These are my Delicious links for September 24th through March 8th:
- Seth’s Blog: Don’t Shave That Yak! – A thing that I do, which I shouldn't.
- SnapABug visual customer support – Another live support feature for your website, but this one includes screen capture to help troubleshooting.
- Buzzzy – A Search Engine for Buzz. – Google Buzz search with an API.
- New Facebook Statistics Show Big Increase in Content Sharing, Local Business Pages – Facebook historical statistics as of February 2010 based on previous updates to their public statistics page.
- Lost Moon Radio: Live Band Karaoke With The Moon Units – Live band karaoke in LA. Available for parties and private events. Very fun!
- Fixed to Flexible – The Ebook – A free 37 page eBook on high-level microeconomic business theory with solid practical examples. The primary focus is on margin, specifically the pricing and cost strategies that go into that equation. It's a very quick read, concisely and clearly written with very illustrative (if somewhat over-simplified) examples.
For me, the most interesting ideas were on 'constructing value' for a previously unknown product. First, you need to have a compelling free offering so there is minimal risk to customers trying your new product. Secondly, you should take the lead in setting the perceived value of your new product by using an 'anchor' of premium pricing even if you end up selling at a discount to it.
- The Twitter Engineering Blog: Introducing the Open Source Twitter Text libraries – Twitter releases libraries for parsing tweets.
- Great Lake, a Chicago Pizza Shop, Enjoys Being Small – Question – NYTimes.com – A very interesting story about a small artisan pizza shop in Chicago that was reviewed in GQ as one of the best pizza shops in America and how they are (or rather aren't) dealing with their newfound success.
"We really enjoy the work that we’re doing and we don’t want to cheapen it. Consciously or unconsciously — probably both — we’re trying to create a manageable way to earn a living and still maintain our sanity. We value time as much, if not more so, than money."
- Give-A-Fuck-O-Meter – Saving this to send to people in the future when they tell me something I could care less about.
- The Conservative Case for Gay Marriage – Conservative attorney Ted Olson, a member of the legal team challenging the federal constitutionality of California's Proposition 8 banning same-sex marriage, explains his rationale for participating in the case as a conservative American who wishes to preserve and forward the fundamental principles on which this country was founded:
"Conservatives and liberals alike need to come together on principles that surely unite us. Certainly, we can agree on the value of strong families, lasting domestic relationships, and communities populated by persons with recognized and sanctioned bonds to one another. Confining some of our neighbors and friends who share these same values to an outlaw or second-class status undermines their sense of belonging and weakens their ties with the rest of us and what should be our common aspirations."
- YouTube – Sugar: The Bitter Truth – A very interesting, if long and sometimes quite technical (it is a med school lecture) explanation of the scientific, socio-economic, and political reasons our food is making us less healthy as a nation (and ultimately a planet) in the last 30 years. It centers around increasing our refined sugar intake, in particular fructose, which has the same long-term chronic health effects as alcohol.
- The Third & The Seventh on Vimeo – One of the most amazingly photo-real works of CG animation I've ever seen.
- Facebook Developers | Extending Facebook Share – Mention of awe.sm in the official Facebook blog post announcing their new sharecount button and data APIs.
- How Best Buy plans to beat Wal-Mart – Dec. 1, 2009 – A strategy to make Clayton Christensen proud. Best Buy is betting that the consumer electronics and computer markets have not yet reached a good enough point where cost is the only factor. By providing an integrated buying/service solution with their in-house Geek Squad division, Best Buy hopes to differentiate from retailers like Wal-Mart who are commoditizing the purchase experience. In this case Best Buy is playing the Apple Computer role to Wal-Mart's WinTel approach.
- What’s strategic for Google? – An interesting and concise analysis of Google's various product/business initiatives using a simple but intuitive strategic framework.
- 500 Internal Server Error – 500 Internal Server Error
- Entrepreneuring…Side Effects | Howard Lindzon – A humorous (but all too true) list of the potential side-effects of starting your own business.
- Paul Buchheit: Open as in water, the fluid necessary for life – A very interesting rationale for the potential common good of social media behavior that is increasingly referred to as "over-sharing". The more we share about what we think and do, the more information will be available to help improve ours and others' future decisions.
