Scott Loftesness › Likes

Thomas Hawk
NatureScapes.Net - Helicopter Photography Primer -
An interesting primer if you are ever thinking about taking a helicopter tour of an area to get some aerial shots. - Thomas Hawk
I want to do this someday. - Anthony Citrano
Jimmy Wales
Simon T. Small @simontsmall is more famous than @scobleizer!
hahaha! watch out Scoble :P - Simon T Small
hello~ - kang
Yes, both are very famous. - David Damore
Chris Gulker
Chris Gulker
Tim O'Reilly
Who Will Cut The Gordian Knot of Healthcare Billing? -
Thomas Hawk
My Photography Workflow 2009 -
A Thousand Miles
Thanks for sharing! - Scott Loftesness
Awesome, thank you Thomas! - Holger Eilhard
Interesting differences on how I use to do it. I usually copy the photos of the CF card to my desktop, geotag them (either automatically using an Amod GPS logger and GPSPhotoLinker or - just like you - manually with Geotagger - thanks to @craigstanton for that btw) then import them using Lightroom and apply some keywords during that step. From there it's pick, edit, output, upload. - Holger Eilhard
Nice thank you for sharing, cool read. - Dan owns
Thanks for sharing. I didn't know about Pro Photo Tools - I'll have to look into it. - John (bird whisperer)
Holger, I don't geotag first because 85% of my photos or so I never finish or publish. It would be too much unnecessary work to geotag everything for me. I suppose if the entire shoot was at one location this might be preferable, but frequently I'm walking around a lot and don't want to do any more keywording and geotagging than I have to. - Thomas Hawk
Thomas, have you ever considered getting a logger that you carry around to ease that process? Or using the - well, pretty expensive - automatic Canon solution in form of that WFT battery grip? - Holger Eilhard
Holger, I have thought about that and will probably end up doing that in the end. I'm not crazy about having to use the battery grip with my 5D M2, which is already very heavy and bulky and I'm also not crazy about having to synch up software and my images later with an external unit. Most likely though I'd expect to begin using the Canon solution (probably within the next year) on walks where I'm moving around alot and not using it for single location shoots which are easier to mass geotag. - Thomas Hawk
I know there are GPS units for Nikons that sit on the flash shoe and are pretty low profile. That might work better than a battery grip. Excellent post, by the way. - Ken Davidson
I hope Canon will release a cheaper solution to solve that problem. Getting an 700 Euro BG + 100 Euro GPS receiver isn't really the way I like... The Nikon thing is just ~200 Euro and gets the job done. - Holger Eilhard
Ken, for Canon there's only the battery grip (wireless file transmitter, not the regular BG) which allows you to plug in a GPS receiver... - Holger Eilhard
Thanks for sharing this. Was wondering why you don't keyword before you export the .jpgs. Also, since you don't mention DNG, I'm assuming you don't use it. Was wondering what your thoughts were on DNG. - Andy Roth
Andy, I suppose I could keyword before I export. I'm not sure what I really gain from that though. I suppose I like keywording later because I can get my developing done faster on individual images and export them out --that way I can begin seeing processed photos on my screensaver faster. This way if there blemishes I can still fix them. - Thomas Hawk
The advantage is, if you keyword before you export, both the RAW files and the .jpgs will contain the keywords. - Andy Roth
As far as DNG, I've never felt like I get much from that over RAW. As the photos are already RAW it seems unnecessary to do an additional conversion to DNG when I don't really understand the value of that format other than it is a more open format than Canon's proprietary RAW format. Personally I think that I'll always have a way to access those Canon files or at least have access to a... more... - Thomas Hawk
In terms of keywording RAW files, I guess I haven't really seen the value there when the exact same image is keyworded in JPG. It's pretty simple for me to search for a JPG file either on my hard drive or on Flickr/Zooomr and simply refer to the date in the metadata if I need to find the original RAW file, but I suppose whether you keyword before export or after export really is simply a matter of personal preference. - Thomas Hawk
Interesting that you use the Canon Camera Window for downloading. You may be the first pro I've run into who depends on it, but it makes sense. - Nick Savides
Nick, it's just super easy and reliable and gets the job done. There may in fact be better ways of doing it but it's probably one of those things that because it's not broke, why fix it. If I saw tangible evidence towards a better way to offload photos I'd certainly consider it. For a while I was annoyed that Camera Window would auto start Canon's processing software after it finished transferring the files, but then I just deleted that software and it stopped autoloading. - Thomas Hawk
the other thing about Camera Window is that it's lighter than Lightroom and takes less memory/resources. So if I'm out on a shoot and take a coffee break for a few minutes to offload files I don't need to boot up Lightroom necessarily. Normally under that scenario I just want to get the images off my card as quick and fast as possible. It does mean that later I need to synch the folders with Lightroom but that's not really a big deal for me. - Thomas Hawk
I liked your thoughts on using A and B folders to order your uploads. I've been doing that for a while, but in general I got tired of the manual upload process. I figured time could be saved by automating this, so I wrote a script that runs each day and chooses random A and B pictures to upload via the Flickr API. Once they're up. they are removed from the A and B folders. I never miss a day uploading, and it keeps me motivated to replenish those upload queues. - Tom Harrison
Great TH! More stuff for me to change. In the process I realized how out of date my workflow posts are. Time to update them methinks! - Phill Price
Tom that sounds like an excellent way to automate thing and establishes your geek cred at a much higher level than mine. ;) I'd have no idea how to do a script for that. I actually like the manual process though as I can determine the exact order that they are to be uploaded in while looking at them. - Thomas Hawk
Haha, yeah Computer Science nerd here. I might publish the script at some point. - Tom Harrison
10 TB of photos is a _LOT_. I hope to one day get there but I my D40 doesn't make big enough RAW files. :) How do you search across all those images? Is there software reliable and powerful enough to not choke on that much data? I wish I could buy some sort of white label Flickr for this purpose. - EricaJoy
(I just use pixelpipe to upload from LR or if a delayed post I send a delayed email (through pixelpipe) - it posts to automatically (through my own WP plugin) when there's a new photos with the same title in all four places (smugmug, ipernity, zooomr, flickr) then th fave and comment grabbing comes in too; bliss! - Phill Price
Nice write up TH and well explained. Your process is almost identical to my current process except for a few minor things such as your geo tagging processes. - Justin Korn
Thomas - thanks for sharing; both your workflow and your photos. We mere photographic mortals can only aspire to your throughput, but sharing elements of the workflow lets us feel just a bit closer to the bar you're setting. - Rob Kramer
As a side note - fiddling w/ LR means it now rather handily imports photos off the memory card, and drops into folders organised and named by date, which works great for organising. Also, Jeffrey Friedl's got a great series of plugins that export to Flickr (and Facebook, among others) with the bonus that a metadata field for 'uploaded to' either service is marked yes or no - another option for keeping track of what's been published. - Rob Kramer
Yes thanks for sharing. This technical stuff is always very intriguing. Here's an interesting question - how much awareness do you have of what's in your photo library and where it is? I'm thinking about my own library of about 13,000 images of which 4,300 have been processed and I can still usually see a photo and know when and where it was taken. I'm wondering at what point that starts to become more difficult. Or does one never lose track much? - Tom Harrison
I don't know how he did it, but it's amazing - Ikaro
...great share @THawk! - .LAG liked that
You shoot so many photos I'm surprised you're manually geo-tagging photos the way you are. I would recommend a more automated method. I run a little app on my iPhone 3G called Trails which records my movements as I do a photowalk. It records a number of way points along the way and in the end you end up with a GPX file. Jeff Friedl has a cool little plugin for Lightroom... more... - Kenny Louie
Simple, yet effective. Inspiring for me to get up to speed - Bruno Raymond
Thanks for doing this Thomas. Always useful to share and understand workflows regardless of the topic. - Mark Krynsky
Thank you for sharing. How do you carry your stuff all day? Backpack? Bags? I know that having the camera with you full time it's the rule no. 1 but I believe it must be really tiring. When I go shooting I always try to limit as much as possible the extra lenses I take with me, just to be more free and comfortable. - ialla
Interesting article about your workflow. About DNG there is one huge advantage in my opinion. You keep all your metadata in one single file and get rid of the sidecars. The main disadvantage is the time it takes to convert the RAW-files to DNG. Otherwise I work very much like you except that I use Lightroom for import and HoudahGeo for geotagging. - Håkan Dahlström
Thanks for sharing this Thomas, I am actually thinking of implementing part of your workflow in mine. I think I have really come to a point now wehere I have to start thinking about my own personal workflow very seriously. One question: Do you delete all unflagged photos afetr your LR Session? - Alexander Kesselaar
thawk, great post. and some great comments. 1) you should consider releasing your lightroom development presets (like Matt does ) 2) in order to get the flickr pics onto my blog (using, i wrote a little extension that grabs the latest, formats them in a "lightbox". AutoFlickr. that saves me lots of copy&pasting. demo--> - big luzer
ialia, I use a Lowepro camera backpack (the CompuDayPak) that goes with me everywhere every day. Erica, I often will use Flickr or Zooomr to search for photos by tags and then look at the date of the image and go to that folder when need be. Sometimes I'll use desktop search if I can't find an image, but it seems to be slower. - Thomas Hawk
As for geotagging: Wouldn't it be nice if I could correlate my 'date + time taken' data in my picture with my iPhone GPS information? How close would you have to synchronize the clocks to get a reasonably accurate stamp...? - Charlie Owen
Crap. Kenny Louie said above you can already do this. Amazing. - Charlie Owen
Thomas, great, same backpack as I have. Still weighs I lot though... - ialla
And behind the scenes...All this takes a very very long time so it is peppered with brief gasps for air, hugs & kisses for his wife whenever he comes w/in 3 ft, playing hoops with the 2 boys, reading to all 4 children, providing guidance on homework & conflict resolution, pouring his wife a glass of wine nightly followed by a foot rub & netflix to coax her to sleep so he can continue... more... - Mrsth
@Mrsth: I can totally imagine that whole scene in my head. Incredible. :) - Bryan Villarin
Thomas, I would love to know your secrets on time management...I honestly don't see how you can do it all and still have a full time job to boot! Whew! @Mrsth I am impressed! - Susan Dennis
Louis Gray
One way to help solve California's budget crisis... start allowing the @ sign in personalized license plates. Wouldn't you all get one?
Hey now, many of us in fiscally strapped New York would buy these up in a second;-) - B.J. Mendelson
There are other states? - Louis Gray
I'd buy one in NY!! - Susan Beebe
Mine wouldn't fit. - Robert Scoble
Nor would mine, Robert. Don't confuse the implementation with the sale. :) - Louis Gray
No, but I don't live in California - Jesse Stay
who wouldn't? Brilliant. - Josh Haley
The future of government earning is capitalism and capitalism is all about "me". - Josh Haley
"How's my driving?" Email me at - James C Kim
I would definitely get it if MD had it available, when I lived in OH I had FRGMNTD on my tags - Tony Fluharty
Great idea!!! Although, mine wouldn't fit either... - Julianne from Nambu
CA License plate names in 6 alpha-num or less (assume 1 char is lost in @ to help differentiate with regular license plates and alpha & num is allowed) - 36^6 values (2 billion+) compared to 36 mil CA population. Every person can have it seems as long as you can find a CA license handle with 6 alpha-num. What would your handle be then? - kartik vaithyanathan
Kartik, I would probably have to go with @louisg (after taking over that account) or @lg (the account is currently suspended). - Louis Gray
i wonder how many accidents & road-rage assaults would happen as a result of the @vanity plates? i bet alot of people would jump at the opportunity to grab the phone and Twitter any bad/slow/inconsiderate drivers they encountered. i know i would ;-) - grace
Rafe Needleman
Benjamin Golub
FriendFeed Simplifies Joining Process from Twitter, Enhances Syncing -
Good work, Ben. I understand you are implementing all of FriendFeed's cool features now and the rest of the team is relegated to back-end optimization? - Louis Gray
+1 This is fabulous, Ben! Great work! - Eric Johnson
Louis: This was technically my project but the whole team had a hand in the finished product (as with all of our feature launches). Casey and Paul in particular laid some of the groundwork for this launch. - Benjamin Golub
just had a nice tour with the new feature - Giovanni De Stefano
Are U using oAuth for authentication than OpenID? - Lakshman Prasad
The Google sign in uses the combined OAuth + OpenID: - Benjamin Golub from email
Still need Imaginary Friends reestablished. Without them I still have to check both FF and twitter so there is no clear cut winner yet. - Jude
Geeee: we don't use Facebook Connect but the big Facebook button on the logged out homepage and at effectively does the same thing using the API. - Benjamin Golub
Not sure if there was any user error on my part (how?) but when I used the "import twitter friends" tool, I ended up with some subscriptions to the wrong people. One example: I follow @lancearmstrong over on twitter and ended up subscribed to someone who just happens to import that twitter stream into friend feed. - Matsis
Matsis: thanks for reporting that account. We do our best to make sure you subscribe to the right person but some slip through the cracks (especially very popular users on Twitter). I'll fix that bug. - Benjamin Golub
Rafe Needleman
I'm moderating discussion w/ Twitter, LinkedIn architects tonite in Santa Clara: Sign up now, it's free. C U there.
