Thursday, October 30, 2008

Expires and Inspires


Are you a part of the millions who've wished for a 'paper-less' society'? Sure seems we're now all green with pride but apparently, I'm not as happy as I would have liked and mourning, as well. I wish the New York Times and the other beacons of journalism find new revenue schemes. Honest.


Just posted about the recent RailsRumble winners yesterday and finally, got to check most of the apps featured already. Love most of the rails apps featured for their zen-like approaches and design yet if I have to choose which is my favorite, I'd say it's InspiresMe. (although I got that from the first commenter!)

How it works?
Like signature rails apps, it is quite simple. Type in 'What inspires you?' and then you'll be shown photos and videos that are tagged by what you wrote! It's like fun open searches for new media, nothing definitive.

Like a sort of fan base, I can see networks forming around specific 'inspires' which really makes sense. I won't be surprised if they pull this app and plug it into facebook or twitter because that is where plenty of people are at already.

What really made my jaw drop?
Mark Bao. So young and brilliant. There's a world of potential for this kid and the things he'll do.

Jury Still Out:

Found this one (via social-cache) about Pepsi. Not sure how the public will respond but I'd say that the Coke re-branding worked nice and smooth. Familiar with Turner Duckworth. Maybe not, except for their work.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Right, Wrong or Immoral: It isn't about Tech but about Selling Out

Over at GigaOm, Mr. Malik has again written an interesting post that successfully started a re-examination of priorities within myself. I call these types of discussions and posts as conundrums for 'things that really matter'. As it is, these types of things just keep coming at you from all sides, online, offline and even in dream state.

And there lies my 'working' answer to that 'moral' question, that it is always and will be a personal battle that we all will continually wage upon ourselves. As they say, the greatest of victories is self-conquest!

So what then constitutes immoral? Not sure what it is but it is often tied up to 'money, riches or commerce' when given priority over things (which made me realize how the word 'sell-out' is indeed, an appropriate term. Go figure.)

But hey, it might just be me. Care to challenge or better yet, share your own insight, please ...

Side Notes:
A Payne in the Ask: Internet is built Wrong! and Twitter is Right?

Holy New Testament! The end justifies the means working here.

Arise ye Global Cloud! (from the Economist ... yep, economy, err, money, there goes morality again. Woot.)

10 Impressive Rails Apps: I still have to check them out but by the looks of it, smells like cash, nothing wrong with that!

Managing IT during a downturn? Careful about the word - counterproductive!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Writings on the TwitWall

If the current financial crunch is to be factored in the tech world, then we can reasonably expect that there will be a dearth of start ups wanting to take a risk and challenge the prevailing gloom. NO more social networks, no more superficial apps and no more fun.

But is there really such a thing is timing for something that is supposed to have some promise? On the contrary, a lot of compelling stories are set amidst a backdrop of not so ideal circumstances where triumph is made more significant by adversity.

Which brings us to probably the newest (and only) kid on the block called

On their own words:
When its too long to tweet, but too short to blog, just TwitWall it! TwitWall is the easy-to-use, quick-to-blast-out blog companion for Twitter. With TwitWall, you can embed your favorite videos and widgets, upload your photos, mp3 music or podcasts, - you name it. Just the kind of stuff to keep your followers following (fans cheering, or clients calling). All that, while still enjoying the many social-goodness and customization features you enjoy on Twitter.

Amazing! It brings together disparate Twitter apps such as links to photos, videos and most that are beyond what 140 characters can accommodate. Some might say it is just a repetition of existing apps that are working quite perfectly but what's different about TwitWall is that it still has a big opportunity for expansion to include all 'best of breeds'. Besides, I miss the Twitter archive (maybe I just haven't figured out where to look now) and this provides a temp cure.

Go check it out - and better if you're already a Twitter fan cause in this case and at this times, better not ignore the writings on the TwitWall. For the good thing is, that this downturn too shall paas, err I mean pass.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Want something more Cloudy? Elections

Exercise in futility?

