Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Reposting: The 2010 Web

January 15, 2011

Reposting from a year ago – The 2010 web.
Coming soon – 2011 predictions.

According to Scobel …

1. It’s real time.
Twitter, Facebook and Friendfeed are all moving toward architectures and displays that refresh in real time, or let you see what’s happening right now. We are at the extreme beginnings of that trend. You really should watch the video of the panel discussion I moderated on the state of real time search to get a sense of where this is going. That panel discussion will be remembered for years as a key point. One of the panel members runs Facebook search team. Yes, Facebook is working on real time search. (That video is in two parts since the meeting ran almost two hours long. I really do recommend watching it. Part I is here. Part II is here.).

2. It’s mobile.
You’ll see this more next week when the Where 2.0 conference rolls into town, but if 40,000 iPhone apps hasn’t convinced you yet, nothing will. On Monday I’m meeting with Nokia to find out the latest.

3. It’s decentralized.
Look at my behaviors. I’m all over the place. Six years ago I did only one thing: blog. Now I Flickr. YouTube. Seesmic. Friendfeed. Facebook. Twitter. And many more. Go to Retaggr and see all the places I’m at.

4. Pages now built out of premade blocks. (widgets)
You build these pages by copying a line of Javascript code to your template. This is very simple once you see how to do it, but for someone who doesn’t know code, or where in the template to go, this is VERY daunting. Silicon Valley has NOT made it simple enough yet for the mainstream to build highly useful pages. See the friendfeed block to the right of my words? I added that by copying and pasting from the friendfeed widget page. If you know where to look a TON of cool pre-built blocks like this are available for you to put on your website or blog.

5. It’s social.
This seems obvious to anyone on Twitter or Facebook, but how many businesses add their customers to their pages? Not many. Silicon Valley has done a horrible job so far of explaining why adding people to your websites matters.

6. It’s smart.
We’re seeing more and more smarts added to the web every day. Tonight Wolfram’s new search engine turned on. Have you played with it? That’s the 2010 web and check out what you can do with it.

7. Hybrid infrastructure.
When I visited in Santa Cruz they told me they were using a hybrid approach: they own a rack of servers but they also use Amazon’s S3 to “cloud burst” or take up the slack for files that are popular. My employer Rackspace will have more to say about that trend too over the next few months.

View Scobel’s entire blog post

– – – – – – – – – – –

My initial thoughts…

Watching the social web evolved over the past few years, I think Scobel is right on. Other things I’ve noticed:

  • Brian Solis sums it up well when he said, “There’s too much ME in Social MEdia.” Too much focus on “What are you doing?” and “What’s on your mind?” We’re so busying trying to create our identities, we sometimes forget how to make meaningful connections. What about asking “What inspires you? or “Who do you want to thank?”
  • Social Media is sociology, not just technology. Tools alone don’t make it social. You need people to make it social.
  • The target audience is getting younger and younger. Kids today as young as 5 years on on Club Penguin on Webkinz. Is that too young? Do they actually get what they’re doing?
  • One of my favorite quotes – “MySpace and Facebook were cool until old people jumped on and ruined it.” So tell me, what age is considered old? (Don’t answer  that.) One thing I can say about about this… Facebook has trained a good percentage of new online users how to upload photos, embed links, leave comments, rank content and share stuff. My mom sends less spam email now because of it.
  • People are no longer afraid to blend personal with professional. In fact, it adds a human element to business, which can easily get lost in the process of institutionalization.
  • What’s next? Enterprise 2.0 – Doing more meaningful business. The SHARE economy. Connecting dots faster internally and doing business differently.

What other trends have you noticed?

Crop and retouch on the go

September 29, 2009

How many photos do you have saved on your iPhone camera roll?

10+ | 100+ | 1000+ photos?

I’m surrised every time I ask people that question. iPhones make it easy to click away. Carefree. And now thanks to Adobe, you can edit right on your iPhone and save your edited pics to an oline account.

Click > Edit > Save > Share.  Learn how easy it is.

Adobe iPhopne editing - Screeshot

Adobe iPhone editing - Screenshot

Adobe iPhone editing - Screenshot

Click > Edit > Save > Share.  Learn how easy it is.

