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Demo 2008 – Liveblog experiment

I'm at the Demo 2008 Conference today. Ever heard of Live Blogging? It's when some crazy person decides to type a narrative of an event in real time. For fun and profit. I read about this product called Cover It Live to do just that and I thought I'd try it….

Dapper: A very cool service

It's a little hard to explain and I didn't manage to get it working myself yet, but still I am highly intrigued with Dapper. Dapper's tag line is:

"Get more traffic to your site. Easily provide new means for people to access your content (such as RSS). You can use Dapper to create feeds, widgets, and APIs with your content and links."

It's a elegant and fancy screenscraping service, as far as I can tell. I think there may be a lot more to it and I intend to spend the time to learn all about it.

Here's a really excellent screencast showing how Dapper works.

Bill Clinton: First Lad or …

People wring their hands about the possibility of having Bill Clinton back in the white house as the first ever First Spouse, working mano-a-mano with Hillary. I like Bill Clinton a lot - I did when he was president and I still do. Yet I can understand the misgivings.

In today's New York times:

"Which raises an important matter. Do we really want a plural presidency?

This is not a new question. It was intensely debated in the convention that formulated our Constitution. The Virginia Plan for the new document submitted by Edmund Randolph and the New Jersey Plan submitted by William Paterson left open the number of officers to hold the executive power." (from "Two Presidents are worse than one")

But the section about Dick Cheney brought an even crazier scenario to mind.

What if Hillary is elected and picks Bill as ……………. VICE PRESIDENT?

Great coverage of Enterprise 2.0

In the Portals and KM blog, a pair of great articles about "Enterprise 2.0". Bill Ives has been following and covering Enterprise 2.0, which I've seen defined as "the Application of Web 2.0 technologies to workers using network software within an organization or business."

Check out these two articles each of which are quite useful surveys of what's going on in the space:

  1. Enterprise 2.0 Success Stories, The Best from 2007: "People are often looking for examples of Enterprise 2.0 successes. I am seeing a growing number of examples and wanted to collect them in one post. This is an update from September to complete the best for 2007. Here they are in a somewhat random order and I will add to this list as I encounter more."

  2. Enterprise 2.0 Tools: Update on Descriptions and Reviews from 2007: "In the last few months I have been talking with a number of tools that can support Enterprise 2.0. I posted on each, either here or at the FastForward blog, often in both spots. Some are currently more web focused but could be adapted to the enterprise. Here is an updated listing on them with links to the relevant blog post."

  3. Link to site: Great coverage of Enterprise 2.0

Facebook Applications: Where they live

I've been learning and thinking about Facebook applications, which everyone else is also writing and thinking about… I will be posting about some of the interesting facts and insights as they come up.

This one is fairly obvious if you think about it, but it may be a useful reminder.

_Facebook applications don 't ever let you actually store anything on the Facebook servers/service themselves. _

In other words, let's say you add a really cool Facebook application that let's you display and share all the books you have read, and let all your friends do the same. Everyone is writing reviews and marking thumbs up and down on these books, organizing them into bookshelves and what not.

All of that information is being stored somewhere else, not "at facebook". That is, not on their servers, under their control, under their security, backup and availability. They don't have any responsibility over it.

When you use the Facebook application it sure looks like everyone and everything is under one umbrella, but it's not.

Why might this matter?

  • If the server on which your application's information breaks or dies, your information is offline or lost, irrespective of how big and powerful Facebook Inc is.

  • While Facebook might have assured you that they will only allow authorized people to see, change or delete your info, this assurance does not apply to the information you entered via the application.

These observations are not profound and they are obvious from the structure of Facebook applications. But they are easy to overlook or assume wrongly.

Update: I just read a relevant post in Bill Ives blog about a new service called Workbook. Workbook is a Facebook application which allows users to access some of their secure information apparently through Facebook. Not the same as what I am talking about above, but relevant.

Is this good? Sun buys MySql!

From the Wall Street Journal:

"[snip…] Sun Microsystems Inc. has agreed to buy open-source software maker MySQL AB for $1 billion, and said its fiscal second-quarter net income nearly doubled on boosted margins, according to preliminary results.Sun is paying $800 million in cash and assuming $200 million in options to acquire MySQL.

The Swedish company makes open-source database software used by companies such as online search leader Google Inc., social-networking site Facebook Inc. and Finnish phone maker Nokia Corp.[snip…]" from "WSJ: Sun Micro to Buy MySQL, Maker of Open-Source Database By ANDREW EDWARDS

If you don't have a WSJ subscription, don't fret: rumor is that WSJ online will soon be free 🙂