Thursday Jan 14, 2010

Live Blog Coverage of Haiti

Now here's an interesting use of live blogging.  This snapcast is basically aggregating tweets and other info related to the Haiti situation following the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that hit there this week.

Check it out.  Also, if you know of reliable Twitter accounts that are tweeting Haiti-related help info (e.g., if a charitable organization is tweeting about how we can help), I'd love to hear about it.  You can post a link as a comment to this blog post.

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Monday Jan 04, 2010

G-Snap! still much better than Twitter for flash crowds, collaboration

I've mentioned G-Snap! before on this blog; a buddy of mine left a high-profile job at Yahoo! a couple of years back to start a company around a vision he had about how to use mobile computing to bring people together.  He and his company have been doing some really cool work with their app, and in the last few months have gotten some cool things done.  For one, they actually got some revenue for the product.  Another thing, Robert Scoble (huge in the blogosphere, in case you don't already know about the guy) heard about it and used it to capture his time at Le Web conference recently.

But none of that really matters to me today; today what's important is that Rich and I are going to snapcast tonight's college football bowl game, the Fiesta Bowl between TCU and Boise State.  Rich is from Texas; he's rooting for TCU.  I'm from the Pacific Northwest, so I'm gonna root for Boise State.

G-Snap! has added a really nice way of incorporating Twitter feeds and individual tweets into a snapcast; we're going to be trying out this feature in tonight's snapcast.  Check it out here; it's free, and you can either just watch the conversation or feel free to join in with the crowd.

Oh, and it's not just for mobile phones; it looks great on your favorite desktop browser.  Rich has made sure of that, no matter what browser you're using.

See you at the game tonight!

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Wednesday Dec 02, 2009

The Pac-10 Championship blogged live

I've talked about g-snap! before; I still think it's one of the most innovative ways of sharing live events with other people.  It beats Twitter hands-down, and is a more natural way of doing what people call "live blogging".  Plus, G-Snap! was designed from the start to work well on mobile devices; the whole idea is that you may be on the move when a favorite event of yours is on, but if you could stay in touch via your mobile device, you can still be a part of the community, part of the action.

The next Snapcast  coming up is tomorrow's (that's Thursday, December 3rd) Pac-10 college football game between Oregon and Oregon State.  The outcome of the game will determine which team wins the Pac-10 conference title and therefore goes to the Rose Bowl.  Both teams are playing great football; the game should be a treat to watch.

So check it out by going here, and join in the trash talking, or just check out how communities interact on G-Snap!

Thursday Aug 06, 2009

My Annual Drum Corps Nerdfest Announcement

Every summer, my personal obsessions take a break from their normal subjects of computing and other technology, and veer toward a long time favorite hobby: drum and bugle corps.

The world championships are this week.  Quarterfinals competition begins at 3:30PM Pacific Time today in Indianapolis, Indiana.  Semifinals are tomorrow, and the finals (Top 12 corps) are this Saturday.

My favorite, as usual, is the Santa Clara Vanguard.  It looks like the clear leader this year is the Blue Devils, from Concord, CA, but second through fifth place is up for grabs for any of four corps, including the Vanguard.

I won't be able to make it to Indianapolis to attend the shows in person, so I'm going to watch quarterfinals live at my local theater.  The DCI organization is broadcasting the event live and you can go buy tickets just like any movie.  The theater will be filled with other drum corps nerds just like me.

But wait, there's more!  I will also be attending the free snapcast created for the event, on G-Snap!  I've mentioned snapcasting before; a couple of weeks ago, over 800 people attended a live snapcast of a regional drum corps show so I'm anticipating a big crowd for today's competition.  I'll follow the snapcast on my mobile phone while I'm in the theater; that should make the whole experience a lot more fun: while I'm watching the competition on the big screen, I'll be able to comment with other nerds like me nationwide, as it happens.

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Thursday Jul 16, 2009

Snapcasting the Sun Stockholders Meeting

Today was a special meeting of Sun stockholders.  The question on the table: whether to approve the merger whereby Oracle acquires Sun.

I decided to "snapcast" the event live, using a free web-based application call G-Snap!  I've blogged about g-snap! before but in the last few months they've done a fair amount of improvement to the interface.  It's really slick and full-featured now.

Click here to view the event log for the snapcast, so you can see what I typed and the comments people made.  Password: sunvote.

There was good news and bad news about the snapcast.  The good news: over 50 people joined the event with only about 30 minutes' notice, and the interface worked like a charm.  I was able to upload photos to the event live, so people could see what the auditorium looked like, the meeting agenda, and a bomb-sniffing dog outside the premises.

The bad news: I was approached by an official in the auditorium who nicely instructed me to turn off my computer during the meeting.  I was assured the meeting would be brief, and indeed it was.  Total elapsed time: about 8 minutes.

Nonetheless, I came away from the event eager to try G-Snap! again for something like this.  I thought of using my twitter account to tweet as the event went along, but I would have lost the sense of community.  By snapcasting, I was able to send live updates just as I would with twitter, but I also had the benefit of others being able to "tweet" live as well, bringing everybody together.  It's a lot more cumbersome to try to arrange that via twitter, but with G-Snap! it was trivially easy to do.

Maybe the Oracle stockholders meetings will allow photos and live blogging.  We'll have to see about that.

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The views expressed on this blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Oracle. What more do you need to know, really?


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