“He sure likes to eat”

I’m in JFK waiting for my plane, but yesterday I spent the day with PodTech star Loren Feldman, who filmed me everytime I was eating something for some reason (among other things New York). Loren cracks me up and the camera he uses? A low cost Casio model that he carries in his pocket.

Along the lines of in-everyone’s-hands media is the Personal Democracy Forum that I just spoke at. I don’t know who has the best posts, there are so many over on Technorati. The official blog is here. Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, spoke this morning and there are a ton of great political bloggers here. I met one guy who works for the Barack Obama campaign and he told me about how a group of students at George Mason University used Facebook (link goes to Washington Post report) to organize a rally that attracted more than 3,000 people.

I’m tired, though, and looking forward to being home with Maryam and Patrick this weekend. See ya tomorrow morning at Maker Faire where we’ll shoot a photowalking and you can take pictures of me eating again.

UPDATE: I agree with what Dave Winer wrote today about the Democracy Forum. It would have benefitted a lot by getting the audience much more involved. Do 1/4 less sessions and give us time to ask questions. The panel I was on benefitted a lot by the audience getting involved, I thought.

Microsoft releases neat mashup tool

Microsoft has just released “Popfly.” This tool, and community, lets you build a TwitterVision in literally a few minutes (mashup various stuff from various Web services like Twitter, Flickr, Virtual Earth, etc). When I first saw this demoed a few months ago the Microsoftie who showed it to me literally built TwitterVision in two minutes right in front of me without writing code. TwitterVision’s inventor told me he took four hours to do the same thing. Lets someone who isn’t a coder (like me) mashup various Web services easily and quickly. This is a “small” thing from Microsoft. It isn’t going to get professional developers hot and bothered (at least I don’t think) but it is another piece of a Web strategy. If Microsoft released 10 small things like this then we’d start thinking that they “get” the Web again. What do you think?

Oh, and don’t think it’s just for TwitterVision clones, either. It’ll be interesting to see what people do with this. Start with the Overview page to see what it does.

This was the “small” thing I expected Microsoft to release at Mix.

How I read my feeds

Tim Ferriss is the guy who wrote the 4 hour workweek (best selling book, now on NYT’s list) and he came over the other day and interviewed me about how I read feeds in Google Reader.

It’s interesting to see the comments. I actually started my feed reading behavior to keep other busy people OFF of feeds. I have lots of people at PodTech, including execs, for instance, that their time is better spent than reading hundreds of feeds just to keep up on the industry. On average I’m reading through more than 1,000 items a day and sharing about 50.

The one thing I just realized is that I appreciate the river of news approach. If I only have a few minutes (like this morning) I’ll only catch the newest stuff and save the older stuff for later. And I don’t feel guilty for missing stuff anymore. If it’s important it keeps showing up anyway. Like this morning’s Microsoft acquisition, which has already showed up three times in my news reader in two minutes of reading.

Microsoft smacks down $6 billion for online advertising firm

Damn, Microsoft just smacked down $6 billion for online advertising firm aQuantive Inc. says MSNBC. Paying a hefty premium, too. More on Google News for aQuantive. This is a firm that builds ads and marketing for companies. We know there’s a lot more money that’ll come into this market over the next few years. I wonder what else is up Microsoft’s sleeve now? They need to buy some audiences, the best audiences aren’t under Microsoft’s brands anymore. This helps keep Microsoft in the relationship game with advertisers, but not sure it really shows a good strategy yet. It sure would be fun to be a fly in the wall inside Ballmer’s office right now. What do you think?

Ryan’s wrapup of tough day at Engadget

Ryan Block and I have had our troubles in the past but he’s always been a standup guy and yesterday in his life was probably pretty rough (he printed an email that he got from an Apple employee that later turned out to be a hoax, well, you can read the whole story over at TechMeme. Turned out Apple’s stock took a hit because of the report and Apple’s PR was slow to react).

In this situation I back Ryan Block 100%. His post on the matter is the way to handle it.

If anything went wrong here, it’s the pressure on everyone (bloggers and journalists) to be first. Why is that pressure there? Because the first one to post a story will usually get linked to by everyone after that. Links bring traffic. Traffic brings money (at least to sites that have ads). That’s one reason why I don’t put ads on my blog. I already feel enough of that pressure and don’t need to feel more because my paycheck is being affected.

I’ve also mostly jumped off the “be first” bandwagon and I’m sorry for pushing it over the past few years. For one, I can’t keep up (which is why I do my link blog, to show that so much news is being broken every day by a number of blogs, not just one). For two, I want to be known for my video work, not my blogging work, and video slows you down — a blogger can bang out a post in a few minutes, video takes longer so you’ll never be first and even if you are it won’t get linked to as much during the link storm because it takes more time to watch and is harder to link to and reuse on other blogs. For three, I am getting older and can’t stay up until the wee hours of the morning anymore which is often when interesting news breaks. I’ve gotta start taking care of my health, rather than worrying about being first on the next big story.

Anyway, I’ve taken my shots at Engadget in the past (not my proudest moments in life, truth be told) and Ryan’s post raised his stock way up in my eyes.