Monday, February 28, 2005

back from a long weekend

hi everyone, i've been gone for the past few days and i haven't been blogging. i went up to seattle to do some interviews (you can probably guess who) and stayed for the weekend. it was a pretty fun trip and i got to spend some quality time with my girlfriend and other seattle friends - and of course, it's always great to make a visit on the corporate dime :).

i hadn't been keeping up on reading my feeds so right before my return trip this morning, i synced up onfolio. with only 35 feeds, i had a whopping 600+ unread items! granted, i subscribe to a few linkblogs and news feeds, but still, that is quite a backlog for only 5 days. i can only imagine what scoble's aggregator looks like when he goes on vacation (he supposedly subscribes to over 1000 feeds).

i spent the entire plane ride reading through the stuff i've missed the past few days and i recognized a few interesting things:
  • most events/products/ideas are covered simultaneously by tons of bloggers
  • at least 75% of posts are just links to other posts, sometimes with a short comment or two
  • feeds that only send synopses are really annoying
sometimes, as is the case with google's autolink feature controversy, people are actually having conversations through posts (as in, they write posts in response to other peoples' posts and so on). while i recognized the conversational nature of blogging due to the comments feature, i hadn't really seen a conversation happen between blog posts.

this led me to thinking about how the commenting features work. perhaps instead of comments residing on the original blog, what should happen is comments on posts should actually become new entries in the commentor's blog. then there should be an infrastructure where you can move through a blog "hyper-thread", tracking the conversation. in other words, let's turn the blogosphere into a big bulletin board but instead of being centered around threads, it would be centered around individuals. in this system, comments are obsolete and trackbacks can serve as the glue behind the scenes that ties blogs together. in this world, maybe sites like technorati will serve as directories of these "hyper-threads".

sorry if this idea has already been done or is already underway and i'm just not in the know. if that's the case, send me a link so i can check it out!

back to the original topic... being able to catch up on blogs on the plane was a killer experience. client side aggregators really shine through here but there are a lot of cool things about having a web based solution as well. i'm patiently waiting for a hybrid online/offline solution; i hope someone comes through sooner rather than later - and if anyone is working on one of these, let me know, i'll definitely be willing to help out.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

apple is at it again

many news sites are reporting today on apple's update to the ipod. being an industrial design nut, i've wanted to buy one for quite a while. however, there are two things holding me back:
  1. there's no way they are going to get me to use itunes
  2. it only plays mp3s (believe it or not, i have quite a bit of music in wma format)
regardless, the pricing for the shuffle and ipod mini are dangerously approaching impulse buy range for me. i may be a convert soon... although if i end up working for microsoft again, i may need to sneak around with it.

speaking of the shuffle, when i met scoble a few weeks back, he had one. he'd had it for over a week and hadn't loaded any music on it nor had he even plugged it into his computer. the problem was the fact that you have to load software from a CD. his argument was: if the shuffle is a storage device, why doesn't the device contain the software and bootstrap itself when plugged into the usb port?

oh, and he was clearly content using the shuffle for its secondary purpose: a fashion accessory.

update: a company called jens of sweden has a new player called the mp-120. i want one really bad, but they aren't sold in the us yet. argh!

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

need interview questions?

ran across this awesome list of in depth .net questions on scoble's link blog. having worked on indigo for over a year, i thought i had pretty deep knowledge of .net, but i must admit, i started having a little trouble on the "senior developers/architects" section - nothing a little msdn couldn't fix though :)

checking out these questions took me back to my interviewing days. after going through round after round of interviews during my senior year in college, i started at microsoft and flipped to the other side - i started running the interviews. personally, i really enjoy interviews; i have a passion for finding good people and building great teams.

anyways, if i'm ever running interviews again and a candidate's resume claims they have .net experience: watch out, i might just fire off a few questions from scott's list. although i suppose if they've read my blog, they'll conveniently have all the answers...

for anyone out there who is nervous about an upcoming microsoft interview: relax, it's not that bad. check out one candidate's recent experience.

