I realized something else this morning. Microsoft has a videosite that uses Quicktime. Google starts syndicating video using Yahoo’s MediaRSS site. There is some movement in the standards space: the big players are slightly starting to support each others’ standards.

Technorati Search: iasummit: I just realized something. Technorati has a strategic problem: with more and more personalized features (your favourites, …) they’re very close to morphing into Bloglines. But they don’t want to *be* Bloglines.

I’m back from the IA Summit. I wish I had time to write about it, but I have other fish to fry. It was a really good one. My talk went really well, I kept it down to earth and the jokes really worked, even though I lost my notes and thus was kinda nervous. But I had practices it 4 times before going to the summit, so I had the material pretty much down.

I also reconnected with a whole lot of people. I didn’t party much – the conference information and social overload isn’t for me – all the noise and buziness makes my head hurt.

So all in all, perhaps the best IA Summit so far. It just keeps getting better. I also really like the efforts the organizers make to make it a social experience for everyone, newbies included, and to tear down the “old boys club” feeling that this and many other conferences suffer from. Fantastic work.

I also realized that I see most of my (few) role models at the IA Summit. Role models, people you can look up to and learn from, are really important in life. I met Lou Rosenfeld the first time at an IA Summit, I saw Steward Brand speak at an IA Summit (an ongoing inspiration!), and this time I was honored to meet David Weinberger (another inspiration). I was also very pleased to have an opportunity to listen to Dana Boyd and Rashmi Sinha talking about social aspects of the web. By the way, Rashmi’s upcoming Mindcanvas product rocks very, very much.

And that’s enough for now.

apophenia: MySpace, HR 4437 and youth activism: “For good reason, many Americans are outraged by HR 4437, a House bill that will stiffen the penalties around illegal immigration. Over the weekend, protests began with over 500,000 people taking to the streets on Saturday. Online, teens wrote bulletin board posts on MySpace, encouraging their peers to speak out against the bill. On Monday, instigated through MySpace postings, thousands of teens across the country walked out of school and marched in protest. In Los Angeles alone, 36,000 students walked out and took to the streets. Throughout the country, thousands of teens walked out in protest.”

Upcoming videoblogging books:

Video Blogging by Jay Dedman, Joshua Kinsburg and Joshua Paul $24.99
0-470-03788-1 Publication date July 2006 [I don’t understand, was
the book cancelled and then re-instated?]

Secrets of Video Blogging Diana Weynand, Ryanne Hodson, Michael Verdi,
Shirley Craig $24.99 ISBN 0-321-42917-6 Publication date April 2006

Hands-on Guide to Video Blogging and Podcasting Damien Stolarz and
Lionel Felix $34.95 ISBN 0-240-80831-2

Videoblogging for Dummies by S.C. Bryant $24.99 ISBN 0-471-97177-4
Publication date June of 2006.

"Ask A Ninja: Question 15 "Deciding Like A Ninja"

Not bad, funny and well edited. But a bit gimmicky. I prefer personal vlogs altogether.

Watch movie (Quicktime, 2.3 min, 14.3 MB)

Original post, from Ask A Ninja – You Got Questions, Ninja Got Answers.:

Ryan asks the Ninja if his friend Paul makes bad decisions. Click below to Download this movie: (Use ‘Save As’ Control Click for Macs and Right Click For Windows) iPod Quicktime WMV MP3 If you like it, tell a friend! You got questions, Ninja got answers. Previous Episodes of Ask A Ninja Remember to send your questions to askaninja@gmail.com. This is a podcast and can be automagically downloaded to you computer through iTunes. Please upgrade to the newest version of Quicktime.

(Via Mefeedia)

The Mefeedia core team (Devlon, Michael, me) uses a mailing list, mostly to discuss strategy and stuff. We tried using the 37sigs chatroom app but the email just seems to work better.. the problem with the chatroom is that you have to open it, it’s kinda hard to follow. Gmail works better.

Anyways, since we fixed the speed of Mefeedia, we’re all happy and fuzzy again. The new homepage really helps too.

Yesterday I added a list of *new* feeds to the homepage, so that when someone adds their feed, anyone see that’s on their homepage and can easily subscribe to it. It really fits in nicely with te philosophy of sending Mefeedia love not just to popular feed (it’s not about popularity!) but to newbies. Newbies need subscribers a lot more than popular feeds, so that’s who we want to highlight.


River of vlog

I always felt Dave Winer was onto something when he was talking about the “River of news” that an RSS reader should be. You gotta give it to the man.

Last Monday, we did an emergency launch to fix some bad SQL that was taking the server down, and as a sideeffect we launched a new homepage for Mefeedia if you are logged in. I call it the river of vlog.

The page is quite simple, it lists new videos that have been aggregated into your queue, including the description of the original blogpost. There wasn’t a page like that on Mefeedia yet.

And strangely, suddenly, I am addicted to Mefeedia.

This river of vlog homepage has become useful. Useful is a powerful word. Addictive might be a better one. I check it many times a day, on the lookout for new videos. It is surprisingly simple yet really really powerful.

I always had a dream: the day I would visit Mefeedia as often as I visit Bloglines, I would know I succeeded. After 2 years of working on it, that day still hadn’t happened. But now, I think we’re there. The difference one page can make! I can spend years doing informationarchitecturitis, but without this 1 page, the site never hit that tipping point of usefulness.

