Sunday, November 30, 2008

Facebook Connect brings web businesses from Android to Droids

Enter Facebook Connect! Now Businesses can move from offering Androids (remember data from startrek) with their personalization engines to Droids that can really talk to us!

Executed with steady precision, with a hunger to listen to the market true startup style, architected to make it so simple to adapt, one story at a time - bringing user controlled dynamic privacy, with our real identities, with our real world social graph to our favorite web sites with choice at every stage to let us decide which web actions are shared with our facebook friends!

update: everyone is talking about it - tc looks as it as single signon on the web, carrying your data w you!

Web businesses are beginning to see the power of the real user telling them what they are ready to share with their social network about their brands, about every step of their purchase behaviors. They can grow and scale in each site in beta using facebook connect to build vast repository of data, much more elegant than the works of the web 1.0 personalization engines which always reminded me of Data from Startrek.

With Web2.0 came social media - voice of the consumer everywhere with user generated content. Facebook revolutionized the social network bringing our real social graphs online where we can set our own levels of privacy and share our thoughts, pictures, videos, and comment,send tons of virtual goodies from pokes, cupcakes to vampires and friends for sale.

The old web is stuck with massive sites trying to personalize and customize our experience to reach us as individuals to market just what we want when we want it.

We don't stop to think of the web, we are fatigued signing up for each site, we prefer socializing with our friends, who influence our purchase cycles with our total trust be it that beautiful outfit our cool friend was wearing, or the travel we are planning or the big screen tv we watch the game together, introducing us to new music, telling us about what movie is worth watching.

Show me the money!

Wed businesses can now monetize my presence 10 folds more with perfectly targeted ads, build products to recommend just what I want and use my social network to influence my purchase, all with my permission.

They can bring the power of what Amazon did with "people who bought this also looked at this". If its a gift purchase I can say "no thanks", else send feed to facebook -
tap into the power of whats made facebook apps successful - show my coolness factor to my friends, share naturally for purchases of movies, songs, and all digital downloads and opinions about brands.

Sites can layer and build complete suite of facebook apps as services on top of their current offering as part of their social marketing mix.

Power to the web sites who allow me to login with my real identity from facebook and by getting my trust because of the privacy control, now it is not the merchant selling me stuff, they are giving me just what I want when I want - that beautiful fine line between ads that appear intrusive and those that provide the right deal for the right product that we might just need.

A dream example -

I goto citysearch and it shows me "a Grinchmas at Universal Studio Hollywood ad". Not relevant to me and wasted opportunity to sell me stuff I came looking for and have the need and desire to buy in the near future.

Their beta allows me to login with facebook connect, I log into facebook and they get instant access to the "real me" - age, sex, location and my profile preferences. That takes them 1 step closer to serve relevant ads. I like that better.

But imagine! If they could layer a facebook app right on top of citysearch in their site using facebook connect and could learn what I am upto this moment, and with my permission.

If I am planning to goto Boston for the holidays and want to find local gifts and restaurants to meet my friends, they could facilitate that discussion with my friends (who are on facebook and maybe on citysearch)if they let it happen using facebook connect on citysearch. They could offer a facebook app layered on top of citysearch that allows me to let citysearch know I am looking for a restaurant to go with these particular friends and know our preference (past ratings/reviews by me and my friends on citysearch), and use the power of facebook feeds to facilitate conversations about our current travel and party plans and tie it to citysearch options to facilitate the purchase/recommendations as ads.

Now we have to wait and watch this scale all over the web!

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mashup Camp - The Unconference for the uncomputer today

I am here at MashupCamp today for little while.

Many cool valley geeks here,some from across the country.

Met Gregory Cypes, OPENAIM evangelist.

Nickels are worth a lot here!
You can vote for the coolest technology with a nickel they give you.

Zembly, Yahoo, Google,AOL Dev Network, wetpaint, are all here!

There are barcamp style talks scheduled in 10 parallel sessions.

Kevin Marks is talking Opensocial Mashups and Christopher Peri is talking about iphone Jailbreak, Yahoo on YOS and many cool mashup ideas.

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

CodeCamp - Scaling Platform w Bebo, Sun and Yahoo

CodeCamp was an unconference for 1300 developers in Foothill College on Sat and Sun Oct 8/9 and it ROCKED!!!

Kudos to Van and Peter and all the volunteers for excellent organization! They had lined up sponsors for food, coffee etc and ran on time.

Charged crowd, many volunteered and were excellent audience with tons of Q&A

I moderated a panel on Sat Scaling Platform - panel with Bebo, Sun and Yahoo

My job was so easy, CodeCamp had this cool Confett chat room so audience kept asking me questions and chatting live. ok! I admit it made me look like a total geek with my laptop onstage!

Steve Cohen of Bebo presented Lightspeed mVC framwork, charged the room about Bebo's scale story. 400Mil pageviews daily on 120 servers, using Resin and single Java container! Wow!

Tom of Y! talking presented YOS. He spoke about YQL for normalized data via web services. Discussion is about silo of data.

Marina Fisher of Sun presented Sun technologies Opensolaris and Glassfish.

Scaling Platform Panel from CodeCamp - Sun from sujam on Vimeo.

The panel discussion:

It was a very lively discussion.

Steve has fun Java stories! Yes bebo is build using Java.

OpenWeb Awards Junkies' top 10 to-do list

Mashable is hosting its 2nd annual open web awards.

Last year the Open Web Awards was a true success of Web2.0 with user's voting 250,000 votes to award winners Facebook, Digg, Google, Meetup, Twitter, Netvibes, woot!, and Mahalo.

The first five in there are technologies I user daily and sun cannot shine on a day without any of them, though twitter is extra special and can go up and down and we will still wakeup to go see their funny downtime messages.

This year the nominations are open till today November 16th 2008. The voting rounds will be held from November 19th till December 15th.

Make your vote count, speak up and pick the winners of this year!

