Subscribe to RSS feed

A seXtreme film wins the 2006 Red Bull Hike&Ride

A snowboard porno? Yes, a snowboard porno. “Strapped In” combines kickers, big lines, and sex into a double award-winning mix.

The Winners: Vinzenz Lueps and Alex Schmaltz (Germany)
Vinz and Alex took home the overall prize for the 2006 Red Bull Hike&Ride as well as the Sony Mastershot Award. That’s’ the first time one clip has won both awards.

Sex sells. Go figure. ;)

The first two thirds of their clip is a hard-riding adventure that pokes fun at skiers. They drop lines off of a house, slash a windlip, kick it in the park, and trip up a couple people in the process. Then things get crazy. When Vinz meets a sexy girl at a nightclub (who happens to be a skier’s girlfriend), Alex pins the guy down while Vinz makes his move. Change of location, and we’re in the bedroom. You’ll have to see the rest for yourself. Don’t show it to the kids.

A strong year and close competition

The riders and pubic agreed that the overall quality of this year’s clips was very high and the competition was tight. Up in Les Portes du Soleil, the teams filmed big lines, fresh trax, and major action in the parks. It was plain to see that they all worked hard to create original characters and storylines. In the studio back in Zurich, they mixed original music and sound effects with tracks from the Red Bull Audiofiles. The eight clips that resulted from their efforts are as unique as the teams.

Scott McMorris and Tim Warwood (UK)

Their clip was well done and they obviously put a lot of thought into it. Scott and Tim were real contenders for the win. The Brits live close to the Portes du Soleil, so they felt pretty comfortable finding the big lines and kicking it in the parks. When they started filming at the top of the cable car station where the heli had landed to interview them, all the local kids were taking their picture. Rock stars!

Robin Kaleta and Jiri Lausecker (Czech Republic)
The Czech team’s riding was absolutely sick, and they must have hiked for miles to get their shots. They also win the hard-partying award for the event. Team Czech stayed up all night to edit and got very drunk in the process. No one was safe, especially the girls. They finished at 7am Sunday morning and tried to get everyone drunk at breakfast. They were hanging out (literally upside down) from the riders area for most of the day.

Nicki Langer and Jakub Malik (Switzerland, public team)
The Swiss public team got Jansci Hadik (their photographer) to dress up like a woman, and that should win a special award. You’ll have to check out their clip to see what I mean. Do you remember The Karate Kid? Mr. Miyagi will teach you about snowboarding ... They made a good showing with both a strong storyline and hard riding.

Martin Winkler and Alois Bickel (Austria)

At the Carnival next to their hotel at the Portes du Soleil, they rocked the party all night long. If there was a prize for best costume, they would have won. Martin, better know as Macfly, and his partner Alios took their idea of Back to the Future to a whole new level.

Sverre Lilliequist and Kaj Zackrisson (Sweden)
Sverre and Kaj’s tribute to Batman and the Joker was a riot. Their “soundtrack” – really more of a strange Swedish Batman chant – was as cool and offbeat as the two guys who made it.

Robert Olsson and Emanuel Hedvall (Sweden)

The first team to finish their clip was the second Swedish team: Robert Olsson and partner Emanuel Hedvall. Their thriller was unique, to say the least. Great editing and reincarnation in the mountains left people wanting more.

Brice Lequertier and Fred Serin (France)

Brice and Fred kept the spirit of the French clipmaking tradition alive. 2004 winner David Vincent would be proud. Their editing session was intense and went on all night. It was almost like they were searching for something that they could not find. Hmmm ... I wonder what it was? They even threw in some German for the locals. Ah Scheisse!

You can also check out Nathan Gallagher’s photos from the party. Here's his photo gallery on Flickr.

If you missed anything during the event, all the news and daily posts are on the official 2006 Red Bull Hike&Ride web site and Daily Log.

See you next year,

Tuesday, February 28, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Un-Pimp My Ride

VW strikes again: If you thought Volkswagen's "GTI Fast" TV commercials were funny, wait until you see the company's latest creation. Three new GTI commercials are now airing with a simple theme: "Unpimp your auto!" An obvious parody of the hit TV series, "Pimp My Ride," the ads feature the German engineers at VW smashing "pimped"economy cars, and replacing them with the new GTI. Even if you're not a VW fan, you'll probably enjoy these ads.

Sunday, February 26, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

The Main Event

Spent a few days in Wengen. Talk about highs and lows. The Kleine Scheidegg was incredible. Less snow than last year, but plenty was around if you looked a bit. The glades/tree line down below the Gummi lift, for example, were outrageous. Sunday was another story ... Let's just say that organizational strength, especially in terms of transportation, is not the valley's strongest suit.

Posting will be light for the next few days as I do the Daily Log over on the Hike&Ride site. The event starts tomorrow. Bring it on.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     2  comments

Pow, sure. But big pow?

(2230 m) Issued at 00 am Sun 19 Feb: A heavy fall of snow, heaviest during Sun night, Temperatures will be well below freezing (max -6C on Sun afternoon, min -13C on Sat night) Winds decreasing (fresh winds from the WSW on Sat night, calm by Tue afternoon)"
Wengen Weather Forecast for 2230 m

Sunday, February 19, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments


All your TechCrunch 5 belong to Hugh

For as good as I am sure it was, the real news about Michael Arrington's Web 2.0 party is what Hugh Macleod accomplished. He's on a misson, and it is working ...

So, here's the situation:

The Web 2.0 glitterati decide to meet at the house of the blogger leading the 2.0 charge so they can discuss one of the buzz books of the moment.

You are trying to use wine blogging as marketing disruption.

The party is on the West Coast.

You live in London and cannot travel to the party.

What do you do?

Send 10 cases to Arrington and show 'em how it's done.

You can't buy the kind of endorsement that Michael gives Hugh and Stormhoek, because everyone knows the deal. It is, for lack of a better word, cool. The relationship is transparent, and that matters. We all know what Hugh is up to, but that's ok. That's the way it should be.

In other words, honest transparant marketing and communication just plain works.

I think this is brilliant and that Hugh/Stormhoek will be a massive success. He is tapping into the best parts of viral, word-of-mouth, blogging and plain old good marketing and PR all at the same time. If the wine is anywhere close to as good as the marketing, this is a winner.

I also want to specifically mention Stormhoek, who donated ten cases of their premium wine to the party. It is incredibly good wine, and their generosity in sending it has made me a lifetime customer. Hugh Macleod, who is leading their blogger attack, is adding incredible value to them as well. Somehow a full case of the wine disappeared into my closet before the party started, so anyone visiting in the next couple of weeks will be treated to a glass. :-)

Sunday, February 19, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Guitar Shred Show

I agree with Veer:
This could be the greatest internet innovation since e-mail.

Friday, February 17, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Media Wants to be Free (But Not in the Way You Think)
Jason Chervokas

Must read. God, do I miss reading @NY.

