Month: July 2006

Hints of Opportunity

Jon Udell writes in A new breed of highly-available serverless applications:

Amazon’s S3/SQS duo is a green field that invites entrepreneurs to think way outside the box.

I have already proposed prototypes that can take advantage of these services. Amazon will not be the only provider of distributed storage or messaging services (see cleversafe). These services plus the services from Google are just the beginning of a whole class of services that will drive innovation. Start-ups will be able to take advantage of the more efficient cost model and the increased flexibility. I also agree with Jon that SPDADE applications are going to become even more powerful as they integrate with services like S3 and SQS.

Check out Amazon’s S3 and SQS and let your mind run wild.

Link Summary:

Jon Udell’s RSS feed
A new breed of highly-available serverless applications

Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3)
Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS)

Jason Calacanis offers to pay for Attention and Gestures

Jason Calacanis made an offer to the top contributors of flickr, Digg, Reddit and Newsvine:

We will pay you $1,000 a month for your “social bookmarking” rights. Put in at least 150 stories a month and we’ll give you $12,000 a year. (note: most of these folks put in 250-400 stories a month, so that 150 baseline is just that–a baseline).

This offer illustrates the dilemma many attention and gesture based applications will face. The most valuable (the famous 20%) contributors are worth cash. Forget what Mike Arrington says about netscape and desperation, he’s really missing the
important point. He thinks that Digg is vulnerable because most stories come from a small number of contributors. Nope not it. Digg is vulnerable because it lacks a fair exchange of value for the high caliber contributors.

Google gives away great applications for free, they make lots of money based on the attention and gestures of the crowd, and they understand the cost for acquiring that data. Today many companies take for granted the attention and gestures they receive and assume that the acquisition cost of that attention and those gestures is limited to hosting and marketing. The companies forget about talent and the fact that the attention and gestures they depend on are jointly owned.

So Jason is right on in his follow up post:

Some entrepreneurs are very threatened by this concept because for the last couple of years they’ve gotten a free ride on the backs of the masses. Now, it’s true that Flickr provided a free service and value to their users, as does DIGG and REDDIT, but the top 1-2% of the users on these services are providing much more value to the companies then they are getting back. There should be a market for the 1%

Jason’s offer is a wake-up call for companies who are free riding on the attention commons. Nice job Jason.

Oh, and my question for Mike Arrington, Which is soulless? The free ride on the community or the offer of a more equitable relationship for those who contribute.

Link Summary:

Jason Calacanis’s RSS feed
Paying the top DIGG/REDDIT/Flickr/Newsvine users
Why the Web 2.0 and media elite are so upset about paying amateurs

Mike Arrington’s RSS feed via TechCrunch
Huge Red Flag at Netscape

Coginitive Efficiencies – Friedrich Nietzsche – Jeff Veen

I was reading Jeffrey Veen’s post titled “Intellectual Bargain Shopping” and found the quote below by Friedrich Nietzsche to be very interesting.

To predict the behavior of ordinary people in advance, you only have to assume that they will always try to escape a disagreeable situation with the smallest possible expenditure of intelligence.

Jeffrey Veen comments on the quote,

I love how this quote turns the tables. Users aren’t stupid, they’re efficient. They’re spending the least amount of effort (i.e. intelligence) as they possible can on each step of the goal they’re trying to achieve. If you make them spend more, they’ll go somewhere else — it’s like intellectual bargain shopping.

Let me refine Jeffrey’s thought of user efficiency a bit. People want to expend as little cognitive capital (attention, perception, action, problem solving and memory) as possible to obtain a reasonable or sufficient value. This is why I believe that people are going to demand products and services that create cognitive efficiencies. As applications and services are built today few take into consideration the level of efficiency the customer desires. The more we focus on cognitive efficiencies, the more valuable our applications and services will become. It really is about what you give not what you get.

Jeffrey Veen’s RSS Feed
Intellectual Bargain Shopping

Attended BarCamp Chicago (Saturday)

So what did I think of BarCamp Chicago? First, I want to thank the organizers (I think Jason Rexilius was one) for putting the event together. I really enjoyed the cleversafe presentation. Cleversafe is a distributed storage company and uses Information distribution algorithms (Commonly used to secure private keys) to create a highly available secure storage grid. Very cool. The presentation by Sean Johnson titled “How not to Burn Your Business to the Ground” was interesting and insightful. There was definitely an interesting mix of people and points of view. So I enjoyed it. All conferences have issues and Bar Camp was no different but for the price I’m not going to complain.



RSS Enterprise

I was reading James Governor’s post commenting on Moonwatcher Charlie Wood’s post “RSS is Velcro for Enterprise Applications”. James points out that Atom might be a better choice because:

[Atom]is more loosely coupled because it contains greater semantic richness.

I think from a technical perspective James makes a great point. The use of a semantically rich syndication stream, creates a world of opportunity for a whole new breed of enterprise applications.

But….. The challenge I see is that just mentioning RSS, Semantic, Atom and Loosely coupled would cause many technology leaders heads to explode. The reality is that these technologies, ideas and techniques are not well (or for that matter widely) understood, and that lack of understanding severely limits their adoption in the enterprise. I also see that enterprise software vendors are slow to generally adopt RSS/Atom and rich semantic notation because they are too busy trying to meet the customers other demands.

This ship will leave space dock, I’m just not sure when.

Charlie Wood’s RSS Feed
RSS is Velcro for Enterprise Applications
Charlie Wood’s Introduction to RSS

James Governor’s RSS Feed
RSS Spans Apps with Velcro Hooks

Open letter to those without RSS feeds

To whom it may concern,

I will not join your mailing list.

If your company, service or group requires me to get information via a mailing list, forget about it. If you enroll me I will unsubscribe, I will not enroll, and I will do everything in my power to avoid using your product. PLEASE CREATE AN RSS FEED. An organization that I belong to offered events calendar updates via email. I will most likely suggest using an RSS feed, I will offer my assistance and then unsubscribe.

I know a great many people don’t know what RSS is, so I hope my little protest and offer of help (for those things I believe in) will encourage companies to find out about RSS. I then hope this new found understanding of RSS will result in an RSS option. The information flow that I sustain via RSS aggregation, filtering and classifying is far more efficient than email.

So please give me a break, wake-up and read the writing in my RSS feed.

Wikipedia on RSS

Leadership Training and my personal work of art

I have been in a leadership program for about a month now. The session this week is “The Art of Leadership” based on the book by the same name authored by William A. Cohen PhD.. The class has been thought provoking, most provoking was the exercise where I identified the different types of advice I rely on and who provides the advice. I really thought about the various contributors in my “Board of Directors”.

The insight that I came away with is that for most of my career I have treated it like personal art, something that I created alone while integrating feedback from others. The reality is that as I seek to pursue the goals I have set for myself in the coming years I will have to become more skilled at treating my career as a collaborative piece of art. I may have to think about my career more like making music, because every great solo artist still has an engineer and in most cases a producer. The session really has focused my thoughts regarding how I care for and nurture my career.

Things that chew up my attention

  1. Keeping My iPod updated
  2. Paying for my gas, (No! I don’t want to buy a car wash, No! I don’t want a receipt, Do I ever choose anything but 87 octane)
  3. Buying anything at (But I still love the company)
  4. Television (I know I need tivo, heck I need digital cable)
  5. The weirdness that is Google reader (Love, hate. aaahh!)
  6. Link wandering (I have found great stuff but it takes forever)
  7. My corporate calendar (no mobile integration)
  8. Ubuntu, switch and you will know what I mean (Mac here I come, as soon as I save my pennies)