Kinda enjoying the “wrapup” post concept. I feel less pressure to blog, and take a bit more time to collect my thoughts (instead of jumping on board any given meme as it happens). Would definitely like to know from my reader(s?) if this is harder content to consume than more frequent, shorter posts.
Dell Buying Palm
This rumor’s been floating for a while. At the Building43/TechCrunch party I was told it was a certainty, though the NY Times thinks it’ll never happen. At this stage in the mobile game, I think Palm does need an acquisition if it wants to survive as a big player, either that or needs a drastic overhaul/downsizing until they think like a startup again (which really is the position they are in). Dell’s a decent suitor, though I’d doubt they’d really escalate the brand to the level it needs. I’d rather see a merger with Motorola’s mobile group, as they have the true infrastructure needed to compete at the high stakes table, and could really use an injection of creativity and new technology (no more RAZRs guys).
This whole week Facebook did a replay of Oklahama in the late 1800s (including allowing “key journalists” in sooner than us lame users). The stats last night were impressive, though I’m still sitting here scratching my head on the whole thing a little. I’m assuming FB plans to do some serious SEO work, enabling those who grabbed useful terms like “carpenter” (no, I don’t know that guy) to generate a little business out of them. That said, some useful terms like “sanfranciscosushi” are still up for grabs, so enterprising folks should put their creative hats on and get going. I didn’t take my name yet (having a unique name makes that kinda easy) because I just don’t get the value to me personally. Googling Jeremy Toeman always gets me, as does the first page or two for just Toeman. Not to say I didn’t try a few names to see how they’d feel…
nah… not quite right.
My friend Robert Scoble started working at Rackspace (the place where we host Legacy Locker, btw) a few months back, and he’s been dropping hints about this “Building43″ thing for a while now. This week he formally unveiled it during the TechCrunch 4th birthday party down in Palo Alto. First and foremost, thanks Robert and Mike for some amazingly good BBQ food – oh, and your contributions to the tech industry blah blah blah . So Building43 is designed as a resource for entrepreneurs and big companies alike to participate and gain feedback and insight from the tech community at large. It’s an ambitious goal, and I wish them a lot of luck. My biggest advice to them is to really focus on the user experience, as right now I found the site a little confusing to navigate (despite my personal familiarity with all the technologies they are using, like FriendFeed). If it’s tough for me to find things, I can’t imagine what it’s like for those new to it.
Microsoft introduced “Project Natal” at E3, and there’s a rumor circulating that instead of thinking of it as a new component to the Xbox 360, it might be its own console. I love the idea of using motion capture as a video game controller (or remote control or any other kind of interface), but I think that’s where my love ends. As an idea. Here’s the issue – it’s not good enough if it’s 99% accurate. Why? Because the 1 time in 100 that you shoot instead of duck, or block instead of jump, or whatever mistake it makes is going the about the last time you play seriously. Fundamental to every good user interface is absolutely perfectly reliable controls, with proper feedback mechanisms to the user. With a motion controller, the moment the game doesn’t do what you wanted it to do, it’s all over. Trust is lost, and the “magic moment” is replaced by dislike, then eventually anger. I saw a tweet that I think encapsulated the issue perfectly: “Project Natal is headed to the uncanny valley.”
I recently realized I don’t read any blogs anymore. I do a lot of searching. I follow some folks on Twitter and/or FriendFeed. But I almost never just go to sites like Engadget or TechCrunch nor friends of mine like Dave Zatz or Michael Gartenberg and just read. And based on looking at the analytics for many of my clients’ web sites, I’m thinking I’m very much not alone. There’s too much content, and just not enough ways to organize it. If I were an enterprising lad, I’d be spending a lot of time figuring out how to help people deal with content overload in a very useful manner. The right tool needs to combine all the potential sources a user wants, and give lots of ways to customize and filter it. Google Reader isn’t enough, nor is FriendFeed, nor is Facebook. I’ve got a hunch there’s a lot of opportunity for an excellent “get signal out of my noise” service, and it’s probably something people would pay for.
Have a great weekend everyone, I’m heading back to toil in the garden where I can be really productive.