I’ve just made a really big post to the Independents Hall Google Group. You can either read it there or in it’s entirety below the cut.
My life, and many others’ just got SO much nicer. I had almost written off basecamp because i was so sick of managing 30+ different logins for various clients and vendors. Now…im a customer for life.
[tags]openID, 37signals, basecamp[/tags]
LinkedIn has announced an API to be released within 9 months. It’s already been expressed that 9 months is too far off, and frankly, a nearly 1 year response to a strategic move by a so-called competitor (that’s facebook, apparently) is straight up, unacceptable.
Hang on a second. what do facebook and linked in have in common? They both run in the “social networks” crowd, though I’ve never considered one userbase to mirror another. Lets take a look.
Facebook has been, through all of it’s incarnations, fairly “real time” due to the nature of it’s users and the way that they used the environment. Their profile reflected their favorite movies/music/books NOW. Their wall reflected commentary from friends from the previous week’s events. Their photos were tagged from the previous nights’ social event (with or without the obligitory red solo cups). Even the pre-twitter “status” line that asked what you were up to, though it never caught on as heavily as twitter, reflected “now” events. And the connections between one person’s “now” events and another person’s “now” events.
LinkedIn, though “social” in nature, had a niche in business rather than social record-keeping. Like a mix between a social network and a self-evolving AddressBook, the real value in LinkedIn was to keep the contacts that you already had in it, and let them update their own contact info, new and old work places, promotions, etc. But due to the less regular updating (at least I HOPE someone isn’t putting new stuff into their LinkedIn profile every 3 days. Thats a lousy employment turnover), I don’t find myself going back to LinkedIn looking for new information once an hour like many FacebookAddicts do. I don’t even find myself on LinkedIn once a day. Or even week. I don’t think I EVER go back looking for people. The only times I go to LinkedIn and log in are when it notifies me that someone has updated their info. When a new related contact is available. It’s a very reactive relationship, versus the addictive/proactive nature of Facebook.
So where does this API fit in? Is linked in going to create a marketplace for apps based on a userbase that, with the exception of recruiters, uses the network more reactively than proactively? That seems like a waste of 9 months, to me.
On the other hand, if it’s the resume data they are looking to make more portable, I’m all for it. But wait, it already is. Thanks to the implementation of the hResume microformat, each of over 11 million resumes is marked up for data portability (or at least a working draft of the model). What would be way sweeter than an API that takes 9 months to crank on? Smarter imports/exports using microformats. I’m looking at the Dopplr friend importer that uses hCards, and even the Satisfaction account creation tool. Both of these flows use existing data, and presumably could keep one set of data up to date based on another.
Based on the proof-of-concepts in both of these hCard tools, it becomes clear that these flows actually can work. This, in my opinion, should be much less complicated to do than an after-the-fact API and can be baked pretty quickly with the already existing technology. I think that LinkedIn would benefit greatly from making a DIFFERENT strategic move than Facebook as response, especially if their goal is to promote more pro-active usership to grow from the current re-active tools. After all, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
[tags]hresume, linkedin, facebook, microformats, social networks, api[/tags]
Big thanks to Allen @ CenterNetworks for inviting me to put together a contribution to his “StartupMonth” series. As one might expect, I put an Indie spin on it. Check out the piece (and a bunch of other excellent contributions) at http://www.centernetworks.com/startup-tips-alex-hillman-from-weknowhtml!
[tags]centernetworks, startups, article, tips[/tags]
The copy I wrote for my business website, We Know HTML, is notoriously goofy. I had a blast writing it and during the last 8 months of it being live, I’ve gotten a lot of positive response from the chuckles it elicits. But someone took it seriously…
On the contact page, there’s a standard form with the following bit of copy:
This is the quickest, easiest way to send us a short message. Tell us something nice. Tell us something clever. Tell us your mom’s recipe for meat loaf. We like meat loaf.
Again, I’ve gotten a reasonable amount of short notes saying various nice (and occasionally not so nice) things through the form…and of course the obligitory spam. Yesterday I got something better than spam…a recipe for some dude’s mom’s meatloaf! And man, it looks yummy! Here’s the email I got:
Finally! You probably don’t even remember this, but I owe you a recipe. Here you go. I can’t vouch for it (I’m one of those veggie-types) but the rest of my family loves when my mom makes this. I didn’t even need to bribe her with cash for the recipe–just had to promise to call home more often.
