Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Social Media is a Return to Roots

On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur, l'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.

NOT all changes are meant to make life more efficient.

It could be that it is more of a top priorities change and what is a search for efficiencies basically morph into finding the shortest route to making a quick buck. A plan requiring perseverance, diligence and the correct way of doing things is now replaced by a scheme.

NOT all things change for the better. (Cure is worse than the ailment)

Take a look at agriculture for example. Sure, we have built dams, tractors and other devices to enable us to harvest more crops in less time. Yet, given the situation now, seems like we're far off worse than before if you look at statistics on world hunger. Those processing plants may be giving off more carbon that would basically kill off the people who are supposed to be the consumers. Well, you may argue that the new tools are about giving people more time to do other things. Question is, are those new things about helping more people or about helping themselves to more profit in detriment to self and community? Or shall we say feeding the greed.

Social media isn't new

Sure, it isn't. What actually is new is 'traditional media'. Since it is the one we've been exposed to since we started make full use of our faculties, this generation considers as sort of the de facto. Newspapers, TV and radio have surrounded us like a huge net of information filter meant for us to be more knowledgeable and stay well-informed. Most of us devour it 'hook, line and sinker' without question. Guess, what? Most of these so called info are actually marketing pitches and at worse, propaganda.


We are born into social media through the stories we hear and pass on. As babies and kids, we listen to stories. We learn them by heart and consciously and subconsciously, learn about their subtle meanings as well. We pass it on to other kids and store it in the recesses of our memory only to retrieve it back again upon the twilight of our lives in search for true self.

Social media is the way ancestors pass on news and spread word about things. They pass on knowledge across generations and tribes by telling stories validated by their lives. Foremost among those stories which still remain with us today are tales of heroism or even everyday banter about cures for common ailments, how to till the land or how and when to get a good catch. (Maybe they were really trying to tell us back then that 'comets are bad' judging by the supposed myths about it.). It may not be as idyllic as we ought to believe but it is way better than the lies people in power come to perpetrate nowadays.

Truth is the root

There's lot of talk about harnessing the power of social media because it looks like the in-thing. Yet the true power of social media is being able to peel away the embellishments and going to the core. If people find value in the labor or the product then well and good. Information will spread among communities who find connections across lands they don't even have the faintest idea who or what they look like. It isn't about popularity in an instant. It's about patience and nurturing and the belief that value takes time. To think otherwise, might just be to corrupt it and people as well.

Good thing about it is that people will eventually find out. One just has to look at the roots.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Drive, free and e-SEE

The alternatives for those who do not have the means are increasing as the web continues to evolve. Though some might say that all you need is a PC with a browser and an internet connection, more often, the most important ingredient you will need is drive.

You see, the world of the web now mostly runs on 'the introductory free". Go ahead surf, look for information, search for applications or file storage, you can find plenty that is free. Even with few less options than a premium offer, the free deal is enough to get you started while the rest is up to you.

That is where drive comes in, especially now that schools (Check out Stanford's SEE and the MIT Open Courseware) are taking grand steps to give education a bigger presence in the web. From the simple tips and tutorials coming from people and communities, institutions are beginning to see the value of spreading info and sowing seeds of knowledge. There might be only a handful where the seeds might grow and bear fruit but as more of the seeds spread, the odds continue to stack up on it being picked up and become success stories.

Like free trials or test deployments that web companies offer, there might only be a few that go the full distance. Yet come to think of it, that is all a program needs in infancy while it creates a product of value and keep on going an extra mile.

Web Find:
: Creating word clouds made free and easy, too

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Are you [App] Experienced?

Nice but the proof is in the typing

Everyday for the last 12 months, there hasn't been a dearth of new applications that comes up on my feeds or via network shout-outs. Of course, there will be a bunch of crap or re-hashes of previous app or tools that were either extremely popular or better iterations of incomplete and poorly designed ones but overall, it's all for good because we users are, after all, still in control. We are free to sign-up or ignore, become early adopters or fence-sit without no real horrible consequence except loss of bragging rights.

But is it really just bragging rights? Or do people really find value in the app, tool or system? While most (ok, hundreds of thousands) get it, why do others fail to see that it could also be worth trying out?

Tom Foremski has an interesting post on 'experiential gap'.

" ..... why Twitter is so interesting is one that cannot be conveyed unless you are in it. This is one of the hallmarks of many important applications such as blogging, Facebook, etc. You can't and won't be able "get it" unless you are in it. We have moved beyond "generation gap" differences in technology use and moved into the "experiential gap" in terms of use and understanding. Your experience with an application such as Twitter provides an understanding that cannot be communicated by reading about it or even being told about it.