Quote: The universal appeal of peer-to-peer file sharing, of weird "mesh media" impromptu local networks (of the sort I experienced on the Willis Avenue Bridge) in part has to do with the freedom from paying, but even more so has to do with the freedom of use--not "use" in the sense of piracy--redistribution for commercial purposes--but "use" in the sense of personal choice within a neatly legal context. In absence of an industrial infrastructure to provide that choice, end users are doing it for themselves.

Friday, February 17, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Hike & Ride: Best Clips

There's only one week to go before the 2006 Red Bull Hike&Ride. Over the past 3 years, there have been some incredible clips. Here are three of my favorites:

David and Christoph

"No Title"
If you're planning to spend some time with David and Christoph, you'd better be ready for an adventure. The action is intense, both at the bar and on the mountain. Shot all day and night, this is a sweet flick.

David and Yannick

"The Adventures of Le Davos Devil"
David & Yannick creativity in front of and behind the lens won the hearts and minds of the other teams, who then voted them the winners of the 2004 Red Bull Hike&Ride. Sit back and enjoy the adventures of Le Davos Devil.

Chris and Shane

DEATH: (Dick Et Alphonse Trouvé Hiver)
Winners of the 2005 Red Bull Hike&Ride, Shane and Chris mixed humor and the extreme to produce a fantastic ski adventure which includes steep skiing, hard hiking, BASE jumping and – are you ready for this – DEATH. Enjoy USA vs France in “Dick Et Alphonse Trouve Hiver.”

Thursday, February 16, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Image Hosted by

One day to go. The countdown begins ...

Thursday, February 16, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Image Hosted by

George Nimeh's Frappr

Welcome to Frappr! Create a map for your group. Invite friends to join. Share photos and talk in forums. It's easy and fun!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

A Slippery Slope

Marshall Kirkpatrick comments on the insanity of Technorati's new authority slider.

And, this post at the Blog Herald for another perspective - that blog networks have an unfair advantage in such a system because of the number of inbound links created by the network. Even Kirkpatrick (himself a member of a network) agrees.

Sifry tries to explain in part 2 of his State of the Blogosphere that there is still a level playing field and that anyone can become an "A-list" blogger. He admits that there are network effects and that power law relationships can exist, but argues that if you look at things over time, a lot has changed in terms of the top 100 blogs.

This may be true, but I'd argue that while we may still be in the Wild Wild West period of blogging, things have come a long way in a short period of time. Established networks like Jason and Nick have built, along with the sheer number of new blogs out there (one new every second) make it increasingly difficult to break through the clutter.

Add to that the fact that the network effect generated by the natural buzz around the A-List and the fact that they are a very self-referential group, and you start to get the picture:

This is not the Scripting News blogosphere anymore.

Inbound links to top blog by year:
2002: 598
2003: 8442
2004: 9094
2005: 20,915
Today: 67,731

How is anyone to believe that as long as the top blogs don't compeltely suck out, stop posting, or die that there is any chance of a small-time Z-List blogger breaking into the Top 100 where even the 100th blog (ironically Dave Winer, who was #1 in 2002) has 5,807 inbound links.

Well, it will still be fun trying ...

Wednesday, February 15, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Image Hosted by
"This is data that marketers die for." has plotted local discussions on a map of the US. You click on a dot and see the message threads within a 60 mile radius of that spot.

Quoted from Steve Rubel:
We also need to be able to pinpoint locally just where the conversation is strongest or weakest. has taken the first step I have seen in this direction. They have created a real-time map that shows where the contributions from citizen journalists are coming - at least from inside their own walls. We'll see tons more innovation in the area of conversation geocoding this year.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Brrreeeport: Why joining the A-List is Scobleicious

Tips for joining the A list

Great post. Scoble gives some simple advice to grow your readership. Certainly worth a read.

In another post, Scoble talks about BlogCode, a cool site that let's you rate/code blogs (including your own) and then have them get matched to others like it.

Seems that i-boy has something in common with Scoble and Matt Cutts of Google (very cool, eh?) and a bunch of other interesting blogs. Feels good to be in their company.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Image Hosted by

My wife is awesome!

Not only did she send me Limited-Edition Raspberry Kiss Doughnuts from Krispy Kreme, she had them delivered using eCourier. I got to watch my mystery package being delivered in real-time via GPS-enabled delivery trucks on a Google Maps mash-up. I had no idea what was on the way from my "secret admirer." When the package arrived, I got doughnuts, not flowers.

I am the luckiest man on the planet.

Happy Valentines Day darling ... and to the rest of the blogosphere.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Break du jour:

Anagram map of the london tube

Tuesday, February 14, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

State of the Blogosphere Part 2: Beyond Search
Sifry's Alerts:


The Magic Middle

This realm of publishing, which I call "The Magic Middle" of the attention curve, highlights some of the most interesting and influential bloggers and publishers that are often writing about topics that are topical or niche, like Chocolate and Zucchini on food, Wi-fi Net News on Wireless networking, TechCrunch on Internet Companies, Blogging Baby on parenting, Yarn Harlot on knitting, or Stereogum on music - these are blogs that are interesting, topical, and influential, and in some cases are radically changing the economics of trade publishing.

At Technorati, we define this to be the bloggers who have from 20-1000 other people linking to them. As the chart above shows, there are about 155,000 people who fit in this group. And what is so interesting to me is how interesting, exciting, informative, and witty these blogs often are. I've noticed that often these blogs are more topical or focused on a niche area, like gardening, knitting, nanotech, mp3s or journalism and a great way to find them has been through Blog Finder.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Barron's Online - In the Drink

Not quite as kind as the Time cover story ....

Quote: Investors have been fixated on Google the past few weeks, as its shares have tumbled nearly 25% from a peak of $475 -- and the fact is, there could be a lot more tumbling ahead. The share price could well be cut in half over the next year as the Internet giant grapples with growing competition from Microsoft and Yahoo!, increased pricing pressures in its online ad sales and mounting concern about what's known as click fraud.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Blogs to Riches - The Haves and Have-Nots of the Blogging Boom
New York Magazine

Blogging and the Elusive Mass Audience
Publishing 2.0

Peter Rojas gets his due
The Jason Calacanis Weblog

top ten reasons why nobody reads your blog

Tuesday, February 14, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Online Ajax "desktops" try to change the rules of the game
by Dion Hinchcliffe

Value proposition for online Ajax desktops

  • One Stop - Centralized online consumption of content and services
  • Accessible Anywhere - Roaming accessibility from anywhere with Web connectivity
  • All Your Data - Easy integration of most existing information sources including e-mail, calendars, bookmarks, news, blogs, pictures, etc.
  • Engaging, Fun, Fast - Rich, interactive experiences that match native software
  • A Platform that Grows And Evolves - Open platform for in-browser third-party software add-ons ('s Gadgets and Pageflakes' Community Flakes)
  • Real Software Not Just Data - Increasing integration with Web 2.0 software applications like word processors, messaging, and wikis, plus rich Javascript widgets
  • Intelligent Consumption - Ad-hoc, decentralized, user guided content filtering and mashup creation

Monday, February 13, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Pot Odds

No, not that pot ... Michael Wiesenberg, in The Official Dictionary of Poker, defines pot odds as: “The ratio of the size of the pot to the size of the bet a player must call to continue in the pot.”

