Google Hubris?

I just uninstalled Google Desktop Search which has been running alongside Yahoo Desktop Search for the past few months. Not only did Yahoo have a better preview feature of hits, Google’s tool was, strangely enough, too integrated into the browser. I prefer to jump into "Search archives & files mode" as a separate activity from my browsing and internet search activity. Having Desktop Search running in a separate application window helped that.

The recent hullabaloo over Google Toolbar Autolinks didn’t help either.

Current Events

One veteran of Seventies politics says goodbye to another

Jerry Brown, former Governor of California, democratic presidential candidate, and current two term Mayor of Oakland, bids farewell to Hunter S. Thompson who inspired the style, if not spirit, of many of the bloggers of today.

Many thanks to Ted Shelton who seems to have introduced Jerry to blogging, plugged him in and turned him on.


Six Apart redesigned its corporate web site and now brings together all products, Movable Type, TypePad, and LiveJournal under one URL. has the look and feel of a portal but is actually run completely on Movable Type. 

Lots of good stuff here. A nice history page where you can learn about the company, a centralized support page where you can actually see what our crack support team looks like, a Movable Type case studies page, an integrated TypePad page which also serves as the Typepad login screen and features thumbnails of showcase sites, and finally a Partner section where we promote our hosting partners and have a blog of recent partner news.


Internet Explorer Update this Summer

Microsoft announced that it will be updating their Internet Explorer browser which hasn’t had a major upgrade since they announced 6.x back in 2002. The news was greated warmly by most users commenting on the MSDN IE blog with many asking for advanced CSS, PNG, and XHTML support while others ask for features such as Tabs or integrated Popup Blockers, Microsoft is touting this release as focused on fixing security & phishing exploits.

One thing left off the request list, and pointed out by some, is integrated Search which I personally make extensive use of in my instance of Firefox. I regularly use the Google, Amazon, and Dictionary plugins and have also installed the Wikipedia and Creative Commons plugins which come in handy. Are they leaving this out just to keep Google and Yahoo guessing?

The release will be made available to XP Service Pack 2 subscribers and later rolled out with their Longhorn OS upgrade. Another nail in the coffin for any Windows 2000 users out there.

Smart Mobs

One of the nice things about going on vacation is that you get to catch up on all that reading that you want to do. One of the books I read was Howard Rheingold’s Smart Mobs which has given me a lot to think about. This book has been out for a couple of years now so while I was reading, it was like I was connecting dots and getting answers to questions that have been sitting in the back of my mind for some time now. I now know why Dr. Mizuko Ito looked at me and rolled her eyes when I asked at a recent lecture she gave at Berkeley why texting hasn’t really taken off in the US. It’s covered in detail in this book and she is referenced quite a bit as a primary source of research.

I had the chance to dabble in SMS and have a new appreciation for T9 software. One of my first exchanges, while sitting on a beach in Hawaii was with a friend that I thought would be holed up in a meeting room in Silicon Valley. Nope, came the reply, he was sipping bitters at a pub in Edinburgh. The appreciation for the power of this medium was immediate!

Gotta try out this new RSS to SMS app Feedbeep.


For those of you who were wondering where we were – we skipped out of town for a week in Hawaii. Thank you Mr. & Mrs. Takei for putting us up again in your splendid pad! We took it real easy as several of us came down with colds which kept the activities to a minimum. I did get a chance to hook up one evening with old Tokyo mate, Brad Glosserman and David Keuning, an old buddy from an internship I did at Recruit.

I also finally read Howard Rheingold’s book, Smart Mobs and was inspired enough to dabble a bit with SMS on my cellphone (which I also dropped into the jacuzzi but we won’t go into that story). One of my first exchanges was to Doug Yarrington who promptly SMS’ed back that he was sitting in a pub in Edinburgh – the power of this type of communication was immediate.

