Apture: demo of cool service to build "super links"

As a blogger we have just one choice to build a link. Write an A HREF tag which builds a link like this one to Apture’s home page.

But Tristan Harris had a better idea. What if bloggers could build much better links to all sorts of things that could be opened up right on the page. Videos. Photos. Multiple articles. Etc.

Here he shows me how it works and how the New York Times is using it to make their pages more useful. By doing that content sites and blogs also keep you around longer and give you more opportunities to see their ads, so everyone wins.

This is very cool and I’ll be using this technology after I get my blog moved over to its own server (should be in the next week).

Doing comments first on Twitter with Twickie

OK, so, what is the tool I was using earlier in the evening to get lots of responses from my Twitter followers and copy and paste them into my blog? Chris Pirillo’s Twickie.

How does it work?

I ask a question on Twitter.

People respond.

I log into Twickie. It lets me see the tweets I’ve posted. I click on a down arrow to see all responses.

I copy the HTML out of Twickie and I paste it into my blog editor’s HTML mode.

Real easy. Free. And demonstrates how you can use a crowd to do research.

Earlier tonight Chris told me it lets him write blog posts “backward.” See in the old world we’d write our opinions, then you’d comment. In Pirillo’s world you comment first, then he writes his blog post.

It’s a weird world and it’s Friday night, so I went with it and was amazed at the responses I got in just a few short minutes.

Thank you for participating. I’ll try other questions soon, I don’t want to overdo it.

Test of a new Twitter tool — paste replies

Have you ever wanted to ask your Twitter followers a question, like what Twitter tool do they use on the iPhone, but wanted to aggregate all their answers into a single post? I did too. Here’s my first test. Literally four minutes ago I asked that question of my followers and here’s all the replies that came in in the first few minutes:

KMuncie: TwiterFon is the best!

about 33 minutes ago

weekofstyle: twitterfon hands down….

about 33 minutes ago

KrnSidez: tweetie.

about 33 minutes ago

GraftFinder: twitterfon

about 32 minutes ago

pinwinomuerto: Tweetie.

about 32 minutes ago

jamesfrye82: My favorite twitter iPhone app is tweetie.

about 32 minutes ago

gordonkennedy: Tweetie

about 32 minutes ago

jongot: Test of new Twitter tool coming soon: which Twitter iPhone app do you like best? (Tweetdeck & Tweetie).

about 32 minutes ago

mal: twitterrific

about 32 minutes ago

terrysimpson: thiS one is ok

about 32 minutes ago

Avibm: twitterrific

about 31 minutes ago

emonome: Tweetie.

about 31 minutes ago

TTIK: wats an iphone lol, only joking, don&#39t have an iphone, sadly i&#39m stationary, @ home

about 31 minutes ago

terrysimpson: this also is good

about 31 minutes ago

joekirk: Tweetie.

about 31 minutes ago

gregisenberg: Definitely TwitterFon, its the closest app to TweetDeck!

about 31 minutes ago

doverbey: Tweetie rocks! What&#39s your answer Robert?

about 31 minutes ago

yoshxl: tweetie.

about 31 minutes ago

luke_irvin: Tweetie

about 31 minutes ago

kbodnar32: tweetie

about 31 minutes ago

chrispirillo: – I&#39ve started to use #Twitterfon over Hahlo. It&#39s not bad (not perfect, but has promise). @frojive recommended it.

about 30 minutes ago

alexsetter: Tweetie

about 30 minutes ago

Attitude: Tweetie is my favorite iPhone Twitter app.

about 30 minutes ago

megbear: liking tweetie (on your suggestion)

about 30 minutes ago

CoreJay: Test of new Twitter tool coming soon: which Twitter iPhone app do you like best? (via @Scobleizer) [I use Tweetie the most. -C]

about 30 minutes ago

chimoose: tweetie. But I love that Twitterific “starts at the bottom”

about 30 minutes ago

tiphereth: Tweetie all the way 🙂

about 30 minutes ago

typezero3: twittlelator pro?

about 29 minutes ago

jivebotic: TwitterFon (free)

about 29 minutes ago

susielin: TwitterFon

about 29 minutes ago

cyndibrigham: I&#39m using Twitterific, so far so good. Is there something new coming out?!!

about 29 minutes ago

tackyspoons: Tweetie!

about 29 minutes ago

photar: twitterfon is best for actual tweeting. @tweetie is otherwise the best.

about 28 minutes ago

aaronishere: TwitterFon. The app does what it needs to do… and for free.

about 28 minutes ago

SameerPatel: i think Twitterfon is the best free one. has RT, DM, and good nav options. i switched from twitterific

about 28 minutes ago

peterschloss: Twitterfon when I have not been on twitter for several hours as it updates 200 msgs. Tweetie when I have been using it

about 28 minutes ago

ShanL: free would be twitterfon but paying I heard tweetie is good.

about 28 minutes ago

JRegner: RT: Test of new Twitter tool coming soon: which Twitter iPhone app do you like best? (Tweetie).

about 28 minutes ago

cmdrcool: twitterfon rulez!!!! 1000x better than tweeti or anything else.

about 27 minutes ago

edcallahan: I vote for Tweetie as the best Twitted iPhone app

about 27 minutes ago

sellinggiants: I&#39d tell if I had an Iphone. Damn, I want one!

about 27 minutes ago

MikeLizun: played with #twitterfon and #tweetie a lot last few days. Both good for monitoring and tweeting. #tweetie has neat features

about 27 minutes ago

mopcodes: Tweetie (go read iphoneatlas.com)

about 27 minutes ago

Paisano: I love twitterfon on the iPhone. It does it all. All main bu

ttons on main screen. Twitpic too.

