Money quote from danah boyd's piece about facebook as a utility
I just wish that Facebook would’ve taken a more responsible path so that we wouldn’t have to deal with what’s coming. And I wish that they’d realize that the people they’re screwing are those who are most vulnerable already, those whose voices they’ll never hear if they don’t make an effort.
When I hang out with my nontech friends now, they want me to talk about why facebook is scary. They don’t understand what changed, but they know something did.
My answer is now the same. I don’t trust facebook anymore. I used to love what they were trying to accomplish - making the web more open and encouraging people to share information more often - but now I question their motives too often.
This is important. When you sign on people for a mission that sounds like “make the world a better place” you’re asking at some level for a selfless decision. Obama asked for our support for hope & remaking the face of america. It’s a big ask, one requiring a huge chunk of trust.
Facebook got similar trust from us in the beginning. I wanted to participate in their movement. I wanted the web & facebook to lead a revolution where individuals had more of their ideas heard. More of the voices listened to. And yes, that has happened. But now i just think they want to conquer, one optimized user sign up form at a time.
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I use this blog for 2 reasons - to share stuff with personal friends (you’d have to be a friend to care about what i say here) and to mark events and thoughts that I consider to be important in my life.
This week Josh and I decided to shut down EventVue. We’ve been working on it for 3 years now and I’ve given a lot of myself to its success. (If you know me really well, you know that i’ve given too much to it).
We learned a ton over the past 3 years and I made an effort to at least document what happened on our blog.
Thanks to all of you who have been supporters of us over the past 3 years. I’m already starting to look forward to what is next.
We relaunched EventVue today and i’m very excited about it. The immediacy of the realtime web has created the possibility for a whole new experience around events. Because short messages can be shared so easily and distributed so quickly on the realtime web, we think that the time has come where people can truly connect at events in a way not seen before.
Now, when you are interested in the State of the Union address and are watching it on TV, you can actually connect with other people watching it all across the world in real time. Or when you’re interested in a conference in your industry, but can’t attend, you can share you ideas or suggestions and watch them actually make it back into the conversation in the conference hall.
The realtime web is a revolutionary force for events and we’re relaunching EventVue in hopes of pushing it forward. You can read more about our relaunch on our blog, and you can go check out the response to the relaunch at #eventvuerelaunch.
I’m been completely captivated by Mumford & Sons this week after discovering them through the excellent 2009 Hype Machine Zeitgeist. There is so much to love about their music and I am blown away by the excellent banjo melodies behind the hymn-like choruses.
This song is one of my favorites and shows the depth of emotion in their songs. In many of their lyrics like “Night has always pushed up day / You must know life to see decay” i sense the voice of hope from brokenness that I connect with so well.
You really have to listen to this. And if anyone wants to go to their show in San Francisco on Feb 11, I could be convinced to fly out there…
“Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”—Calvin Coolidge (1872 - 1933) - found via JLM
A friend of mine, known around here as DJ Double A, had this to say about Urban Outfitters now selling fixies:
How cheap are these things to produce, if urban outfitters sells $25 tshirts but can sell these for 400 bucks. They must be total crap.
But what does it matter when you can get double-takes on your bodacious pink rims with checkered slip-on vans, tight girl jeans rolled to the calf, white punk rock belt, and a sleevless tshirt to show off your arm tats on the way to sit at the heroin-chic, bohemian, 2-cool-4-school, coffee joint to sip an organic free-trade 6 dollar espresso so you post tweets from your smartphone while reading dharma bums, hoping somebody notices.
“She replies that life never presents us with a single big question, that every day, he’s being asked to choose, and that each time he misses an appointment or doesn’t make it home, he’s making his choice.”—
“This generation will determine if the world can avoid the apocalypse that will come if the fear-ridden establishments continue to dominate global politics, motivated by terror, armed with nukes, and playing old but now far too dangerous games.”—
On Friday I spent the day in Boulder, Colorado on my first day as a TechStars Mentor. I had the chance to meet with some great Boulder-based startups to talk shop, brainstorm product strategy, and help them think big about their businesses.
In the evening, we hosted a Facebook Developer Garage Boulder, and had a chance to hear about some great Facebook Platform and Connect applications being built in and around the Boulder/Denver community.
The most interesting thing I took from this first session in Boulder is that the startup energy there is electric. The entreprenuers are passionate, and the community is overwhelmingly collaborative and supportive of each other.
Here’s a look at a few of the startups I had a chance to meet with on Friday. For the most part, when mentoring startups, you talk about the future. Here you will find a quick overview of the present. I’ll leave the future to be seen in each of their products.
Suffice to say, there are some really cool things going on in Boulder:
Lussumo is a free, open source, platform for doing cool things. Right now, they’re shipping an awesome discussion forum application called Vanilla, which over a million users love. Expect big things in the forum space from Lussumo in the future.
The Next Big Sound is pushing the music envelope on the internet. Today they’re a platform for discovery of unsigned bands. Tomorrow they’re looking to change the way music business is done. With all of the innovation needed in how artists and management interact with the internet, these guys are thinking about things in exactly the right ways.
Everlater seeks to make telling travel stories fun and easy. In traveling around the world, and looking around the web, they realized that putting together a simple travel story is actually quite hard. If you are a traveler who also loves to share and create, keep an eye on Everlater.
Mailana is frustrated with how hard it is to make meaning out of the increasingly massive amount of user generated content inside the email stream. They’ve been expermimenting with new ways to visualize email inside the firewall, and have released some of these tools for consumers on top of Twitter. With all of us fighting our inboxes every day, lets hope Pete and the team at Mailana bring some innovation to the craziness of email.