Here’s a screenshot:

"Grahame and The Game".

The "game" is about how to get girls, it’s kinda stupid. But this is an interesing use of "hidden" cameras.

Watch movie (Quicktime, 1.3 min, 3.2 MB)

Original post, from scratch video:

The camera lens is sewn inside the strap of the backpack I had on. I also had a wireless mic on my left shoulder. It feels very different to have a camera concealed like this. I often chose to tell people that I was wired which surprisingly made the interactions between us quite different than if I were holding the camera. I haven’t figured out how to explain it in words yet. Grahame Weinbren tells me about how to pick up women. …actually, I feel more like the portal into this world.

(Via Mefeedia)

The emergency release

Today we did something I haven’t heard before: an emergency release.

We were building a bunch of new features, and weren’t gonna release for another month or so. But the server was slow lately, to the point of being unreachable – the old features were taking down the server.

So I uncommented a bunch of new features that weren’t ready yet, and for the sake of having a site that’s not hyperslow (it’s still somewhat slow), we released the site. At least performance should be better.

Emergency release. Live and learn!

From building Mefeedia, I’ve learnt quite a few things.

I’ve learnt that half of the features I’ve come out with in the past year don’t matter. The other half are ok, but they are still not there.

Usability testing matters. Even if you’re an experienced usability reviewer.

Engineering matters. The site has been very slow lately.

Featuritis? I give you informationarchitecturitis! Too much thought going into IA structures. Not enough in talking to users.

Yep. I am learning. Building something real is great for that.

Asia, Far East, news and analysis Times Online, The Times, Sunday Times

Asia, Far East, news and analysis Times Online, The Times, Sunday Times: “The Ministry of Public Security has drawn up new rules and babies’ names must in future be drawn from a database that excludes thousands of rare Chinese characters. Out go indecipherable names. With the introduction of electronic identity cards, the authorities will register only names that they decide to include on their database.”

In other words: a new controlled vocabulary of characters (imposed by technology standardization) means you can’t call your kid what you want anymore.

Can you use Amazon S3 to create the new FLickr killer?

Can you use Amazon’s S3 service to host the images for your new Flickr killer?

URL’s look like this: http://s3.amazonaws.com/mypictures/0001/

Quotes is the bucket, Nelson is the object. You can store JPGs there, no problem.

The question is: can you access this anonmously, ie, can I do <img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mypictures/0001/&quot; … in a webpage and expect it to work?

I've been reading the auth docs, haven't figured it out. Anyone have an answer?


Amazon.com Amazon Web Services Store: Amazon S3 / Amazon Web Services

Amazon.com Amazon Web Services Store: Amazon S3 / Amazon Web Services: “Amazon S3 provides a simple web services interface that can be used to store and retrieve any amount of data, at any time, from anywhere on the web. It gives any developer access to the same highly scalable, reliable, fast, inexpensive data storage infrastructure that Amazon uses to run its own global network of web sites. The service aims to maximize benefits of scale and to pass those benefits on to developers.”

OK, now some kid in his garage build this storage solutions I was asking for yesterday :) This stuff is the future.

Researching pricing?

Pricing is hard. A lot of new businesses are trying to figure it out. One startup wants to let people charge for their content. But their system doesn’t let me sell a video for 1.99$. So that’s out for me.

It’s all about convenience and value. Can I backup my pictures folder? I’ll pay 35$/year for that. No need for it to be highly available, I’ll only need it when I accidentally delete something or my computer crashes. Can I backup my business files? 4.99/month sounds reasonable. The backup needs to be automated.

It’s very hard for the creators of a service to understand what people will pay for. Ringtones sell for 2.99$ a piece! For a ringtone! It’s the convenience and the value – not the data. iTunes set the price of a song at 99c. A movie at $1.99. And it’s convenient.

I wonder if there are any good ways to research pricing in a new market?

Om points to Box.net, a lot of things to like including a business model. But it’s 1GB for free or 5GB for only $4.99/mo.

That is just way to expensive to store my photos, and my photos are my most important files that I’d like to backup. So another no for me. I’ve tried out many storage services, and I’m desperate for one, but a few gigs? That’s not even enough to store my business docs. Please. Give us like 20G for 35$/year. That sounds more like it. Surely that’s possible these days? Or are the economics of storage not there yet?

Audioblog.com rebranding and expanding – The Social Software Weblog

Audioblog.com rebranding and expanding – The Social Software Weblog: audioblog.com will soon be re-branded as “hipcast”, since they’ve now moved beyond just audio. I feel bad for them, all that brand equity lost. Must be a bummer. I changed mefeedia from me-tv.com about 1 year into its life, when it was still totally underground. Still it hurt, it took over 6 months for people to forget the original name. People will still refer to audioblog at least a year down the line.

Meetup: World’s largest community of local Meetups, clubs and groups!

I really like Meetup’s homepage. No feature lists, just lots of examples of meetups (which give you an idea of what it’s like), some endorsement quotes, and then a long list of cities and topics. (And a searchbox and featured meetups.)

In other words: let the data speak for itself. Compare with Basecamp’s homepage, where it’s all about benefits (not features) and endorsements. For their service, a good approach too I guess.