This sounds very interesting, thanks, for sharing, Zee. - Kol Tregaskes
Mitchell Tsai
How to Filter and Manage Your Online Social Life [Information Overload] -
Jeremiah Owyang
Nice photos from dreammachines09! - Robert Scoble
That camera on your Nokia is amazing! - Gregg Le Blanc
Thanks. I did light weight touchup with picnik, photo editing software - Jeremiah Owyang
Jeremiah Owyang
Great photos from dreammachines09. I'll have mine up soon. - Robert Scoble
Wow! Great work... - Scott Loftesness
Paul Buchheit
I could try this next week, but I don't think it would work. We're still too much of a fetus and our cells aren't yet differentiated. Besides, how often do I get to check FriendFeed, according to this list? - Kevin Fox
Never heard that stem cell analogy before. I like it. - Laurence Gonsalves
I am already practicing most of this, well in my head mostly, but definitely something I would like to do for real. Thanks for sharing! - Damond Nollan
Chris Gulker
Darren Rowse
New from TwiTip: Using Twitter To Market Your Art
Paul Buchheit
I just activated the new Twitter feed, so public tweets should appear here almost instantly. It's still in alpha though, so it stop working occasionally. Please let me know if you see any issues.
Picture 24.png
It's especially fun to see with the notifier installed ( -- I pressed "update" on, and within about a second it went through all kinds of internet plumbing to appear in a bubble on my desktop! - Paul Buchheit
cool :) "internet plumbing" FTW! - Susan Beebe
You sir are made of AWESOME! - AJ Batac
excellent! - vijay
AJ, the team over at Twitter did most of the hard work -- I just plugged it in. - Paul Buchheit
cool x 2 ! - Susan Beebe
Is this using any variant of SUP or something custom to Twitter? - Phil Glockner
wow this is fast. awesome work - Alfredo 亜瑠布れっど
Nice indeed. Twitter is still useful as a conversational-starter for FriendFeed threads. This makes it better. - Jesper Lind
very nice! - Jay
It was neat to see the Twitpic come through so fast. Very cool. - Heather Solos
Phil, it's a custom Twitter protocol. - Paul Buchheit
Thanks, Paul. - Phil Glockner
Still Paul, FriendFeed received the update as fast. ;) - AJ Batac
This is excellent, thanks! - Aaron Draczynski
Perfectly instant! :) - Mohammad Abdurraafay
Awesome. Paul does this mean that all tweets will be searchable in friendfeed or just the subset that are somehow mapped to friendfeed real or imaginary users? - Edwin Khodabakchian
Edwin, only the feeds that have been imported by FriendFeed users are searchable. - Paul Buchheit
Thanks for the clarification. - Edwin Khodabakchian
I noticed that, superfast. - Chris Loft
16 seconds from hitting return on TweetDeck to showing up on FriendFeed for me! Nice work! Never again will I have to hunt for the "Refresh Twitter" link :) - Nathan Chase
Whoa - that is damn fast. Just posted a tweet, it was in my feed immediately. Nice! - Hutch Carpenter
I'm actually seeing tweets here before I see them in my twitter client - Matsis
A big "that is awesome" to you. - Eric - Final Countdown
Matsis, that's probably because (like paul said) FF is using a custom twitter protocol that your client is (probably) not using (yet) - Chris Heath
Like this. - John E. Bredehoft
twitter built it? are they changing their api up? - Frankie Warren
I come back to some good news! - Michael Fidler
This rocks. And yes, what Matsis said: I'm seeing tweets show up here before in twitter clients. - guruvan (Rob Nelson)
(and if I had a mass invisible friend importer I wouldn't need a twitter client) :) nudge nudge wink wink - guruvan (Rob Nelson)
Is this a two-way street? are outbound posts to twitter going through the same plumbing? I swear I'm seeing retweets as soon as I see the "Liked" item in my own tweetstream. - guruvan (Rob Nelson)
Congrat's , it's lightning fast! - Michael Fidler
An alpha release on a beta product....hehe - Mark Krynsky
an alpha release on a beta product that performs better than the underlying mature product that it serves ;) - guruvan (Rob Nelson)
Yes Rob...Paul & Co. rock! - Mark Krynsky
Paul, excellent, I'm loving the instant tweets, great stuff! :-) - Kol Tregaskes
it is fast! SUP FTW! - Anthony Farrior
Forgive my ignorance in a busy week, but where is this 'Twitter Feed' switch located? - Warner Crocker
Lindsey - just noticed that too - Hutch Carpenter
It was just 5 mins for me.... Not with seconds. - Alp
alp, is your twitter feed private? - mjc
Alp, this new feed is still in "alpha testing", which means that it will sometimes get slow or stop working (which means that tweets could take up to half an hour). That happened earlier today, but I believe that it's back to realtime again now. - Paul Buchheit
~1 sec here :-D - immaterial
Paul Kedrosky
[post] Visualizing U.S. Job Losses/Gains: It’s a depressing subject, but this still a lovely piece of data..
Paul Graham
Actually, the bubble-tea revolution in Silicon Valley was started by Silicon Valley engineer importing a drink from Taiwan. :-) So was Jamba Juice, which was funded by one of the Silicon Valley VC firms. - Piaw Na
I thought it started on the East Coast first (imported from Taiwan). Now there seems to be another bubble-tea-like phenomena coming from Taiwan or Asia, these 'make your own yogurt' shops - Ray Cromwell
the irony is to build the cloud we need to be physically close to each other. hence, the cloud is more than one generation away. it takes a social shift which isn't happening. - xyz
Well, those Taiwanese startups were never VC funded. :-) Jamba Juice is the real story here. But yeah, food startups are rare, because it's rare for them to experience the kind of hypergrowth you see in technology. - Piaw Na
Page and Brin are cited as examples of startup productivity. That's just bad statistics. Most startups go belly up. Innovation comes out of large companies or institutions too (Xerox PARC, CERN). Like the "best schools are small" fallacy, looking at exceptional cases is not very helpful to understand a phenomenon. - Antonio Piccolboni
What about Quiznos? They came out of nowhere about 8 years ago (well, 7-8 years ago in Vancouver) and got huge (locally) super-fast. - Andrew C (✔)
Robert Scoble
How to Sell Your Soul on Twitter and Who's Buying - ReadWriteWeb -
Awesome post by Marshall Kirkpatrick. Companies, do you really think this helps your brand? Give me a freaking break. - Robert Scoble from Bookmarklet
More to the point, who's advising them on how to use Twitter? - Jim Connolly
They're affiliate links managed by networks. Not the brands themselves. Commission Junction is one of them. - Mike Buechele
Jim it is all from Magpie :) but personally I blame twitter, everyone have to clean his own house. - abdellah
Right @Michael... goes to my argument that someone using aff links in a tweet or blog post is fine if they use/like/recommend a certain product or service, but it annoys the heck out of people when folks turn over their very intimate spaces to "services" like Magpie which are intrusive and not kosher. - Sam Harrelson
The marketing people behind the brands, should know the negative way these 'interruption messages' are viewed by Twitter users. - Jim Connolly
@Sam If I have a twitter following of vegans and I tweet a Burger King ad, they should get upset. If I tweet about a new veggie burger then I'm adding value to the community. Why should it matter if the Tweet is automated or not? Wouldn't it make it easier for me and the community? The tech isn’t there yet though. I'd be curious to see how that would look. I'm thinking something like a contextual targeted Popshops. - Mike Buechele
Even Guy Kawasaki pimping alltop a few times, made me unfollow him. So how long can anyone promote anything in Twitter successfully? - Smith W
Do it carefully and rarely. Once in a blue moon, I can mention my novel. One day even offer free copies, perhaps once every few weeks. The rest of the time, I don't mention it at all. - George Hall (Australia)
Scoble, have you read Allen's post? - Zee.
I think everyone here should read this to get both sides of the story then ponder about it: - Michael Forian
It's shitty, it's offensive but ultimately it won't bother many of us. First, i see a tweet like that and i can smell it, so can you and so can a half intelligent average user. - Ian Wright
you might be able to smell it, but that doesn't help with all the wasteful practices of the medium and advertising dollars which could be spent on more positive things. - rob from twhirl
Magpie = deceptive "user endorsed" lame commercials on twitter! AUGH... crap! - Susan Beebe
its only wasteful if it doesn't work and if it doesn't work then after awhile most companies will stop using it. - Kim Landwehr
tempest in a teapot. I've been unfollowed a few times because of Magpie ads, which I've intentionally prefixed with ADVERT, something that's easy to do, and I often go to FriendFeed and comment, hopefully humorously, on these companies trying to put words in my mouth.But selling your soul? Fer crying out loud. When's the last time you shared an article about torture or Gaza? Then we'll talk about selling your soul. - Rick Powell
Doesn't Kirkpatrick's article contain an inaccuracy? Isn't his whole post based on a misunderstanding? I can put whatever prefix I want in front of ads, including DON'T BUY THIS, or I DIDN'T SAY THIS or whatever mischievous message one wants to put. A company might try to put words in my mouth, and I'll just put my words right back. - Rick Powell
rick it isn't about individual right to type what ever they want, it is may I says about Twieeting Ethic or tweeting civics. when people share the same community and enjoy the same community this implicitly engage them in the maintain of the community, they have to do in order to get a long term community benefits. it is a kind of community ecologic regulation, let us don't pollute our social sphere :) - abdellah
the so-called pollution is inevitable... facebook already does it quite well... so what's the big deal? if you see it and you don't like it - unfollow the user. If you don't notice, then who cares?? - Ankush Narula
nothing is inevitable until people give up and surround to their own inability to take the challenge, so it begin by the inability from twitter for making a suited mechanism to their users to monetize their tweet, and then it come from the twitter api - application developer's inability to produce strong app that go beyond "mushup" and to monetize them and the last one's fault users that consume tweet , that are now adept of the cult of "too many follower guru". twitter is just a projection of it users. - abdellah
What is the difference with putting adsense on your personal blog? - Michiel Sikkes
abdellah... there's no escape from promos... the most recent ridiculously overt example of which must be when Fox's show "24" has the President grant immunity to some jackass over Cisco's WebEx Live Digital Signature platform. Promotion is pervasive and will continue to be. Does it bug you that on social networks it is highly targeted and becoming more seamless? Is that duplicitous? or is it just product placement 2.0? - Ankush Narula
Michiel and Ankush, I am not discussing the right to promotion, I am just thinking that not "all support" are suited for promotion. will any one accept to promote coca-cola via a tatou on his head? will any one promote pepsi by a large wide space tatou on his baby? no hope that no one will, and this is the main argument, twitter isn't just a support what the author of the blog post, attempt to says is that some support like twitter are too friendly closed and not suited for promotion (explicit one). - abdellah
Commercial companies should be on Twitter mainly for LISTENING (to market pulses). - Nir Ben Yona
Nir I agree, add to this a tweet is just 144char no more, what efficient promotion content could some one insert and how long it should be in order to keep space for user content? 144 is a constraint. - abdellah
144, 140, whatever it takes. - Matt Danger
Matt I confess it I am fascinated by 144=12*12 - abdellah
Can I just say, if I thought I could sell my soul and could get a decent price, I would do it in a heartbeat? No one is buying, unfortunately. - Rick Powell
No one's buying? Or no one's offering what you think is a decent price? Maybe you need a better broker.....Here's my card ......... - guruvan (Rob Nelson)
This is precisely why I'm predicting the Death of Twitter. I give it another year - 2 tops before it goes the way of MySpace & Dodgeball. The Spammers have definitely entered the building. - Erica OGrady
Erica: I won't cry if that happens, but I don't see that happening soon. If you are saying it, though, that's pretty significant. - Robert Scoble
Erica: I think you're being optimistic. We ain't even seen the real beginnings of spam until the aftermath of this weeks race an account transactions - guruvan (Rob Nelson)
and dead is a relative term...twitter may well survive a long time as a broadcast medium since it has services like friendfeed that depend on it. (and serve it and make it usable for non-bots) - guruvan (Rob Nelson)
Social Media took off because people stopped tuning into traditional advertising. The more a Social Networking sites starts to look like Traditional Advertising (as seems to be the trend with Twitter), the more people start to tune out. - Erica OGrady
I'm working on a presentation called Social Media: A Night At The Roxbury. And earlier I made the following analogy with regards to Twitter. If Social Networks were Nightclubs, Twitter would be the Roxbury. And the Roxbury is only as cool as it's clientele. - Erica OGrady
The minute the "Creepy" people start showing up...then all the Cool Clientele leave. They go to the next hottest Nightclub on the block. We've seen this time and time again. It's nothing new. Friendster, MySpace, Dodgeball, etc... - Erica OGrady
Erica: That's really a genius way of looking at it. And you're absolutely correct. As Twitter turns into !E TV and Times Square looking spambot heaven, yes people will tune it out. Especially because they'll have the tools to filter out the noise in it (Like FriendFeed) .....You hit the nail right on the head with "only as cool as it's clientele" But this means that we'll have to build bigger cooler tools to filter out the Friendfeed noise in a few years ;) - guruvan (Rob Nelson)
Thanks Guruvan. All I know is that after witnessing the last few weeks on Twitter - I'll be spending more time on FriendFeed. I also noticed today that tons of people (mostly early adopters) were adding me to Foursquare. People are searching for alternatives because they aren't interested in selling their souls. - Erica OGrady
@guruvan If I said, no one's buying, then that's what I meant. - Rick Powell
Erica: I see it very much so, especially in the last 2 weeks as well. Last week I blocked most of the new followers I saw for being aggressive followers, spammers, or "mlm social media marketing experts" or selling "twitter secrets" . I signed up for all the services that I hadn't gotten to yet. I'll be at Foursquare tomorrow. (new one on me!).But home base will be here with a stong presence still on facebook. I'll still be on twitter, but more filtered. Thank god for better tools than tweetdeck - guruvan (Rob Nelson)
Rick: :-) - guruvan (Rob Nelson)
There's that phrase again, selling one's soul, which no one seems to mind in the least. There are all sorts of situations in which that phrase might make some sense, (I'm reading Atonement, and so I have been thinking about these things) other than as self-involved, sensationalist hyberbole, that is. Language matters. All of you are involved in selling something, but prefer to wrap that up in more palatable words like brand. - Rick Powell
And, I wonder why that is. - Rick Powell
Erica, I've got to take issue with the idea that "Social Media took off because people stopped tuning into traditional advertising." First, people haven't stopped tuning into ads (they usually say they have, but when you test vs silent cells, good ads affect behaviour). Second, I don't think there's any connection with the rise of social media, which stands on its own as a positive, engaging thing. - Ian Betteridge
guruvan, Twitter already has a terrific tool for filtering out noise. It's called "unfollow" :) - Ian Betteridge
Kevin Fox
Gettin' a little windy in the ol' Silicon Valley...
