Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Feed Sharing and SEO - Two passions converge

It wasn't until earlier tonight that I realized my recent fixation with our 'shared reader feed', Friendfeed, and other so-called lifestreaming apps could be developing a positive SEO situation.

This blog is more of a hobby / experiment, so I rarely check for backlinks (and Technorati DOESN'T deliver all of them).

Back to old school SEO?
Deliver some semi-intelligent (me?), honest, and current content ... and the links will come.

So did the hits.

Someone remind me to add Computerworld to the shared feed :)

It's Microsoft's World, I'm just living in it .

It wasn't the first time emerging technology was featured on CSI.

Last season, it was (you guessed it), Twitter.

Then, of course, there was the unexpected appearance of CSI Miami's David Caruso at Pubcon. SEO people and others were surprised before Caruso announced he was a partner in a 'new technology company'. (Tamar Weinberg posted a few photos to Flickr).

Tonight, after a pretty elaborate demonstration of Microsoft Live Labs Photosynth (on a very large high resolution screen), it was Eddie Cahill who got the line, "It's Microsoft's world, I'm just living in it".


The new episode "Laundromat Casino" aired on CBS television. Replays will be available here.

How to find people to follow on Twitter

Before anyone barks, I'm going to credit Mike Reynolds for posting this on FriendFeed.

Yes, it's another Twitter app! (really, seriously..) is a website where you can type in your Twitter ID and get a list of recommended follows for you, based on 'popular' or 'location' or both.

Since I just added about 70 last weekend , I didn't click on any (yet), but some of the recommends were in line with my interests and / or audience.


Give it a spin here.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Stuff I've been ignoring - Get the feed!

For the few of you that were with us back in August, you'll remember most of the content on this blog had to do with SEO, PPC and website marketing.

It is 'the world' I still live in.

I took particular pride (and made a lot of 'friends') by pointing to the best live blogging sites for various meetups, conventions, and industry trade gatherings.

Hey, there's a lot of people that simply can't afford the trip (or entrance fee) and the industry was bringing it to you anyway. I wanted to help you find it. (and saved the earth a little jet fuel?).

Remember ... Face-to-face still wins the race (really), so if you can make it to PodCamp, SMX, SES, Mixx, or one of the many other get togethers, do it!

Then, I got off on this lifestreaming kick (Hey, this stuff is neat?!). A cool niche. LOTS of new readers (and subscribers) ... and fascinating breaking technology.
It stays here.

So here's the scoop ... better late than never.

The best stuff, in my humble opinion, will appear here and / or on busier days, in the Google shared reader feed (which you can subscribe too .. ugh .. for free? :) or find echoed on Friendfeed, ReadBurner, RSSMeMe, LinkRiver and in a bunch of other places. In fact, today, you'll find (a little late) a link to Lisa Barone's live blogging of SMX Social. A must read for almost all of us and her style makes it fun.


That's it. A day away from Twitter for me :)

Windows XP Service Pack 3 for all ... finally

If all goes as planned, Microsoft should begin rolling out the public version of Windows XP Service Pack 3 today.

We've been using it for a few days...

Some thoughts and considerations.

Installation: There have been a few reports of installation issues. We did not encounter any of these problems during the testing of RC1, RC2 or the newly-released final version on XP Home or Pro.

Most likely, there are more than a few messed up registries out there and/or people are trying to load the service pack without administrative privileges. (Another good idea is turning off any resident virus scanning during the install).

There are a variety (LOTS) of updates and file replacements, and yes, some minor improvements in this Service Pack. The best part for most is that this is a significant roll-up of previous updates and current files including NUMEROUS DLL's.

Installation may be slow on some machines. Allow some time. Ours averaged 10-25 minutes depending on the version on XP and the usual memory and processor issues. The full version is over 300 MB so if you download it from the Microsoft Download Center, factor in the download time as well (if you're on a slower broadband connection).

In general, Service Pack 3 could very well could aid system administrators and others in cleaning up a few boxes and bring them current in one shot as was the case with the final release of XP SP2.

We reported absolutely no issues (just our experience) to MS with SP3 RC1, RC2 or the final.

From our view, it's a solid upgrade / roll-up.

Support continues for XP ... so far :)

Update: Microsoft delayed the deployment via Windows Update (See the piece by Mary Jo Foley here) however we have found links to the Microsoft URL on numerous websites and BetaNews has (at this hour) the entire Service Pack (if you want to be the first on your block :)

Monday, April 28, 2008

Blubert - The next CNET?, a tech news and information aggregator is officially set launch in Beta on May 1st.

You can check out the open preview now..

The portal of sorts, which began development last October, has grown and premiers with features including a tech blog reader, tech videos, tech audio clips, startup reviews, clustered technology news, flash games and more.

Blubert's development team is located in Barbados.

In a brief exchange today with Kevin, one of the founders, I was told: "It may appear as though our main focus is news aggregation, but this is not true. Our goal is to create a technology portal somewhat similar to CNET, with news, downloads and reviews. There is a long way to go to achieve that, but we will constantly be adding new features to the site to achieve this goal".

You can check out the 'pre-Beta' launch of Blubert here.

You never know :)

Staff edit Apr 28 PM

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Have you Seen This? The buzz on Loomia.

With new funding in place, Loomia's relatively new Facebook application has been adding content, and their 'promo box' is appearing on a variety of news and tech websites (and blogs).

The San Francisco based company closed $5M (US) in Series A funding earlier this month.

The Facebook app, which launched in late January, is currently providing content from, The Wall Street Journal Online, CNET (and other CNET-related sites including ZDNet, BNet, and TechRepublic).

More about Loomia can be found here. You can check out the SeenThis app here.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Go RSS yourself

The time is finally here.

MOST blogs and websites have easy-to-find RSS feeds.

Two words: USE THEM!

The past couple of days I 'opened the floodgates' a little (Maybe more than a little??) and, subscribed to all kinds of stuff that I thought I might be interested in. All to one Google Reader account.


Hey, I'm not Scoble. There's no way I'm gonna read 2000+ feeds a day?!

So, I skimmed the feeds for a few days and I'm going to ... add a few more.

GREAT stuff. A LOT of 'literally' new writers.

Stay tuned .. I'm going to start sharing some of the newer discoveries soon.

For a change, that's all I have to say, other than, have a GREAT weekend all!

PS: A quick sampling of the things I learned this week:
Sarah Perez is more than RWW, she's a TEN!
Sarah Lacy bonded with Scoble?
The Real Dvorak's on Twitter ????
Louis must have failed statistics in High School?.
Gas is much more expensive in the UK.

Important stuff ... :)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Marban launches Readbag - Save your feeds!

