A better way to sell stuff on eBay or Amazon

My ex-wife is an eBay Power Seller. She sells jewelry among other things. But for the past year she has been complaining about eBay, because they have made life very difficult for sellers. I kept looking for an answer for her and I’ve found one with Vendio.

They help you build a store online on the web and then they push your items over to eBay and Amazon. This is a MUCH better approach long term for people who want to build permanent stores, like my ex-wife does.

This way you are in control, not Amazon or eBay. Here I meet with executive team at Vendio and get a demo of how it works.

Why Amazon Kindle 2.0 won't suck like 1.0

Remember my review of Amazon’s first Kindle? I thought it sucked. Almost all of my ire was aimed at its design. I couldn’t hold it or pass it to other people without it flipping pages and the UI looked like something Microsoft designed back in the late 1980s. In other words, it wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t very usable.

Of course that didn’t stop 500,000 from going out and buying one.

But this morning Amazon will announce version 2.0. I already ordered one. Why? Because the concept of the Kindle is really great.

But didn’t Google just release eBooks for mobile phones, and won’t that make Kindle irrelevant,” I can hear some of you asking.

I am very excited by Google’s eBook initiative and have it on my iPhone already and talked with one of the people who runs that team yesterday, but even she is excited about the Kindle. Here’s why:

1. The Kindle has a screen that can be read outdoors. I live a few blocks from a RItz and I love going down there and doing some reading by the ocean. My iPhone or laptops are totally unsatisfactory there. The Kindle rocks. Its screen is one that uses a new reflective technology which makes it work great on the beach.
2. My iPhone batteries already don’t last long enough and I save them for important stuff like, well, phone calls. The Kindle battery lasts a lot longer (I usually got more than eight hours when I had mine) so I can sit on the beach all day long and not worry that I’m using the battery in my phone which might keep me from getting an important call.
3. The Kindle is optimized for reading books. Its screen is about the same size as a book. My iPhone screen is too small to make reading really long passages of text comfortable.
4. With the Kindle there will be more first run new books available for Kindle because of Amazon’s deep relationships with the book publishing industry and also because the Kindle has a very good way for the industry to monetize — you can buy a new book over the Kindle’s wireless technology in just a minute or two.

So, why won’t it suck like version 1.0 did? Easy. I’ve seen the leaked photos and it is clear that they’ve put some thought into how people will hold it and hand it around. I’m also expecting a major UI update because they aren’t using the same navigation device that the first one did. Plus, I met Jeff Bezos last year and while he clearly didn’t like my first review it was also clear that he had listened and heard the criticism and went back to the drawing board with his team.

Over at FastCompany.com we have someone over at the announcement this morning and will post an update there as soon as it gets published. I will again do a review of the new Kindle as soon as it is in my hot little hands. From what I’m hearing, though, this will be a breakthrough device that is much more popular than the first version.

Amazon Web Services from the view of a customer

One of the hottest trends this year was the move to cloud services. Especially Amazon’s S3 Web services.

Now the big guns have all started aiming at Amazon. Rackspace. Google. Microsoft. With more battles expected from Sun Microsystems, Adobe, Oracle, and others.

They all want a piece of this pie, so I asked Syncplicity‘s CEO, Leonard Chung, about why he’s using Amazon’s services and what would get him to switch to the others. Listen along.

I filmed two videos with Leonard. The one embedded here, and this one where he demos his company’s service to me. Really interesting way to sync up all sorts of files with a bunch of online services like Zoho and Google’s Docs and Spreadsheets.

[kyte.tv appKey=MarbachViewerEmbedded&uri=channels/6118/299220&tbid=k_926&premium=true&height=500&width=425]

Help, I'm clueless about Web Service scalability

I’m really freaked out. I have one of the biggest interviews of my life coming up and I’m way under qualified to host it.

It’s on Thursday and it’s about Scalability and Performance of Web Services.

Look at who will be on. Matt Mullenweg, founder of Automattic, the company behind WordPress (and behind this blog). Paul Bucheit, one of the founders of FriendFeed and the creator of Gmail (he’s also the guy who gave Google the “don’t be evil” admonishion). Nat Brown, CTO of iLike, which got six million users on Facebook in about 10 days.

All three have faced huge scalability problems head on. All three are developers and architects who actually have built systems that have built great reputations online.

I’m totally out of my league and as I do more and more research on the topic I realize just how out of my league I am.

But, one good thing about doing stuff online is that:

1. I can admit I’m over my head and get help from you.
2. I just need to know enough to be dangerous to get a conversation going between these three guys.
3. I’m not the only interviewer here. You will take over and fill in the pothole in my own knowledge (we’ll get you involved via Skype).

It’s free. It’s open to you.

So, since I’m clueless about the topic, what would you ask these guys about how to build scalable and performant Web services, especially given that tomorrow’s services are probably going to be glued together from a variety of services?

Oh, and thanks to Rackspace for sponsoring this webinar (we’re filming it at the excellent Revision 3 studios in San Francisco).

Missed news: Google underprices Amazon by 10x

This is a good point that Google’s new App Engine underprices Amazon’s Simple DB by 10 x.

Google is making moves and these are not to be missed.

UPDATE: TechCrunch is reporting that Google is shipping some new geolocation services that he thinks are a big deal.

UPDATE2: We’re discussing the pricing over on FriendFeed where someone points out that the comparison isn’t exactly fair.

UPDATE3: yesterday Google announced a health data API. I think this could be bigger than any of the other stuff we’re talking about today.