What I enjoy about the awards process is to checkout cool technologies and finding how much my friends agree or disagree with the same votes. But also it is a test to true social media marketing as every technology company leashes out its evangelists to find creative ways to get the word out to their base to get their votes up.

As a tech startup you can do old fashioned email to your customers to vote for you. Real winners are those whose customers volunteer on their own to spread the joy of particular technologies they love. Here are some ways:

Level One - Social Media Savvy Happy Customer:

1. First go vote for your favorite technology.

2. Show your excitement with a blog post on why that company is cool.

3. Do a tweet on twitter (w the blog post as a tinyurl or your 140 words of wisdom)

4. Change your facebook status to show the link for your favorite technology voting url.

Level 2: Super crazy unpaid evangelist for your favorite technology

5. Make a facebook group or friendfeed room or twitter bundle for your favorite technology and share links about how cool your technology is and the vote url.

6. Create an event to vote for your favorite technology and invite all your friends to join.

7. Visit all related meetups and pitch to everyone to vote for your favorite technology.

8. Make a video to show your love for your favorite technology, preferably something funky and blast it out to all video sites and tag friends on facebook. Make sure your video sites are all tied to your tweets and friendfeed so your followers get double feeds of everything.

9. Especially if you are in SF, throw a party to celebrate this technology's vote and drink with fellow lovers of your technology.

10. Done? Go get a life!

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

BeboDevNite Rocked tonite!!!

BeboDevNite has been my labor of love and it totally rocked tonite!!!

120+ developers all charged, got excited about bebo.

The best part of organizing BeboDevNite has been the bebo team. See them get ready for the event @AOL

We had a series of presentations and some cool announcements.

Cool Presentations:

Blake Commagere (Vampire, Werewolf, Zombie app network famous) presented migration to bebo from facebook, and said it took him only 4 hrs to port 4 apps to bebo.

Bebo Dev Night on 2008.11.11 from Abbas Zaidi on Vimeo.

Sun's announcement - Free Hosting on OpenSolaris for Bebo Apps

Sun announced 1 yr free hosting for bebo app developers.

Bebo Dev Night 02 from Abbas Zaidi on Vimeo.

The Opensolaris hosting is actually on Joyent, and Joyent CEO Rob Boothby was there alongside Sun's Emerging Business Unit leaders Sanjay Sharma and Rajesh Ramchandani!
Sun got a partner Livescribe to demo their smartpen and raffled one which was won by Deepika Bajaj from the audience.

Bebo Demos - We had a lot of Bebo love from a series of presentations by bebo app developers, each focusing on engagement, monetization or scaling apps with their stories - Water Cooler, Make a baby, Smart Change,Knighthood and Zoosk.

Cool Bebo Announcement:
Jessica Alter of bebo announced engagement metrics and Javascript support (in beta)for bebo platform followed by breakout session w bebo engineers. She announced the B.E.S.T contest for developers.

Dave McClure, Jesse Stay and Frank Gruber are the judges and the contest is open till Jan09 first week.

First B.E.S.T Contest Contestant
The highlight of the evening was that Waleed Abdulla, a facebook developer in the audience announced by the end of the presentations that he just signed up for bebo and had ported his app "hello gift" to bebo within 30 minutes as he watched a panel of bebo apps by several developers! Simply made our day!

Let me know if you have an event or blog where you can partner to promote this cool contest.

Send me your app invite as you build a new bebo app and join the contest!

I love the valley, and it feels like a big thanksgiving gathering each meetup seeing a subset of the same group of people, and coming home tired, full (of pizza) and loaded w the latest greatest in the valley tech scene.

Good Nite Folks!

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Facebook Connects Social and Enterprise - another step in the right direction

Today Facebook announced a partnership with to bring Facebook Connect to the enterprise using making it easier to build social friendly enterprise apps hosted upon cloud! (see my wishlist of enterprise apps at the end of this blog post)

Facebook still operates like a startup and has gotten Salesforce to adopt Facebook Connect as a channel into the enterprise. Look at the launch of the partnership - facebook style - honest, humorous presentation by Dave Morin.

I've been super excited about Facebook Economy because I see it extending the web into a whole social platform where I can use technology more seamlessly intertwined with the "real me"

Facebook has been successful in building the platform and getting developer excitement going, theres no doubt about that one!

Many pundits argue (read Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher) that social is real and but the big question is whether it will be on facebook or on a bunch of technologies that all becomes social.

For social to become ubiquitous, it has to go past consumers (who don't make it super easy to monetize it) to the enterprise. For example Google is a consumer company but makes all its money from businesses.

I think enterprise + social has to be lot more than apps on linkedin.

We as consumers get used to status udpates, and comments from friends and sharing apps to expecting some of it in our business life but the real value comes when it improves efficiency for the business.

Linkedin is back with positive pr as a social platform because of its now open app platform. I think it has more to do with very low expectations we have on linkedin and I'll give lot of credit for opening the platform to Linkedin advisor Dave McClure aka Mr.Social Network.

Heres my dream and its all possible with on Facebook

  • Communication and Collaboration: Why can't we break the barrier of friends circles inside companies that helps engine the corporate fiction in all our decisions to get real work done across organizations?
  • Marketing and supply-chain improvements: Why can't business build relationship with customer and build social technologies that integrates their business processes.
  • Product Development and inventory management: Why can't we as consumers interact with each other and our favorite brands to help them build just what we want at the right price when and where we need it.
If you are a facebook developer you have an advantage over the enterprise developer in that you know facebook platform and viral scaling of your app, now you just have to build it upon on Facebook!

Meet enterprise social media evangelists on Facebook makes me wonder what is needed for Enterprise +Social to be successful.

Going by my past life of evangelizing the web in large companies where I worked - Fidelity Investments, BMC Corporation and GTE Internetworking(now Verizon) and Harcourt (now Reed Elsevier), I believe that we need cool technology championed by real social architects evangelizing each enterprise from inside, one group at a time, to bring the excitement focused on real business goals to build grassroots teams one at a time!

Corporate Evangelists - My Casestudies

Here I showcase 3 of them from my recent acquaintances.