Monday, February 21, 2005

the hungry thing

"feed me"

i've now subscribed to approximately 40 feeds, including a few pubsubs, and the number is growing steadily - needless to say, i'm an rss/atom addict.

a few years ago when i first heard about this technology, i gave a typical response: "so what?" at the time of course, i had no idea what this whole blogging phenomenon was all about and i was happy hitting and slashdot daily through my browser to catch up on tech news. going around hitting a few pages each day isn't too bad, but when you start to explore the blogosphere and want to keep up on tens if not hundreds or thousands of blogs, you really start to appreciate feeds.

then, i discovered pubsub - this service is pure joy to a tech maven. if you need to know the buzz about anything on the blogosphere, this is the tool to use. in a nutshell, you choose a search term and pubsub will aggregate all posts containing that term to a convenient feed you can subscribe to. truly a market researcher's dream come true.

unfortunately, as scoble points out, many are still clueless as to the real power behind these technologies. if you're trying to grok this stuff and would like some help, feel free to e-mail me; i'll try to point you in the right direction!

on a related note, i was happily using bloglines until i realized that it doesn't refresh my feeds as frequently as i'd like. thus, i was in search of a new aggregator and i found onfolio. so far, onfolio has proven itself to be an awesome tool. since it's a client-side tool, i can refresh my feeds as often as i like and it will also work offline. it's got a great "deskbar" interface which gives me a little standalone RSS control center and it links into my browsers as well. i currently only have one workstation, but i wonder if it synchronizes my subscriptions between clients too - that would be hot.

i've also become aware of the fact that i need to set up a link blog. it's been added to my long to do list.

p.s. the title of this post is a reference to this book :)

can blog spam be solved like email spam?

i saw a great posting on the long tail blog about how we might think about blog spamming. before starting this blog, i had no idea there was such a problem known as blog spamming; after reading through some of the comments here, i'm all too familiar the symptoms.

to help alleviate the problem, i see blogger is already implementing the "nofollow" tag on all links left in comments. i think that's an awesome first step. next, i see blog hosts putting up other defenses, similar to the multiple e-mail spam detection systems in place today. as anderson puts it, this is the low hanging fruit and i'm glad to hear that six apart already has solutions under way.

blog marketing at work...

now that i've gotten a jump start into the blogosphere, i've started collecting various feeds that i find particularly interesting (see my bloglines blogroll). perusing these feeds, there's a theme that's making its way out of the woodwork: effective marketing through blogging is a delicate art - if not handled properly, it may very well backfire on you in the worst ways possible.

along the way, i was linked to the following blog via scoble's link blog. i thought the post scoble linked was quite interesting and started reading the rest of the blog. it took me a while to realize that this was actually a blog put together by a group of authors heading up a new o'reilly group called head first books. as i clicked through and definitely wanted to buy their books - despite the fact that none of their currently available books cover new subject areas for me.

breaking this down, i'd say the crucial play here was that the authors created a real blog about their thoughts and experiences, thereby making a connection to me, a potential customer. then they made sure there were easily accessible links to pull me through to amazon for a purchase. brilliant work!

the real kicker of course is that their blog actually contains real content; it isn't just another corporate blog that pretty much serves as a thinly veiled attempt at getting the blogosphere to give a new product free PR. i wonder if other companies will take note and adjust their blogging strategies accordingly...

Sunday, February 20, 2005


i just finished reading Malcolm Gladwell's "Blink". personally, i liked it even more than tipping point - and tipping point is already on my list of favorite books. i guess i'm just simply fascinated with thinking about human interactions and communication.

over the past few weeks, i've been meeting a ton of people and going through a lot of interviews. i've always had a "gut feel" about people i meet and now that i've read blink, i'm actually conscious of where that feeling comes from. i'm also weary of scenarios where it might go wrong. hopefully, i can fine tune my abilities and become cognizant of all the snap judgments i make everyday. thin slicing... very cool stuff.