- 1 (7 oz) can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
- 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup regular oats
- 1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup tomato sauce
- 2 tsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp dried basil
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 large egg whites
- 2 lbs ground turkey
- cooking spray
- 1/4 cup tomato sauce
- 1 tbs ketchup
- 1/2 tsp hot sauce
Preheat oven to 350°.
Remove 1 chipotle chile and 1 teaspoon adobo sauce from can; reserve remaining chiles and sauce for another use (you won’t need it for this, apparently). Chop chile. Combine chile, adobo sauce, onion, and next 14 ingredients (through ground turkey) in a large bowl, stirring to combine. (She uses more than one chile sometimes, I guess it’s up to you however many you want to use.)
Place beef mixture in a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 30 minutes.
To prepare topping, combine 1/4 cup tomato sauce, ketchup, and hot sauce in a small bowl; brush mixture evenly over meat loaf.
Cover and bake an additional 30 minutes or until thermometer registers 160°.
Let stand 10 minutes before slicing.
(Note from me–I think the ‘next 14 ingredients’ line is confusing–she just means combine everything up until the cooking spray.)C
Thanks “ChumSalad”, for open sourcing your mom’s meat loaf recipe. I’ll be sure to let you know how the loaf turns out. If anyone wants to use the recipe, go for it, and let me know how you liked it!
[tags]humor, meat loaf, recipe[/tags]
A couple of days ago, there were some very upset people. Steve Jobs announced that there was a “sweet” solution for development on the iPhone. Then he suggested that building web apps that work in the safari browser that comes on the iPhone was a great opportunity for people to build whatever they wanted for apps.
People were pissed. “This is a copout!”. “What about the cocoa developers?”. “I want XCode/CoreAnimation!”. All kinds of greedy, greedy behavior.
For now. That’s the key. I can’t really believe that past the first version, there won’t be a more advanced SDK. Maybe it’ll be licensed like it is for video game developers. You’ve gotta buy some special hardware or software in order to build tools for the iPhone. That’d seem like a reasonable method for keeping cruft out, things that make for buggy, unstable phones. Sure, it’s not 100% “open” like we’d like it to be, but neither is OS X, apple hardware, or a LOT of things that come out of Apple. Really…what did you people expect?
Another good point is that even with a nominal fee for the developer tools, you’re going to keep the quality of our oh-so-precious mac apps high. When you’ve got everyone and their sister who knows enough code to be dangerous building apps, the market becomes saturated with crap. Creating this artificial sandbox between pros and amateurs…pros can have the big boy tools but they gotta pay for ’em, while amateurs need to start off working with safari-based apps, MIGHT not be a bad thing.
So for now, we’ve got this crazy Safari web browser that’s popping up all over the place (though it’s clearly a beta in the desktop formats, I hope it’s more stable on the phone). People are so willing to speculate what they can do before even being able to do it, that they’ve built add-ons for their favorite apps that MIGHT let them use it on the iPhone.
The last thing I want people to think about is the precedent being set for mobile “browsing”. With the exception of screen size (and we dont even know how thats going to work, exactly), we’ve got a single browser that supposedly works exactly the same on 3 platforms: Mac, Windows, and a mobile device. Using the powers of web standards, microformats, and tools geared towards format portability, shouldn’t we be able to build an app ONCE and have the browser be able to understand the data there and best format it for the viewport? Basically, since its “the same browser”, why build a mobile version and a regular version? The mobile version should be able to automatically be gleaned from the regular version when the device detects that it needs to be in .mobi mode. Rather than have a device centric app, you’ve got an app that does stuff and the portal through which it is used is able to take a little virtual putty to it’s face on the fly and make it more mobile friendly.
I’m sure that Apple has a bunch of things up their sleeve as far as what we can do with the iPhone. Remember, they’ve done 180s on us before, when we least expected it.
I love my Apple gear. I’ve been a happy Apple customer for over a year now and won’t look back to windows except to browser test in IE (and to test WinSafari since I don’t want Beta3 janking up my MacbookPro). I WONT be buying a first revision iPhone. Do I want to play with one? Of course. It’s crazy cool. But first revision hardware can be saved for the fanboys. I’ll hang around and wait until he kinks are worked out.
