The interview of the year: Tim O'Reilly

How can you tell that someone I interview is good? My producer/editor Rocky Barbanica can’t cut much out of the interview (most interviews lately get edited to just their good parts, which usually means a 40-minute interview comes out to about 20 minutes or so). Not this one.

Tim O’Reilly talks about web 2.0, foo camp, book publishing and a lot more. The first part is up and is 24 minutes long. Second part will be up on Monday.

For those who don’t know who Tim is, he is the guy who named “web 2.0” and he runs a publishing company that produces a ton of the industry’s most popular events, books, and magazines. You can read more from him on his blog and he’s also my favorite Twitterer, bringing tons of interesting stuff to his followers on his Twitter account.

After the “pro” interview that’s up on FastCompanyTV (shot with two HD camcorders) we went outside and shot even more with my FlipCamera. Here he responds to questions left on friendfeed.

Anyway, enjoy the interview of the year and thanks to everyone who gave me a great interview this year.

Oh, and by the way, Tim got me to live a foocamp life which led directly to my show. What’s the foocamp life? Have interesting conversations with smart people every day. I’ve been living that life almost every day for more than four years now. We cover that in the video too.

Upcoming updates its event listing; leaves me wanting just updated with a major redesign. I think it’s going to accelerate the movement of people to Facebook to keep track of their favorite events (a trend that’s been accelerating lately). It’s sad, too, because this is one of the places where early adopters actually are engaging with Yahoo.

First of all, my event page is dreadfully slow. Demonstrates they haven’t tested it out on accounts that have tons of friends (they should stop trying to display thumbnails of all my friends).

But the home page that I see used to be a lot more useful, because it would categorize the kinds of events I was shown. It is dramatically different than it used to be. I hate when Web services redesign their sites so completely. It disorients users and gets them to wonder if there’s something better out there.

Unfortunately I think they redesigned because of the “friend divide.”

See, sites like Upcoming really suck until you get somewhere around 40 to 100 friends. That is when Upcoming really became useful for me, because I could see the popularity of events and also had enough active users who were bringing interesting events into my view. The problem is that most people have fewer than five friends, so their experiences sucked and the events it was bringing into their view sucked.

Unfortunately they didn’t see a great way around this: I wish I could see, for instance, Scott Beale’s incoming events. He is one of those people who always finds out about interesting events and has an interesting group of friends.

It doesn’t matter, though. The site is so slow for me that it’s almost forcing me to go to Facebook and handle my event calendar there.

What do you think?

I’m trying to setup an interview with the team to get their take on these things and find out what drove such a complete redesign and what their goals are and also why they aren’t testing out their service for top users who are trying to spread their service around.

One major thing that’ll keep me on Upcoming rather than Facebook is FriendFeed’s integration. On FriendFeed I can see when people add new events, which I find very useful to make sure my event calendar is kept up to date.

SXSW: too many parties!!!

OK, I was just checking out for SXSW events (SXSW is a very popular conference among San Francisco geek types). Held in Austin, TX, every year it’s probably popular because of the music and film history of the conference. But it is one of those that are a “must attend” for geeks. Damn, there are so many parties and events I am having a really tough time choosing.

One advantage I have is I have several hundred people reporting to me what their favorite events are. So, I can see which events are really popular (or which ones the friends I want to hang out with are attending). Closer to the event I’ll make a list.

I’m adding to the noise, too
. A bunch of people are asking me to take them out to good BBQ (we’ll go to the Salt Lick, or maybe some other really awesome BBQ place — last year we went and it was really great). So, I am trying to figure out what day/time is best. We’ll do it on Tuesday evening, then head over to the Digg party.

Anyway, last year Twitter showed its usefulness at SXSW. I think this year is really demonstrating why it’s the best tech event calendar system.

I added all the SXSW events to my own calendar.

UPDATE: talking about SXSW, Viddler and others are putting up videos about and from SXSW and there’s a 3.5 gigabyte file up on Bittorrent that includes all the music from SXSW.