Simply Holdem: Card and Pot Odds
Card Player: Pot Odds Made Easy
Card Player: Pot Odds and All That Jazz

Monday, February 13, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Gold for il pomodoro di volo, but no medal for NBC and Google Video.

I wanted to see Shaun White's winning run, since I missed it on Brit TV. I'm still not used to the my Sky+ Tivo-like thing and the BBC's coverage.

Since I'm in the UK, I could not watch this video on Google Video. I imagine it is part of the deal they did with NBC. No problem seeing it on YouTube, which begs the question: Where would Google and NBC rather have me watch the video?

In a world where video content will soon be as easily found as photos are today, isn't a bit silly (naive, even) to think that people won't look around? What kind of user experience is this? One that tells me to start my search elsewhere, and that doesn't win you any medals.

Shaun White's Gold Medal run

Shaun White's Gold Medal run at the 2006 Winter Olympics. White scored a 46.8 on his first run of the finals to win the gold medal.

Monday, February 13, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

AlexaDex: The Web 2.0 “Stock” Market

Need to have some 2.0 fun?

Welcome to the alexadex, where players compete for fame and glory by buying and selling shares in sites on the world wide web. The price of a share is set at the site’s daily reach per million, according to You get $10,000 just for signing up, so get started!

Monday, February 13, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

In Search Of The Real Google Mag Cover Story

Meet The Google Guys
Adi Ignatius interviews the Google triumvirate of Sergey Brin, Eric Schmidt and Larry Page

Sunday, February 12, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Balter is at it again.

This is great stuff.


This is a 90-day experiment in organizational transparency.

In December 2005, BzzAgent received $13.8 million in venture capital, and has now a reached a critical point in its development -- the company will double its staff from 47 to 80 over the next year, double its sales, and make a fundamental transition from an agency to a media model.

To chronicle this extraordinary phase in its evolution, BzzAgent has invited John Butman -- a writer, expert in organizational communications, and co-author with Balter of the recently published book Grapevine: The New Art of Word-of-Mouth Marketing -- to spend time inside the company and blog about what he sees and learns, in real-time.

90 Days at BzzAgent will chronicle the changes that take place at BzzAgent as the company strives to grow fast and big, but keep true to its mission of "open and honest sharing of opinions" among everyday people.

Subject: Project On My Mind, I Can’t Shake
Date: Thu, 05 Jan 2006 23:10:37 -0500
From: Dave Balter
Reply-To: dave balter
Organization: BzzAgent, Inc.
To: John Butman

Doc -

I got an idea.

What do you think about a 3 month on staff writing gig at BzzAgent.

It's simple. The company just got about $15 million in funding [true].

I want to have you document the company for 3 months - in writing. To the world. We'll set it up as a blog - people can respond to the daily postings.

You hang out in the office. Write about the real internal workings. What's really happening.

It's like a reality show. But written. Cheap to produce. Fun to watch.

We take the idea of the BeeLog and we turn it up a dozen notches. In real time. Do something no company has ever done before.

We could get very creative with this. Plus, I think you’d like the energy in the office right now - and would enjoy your energy around as well. [you can certainly work on other projects while there, if you want].

You in?


Sunday, February 12, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Micro Persuasion: Be Ready

Quote: The Economist this week looks at how bloggers impact corporate reputations and the value that listening to the conversation has overall. Every company - and I mean every - must have a plan for how they will handle a blog crisis.

Sunday, February 12, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Quote of the week. (Thanks GMSV)

"A few people have asked me why I'm not using the AOL Journals product for this blog. I love AOL Journals, and there are several of them that I check regularly, but the simple answer is that my tech guys told me that we needed to use a different platform in order to do the things I want to do with this blog."
-- AOL Vice Chairman Ted Leonsis

Reader "Matt" replied with devastating incisiveness: "As an AOL member myself, why don't you have your 'tech guys' make AOL Journals more robust, to meet your needs?"

Friday, February 10, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Old Media Asserts Its Will to Survive
Publishing 2.0

Quote: Here’s the risk to New Media upstarts like bloggers who think their content is going to take over the world — what if Old Media executives really start to “get it” and figure out how to leverage their most valuable asset — BRAND.

Friday, February 10, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Buzzword Bingo

This a must-have for any 2.0 conference-goer.

Friday, February 10, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Joel thinks there are Too Many Ajax Calendars

Quote: For all the Ajax calendars that are appearing, it's a shame I can't find one which really meets my needs. ... But anyway, how many Ajax Calendar Companies do you think Yahoo! is gonna buy? You don't build a product for one customer. It's just too risky.

Friday, February 10, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Needed a break ...

Star Wars in 30 seconds, re-enacted by bunnies.

Yeti Sports: 10

Steve Martin on SNL: 1, 2, 3

Thursday, February 09, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Valleywag: Chris Coulter's Demo 2006 report


The bloggers at Demo 2006 are all guzzling the new-product Kool-Aid. But un-blogger Chris Coulter has this habit of sending kick-ass, monomaniacal e-mails to just a handful of people. Why he's not monetizing his own eyeballs or cross-platforming his paradigm shift, I don't know, but the man deserves to be read. So here is the antidote to all the gushing product reports.

Thursday, February 09, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments


Songbird is a Web player built from Firefox's browser engine. Songbird is open source, will run on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux and supports user contributed, cross-platform extensions.

Browser? yes.
Firefox/Thunderbird framework? yes.
Winamp guys involved? yes.
iPod support? nope.
iTunes killer? not sure yet.
Lots of people talking about it? oh yes.

Thursday, February 09, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments
Your Edge in Real Estate

The Napster of Real Estate has arrived.

Site seems slow? Close your eyes and envision your perfect home. By then maybe the server can handle our zillions of visitors.

Quoted from GMSV:
The much discussed real estate bubble may have moved online. This morning former Expedia Chief Executive Rich Barton launched, a service that provides real-time estimates of of home valuations. Give Zillow the address of your home and it will provide you with an estimate of its valuation, the date and purchase price of the last sale, and data on comparable home. "The data is as good as we can get it, given the way we are collecting it and the amount we are sharing," Barton told the Seattle Post Intelligencer. "We are going to put it out there because it is too much fun to hold back, but we know full well that we are not like Moses taking the tablets from the Lord and handing them down."

