The day Twitter kicked CNN's behind & @ev bought me a whisky

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Yesterday is the day when Twitter thoroughly beat CNN. Badly beat CNN. Embarrassingly beat CNN. And most other USA-based media too.

Over on friendfeed we’ve been talking about this for the past 12 hours. Here’s one thread on CNN’s horrid news judgment.

This second thread is interesting because of the number of interesting news sources linked to by various people. Don’t miss the photos and videos. Great examples of photojournalism.

ReadWriteWeb wrote a good post to CNN.

I’ve been clicking “like” on the best items about Iran that have come through friendfeed. The photo above I found on TwitPic here. Pulitzer Prize winning material.

OK, so last night something else really weird happened.

My friend Luke Kilpatrick (he lives a couple of blocks away from me) invited me down to the Ritz at about 9 p.m. tonight. He met up there with a couple of geeks. While there he introduced me to Philip Kaplan (the guy who started AdBrite and Fucked Company), Scott Raymond, and Rachel Luxemberg, who is a community manager at Adobe.

It was dark, so I couldn’t see who else was there around the fire ring out back.

Anyway, I was pretty passionate about this CNN story, since every hour we had been turning through the channels trying to learn about Iranian news (my wife is Iranian and hadn’t been able to call her relatives in Tehran). So I was telling Luke about how Twitter was totally kicking ass over CNN (CNN, when I kept turning it on, had nothing on and, instead was playing shows like Larry King Live with a couple of guys who build motorcycles).

That’s when I heard a voice say “what are you saying about Twitter?” I looked up and it’s Evan Williams, founder/CEO of Twitter. Oh, hi!

Anyway, I congratulated him on kicking USA’s media’s behind (CNN wasn’t the only one who wasn’t covering the Iranian protests). We talked about a variety of things, including family (he has a kid on the way, his wife was there too) and the future of Twitter.

We talked about why he isn’t going to sell Twitter, but I’ll let him explain that all in a blog post. We talked about Building43, which has gotten a good chunk of traffic, because his competitor, Mark Zuckerberg gave me one of my first interviews there.

He said that Twitter would ship more new features in the next few months than it has in years. Anyway, I talked more about the evening on friendfeed. We ended up as a group up in the Ritz’ bar where Ev graciously bought us all drinks. That’s how I got my whisky.

I do have to admit it was cool seeing @ev on the evening when Twitter kicked CNN’s behind. Welcome to the Twitter News Network.

Oh, this week should be fun. I’m headed to New York to be on a panel with CNN’s Rick Sanchez at Jeff Pulver’s Twitter 140 conference. I’m definitely going to bring this up with Rick (there’s tons of people Twittering about CNN right now, it’s a trending topic on Twitter’s search and there’s even a hashtag titled #cnnfail).

It is there that I found Steve Bennen of the Washington Monthly talking about CNNFail. CNET too wrote about CNNFail.

SkyGrid launches free real-time-web news service into private beta

Yesterday I visited Kevin Pomplun, CEO and Founder of SkyGrid, and while they were turning on the servers he introduced the new real-time news engine to me. The video is 45 minutes, but you’ll learn a lot about how this real-time news engine works.

Yesterday TechCrunch also wrote about SkyGrid and gave a few details.

It is for everyone? No. But it shows yet another piece of the real-time web so it’s important. For news junkies like me, though, it’s crack. I’m running it on its own computer here and watch it all day long.

Unfortunately for now, invites are hard to get to try the beta. I will let you know when more become available.

Real Time News to take step forward today

In a little while, at about 4 p.m., I will be at a small company in Silicon Valley to introduce another key piece of the Real-Time Web to you. This time it’s about news.

You’ve seen the news from Google announced today, but their news display is, while cool, unsatisfying because it isn’t showing news in real time.

This is a real hole that Google and Yahoo have left in the marketplace. They didn’t get a clue about how Twitter is changing how lots of us get our news. I now start the day by looking at trending topics on Twitter Search to know what big news events have happened overnight.

But Twitter doesn’t catch everything. I didn’t see Oracle buying Sun Microsystems there first. In fact, even Techmeme was very slow this morning to catch onto that tech industry news.

