Archive for May, 2007

Facebook

With all the talk about Facebook lately, I figured it was time to take a look and create an account. The most interesting thing to me about Facebook is the developer platform that was just announced… I had taken a look at the previous incarnation of the API and that was good, but the latest offering for developers is sweet. There is really deep integration into Facebook. You can build applications that just seamlessly snap right into the Facebook experience, and you immediately get a very engaged audience for your thingie.

This is a really great move by the folks at Facebook and takes a page right out of the MSFT playbook… get a bunch of developers to build apps for your platform/OS and a bunch more users will follow and stay. So, I was going to spend a few hours whipping up a little test application just to see how it all played out. The best way to do this is to build something you want that is currently missing. That is how/why I built smartFeed and TinyTwitter. So, my first task was to figure out what to build. In order for Facebook to have value, you need to have a community, so I started attempting to add friends. And here is where I ran into a major snag. I checked to see if anyone from my High School was on – my school wasn’t even in the dataset yet. Next, I checked my company – only one person… huh? Yep, that was you NickB! Next, my undergraduate University – only 55 people. No way! I graduate from the University of Texas (class of 92 Mechanical Engineering btw) with something like 40 thousand undergrads. How about from my graduate school (University of Colorado - ’01 Computer Science) – the number was a bit bigger at 204 but still didn’t find anyone I knew and all Facebookers seemed to be undergrads. The only other friend that surfaced was my man David Henderson – and he is the most technologically immersed cat I know (he is everywhere on the net) – so no surprise there. Oh, it looks like Stan may be jumping on Facebook too - Stan is really the man, btw!

So, what’s all the fuss about Facebook… am I just too old, has this phenomenon not reached my demographic yet, or am I not hip enoguh. So, after my experiment I was left feeling like a dinosaur and wondering if/when Facebook could be useful to me… I’ll keep an eye on Facebook, just as I did Twitter in the early days cuz the Facebook dev platform kicks ass, the team seems really cool (watched one of their all night code session videos), and the CEO is a rock star!

Peeps, start using Facebook, so I will start using Facebook!

May 31st, 2007

No Fo…leo for Me

Just read on Mashable that Palm has launched a laptop like companion for the Palm device - the Foleo… I don’t get it.  I want to carry around a smartphone that does everything my laptop can do.  I don’t want to lug around another device to augment my smartphone.  I gotta be missing something here.

I do like the fact that they are encouraging an open environment for developers to create apps.  I do like Palm and what they have brought to the space; I hope people find a need for this device.

May 30th, 2007

NewsGator on Top of the World

I moved to Colorado 12 years ago for one reason and that was climbing… sport climbing, trad climbing, bouldering, you name I did it and did it a lot.  A lots has changed over the years.  I now have a wife, three kids, two dogs, a cat, and a bunch of other assorted pets.  And I fell in love with cycling somewhere along the way.  I don’t climb any more, but I still love to hear about epic adventures in the mountains and crags around the world.  I occasionally pick up Rock and Ice or Climbing or tune into the Discovery Channel.

Well now, I don’t have to search around for cool adventure content.  Thanks to Walker and team over here at NewsGator, I now have the Discovery Everest blog content pumping right into the NewsGator widget in my blog’s sidebar.   I just have to visit my blog to be on top of the world somewhere along the route to the Everest summit!

The original widget is on the Discovery site and with just one click you can add it to your blog or site as well.  That is freakin’ cool!

May 29th, 2007

The Perfect Awakening

Woke up this morning with a hot cup of Pete’s brew, a stellar view of the Tenmile and Mosquito ranges:

Tenmile and Mosquito Ranges

… and the kiddos tuning into Scooby Doo battling some ghosts in the bayous of New Orleans:

Kiddos

Pretty perfect!

May 28th, 2007

Best Web 2.0 Apps

You know there a bunch of really cool web applications and services out there, and I am sure you have tried a bunch.  Now is your chance to pick the best of the best….

The webware blog, which stays on top of all this web 2.0 stuff, is running a survey to let the cream rise to the top.  So go on over to the webware 100 and pick your favorite.  There are ten categories and they will be picking the top ten in each, so that would make 100 cool apps/services that everyone should check out.  Oh, they also have a mobile category… cool.

PS… NewsGator Online is in the list!!! There are also a few other Colorado companies in there - me.dium, jabber, and photobucket (and we are all in different categories… nice, so vote for us all).

May 25th, 2007

Google and Microsoft - It’s Lunch Time

Back in December I wrote part one of what was going to be a piece on how MSFT could take Google’s lunch… I never did write part two, but it looks like Google may be building a cafeteria of its own.  What the heck am I talking about you are asking… well I’ll tell ya.

For about the last two years I have been spending less and less time in the browser and more time in my RSS readers (FeedDemon and Go!), so that means I no longer contribute to the massive Google ad serving cash machine.  I do not see any Google ads in my readers.  Now, I am an early adopter and currently not representative of the masses, but you know the masses are soon going to find out about this RSS thing. And now you can see how MSFT could steal Google’s lunch – they could do this by creating another cafeteria.  Back in December I thought that the launch of Vista would begin to expose moms and pops to RSS.  I think this is happening, is good for MSFT, and it benefits us nicely too!  The more people that know about RSS, the more people go out looking for the best in breed.

But, today I heard rumors of Google acquiring FeedBurner… well it looks like Google is recognizing this RSS trend as well and wants to get a piece of the action that is just around the corner.

May 19th, 2007

Widgets + RSS = No Good

I love widgets, everything about widgets.  The technology is cool and the concept is solid.  There’s the Lijit Wijit, the Twitter widget, the MyblogLog widget, the NewsGator widget, the SpringBox widgets, the the FeedBurner widget, the Mpire widget, etc etc… Wow, there are so many damn widgets out there it’ll  make your head spin and your web property light up like a strip mall :)

Widgets

Widgets provide a great way to add value to the widget maker, the widget publisher, and the widget consumer.  Take the NewsGator widget for example… I put Buzz Boxes on my blog and it provides me with a cool new feature set w/o doing any work - I like that.  The readers of my blog get extra relevant content - I essentially have two RSS readers on my blog that are pulling in content related to technology and mobility.  And hopefully NewsGator gets some click backs!  Everyone wins…. right?  Well not really.

I use aggregators to get all my content… FeedDemon on my laptop and desktop and Go! on my mobile device.  This is where widgets break down.  I don’t see mine or anyone else’s widgets in my readers.  That sucks!  At least for now…

The RSS community needs to create a widget extension, so I can get all this widgety goodness in my aggregators.  I briefly talked about this with Stan James at the last Boulder Technology Meetup.  This needs to happen… anyone else feeling this pain and wanting to contribute?

May 10th, 2007


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