Blog Archives

Panels are dead ? – Not quite – Just prepare them better

Mary Hodder has a go at the panel format when attending Les Blogs last week: Panels are Dead.

For me that is. 

I’m sitting here at a conference that I flew all the way to Paris for.. for two days, and damned if it isn’t full of panels, broadcast mode all the way, telling the audience how it is. And well.. it’s so freaking undynamic. Because it’s not a discussion. These are bloggers. They know a lot. They know what it is. These 300 people make media every day on their blogs and yet, panels are here giving us time to email the office, our cats or the mailman about a critical lost postcard.

This audience is creative, bright, thoughtful and our brains are being numbed to death by one-way talk about how blogs are about losing legacy control and we’re all taking it back. Somewhere there is a tragi-comedy in here. It’s time for a … Read more »


New VC blogger: Seeing Both Sides

Jeff Bussang, a General Partner with IDG Ventures in Boston, recently started a blog. Jeff is a former entrepreneur, and therefore can provide a point of view encompassing…both sides. His objectives:

I was inspired to start this blog for many reasons, but the most important one is to help entrepreneurs.  During my ten years as an executive at start-ups (such as Upromise and Open Market), I often viewed the venture capital business as a black art.  Now that I’ve had a few years to practice that black art, I hope to help demystify it for other entrepreneurs.

Like most experiments, I will start this one off small and see where it leads.  If this blog can help both educate and entertain, it will have served its purpose.

In a few posts, he has provided useful answers to a few questions that many entrepreneurs tend to wonder about:

Should I go with a small angel round or a VC … Read more »


Re: Newsgator Marketing Problem

I was commenting on Scoble’s piece re NewsGator’s marketing problem, and thought that I might as well post it here.

I have been using NewsGator for a while (and blogged about it), and am happy with it. This is mainly because I spend all my time in Outlook, and use LookOut extensively. If I was not using NewsGator, I would use FeedDemon, which has developed some interesting podcasting support, but falls short of automating the transfer of MP3 files to my phone – mainly because of the lack of folder replication in ActiveSync for SmartPhone (whereas it is exists for PocketPCs).

I also use Bloglines, mainly as an aggregator on the phone or on the go. I have tried NewsGator Mobile – thanks to Greg – but I prefer the way Bloglines organizes feeds and posts, and the user experience that it offers. I actually believe that many people using a application-based aggregator also use … Read more »


“Dream Mergers” Candidates

Ross has made a call for participation in an interesting Dream Mergers contest of sorts. Since the wiki’s "recent changes" do not list the name of who added each contribution, I thought I would go on the record with mine, just to be able to look (now and/or later).

So here we go, note that this is pure imagination, and not the result of anything "I would have heard". And let’s not get too serious on this one, OK ?

Google hires Jimmy Wales to run Wikimedia "from within" (or at least tries to) SixApart acquires FeedBurner Sun acquires SocialText and WordPress, Inc and bundles them with Solaris 10 as a ready-to-deploy publishing solution Sun acquires JBoss and MySQL, and becomes the professional Open Source company Google picks up Kayak.com IBM acquires JotSpot, connects its back-end to Lotus Notes, and makes it its entry level collaboration platform Yahoo brings in Eric Rice (AudioBlog), Google … Read more »


Feeds: Managed or Not ?

Tony Gentile over at buzzhit asked a few questions re Do you read or run a managed feed?. I thought I might as well share these answers through a post. Here we go:

My questions to readers of managed Feeds are:

A) Does the fact that a Feed is being managed effect your willingness to subscribe to it?Not really, except if being managed leads to the feed to be easy to subscribe to. If I am interested in a blog, I will try to find a way to add it to my rssreader (NewsGator). My OPML file will then make its way into Bloglines so that I can read my feeds on the road, or on my phone.

B) Does the fact that a Feed is managed impact your reading experience? If so, how?Splicing of del.icio.us or flickr pictures in a blog feed can be annoying, depending on the relative number of posts. I would always suggest to … Read more »


Why privacy matters: Challenges and Opportunities

Microsoft hosted today a Valley Speakers Series, on "Why privacy matters: Challenges and Opportunities". It was moderated by Moira Gunn, host of NPR’s "Tech Nation" (now podcasted on ITConversations), and featured Scott Shipman, privacy counsel at eBay Inc.; Barbara Lawler, chief privacy officer at HP; Peter Cullen, chief privacy strategist at Microsoft; and Fran Maier, executive director and president of TRUSTe.

