Open Source Everything


Twitter and the new era of Everywhere Messaging

I've just jumped into the twitter world with both feet, and I have to admit that I love it. You can't help but feel connected with folks as you get micro-updates about what they're up to.

Instant Messaging (IM) is not dead or even dying, but EM is about to change everything. While IM emphasizes the immediacy of the communication, EM can represent the value of the communication. Then again, like any communications channel, what gets transmitted can also be pure drivel. EM, however, has tremendous potential for solving some of the biggest problems I face on a daily basis, and have been thinking about for over a decade, most especially the idea of annotating the world around us and sharing key insytes about what is happening and what I see as the important matters of the day.

What is EM? EM is “Everywhere Messaging” - in particular, Text-Web-IM-Blog/Site.
I started thinking about the idea of EM the other day when I finally gave in to peer pressure and began to use my Twitter account.
With Twitter and other EM services, the purpose is not about communicating with another person instantly.

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Sometimes, people are just awesome

TorleyIs it just me, or is there an abnormally large number of great folks in the new web communities that have sprung up in the past few years? Maybe it's the fact that most of the people I'm working with lately are into the idea of creating or participating in something great, rather than making a boatload of money, but I've met more than my fair share of kick-ass people this year.

That said, even among these great people, it's not often you meet someone who is genuinely cool and also willing to give you their time and enthusiasm with no thoughts of what they'll get in return.

I've been developing a WordPress widget for Clipmarks that allows you to add clips to the side of your blog. It's only my second wordpress plugin, so I figured it would be a bit rough around the edges and would benefit from some true beta testing. We invited the incredibly awesome Torley to be our first beta tester Thursday night, and not only did he test it out and give us great feedback, but he's also blogged about the tool and has done the legwork of installing an updated version of the beta just a day later!

I've spent the past year getting involved in communities and meeting amazing people, but it still always astounds me when people are this cool. It makes me really excited for the things that we're capable of building if we continue to work together!

Long blog-post short: Thanks Torley!

PS - I'd love to test this widget out on a bunch of blogs before we go live with it, and could really use the help, if you've got a wordpress blog. Just drop me a comment on this post and I'll get in touch!


Google filters for “badware?”

I clicked on a link in a Google search today, and got this message:

I guess I appreciate this, but when did google start policing the web?

I guess I appreciate this, but when did Google start policing the web? Seems like it would be big news!


Get free videogames in the mail

goozex Okay - so technically they're not completely free since you have to trade some of your old games for them, but really, we're you going to play Counter Strike anymore now that you've got an XBOX 360?

I'm not traditionally a console gamer, so I've gotten very little use out of the game-trading site Goozex so far. Since they were a "CD only" operation until now, I've sent out some games and built up points but that's about it.

Recently, Goozex added handheld games to their repertoire, and I just got my first GBA game, Sword of Mana, in the mail. It's like getting a free game! The first 3 "transaction fees" (usually a meager $1) are waived, so this one really was "on the house".

Speaking of games, there's some new developments here in the apartment, but more on that soon. In the meantime, check out Goozex. They're cool people - I met some of them handing out fliers in Times Square while I was doing the same thing for The Alternative Music Show - and they've got a great little service.


Couldn’t make the Video 2.0 Meetup in NYC? Here’s the cool stuff you missed.

Last night I attended the 2nd Video 2.0 Meetup here in NYC. The audience was a mix of startup companies in online video and content producers. Among the notables that I recognized in the audience were Andrew and Joanne from RocketBoom and some of the folks from .

The event is held in a screening room for the Tribeca film festival where greats like Scorsese routinely hold private screenings (there were even rumors of Scorsese himself breezing in and out of the projection room, but that may have been a joke.)

I took some pretty decent notes on each of the presenters, and surprisingly, each of these companies had something new and different to bring to the table. In my next few posts, I'll summarize each of the services and then talk a bit about why I found them interesting.

motionbox logo


Motionbox opened the night, and were quick to differentiate themselves from other video hosting sites by working to solve the "unproduced content problem." With photos on flickr, you can easily scan through thumbnails of your friend's vacation, and zoom in on the few great pictures, but with video, you're stuck watching the whole thing.

Motionbox allows you to highlight sections of videos, and even creates permalinks to those selected clips. It's quite cool, and they hinted that "more cool stuff was coming in the fall.

