I'm keynote speaker at the Blog Business Summit!
Conferences and workshops tend to blur together when you travel and speak as frequently as I do, so I'm always glad when I am involved in an event that's focused far more on education and intelligent discourse than on selling products or services, either from the podium or the exhibit hall. Don't get me wrong, those conferences can be valuable and I've learned quite a bit attending those sort of events, but as a former research scientist, there's much I prefer about getting together with a few hundred of the best people in the industry and exploring best practices and opportunities together.
That's why I am delighted to share that I am not only going to be enthusiastically attending the upcoming Blog Business Summit in Seattle, but that I'm also going to be offering up a keynote talk on findability.
In fact, the line up of speakers for the Summit reads like a who's who of sharp thought and influence leaders in the blogging world, including Buzz Bruggeman, Halley Suitt, Jason Calacanis, John Battelle, Jory Des Jardins, Mary Hodder, Robert Scoble (and his wife Maryam), Chris Pirillo (and his partner Ponzi), Steve Broback, Tris Hussey, Steve Gillmor, Matt Mullenweg, Kevin O'Keefe and DL Byron.
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Izze sold to Pepsi: Congratulations, neighbors!
From the perspective of the world of dotcom companies, a $75 million valuation might not be much, but congratulations are nonetheless in order for Colorado local carbonated beverage company Izze Beverage Co. which today announced its acquisition by beverage giant Pepsi (NYSE: PEP).
Pepsi is an interesting conglomerate, actually, and it'll be quite fascinating to see how tiny Izze fits into the corporate culture. Already an informal local poll here in Boulder, Colorado elicited a response of "oh, too bad" from my spouse when told of the acquisition.
Pepsi owns Tropicana, Quaker Oats, Gatorade and Frito-Lay, and within those brand lines are rather a number of reasonably healthy products, but still, nimble little guy swallowed by huge evil corporation is a tale that will be told many times in the next few weeks...
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When is "Good Enough" good enough?
This is a republication of a column I wrote for Linux Journal that's generated a lot of fascinating feedback, about the siren song of perfection and how it can stall and even kill projects, whether software or even entrepreneurial businesses. I would love your thoughts and feedback on this too!
Last month marked the end of my series about writing a blackjack game as a shell script, and I don't know about you but I had a good time with the development process and have even learned a bit more about the game itself. I received a number of fun email messages from readers about the column, but I also received one that I thought was most thought-provoking.
The author criticized me for using less than optimal algorithms for things like my shuffle routine, of using poor scripting style and generally questioned how much I really knew about shell script programming in the first place.
ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER FLAME
Having lived on the Internet for almost 30 years now, I'm quite familiar with flames and hostile email, with people nitpicking, focusing on the molecules of the leaf without ever even knowing that there's a forest ahead, but this message still got me thinking about the practice of scripting and of programming in general.
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Are you stumped about blog topics...
A few days ago I got a note from a client of mine (through my popular Business Blogging course, actually) asking me to review his weblog. Problem was, there was only one posting on it! I sent him back a note suggesting that he needed to add more content before I could offer any useful advice, and received in return this fascinating email message:
"Hi Dave, sorry for the long reply... yes I only have one post on my blog so far... Ok interesting... so I have to post more blogs; 12 more on the same subject; wouldn't that just be redundant? I 'm not sure ... new to all this blogging"
For those of you that have been blogging for a while now, you're probably shaking your head and muttering "darn n00b" under your breath, but this is actually quite a common question for people who are just dipping their toe into the world of business blogging: what do I write about?
So let's talk about that for a few minutes...
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Dunn still on board, HP looks terrible to everyone but investors?
I'm continuing to watch the dirt being unearthed as both the media and judicial system dig into the clearly illegal information mining methods used by the investigators hired by Patricia Dunn, CEO of Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ), to figure out who was leaking secrets from the Boardroom over the last few years.
It's even become a subject of casual cocktail party chatter: I'm in Las Vegas for the World Internet Summit Internet marketing conference and even these eager entrepreneurs are cracking jokes and otherwise commenting on the tactic of illegally and unethically mining telephone records to unearth possible conflicts of interest and related. Ah, HP, what's happened to ya?