Picture 43.png
Very cool graph. The wind is howling around TiVo HQ... - Ken Gidley
The wind is crazy loud coming down the metal chimney! - Rachel Lea Fox
It's ridiculously windy up here in V'jo, too. - Kate Schmidt
27 gusting to 40 knots (46 mph) at Palo Alto airport. Yikes. - Daniel Dulitz
It's gusting here in Sunnyvale and was bad in San Jose/Milpitas - Louis Gray
It was windy as hell here in Rochester, NY too - Ⓐ ☠ slayerboy ☠ Ⓐ
It's gotta be the windiest day I've ever experienced in the bay area. I'm glad I don't have to get on a plane tomorrow as originally planned. - Rachel Garb
Very very windy, but Rachel do you remember the huge gusts we had a few years back? Those blew down my fence. The ones today littered my yard with branches but didn't rattle the house the way I recall from the storm of a few years ago. - Stephen Mack
I had to take a little detour on the way home today, as there was a tree lying across the road. - Laurence Gonsalves
Now that you mention it, I remember a night where the tree branches outside my bedroom window were swaying to the point of making me nervous. - Rachel Garb
Blew the power out in San Mateo yesterday. - jho
Paul Buchheit
Assume that I'm going to get rid of $20,000 and my only concern is the "common good". Which of these is the best use of the money: give it to the Gates foundation, buy a hybrid car, invest it in a promising startup, invest it in the S&P500, give it to the US government, give it to a school, other?
Bonus points for giving your answer in ranked order (best to worst use of the money, for the common good). - Paul Buchheit
"The common good" is too broad. Pick issues that are important to you and strategically invest in them. Could be non-profit/foundation or for-profit, but the key is that you know your issue and you have identified people who are effectively dealing with it. - Jason Wehmhoener
That being said, I'd say Kiva is very interesting. - Jason Wehmhoener
Jason, assume that I don't know anything, which isn't far from the truth :) - Paul Buchheit
For the common good? 1. Invest it in a startup. 2. Buy a hybrid car. 3. Give it to the Gates foundation. 4. Give it to a school. 5. Invest it in the S&P 500. 6. Give it to the US government. - Robert Scoble
Trick question: Stuff it under your mattress! - sofarsoShawn
the car, benifits you, and sets example by doing what needs to be done - chaz2b
local school, Gates Foundation, startup, hybrid, S&P, gov't - MikeAmundsen
Hmm. Knowledge is power. $20K to one startup is a wise investment, $20K to another is just lighting it on fire. - Jason Wehmhoener
school, car, gates, startup, S&P, gov't. - AJ Kohn
Use the money to connect others to The Skoll Foundation. Fund Social Innovation projects that are transparent, under phenomenal governance and are making a huge difference. Start with NGO's - start your own - read - (free pdf) - michael sean wright
I think you should keep it local and focused on education, and I have a particular fund in mind: the ACDRF -- Adam College Debt Relief Foundation. Though your generous contribution would cover but a small part of this fine organization's operating costs, every dollar helps! Tax deductible status is admittedly questionable, though. - Adam Lasnik
The startup hires people, which increases all sorts of jobs in the economy. It has the biggest leverage. The hybrid car hires people, which is also good leverage. Giving it to the Gates foundation hires people, which is good leverage. Giving it to a school helps educate people, which is longer term, but is a good thing for society. Investing it in S&P helps increase stock prices, which increases our mood and makes it more likely others will go out and buy cars. Giving it to the government? Not much leverage - Robert Scoble
1. Invest it in a startup. 6. Buy a hybrid car. 6. Give it to the Gates foundation. 6. Give it to a school. 6. Invest it in the S&P 500. 6. Give it to the US government - Matsis
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. - Mona Nomura
By the way, I bought two hybrids this month. - Robert Scoble
Mona: Bill and Melinda Gates can't give your $20,000 the most leverage. For one, they can't spend the money they have already. For two, your $20,000 really wouldn't help them that much. - Robert Scoble
Gates Foundation or any other philanthropic foundation you support would be #1 for me. - Mark Krynsky
Mark: that is NOT best for the "common" good. - Robert Scoble
startup. s&p. school. gates. hybrid. gov. - Kiran Patchigolla
1. school 2. startup 3. gates 4. hybrid car 5. s&p500 6. us government (1 & 2 are very close w/ a big gap to 3 and beyond)... - mike "glemak" dunn
Leverage is a dirty word these days by the way. The idea should be to increase the odds of a smash hit with high return for all of us. An investment in a Startup is the only one of the offered options, where 20k may have a significant influence. - Matsis
Kiran: the Hybrid does more for the common good than the school or S&P does. The Hybrid increases chances people will get hired, and, anyway, it will make the S&P go up more. - Robert Scoble - Victor Ryden 美久太阿 about a startup with a business plan specifically to benefit non-profit organizations? I'm all about killing 2 birds with one stone. - Mark Krynsky
Mark: that works. But it wouldn't have as much leverage as a startup that would attract customers and other investors. - Robert Scoble
Another biased option (since I work for X PRIZE) is to use the money to help fund a promising team in one of our competitions. Perhaps one entered into the Progressive Auto X PRIZE - Mark Krynsky
You could save 4,000 lives with $20,000 worth of mosquito nets. I'm not sure that is the best thing for the "common good", but it is hard to do better than saving lives. - Matt Griffith
Give it to Unitus to fund tens of thousands of Moms in Africa and their businesses - Jesse Stay
Matt: good point. I see the passalong effects of putting people to work. If you start a startup that goes all the way you'll create thousands of jobs and then there will be a lot more $20,000 piles to hand out to make mosquito nets. Look at how many people made money on Google. - Robert Scoble
Jesse: Unitus was started by Microsoft money. - Robert Scoble
Jason: yes, but when one succeeds it creates a HUGE amount of good for society. - Robert Scoble
Robert, it was also started with my Uncle's money. Dave McClure is also on the board. - Jesse Stay
Jesse: Dave's money is PayPal money. :-) - Robert Scoble
Robert, and my Uncle's money is and money :-) - Jesse Stay
Jesse: all startups that got successful. Leverage. - Robert Scoble
If you give it to me I'll invest the money I make from my business and invest in Unitus. :-) - Jesse Stay
Robert: Or you could do a start-up like PlayPumps. They improve/save lives and create jobs at the same time. - Matt Griffith
Jason: yes. But even a failed startup will employ people which increases the common good. Those employees will probably buy a new car. Or a new house. Or just will have money to buy dinner tonight, which keeps some restaurants open. - Robert Scoble
Or you could fund a lot of small businesses through micro-financing. - Matt Griffith
Matt, and now we're back to Unitus :-) - Jesse Stay
Matt: yes, that's what Unitus does, actually. Jesse beat me. :-) - Robert Scoble
Robert, I heard you but I'm a big picture person, and firmly believe no one is doing it better than The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. Sure, $20,000 may not seem a lot to the billions they spend, but something is better than nothing. Plus, they are extremely detailed and transparent about their philosophies, methods, and work. - Mona Nomura
Ah, sorry, didn't recognize it. - Matt Griffith
Mona: Bill and Melinda Gates are fabulous, but you won't get enough leverage there for the reasons I outlined. Your money will work a LOT harder by giving it to a startup. - Robert Scoble
When I say "leverage" I'm going for a multiplier effect. Startup is better than Bill and Melinda Gates. Even Bill would admit that. - Robert Scoble
1. Invest in startup 2. Local school 3. Hybrid 4. The rest - Michael Matuzak
Robert: Better for whom? I assume "common" good here is the world -- not US only? - Brian Sullivan
I am thinking 1. Gates 2. School 3. Hybrid 4. Startup - Brian Sullivan
But how do you know where your money is going and how it's being used, both for start-ups and charitable causes. I wouldn't give any money to start-ups. I've seen start up CEOs brag about private charter planes, when their product is generating zero revenue. My faith in a lot of start-ups is close to zero and I do not want to see another x and x 'clone'. Do you? OH! Paul, are you allowed to donate to FriendFeed? - Mona Nomura
Mona, I assure you that none of the startups that I invest in are getting private charter planes :) Not yet at least, and by the time they are successful enough to do that, I'll be happy with the investment. Jason, seed money from a handful of angels can keep a small startup alive long enough to demonstrate their ideas and either become profitable or raise a larger round. - Paul Buchheit
Robert, I'm of the opinion that we probably don't need a lot more people working for failing startups and buying new cars. - Jason Wehmhoener
This has led to interesting discussion, but if this is a real question I think it may be the wrong question. Without specifics about the startup, the school, and what difference the $20K would make to the Gates foundation, you're really shooting in the dark. It might be better to just hold onto the money until you can get specifics. - Bruce Lewis
Paul, here in California, give that money to your local high school foundation - it will make a real difference in their education - and the common good. - Scott Loftesness
Bruce, you can assume that it would be a startup or school that I thought was good, but ultimately we are always shooting in the dark. Our knowledge has severe limitations and we never really know what the total effect will be, even after the fact. - Paul Buchheit
If I were to donate money to local causes, I'd purchase what they need. ie: supplies, books, software, computers, etc. Cynical, maybe, but I have no trust in our 'system'. - Mona Nomura
I agree we can never know the total effect of our actions. We can be careful to avoid waste, however. Look for tangible results from previous investments made by people you trust... - Jason Wehmhoener
internships for promising disadvantaged youth (other), school, me (other), foundation, startup, car, S&P, gov't - MiniMage
Oh, that's different. Not knowing anything about the startup I would have said that the hybrid and the startup were on equal footing. Buying a hybrid is more funding R&D at this point than directly helping the environment, I think. But if you know the startup and school are good, I'd say 1. School, 2. Startup, 3. Hybrid ... not sure about ranking the others. - Bruce Lewis
A good school is an almost sure-fire way to make the world better. A startup is too, but it only in that it educates the people who work at it. Other good effects on the world from the startup have lower probability, even for one you know is good. - Bruce Lewis
Compared to a Hybrid, $20K worth of compact fluorescents is probably a lot more bang for the buck. - Matt Griffith
Start a scholarship fund for academically gifted but financially challenged students. - Victor Panlilio
Give it to a school, invest in a startup, buy a hybrid car, give it to the Bill Gates Foundation, give it to the US government and last give it to a S&P 500 company, in that order. Give it to a school, because through the use on endowment that money can be used and increased over a number of years to help educated the people who will build the hybrid cars and do the start-ups. - Kim Landwehr
i try to remember to *optimize the system" rather than "maximize the output" it's not about whether your contribution will have a big bang, but whether it will be a catalyst; cause a chain reaction; increase serendipitous results, etc. - MikeAmundsen
Invest it in clean water infrastructure. I like WaterPartners International, and UNICEF does this. Unsanitary water is the number one preventable cause of disease, which keeps kids from going to school and adults from going to work. - Ruchira S. Datta
donate to because they are fighting for our rights - Kyle Weller
I support all charitable causes and global efforts are fantastic. However, we have A LOT of domestic issues that needs to be addressed... :\ - Mona Nomura
I certainly understand the sentiment that the government can't be trusted. But we *are* the government. Maybe we should all consider what we could do make our government more trust worthy. Perhaps some of the hypothetical $20K should go to Change Congress? - Matt Griffith
We need a lot more than $20k to fix the problem of politicians who claim to represent us but carry out their own agendas. - MiniMage
Education. Period. It needs to be changed from the core, and who else can do that? - Mona Nomura
MiniMage: You are right. But a lot of people giving a little money can add up. - Matt Griffith
I like Ruchira's answer. If we're talking about the common good, it's nice to focus on the fundamentals for life. One thing that goes with clean water infrastructure is water conservation. There are businesses to be started around the world involving improved water saving irrigation infrastructure in places that need it. - Jason Wehmhoener
The question is paul and to everyone, what would be "most effective". Sure you can donate to a big charity that distributes the money, buy why not distribute it directly to a smaller organization or group of people where you can see the "greater good" it does with your own eyes. I honestly would distribute that money to a organization like because they have proven results in what they do. Or any organization where you can see the result of your investment directly. - Kyle Weller
People are thinking too big and too much in general, give it to a group/organization that will use the money effectively and make an almost immediate impact, a small amount like that in research and other things wont do much in the long term. - Kyle Weller
Startup, car, school, Gates Foundation, 500, and then finally government. - Mathew™ aka Youngblood
Or what you could do is invest it in yourself so you can further support those foundations for the long term. - Kyle Weller
Invest in S&P, then let the gov't take their cut of the dividends, then give the leftover dividends to a school in need. It's the gift that keeps on giving. - Nathan Wenzel
Yeah, I will say it: Common good is a bourgeois concept. It has political and social utility, mostly for rich peoples guilty consciences, but doesn't make much sense practically. 20,000. Dont spend it in the U.S., thats all I can say. Scobles optimism would be contagious if it werent for the statistics belying it. - Rick Powell
Loan it out thru Kiva, and just reloan it when it's paid back. I'd say reloaning over and over should count as 'giving it away' and it would have great and immediate impact. - mmmmm m
bill & melinda gates foundation does a lot with schools and public education, so that is killing two birds with one stone. they also work with microcredit and other financial services for the poor, so there's Kiva. and they work on medicine and agriculture, which may save someone's life, and that person (because they LIVED) might go on to found a promising startup company, which in turn... more... - Karim
ha. - edythe
@Karim - "they work on medicine and agriculture, which may save someone's life, and that person (because they LIVED)" - see - Victor Panlilio
Victor, i didn't realize they gave money to Planned Parenthood, thanks for the heads up. this may or may not be an issue for Paul -- i don't know if they specify whether the grant is for birth control/family planning, abortions, or what. if he's Catholic or pro-life/anti-abortion, then i guess it turns into some pretty grim accounting of lives saved vs. lives lost. he *may* be able to... more... - Karim
A startup + your endorcement will create more value than just the $20K. - Martin Añazco
If you want "leverage" donate it for use in a third-world country. Much more bang for the buck. - Brent Logan
$20k doesn't even buy you a hybrid, does it? I'd think this type of money would have much more impact locally. "common good" doesn't necessarily mean "greater good." I've been watching @smallcanbebig here in Boston - - if I could provide $20k to someone(s) else, that's the type of organization/service I'd be looking for. - Sally - Skyrimmin' It
I'm with Sally, think global, act local. Imagine if we all did that? - Steve C, Team Marina