it also made me think about the hundreds of thousands (maybe millions :O) of people who have blinked me. hundreds of people's impressions can be found in my blog's comments and even more across the blogosphere. it's really interesting how certain people focus on some things while others pick up something completely different. the real kicker is, people are so used to making snap judgments about others around the internet that it seems to be almost an involuntary reaction. if you're in any sort of profession where you need to interact with a large number of people, i would say this book is a crucial read - if you can't tell, i'm a huge gladwell evangelist now :)

next up is "Guns, Germs and Steel" by Jared Diamond. this book has been heavily recommended to me by both colleagues at microsoft and people around the blogosphere. i'm not much of a history nut, but everyone assures me i'll enjoy this book anyways.

someone also recommended "Disciplined Minds", a book about how the corporate system affects its employees. sounds like an interesting read given the events i've gone through, but i'm curious as to whether it really applies in the internet/tech industry. anyone have opinions on this book?

Saturday, February 19, 2005

uh oh, is autolink a page from gator's playbook?

i just realized (and it's been pointed out by various other people around the web) that if you're browsing at barnes and noble and you click the autolink button, it turns the ISBN number into a link to amazon. i'm sure amazon is thrilled by this, but i would have to say that it sounds eerily similar to's offercompanion program. widely regarded as spyware, offercompanion would sometimes pop up ads for competitors while users were browsing and making purchases at other sites.

while doing this might be legal, i would have to say that when i checked it out it made me a bit uneasy.

search engines, toolbars and more

i've spent all morning playing with search engines and toolbars. it had been a while since i'd checked out the various major search engines and i figured it was time for the all-powerful "me" search test. for those who don't know, this my term for when you plug your name into a search engine and see what comes up :)

so i went to the big three: google, msn and yahoo. i searched for my name in quotes, took a look at the results and what follows is my analysis on these engines based on their current performance:

yahoo was the only search engine to come up with this blog as the first result; this blog was number two on google and somehow, i'm not anywhere to be found on msn at all. all three engines return a large number of other random sites that have made commentary on the events of the past month, so i consider them equal at delivering the background noise that makes the web so great. jeremy must be pretty popular, since his account of meeting me ranks in the top few entries at each engine, but scoble seems a bit less popular. thus, in my opinion, yahoo beats out google ever so slightly in relevancy. figure in that yahoo also has cool features like links to my RSS feed and guess what? google is no longer my default search engine. hats off to yahoo.

for those of you wondering: no, the fact that google canned me didn't factor into my decision. i still use gmail and google maps; i simply use whatever i think is the best solution for what i'm trying to accomplish. the exception to that rule might be blogger, but i'm doing my research on that as well ;)

although as far as all three search engines are concerned, i have to ask: where are the "wow!" bits? it seems to me that there's a lot of cool functionality that could be delivered but is currently missing today. for example, what about pre-fetching search results? or what about allowing me to tag results? searching is great, but i'd also love the ability to sort - sort by date, sort by author, sort by popular demand, etc. msn's got a great general idea with their search builder feature, but the options currently in there leave a lot to be desired. where are yahoo and google on this front?

i'm not saying these options should all be there by default - after all, we still have to consider people without broadband - but i wish i had these features at my disposal.

switching gears, nowadays you can't really do an analysis of search engines without running into their partners in crime, browser toolbars. so i also downloaded each engine's toolbar as well.

diverging a bit, there's been a lot of controversy in the past few days about the new autolink feature in google toolbar 3 beta. normally as far as i'm concerned, if it makes the user's life easier, it's overall goodness. however, in this case, i see where it sparks up a healthy debate.

although autolink is an optional feature and a user actually has to both enable it and click on it before it does anything to a page, it is very scary that it modifies the page so that the link is almost indistinguishable from other links on the page - aside from a tiny change in the mouse cursor. while i wouldn't go as far as calling this webpage hijacking nor will i get into that argument, i would comment that it is rather convenient that the default mapping service is google maps. although i can change that option, i think it's pretty obvious that a majority of users just live with the default. given the outcry against microsoft setting as the default homepage, i find it ironic that google would resort to the same strategy. i'm really curious as to whether the public will simply let this one go, much like they turned a blind eye to the privacy concerns brought against gmail.

