Jason Ball's TechBytes

Technology & Venture Capital. Early stage venture capital news mixed with personal views and comments

Twitter forth and multiply

I’ve been running Techbytes for about 8 years. Now I have vox blog too. And a twitter microblog. And now a pownce microblog and a jaiku microblog and so on…Will it ever stop?

Paul (and others) are asking "what’s pownce all about?"

I think Wired has nailed a key reason microblogs work :

When I see that my friend Misha is "waiting at Genius Bar to send my MacBook to the shop," that’s not much information. But when I get such granular updates every day for a month, I know a lot more about her. And when my four closest friends and worldmates send me dozens of updates a week for five months, I begin to develop an almost telepathic awareness of the people most important to me.

It’s like proprioception, your body’s ability to know where your limbs are. That subliminal sense of orientation is crucial for coordination: It keeps you from accidentally bumping into objects, and it makes possible amazing feats of balance and dexterity.

Twitter and other constant-contact media create social proprioception. They give a group of people a sense of itself, making possible weird, fascinating feats of coordination.

One of the other cool things about vox and pownce is that posts can be private or public. The idea seems to be that the "next web" is all about transparency- I’d be wiling to bet it’s about intimacy and privacy. Half of the posts on my vox blog are for friends only- same thing for pownce. Twitter is for all, and is a fun experiment, same thing for Techbytes.

I’m starting to appreciate that the platform that provides the best communication tool, while allowing users to determine who sees what will be the winner…

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Software

Google Gadget Ventures?

It appears that Google is going head to head with seed investors (like Y combinator) with its Google Gadget Ventures:

Google Gadget Ventures is a new Google pilot program dedicated to helping developers create richer, more useful Google Gadgets. Inspired by the success of iGoogle, which has been driven by the creation by 3rd-party developers of a broad range of gadgets, Gadget Ventures provides two types of funding:

1. Grants of $5,000 to those who’ve built gadgets we’d like to see developed further. You’re eligible to apply for a grant if you’ve developed a gadget that’s in our Google gadgets directory and gets at least 250,000 weekly page views. To apply, you must submit a one-page proposal detailing how you’d use the grant to improve your gadget.

2. Seed investments of $100,000 to developers who’d like to build a business around the Google gadgets platform. Only Google Gadget Venture grant recipients are eligible for this type of funding. Submitting a business plan detailing how you plan to build a viable business around the gadgets platform is a required part of the seed investment application process.

If it’s google gadgets now, are google apps next?

On a related note, does Google’s recent ubiquisys investment + FON = ?

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Technology, Venture Capital

iPhone- Killer hardware and killer apps

Morganstanleywinners_3
The slide to the left is from a Morgan Stanley presentation from 2005. They were doing some crystal ball gazing about the wireless internet…

There are two key “?”s on the slide: a killer 3G handset and a killer mobile app.

I think Apple has nailed both: the iPhone and Safari.

The iPhone has gotten loads of coverage, but the services that are popping up in Safari (in the form of widgets currently) seem to be flying under the radar.

See my previous post on Jajah, and then look at Zimbra’s email client and (if you’re running Safari 3 on Windoze or Mac) have a look at the Leaflets demo page.

As I see more widgets being written for Safari, I think this is the real trojan horse…

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: iPhone

Jajah- laughing out loud

Jajahiphone_2
I’ve recently left behind my Skype headphones for the ease of use and reliability of Jajah.

<– I see that Jajah have now released an “iPhone friendly” version of their service here. Because Jajah is inherently a web app, and not a local client like Skype, this could put them streets ahead of the competition.

Plus, there’s the added benefit that jajah call quality is pretty high in my experience..

If you haven’t tried jajah, give it a whirl. If you have an iPhone, enjoy your new found call freedom.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Software

Search, Europe and the essential web [updated]


646438039_936bbb7cf8_3
Last week was really busy, with Library House’s essential web splitting the week in half. The first session was on one of my favorite topics: Search

The lineup of new search/vertical search engines were Quintura, Migoa, extate, trexy, garlik and the todeka project.

I caught up with Douglas of extate (pic on the left) the day before at the Atlas Venture event (thanks Fred!), and he’d let me know they would be announcing funding the following day. Glad to see that extate has raised initial funding- what these guys are trying to achieve is difficult and I wish them lots of luck…

A few key points worth drawing out of the session with the corp dev teams at Google, Yahoo and News Corp are: capital efficiency is king, build to run/profit don’t build to flip plus a few things from their shopping list: geospatial apps, checkout and mobile.

The final point was the pervading theme throughout the event: Europe is hot, and London is hotter.

…and I couldn’t agree more (after all, not living in the US was a conscious decision).

Elsewhere in the World of Search, I’ve been using lijit (now the default search engine on this site), Spock and last (but not least!) Mahalo (adding mahalo to firefox’s search bar is dead easy tutorial here).

[Update]

Library House published their weekly newsletter yesterday which focused on the search companies at the essential web event. Newsletter available here.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Events, Conferences and Panels, Search

Twitter Updates

wordpress
stats

Contact

Archives

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,608 other followers