Sunday Jun 08, 2008

Dapper Demo: Create a feed, widget, or alert

In these days of "syndicate and widgit-ize everything", one might find Angad's cool & comprehensive demo interesting. How to leverage dapper.NET to create a feed (by scraping content off a page), widget and alert:

Check it out:

See also: Demo on the page

Friday May 30, 2008

Today's Twitter and Scoble Interview

Good "clear the air" interview between Scoble and Twitter today about the Twitter stability issues and how they are in small part related to power users who follow and are followed by a lot of users.

In addition to making it clear that there is a big difference between power use vs illegitimate use of the site and the sum of the impact of both, I appreciate Twitter's transparency about the site's stability issues. Basically, they have a lot of power advisers and the solution isn't necessarily something that throwing money at any one thing will solve -- it sounds like the primary wellness necessity is time and effort to work on laying the new foundation concurrent to maintaining the site and applying stop gaps in the meantime.

The overall user frustration is the duration of the stability issues. All I can say is, having been on projects where stability issues seem to linger on and on, there's almost always a small team of committed, exhausted people working their you-know-what's off who are far more disturbed by the issues than anyone else. Tho', I can't speak to the level of actual commitment going on behind the scenes at Twitter, of course, but let's hope that it's maximized. Time is their worst enemy at this point.

I still would rather work on a project in the hot seat than to work on something nobody cares about. Sending Twitter some get well soon vibes...

Friday May 09, 2008

"User-Generated Holiday" wiki style

Via Chris Saul, here's a brilliant use of a personal wiki -- an EMT plans to spend his two week holiday touring the UK and has set up a wiki for anyone to propose places he should visit.

I suspect the volume of suggestions couldn't possibly fit into a two week holiday, but the beauty is other folks planning a UK vacation will likely benefit from the knowledge sharing.

Wednesday Apr 30, 2008

Sun Feeds on Twitter

The following Sun Twitter profiles are now live. They aren't human tweeters, but Twitter-ized feeds for folks who leverage their Twitter accounts to also read their favorite feeds.

@SunCEOBlog: A feed of Jonathan Schwartz's blog.

@SunIRNews: A feed of Sun Investor Relations news.

@SunNews: A feed of Sun news.

Other Sun Twitter accounts:

@SunMicrosystems: I think the primary purpose for this one is still being sorted out.

@SunBlogs: This one has been around for a while. It provides a feed of Sun Employee blog posts.

@JavaOne2008: Human tweeted tips, news, and where to go/what to see at JavaOne this year.

@JavaDuke: Human tweeted information on all things Java.

And of course, there are tons of individual Sun Employee Twitterers -- check out the directory. If you're a Sun Employee, please add yourself to the directory if you'd like.

Saturday Apr 26, 2008

Jonathan Schwartz answers the Web 2.0 Expo keynote Twitter questions

Yesterday, Tim O'Reilly offered his Twitter account as an open channel for asking Jonathan questions for his Web 2.0 Expo keynote. Unfortunately the @ replies feature wasn't properly configured on Tim's phone, so the questions were missed.

Tim made good on following up with Jonathan to get answers to the tweeted questions. Check them out.

Friday Apr 18, 2008

Laura Fitton Interview

It's a bit long (by today's 140 character Twitter standard), but check out this excellent interview with Laura Fitton (you can follow her on Twitter via @Pistachio). I completely agree with her observations about Twitter.

