September 23rd, 2013 § § permalink
I’ve been using email for most of my life (boy that makes me feel old) and email has improved in three key ways since then:
- mobile access
But it’s still a mess, perhaps more today than ever before. An average person spends 28% of their time processing email, and virtually everyone continues to fight with their inbox every day. Just look at the number of folks trying to achieve inbox zero.
A little while ago my friend Dmitri Leonov told me about a product he was working on that would save me from email. And he did just that.
The product is called SaneBox and I love it.
SaneBox does a number of things. It looks at your relationship with your emails and decides what’s important to you based on your past behavior. It then moves your unimportant emails out of your Inbox into a separate folder, and summarizes them in a digest. It’s smart, it evolves and it’s done automatically.
SaneBox does other stuff too (lets you unsubscribe with 1 click, snooze non-urgent emails until later, etc) but those are the killer features for me. Best of all, everything works anywhere you check your email (on any provider or device) just by adding a folder, instead of forcing me to use another website or app. And if SaneBox makes a mistake, I can just move the email to the correct folder to train it.
If you suffer from too much email like me, give SaneBox a try.
August 20th, 2013 § § permalink
Fred Wilson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
We launched a fun new featurette today—the tech circle. You can read more about it on our main blog, and on Fred Wilson’s blog, but in essence it is a showcase for our latest product, the content discovery network.
This was my first product launch again in years, so I couldn’t sleep really. But not simply because something was going to go live.
Since Fred was leading the pack with his blog post, and since Fred blogs early in the morning, we had to flip the switch on his blog before he wakes up. Because all blogging tools are somewhat old, the best way to do that is to actually put some code into the design of the site.
I’ve had Fred’s google analytics
access for a while now, and now he shared his blog access as well. So I had the honor to hack my way trough Typepad’s opaque templating system. Of course I first tried on a test blog, and of course the templates changed on the live blog as well while I was still figuring out how it all works. Hopefully nobody noticed.
Anyways, our recommendations have now connected together a group of very interesting product people from very different backgrounds. Would love to hear your comments on it, and would love to hear if anyone would want to start a new circle with some of your blogging friends.
January 23rd, 2013 § § permalink
there is a very interesting discussion going on about the emerging business landscape of wordpress plugins, between Evan Solomon and Pippin Williamson, and even Matt chimed in.
English: Matt Mullenweg during the conference WordCamp in San Francisco CA 5 August 2006 Français : Matt Mullenweg lors de la conférence WordCamp, à San Francisco, le 5 août 2006. Deutsch: Matt Mullenweg während der Konferenz WordCamp in San Francisco, USA am 5. August 2006. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
they observe correctly, that plugins are becoming real businesses, however they feel that it’s not as serious as the themes business, nor that it ever will be.
while this is probably true if you consider only ‘custom plugin development’ and ‘premium plugin’ models, however there is another significant business model that emerged in the last years, that they are ignoring here.
for us at Zemanta, wordpress plugin has always been a core driver of adoption, and we’ve built a real business around it. but our business is actually software-as-a-service offering built on top of the plugin, rather than the plugin itself. the plugin is essentially a delivery mechanism, that is very efficient because most publishers are using a modular CMS, predominantly WordPress.org. but the real business value lies behind the scenes, in the cloud, where we can afford to process large amount of data.
I see business like ours grow tremendously over the past few years, and I see a lot of WordPress.org plugins being leveraged in this way – to deliver real value for the publishers, and enable diverse business models from utility, advertising and agency work, scale.
WordPress.org has built an impressive ecosystem, it’s tight integration of the CMS with the plugins directory enables SAAS models with almost frictionless infrastructure to customers (auto-updates, integrated discovery, security guidelines), but at the same time it’s sometimes limiting. it’d be great if WordPress.org was more aware of the needs of all constituents.
August 27th, 2012 § § permalink
it seems the debate about the death of blogging just won’t die out, but this post by Tim Bray is a great. I completely agree with everything:
- that the main reasons for someone to blog are:
- You love writing.
- To influence.
- To entertain.
- To inform.
- that people who have always written stuff are mainly those who can’t not to
- and the following quote sum’s it up:
I don’t know of any way to be influential without deploying some combination of rhetoric and polemic and storyline. And I don’t think you can do that without writing a few hundred words, organized into paragraphs, with a permalink.
August 25th, 2012 § § permalink
Planet example (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
So, everyone is talking about a balloon accident lately, but my Blogspire sent me a version of the report that blew my mind – hungarian project that maps all emergency events on the planet, from major traffic accidents to fly-by-objects.