It's a neat little service -- when it's up and running (Zillow has been down all morning), and one that could be another step in the disintermediation of the local real estate agent. After all, a service like Zillow gives aspiring sellers one less reason to look to agents for guidance. Of course, it doesn't yet offer sale listings themselves, but it's certain to soon. Zillow's bread and butter is targeted advertising, and what better target could there be for real estate agents peddling homes.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Live Blogging The Future of Web Apps
part IX

This is moving fast, so who knows what I'll capture. There will be a video. I'll link to it later. One thing is for sure, they are using the words "paradigm shift" quite a bit. Uggg. Update: Panel gets a bit better as session wears on.

The guys at Futurilla blog this session better than I managed to do.

The folks at Carson say that a video of this panel (and others?) will be made freely available.

Panel Questions

Many of the services considered to be "Web 2.0" are specialized tools
that have a narrow focus on performing a single specific task very well
(dropsend, tada lists,, etc). Is the future of the web
primarily about solving small problems very well with focused solutions
and highly specialized tools? - Josh Clark, Global Moxie

Steffen: Things need to be related. Bookmarks, inbox, calendar, etc.
Cal: Focus on open ID/authentication. Single sign-on is back.
David: Regi sucks, not the IDs and passports

Given that AJAX allows for user interaction comparable with desktop
applications, should AJAX applications be designed like desktop
applications too? Put another way, are pretty, unique interfaces
important for Web 2.0 or is it more important to establish interface
standards whereby the user can feel comfortable across a number of
different applications? - Jonathan Leighton

Josh: Desktop apps will look more like web apps, not the other way around.

Model is that the browser is the platform or vis-versa. Discuss.
Universal connectivity will change the way we think about OS, browsers, desktops, etc.

When do you know it is time to launch?
You get feedback from launching early.
When you can use it every day and it works.
Doesn't need to be complete.
Half a product, not a half-assed product. (37 Signals mantra)

Debate on the value of VC funding takes a few minutes.

Replication of data. How will we get at it.
Yahoo! API's are opening up. Issues w/ authentication.

Influence of maps search in CH
Heavily scripted web apps.
Steffan claims to have built a 1-to-1 scale of the planet Earth

Opinions on Microsoft
Vista has RSS integration

Web 2.0 is about getting a lot of older stuff right.
10 years to get the industry to use XML the right way.

Accessibility was big. Now it has not been mentioned. Where is it?

Awkward silence from panel.
Great non-answer from a couple guys.
Ryan tries to let everyone know how important it is to everyone.
Universal design principles are mentioned as important.

Web services. Are there new commercial agreements? Cascading SLAs?
Josh: People just went out and built stuff on Flickr. These are contracts, but they are not legal contracts. Agreements, but not legally binding. Perhaps the end of the SLA.
Others, however, disagree and state that yes, there will be the need for this kind of hybrid arrangement.

Balance between 2 Types of web apps: critical mass vs making money up front
Social software needs masses of people, therefore less emphasis on $
Charging from the start would have hurt Flickr
David: Google's revenue permits it to play with tons of cash

Wednesday, February 08, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

News Flash

Launch of Free Open API to FeedBurners FeedFlare.
Steve Olechowski from FeedBurner announces that FeedFlare's API has been released to the public with over 100 examples of cool things to do.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Live Blogging The Future of Web Apps
part VIII

Greater Expectations
Reality-Checking the AJAX Web Application Architecture
Steffen Meschkat - Google Maps
Steven Crossan (will be on panel, later)

AJAX: What's in the name? All the parts are nonessential or redundant. Boils down to client-side scripting, done the right way (but the name CSS is taken). A bad name, however, is better than no name.

REST and SSSS apps
Client side, only 2 events: click a link and submit a form
The action, each time, is to replace the entire document
Applicaton specific behaviour resides on the server

AJAX applications
Scripted event handlers are embedded in client-side documents
In reaction to specific events, the current docuement is updated, possibly but not necessarily involving additionally requested data from the server
Application-specific behaviour is implemented on the client side

1. Sophisticated User Interaction
Display can be partially updated, modified, animated
Complex manipulations are possible
User interaction like in 1990
2. Client Side Session State
Transient session state is managed on the client
Persistent user state maintained on the server
This corrects a long standing architectural abberation
Note: Rants a bit about server-side session state (but for good reason)


The bad thing about doing something right the first time is that nobody appreciates how difficult it was. Web technloogies give us plenty of opportunities to appreciate how difficult it was.

AJAX: What's really in it
CSS: layout, fonts, colors. Seems simple, but is very complex underneath.
DocumentObjectModel: Library allowing what is viewed by the user
JavaScript: Just two words: semicolon insertion
Data Marshaling

Faust: Who art thou then?

Practical consequences

Cross browser compatibility
Different implementations of all mentioned technologies
Different (but always many) bugs
Enforces good libraries

Separation of interaction logic and application logic
Implemented in different languages
Separated by flexible and extensible protocol
Seamful integration: They have form. They are seen, sometimes.

Steffen spends a few minutes telling why he likes JavaScript.
Steffen spends a few minutes talking about JavaScript code on Google Maps.


Compilation/packaging, modularization, cache control

Bookmarking and History
in applications quite pedestrian, but so are the browsers

Graceful Degradation
Smart reuse od format helps a lot

Or, rather, to resist the temptation to build one
Because there is one, and it is the browser.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Live Blogging The Future of Web Apps
part VII

Carson gave a great primer on getting it done on a small budget. Got a good idea but don't know exactly how to go about doing it? Here's a nice blueprint to start with.

How to Build an Enterprise Web App on a Budget
Ryan Carson

What's the big deal?
You don't have to be big anymore.
- Broadband is widespread
- People are comfortable with web apps
- Hardware is cheap
- Open source is cheap

What's enterprise?
Mass market or 1000+ users

What's "on a budget"
- Under 30K GBP

Dropsend: Sending and storing large files
The most important thing: Make sure the idea is financially viable.
Use common sense: Will people pay for it?
Be cautious about your projections
Acquisition my ass - Aim to be profitable, as getting acquired is not a sure thing
Forget about the "Is this another bubble" stuff.

The budget
Branding and UI design: 5000 GBP
Development: 8500 GBP (plus some equity) from Plum Digital Media
Desktop Apps: 2750 GBP
Hardware: 500 GBP
Hosting: 800 GBP per month for 5 boxes (BitPusher)
Legal: 2630 GBP
Accounting: 500 GBP
Misc: 1950 GBP
Trademark: 250 GBP (without a lawyer)
Merchant Account: 200 GBP
Payment Processor: 500 GBP
Total: 25,680 GBP

Team building on a budget
Don't go for rock stars - go for quiet talent
Offer equity
Ask friends for recommendations
Try outsourcing

Scalability on a budget
Buy just enough hardware to launch
Build scalability into the software architecture
Plan, but don't obsess

How to keep it cheap?
Don't spend unless you have to
No stationery
No new shiny machines
No luxuries
No frou-frou features
Before you spend 25 GBP on anything, check yourself
Make deals
Barter services or advertising
No phones. Use IM/Skype
DIY: Wireframing, markting, testing, etc.
Shop around

Pessimism has its place

You will go 10% over budget
You will be 3 months behind schedule
Plan on it and update your cash flow

Holy Crap: Lawyers are Expensive

Terms of Service: 1000 GBP
Freelance contracts: 800 GBP
Privacy policy: 15 GBP (Clickdocs)
Get a free one-hour consultation

Cheap software is your friend
Basecamp for project management
Bug tracking: Trac
Meetings: Skype and AIM
Version control: Subversion (Tortise SVN)

Cheap hardware
200 GBP dev box, for example

How to not spend money on marketing
Use blogs, WOM, viral,
Is your app viral to start?
Writing: Great way to raise profile, especially if in customer profile

What about VC?

