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Legitimate trackbacks and monitoring conversations

I was reading with a bit of amusement the exchange between Steve Rubel and Jeremy Pepper on what constitutes a “kosher” trackback or not. At issue is whether a five-months old post (Jeremy’s) can legitimately trackback a brand new one (Steve’s). In my book, if the old post is modified to include an update, and point to the new one as a relevant addition, then that’s fine. What does not work here (at least for me) is that Jeremy did not link to Steve’s post, but still trackbacked it. I would have done like Steve: check the post that sent the trackback, see that there was no link to my post, and delete the trackback.

Note that I am not saying that Steve is right and Jeremy is wrong in their particular context, but that it is also my policy: I only accept trackbacks that include a link to my post. Why ? Because trackbacks are a way to … Read more »


Bar Camp: Thoughts, Pictures and Thanks

Spent time with BarCampers on Friday and Sunday. Awesome crowd, great discussions, superb atmosphere. It was the will and the interest of the people that brought BarCamp together, in a construct that is hard to plan for or replicate. “I am interested, I attend, I contribute (and yo, I am a bozo ” they said.

There were a lot of great moments over the week-end, but the best  were the “3 words” rounds of introductions, the long chats I had with Mike Arrington from TechCrunch fame, the beercasting session on Friday night with Steve Gillmor, John Furrier and Chris Pirillo, private demos of Flock by Chris Messina, and WordPress 1.6 by Photomatt, and hanging out with so many cool people. I also enjoyed leading a discussion on Venture Capital and early stage financing – more on it later.

Thanks to Chris Messina, my buddy Andy Smith, Ross Mayfield and all the people who helped, … Read more »


Fracking comment and trackback spam

Like anyone maintaining one or more blogs, I really, genuinely, hate trackback and comment spam. Ever since I have turned on moderation on this blog, I have been inundated by hundreds of comments and trackbacks, a large percentage with the same format – related to porn sites. Since they are coming from a large pool of different IP addresses, they can’t be blocked, etc. So I have to spend time cleaning up my trackbacks every now and then. If some of your trackbacks get deleted as well, apologies in advance, but I don’t have much time to deal with this crap with nuance and finesse.

Every now and then, I also get the random, strange, stupid (?) spam like this one, coming from an IP address in Canada. Tres bizarre.

Actually, since the number of spam messages has grown so much, I wonder if the folks at SixApart still maintain all the spam filters that they had put in place … Read more »


Stop! You Shouldn’t Blog ? Pffhhh

I was on vacation when David Beisel posted this piece: Stop! You Shouldn’t Blog. The Risks of Professional Blogging, in which he related a discussion he had had with another VC about the negative implications of blogging (as/for a VC). The main points of contention were:

Blogging is viewed by many as a fad. Whether or not this ultimately bears to be true, the viewpoint is a real one. Should one associate their career and personal brand with a trend that perhaps may fall by the wayside? What will be the reputational effect if/when one stops blogging? Bloggers are sometimes perceived to have many negative attributes. Some believe that bloggers are overly-bearing “used-car salesman-types” in selling themselves or the extremely ego-centric people who speak the loudest but don’t really know what they are talking about. Professionals (especially VCs) should have a network already to leverage; blogging could signal … Read more »


In memory of the dot-com era

A good Sunday read from CNET.com that features its Top 10 dot-com flops:

Webvan Pets.com Kozmo.com Flooz.com eToys.com Boo.com MVP.com Go.com Kibu.com GovWorks.com

Not too sure how the list was compiled, since some of these companies did not go down the hole after spending “that much” money, but they were certainly icons of the bubble era: Kibu.com shutting down within a few weeks of launch, or GovWorks.com that became famous through the feature film Startup.com.

They might also have done a top 50 including the likes of Excite@Home (though one could argue that it was an ISP), wine.com – which raised about $100M – and sold its assets to eVineyard,  NetCentives ($130M VC/IPO – Chapter 11), EggHead.com ($120M VC/IPO – Chapter 11), Jobs.com ($100M VC – Chapter 11), etc.

Even though they were not dot-com themselves, I would also mention two firms that were closely involved with these companies, and had the same fate: lawfirm Brobeck Phleger and Harrison, and merchant bank Comdisco. Just to complete the … Read more »


My next phone ? Might be a Treo 670…

Whenever I meet with my friend Andrew Carton, the founder of Treonauts, he tries to convince me to switch from my SMT 5600 to a Treo.