"The basic pattern of openness is that better access to information and better systems lead to better decisions and better living. This general principal is broadly accepted, but we're just now discovering that it also applies to the minutiae of our lives."
- The New Music Business Model: Imogen Heap « Deep Dive Marketing – A very thorough account of the many ways Imogen Heap is using different social media services (i.e. Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, uStream) as a cohesive whole to build deeper relationships with her most engaged fans.
- Ping – How Sharing Links Has Become Big Business – NYTimes.com – NY Times article on the democratization of influence on the web and the roll of individuals and their social networks as traffic drivers.
- 20×200 : Print Information : think-make-think (second edition) – If I were ever to hang an inspirational print on my wall, this would be it.
- Communilytics: Applied Community Analytics: Web 2.0 Expo New York 2009 – Co-produced by TechWeb & O’Reilly Conferences, November 16 – 19, 2009, New York, NY – Web 2.0 Expo panel on which I will be speaking on 11/16/2009
- Op-Ed Contributor – Wall Street Smarts – NYTimes.com – A deceptively simple (yet likely true) explanation of the underlying cause of the financial meltdown: the level of Wall Street’s intelligence finally caught up with that of its greed.
- Twitter to Facebook: 5 Ways to Post to Both – Mashable mention of TweetPo.st.
- Letters of Note: Okay, you lazy bitch – A great letter from Hunter S. Thompson to a production executive on film adaptation of his book “The Rum Diary.” If you know anything about the film business, you know that sometimes cursing and threats of bodily harm are more than appropriate, they’re necessary 🙂
- No. 1 With Bullets? USB Uzi Is Latest Killer Album Format | Underwire | Wired.com – Wired blog coverage of the upcoming release from Get Busy Committee, which will be available on Uzi-shaped USB drives.
- 100 years of Big Content fearing technology—in its own words – Ars Technica – A well-compiled overview of the arguments used by content industries to stifle various production and distribution innovations from the gramophone to the DVR. The overriding theme being that incumbent content producers are more inclined to seek government intervention (usually through sensationalist fear-mongering tactics) to protect old models in the face of new technologies rather than to figure out ways to improve their businesses to take full advantage of the benefits these technologies afford.
- Olark – sell better using live chat – Live chat tool to interact with customers on your website in real-time.
- 30 Under 30 2009 – Hype Machine Profile – Very nice write-up of my friend Anthony Volodkin, founder of the Hype Machine, named #27 in Inc. Magazine’s 30 Under 30 for 2009. He definitely should have been higher 🙂
- The power of no reward | Derek Sivers – An interesting article on the difference between ‘Social Mindset’ and ‘Market Mindset’. Actions driven out of personal volition are more authentic and the motivation is more powerful though more difficult to activate. Whereas actions driven out of financial calculation are by definition more mercenary — easier to activate, but of less value and harder to maintain. If you can appeal to someone’s ‘Social Mindset’, you cheapen your offer by invoking their ‘Market Mindset’.
- The Power Of Passed Links – A framework for thinking about the relative value of inbound traffic from different sources based on conversions (however one defines them) and growth. The hypothesis is that links passed from friend to friend via channels like Facebook and Twitter will have significantly higher conversions.
- Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes: Get Wasted With The Day, In Robes recorded Aug 31, 2009 – Live session with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, including downloadable tracks.
- Official Google Blog: Leave the math to us: Advertisers increase their profits using Conversion Optimizer – “Each and every time someone types in a search query, AdWords runs a new keyword auction. Advertisers who are still bidding on a cost-per-click basis will be using the same bid in many different auctions, so sometimes their bid may be too high or too low. However, for advertisers using Conversion Optimizer, we’ll automatically adjust the bid for each of these auctions so that it can hit the sweet spot more often, helping the advertiser to make more money.”
- Seed is the new Series A for VCs | VentureBeat – A good overview on the move by later stage investors into earlier “seed” rounds along with advice for entrepreneurs on raising a pre-Series A round.
- Know all those Retweet Buttons across the web? Well now Facebook has one. – The first write-up on fbShare.me, from The Next Web.
- Awe.sm Lets You Track Articles Shared Into Facebook – Write-up of the latest Snowball Factory product, the fbShare.me sharecount button for Facebook.
