Scripting News for 8/11/07

We’re a BarCamp sponsor 

Scripting News is a proud sponsor of BarCampBlock on August 18-19, in Palo Alto, CA.

Gnomedex 07 photos 

Click on the thumbnail to the right for my collection of Gnomedex 07 pics.

All these pics flowed through Twitter, using the new Flickr-to-Twitter mashup. It worked without a hitch, and was a big hit with my fellow twitheads. Not one complaint.

My theory is that as long as the photos have titles, they are just like normal Twitter status messages with the benefit of having a visual image attached. People only complain when the pics all ahve the same title. This actually makes total sense.

Now I want the whole package, a title, an image, and an opportunity to narrate verbally. My iPhone has all the capabilities I need, but I can’t write the software. Open platforms will rule here.

Jason didn’t bring us a win-win 

Jason Calacanis posted a continuation of the discussion around his presentation at Gnomedex yesterday. It’s mostly personal, about me. Pretty nasty stuff, anything but friendly (though he claims to be my friend). He could just edit that stuff out, it’s irrelevant. If he wants to succeed as the CEO of Mahalo, he’s going to have to get past his feelings and listen to what we were saying, and think about it, and resolve the conflict he has in the structure of his company, rather than just try to pave it over with his supposed personal issues with me.

Yesterday, and in all his previous marketing, he rails against advertising and spam, which ironically, was exactly what he was doing to the environment at this mostly non-commercial conference. What we said (and I wasn’t the only one speaking back to him, I wasn’t even the first) was a response to this. It didn’t come out of thin air. If he had given a similar speech to venture capitalists, if he offered them no way to win, they would have had the same response, but it probably wouldn’t have been as patient or polite. Now, clearly he doesn’t have the same respect for us that he has for VCs. But it seems that to some extent the success of his company depends on winning over the people here at Gnomedex. If it didn’t, he should have stayed home, because his pitch, as delivered, doesn’t work here, because he didn’t offer us anything we want. We get a better deal from Google, believe it or not.

Some of his argument against Google rings true, very few people love them as we did in their early days, but their proposition to web writers and podcasters is basically fair, it’s a win-win. We get flow from them, they get ad revenue. They also offer us a way to put ads on our sites, so we can profit financially from the relationship. Nothing in Jason’s pitch offers us anything like that. No flow, no money. And technically, it’s not a platform, so we can’t build on it.

We’re people, and we’re smart, Jason, just like you, just like your investors. If you come making a pitch, there should be something for us, or it’s not going to be well received.

So there’s a big bug in the concept behind his company and he tries to blow by it with an attack aimed at one person. That might convince really stupid people, but smart folk can see right through it.

Bottom-line, he needs to figure out a way to build the company so that many others can profit from it. Otherwise I don’t think it has a prayer against Google, which we like less and less as a company, but who basically offers an equitable proposition to the users of the Internet, who the Gnomedex crowd represent in a loose kind of way.

His pitch here failed. He can’t blame me for that. A good CEO goes back to the drawing board and figures out what works. I’ve known lots of successful CEOs, that’s how they all work. I know many more CEOs of companies that failed, and they approach problems the way Jason is approaching this one.

Ultimately, this is the act of friendship Jason is looking for. Now let’s see if he has the maturity and will to succeed to let him see that.

Rosenberg on Mahalo 

Scott Rosenberg: “The day that Google’s results look like the flow of spam into your e-mail inbox is the day that people will start clamoring for something like Mahalo. But unless Google slips up badly, that looks unlikely.”

4 responses to this post.

  1. you slaped his ass pretty hard dave…
    i do that all the time, and everyone hates me.

    pay me and i’ll give you the idea so mahalo (or what ever) can kick google’s ass…i know the solution, its so easy.


  2. I agree, Dave. I’ve always said (and not sure why I share this with the public) that the solution is to create something like Digg or Mahalo where at least the users can slap up their Adsense. I’m amazed at the thousands of people that are creating free content for Digg, while they get all the ad revenue.

    With Mahalo, you get paid $10 or so ONE TIME. Why make a page for them when you could make your own page and get a lifetime of ad revenue out of it.

    If Mahalo starts revenue sharing forever, I think they could have a huge hit… or perhaps I should shut up and start my own ad-revenue-sharing site!


  3. Dave – thanks for putting this technology all together, very inspiring to see it all mashed up.

    I am starting to wonder if you are trying to turn Twitter into Jaiku by smashing all kind of attention streams into it. That’s an interesting goal, but given the potential frequency of a notable observation when you’re in the middle of what’s going on, it starts to get to be a lot to follow.

    My preferred Twitter use these days is from a Blackberry while walking, and slowly but surely I’m pruning feeds that update at faster than a walking pace so that I can use Twitter as a conversation channel and not just tuning in to the hot spots in the net.


  4. Ed, I like Twitter because the people I’m interested in use it and I’m just following my nose, adding features as they occur to me and seeing how they work. Nothing more than that. I also unsub from people who update at a frequency that doesn’t match mine, or who talk about stuff that I either find offensive or extremely uninteresting.


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