Like the title says, just type in something (your name, your web address, a small phrase) and this great little online tool will take what you typed in and fetch pictures from Flickr for each letter.
Give it a try — it’s a very cool Flickr applet!
Is it just me, or was last week’s launch of Tello a non-event? Sure, they have a great pedigree; Tello was the brainchild of Vonage founder Jeff Pulver. The board includes Craig McCraw (started what became AT&T Wireless) and John Scully (of PepsiCo and later Apple notoriety). But their namesake product, which is aimed squarely at the corporate market, seems dead out of the starting gate.
What is Tello? It’s a buzzword laden tool that’s going to solve all our communication problems — if you believe the hype. Their big value proposition is presence; the ability to determine who is online, with what, where. Is Bob on Skype? Is he on the road? Can I reach him via email? Text chat? Voice?
The problem is, none of this is really new. Try as they might, Tello really can’t claim to have invented the concept or the functionality of presence. It’s been available for years. True, it’s not “integrated” with all the various and sundry means of communications available, but that is a pipe dream at this point anyway. And the pipe is filled with crack. Tellos offers to integrate, but only if you’re using the tools and systems they support. Which is no integration at all.
Chris Pirillo ruminates on the comment systems of Slashdot and Digg (and how both are broken).
Digg and Slashdot are both powerful in terms of driving traffic, but nobody has yet bothered to compare the quality of comments between the two services. Until now, that is. On any given day, Digg has far more innane comments from immature younger males with no life, while the innane comments on Slashdot tend to come from more technically-astute older males with no life…
Chris tends to view things in black-and-white. Certainly there are great comments on both systems. But in general are comment systems truly broken, as Pirillo suggests? Which is the bigger challenge: technology or sociology? And do his comments apply equally to the blogosphere?
This is an excerpt from Paul Graham’s essay on Web 2.0.
…we advise all the startups we fund never to lord it over users. Never make users register, unless you need to in order to store something for them. If you do make users register, never make them wait for a confirmation link in an email; in fact, don’t even ask for their email address unless you need it for some reason. Don’t ask them any unnecessary questions. Never send them email unless they explicitly ask for it. Never frame pages you link to, or open them in new windows. If you have a free version and a pay version, don’t make the free version too restricted. And if you find yourself asking “should we allow users to do x?” just answer “yes” whenever you’re unsure. Err on the side of generosity.
Well worth a read.
For a long time, the Slashdot Effect or “being slashdotting” was the measure of a hot topic. Essentially it’s the effect of an article or webpage getting a lot of exposure on a highly trafficed website (i.e. Slashdot) and then getting the snot kicked out of the server as thousands of people descend upon it. There’s nothing malicious about it — it’s just the side effect of having a too-small web server hosting a too-large crowd.
See if you can guess what time it happened, based on this graph my server’s traffic analysis graph.
Can you digg it?
I like the simple interface of Google Talk. But like most people, I’m faced with the reality that I have a lot of contacts on other IM networks. Getting them to switch is not always an option. Thankfully, you can use Google Talk to chat with your friends and associates on any IM network, and you don’t have to wait another day.
I’ve put together a step-by-step guide that will let you use Google Talk as a multi-network instant messaging client, connecting to AIM, Yahoo!, MSN Messenger and others. No waiting necessary. Check it out at BigBlueBall.
Yes, I was quoted in a front page story in yesterday’s Los Angeles Times. Was it about Web 2.0? Knowledge management? Social media? How about “none of the above?”
Times staff writer Susannah Rosenblatt interviewed me for a story titled Growing Remote Areas See Fringe Benefits in Gov.’s Plan. The article discusses Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s proposal to improve California’s roads and infrastructure, particular in the inland regions around Los Angeles and other coastal communities.
Software specialist Jeff Hester has lived in Murrieta since 1989, before the town had a single stoplight. He’s watched his southwest Riverside County community mushroom from 44,000 in 2000 to 75,000 and growing.
Roads and freeways have gotten so congested that Hester and his wife must carefully choose when to dine out in nearby Temecula because traffic on the 215 and adjacent 15 is so snarled.
“Do we really want to travel across town [to make] what used to be a 10-minute, what will be a 35- to 40-minute drive?” Hester said. “The traffic on the freeway has gotten so bad now, the surface streets that connect the two cities have gotten so bad, you really have to think about â€¦ do we have time to fight the traffic, depending on what day of the week or what hour it is.”
Though he enjoys living in Murrieta, Hester â€” like many of his neighbors â€” works many miles away. Hester avoids the worst of commuter gridlock tying up the 91 and the 215 freeways, but he still spends about 90 minutes each way on the Ortega Highway, winding 53 miles through the mountains to his job in Orange County’s Aliso Viejo several days a week, when he’s not telecommuting.
“We could use some improvements in our infrastructure around here,” Hester said. Widening the 215 would “make a huge dent” in the traffic woes.
So what’s interesting about this? Well, apart from the truth of the story itself (the freeways around here were never meant to handle the traffic they currently carry), there’s the question — How did the LA TImes come to interview Jeff Hester? Which is precisely where this blog comes in.
Ms. Rosenbloom faced an impending editorial deadline. She had talked to the government officials and analysts. She needed to talk to a “normal person” living through the problem to share their personal experience. The solution? Search the Internet. Somehow a search for people who commute from Riverside County to Orange County brought up a link to my blog.
What I appreciated was the fact that the Los Angeles Times confirmed what I’ve been trying to tell my family for ages; I’m a “normal person.”