Archive for Nov 2010

                          CTO Breakfast This Friday: Venue Change

                          We'll be holding the CTO Breakfast for November and December this Friday (Dec 3) at 8am. Whether you're a CTO or not, you're welcome to come. The discussion is about building high-tech products, building companies, and what's hot right now. We'd love to have you join us. This time we're going to try something new. We will NOT meet at the Novell cafeteria, but rather at Paradise Bakery in American Fork. We'll see how this works. I hope you can make it. January's CTO Breakfast is scheduled for Thursday, January 27, 2011. Put it on your calendar now, or
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                          Podcast: Scott Lemon, Dion Almaer, Ben Galbraith on The State of the Web 2010

                          The web continues to evolve as new devices appear and new standards are adopted. The iPhone and other mobile devices are now in the mix of places where people go to connect with each other. Dion Almaer and Ben Galbraith call from Belgium where they were attending the Devoxx 2010 conference. They talk with Phil and Scott about internet protocols and social networking and how these are affected by the many different ways people and companies are interacting.
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                          Readings: Week of November 22, 2010

                          I saw Paul Kedrosky regularly posts information about what articles he's been reading. I tweet them, but would probably really like to have them on my blog too. So, here goes. Clay Shirky: It's Not Information Overload. It's Filter Failure Noodlesoft: Hazel Geek Love: a Holiday Wishlist of Gizmos, Gadgets, and Gear Where do ideas come from? Your Internet Driver's License iOS 4.3 To Launch In Mid-December With App Subscriptions Book: Future Shock Adam Savage: TSA saw my junk, missed 12 inch razor blades Do Businesses need 63 different types of event?
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                          Clay Loveless: Understanding API Usage

                          I was in a Point-of-View session at Defrag with Laura Merling of Alcatel-Lucent, Brian Mulloy of Apigee, and Clay Loveless of Mashery. Laura and Brian gave interesting talks, but since they went before me, I was too occupied to take notes. I did take notes for Clay's talk, however, since he went after me. :-) Clay gave six tips for making an API work: Test it all. Unit tests are just the beginning, but if you don't have them yet, don't start there. Instead, test what your user's experience with end-to-end black box tests. Replaying your access logs is
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                          David Weinberger: On Knowing

                          Dave Weinberger is speaking about "knowing." He starts by asking if "the 'Net is exceptional in the same way of the printing press?" There are five things that everyone who goes on the Web knows: There an abundance of stuff--good and bad The 'Net is a permission-free zone There is no principle of organization on the 'Net and if there were, it wouldn't be better, it would be worse Realize that we built this and its ours The 'Net is filled with hyperlinks. These are unexpected results. The hyperlink is important because by connecting things, it lets them fall
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                          Dion Hinchcliffe: The Future of Social Analytics

                          Dion Hinxchcliffe is speaking on the future of social analytics. Social analytics is the creation of typed signals by listening to social ecosystems, resulting in the ability to tap into collective intelligence as well as aggregate, mine, and predict outcomes. Observable works - transparency for people's work. Getting value from what's observable. Reminds me of Jon Udell's comments from early blogging days about narrating your work. Social is how we communicate today. As of last July, 850M using social systems vs 800M using email. Most companies are not here yet. I was speaking to Yammer folks at lunch. Kynetx
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                          Scott Porad: How We Filter 20,000 User Generated Submissions per Day

                          Scott Porad is talking about how the "I Can Haz Cheeseburger" network of sites filters 20,000 user submissions a day. Each site has an "upload" tab. Some have a LOL Builder tag that allows people to compose pictures and text. There are about 500,000 submission per month, they publish about 1-2%. The name of the game is "quality content" so how do you find the needle in the haystack? There is a four step process Screening - every submission is screened by an employee. There is a system that shows how submission, who submitted, how it was submitted, etc.
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                          Esther Dyson: On Exploring Yourself

                          Esther Dyson is speaking about exploring the data about yourself. The interesting question is not what you'll die from, but what you'll live with. Our genetics can tell us a lot, but much is still missing or not doable yet. Visualizing and explaining data is critical. In order to live in the modern world you need to understand probability and statistic. Otherwise you're uninformed. New interfaces (like Fitbit) are changing how we work with data about our selves. Most have warts. None of them interact with each other. (As an aside, this is the problem Kynetx is attacking.) Data
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                          Stowe Boyd: Social Cognition