what i think might be interesting is if google positions autolink much like vibrant media's intellitxt, an advertising service that adds sponsored links onto specific keywords on a page. for intellitxt, the publisher voluntarily signs up and allows their webpage to get hijacked for a cut of the click through revenue. if autolinks were only available when publishers specifically allowed it and the publishers got some sort of kick back for the links, maybe they would shift their opinions on the feature ;).

the whole autolink feature aside, the google toolbar has a few other nifty features such as being able to navigate through search results without returning to the result page and going up a directory level on the current site. i almost thought they had overlooked page translation, but then realized they had slipped it into the context menu - not where i would think to look for it. the only thing that's blatantly missing is a mozilla/firefox version, which i have to assume is in the works.

next up was the yahoo toolbar. the only major toolbar that currently has a mozilla/firefox version, it brings some unique features to the table as well. specifically, the yahoo toolbar has a ton of content tie-in buttons - there are buttons for each major sports league, shopping research sites and even one for "the apprentice." there were so many options, it was almost overkill.

in contrast, msn's toolbar is almost a lesson in understatement. the current version of msn toolbar serves up basic functionality pretty well, but seems to lack most of the bells and whistles other toolbars provide. i also tried the beta, but from what i could tell, it just added a link to msn spaces and packaged desktop search with it (i know you can install just the toolbar, but i wanted to check out the full experience). one thing i thought was nifty was that with the new msn toolbar, you can specify default search settings such as how you want to view results, your location and your default language. in general, i like msn's clean interface and neat integration with their desktop search offering. however, i do wish that using the deskbar's web search wouldn't open up a browser window; i think it should just show results in the little preview pane.

i have to wonder if google and yahoo are also thinking about packaging their tools together like msn has. it seems to be a pretty logical step...

anyways, after a morning of playing with this stuff, i now have way too many toolbars in internet explorer. i use firefox most of the time though, so i'm safe from the toolbar clutter and yahoo toolbar wins by default.

all this exploration got me thinking: are toolbars the future? what happened to the idea of rich functionality through browsers? i wouldn't be surprised if internet explorer 7 had most of the msn toolbar features built-in, which would severely diminish the value of these other toolbars. additionally, although google maps proves that hacking dhtml can produce good results, is that really the way to go? i would happily download a new browser if it meant getting a richer google or yahoo experience, but maybe that's just me. msn seems to be with me here (they provide a full fledged msn explorer), but they are still ramping up on a lot of the cool services google and yahoo already provide. will i fire up a google or yahoo browser one day? i hope so.

Friday, February 18, 2005

let's get wi-fi everywhere

just saw an interesting essay posted in favor of having governments provide broadband access - check it out at wifinetnews. the author gives a fresh look at the debate by framing it in the dilemma of rolling out electricity to the masses at the turn of the last century.

i don't really care if it's government or private companies that provide it; i just want cheap, fast, ubiquitous broadband as soon as possible :)

Thursday, February 17, 2005

new products everywhere :D

since i've had a little more downtime than usual, i've had a chance to check out a few of the really cool products that are floating around on the web. i guess i'd been pretty focused on the projects i was working on while at microsoft and google; somehow, i had missed a bunch of innovative things happening on the web - the blogosphere, for example :O

the first thing i played with today was bloglines. i may be biased since the only other aggregator i'd used was a .net app called sharpreader, but i think bloglines is great. it gives me the exact features i need and has some extra ones too. i can now quickly browse the feeds i'm interested in and "clip" entries that i find interesting for future reference. plus, the entire system is on the web so all of your feeds and clips are available from any terminal. if this weren't cool enough, they also provide firefox plug-ins that are really neat like the bloglines toolkit and livelines. the toolkit has a ton of "nice to have" functionality and integrates very smoothly with the browser. meanwhile, livelines just makes your life easier when browsing and subscribing to feeds.