EventVue seeks to connect you to the people who matter most every time you attend your favorite conferences. With recent Facebook Connect integration and a slew of upcoming features, attending conferences will never be the same. If you run a conference series, or are looking to get one off the ground, I highly recommend you take a look at the work this team is doing. They’re making connecting, in person, easier for all of us.
TimZon makes communicating concepts and ideas to remote teams easy with video, white boarding, and a slough of asynchronous private video communications tools. What they are doing is really cool, and has a shot at helping people communicate an be productive with video in a way that no one else has tried.
Lijit gives blog publishers powerful tools for search by extending the idea of search to include the social network surrounding the publisher. The social graph is a powerful thing, when combined with search and put into the hands of publishers.
Ignighter takes a more social approach to dating. Rather than signing up for the site by yourself, you invite your friends to become a “dating group.” Then, you can find other dating groups to go out with on a group date, increasing your odds for finding a compatible mate in the social graph. These guys are adding more features soon which will help get more people involved and hope to create a movement around group dating. I think they’ve got a shot. If you’re single, stay tuned, this could be really cool.
I’m spending a large number of my brain cycles recently thinking about “social distribution networks”. Each day that I spend in startup world I feel more and more that we’re at a major inflection point in the history of media. When hundreds of 140 character thoughts from my friends get more of my attention than all the news giants of the past combined, something is changing.
If you sense the same thing, you should read John Borthwick’s essay (and the comments) on Social Distribution Networks. We’ve been using the same term for the past month or so in the EventVue office a bit differently, but John really uncovers a lot of the power in this new distribution model. One favorite quote:
Today there seems to be a new distribution model that is emerging. One that is based on people’s ability to publically syndicate and distribute messages — aka content — in an open manner. This has been a part of the internet since day one — yet now its emerging in a different form — its not pages, its streams, its social and so its syndication. The tools serve to produce, consume, amplify and filter the stream.
Saw this comment on Fred Wilson’s post about the power of small web teams combined with the distributed magaphone of the web to generate outsize revenue on small costs. I think there’s some real insight into Steve’s point about one of the fundamental success factors of a startup is low cost traffic acquisition. Thinking hard about what that looks like for EventVue…
and isn’t the big secret to zynga’s success that they brilliantly arrived first on facebook app opportunity? honestly, if the same people launched the same zynga games and apps and stratgies today (rather than figuring out how to get first in line before facebook opened to third party apps) would zynga be as successful? i seriously doubt it - because their traffic acquisition costs are so wonderfully low, a situation almost impossible to replicate
for me this is the single biggest strategic need for new media startups — low cost traffic acquisition. everything else is a commodity (including brilliant app or content ideas)
Josh has particular fascination with snow and is definitely my most trustworthy source of snow-related weather information for Boulder. I love that he not only forecasts the weather but also invests in educating his audience so that we can understand a little more about the unique weather patterns around Boulder with each post.
If you live in Colorado, and especially Boulder, I highly recommend his weather wisdom at Colorado Weather.
In a poor neighborhood in Charleston, SC (close to my hometown) a dedicated teacher gave hope to the community. She found food for hungry families, helped pay long overdue electric bills, and took a poor performing school to excellence. She was just an normal school teacher who cared about the struggles of her students families. Her work and success inspired the community around her, who, like many disadvantaged neighborhoods in SC, desperately needed something to celebrate.
Only one major problem. It seems that her successes were a fraud. The New York Times covers it pretty thoroughly and it would be extremely difficult to shrug off the condemning evidence as merely circumstantial.
So this is the tragedy of hope — disappointment.
An entire community believed that their children’s gains in education were real. They had been told by the world around them that their kids would never be as smart, never have the abilities, and never have the life that the white kids in Mount Pleasant would have. This teacher’s work gave the community real ammo to call that what it is — an ugly and oppressive lie.
And now it’s broken. This courageous teacher became a symbol of hope to this neighborhood. Tragically, her fall is just as much a fall for her community as it is for her individually.
South Carolina needs educational leaders who inspire hope. I think this is greatest function of leaders tackling our biggest problems. But to every talented leader who truly is inspirational, I say to you what one of our investors has said to me when handing over the investment check:
I really have been honored by the support that EventVue has received from a lot of very smart and successful people. Today we’re announcing that Wendy Lea and Paul Berberian will be joining the EventVue board. I’m excited that they’re joining us and look forward to stepping it up to the next level with their support.
"What we are witnessing may be the greatest destruction of financial wealth that the world has ever seen — paper losses measured in the trillions of dollars. Corporate wealth. Oil wealth. Real estate wealth. Bank wealth. Private-equity wealth. Hedge fund wealth. Pension wealth."
Tumblr can confuse context between publisher and reader
I just realized this.
4 of my past 5 posts on Tumblr have been about politics, and mostly about Barack Obama. If you’re a reader of my blog (big if I know) you’re probably thinking about now that I’m a super opinionated arugula-eating obama supporter. I mean that’s all I’ve been writing about apparently.
But I don’t interact with my blog the same way you do so I wasn’t consciously aware that my voice recently has been entirely political. My tumblr experience is posting to a stream of content from friends and other people interesting to me. So most of what I post is a reaction or response to what I’m reading in the Tumblr Dashboard. However, none of the people who read my blog see this context. They don’t understand that my post about Obama’s response to the silly pig controversy came after reading 3 other posts in my stream on the absurdity of the current conversation about who should be our president. My readers and I don’t share the same view of the context of what I publish.
A lot of the meaning and weight behind any statement is lost if you miss its context. Sorry to my readers who have missed that and sorry that until now I didn’t realize it.