1)give it to a school;2)promising startup;3)Gates foundation;4)S&P 500;5) hybrid; 6)other 7)us govt - Karoli
Paul: Give the money to me, and I'll homeschool my kids. - Gabe
I was about to suggest using Kiva then I checked and saw it suggested before. Definitely a very good wa to make many people (and their families) happy. Loan. Repeat. It may also start a new good trend after you post about what you did here. - Nenad Nikolic
I suggested a scholarship for gifted but financially challenged students. My former high school classmate, Dr Cymbeline (Bem) Tancongco Culiat, is lead researcher for NellOne Therapeutics, which aims to restore function to cardiac muscle damaged by heart attacks ( Cardiovascular disease is the top killer worldwide ( Bem is an example of what can happen when you help fund the education of poor but gifted students, especially in developing nations. - Victor Panlilio
@Ruchira "Invest it in clean water infrastructure" @Jason "One thing that goes with clean water infrastructure is water conservation" Indeed. See - Victor Panlilio
More recommendations here: - Tim Tyler
Gabe, why would you homeschooling your kids make the world a better place? You already influence what your kids know? - Clare Dibble
Did we settle on a definition of "common good"? - Ken Sheppardson
invest in a startup, and then give the benefice to some charity or may be to some wise person :) - abdellah
Startup today, then charity funding from your returns of Investments, when it comes giving away. Schools nearby, Gates foundation, and so on, at last a hibrid car. :) - Mohammad Abdurraafay from Nambu
Startups and buying things create value. Charities and governments distribute value. Education creates potential future value. Startups are, by far, the best way to create short-term "common good." Teach a man to fish instead of handing him a fish. Or, even better, invest in his fishing boat and he'll feed the whole village. - Robert Scoble
Start your own business, become wealthy, do all of the above. - Robert Hafer
For the "common good" spending it is enough [dutch]"geld moet rollen"[/dutch] - Willem (@wim66) ☠
invest in a startup - andy brudtkuhl
Robert: that's called "investing in a startup." :-) Willem: starting a new business is a far better way of "spending" than, say, buying a Hybrid, if all you care about is creating the most for the common good. - Robert Scoble
Oh, I forgot step 2: work hard - Robert Hafer
Robert: step 3: get lucky. - Robert Scoble
ok, I am just intrigued by the mention of GATE foundation, is the common subconscious fascinated by VIP charity? or are they all equal? - abdellah
Robert: A funny man once said "money was all appropriated for the top in hopes that it would trickle down to the needy." - Matt Griffith
Robert: P.S. FriendFeed is the first place since the off.ramp that I've had an interesting conversation online. - Matt Griffith
I am late to the conversation, but I say give it to a startup (i.e. mine). In all seriousness, I think the Gates foundation may be the best one. - Rob Diana
Robert, I understand the "teach a man to fish" argument, but I'm not buying the "create value/distribute value/potential future value" thing. it seems like it's all "potential future value." you keep pitching the startup as if it were a sure thing with a guaranteed return. aren't you confusing speculation with investment? - Karim
On the list, give it to a school. Not on the list (ie what you would normally ignore) go to Kiva, loan the money and then if it is repayed do it again. - Andrew
Karim: let's use friendfeed as an example. They hired 13 people so far. And those people all are paying rent or mortgages and buying cars, etc. The leverage a dollar invested in such a startup gets is many times more than the leverage you'll get doing any of these other choices. And this DOES have a very fast short term effect (much faster than giving to a school, for instance). Friendfeed is not a profitable business, by the way, and probably won't be for quite some time. - Robert Scoble
Jeff: wrong. - Robert Scoble
None of them. Give it directly to the people who need it most. That's what we do at the 1 in 8 Foundation. - B.J. Mendelson
That's almost enough to pay my tuition for culinary school. File under 'common good' I want to teach inner city families to grow and cook their own healthy food. - ChazFrench
I really don't get giving it to the Gates Foundation. They have $29,700,000,000 in their asset fund, and you'd give them another $20,000? For me "think globally, act locally" would be the guiding principle here, and I'd either give it to a local school, job retraining program, something like community services... or better yet, leverage the $20K on fundraising or marketing training for local efforts. The orgs I'd try to help are those like - Ken Sheppardson
My water infrastructure idea has a lot of leverage. Once the infrastructure is in place, it lasts a long time, preventing disease (much cheaper than curing it) and thus relieving human suffering, allowing poor children to get educated (and possibly preventing cognitive deficits) and poor people to go to work and lift themselves out of poverty, creating a virtuous circle. - Ruchira S. Datta
School directly. Find one that is doing the type of good work in education that will yield responsible, thinking, feeling, well rounded adults and help them out. It's the future of this world. - Martha
Ruchira: yes, investing in the right kind of infrastructure has a lot of leverage. Heck, our government invested in the Internet which made friendfeed possible (and Amazon and Google and eBay and Yahoo, etc). - Robert Scoble
Not sure what qualifies as "common good," but I think you should keep giving out loans w/ it on Kiva - CG
Oh, wait... I want to change my answer. Everybody talking about investing it in a start-up has given me an even better idea: I'd use it to stake a weekend of blackjack in Vegas. That way I could turn it into $200,000 and *then* I could give it to local community services or something like Kiva. Gambling FTW. - Ken Sheppardson
Use 5K to go (twice!) to a third World Country (chosen at random). Go to a town of less that 1000 inhabitants (chosen at random). Ask around who is the best person in the town, don't tell them why. Give that person 15K. Return in a year... Write an article about what happened. - Alfredo Octavio
I wouldn't invest it in tech. Invest it in people who will then bring the good tech, among other important benefits. It's a people matter, ultimately, isn't it? - Martha
Investing in water infrastructure can be done through a startup like PlayPumps as Matt suggested. If it came through foreign aid from the US government, we might be able to add to the leverage: the goodwill investment would improve our national security. Unfortunately foreign aid is a small fraction of the federal budget, and it's unlikely to go to programs like this unless US contractors, rather than native startups, are involved. - Ruchira S. Datta
Donate 100 OLPCs and set friendfeed as the default home page :P - Lasse Johnsen
All investment is a crap shoot; including investment in charity. - Robert Hafer
Seriously though, with $20k you could sponsor quite a number of teachers for a year in a country like africa. not sure what organizations do this, but that could make a big difference for a lot of kids that cant get education. - Lasse Johnsen
Lasse: and microfinance organizations have shown that you can get even more leverage by funding small businesses. Especially those run by women. For instance, in a poor country you can buy a family a cow which DRAMATICALLY increases their quality of life and usually makes it possible for their kids to go to school. Investing in schools alone does NOT give leverage. Look at all the idiots who have college degrees. - Robert Scoble
@Nicholas James, If you start you're own business there's still no sure thing, but at least you know where the money goes. If you are a success, you have created jobs and can afford to give as well. - Robert Hafer
Interesting Robert, I found SendACow ( but im skeptical to these ORGs, you dont know really how much of your money arrives and how efficient they are. There are a lot of "could"s on that page. - Lasse Johnsen
Robert: That's exactly why I recommend Kiva -- those loans will actually make a big difference in ppls lives, guaranteed - CG
those Micro-finance programs are amazing - Jeff (Team マクダジ )
I have some contacts in Costs Rica; when McDonalds gave $millions to save the rain forest there, by the time the Orgs took out admin cost, there was enough left to buy a few white SUVs. Our Eco-forest project has done more and will hopefully soon be turning a profit. - Robert Hafer
1. A School would be first thought of course it would depend on which school. There are schools in our area that are really hurting and falling behind while others are able to spend tons per child (which is a great thing, they just don't need more). Our education is hurting and NCLB forces schools to spend on certain things that only help test scores and not always retention and true... more... - Rachel Lea Fox
Robert, I don't think you can just keep talking about "leverage" without putting some numbers on it. If the startup is an investment, as you're implying, and not a gamble or speculation, you should be able to promise Paul some number of dollars out for his $20,000 in. But how many startups have a profitable exit? Is that $20,000 going to turn into $40,000, $400,000, or $4 billion? Are... more... - Karim
Karim: It's likely that $20,000 invested in a start-up will turn into $0 - CG
Many poor people and their children spend hours every day lugging water back to their homes from distant, dirty sources. Clean water is "shovel-ready": we know exactly how to solve this problem. All it takes is money. is currently advertising $25 to provide someone with access to safe drinking water for life, $150 to meet the water needs of an entire family. $20000 will go a long way. - Ruchira S. Datta
Startup, of the listed options, has the most potential to help, but reading your intentions I would suggest giving it to a group that provides micro loans to entrepreneurs around the world. You money will be split into many lots increasing the likelihood of success, and can provide real help as oppossed to what many resources do - RAPatton
Hmm, RAPatton's idea makes me realize that converting it into $1s and dropping it from an airplane might be interesting. - j1m says they need $20000 to drill a new water well in Kenya. ( But says they only need $3200 to drill a new well there.. ( - Lasse Johnsen
1. Give to school 2. Give to Gates Foundation 3. Invest in startup 4. Invest in S&P 5. buy hybrid 6. Give to US gov't - Hookuh Tinypants
Not Gates, not car, not US government, the others are good... - Marcos Marado from fftogo
invest it in a promising startup - Alp
Robert: I am for green economy and agree with you on those points. If the question was should i buy a hybrid car or a non-hybrid car for 5K less, I would have said hybrid. The current question implied that Paul does not need another car. I rather not get any more cars than necessary on the road. - Kiran Patchigolla
Karim: let's assume that friendfeed (a startup that Paul is well acquainted with) never makes a single dollar and never is sold for anything. Well, the money invested in it is already creating value for the employees who've been employed there. 13 or so if I remember right. They are then spending that money in the economy, which keeps all sorts of people employed. That's called leverage. It's amazing how few people here understand how an economy works or what is "the greater good." - Robert Scoble
the problem with the "invest" heuristic is that it very rapidly goes -- often in centers of business like Silicon Valley -- from the "Wise Steward" to the "Cheap Bastard." say you can save 100 lives with $100 today. only if you invest at 3% for a year, you can save 103 lives next year. then you withdraw the money in a year and realize that if you re-invest, you can save even more lives... more... - Karim
If you don't have a job you really won't care if someone figures out how to drill a water well halfway around the world. The reason you are drilling that well anyway is so that PEOPLE CAN HAVE JOBS! A well can create a farm. Can keep people from walking three hours a day to wash their clothes or have a drink. Think of all the jobs that are created because of water. Semiconductors can't be made without water. Intel and AMD and friendfeed couldn't happen without water. But a water well wasn't on Paul's list. - Robert Scoble
The thing that will create the most "good" for society on Paul's list is an investment in a startup. That will create the most value throughout the chain. It is where $20,000 would have the most leverage and biggest multiplying effect. If it fails it'll have a bigger multiplier than giving it to the Gates foundation (which could also fail, by the way). - Robert Scoble
So, if you want to save the most lives, create the most value "for the common good" the only choice here is fund a startup. This is why when I went to Davos I came home depressed. Governments don't understand this very well and don't talk about this much. If you hit the home run with a startup, by the way, you create another Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. I wonder if you asked Bill Gates back in 1975 about this would he have taken his $20,000 and created a foundation? No. Why not? - Robert Scoble
When I talked with Larry Page, co-founder of Google, though, at Davos, he said job creation comes after spending increases, so buying a car will help this process too, but not nearly as much as creating a new company would. - Robert Scoble
Half of all jobs in USA are with small companies. Create a few more small companies and you create a whole crapload of wealth that can be used to fund the next Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (or give to a school, or give to the government, by the way). - Robert Scoble
When you say "Common Good" all I can think of is contributing to a Funding organization like UNICEF. Considering the fact that loads of little kids and children still need our help. - Praveen Vasudev
Robert, i don't claim to be an economic genius, but the "value" you are creating by investing in the startup that eventually goes bankrupt seems to be the same "value" it creates by giving a man a fish. it extends "years of life gained" (YLG). the knock-on effects are more complicated in our economy, but in the developing world, $20,000 buys a lot more fish meals (YLG) than it does worth of sushi in Silicon Valley. - Karim
Karim: absolutely NOT true. You need to study economics. A dollar invested in a new job actually creates more than a dollar's worth of value down the road. Giving a man a fish is just giving him a fish. - Robert Scoble
Praveen: "common good" is how well the economy is doing. I talked with Israeli President about this. He said the only way they'll get peace is to improve the economy on both sides of the fight. Give a man a job and he stops fighting cause he can feed his family and can see hope for the future. - Robert Scoble
Get good paying jobs and you create wealth that can solve all these other problems. - Robert Scoble
A good economy IS the number one "common good" and is why microfinance was such a brilliant idea (that won the Nobel Peace Prize, by the way). More on microfinance (which, really, is investing in startups): - Robert Scoble
First, let's say the man is starving to death -- his crop failed one year -- and you can prevent his death by giving him a fish. if he then recovers and has a normal life, normal harvests etc. and is able to contribute to the economy, have children who are in turn successful, etc., how is that "just giving him a fish?" - Karim
second, what i'm asking you is, ok, you're saying startup creates wealth, it's an *investment*, so what kind of return are we talking about? Paul puts $20,000 into a startup, the startup goes bankrupt 12 months later. What is the "more than a dollar's worth of value" Paul got for his $20,000? - Karim
Karim: if you are looking at "common good" you are NOT looking at one person's quality of life, but looking at the leverage you can get. If I let one man starve, but save 10 other people's lives, I will have increased the "common good" more than you have by feeding that one guy a fish. - Robert Scoble
Karim: Paul created some jobs with his $20,000. Again, it's not about the value to Paul. It's the value to the "common good. How much value, how much leverage, what kind of multiplier effect will he get for that $20,000 for all of society, not for Paul himself. - Robert Scoble
