On my way to San Francisco…

So yeah… I’m sitting here in Dulles Airport on my way to San Francisco.

I’m kind of excited.  I’m taking Virgin America.  They really treat you right.  So… I’m looking forward to a comfortable flight.  Yay for electric plugs in the seats so you can plug in your laptop!

This week will be busy much like last week.  I’ll be at the Facebook Developer Conference f8.  I’m looking forward to hearing what they’ll announce and getting to meet loads of Facebook developers.

Will you be there? Drop me a line – justin@clearspring.com

What do you all think will be announced?


Much Love for the Seattle Web Community!

So I’ve been in Seattle the last couple of days for the SocialMediaCamp Seattle and Mashable SummerMash Party. It’s really been a blast.

The SocialMediaCamp was organized by the amazing Erica O’Grady.  It brought together this really cool swath of the Seattle Web Community.

I got to meet a lot of folks from big to small companies… from people that were just into social media as a hobby and from people that were social media consultants as their job.

The best part was, despite that I was an outsider to the Seattle Web Community, they welcomed me with open arms.  I got the chance to meet and get to know a lot of amazing folks.

Another highlight was being introduced to the local-Seattle company that was responsible for the Web app Whrrl.  This is REALLY cool.  It’s kind of like Yelp meets really neat location-based services.  I’ll be writing more about the app later.

I also got to spend sometime with the folks at Yoono. They’re a social browser plugin that does similar things to Flock but doesn’t require you to get a new browser.  It’s pretty neat but is still in its early stages.  The people behind the company were REALLY cool.

Later that evening, I went to the Mashable Summer Mash party.  That was really nice.  It had this awesome warehouse venue, which is MUCH bigger then any of the venues we’ve used for party’s in DC, which was nice.  It gave you room to breathe.

All in all this was a SUPER successful trip.  I can’t wait to come back and hang with the folks in Seattle.

Twitter, Serendipity, and Seattle

So… I’m sitting here in a Starbucks in Seattle.  It’s been a great weekend!!!

Upon arriving here, I was just kind of tooling around and seeing the sights.  I was meeting up with some friends for dinner later.

Unbeknownst to me, my buddy Saul from FreshBooks just happened to be in Seattle as well.  We ended up meeting up and he joined my posse for dinner.

How did we end up finding each other?  We are Twitter friends.  I was twittering about being in Seattle and he saw it and sent me a message.

It was cool to see first hand how Twitter can help with starting serendipitous adventures in your life.  Saul metup with us and we all had a grand time.

Have you had any serendipitous adventures because of Twitter?

When you shouldn’t create an iPhone app…

So… yesterday, when I found the link to get early access to the iPhone 2.0 software, of course I tried it and loaded it up right away.  (Yes, I am that guy.)

I then proceeded to download a bunch of apps to my phone.

Now there are just some apps that I don’t get why they are apps.  For example, there is Facebook and the New York Times.  Their iPhone apps are almost exactly the same as their iPhone Web site.

As the implementations of mobile Web browsers improve across mobile phones, increasing the use of new Web technologies (better CSS and JavaScript), there is a chance you’ll be able to use the iPhone Web site again.

I can’t imagine that Apple will ever license the iPhone OS so you’ll never be able to see your iPhone app used on anything but an iPhone.

Now I can understand Sega’s Super Monkeyball.  That is a REALLY fun game for the iPhone.  I can’t imagine you’ll be able to do that with a browser for a long long long time so I understand if you wanna make that an iPhone app.

But… why does Twitteriffic need to be an iPhone app? Didn’t we get EXACTLY the same thing with Hahlo?  Actually, I think Hahlo has more and better functionality.

With iPhone 3G, a lot of the speed, responsiveness, and interactivity issues with iPhone Web sites should be resolved.

Yeah… so when you start to think about time and resources around whether your company should build an iPhone app, ask yourself whether or not you’re doing it because it’s cool or you’ll get a lot of people to use it.

Am I crazy?  What do you think?

Business Week Columnist and Author Sarah Lacy is Stopping in Washington DC for her User-Generated Book Tour

Business Week columnist and author of the book “Once You’re Lucky, Twice You’re GoodSarah Lacy will be stopping in Washington DC for her User-Generated Book Tour.

So as detailed in my last post my first stop on the User Generated Book Tour will be Washington D.C.– a city I haven’t been to since an 8th grade class trip. This time around I will not be going to the Washington Monument or the White House. I will be meeting lots of entrepreneurs and Web folks!

Everyone should come to the Twin Tech Party, where she’ll be giving a small talk, doing some Q&A, as well as selling and signing books.

Sarah is someone who’s gotten to experience technology and Web communities both inside and outside of the Valley.  I’m excited to hear what kind of advice and insight she’ll share with the Washington DC tech community

So… you coming to the party?

Congressional Leaders are Looking to Add Unnecessary Regulations on the Use of Social Media… What Do They Have to Hide?

UPDATE: According to TechDirt, all of these regs already exist and that this letter is to loosen them.  Read their post: “Politician Using Twitter To Ignite Misleading Partisan Fight Over Politicians Posting To Twitter.

In my opinion, even with the letter, the regulations still seems unnecessary.

UPDATE 2: Tim O’Reilly has a good blog post on this too.


Now this down right pisses me off.

US House of Representatives Democratic leadership is recommending to the Committee on House Administration that they adopt unnecessary regulations about the use of social media by House members.

The concern is with House members posting content outside of the domain “house.gov”… like Twitter or YouTube.

One suggestion was that the committee put together a list of “approved” sites that meet House regulations.  Another was that any link to a external domain must have one of those damn annoying “Your Now Leaving the House of Representatives” pages, which just KILL the experience.

Rep. John Culberson has been a leader in social media within Congress.  He’s a frequent Twitterer and will post frequent videos on Qik of his activity.  He’s using social media to engage the members of his district as well as the country, if not the world.

The thought that Twitter or Qik would have to go before some type of committee review before people could use it frightens me.  Having worked at a government agency, I know how long this kind of thing would take.

This is supposed to be a government of “of the people.”  The people are on Twitter, Qik, Facebook, YouTube, and MySpace.  Congressional leadership should be encouraging members to use these sites and not discouraging it.

What does Congress have to hide that they want to block this stuff?

I ask you that write a blog post, a tweet, or record a video saying how much you appreciate that Rep. John Culberson is acting as a leader in social media within Congress and that you’d like more to follow his lead.

Going to Seattle this weekend…

So… I’m going to Seattle this weekend.  I’m really excited.  I’ve never been to Washington state before.

Saturday I’ll be attending the SocialMediaCamp as well as Mashbable’s SummerMash party.  It should be a great weekend.

Anybody wanna meet up while I’m out there? I wanna stop by the Apple store, while I’m there, and pick up the new 3G iPhone.  Anyone else going?

Also… anything you folks would recommend doing while I’m out there?  I’d love to have the pinnacle of coffee experiences and I hear that Seattle is a good place for it.  Where else should I go?