Archive for the ‘Robert Scoble’ category

YouTube, Stage6 and AppleTV

May 30, 2007


OK, so Apple’s flashing some new direction with AppleTV… YouTube’s coming. Makes sense, kind of. Schmidt’s on the Apple Board. OK.

Sure hope DivX could somehow swing a similar place at the table ’cause as Mr. Scoble’s saying if Apple took the HD road… Apple would dominate the industry. Better yet, plug Cuban’s HD delivery network into AppleTV… HOLY TOLEDO!

On page 18 of the press release is news the AppleTV’s upgrading to 160Gb. As Borat would say, “A Niiiiice.”

Google’s 20% Time. Rejection and Defection.

May 26, 2007

Mr. Cringley’s opinion piece on Google’s demise from within strikes me as right and wrong all at the same time. It’s thoughtfully written and mostly insightful. Think Sweet and Sour (shouldn’t work but does) or Root Beer and Ice Cream.

I’ve been in the Googler’s shoes… at a little startup called Digital Frontiers here in Tulsa, which the founders sold to Williams Communication Group (WCG). We were creating web 1.0, first gen sites for the likes of Thrifty Car Rental, Williams Companies, Lucent, Arrow Trucking, Parker Drilling, PennWell, Purolator, United Way of America (the mother ship, not the local affiliates). We were being invited to pitch accounts like Four Seasons Hotels and SBC. The team was small. When I joined right after the sale there were five of us. Near the end there were over 40. We were big enough and had enough capital backing to make serious due diligence runs at infrastructure companies like BBN Planet.

We were working our asses off (and loving it!). One of the original partners, David Cordeiro, asked two of us to come up with “Just Spin It Fridays”. It was meant to give us stuctured time to reinvest in our own training or work on evaluate emerging things like Perl or Python or GIF89a or Flash… It was seed corn. LOTS of good came of that “free” time. Truth be told it turned out to be a retention program more than anything else: Our leadership trusted us to do the right thing and to be responsible with our time.

Still, as Cringley posits (but not for the stated reasons) we slowly imploded. A star going supernova. I was gone by then but the unravelling had commenced before my departure. Our client’s were leaving. Other, more mature solutions providers had arrived and WE DIDN’T KEEP PACE! We had the talent, our skills were sharp as any around. We simply lost focus having become part of a bigger company through acquisition. That is why I’m so harsh on Avenue A | Razorfish getting gulped into Microsoft. Unless they get out of Dodge… they’re doomed. Round Peg, Square Hole. I digress…
Google may have it’s share of FYIFV (read the Cringley article). I doubt it’s what will unravel Google. While I don’t presume to know any more than the next schmoe… What I think will unravel Google is a loss of focus on their core competencies:

Talented people! First, foremost!;
Mr. Scoble says  infrastructure is one & I’ll agree;
Search is obvious;
Relevant results too;
Social responsibility (think Yahoo! and China);
User control over profile;
The next big thing!

The last one (and there are many more… I’m not THAT smart) is what Googlers are beating on. So what if Cringley’s numbers are right and 360 pretty good ideas fail and 40 thrive. I’ll bring China back into the discussion. They can throw IMMENSE numbers of  really smart people at problems (as can India). Why are they rising to the superpower echelons?  It comes down to the numbers. Sure, some will defect and go somewhere else. That’s life. Google’s no different. It has it’s own culture and it’s own economy for crying out loud. As does Microsoft. It’s how business is done. Makes me wonder if Cringley lives in some kind of academic bubble over at PBS.

“20% time” is probably a great way to take some pressure off your people, let them develop some skills and plow that back into your product lines

Patent Armageddon

May 14, 2007

The USPTO needs an enima!

Man, I took the weekend off and come back to Mr. Scoble’s link blog and hooey, the shyte hit the fan this weekend to be sure!