Karim: the reason the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is doing such great work is they are looking for getting the biggest multiplier effect for their money. What will help the MOST people? That's why curing disease, helping education, etc are their target places to spend money. Other rich people at Microsoft are helping microfinance, because they know that's how they can get the most leverage for their money. - Robert Scoble
Oh, and if Paul was lucky with his $20,000 he might create the next Google, which would employ thousands, make thousands millionaires (Microsoft created more than 4,000 millionaires) and would enable whole rafts of good for society as that new money was spent on some of these other projects. - Robert Scoble
Robert is right :) - Alp
in the US you might maintain a few jobs (lifes) for a short while with $20k, but how many lifes can you maintain in africa by creating new wells for 6-7 villages? And one of the guys you saved might actually live to make a successful business that feeds even more. - Lasse Johnsen
I didn't say anything about the value to Paul, Robert :-) You say "multiplier effect;" I'm asking what's the multiplier. You said, "The leverage a dollar invested in such a startup gets is many times more than the leverage you'll get doing any of these other choices." -- I'm saying, "show me." clearly you know more about economics than I do. - Karim
Lasse: you are right, but that wasn't one of the choices on the list -- building a water well in Silicon Valley made Intel and AMD possible, so there. Karim: the multiplier will vary depending on the industry. Karim: I'm trying to find some stats to help it out. - Robert Scoble
The United Way has a "Common Good Index" Education, Income, and Health are listed. Funny that the wealthier nations tend to do best on all three. So, the best way to increase the common good is to increase economic health. That starts with job creation as job #1. - Robert Scoble
1. Give it to a school. 2. Invest it in a startup 3. Give it to Gates Fdtn, 4. Buy an American hybrid. Neither the S&P500 or the government operate for the public good. - Francine Hardaway
Francine: why is creating an American job more important than creating a Chinese one or a Japanese one, if we're talking about "common good?" Are Americans worth more as human beings than Chinese are? I don't think so. There's a SERIOUS bug in your thinking there. Giving it to a school creates a very small multiplier effect, at least short term. Gates foundation and giving it to a school probably are very similar (especially cause the Gates love giving money to increase education quality). - Robert Scoble
I want to start a new thread: what's better, giving money to a school or giving it to Wikipedia. I am learning a whole lot from Wikipedia. Much better for the "common good." - Robert Scoble
Call me biased, but find a local not-for-profit that is committed to their mission and $20,000 can mean taking steps closer to fulfilling it or going under. The smallest donation to our not-for-profit theatre sometimes means the difference in making payroll or not for the week. - Warner Crocker
Warner: saving one particular set of jobs is nice, but is not a good way to look at helping "the common good." - Robert Scoble
Robert, a few replies :-) 1) if the Gates Foundation is "doing such great work," then why aren't they following your advice that "The leverage a dollar invested in such a startup gets is many times more than the leverage you'll get doing any of these other choices?" 2) Yeah if Paul was lucky, he might create the next Google. But how lucky does he need to be? Do the odds compare favorably with $20,000 worth of Scratchers at the 7-11? - Karim
Karim: because Bill and Melinda Gates are trying to focus on things that business can't. But, look at how they created their foundation: someone invested in their startup. Investing in their startup HAS to come first before they can give away billions. - Robert Scoble
I'm pretty certain there isn't such a thing as the common good. - Hayes Haugen
Also, they ARE investing in startups. I met a TON of entrepreneurs who say their businesses wouldn't have been able to start without their investments (who do you think is doing the hard work of their foundation?) - Robert Scoble
Geeky people tend to be attracted to difficult/intellectual problems. The Gates Foundation may be subject to this. I think the work I currently do is the point of greatest leverage for my *brain*. Fighting, e.g., MDR and XDR tuberculosis through the Center for Emerging and Neglected Diseases is a worthy cause. But I still think clean water is the point of greatest leverage for *money*, especially a relatively small sum. - Ruchira S. Datta
Hayes: oh really? Tell me, do you think that we're better off today than we were, say, 50 years ago? I sure do. That means "the common good" increased. - Robert Scoble
you can't learn how to read, write, add or subtract -- or even conduct solid research -- from Wikipedia. - Peggy Dolane
Scoble, all depends on where you start and stoop defining. Just like asking questions does. - Warner Crocker
I still think over the long run an educated public is the key to increasing the common good. - Kim Landwehr
Kim: what is an educated public? The microfinance revolution shows that education and jobs goes hand in hand. Finance someone getting a cow, for instance, and you also need her to learn how to milk it. That's education. - Robert Scoble
3) The "Common Good Index" listed "Education, Income and Health" -- how you got "JOB CREATION" as the take-away #1 goal from that is beyond me. Ignoring education & health for the moment, the income goals listed are "Cutting the number of financially unstable working families by half requires strategies to help people increase income, save, and grow long-term assets." Increasing income... more... - Karim
Karim: how do you do any of those things if you don't have a good paying job? How do you create jobs most efficiently? Invest in startups. Most of the people in America, Karim, have had jobs with little leverage lately and/or that have been attacked by globalization. It used to be that we had a monopoly on making cars. We don't have that anymore. But that's a different argument for a different thread. - Robert Scoble
you can sit your child down in front of wikipedia and see if he or she learns to read from those links. - Peggy Dolane
I can think of something that would help "the common good". There are a great many developers that for ethical reason choose not to charge a set price for their software. They allow the user to set a price they think is fair & that they can afford. Unfortunately, most of the world is selfish and thinks that means it is freeware and never donate to support the applications they use. I say you split it up and spread it out to donationware authors. DM me if you need help finding them. - April Russo (FForever!)
Peggy: you'd be surprised how fast a child learns to read wikipedia lately. My son is 19 months old and is more interested in what's on screen than what's on paper books. My 15 year old learns regularly from wikipedia. This is the new ocean they swim in an they are information sponges. - Robert Scoble
@Robert. "Common Good" sometimes seems like a blunt instrument used to herd the masses toward totalitarianism and war. My personal view is that things such as education and justice make society a better place for _me_. But for me to tell you what is best for you is basically religion. - Hayes Haugen
Robert: Glad your children are off the charts on intelligence scale. No way would my kids learn to read from those links unless I was homeschooling them. My 10 year old looked at that wikipedia page and said "it was weird" and he didn't want to look at it for 30 seconds. Now if Xbox had a reading program, there would be a tool to invest in! - Peggy Dolane
Pay a developer to improve the comment system on FriendFeed! - Hayes Haugen
Hayes: I guarantee you that having people around them who are doing well is far more important to their "good" than having education and justice. Both of those are things that spring from having wealth. Don't believe me? Travel to a poor country sometime and see the difference. - Robert Scoble
Peggy: my son is learning management techniques from World of Warcraft. He doesn't know it either. :-) My kids are not extraordinarily smart, I just guide them when I can. My dad used to make me look up words in the dictionary when I said "what does that mean?" I do the same thing with my kids when they have a question. My son argued censorship very effectively with Jonathan Adelstein, FCC commissioner. Where did he get that? I really don't care, as long as he got it. - Robert Scoble
Robert: Once you are fed and housed I think it almost always comes back to education. Reasonable people will disagree on how to achieve that though. - Hayes Haugen
Hayes, you're right about that. Many "educated" people I know are idiots. So, did it really work? - Robert Scoble
Robert, I agree that wikipedia is a great tool, but it auguments, not takes the place of the work done in the classroom. My original point was that you have to learn the basics before you can go out and learn on your own. The whole teaching kids to be independent learners mantra of our educators is grounded in the same values you are talking about. - Peggy Dolane
Robert, assuming there's a job out there to be filled, how do you fill it if you have no education and can't read? how do you fill it if your health is bad? your priorities are backwards. you have to be a) alive b) healthy and c) educated before you can d) get a job and contribute to the economy. that's why the "Common Good Index" *didn't* conclude, as you did, that job creation is job... more... - Karim
Uneducated people are bigger idiots, Robert. - Francine Hardaway
Peggy: excellent idea. Xbox has a community games area where devs are doing interesting new stuff. A reading program would probably be well received by some parents. - Hayes Haugen
Karim: look into the microfinance revolution. Please. It educates and provides jobs at the same time. Does someone who milks cows for a living really need to read? Really? I didn't know that's a skill they needed. You're living in my world, where that's true, but that is NOT true for billions of people around the world. - Robert Scoble
Robert: to be clear I don't think you are advocating that the cow milker doesn't need to learn how to read, just that that's not the first thing he needs. Cart in front of the horse. - Hayes Haugen
the cow milker may not need to be educated to milk a cow, but it would help to have basic education if he wants to sell the milk and not get ripped off - Kim Landwehr
I'd say invest it into a home and rent it out super cheap. Nothing improves peoples lives more than a place to live that doesn't take up all of your income. - alphaxion
alphaxion: that's called your parents house. If it's so good, why don't we all live at home? :-) - Robert Scoble
One interesting point is that the expected cost to you of some of these things is less than the other -- like, they're investments -- which of course means you can afford to put more than $20k into them. In particular, you can easily afford to put all of your $ into the S&P. Since I think the charity value of the S&P is zilch, I don't think that's very interesting, but micropayments or angel investing are a different story. - j1m
Another way to look at this is through the eyes of , a tech startup. Did you know that they take uneducated kids in India and teach them how to program? It's true. They have hundreds of employees and found that they can almost always teach someone to program, if they are interested in learning. So, there's a case where investing in a startup improves education, gives them a job, and creates other jobs too. Multiplier effect in full force. - Robert Scoble
One thing is for sure, if it wasn't for the investors of the startup i work in, i wouldn't be having this pizza right now! - Lasse Johnsen
Robert, if, quote, "The leverage a dollar invested in such a startup gets is many times more than the leverage you'll get doing any of these other choices," why would i waste my time researching microfinance? weren't you saying startups were better? not sure what your point is about the cows -- are you asking Paul to invest in a Silicon Valley dairy farm? ;-) - Karim
Karim: if you had enough money for a Silicon Valley dairy farm you'd be rich. :-) Microfinance IS funding startups. - Robert Scoble
Given the original question and the subsequent definition of terms (+arguments) I'm going to have to side with Robert. - Hayes Haugen
Robert -- ohh, okay. so when Paul says he is considering investing $20,000 in a promising *startup*, we should read that not as some outfit in Silicon Valley getting a couple of new servers, but a dozen dairy farms in Bangladesh getting a chilling plant? Arrington's going to start covering dairy farms in Techcrunch now? :-) funnily enough, the Gates Foundation works with dairy farmers too: - Karim
there was a cautionary tale the other day on NPR -- think it was "This American Life," but i'm not sure -- about some guy who advised his kids NOT to put their nest egg with Madoff. at the time, Madoff was highly respected on Wall Street and his returns were enormous. the advice was based on being against the "all your eggs in one basket" heuristic. they took the advice but were ridiculed for years -- right up until he was Madoff was arrested for fraud. - Karim
most people realize the stupidity of putting all your eggs in one basket. you don't need a degree in economics to know this. this is why venture capital funds are *pooled* investment vehicles. the gates foundation is also a pooled investment vehicle. some of the money goes to immunizations, so maybe the next Einstein or the next Bill Gates won't die of malaria at age 12. some of the... more... - Karim
putting it all in one Silicon Valley startup and praying it turns out to be Google seems like buying a $20,000 lottery ticket. - Karim
I'd give it to Change Congress or the Sunlight Foundation. - Matt Cutts
Robert: Wow, Zoho teaching kids to program is a fascinating story. Did they blog about this? Want to find more info on that. - Kiran Patchigolla
Is it too late to ask for a tabulated summary of the answers? Perhaps people's answers would illuminate why we have taxes in the first place. - Mr. Gunn
Buy silver. Oh, and read this: - Michael Forian
robert: such a poor and flagrant answer, you're comparing a whole home to a single room at your folks? you can't deny that providing super cheap rented accommodation to society won't make a massive change to it. lets ask the homeless or those who have to do several jobs just to afford their current place without any spare money to help up their standard of living or save for the future. - alphaxion
you live in an apartment that's bigger than 1 room at your parents' house, i guess? lucky you ;-) - j1m
Alphaxion that wasn't one of the choices. I choose to live in the world as it is. Not to mention that houses are a thing of limited supply so if you gave them away you would increase the price for everyone. Oh, yeah, that is EXACTLY what happened over past 10 years. I would rather work on increasing everyone's real wealth which will increase numbers of people who can afford housing. - Robert Scoble
j1m: exactly, I'm lucky I live in a 3 bedroom flat with 3 others.. but it's cheaper than other places, but it's still not cheap. There are some that pay a relative fortune compared with how much they earn for very little space (often with loads of people too). When you are left with next to no money after the top 2 expenses (shelter and food) it's a daily struggle. Very low quality of life and no savings to allow for something to look forward to. - alphaxion
robert: notice I said "rented" accommodation.. you're not giving anything away apart from the ability for a person to save some of their money so they can lift themselves instead of bleeding them dry and keeping them from affording to improve their situation. Also, coming from someone who lives in the UK, I firmly believe that housing is extremely overvalued - when you have a system that is prohibiting first time buyers due to rediculous pricing for very little space then the system is already broken. - alphaxion
and when the alternative is to rent at such a steep price that it stops them from being able to save up for the future then something is wrong. If I *ever* get a personal fortune behind me I will spend a good chunk of it on securing places to let out to people at very cheap rates. I'd rather try to change the world instead of living with such abuse. - alphaxion
