Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Yahoo Widgets

I'd been using Google Gadgets on my desktop for a little while, but they weren't really impressing me. Then I upgraded to Vista (this was the biggest mistake of the year, btw) and decided I'd try out their widgets interface, I think they call it the "Sidebar." Those were pretty, but there weren't a whole lot of 'em.

So now I'm back to Konfabulator. It's officially Yahoo Widgets. But it's the Konfabulator I fell in love with so many years ago.

Wonder what I'll try next ...


I got a couple of fun t-shirts off threadless.com, the other day. We'll see what the quality is like. What I like is that artists upload their artwork for putting on t-shirts and then the users of the site vote on which ones they would like to see actually offered for sale.

Judging from the ratings I saw, the audience is pretty tasteless, but WTF, that's democracy.


Oh my god I do *not* want to buy your stupid amway products.

Actually for some people this site is totally perfect and they love it. But me, I keep just getting these shotgun invites from people who think that quantity of connections is more important that quality of connections. I'll bet they're the ones with the MBAs, too.


The dudes at xanga.com have a really solid architecture behind their app and it shows. It seems like the undoing of so many of these sites is that they just can't scale and I think these dudes have it figured out.

On the other hand, if they try to up-sell me one more thing I'm going to scream. It's so sad when a dot-com goes panhandling.


Virb is one hell of a pretty site. I really love it. On the other hand it made it so easy to integrate my other social networking sites that I don't think I've actually used virb, so much as set up a nice graphical presentation layer that reads my other sites.

Maybe that's the point, tho.

Gmail for Blackberry

It's a little branded J2ME app for doing gmail on the small screen. I created a special account on gmail and set my blackberry to check it. It's handy. The actual blackberry messaging system is still my main.


Radar.net were one of the first to get a Facebook application running, so I had to check 'em out. I like it! They let you email your cellfone pix to their service, where they add 'em to a shoebox for you. Then you can add "friends" who are always allowed to see what pictures you've go on the system. Also, for each picture, you can have the service email photos off to anyone you like ... and of course when you send a picture, they make it easy to invite the person as a friend.

Curiously, their privacy policy is very opt-in. Initially no one can see your pictures.


Jaiku is twitter done right. I don't know what their connection with Nokia is, but it scares me. They never had a scaling issue, so there's someone behind the scenes who was willing to pay for good architecture instead of just rapid development.

They will rule the world. Lets just hope they bring socialized medicine with them.

Mobile strategy: They have an app built for the Nokia S60 that doesn't just access the site, it integrates folks' posts into the contact list on the phone! They're in private beta of a J2ME app, which is good news because the "community provided" J2ME apps suck.

Monday, May 28, 2007


The digerati have a home and it's twitter. All the people I miss in the bay area are on here. It's like an SMS answering machine ... you don't have to listen to your phone chirp every second when a friend posts some inane thing about the new LOLcats post, you just log in when you've got a few minutes and get all their messages in a stream.

It's brilliant. Do one thing; do it well. Then publish it all with rss so it can infect other sites.

Mobile strategy: designed from the start to be SMS enabled, it's very easy to do the whole darned thing on your phone. J2ME apps are numerous and hit-or-miss ... my flavorites are tinytwitter, twitterberry, and jargong.


We tried gaiaonline.com at work. I think they basically took a page from World of Warcraft, that your app is sticky if you can make an avatar that's totally customized and there are "quests" to do that earn you quatloos that can be traded for more elite features.

But I'm just waiting for the first pedophile scandal.

The company that runs this thing is *really* smart about targeting demographics ... who knows if this particular one's going to make them famous ... they're gonna totally pwn some niches.


I like livejournal. It's a really clean interface, it makes it easy to update stuff, not only is it easy to get stuff pushed in to a livejournal account, it seems to be also supported in every "include my blog in my page" thing out there. I think they've really got the idea of an appliance ... one that does the job just right and also offers plenty of chrome if that's what you're into.


This is a really interesting proof-of-concept. People don't seem to be grooving on the idea of leaving a GPS signal running on their phones all the time, but they do seem to be willing to say "hey I'm going to such-and-such bar right now" and have it automagically SMS'd to all their friends.

However, I'm told that after Google acquired the company, they started to just strip it for parts, and the whole staff of Dodgeball quit on a Friday the 13th in disgust.

I wonder what it's gonna take to get location based phone stuff to be accepted by people. There's gotta be some killer app that'd get folks to feel safe using it.


All I remember is that back at UCSC newly admitted students would call the admissions office to see if they could get their email address early, so they could sign-up for facebook. These guys really seem to get it, and their new "Platform" widget thing is going to totally kick ass ... think about it, you get your favorite features of another site, but the whole time you're still at facebook. Genius vampirism.


Oh my god MySpace was a cesspool and *then* FOX bought it. Are they all smoking crack over there? I really think they meant well when they said "gosh with a ton of marketing and branding folks we could really make this into a monster!" They just didn't realize it's the kind of monster that waits under your bed to grab any ankle that sets foot near the floor.


Mobile blogging. Seems to have good features for checking one's popularity at a glance. The early adopters are pretty depraved, but I think the next couple waves will be more mainstream. Let's hope...