Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Web 2.Over: Google Buys FeedBurner

Consistent with my hypothesis that Google is a social gesture company, they bought FeedBurner (a company finally reaching its only exit strategy, Thank god).

Four Predictions:

  • Six Apart now pulls auto-FeedBurning from TypePad blogs due to conflict of interest.
  • Google incorporates FeedBurners metrics into Google Analytics and sends the rest of FeedBurner to play with Dodgeball.
  • More than half of FeedBurner’s current customer-base will wonder why the hell they even used the service.
  • The downturn is in full effect


“Google is Buying FeedBurner this is pure Evil!” – Todd Cochrane

“For all of FeedBurner’s success, monetizing the feeds has been a struggle. The inventory they manage always seems to grow so much faster than the advertising they sell….FeedBurner fits like a glove into the Google advertising system, adding feeds to the growing number of places an advertiser can reach audiences through the AdWords system.” – Fred Wilson

Send Your Stories to the First Crack Podcast

I’m working on some upcoming theme shows and I need your help. I’m looking for stories along the lines of Unincorporated series. If you have one or two – hit record and either email the mp3 or point me to it.

Themes include:

  1. Cocktail Swords
  2. Divorce
  3. Mail Order
  4. Insatiable Appetites
  5. Working on a Farm
  6. Bad Camping Trips
  7. Unexpected Experiences with Licensed Characters
  8. Trust

Thursday, 17 May 2007

Short Message Silo


Jaiku’s growth strategy is getting Twitter’s overflow. But only if you look at it from a winner-take-all, one-silo-for-everyone, perspective.

Look at email. I like Apple’s Lots of other people like Gmail. I still know people that swear by Eudora. Despite the different applications, we all still get the messages from each other. The short message space is exactly the same.

Yeah, I’ve got an account at both Jaiku and Twitter, and this morning I signed up at ShoutAt [screencast].

In the same way I don’t know which email client people write their email in (yet, we still have community and friendship), Twitter and Jaiku and MySpace and Last.FM and LinkedIn silos need to melt away.

Then they’ll actually be useful. Not just today’s overbooked, over-hyped hang-out.

To the rescue: Thanks for the pointer Harold.

Rails: Cookies, Frozen Gems, and TextDrive

Jon Steinhorst once told me a movies are rewritten from script to shoot, and again from shoot to editing. I spent a good chunk of this week re-writing a Ruby on Rails app to go from development to production.

Works fine in development. Not at all in production.

The issue was a combination of frozen gems and cookies.

First off, while TextDrive recommends depending on your vendor directory for any Ruby gems unique to your project, I found success with Geoffrey Grosenbach‘s Freeze Other Gems Rake task that sends them to /lib

Secondly, I wasn’t able to reliably set and retrieve cookies. Turns out I needed to access the cookie with a string, not a symbol.

All the resources I found say this should work in the controller

But it doesn’t, this does:

Then in the view (specifically a select menu) I need to use this:

Gas Line Break: Old Highway 8 & New Brighton Blvd

From the St. Anthony Police Dept, 8:47am:

“Our department is currently on the scene of a significant gas line break in the area of Old Highway 8 and County Road 88. At this time, officers are evacuating the residents of the Arbor’s Townhomes located in the immediate area of the break.”

Update 9:20am:

“The damage to the gas line involves a steel pipe that can not simply be pinched off. They are currently awaiting a part to repair/replace the damaged line and it is expected to take over an hour to complete the repair.”

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Saturday, 12 May 2007

Made some interface changes to the website. Brought back monthly and category archives, postings from the First Crack podcast and added my twitterings. All the sections in the ever-expanding bottom section are all expand-o-collapse in the effort to make some of the stuff at the bottom easier to reach. I’m wondering about the search-engine implications of these changes. If you have any thoughts on the changes and their implications, shoot me a comment. Thanks.

Friday, 11 May 2007

I’m Not Here to Make the News

“One thing I’ve noticed about talking to certain types of press, particularly mainstream, is that they have a pattern in mind before they write about something, and the better you conform to the pattern the more coverage you get.” – Matt Mullenweg,

I did a little writing for my college paper. At the time I was there, the editors had a handful of stories they thought should be covered. The local movie theater using high-fat buttery oil on popcorn, for example. I didn’t. That’s not interesting, it’s annoying. Matt’s comments make it sound like quite a few people haven’t grown out of it.

Often when I too get calls from the press, it feels less like they’re reporting and more like they’re covering their ass on some fiction they just wrote.

Or just plain missing the interesting story.

When I turn the mic on someone for this podcast, I don’t know where the conversation will lead. I trust the conversation will be good, that they’ll share something interesting. Whether or not they do is up to your ears.