1 Intuit:

Intuit hosted a Marketing Summit on Oct 28th in Hilton SF, where I was at a panel called "social influencer marketing" with a cool set of people and got a taste of Intuit's commitment to use social to build true customer relationships.

The drivers inside Intuit are kira, Heather and Michael.

2. Dell

Natalie Davis of Dell has built out a centralized Social media group inside Dell.

3. Cisco - LaSandra Brill

Today they all use twitter, blogs, facebook apps inside facebook, and customer forums, where will they go with Facebook Connect for the Enterprise?

Ping me if you have a story of social media marketing or social media experiments in your world!

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update: Marta strickland is a social architect who truly gets Social Media and its vision in shaping the future of the web. I met Marta at Web3.0 Conference at an interesting panel.

Friday, October 31, 2008

SNAP Summit 08 SF Roundup

Its a good event if it still lingers on in the background of your mind as you get closer to the weekend. Snap Summit 2008 was one such 1-day event packed with good content - all focused on the entrepreneurs and tech geeks in the valley.

The Organizers!

Cassie is an energy ball and Christian Perry is the well prepared partner with questions for every session in case there is a lull in the audience, which was very rare.

Lets talk about the talks

I moderated the first panel of the day about Critical User Mass.
  • We had interesting discussions about arriving at critical mass of users for different types of sites.
  • Rockyou's Eric Yieh and Siqi Chen of "Friends For Sale" were focused on building metrics from the start.
  • Anil Dharni of Hi5 shared lot of good examples about scaling to different markets and focusing on engaged users different from new users.
  • Stephen Hood of Delicious said Critical Mass is not a discrete position but one thats ongoing and shared how delicious focuses on users and is still growing @ 5.2Musers. Delicious was at 300K users during the Y! acquisition.

Next, Max Engel of Myspace gave an excellent presentation about Data Availability.

Heres my qik stream (its starts with zooming in on my panelists and Mr.SocialMedia Dave McClure, and then I sat for the Myspace talk). Myspace is commited to adapting open standards like openid, xrds-simple, oauth, portablecontacts and opensocial

Lets talk about the talks

I attended part of Gordon Peters' "Monetize User Generated Content, which spawned excellent discussions. Panelists were: Seth Goldstein; CEO, SocialMedia, Andrew Chen and Michael Burke of Appssavvy.

Interesting to note in this video is the conflicting advice from the panelists about how to survive the current economy!

Todd Fast, CTO of Zembly gave an arresting presentation about Zembly.

Dave Morin presented Facebook Connect and made a clean case for it!

This was followed by an excited audience Q&A

Julie Craft gave a workshop about Offerpal

Part 1 here -

Offerpal made the point about monetization well by pulling together a panel of three app developers - Markus Weichselbaum of the new KickAss App and Nick of Make-a-Baby app

Ah The Audience!

The audience energy talks about the event and it was excellent.

Tim Burks of iphone meetup was excited about the conference.


Overall a day well spent! Social, apps, and consumer user generation with cool tech products are all in!

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Need Your Questions for the Critical User Mass Panel at SNAP Summit Today

Critical Mass album coverImage via WikipediaI am heading out to SNAP Summit to moderate a panel called "What is Critical User Mass and How Do You Get There?" at 9.30am this morning in San Francisco.

The Panelists are:

* MODERATOR: Sudha Jamthe; Social Platform Strategy Consultant; AOL/Bebo.
* Siqi Chen; Co-Founder & CEO, Serious Business
* Eric Yieh; Director of Product Development, RockYou
* Anil Dharni; Director of Products, Hi5
* Stephen Hood; Director of Product, Delicious

Critical mass of users is the moment when a social site naturally becomes viral, when it works well on its own, when it is considered a "success".

Ping me with questions, on twitter @sujamthe or on facebook. What do you want to see in this panel?

- Is critical mass a state a site should achieve or is it a repeat event for different stages of the product lifecycle?
- Is this critical mass dependent on your product life cycle or is it dependent on your competition's growth cycle.
- How do you get users to share and help you be viral, especially when you are still small.
-Is there a magical number for the critical mass of users for different types of sites.
- Are there specific ways that product engages users and what that has meant for growth.
- I would like to hear specific examples of success and failed attempted in building critical mass for different sites.
-Is it a different path for a social network like Hi5 vs. a product like delicious

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Friday, October 17, 2008

venture panel fom web3.0 conference

General Session:

Rebekah Wu, CEO, Right Hand Partners

Steve Baloff, General Partner, ATV Capital

Salil Deshpande, GP, Bay Partners

Lara Druyan, GP, Allegis Capital

Curtis Feeny, General Partner, Voyager Capital

Amanda Reed, General Partner, Palomar Ventures

Prashant Shah, Managing Director, Hummer Winblad

qik live streaming now!

Qik livestreaming of day2 keynote of Web3.0 Conference & Expo - semantic search

I am here at Web3.0 Conference in Santa Clara only for day2.

I am sitting at the Keynote: The Road to Semantic Search by Scott Prevost,General Manager & Director of Product, Powerset.

I usually take videos using my flip camera. Today I am doing a live video streaming using Qik on my iphone.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Social Media Marketing from Social Summit Conference SF - part2 a Cisco story

I covered Social Media Summit day1 live with my blog post, tweets and youtube videos.

I sooooo wanted to go back on Day 2 to hear Lasandra Brill of Cisco and Ed Terpening of Wells Fargo but had to stay back at work, sweet work!

Lasandra is a true social media person - shares her experience with pc booting in a presentation in her blog.

The audience always share the real presentation learning and it looks like I missed something!

Here's Lassandra Brill's presentatio slides - Building a Community with Social Media and Web 2.0 - A Cisco Product Launch Case Study

Does anyone have Ed's presentation summary too?

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Social Media Marketing from Social Summit Conference SF

I went to SF city to start an interesting work project in the afternoon and decided to stop by at the Social Media Summit at Moscone West on Oct 1st.