Might need it if you need to expand quickly/can't wait

1) Don't spend it if you don't have to
2) Barter/equity deals
3) Cut features to get to market
4) Be realistic
5) Plan to scale, but don't lose sleep

Wednesday, February 08, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Live Blogging The Future of Web Apps
part VI

Andrew Shorten

Andrew is talking about Flex, an alternative to AJAX. Must admit that upfront, this presentation feels a tad bit like a product placement. Told the guy next to me that if this were Google search result, there would be some kind of disclaimer.

Don't get me wrong ... The web would be a mighty boring place without Flash. I like it and have used it before. I'm just saying that it is a hard sell. To his credit, he prefaced his talk by saying that this is a pre-release conversation designed to involve the dev community in the process. On the other hand, he came down pretty hard on Firefox at one point, and I've got to think that this is not the right crowd to get people to say, "more Macromedia, less Firefox."

Quote from Macromedia Flex site:
The Flex product line delivers a standards-based programming methodology and runtime services for developing and deploying the presentation tier of applications that combine the richness of the desktop with the reach of the web: Rich Internet Applications.

Flex uses AJAX standards, so people can move back and forth.
  • AJAX is limited by the browser
  • Not designed for high-performance UI rendering
  • Limited UI controls
  • True write once, cross-browser/cross platform delivery is still a dream
  • Lack of integrated audio/video applications
  • No bi-directional real-time messaging support
  • Data connectivity limited to XML over HTTP
  • No local data storage for online/offline browsing
  • Difficult to make accessible ( screen reader support)
Now, Andrew is telling the audience how great Flash is.
Flex enables developers to build applications that deploy to the Flash player.
Andrew has gone into code mode, and as you know, I don't comment on code.

Beyond AJAX: When to use Flex
Guided Service
Media Rich Applications
Data Management/Composite Applications
Data Visualization/Collaboration

Free of charge client-side player (Flash player)
Free of charge SDK
(Optional) free of charge Flex Enterprise Services server
Charge for Flex builder

Final plug: Flex ... AJAX on steroids and Vista on a diet.

Note: I'd love to hear what people have to say about Flex. I'm no developer, but over on TechCrunch, Michael Arrington writes about the new AJAX functionality being rolled into Sure seems to contradict some of the limitations that Andrew mentions above, doesn' t it? Got something to say? Email me at george(at)i-boy(dot)com.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Live Blogging The Future of Web Apps
part V

Shaun - who seems like a really nice down-to-earth kinda guy - might not be the most dynamic speaker, but he makes some very good points. And for the uninitiated, he gives a great 1.0 summary of why to use an API in the first place. Check out his cool tracking product Mint or his blog.

10 Reasons Why You Need to Build an API

Shaun Inman
  1. Increase brand awareness: Gets info out to influential group and empowers groups of early adopters to do things with your code in new ways.
  2. Allow users to own their data
  3. Builds good will with developers and saves time to do things over and over again
  4. A perfect excuse for a community
  5. Solving problems via an API can improve the quality of your code
  6. Simplify internal reuse of data
  7. Allow others to extend the functionality of your application. For example, things that you have no interest/intention of doing yourself.
  8. Alternat input mechanisms (like via blogs and such)
  9. Unanticipated applications of your data (mashups: Google Maps Chicago Crime)
  10. Turn your program into a platform

Wednesday, February 08, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Live Blogging The Future of Web Apps
part IV

Lunch was nice, but a bit quick. Now that we're all back, it is time for a code-based presentation from 37 Signals' winner of the Award for beautiful coding, David Heinemeier Hansson.

Class milestones and such are not really my thing, so expect very light blogging from me on this. I'll try to find an appropriate reference somewhere and link to it.

I'm sure his presentation will be online.

Happy Programming with Ruby on Rails

David Heinemeier Hansson

A silver bullet: Motivation is the single greatest influence
Quote: Steve McConnel

Quotes du jour:
PHP is the devil.
Functional Specs are evil.

One question: Does it scale?
One answer: Yes

Wednesday, February 08, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Live Blogging The Future of Web Apps
part III

Tom has obviously had a lot of coffee this morning. That said, this looks like it could be good.

Design and Web 2.0
What it means to design something for the
Tom Coats

It is all about round corners. ;)

Web 2.0: Buzzword, conference, marketing, a bubble(?), all and less.
An attempt to make order.
Markus Angermeier's concept/map of 2.0

Then: Separate bits. Now: A huge accumulationf of testicles.
Emphasis of mash-ups. Browse news by star sign. Astronewsology. :)

Mash-ups allow people to navigate one data source in terms of the other. Every new service can be built on top of existing services. Every service added can make every other service more important. Consequences: Creative potential, accelerated innovation, increased competition, components and specialized services.

There is money to be made here:
  • Use APIs to drive people to your stuff
  • Whatever people build brings people back to you (Amazon is the king of this)
  • Make your services more attractive and useful with less central development
  • Use syndicated content as a platform: example: Google Maps
  • Turn your APi into a pay-for service
If you are not benefiting from the system (collaboration, social netowrking in the ecosystem) you end up disconnected in the backwater.

Choosing what to build:
The big shift: What can I build that will make the whole web better.
Another way: How can I add value to the aggregate web?
Is it via a data source? exploring, manipulating, and using data

Quotes Tim O'Reilly:
The race is on to own certain classes of core data: location, identity, calendaring of public events, product identifiers and namespaces. In many cases, where there is significant cost to create the data, there may be an opportunity for an Intel Inside style play, with a single source for the data. In others, the winner will be the company that first reaches critical mass via user aggregation, and turns that aggregated data into a system service.

(Note: If you haven't read that article, go do it now.)

Architectural Principles:

Recommends: The Application of Weblike Design to Data.

