What real-time keynotes need (VentureBeat wins Apple keynote race bigtime)

You will read TONS of stuff about Apple’s keynote. I’m watching it right now on several screens.

Why? Because in real time everyone is putting up slightly different stuff.

Venture Beat has a friendfeed room where you can watch in real time like a chat room, or you can view it standard threaded style.

That is very cool. Especially when compared to TechCrunch’s live coverage, which makes you refresh the page manually. So 1994. What, is Arrington trying to increase his page views artificially?

Compare that to Gdgt, which is where the two top guys from Engadget, Peter Rojas and Ryan Block are posting their coverage. They are posting pictures and flowing text in live. Really great stuff, especially when you put them in a window next to the VentureBeat live stream.

The standard place my son goes is MacRumorsLive. They are doing an excellent job too, but gdgt’s photos and VentureBeat’s interactivity are making them look old and tired.

ArsTechnica is posting photos and text live, but they make you refresh your page manually, just like TechCrunch does.

Finally, Engadget is doing their usual excellent job, but their page needs to be refreshed manually too.

What this does point out, though, is that there’s a real-time web, but that they aren’t integrated. Imagine if there was one place you could watch EVERYONE post in real time. Not possible yet, but I bet that by next year friendfeed will get everyone to build live rooms there. VentureBeat is winning this game by a HUGE margin!

Why is VentureBeat winning?

1. Their room refreshes live without having to refresh your browser page.
2. Their room has interactivity so people watching at home can ask questions.
3. Their room has text, photos, and potentially video from Qik cams and such.
4. Their room’s items and threads are all permalinkable. I could link you to something very specific there. For instance, here’s where they posted a photo of iPhoto Books. I can’t do that to the other live rooms.
5. Their feed can be reused and reshared in other places on friendfeed and on Twitter.
6. Ostensibly they could even mix in other feeds from their competitors through RSS searches. I have a CES room where I’m doing that, for instance.

This isn’t even a close race. If you want the best live experience there’s only one place to go right now. VentureBeat FTW!

Well, until I found Chris Pirillo’s Ustream where he’s posting the audio live. But I posted that to the VentureBeat room too. 🙂

UPDATE: It got worse for gdgt.com and macrumors live. MacRumors’ site was hacked during the keynote and gdgt.com was unavailable during part of it.

UPDATE2: other people are using friendfeed to report from the keynote, but I can only pay attention to so much! I’ll put the best of those on my “liked” page. 🙂

UPDATE3: I missed a few. Gizmodo has a nice live feed. AppleGazette is using CoveritLive. So is GeekBrief.tv.

Whew, that’s a lot of live feeds to watch! I think the smart ones are just going to wait to get the TechMeme
blog storm later. 🙂

UPDATE4: Pirillo’s audio stream went down with about 20 minutes to go. Luckily MacTips Podcast had a live audio stream going too.

Got a real-time ego problem? Get a room!

Oh, be honest. You’ve searched for yourself on Google, right?

That’s an ego search. Here’s mine.

But doing ego searches today is far more complex than it was back in 1998 when I did my first Google ego search.

Today you have to look at what people are saying about you on Twitter, I use Twitter Search for that. On blogs (I use Google’s blog search for that). On friendfeed (you can search on stuff there). On Facebook. If you’re in the news you’ll want to track what’s said about you on Google News. And in other places.

What’s the best place to do that? Well, you might try a friendfeed room. Here’s my ego room. You can watch what people around the world are saying about me — in real time.

But, seriously, let’s stop talking about me for a while. My ego is big enough. Let’s talk about what you might do with a room like this that collects RSS and other real-time feeds.

1. You could create a room to track an event, or a tag on Twitter for an event. That’s what I just did with my Consumer Electronic room.
2. Want to get a group of people together who talk about certain topics? Here’s a room that is collecting tweets and blogs from doctors and health care professionals.
3. Got a blogging network and want to have a place to discuss it? Here’s the room for the Read/Write Web team.
4. Are you a company that’s trying to support your users in real time? Here’s Evernote’s room.

You can see all the rooms I’m following by visiting my friendfeed account and clicking on my rooms on the bottom right side of the page.

Anyway, sign in, and you can get your own ego-feeding real-time room. 🙂

Let us know what you’re doing with your room, leave the URL in the comments here.

The "live web" arrives on Twitter and FriendFeed

You’ve seen Twitter’s election feature that showed a select kind of tweet in real time. A few minutes ago FriendFeed released a real-time-web feature that lets you watch FriendFeed in real time. This is fun to watch! Especially on nights where everyone will be giving you their opinions on politics. More about this on FriendFeed’s blog. Of course we’re talking about this on FriendFeed too and on cofounder Bret Taylor’s feed.