How did I catch it? I have an entire screen dedicated to the new service that will announce today.

I’ll broadcast it live in video. Watch my friendfeed for links. See you at about 4 p.m. Pacific Time. Of course it will be live so you can ask questions of the CEO and team, too. I’ve been using this tool since December and I’m convinced it will force Google and Yahoo to change their news pages.

Did Adobe snub Apple with FlashPlayer 10, Palm Pre, and Development Fund announcements?

Just now Adobe announced lots of mobile phone news. More on that in a second. But what wasn’t announced?

No iPhone support for Flash yet.

What else was announced? FlashPlayer 10 will ship on the Palm Pre. I was briefed on the rest of this stuff last week and they were holding out on this news.

Now THAT is the way to poke Steve Jobs and crew in the eye. Apple has famously not put Flash on the iPhone, which keeps a lot of Web experiences from working.

There’s a TON of news, though, including a $10 million development fund. Here’s what the PR folks sent me from Adobe — I will be updating this post all night long with more news, so come back frequently and often.

UPDATE: Tons of other blogs are writing about this:
Venture Beat: Mobile Flash apps get better distribution, more money.

Press Release from Adobe: Adobe Announces New eBook and PDF Support for Mobile Devices.

Press Release from Adobe: Palm Latest Mobile Industry Leader to Join Open Screen Project.

Press Release from Adobe: Adobe Announces New Flash Lite Distributable Player.

More news on TechMeme (funny how other blogs totally missed the Palm Pre news).

Flash Player 10 for Smartphones
• Browser plug-in for smartphone-class devices with full desktop web compatibility and access to rich applications, interactive content and web videos.
• First operating systems expected to be supported: Android, Windows Mobile, and Nokia S60/Symbian.
• Flash Player 10 for Smartphones expected to be avail to OEMs: End of 2009; Devices expected in market: 2010

Flash Lite Momentum
• According to Strategy Analytics (Jan ‘09 Report), more than 1 billion devices shipped with Flash Lite by the end of Q1 ’09 – one year ahead of schedule. Additional 1.5 billion expected to ship within next 2 years.
• According to Strategy Analytics (Jan ‘09 Report), close to 40% of all new mobile phones and devices worldwide shipped with Flash Lite in ‘08. Also, Flash Lite shipments experienced a 100% year-over-year growth.

New Flash Lite Distributable Player
• Adobe Flash Lite Distributable Player is a new, over-the-air mobile runtime based on Flash Lite 3.1. Enables developers and content providers to create and directly distribute mobile apps.
• Player is automatically installed and updated as apps are downloaded. (WiMo and Nokia S60 first OSs to be supported)
• First step for direct distribution of mobile player; similar to the distribution of Flash Player on the desktop. Distributable Player launches as a beta in the U.S., Spain, Italy and India, and is supported by dozens of content aggregators and developers. (see separate quote sheet)
• Player is part of a larger solution for developers that includes Flash CS4, Device Central CS4 and a mobile packager.

Open Screen Project Fund
• Nokia and Adobe launch $10 million Open Screen Project Fund designed to help developers create apps and services for mobile phones, desktop and CE devices using Flash and AIR. The fund is an open fund with additional OSP partners expected to join.
• Funds are available immediately. (direct grant funding, no VC involvement) Developers are invited to submit concepts for apps that will be reviewed for how innovative the user experience and how robust the app is, and how well it exploits Flash and AIR capabilities. Developers retain all rights to their apps.

New Reader Mobile SDK
• New software development kit to enable OEMs to deliver mobile devices that can download, manage and display PDF content and eBooks. Supports reflowable PDF technology, Adobe content protection technology, and EPUB file format. Replaces Reader LE 2.5.
• Available today. Companies that announced plans to ship devices and apps in 2009 that integrate the technology include Bookeen, iRex Technologies, Lexcycle, Plastic Logic, Polymer Vision, Springs Designs and others. Sony already integrates the engine in the Sony Reader today.

TechFuga makes it clear TechMeme is not innovating

OK, OK, I’m back to my blog thanks to popular demand. 🙂

One new service came up this morning that caught my eye: TechFuga.

