Daily Archives: March 5, 2011

No, I’m not going to be your Facebook friend

I think that part of SXSW now is just that we’re getting pitched so many companies that those of us in the business of trying to keep up are falling apart. MG Siegler shows strains in his post titled “the App Wall” where he says he’s getting tired of trying new apps.

Me, I’m hitting that with all the social networks and all the menial tasks you have to do to keep them up to date. Adding friends, approving requests, etc etc.

So, no, I won’t be your friend on Facebook. I’m turning down even people I’ve met and usually would like in my social graph. I’ve had enough.

Plus, most people just don’t give you a hint as to why they should be in my social graph. Why? Cause I met you one time? Cause you follow me on Twitter?

So, here’s some helpful things.

1. Explain how we know each other.
2. Explain some value you’ll provide to me if I friend you.
3. Explain ANYTHING, really.
4. Put YOUR social graph and wall into public view so I can get some sense of who you are (most people have turned all privacy on, in most cases on Facebook that’s a major mistake cause it keeps people like me from adding you or, even, learning anything about you).
5. Put a profile picture I can recognize up.
6. Don’t remind me you went to high school with me or that you were that bully who taped my brother to a tree. :-)

Anyway, is anyone else tired of getting these kinds of social network requests?

I do have a public page, by the way, which I’d appreciate you subscribing to.

Featured on Techcrunch today: one of my favorite companies

I love 955 Dreams. It’s great to see them get accolades and be featured in the press all over the place. Why did it take so long? Maybe the $10 price for their iPad app.

Today they are featured in Techcrunch and that makes me happy.

Of course you already know this company, I featured them back in January.

If you didn’t see my video back then, it’s worth watching this one. They share their design and development process. I hope they have many more successes in the future.

Yet another example of why I don’t get it when people I really like, like Om Malik, says there aren’t magical apps for the iPad. But, I guess he’s right when he says there aren’t enough iPad apps out there that really show us the way it’s done. This is one of those apps, though, and Om should have mentioned it.

Are we witnessing YouTube’s big fumble? (UPDATE: Not tonight!)

UPDATE, my original post is below. I tuned in for the Charlie Sheen show, but only about 200,000 people were in the channel at peak and the show was very boring and viewers quickly went away. So, this won’t be the “event” that proves this post’s thesis right.

UPDATE2: Ustream now claims that more than 666,000 views were generated during the course of the hour last night. Wild.

+++++++++++++++

Fumble! Photo by Leann Arthur

Tonight Charlie Sheen will be on Ustream.tv in what could be a massive night for that video network. How massive? Sheen broke all records on Twitter, gaining 1.78 million followers in less than a week. No one else, not even Oprah or Obama or Beiber, has gotten so many so fast.

I talked with one of the guys involved, Barry Schuler, who told me his partner, Brad Wyman, is the one who convinced Sheen to tweet and convinced him to break all the rules, get rid of the press and PR, and go directly to his fans. Sheen’s show is part of “WyTV” on Ustream.

But that’s all fun and games compared to what YouTube is facing tonight.

See, YouTube looked like it was going to score the final touchdown in video. One where they were running down the field 50 yards ahead of the opponents, but 10 yards from the goal line it looks to me they are stumbling and fumbling the ultimate goal: where the entertainment comes over and starts making the real money.

See, as Apple’s Steve Jobs has shown the rest of the tech industry that we can live in a world without Microsoft (even Microsoft’s biggest partner, HP, shows off devices that don’t have any Microsoft code on them now) Charlie Sheen might be the guy who shows the entire entertainment industry that they can live in a world without YouTube.

Fumble!

See, we all know YouTube can stream live content. We’ve seen them do it with FarmAid, Haiti, and U2.

But they don’t let US live stream. Why? The entertainment industry lawyers hate that idea. They know that thousands of people will turn on live streams of the Oscars, of the SuperBowl, of their movies, and other things.

That is a box that they don’t want opened.

But Charlie Sheen might, tonight, open that box anyway and BLOW IT UP!

This is the day that YouTube could end up fumbling on its most important goal right before the REAL money starts coming to the Internet.

Winners?

Ustream, who should be counting their lucky stars (if their service stays up, already, with hours to go there are 650 people in the chat on Sheen’s channel).
*Amazon, who is ready with live video streaming service to jump in and compete with Netflix.
*Netflix, who already demonstrates to me every day they can stream live content and make money doing so.

* All these services need to do is let US stream and they win and knock YouTube’s ball right out of their hands.

It’s too bad that the Google of new isn’t as brash and fun to watch as the Google of old. The Google of old would have turned on video streaming long ago.

By the way, Google, this is one HUGE lever you have to get us all interested in owning a Google TV box and also getting us onto Android.

See, my iOS device isn’t very good at playing Ustream’s live streams.

But if you did live YouTube streams, I bet my Android devices and my Google TV would view those, right?

Now THAT is how to make my “apps are the only thing that matters” argument go away quickly!

But, instead, it looks like you’re fumbling the ball.

Go Charlie Go!

Photo credit: Leann Arthur (thank GOD for Creative Commons licensed images!)

Is your startup in stealth? You gotta know LaunchRock

Eric Ries told me something very interesting in a two-part interview I did with him (part I, part II), which is a core principle of his “lean startup” methodology: why waste your time coding if you don’t even know if anyone is interested?

How do you know if anyone is interested?

Put up a website for your stealth startup and see if anyone signs up!

How do you do that? Use LaunchRock. Here CEO Jameson Detweiler shows me how it builds you a site that can do just that. And a bit more.

So, what does it do?

Well, it builds a great looking site for you to put onto Techcrunch and it keeps track of who signs up for your product and where they came from. Simple, huh? Yeah, but why not do that yourself?

Well, why waste time on setting up a mailing list, building a website, etc etc when you are in a race to get your core product done?

Highly recommended for startups.