Daily Archives: December 2, 2010

Loved startup: TeamSnap helps people manage sports and other teams

One reason I watch Twitter so closely is to see which companies are loved. TeamSnap is one that kept showing up here and there. They have 30,000 sports teams already using it to manage their teams (after only being out a year-and-a-half).

Here Dave DuPont, CEO, came to my house to talk about why his company is so loved.

Some things? Attitude.

Funky sports. Focus on customers. Non-corporate speak.

Hey, startups, or, really, anyone, want to see how to do it? Watch this video.

I’m very proud that they are hosted on Rackspace, too. Matches our focus on customers.

First look: Research.ly shows power of Twitter’s publicness for brand and journalism research

Why should we let it all hang out?

It’s something we’ve been arguing about lately as Facebook becomes more and more powerful. After all, if I say I like music by Neil Young on my Facebook status message (assuming I’ve set my privacy so that only my friends and family can see my messages) then you can’t study my behavior or beliefs and you certainly can’t look through all of Facebook and find all users who’ve said they like Neil Young.

But if I said the same thing over on Twitter you can build systems to show who has liked Neil Young. Today Research.ly turned on a system that gives people very powerful access.

The Next Web said “Research.ly: Twitter analytics, sentiment and trend tracking done right.”

I totally agree.

When you watch the exclusive video I did with Research.ly’s founders, you’ll see just how powerful this service is. You can look for items in real time, and filter out the non-important ones, looking at just the people you’re following, if you want, or all Twitter users, or just the people following your account. I’m following about 27,000 geeks, for instance, so using Research.ly is very awesome because I can see just what they are talking about in the news.

For brands this is going to be invaluable.

Read the Next Web report and watch the video I did. Make sure your social media guru sees this. It’s very significant.

Unfortunately it’s not free, will cost about $99 a month to get started, but for brands (and for journalists) who want to be able to instantly see what people are talking about — filtered and graphed — this is crack. I’m going to pay the fee because it’ll let me do journalism with Twitter that other people won’t be able to do, especially when added to tools like Storify or Curated.by.

What do you think?

Free consulting for Path, interviewing the CEO of Instagr.am, and my love of Quora

I’ve really been getting into Quora, a new Q&A service that was started by a former CTO of Facebook. I’m not sure why this one took for me, where there have been many others, but I think it’s just the smart community that’s sprung up on this service. I almost didn’t blog about it, because so far there’s been some of the best discussions of technology and startup help I’ve seen anywhere and I didn’t want to see that watered down, but when something is good I just have to share it, so here we are.

It’s interesting, but there’s something that makes it easier to write there than here. Weird, huh? But here I have an idea that there’s an audience that’s known me for a while. Over there everything seems fresh and new. Plus, here, I have to come up with my own questions and ideas. Over there I can just respond to other people’s questions and ideas.

Which leads me to last night. I have been playing a lot with photo sharing services and have been spending a lot of time thinking about why I don’t like photo-sharing on the iPhone app Path as much as I like Instagram and what I would do about Path to make it better than Instagram. So far 18 people have voted it up, which tells me there’s something there that resonates with the audience hanging out on Quora, so thought I’d point it out here.

But there’s something else going on with Quora. It builds a page of everything you do on the site which is a new form of blogging. For many people who aren’t used to regularly posting and trying to build an audience this is an awesome way to share ideas and get used to trying to find things that’ll get other people to respond. I imagine we’ll see a new group of journalists spring from Quora. For instance, you can follow me and see everything I’ve written so far on Quora. Funny enough I’ve been doing a lot more words there than here. It’s like a place where I can try something out on a smaller audience, then move it to the blog when it’s baked. I wonder what Dave Winer or Mike Arrington would think of this, probably think I’m nuts.

Speaking of Path and Instragr.am, the other day I met Kevin Systrom, CEO of Instagr.am. They announced over on Quora that they just passed 300,000 users after only being out a month, which is quite good for an iPhone-only application. We had a nice chat, in audio, on my iPhone, of course, about Instagr.am. and where he sees the service evolving.

Woz’s tour through computing history (and his favorite iPhone apps)

Steve Wozniak talks about Macintosh in front of an Apple Lisa at the Computer History Museum

This morning was a real thrill for me. Steve Wozniak, Apple’s co-founder, gave me, and about 20 other journalists, a tour through computing history while giving us a sneak peak at the 25,000-square foot new “Revolutions” exhibit, which opens January 13th. Here’s a panoramic photo of Woz doing an interview in front of the Apple I inside the personal computer exhibit, which is only a small part of the Revolutions exhibit. It wasn’t lost on me that I was the first one to use the new Occipital iPhone app, just released this week, to make this image.

Harry McCracken has a great writeup of the Woz part of the tour. Go and read that.

Next week we’ll have our videos of this event, plus a private interview Woz gave us, up on Building43.

It was a great thrill talking with Woz again. For those who don’t know, he really got me started in technology journalism, both by being my first celebrity interview (I met him while we both took classes together at West Valley Community College) but later I talked him into donating $40,000 worth of Macs (back in 1989) to our journalism department and Rich Cameron, the journalism teacher back then, made me set them up and learn how to make them really work. It was the best educational experience I’ve ever had and one I’ll always be in debt to both Steve and Rich for.

I talked with Woz about growing up in Cupertino, just a short distance from Apple Computer (now just called, well, “Apple”) and I told him I helped Hyde Jr. High unbox its first Apple II computers back in 1977 (I was in the first computer club back then) and that my mom worked for Hildy Licht building Apple II mother boards (she hired me to stuff the boards — I earned a few cents allowance for each one we did).

Anyway, the new museum exhibit is pretty damn cool. If you are a geek it’s a must-visit. Bring a kid and try to inspire him or her to do the next innovations.

Here’s an audio interview I did with the museum’s CEO, John Hollar, right after Woz gave us his tour.

We’ll be there for the official opening on January 13th, too (there’ll be another press preview on January 11th — none of the exhibits today were finished, so it’ll be interesting to see it after it’s all put together).

Of course, at the end, I asked Woz which iPhone apps he likes the most. Siri, he started out. One of my favorite interviews this year was done with the team that funded Siri.

I’ll get back in touch with him to talk more about iPhone apps he uses. He was being pulled to do something else, and we didn’t get to cover that in enough depth. Anyway, what a day and what a great museum.