No sooner do we mention Thomas Marban than he launches another 'goodie'.

At first blush, Readbag is going to look very simple. Basically, Readbag IS an organizer of your favorite feeds.

But, of course, there's more.

Once entered, you can share your stuff.
There's a mobile interface that lets you access the list from your cell OR iPhone.
There's even a little 'daily digest'....

Most importantly, there's an API! (I can see it now, ReadbagThingy...).

What do I like the best so far?. You can get through the curve in a 1 minute. It's EASY.

Check out ReadBag ... and drop a few comments.

I'm starting to think simpler is better??

Update: Flock Browser goes green? Alltop onboard

So while you guys (and ladies) have been playing with Alertthingy and Twirl, I've gone back to the Flock browser again.

Flock is still the ticket for us social networker, lifestreaming or whatever-you-want-to-call-us addicts ! ....

Abandon Firefox? No. I'm still messing around with the nightly builds leading up to 3.0 RC1, but Flock is, well, just cool (and easy).

I admit it, I keep Twirl open too, and after test driving today's Alertthingy 1.3 upgrade, it's offloaded again. Bad.

I've mentioned before here, that I'm a long-time fan of Thomas Marban's PopUrls and despite the fact that it really is highly addictive for information addicts (like me), I'm reading Guy Kawasaki's Alltop too.

Alltop has been adding A LOT of new categories. This news and info online mash-up is becoming like the Library of Congress for blogs?

The Magic ...
Here I go again ... Same rant, different month.

Unlike some of my favorite A-lister's (whom I still read AND share affectionately :), Kawasaki recognizes the value of his audience, and the fact that you never know who or what will be there tomorrow. Something I've tried to push since this blog started. Before so-called Lifestreaming, and well before the A-List Meme fun we're having with Louis Gray and others.

Kawasaki is constantly looking for Alltop ideas on Twitter.

GREAT Example of direct 'User engagement'?

Last night he promo'd the latest incarnation of Alltop on Twitter, I looked at it, knew he had missed a viable feed, and twittered it to him. (Note: We don't know each other at all). The feed appeared in less than an hour ... and I got a Thank You. (Memo to Kawasaki: Checks are better but Thank You's work too. :)

So how does all this tie together, and why, after off-loading Flock last week (simply because it really was too addictive), did I reinstall it tonight?

The new 'eco' edition of Flock is here. The same Flock that integrates almost everything (including Twitter and Friendfeed, you name it ...) is now in .. ugh .... St Patrick's Day green (cool) and with built in links to, treehugger, and numerous other 'eco resources'.

The important part? According to Flock's CEO Shawn Hardin, "Creating awareness is the best way to effect change, and we’re glad to help by donating 10% of proceeds from the Eco-Edition to an environmental charity, as determined by all the users of the Eco-Edition at the end of 2008".

Finally, it you are at Web 2.0 IN SF right now (Hey gang, share this quick!!), The Flock Meetup is today, April 24 at (where else?), The Chieftain Irish Pub, 198 5th St., SF at 6:30 PM. (Rumor has it Evan Hamilton is buying BEER). Find out the deep secrets of the upcoming Flock 1.2 !

You can check out the new 'green' ECO FLOCK here. (Do it!).

Staff edit Apr 24 AM

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

CoffeeCup HTML Editor - Featured Shareware

I've touched on the area of free software (freeware) and shareware a few times in the relatively short history of this blog.

Two things are obvious. I love messing with free stuff :) I really believe shareware, by confident authors, should include free updates for life.

One company that has been 'doing' shareware for as long as I can remember is CoffeeCup Software. I've been using their products since the very beginning. (Can you say HTML 1.0?).

Despite the apparent retirement (departure?) of founder Nick Longo, CoffeeCup is alive and well, and provides some very inexpensive alternatives for web developers.

About a week ago, their premier product (check the price ... or the trial) CoffeeCup HTML Editor was refreshed with the 2008 edition. It's sails like the beta which preceded it.

Lightweight yet very useful for a variety of applications. CoffeeCup Firestarter (a flash rendering program) has been upgraded recently as well.

If you look at your XML or HTML code at all, you may enjoy the features.

CoffeeCup Software can be found here.

Web 2.0 Expo drawing A-listers, B, C, more?

Twitter accounts from Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco are really diverse, as the conference kicked off earlier today.

It isn't Pubcon, SMX (SMX Social coincided the first day in Long Beach), or SES. Definitely not SXSW :)

It's a little of each ... plus a lot of popular bloggers, many of them new to the conference scene.

The latest news and coverage can be found here, or you can check out the Twitter feed here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Google mapping the Pennsylvania Primary

It was a media watching (and blog reading) event here in Pennsylvania, as our state took the national spotlight for today's Democratic primary.

People throughout the world probably learned more about the State of Pennsylvania than ever before on prime time television (or prime time Internet? :).

News coverage, as always, was fascinating... with FOX calling the race first (with less than 1% of the vote counted), then about 12 minutes later MSNBC (ABC and CBS), and finally, 22 minutes after Fox, the network that was obviously playing at Clinton campaign headquarters in Philadelphia (you could tell by the reaction from the crowd) CNN .

... and Twitter didn't crash!?

As the pundits continued to try and predict a state that somewhat impossible to, Google was once again doing their election thing, delivering what everyone here was interested in. Which county was voting for who. (They still are at this hour).

Google's County by County Pennsylvania Primary Map is here.

Update: CNN's county by county graph is here
Update 2: Apparently Google has 'pulled' the map... or it's mission is over? Regardless, it has been unavailable this morning (Apr 23)
Update 3: The map reappears! here

More Murdoch genius - Newsday's next.

Two stories of note from this morning's Wall Street Journal, (now a unit of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. as part of the acquisition several months ago of the Dow Jones financial 'empire').

The managing editor of the Wall Street Journal is expected to resign today. is reporting that Marcus Brauchli will resign his post with less than one year on the job.

In the meantime, the Wall Street Journal and Newsday are reporting that Newsday, the largest circulation newspaper on New York's Long Island (a New York City suburb with a population exceeding several states) is being close to a deal to be acquired by News Corp. for $580 million US.

Newsday has been a mainstay of the Long Island landscape for generations. The paper is currently owned by the Tribune Company.

News Corp has been on and off rumored to be getting involved with the Microsoft - Yahoo takeover attempt, by partnering with one of the players.

Brief: Microsoft Dynamics launches CRM Online

Further fostering the Microsoft Dynamics brand, Microsoft this morning announced general availability of another new online product.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online is billed as an "on-demand customer relationship management service hosted and managed by Microsoft".

The launch webcast can be found here.

