Dave Winer wanted us to open a studio he could use in San Francisco. That makes a lot of sense because so many conferences come through there. But we noticed a different trend: most of the world’s entrepreneurs actually come south: to Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park.
Cause that’s where the money is.
So many entrepreneurs come through Palo Alto for that reason and also to visit the mainstream press here (Wall Street Journal has a building right next door to PodTech) that we built a studio here instead.
Today I was showing Doug Kaufmann, CEO of ClearTXT around so you can get a look too.
While we’re talking about ClearTXT, they have a really interesting system to let college staff and students message each other. Very useful during disasters or other things like the Virginia Tech Shootings. That video will be up in a couple of weeks.
Oh, and that’s NOT what we wanted to keep off of TechMeme!
I’ve noticed that PR types are getting very astute with dealing with bloggers lately and getting their wares discussed on TechMeme.
First they’ll call Mike Arrington of TechCrunch. Make sure he’s briefed first (Mike doesn’t like to talk about news that someone else broke first, so they’ll make sure he is always in the first group to get to share something with you all). Then they’ll brief “second-tier” bloggers like me, Om, Dan Farber, Read/Write Web, and a variety of others. Embargo us all so we can’t publish before Mike does. Then they’ll have a party the night of the launch where they’ll get everyone else to come — if they get even a few bloggers to talk about the new thing then it’ll hit TechMeme by midnight.
I usually ignore the PR at this stage of the game. My business doesn’t rely on being first like TechCrunch requires. My most popular video lately was one with Six Apart which didn’t have ANY news. People just like to hear smart people at smart companies discuss where they are going.
But lately I’ve seen a new PR trend. One where companies don’t show their cool stuff to the A-list bloggers in expectation for coverage. Kyte.tv was a good example of this. They just turned on new features last week and let the bloggers discover it organically (when I saw the new features I knew I had to go over and get the scoop).
This didn’t get Kyte onto TechCrunch or TechMeme. But I think it is an interesting stratagy — one of “don’t talk, do.”
On the other hand, I agree with Dave Winer that what Loic Le Meur is doing with Seesmic is brilliant. Loic joins us every evening on Twitter. Hands out invite codes to whoever asks nicely. Then watches our first videos, and puts the best stuff into an edited video.
Loic is playing a PR game at a level that I’ve not seen in these parts.
Here’s a fun game: what is PodTech trying to keep off of TechMeme? Hmmm!
Oh, don’t believe that PR is getting astute about getting lots of bloggers to talk? Yesterday I was emailed dozens of press releases. Almost all of which have been discussed by bloggers on my link blog today.
Tomorrow at the Web 2.0 Summit, Microsoft will announce partnerships with a couple of Web 2.0 companies, I’ve learned (sorry, I can’t share more details until after the Ballmer keynote). On first look these partnerships might not seem to be a very big deal, but I think they are potentially significant. Particularly if Microsoft starts making other moves into the Web 2.0 space (which I think we’re starting to see).
I’ve been impressed by the work being done on Live.com properties lately. If you’ve been watching my link blog you’ve seen me put several things on there in the past two weeks. Things like Live Spaces, and other stuff that Dare Obasanjo has blogged about here.
If this is a trend it’ll bring a lot of goodness to the Web 2.0 startup industry. Microsoft has a world-class sales organization. Still is used by nearly everyone outside of our tech bubble and has HUGE economic power to totally change the game.
Translation: I’m cheering Microsoft on.
Here’s the rest of the video with the STARMAC team. That’s Stanford Testbed of Autonomous Rotorcraft for Multi-Agent Control.
Geek translated: helicopters that can fly on their own.
This was filmed during our recent Photowalking at Stanford University. The team explains why one of these flipped over and attacked me. “It wants you dead,” was one explanation.
These are quadrotor helicopters that can fly remotely without much human assistance. Really cool research project that you’ll want to check out. Anyway, here you meet the team: Gabe Hoffmann, Ph.D. candidate, Aeronautics and Astronautics; Haomiao “H” Huang, Ph.D. candidate; Aeronautics and Astronautics; Steve Waslander, post doctoral scholar, Aeronautics and Astronautics; Vijay Pradeep, M.S. student, Mechanical Engineering and Mike Vitus, Ph.D. candidate, Aeronautics and Astronautics. They fly it around and explain what it is. By the way, in the video they said it costs $10,000 to build one of these. The team did more research and found out that you could build one for about $3,000 now.
Projects like these are inspirational and who knows where the things they are learning by building them will show up.
Thank you to Rocky Barbanica for the great editing on this (and the camera work too).
Thank you big time to Ian Hsu of Stanford University for setting this up.
Why do I say “Tim O’Reilly eat your heart out?” Because these are the kinds of things (and geeks) he’d love to have at Foocamp.