If you haven’t caught wind of this, Mr. Chief Muckety Muck Steve Ballmer (of, yes, of course… Microsoft) has thrown the gauntlet down saying, “Fair is fair.” with respect to defense of intellectual property. What’s at question is the degree of infringing free and open source software projects (Apache, Linux, etc) have tread on Microsofts patents. Good question! And, Microsoft is well within their right to challenge these things under current IP law. Thing is… MSFT just rolled into town with a bazillion J School grads all posturing to do what!? Sue Apache of Linux or MySQL into oblivion!? Nah, they just want royalties… But, to the tune of what? A gazillion dollars (pinky perched at edge of mouth). In the course of which all those FREE and “open source” projects will probably cease to be “free” and “open” source.

C’mon Ballmer! That’s lame (even if you have grounds). It’s a lousy, heavy handed tactic that will piss a LOT of us off. Drive us further away from your precious patented solutions and seek out other “do no evil” solutions. It’s a lot more fun when you stomp around and throw chairs and stuff. This is bad form (even for you)!

I hope and pray this makes it all the way to the Supreme Court and something good (and immensely foul) happens to the USPTO. They’re royally fouling the whole works. I’m not pointing fingers at MSFT at all. They’re technically in the clear. The USPTO on the other hand really needs that enima.

FOG!? Nope. AGOG!

May 7, 2007

Mr. Scoble’s preaching to a different choir today… I just don’t see it the same as my advertising and marketing cousin’s out there I guess… At least the ones who were playing in Cancun this weekend.

I’m raised and bred from the advertising camp (recovering art director am I, you know?). So, when I hear this “Fear Of Google” (aka FOG) bit going on out there I stop short of calling BS! on Mr. S. just because I *KNOW* he’s right. Just like I *KNOW* there are publishers/librarians out there terrified of Google Scholar. Both camps are equally ignorant! Wake up folks. There’s a huge opportunity out there guys. Use the tools! Help Google iterate and make them even better. Fear is the enemy! Treat Google like the distribution channel it is and reap the rewards. (Your competitors either are doing so now or are about to be).

IMHO, Google’s put together one helluva pay for performance jujitsu party. Ad Words + Analytics + User Tracking Module + Urchin + Commerce Tracking Module = Analytics Nirvana. Most of it’s FREE! (Well, except the Urchin stuff. But still!)

FOG!? No way!! AGOG = Another Gaggle Of Googlers!

Who Says Twitter’s Useless!?

May 3, 2007

I’m starting to think Mr. Scoble’s onto something with this Twitter biz! It’s not useless all. Odeo taught me how to invoke the pcast:// calls way back when I was podcasting regular like and now Twitter has taught me how to invoke iChat via HTML. (folks it’s the little things that jazz me)

So, here’s what I learned…

aim:goim?screenname=geraldb28&message=Big deal Buckley! Sheesh!

Substitute your own screen name and message and you’ve got the makings to pull it off. for some reason doesn’t like me putting such things in their code and I don’t really have the time or the inclination to futz with it right now (beating on the GROCIO business plan).

One Of The Good Guys

March 26, 2007

Bad things happen to good people (sometimes) and Kathy Sierra of Creating Passionate Users certainly is the undeserving recipient of a load of Bad. Our family is praying for her safety and the identification of the perpetrators.

I’m not inclined to react as the Scoble’s have. Certainly don’t fault them at all. I’m inclined to keep on keeping on. When crud like this happens I think a retreat mentality just won’t serve any good purpose. Michelle and I talked about safety just the other day. It’s why my kids pictures are no longer in my Flickr account. I disagreed. But, they’re gone. That’s marriage. That’s parenting.

Once her composure is back I’d still love to see what Kathy had in store for eTech. In fact, I think it would be awesome if Robert Scoble filmed Kathy’s presentation and streamed it as a for pay download. I’d go for that in a heartbeat. RFN. Kathy, stand up to these punks and don’t let them get you down!

How Much Is YOUR Blog Worth?

March 20, 2007

At first blush I thought this was kinda cool…

The gWHIZ blog is worth $26,533.38.
How much is your blog worth?

Then I tried Mr. Scoble’s site with a certain very large number in my frontal lobe only to be disappointed in the ‘valuation’ tool.