about 26 minutes ago

jacktiddy: : I like twitterrific

about 26 minutes ago

phil404: Tried them all and chose Tweetie.

about 26 minutes ago

samhouston: tweetie 🙂

about 26 minutes ago

clcradio: which Twitter iPhone app do you like best? (any app that also works in any other phone).

about 23 minutes ago

mikefoong: TwitterFon

about 22 minutes ago

RayLevesque: twitterfon

about 21 minutes ago

drewmatich: Tweetie…by a mile

about 19 minutes ago

1000__Monkeys: Twitterific

about 19 minutes ago

sophiasian: twitterfon

about 19 minutes ago

marcumeno: Tweetie

about 17 minutes ago

thecoleorton: twinkle

about 16 minutes ago

sucklevine: twitterfon FTW!

about 16 minutes ago

iTeedee: Twitterfon

about 16 minutes ago

lsherman: tweetie

about 14 minutes ago

bobpatin: tweetie

about 13 minutes ago

tjohansen: Tweetie

about 13 minutes ago

adryenn: So what&#39s the app?

about 10 minutes ago

imaginarydana: twitterfon!

about 8 minutes ago

wjaegel: TwitterFon – just love it 🙂

about 4 minutes ago

IanDrummond: TwitterFon

-9 seconds ago

The best 2009 web development tool?

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I remember the good old days of 1994. Back when your only choice of developing a web site was doing it by hand. Remember typing HTML codes like <b> and <table> and making it all work? Or, if you didn’t know what those meant, you had to pay some developer $100+ an hour to do it for you. Seriously, back then HTML developers were in short supply and building a web site was expensive. The magazine/conference company I worked for, Fawcette Technical Publications, paid more than $100,000 to build its first web site, which was a pretty rudimentary one.

Then came a bunch of tools. I liked FrontPage. But played with Hotdog. Dreamweaver. And a bunch of others that I’ve forgotten. FrontPage has been morphed into Microsoft Expression, which is still a damn cool tool, but it was really designed for last year’s web.

What about the web of 2009?

Of course you’re going to use Ajax and build Restful APIs, right? What about putting your stuff in the cloud? Of course!

So, what’s the best tool for that job?

Well, three million people have chosen Aptana’s toolset and they are about to release a tool for building cloud-oriented websites and apps.

So, yesterday I went over and got a look. Here’s the videos:

1. Discussion of Aptana’s tools and what the 2009 web marketplace looks like with Kevin Hakman who runs developer outreach for Aptana. 20 minutes.
2. Demo of Aptana’s Cloud with Kris Rasmussen, cloud lead. 18 minutes.

What will you see there? The web-development tool for 2009? I think so and so do three million other developers. Got anything that helps startups build cloud-based websites and apps better? Let’s hear about them.

Hope you’re having a good Christmas with your family. More cloud stuff on Friday when we post our interview with Tim O’Reilly and go and visit 12seconds.tv in Santa Cruz to hear how they are using cloud computing to build a popular company with almost no money invested.

Tale of two businesses: exciting vs. boring

Yesterday I visited two businesses: one exciting, Sliderocket, and one boring, Bluepulse.

First, about Sliderocket, it’s a new presentation tool. Here is a video I shot with my cell phone yesterday with the CEO. I’ve been using it for my presentations and it’s a TON better than either Microsoft’s PowerPoint or Apple’s Keynote for giving presentations. We filmed a demo yesterday that’ll be on FastCompany.tv in June. This thing is sexy, visual, and well integrated into Web services like Flickr and Salesforce. In other words, it’ll get lots of hype from tech blogging journalists like you read over on TechCrunch.

But the second, BluePulse? You probably haven’t heard of them, but they have customers in 198 countries, have hundreds of millions of messages flying around their social network (which is only for users who have mobile phones) and have been grabbing up Silicon Valley’s top talent — they just got Christopher Nguyen who was director of engineering at Google. You can see part of that team in the video I filmed yesterday.

In a future interview that’ll be up on FastCompany.tv in a few weeks where we met former Google executive (this is the same office where YouTube started, by the way).

So, which one is more likely to succeed?

I have to bet on Bluepulse. Here’s why:

1. Market. The cell phone market is growing much faster than the market for PCs or Macs.
2. Competition. Bluepulse wins here big time. Why? Well, let’s assume you’re a kid in India and you get a new cell phone. Do you know of a social network for that cell phone? No. So, BluePulse isn’t having to convince you not to use an entrenched competitor. But look at Sliderocket. If that same kid gets a new laptop he’s probably heard of Microsoft Office and his friends probably use PowerPoint and so, now you’ll have to convince him that Sliderocket, something he hasn’t heard of, is better. That’s a LOT tougher of a job than Bluepulse has ahead of it.
3. Monetization. Bluepulse is building up HUGE engaged audiences that it knows a LOT about. Think about the things that a social network learns about you. Heck, start with just your location. This is stuff that advertisers will pay big bucks for. Someone using a presentation tool? You’ve gotta charge them cause advertising won’t fly in that business model. That’s a LOT tougher of a business to build.
4. Usecases. One thing is going to be working against Sliderocket for at least a few months: Powerpoint works offline. Now, Sliderocket has an interesting answer there (they are building an offline client with Adobe’s AIR technology) but that isn’t finished yet, so when Sliderocket comes out in July you won’t be able to develop presentations in a plane (you will be able to play them, but the real offline client will come later).

So, add all these things up and you’ll see that the more boring Bluepulse is far more likely to build a world-class business that we all talk about than Sliderocket does.

That all said, Sliderocket is one hell of a great product and I can’t wait to show you that sexy demo.

What do you think? Which business would you rather own?