He goes on to provide more details about what are the characteristics of powerful apps and why they are successful. Oh, I may have to add that 'digital intimacy' thingy as the clincher.

Read more about it here.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Web2Expo Gems: Gary Vaynerchuk loves you!

Gary Vaynerchuk (WineLibrary) speaks about 'killing it' -- with love!

Patience. Passion. Stop Doing Sh1t you hate. Caring about you and your user base. Monetize. Hustle. Legacy. Brand Equity. Transparency. Using all tools available.

Watch this
, I beg you and you're on the road to happiness beginning now.

Building Personal Brand Within the Social Media Landscape

Friday, September 19, 2008

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

4 Monsters in the Cloud: A Scary Story Unfolds

We all love to play devil's advocate especially surrounding a buzz-of-a-topic everyone is all ears on. This is particularly true about cloud computing where web people and not just developers and systems administrators have taken a personal crusade to make sure that their fears about it are properly addressed.

So what are the top cloud computing fears for users, developers and enterprises? Here are the four (4) most common ones that cause apprehension. Let's call them 'Cloud Monsters'.

1. Security and Privacy
2. Data Recovery
3. System Administration
4. Scalability

Related stories:
Privacy, security issues darken cloud computing plans

In search of a silver lining
Cloud Computing Adoption Grows Despite Concerns
Pew study: cloud computing popular, privacy worries linger

Cloud Computing: Securing the Cloud
Cloud Failure: The Myth of Nines
Cloud Computing Opinion: The Goal of "Five Nines" - 99.999% Availability - is Meaningless
Still Cloudy on Cloud Computing: A Matrix to Guide the Coming Policy Debates

What is the State of Cloud Computing?
What Laws Should Govern Computing Clouds?
20 Real-Life Challenges of Cloud Computing
The Obvious Dangers of the Cloud

* * * * *
Web Watch
Wall Street domino blocks will eventually reach the Valley.
Tom Foremski's take. Web collaboration tool called Wiggio Blog Tactics: Links out-hustle content Twitterkeys: Moving beyond text into cuteness Report: Nearly 70% of businesses allow social media usage Podcasts: 15 Must-listen Geek Podcasts

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

WebEx NYC is WEB-verything!

WebExNYC officially begins today!

From the site:
"The inaugural Web 2.0 Expo New York takes the pulse of the Web ecosystem and looks to its future, training a spotlight across the Web 2.0 universe to illuminate how the Internet Revolution is being created and delivered. What will you do with the power of Web 2.0?"

If you're tracking a particular interest like cloud computing or social media (both are well represented judging by the number of sessions, personalities and event sponsors), do check out the calendar of sessions.

In time for the event and its participation at the Expo, Morph Labs launches the Morph AppCloud.

Web Finds:

George Orwell on Content Creation. Profound! Plus Writing for New Media. * Reading later or reducing open tabs, here are 11 Sites to help tide you over. * Apple and Disney say "No thanks" to DRM consortium. * Free textbooks isn't free education but is a welcome treat. * Asus Eee's got competition. Dell Inspiron Mini 9. * Simple Sharing via Drop.io * TC50 Controversy. * GoodGuide should have won according to RWW * Chrome Envy for Linux and Mac Users Solved

Monday, September 15, 2008

Kid McCloud is into Clouds but not the weather kind!

"I'm calling him, Kid McCloud! "

Cloud Computing: Boring may just be another word for Mainstream.

Ten Aspects of Web 2.0 Strategy That Every CTO and CIO Should Know.

Hubspot with Seth Godin: Short of magical.
8 Startup Insights.

Intellectual Property and Open Source: A Book Review

Best Practices in Social Media: Generosity.

Web Tools

Yammer. TC50 Winner! Cries of Foul? Other POV.

Dwigger & WebSourceIt.

How to make delicious more yummier.

Now for the rest that did not get the plum but got the nod.
TC50 and Demo Top Ten.

May not be winners but missed so much.
Apps we wish hadn't disappeared.

Friday, September 12, 2008

5 Insights on Piracy and morrre

Still curious why there's rampant piracy?

Been reading Kevin's piece on piracy and then saw Nick's post on it, too. And it just got a lot of people thinking and now look who's joined the fray. Kudos to Cliff-ski Harris for his honest effort which may be considered as a noble step to understanding pirates.

Piracy remains a contentious issue. Is it about economics where it is fair that people creating content should be compensated? Then, the question shifts to matters of ownership and harm. Where does the harm befall the most? Record companies or artists?