  1. Look to add value to the aggregate web of data
  2. Build everything for normal users, developers and machines
  3. Start designing with data, not with pages (navigable, explorable, reusable data)
  4. Identify your first oder objects and make them addressable.
  5. Use readable, reliable, hackable, unique and easily structured URLs (third mention today)
    Permanent reference

    1-to-1 correlation w/ concepts

    use directories to represent hierarchy

    not reflect the underlying technology
    Reflect the structure of the data
    Be predictable, guessable, hackable
    Be as human readable as possible
    Be, or expose, identifiers
    A sign of design quality
  6. Correlate with external identifier schemes (or coin a new standard). If 100 blogs are talking about the same thing, then it would be good to know. Find a way for pages to reference the same place/page/thing. Single IDs and logins. Single sources for data and info. David Weinberg.
  7. Build list views and batch manipulation interfaces
    Type 1: Destination page
    Type 2: List view page
    Type 3: Manipulations interface: Example: Digg spy
  8. Parallel data representations (too difficult to blog
  9. Make your data discoverable (RSS, XML and such)
Download the presentation on

Wednesday, February 08, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Live Blogging The Future of Web Apps
part II

10 Reasons to Love Web 2.0
From a web site to a web application.
Cal Henderson

  • 2.0 is just a name for a bunch of things that have been around for a while.
  • Flickr has a lot of passionate user, and so are the developers. Care about it.
  • A difference between what people want and what people need. (Second mention today.) don't listen to what they say they want. Watch what people do to understand what they need. Give them what they need and that will make them passionate.
  1. Collaboration: We built a social network. The photo-sharing product, to some extent, was no big deal. What was a big deal was the social networking effect. Incentive for people to join the network. People were encouraged to sign up. Collaborative metadata was also an interesting benefit that people recognized. Default settings encouraged collaboration.
  2. Aggregation: Shows latest stuff. Loads of interesting slices of data shown in new ways. Tags, time, geolocation, location to other track tags, interestingness. Not just about smooshing together in a chron order.
  3. Open APIs: Web services APIs, SOAP, REST, for example. What's the point? They needed it for Ajax for calls. Later, it was clear that other people would use it. Read-only (RSS or custom XML) APIs, first. Beyond, RPC/SOAP, etc, people can build off of them. Storage and process from Flickr, build from others. Stuff that we couldn't have thought of. Most recent example: Game: Fastr. Multiplayer game. Figure out what tag it comes from.
  4. Clean URLs: No reason to expose the guts anymore. (Second mention today.) Logocal structure. People get it. URLs should never change. They should always point to the same place. Take scaleability into account from the start.
  5. AJAX: Possibly the worst name ever. Been around for a while. Could be A. Asynchronous. Does not have to be about Javascript. Or about XML. On Flickr, we use AJAX to streamlinesinteractions that we already have. It reduces pageloads.
  6. Unicode: From Wikipedia: An industry standard whose goal is to provide the means by which text of all forms and languages can be encoded for use by computers. Flickr uses UTF8.
  7. Desktop Integration: Everything doesn't have to be in the browser. All API-based. Even RSS feeds, which are simply read-only APIs. Flickr examples: multi-file uploaders. Also integrated with email. People don't always think about integrating services into email. This is true for mobile, as well. Most mobile devices can email, for example, so this worked for us. Used email for asynchronous communicatioins Says: Don't rebuild applications that people already have.
  8. Mobile: Every year, people say this is the year. Well? Where is it? WAP sure didn't change our lives. Building content for mobile is not about using the same stuff for the web on a phone. Making consumable chunks of data, rather than serving loads of data. Think in much smaller chunks.
  9. Open Data: import/export of data from systems we build. Provide ways for people to get things in and out. By giving the opportunity to escape, they stay. They don't feel trapped.
  10. Open Content: Previously, once you upload content, the company owns it. This true of many photo sites. Not on Flickr. Creators own thir content and can use a CC licence andcopyright. we can allow people to reuse and remix conent.
See for more.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

DEMO roundup

Plum looks cool. Blurb, too. Fred Wilson talks about a USB guitar and some other stuff.

A Taste of DEMO from Techcrunch and Jeff
has a review as well.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Live Blogging The Future of Web Apps

The place is packed. 400 people were expected. 800+ are here. Insane. Free WiFi and it looks like 1/2 the room is blogging the event.

Joshua Schachter

Joshua is giving a relatively disorganized stream of consciousness on his trials and tribulations of a bunch of things that happened while working on
  • Getting it right the first time: Wait for some stuff to break instead of trying to fix everything first.
  • Data: Splitting content into areas. Text. Images & other. Use different servers for different stuff.
  • API: The easier you make your API to get into and out of, the more people will use it.
  • IDs: Do not expose unique IDs to the public. Some bonehead will iterate over all of them and crash your system. They see tens of thousands of hits from people trying to scrape the entire site.
  • Features I: What features to add? What you put in is as important as what you leave out. I don't add features that exist elsewhere. Like email/communication devices. Let people what
  • Features II: Build what people will use rather than what they ask for. Get to the bottom of why people are asking for something. Solve the problem.
  • RSS: The native way to represent a list of links. Another set of tools. Put them everywhere you can. The doorway in and out. Understand the headers/ if.not modify. Stash the time stamp, and then you don't have to recalculate the entire feed. 60% of the traffic is due to repeat calls to the database.
  • URLs: Build a system so that the URLs are understood. No session keys. It is ugly and should be avoided.
  • Surprises are a good thing. Watch for behaviour in the system. Need to decide: Amplify. Ignore. Kill.
  • Passion: Solve problems that you see now. Don't go look for others. Passionate people who see them will point them out and help solve them.
  • Release: Closed betas/ Limited releases are a horrible Every day that you are not live is another day you are not live and doing something. People cannot be passionate about your service. Domn't wait. Get it done. Get it out there.
  • Attention: Any sort of aggregation of attention is a good thing. As the group gets bigger, the bias drifts. You need to microchunk things after a while. Allow the system to gracefully fragment the conversations.
  • Spam: People will try to get into any aggregation of attentioin. Top 10 lists create a nuissance. A distraction. Don't provide feedback to a spammer. Let them think that everything is ok. 
  • Tags I: Not about classification. About user interface. Storing a state. A working context. Not all metadata is tags. The value is in the attention. Not just that you saw this, but that you saw this and thought it was worth taking the time to do it. Less value to automated tagging.
  • Tags II: If you make it too easy (low transaction cost) it hurts the value. Make people do a minimum amount of work.
  • Tags III: Beware of librarians.
  • Motivation: Understand why people are there. Most of the time, it is of selfish interest. If there is no value, then why would they be using it.
  • Effort: Spen time building things that people will use. Don't do it just because you think it is cool.
  • Intuition: Guesswork backed by numbers. Monitor things. Survivorship analysis. Look at usage over time by specific users.
  • Measurement: Measure behaviour, not claims. They measure what people do (bookmarking) not what they claim (quality ranking).
  • Testing: 3 days of user testing. Worked with Creative Good (NYC) and liked it.
  • Language: Speak the user's language. Uses "bookmarks"
  • Registration: Don't make people register before they use your site. Show them value first. People want to see what they will get before they register. Email addresses are valuable. Fears of spyware are real. Let them wonder around first. Present gestures/verbs first, and then make it short, sweet and then get them back to where you were.
  • Design Grammar: When you break from normal behaviour, stick to as much as you can that is well-known and understood so as not to confuse people too much. Innovation is ok, but confusion is probably not worth it.
  • Morals: It is their data. You just get to use it. Have some respect.
  • Infection: Convey every kind of communication vehicle possible to get the word out. Turn RSS feeds into apps. Look for viral vectors.
  • Communities: It is not a simgle community (unless you) It is a tool, but I do not want to own the conversation. Problems like flame wars and stuff. Enable communities to use your system, but don't necessarily own them.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Where to eat in W8

The Belvedere
Holland House, Abbotsbury Road, W8 6LU
Tel 020 7602 1238
"The former orangery of Holland House, overlooking Holland Park, is justifiably famous as a peerless summer venue. But don’t ignore the Belvedere as a winter wonderland."