These are my Delicious links for September 22nd:
These are my Delicious links for September 2nd through September 6th:
- Taking the Initiative: Carl Pope’s Blog – Sierra Club – This is as depressing as it is sickening. We progressive Americans who were finally so galvanized by our reaction to 8 years of Bush/Cheney coupled with the bright promise of the change Obama could bring have reverted back not just to complacency, but worse to underestimation. Just because *we* are immune to the politics of fear, does not mean they have lost their power — no matter how absurd the claims in question (whether it be death panels, Obama's racism, or Van Jones's "extremist views and coarse rhetoric"). Remember how much we underestimated George W. Bush in the 2000 election? We have to stop assuming people fact check outrageous claims and recognize that inflammatory propaganda must be stopped in it's tracks and those who perpetuate it must have their credibility undermined so they can't continue to spew it. Say something enough times (especially on tv) and too many people will start to think it's true.
- Facebook Connect Plugin Directory – Facebook Developer Wiki – List of Facebook Connect publishing platform plugins by 3rd party developers.
- 16 Best Facebook Connect Plugins for Your Blog, Forum, Wiki, or CMS – List of Facebook Connect plugins to add community functionality to your publishing platform.
- Kareem Mayan’s Weblog – How I Discovered My Life’s Purpose – I've never really thought about coming up with a mission statement for my life, but that's what my friend Kareem has spent the last 18 months doing. I'm very excited that he feels he has come up with a verbal distillation of his life's purpose (even if I personally find the actual language to be a bit vague). I look forward to seeing the ways he comes up with to pursue this purpose.
I agree with a lot of Kareem's thinking on these matters (which is probably why we're friends 🙂 ) and greatly admire (and somewhat envy) his courage to so aggressively pursue these questions. So, it's great to be able to ride along on his journey even from afar. My favorite line from this post is: "The opposite of quiet desperation, I reasoned, is magnificent fulfillment."
These are my Delicious links for September 2nd:
These are my Delicious links for July 21st through August 31st:
- Thingfo powers Biggest Gleek social media game for Fox hit “GLEE” – finding, channeling and rewarding the top evangelists at Thingfo blog – Announcement of the new social media game for the Fox TV show Glee, built by Thingfo and powered by awe.sm.
- Facebook | Publishing to Twitter from Facebook Pages – Facebook has released a feature that enables Fan Page owners to syndicate their updates to Twitter automatically.
- 500 Internal Server Error – 500 Internal Server Error
- Peer-to-peer ‘(un)classes’ match interest with passion – Springwise – Another nice write-up of (un)classes.
- Unclasses.org Launches | Culture San Francisco – DailyCandy – A nice (if oblique) write-up in Daily Candy SF on my side-project (un)classes.
- Hitwise Intelligence – Robin Goad – UK – An interesting post about Twitter traffic growth in the UK. But, the most interesting part is the chart showing sources of traffic for various vertical categories of websites. Notably that over 40% of traffic to sites in the 'Entertainment' category is coming from either Twitter or Facebook. This reinforces my hypothesis that social media is a particularly powerful marketing channel for content.
- The Smart Growth Manifesto – Umair Haque – HarvardBusiness.org – 20th century economies are limited to unsustainable, unfair, brittle, dumb growth. Smart growth is more sustainable, equitable, and resilient based on 4 pillars:
1) Outcomes, not incomes
2) Connections, not transactions
3) People, not product
4) Creativity, not productivity
The inefficient legacy technologies for measuring growth forced us to reduce our understanding of it to purely quantitative terms that don't accurately represent the whole point of progress: to advance humankind. People do not measure happiness and satisfaction in purely quantitative terms, yet those have become our de facto measures of success. Now that we have the capabilities to measure the effects of qualitative goods, we should abandon our legacy tactics that reduce progress to mere numbers.