For the most part, talk about the benefits of cloud computing has centered on it's impact on IT departments - and on applications and their deployments in general but aside from web email, majority of the 'non- coding' population still have no idea how relevant the cloud can be whether they are connected to tech or not.

Here is a wild idea.

Does anyone think that an important matter say a national 'election' be something that can utilize the help of cloud computing? I'm not sure how different the systems are for each country but then I guess most of it rely on some form of software to ensure that each vote cast is correctly counted for a particular candidate. Or does it?

But what about countries that still employ a manual 'count and tally' system using chalkboard and loads of election tally sheets who are looking into modernizing the system to prevent election fraud particularly human tampering? What about the cost involved of setting up the IT infrastructure to justify the shift? Can the cloud be a viable option given how substantially cost-efficient it touts itself to be?

I know there will be more question than answers but can the cloud (amidst security and privacy issues) enter the equation and be utilized to making elections transparent for all and subject to checks and audits? Or is it a question of whether technology can really be impartial or are we under the spell of developers who know how to game the system?

How sure are you that your vote really counts?

Related post and sites:

University illustrates potential for vote hacking
Anti-BB Voting
Call for Transparent Elections (Philippines)

This post came up from hearing the talk about the move to change an archaic Philippine election count system during the well-attended PSIA meeting that was jointly-sponsored by PLDT and Morph Labs. Extremely happy that it wasn't just a geek-fest....

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Cloud Movie: Coming to a PC Near You

What constitutes viewing pleasure? Small is the new big!

To be sure, there lots of videos you can find online and which a lot of people can watch for free. Yet, for the most part, most of this are jut TV or DVD material that were uploaded for the scrimping public. While there are film "auteurs" who have dabbled in bringing quality videos to those video sharing sites, it is no doubt that big screen directors haven't really grasped the magnitude of drawing on the long tail. Why? Maybe they hate pirates.

Now comes Wayne Wang, bonafide film director who in a surprise move has put his film, Princess of Nebraska in Youtube. Learn more about the film here, which debuted at the Toronto Film Festival.

This ought to be a must watch, not just in terms of Wang's directorial quality but for the universal impact of financial woes, both for the film's protagonist and just maybe the entertainment industry, as well. Truly ubiquitous cinema!

Do we see any video sharing site offering more than 10 minutes of movie time? It could mean taxing bandwidth and storage space but then anything is possible. Perhaps, cutting into manageable strips will do. Just don't forget to show them the revenue model.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Despite the Revenue to Show for IT, SaaS Plays Second Fiddle

Saas-ssssteppin' Up


Name a SaaS App that has made the Web roll over its tail and basically create one event after another just to be able to come up with a consensus definition that is obsolete by the end of a quarter.

Tell me it's not Google Docs. You might even drop the name Salesforce but then fail to come up with a single App to feel giddy about.

But that is how it is with SaaS. Like predator searching for its prey, it has remained quiet and agile to net those enterprise deals.

Now, should the web world continue to crow about cloud computing or is about time that SaaS and a legion of web apps take the lead? Anyway, both have same goal: disruption and a new way of doing things (and save everyone money, too).

If you want, you can stick to proprietary...

Using prudence and cloud resources to get what cloud computing can do for you

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Cloud Summit: Sold!

Wonder what's on the latest event menu?

For cloud watchers, the Cloud Summit probably appears to be the event that gets you right down to a front-row seat to excellent discussions about cloud impact on technology. This is cloud community! Wow.

One only has to look at the agenda to see that this is a no-frills gathering of thought leaders. Still, give it to the peddlers who will always find it difficult to restrain themselves. I don't necessarily think they have a different agenda, though. After all, 'ROI' remains the most adopted company byline.