After almost a year of using it, I like that phone and I *really* like Windows Mobile. Synchronizing emails and contacts, downloading podcasts automatically and listening them on the go, taking pictures and uploading them, it just works.

Oh yeah, and the phone part (dialing, answering calls, etc. – you know) also works great. So no reason to change, but for the VGA camera which snaps pictures of limited quality.

Well, looks like I can get in line for this one: Andrew posted that after a lot of false rumors and photoshopped pictures, the Treo 670 is “announced”, running Windows Mobile 5.

I just wish the camera was a 2 Megapixels. To anyone from Palm marketing listening: I am happy to be a beta tester!


SpaceStation to Houston: what are those BIDU shares that have shot up into the stratosphere ?

Note: When I came back from lunch, the stock had shot up again to close at $122.54. What’s above the stratosphere ?

Baidu.com (BIDU) just made its debuts on Nasdaq, and went from an original IPO pricing of $14 to an pre-open price of  $27 to an open of $66 to $99 $122.54 in a couple of few hours. This chinese search engine, which is set to earn $12M on $30M of revenues, was awarded a $3.6B market cap – representing a 300x (forward) earnings multiple.

Bambi Francisco wrote in a note before the stock opened:

Due to healthy demand for the 4 million shares available — Baidu had intended to sell 3.7 million shares at $20 apiece — it’s hard to imagine this stock not trading at $30 or $40 some time in the near future, if not today.

Then a few minutes ago, in Baidu feels like Netcape redux, but where’s Meeker:

To the amazement … Read more »


Images of BlogHerCon

   

         Renee and JD                Pre-Conference Dinner          Business Blogging BOF

   

  Charlene after her BOF              Deborah Schultz             Patricia, Denise and Mary

   

Susan, Mary, and Christine      Elisa before her panel               John and Anina

Tags: , bloghercon


Tools: my holiday wishlist

This is really an addendum to my piece on blog posting tools. I have been catching up on blogs and podcasts over the holidays, working mostly offline. This has allowed me to discover a few issues or annoyances that ought to be addressed eventually by these tools providers.

TypePad: I have been using the comments/trackbacks moderation made available through the new version (1.6). It is a very useful feature, but it would be a great to add the notion of “certification” (for lack of a better word) of a source of comments or trackbacks, i.e once someone’s comment/trackback has been accepted then it is possible to register that source as “straight through”, not requiring a new moderation. Also, for people using TypeKey as the authentication mechanism, I would point to their TypePad blog as a home page as opposed to their TypeKey home page (or I would seriously refine that one). Odeo: for the record, I might have been … Read more »


Weblog posting tool: I chose BlogJet

After losing the "fruit of my labor" (blog posts) a couple of times because network or server errors, I decided to look for a Windows-based blog posting tool that would allow me to prepare posts offline, save my work locally and post at the first (network connection) opportunity. As I was packing for the holidays, and I knew that Internet access would be limited at least the first week, I started seeking the "perfect" tool – based on my requirements:

Ability to save posts locally, post drafts and final versions, modify previous posts Support for standard blog features: categories, turning on/off comments and trackbacks, sending trackbacks, etc. Ability to configure multiple blog accounts since I am now authoring two different blogs, and contributing to a few others, on different blogging platforms Offering Wysiwyg editing  with direct access to HTML, spell checking with multiple dictionaries, etc. Dealing with multimedia uploads automatically (i.e no need to pronounce dark incantations to add a … Read more »


French startup CEOs have been busy over the past couple of weeks

I am pleased to report that there have been a handful of noticeable deals over the past couple of weeks in France:

I received yesterday a note from the CEO of Glowria (the French Netflix), Mihai Crasneanu, announcing the successful raise of a $5M series B (press release here, and more from Rodrigo here). Boonty announced a $10M round last Wednesday. Photoways announced at the end of June a $30M round co-led by Index Ventures and Highland Capital Partners, a mix of a buyout of early stage investors and an injection of growth capital.

Congratulations to Mihai, Romain and Mathieu, and Michel.

I hear that there is a lot more coming, and I hope to get briefed on some of the projects at our upcoming Entrepreneurs dinner in Paris.