12 Street Albans Grove, W8 5PN
Tel 020 7937 6513
"Jan Woroniecki opened Wódka in an old dairy in the prettiest part of Kensington in 1989. Ever since then, the restaurant has been proving there’s more to Polish cooking than borsch."

Maggie Jones
6 Old Court Place, W8 4PL
Tel 020 7937 6462
'Fantastic' is the most common epithet applied to this longstanding stalwart of the Kensington dining scene, whether referring to the ‘rustic’ decor, in which cooking paraphernalia hanging from the ceiling & mismatched crockery are part of the ‘cosy’ & ‘quaint’ charm, or the food, which is described as ‘the most sublime home cooking’.

124 Kensington Church Street, W8 4BH
Tel 020 7221 9225
Review: Going to Clarke’s is less like eating in a restaurant & more like dining at a private dinner party.

Orangery @ Kensington Palace
Kensington Palace, Kensington Gardens
London, UK - W8
Tel 020-7376-0239
"The Orangery is the most amazing place for mid afternoon tea in the world"
Frommer's Travel Guide

Top 10 South Kensington Restaurants

Or, Best restaurants in Notting Hill

Wednesday, February 08, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Thanks, Hands.

In case you're looking for me, I'll be here on Wednesday. Looks pretty good. I like one day sessions. They tend to get to the point and stay there.

The Future of Web Apps
Carson Workshops Summit


Quote: This one-day conference brings together those pioneers in the web development industry who are setting the agenda for tomorrow's apps. They will be discussing how Web 2.0 technologies are changing the way we interact and how you can use these to build powerful, next generation tools. So whether you're a business owner, developer or entrepreneur this day will help you choose the right technology for your next web-based application.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

A Name to Know

Euan Semple, who just left the BBC, has a new business website. I met Euan at the BSI conference in Hamburg. Great guy who brought made a major impact at the BBC. If you don't know Euan, here's some background:

Encouraging information sharing

The BBC’s low-tech KM

Tuesday, February 07, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments


top ten reasons why nobody reads your blog

In the Blogging World You Don’t Have Sex on the First Date

Tuesday, February 07, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

The Most Important Statistic of them All

Quote: The most important statistic on the Web in the last year is the one delivered in a NYTimes article last week: Like This? You’ll Hate That. (Not All Web Recommendations Are Welcome.) [behind paywall]. The statistic involves media, technology, and the ever-increasing burden on our collective attention.

Here it is: 2/3 of Netflix rentals come from recommendations.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Sorry, Doug.

BMW given Google 'death penalty'
BBC News

Tuesday, February 07, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Rating the Meme Trackers

Memeorandum still tops, but Topix and TailRank up there too

TechCrunch recently rounded up a list of Memeorandum hunters, or what Don Dodge is calling meme trackers (I like that term). Seeing as I was one of the first off the blocks with a rave memeorandum review back in September 05, right behind Robert Scoble, and I've been gushing about it ever since - I thought it's only fair for me to analyze the raft of contenders that have arisen since then.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

State of the Blogosphere
Part 1: On Blogosphere Growth
Sifry's Alerts
  • Technorati now tracks over 27.2 Million blogs
  • The blogosphere is doubling in size every 5 and a half months
  • It is now over 60 times bigger than it was 3 years ago
  • On average, a new weblog is created every second of every day
  • 13.7 million bloggers are still posting 3 months after their blogs are created
  • Spings (Spam Pings) can sometimes account for as much as 60% of the total daily pings Technorati receives
  • Sophisticated spam management tools eliminate the spings and find that about 9% of new blogs are spam or machine generated
  • Technorati tracks about 1.2 Million new blog posts each day, about 50,000 per hour
  • Over 81 Million posts with tags since January 2005, increasing by 400,000 per day
  • Blog Finder has over 850,000 blogs, and over 2,500 popular categories have attracted a critical mass of topical bloggers

Tuesday, February 07, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Not so super ...

Super Bowl XL Commercials
Google Video

AdAge's Bob Garfield reviews them all.
"Hope you enjoyed the Sell-Out Bowl."

Tuesday, February 07, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Postage Is Due for Companies Sending E-Mail
Saul Hansel, New York Times

"The move to create what is essentially a preferred class of e-mail is a major change in the economics of the Internet. "

More via Google News

Monday, February 06, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Newspaper association seeks Google's help in assisted suicide
Good Morning Silicon Valley

Quote: "The irony is that these search engines exist, largely, because of the traditional news and content aggregators and profit at their expense." No, no, no. The irony is that you late-to-the-game, old-media relics still exist, at least in part, thanks to the traffic news aggregators send to you (see "meta name="AFP IDIOTS" content="noindex,nofollow"" and "If you twits would rather we didn't send high-value referrals to your subscription service, then so be it"). You were disintermediated long ago, and ill-conceived efforts like these will do little to help.

Friday, February 03, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Image Hosted by

Unraveling Complexity in Products and Services

Walk into any grocery store, bank, or insurance agency, and you will see complexity at work: More products and services are available to consumers than ever before. But, as businesses increase their product and service portfolios in response to evolving customer demands or through mergers and acquisitions, they run the risk of adding too much complexity, which can tax existing resources and ultimately harm returns. In this special report, experts from George Group Consulting and Wharton offer insight on how complexity can create considerable problems for companies -- often while remaining difficult to spot -- and suggest strategies for eliminating complexity or making it work to a company's advantage.

Download the entire report:
PDF (791Kb)

Complexity in Products and Services: Good or Bad, Depending on How You Manage It
In an age of rapid product and service proliferation, companies are grappling with their portfolios of businesses, products, services and delivery channels to see which of them need to stay, be restructured, or be dropped. Knowledge@Wharton and George Group Consulting examined this issue in an online survey of Knowledge@Wharton readers completed last fall: Covering 424 executives drawn from more than 30 industry groups including financial services, business services, information technology, foods, industrial manufacturing and healthcare, the survey's findings indicate that complexity can impact companies on a number of levels -- from sales effectiveness, product quality and customer satisfaction, to capital efficiency and profitability. However, the survey respondents and experts from George Group and Wharton note, complexity can have an up-side if it is recognized and managed effectively.

