Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Knol - Just when you thought they weren't...they are

So Google is a content company, that says it isn't a content company. Any product that pays people to write content is a content company. Yet Google says, preaches, portrays that they aren't.

If I used the following job description what business do you think I'd be in:

Online organization based in Mountain View, CA is a fast-growing company in the internet search business. We are currently in need of writers who will assist in building an online knowledge base. This is a freelance position and will be paid by articles viewed.

Uh...Google, you are a content company.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Much Love to the Code Monkeys

Hey boys...this one goes out to you. Massive love to you all.

Friday, 11 July 2008

Is Yahoo Succeeding at Being Disruptive?

On the heels of it's recent SearchMonkey announcement Yahoo! has released BOSS which stands for "Build your Own Search Service". BOSS allows developers to quickly plug search data directly into their application by leveraging a set of very lightweight web service calls. These two releases send a strong message that Yahoo! is backing up it's message of opening up it search system to developers.

The next version of the release, BOSS Custom, will allow developers to post data into the Yahoo! Search platform via similar web services. The concept, in my opinion, is for Yahoo! to attract developers to place additional content on it's search platform and using an open interface to benefit from more robust data collection (ie social site data, unsearchable properties or maybe...hum, properties that would like to be searched by Yahoo but no on else).

Who knows where this will go but when you are losing market share hand over fist it doesn't hurt to try and shake things up.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

The Website is Down: Sales Guy v. Web Dude

I hope you find this video as frackin' hilarious as I do. Granted, I'm a propeller head that has turned business guy (though some would argue still a geek) so it may resonate more with the geeks of the world.

Definitely one of the funniest videos I've seen in a long time.

So What the F**k is Social Media

And Why the F**k should you care. I know you've all been asking yourself the same question. Great presentation put together by Marta Z. Kagan.

Thanks goes out to Richard Dym who forwarded this along.

You can take a look at Marta's presentation here.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Shimmer - May have some shine

John Graham-Cumming has released a cool new piece of open source security software called Shimmer. Shimmer provides an alternative to port knocking programs such as tumbler that are used to hide a valuable port (such as a hidden web server or SSH) on a public IP address.

Essentially shimmer works by changing a sets of ports (one of which forwards to the real service, and others that lead to a trap to blacklist attackers) on a timed basis. Legitimate users can determine the real port, avoiding the blacklist and getting a connection.

Shimmer Port Diagram

Credit: John Graham-Cumming

Monday, 7 July 2008

Apple takes the Cisco approach

This tactic smells of the late 90's when Cisco overran suppliers with requests for components.

The Valleywag already smells a conspiracy saying that Apple (I've always been a fan of the retro Apple logo) is cutting off supply to squash competition.

Open Source Twitter

You knew it would happen sooner or later. (no Canada comments) has released an open-source version of a micro-blogging tool.

Cool thing is that it sounds like they are also trying to go after the concept of federation. Think about it as a Jabber or OpenID for micro-blogging.

Very geeky, very early. Bit ironic that the lead dev/guy who started the project is named Evan.

Guess the next question is "When do we see the open source version of Facebook???"

We've got the bloggers...I hate the bloggers.

A friend sent this to me today. It's old (dated Dec. 2007) but I hadn't seen it before. Funny little snippet. Outside of getting a good laugh when I first watched it I also had a couple of thoughts.

1. The new media will be as hated as the old media. Don't worry old media, no double standards for the new guys.


2. Was yet another reminder that when I first started doing the double-u double-u double-u thing in 1994 I didn't realize how powerful the internet would become.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008


The transformation, not the merger, is almost complete.

Adam Lashinsky who writes the Go West blog published an unsolicited email he received from a Yahoo employee today.

The wheels appear to be officially off the car.

Twitter - Both Loved and Hated by Spammers...I mean Bloggers

So a few weeks ago I finally succumbed and joined Twitter. From day one I pretty much had looked at the service as a playground for the ADHD self involved but more and more of the bloggers that I follow were yelling from the roof tops that "It's the Best Ever...Really!" Much like other things I've tried (, which has been great) I'll sometimes jump onto services and try them out because folks I have respect for are recommending.

What I found was interesting. Well, not really interesting, but still a good exercise.

1. Twitter IS in most cases the playground for the ADHD self involved.
2. For smaller groups that want a SMS mailing list. It's pretty cool.
3. There is limited structure to communication so 'tweets' can get pretty wacky, pretty quickly.
4. There is a there, there. Not sure that Twitter will win in this space but the general technology has legs and I am sure will breed some competition or new ideas that will be valuable.
5. The service is constantly down.
6. It is a breeding house for spammers! Or spewers, as Dave Winer calls them.

And 6 is why the bloggers love Twitter. Those spammers, I mean bloggers, are the same guys that are recommending the service over and over and over again. And of course they are going to push the service, it is a completely free e-marketing/spam tool for them. Read my blog, watch my video, chat with me on-line, put a reply on my post. When I first joined Twitter I subscribed to TechCrunch, Scoble and a few others. Following them on twitter felt like my e-mail without a spamfilter...100 messages a day telling me about cheap Viagara or penis extensions.

The sad thing here is that the spammers (bloggers) that put the most load on the system and bring it to it's knees are the same guys that are bitching the loudest about Twitter's downtime...and the same group that is going to kill Twitter. At some point Twitter is going to need to block them. The bloggers will be up in arms (for a few minutes) and then quickly move on to other networks. Twitter will be left with a system that can then run and provide service to the millions of other users that could benefit from their service.

You can tweet me on my no longer used Twitter account. I'm @johnrowell.