[tags]iPhone, software development, browser, SDK, safari[/tags]
Philly’s very own Scott McNulty (known for his work as a blogger on TUAW) was featured on CNBC’s Fast Money Face2Face as a corespondent regarding the upheaval over the announcements (or lack thereof) at WWDC. Nice work Scott!
[tags]apple, wwdc, fast money, face2face, scott mcnulty, philadelphia, san francisco[/tags]
Just a quick thought from my attendance of my sister’s high school graduation tonight. Before I go any further, I’ll send out a congrats to my sister, since I’m very proud of her surviving the shithole of a hometown I grew up in, coming out normal, and moreover, taking the plunge and moving away to DC to go to American University. Way to go Leah!
The salutatorian’s speech spoke about how she was rejected from a bunch of the schools that she had applied to. I’ll skip past the fact that someone 2nd in their class was able to be rejected from multiple universities..because that’s not the good part. The good part is the fact that she was able to spin her rejection in a way that will get her very far in life.
This girl was able to, as Chris and Tara say, “Embrace the Chaos”. She was able to describe the freedom she felt by realizing that for the first time in her life, she didn’t know. For the first time in her life, the supposedly pre-ordained future was tossed to the wind and rather than seeing the single closed door in front of her, she looked around at other opportunities that she prior hadn’t even realized existed.
I almost silently hope that this girl realizes that college is not the place for someone like her, does something incredible with her life.
[tags]graduation, embrace chaos, citizen agency[/tags]
Reactees are customized t-shirts printed with a slogan and a keyword that can be sent to a shortcode, and then the sender gets a message back to find out more about the message that they saw on the shirt in the first place.
I was inspired, and created a shirt for Coworking:
http://reactee.com/COWORKING to get your own, they’re only $25. I’ve updated the link to use a referral code. We receive 20% of every shirt sold, and that will NOT be going into my pocket but instead into an account that will be used to help fund Independents Hall.
Currently the keyword is set to kick back the first line from the coworking wiki:
Coworking is cafe-like community/collaboration space for developers, writers and independents http://wiki.coworking.info
Who knows what kind of conversation we can start with these kinds of walking billboards zooming around the place. I’m really excited to wear mine!
You can try it without a tee!
Just SMS ‘coworking’ to 41411 to get the intro text, or ‘sub coworking’ to 41411 to subscribe to future sms messages. It ain’t twitter, but twitter might want to take some cues on groups from these guys. They set up a pretty flexible admin!
also, I don’t make a dime off referral sales (or sales of the shirt i made). I don’t think I do, anyway.
Again: We now receive 20% of every shirt sold through this link only, and that will NOT be going into my pocket but instead into an account that will be used to help fund Independents Hall. Thanks for your support!
[tags]reactees, coworking, sms[/tags]
I’ve managed to somehow make it my business to know whats going on in the local industry (and beyond), but in regard to local events, I have a lot of events and groups to keep up with. I still haven’t streamlined that process, though the combination of Google Calendar synced with ical over SpanningSync sure helps a lot. I tend to distribute “things going on this week” via twitter, email groups, and various IM conversations, it’s hardly efficient.
Well, I’ve decided to take a plunge into ultimate transparency. I’ve decided to feed by personal google calendar over the web, and it’s now available to be viewed and subscribed to at http://www.dangerouslyawesome.com/calendar/.
I haven’t gone back and set visiblity permissions on past events because, well, they’re in the past. But moving forward you may see “busy” blocks on my calendar. Those are things that I’m decidedly keeping private…whether to protect other parties involved, or for safety of my own sanity :-).
In general though, all of the groups, meetups, and events that I attend, plan to attend, or hear about that I think are worth attending (even if I can’t make it) will go into this calendar.
If anyone has a particularly handy way of projecting this information better, please speak up in the comments, I’m open to suggestions. The benefit to google calendar is it’s portable and subscribeable, as far as I can tell. And doing this doesn’t disrupt me existing workflow while it (I hope) adds value to some of my readership, especially the Philly folks.
[tags]calendar, shared, transparency, public, events, meetup groups, philadelphia, independents hall[/tags]
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