- Confessions of an Executive Producer: earn it – "The irony is consumers have never been easier to find but never harder to reach. As I see it brand/consumer relationship is analogous to that of a married man to his mistress. For years the affair was a simple proposition. He wined and dined her. Bought her jewelery. Paid her rent. In return he got laid and left guilt free at the end of the evening. After years of this pattern, the mistress begins to feel used and unsatisfied. She desires more than material goods. She wants conversation. She wants to be listened to. She wants to be in a relationship. Much to the displeasure of the adulterer, sex can no longer be bought. It has to be earned. I believe the same thing is happening today with the brand/consumer relationship. Brands must earn consumers time not simply purchase it. The problem is they don't know how and don't seem eager to learn."
- Tweetpo.st – Update Facebook & Twitter At The Same Time | Visit tweetpo.st – Write-up of TweetPo.st on the Killer Startups blog.
- TweetPo.st – the smart way to update Facebook from Twitter « EverythingTwitter – Write-up of TweetPo.st on the Everything Twitter blog.
- TweetPo.st, aggiorna facilmente Facebook da Twitter – Geekissimo – A write-up of TweetPo.st on an Italian technology blog.
- TweetPo.st – a smarter way to update FaceBook from twitter – A write-up of TweetPo.st on twi5, a Twitter tools site.
- Master of 500 Hats: How to Pitch a VC (aka Startup Viagra: How to Give a VC a Hard-On) – Dave McClure's excellent presentation on how to structure a startup investor pitch (oh, and it's funny too).
- the blip.tv blog : blip.tv: the next generation – "Over the course of the last century the television networks (and their younger cable siblings) have evolved into nearly perfect businesses. Unfortunately, however, they have optimized for a historical condition: an oligarchical economy of scarcity. The networks are perfect for an era of expensive production, limited distribution and ubiquitous attention.
2009 is not 1949. Modern consumer electronics and the Internet have ushered in a new economy of plenty. Production costs have decreased at an astounding rate. Distribution has become ubiquitous. It is no longer necessary, for all but the most ambitious projects, to seek out a studio to bankroll your pilot and a network executive to green light you for a time slot. Your talent and work ethic are now greater predictors of your success than who you know."
- How to Pitch to a VC or Angel – ReadWriteStart – A collection of high-level tips for startup investor pitches, including Guy Kawasaki's 10 slides / in 20 minutes / with 30pt font rule.
- Maturation of the Twitter Ecosystem – A very cool presentation about how the ecosystem of Twitter applications has evolved over time (featuring a shout-out to TweetPo.st on slide 31).
- TweetPo.st a smarter way to update Facebook from Twitter – Another nice write-up of TweetPo.st, a Snowball Factory product 🙂
- LocalBunny Gives Businesses Custom Twitter Bots, But It Longs For Old @Replies System – LocalBunny is a new paid service targeted at small businesses that will auto-respond to keyword mentions on Twitter with @replies based on user-defined rules. The kinds of use-cases mentioned as examples are interesting and the app sounds good on paper. But, I'm not sure I'm fully convinced that auto-responses will be successful in a medium like Twitter with such a high value placed on authenticity.
- BackType — Blog Archive » Tweetcount Widget & Plugin – Announcement of the new awe.sm-powered Tweetcount widget from BackType. It shows the number of times the current page has been tweeted using the BackTweets API and uses awe.sm to create new tweets.
- Brand Mentions Preferred over Ads – eMarketer – Study showing that earned media (i.e. consumer/press brand mentions) and permission marketing (i.e. *solicited* emails) are more effective than paid media in general and interruption marketing (i.e. banner ads and pop-ups) specifically.
- Digg the Blog » Blog Archive » DiggBar and Digg Short URLs – Digg reverses course on their URL shortener and states that they have no intention of marketing it as a conventional URL shortener. It is solely a way to share Digg pages.
- 10 Impressive New Implementations of Facebook Connect – TweetPo.st (né TweetFace), an application built by our company to connect Twitter and Facebook, was included as #7 on Mashable's list of "10 Impressive New Implementations of Facebook Connect". 🙂
- TweetMeme Blog » Retweets Are Go – Announcement from TweetMeme that their popular Retweet button now supports awe.sm.
- Sharing on Facebook Now More Popular than Sharing by Email – Data from the AddToAny showing that Facebook is now the most popular sharing channel for their share widgets. This data claims Facebook has 24.0% of shares while email has only 11.1% of shares. However, this is inconsistent with ShareThis data from less than a year ago that still had email near 50% of all shares.
