Sunday, December 30, 2007

A couple of suggestions for improving Seesmic

First off, congratulations on seesmic's popularity. It's certainly attracting a lot of attention and a lot of users, myself included.

But as a developer and former CTO myself, I think seesmic could become even more successful if its implementation was simplified and its basic utility filled out a little better. Here are two suggestions I think might make a big difference.

Ditch all the Flash except for video rendering

Yeah, the rotating lists and animation are fancy, but all that "flashturbation" devours processor cycles and memory. While on seesmic, my browser will frequently pin the processor at 100% for minutes at a time, and gobble up nearly 120 megabytes of page-file usage.

Except for the video rendering and its play/pause controls, you would make a LOT of friends by going to an XHTML/CSS/javascript implementation. Memory usage would be reduced and performance would certainly improve, perhaps dramatically. Forget all the cute list animation. Those lists frequently screw up and overwrite, or stall and lock up the browser.

Include some way to find users so I can follow them

It's nearly impossible to locate a user's account page unless you can find a post they've made in the public timeline.

Finding a user could be done several ways. Here are two:
  • A search window.
  • Something like Twitter's convention of recognizing a simple URL that contains the users handle. (i.e.,

Thanks for listening!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

What are your most visited Social Networking Sites?

I'm doing a little research and would like to know what your top social networking or social media sites are. I especially want to know about sites that have some concept of "friend" or "follower" or "contact". That is, sites that let you create relationships with other people on the site. I'll give you my faves for starters:

* Twitter
* Flickr
* Seesmic
* Facebook
* YouTube

You can reply in the comments to this post, on Twitter by @ or DM to "joec0914", or by email to joec0914 [at] All respondents will get an invitation to test a new site in a few weeks.

Thank you!!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Wanted: Rails web designer/HTML coder

I have a little social media/network project of my own going that I'm building in Ruby on Rails. I am a veteran software engineer, project leader and former CTO of a successful medical imaging company. I can design and code circles around most anyone, and have been doing object-oriented design and architecture since the term was invented in the 80s. I have taken multiple product ideas from initial prototype to product. But... in all my years of work, I never really had a talent for web page design or learned the ins and outs of CSS, client-side scripting, etc. That always seemed to be someone else's job.

If you know Rails, you know that building the "view" pages requires graphic design talent, a good knowledge of HTML/CSS and just a smidgen of Ruby/Rails to call the controller functions to fill out the content. The controller and model code is something I am very comfortable with, although I'm still learning Ruby. But creating a decent looking, easy-to-use web page that works for all browsers is something I have neither the artistic talent nor the time to pick up from scratch on my own, although I would love, love to learn about it.

I am looking for someone who does have those design and HTML skills to work with me on this project. In a sense, I'll trade my programming knowledge, if you care to pick it up, for your page and site building knowledge.

Make no mistake, this is a no-pay, sweat equity, bootstrap proposition. In return for a reasonable share in whatever may come of this idea, I need really no more than a few hours a week of your time to carry the ball on the design and HTML end. I have no VC nor angel funding, nor do I want any at this time. I can afford to work for myself and finance an initial alpha site for a while, but I need your design and HTML expertise to do it.

If you're interested, email me at joec0914 [at] and have some examples of your work that I can take a look at.