I’m in the middle of, yafh*, working on improving the look and feel of Feedster’s site. I needed to know how to wrap images around text. And, while I could have looked up on some HTML reference site, I did what I have done every single time I needed to know this since I started blogging. I checked Scripting. Why? Well I always seem to remember “Dave Does this” and its always easy for me to find since I regularly read him. So thanks Dave!
*Yet Another Feedster Hackathon; this time I arrived back from Thanksgiving by 7:30 pm, was eating Pizza by 8, bought a big screen flat panel by 9, crashed and rose again at 1:00 am to coordinate with Mike and grind on the new UI.
Any developer has, at one point in his or her career, had this type of conversation between themselves and one or more other developers:
(04:31:39) mikeair888: and we’ve still got a full day US time
(04:32:01) fuzzygroup: more than that actually
(04:32:13) fuzzygroup: the board meeting is at 9 am pst which is 12 pm est
(04:32:26) mikeair888: oh cool
(04:32:29) fuzzygroup: and its 5 am here (ok 4:30 but lets make the math easy)
(04:32:33) mikeair888: yep
(04:32:35) fuzzygroup: so that’s 24 + 7 hours
(04:32:39) fuzzygroup: or 31 hours total
Jeremy, an engineer on Yahoo Search, in discussing why people find Google’s results to be the best, even in the face of a blind “taste test” which proves they aren’t shows tremendous courage with this post which quotes Seth Godin’s post on the same topic:
Jeremy: I won’t go into the flaws with this method, since that’s really not the point. He goes on to say:
Seth: Which reinforces my point that Google isn’t “better” for most people if “better” means more relevant or deeper. Google is better because it feels better and quicker and leaner and easier to use. The story we tell ourselves about Google is very different, and we use it differently as a result. Think about that the next time you insist you need a “better” formula or a faster server or a stronger first baseman.
Seth: Music sounds better through an iPod because we think it does. Design matters. Stories matter most of all.
Given that I just finished Seth’s book “All Marketers are Liars” and, honestly, loved it, this resonates tremendously with me. Now given that we’re thinking lots and lots about Feedster’s design issues right now, I need to point out this information to our people.
I’ve been grinding since like 3:30 am, if you consider the post wedding drive from Fresno back to San Francisco; which I do since I came up with YMF500F* during the ride, so when one of the Feedster 500 Team Members, Mike our web contractor asked how I was felling, I got poetic:
(03:37:53) mikeair888: how you feeling?
(03:38:46) fuzzygroup: i feel like hammered death on amphetamines after a 5 day crack binge
*Yet More Feedster 500 Features.
Given that I’ve been holded up in Fresno for 2 nights now for Demitrious’ wedding whilst concurrently hacking out the Feedster 500, and that all Feedster mail is down for me, this post is solely to let any fellow Feedsterites / Feedster contractors (over in Australia, this means Mike …) that I’ll be offline for 4 hours or so whilst I drive back back to San Francisco but I will have my cell phone if anyone needs me.
Podcasts that will be heard on said drive will include the Gilmor Gang and Adam Curry.
Man I wish I could take credit for this but our Crawler guy, Nick, was feeling inspired late Saturday night. So the world now his Dashboard widgets for Feedster:
More on this and how to download it. Damn but I’m glad he didn’t have a date Saturday night!
Scoble has, once again, an insightful piece:
As I’ve been going around the world I’ve been meeting with many people who’ve built their companies on non-Microsoft stuff. Some of whom have companies worth billions of dollars now. Some of whom you’ve never heard about unless you read TechCrunch. Here’s 12 reasons Web 2.0 entrepreneurs like Ross tell me that they aren’t using Microsoft’s stuff:
More… (link on Ross added by me)
Robert pretty much nailed it. And they’re quite similar to several of the points I made when I was interviewed by Information Week back in October. Good stuff.
One thing that’s particularly true with respect to Web 2.0 companies is that Web 2.0 stuff often starts just as “science experiments” and, since you need to deploy things out on the Internet for people to play with (and give your experiment feedback), Web 2.0 stuff tends to be built on open source tools. That’s what happened with Feedster — I had a cheap box in a hosting center with Apache, PHP and MySQL and I built a search engine since someone posted on a blog “Wouldn’t be cool to have a search engine for RSS content”. Now if I had to worry about software licensing and such, I almost certainly wouldn’t have. Now it wasn’t just that open source was free — it was also the whole ecology of cheap hosting, downloadable source code, great online docs, etc. And its really, really hard to see how Microsoft competes with that.