Few other things to consider:
1. Value. Does value have an effect on why people pirate stuff? If it is something perceptively valuable, is it more tempting for pirates or is it the other way around that because it is perceived as crap that there's really no harm done?

2. It's Technologically Easy. Current technology has made it relatively easy to pirate stuff. Yet, recent findings suggest that even putting DRM ultimately turned-off more people into buying stuff legally.

3. Ethics or Morals and Ideology. Is piracy a revolt of the masses against capitalism? It may be a case of personal beliefs deciding if piracy is something good or bad.

4. Virtual. Curiously, when talking about piracy now, it almost always refers to online piracy that Herr, Pirates of the Seas seems like more of a cinematic adventure when in fact it is still happening right now as ships continue to guard themselves against terrorists of the seas. Does it mean that abstracts and non-physical things are fair game where intellectual property is but a hazy concept?

5. Cropper or Middleman. If you take from the farmer, who toiled the land and worked for every bit of crop, you're guilty as hell of being a thief as compared to sniping away at what you consider as illegal profits from that crappy middleman in suits. Reminds me of Robin Hood who is a thief yet as beloved still that the character remains as a staple in kids books.

Google Sketch-Up looks amazing. You should play the welcome video and get a glimpse of how a simple drawing immediately transforms into a 3D rendering.

Web Hosting's Top 25 Influential People

Why Adobe Air? Because 25 Million Downloads
means they're up to something good. Just trying out Feedalizr. Want to find out more? Here.

5 Ways to use Social Media to reach those who don't use Social Media.

StackOverflow General release and launch. This could become a real programmers and developers' hangout.

Top Social Bookmarking sites. Content matters but learn to share it, too and get web motivated.

Morph-ster News!
Morph Labs continues cloud seeding via the Morph AppSpace with new partnership with Project Locker.

Without a worthy opponent, Google 's destiny is to cross path with beast called Government

Jurisdiction, privacy, antitrust, compliance. These aren't the terms you'd likely associate the internet giant with. Most people would say that Google's bread and butter is it's search and search advertising but no one would argue that it's tentacles extends a far more wider reach than most could imagine (considering the continuous acquisitions).

There is a virtual graveyard for companies who tried to tackle Google head on and proof of man's valor (or stubbornness) is that there isn't a scarcity for those who keep on trying. Perhaps, it can be done but no doubt the Company has already achieved a humongous head start and has wisely used it's resources to completely dip it's hand to every possible emerging web niche while it can - office tools, mobile and cloud compute.

So, is there no one else left to challenge OmniGoogle's dominance? Can they just be allowed to scour every potential financial web roost and turn it into their own revenue machine? One might say it isn't true given the example of Youtube which remains without a cash stream. But then again, it is far from being a web loss and most feel that it is just a matter of time that Google figures something out. Perhaps the business idea hasn't existed yet but better to corner the hits early than to languish in obscurity.

But Google cannot forever tow the line and keep itself vaccinated within the protected womb of a tech world. Much as IT and the Web prides itself as apolitical and user-centric at its best, it cannot help cross and get its feet wet in the realm of regulations. Even as the SLA's and Terms of Service immediately move out of the way and disappear as soon as you click a box, you cannot help but be reminded that virtual realms ultimately are subjects of an offline and physical world.

And as Google, towers above everything, like a tree that is so full of ripe fruits, it just cannot be ignored. Google and most web companies are about innovation and innovation is most often 'boldly going where no man has ever gone before'. Innovation is as much about risks and at present, Google looms largest that even stepping on something trivial (or potentially stepping on one) is bad press waiting for to be blown out of proportion.

And if there is something we hate more than loss of connectivity and FailWhale, it is 'holier-than-thou sacred cows' that seemingly can't do anything wrong. Even worse, is that there is an institution that thinks itself as the legitimate one christened by something called votes.

And as they say, there can be only one.

What Laws Should Govern Computing Clouds

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

iKnow and other things I just read about

TC50 Finalists: Wondering which takes the plum home.

Chrome: As if straight from a horror movie.
Its "Terms of Evil" Service. 10 Inspiring

SaaS Website Design: Would always do well for a come on especially something user-centric as SaaS.

Hello, I'm here!
Presence and what it means for Web Workers.

Web Apps and now Ads!
iPhone as an Ad frontier. Free Software, then and was immediately after. Reality is that it could and will branch out to something proprietary but that is ok.

iKnow and the Social Brain Network. Score points for coming up with the term Social Brain!