Local Newspapers

Alameda Island, where I live, is one of the more wired neighborhoods in the Bay Area. This morning I whipped off a quick email while waiting for the bus by jumping on the open wireless connection at the Mexican place, La Pinata, across the street. They sell burritos and they’ve got high-speed internet!

As many who work in the online business have found, I’ve stopped
watching television or reading the national dailies for my news fix and
now rely pretty much on my RSS reader and occasional web site to push
me the news of the day. Yet, despite the wireless and despite all the local resources you can find online, I still love the fact that this community of 70,000 can support two local papers. The Alameda Journal (pictured) is a Knight-Ridder publication and gets whipped onto our front door step twice a week and the Alameda Sun makes it once a week.

There is something about a local rag that just fits. Nothing like walking out to catch the bus, stooping down to scoop up the paper and seeing your local electrician on the cover. Taking the ride into the city you can read how the high school soccer team did over the weekend and that your neighbor’s daughter scored a goal, browse the police blotter and see that a few more cars were broken into over on the other side of Fernside, then note that the Foote’s old house sold for over $750k. This is just stuff you wouldn’t spend the time looking for online – it’s just works better in print.

It’s all advertising supported – I don’t think I’d pay for a subscription – but I will say that when I’m looking for something to do or for a local service, the paper is a resource that I still use right next to the yellow pages.


A great resource for information about corporate blogging and how it relates to traditional marketing. TheNewPR/Wiki is a goldmine of user-submitted links and further resources. Some pages I like are:

CEO Blogs list
Corporate Blogs list
Product Blogs list
Business Blogging Resources

If I ever end up on a desert island (so long as it has WiFi) I’m actually going to take the time to read all this stuff!

As with any wiki, you can subscribe to the feed of AllRecentChanges. in your favorite RSS reader.

Current Events

Girl’s Day


As we drove through Chinatown this past weekend, we saw preparations for the Chinese New Year’s celebrations. Many were carrying sprigs of cut plum blossoms which are just starting to bloom so we bought some to go with the Girl’s Day display which we set up each year around this time and keep up until the beginning of March.

Tyler took a small plum blossom branch to school today to explain to his class about the festival and his Japanese background. Taking him to school this morning, he said he was worried that the boys in the class would make fun of a kid carrying pink flowers to show-and-tell. Later, in line waiting to go into the class, he noticed that the girls liked he flowers so he warmed up to the idea.

That’s one way to get your company’s name out there. . .


The advertising world is buzzing with’s debut on the television advertising scene with their parody of the Janet Jackson wardrobe mishap from last year. Forrester’s Advertising analyst Jim Nail gives it the “Load the Cannon with Gerbils” award:

This ad confirms it: the dotcom bubble is back. An unknown internet company selling a service that 99.9% of the audience doesn’t need spends megabucks to run an ad that has nothing whatsoever to do with the aforementioned service. At least Cyberian Outpost (whose 1998 spot firing gerbils out of a cannon can be credited with much of the dotcom advertising mania) sold computer gear people were buying at the time.

So offended (and afraid of further FCC lawsuits one might add) were the grand pooh-bahs at the NFL and Fox that they pulled the second airing of the commercial that was supposed to run during the two minute warning. The jury’s still out on this but it appears that the media buzz alone surrounding the pulling of the second ad has kicked the media coverage of the ad campaign into high gear and paid off in brand awareness dollars alone.

Bob Garfield of USA Today (which ranks all the Super Bowl ads in its annual Ad Meter story) calls the ad a success,

It branded a business never before branded. It flipped the bird at the FCC and the NFL and it self-mockingly used blatant sexism to get its message across. Plus the lady had a big bosom.

So the message hit home and branded the company but will it bring business? Only time will tell but my guess is yes. Maybe not $2.4 million yes but the bump will be significant. Sport fans are a huge audience that is only starting to be recognized. Ask anyone at, DirecTV, XM or Sirius. Sports fans have money to spend on technology.

You can read more about the pre-game media coverage (and view the ad) here.