Had a blast at PodCamp DC

Had a blast at PodCamp DC this weekend!  It was great to see old friends and meet some people that don’t typically come out to DC tech events. Kudos to the organizers Tammy and Joel.

Here are some of my photos from the weekend:

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PodCamp DC this weekend

This weekend I’ll be at PodCamp DC. There is the opening party tonight and the talks all day tomorrow.  Clearspring is sponsoring and I’m giving a talk/leading a discussion tomorrow.  Should be a lot of fun.  Are you going?

W3C releases a Web Compatibility Test for Mobile Browsers

This is really cool.  The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Mobile Web Initiative (MWI) has just release as Web Compatibility Test for Mobile Browsers. It tests against compatibility with twelve different Web technologies.

Point your phone’s browser to: http://dev.w3.org/2008/mobile-test/test.html.

If you see twelve green boxes, your mobile browser has passed the test.

Here’s hoping that this compatibility test will cause the same level of competition among mobile browser vendors as the release of Acid 3 did for desktop browser vendors.

Buy Gary Vaynerchuk’s Book “101 Wines”

Cover of Gary's Book

I was so excited when I heard that my friend and host of Wine Library TV Gary Vaynerchuk was writing a book that without thinking about it I went out and pre-ordered a copy on Amazon.

The book is entitled Gary Vaynerchuk’s 101 Wines: Guaranteed to Inspire, Delight, and Bring Thunder to Your World.” I’m confident it will be a great learning tool for me and will continue my wine education and excitement that started for me in college and has re-ignited with Gary’s online show.

I implore of you to go to Amazon.com and buy the book right now.  I know you won’t be disappointed.

I also think it’d be really cool to show the traditional media world that you don’t need BIG advertising budgets to get the word out about a product.  Let’s get this book to #1 on Amazon and show everyone that you can do it all via word of mouth on the Web.

Gary V. says that if you buy 2 copies and send him a copy of the receipt, special deals and promotions will be sent to you.

So… what are you waiting for??? Go buy the book!!!!

RSS will NEVER go mainstream

Brian Clark at Copyblogger has a great post where he asks the question, “Will RSS Ever Go Mainstream?” He goes on to say…

Over two years later, email is still very much alive… But the public at large either doesn’t care about RSS, or doesn’t know they’re using it (a la My Yahoo, etc).

So, I’ll say it… RSS will NEVER go mainstream.

Try explaining RSS or news feeds to someone outside of the tech field.  Yeah, it’s not going to happen.  Yet, RSS has become the defacto standard of every Web site on the planet.

The RSS feed is the data.  It is the content which people enjoy but it’s not a format which makes sense to anyone.

This is part of the reason why I got into widgets.  The face of the RSS feed is the widget.  In the next 2 years, every Web site, every piece of Web content, and every piece of online functionality will be broken apart into useful components (or widgets) that users can take and do what they want with.

Widgets Make Everything Better, Even the Environment

Widgets really do make everything better.  For a long time, widgets have made beer better.  Now widgets make the environment better too.

ABC and the Arbor Day Foundation are doing this REALLY cool campaign.  ABC picked 9 of their widgets and every 10 times someone watches a video on one of the widgets a tree sapling will be planted.

Use widgets, watch videos, and get trees planted.  That ROCKS!  Check out the post I did on the Clearspring blog and go use the widgets.  It’s for the environment man!

Random Thoughts from the Dulles Airport Gordon Biersch Pub

So… I’m sitting here in the Dulles Airport Gordon Biersch Pub in D Terminal and of course I have a lot of random thoughts….

  • If you survive frequent travel, the number one tip I’d give is be prepared but also be flexible.  To use technical language, “shit happens.” (pardon my french)  Your going to have a flight that is going to get delayed and there will be absolutely nothing you can do about it.  You can huff and puff but it’s not going to do you any good.
  • This weekend I was hopping out to Indianapolis to spend the weekend with my family.  My flight was supposed to be at 10pm.  It’s now at 12pm. It sucks but *shrugs*.
  • I’m excited to see my family.  They’re are my heros.  They were the biggest influencers in who I am today.  They showed me unconditional love and supported me the entire way.  I can’t wait to give them massive amounts of hugs.
  • Listen to your users.  As a community manager this has been my biggest thing to do thus far, you listen when people say good things and even more importantly you listen when people say bad things.  People appreciate you taking the time to hear their concerns.
  • When a user will take the time to tell you what you’re doing wrong, this is the time you need to listen the most.
  • Don’t always listen to your users.    Over time, things change.  Some people don’t like change.  They get so sucked into a way things are that they don’t appreciate change, even when it’s for the better.  The best current example is the Flickr Video situation.  Flickr adds the ability to do video and the people go ape shit.  It’s crazy.
  • When you have some new product or Web site you want me to use, you’re really asking a lot from someone.  It has to be helpful.  It has to give me pleasure in some way.  Otherwise, i’ll just play with it for a week and never touch it again.  I have to be able to integrate this functionality into my life.
  • Really take time to show people you care.  Be intentional about it. Yes, this may mean taking things a little bit slower and yes it may cost more but it’s WAY WAY better.  Different people like to be appreciated in different ways.  Find out what way someone likes to be loved and show that to them.  It’s the way to build real relationships.
  • Don’t be that guy.  No one likes the guy who just calls you up after not talking to you for a year and asks for something.  If you go out and form real relationships with people and really care about them, the next time you need something they’ll be more likely to fall all over themselves and do it.