Thursday, February 23, 2006

TED conference? Get out your wallet.....

What a contrast between the hyper energized Mashup Camp with college students, internet legends, and free admission (hey, I did donate some cash!) and the fancy pants Technology Entertainment Design Conference which I ... had to miss because I 1) had never heard of it and 2) didn't care to pony up $4400, by INVITATION ONLY, to hear a bunch of very rich people talking about ... something. With a barrier to admission like that you've got to wonder what these folks take away from the experience.

If your request is accepted you will be entitled to purchase a TED pass for $4,400. We welcome to TED a wide variety of leading thinkers and doers from all fields of endeavor.

... who are rich/gullible enough to pony up $100 per hour 24/7 for the duration of the conference. ... thanks but....I'll pass.

JoeDuck's Blog

Top 100 blogs

OK, for the benefit of the few who read THIS blog I thought I'd throw out a list of the "A list blogs" that are read by .... more people than you can shake a stick at.

Interestingly I'm thinking Blogs are quite DEficient as a conversational medium because you've got the blog OWNER in control and the commenters in a very weak position. Tim Berners Lee, who invented the internet even before Al Gore, wanted a "two way conversation". We are NOT there yet and I think a sort of wikified blogging niche mashup forum environment, where people with similar interest sets will come together in unstructured but highly motivating and unstructured but facilitating and enabling ways, will eventually rule the internet.

I hope so and in fact will work towards this goal in the travel space.

From TECHNORATI: Top 100 blogs

JoeDuck's Blog

SONY Brain Blast ....

Wow - how did I miss this news from last April? SONY has patented a process by which impulses would be shot into the brain to enhance or even CREATE sensations including tasting and emotion. The idea is that this will jazz up the game experience. Cool.

The extension of this type of technology is taking us out of control of our own senses and placing machines in charge of that department. I think it's neat, but if I were one of those worried about Orwellian developments in technology I'd be worried....

Worried until until SONY blasted my brain with "calm down, don't worry about this, BUY SONY" impulse into my brain and I'd live happily ever after on my couch with a game console and watching SONY TV sets.

Sony's Sensory blast o matic
article in New Scientist

JoeDuck's Blog

What to make when you CAN make ANYTHING

Still reeling from the mashup vibe. The game has changed from what type of web environment can we AFFORD to build to what type of web environment do we WANT to make? With only minor exaggeration it's now possible to create pretty much any website application you can imagine online very cheaply using existing APIs and existing data, and only a modest level of programming skill or support.

In the travel space this has huge implications because there are no great sites out there. Expedia and Travelocity are busy pitching vacations to people rather than building a rich interactive travel experience. Better sites like TripAdvisor and Virtual Tourist remain kind of clunky and lack the comprehensive approach though I still think VT is tops due to it's community focus, though they appear to have too few people (of the 600,000 members they claim to have) actively participating to be robust enough to compete on a global scale for traffic. Comprehensive sites like our Online Highways are too dull and closed and lack community.

So, what will we do now that we can do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING in travel?

Stay tuned!

JoeDuck's Blog

Safe at Home after Mashup Camp

Wow.... my overstuffed brain is still smoking from MashupCamp down in sunny Silicon Valley. As much as I enjoy trips down to the closest thing to a home the internet will ever have via a scenic 6 hour drive, it sure is nice to come home to small town Oregon where mashing is done with potatoes and not computer applications.

At the event Venture capitalist Peter Rip observed that many of the mashup concepts were probably too dependent on other programs and platforms to be viable business models. I think he'd agree that the strongest use of the mashups is to add value to an existing model, allowing it to do VERY complex things with data sources and serve users in powerful new ways that are no longer expensive - in most cases free. All this through the APIs that Yahoo, Google, and MSN are stumbling over each other to get out into the developer community.

I'm loving this aspect of the new web because we already have a viable travel website with tons of data but it still sucks in terms of providing the user with a richly interactive, map and information intense experience. Mashups may allow us to do much, much better.

THIS cost to benefit advantage is, for me, the very profound and destabilizing aspect of mashups, and I think this advantage has yet to sink in outside the development community, where people are really getting .... excited.

Bubble web, aka web 1.0, placed spectacular and foolish values on the *implementation of the idea* behind a website. It assumed, somewhat correctly back then, that it cost a lot in time and money to develop even modest web applications that crunched a lot of information in complex ways. Few of those companies attracted enough user attention to work as the "if you build a clever site they will come" model died in spectacular and well-deserved fashion.

The great thing about 2.0 / Mashup Web is that we are approaching a model where the cost to crunch and publish massive amounts of data is approaching zero, and the number of applications to do this in clever new ways is exploding. A9 search, for example, is adding a new "vertical search engine" every day or so. Ironically A9 still shows Google search results yet Amazon, which completely owns A9, is releasing APIs and the ENTIRE hugely massively gigantic Alexa crawl upon which you can build a true global search engine. Still a confusing world changing at dizzying pace.

Not always FUN but always EDUCATIONAL!

JoeDuck's Blog