Category Archives: Blog Tips

Hello from the movies

My son is bummed. His iBook can’t get on the Internet. No wifi in Petaluma’s new movie theaters. But my Verizon card works just great.

We just saw Ultraviolet with his friends. If you like comic books and lots of violence, you’ll like this movie. Everyone else can stay home.

Yeah, this is the theater that seven girls got built (I wrote that up a few weeks back). Yeah, Kathy Sierra, this IS an inspiring place! It’s even better to visit. There’s real joy in this theater. It’s changed the whole town.

Hope your Friday evening is going as well as mine is.

One of Microsoft’s smartest on Channel 9

Don’t take my word about it, but when I talk with developers inside Microsoft (and outside, truth be told) about who they look up to the most, Jim Gray’s name invariably comes up. Here’s a video of him on the Behind the Code show. I was in the audience, it was a real honor. That guy has more brain cells than the rest of us, I’m pretty convinced (and he’s a darn nice guy too).

Two passionate companies (that are seeing huge adoption)

Why do I like geeks? Cause they get excited by building things. Solving problems. You can see it in their eyes. When I was at Carnegie Mellon in the Robotics Lab a geek yelled “it works!” when his code compiled and made the robot do something for the first time. I love that act of building. Of discovery. It’s the purest thing about this industry. All the other stuff. The accountants. The lawyers. The PR. The marketing. Are things that geeks put up with so that they can fund another moment of discovery.

I’ve been very fortunate in the past 24 hours¬†to be able to look in the eyes of a couple of remarkable geeks: Richard Lusk, CEO of Foldera and Albert Lai, founder of Bubbleshare. They showed me their products. Demoed their latest features. And talked about their dreams. I’m kicking myself for not videotaping them, but I’m sure you’ll all discover them soon enough anyway.

Both told me about being shocked by just how fast adoption is happening. In Foldera’s case they had 400,000 signups in their first 14 days (it was all kicked off by a link on TechCrunch). I hear, from Richard Lusk, CEO and Oliver Starr, CMO (pictured here getting ready for my demo)¬†adoption has actually increased in the past two days (those numbers are three days old). These are remarkable numbers. The word-of-mouth network is far more efficient than it was. Remember ICQ? They released November 1, 1996 to 40 people and by December 15, they had 65,000 downloads. These numbers BLOW the ICQ adoption curve away.

Is Foldera real? Damn, it is. I want it. It’s like Sharepoint and parts of Outlook put on the Web. Small businesses are going to eat this up. And I was suprised to learn that it’s built in .NET. Even better. But, I don’t want to hype it up too much. This is something you need to discover for yourself.

Bubbleshare? They just released a few new features yesterday. They have the first zoom (I snapped a picture of Albert’s screen when he demoed it to me — all done in AJAX, it’s very cool). The first audio annotation on photo sharing service. Cool blog integration and more. I’m going to start using Bubbleshare for my photo sharing. You should check it out. It’s not as hip with the insiders as Flickr, but they are doing some cool stuff that Flickr isn’t doing that makes it worth your consideration.

I hope you get to see the fun that both of these teams are having building software. That’s what it’s all about.

Another great day

It started with a meeting with the Hotmail (er, Windows Live Mail) team this morning. At one point I was chatting with Omar Shahine. Really we were comparing various teams and how they approached both internal employees and external customers. He noted that teams that didn’t answer emails, that didn’t show off their product either internally or externally, and didn’t blog often demonstrate to him that they don’t love their products.

Oh, that just fired me up. That totally explains why I was growing increasingly uneasy with all the sucking up to the A list that has been going on lately. At the Search Engine Strategies conference I heard lots of linking strategies. The SEO’s are coming into blogging just to get onto Google. That’s cool, they discovered part of what makes blogging powerful.

But they are totally missing the other part: that blogging lets you share what you love (and find other people who love what you do). I used the example of a kite lover. If you can find five other kite lovers in your town, isn’t that enough? Why do you need more traffic?

Me, I’m getting sick of the whole traffic game (and, yes, I’m to blame cause I keep writing about it). What makes me happiest? When a geek shows me his or her product.

In the past few hours I’ve seen some remarkable stuff. More in a few.

But, the day ended up today really great. My son is getting great grades and got a good report from his teachers. But even funnier when I picked him up he told me he has a troll on his blog. “Hey, dad, your geek friends are sometimes mean.” I love how he handles the trolls. I wish I could handle my trolls the way he does. Something about being a 12-year-old and getting picked on that gives him the power to tell the supposed adults to get lost.

Anyway, Shel Israel and I gave the closing keynote at the New Communications Forum. Shel Holtz wrote it up and there’s more on Memeorandum. It was a fantastic conversation.

I’m happy to figure out my passions again. I love my son, his insights on life are profound. We gotta do a podcast again.

No more Mix06 seats left

Sorry if you want to get in, but there are no more seats left for Mix06. I must also admit I was wrong (privately I told Mix management that they wouldn’t fill the place up — all my conference experience was telling me there was no way they’d do that, but it ends up that more than 1,000 people will attend. That’s just amazing).