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Why Jonathan Schwartz Should NOT Be Blogging
Interesting story on the Associated Press wire this morning about Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: SUNW) CEO Jonathan Schwartz and his blogging efforts, in which I am quoted rather extensively (albeit as "David Taylor", which might have thrown a few people but for which my Mum is doubtless delighted): At communication's vanguard, Sun CEO's blog goes international. After talking about what a good job Jon's doing with his blog and quoting my friend Debbie Weil, Rachel Konrad, the AP reporter, quotes me as saying:
"Nondisclosure agreements and financial regulations can turn the most literary CEOs into scribes who post rehashed speeches or press releases. CEOs may also lack the thick skin required for blogging, said Dave Taylor, an executive consultant in Boulder, Colo."
I have more comments in the article, but thought it would be useful to expand on my thoughts here in the digital world where ink is cheap...
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Reflections on 9/12
I can vividly remember what I was doing five years ago today. I was standing on the hill outside our home in the Santa Cruz mountains (above Silicon Valley) being surprised and secretly a bit pleased by the quiet due to all airplanes in the country being grounded. For the first time since we'd moved there, the skies above our mountain home were clear of the incessant buzz of planes flying back and forth to Hawaii, Japan, and points east.
But the price we paid, that was shocking. I didn't believe it when I watched on TV the events that were unfolding, and while it's easy to look back with a few years of hindsight and pick apart our national reaction, the fact was that we were all in a state of shock. Not so much ready to rip the throat of an unknown enemy out, but just... standing, mouths agape, wondering what the heck had just happened to our country and to our national complacency.
I was also angry at how our country responded with what sure seemed like cowardice, stopping all air travel and costing our nation billions in lost productivity and work as we all huddled around our media devices waiting for what Art Spiegelman so aptly has called "the other shoe to drop". Countries where terrorism is a fact of life, like Spain and Israel, get on with things after a terrorist incident, they don't freeze and stand, slack-jawed like deer in the headlights.
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Dunn follows in Fiorina's footsteps as HP implodes yet again
As a former HP employee, I've always had a soft spot for the company, and having worked on a project with Walter Hewlett and, to a lesser extent, David Packard, I feel like I have a fairly good sense of the spirit of the company, a spirit that Carly Fiorina certainly never had in her time as head of the company. Back in January of 2005 I was writing about how the HP Board was ready to fire Ms. Fiorina and how less than two weeks later Fiorina "quit" her job as chairman of the company.
I expected that we in the industry wouldn't be free of the volatile Ms. Fiorina quite that easily but I never expected that the poison she brought to the Boardroom at Hewlett-Packard would still be affecting the company negatively 18 months later.
But details are just starting to surface about how her replacement, Patricia Dunn, hired some unethical private investigators who lied to obtain phone records (a process called "pretexting") so that she could finally pin down who had shared the details of the Board meetings that deprived Fiorina of her job. Two board members are involved: George Keyworth, Board member since 1986 who was identified as the probable source of the leaks, and Tom Perkins, who quit the board in disgust over the situation.
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LinkedIn spinoff helps executive find job
If you're a faithful reader, you already know that I'm a big fan of LinkedIn (here's my profile: Dave Taylor @ LinkedIn) and also a big fan of Vincent Wright, the tireless leader of the My LinkedIn Power Forum set of over 100 different targeted mailing lists for people who want to get the most out of LinkedIn.
Recently, MLPF member Mark Peden had a splendid experience finding a job through the list, but what I find most interesting is that I think it's quite a testament to the value of a Web site when its ancillary spinoffs also prove to be of value too. Think about that. Digg.com is popular, for example, but are there spin-offs that are adding even more to the experience? Or an even better example is the staggeringly popular MySpace: are there spin-offs that help users gain the experience they seek at MySpace other than the innumerable spammy design companies that can help you reskin your profile?
Back to Mark. A few weeks ago, Mark sent out the following email message to the MLPF...
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Sorry, Meetup.com, I'm already suffering social networking fatigue
I'm always interested in seeing how the social networking process is being captured at various online sites, so I've been variously part of Orkut, Friendster, Ryze, LinkedIn and even MySpace. For some sites, a social network is a logical outgrowth too. Think of sites where you're visiting because of specific shared interests with other members and becoming friends with them.
Think Meetup.com, the newest entrant in the social networking derby.
There is a curious sort of logic to these new features, since Meetup is already focused on arranging and coordinating face to face meetings. You probably remember Meetup for its extensive press coverage during the last election: it became the favorite meeting coordination tool for politically active folk of various stripes.
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