From Retailers to Manufacturers, Complexity in Products Begs the Question: How Much Is Too Much?
In a recent advertising mailer, one of the largest U.S. grocery retailers boasted having 300 varieties of beer and 1,800 varieties of wine. It seems like a great sales pitch, but what is the impact of all that variety on costs? Moreover, with 1,800 varieties of wine, what will be the customer response -- confusion or delight? Experts from George Group Consulting and Wharton agree that increasing product complexity in both retail and manufacturing is a very slippery slope: As a means of meeting evolving consumer demands or capturing new market share, expanded product portfolios can backfire because of the strain they place on already scarce resources, and because true profitability is masked. In addition, as companies expand their offerings, complexity can seep into internal processes, producing inefficiencies that can lead to customer dissatisfaction down the road.

Taming Complexity in Services: Stay Close to Your Customer (But Not Too Close)
According to experts at Wharton and George Group Consulting, service companies such as banks or airlines are closer to their customers than their counterparts in the manufacturing industry, which can be beneficial, but they may be too close for comfort. In fact, they could actually be smothering both themselves and their customers with dispensable or outdated offerings, made worse by overburdened internal processes that ultimately hurt the essential elements of survival -- customer service and satisfaction.

Thursday, February 02, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

First post on Mashups

Yes, it has taken me some time to decide to blog this, and even though I've seen some very nice examples, I've never payed too much attention to mashups. Interesting? Sure. Value? Unproven. What happens when the base code/API of the thing you've based all your work on changes? I have no idea.

From Wikipedia:

A mashup is a website or web application that seamlessly combines content from more than one source into an integrated experience.

Content used in mashups is typically sourced from a third party via a public interface or API. Other methods of sourcing content for mashups include Web feeds (e.g. RSS or Atom) and JavaScript includes.

The etymology of this term almost certainly derives from its similar use in pop music.

Many people are experimenting with mashups using eBay, Amazon, Google, and Yahoos APIs.

Some links:

Web 2.0 Innovation Map

Geek news

Local photos mashed with addresses and google maps

O'Reilly's Radar: round-up of google mash-ups

RSS feed of where to find ‘em

Mashup news:
Business Week Tech Beat

The Guardian: It's all in the mix

Thursday, February 02, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Open source project to take Ajax mainstream
by Tony Baer, Computer Business Review

IBM Corp and a dozen others will today announce an open source Ajax project to unify what's been the popular technology's Achilles Heel: the lack of common tooling.

Thursday, February 02, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Best. Blogging. Tool. Ever.

I've just installed Performancing for Firefox, and it rocks.

Get it. Now.

Download Performancing for Firefox

Wednesday, February 01, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Churchill, part deux

First, rumours circulated that the ghost of Winston Churchill made an appearance at the Banquet House in London. Now, POTUS (or at least his speechwriters) seems to have met him as well.

Churchill: History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.

Bush: Americans should not fear our economic future, because we intend to shape it.

In case you missed it, here is the text and video of 2006 State of the Union Address.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Email: george (at)
Profiles: LinkedIn and Facebook
Postcards by email

Powered by FeedBlitz
Rewind: In case
you missed it
Now showing on
Vienna: Old-school charm meets new-school photography.
Strong voices in
the blogosphere
Blogroll Me!
Parlez-vous Deutsch?
In Heavy Rotation web


12/01/2001 - 01/01/2002
01/01/2002 - 02/01/2002
02/01/2002 - 03/01/2002
03/01/2002 - 04/01/2002
04/01/2002 - 05/01/2002
05/01/2002 - 06/01/2002
06/01/2002 - 07/01/2002
07/01/2002 - 08/01/2002
08/01/2002 - 09/01/2002
09/01/2002 - 10/01/2002
10/01/2002 - 11/01/2002
11/01/2002 - 12/01/2002
12/01/2002 - 01/01/2003
01/01/2003 - 02/01/2003
02/01/2003 - 03/01/2003
03/01/2003 - 04/01/2003
04/01/2003 - 05/01/2003
05/01/2003 - 06/01/2003
06/01/2003 - 07/01/2003
07/01/2003 - 08/01/2003
08/01/2003 - 09/01/2003
09/01/2003 - 10/01/2003
10/01/2003 - 11/01/2003
11/01/2003 - 12/01/2003
12/01/2003 - 01/01/2004
01/01/2004 - 02/01/2004
02/01/2004 - 03/01/2004
03/01/2004 - 04/01/2004
04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004
05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004
06/01/2004 - 07/01/2004
07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004
08/01/2004 - 09/01/2004
09/01/2004 - 10/01/2004
10/01/2004 - 11/01/2004
11/01/2004 - 12/01/2004
12/01/2004 - 01/01/2005
01/01/2005 - 02/01/2005
02/01/2005 - 03/01/2005
03/01/2005 - 04/01/2005
04/01/2005 - 05/01/2005
05/01/2005 - 06/01/2005
06/01/2005 - 07/01/2005
07/01/2005 - 08/01/2005
08/01/2005 - 09/01/2005
09/01/2005 - 10/01/2005
10/01/2005 - 11/01/2005
11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005
12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006
01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006
02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006
03/01/2006 - 04/01/2006
04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006
05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006
06/01/2006 - 07/01/2006
07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006
08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006
09/01/2006 - 10/01/2006
10/01/2006 - 11/01/2006
11/01/2006 - 12/01/2006
12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007
01/01/2007 - 02/01/2007
02/01/2007 - 03/01/2007
03/01/2007 - 04/01/2007
04/01/2007 - 05/01/2007
05/01/2007 - 06/01/2007
06/01/2007 - 07/01/2007
07/01/2007 - 08/01/2007
08/01/2007 - 09/01/2007
09/01/2007 - 10/01/2007
10/01/2007 - 11/01/2007
11/01/2007 - 12/01/2007
12/01/2007 - 01/01/2008
01/01/2008 - 02/01/2008
02/01/2008 - 03/01/2008
03/01/2008 - 04/01/2008
04/01/2008 - 05/01/2008
05/01/2008 - 06/01/2008
06/01/2008 - 07/01/2008
07/01/2008 - 08/01/2008
08/01/2008 - 09/01/2008
09/01/2008 - 10/01/2008
10/01/2008 - 11/01/2008
11/01/2008 - 12/01/2008
12/01/2008 - 01/01/2009
01/01/2009 - 02/01/2009
02/01/2009 - 03/01/2009
03/01/2009 - 04/01/2009
04/01/2009 - 05/01/2009
05/01/2009 - 06/01/2009
06/01/2009 - 07/01/2009
07/01/2009 - 08/01/2009
08/01/2009 - 09/01/2009
09/01/2009 - 10/01/2009

  © 2001-2007 George Nimeh & All rights reserved. This site is licensed under a Creative Commons License. You may not use or distribute the materials on this site without the expressed consent of the author. Design by Blog powered by Blogger. Atom enabled. Profiles: Technorati. LastFM. Common Content. LinkedIn. Newsvine. Ryze. Facebook.