Go, Do, Be.


08/20/2008  — 

Digsby will change the way you communicate online

Really. It will.

Digsby IM client r00lz Digsby is a multi-im client along the lines of Trillian, Pidgin, and the Meebo. Use Digsby to organize your IM chatter. Through a single application/interface, you can ping all your friends on the big IM services (AIM, YIM, MSN, GTalk, ICQ, Jabber). They kick it up a few notches by supporting Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace social services. They kick it up another notch by supporting email as well: gmail, ymail, msnmail, pop, imap accounts.

Updates and notifications from all these services arrive on the desktop in bubbly status messages that appear even if Digsby is minimized. You can even reply to a message by typing in the status bubble.

Digsby IM client status messages

I love the way this blurs the boundaries between all these communication channels. A message could arrive from a person (who cares how it got here), my reply bounces back through the same channel.

Here's another way Digsby is pushing envelopes with their service. A few clicks will let you set up a widget that you can embed in your various web-hangouts, blogs, facebook account, etc.

Digsby does a stellar job of running their project with transparency and input from their users. They've managed to build a close relationship with an active user community by using all the social resources available. They go far beyond the requisite blog (even if they brag about the strange bugs that turn up in their public testing cycles). Users have a channel to reach Digsby via twitter, to get involved with an active developer community (also on twitter incidentally). The steady drumbeat of prioritization from regular public roadmap polls has kept Digsby on track to satisfy users. On top of all this, they've built in a great alert/warning system that lets folks at digsbyhq push status message out to all users ('twitter is having trouble today').

Kudos to their team involved with support and outreach. If I were running a customer-facing service, I'd likely use Digsby to manage the customer contacts. I wonder if they're eating their own dogfood over there at digsbyhq?

There are a few caveats of course. Because what software is perfect? Digsby does not yet support IRC or Skype chats. As far as I can see, the multi or 'room' chat features aren't supported on any of the IM services. All of these features are on their roadmap.

Digsby is ready for primetime and worth a try.

07/16/2008  — 

twitterfountain, fun stuff!

In my occasional experimentation with twitter I recently stumbled upon Twitterfountain. It's a widget-y presentation of search results from twitter and flickr. Looks like the twitter data comes from summize which was recently acquired by twitter.

One neat thing I've been doing with this is setting it to run fullscreen on a computer in public view in the office. You'll need to change the settings so the tweets arrive slowly enough and display large enough to read. I've been throwing in search terms related to products or campaigns we're working on; it's a neat way to see what people are talking about right NOW.

Unless you search for something inane like 'greacen' in which case you'll see all my tweets.

Try it with something like 'sears' or 'pepsi' or 'gofish' and you'll see that folks are talking about these brands.

06/13/2008  — 

twitpic, kinda cool...

I've been messing with the moblog-ation lately. Even went so far as to set up a twitter account. twitpic.com's service that lets me toss pics from my mobilephone into my tweetstream.

Look, I even tossed the feed over there in the left column. I'll sacrifice a little ad-revenue for this test.

What's this all about? It's vaguely work-related. Gonna see what I can do with these info streams.

05/01/2008  — 

Geo Quiz

Factoid about me: I earned a degree in geography from Boston University. I love maps, but I'm pretty lame at geo-trivia. Beat my 442K on this game:

presented by TravelPod, the Web's First Travel Blog ( Member of the TripAdvisor Media Network ) 

04/17/2008  — 

AdTech: Widgets and Gadgets

Just caught an interesting panel discussion on 'widgets and gadgets' at AdTech. Jeremiah Owyang moderated the panel, here are a few comments.

AdTech: Widgets and Gadgets Oh My!

Jeremiah Owyang from Forrester Research

  • On the Facebook platform: fish where the fish are
  • But not all widgets are successful!
  • How many Facebook widgets have business utility?

Hooman Radfar from Clearspring:

  • Need to understand that widgets have different uses:
    • Public vs. Private consumption
    • Browser vs. Desktop
    • Social vs. Not
  • This (widgets) is a platform
  • Success metrics are tricky to identify. Treat it as a web channel.
  • Cross platform compatibility and measurement is tricky (e.g. Netvibes had no uptake/usage data until recently)
  • Challenge: it's a new medium. Old approaches don't always apply.

Kent Schoen from Facebook:

  • "we call these applications"
  • open up the field to allow other folks to design/deliver engaging interaction
  • what do you want to get out of your application?
  • Yes, the net is bigger than your site. Get your brand out there.
  • Success depends on how you define it: reach, interactivity, installs, active users on some regular interval.
  • Examples: Trip Advisor's map.. NYTimes quiz. Branded show & tell about the user.
  • Success is: something that provides value.

Jane Felice from ComScore

  • reach matters, we measure reach
  • measurement is still evolving
    • some function of repeat people over some number of days viewed
    • started with tracking SWF (flash) files, moved toward Facebook, just starting to measure javascript.
  • we can report on views, can't report on perceived value.
  • FREE: tag your widget in a certain way and we'll report on it.

Ed Davis from ESPN

  • 'the internet is our playground'
  • widgets are inventory
  • It only works if people like what you're doing. You need to see the viral usage which happens when simple useful things are found valuable.
  • low barrier to entry: try things out!
  • Monetize: drive awareness for other ESPN offers
  • SEO lift is another amazing benefit from a rich widget offering
  • For us, more frequent data updates (scores) helped drive the uptake of our widgets
  • Uptake is like an impulse-purchase

Folks agree that valuable widgets tended to be successful, but couldn't really describe anything specific about what tends to constitute value. Seems also like these folks are struggling to define ways to measure the elusive 'engagement' metric that folks have been writing about recently.

03/24/2008  — 

Simple Rss Widgets

03/05/2008  — 

Social Widgets