Killer Vista app demoed

At SXSW I hung out in the hallways. That’s where you always see the coolest stuff. This year was no different. A couple of guys were introduced to me and showed me their new app that uses a variety of Web services. It’s from Thirteen23 and is a design prototype that uses Microsoft’s Windows Presentation Foundation along with Web services from Flickr and Netflix.

You’ll see a ton of apps like this one this year from both Adobe and Microsoft as they try to convince developers to use their new platforms to build Rich Internet Applications. You can try these apps yourself on Thirteen23’s “labs” page. Windows Vista recommended (it works on other OS’s that have .NET 3.0 loaded, but was really designed for the Vista aesthetic and usage model). It’s the first set of apps I’ve seen that made me want to load up .NET 3.0, which is why I call it a “killer Vista app.”

[podtech content=]

Web 2.0 news not on TechCrunch: Compete tracks attention data

I just did an interview with Compete’s David Cancel, CTO, and Donald Mclagan, CEO who showed me their new features, just turned on today.

First, Compete is a site where you can see metrics from the million largest Web sites. Sorta like Alexa, but different.

Here’s how to use it. First, let’s look at traffic of Yowza, Mike is up, way up!

Now, the new features: Attention. That shows how often people click on TechCrunch and how long they stick around. Clicks are up, average stay is down (Click on Engagement and select attention).

Finally, click on “Growth” and select “Velocity.” This shows you how fast traffic is going up, or down.

Oh, and you can compare big sites to each other. Here’s TechCrunch compared with CNET’s compared with Om Malik’s GigaOm.

How does your site compare?

Timewasting video of the day: Supermarket 2.0

The timewasters I see on Twitter that I must share with you. Here’s the latest: Web 2.0 Grocery. Waste everyone’s time! That’s my goal. But it is funny. Sorta. Blame it all on Sam Harrelson. He said it was the funniest thing he’s seen all day.

UPDATE: Actually, can’t really blame Twitter on this one. BoingBoing linked to it first. Oh, wait, hold the presses. Jeff Pulver was first and said it all is Yossi Vardi’s fault (it was first shown at Yossi’s Kinnernet camp).

Lots of interesting technologists on ScobleShow

In the past week I put up some interesting videos. The short versions are edited only-the-highlights short videos for those who don’t have enough time to watch the long versions.

None of these companies pay to be on ScobleShow thanks to a generous sponsorship from Seagate, my favorite storage company.

  1. Joel Spolsky (famous dev blogger). Short. Interview.
  2. Mitchell Baker (she runs Mozilla Foundation, makers of Firefox browser). Short. Interview.
  3. JamGlue (cool music mashup service). Short. Interview. Demo.
  4. SmartSheet (useful online spreadsheet service). Interview. Demo.
  5. Seapine (software dev process software). Short. Interview. Demo.
  6. TeamDirection (project management software). Short. Interview/Demo.
  7. MixPo (cool widget that lets you build stories with video, photo, and audio). Short. Interview/demo.
  8. Smilebox (cool greeting-card like service). Short. Interview. Demo.


Glad to see that Kathy Sierra and Chris Locke are getting along and have made a joint statement and appeared this morning together on CNN (I, and several others who were filmed for this, were cut out). I’ve been thinking about what I’m going to say this morning for a week and it just comes down to sadness. I’m having a tough time getting back into blogging, which is why I broke my silence with an April Fools’ joke. In a lot of ways it isn’t fun anymore. It’s a business now. Might explain why I like hanging out on Twitter more lately (no anonymous jerks named “Joey” get into my account there).

Attacks are part of this business. And mobs are too. I’m sorry that four people had their names dragged through the mud for something that Maryam and I believe they didn’t do. It makes me very worried about my comments. Am I responsible for what people write here? I’ve come very close to closing my comments up. It makes me realize why many well-known bloggers don’t have comments anymore. It’s hard enough taking responsibility for what I write here, much less what other people write. I have turned on some moderation (new posters are held until I can approve them).

Regarding attacks. There are few things that’ll quickly attract a crowd: a fight or an pileup on a freeway or a mob breaking windows. This story became some of all three.

Bloggers know this. In fact, some blogging businesses even use this knowledge to build an audience. They pick on people on purpose to try to attract an audience, which they can then sell to advertisers. In the case of MeanKids (one of the sites that attacked my wife and Kathy) it wasn’t necessarily about business, but they did want to attract a crowd around attacks on other bloggers.

This is all well and fine. If we all were machines.

I’m not. Kathy’s not. My wife is not. It’s very hard to not focus too much energy on attacks. In the past few weeks hundreds of people have come up to me at various events and said “I love your blog.” I don’t know that I can name more than a few of those people (I have business cards, though, heheh) but I can name tons of people who have said something nasty about me over the same time period. Something wrong when we give those who hate us more time and emotional energy than those who love us. Guilty as charged.

Over the past week I’ve received tons of emails from people online who gave me tons of details of attacks. Lots of bloggers hate them, but know they better not speak out against them. Kathy, last week, got MORE attacks AFTER she wrote that post than before. So, bloggers, if they are in this for the long haul, learn they should keep their mouths shut. That said, they certainly don’t appreciate the attacks. We ARE human, after all. And don’t like hearing the constant banging of stones on our screens from those who think we deserve a good stoning.

My frustration over the past week is there really isn’t much any of us can do. It doesn’t matter if you’re silent. It doesn’t matter if you are loud. The attacks will come and come often.

One thing, though, that I won’t support: more rules or laws or, even, more “guidelines.” I value my freedom of speech. This is not a “theory” for me. My mom grew up in Nazi Germany where free speech wasn’t allowed. My wife grew up in Iran, where free speech still isn’t allowed. You’re definitely not allowed to attack the government in Iran, even today.

UPDATE: Matt, in my comments, notes that death threats are not protected speech and are already against the law. He’s right that I shouldn’t tie that kind of speech to those issues. The problem is that some people are calling for expansions on those already-existing laws to other kinds of offensive speech online. That’s what I’m resisting.

I’d rather put up with a few rotten strawberries on our meme shelf than go with a system where we all need to be “nice” to each other.

That said, there’s some things +I+ am going to do.

1) Reward people who teach me something and/or uplift people and companies rather than tear them down. If you read my Link Blog you’ll see I don’t point to attacks and only link to the best of tech blogging/journalism.
2) Work harder on my video blog to expose to you companies and people who are trying to improve our lives.
3) Watch more Galacticast (yesterday’s version was funny).

Really, the only one I can control is myself. That’s how I’ll get back to having fun again. In the meantime there’s always Twitter. Where all attacks are 140 characters or less. Ever notice that a good flame is hard to write short?

PS: I’m still bummed out that Kathy isn’t blogging. I love her blog and put her stuff up on my link blog frequently and often.

UPDATE: This post leaves James Robertson exasperated. Um,  I think he missed the point I was trying to make. There’s a huge difference between laws and written-down-guidelines and morality and manners. Yeah, I wish people wouldn’t attack me. But I sure don’t want to see some sort of set of guidelines or, worse, laws. Should we go with the 1950’s version of politeness? Or todays? And, are we going to be able to attack our government after such a set of guidelines gets written? How about Robert Scoble? (Not if I write it, think about that one for a moment!)