Day 1 with Google Wave

1 10 2009

I just tweeted how Google Wave with no friends is like standing at a party with no one to talk to.  There are a couple of things that you need to have in your mind before you try out the product:

  • It does not replace GMail.  This is not an email client, nor is it an IM client.  It’s a shared collaborative session that allows people to communicate in a unique enviornment
  • You’ll be tempted to send emails to people outside of google wave.  Currently, you cannot do this.  You can only collaborate with people within the Google Wave domain.
  • It’s a product that is way ahead of its time.  I’m not sure if people are ready for a product like this but I can see their vision clearly.  Perhaps they’re simply laying out the platform but the key to it’s success is enabling users to truly transition into an “ever present” app.

An “ever present” app is an application that constantly stays open your browser or on your desktop.  For me I have a couple of “ever present” applications that I cycle through on a daily basis.

  • Gmail
  • Facebook
  • Twitter (via Tweetdeck)
  • Digg.com
  • Mint.com
  • Finance.yahoo.com
  • ITunes
  • MS Office

For google to make its mark, wave needs to be adopted across the board.  Frankly, I believe the wave team should have powered wave through Gmail instead of creating a completely new domain/application for it.  I view it much more as a collaborative wiki where users can communicate with each other and share content on the web.  To the pioneers of the internet, I think this makes a lot of sense.  To the mass user, however, I don’t think the product is intuitive enough for people to embrace it.  I think Google really needs to optimize certain use cases for it to be applicable to the mass market.  For now, like I do with most new programs, I’ll try it out for a week and see if I continue using it.

Just my $.02..

-SD





Why hashtags are important for tweets

24 06 2009

Many of you may wonder why people put the pound symbol in front of words on their twitter messages. Hashtags are a way of showing what the entire twitter universe is saying about a topic you’re discussing. It will show, in real time, what tweets contain the same word.

The reason why this is so powerful is that it demonstrate trending in real time. The best example of twitter, to demonstrate how real time the technology is, was when there was an earthquake and the twitter employees saw a spike in the word “earthquake”. Moments later, they felt the earthquake and the subsequent aftershocks.

Adding validation to your tweets by writing about something that is being discussed is a good way to gauge the public’s perception. The next time you tweet, be sure to put a hash tag in front of the topic you want your readers to see.

Quick #$.02…

-SD





What we should do with RV parks

18 06 2009

RV’s are some of the worst emitting vehicles on the road today.  That’s why some RV park’s are changing their approach by putting eco friendly houses in previous RV parks.  This would definitely entice me to camp out in one of these.  Check it out:

Check out the way they look inside:

Each of these houses are 240 sq ft. but has a pretty large deck.  I love the way these homes look.  If we can figure out a way to be able have eco green low emitting RV’s with beautiful architected homes on the inside, we may get somewhere in optimizing the RV parks.

Quick $.02…

SD





The next big thing: Twitter Optimization

11 06 2009

I’ve been looking to write about a topic for the last year or so but every time I’ve sat down to write something thought provoking, I’ve always felt like it was a laborious process. Perhaps it’s due to the fact that I do most of my communication to the outside world within 140 characters these days that the feeling of macroblogging (yes a term I’m inventing) seems mundane.

I’m going to attempt to restart this blog on a new premise. I plan on utilizing shorter entries and sharing one or two thoughts instead of going in depth on a specific topic or area. As I look in my wordpress “recent drafts” I see 20 posts written but none of them completed.

Twitter is the ultimate form of being concise. Given my nature of loving to optimize things, I love the service due to fact that I can easily share a quick thought to my network. I already see different web 2.0 properties adopting these methods (e.g. facebook, myspace, tumblr). I’m currently writing on a “quickpress” within wordpress (is this wordpress’ idea of reengaging the user?) The interesting thing about all of these networks previously mentioned is that they’re vying for positioning on your browser to be your one stop destination. Due to Twitter’s Powerful API and real time notifications, I use TweetDeck as my medium to receive all of my web news, celeb news and friends news.

