Archive for December, 2006

What you need to know before going to CES


Tris Hussey of the Podtech team has provided us with a few extra tips to know about before going to CES. If you’ve never been (like me) you should really pay attention to his list. Jeremy has the original 10.

Loren created his own high quality video inviting folks the PodTech Bloghaus. For those watching in a helicopter he included spinning text that will help synchronize the experience. Who was that guy after Irina? If you watch carefully you can see me for a second (taken at the IE7 Beta Release party)…but no more than that.

Loren probably didn’t include my name in the spinning text because it’s pretty hard to spell. For those that don’t know me and want to pronounce it, I’m NOT Irish, so it’s the other way.

Silicon Valley Sightings: Sand Hill VC Parking Lot


sandhill parking lot

In order: Porsche, Mercedes, Sebring, Volvo, Mercedes, Audi, Porsche, Mercedes, BMW.

While I only worked a few weeks at the Sand Hill office at Podtech before we moved over here to Page Mill, I noticed a definite change in the cars. Here’s a picture of some cars in one of the parking lots near our work, while it’s not an indicator of all cars in a lot, you can certainly notice there’s quite a few newer luxury vehicles in the area.

Robert and I were at this event, and we were looking at the suits at a Web 2.0 event. He told this story of Geeks vs Suits, and how he wasn’t allowed in a Sand Hill Country Club because he was wearing jeans. A lot of people were pissed off with this post he wrote about it.

There’s a synergy between startups and the VC community, sometimes loathed, sometimes loved. I blocked out the licence plates to be considerate of the owners…not sure why we do that on the internet, but we do.

(Silicon Valley Sightings is a PhotoBlog that captures the intersection of Tech Culture in the San Francisco Silicon Valley Bay Area, check out the archives.)

The Next Presential Election to be fought online…and globally (Why Social Media matters)


Yes Alfred, Maryam’s right, this is going to make a difference.

There’s a few reasons why the presidential candidates must use the web to engage. My real focus is on how corporations, executives, and employees use the web to reach out to customers, it’s not that much different from politicians reaching the public.

I do notice a few differences, but the reasons why to join the conversations are all the same:

1) The Internet is top used medium in North American Workplace: Most adults have internet access at work, and can communicate there

2) TV is still the top medium at home in North America (for adults), but the internet is closing in fast.

3) Generation X and Y (The ‘unreachable’ generation) is online and not reachable from email or TV or newspaper. They use social sites, IM, blogs, and text messaging to communicate.

4) People are going to argue, debate, listen and make decisions using online tools. Many will make decisions based upon what their peers are saying.

5) From a Global Point of View: The conversation is global, the voice from other countries will be heard, they will influence American voters. I don’t think any presidential candidate has given this a great deal of thought. I’ve seen quite a bit of planet earth, in the last year I’ve been to 8-10 countries other than the United States. I want the most powerful man in the world to represent not only our nation but the rest of the world.

6) Using the Internet, everyone has a voice and it can easily be found and heard

7) From the Politicians point of view: Using the web can be a cost effective way to get into the conversation.

8) From the Politicians point of view: Dealing directly with the masses and bypassing the press using Social Media may be a risk reduced way to make sure your message is un-altered and represented correctly.

9) Authenticity is going to be so so important. Those that blow this may have their credibility wiped away. Credibility may be even more important that the actual message.

10) The most important reason: I plan to make my decisions for the next presidential elect using the web as a tool to research and understand. I will then defend my stance to my friends and family and others.

It’s interesting and refreshing for me to turn my Corporate Web Strategy lens onto the Political Web Strategy scene, I’ll probably do this from time to time, as I seek analyze the Presidential Web Strategy campaign.

Oh, and who will be the Republican Candidate? Anyone know? I want to start seeing what they’ve done online.

Related Update, One Hour Later:
Heh, this is pretty funny, the web team at the Edwards camp accidentally turned on the new homepage announcing his run for president a day early. This concludes it was an accident for any who think the timing was in bad taste.

John Edwards reaches to Tech Community via Scoble, and Deploys Social Media


Maryam, myself and the rest of the PodTech crew are super excited for Robert who’s now on a plane to join John Edwards on his entourage starting in New Orleans. Valleywag and even SFgate have the story.

I knew about this trip a few days ago, and Robert and I had an interesting conversation that technology folks tend to be affluent, educated, and often Republican? This could be an important segment of the vote for Edwards.

So far, I’m impressed with the Social Media Deployment that the Edwards family has done. Maryam stopped by earlier and told her that could tell in her interview discussions with Elizabeth Edwards actually took the time to read her blog and got to know her.

John Edwards has this website, a group blog, his personal blog (does he write it himself?), podcasts, videos, and even a myspace page. Holy Geez, that’s more social media than I have!

Good luck Robert, we expect you to ask the hard questions…and next time listen to Maryam and don’t forget your phone!

This is my first post on politics, it may be interesting to compare and contrast how Corporations vs Political groups use Social Media to join conversations.

Update: Robert has just disclosed all the details

Why a ‘Digg Clone’ using Google Reader won’t work


Steve Mermelstein’s thoughts that Google Reader could become a Digg clone. If this indeed is the intent of the Google Reader team, it won’t work because:

1) Certain humans have a habit of messing up bottom-up voting systems.
2) Google Reader is limited to feeds that you’ve subscribed to.

If you’re not familiar with Google Reader, you can ‘tag’ articles that you read to ‘share’ and it will publish to a link blog. Colleague Robert Scoble publishes his on his linkblog which is an example of a non-verbal gesture.

Bottom-up systems have benefits as well as challenges
There are several bottom-up or users created news systems that are being deployed, they each have advantages and disadvantages

Although not perfect, the Digg Network deploys a form of a Democracy in the Digg authors community will help purify the results, nasty users are kicked out. Digg has even been under attack for having just a few representative votes controlling the majority of results, and Calacanis is trying to figure out which users are being paid to post and vote.The Digg network has it’s benefits as the stories can not only be voted up (digg), but also voted down (undugg).

TechMeme, which aggregates blog conversations from the a few seed bloggers works because it’s a true form of a representative democracy. Those on the techmeme page are considered of having some form of intelligence and can usually add to the conversations (although not all the time)

I’ve been criticized because I say the problem with wikis is people. Certain humans tend to intentionally cause trouble when they can hide behind anonymity, and Marketers tend to muck up most systems.

Limited Scope
Currently, Google Reader only shows the feeds that one is subscribed to, which for most is only a small number of ideas that one can consume and share in a day. Since one can only read so many feeds, in it’s current system, the scope of content that can be voted or shared from a reader is limited to the amount of feeds contained.

Potential Solutions

A Google Reader voting system will only work if we can first validate the identify, and trust of those that are sharing items. Secondly, the Google Reader is only limited to those items to be shared that are subscribed in one’s feedreader.

Perhaps if we were able to create an identity of some sort, and validate one’s network worth and have ability to share items outside of one’s Google reader this could work.