I thought that, with such a set of panelists, we would be able to get quite a bit of perspective on what is being developed around both privacy, identity protection and federated identity. Unfortunately, and it might been a case of over-expectations, a lot of time was spent on current issues and current, limited, solutions. Interesting, but I had a sense of a missed opportunity.

I noted the following points:

G8 countries have decided to enforce data retention by ISPs in order to make sure that hacker intrusions, path, data changes,… could be traced through the multiple hops … Read more »


OpenSolaris: Sun’s move is gutsy, but is it too late ?

David Berlind over at ZDNet has published an excellent note regarding Sun "open sourcing" Solaris 10: Will Sun’s 1600 patents suck the life out of Linux?. It is a thoughful complement to this CNET piece, that goes into more details on the background of the decision.

Sun has been struggling since the end of the bubble with an ever declining market share (and mindshare), and many had "buried" the company (even if it still has over $3B in cash on the balance sheet) because of its reliance on a proprietary version of Unix, and a proprietary chip design. The lack of support for cheap Intel boxes has always been a major issue for ISVs that, in an ideal world, would have wanted to run their Solaris applications on low cost servers. I am discounting the x86 version of Solaris that Sun released in the mid 90′s because it was too expensive, slow and lacked a proper … Read more »


To the editors of BusinessWeek Online’s DealFlow

Matt Marshall and Steve Rubel, (and Brad Feld), mentioned the launch of a new blog (or "blog" – see below) focusing on the startup/VC world by BusinessWeek Online: DealFlow. It is interesting because mainstream press can add a different perspective in their reporting on our industry. However, as I checked it out (full of hope and interest), I found no RSS feed, no way to trackback a story or leave a comment on a particular post.

So it is a "blog" (something that looks almost like a blog, is referred to as a blog, but is not a blog).

It is actually surprising that they do not provide (at least) an RSS feed for their "blog" since they offer some for their news. And, hem, it is not as though BW was the first to use this channel, and therefore had to discover what it means to foster participation, as opposed to traditional "one-way" publishing. … Read more »


BloggerCon III: Newbies Session

The discussion leader was Rebecca MacKinnon. Because BloggerCon is an "un-conference", and there is no presentation or pre-set agenda, she asked people in the room what they were interested in. There was actually an interesting mix of pure blog newbies to blog veterans (meaning that they have been blogging for over 2 years ;-). Some were interested in finding out how to start blogging, others how to push a corporate blogging agenda, etc. Lots of different perspectives and levels of experience/expertise.

A few people were working for blogging tools vendors, but they did not really speak out because of the BloggerCon policy of not allowing vendors’ plugs (which unfortunately prevented these very experienced users to share their expertise – Niall has a great post on this).

Rebecca pointed the audience to her blog that points to useful "Blogging for Newbies" resources, including definitions, a "cookbook" and a wiki she has setup to gather these … Read more »


Pick Your VC Carefully… If You Can

Jeff, from SAP Ventures, has recently written an interesting post: Pick Your VC Carefully. A number of BlogoVCs have made reference and added interesting comments to it (Ed, Brad, Fred, Marc, Stephen).

I would tend to agree with most of Jeff’s points, and they are certainly very valid for entrepreneurs to be aware of. The issue of alignment across investors (or lack thereof) is typically a critical problem that has sunk companies that might have had a chance to survive otherwise. However, when I read this post, I had to think a couple of times "Yeah right, that is true but only if have the luxury of picking your VC".


Colo facilities: don’t trust those generators, and backup your backup plans

OK, I should now be in bed. But as I was browsing my blogroll, I noticed Dave Sifry’s post relating his not-so-cool week-end spent fixing Technorati’s infrastructure due to a fire at his colo. Unusual ? Unique ? Hardly so…

This must be the tenth story I hear about a colo facility that had (supposedly) all the required redundancy to "insure" reliability, including the (infamous) Diesel generators that kick in to take over short term UPSs. The issue is that those generators never seem to kick in (I hope that hospitals use a different brand than buildings and datacenters).

One of my former portfolio companies, an ASP, that did not go public on the issue but wrote to its rather unhappy clients, faced exactly the same issue, and the note from the CEO contained very similar statements to David’s. Here is a brief excerpt, in which I only removed named references:

On Monday morning at 9.45am there was a … Read more »


Excellent (and Gentle) Google Satire

Like many, I am happily resting from the overdose of Google IPO news, commentary, rants, praise’m, burn’m… and the continuous stream of information that was broadcasted, RSS’ed and printed for our benefit over the past few weeks.

However, John Battelle is pointing to a very funny piece from Paul Ford: The Banality of Google. It is worth relaxing for 5 minutes and reading it…