Monday, April 21, 2008

A Pownce Announce

What better time than when Twitter is having ongoing outage problems, than for Pownce to reveal a new crop of Pownce apps!

Leah Culver made that announcement earlier this evening on the Pownce blog.

"Speaking of posting to multiple sites, there are also several websites that let you view and post to many social networks at once, including Pownce. Check out SocialThing!, Mahalo Follow, HelloTxt,, TwitKu, Twhirl, and FriendFeed. If you have a personal website, you can also also show your support for Pownce by adding a Pownce badge or Pownce It! button. Hope you have fun sharing stuff on Pownce!"

Be sure and check it out.

Will Pownce see a bounce? :)

Microsoft Windows XP SP3 (and Surface surfaces)

Numerous blogs and websites announced the 'RTM' release of Windows XP Service Pack 3 earlier today. Almost every headline made it look like it was ready for YOU, now. It's not.

The TechMeMe chase the story mania began with a simple post to a Microsoft forum late yesterday, and proliferated throughout the day today, with a variety of spins. Spins?

Welcome to the 'No Software Zone'.

It is a significant tech story when this Service Pack is finalized. I just felt that a LOT of people might not realize what RTM actually means.

Here's this week's "Translating the headlines"? :

For those new to this space, 'RTM' means Release to Manufacturing, usually the second to last step in a Service Pack final end-user release. The NEXT step is when YOU will be able to download it ... as thousands evidently tried to do today.

Those of you who read this blog regularly know we've been testing both the first and second release candidates of Windows XP SP3 on a few configurations here. Our experience has been positive. This is a good, stable and improved package ... at least on our Intel-based x32 boxes.

Microsoft DID post an official comparison of Windows XP SP3 and Windows Vista SP 1 to the Microsoft Download Center today and Windows Vista Service Pack 1 is already available from the Microsoft Technet website and is expected to appear in automatic updates soon.

Windows XP Service Pack 3 should be available for download from Microsoft over the next week, if not by the previously announced date, April 29th.

Microsoft sidebar: Some surprisingly cool video of Microsoft Surface Computing, currently being introduced in AT&T stores, can now be found (in Silverlight) here.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A-list by Microsoft ... and a new address for

Microsoft's portal this past week added a new direct address for those who have personalized the growing portal.

Shades of Yahoo? Welcome to It's 'live' now.

With all the blog posts the past few weeks about so-called A-lists, (and a post earlier today by TechCrunch on their TechMeMe tech blogger A-list), Microsoft has also now added:

OK, so it's not tech related, but it's pretty neat anyway :)

SMX Social Marketing 2008 this week

Search Engine Land's SMX Social Marketing Media 2008 is this Tuesday and Wednesday, April 22nd and 23rd at the Westin Long Beach (CA).

What to do? Grab a quick flight (I'm sooooo overdue for California :) OR stay here in Pennsylvania for our 'Super Tuesday'? Tough one gang.

Details on Sullivan and company's latest can be found here. (According to the Facebook group, that have so far confirmed, there are some pretty good networking opportunities here!).

Saturday, April 19, 2008

You don't have to be Jewish ...

A diverse group of well-known tech personalities made a cooperative venture to Israel last week.  The blogging is well underway.

What happens when you put this gang in the same bus?

Our blog of the week is Traveling Geeks.

The posts and photos are beginning to take shape, and the opinions and insight in the blog posts (and also on some of the personal blogs of those who went) makes for some great weekend reading.


Discovering new content with aggregators

As many of you know, for the past few weeks I've gotten a little 'hung' on this lifestreaming space.

I admit it. New stuff, whether it's SEO, web marketing, blog promotion, etc. are pretty big on my 'personal interest' list.

A LOT of people are writing about .. ugh ... Louis Gray, or my latest favorite, SarahInTampa and others, that track these services.

The point of this post is really simple.

New and old discovery tools.

There are some awesome blogs and websites out there that I (and I'm sure you) never read, or even ever heard of, before these apps came along. ....then we started to SHARE.

So here's my 'secret formula' for this week. Use a different one each day and work backward.


RSSMeMe, LinkRiver, ReadBurner (the sequel), Friendfeed, Twitter, Pownce, Google Shared Reader (and others) ALL have unique qualities and different 'story progressions'.

In fact, Digg, Mixx, StumbleUpon, TechMeMe, Google News and all the other major news aggregators and social sites could be used as starting points too. Just go to the upcoming page , or in the case of say, Google News, the category that interests you. Look at the story, subscribe to the feed if it interests you .... and you have a new 'knowledge channel' goin' on.

It works.

Obvious? Maybe. Make sense ? Try it :)

Great weekend all.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Before the Bell - GOOG up almost 20 per cent!?

With a lot of bad news permeating the world markets overnight, Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) is up almost 18 per cent this morning in pre-market trading.

Google closed the day yesterday at $449.54 and, as of 9:15 EST, is showing a pre-market price of 532.50, a gain of 18.45 % overnight (and a price gain of $82.96).

If this holds throughout today's trading, Google will have recovered 20% of their market cap in one day.


1) There is REAL news here. Google's ad revenues increased 30 per cent, mostly on international products, once again, trashing analysts expectations.

2) With banks still very much on the edge, bonds paying near zip, oil near record highs, retail on the skids, etc., people are rushing to put money 'wherever it looks good'. That's when markets, at least for me, get very scary.

3) Google is making a lot of good decisions. Now, officially a powerhouse that can change industries, with their eyes squarely on mainstream advertising.

That's a quick update. They did it again.

More as the day goes on ....

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Linux - So much for that idea

It sounded good while it lasted.

Linux for the desktop. Less system resources needed. Inexpensive, with a whole host of open source and GPL applications available.

It even became reality briefly last year when WalMart (who else?) sold out of the now infamous $200 gPC (Green PC). Actually, several times.

The box, made by Everex, ran a highly customized version of Ubuntu Linux with an easy user interface developed in cooperation with Enlightenment, know as gOS.

gOS is apparently alive and well, and now comes in 3 'flavors'. The Everex box was discontinued earlier this year by WalMart, but Everex continues with a Limited Edition box "exclusively made for MySpace" users. Hmmm.

Earlier today, the leading Linux enterprise provider, Red Hat, announced "We have no plans to create a traditional desktop product for the consumer market in the foreseeable future".

The full article is

Linux, of course, is far from dead. The are numerous distributions available, many for free, and the operating system is in widespread use in server and many other applications.

As far as a mainstream Linux desktop. It's pretty much dead.

For now ....