next, i checked out again, very cool stuff. basically, allows users to tag websites (kind of like providing your own meta data for a site) and these tags are shared with all other users. together, the community is able to create tag topics which someone can then browse by and retrieve all sites marked with that particular tag. as a bonus, your bookmarks are now portable since they are stored on' servers. there seemed to be a cool feature called the inbox where you could monitor new entries for specific tags, but i couldn't get it to work - maybe it's still in progress. nevertheless, i think this app has potential for a lot of interesting scenarios.

finally, i just finished playing with technorati. searching through blogs is neat, but the real power is that technorati is indexing in realtime. as in, as soon as a post goes up, you can see it in search results. then, they also have a feature called "watchlists." they let you specify a url or keywords that you want to monitor and then they create a rss feed that aggregates and republishes links to entries that match the supplied address or terms - it's like a continuously updated, saved search. i see they also announced a tagging feature, but i don't see it integrated into the main user experience yet; i'm sure they are working on it. a little twist here is that instead of having users tag pages, they seem to be having blog owners tagging their own pages using the tag.

i also spent some time playing with flickr (as i mentioned in a previous post :)), pluck, rojo and filangy. filangy seems to be invite only for now, so if you really want to check it out, leave me a comment or e-mail me.

i'm sure lots of people out there are playing with these products as well. what do you think about these nifty tools?

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

my blog's stats

blog stats, originally uploaded by 99zeros.

many people have asked, so here are the stats for my blog. you'll notice the huge spike around feburary 9th; i attribute that to and slashdot. the little traffic bump in january was when i had originally unpublished and republished my blog entries. at the time, i was amazed at getting a few thousand hits - little did i know a few weeks later, i would be getting 100k hits.

surprisingly, i had to go to a third party site, statcounter, to get web metrics; blogger doesn't have any sort of functionality built-in. i had to take a supplied snippet of code and put it my blogger template manually. while this is not a problem for tech savvy users, i'd imagine average users might get frustrated while trying to add a simple counter to her blog.

also, blogger only has built-in support for atom feeds and doesn't give you stats on that either.

i want stats for my blog! i hope the blogger team is reading :)

btw, i'm posting this entry from flickr (and they are hosting the graphic above too). i'd heard a lot of great things about flickr and so far, i've been impressed. cool stuff, props to ludicorp!

adsense works!

just checked my adsense account today and i've already racked up enough money to get paid. as alekkomar mentions in my blog's comments, my first check goes out to Celiac Disease research. looks like adsense really does work, although i wonder what the revenue share is. i've heard people around the web complaining that they don't make as much as they used to and i wonder if that's because google adjusted the revenue share or if advertisers are bidding less per click.

either way, my google ads are far outshining the amazon associates links i put up. so far, i think i've only made a few bucks on the amazon links.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

networking in real life

soon after news of this blog first broke, it was said that i might become google's scoble or zawodny. of course, at the time, i had no idea what people were talking about. soon, it became apparent to me that while it was neat to be in the same sentence as these blogging legends, i've still got a long way to go before i can truly measure up to them...

last tuesday, i was looking around at stories about other bloggers who had been fired and i ran across troutgirl's story. i read through her blog and thought, wow, this is kinda similar to what happened to me. i saw she had posted about a new community meeting she was in charge of planning and it was happening that night, so i decided to show up and try to chat with her a bit about her experience.

when i arrived, i the scene was pretty chill and i immediately found joyce (troutgirl). we chatted for a bit and she ended up introducing me to a few blogging celebrities.

first, i met niall, who works at technorati as the community manager. we chatted for just a bit and he mentioned all the different blogging/techie community meetings that were happening in the bay area - obviously, niall is a great fit for his job :). he's been a great contact and is really getting me plugged into the different groups in the area. he also records these local events and posts them on his blog; if you're interested in the latest buzz in the bay area, be sure to check it out.

then, the meeting got under way. david sifry, founder and CEO of technorati, was the guest at the meeting and it was run as an informal q&a session (i believe niall is currently working on posting the audio from this session up on his blog). for me, the session was awesome; i was riveted to my chair for 2 hours while dave talked about technorati's vision, his entrepreneurial experiences, and general commentary about building relationships on the internet. it was a great experience - if you get a chance, definitely find an excuse to chat dave up, he's a goldmine.

