My daily readings 09/28/2010

  • tags: Datashift datamining twitter

    • “Datasift is not meant to be an end product,” says Halstead. And his rebranded Tweetmeme targeting developers who need precise streams of data,with a freemium ‘pay for the volume you consume’ or have ads show up in your stream model.

      With $1.5 million in funding and the hard lessons learned from the experience of Tweetmeme, it seems like Halstead this time at least has a shot at making all sorts of realtime information a little easier to sift through.

    • CS: Twitter hasn’t even done search 1.0 yet. It’s not about search it’s about ]push. this world is increasingly driven by analytics. It might not be a huge comany on it’s own.

      JL: If you can open this up for people start innovating than I’m all for it.

      DS: Tweetmeme processes 1 billion requests. We want to help the people who can make the next Flipboard.

  • tags: Music iPad

    • The real meat of the application lies in its learning mode. First, you choose a song; Miso has licensed music from Sony/ATV, which gives them rights to include music from The Beatles, Justin Bieber, Carrie Underwood, and more. After picking a song, like the Beatles’ Black Bird, you’ll see a series of colorful dots scroll across the screen representing each note you’re supposed to play (this is called tablature, or tab for short, which is a simplified form of music notation often used for guitars). Tabs aren’t anything new. But Miso will actually listen to what you’re playing.
    • Miso Music isn’t available just yet — you’ll have to wait two weeks or so until you’ll be able to buy it in the App Store — but once it goes live it will be free for a basic version. A pro application will be available for $2.99, which includes more virtual instruments. And songs will be sold as in-app purchases ranging from 99 cents to $2.99, with packs of songs available at a discount.
  • tags: knowledge Sharing

    • KR: WHat’s the value proposition for the first user at the company?

      EP: It can work for only two users as a communication platform or a reference point. We want to build something that feels like a consumer software but is for the enterprise.

    • EP: We’re not trying to compete with Quora; were just trying to add a centralized knowledge base within businesses. We are looking at organic growth but open to whatever makes sense.

      SV: Our approach is to build a layer on top of a company. This a light and easy way to add that layer. And it can integrate with other silos of information.

    • EP: Yammer seems to be trying to build a social network for the enterprise. This is more of a knowledge base.

      SV: This would compete for time spent on email, Yammer and other communication platforms.

      LZ: How do you get the word out?

      EP: Here, today.

      CC: I think the biggest issue is that some companies want to have their classified information on servers.

  • tags: Xmarks Case

    • with the emergence of competent sync features built in to Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome, it’s hard to see users paying for a service that they can now get for free

      After taking so many knocks, it’s easy to be disheartened. But why not at least give this a go? It doesn’t involve a large engineering investment – just charge for what you already offer! When the alternative is shutting down, where existing users need to move on anyway, you might as well. Those users might appreciate the value of what they have now that it is about to disappear…

    • Maybe it’s because it creates an obligation for them to continue the service for a reasonable amount of time.
    • Man, I’m gutted. I use Xmarks every day to sync from my work & windows machines (Firefox) to my MacBook (Safari) and thus to my iPhone / iPad. I’d have happily paid $5 a month or so to use Xmarks and I imagine I’m not alone.

      It’s really unfortunate that they won’t even try the freemium, or (shock!) even the outright pay to play approach. I’m sure with two million users there would have been enough paying customers to create a profitable business.

    • Chrome killed my use of Xmarks. With a consistent, cross-platform browser that has syncing out-of-the-box I no longer need Xmarks. I mainly use other browsers for testing now.
    • They are failing because they can’t even ask people to pay for their service. They skipped that and went directly to we are shutting down our servers in 90 days.

      DHH needs to give them some scream therapy about business models. The one he does about asking your customers to pay for your service.

    • From “build something people want” to “built something people want” to “can’t monetize 2 million users.”

      Any other examples of this?