Scobleizer’s blog is worth $81,858.30.
How much is your blog worth?

I mean, seriously, Mr. Scoble has like a bazillion inbound links and probably that many more outbound. He’s networked to the gills (have you seen his Twitter contacts!?… Sorry Maryam!) So, to say his blog’s worth $81K… maybe his red couch was worth that! 🙂 Likewise, to say gWHIZ is worth more than the $9 I’ve made off it is a bit of a stretch. Which brings me round to wishing Matt and co will someday open up the revenue opportunities for hosted blogs. Still, free is a tough value proposition to argue with ain’t it?

Mr. Softie Blinked

March 6, 2007

Ooooh, I saw this in Mr. Scoble’s link blog earlier today. Then at Mr. Battelle’s. Saw it again over at Don Dodge’s and now at Tim O’Reilly’s.

Funny thing is I was talking with Christian DiCarlo at Google Scholar just today about finalizing our deal… our content at the BFD is being indexed into Google Scholar… Our plumbing is all done and ready for the crawl.

I just don’t get how Mr. Rubin can slam Google like that. On the one hand… Google claims to be in the clear on the fair use of copyrighted material. Hard to argue against it. But, as a publisher I cannot for the life of me figure out why you wouldn’t want to participate (or NOT opt-out) of Google Scholar or Google Books. . Making a decent stack of cash in publishing is HARD. DAMNED HARD! The outfit I work for is a specialty niche publisher. Two scientific journals of our own. About twelve new books per year. Some are GREAT sellers. Some are duds. Thems the breaks.

But, to intentionally ignore Google’s reach and breadth and depth is foolish: I was at the Allen Press Emerging Technologies conference last year. Someone, I forget who, mentioned when they went live with Google Scholar they realized an immediate 30% positive pop in revenue. What publisher would ignore that!?

One who’s afraid of taking a relatively small risk. That’s who.

Lost Dog in Pasadena

February 15, 2007

Willie the lost dog

What is it with the pet stories!? Mr. Scoble’s doing the cat thang & who was it doing the baby parrots a few months back…? I was fooling around with The Mechanical Turk* last night and found an unusal HIT. Enter our pet story.

One of our own, Christopher Starace, Director of Search Application Technology at is desperately seeking the family dog, Willie. Said pup was stolen in Pasadena and any help you can provide in the way of the following could prove instrumental in Willie’s recovery. The WillieWatch blog is here.

* Disclaimer – Mechanical Turk is a distributed, pay per manual task performed system. Willie’s recovery was one of the assignments available to accept BUT I’m doing this to help out a new friend in the search space and have no interest in the $ from Turk. Let’s just help a friend in need. OK?

Thanks Mr. Scoble for the Shins

February 6, 2007

Please, consider adding the gwhiz blog to your RSS feed reading. Thanks!

I monitor a TON of RSS feeds. And, then I monitor a ton more by way of Robert Scoble’s link blog. In Guy Kawasaki speak… he eats like a hummingbird and poops like an elephant. If you don’t yet subscribe to Mr. Scoble’s link blog you might consider it. There are some fine gems in that poop! 🙂

I find his tech interests are largely where mine are too. We diverge in some places but the cool thing is his interests are nicely rounding out my own “blind spots”. I’m a lot more plugged in and engaged in the ebb and flow of the industry because of his link blog. Om Malik’s properties are that way too (highly recommend those).

For instance Fred Wilson’s feed, who’s opinions I’m finding I value very much, reveals he’s a big indy music guy. His family consumes it like popcorn. So, I learn a lot of interesting indy music stuff… FROM A VC!? Yep. And, Robert just lobbed in a goody yesterday about the Shins and how their piracy situation has turned into a big selling boon to their latest release (thanks Mr. Scoble!)

That link of Robert’s led me down a path to DivX’ Stage6 where there’s a great video of The Shins’ Phantom Limb. I’m finding I love the DivX encoder (have two Pro licenses going for free if you’re interested) and the quality it has over all the stock codecs Apple ships with Final Cut Studio Pro. Man this stuff rocks!