will just quote a Tweet and then add a note about what was important. So Mike’s tweet becomes:

“how can new RT’s be cool? No context, no editing possible.” via @mikebutcher (I think he’s wrong, see my blog for why).

Anyway, there are HUGE changes coming to Twitter and this is just a foreshock. Twitter should be MORE aggressive and more consistent in pushing out these changes so that new search features can be enabled.