Marketing pitch or not? SpinSpotter can help you.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Strange Weather: Super Cloudy Day

Courtesy of Weather.com

People in the IT industry think that clouds isn't just about the weather anymore. However, after battling flu and a nasty cough for weeks, nature is trying to prove something that is otherwise. There maybe strange and varied reception to cloud compute initiatives coming from all directions but it is even stranger weather the world is experiencing.

Hmmmm, we'd surely prefer to take more clouds over typhoons and hurricanes any day.

10 Ways that the Cloud is good for business. Really? I thought business people and developers are scared. Podcast on cloud computing, not Sarah Palin, here.

Platforms as a Service has a list. Just asked Geva to include Morph Labs to break the proprietary monotony. Anand has another list but may have lumped Morph Labs into the locked-in group type. Think dispel.

There are those who jump in blindly and there are those who carefully thread strange and mysterious territory. Cloud bursting is just slow march to full cloud computing adoption.

20 Real-life Challenges in Cloud Computing by Nikita. Interesting and honest cloud read from what I could sense a real hands-on cloud guy.

Cloud Efficiencies : Data Ceneter Effciency and Cloud Computing Relationship.

SaaS and the mid-tail: An optimist's story. 100% SaaS isn't a problem!

Web 2.0 Questions: It includes things not to miss at Web 2.0 New York this month!

Some say it is an attempt to corner SaaS. This one says it's about clouds. Oh, Chrome! Are you or aren't you just a browser?

Cloud computing is about portability. See why people purchase laptops even at such a higher price. Mobility.

Netbooks: Shrinking notebooks for growing profits from Dell.

Monday, September 8, 2008

TC50 & Digital Intimacy: Your own trivial thing might be worth something.

TechCrunch 50: An online madhouse if ever there was one.

Find the best start-ups and launch them in front of the industry’s most influential VCs, corporations, fellow entrepreneurs and press.
A look at all the preps and coordinated online activity! Exciting!

How Twitter can help at work. It's not just a waste of time, you know.

HR stuff is never easy. Tackling underperformers. Ain't just a matter of bunny food.

Personal branding, anyone? Free ebook from Chris Brogan.

Genetics: Future commercial implications.

Chrome: An attempt to corner a SaaS market.

What has Web 2.0 brought that is really been a delight. Word clouds! Create your own with Wordle.

Social Media Marketing Examples. Just so you know it isn't fiction or something people just made up.

For most who haven't tried it, it can be a bit weird. Digital intimacy is like omnipresence in the online world. What kind of marketer wouldn't want that? Read on if you still don't get facebook, twitter and social networks.

10 Mobile Apps launching in DEMO!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Innovation Trouble at the Silicon Valley? Move to Portland!


I know that Judy Estrin is just promoting a book but it really is something worth reading and discussing not just with tech companies in Silicon Valley but more importantly, among educational systems globally, too.

Really took some time to digest as many posts I could find on her book and even on other ideas about innovation yet the one thing that really struck deep is the value of 'embracing risk' as a support to innovation (see video). Indeed, there seems nothing better like comfort and financial considerations to whet the appetite for further ideas or need to find a better way but pretty soon we all have to face the consequences of a bland life if we let it be.

I get up and nothing gets me down...

I just wish that more societies and companies do place importance on keeping innovation among its priorities. Maybe it would be in the form of rewards or incentives, who knows? But we need leaders. It's the only way to go in order to create a dynamic, living world.

I wish I'm doing my share starting with these resources.

Scoble video with Ms. Estrin.
Accidents lead to Innovation paper from MIT.
Scott says it isn't innovation but sure is close...

Web and elsewhere

Has it been a decade already? Happy Birthday, Google! Want to know if what you're going through is normal? Here's a guide.

Facebookers, beware. Malicious Apps out to spoil your fave pastime.

Tired of yapping blindly over online chat while showing someone how to use a site. Use Screen2.

You're a much organized person obsessing over your Twitter friends. Twitly - groups for Twitter.

Metrics, stats, and data will never be boring again! Highly-recommended! ManyEyes. If you need help, visit Rich Hoeg's site for excellent tutorial on this and many more at E-content. Cannot say enough and thanks to NYT for the feature...

No more MuxTape, boohoo RIAA! Next please, TumblTape!

Another thing we can't get enough of, free file-hosting. File Savr!

Blogging 101. IBM-Certified.

There's plenty of reasons to fall in love with Portland! I remember talking way back then with a visitor who was from there and actually raved about it. He said that it has the warmth of a small city, very unlike El Ay? Me, I'm a big fan of the new Blazers especially the team this coming season with Roy, Oden, Aldridge and Fernandez. Hope they bring in some wins and make the playoffs. It sure does seem Portland is getting a lot of looks and love these days and great to hear that Morph Labs' going to be in pretty cool company.

