In San Francisco, 6/25 – 7/4

Attention Bay Area peeps! I’m heading down to San Francisco for a wedding celebration of a good friend as well as turning up in the Boxbe offices for a few days.

I’m sending email out to folks to meet up while I’m around, but if you are around, I’d love to meet up.

Geek Fun

Skitch rules

Thanks to Tara Hunt for giving me an invite to Skitch. I’ve been jonesing to use this ever since I saw Guy Kawasaki demo it back in the beginning of the year.

Nothing too meaningful to say about it yet, other they’ve just completely replaced the aging, somewhat Macintel compatible, slow-as-molasses Snapz Pro. God, I can’t wait to uninstall that app. This is already so much easier and useful to use.


Places to go while visiting Seattle?


Not completely in the vein of the rest of the blog, but I thought I would throw this out to see what I got from all y’all.

So, my brother, his wife and their 4 year old are visiting Seattle for the next several days and my sister in law is worried we’ll just sit around the house and talk rather than going out and doing everything their is to be done while they visit.

While I’ve lived in Seattle almost 2 years, I still don’t know the area that well (certainly not as well as natives) and I came up with a counter itinerary to their original.

For first time visitors (with a 4 year old) to Seattle, here’s what I recommend:

City neighborhoods tour

There is a lot to see here that doesn’t involve going inside and/or paying anything.

This could include:


  • Pike Place Market – ok, this one is dead obvious.
  • Downtown Library – one of the most interesting pieces of architecture I’ve ever seen.
  • REI Flagship Store – full rock climbing wall, outdoor track for test driving mountain bike. This may be the coolest store I’ve ever been to.
  • Seattle Art Museum Sculpture Park (free) – very cool outdoor park with large amounts of running around space.
  • Space Needle

Pioneer Square – oldest neighborhood in Seattle, hit Elliot Bay Books. I’m not sure if it’s the dirt or the old buildings that remind me of San Francisco the most.

Chittenden Locks (free) – these are real, working locks for small, medium, large and xx-large boats. It’s really cool.

The Troll, Lenin Statue and ICBM

Other trip ideas

Bainbridge Island Ferry (Free) – unless we take the cars.
I haven’t been to Bainbridge Island, but it sounds like a great place to visit. If nothing else, it’s a free ride across the Sound with sweeping views of downtown.

Snoqualmie Falls
Falls and town that were in Twin Peaks – taller than Niagra Falls

Golden Gardens or Alki Beach or Matthews Beach (free) –
in the city beach but only if it is nice and warm.

Discovery Park
Very large park (are we still in the city?)in Seattle with great views

Washington Park Arboretum and Japanese Tea Garden
As an aside, this is the first place I saw a bald eagle in the wild.

Rent Paddle Boats on Green Lake
Weather dependent.

Seattle Duck Tour
This is ridiculous, but maybe fun. Tour the city in vehicle that ultimately ends up in Lake Union and Portage Bay
$23 for adults $13 for kids.

Anything else?

Other thoughts and suggestions would be much appreciated.


Google Maps = Peeping Tom?

robotstalkingtorobot2.jpgSo, I’m digging the new street level view on Google Maps. It is very cool to be able to walk around the streets of San Francisco (although for some reason, they couldn’t make it down my old street). But apparently the Google Bus is getting a little too close for comfort for some.

Today’s New York Times is reporting on a woman who saw her cat in Google Maps, in her second floor window. Yow.

Now, I’m all for new technology (and I love the street level view), but I could see where this might give you the heebie jeebies. From a privacy standpoint, I’m not sure where I stand on this, but if Google had pictures of me in a bathing suit (oh boy), I think I might be asking them to take it down too.

Wired has a great collection of interesting locations and people doing strange things that people have found using the new service (where the above image is from, um, but the other ones are real-ish).

Building Community Social Media Marketing Video Wetpaint Wiki

Wikis made easy

Ah, Lee and Sachi LeFever, you’ve done it again! I love wikis, but often explaining a wiki to people who don’t use them can be difficult. And honestly, until Wetpaint, I didn’t recommend wikis to non-technical people as the wiki text used, while easier than HTML, isn’t that easy for non-techies to pick up.