Following are a few of my favorite quotes from the post:

"To be candid, Twitter sounds idiotic at first. It's true. But it's also true it's changed my life and career a bazillion ways. I've gone from homebound mom of two babies under two to solidly booked, traveling around the world and extraordinarily well-networked."
"Connecting to so many smart people - online and off - via Twitter has been like hitting a big cool oasis in a lifelong desert."
"Get over expertise and fiefdoms. Be porous. Seek out social media Wunderkinds (of any age) because aptitude, authenticity and enthusiasm trounce authority in this world. Much is experimental. Be willing to try and fail and adjust and try better."
"Twitter can be used so many different ways to accomplish so many different things. Here are just a few internal uses I see:
  • Team build--not just by cooperating but with actual relationships. Twitter has the "water cooler" effect, but with genuine knowing and collegiality
  • Collaborate on projects & share ideas: have brains to pick/bounce ideas off
  • Flatten the org chart to create feedback and mentoring
  • Educate
  • Inspire
  • Pass along information and articles in real time
  • Summarize core ideas
  • Coordinate travel and conferences
  • Simplify communications
  • Fast sharing of ideas, news and information
  • Provide extensive personal and professional support
  • Research, sourcing & purchasing advice
  • To leave social media in the marketing/publicity layer is a HUGE mistake -- akin to saying email is only a marketing tool."
She also touches on this amazing experience thanks to Qik:
"Qik helped me help my dad to get to his mom's deathbed on time...]"

It reminds me how lucky I am to work in this space and I can't wait to see what's next.

Wednesday Apr 16, 2008

Free JavaOne Passes

If you hurry (and aren't a Sun employee or existing SDN member), you can possibly snag a free JavaOne pass:

Via Twitter:

Via the SDN'sider blog:

Word on the streets is that if you follow @JavaOne2008 via Twitter, there will be more info about free passes given out soon.

UPDATE The free pass info might just roll out to @DukeJava first -- see Mary's post for more info.

Good Luck!

Monday Apr 14, 2008

The Evolution of Twitter Songs

Twitter Song, Circa 2007

Twitter Song, Circa 2008

And that, boys and girls, is how evolution works! ;-) Can't wait to see what 2009 will bring!

Thursday Apr 10, 2008

Super Hero Week on Twitter

Twitter often has community defined avatar themes. This is super hero week. I'm late in participating because finding a female super heroine means you get a character with one of the following characteristics:

a) a anatomy more silly than Barbie's
b) you have "girl" in your title

I missed a pool of obvious super-heroines -- tho' you won't find them in comic books, cartoons, or Wikipedia's Super Heroine page. These are the real life women around us who manage the unmanageable day in and day out with no fanfare. Women who meet every letter of definition of "heroine":

her·o·ine noun
1. a woman of distinguished courage or ability, admired for her brave deeds and noble qualities.
2. the principal female character in a story, play, film, etc.

I'm going with the mother of all super heroines. Meet...

Rebecca the Magnificent!

Wednesday Apr 09, 2008

When to wiki?

The thing I love about the online community space is you never really know how people are going to leverage the tools placed in front of them -- especially when the tool is as cross-functional as a wiki. Sure, there are the easy to predict use cases that come to fruition and the easy to predict grey use cases, but observing how contributers approach the grey areas, in addition to the unpredictable super clever user cases, is what interests me.

In the wiki arena, one of those grey areas is when should a wiki be used vs a traditional corporate webpage? Certainly, the two should compliment & not compete with each other. A good wiki will "...appeal to a niche that isn't entirely satisfied elsewhere" (via How to make a successful wiki).

As you may have heard, Sun announced the industry's first dual-socket chip multithreading technology (CMT) platforms today. To compliment the launch, one of the CMT team staff engineers spearheaded the creation of a CMT wiki. Per the wiki's entry page:

"Designed by engineers for engineers, this interactive site offers the best of breed Sun Blueprints, technical whitepapers, solution briefs, benchmarks, power calculators, documentation and blogs on Chip Multithreading, all in one place."

In addition to traditional wiki content that will hopefully drive visitor interaction via the comments feature, the wiki has many cross-pollinating pointers to traditional website content that is posted on product pages, CMT blog posts on, etc.

Does the CMT wiki introduce overlap with traditional website content? I don't think so, but as the program owner of, I may be biased. I think the CMT engineering team did a great job of complimenting the official product pages and driving traffic to them -- as an example, I found these nifty power consumption calculators because of the wiki.