VMWare on tour - New York, LA next up

VMWare (NYSE:VMW), the company that can be credited with revitalizing server and client virtualization (and bringing it mainstream) is coming to LA on May 1st, and then New York City on May 8th with Virtualization Forum 2008.

Many individuals, developers and companies are now implementing virtualization for a variety of applications, and 'stock' virtual machines are being delivered by a host of partners.

With a handful of competitors including Microsoft (Virtual PC), VMWare has been hard at work continuing to innovate in virtualization space.

The extensive forum tour schedule and agenda can be found here and also includes stops in San Jose, Orlando and Montreal.

Firefox upgrades again - New security patch released

Mozilla continues to improve both their 'stable' release of the Firefox web browser, as well as the next generation, Firefox 3.0.

A few hours ago, a security patch was released for Firefox 2.0 (The current version is now

If you didn't receive it automatically, just hit the help tab, then 'check for updates'.

On the Firefox Beta front, the nightly builds of Firefox 3.0 Beta 5 continue to show significant improvement (Well beyond what some characterized as 'stable for use' with the release of Firefox 3.0 Beta 4).

Apple's Safari for Windows 3.1.1 is still the fastest of the lot on our beta machines (and also upgraded yesterday with improved security and stability), but it's my guess that when the extensions catch up to Firefox 3.0 (and it is officially released), the Firefox browser's market share will jump exponentially.

Our tests of Microsoft's Internet Explorer 8 Beta continue as well and I want to reiterate that this release should only be being used by developers in a developer environment. Still lots of work to do here. In the meantime, Internet Explorer continues to suffer a small identity crisis (and a minor nightmare for developers) as almost half the users haven't yet upgraded from Version 6 to Version 7 despite Microsoft relaxing the authentication requirement.

Another 'Beta' Sidenote: We've also been extensively testing Microsoft's Service Pack 3 Release Candidate 2. It is perfectly stable (here) and there's a little more under the hood than is being published. A few websites reported yesterday that the final XP Service Pack / Roll-Up could be released as early as the end of this month

Don't compromise your network. We'll keep you tuned as often as necessary. Once again, subscribed to our direct and / or shared feeds. It's the easiest way to follow the 'sometimes important' updates to SEO and Tech Daily!

Update: Flock also issued an upgrade yesterday and the Firefox 3.0 'tree' is now locked for the upcoming release of Firefox 3.0 RC1

April 22nd - Earth Day and the Pennsylvania Primary

As Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama battled it out yet once again here in the Keystone State a few hours ago, I couldn't help but notice the continuing (growing) presence of Ron Paul posters and banners dotting the rural landscape.

You really have to live here for a few years to understand the unique landscape of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Beginning with the rich history. The first capitol of the United States of America was here. The first railroads... and from New Jersey to Ohio, small historic towns along the rivers and original railroad tracks, many dating back to the 18th century.

It's a place where Wal-Mart co-exists with Main Street, instead of putting it out of business.

Entire unique civilizations live within civilizations, for the most part, peacefully, side by side.

Where small modest living quarters are right next door to large houses.. and just down the street, a family that doesn't worry about employment because they're living off the land, as they have been for generations.

It's obvious to those that move here from more populated areas, as I did a little over 12 years ago, that if there one thing Pennsylvanians treasure, it's their personal freedom. A huge, but quiet population of Libertarians are here. While most are more than willing to pay their fair share, they don't want anyone telling them what they can, or cannot do on their own land.

Like anywhere else, it's a state of three demographics (I suppose now, more accurately, four). Cities, Suburbs, Extended Rural Suburbs, and Rural areas. The farmers continue to work the land and are not be paid or subsidized by the government. They wake up early and work hard. Many are still family farms, not acquired by large corporations, and they take exceptional pride in what they do.

Certainly each part of our nation has it's own unique identity, but as April 22nd gets closer, it will be no more apparent than right here, that Earth Day is the same day as the Primary. Pennsylvanians love 'their' earth. Their property. The places they fought for, their family members fought for, here and overseas, and managed to keep, for literally hundreds of years.

The fact is, in my opinion, that the national or even regional 'rules of politics' don't work here. The polls are, for lack of a better way of putting it, useless.

Promising the people what they want to hear won't work either.

It's my guess that a large majority of Pennsylvanians want one thing. A simple return to the Constitution. A strong perception by a silent majority of that the two party system isn't working here. The 'other' parties - Constitution, Green, Independent, Conservative and others never really got off the ground.

The first candidate that convinces Pennsylvania that they will reduce restrictions on individual rights and reduce mandates on small businesses (and maybe find a serious interim cure to the growing health care crisis here) will win in PA, where those in the heartland will most-likely decide the outcome.

Staff Update: Liana Evans has a good piece on Search Engine Watch on how each Democratic Candidate is using the web (Li also lives in PA), and we noticed this piece just go hot on Digg. (No doubt Li. The college kids are engaged this time).

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Brief: ReadBurner is back !

Adam Ostrow IS definitely a hard working guy and has been in touch with GOBS of people this past week as he prepared to re-launch ReadBurner.

An all-new (so far very cool) ReadBurner is now back online. Be sure and check it out. It is a 'whole new deal' !

Time constraints these past few days prevented me from previewing ReadBurner properly, so instead, I've shared 4 or 5 of the best reviews in our Google shared feed (at right).

If you haven't subscribed, you should. (Hey, it's free !). A little bit of everything without sitting and watching your Twitter stream all day :)

My congratulations to Adam for reaching out to the community prior to the ReadBurner launch for opinion and suggestions, and maybe more importantly, to all of my colleagues for not launching the news early.

Checkmate - AOL acquires Sphere !

In a move that can only be described as brilliant, Sphere officially announced they have been acquired by AOL.

Why brilliant?

If there's one thing that Google has (in Adsense), it's a presence on tens of thousands of blogs and websites. Sure, it's a refined money-maker for Google but it's also clear visibility and sector dominance.

Sphere related content also appears on thousands of blogs. It's not really a money machine, but it's there. It's a start.

Here's where it gets a little if'y or curious.

The Sphere related content on THIS blog is delivered by FeedBurner (a Google company).

Two ways to look at this. Google gets along pretty well with AOL and has for a long time. Is there a plan?? Could this be part of the counter to Yahoo / Microsoft?

The reverse view. FeedBurner could easily pull the plug on the FeedBurner Sphere feed flare, OR, it could all be coincidental?

Watch for the opinions. No doubt, they'll be coming fast and furious. Try not to listen to too many of them until we really know what's going on :)

Yahoo moves right along ?

The innovation continues to rock at Yahoo! as today they announced an upgraded webcrawler, for improved indexing of their main search index.

IF the Yahoo / Microsoft merger should go down, there's simply no question that the 'teams' at Yahoo! haven't missed a beat along the way.