    • sucks to have this ending after all your efforts. Xmarks was a great product. Hats off to you and your team and good luck in your next adventure.
    • As I write this, it’s a typical Sunday here at Xmarks. The synchronization service continues operating quietly, the servers chugging along syncing browser data for our 2 million users across their 5 million desktops. The day isn’t over yet, but we’re on track to add just under 3000 new accounts today.
    • In early 2006, I built a prototype bookmark synchronizer for Mitch Kapor. We were starting to work together again for the first time in many years, and he wanted me to help him: he was chairman of the Mozilla Foundation but stuck using Safari because there was no way on Firefox for him to keep his bookmarks synchronized across the 5 computers that he regularly used.
    • Curious to see whether it would prove as useful to others as it had to him, Mitch asked a colleague with a widely read blog to write about it, which he did. Hundreds of users showed up to kick the tires and many of them stayed. Some of them mentioned it to their friends. Others blogged about it. Pretty soon there were 5000 users. Of a prototype.
    • a crowdsourced Wikipedia of Websites, or maybe even a spam-free search engine based entirely on what users had bookmarked. We put together a privacy policy that acknowledged the kinds of things we were hoping to do, and set off to firm up operations and infrastructure with the anticipation of growing to hundreds of thousands of users. In October of 2006, we incorporated as Foxmarks, Inc. We had made the transition from pet project to startup.
    • We learned a lot about the art and science of synchronization, and poured all of that knowledge into a new client and server which we launched simultaneously and disastrously around Christmas, effectively killing the service for most of our users as we scrambled to understand why the system that we had tested in the lab behaved so much worse in production. Angry users, deprived of the service that they had grown to depend on, demanded that we revert to the previous incarnation, which seemed perfectly adequate to them. We pressed on, and two weeks later the alarms finally stopped ringing.
    • We recruited a group of non-technical subjects to do a usability test, and it flopped. Sit people in front of a search box and ask them to test it, and their first query is their own name. #FAIL. It turns out that with the exception of people doing market research, consumers using search are not typically looking for an authoritative list of sites within a category; they’re looking for an answer to a specific question. Undaunted, we tested some variants of the basic search idea, including a version where we inserted our results into the Google search results page. The verdict from users: too complicated.
    • Based on our momentum and despite the failure of our early efforts to find gold in the corpus, we secured venture capital funding and recruited James Joaquin as our CEO: “There’s a scalable business in here somewhere,” we told ourselves, and we were determined to find it. James pushed us to find a way to use use our bookmark corpus to enhance web search, an area with a proven Internet business model. We developed several prototpes, and after user testing, we settled on a simple-is-better scheme: we would add information to Google search results showing “bookmark rank” for sites, essentially tallying users’ bookmarks as votes of confidence.
    • So at the DEMO conference in March 2009, we rebranded ourselves as Xmarks and introduced the “Smarter Search” feature, as well as a new Xmarks.com website where users could find the top sites across a huge range of topics.
    • Some of these ideas, like SearchTabs, saw the light of day; others never made it out of the lab. Our “SearchBoost“, service was an upsell to advertisers: pay us a fee and we’ll add a mark to your ad when it’s displayed to our users, showing the bookmark rank of your site. Our tests showed that we could boost ad click-through rates by 10%. We built it and it put it front of potential advertisers. Many were interested, but ultimately the feedback was negative: our user base was too small to be worth their time and attention.
    • We also considered refocusing Xmarks as a freemium sync business, but the prospects there are grim too: with the emergence of competent sync features built in to Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome, it’s hard to see users paying for a service that they can now get for free. For four years we have offered the synchronization service for no charge, predicated on the hypothesis that a business model would emerge to support the free service. With that investment thesis thwarted, there is no way to pay expenses, primarily salary and hosting costs. Without the resources to keep the service going, we must shut it down. Our plan is to keep the service running for another 90+ days, after which the plug will be pulled.
    • I love Xmarks and have been using it for years, when it was once Foxmarks. Now I use Google Chrome as my primary browser, but I still use Xmarks to sync my bookmarks. Here’s why:

      1) I can control when Xmarks syncs (manual sync, auto sync, etc)

      2) I can revert back to previous sync versions

      3) I have A LOT of bookmarks and this seems to overwhelm Chrome’s current sync capability. It always hangs or crashes when i try to sync my bookmarks. Syncing everything else works fine though.

    • It is very sad that no one wanted to step up and purchase the technology. I bought the iPad version on the app store. I would pay also pay a $3 to $4 per month for an annual subscription. Perhaps people arent willing to pay until they are about to loose it.
    • Hi guys,

      I see that there is no way back, from what I read in your statement.

      If all of that is true, then your very last step, your very last task would need to be, to make your Server-Software available as open source.

      Changin the settings in the client add-ons would help people to run their own server to be able to still sync there data browser indipendantly.

      I highly recommand you to make it available as open source. At least the basic sync functions…

      my regards

  • tags: ipad evernote design

    • 我们是希望这些管理层做好本质工作,公司目前造成这种发展缓慢的局面,也跟管理层的责任不大,因为这帮管理层同样创造了08年国美的辉煌。目前这种现状我们认为是企业的领导人没有给出一个清晰一个正确的长期战略指导,是战略出问题,而不是在集体管理和资信上出问题。
    •  邹晓春:对,首先是没有反对。第二也可以看出,陈晓先生在操作这件事情的时候,没有把好事做好,这个是问题的关键。

        所以也同时可以看出,他在这个方面不具备一个企业领导人应该具备的素质,这个企业领导人职业经理人最应该具备的素质就是积极的去沟通、去协调所有的事情,使所有的问题都能够得到妥善的解决。

    • 我们始终现在反对陈晓先生这种包办的态度,他包办股东,他包办董事局,最后他就是说这个事情是好的,这就跟父母包办婚姻是一样的,一样的是这种情况,他就认为我这种包办就是给你们两个人是找来幸福的,但是幸福不幸福呢?大家都知道包办婚姻的事就是不好的。尽管他可能心里有良好的愿望,但这种做法还是不对的。

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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