Monthly Archives: October 2008

Clearspring Releases an Updated Share Menu & Regains Worldwide Widget Dominance

I think today should be the official “Hug a Clearspring Engineer Day!”  Today,  we made two really awesome announcements.

We’ve released an updated share menu. It’s been redesigned and looks dead sexy.  It’s smart.  It’ll figure out where you like to share and populate those destinations to the top.  It’s super customizable.  It’s also worldly.  The new menu will detect and support a bunch of languages.

Tons of high fives and hugs to our engineering and product team.  They rock.  They’ve been heads down working on this for so long now.  We’re all super pumped about it.

BTW – If you’re a WordPress.com user like me, they’ve super improved that whole interaction process.  When you publish a widget, it no longer goes straight live to the world.  It goes to a draft and the menu will give you the option to open the draft in a new window.  :-D

Also… Clearspring has announced that according to September ComScore numbers we’re retaken the lead as the biggest widget distribution platform. “Clearspring logged 254 million unique visitors worldwide in September, easily outdistancing its nearest competitor by 93 million visitors.”  We “experienced a 59 percent increase in worldwide usage of its sharing service between August and September.”

So start sharing content online with Clearspring.  Try out the new menu and let me know what you think – justin@clearspring.com

Thanks for Coming to BarCampDC 2!

This last weekend was BarCampDC 2 and from all accounts I’ve heard it sounds like everyone really enjoyed themselves and learned a lot.

The Center for Digital Imaging Arts at Boston University generously donated their space for us to use and boy did we use it.  We got about 150 people in there.

We had 5 rooms and at one point 6 rooms with sessions all going at the same time.  There were sessions from everything from MySQL Optimization to Juggling to Web Education.

I just want to thank all of you the sponsored, attended, and helped organized.  You guys ROCK!! It was you guys that made this event possible.   There were so many people who gave in order for this event to happen.

All of this really shows how together we are in our goal of making the DC area one of the most kick ass technology and entrepreneurial centers on the East coast if not the country as a whole.

By the way, check out the awesome article that Kim Hart of the Washington Post wrote about the event. :-)

So… the question is, when should we have the next one?

(Photo by Joe Logon in the session “CEO Problems”)

Both McCain and Obama Use Clearspring :-)

At Clearspring, we just noticed recently that both John McCain and Barack Obama have widgets that use Clearspring’s Launchpad.

We’re glad that Clearspring can be something that brings both candidates together. :-)

We recently found something that they both have in common. Both John McCain and Barack Obama use Clearspring’s Launchpad as the widget platform to syndicate the widgets for their Presidential campaigns. (The widgets are to the right and below.)

So… make sure that when November 4th roles around that you get out and vote and in the meantime make lots and lots of Clearspring widgets.

Dr. Mark Drapeau on Citizenship 2.0

My friend Dr. Mark Drapeau has got a really cool article in Mashable, “Government 2.0: Crowdsourced Beltway Pandits“, about how Web 2.0 in government isn’t just helping government work together or broadcast to their constituents.  It’s helping the constituents more actively participate and take a role in government.  It’s make it a 2 way street.

Here’s a snippet:

In his Gettysburg Address, President Lincoln mentioned that government is “of the people, by the people, [and] for the people,” but interestingly among all the feedback I have received, no one has pointed out that all of my writing on Government 2.0 has been about what the government itself is doing. What’s your role as a citizen?

One of the cool parts of the Flickr project that I helped start at the Library of Congress was how it wasn’t just about creating a new way for the community to enjoy photos.  It was just as much about finding a way for the community to participate the process.  They could tag, comment on, and annotate photos.  Plenty of the data that was being contributed, once verified, was getting taken back and integrated into the Library record.

So… yes, I agree with Mark.  I think more and more you’re going to see citizens be able to play more an active participatory role in how they’re governed through the use of Web 2.0

The District of Columbia Launches Apps for Democracy, a Developer Challenge with Peter Corbett’s iStrategyLabs

The District of Columbia is launching a developers challenge, Apps for Democracy.   It will see what kind of cool apps and widgets that developers can build using DC public data.

DC is front $20,000 in cash prizes, with the biggest prize being $2,000.

I think this is really cool.  Soooo many of us have been working hard to put DC on the Web 2.0 map as a center of entrepreneurship and innovation.  It rocks that the Distrct is jumping into the community with both feet.

Actually, this is probably a really easy way for DC to get cheap labor.  It’d cost a ton of money for them to attract a developer to come work for them that could do all the work that the community is going to do for them.  Plus, they’re getting boat loads of positive vibes and street cred from the local folks.

Interactive strategist Peter Corbett has been one of the main organizers with the District in this awesome endeavor.  I hope that they’ll be doing many more things together.

I’d love to see other organizations do stuff like this.  How about the Library of Congress or GPO?  They have boat loads of public data riches that could be mined and done amazing things with.

So… what kind of app are you going to develop for the Apps for Democracy contest?

One Laptop per Child (OLPC) Does 2nd Deployment in Ethiopia

I love the One Laptop per Child project so much.  Being able to expand the horizons of young minds… showing them the world through the Web is so frickin’ cool.

One thing that I miss from my old job is that I’m not involved with helping the project any more.

So… I’ve been following the project closely online.  There is a cool blog post talking about how they’re doing their second deployment in Ethiopia .  Plus they have tons of amazing photos.

(Photos by One Laptop per Child)

Library of Congress Photo of the Week – Pres. Wilson addressing Congress

In the Library of Congress’ recent upload of photos to Flickr, I found this gem.  It’s one of President Wilson address Congress between 1910 and 1950.  Because of the Presidential election that we’re in now, I thought that this photo was especially cool.

Micah Baldwin on Who’ll Survive the Economic Downturn

My friend Micah Baldwin has got a great blog post about who’ll survive the economic downturn that we’re experiencing right now.  I think he’s right on…

People that are good at something will fail. People that are great will fail.
The difference?
Great people take failure and learn from it.
Great people take that learning and build something.
Great people dont stop being great, just because the stock market is down, or they face difficult times.
Take a  breath. Take a look around you.
If you are a great person, you will be great.
If you are not, find a great person to hitch your wagon to. They are easy to spot.
They are doing rather than talking.