Sold on the cloud? There are quite a number of ways to look at it, from the summit perspective.
  1. People, who can't get past the labels, finally can come up and agree on a definitive cloud description (not just visible mass of droplets or crystals frozen in the atmosphere). What's the sound of one hand clappping?
  2. Cloud computing is tech future and not just marketing hype. Really!
  3. Cloud looks all business - eyes on the enterprise. It is also about 'torch passing' - breaking off from current practices. That is why it is called disruptive.
Thankful for Mr Tom Foremski for taking us there and seeing business opportunities. Plus, check out Thomas Claburn's post as IT departments, as we currently know it, takes a hit because nobody listens on bulky stereo sound systems anymore and cloud, my friend is like the iPod!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

PaaS: Poverty as a Service

Life is about money and for the better part, the lack of it.

I thought I knew much about it.

My UP upbringing led me to a work with the marginalized and poor communities within Metro Manila and the neighboring provinces north of it. Had no desire to be anything else.

I fit right in with my usual torn jeans and shirt get-up, walking through potholes and narrow pathwalks. Sometimes, I just rode my bike for about a 5 kilometer trip to the community. It was perfect as far as I'm concerned.

I get to see kids and talk with parents. I don't need to wear office attire. I get to learn about the really valuable things in life.

Like, being with volunteer parents for a shared group meal worth $2 five days a week. It's not just food but communion. I get to see their living conditions but rarely do I see or hear about their worries.

I meet kids playing barefoot and unkept most of the time. Yet, their smiles are sufficiently brilliant to ward off the health concerns I usually spew out in horror. Saw a lot of them everyday that after a few years, I am not just a community worker but just your regular community wanderer.

I can be comfortable with meeting parents discussing about health and life issues just as I am comfortable playing with kids and teens at the usual makeshift concrete politician-sponsored community playground. But if there is anything I am uncomfortable with, it is having nothing else to offer to ease their burden since I've gotten so much from them about what's important in life and the perspective from the world of nothing.

Not everybody has been granted that privilege. Did the rounds of that for about 15 years until family demanded most of it. Thought I was the one giving the service.

Grossly mistaken.

Until then, I will be forever grateful and will always remember. Maybe someday, I can continue and return the favor.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

VC Bubble Bath [Valley Corleone's]

It is not going to be an easy battle. Despite the repeated calls to remain upbeat, a cloud of pall about the financial crisis is spreading. One just has to look at the web content and realize that, indeed, bubble talk is upon us. So says the VCs or Valley Corleone's.

Now what? We search for good things and fool ourselves until we morph reality into something better, besides it is all but a cycle. Optimists united. Here, here and here. May your tribes increase.

Internet enabling Freedom is an excellent start!

Ever heard about Jetty? You should because it's something more people would be using in the future without even knowing it. Hint: G Phone... and a Java force.

Before: Bike for fun and fitness. Now: Bike because of crises. Here are the hottest bike gadgets for the gearheads. Salivating.

Strangelove: Social Media and the Influence of strangers

Friday, October 10, 2008

Million-dollar Question of Motivation

Wondering about motivation

Yes, it's worth that much and more. It's life we're talking about and that defies valuation and monetary value. Head over to Zen Habits and give yourself a favor. Learn about 2 secrets to motivation. It may just give you that oomph to find your own path.


Time to revisit. Tips for the basic computer user. Mac or not. [NY Times]

Social Mention.
Tracking is to go beyond search.

IDC: Forecast on consumer cloud spending will grow almost three-fold by 2012. Not bad. Look at IBM this quarter.

Charge! Most of us use this but hopefully we'll have something better. Hint. It's not about credit.

Yahoo! goes Web Analytics

Webcasts finds a home

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Tech: Get those gloves off now!

That sure seems to be the general consensus. Go, tech, go!

To not risk is the ultimate risk (from Silicon Valley Watcher)

Gartner says 'hedge a little'

Over-30 Visionaries to Save the World

Hard times demand teamwork - not an MVP. [This isn't about basketball but more of teams in general but I'm sure Kobe knows this by mind; Lakers fans sure hope he learns this and subscribe to it wholeheartedly, too]

The social network that shakes well during shaky times: LinkedIn

G2VC founder Winston Damarillo sings the same tune: Don't be afraid. [courtesy of]

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Social Median: Measuring CNT [Central News Tendency]

It may have been a month ago or maybe just recently but joining another bookmark-plus-site sharing was getting to be a really tedious activity (like keeping up with the cloud buzz). There's delicious, Digg, Yahoo! Buzz and the encompassing Mixx. So what else can there be?