1. startup, because of Paul's knowledge that would come with the money 2. school, assuming it was a kind the promotes paul's school of thought 3. buy a hybrid car, but give it to someone driving a crappy, low mpg car, not replacing one of his relatively efficient ones or just adding a car, 4. give it to the US government (the government isn't all bad), 4. give it to the Gates foundation, 4.invest it in the S&P500, - Clare Dibble
First I'm joining the chorus in favor of startup seed funding. Second is the school -- as long as it's *for* something (optimally, an entrepreneurship program?) and not just adding a rounding error to the school board's balance sheet... I'd put the hybrid car last because (unless you actually need a new car) I think that sends false signals: for each car that doesn't sell, maybe companies are going to work even harder and smarter to innovate. - Brian Frank
1. Invest it in a promising startup like FriendFeed. 2. ??? 3. Profit. 4. Give it to the Gates foundation. - Jim Norris
1.5 (in my list above) "other" => I think art and travel is missing, in that they open peoples perspectives. "art" is tricky, but you could just log on to etsy and buy whatever strikes your fancy, then give it as gifts or tell the artist not to actually send the item if you don't have room for it all (or burn the art at burning man or other flammable occasion). - Clare Dibble
1.5 (in my list above) "other" => Donate landscaping in the form of a garden to a public park or other place where people actually go. Being around plants is good, and get the food to, for example, people who are hungry or those who regularly eat "food" (fast food, etc). - Clare Dibble
1.5 (in my list above) "other" => some way to protect privacy of people who want it. I know this is nebulous, but the only ways that I can think of involve suing or sponsoring a law suit, which doesn't seem quite right. - Clare Dibble
Robert, you say you're interested in increasing everyone's real wealth, but that is exactly what people thought they were doing in the housing bubble. that is the other thing that happened in the last 10 years. and a lot of the jobs that *were* created were in the housing sector. so we had jobs creation and apparent "real wealth" creation that turned out to be smoke and mirrors. - Karim
1.5 (in my list above) "other" => travel, I would buy trips/ foreign exchange fees/ etcetera for the age group of 8th graders or high schoolers who couldn't afford them in close minded places (India, the midwest, etc.) to let them know there is some way out of here. if they want it. - Clare Dibble
@karim: the problem with the housing bubble was the allowance of massive loans that could never be paid back realistically. - alphaxion
alph, not trying to dissect root causes of the problem. just pointing out that people recently thought they were creating "real wealth" and jobs when they weren't. - Karim
++ Jim Norris ;), especially step 2. - Clare Dibble
Good point Karim: a lot of people were mistaken about "creating real wealth" in the housing bubble. But the mistake wasn't that "creating real wealth" is never a valid reason to do anything. The lesson was that people will make mistakes no matter how sure they are. - Brian Frank
Brian, i was hoping the lesson would involve learning from our mistakes. - Karim
wow, great thread. Scoble wins :) # 1. STARTUP - my immediate thought as well. #2 SCHOOL but please choose wisely; # 3 HYBRID #4 Gates Fnd. #5 OTHER - Donate to a Non Profit that is serving the "common good" (helps abused children, unemployed, poor, etc). The S&P and Gov't will not manage your money well, just a waste (go burn it in your backyard instead, more fun - Susan Beebe
Scoble said, "The leverage a dollar invested in such a startup gets is many times more than the leverage you'll get doing any of these other choices." I don't see how this can be true, given the fact that most startups FAIL. Does he have some kind of *guarantee* that Paul is investing in the next Microsoft? - Karim
Remember Paul mentioned a "promising startup" - I suspect he knows what that is ;) - Susan Beebe
Thanks, Logical -- I was puzzled. I've read about a UNICEF project that was able to calculate the cost of saving a human life at $500 (, and one from WHO saying that for every $1 invested enables more than a $5 gain to the economy ( So Scoble is essentially saying that this startup is going to provide a... more... - Karim
Susan, is that a wink-wink nod-nod way of saying the startup is Friendfeed? Does the $20,000 get them OC-3 bandwidth for a month? Or new Aeron chairs for everybody? Because that's so worth it, compared to, you know, 40 human lives :-D - Karim
but it totally explains why Robert kept saying put it in the startup. LOL - Karim
An engineering/medical scholarship to 1 or 2 students who really deserve it. Or maybe use this money to kickstart a scholarship foundation for this to wich other people can contribute... The key is to have people who can select the candidates correctly based on the talent and passion of the candidates... - Arun Jacob
Robert, if the startup *is* Friendfeed, I grant you, they're a promising startup. I'll even grant you that they will inevitably be successful (unlike most startups!) and eventually will have hundreds of employees contributing millions of dollars to philanthropic causes. That said, this $20,000 clearly ISN'T NEEDED to get them to that point. It's not a make-or-break amount for the... more... - Karim
here is a greatly oversimplified game theoretic look at the problem: -- the values in the cells represent utility ("common good," lives saved, dollars put into the economy, etc.) "minimax" is highlighted in green. it's the rational solution, the minimum column maximum, the best possible outcome out of the worst possible outcomes. - Karim
realistically it's more complicated because the startup has a *probability* of success. my *guess* is that you would want to give the money to the startup to the extent it's probable they will succeed (and the money is required for success). so if the startup has a 25% chance of a profitable exit, you'd want to give the money to the startup 25% of the time and to the charity 75% of the time -- again, assuming the money makes the difference between success and failure to the startup. - Karim
it's irrational to always go for the situation with the highest payout potential *despite* the odds. then again, people buy lottery tickets so what do i know. - Karim
For me, it would be school, startup, Gates Foundation, hybrid car, S&P, US government in order of best to worst. IMO, there are thousands of potentially better common good uses of $20k than giving it to the government, which best I can tell is the functional equivalent of throwing your money into an incinerator. - Kevin Scott
Pay training programs for some laid off workers of declining industries. - xyz
@Clare Dibble - close minded places like India?!! Many people think of it as the number one destination for opening their minds, so I find the idea that India would be first on someone's list of "close minded places" mind-boggling. When were you last there, and where did you go? - Ruchira S. Datta
What an amazing thread! Anybody totaled these up yet? Or shall I take a stab at it? - Eric Johnson
If you are interested in this thread you should read The End of Poverty by Jeffrey Sachs. - Matt Griffith
Investing in a startup can only work in parts of the world that aren't stuck in a poverty trap. What happens to a business if the sole proprietor can't work because they get malaria? What if the woman applying for microcredit spends the majority of her day collecting clean water? The Gates Foundation is focused on those problems because you must fix them before anything else will work. - Matt Griffith
Others have talked about the problem with the idea of "common good". I would instead focus on things that have the biggest positive impact on the largest number of lives. 25,000 children will die today. In the time it took me to write this comment dozens of children died around the world. - Matt Griffith
I took a shot at tabulating results in a Google spreadsheet. "Startup" got the most responses, with "School" a close second. And there were 49 other suggestions. Here are the complete stats: - Eric Johnson
Anybody want to help me do some meaningful analysis here? I'm hitting the limits of my standard deviation knowledge :) - Eric Johnson
There is no efficient market in utilons. Different organizations have literally orders of magnitude difference in how much good they do per dollar. The big, showy charities that deliver lots of status and warm fuzzies can't compare to small, startup, strange charities working on points of maximum leverage.,, more... - Eliezer Yudkowsky
The Results: Forget meaningful analysis, let's score this as Formula One racing, with 10 points for first place, 8 for second, etc. Funding a startup wins with 288 points. School funding is a close second, with 283 points. Gates takes third place, with 202. Everybody else does pretty badly, with the US Government scoring a dismal 46 points. Among write-ins, Kiva scored 58. See my spreadsheet for details. - Eric Johnson
Tip Michael J. Totten: I'd say that's for the common good. - Rick Powell
@Ruchira I dunno, but I thought if I were gay and open in India, my mind might be opened, against my will, to the idea of prison. Correct me if I'm wrong. - Rick Powell
Still waiting for the check ... Oh wait. I wasn't on the list - Charlie Anzman
Nth vote for Kiva - zimpenfish
Gates foundation OR Clinton foundation... both have records of great use of money for good cause. - marshia Armstrong
If you are still looking for ideas, this one might be worth your consideration: - April Russo (FForever!)
Here's an interesting twist on the startup: "...Silicon Valley has always been about making the world smaller. And Ratra, who cofounded Akraya with her husband in 2001, has always been about helping women in business. So when she heard last spring about Peace through Business, an international effort to pair female business owners from two... more... - Ruchira S. Datta
Change the life of a child (e.g. middle-school) by lighting a fire for science & technology through involvement in an innovative and engaging summer program. - Jason Miller
Help make it easier for young people who start their college education at a community college to transfer a four year school and earn a baccalaureate degree in a timely fashion. Do it in science & mathematics and you'll have a HUGE return on your investment. - Jason Miller
Robert Scoble
Mike Arrington and I disagree on the future -
But how do you get more people to use FriendFeed? - Theodora
Theodora's right, if nobody is giving FF any metadata to seach, it's all kind of useless. - Pat Hawks
Pat and Theodora: I see a lot of people using friendfeed and more will come in future. - Robert Scoble
There's a ton of metadata coming into FF, traditional 'social media' sites like Twitter and FaceBook are only a portion. Not to mention the amount of content that is generated within FF itself (see my feed for an example search for FF generated content). As for getting more people to use FF: show them your feed. The standard interface has a tab for 'Me and Friends' that is a publicly viewable representation of what you see in your feed. Share that with others, let them see it for themselves. - FFing Enigma
Not exactly, Robert. I threw the filter as an example, it lets you confirm for yourself that there is native content on FF. You don't have to use that filter to see said content, though: it's streaming through your feed as we speak. Even if people stopped feeding in their other services, there would still be content here. That's the point I was trying to make. - FFing Enigma
Hrm... It would appear the comments to which I was replying have been deleted. <sarcasm> Love when that happens </sarcasm> - FFing Enigma
This is really good - nice video commentary on this - totally agree. Interesting to watch FB try to use their "metal detector" isn't it? :) - Susan Beebe
Jason: if that were true, Twitter would be dead. It only has 10-20 million on it where Facebook has 200 million. - Robert Scoble
Hey, no worries Robert, and I'm sorry for seeming to be calling you out. It's just there have been occasions where comments were deleted and the author didn't come back to explain why (as you have graciously done just now). As for looking wrong: don't worry about that, we're all wrong A LOT. Leaving the comment and responding anew to admit you've learned something can be helpful to others =) - FFing Enigma
This blog post fails to parry Arrington's main point: sure there's tons of data on FriendFeed but as Theodara asked more to Arrington's point: "But how do you get more people to use FriendFeed?" sorry Scoble #Fail - sofarsoShawn
Shawn: see my point above about the 'Me Plus Friends' tab in the std FF interface. That's the PERFECT tool for spreading FF around to others: they get to see what your feed looks like without being logged in. Sadly, to few people choose to use that tool - FFing Enigma
@Tina that's pretty awesome idea; I've seriously never looked at that before, I've really only interacted with the main feed. Your blog post is forthcoming, rIght? - sofarsoShawn
It didn't get nearly as much attention as it deserved with the last release. I really hope they keep it, it's a perfect tool for spreading the FF word. - FFing Enigma
Don't let the nasty man Arrington bully you ! - Adrian
FriendFeed search needs a better search query language! You had a good question but the translation into FriendFeed's query language isn't transparent. "I want you to find the original picture that someone sent in from their iPhone over Twitter." should be easily translatable into something like "hudson river (plane OR airplane) link:to_pic order:date_asc". I'm not very familiar with FriendFeed's search, but I really miss to be able to search for a specific link or any post with a link included. - Richard Metzler
If FriendFeed is a better service than Twitter (or other similar services), it will eventually become more popular. I believe a superior technical solution does eventually triumph provided that the competition didn't have too much of a head start. As example we have IE losing market share inspite of all its adavantages, Gmail (and Google) overwhelming companies like Yahoo! and AOL and others with superior search service, email service, etc etc. On the other hand Windows OS continues to dominate. - Rajesh Sharma
A must-have feature to FriendFeed (and other microblogging services): categorization! I want follow "education" posts from friend X but I don't care about his thoughts on "american football" (I'm european...). - António Teixeira
Antonio, filters should give you that capability: you can search for posts from person X and in the contains field type -football. - FFing Enigma
Twitter has "won" against Rejaw, Plurk,, Jaiku, and Pownce - it's not really in the same game as FriendFeed... - Nathan Chase
The ability to filter links is the main thing that keeps me coming back to Twitter search. I don't really care about tweets without links because they don't point me to interesting stuff. There's probably some roundabout way to search Friendfeed the same way, but then you run into the relatively small amount of users there. I do hope that changes. And I'd be stoked if Facebook came up with a Friendfeed-type search. - Tom Landini
I agree with Nathan. Your Hudson analogy is like comparing the encyclopedia to the library. You said yourself when you go to FF you used a "filtering system". I simply added the word "photo" to your query and the first twitter post sent me to wikipedia. At the bottom of the page (under external links) it sent me right to Janis Krums twitpic. I found it in less time than it took me on FF, using the same query. - Ro (Lilyhill)
I was searching on Google yesterday & one of the hits was a twitter posting. First time I've seen that. - amygeek
re tech superiority winning the day...QWERTY keyboards were invented to slow typists don so they wouldn't jam the mechanical typewriter. It's market penetration virtually blocked superior performing human/machine interfaces to this day. Beta versus VHS and PC versus Macintosh. Kenneth Arrow called this the law of increasing returns and was nearly laughed out of economics until he found... more... - Tom Miles from twhirl
Matt Cutts
A good idea by Paul Graham: A visa to help immigrants start companies in the U.S.