Show me where it hurts…

September 20, 2009

Web MD has a free iPhone app that gives you hours of fun-filled self-diagnosing. It’s a hypochondriac’s dream-come-true. The WebMD UI is actually pretty slick. Check it out.

WebMD iPhone app screenshot

WebMD iPhone app screenshot

The WebMD UI is actually pretty slick. Check it out.


March 8, 2009

Live iPhone musical performance — “Kids”
by MGMT played on iPhones and iPod Touches

These geeky gadget girls ROCK!

Do you BAMBOO?

February 21, 2009


My grandmother lived in a BAMBOO nipa hut

My dad is the youngest of 10 kids. My grandmother survived her husband more than 40 years. She never remarried. While she rolled her own cigarettes and drank dark beer every day, she lived for more than a century. She loved life. On her 102nd birthday, she insisted she was 110 and that no one can prove her wrong. She lived most of her life in a provincial town in the Philippines. Even when a 3 bedroom house was built on her land, she insisted on spending most of her indoor time in her bamboo nipa hut built on stilts. I will write more about her in the future.

BAMBOO is not a tree, it’s grass

Bamboo is fast-growing and durable. Some can grow up to 24 inches per day. It can be harvested in 3 years to make hardwood, unlike 15 years for most trees. There are close to 1,000 species of bamboo that can be found around the world in diverse regions – from cold mountains to hot tropics.  Many of us may see bamboo as garden decor, but it’s also extensively used as building material and a food source.

CNN recently published a video that highlights bamboo.

Watch the CNN video –



The ASUS Ecobook BAMBOO Laptop

BAMBOO – the rock band

Do you BAMBOO?

How to FIND things fast

December 20, 2008

I’ve noticed search engines have been updating UI and functionality, and our experience searching for (or finding) things online is ever-changing.

Check out Common Craft’s “Web Search Strategies in Plain English.” The entire Plain English series is a great way to educate yourself, friends, family and peers in the evolving world of online computing.

I will soon post some observations describing how the top search engines are making it easier for us to FIND things online.

Social Graph API

December 6, 2008

Notes to follow…

Shorten that URL with

November 25, 2008

Move over tinyurl, now there’s something even more teeny-weeny.


What is it? is a service that shortens URLs. Short URLs come in handy when you have a super-long URL and you want to include them in documents or email, like a complex and deep-rooted SharePoint link. Short URLs also come in handy when posting on micro-sharing sites like twitter where you’re limited to 140 characters per post.

How does it work?
Simply type (or copy/paste from your browser’s address bar) the URL which you’d like to make smaller into the text box on the main page. Push the “Compress That Address!” button, and will make the address smaller for you, and give you a new link. You can then copy this new URL wherever you’d like to use it.

Best practices (taken from
Here are a few…

  • Shorten web addresses for emails, forum posts, blogs etc. which cannot handle long URLs and might wrap them, making them unclickable
  • Lower the character count when texting web addresses to a mobile phone
  • Hide the real URLs of affiliate links from visitors to your site
  • Obscure your real email address from bots which harvest them to spam (enter an address like
  • Circumvent protections on sites which don’t allow direct links to a competitor’s site (if you are violating a site’s terms you do so at your own risk)
  • Clean up bookmarks for social bookmarking sites or sites with low character limits like Twitter
  • If you dislike a website and have to mention it (e.g. when complaining about it), link via so that your link does not help the site’s search engine positioning

6-Cents: Has the iPhone lived up to its promise?

July 30, 2007

Last Wednesday I submitted a response to’s Two Cents community blog. Topic: the iPhone. I figured they would receive a ton of responses. On Friday I received the editor’s standard “Thank You” email, so I assumed my reponse wasn’t selected. I’ve received that email so many times I have it memorized.


When I got to the office this morning, someone told me they saw me in today’s paper—the San Francisco Chronicle. I went went down for coffee and grabbed the morning paper. Sure ’nuff, there I was alongside seven other gadget geeks on page 3 of the Technology section. Oh yeah! 


Appearing online in a blog is one thing. Seeing yourself in a major newspaper is something else. Even though my mugshot and quote took up less space than the size of a business card, it somehow seemed huge.

