Saturday, March 31, 2007
Rob was great - enthusiastic and candid. Had several good lines including this one about how his industry needs to focus more on the value they create and less on how it's delivered. Paraphrasing:
Do you think we're in the business of selling paper? Ask a newspaper reporter about how 'paper' is made and no one will be able to tell you. But ask them about how 'news' is made and that's something we know.
I wish there existed a personal stock market so i could invest in those whom i'm sure are going to be superstars. I'd go long on Rob Curley.
“You can feel like a tin can surrounded by a circle of a hundred powerful magnets”
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
1000 playbacks: My first YouTube video to cross the 1000 playback line -- some weird superhero stuff i shot at Wonder-con in San Francisco. Ok, so it's not exactly qualifying for most watched, but considering the majority of my previous uploads were strange test videos of cats, kinda exciting to see hundreds of people watching my content.
5 million: Second Life passed five million registered users. Yes I know only a portion of these are active and an even smaller percentage are directly paying Linden Lab for the service, but when you launched to a number orders of magnitude smaller than this a few years back, it still feels pretty good.
Sunday, March 25, 2007
1) Podcasts: In November got an iPod adapter installed in my car so now i can listen to my NPR podcasts with great clarity and no annoying FM interference.
2) Quality of public library: Although their selection isn't quite as current, the San Francisco library system stocks a reasonable variety of audiobooks for borrowing.
3) Shipping delays: It felt like 10-14 days would routinely pass between when i sent in my last rental and when the new audiobook would arrive. Of course I could have mitigated this by upgrading to the "two out at a time" plan but didn't want to spend the additional bucks. Obviously some delay is expected but this was more than tolerable, especially since the shipping center is in Las Vegas (relatively close).
What would i like to see? How about a "shipped back my last selection" button on their website where my next selection would be mailed to me while my previous one is already on its way back. I know this would lead to more inventory turn (and potentially the need for them to stock more copies of items), but seems like a possible solution for someone to at least model out.
a) buy a card scanner? (problem is, i've never seen one that really works well - OCR ain't perfect and there's lots of "non-standard" business cards)
b) hire a temp for a few hours to enter them into a xls?
Although (b) can only be performed every few months I'm tempted to select it as the more effective input manner.
Man beats machine?
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Friday, March 23, 2007
Monday, March 19, 2007
1. Time rich or time poor?
2. Building an online media business to $50m in revenue
3. Building an ecommerce business to $5oom in revenue
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Saturday, March 17, 2007
a) Create a build
b) Issue press release about being "first (something) in SL"
c) Neglect the build
Not the way to earn goodwill, eh?
However in 2007, perhaps with the help of increasingly savvy interactive design firms, i'm actually starting to see participation that's interesting.
For example this past week H&R Block got involved - sure they did the usual "build an office" but they also created cool items on brand with their Tango product launch. Namely shoes that allow you to dance the tango.
Next the filmmakers behind the movie "300" held an in-world Q&A including the great Frank Miller. I even think someone took of their pants. Yee ha! Author Dean Koontz also did a reading (at a separate event).
And lastly, Diageo did a really neat bar build and pub crawl. Wow, that's totally on-brand and interesting.
there are some ridiculously graphic billboards for this upcoming movie Captivity (not yet online but here's a more restrained poster). They freak me out. Can you imagine what they do to a six year old?
It's well documented that horror films serve as excellent reflections of the era's zeitgeist. What do you think this increase in brutality snuff-type flicks can be tied to? Has anyone written the Guantanamo Bay = Saw III article yet?
Update 3/19: Apparently i'm not the only one who noticed this -- folks have complained and the billboards are coming down.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
1) I thought she already was an avatar - i mean isn't a MySpace page pretty avatar-ish in the classic definition of the word?
2) In the face of GAIA, Habbo Hotel, etc when will MySpace venture into the 3rd Dimension?
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Results of an eyetracker study that shows what men and women really think about when they watch baseball. Good god, we're just a bunch of apes hardwired to look at groins.
Sunday, March 11, 2007
I think it was early 2001 and there was some event at Stanford. It was nuclear winter for internet and my wardrobe was suffering because of it (no free t's). But Google was just starting to gain steam and it had 100% cotton for me.