I believe if I meet an interesting person or learn one thing new, my time at a conference is well-earned, but today I found both!

Social Media according to Charlene Li

I have followed Charlene Li and seen her only at big screens from a distance in conferences and today I missed her keynote before I came in and heard many references to her talk.

Then I met her!
She has a gift for articulating the essence of key technologies and their business impact. She spoke about Social Media and why it is important for marketing.

Shel Israel's new Twitter Book

I found Shel Israel is working on a new book about twitter. He was ready to talk about "Conversations" and not about "Brand Extensions".

I attended a session by Eric of Ticketmaster about extending a brand to social media.

It was by far the best presentation I have seen summarizing real life experience of extending an existing brand to social media.

Erik Hom of Ticketmaster at Social Media Summit 08 in SF from sujam on Vimeo.

I work with Demo conference advising them on extending their brand to social media and you have seem my tweets, friendfeed, facebook fan page, youtube videos all from demofall!

Eriks talk summary:

Erik gave a very structured talk for all aspects of extending your brand.
What I liked best was that he was unassuming and shared his real experience of executing on it.

Ticketmaster partnered with ilike and added it to their site to create user engagement. They tried facebook apps, twitter etc with lot of applications built based on real business case.

Their facebook apps did not yield results. Twitter was successful as their affiliates adapted it and found it useful to get real time stats faster than their existing system.

Erik was very clear that his focus was all on real business goals. Users know and related to ticketmaster as a brand but come visit twice a year on average and his goal was to create social conversations to increase that to 4 times a year.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Social Conference Tracking of Mobilize08

I have this new found hobby of tracking a conference live with all my gizmos while I listen, learn and network at a conference.

Last thurs I was at Gigaom's Mobilize08 at San Francisco. I did a bunch of videos with my flip camera to goto youtube and facebook, pictures from my iphone that I emailed to twitpic to go on twitter and on facebook mobile to goto facebook photos.

My friendfeed will give you a glimpse of my social conference tracking of the conference.

I went in at noon. The audience pulse speaks volumes!

The audience were business folks and lots of VCs all looking for the latest trends in mobile space, very different from the geek crowd in usual valley events.

I blogged the keynote of Richard Miner of Android live with a quick flip video and live blog post here.

My favorite was the promise of Social Media on Mobile - a panel with Chamath palihapitiya of facebook, John Faith of Myspace, and Evan Tana of Loopt and Noelia Amoedo of Hi5 which supports Opensocial.

If you are someone tracking the mobile space, you can see the difference in their approach from answers of Chamath Palihapitiya of Facebook and John Faith of Myspace. The moderator Sebastian worked very hard but ended up grouping facebook and myspace together often.

Here is a snippet, I have more of the videos on facebook. This is the panel that brought me to the conference. I am going to compile rest of the videos of this session and blog about the promise of Mobile and Social and Facebook's opportunity in detail later.

I got the pulse of the audience by talking to the launching startups, VCs, media folks and attendees.

Startup Plusmo has a cool sports App on the iphone, worth checking out!

Pete of Trapster has a speed trap on the Dash GPS. He showed his cool preview of trapster on the iphone and Blackberry.

The conference content was good, rooms were very packed. I met a whole bunch of cool people who were at demofall08 back at mobilize08 all hungry to find the latest mobile startups and trends.

Philip of Nekkei Electronics was back from demo to Mobilize08.

Tim Hay of Venturewire summarizes the conference

This one is from the last panel of the day!

The conference staff and volunteers were wonderful. I missed veggie food. Thank You! Jennifer Santana! gigaom volunteer who is a UC Berkeley student from Inveneo went out of her way to arrange for some for me

Overall a good conference!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Rich Miner at Mobilize08 keynote now - state of mobile space and Android open platform

Blogging live from Mobilize08 now!
Rich Miner keynote on mobile industry landscape going on now!

My quick live summary:

He first set the stage of whats new, why industry is at a tipping point.
- iphone launch, Android announcement, new wave of openness.

Next he talks about his experience at Orange as a developer and Orange ventures and addresses the challenges:

  • app signing for each carrier, each network
  • jave programming is fragmented for app dveloper,
  • rev share deals for carriers is each different and time consuming for app
  • developers.
  • diff between native apps on phones vs java app of developer cannot talk to each other.Why mobile isimportent

Why is Mobile important?
3Bil mobile phone users worldwide, 1 Bil in US for Google to reach its vision.

Then he talks about Android Framework
- Linux Kernal
-Navtive apps can talk to third party app with seamless integration.
- power to developers - long tail of internet now brought to mobile space
- lessons for carriers to think differently to monetize using ads and micropayments and not build walls around content

I feel nostalgic from my first startup Coola experience as we built a device agnostic mobile middleware to connect apps on mobile to web services, we built on Palm Os and added CE client in 2000. Wish Android existed then!

The most interesting part of this talk is his simplicity at expressing the power of Android as the power of developers and the promise to make Android opensource eventually.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

VLAB event - Lifestreaming panel by Kara Swisher with Friendfeed's Bret and Seesmic Loic Le Meur (updated)

I plan to blog live and capture some video with my flip at tonight's event.
update: No wifi in Standford B-school for vlab, so no live blog, sorry!

Friendfeed and Seesmic in the same panel and with Kara Swisher as the moderator, must be fun!

I am friendfeed fan and user and I love the video conversation idea of Seesmic.

I did a post about feedwars in summer, as facebook has all my friends and feeds me update every day but within a private setting as compared to friendfeed. Now with facebook connect feeds, what is friendfeed's positioning? Their rooms concept is comparable to Seesmic's channels (they don't call them channels, what is it?)

Where are we going with livestreaming? Oh I wish my iphone would do Qik without a jailbreak!

Kara Swisher, Co-Executive Editor, All Things Digital, Wall Street Journal

Bret Taylor, Co-founder, FriendFeed
Loic Le Meur, Founder, Seesmic
Jeff Clavier, Founder, Softtech VC
Leah Culver, Co-founder, Pownce

See you there!