They're already partnered with NBC5 in Chicago, and if you go to you can see where "viewers" are submitting content, and that can be integrated into the broadcast news.

Once questions began, we got the nitty-gritty on their back end. Their service is programmed in ruby on rails, and their custom player is written in FLEX on top of Flash 9. They've got about 20 folks on their team and have outside investors, although they didn't specify who or how much. I believe they mentioned that they were hiring, but I could be mistaken. It can't hurt to shoot them a resume if you're interested.

As far as monetization, they're planning a pro-product as well as ads, and you know that deals like the NBC5 partnership can’t hurt.

My opinion? I was just about to tune out and pass motionbox off as a yaytc (Yet Another Youtube Clone... it sounds like "Yahtzee!" when you say it out loud) when I heard them mention "something cool coming in the fall" a second time while talking about their ability to highlight clips. They started to taking about permissions that you can grant to your file, such as giving different people the permission to highlight and link to clips, or mix and mash it up with others.

Aha! Mix and mash?! Now this is starting to sound cool, and you can understand why they're hesitant to announce this formally until they've got it ready. This is of course just my speculation, but how awesome would it be if I could go on Motionbox and create my own "America's funniest home videos", complete with music track? Or create a full on music video using footage other people have uploaded? My ears certainly perked up at the end there, and if they've really got this up their sleeves, I don't think I'll be the only one excited about it.

There were 4 more presenters, and there's four more pieces to this round up coming, just as fast as I can type them! Stay tuned!


I’ve killed the “Links for Date” posts!

After quite a few people letting me know that they weren't the biggest fan of the links showing up here in my main feed, I've decided to pull them.

If you did like seeing what I found interesting on the net, you can subscribe to my delicious links feed here:

I'll also be posting stuff over at Digg, here's my link feed there: holds my external bookmarks, all the things I want to keep track of, and digg is a bit more ephemeral, tracking what's popular right now. Although both services are extremely similar, I use both in different ways.


That’s a new one: DNS outage

The box that powers is up. I know this because is served from this very same server. However, you can't reach as of right now. Pings don't even resolve.

Dig reports this:

; < <>> DiG 9.3.1 < <>>
;; global options: printcmd
;; connection timed out; no servers could be reached

Both zoneedit nameservers that tell users what server to find on are down. Granted, their service is free, so beggars can't be choosers, but in 7 solid years of web hosting, I've only seen this happen once before.

Here's hoping it's back by morning, or I'm going to have to find an alternate DNS host pronto.

: Nice. By invoking murphy's law and posting about the site being down, I've brought it back up. Whahoo! Thanks to whoever dragged their sleepy butt out of bed in Wisconsin to bring that nameserver back online.

Filed under: technology, web No Comments

DIY – doing more with less

Grr. I really have to learn to save more. I just lost a great long post, but it's going to force a rewrite and two separate posts here, which is a good thing.

Short summary: I'm in a Do It Yourself panel right now that's giving me a lot of great advice. I'm sorry to have lost some of the earlier quotes, but them's the breaks.

Rheingold: TESS is the US patent trademark search site. It only costs 360 dollars to trademark your logo or wordmark.

Rheingold:"Just signing up for a domain name doesn't mean that you have any right to use that mark."

Hudack / Rheingold: "You don't need to have lawyers involved. 2 sentences on paper with some witnesses and signed works."

Keeler: "you really have to follow the bloggers who are influential .

Attendee: There's a great site for doing trademarks and legal things yourself called nolo


“Summarize” tool on Mac OSX

Watching a presentation by Carl Decordova on "blogging behind the firewall," I was just shown a fun little tool on mac... Select text, go to file -> services ->summarize. Move the slider, and it will automatically go from 1 line summary to full text. It's brilliant, and available programmatically, so you can use it in scripts.

Carl also put together the blog for vistacare's cto Very cool, very cluetrain.


New monthly photo

Amit pretend juggles while Eric Juggles pins. The caption says Pretend juggling is actually much harder than real juggling. Most people dont know that -Amit. Photo by Jessie Chan-Norris

Well, the tree has been down for weeks, but I hadn't gotten around to changing the christmas picture at the top left of this site.

I finally changed it today, using a flikr picture from barcamp by Jesse Chan-Norris. Thanks Jesse for letting me use the photo!

Here's the photo for all you RSS and LiveJournal readers who don't get a chance to see my theme very often: