Archive for the 'Linky Goodness' Category

Linky Goodness – 8/27/2009

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

It’s either “Hell Yeah” or “No”
Derek Sivers is turning down more of the “Just OK” opportunities.

I used to call my version of this the “slamming the fist on the table” method of hiring. If there wasn’t someone in the group slamming their fist and demanding this person be hired immediately, then it was a “no hire.” It worked pretty well at Abuzz.

SEOMoz’s SEO factors review
Every site owner should read this. Serendeputy isn’t an SEO play, but it’s still good to know that I’m doing the basics pretty well.

Publishers are killing themselves with misguided ad pricing
I’ve been railing against selling inventory to the remnant markets for years. Forbes’ Jim Spanfeller agrees, and lays out his rationale.

The art of business development
Joel Spolsky at Inc. talks about how some of the deals are made. Here’s my favorite quote: “Are you proposing a relationship in which you write checks to us or one in which we write checks to you? Because, you know, we took home $812 last month, so we won’t be writing any big checks.”

I’m in the middle of the Serendeputy Publisher Services sales cycle with a number of clients right now. Doing deals takes a while, but I think that it will make everyone more money in the long run.

Why Waltham doesn’t matter
Scott Kirsner writes that Waltham (with its Mount Money plateau) is less vital to the local start-up ecosystem than it used to be.

Linky Goodness – 8/17/2009

Monday, August 17th, 2009

Who is the Associated Press after?
Zachary Seward at the Nieman Journalism Lab is doing an incredible job tracking down and refining what the Associated Press’s plan are regarding aggregators. I obviously have an interest in this topic, so it’s been very good to watch Mr. Seward pin them down.

Can anyone tap the $100B potential of hyperlocal

Success remains perpetually around the corner, constantly predicted yet never fulfilled.

I’ve seen this movie before, but I still believe in it. Especially interesting nugget about the Times looking to sell its platform to people who want to do this. I think there’s a good market there; and sometimes it’s better to be the one selling the picks and shovels.

MSNBC buys Everyblock
Congratulations to the Everyblock team. The product still needs some work in Boston, but I hope that they’ll now have the investment to do this really well, all over the country. The more data that’s out there, the better it is for everyone.

Linky Goodness – 8/14/2009

Friday, August 14th, 2009

The steal-o-meter
Mark Glaser at MediaShift analyzes the different types of aggregation and decides whether they’re “promotion” or “stealing.” I’m glad that Serendeputy fall squarely in the promotion camp (along with Google News).

The Nichepaper Manifesto
Umair Haque’s take on the newspaper of the future. Pretty close to what I’ve been thinking in a lot of ways.

Microsoft’s long, slow decline
“Car enthusiasts lost interest in GM’s cars long before regular people did; the same is happening with Windows.”

Stuck in Legal
I’m in the early stages of writing all the Serendeputy contracts. I’m dreading working with my clients’ legal departments.

This Business of SEO
Good article by Todd Freisen about how it’s hard to sell expertise when customers cannot recognize expertise:

I’m the guy who will be offended when you try and tell me that you think my SEO isn’t worth the price I charge – and you trot out your neighbor’s daughter’s former roommate’s ex-dog walker’s 15-year-old son that has offered to do your SEO for almost free and tell me that’s the competition. After I politely decline to pursue the relationship further and wish you the best of luck with your decision, I’ll hang up the phone and look around my office for something I can afford to lose and throw it against the wall.

Linky Goodness – 7/27/2009

Monday, July 27th, 2009

I’m going to try to be better about publishing my interesting links here. I’ve been putting them out through Twitter, but I’d rather have them somewhere I can archive them and not fear the memory hole. All links (of course) found through Serendeputy.

The Push-Button Web
Anil Dash does a great job outlining the next set of optimizations around notifications. My entire feed-fetching infrastructure may be obsolete by this time next year. And that would be a good thing.

Ask and it shall be given
Steve Blank on the need to ask when an entrepreneur.

Also, great comment that crystalizes something I’ve thought for a long time:

in a technology company it’s usually better to train a domain expert to become a marketer than to train an MBA to become a domain expert.

Does Silicon Valley noise detract from long-term value creation?
Andrew Chen writes about the differences between Seattle and Silicon Valley.

As an entrepreneur, I can’t help but look at the short-term choices that get made in an environment like this without some degree of disappointment. There are many brilliant people who could be trying to make the world for the better and really create long-term value, but instead they are engaged in a zero-sum game to extract as much value as possible from the world.

I’m desperately trying to stay focused on the long-term. The bank likes the short-term, though. We’ll see how it all turns out.

Maker’s schedule, manager’s schedule
This is the latest from Paul Graham, talking about how managers’ lives are ruled by the schedule and makers need unbroken blocks of time to accomplish anything.

This rings very true for me. When I was at Boston.com, I would often spend all day back to back to back in meetings. I used to come in at 7am in order to get a little work done before the day started. Now that I’m on my own, I’m able to block out two three-hour blocks a day for sitting and concentrating and building. It’s a luxury.

More: Antonio responds and the comments on Hacker News are worth reading.

Averse to change
Why do some people just never accept change?

Is it possible to live any sort of a life in these times without being in a near-contant state of flux? I don’t think I’ve had a good solid run of stability since the fall of 2002.

I could use a good rut.

But, one is unlikely to appear any time soon, so I might as well design my live to react well to unexpected change.

Malleability is a good strategy. Janet explains why.

As 20th century models falter and lose relevance, a question to ponder – one that may be more profound that how to save a failing bank or newspaper –  is what will happen as the gap widens between those who can change their minds and those who can’t?

Linky Goodness – 4/29/2009

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

Ok, time to get back to bringing the linky goodness. I’m pulling all these links from what I see on Serendeputy. If I’m missing any good sources, please drop me a line and let me know.

StyleFeeder’s Execs on how to do a lot with a little
Interesting set of articles about how StyleFeeder is getting stuff done.

Twitter is being smart about trademark law
Startups are more likely to build on your platform if you don’t try to sue them out of existence.

If file-sharing is piracy, what about aggregators?
I (obviously) think that aggregators create a lot of value for readers and publishers. But, others have different perspectives.

12 excellent examples of lazy registration
I’m building out the registration system for Serendeputy right now. I’m taking these concepts of lazy registration to heart. I want to minimize the barriers to Jen’s engagement with the site.

Cash vanishes from merchants’ accounts
This sucks. Some of the merchant-services companies are aggressively holding back money from entrepreneurs. I’m going to have to review my accounts to make sure this doesn’t happen to me.

Linky Goodness – 7/7/2008

Monday, July 7th, 2008

Early retirement is a false idol
From 37Signals, Justin Bell writes that you shouldn’t sacrifice your entire life now for a shot at an early retirement. Enjoy life now, as you’re living it.

Dropping bombs in the newsroom
The newspaper industry really has to reinvent itself. More on this later.

Mom-and-Pop Multinationals
Interesting article from Business Week on how small business owners are taking advantage of global outsourcing. Many good ideas.

I’m thought about using some of these services since reading The Four-Hour Workweek. I’ll see if I can use any of them this fall as I’m going all-out towards launch.

How to analyze and improve the bounce rate for your website
Very good article on a very important topic. I’m trying to build a model for one of my clients on this.

Linky Goodness – 7/1/2008

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

25 reasons users stop using your product
Andrew Chen writes up some notes on why people give up on games and websites. I’m spending a lot of time working on Serendeputy’s out-of-the-box experience and customer lifecycle. I don’t have a ton of marketing dollars, so I need to make sure the product is keeping the customers engaged.

I’ll likely write a longer piece later about how I’m trying to incorporate the best ideas from game design to apply to more conventional websites.

Dissecting today’s Internet traffic spikes
Scaling doesn’t mean the same thing today that it did a few years ago. If I ever get to a point that this is a problem for me, I’ll likely have someone smarter than me thinking about it; still, this is really interesting information to know.

Nine steps to achieving flow
I love working from home now. It’s so much easier to get in the state of flow.

Programmer Competency Matrix
This is a smart grouping of competencies you want your programmers to have. Boy, do I have a long way to go before I’m even vaguely competent at programming.

15 questions to ask during a Ruby inteview
On the other hand, I aced this test, so I’m feeling a little bit better about my meager skills.

Linky Goodness – 6/23/2008

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

Alan interviewed
Alan is getting some incredible press with his Big Picture project. Here’s an interview by Andy Baio.

Tell the advertisers when their ads suck
This is one issue I’ve been beating for ages, but have never had the power to push through: There should be no ads on any page that aren’t immediately and obviously relevant to the person reading or the content being read. If advertising is actually reliably useful, then it’s content, not an irritation.

Don’t hash secrets
Ben Adida gives some good advice on how to secure usernames and passwords (among other things). I’ve just altered the spec…

Random thoughts about the Kindle
Seth Godin thinks about the Kindle. I’m very interested, because Serendeputy is targeted to women, and most of the tricks that work for geeks won’t be in play.

Linky Goodness – 6/19/2008

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

7 lessons from a product launch
Dharmesh Shah gives some good lessons on how to handle a product launch. I hope to be able to follow them myself (in a couple of months or so…)

How corporations constrain productivity
I set up my home office with the best tools I could afford. Life is so much better when you love your tools.

Murdoch has a plan. Zell doesn’t
Alan Mutter dissects recent newspaper purchases.

Patterns for designing a reputation system
Another good one from the Yahoo User Interface team. I’m wrestling with this in a couple of different contexts right now, so this is very timely.

It doesn’t have to be all or nothing with a start-up
David Hansson of 37 Signals writes (and I wholeheartedly agree) that running a start-up need not entirely take over your life. I’m spending a lot of time right now designing the application and the business model so that I can run the business in a reasonable way. It may not end up that way, but that’s where I’m steering.

Linky Goodness – 6/4/2008

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

Dan Dunn leaves HP
Dan’s golden hand with acquisitions continues.

Washington Post’s hyperlocal flop
The Wall Street Journal’s massive hit job on the Washington Post’s hyperlocal effort. Interesting things to think about for Boston.com’s hyperlocal project.

Cloud service architecture
The Amazon Web Services folks on the cloud services architecture.

Linky Goodness – 6/3/2008

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

Welcome to Linky Goodness. I’ll do my best to link out to interesting things I find on the web. I should post this every day or two.

How eBay scales
Excellent article about how eBay manages their systems. Their work on shifting to asynchronous processes wherever possible matches my thinking.

Adventures in Office Space
Joel Spolsky writes in Inc. Magazine about his adventures getting new Manhattan office space for his company. I entirely agree with his policy of spending money to make the developers happy and productive. (Note: beware of Inc’s horribly annoying popups. Luckily I don’t see any of that crap in Safari).

The Big Picture
Alan Taylor’s new project on Boston.com, in which he tells news stories using big, beautiful pictures. It’s really quite compelling.

Rating the top 25 newspaper websites
An interesting overview of the top 25 newspaper websites. Hooray for NYTimes.com getting an A, but I think Boston.com deserves better than a C.