Update: The panel was fun. Lot of discussion about the future of real time sharing on the web.
Bret Taylor of Friendfeed is so sincere and committed to build a fundamental long-term business.

Seesmic looks more interesting to me after hearing the entertaining and smart ceo Loic Le Muer who is super active on twitter.

Also the fact that Seesmic integrates into friendfeed now is cool..

I took lots of video, most turned out to be greater than 100MB which is youtube's limit. Kara cracked up her moderator whip and get everyone focused on their b-model, what they have learnt as entrepreneurs with her quick wit and kept us on our seats.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Blogging from Yahoo HackDay - Yahoo going Social and Developer Excitement (updated)

I am here at Yahoo Sunnyvale headquarters for Openhack08.

Just saw the overview of how Yahoo is opening its platform.

Yahoo has executed on the promise on their CTO's talk from Web2.0 Expo in April. I did posts about SEG - social email graph back in Oct 07 and yahoo is heading in that direction now.

I am excited about Yahoo App with Opensocial, their new YML and the architecture of Yahoo OS looks good.

There is good developer energy, I see lot of known faces from the facebook world - Jia Shen of Rockyou, Waleed od Weekend Apps etc. Is Jia going to get us a full set of Yahoo Apps next? very cool

Next Yahoo Apps overview is starting, I'll get some video of it. Ciao.

Updated with a roundup video.

Yahoo Hackday08 Sep 12 2008 - Roundup from sujam on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The icing on the cake of DEMOFall - Entrepreneurs's spontaneous 6 seconds

I have been lucky to be involved with the awesome DEMO Conference team so passionately focused on helping 72 new game changing startups launch the next wave of products for the past two days in San Diego at Demofall.

The icing on the cake was the spontaneous call by the demo entrepreneurs this evening, who decided to take 6 seconds each to share their appreciation for what demo meant to them and their launch experience at the closing demogods award ceremony dinner.

Here is a quick video which I streamed live onto Chris Shipley's Qik stream using her phone. It was a special moment shared by everyone at demofall tonight and I could not have captured it except for the Qik. Thank you Qik team!

Demo is truly about the entrepreneurs and run so professionally with such eye for detail. Its heart-warming to see the entrepreneurs sincere comments. Good luck to all of them, see you at the next DEMO.

Day 2 at demofall08 - updated w new videos

Look at the audience excitement! More cool startups launching today.

Here is Katie of WSJ talking about Web2.0 companies she saw at demo today!

I personally like and Koollage from today's demos particularly.

Demo organizes the event such that each startup gets 6 minutes on stage and everyone gets to watch the demos with no distraction. Then they open the pavilions where the startups each have a booth. I'll checkout the companies there and write again.

Monday, September 08, 2008

demofall - walt mossberg vs kara swisher panel

Blogging live from demofall08 - Funny, can't capture this totally, going to try and capture the key topics.

Kara Swisher vs Walt Mossberg on latest tech topics!
Kara- Chrome, why Mossberg gave a negative review?
Walt - no bookmark manager, etc features walt expects. Speed is not ready for prime time.
Google is worried that MS their competitor controls IE hence rush to launch Chrome.
Kara - Google is large and powerful, do they have to do the browser.
Walt - Google believes in webapps, so Google says think of this as a platform.
gmail has done well, still behinf y!mail, but docs slow. So you could think of Chrome as a web operating system.
Walt likes IE8 is good, both IE and Chrome have promise to compete with firefox.
Kara - Google becoming too powerful?
MS inOS, Apple in music, Google reaching that close to 70% almost a monopoly in advertising.
Kara thinks its like a choice between terminator vs Voldemart.

Social Network, facebook (OH How I disagree with this part of the talk !!!)
Kara - In two yrs facebook is not a bigdeal. She compares facebook to AOL.
Walt - social network as a destination site, will it exist in 2 yrs.
Kara - thinks its not going to be one destination site.
Walt thinks facebook can survive if they syndicate across the web. He likes Xobni.


Walt articulates amazing adoption of iphone apps. iphone, Rim and Android. He addresses bandwidth - broadband speed in US.
Kara says US is 3rd world of broadband speed in the world.
Kara likes all smart phone touch pad, mobile browser in all.

Q&A now: Role of internet standards?

Q&A: Why are they at demofall and not TC50.
Kara- Getting leactures on journalism ethics by Arrington is like getting parenting tips from Britney spears. It is uneccessary to be rude and compete on the same dates, it doesn't help the entrepreneur.
Walt - added that demo is the best place to find new products and trends, it never occured to me to not come to demo ever.

Walt and Kara have summarized the spirit of all attendees here at demofall, with all excitement on the new products and entrepreneurs!

demofall day 1 live blog

Chris had a creative colorful welcome by stick figures dancing which is part of demo tradition.
She gave a very eloquent summary of where the info tech world is moving. Web1.o as we all know it, web2.0 which is transactional web, social web, and now coming up the distributed web.

Trying to get part1 of her keynote video to youtube.

This is followed by cool demos.I am doing a tweet of startups I find exciting. I am trying to blog, tweet, check my iphone if a demoer has an app and also take video all at once, so you are better off by just watching my friendfeed or demos' official friendfeed

Cool demos - gloop - peer to peer photo sharing, ffwd=web meets tv, ioSAN fast storage for IT,, bluelave technologies, paperless pens etc etc etc, all cool stuff.

demofall08 live coverage and startup nostalgia

I am in San Diego for demofall08 and plan to blog live as best as I can.

Today the conference opened with a reception at 6pm. All through the day entrepreneurs were seen huddling in small groups charging the air with their upcoming launch excitements.

I had first come to Demofall2000 to launch my first startup Coola and it set the bar high for me about a product launch and induced in me the excitement for startup energy and for tracking new trends in technology.

I am up at this hour as I am too charged with my conversation with Walt Mossberg today. I had an amazing conversation about my past dreams for mobile space from my Coola experience, and his views about mobile devices today - iphone, android, windows mobile and Palm and my favorite topics - Dash, facebook and social media!