after dave's talk, i met russ. he apparently had been doing contract work at yahoo and just recently joined there full time. i took the opportunity to chat with him a little bit; mostly, i wanted to know why he chose to join yahoo out of all the other companies in the area. immediately, russ focused in on the culture and working environment. i thought, wow, a place that's working on bringing revolutionary web technologies to the masses and a great atmosphere? sounds like a dream come true.

then, i met jeremy zawodny. since my story had started making rounds with the press, i had been compared to jeremy and scoble, but i had never expected to meet them in person. we got to talking and he shared with me his experience at yahoo, which also sounded great. jeremy told me that yahoo is extremely blog friendly and that posting their personal work experiences was perfectly acceptable - given, of course, that confidential information and NDAs aren't breached. i left with his contact info and an invite to tour the yahoo campus.

to top it all off, two nights later, i met robert scoble at a geek dinner he put together in san jose. my conversation with scoble was quite refreshing; he has a ton of perspective on how to deftly handle blogging in the corporate space. it sounds like scoble has a pretty great gig, running msdn's channel 9. makes me kind of jealous. but then again, i suppose you could say that i'm slightly jealous of all those who are employed ;). either way, i'm really looking forward to reading that book he's putting together, i think it's going to be hot.

also in attendance was dennis cheung, a microsoftie working at the mountain view office. he happened to snap a photo of me at dinner and also got one of my "expired" google business cards. after the geek dinner, i had some time to kill, so i visited the local microsoft office with him. the insides of the microsoft offices here look remarkably like the ones in redmond - in fact, the only difference i really saw was that there were lots of macs around :p

chatting with all these guys was great. they are true blogging veterans and i hope to get chances to talk with them more often. in the meantime, i'll be trying to attend as many of these meetings as i can; hopefully, i'll continue to meet cool new people in the area. if you know of any really interesting get togethers (and by interesting, i mean nerdy), send me an invite please!

Monday, February 14, 2005

tipping what?

ever since i got to san francisco, i've decided that i should take up reading again. a very smart co-worker of mine at microsoft once told me that reading keeps the mind sharp - now that i've started, i wholeheartedly agree! i'm not really sure when it happened, but sometime after i no longer had to attend high school english class, reading slowly dropped further and further down on my priorities list until it was nowhere to be found. i could probably come up with a ton of excuses for this, but in the interest of keeping this entry semi-short, i'll save that for another time :)

what's been on my reading list? well, i started by picking up fortune magazine. in my youth i'd never really cared too much for business magazines, but now i find it absolutely fascinating. i think i've at least skimmed the past few months worth of the magazine cover to cover.

next, i read "Touch the Top of the World" by Erik Weihenmayer. i actually didn't pick this one out, they gave away copies for free at google's sales conference. anyways, it's a great story about overcoming obstacles, rising up to challenges and learning to break through the barriers that other people shy away from. if that weren't reason enough, Erik gave an excellent speech at the sales conference which i got to see live.

then, i read "Fast Food Nation" by Eric Schlosser. this was a terribly frightening read. if you like eating at mcdonald's or any other franchised fast food chain, don't read this book. if you want to see a new perspective of how this vertical operates, prepare to be shocked. ignorance might be bliss, but i definitely wanted to know this information. from now on, the only place i'll eat a fast food burger is in-n-out. yeeks!

while i was finishing up "Fast Food Nation," someone recommended "The Tipping Point" by Malcolm Gladwell. as much as i enjoyed my previous reads, this book had by far the most enlightening content i've read in a long, long time. if you're into marketing, social networks, viral epidemics, communications, psychology or just human nature in general, pick up this book. you won't be disappointed and you won't want to put it down. basically, Gladwell explores an exciting phenomenon where due to the right mix of people, message and circumstance, something - anything at all - explodes with an exponential uptake. he explores case studies where these principles apply to a wide range of scenarios including viruses, fads, human behaviors, children's television and more.