What’s interesting, however, is there is no feasible way of being able to manage all of these posts. If I miss a day of checking my Tweetdeck, I have a tough time catching up on my news. How will Twitter be able to intelligently show the tweets I’m most interested when I log on. Facebook has attempted to do this via “Highlights”, but the algorithm is yet to be fully optimized due to the vast network.

The question I have is how will Twitter leverage their social standing by showing a pulse of the network to the user in an easily consumable format. It could be simply aggregating the highest hash tags and showing that in a better way.

It’s on my mind so I wanted to share. No answers yet.

Good to be back though.

Just my $.02..
-SD





Xobni is turning the inbox upside down

8 05 2008

Xobni is one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a long time. I was having a discussion with some friends over the weekend where one of them felt like Gmail’s conversation structure was one of the best things to happen to email. I’m an avid user of both Gmail and Outlook and tend to like them both for very different reasons. Gmail keeps long conversations with many people in a very compact manner. Outlook does a better job integrating your calendar and email into one desktop platform where you can look at historical email easily.

I’ve always felt that the search functionality with Outlook is something to be asked for. Xobni, however, takes search to a new level by making it a contact based search. They predicate there product on the fact that you tend to contact certain people more frequently than others and at certain times of the day. As a result, they will profile each of your users with your conversations threaded and attachments shown chronologically.

In the three days that I’ve used the product, I’ve found it to increase my productivity quite a bit at work. I’ve used it almost as a file exchange system where I search for documents within my email. Ultimately, I think people are using email more for data storage (especially with GMail). Xobni provides a clear and unique way to organize it. Here is a screenshot of the product below. It lives just to the right of your outlook application for easy search use. It also doesn’t completely eat up your CPU usage like other indexing software (cough…google…cough).

FYI – bloggers all over the internet have been raving about this product. Xobni was offered $20 million dollars from Microsoft but decided to walk away at the 11th hour because they felt as though the team would just become another function of Outlook (which it would). Great move by the Xobni team as they have built a social framework around email. With this framework, they have the ability to create a social utility integrating chat, file sharing across email platforms. Instead of having to go to a separate domain to access your files, you can simply do it through your email. A user tends to be on email almost 50% of the time they are online and Xobni’s cloud structure can increase that usage and bring services to your fingertips.

Just my $.02…

-SD





Cool inventions: Stair(book) Case, Pipe/Art Hotel Rooms

21 02 2008

This is a pretty nifty invention to make it easier to get to books/organize your books.  The inventor did this to save space on purchasing a huge bookcase and built his own stair case that can keep books on each level around the edges.

Check out a pic:

And if you’re going for cool designs & new inventions – you can always look to stay in much more economically friendly hotel the next time you need to go somewhere.  It might be a tad cramped but it would help the environment.

Check it out:

Personally for  me – I would much rather stay in a hotel that had a room similar to this:

Can you imagine waking up in the morning to a room like this?  Not to mention that you’re in a hotel and are already disoriented, this would make you go crazy….

Interesting $.02…

-SD

 





How do you get wireless in rural areas?…use a balloon of course

21 02 2008

Space Data Corp is a company that attaches small wireless hubs on balloons and sets them afloat near rural areas or abandoned highways so that truckers or local users can access the internet. The question to ask yourself is what trucker do you think is carrying around a MacBook Air that needs to check his email on his way to Toledo Ohio to drop off a shipment of strawberries? Okay…that might be a bit of a stretch but you get the picture…is there really a market for something like this?

Well…one company thinks there is….none other than our very own friend Google. According to the WSJ, Google is thinking about working with them (aka buying them) in the near future. Essentially Google’s plot to be ubiquitous across the web also translates to the number of users it can obtain. As it starts to reach a tipping point of users, it needs to expand its base. In the United States, that requires going to areas where Internet access is unavailable.

Knowing Google though, instead of using Balloons, they’ll fund their X Prize winner to take these to space and make the moon wireless….it would be nice to be able to chill in some sort of crater and check out ESPN.com.

My .02…

-SD