I am always a fan of Walt, but his clarity of thinking and ability to capture the history of tech industry and articulate where it can go is very refreshing.

What a difference I feel as an attendee instead of an excited, naive entrepreneur! I am curious about the attendees and will try to capture the real mood here and my learnings for the next two days!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Facebook Garage Palo Alto Live Blog of Fb Connect Edition

I am listening to Dave Morin present Facebook Connect from Blue Chalk Cafe in Palo Alto.

Julia Lam has done an awesome job with the logistics and facebook developers have loaded this place with amazing energy and support for facebook platform.

7pm: I. Dave Morin presents Facebook Connect

It can be summarized in 3 key points: Feed, Friends, Identity

a) Friends - Facebook has your real friends.
b) Social Context acts as a filter
You can learn more about your friend if you knew the same friend was on digg and had a certain preference.
c) Identity/Dynamic Privacy
People share on facebook because of the privacy setting. Dynamic privacy is all about user control. With dynamic privacy with fb connect users can take this comfort level to the web. When you change privacy setting on facebook, it will reflect on a fb connected web site.

Mike Vernal fb connect engineer presents an App "The Run Around"

Features to show in detail:
  1. Connect users to your site
  2. Option for user to publish an action to facebook.
  3. Friend linking - finding friends on a site who are also my facebook friends.
1. Track state of user to connect user to your site

Facebook tracks three scenarios
a) user not logged into site, not logged into facebook, b) user connected to site not facebook and c) session renewal - Checks if user is using the site and allow a session for 20 min. This will ensure active user from a site to allow feeds to facebook.

2. Identifty - Profiles and Logged-In State
Fb connect give three choice to developers to select the most natural experience to connect user to their site.
a) Embed user info in site using fbml call eg Welcome b) Client library c) Server library

3. Feed - Sharing Content
Register set of template that corresponds to type of story to publish to profile.
Call Fb.Connect.ShowFeed Dialog.

4. Communication - Server FBML & Requests
Client and Server side is relevant

5. Communication - Connect Request - connect friends already using that site to connect up their account. Again in three steps to respect user intent and user privacy.
Step 1: App developer can suggest connections
Step 2: Allow user to send invites
Step 3: Register post authorize URL and rotate it.

6. Dynamic Privacy - Putting user in control
ON facebook - give user control their privacy and relation with applications
On fb connect - user is in control on what info is shared or to opt-out
On your site/app - Give tool to developers. Today users can use friend list on facebook to manage different category of users. You can do the same with fb connect to allow different friendlist of users certain access.

7:58pm : Presentations starting now! signing off to take some videos now.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Facebook Change-thon Developer Event live now

I am at the fb change-athon event which I (from Bay area fb meetup) helped organize it with Waleed of Weekend appds.

Its a developer nirvana! Breakfast, lunch and dinner served with a room full of fb developers sharing their questions, experience and tips to make the most of migrating to the new profile.

Waleed gave a cool presentation about his experience migrating his App to Facebook

He has posted his entire presentation on his blog

Waleed did an awesome job and it was a very interactive with lot of Q&A.

Here is part1 which is the basic outline of all the changes to focus on to migrate to the new profile. (I had done a post from fb Garage 08 with user's Q&A summarizing Facebook's presentation of the new profile launch here). This one is real developers with their real experience migrating to the new profile.

He did a part2 which walked through with real code on step by step guidance on migrating to new profile. The Q&A brought up new tips and techniques and some frustration of what didn't work for some developers. I'll update here after I get these two videos up.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Social Conversations takes grassroots shape at SocialMediaCamp SF today

I am a believer of grassroots events which propel brands and cut through crap to help us learn what is really happening in any realm of tech space. This is an evolving movement affecting marketing and user generation for brands, similar to how open source impacted software industry.

I am old enough to have started in online marketing with the linkexchange in 95 to portal co-branded deals as traffic drivers to SEO and SEM thru the 2000s and now onto Social Conversations.

So I am here, blogging live from SocialMediaCampSF, I just was lucky to be able to join this amazing energy of grassroots entrepreneurial social media architects.

This is a BarCamp style event where the topic was created on the fly this morning by all attendees.
Chris Heur who founded Social Media Club has spearheaded it and am pleased to report its very well organized, theres lot of good presentations and wonderful hallway conversations.

What I mean by Social Conversation

Microblogs like twitter, friendfeed which makes social browsing bringing all our online activities together for a community of people to follow others and engage in a conversation by comments and a simple google style UI to add a "like" to link an item to our feed.

Ok, I am a huge friendfeed fan, but what I love is they have so many widgets and APIs to seamlessly adapt friendfeed into your online life, its such a natural way to have a social conversation, without stopping to think about it.

Summize was just bought by twitter.

Disqus allows integrating of your comments across the web, similar to mybloglog but for dicsussions.

Some presentations I am seeing and liking here today below includes another social conversation or social browsing tool.

1pm: I saw a demo of Yoona by their evangelist Kevin.

Yoona is a sponsor of this socialmediacamp and they showed a demo. Compared to friendfeed to show socialbrowsing with a Firefox plugin. I'll try it out and update my comments here. Its a young, promising looking startup.

1.30: David Cohn is presenting crowd funding for journalism.

It is kiva style community funded citizen journalism. This looks very very promising. Dave is so sincere in his presentation.
Summary - users fund $10 or so to consolidate funds to pay a journalist to get a story, all driven by local community. He has started with a grant from Knight Foundation and he is testing it in Bay Area first. He has checks and balance in place to provide validated real content and took good Q&A.

update: 3pm: Qik Live streaming by Qik's Rishi and Daniel

This is a product demo of QIk live video , nice. Daniel did a live Qik of the room and it was funny we could see our audience live as he moved his hands to talk at Good quality video.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Dash's GPS Industry's First Over-the-air Software Update

Its an exciting day today at work at Dash Navigation and my customer's world of Dash Drivers as Dash kept its promise to improve software and add features with an over the air software update to its first Internet Connected GPS "Dash Express".