Robert Scoble
Arrington threatened me if I take any photos or videos of the crunchpad. After seeing it I will buy three and put friendfeed on them for my new studio.
Wow, look at the likes pour in! - Pat Hawks
One real time filter per screen would be sorta slick. - Ken Sheppardson
Not to be snotty, but could it handle the new friendfeed? - Christopher Galtenberg
Him throwing out those "It might not happen" comments on the TechCrunch piece makes me worry. I would love to have one of these around for both the office and at home. - Mike Flynn
how about crunchpad impressions in crunchy peanut butter? ;) - bob phillips
Is Arrington underselling it? - J Allen
Christopher: yes, it is fast enough for realime friendfeed. - Robert Scoble
The only downside I see is that it is a bit thicker than I would like. - Robert Scoble
I want one for my living room so people don't need my computers to check their emails. I like the idea of having a cheap internet computer for guests. - Andrew
crunchpad would be great for a variation of my tv/video concept piece. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari... Instead of a rotating barber chair in a room full of video feeds, you could have walls covered with filtered feeds. Imagine Scoble fastened in the chair, without controls, slowly rotating through the feeds. - bob phillips
Do you think I will manage to get one before leaving the bay at the end of the month? Or at least to see it? :) - Federico [Kurai]
@Scoble How thick is it? Hard to tell from the photos. - Mike Flynn
Price will be my only concern lol - Dean Clark
Is it fast enough for Hulu? That's the question. :-) - Kevin Fox
The real question is if it's fast enough for Facebook and playing 10 different racing apps at the same time on Facebook. - Scoble, Alex Scoble
How's the capacitive touch screen? - Rodfather
Hmm... does it have video out? HDMI to a 42+ screen on the wall would be sorta slick - Ken Sheppardson
I would love to have one with the EEE keyboard - J Allen
Mr. Calacanis just posted one ;) - Lasse Johnsen
Rodfather: the prototypes work great. - Robert Scoble
Was it heavy? Big battery? Compared to a 2lb device. - Rodfather
Rodfather: it is slightly less than 2 lbs with battery. The engineer who is building them says production units should be lighter. - Robert Scoble
@jasoncalacanis has a picture, is that the latest ? - Ranjith Antony
Boris 'The Blade' Yurinov: [referring to Tommy's gun] Heavy is good, heavy is reliable. If it doesn't work you can always hit them with it. - shayne catrett
Maybe 4-5+ hrs with an Atom. - Rodfather
Why do I want someone to break an embargo on this? Gee, let me think.... - Bwana ☠
I'd pay $200 more if they added a Wacom/Ntrig digitizer along with the capacitive touch screen. - Rodfather
Rodfather check out this video in which Michael Arrington gives a price of $150. It's near the end. Is he talking about the CrunchPad? You be the judge. There are also shots of the CrunchPad. - Loren Heiny
The threats are rich coming from a guy who broke the FriendFeed Beta embargo an hour early just to get the scoop! - Paul Jacobson
give jcal my love! xo - sean percival
$150 with a nice profit? We'll see. Looking at Steve's guesses on specs and price, it's looking a bit more. I don't know how much individual components cost but would like to know how much a 12" capacitive touch screen is. - Rodfather
Sounds like we'll know next week. - Loren Heiny
The $150 is a joke. I don't think they will be that low. - Robert Scoble
I wouldn't think so either. He didn't jump at your offer of $1000. :-) - Loren Heiny
michael thinks "..on sale next week and delivered next month" - Lasse Johnsen
Developers/engineers always underestimate what a hardware product costs (wishful thinking or deliberate misinformation?). The parts costs may be $150-200 (but even then unlikely) but what about all those other little incidental things like transporation, money costs, packaging costs, marketing costs and god knows what else? - Brian Sullivan
Like profit? (Is that 'money costs'?) - Kevin Fox
I just want to use Loren's Inkgram app again. Add a digitizer and pen garage and price it $400-600. - Rodfather
Yeah well that too. - Brian Sullivan
Robert - ok when you are allowed to - post pics!! :) - Susan Beebe
I like seeing that the units appear to be working prototypes. That's cool. Always difficult to tell from single photos. - Loren Heiny
Josh: nah. There are already plenty of pictures out. I just want to be the first customer. - Robert Scoble
LOL - Mona Nomura
I'm guessing VPN and remote desktop (or are outside of the scope of the device? - MiniMage
There is no embargo. The people behind this gave a "state of the union" here: It's at the prototype stage, no investors, no business plan. Not to say they won't get this, but it's still early. - Stan Scott
Just had a look at the crunchpad article. Scratching my head on it, but I think it would win me over if it could be used also for graphics purposes...stylus can it do that as well? - George Hall (Australia)
CrunchPad would be great for watching movies and hulu - Christian Burns
It's too early for something like this to work considering they will cost >$500 a pop. - iTad
really? that good eh... - Zee.
if i can casually throw this in a backpack WITHOUT the screen getting F.U.B.A.R., then me wants one very much! - shayne catrett
I will believe it, when I see it. - Jim Connolly
Sounds like some people are thinking of using CrunchPads as generic PCs. That's fine if the cost and weight can be kept down. If not, I'd say keep iterating on the concept to see if a netbook or kindle priced device can be developed. Without any of these, the experience is going to need to be quite compelling. - Loren Heiny
Nicholas - I meant to say, I will believe it when I see a devise, as feature rich as this, on sale for less than $150. When did lawyers start designing hardware? I missed that :) - Jim Connolly
What I would love to see in ANY tablet but especially in this one is a decent artwork program. PocketPC's and Palm handhelds were always great to draw with, but were on ridiculous-sized screens. I'm surprised no one has thought to market a tablet computer as an art tool. - George Hall (Australia)
Robert Scoble
Arrington and I disagree on future
Arrington and I disagree on future
word up. - john erik metcalf
I'm writing a post about this. Arrington believes that Twitter has won and that this is a winner take all market (the microblogging world, that is). I explain why this game has only just started. - Robert Scoble
Gillmor Gang: Arrington's points here have me disagreeing with him. - Robert Scoble
Agree a lot...want will be needed is to have the babble of all real-time web information being filtered by a core set of people that I trust...I need a service that says..."from all the noise that is out there right now..the people that you trust think the following is important...the following is funny...the following is bunk etc... - Mike Aikins
if you can't dominate the market, redefine it. - MikeAmundsen
The majority of the "big bloggers" that I've read over the past week (esp re: FF beta) I think that most of these guy have got the whole thing wrong. The tech market is never a "winner take all" thing. It a winner takes the current level, but then we bring it all up to the next level There was IBM, then Mircosoft, then Google, now (Twitter, FB, FF?) -But what's after that? And like Microsoft grew from the relationship w/IBM who grows from this market? - guruvan (Rob Nelson)
Mike, can't you do that now: e.g. friends:justinlong likes:20 or some such? - Justin Long
I agree Robert. The argument Arrington is proposing is similar to the search engine wars of the mid-90s, with prognosticators stating that Altavista was the search engine. - LPH™ and his dog P™
Nicholas, I wouldn't count him out yet. For me personally his credibility / level of influence is rebounding. And it doesn't matter so much if his opinion is wrong. A-listers don't need to be right from the start. They just need to start conversations. - Bruce Lewis
Bruce: Arrington once told me he's an entertainer. As long as everyone is paying attention to him he's going to do just fine. - Robert Scoble
While I started out in micro-blogging on Twitter and also found it a great service during Australia's recent bushfires for volunteering, I wouldn't call it the be-all-and-end-all. After all, one period of unexpected downtime on twitter had me looking at the new beta here on FF. And this morning, I'm even looking at jaiku and Who says Twitter's won? - George Hall (Australia)
I stopped paying attention to Arrington last year, but I'm starting to pay attention again now. Something good happened in Hawaii. - Bruce Lewis
we all here? - Nick
Nick, I'm here. - Robert Scoble
That picture is priceless. - Pat Hawks
well hi, then. I don't think ppl will move to ff the same way they didn't pick up on pownce, which (a year ago) was (already) better than twitter in terms of feature-set — it had photos, content, an air app, etc. - Nick
the key for the survival of sites like Friendfeed is not try to compete with Twitter, but to do things that Twitter doesn't. This is not a winner take all situation. - Kim Landwehr
sorry, i missed that (on kyte). how do you use office w/ google docs? - Nick
Nick: if someone sends a Word Doc to my Gmail address I can open it up in Google Docs. - Robert Scoble
John: sounds a lot like Twitter/friendfeed, huh? - Robert Scoble
Robert: Unless its a .docx format....? - Justin Long
Justin: probably not, but those should be even easier for Google to read. - Robert Scoble
Wouldn't you think people would go where the majority of their friends are? I'm kind of divided between FB and Twitter. I wish more of my friends used FF but... - Justin Long
Robert: 1) I agree totally w/ twitter being an entirely useless way of finding ppl of value — ie it's good for following existing celebrities, and may even be O.K. for finding local randomers, but no good for finding services of value (those most likely to advertise in a highly targeted online setting!) 2) I take ALL my school notes on gdocs and i wish i could mass export just to be safe - Nick
Jerome: right. But now friendfeed will be the place to go. Why? Because I can send you a link to something of great value. - Robert Scoble
Jerome: two years ago all my friends told me that Twitter was the lamest thing they'd ever seen. - Robert Scoble
Then they all shifted when more of their friends got onto it. - Robert Scoble
See, that's what I think: the center of gravity isn't features, but friends. You have to have people in order to have substantive conversations. You go where you have a preexisting pool of sharers. - Justin Long
Unless you have enough "pull" to be able to go into a new service and bring a bunch of people with you... like Scoble...? - Justin Long
Scoble: do you think it is meaningful to compare the live feed on YOUR account to that of the average user? I dont think ANYONE else has numbers similar to yours in terms of updates/minute (or even /second) - Nick
Wish there was a way to better integrate Twitter's stream into Friendfeed... so that you could see both streams and update them... that would make it easier to migrate to FF! Maybe so you could see your twitter stream but no one else could unless you happened to comment on something or like it?? - Justin Long
Jerome: right. This is why Twitter has won. The first inning of this game. - Robert Scoble
Nick: I used to be the only one following 1,000 people on Twitter and everyone made fun of me. Now that is a common thing to see. - Robert Scoble
I didn't realize how bad Twitter was at searching until recently. That's why I've migrated to FriendFeed as well. The 140-character message is similar to the traditional Unix bias toward flat files. It works for simple uses, but if you need metadata, you have to use more elaborate methods. FriendFeed is analogous to a relational database. - David Delony
Jerome it took Twitter three years to get to 20 million and be considered a "mainstream success." - Robert Scoble
FriendFeed has a character limit, too. It's just more than 140 is all. I would have predicted the "Disqus" and "Intense Debate" type service would be dominating the borader conversation by now... I would have been wrong. - Matt Shaulis
Matt: metadata on friendfeed does NOT take away from friendfeed's size, though. On Twitter typing "RT: " takes away four characters and typing tags takes away even more. - Robert Scoble
Robert: It's good for everyone though. It prevents rambling, hyperbole, and bloat. It has not prevented text messaging from becoming a global craze... - Matt Shaulis
Why is Twitter a mainstream success? Because of how it was used in certain cases and what sort of publicity it got by those cases. Mumbai, the Hudson River plane, Australian bushfires. FriendFeed can get the same sort of thing, all it needs is imaginitive use of FriendFeed capabilities in a crunch. The added bonuse of aggregation greatly enhances its use in such cases, too. Do it properly, Friendfeed will hold its own. - George Hall (Australia)
George: But FriendFeed lacks a cute name meaning the "bubble headed bleach blondes" will not like saying in on the air. ;) hehehe - Matt Shaulis
Jerome: I guarantee that in two years (Twitter is two years older than friendfeed) we'll be talking about friendfeed and not Twitter. - Robert Scoble
I agree something like Friendfeed will be more interesting, certainly. - Dominick R. Brady
what makes twitter a mainstream succes is the cases that goerge mentions PLUS the mobile aspect FF weill never get there until I can have it on EVERY mobile devices - guruvan (Rob Nelson)
How boring is it to say "I posted a FriendFeed message" versus "I Tweeted" .... Come on... it might sound silly, but it's marketing 101. The media and the glitterati will not adopt FriendFeed because it's not "fun" to talk about. (Not to mention, it is confusing to average people and will only get moreso.) - Matt Shaulis
