is a great search engine

This week I was doing some research on php and unicode. I put my search terms into Google and just wasn’t getting what I wanted. It was kind of frustrating.

An hour or two later, I decided to try something different. I’d used as my search engine. I found exactly what was I looking for.

It really makes the case that human-powered search may be the direction where things should go. Yahoo was genius for snatching up.

You’ve seen so many other services which want you to enter in explicit feedback about a Web site (digg, stumble upon) but it just doesn’t make complete sense. It’s hard to get a lot of involvement. With, they take advantage of the natural instinct to bookmark a Web page and organize those bookmarks.

Have you used sites like, Mahalo, or ChaCha as search engines? If so, what do you think? If no, what’s holding you back?

Facebook Video Makes Video Too Easy; Video Messages vs E-Mail

Facebook Video

So to continue the conversation on Facebook, I thought I’d write about one of my favorite applications, Facebook Video. (I don’t want people to think that I’m completely negative on Facebook.)

Facebook Video is very simple, which I think is part of its charm. You can upload videos that you have on your computer or you can capture video right from your Web camera and send that to all of your friends or to certain specific friends as a video message.

Uploading videos that you have on your computer isn’t that exciting. That’s what we have YouTube for.

Being able to send video messages is what excites me. I have an Apple MacBook, which means I have a Web camera built into the lid of my laptop. (This is so genius of Apple.) So… all I have to do is literally open the “Create a new message window,” hit record, and start talking into the camera. It’s that easy.

There are times which I’m tired and don’t feel like penning War & Peace in the form of an e-mail. It’s so much easier to just to open up Facebook Video, type in the person’s name, hit the record, and start talking. I’ve been doing this with one of my best friends from college. It’s so much fun.

With video, so much more comes across. You get the emotion and personality so much clearer from the person that you’re talking to. It’s quite cool.

So you’re assignment for today, if you have a Web camera, go on Facebook Video and send me a video message and I’ll send you one back. As I said before, this should be incredibly easy for those of you that have Apple MacBooks.

You’ll see how much more fun it is then sending e-mail.

When The Week Gets Away From You

It happens way to easily. You get crazy busy at work. You get home and you’re exhausted. The last thing on your mind is blogging. All you want to do is to relax and kill some brain cells by watching reality TV.

Well a huge part of blogging is writing consistently. The key is to get back on the horse again and just go at it. Don’t give up just because you haven’t posted in a few days.

So… Yeah this week was nuts for me. All I had on my mind after word was this really cool bottle of California Cabernet and watching season 3 of Hell’s Kitchen. Well now, it’s time to get back on the blogging train. The week got away from me but the weekend won’t.

Launch of the DC Technology Network

Screenshot of the DC Technology Network Ning Site

One thing that I took away from BarCamp DC was that there is a really awesome tech community in the Washington DC area. It may be spread across a number of groups. It may be in multiple states. Regardless, there is an awesome technology community that exists.

The question I and a number of others had was how can we bring this community together. We need one place online where the community can go to chat with one another and keep up with what’s going on. It’d aggregate a lot of information from other sites. My esteemed DC colleagues agreed.

I’m very happy to announce the launch of the DC Technology Network. It is a social networking site powered by Ning. While the site is very primitive (or beta) and still evolving, I think it’s a fun and interesting way for us to all stay in touch and maintain that awesome feeling that existed at BarCamp DC.

So… if you live in the Washington DC metro area (or formerly lived in the area) and want to stay in touch with your fellow local geeks, PLEASE SIGN UP for the DC Technology Network.

Have you signed up? What do you think? How can we make this more useful?