Unlike Twitter’s page, which only shows Tweets, FriendFeed’s “real time web” shows you everything that people are doing on the Web including, but not limited to, videos, photos, blogs, event calendar items, tweets, and other things.

This is wild. It’s like the web has been turned into a chat room.

What do you think? Keep in mind that unlike a chat room each item you are seeing here has its own URL, its own RSS feed, and its own place on the Web. Also, unlike a chat room each item here can be commented on live, or you can like it, which will push it to the top of the old fashioned FriendFeed page.

This is also functionality that Facebook or MySpace does not have.

UPDATE: you can also see other people’s views of FriendFeed this way. Here, you can view my feed (which only includes about 3,500 people): http://friendfeed.com/scobleizer/friends/realtime

You can also view rooms this way. For instance, if you want to watch just the political room tonight as the debates go on, visit here: http://friendfeed.com/rooms/2008-debates/realtime

First bit of feedback after watching for a few minutes. Now we REALLY need to be able to talk to the database! I’d love to be able to say “show me all items that have the word ‘obama’ in them, but also that have two or more likes.” Imagine if you could do that. Wow.

Analysis: I still like the old style of reading FriendFeed better. Why? Because each comment cluster is threaded together so you get the context. Things aren’t moving so reading is easier too.

Compare the real time pages above to these:

http://friendfeed.com/scobleizer (my FriendFeed account, which shows everything I’ve put into the system).
http://friendfeed.com/scobleizer/discussion (the page that shows everything I’ve liked and commented on).

The future of the Web is Marc Canter's back fence

Yesterday I visited Marc Canter who was holding a BBQ. His back fence is, should we say, unique. Canter is the guy who started Macromind, which became Macromedia. He’s always been ahead of the market in recognizing where things are going. Plus he’s just fun to talk with. So, I filmed him showing off his new book and his fence. The neat thing is while we were filming that we had people participating from around the world on my little cell phone. Even now the chat room is open, so you can participate in this fun project called the live web. Sorry about the abrupt end, the 3G went away. 36 minutes, but it’s not boring. How could it be with that shirt that Marc is wearing!

Earlier in the day I got David Schmidt, CTO of PBWiki, to show me his new OpenID keyfob from Yubikey. That thing is very cool. Using that he can securely sign into all his OpenID services (like WordPress, for instance, or PBWiki) just by shoving this into his USB port and pushing a button. No more remembering passwords that are strange and long.

[kyte.tv appKey=MarbachViewerEmbedded&uri=channels/6118/216548&embedId=49208663]

The most underhyped Silicon Valley success: Meebo

I read hundreds of blogs. Follow thousands of people on Twitter and FriendFeed. I’m seen as THE poster boy for the Silicon Valley echo chamber. But I don’t see much about Meebo, certainly not even close to the amount of talk that, say, Twitter gets (and Twitter has 1/10th the traffic that Meebo does). Why is Twitter on TechMeme nearly every week, but Meebo isn’t?

Well, recently I started seeing some mentions of them on sites like Read/Write Web so I wanted to find out what was up.

First of all, I was blown away. Second of all, I found I was so interested in the fact that this company has more than 20 million 35 million people using its services and most for hours every day (I heard the number wrong, and they corrected me this morning). Yet you probably don’t know Meebo’s CEO’s name. Unless you’re on the service you probably don’t even know about it.

Which is why I spent 40 minutes videoing a conversation with Meebo’s CEO, Seth Sternberg, learning about what’s happening in its business. This is like an MBA-level course on the latest advertising and community trends.  I also got a separate tour of their offices, if you want to see what those are like.

This is why I do video. It’s one thing to read a blog post, it’s a whole nother thing to get a demo, have a conversation, and learn some new stuff. As good as the Read/Write Web post is, I never got an understanding of how and why advertising on Meebo is working so well. Any entrepreneur who is trying to make an advertising business model work should watch this interview for some tips.

So, why is Meebo underhyped? We talked about that after the cameras were off and I theorized one theory:

That A-list bloggers don’t use IM or chat much, so don’t get passionate about it the way they do about, say, Twitter (although Twitter has about 1/10th as much traffic).

Seth countered and said that’s probably true, but that he’s noticed that most of his users are on Internet Explorer, not Firefox or Safari. So, the audience that’s using IM is much more mainstream than the audience that most tech bloggers hang out with.

Which points to another thing I’m learning here. If you are an entrepreneur and you want to reach a mainstream audience, you should hang out on Meebo more to do your research, not on Twitter or FriendFeed.