Rails in Windy City and Some

Rails is coming up big in the Windy City on the 20th of September. So if you were planning to attend but do not have a ticket yet, I've got bad news and good news for you.

Bad news is that there are no more tickets. Nada. None even if you show up on the door come event time.

Good news is Morph Labs is giving you a chance. Just go
here and subscribe to the Morph newsletter in the lower-right corner. Then, send an email to Manuel letting him know that you have signed up and that you would like to be considered for the drawing. Three names will be randomly chosen from all who enter. Good luck.

Forget about Chrome for now and try Navigaya, instead!

I'm getting the hang of using socialmedian. Now they are getting an upgrade about newstreaming. Read more about it here.

You have a good software you plan to offer online? Remember, it won't sell itself so you better roll up your sales sleeves and work on it says the Wall Street Journal. Here's help for entrepreneurs from Stanford.

School of Everything. What we need more of. Or maybe it's too early for this.

Drive Backup 9 Express. So you won't wring your neck because of lost PC data and stop lusting over Time Machine. More importantly, it's also free!

Early adopter debate. Haven't read anything like this in a while. Fiery comments, not for the faint-hearted.

Besides the planet, do you know what's dying? This one's got the stats to prove it. Print newspapers.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

What's in store for the XML Superstar?

As the contest officially rolls on, we got a peek at the prizes in store for the contest winners courtesy of Adam Gartenberg.

And the contest prizes are not to shabby, either:

All-expense paid trips to an IBM or IDUG industry conference
A Segway i2 personal transport system
New laptops
A Nintendo Wii system
and of course, interviews and lab visits (for students), and more

So head over to the official site and find out if the contest has started in your country or register ot get updates on the schedule.

You can also join in the fun by going here. (Now where can I get the stickers?)

Search for the next XML Superstar is sponsored by IBM and IDUG with Morph Labs as host.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Chrome -matic: No such thing as 'Just Surfing the Web' Now

I will dip my hand in the hoopla by offering my five centavos's worth - which means nothing really. I just had spent more than 4 hours using Google's new shiny browser and tried to do some good, old regular surfing. So, here are my thoughts partially done using Chrome.

1. It's big! No unnecessary clutter and the browsing window seems the biggest among the different browsers. Even the download page/tab is unusually big!

2. It blends seamlessly with Windows. Blue and white design is both Google and MSFT. You can't tell who made who (except for the logo which isn't Chrome to me at all)

3. We saw it coming and besides many have been doing it for quite some time now. It's official: URL and search box combined.

4. New tab page is a beauty but it still is no Instapaper but close. But you can do away keeping gazillion of tabs open. Neat.

5. Dynamic tabs moving in and out of Window is neat. Score another point over Mozilla.

6. So where do I install the widgets? My take? See that 'Star' shape on the left side of the URL? Insert those widgets there and and make them available via drop down options.

7. Hiding something? Good for you there's Incognito! I've read some also refer to it as 'porn mode'. Ha.

8. Haven't crashed yet. So far. According to them, tabs run independently. (Not quite, I guess. Clang, pfft.)

9. Great tool for those who have Google Home Pages. The takeover is almost complete and your personalized web stats is already on its way to the Google database.

10. Shortcuts are no problem as they are same with Firefox. No brainer.

Cloud OS? More Chrome here.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Elixir of Life

It has been 12 days already since I started coughing, well most of us in the household fell ill within that span. Maybe it's the germs or the decreased body resistance but whatever it is, the pharmacy sure made a killing on us. The strange thing is, I don't feel I've recovered yet. I may have been taking the wrong kind of medicines or maybe it must be age telling me to keep it slow. Well, try telling that to my kid. I think she holds the answers. Let me just try prying her off me and get her a real horse or carabao, instead.

Anyway, can't stop now...

Wonder is an Elixir of Life. And Science can take you there most of the time.
Wired on Science

Will BlackBerry boldly beat off ‘killer’ iPhone in competitive business market?
BlackBerry and Palm’s dominance of the business market is to be tested

Mobile App Madness: For Google Android.

Touchscreen Phone Options in case you don't like iPhone.

Mr Wilcox doesn't just post his thoughts, he also knows how to create a scene. His trouble with Kindle and his praise of Apple

Cloud Meet:

Know what EBS of AWS Is? Learn here.

Cloud Futures in London 2009.

Productivity and Fun:

12 New Rules of Working You Should Embrace Today. Maximizing web connectivity. That said, my internet was down for almost the entire weekend. Nuts.

Video Gadgets. Ain't Christmas yet but you can now write your wishes, Youtubers!