Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Me.dium a Game Changer??


Hmmm how do I describe this service/site/product?? . Well I believe the best way to put it is "Surfing from the clouds" (scroll down for my comments under yoparts) . I actually received an invitation code in Nov. but never activated it till Dec.

Brief Description:
You have to use Firefox as a that's a plus right there. They will be making an IE7 version available soon too. It is a sidebar that is loaded on your browser and you can actually see others that are surfing similar sites chat w/ them if you would like and see other similar sites to the one that you are own which is my favorite feature. There are privacy features so you can be anonymous or you can have your screen name displayed or you could be totally stealth if you don't want anybody to see where you are browsing (or just not activate it) . The security features are also nice when you go to a secure disables the bar to you are out of it. Here is a link to a video demo

The social implications are "game changing" if traction can be made in getting enough users to regularly use it. But with a recent Digg front page appearance there seems to be a lot more users on. The coolest moment that I had on me.dium was when Steve Jobs was giving his keynote and swarms of people were bouncing back and forth between related mac site's chatting etc. It was really pretty cool.

As a e-tailer by profession I see huge consumer implications from this product too..having customer service reps welcoming shoppers coming to the site or even going to a competitor's site...

I had the pleasure of meeting Brandon Harper today on Me.dium and found out via his blog that he will be working on the development team at Me.dium very soon. I have made a couple of nice connections on me.dium so far and really like that, however today I did notice someone "spamming" a site posting live message's to a link. I noticed it and made a comment within 5 mins. one of the me.dium employees posted that they will be dealing w/ spam harshly in the future. Good Luck guys you have your work cut out for you.

Overall great site..great team ..and the makings of a great community...

Give it a whirl and let me know what you think here is a invite code to try it out

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Katrina and the Republicans????

David Kuo: J-Walking, David Kuo blog, faith, politics, christian blog, tempting faith

Reading David's latest blog entry.. got me juices flowing again w/ the absolute discraceful job our "entire"(Dems & Rep) government system handled this disaster and the subsequent recovery efforts. I know that there are so many Christians down there helping to rebuild that whole Gulf region. I have always wondered why their hasn't been more public outcry's from Christians regarding this issue.

This is one of many reasons that I try to keep my eye's and heart on Jesus. Their is so many bad thing being exclusively tied to one political party. I just wish that some of those so-called Christian leaders would stand up for the poor and sick like Jesus did by using their influence on the powers that be.

Is this what America is really about?

My .02

Sunday, January 28, 2007

BookMooch: a community for exchanging used books (book swap and book exchange and book trade)

BookMooch: a community for exchanging used books (book swap and book exchange and book trade)

I saw this site for the first time the other day from my friend Dan Pickett via I was really intrigued by their awesome traffic ratings! . I do wonder about their business model simply makes affiliate money off of Amazon sales for books not found in their network. It seems like would be a better fit possibly to add.

This is also got me thinking about what other platforms this business model could work in i.e ipods/mp3 players or Movies maybe even clothing etc. Let me know what you thin k of their site. I will be putting a couple of books up very soon. My first search in this but what caught my attention was that there were numerous members that had this on their wishlists!

Overall pretty cool concept...

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Google vertical search help us reach the long tail

I have noticed lately how everyone is on this vertical search engine kick for the last year or so. Then people got so excited when Jimmy Wales announced his intentions to jump into the search game. His slant would be a Social Search platform which would be inherently better than Google's.

I guess people are forgetting that Google has their own answer to vertical search it's Google CSE/Coop . They have disclosed that their in a recent Business 2.0 article that there are 100,000 CSE's built now and expect over 300,000 by April. I believe that they will use this data to develop a social search algorithm to integrate into their ranking based algorithm.

The obvious problem is how do these CSE get any traction? We know that viral marketing is the great buzz word everyone likes to throw around but how can this be accomplished by niche experts w/ little or no money to advertise and brand their product.

This is a quote from Peter Norvig Google's Director of Search

Me: Is SearchMash a Google wiki-styled search engine? If so, what is the goal of this new product?