Of course, looking good to a 'new parent company' might be good enough motivation for any team manager to keep on goin', but it's obvious that many of the newly-announced features from Yahoo! have been in the pipeline for some time.

So, welcome Slurp 3.0 for now (the new crawler) with the hope that a significant relevance update is on the way.

Monday, April 14, 2008

CRT TV's make early exit in US - Run, don't walk

Some technologies are fine if you want to be an 'early adopter'.

Many of us 'in this space' enjoy being on the cutting edge.

Others technologies can have you quickly saying "Huh???" if you rush out a little too quick. Anyone for a cheap HD-DVD ? or, an iPhone less $200. Messy stuff.

One of the best-selling Christmas gifts this past season were LCD and HD TV's. A wide variety of shapes and sizes, two resolutions, and a wide spectrum of contrast ratios. As the HDMI spec was still being improved last December, some of the earlier TV's sold late last year have already been rendered obsolete (or just plain bad).

Of course, in the fast paced world of technology, if you wait, you could be waiting forever? The only thing we know for sure is that electronics is still one consumer space where prices continue to go down.

As the satellite tv providers launch new 'birds' to compete with more local, digital and HD channels and cable companies add more HD, some for free .....

The US television hardware market is still a mess.

If you wanted to mess with that huge plasma or large LCD TV in the family room, I suppose most of us got sucked into that :) Little and medium size screens throughout the house? I'd rather wait and get something with the latest inputs and a good picture from a few angles.

By regulation, new TV's sold in the US must receive the newer digital off-air signals. Older tube TV's were quickly rolled out with digital (some with HD) over-the-air tuners. They were half the price (or less) of their LCD counterparts.

Retail revolt?

Try to get one.

What happened here?

They're almost gone and that's all folks. Your next TV could cost $500 and up (or you can wait a year?).

20 inch and under. There's still a 'decent' selection. Those really crisp and deep color 32's and bigger.... almost sold out nationwide as I write this.

If you want a new tube TV or need one to replace an old one and aren't ready for LCD or HD,, don't walk to your retailer.

As for me. The 'spare' computers come out of the garage, get some quick minor upgrades, and I'm watching over-the-air, satellite, cable AND TV over IP (with hard disk on-board :)

Food for thought ?

Who YOU should be reading

All kinds of people have taken to blogging and the number of blogs have increased exponentially in recent months. This includes LOTS of people trying to make money blogging (some of whom are 'victims' of the recent economic downturn).

Some are making decent money. Others are wasting a lot of time.

There are all kinds of blogs, for all kinds of reasons. Some are personal, some technical, some informative. The number of blogs is growing the way websites did just a few years ago.

So who should YOU be reading?

It depends what you're trying to accomplish.

That's really what our blogroll (and sometimes our shared feed) is all about. The blogroll is now updated about once every two weeks. There's some really excellent stuff there. Some time-tested, others cutting edge. Take a few minutes to click around (especially if you're new) and you'll find Search Engine Optimization experts, Social Marketing Gurus, Tech News, information about the very latest applications, and more. Obviously, they're not all there, but one will lead you to another within your field of interest.

I'm going to spend more time, hopefully this week, on 'feed sharing', and also what I view (have a seat) as a coming SEO BOOM in the coming months. Some have expressed that "SEO has matured".

SEO changes every day and right now is in very high demand!

I know I've been a little caught up in the so-called lifestreaming sites and apps recently. Why? They are cutting edge and they are becoming very important to almost every blog owner. The landscape is changing quickly. It's totally fascinating.

One more hint. I've read more times than I can count that your blog needs to look cool and/or professional to be successful. "Don't use a that standard Wordpress or Blogger template!?".

Some of the most visited blogs on the Internet are 'stock'. Right out of the box.
Ex-Microsoft employee and new generatiuon video blogger (now with Fast Company) Robert Scoble's blog.
Niche 'feed sharing' expert Louis Gray's blog.
Google's spam-fighter and SEO advisor Matt Cutts' blog.
To name a few.

Blog about what you really know about and sooner or later you will be discovered.

More to come ....

I'm caving on comments

I know, there's been a lot reference to Louis Gray here lately - check out the next post on why.

Anyway, Louis Gray dropped me a note on FriendFeed earlier today asking if the comments are disabled on this blog.

As some of you know, the comments have, in fact, been disabled on this blog (from the start) for a variety of reasons, mostly because I really didn't have time to moderate them and I was looking for a better solution than Blogger's current implementation.

So assuming the little man (me) got the XML right a little while ago, and now that we're settling down a little here in the new office, this post is a test of yet another growing web app Disqus (and, yes, comments right here).

Right now, it's an open door policy.

We'll see how it goes.

Update: I temporarily turned on Blogger's comments. We'll see how much monitor real estate they take up ... Charlie

Sunday, April 13, 2008

AlertThingy? Friendfeed Desktop app launches

While everyone's busy watching Microsoft, Yahoo, AOL and News Corp attempt to 'maybe' consolidate, and continue to innovate at the same time, another long-time web and desktop player has been moving right along with little fanfare.

It's Adobe (Can you say Flash, Dreamweaver?)...
The company hasn't just been sitting around watching during all of this web and desktop application mania.

The Adobe AIR desktop platform released last month has seen a barrage of developers using the open API to create some very neat stuff.

Techcrunch reported a while back that a Friendfeed desktop app using AIR was in the works. A couple of hours ago, while I was briefly checking Friendfeed, I noticed Arrington pumping this story.

Cool. Another desktop app.

I ran rightover and installed AlertThingy !
(Quick! Someone call Louis Gray and Scoble too - Friendfeed on steroids).

The app (as do most Adobe AIR apps) looks pretty neat so far.

As I write this, it's popping up little updates from people I follow.

Sound familiar? Pownce was probably one of the first with this type of app.
Of course Twirl (for Twitter) also uses the platform.

Here comes the really exciting part.
They run simultaneously!

Now, I'm going to write a quick script so the apps can talk to each other (and I don't have to talk to them)...

Then I'm taking my wife out to lunch ....

Update: AlertThingy released an update today (April 14). Now version 1.1

Friday, April 11, 2008

Vacation = Twitter requests?

As some of you know my wife and I are taking a few days off to get used to our new digs. For those of you that e-mailed ... Back soon!

Same for the Twitter and Friendfeed gang, which seems to have 'grown' the last few days.

Kudos to our friends at Verizon who got the Internet here turned on early. Nice job!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Pennsylvania's media hits election home run!

Those of us here in Pennsylvania have a new, unfamiliar 'issue' to deal with.