now, i'm reading Gladwell's next book, "Blink." it's about how people make snap judgments. it's about first impressions, how people sense danger, why art experts can just know a piece is fake and more. i've only just started the book and it's as gripping and eye-opening as "Tipping Point." i think Gladwell is quickly becoming one of my favorite writers - great ideas and great writing, what an awesome combination.

internet savvy readers will notice that i'm using amazon's associate links for all the stuff i've mentioned. just like my adsense search box and ads, i'll be donating all proceeds to charity. as a bonus, i'm getting to check out these technologies which have started an epidemic of their own across content providers' websites.

which reminds me, in case any of you out there were wondering, i took out those google adwords ads promoting this blog. i did it so i could get a jump start on getting to know the google ads system. it was one of those start-up assignments you get at a new job where you are supposed to familiarize yourself with the product.

it's getting late so i'm off to bed. ah, there's so much to post about the past few weeks but so little time. oh, and also, believe it or not, i do read all those comments so if you have a question specifically for me, please leave an e-mail address or contact me directly. otherwise, i won't be able to get back to you with an answer ;)

good night, blogosphere!

Friday, February 11, 2005

the official story, straight from the source

i know it's been quite a while since anything substantial was posted on my blog, but thanks for bearing with me. as i said in my previous post, it's been a hectic two weeks. i've finally finished thinking through a few things so here it is...

on january 28th, 2005, i was terminated from google. either directly or indirectly, my blog was the reason. this came as a great shock to me because two days ago we had looked at my blog and removed all inappropriate content - the comments on financial performance and future products. for my next entries, i was very cognizant of my blogging content, making sure to stay away from these topics. i mean, as much as i like to be open and honest about communicating to users and customers, i'm not insubordinate. if i was told to shut down this blog, i would have.

as scoble says, i should've waited a little longer and felt the company out a bit more before i started blogging at length. in retrospect, that is good advice and a lesson learned. i was just too excited. i felt like i was joining a small start-up family; i thought i was going to start new initiatives and improve existing ones; i thought i could jump in the deep end and immerse myself in the revolutionary development environment; i thought i could make connections to real people in the outside world and get first hand feedback; i thought google would love it. i thought wrong.

i've actually viewed this as a great learning experience. obviously, i've gotten a first-hand chance to learn about the power of blogging. i've also learned to be a little more analytical about situations, a lot more cautious and a lot less assuming. however, i've also confirmed that i'm willing to take a stand for what i believe in. i've confirmed what i'm looking for in a career and i know what i love to do - by the way, it's not blogging, it's creating revolutionary solutions :). some people live a lifetime without getting a chance to learn these things about themselves; i'm grateful i've gotten that chance.

people ask me if i'm bitter. funny thing is, despite all this, at the end of the day, i can see where google is coming from - but i don't agree with their stances and i wish they had executed a little differently. i think blogging is the next big thing on the internet. the web gave people revolutionary access to information; email and instant messaging disrupted the way people communicate with each other; blogging empowers everyone to create new information and connect in a community. it’s the culmination of lots of the progress that has happened on the internet rolled into one huge, powerful, killer app. corporations should embrace this technology just like the ones before it. companies that are confident in their offerings should let employees spread the word. in today's age of information overload, blogging is quickly emerging as the fastest and most cost-effective method of marketing.

finally, for all those in the evil/not evil argument, realize that google is a public, for-profit company. i do not believe google is either evil or good. companies take what they feel are logical steps in doing business, and business isn't always fair.

thanks for reading! oh, and if you’re looking for a talented technical project/product/program manager, i guess i’m on the market now. if you have a corporate blogging policy, i promise i’ll follow it. i’ll use proper capitalization in my specs too :).

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

what's going on?

hi everyone. it's been a hectic two weeks but i'll have some new posts ready soon. if you want up to the minute updates, just subscribe to my RSS feed. in the meantime, to take advantage of the traffic, i've added adsense to my website on the sidebar. don't worry, all proceeds will be going to charity :).

also, i want to thank those in the community that have been so supportive. for those who are leaving disparaging comments: if you want to have a real conversation, i'm open. don't be an anonymous troll - stand behind what you say and put your email address on it.

thanks and stay tuned...