I am not kidding when I say, I know of customers taking day off to experience the GPS industry's first ever over-the-air wireless software update and try the new features of MyRoute, Search Along Route and improvements of FasterFind and improved performance and new UI.

EVERYONE is talking about it - Gizmodo, TechCrunch, Engadget, CrunchGear,VentureBeat, Crave, JK on the Run, NaviGadget, GPS Review and GPS Tracklog ...

As someone immersed in customer conversations at the grass roots level daily, I want to thank our customers who spoke to us and led us to prioritize and bring them just what they wanted next.

Thank You! You Rock!

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Feed Wars - Friendfeed vs Facebook

I am someone who has consolidated all my net activity on facebook. Every worthwhile site has a facebook app - twitter, wordpress blog etc.

Then came friendfeed. I was introduced to it as a simple facebook app and I could integrate everything worthwhile outside of facebook world to follow friends and find feeds of their activities, interests.

Private vs Public Social Graph: The main difference is that friendfeed is a public world of everything thats open for all to see from the people I follow or the friends who follow me. Facebook is my private world of pictures and comments shared by my circle of friends thats not archived for the world to randomly read.

Seinfeld of the Internet: Friendfeed has become the first site to pull me out of facebook to read random twitter feeds and multimedia digged or bookmarked or commented or shared on flickr or youtube - like a reality tv show in short bursts . Someone called Friendfeed the Seinfeld of the Internet (ping me if you know who said that). But its more than TV, you have control on when you flip channels and read feeds of friends or surf through the tinyurls of links your friends want you to read or get engrossed in a discussion of comments (a lot by Robert Scoble) as if you crashed into a cocktail party discussion about a random topic.

The problem is many of my friends on facebook are on friendfeed. They use twitter to say where they are, facebook status doesn't do it for many. My real dilemma came when I had to decide on where I should post an album of pictures after my facebook meetup. Flickr makes it public for the world. Facebook pictures add a personal angle as my friends acknowledge they saw it by tagging it. Same for videos, youtube is my favorite and I have a channel and followers., but facebook video manages support for all size and formats of videos and friends can tag. I chose to defer the problem and continue to use both with sometimes redundant efforts and friendfeed app feed showing redundant feeds of pictures on flickr while my friends on facebook have already seen the pictures on my minfeed.

Enter Facebook's minifeed imports:

Today I noticed Facebook has a simple "import" option in mini-feeds on a profile. And guess what? We have the choice of importing actions from our public sites onto our minifeed.

One first look this could bring the friendfeed functionality inside facebook feeds, but since we all see what our social graphs show, I think friendfeed is entrenched and its hard to expect my friends to adopt the minifeed as their discussion community with comments. Facebook will have to do more to make this import of minifeed (wish it had a better name than that) to be visible to the world and not lost in my minifeed.

On a different note, this import of minifeed could be facebook's attempt to make the profile page an engaging piece of facebook and allow "profile surfing" as is available on bebo.

Choice is good, but this is not enough to take me away from facebook or friendfeed. This could be fun for us as users if friendfeed survives as a standalone company, else this becomes a smart move by facebook to build friendfeed functionality before Google or MS buys friendfeed.

What do you think?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

DEMO Party SF Rocked

DEMO Party in SF rocked! ok, it was crowded, very crowded with 600 people! Thanks to Ramu of Qik, I managed to capture live videostream of parts of the event in a single click from a N95.

Rafe Needleman shared his nostalgia of how he was involved in the early days in 89 with Steward Alsop and had a demo story about being a repeat demo alum.

Brian Solis you rock! No one can capture more meaningful pictures and get them up faster on flickr on time Brian lets his pictures narrate who was there. I took some pictures, but mostly it was a blur of lot of people excited about DEMO.

Many had been there many times, some PR folks had taken companies to DEMO, some newcomers wanted to go there soon! Its phenomenal on how Chris Shipley goes around the globe and spots the winner companies and provides the fertile launch pad to succeed.

The beauty of the party was many many interesting conversations. I caught some on video as DEMO Stories that I am collecting for DEMO's facebook fan page. Ping me if we you have a demo story, the goal is to share our Demo experience on facebook and start some interesting conversations, you never know, something good will come out of it!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

DEMO Party tonite! Yay!

I am working on a project called "DEMO Stories" collecting real DEMO conference experience of alums to help new entrepreneurs. This goes on the DEMO Facebook Fan page. We have video interviews of Woody Benson and Julie O'Grady and podcasts in a yodio file there.

I am a DEMO alum from 2000 and have since taken two companies to DEMO, one as VP Marketing in Fall07, and another as startup advisor in DEMO08 . I blogged about last year's DEMO party.

Tonite is the 2008 DEMO Alum party in San Francisco! 600 people have signed up. You can follow DEMOtweets or watchout for the Qik live video streaming I plan to do for you!

If you are at the party and have a DEMO story as an entrepreneur, VC or Corporate Development person, I'd love to chat with you.

We have couple interns in Boston and Bay Area and can always add more if you want to do some DEMO story interviews anywhere in the world.

See you tonite.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Facebook Platform is OpenSourced

We all heard Dave Morin at the fb garage last week. Facebook has opened its platform as open source quietly in its own way here.

It is a lisenced under Common Public Attribution License (CPAL), which follows the Mozilla Public License (MPL) with the addition of allowing web services.

What does this mean for the developers?
  • This is facebook's response to Google's opensocial?
  • Facebook has 400K developers while Opensocial has been expanding with an industry wide support with developers trying it but waiting for better than beta quality from Opensocial platform. This move by Facebook deters developers from moving to Opensocial because they can now contribute to the platform and improve it to their own choice.
  • Choice is good and this makes life interesting for developers. myspace is likely to adapt its platform to Facebook style to get fb developers faster.
What does this mean to the Social Media Wars?
  • One subtle point that goes un-noticed in any analysis I've seen so far is that the lisense has been expanded to include Web services. This is the most interesting piece. This is in line with Facebook's promise of Facebook Connect whereby they plan to open up the social graph to allow access from any web service. This is the bigger step in the Social Media war with Facebook Connect being Facebook's response to Google's FriendConnect and everyone comparing Facebook Connect to FriendFeed etc.
Where is Bebo in all this?