Norvig: That's our playground for trying out new ideas -- of all kinds -- in a non-branded search engine where we are more free to experiment with different algorithms and user interfaces. It is useful because we don't have to adhere to the user's expectations for what Google is. It does include " Feedback: Were these results useful to you? ..." but it is not exclusively social/wiki-style; it is for anything we want to try out.

Me: So, are you testing out a wiki-styled search engine?

Norvig: Feedback from users is important, and we will continue to use the sources of user feedback we have been using, and will experiment with more in the future. I think that Google Co-op Custom Search Engine may be the largest current collection of user-generated information for search.

From Bambi Francisco

Here some suggestions already out there.

1. You can create plug in's via Firefox etc.
2. Build very robust back links
3. Get Organic!! Natural Search

My Suggestions:
I. Google should reward CSE's in Google Rankings by offering a link to CSE's that cover the query entered.
II. If someone Googled "GSR Brake swap" it would have a refinement link to CSE's for Honda's .
III. Google should subsidize Adwords for CSE owners this article suggests that smaller more relevant micro sites do much better for advertisers. Google gets a cut of it anyway this will only help them in the long run. This would also be a great strategic move for Google in the future w/ their expansion: checkout/analytics/adwords into a CPA (Cost Per Action) model.

My .02

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Mozy ... Standing up for Customer Service!

I got this email from mozy today and I was actually pretty impressed w/ the way that they handled the unexpected growth of their young company. Mozy is a online storage company that allows you to easily store and manage your data for a small fee of $4.95 a month (unlimited data). Scaling a company is perhaps one of the toughest parts of any startup it's nice to see a company realize that the consumers drive the growth not the technology.

"As some of you may have noticed, the month of December and early January was a challenging time for us. We were overwhelmed by the demand for the Mozy backup service, and had a difficult time keeping up.

Well, we've caught up now - but we undoubtedly upset some of you in the process. When you signed up, we made a commitment to protect your data and support the service you purchased. We didn't keep our end of the deal, and we fumbled the ball by not giving you the excellent support and service that you paid for.

The good news is that even though we had some network glitches and slow support responses, we did manage to handle approximately 1.7 million backups during that rough period.

We now have an excellent support staff, and emails are typically answered within an hour or two during business hours, and of course we have live chat as well if you need real-time support.

So, to try and make up for the problems we've experienced, and to thank you for hanging in there, we like to offer you the follow options:

If you had a really frustrating experience, click here to get 3 months free service added to your account.

If you hit some glitches, but everything mostly worked out for you, click here to get 2 months free service added to your account.

If things went just fine this last month, click here to get 1 month free service added to your account.

But if you'd rather just let us know you're doing okay and you don't need the extra month of free service, click here to let us know.

If you have any questions or feedback, don't hesitate to email me personally. We're here to protect your data - and we thank you for hanging in there during our growing pains.

Founder, CEO, Berkeley Data Systems, Inc. "

I did have some issues w/ their service when first starting out but I also saw the great value in their service. You don't see to many companies say " I messed up " and we want to fix it. Great Job Mozy and I will be spreading the word. By the way I picked the option of 2 months for free due to the amount of time for my initial upload and some downloading issues.

Google... Race for Virtual Domination

So Google wants to turn Google Earth into a virtual playground. Reading this post from VC Rankings got me thinking of how utterly simple Google uses all of their products to make a sustainable ecosystem. If they do pull this off especially w/ this recent acquisition will be their greatest achievement to date!

"Aside from Google, the beneficiaries of such a move would be, well, Benchmark Capital. As the main venture capital firm behind Linden Research, the operator of virtual world Second Life, Google's entry into the segment would further legitemize and popularize it. Once Google entered the segment, Linden Research would likely have to fend off many acquisition overtures from rival media companies."
By Joshua Jaffe

Imagine the price of Second Life skyrocketing when Microsoft and Yahoo want a piece of the action.

By the way this is my first Blog post ever!

Let me know what you guys think of