These are my Delicious links for July 20th:
- Ed Ulbrich shows how Benjamin Button got his face | Video on TED.com – A look at Digital Domain's process for creating the fully CG performance of Benjamin Button's head for the first hour of the film. Using high-resolution 3D scanning and the F.A.C.S. methodology they developed a template for creating a digital library of facial components that could then be animated using the actor's actual facial expressions.
These are my Delicious links for July 9th:
- Universal/TuneCore deal opens major doors for indie artists – Ars Technica – By offering their marketing services to independent musicians on a fee basis with no transfer of rights required, Universal Music Group is basically turning into a music marketing agency. The decline of physical distribution (for which labels were gate-keepers) and the ascendency of relatively open digital channels coupled with the elimination of barriers to entry in production costs means that mainstream marketing is really the only differentiated competency the labels have left. Universal's recognition of that and this play to those strengths is a smart move. It will be interesting to see if other labels (and ultimately studios, who are subject to the same technological market shifts) will follow suit.
These are my Delicious links for July 6th:
- Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport | Wired.com Product Reviews – Great review of the new $2.1M Bugatti convertible: "The acceleration is so immediate you can feel your eyeballs deform under the G-forces. It's a sensation of isolationist joy, an out-of-body awareness that you're moving faster than the world can react. Bystanders vaguely remember seeing a flash of expensive paint a few seconds after you disappear over the horizon; entire generations of insects die on your prow. Passing other motorists becomes a dangerous entitlement that has you resenting oncoming traffic for hogging your "VIP lane" — especially when you realize that you can outrun not only the 5-0's cruisers, but their helicopters, too. If they wanna catch you, they're gonna have to dust off Airwolf and drag Jan Michael Vincent out of rehab."
These are my Delicious links for June 22nd:
- Sorry, There’s No Way To Save The TV Business – A clear and concise overview of how the incumbent stakeholders in the TV business are oblivious to the fundamental changes being wrought by delivery of video over the Internet and how this rising tide will ultimately wash away the strategic underpinnings of their legacy business models, which ultimately cannot be translated to this new world.
- Not safe for work: And we’ll tweet at the end of the tour | Technology | guardian.co.uk – "Looking around the hall at the same-old-same-old faces of microblogging – the people who have been around long enough to have usernames like @amanda and @drew and @mario – all given just enough stage time to remind everyone how awesome their little corner of Twitter is – I realised that 140 Characters was never supposed to be a conference about "the state of now" at all. Rather it's a conference about the state of "then". A conference designed to bring together those of us who have been using Twitter since the start and who now feel like we've lost control of it to celebrities like Aston Kutcher and Oprah. A chance for us all to sit around and talk about the good old days when Scoble and iJustine still mattered a damn and where having 50,000 geeks following you was the pinnacle of success…Or to put it another way, 140 Characters was like a meeting of Twitter Early Adopters Anonymous."
These are my Delicious links for June 12th through June 15th:
- Topspin » Twitter Emerges as a Viable Direct Marketing Channel – An examination of how Twitter is helping artists using Topspin go direct-to-fan. Using awe.sm, the Topspin + SAM crew were able to establish that 22% of traffic on the first day of Jimmy Eat World's latest album release came from Twitter and that accounted for 20% of the sales. The emergence of Twitter as a meaningful traffic driver has been complicated by the difficulty in tracking its impact. But with awe.sm, publishers like Topspin artists are now able to really see the impact that social media channels like Twitter are having.
- For TechCrunch, Twitter = Traffic (A Statistical Breakdown) – TechCrunch discusses the breakdown of their own traffic by source and cite their use of awe.sm in helping to track traffic from Twitter, which is now responsible for 9.7% of their overall traffic.
- Can Su.pr Short Links Save StumbleUpon? (250 Private Beta Invites) – Another mention of awe.sm by TechCrunch in their story about StumbleUpon's new URL shortener, su.pr.
- BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Bands ‘better because of piracy’ – Interesting take on the impact file sharing has had on the development of music artists in the 'post-Napster era'. One could argue that increased exposure to a broader spectrum of music during artists' formative development may diminish the need for conventional A&R. One more reason the labels' legacy cost structure may be increasingly unnecessary.