I'm curious how other companies have offered clarity around the question of when to use a wiki vs the traditional corporate website to deliver content.

Update Stewart Mader wrote a blog post that offers four tips for making the decision of whether content is best suited for a wiki or a traditional website:

Thursday Mar 06, 2008

Developing relationships 140 characters at a time

When people ask me what Twitter is, I usually say "It's a combination of a micro-blog tool/text messaging/chatroom/feed reader with your friends, family, colleagues, co-workers and favorite time-sensitive, feeds (news feeds, earnings announcements, etc.)."

When I first started using Twitter, I had a common reaction to it: "Great, one more point of distraction." "I barely have time for the friends I have -- why would I want to allocate time to strangers?"

It's proven me wrong. I now seem to have a more focused work blog. Those crazy off-topic thoughts with a high blogability factor, now find their way to Twitter, where there is a better opportunity of immediate conversation to compliment the emotions related to the real time experience.

I've also developed some amazing relationships with people in the tech sector:
  • Sun colleagues (I now know more about Sun outside of my organization & have realized my colleagues and I share some super cool interest commonalities & develop a deeper knowledge about these interests as a result)
  • Analysts (I now know more about the tech sector & they have better visibility of cool stuff going on at Sun by following Sun folks)
  • Tech celebs in the social networking space (early access to what's hot, what works, ideas on what I can do to improve my work charter & they also get improved visibility into Sun)
  • Even a CEO of a company that develops the software that runs Sun Wikis (one of the programs that I manage). Jeffrey and I will be co-hosting an Enterprise 2.0 session this summer.
Is Twitter a relevant work tool? Sure, I think so! :-)

The Common Craft Show has once again provided a comprehensive video that may offer more insight if you're curious:

Sunday Feb 10, 2008

MIT/Standford Venture Lab: Feb 19th Open Social Panel

Jeremiah Owyang, one of my favorite bloggers/twitter-ers, is moderating a panel on Open Social at the MIT/Stanford Venture Lab on Tuesday, February 19th, 2008 at 6:00 PM:

"Shaking the Money Tree of Multi-Platform Social Networks"

If you go and blog about it, please let me know.

Friday Jan 11, 2008

"Well, did you Google it?"

I often dislike it when I hear someone use that phrase. Granted it is a relevant question at times, but more often than not it's used in the same condescending tone as "Did you RTFM?"'s good to have human to human discussions. Sometimes, the discussion participants will find serendipitous mutual benefits when contributing to the collective knowledge base.

That's why I like Twitter. It doesn't replace autonomous research, but it culls knowledge either not on the internet or not findable due to a gap between search terms and the desired content.

Wednesday Jan 09, 2008

Women 2.0 Pitch Night

The Women 2.0 events really make me wish I were closer to the bay area. Their objective?
"We aim to increase the number of young women entrepreneurs by encouraging women to work with and in the field of technology, providing resources that will lead to the launch of their company, and networking women with other female entrepreneurs, experienced executives, and investors."
Pitch night sounds especially interesting...

Go to to learn more

Wednesday Nov 07, 2007

Unclear on the value of social networking?

If you've ever wondered what the business value is of social networking, even if you aren't in the technology sector, please carve out 22 minutes and three seconds to watch this comprehensive video.

A pretty version of the social media starfish that is on Scoble's whiteboard is posted here (Thanks, Darren!). As you watch the video, I'd suggest having the starfish image open in another browser window for reference sake.

As a side note, there is an active presence of Sun employees in every arm of the social media starfish -- that's a hell of a lot of awareness and accessibility to Sun that wasn't previously in place. And this is in addition to the tens of millions of page views YTD (not including feed metrics) triggered by Sun sponsored community sites (Sun Forums, Sun Blogs, Sun Wikis, etc.).


Sr. Community Engineering Program Manager/Acting Director for Sun's external social networking sites (blogs, forums, wikis, etc.). Skrocki's personal blog, LinkedIn.


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