As Louis Gray says, it’s like TechMeme and AllTop had a baby.

Now, whether or not you think this will prove successful (the jury is out, especially since TechMeme’s traffic has flatlined the past year) this points to something else: TechMeme hasn’t innovated and that lack of innovation is opening the door to competitors.

How has it not innovated? TechMeme has not acknowledged that there is something interesting going on elsewhere. That people are using other aggregators, like Reddit and Digg, along with other social networks, like Twitter and friendfeed, to get their news.

Now that we see a service that, while imperfect, demonstrates what new features look like, we see that TechMeme has stalled.

Gabe Rivera (he’s the founder of TechMeme), are you going to answer this, or are you going to keep on the flat track saying that only “high end articles and blogs” matter?

The tale of 20 likes and its impact on news

I care about news. It’s why I love talking with Gabe Rivera, the guy who makes TechMeme and a bunch of similar sites, like I did in Paris France at the recent LeWeb Conference.

I told him that TechMeme has grown cold for me, which is why I wanted a new system — one where humans bring me the news instead of algorithms.

Rivera countered that he wanted a page that — no matter when you looked at it — would be filled with news from the most credible and authoritative sources from around the world.

And that nailed why it’s cold for me. He’s removed all noise from it. Well, except that the news is noise of a different sort.

But humans are noisy and TechMeme doesn’t include things like Tweets. Here, quick, can you find this Tweet on TechMeme:

“Holy f**king shit I wasbjust in a plane crash!”

Tweets are all about noise, aren’t they? Or was that just news? Hint: you need humans to find the news, algorithms that don’t count video, tweets, or FriendFeed posts as news won’t find them all.

Yes, that Tweet was actually from someone who was on the plane yesterday that crashed off of the runway in Denver.

But humans will. As I found this one pretty quickly after Mike Wilson posted it from the Denver Airport (the rest of his tweets are fascinating, too).

Now, this morning, I’m sure Rivera would say that this Tweet doesn’t belong on TechMeme, but belongs on his sister site, Memeorandum, which is where the world’s news goes. But it’s not there either.

In the past week I’ve read many thousands of items and have liked 757 of them. You can see all my likes on FriendFeed. Here I’m giving you a sample of just my latest 20. These are from 5,363 people who I’ve hand added based on their ability to participate and bring me stuff that makes me smarter.

When I click “like” on something it means I think it’s important enough for you to read. Sometimes I wish it said “share” instead of “like” because some news items aren’t likeable but they are important anyway.

I’m also going to compare to TechMeme so you can see how many of these items appear on TechMeme. They are listed in order from newest to oldest.


I liked this item because Loic’s company, Seesmic, just did a major rearchitecture where they built in XMPP between all major components. What does this mean? Things on Seesmic will appear much faster now on its real time news reader, Twhirl, and potentially a lot faster on real time news services like FriendFeed. In 2009 I believe the real time web will be much more important than it is today, so this is an interesting trend to watch, along with articles about SUP, the protocol developed by FriendFeed to do similar things. Not on TechMeme yet.