"Duck the candidates syndrome".

From the mountains to the prairies, the Obama and Clinton campaigns are here in full force.

They're not just in the populated areas. They're hitting the rural areas as well.

When I unexpectedly ran into two campaign traffic jams in less than two weeks, it was obvious that there's a lot of money being spent here. The candidates must be fueling with sheer adrenalin! Where's Waldo? They're hitting 4 or 5 stops a day!

So who will the big winner(s) be?

Newspapers, radio stations, and regional television, broadcast and cable.

As in other parts of the country, many media outlets have changed hands here in PA in the past few years. The Democratic election ads have been running literally non-stop across the state.

An unexpected windfall for Pennsylvania's media in a nationally soft advertising environment.

One important point that 'other reports' seems to be missing?

Pennsylvania is a huge college state. Numerous colleges and universities dot the landscape and the candidates know it.

They've both already spoken on numerous college campuses, as have their spouses.

These are the kids of the baby boom generation (a large population in itself), and the 'kids' ARE engaged this time around. The college students are tech savvy and tons on videos are being uploaded to YouTube.

It's not just about the population centers in this primary. It's about who's voting and what they're thinking ...

So if you find yourself here in PA and all of a sudden see a few police cars, then a few satellite TV trucks, you may just have wandered across one of hundreds of hyper campaign stops. Just turn the engine off and suck it up. The lines are so long that unless you've planned in advance, chances are you won't get to see either one of them.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Who's on first? Microsoft vs Yahoo! escalates

Break out your scorecards!

After a weekend that saw Jerry Yang and company at Yahoo! say 'not so fast' in response to Microsoft's ultimatum to Yahoo's board on Saturday, the attempt to takeover Yahoo! by Microsoft could be unraveling.

Two stories by Reuters : News Corp is back, this time possibly joining Microsoft in their Yahoo! takeover bid, and Yahoo! may be close to a deal with Time-Warner's AOL.

Earlier today, TechCrunch reported that Yahoo! was in talks with Google to test-drive parts of the Google advertising platform to which Microsoft quickly responded:

"Any definitive agreement between Yahoo! and Google would consolidate over 90% of the search advertising market in Google’s hands".

Steve Ballmer is not the kind of guy that gives up easily. There has been incredible pressure by the markets this week on Yahoo! shareholders.

Is anyone keeping score? This page from Gabe Rivera's tech news aggregator TechMeMe shows 'a few' people are watching :)

Could Yang prevail?

One thing we know for sure. This is material for a very cool movie.

End to End Trust Vision proposed by Microsoft

Microsoft announced late yesterday, an initiative called 'End to End Trust Vision'.

The 'white paper' can be found here.

While, on the surface, this may sound like a really great idea, it's probably not.

There are numerous studies that show that most people are much less likely to 'be careful' surfing (and downloading) at work, than at home.

This seriously complicates the role of network administrators unless they have convinced management to put in controls. Serious firewalls, virus and rootkit protection, etc., and more.

Most small businesses don't have these in place. Many simply don't know how to implement them and/or can't afford to.

It's not just e-mail anymore. The bad guys are getting good at what they do.

This is the logic behind this initiative. Kill the 'bad boy' websites before they kill your infrastructure. From that perspective, it makes complete sense. This Microsoft / RSA website makes it even more convincing.

A platform for censorship ??

Depending on how this would be implemented, and who (or what computer) determines which sites are bad, the idea could get ugly. In fact it may not work at all, with 'trusted' big name websites being compromised occasionally by 'outsiders'.

Trend Micro's blog reports this stuff on a regular basis.

Google already tags some websites as 'potentially dangerous' in their search results. Microsoft already has some heavy duty trust filters built into Internet Explorer 7 and other products like Microsoft Defender and One Care.

Some countries block specific websites for much different reasons. That's a different problem.

The Net Neutrality proponents feel that the Internet should be 100% open. In many cases this also makes perfect sense. There's a lot of websites out there that you may want to visit, that someone else could decide is bad?

Do we need Internet cops?

There is already tons of hardware and software available to protect you or your business.

This one should be left to education of consumers, small businesses and others.

I, for one, don't want ICANN, Microsoft, a consortium, or anyone else filtering what I can do or see. Maybe FREE virus stuff for consumers? Better filters that you can turn on and off? I hope that's where this is going.

The GOOD thing that this initiative is already doing, is raising public awareness.

Note: It sounds like I've been 'Microsoft bashing' this past week. I think Microsoft is one of the most interesting companies in my lifetime, have been a supporter of their Freedom to Innovate Network ,and more. Simply calling it as I see it (as always), as these individual announcements are made.

UPDATE: The RSA is hosting their own conference May 19-22 in Las Vegas. A member of your staff should probably be there !?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Stuff you may not have noticed - April 9, 2008

There a lots of blogs that point to other sites and create lists, some daily, some weekly, and others just 'every so often'. Just stuff you may not have noticed on the web. Most call it other things like 'in and around the web' or 'links for April 8', etc.

Welcome to our own version. We're calling it ... ugh ... "Stuff You May Not Have Noticed On The Web", an occasional new feature of SEO and Tech Daily. (Occasional means ... 'whenever I feel like it'). No NY Times land for me!

Sighting No.1)
Some visitors to Google's front page today were greeted by this simple message:

Doing one of the things Google does best. Promoting Google.

Google introduced another new open initiative at 'Campfire One', an event held at the GooglePlex in Mountain View, CA this past Monday night and rolled out the new Google App Engine. You can read about the new initiative at any number of websites.

Google knows how to push a product or service. Taking it to the otherwise 'blank' Google search welcome screen is one of the many ways they've been doing it.

So what is this anyway? (Cool logo huh?)

Google wants you to meet a few of their software engineers (and, of course, learn how to use their stuff) person-to-person at Google I/O, a two-day developer gathering in San Francisco on May 28-29. Click here for more details.

In the meantime, Google hit pay dirt with Campfire One itself carefully leaking "Big News coming Monday Night". The financial and tech news sites were all over it. The speculation about 'the big news' swirled around blogs, tech sites, and feed streaming services all day on Monday. This is hyper electronic PR.

Sighting No. 2)

Bob Parsons, founder of the largest domain registrar in the world, GoDaddy. has finally gone video. Parsons is known among other things, for his 'edgy' promotions, usually involving good looking women. (Hey gang, whether you like it or not, it works, and always has and ... probably always will).

For a few years, we've had Bob Parsons radio, now it's Bob Parsons TV (Warning, this is deeply intellectual stuff). The piece is about a former governor of New York, his girlfriend, and how all of this effects GoDaddy. I'd just love to see the Feedburner stats on this one.