guruvan: what if every mobile device becomes a clone of the iPhone? That's where it's headed. - Robert Scoble
I tend to agree. I am already really into this new version- even being in beta. - Chris Parton
Matt, all its missing is a cute little mascot. The name's good enough...and cute enough...but it needs something visual. Mascot, visually identifiable immediately. Something that stands out in the minds of a bubble-headed bleach blond. Hmm, do bleach-blonds HAVE minds? - George Hall (Australia)
Matt: fair enough. Twitter has a fun attitude. - Robert Scoble
Robert: don't you think there's going to be legacy TXT for a while though? - guruvan (Rob Nelson)
WOW, scoble. that's a bold statement. i have a hard time believing that. they just dont have the brand equity - john erik metcalf
but yes the clone of the iphone is for real - guruvan (Rob Nelson)
George: yes yes yes.. the mascot too.. all the way. Great point as well. - Matt Shaulis
John: so did MySpace two years ago. - Robert Scoble
twitter is becoming a household name. - john erik metcalf
John: so was MySpace two years ago. Twitter is only used by 10 to 20 million. Facebook is 200 million. If Twitter's success means anything then it shouldn't even exist. - Robert Scoble
Medai coverage + Name + Mascot + Etc. == Marketing - Matt Shaulis
Matt: Financial Times is writing about friendfeed on Monday. And so it starts. - Robert Scoble
friendfeed could easily become a household name too if there were 50 different clients to meet everyone's different wants and needs for friendfeed - guruvan (Rob Nelson)
Rob: friendfeed is simplifying its API to get more people to be able to write for it. Twitter's API is so simple even I could write an app for it. Friendfeed's API is far more complex. - Robert Scoble
Even google figured out android needed a visual mascot. It's worked, too, for linux, having Tux the penguin. Twitter has the bird and the fail whale. At the moment, we have the incredible Scoble, but due to similarities with the Hulk, we have copyright and trademark issues there. Other suggestions? - George Hall (Australia)
Robert: LOL @ Financial times.... hehehe... I suppose it is a start... but it's no Tonight Show with Jay Leno. :-D - Matt Shaulis
Ellen and Jay talked about Twitter for a good 2.5 minutes - Matt Shaulis
Matt: In a year Ellen and Jay will need to talk about something else. - Robert Scoble
Robert: my gut tells me that if that is true, it won't be FF. It will be something newer. But yes... Google will soon buy Twitter which means it is getting shelved and we will all have to move on. - Matt Shaulis
Matthew broke FF. - Rochelle
Speaking of third-party stuff and API's, the iphone clients for Friendfeed need some work. Too much crashing in motherfeed and and Nambu - George Hall (Australia)
Robert: agreed re: twitter api simplicity...I think I could do it too. Eager to see easier ff api and more clients esp mobile ones....then I can get tons of people to take it everywhere they go....then people will really be engrossed in their phones walking thru traffic ;) - guruvan (Rob Nelson)
Matt: there will probably be something new that +I+ will be onto, but I usually look for the newest and best way to do something. - Robert Scoble
Well,'s certainly not it! - Chris Parton
Chris: when I see it I'll probably talk about it here all day long and get everyone pissed at me. :-) - Robert Scoble
Facebook seems to be doing alright without a cute name or mascot. - Bruce Lewis
Bruce: so does Microsoft and Google and Amazon. - Robert Scoble
You sure Microsoft's success isn't because of Clippy? :-) - Bruce Lewis
And remember Microsoft's Windows emblem? That's practically a mascot/trademark instantly identifying it - George Hall (Australia)
I try to jump out on Seesmic every now and then; I want to get into the video interaction but it always seems like the same 15 people are out there. Like a big video conference on odd topics - Lou Paglia
seesmic is certainly trying to branch out and make more interaction happen - guruvan (Rob Nelson)
Hey, i started on Seesmic this's actually quite good. I like it more than Tweetdeck. It's only let down in one area, the userlists. As groupings, they're too static. Tweetdeck lets grouped friends be a column that's actively updated. Other than that, it's superior to Tweetdeck. - George Hall (Australia)
Patrick: thats actually why I like FF so I get better and better at it it relieves the fatigue by aggregating my content and republishing it for me - guruvan (Rob Nelson)
George: I am a huge fan of peoplebrowsr ....way more powerful than anything I've used ....better than tweetdeck for sure - guruvan (Rob Nelson)
I think the aggregation makes people more voracious -especially when they see how it reposts to where THEIR friends are. If friendfeed were to be able to repost stuff to Facebook as well as twitter it would be a SMASH hit - guruvan (Rob Nelson)
I think that, as I grow more and more into social apps, FF grows at a comfortable pace with me. But that's just me +shrug+ - Chris Parton
Chris: good point...I think people are generally comfortable with the pace on facebook (and myspace and similar) and they're just becoming comfortable with the pace on twitter - the pace on friendfeed is a little more hectic even still (omg with the realtime feed even more so) and will take some getting used to for people, but they will.. Especially if FF develops the outbound feeds...out to twitter is good, but it needs to go to where the people have their friends ....whereever that is - guruvan (Rob Nelson)
I don't know my history too well, but in my limited time following you, you guys don't totally agree too often :) - Bwana ☠
Very good points. I feel as though I have outgrown many of the other services and am ready for a fluid and fast-paced real-time entity. Also, my FF doesn't seem to be posting to Twitter haha! - Chris Parton
100% agree - if everything feeds into everything else, in the end it may just be a question of interface / controls. Friend Feed is well on its way to being a streamlined interface for both Twitter and Facebook at the same time with all the relevant meta data. An interface, that I personally prefer. But, ultimately, agreed we are in the stone age and this is barely started much less over! P.S. Love the edit feature : ) - JP Maxwell
Chris: I bet if you tried to hit their website youd get you a failwhale...doubt its on FF's end ;) -----and I agree about out growing the others...but my friends have not, so I still use them...but more and more, as a way to get stuff into FF - guruvan (Rob Nelson)
Robert's goin' Green! Ahhhhh! - Charlie Anzman
Bwana: lol! probably not, but which guys are you referring to? - guruvan (Rob Nelson)
And how fun would the discussion be if everyone agreed on it all....little mutual lovefest and that's it heh. - guruvan (Rob Nelson)
I was referring to Arrington and Scoble - Bwana ☠
My extended family is set up to get a weekly FriendFeed summary by email. It doesn't get more comfortably paced than that. - Bruce Lewis
Again, just so right on w/ Twitter being just the beginning. When you introduce something new to a group of people previously not exposed to it, often the simplest thing wins at first. It is only once the adoption has occurred that people start wanting more. The simplicity becomes limiting and people demand this or that, but you never could have started out with it all. - JP Maxwell
And the internet itself is founded upon the idea of using the simplest thing as the base layer and then building onto that base....FF build well onto the simplest layers like twitter - being able to like and comment on tweets over here is a great addition...but still leaves twitter as an important piece - guruvan (Rob Nelson)
Laying down the gauntlet. The drama!!! - sofarsoShawn
Robert, true, the game has just started and we do need better filters, but there is nothing stopping Twitter from implementing some of the same features we see on Friendfeed, Facebook and more. Threaded conversations and a like button do not constitute barriers to entry. - Erick Schonfeld
Can someone please tell me how either of these startups are going to make money? Please? - Bwana ☠
which startups? - wannagot
Erick - twitter has only just got its service engineered to handle it's existing features, whereas FriendFeed has been built as a well maintained scalable infrastructure right from the start. I wouldn't underestimate FriendFeed's technical lead - it may be larger than Twitter's user-base lead. Not to mention the fact they'd have to lead their user-base perhaps unwillingly. - Robin Barooah
google wasn't first, but they had a great idea and incredible execution. FF might have the same effect on soc-net. - MikeAmundsen
Robert I agree with you 100% on the value of the "meta data" aspect of FF. I'm not so sure that advertising isnt already viable on twitter. Google adwords functionality integrated into the side bar of twitter would be much more targeted than the google content network. So even on a basic level it is viable. I agree that it could be much more. Google can just sit back and integrate into any or all existing social networks. The myspace deal paid of in much the same way. - James Ketchell
Ewww, Cheyenne yo you do know he's married. - sofarsoShawn
That is true. - sofarsoShawn
correct...current state of information is chaos, jumbled mess...need organization...ff is a start - Michael
Alasdair: advertising is a $300 billion a year business. THAT is why I concentrate on it. - Robert Scoble
nice - the difference between *THE* answer and many solutions. It's just what solutions dominate, what ends up being a robust niches and what dies (and it's an ever shifting playing field in this case). - Stuart Miniman
FF FTW!! :) - Susan Beebe
the metadata angle to the discussion on twitter versus FF/FB is an interesting one. for first time users harder to grasp; on the other hand richer metadata structures make it indeed much easier to really filter the information; not only for directly using FF, but also for third party engines building on top of FF API's - Jeroen De Miranda
Alasdair: Advertising is far from dead. Just because you're not a fan doesn't mean the rest of us are not. The truth is advertising is prevalent in our society because we need it. You need to know where those people, things, services and such are. The best of anything goes to waste if no one knows about it. The key to advertising, though, is to deliver it to you in such a way that you like it, and is relevant to you. Most current media doesn't allow for that. Social medial advertising does offer potential. - guruvan (Rob Nelson)
Who cares what Arringtoin says? Last week he said Google was buying Twitter - paul mooney
I think twitter has much more metadata capability than we see on the surface. A good search correlation algorithm could take temporal and spatial metadata as weighting vectors; more weighting vectors: indexing + analyzing link targets (and their metadata), retweets, replies, follows, tweets sources, and the kicker indexed RSS feeds from the top N news/info/media web sites, etc. Correlate a search term against these vectors and self-tune using user rating. $.02 - Ankush Narula
I disagree with you on so many things, Robert, but I watched this video, and you make excellent points. I do believe you're right. - Stan Scott
Get arrington to set up a realtime private room for techcrunch staff - Christian Burns
This is the future speaking: you are both wrong. - Todd Hoff
The meta data and "likes" you are describing that is the advantage of friend feed is reminding me of what Plurk is trying to do. I don't like it over there, and I'm trying to figure it out over here on Friendfeed. Maybe when you have 19,000 subscriptions FF makes sense, but for the little guys, it's not so transparent. - Peggy Dolane
Twitter's victory will be short-lived and potentially Pyrrhic. It's a cool toy everybody can play with but not a great tool for serious users. I still can't see it paying for itself over the long run unless as a data collecting device for Google. And the best point: all the metadata is currently within the 140 characters. And apps not limited to 140 characters are so obviously more useful. - The Web's Wendell Wittler
Definitely love Robert's calling out of Mike at the end. They're both nice, smart guys, and I'm glad we have a system (the Internet) where they can discuss this for all of us to see, and discuss with them/each other as well. - Tyler Hayes
hint you on the next challenge: Servers will distributed into multi-region server farms management that somehow will focus on local activities but still synchronized with primary server farm.... That would be how megatons of meta data will be delivered seamlessly without causing too much traffic collision and bandwidth waste... I think.. - Pico Seno
I finally understand the value Robert gets out of FF, and it's because he can easily pool lots of useful metadata (likes, links, comments) to each of his own posts out of the vast trove of friends. For the rest of us, there's the live feed, which works better on Twitter than FF. I still think that in the future, we will all be Scoble though and have gadzillion more friends. - Prokofy Neva
Jennifer Slegg
Robert Scoble
Hey @techcrunch come to the future, the water is fine!
I thought the Arrington post was meant to drive FF adoption, reading between the lines. - Jon Lebkowsky
Twitter and Friendfeed are really complementary. And I have to say, my information environment's grown some real muscles since I started using Friendfeed regularly. - Jon Lebkowsky
Jon: agreed. I'm not stopping use of Twitter. There's some really great things about Twitter. - Robert Scoble
Robert: Oh, yeah, I understood that you're still tweeting. I'm agreeing with you. Twitter + FF is a powerful combo. - Jon Lebkowsky
Chris Gulker
Chris, great news! - Scott Loftesness
Thanks, Scott... - Chris Gulker from Friend Deck
Other ways to read this feed:Feed readerFacebook