November 27, 2009
The first Xmas Tree of the Season chez Sanford
Complete with completely cheese-ified christmas music soundtrack.
November 26, 2009
Pumpkin cheesecake pie
Looks highly promising. Nice going Urs.
November 25, 2009
Voicemail to text and the end of voicemail
I use about 1,000 mobile voice minutes per month, many of them dialed into conference calls sitting in my office or an office or at home. Not a lot of one on one calls.
I answer the phone infrequently when I am called, in fact, and probably 3/4 of calls to me go to voicemail.
I use a voicemail-to-text service, so I don't even hear them. Phonetag does an excellent job with the ~50 messages per month its people transcribe. (That means I get about 65 calls per month - or about 3 per business day; sounds about right.)
I have tried the automated services -- Google Voice, Talk2.us, others -- and I think they are absolutely terrible. You actually have to listen to about 1/5th of messages. With Phonetag I listen to about 2 in 50.
So that's me. And on that basis I predict: everyone will do this in due time. But not while a person is still required to do the transcription. Too costly.
Maybe people will use auto-transcription as a filter? So they listen to 10 VMs per month instead of 50 (like me)? Maybe.
I suspect the average person only gets 10 VMs per month. And that this number isn't rising that fast, if anything it's flattening because of email ("I will just email them") and caller ID/missed calls.
That means by far the majority of people don't need voicemail transcription.
But maybe 10% of all phone users, the 1000 minute plus crowd, would find such a thing useful. The next gen of 'visual voicemail', having the text in the alert as well.
November 21, 2009
@questlove from Late Night and The Roots
@bonniehunt (the next Oprah - duh!)
Sent by Peek from http://me.drwn.com
November 20, 2009
Twitter is real-time, Facebook is merely social #betaday
A great panel at betaday debated search on Twitter vs Facebook. Which is more important?
The web is changing from pages to posts to messages, a consensus-view at betaday that I agree with. And since messages don't live on webpages, I think it means the webpage is dead again. Emails, tweets, statuses, API-driven events are not on pages that bots can crawl. Twitter embodies this messages world -- fast, short, not really page-anchored. Facebook embodies something different. It's not pages either exactly -- since so much of it's world is enclosed in this application. And it's even constantly changing, in real-time. My email changes in real-time too, but my email isn't 'the real-time web'. Twitter is. Because Twitter is the whole web in microcosmic message form. News, info, gossip, sports, stocks, chat, community, contacts, and direct communication. Facebook isn't. It's social. It's really interesting for some things (old friends? current ones?) but not for many others. Twitter, though smaller right now, can be far more vital and fresh and useful on many more topics. Hence, TwitterPeek. No Facebook Peek. They both are, but one is more important. Twitter. Both for search and as content. Sent from my Peek. See where at http://me.drwn.com
Saw this today (attached) via Twitter. Awesome!
Your startup, on TV
Peek gets a ton of press attention, so I often get 'wow!' comments and people wonder how they can get the same impact. Here are some ideas:1. Be photogenic. We have a lovely gadget. You: make a visually interesting image that communicates what your service provides and make the images available to people in your pitches and on your website. Magazines and TV start with "will it look cool" as a crucial question. 2. Be anti-geeky. The blogs are geeky so you may think you need to satisfy their interests. But the average Oprah or Today Show viewer is totally uninterested in geeky stuff. If you scream 'we are good for mom!' then the producers of these media will hear you. They read the blogs. Peek of course is anti-nerd. 3. Do something that seems hard. Making a gadget seems impossible to most startup folks! Making a website seems totally easy. There is some truth there. What have you done that was insanely hard? 4. It helps to be in a space where there is lots of action. Smartphones -- crowded as heck but Peek was in every year-end tech roundup last year. 5. Be controversial. Part of why Peek made it to Time and Wired and BusinessWeek etc is because it is so strikingly different and contrarian. I think it's harder to have this impact by merely being 'better'. Unless as Steve Jobs says you are '10x' better. 6. Be part of a bigger trend and conflict. For us, the rise of easy tech and "regular people vs. geeks". Also "cell phone carriers rip you off". 7. Work the different media to their tastes. Blogs like controversy, leaks, little ones are OK, the unfolding blow-by-blow, relationships. The more-and-more mass media pick up on the smaller ones - so traction online leads to print then to broadcast. But the story varies. The TwitterPeek was all over the newspapers in INDIA and UKRAINE this week -- sans any snarky Engadget comments, all on message. 8. Do it yourself. It works better when the CEO sends the emails and gives the interviews etc. 9. Put yourself out there online too. Blog, pics, etc to be the personality that created it. Be the Steve Jobs, so to speak. 10. Email is totally fine. I don't think much of press releases. 11. While you are cultivating the whole "Steve Jobs" mystique, consider being an expert on some stuff. Email reporters when there is news on your subject matter with an expert POV. Give people interesting data from your business operations. 12. Mind the calendar 'norms' - when do people cover product launches (holiday)? Or write about summer vacation ideas? Or job search tips? The macro news environment has a lot to do with time of year, and the actual news too, so find your place in it. Sent by Peek from http://me.drwn.com
November 2, 2009
If Twitter is better when it's mobile, why doesn't anyone use it that way?
Twitter is amazing, but it's better when it's mobile. When the tweets you are reading are being reported from the show or the party or the cafe or just wherever the stuff is happening. And they are more interesting when the reach you right then, wherever you are.
So the chart above is a big problem with Twitter -- the vast majority of tweets come from people sitting at a web browser, and a huge swath come from people running apps on their computer. Less than 15% are mobile. Of the top 100 Twitter users, about 1/3 only tweet from PCs -- never mobile. Crazy.
If Twitter is better when it's mobile, why doesn't anyone use it that way?
November 1, 2009
Pascale has had numerous experiences so far with intentionally telling untruths -- most of them playful imagination, others barely perceptible games of hide-and-seek.
But today I caught her! At naptime, poking her head out of the bedroom, and hiding again when she saw me coming! She was sneaking around!
She's 2 years and 10 months now, so one would expect this kind of thing.
Other recent achievements:
- swimming reasonably well with floaties
- writing CAT, and writing PASCALE (except all out of order)
- typing words on her computer (an XO) and having it read her words like MOMMY
- she put on her winter coat by herself, using the "lay it on the floor first" method
- she's an occasional potty user
- she's graduated to a bed with railings
Next big thing, I suppose, is probably to be fully potty trained. Maybe skipping the naptime. Not really sure -- I guess we're open to suggestions.