Here is an example:
EDIS Number: VI-20120823-36303-SVN Date / time: 23/08/2012 14:30:44 [UTC] Event: Vehicle Accident Area: Europe Country: Slovenia State/County: Capital City Location: [About 6 miles south of Ljubljana] Number of Deads: 4 person(s) Number of Injured: 28 person(s) Number of Infected: N/A Number of Missing: N/A Number of Affected:…
and they have another project, mapping all grobal warming events.
Both of them are a great addition to a growing list of real-time global dashboards of differenti aspects of the Planet. I’ve been collecting them for a while now, and it seems it’s time to create a dedicated page for them.
Please feel free to submit any dashboard you know of that I’ve missed in the comments.
August 24th, 2012 § § permalink
Amazing how we never see opinions like these coming from within Silicon Valley itself.
Silicon Valley is facing an image problem. Facebook didn’t even leave the Valley to ring the opening bell on its tragic IPO, and that was after spending $1 Billion on Instagram. Meanwhile Zuck’s sister is shooting a “reality” show in San Francisco and calling it… well, reality. Let’s not forget the Angry Birds movie, either.
…the media in Silicon Valley needs to stop regurgitating the same stories to the top of Techmeme every day. Secondly, focus on BIG problems – stop saturating the media with acquisitions like Instagram which do nothing to actually change a significant problem in the world. Finally, look to the established giants who are solving the world’s most important problems – from healthcare, to politics, to green energy and education.
I agree almost completely, the valley as a business hub is becoming more about efficiently moving pieces of paper, than solving next greatest problem of the world. They are starting to resemble entertainment industry of south California.
One thing that we should see as their achievement and contribution to the world though, are numerous frameworks and recipes for reducing friction in entrepreneurship. Everyone around the world knows about the lean startup now, and it is helping to unleash new talents in other places.
Not sure why I’m remembering Monty Python right now.
August 21st, 2012 § § permalink
Last few months we’ve witnessed a birth of an almost whole new industry. Here’s a good summary:
Native monetization is a fast growing form of digital advertising that is changing the complexion of the advertising industry in New York. Native advertising refers to ad strategies ad strategies that allow brands to promote their content into the endemic experience of a site in a non-interruptive, integrated way.
August 20th, 2012 § § permalink
A Rocher, layer by layer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I really admire product, technology and design people, who dare to incorporate the findings of psychological science into their work. I deeply believe our whole generation is ignorantly reinventing the wheels all the time.
This is a great article about the layers of great design, where giving the products personality is the final stage.
Do something unexpected and new. Uniqueness Differ from other products in an interesting way . Attention Offer incentives, or offer help even if you’re not obliged to. Attraction We all like attractive people, so build an attractive product. Anticipation Leak something ahead of the launch. Exclusivity Offer something exclusive to a select group.
August 15th, 2012 § § permalink
Tim Berners-Lee: The World Wide Web
I was curious about the total pageviews of the web. It turns out they are not really tracked anywhere, and that they are easy to estimate, so I did a quick analysis.
First I found two sources for ‘global total pageviews’:
- Akamai Net Usage Index - amazing real time dashboard of part of this data. They say that every minute 3 million pageviews are spent on news sites, and 10 million on social sites. That’s friggin’ a lot of pageviews! But I wanted to know the grand total, and hopefully get some sense on where the blogs are in the picture.
- blog post about interpolating this data from Alexa. Nice approach, but a few years old data, so I decided to repeat the process.
Alexa publishes pageviews for every site for free as a % of global pageviews. First thing to do was estimate the grand total, as described in that blog post, by looking at the published data from Wikipedia.
11,600,000,000 / 0.5% = 2320,000,000,000 monthly total pageviews on the Web
… told you it was easy but that just means we can dig deeper. Alexa publishes the list of top million sites in a downloadable text file, so I wrote a script to go trough it, scrape Alexa pages for top 10.000 sites and store their individual traffic shares.
» Read the rest of this entry «
June 4th, 2012 § § permalink
OpenStreetMap Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I’m amused by the US media’s understanding of European geography / economy:
Piano Media, the joint web news payment system operating in Slovakia and Slovenia, is preparing to launch in a third, larger market this summer, after recently taking funding for globalisation. “The third country we are launching in July will be much larger than the two we already have combined,…
There is a question mark over whether Piano can replicate even these small numbers outside its own back yard…
… to think that slovenia is slovakia’s backyard, or that they are both the same backyard, is like saying US and Panama are the same backyard.
on the other hand, I’m glad Piano did their tests in these two countries, because now maybe more westerners will actually learn to tell us apart.