It’s now 10:32 pm. My 15 minutes were up 13 hours ago

   —’s Two Cents blog
   — My Two Cents on other topics

What does Big Jake think of the iPhone?

July 30, 2007

Jacob can turn over onto his belly really quickly… especially when his favorite video is playing on Uncle D’s iPhone.

Find out what Uncle D has to say about the iPhone, printed in the SF Chronicle Technology section, and Two Cents blog.

Orange is the new pink

April 18, 2007


Official announcement at Web 2.0 Expo 2007…


Thousands of people attended Web 2.0 Expo 2007 at Moscone West in San Francisco this week to push the boundaries of the next generation web. Check out all the conference coverage:

Speaker presentations
News & Coverage Page
Web 2.0 Expo blog
Live Twittering

Howard St. CLOSED… For what?

October 26, 2006

Oracle OpenWorld 2006

I knew Howard & 3rd would be closed from 10/18-27. The lite-brite sign started announcing this more than a month ago. Closed for what? I assumed road construction. Wrong. 

I don’t know why I didn’t put 2 + 2 together. Oracle has been front page of everything in the City for the past two weeks. They closed Howard from 3rd-4th Streets to make room for acres of air-conditioned tents and dozens of 3-story multi-media Jumbotron billboards. Apparently the Moscone Convention Center (and all of its annexes) was just not big enough for Oracle’s Open World Conference.  An estimated 42,000 people attended the conference, plus a couple thousand more to staff the 5-day event. Apparently finding a hotel room during the week was no easy chore—many last-minute attendees were forced to share rooms with colleagues, some with complete strangers. Of the City’s 50,000 total hotel rooms, at least 15,000 were occupied by tech professionals attending Open World. The event was expected to pump $60 million into the local San Francisco economy. That’s $12 million per day.

Did I attend the conference? No, but my friend Jane did. She said every day it was crazy getting in, crazy getting around, and crazy trying to leave. She said the women were definitely outnumbered. Every breakout session was standing room only… “Just a bunch of boys standing in the back of the room shoulder-to-shoulder wearing dorky glasses and and doing work punching keys into their Blackberries. They weren’t even listening to the session sepakers!”  

Jane let me tag along with her to the Wrap-Up closing party on the final day. I was joking around about wearing a big red hat, but no one got my joke. (I bet you didn’t get it, either.) My ticket in to the party was a left over conference ID badge. We were greeted at the entrance by a 6’5″ woman with a super-deep voice. “Welcome, Jane. Welcome, La Vonda.” I politely said “Thank you” and ran as fast as I could to the nearest bar. The closing party was nothing special. I was hoping to catch some of the vendor exhibits, but they all packed up earlier that morning. However, I did get to see the Oracle BMW racing vessel up close—it’s pretty sweet. 

Earlier in the week Oracle had a few tricks up their sleeves. They tried going from geek to chic by rolling out the red carpet and throwing an A-list after-party with special performances by Elton John, Joan Jett, Devo and Berlin. This party was held at the Cow Palace. I heard very few people showed up for the concert. Where was everyone? Rumor has it conference-goers were all back in their hotel rooms on their laptops searching craigslist for other entertainment. By searching the term “oracle” in the San Francisco region, there were pages of ads like these — A | B | C 

These Trix are definitely NOT for kids.

Anyway, here’s a clip of Joan Jett performing at the Cow Palace.

Google buys YouTube

October 9, 2006

In January of 2005, Chad and Steve, two friends in their mid-twenties, sat in a garage and scribbled notes on a whiteboard. Not even two years later, these notes evolved into YouTube, a startup website featuring shared personal videos that are now viewed by several millions of people all over the world. How much is this company worth today? Guess again…

Earlier today, Google announced it’s purchase of YouTube for $1,650,000,000. Yes, you read that correctly—1.65 billion dollars. Not cash, but Google stock. Google intends to leave the social video network website in-tact while allowing them to leverage Google’s technology to grow even bigger.

YouTube—a social network phenomenon | Google’s $1.65 billion purchase

Here’s a message from YouTube founders Chad and Steve