                          Stowe Boyd is talking about social cognition. I always enjoy Stowe's take on things. Adding people with high IQ to a small group doesn't add to the groups effectiveness. What does make a small group more effecive is adding someone with good social sensibilities. Not correlated with IQ. Correlated with being a woman. Groups with good social interaction have less monologues and more interaction. Twittering led to students learning more--not just in one class, but across the board. Having friendly, personal conversations within a group leads to better performance. Feeling good about the context people are working with is
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                          Dan Portillo: Scaling Technology Company Cultures

                          Dan Portillo is talking at Defrag about finding talent to start a company. High-tech does not mirror the larger economy. There's a demand for talent right now and it's hard to hire good people. Early start-ups get going and don't worry much about attracting talent--they're just worried about getting going. Who are the people in your company who would have a huge impact on your organization if they left. Which or those are at risk of leaving. What are their motivations, drivers, and needs? What's the vision for the organization? Find new ways to engage these people. Let them
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                          Alex Wright: Oral Cultures and Social Networks

                          Alex Wright is opening up Defrag. He's an expert in the history of information and even wrote a book on it: Glut. Counting and money begat writing. Commerce was the birthplace or writing. People are pre-disposed to classify things hierarchicaly. We don't do well with "tag-cloud" style organization. Literacy is fairly recent, so oral traditions are important for how humans have managed information. For example, picture tapestries for teaching religion. The 19th century gave rise to the "literate culture." The growth of large "knowledge bureaucracies" in the 20th entury led to a schism of oral and written cultures. Oral
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                          Gary Crocker: Moving Beyond Start-up Mode

                          Gary Crocker is speaking at the Utah Technology Council breakfast on building sustainable businesses (in Utah specifically, but the remarks are more general). Gary speaks of several companies that have started in Utah but later moved to other places. Gary talked about Jim Sorenson calling him and asking him to help him sell his company (Sorenson Research). He doesn't think that had to happen. He thinks that as a leader in fundamental niche (continuous blood pressure monitors) the company could have stayed and grown in Utah. He tells another story of Ballard Medical selling and the eventual closing of
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                          The Real-Time Web

                          Over the last several years, we've witnessed a dramatic shift in how people use the Web. What started as interactive Web applications under the moniker "Web 2.0" has become a firestorm of social applications like Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare, among others. But underlying these changes is something even more important than the "social" Web: the "real-time" Web. The real-time Web is a radical shift in how people use the Internet: rather than simply viewing static pages, or even interacting with a Web site, the real-time Web uses dynamic streams of information to present contextual, relevant experiences to user. These
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                          The Dawn of the Eventernet

                          This is a guest blog post by Dave McNamee The Eventernet is an event architecture overlayed on the Internet, where events are published and applications process those events and take action on behalf of people. This allows for the creation of new value that was not possible under the constraints of the request architecture of the WWW. The World Wide Web In the beginning there was HTTP with its collection of methods. GET, POST, PUT, DELETE, etc. These methods, along with the advent of HTML (and browsers that could render HTML) allowed the World Wide Web to emerge and
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                          Discovery: Webfinger and OpenID Connect

                          I'm sitting in a session on webfinger, OpenID Connect, and discovery session. Discovery is a the process of turning a small piece of information (like a user ID) into the URLs and APIs needed to service some specific request. For example, say I tell you my email address is windley@gmail.com, how do you find my profile? Of course, as long as we're talking about one site, like Google, we can just hard code that translation. But how can the discovery problem be generalized? That's the goal of Webfinger: WebFinger is about making email addresses more valuable, by letting people
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                          Essential Characteristics of a Personal Data Store

                          I'm in a session at IIW where personal data stores are being discussed. Drummond Reed and Paul Trevethick are moderating. Someone asked Paul why Facebook isn't a personal data store. Certainly is a store of personal data. Facebook has a rich and powerful mechanism for sharing data with apps. But... They can change the terms any time they like They monetize my data--who owns or controls the transactions Mary Hodder gave a "bank vs bar" analogy. Facebook is a bar, not a bank. There are lots of options and things to do, but no fiduciary responsibility or interoperability. The
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                          Starting a High Tech Business: Finding a Market

                          When you're starting a business, you'll hear a lot about product/market fit. Marc Andreesen says: In a great market -- a market with lots of real potential customers -- the market pulls product out of the startup. The market needs to be fulfilled and the market will be fulfilled, by the first viable product that comes along. The product doesn't need to be great; it just has to basically work. And, the market doesn't care how good the team is, as long as the team can produce that viable product. In short, customers are knocking down your door to
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