GoDaddy's promotion via sports? Well that continues to be a home run. (Whew).

Sighting No. 3)
Speaking of FeedBurner stats, Monday was "Louis Gray A-list day" in the blogosphere, as rapidly rising blogger Louis Gray, did it again, by publishing his very own A-list. A number of other blogs coincidentally (?!) posted their own A-lists the same day but I'm not going to mention Steven Hodson or SheGeeks (Corvida) in this edition at all. Steven is way too grumpy and Corvida is doing much better than me at finding stuff.

I've said it before. Gray does a great job in a popular niche. Breaking stories on the latest feed sharing and so-called 'lifestreaming' applications that are all the rage these days among bloggers. ReadBurner, RSSMeMe, LinkRiver, FriendFeed, and others. Gray was there, obviously loves this stuff, and so does his readers.

SEO and Tech Daily at the TOP of an A-list?

I'm seriously starting to worry about Louis.

Do I have to be more responsible now? Use a spell-check thing?

I knew nothing about it in advance. (Really). Louis' extremely well-informed and highly intellectual post can be found here.

Neat stuff department:

This was one of the most self-perpetuating blog posts I've ever seen, as the guys (and gals) mentioned in Gray's post published versions of it (we wouldn't do this...), and then a whole bunch of wanna-be A-listers did too! At that point, there was whole MeMe of blogs pointing to Gray, who was pointing to us ... and whammo:

See the little 'blip' at the very end. That's subscribers, not one-day wonders. So if you dig us, don't Digg us. Write about us (and think about it as part of YOUR subscriber building strategy!).

Monday, April 7, 2008

Yahoo to Microsoft - You're a bully Steve !

In a letter from Jerry Yang and Roy Bostock to Microsoft, Yahoo! carefully, and somewhat artfully, countered the letter sent by Steve Ballmer to the Yahoo! board just a couple of days ago.

Ballmer's letter, covered here, gave Yahoo! three weeks or close a deal 'or else'.

Yang stated: "We consider your threat to commence an unsolicited offer and proxy contest to displace our independent Board members to be counterproductive and inconsistent with your stated objective of a friendly transaction".

Regardless of how you feel, this is now getting really interesting (If there weren't hundreds of jobs on the line, I would have said 'fun').

The most-visited portal on the Internet vs. one of the largest companies on the planet.

This is war! Hostile takeover attempt. You bet ya.

Reality. My take on this whole deal hasn't changed from the start. Two cool companies, in very different ways. A bad deal for MICROSOFT at the price, that will inevitably. sooner or later, be a 'done deal', simply because of our society's two biggest enemies - 'power' and 'greed'.

It may sound like an oversimplification but the fact remains that Microsoft could do a lot with that money (including innovating from within?) and Yahoo IS very valuable, but not at the price Microsoft offered (or even close).

As the day goes on, I'm sure many will add their two cents. Keep an eye out for Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet on this one. That's what I'll be doing.

Ballmer wants your desktop. In software, and on the web. That makes sense. Buying Yahoo doesn't.

The consolidation will continue among the major players simply because that's the way we've made money on Wall Street for the last decade. Fund Managers are cheering. The markets will determine our future, not reality, or supply and demand.

Gold, Oil, Corn, Gas prices, Banks, and the Internet - Power, Fear, and Greed determining prices, with no benefit to the economy whatsoever.

While sometimes downsizing and /or consolidation is necessary to compete in the global marketplace, I think we've overdone it, and are now feeling the ripple effect throughout the US economy, and around the world.

Bad analogy? The timing couldn't be more perfect.

Memo to Yang : Buy AOL quick. I said it before right here. This could work ... for both companies, and we could continue to see some real, and much needed competition in the marketplace.

Brief Update: I returned late this evening to a few notes from ex-Microsoft and current Microsoft employees regarding my 'innovate from within' comment... and they're right. There are, in fact, many divisions of Microsoft that are innovating at nothing less than an incredible pace. My reference was pointed at overtaking Yahoo's home page Internet traffic (without spending gobs of money on content) and not to the numerous other divisions at Microsoft.

Staff edit Apr 7 PM

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Flock web browser upgrade released

Flock, the increasingly popular 'social' web browser has released version 1.1.1.

The new version fixes a few minor issues and also adds Mozilla's recent security patch.

Users of Flock should receive the upgrade automatically, or can click on 'help'
and 'check for updates'.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

NY Times article - Coincidental thoughts ?

Earlier today, I was just about to write a piece about spending too much time in front of the computer, and how it can really be hazardous to your health.

I had taken several trips in the past few weeks, and it was becoming all too clear that I come back refreshed and objective each time.

I was going to explain why 'this place' doesn't moderate comments, is NOT monetized, and also why numerous other non-profit websites that we put out will be shutting down in the coming weeks (more on that soon).

This blog will continue. Why? It's NOT a source of income for me. I have made some great friends and learned more from colleagues, new and old, than I can count, and mostly, because I simply enjoy writing it.

For those of you that blog for a living, this piece from today's NY Times is must reading.

Good weekend gang

Update: OM Malik, who was mentioned in the NY Times article, reacts here.

Breaking: Microsoft to Yahoo - To the table or else !

Earlier today, Microsoft released a letter from CEO Steve Ballmer to the Yahoo Board of Directors.

In the letter, Ballmer recounts events of the last few months and goes on to say that if good faith negotiations don't begin soon, and a deal is not concluded in 3 weeks, Microsoft will "be compelled to take our case directly to your shareholders, including the initiation of a proxy contest to elect an alternative slate of directors for the Yahoo! board".

The letter which starts off subtle then turns somewhat hostile (as in 'hostile takeover bid') lays out Microsoft's position clear as day.

As they used to say in the movies, "We're comin' for you". Play nice or else.

Friday, April 4, 2008

It's back! Free Stuff to try over the weekend

Every once in a while, we do a post on free software (that works), free graphics, free templates and other completely free stuff that's available on the web.

There are still a lot of really great independent websites offering quality free software, graphics and more.

A few days ago, I was looking at a blog that just stood out. It was simple but had impressive graphics (and icons), a clean layout and a professional flair. It reminded me of a graphics website that I hadn't visited in a while.

There a a few blog gurus that have written that you shouldn't use 'standard templates' or plain vanilla pages. As far as 'circulation', the theory really doesn't hold water as some of the most visited blogs on the Internet are 'standard' (Think Matt Cutts or Robert Scoble). Most of the Google blogs are also, for the most part, 'vanilla'.

There are a lot of factors that play into a blog or website's popularity, most importantly, good content.