2. Seesmic

Some explanations about our new architecture
I liked this item for the same reason, except this one contains a video by Loic. I’ve never seen video like this appear on a top-level post in TechMeme.
3. Blog
I’m a photography buff and a Make Magazine fan. Anytime they write about an issue it usually is interesting and teaches me something. Also not on TechMeme.
4. Blog
Fred is a VC in New York City that always teaches me something through his writings and this is no exception where he shows a crack in our education system and explores how we can get kids enthusiastic again about science and math studies. Not on TechMeme as of 11:37 a.m. when I typed this.
5. Blog
Brian Solis is one of the best PR people I deal with and wrote this post for TechCrunch yesterday. I liked this one so that his blog would get traffic and that he’d get credit for writing this interesting post, which implores companies to fight through the fear and keep spending on marketing. It was on TechMeme yesterday because TechCrunch gets on TechMeme quite frequently.
6. Twitter
I shared this one because Louis Gray picks interesting guest posters for his blog and lots of new people are discovering Twitter and I thought this author had something interesting to say on the topic. Matches my own advice to Twitter users: choosing who you follow is the most important thing you’ll do.
7. Blog
I track how idiotic the music industry is and how they choose which services they support. Plus, Slashdot always has an interesting take on the news, especially the geekier stuff, and the commenters there always are both entertaining and smart. This was on TechMeme yesterday.
8. Blog
I’ve known Loren Heiny for years (since before I worked at Microsoft) and he’s one of the smartest developers in the Tablet PC world. This time, though, he wants a far better way to share with his readers his CES experience. Me too! Not on TechMeme, but this shows why I love FriendFeed: I can keep in touch with the smart people I know even if they aren’t making top-level news.
9. Blog
Jeff Smith is a developer I’ve been following for a long time because he always seems to keep up to date on the cutting edge. Here is no exception as he is testing out SUP, a new protocol that lets developers build systems that post to FriendFeed very fast. Geeky exploration of new technologies rarely gets to TechMeme, but you’ll probably read more about this protocol in first half of 2009. The real-time Web is going to be big next year and SUP will play an important part in it.
10. Twitter
I’ve loved studying typography ever since I got into desktop publishing in the late 1980s (our school got a $5,000 laser printer and I proceeded to start collecting Adobe fonts — later I even beta tested fonts for Adobe and beta tested Acrobat 1.0 too). Anyway, we don’t think enough about the fonts that put type on your screen, so I instantly liked this post. Love how Guy markets his own services too, but you already knew that if you watched the interview I did with him on This isn’t on TechMeme.
11. Blog
Dave is one of the first bloggers I started reading and I still read him every day. He  has great worth to me and glad he’s played such a big role in my life the past eight years. This isn’t on TechMeme.
12. Blog
Loren again, this time telling us about what he thinks of the latest netbooks. Since he’s been developing software for years for the Tablet PC, I trust his input. His sister works on Microsoft’s Tablet PC team too. Not on TechMeme.
13. Google Reader
Notice that this article is not written by Louis Gray. He shared it with his readers in Google Reader. So, Louis is bringing me news I would never have known about. This is a really key role if you want to be a participant in the new live web. We can’t subscribe to it all, but if we help each other out by bringing everyone good new voices or news, then we all win. This isn’t on TechMeme yet. I disagree with the author, too, so that might turn into a separate blog post.
14. Blog
Ever since visiting Washington DC I’ve become interested in our national broadband policy and this headline caught my eye. I haven’t seen this on TechMeme yet either.
“Redenting @newsjunk: [Frank Rich]: Who Wants to Kick a Millionaire?. A MUST READ FOR INTELLIGENT PEOPLE”
Francine is a friend who teaches entrepreneurship in Phoenix and invests in early-stage companies. Generally when she says to read something it’s well worth the time. This is no exception. Note that this came from her account. Only weird geeks use that service. Which makes stuff that happens over there more interesting than on other services. Not on TechMeme, but shouldn’t be because it isn’t about tech.
16. Twitter
Disgusting story that Dave found about how bailed-out banks are rewarding their execs with our tax money. Did you see this on TechMeme, now, of course not. It’s not tech, but you should know about it. Not on Techmeme, but is on sister site Memeorandum.
17. Blog
Engadget usually has stories about the latest gadgets, but this one caught my eye because of the impact it could have on medicine aroundd the world. You should read the comments over on FriendFeed, though. They think it’ll be used by insurance companies to spy on us.
18. Blog
I visited EA earlier this year, so have been interested in how the company will do through the economic downturn. It totally missed the iPhone app store paradigm shift. You should see my son and how many games he plays on the iPhone. Of course, right now he’s playing Call of Duty 4. That’s not an EA game. And he’s played through to level 80 in World of Wacraft. Not an EA game either.
19. Blog
This is like arguing Mac. vs. PC. It’ll be a debate for a while, but it was an entertaining post to read on a rainy Sunday morning.
20. Twitter
I love developers who try new things out. Check this out. Is this on TechMeme? No. Plus using Google’s App Engine, which is another trend we’re tracking: cloud computing.
Well, I could keep going, but why don’t you just visit my like page and join in? Oh, and please share your FriendFeed account with me so I can track your news too. Thanks!