Them: “what’s a wiki?”
Me “um, it’s a web page that anyone can edit”
Them“oh, like Wikipedia? you mean I can edit that?”
Me: “ya, like Wikipedia, except it can be about anything you want”
Them: “oh…That’s … kinda neat. But why would I want to make an encyclopedia about something else?”
Me: “no, no, it doesn’t have to be an encyclopedia. It can be anything you want it to be. It can replace long email threads, it can replace message board thread gone amuck with the same questions over and over again. Wikis are really versatile.”
Them: “oh… Hold on, hold on… Anyone can edit Wikipedia? How is it so good?”
Me: “Ugh.”

For a quick look at what a wiki is, click below for CommonCraft’s video. Thanks again for your help crystalizing this topic, Lee and Sachi.


links for 2007-05-24


links for 2007-05-22


Copyright explained, Disney-style

Although a bit tedious at times, here is the video version of a ransom note explaining copyright law through the works of Disney. Happy Monday.

[via Slashdot]

Geek Fun

Crazy 3d version of Twittervision

If you want to veg out in front of the web this Friday afternoon, the brilliant Twittervision (and Flickrvision) guy, David Troy has put out a 3D version of the app. Not really useful, but really pretty and an impressive use of what you can do on the web these days with APIs and an active imagination.

It even works in Safari!

Twittervision 3D – no glasses required.


links for 2007-05-16


links for 2007-05-15


links for 2007-05-12


links for 2007-05-11

Building Community Social Media

Digg Mania 2007: Diggers gone wild!

What’s that I smell in the air? Springtime in Silicon Valley? Nope, a user revolt on Digg. It’s days like this that bring back fond memories of days past. In case you hadn’t heard, last night Digg users had themselves a good old-fashioned revolt.



  1. A Digg user posted a HD-DVD hack on the site.
  2. Post is removed.
  3. Post is re-added and gets 15,000 votes.
  4. Post is removed.
  5. Rinse, repeat.
  6. 1:00pm Jay Adelson then posted an explanation on the Digg blog that really stoked the flames of the revolution.
  7. At 9pm Kevin Rose announces a truce and says:

But now, after seeing hundreds of stories and reading thousands of comments, you’ve made it clear. You’d rather see Digg go down fighting than bow down to a bigger company. We hear you, and effective immediately we won’t delete stories or comments containing the code and will deal with whatever the consequences might be.

It’s a Diggnation

While some might focus on the legal issues surrounding the story on Digg, I can’t help but think about how the company dealt with the situation in regards to their community. Looking back at a post I made about the Facebook revolt last year, I consider how quickly Digg management reacted and corrected their behavior versus the days of swelling anger that Facebook received. Hindsight is a beautiful thing, but I think that Digg management couldn’t haven’t handled this situation any better.

First, they attempted to comply with the law by taking the story down. This wasn’t a story that Digg users wanted to die, so it kept popping up again.

Second, once they realized that by attempting to kill the story, they were making it more popular, they relented. Taking a look at Digg’s homepage today, I’d say that if they wanted the story to go away, addressing the issue head on seems to have worked. Since the Kevin Rose post, the story has fallen in popularity.

Third, from a press perspective, I think Digg comes out looking pretty clean in the ordeal. Not only did they get lots of press, but they get to say “Look, we tried. Our users power the site and this is what they want.” Squeaky, squeaky clean.

I am curious to see if any legal action (beyond threatening letters) that Digg will receive as a result of all this attention paid to a unconfirmed crack. I haven’t even looked at the actual code or any verification that it actually works, so it’s hard to say if Digg is in any legal trouble here.


And now for a Kum Ba Yah moment – Digg management has learned that their community is like ocean waves, you can surf on top, but you can’t hold them back. If nothing else, Digg management (and the rest of us) got a valuable lesson in community management and the power that these communities hold.

Geek Fun

Friday Fun – Flickr Blockers

Man, if only this existed years ago before all those incriminating photos were taken of me.

Get yours today!!!


Lee LeFever on RSS in Plain English

A lot of folks get fancy-pants TLAs flung at them all day long. My pal Lee LeFever over at commoncraft just published an excellent (and short) video about what RSS is. Enjoy.

Originally posted here.