In comes Social Median - in their own words:

socialmedian is a social news network that connects people with personalized news and information. socialmedian enables you to easily keep up-to-date on the news that matters to you and to people who share your interests.

socialmedian is all about personalized news - helping people get the news that matters most to them on any number of topics from any number of sources. Our hunch is that people with common topical interests can help each other filter and discover personally relevant news.

Their thesis is:
1. Yes, there is a lot of great content out there and the Internet is making content creation and distribution easier and easier.
2. But people need help wading through all that great content and discovering just the news and information that is most relevant to them.
3. A potentially powerful way to help people get a personalized view of news and information would be through collaborative filtering by people with common interests.

My take on what makes it special:
1. Yes, it is fairly easy to navigate. Site layout is easy on the eyes.
2. Relevant content based on personalized, favored topics shows up. Who needs massively comprehensive? Try Feeds.
3. Jason Goldberg. Yes. Top honcho just can't be stopped and his passion overflows and rubs off on you with all the posts, email notifications, Tweets and short but sincere comments and replies. It feels like he is really just a nudge away. You can't help but be hooked.

To prove that he's just like Taz and continues to spin and move, you will just have to look at the new features that keep turning up at a frenzied (but democratic) pace. Replize, Moods and now, Facebook integration.

And they're still in beta. Whoa.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

[Smartest] Marketing both Best and Worst News

Jon Stewart looms large

I'm so happy to finally be able to use a layout coming from the creative genius Derek Punsalan. While most of his blog themes are for Wordpress, this hasn't stopped Blogger Buster from tweaking it for the blogger users. Amen to them.

Businessweek trumpets the Best of the Web 2008. In a world that's topy-turvy, the Web remains stalwartly optimistic. True.

Moore's Law is an oft quoted term in tech. Do you know what it means? In-depth piece from Ars Technica.

Why the flow of innovation has reversed? Consumerism.

. When sending Powerpoint and Keynote aren't enough.

No joke. TB is deadlier than ever. Jame Nachtwey has compelling shots to prove that the world may be in for a pandemic.

Hot. John Battle has hit a 'smart marketing' nerve and LinkedIn is where the answers are now at!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Tech Releases [itself] from Financial News Grasp

Had too much of bailouts and Wall St. blues? Sure, we can't argue about it's importance and the implications of a meltdown [as Sarah Lacy found out] but that doesn't mean we can't turn and look at the brighter side far off the economic woes.

Nintendo DSi - Too late for Christmas but exciting gift nonetheless.
Trust for Online Merchants trump Offline: Ha!
: Because we love Free
Google: Moderator rises in time for these free-for-all debates [then comes clean]!
Harnessing the power of the lens. The Telescope is 400 years old.

Morph Labs at the Philippine International IT Expo 2008. Driving information technology solutions for Philippine business and enterprises.

Jerome Gotangco presenting on Opportunities of SaaS & PaaS

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Is it wise to use Crowd Wisdom?

If there is anything worse (or good, whichever side of the fence you're in) than a crisis, it is finding a lot of 'expert opinions' to debate on a solution. There are situations that need instant response and action and that is where we have the educated and trained individuals. Think of it as doctors in an ER. However, finding answers to problems that encompass a broad scale and which affect populace always prove to be a tough balancing act between picking the right answer and appealing (or appeasing?) to the crowd sentiment.
As if it was possible to be right always... think Presidency.

Rizzin Hopkins on Experts and the Economy.

Related content:
What's a techie to do in a financial crisis?

Same old Bailout plan
Here is the Solution
What is the bailout plan anyway?

Stepping up: Venture Capital
Building financial crisis-proof business