On the other hand, if you can make your site look slick, without wasting valuable real estate, (especially above the fold), why not? The graphics crowd might visit more often, or better yet, they may just link to you!

So, as I was about to delve into the world of XML and work on this blog a little, I realized it's 3 AM (and I really should sleep once in a while?), and instead, decided to write this piece and point you to where I was going next.

More than just 'free graphics', Smashing Magazine has carved out a niche among the graphics crowd and is not only loaded with freebies, but tons of advice, web graphics, screensavers, icons, flash and photoshop stuff, css, and more.

There are tools to customize your browser, desktop, blog, website... with a dash of SEO.

Sven Lennartz and Vitaly Friedman have done a great job maintaining and growing this popular destination.

If you haven't been there before, or lately, put aside a little time this weekend and visit Smashing Magazine.

You'll probably find yourself hanging out there for a while :)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Good People Day 08 is today !

So I'm reading threads go by on Twitter and elsewhere and wondering ...
What the heck are they talking about?

We all know I'm a little 'off' (Why else would I even be writing this) but special thanks to Stephanie Agresta (via Facebook) for clearing it up.

I really was starting to wonder. Was it me?

Now it makes complete sense.

Today is Good People Day 2008!

The details from Gary Vaynerchuk are here.

Revisiting the Twitter 100 - Calacanis for President?

Last month, I did a piece on the Twitter 100.

There have been more articles on 'How to use Twitter' than I can count.

The reality is all kinds of users post to Twitter for all kinds of reasons.

Some people are just 'mouthy'. They may have some neat stuff to say, but if you follow them, you may not be able to see much else. I follow these guys (and gals) on Friendfeed, where you can still comment back, but without the intense 'noise' cluttering your Twitter stream.

A few use Twitter almost exclusively for self-promotion. That's OK, because if you don't like it, you can always stop following them (or block them). The one's that don't overdo it, I usually keep turned on. There can be some neat stuff there and you can always grab a quick comment back.

Others use Twitter just like they used to use IM. Pretty much the same, except the WORLD is watching, unless you privatize your account to 'friends only'.

These features and the outright simplicity of Twitter is part of why is continues to grow in popularity and cross-over into other spaces other than Tech News and SEM.

Twitterholic is just one of the many apps that have been introduced in the last six months or so, that let you 'peek' and various statistics about people and companies using Twitter, whether you follow them or not.

The Twitter buzz continues into yet another year.

These numbers are, in fact, a little 'off', because there are now a number of ways you can follow people on Twitter, including the increasing popular (Those 'follows' don't count).

This week:
Barack Obama
Today's peek at the Twitter 100 still shows the Democratic Presidential candidate squarely in No. 1 with 20,582 followers.

We mentioned in our previous post that Mahalo founder Jason Calacanis was giving away a MacBook air in his challenge to climb in the Twitter 100. It seems to be working as Calacanis is now in No. 2 with 16,919. A dramatic one month climb! Journalist Leo Laporte is now in No 3. Where's Robert Scoble? No.4 with 16,692.

In all fairness, there is a VERY small margin of followers among post positions 2 and 4. In fact, the list changes so quickly that Scoble climbed back to 16,712 as I was writing this!

Some other notable changes. Veronica Belmont who yesterday announced she will be leaving Mahalo is in No. 10 (with a slow steady climb) eclipsing Michael Arrington of TechCrunch who dropped to No. 11.

Emily Chang of E-Hub (who recently got engaged on Twitter?!) climbs to 64 as headlines blared for days about the Twitter proposal.

So, with Barack Obama far away in No. 1, where is Hillary Clinton? No. 88. Hmmm.

From a promotional standpoint, I'm honestly not sure if any of this matters unless you've hit the top 10 or so. How Scoble, Calacanis, and some of the others manage to read their Twitter stream is beyond me.

New cottage industry. Personal assistants to answers tweets!
Count on the fact that Obama has one (or two ... or three :)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Online Office Wars continue ... Microsoft ramps up.

Beta invites have been received by numerous Microsoft Beta testers (and others) for their latest online suite of software and web-integrated services.

Microsoft already had a WYSIWYG website and e-mail offering (with a free version), Office Live, which has been improved somewhat over the past few months.

The new Microsoft Online Office beta takes it to the next level, with their newer generation of technologies including Sharepoint, Live Conferencing, Exchange Online, and other services.

Google has already established an online 'office-like' presence, Google Apps, which has been embraced quickly by many in the tech community, particularly for ease in sharing (and permissions) and includes Docs (Word Processing), Spreadsheets, Shared Calendars, and more. They also offer Gmail for your domains with a free version.

Online Office Wars? No doubt about it.

Stay tuned.

Firefox 3.0 Beta 5 continued

We've had a LOT of feedback on the progress of Firefox 3.0 Beta 5, or as Mozilla calls it, 'Minefield'.

While Mozilla is already promoting Firefox 3.0 Beta 4 as 'ready for prime time' (according to some websites), we can tell you, Firefox is getting even better.

Nightly builds are for testing only and some 'builds' can be buggy.

We've been downloading the nightly builds of Minefield and using it regularly.

Currently, the stable version of Firefox ( is still gaining ground with 15-17% of the enterprise market (significantly higher among bloggers and 'techies').

Mozilla will make big news when Firefox 3.0 is released and the extensions catch up.

Stay tuned :)

Update: Shortly after our post yesterday, Mozilla posted this page on Firefox 3 Beta 5 (IE: The facts).

Windows XP Service Pack 3 gets closer

So far, two release candidates of the third 'service pack' for Windows XP (SP3) have been released by Microsoft.

As reported previously, we have tested both of these packages on 3 XP machines, and to date, have had no negative issues.

Is it getting closer? What's under the hood?

The overview PDF of Windows XP Service Pack 3 was posted by Microsoft late yesterday to the Microsoft Download Center and can be found here.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Ex-Googler Vanessa Fox to start new company

I guess, because it's today (April Fools Day), I have to qualify just about everything I post.

(For those new to 'these parts', about half of what you find on blogs and websites today, can, and will be, April Fools jokes).

This story isn't.

Late yesterday, Vanessa Fox broke a little news of her own, on her personal blog.

Fox, best known for spearheading Google's Webmaster Central, left Google some time ago to join Richard Barton and crew at real estate start-up Zillow.

Last year, she made yet another move, to Danny Sullivan's Search Engine Land and also as an 'entrepreneur in residence' at Ignition Partners. (She's also a regular on the SEO / SEM speaking circuit).

Vanessa Fox is ready to start a new company in concert with her role at Ignition Partners.

Can she find the right people to accomplish what she's setting out to do?

The post can be found here.

staff edit Apr 1 PM