Sunday, October 28, 2007

PodCamp Boston 2

Just a little bit of video from PodCamp Boston. I thought the venue was great, with lots of mingling area right outside the meeting rooms. Who is that kookie girl mugging at the camera? :)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Boston Startup Weekend 2007 - Saturday afternoon

Over the course of this weekend, a group of people of varied talents and experience are attempting to build the first version of a for-profit website. It's called Startup Weekend Boston.

They started Friday and are still working as I upload this on Sunday morning. I know a few of the people involved, so I drove up Saturday afternoon and spent a little time getting some video tastes of what's going on. It's impressive what you can do in a few hours when you really put your mind to it, and most importantly forget about all the organizational and political bullshit that goes on in most corporate development. When everyone is most concerned and personally committed to getting things done rather than polishing their own apple, things happen quickly.

The first job was to come up with the product idea and give it name. They chose DeskHappy and have the site up and running now at It will remind people to take periodic stretching breaks and lead them, using video and text, through a short yoga routine at each break. Startup Weekends take place in different cities. Check it out at

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Why can't Twitter get its act together?

I've blogged here about being a Twitter addict and it's true, I am. I love Twitter for the spontaneity, the friendships, the fun, and the coerced brevity. But honestly, why can't they make it work better? I've been on Twitter since early this year. I think I signed up during SXSW, when a lot of others did. So that's about 7 months. And in that time there have been almost no improvements in performance or reliability. I still get the "bluebird" page many times a day, indicating their servers couldn't respond.

There are still stupid little bugs that would take almost no time to fix; for instance, the long-tweet-with-no-spaces-bug. When someone posts a Tweet that is long and contains no spaces (or possibly other delimiters) it causes the page to extend tweet text under the sidebar on the right.

And how about the long-festering no-update-on-follow bug? That happens when you follow someone, but the page never updates. You get the perpetual busy-cycling icon on the top right of the page. Refreshing the page fixes it. That seems to me to be a simple Ajax bug.

C'mon guys, that's like a couple lines of code to fix. Why are you monkeying around with format, font and style sheet changes when there are real problems to fix?

Why can't you get the performance and reliability stabilized? This is not rocket science, guys. Sites like google mail, amazon, and facebook are much more complex in data structure and demanding in functionality, yet they perform with virtually no downtime or lost inputs.

I've analyzed and modeled your information structure. It's not that complicated. You seem to have engineering cycles to redesign your UI and add new functionality. Why in the world can't you just do some simple performance optimization instead of futzing around with surface appearance?

You've got a great concept here, Twitter, just please make it work.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Breakfast today

My Twitter peeps seem to enjoy my describing and photographing the food we make at home. We put a lot of design time and then money into making our kitchen a place where you could be comfortable cooking. So, here are some photos I took this morning of us preparing scrambled eggs with seared kielbasa and scallions, with a side of pumpkin bread my wife made last night.

They say a restaurant doesn't sell steak, it sells the sizzle, so I included a little bit of video of the kielbasa and scallions cooking. Enjoy!

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In go the eggs!

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The finished product. Yum!!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Social Media Breakfast 2

I got up really early in the morning to drive up to Boston (Waltham, actually) to go to Social Media Breakfast 2. Here's a little video I took of the crowd mingling at the start, and some of Larry Weber's talk. Larry is CEO of Digital Influence Group, who sponsored the event and made their very nice office available for us. Thanks DIG!

Also here are some stills I shot that are posted over on Flickr. 

Julia Roy livestreamed the breakout session with Dave Cutler in the adjoining conference room.

Bryan Person has a real talent for thinking up great meetup ideas. Social Media Breakfast is one of them. Good on ya, Bryan! Can't wait for the next one.