From a seriously long article on digitization of data in today's NYTimes:
But the reality remains that a new generation of researchers prefers to seek information online, a trend made all too clear to Mr. Hastings of the National Archives last year, after Google, in an experiment of sorts, digitized 101 of the National Archives' films — including World War II newsreels and NASA footage — and put them up on its site, at video.google.com/nara.html.
"Before that happened, we had 200 requests total for the whole year in our research room," Mr. Hastings said. "The first month the films were available on Google, there were about 200,000 hits on them — a thousandfold increase."
1) I can communicate more quickly with a wider range of people online
2) My "need for people" is (unsatisfyingly?) periodically satiated by email/IM/twitter and i feel less interested in speaking at length on the phone.
Contrast this with comments like:
“People who grow up with tech don’t tend to value content.” - Les Moonves, CEO CBS
Geez, if that's true then Les and others are in a pretty tough business since i wouldn't bet future generations are likely to have LESS exposure to technology. So do you try to teach/legislate "respect" for content, or do you change the model to capitalize on what they DO value?
Richard Brandt says Yahoo and Microsoft have the same challenge:
The only thing that keeps them [YHOO and MSFT] afloat is the fact that some people have been using Yahoo so long they find it hard to switch, and Microsoft software automatically sends people to MSN by default. Younger people will not settle for Yahoo unless its products improve vastly (such as ceasing to charge for a decent email system) and will not settle for MSN because they will know how to reset the default home page.
So while I don't think this is truly all Yahoo has going for them (c'mon people, they have several very good products), I'd imagine there are groups in their company that do rely solely upon this fragile notion of lock-in.
Related, I was happy to see Matt Cutts' post this week about how Google tries to ensure you can always take your data AWAY from our services if you're not satisfied. We're far from perfect but we're trying. It's not just good customer orientation - it's smart business - lock-in tries to retard Darwinism by not forcing your product to compete in an open environment. And you know what happens? Sooner or later you find that you haven't evolved, you're genetically unsuited for the new environment and you're extinct.
Build for the next generation and minimize lock-in = healthier products
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Friday, March 09, 2007
Then and Now
Brad Smith, Microsoft general counsel, 2007: “Protection for software patents and other intellectual property is essential to maintaining the incentives that encourage and underwrite technological breakthroughs. In every industry, patents provide the legal foundation for innovation. The ensuing legal disputes may be messy, but protection is no less necessary, even so.”
Bill Gates, Microsoft CEO, 1991: “If people had understood how patents would be granted when most of today’s ideas were invented and had taken out patents, the industry would be at a complete standstill today…A future start-up with no patents of its own will be forced to pay whatever price the giants choose to impose.”
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Given the theme I had to chuckle a bit when Opus One started flowing at a dinner one evening (paid for personally by some folks, not the company dime). I don't think you usually have $125 bottles of wine at base camp, but hey, i guess a little celebration isn't out of the question.
Microsoft considered doing a virtual world a few years ago. A source familiar with the matter said Microsoft decided not to because it didn't want to pull players out of the games they were playing. Microsoft partners, the game publishers, might have been angered if the virtual world was so interesting players stopped playing games altogether.
Virtual channel conflict?
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
There was one disconcerting catering moment about serving sushi and an ample raw bar in an aquarium (where the event was held). When encountering this fact i believe there are two types of people - those who feel guilty and those who walk up to the fish tanks and make jokes like "i'll take that one."
Sunday, March 04, 2007
- Minor league baseball player with dreams of making majors
- Buys some land in Massachusetts from aunt before she dies
- Turns out there's $2+ billion of fancy stone on the land
A 'barn queen' is a float which looks great in theory and is really beautiful when it's being designed but once you get it out into the parade it just doesn't live up to expectations. Either it doesn't wow the crowd as hoped or some aspect can't stand up to the rigors of actual use.
Hands down this is my favorite new expression. Can't wait to apply it to projects and people.
Saturday, March 03, 2007
Friday, March 02, 2007
1. I'm very competitive at Monopoly
2. My wife and I were both in the same class at Vassar but didn't know one another
3. I'm related to Woody Allen [correction: per comments, i am related to George Burns. The Woody Allen connection is detailed below]
4. I've got a parrot tattoo on my ankle
5. My middle name is Everett