Over the weekend I played with Bebo and wanted to understand the comparison with Facebook platform to see if Bay Area Facebook Meetup would like to see a bebo demo about Facebook migration. Interesting enough I connected with my facebook friends on bebo and haven't heard back from anyone who logged back into bebo. Ok Dave McClure is busy with GSP East, what is everyone's excuse?

I wonder what is the impact for Bebo which has the same Facebook platform lisenced which is not opensourced, right after Bebo's aquisition by AOL. Is this another influence on Facebook's decision to opensource the platform?

What do you think as a developer? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Facebook Garage08 Platformaversary - complete Q&A as I heard it

Yday evening, May 29th, 600 of us lined up in Palo Alto outside Aquaris Theater for the 1 year anniversary of facebook platform. Caitline O'Farrell pulled off an awesome garage seamlessly again this year!

Ben Ling of Facebook presented a review of the first year of the platform 400K developers from 160 countries in 1 year! And from the audience, its going on strong!

This was followed by a video of the 1 yr anniversary by facebook team here

New Facebook Profile Page

The bulk of the evening was spent, facebook style on really sharing their excitement for the new profile page changes planned and getting feedback from users and listening to them.

Dave Morin gave a presentation about the new profile page. Youtube will not allow large videos and restricts formats, here is the video on facebook!

My Summary:

  • The new profile page is going to be a totally different look and feel with tabs for everything.
  • It takes the base philosoply of facebook treating apps as keeping the platform fresh and allows users engagement with apps to produce new content on their profile.
  • A new feeds item is going to allow feed notification of profile items to show what a user's friends are upto beyond the current news feed. Feels like a comparison to friendfeed, but for everything facebook only, including apps on facebook. This is the coolest feature!
  • Apps don't have to be installed and this means work for the developer with opportunity to win with engaging apps as each engagement can showcase content on the profile
Q&A by facebook team about Profile Page and its impact on developers and users

The entire platform team was there and listened and answered questions. I thought I got it when I saw the presentation and demo, but the audience had real good questions. I've tried to capture all Q&A, pl ping me if something is amiss!

Q. Waleed started the first question about box profile. Is the box like the canvas page?
Yes but no flash auto play allowed in the box (waleed help fix this, there was more to your q&a)

Q. Jesse Stay asked: Can we comment on the feeds we see in a friends' profile.
My comments: I've refrained from an analysis and to present the Q&A as I saw it for the benefit of fb fans everywhere who couldn't join us. However, this question brings about the general sentiment that users are looking at this new feed as similar to friendfeed. I think commenting on a friend's profile would be cool. We could always do so with a wall post, so why not allow it in context of each feed item? - imho.

Q. Any limits to number of tabs?
6 tabs UI wise is the limit. Additional apps will be added to a drop down menu. User will have the option to re-order the tabs to their choice.

Q.Any change to App directory?

Q. What explicit integration points does app developer has without asking user for explicit permission?
Apps can publish stories. User needs to give permission to add app to profile box and Tabs.

Q. Support for apps developed with Flash in feed dialog?
Adding flash info to short stories is coming.
Feed form - is in the works, not yet ready. A flash developer can use FBJX bridge and do feed forms for now.

Q.Any plans to redesign profile on iphone?
Not at this time

Q. Today wall attachments allow us to give free gifts (or other app interaction) to a user who has not added an apps from a user who has added the app. Will this change?
Yes, it will work only for combination of users who both have the app.

Q.Where will facebook ads be in the new profile?

Q. Aggregate of feeds?
Ari Steinberg came up specially to explain the profile and news feeds. (I am missing something here, my don't have much, pl help if you heard this question)

Q. Tabs limited to Canvas URL, can there be different URL from server for rest of the App action? (Missed this one too)

Q.How will pages, groups be displayed in the new profile page?
They will fit in the info tab. Groups and Page layout will be made to match the new profile layout later. Way to add apps to pages remains the same.

Q. (my Question) How much work is it for a developer an average app to migrate to the new profile page? What happens if they did no change to an App?
The new profile offers lot of opportunities for the developer to create content thats part of the new profile for engaging apps. If you do nothing canvas page will remain the same, you app will be bucketed into the tab for user to decide if they want to keep it, and you'll lose all other benefits of user decision points to create visibility in their profile page.
(I want to hear from real developers who have let behind first few apps and moved on to newer fb apps on their actual experience on this one)

Q. Can one app add to a user's profile box, boxes, info section, tab etc.?
Profile box and boxes are multually exclusive, rest all can be added with user's permission.

Q. Whats new with feeds, we have mini feeds and news feed now, is it totally different, is mini feed gone in the new profile?
  • mini feed is old and won't exist in new profile.
  • Profile feed is the narrative of the owner of the profile. It includes wall and apps inside it.
  • News feed will show show a user's friends are doing.
  • Publisher is an upgraded wall attachment and goes to profile feed by user.
Q.Will platform allow developer to create your app tab?

Q. What is the roll-out schedule?
Developers should start getting their apps ready for the new profile page. Users will have a beta opt-in period to try the new profile and give feedback. Then old profile will be eventually discontinued and everyone will be rolled into new profile

Q. Because of App add removal, does this mean an app developer can email users?
Yes, only with user's permission. It will be another option to ask for user permission by app.

Q. Last Question by Dave McClure - When can 3rd party Apps message into the news feed of a user who has not installed the app?
It is already happening now.

After the Q&A we went to the happy hour at Blue Chalk cafe!

Bay Area facebook Meetup folks: Is there any interest in covering this topic in our upcoming meetup? Just post on our fan page wall here

Also, help me clean any omissions or inaccuracies in the Q&A. And do
try the sandbox of the new profile here