Marc's Voice

 Monday, March 08, 2004

The Implications Of Software Commodity?
comforteagle writes "David Stutz has written elegant piece over at titled 'Some Implications of Software Commoditization'. It explores the concept of commodification in a historical context while also seeking to discover lessons that might be applied to contemporary open source business efforts. David gets extra points in my books for including sugar, Shakespeare, open source, MP3s, and the British Empire in one article."

This sounds like something I was just talking about today - what do you do when key software infratructure, apps and servcies - all become commodities?

I think I have an answer - do you?  Everyone better.

BTW This article is currently SlashDotted -but hopefully it'll become accessible - later.

Calling All Social Networking Applications.

Calling All Social Networking Applications

As an outgrowth of my ongoing relationship with the nice folks at Darwin and CIO, I will be developing a report on social networking that they will be publishing, likely to be entitled "Social Networking: How to Harness the Power of Social Capital for Your Business."

I will include profiles of the various social networking applications and services. My hope is to complete by the middle of next month. Please contact me for more information. [Get Real]

Hi Marc,

Thanks for your reply. We've recently loosened our restrictions on the use of cartoons and characters in profile photos. The picture currently displayed in your profile no longer violates our Community Standards, and you're welcome to keep it.

Thanks for bearing with us as we refine these standards.

Stay connected,

Hallelujah! I can be a cartoon again.  I wonder which one they like the best?


These are two of my most favorite characterizations of me.


The usage and understanding of hands is key. 


The smile is the other key aspect.


But I can see why Orkut may be upset. I mean why would any one guy have so much fun?





37signals 37Signals and Jason Fried have put out a book.  It's called Defensive design for the Web.

Jason is super smart - so I'd recomend the book.  Jason and 37Signals is one of those companies I really wanna work with one day.

It's official.  As of today - all Tribe Tribes will feature RSS output of their message boards.

Sure other message boards output RSS, but no other message boards in social networks.  It's putting all this technology into an integrated context that matters. 

Old school means separate data silos.  New school means integration, aggregation and appropriate levels of customization.  That's what digital lifestyle aggregators are all about.

Meanwhile - this is not the ONLY open standard Tribe will be supporting.  Watch for FOAF and Jabber (XMPP) support - soon enough. In the mean time - congrats to Paul, Bryan and the rest of the Tribe team.  Now we gotta get all those Tribesters to start using RSS aggregators!

Quote du jour.

From Jerry Michalski:

...why is the Microsoft Office suite so pathetic at timelines and other structures involving time? Excel in particular just sucks at charting timelines. (If you've found a way to do it, send me some hints.) Do they think adding time smarts will kill sales of Project? They can't actually believe that.

Ran across that while thinking about OSAF, Chandler and the need to break corporations free from the iron grip of Exchange.

[The Doc Searls Weblog]

Marc's bit.....

Jerry's right - Timelines are a key form of interactive information and browsing. This is another example of what should be built into the OS.  Certainly APIs and a standard for time based events, etc. - would also be required.   

better UI for big screens.

Better UI for big screens

"Our user interface designs do not scale well to the available screen real estate. Windows are hard to access on very large or heterogeneous displays, like Tablets and non-touch-enabled devices. Notifications come up where one is not attending, and windows open in unexpected places or are improperly sized for their contents." -- Microsoft Research VIBE, Visualization and Interaction for Business and Entertainment

The Microsoft team presents a number of ideas for dealing with complexity across large screens. I like the idea of Drag-and-Pop which might help navigate even not so big. yet cluttered desktops like mine.

via every breath death defying: more GUI Madness [Sarah Allen's Weblog]

Marc's bit....

Another direct effect of broadband on our world - big screens and UIs designed for big screens.

Topix Launches Today.

Topix Launches Today

The beta has been up for a while, but today marks the official launch of Topix, Rich Skrenta's latest creation. From the release: today launched the Internet's largest news site (, and the first site to localize disparate audiences through content. features 150,000 topical news pages and local news for every US ZIP code. The Company‚s patent-pending artificial intelligence (AI) categorization engine provides a concept-based method towards aggregating news, which is unlike other vendors‚ keyword-based search techniques. The proprietary technology from provides readers with micro-targeted news and intuitive navigation that improves search relevance and overall search experience through the delivery of localized, targeted news. Furthermore,'s content reaches users that can be specifically defined by their locality, profession or interests. As a result, businesses that advertise on can maximize their online advertising budget by ensuring that their messages are directed to their desired target demographic.

Congrats, Rich! (Also, Gary Price has an Interview with Rich ....) [John Battelle's Searchblog]

Thjis seems pretty coolio.  I gotta go check it out.  I wonder what they'll filter for 94598?

Some changes at Neoteny.

I have decided to discontinue additional investments from Neoteny and focus on supporting its current portfolio of companies. In particular, I believe that Six Apart has enormous potential and most of Neoteny's resources, including me will be focused on helping to make Six Apart a success.

[Joi Ito's Web]

Now everyone can leave Joi alone and just think of him as SixApart.  I wonder if the IRC channel will change now?

I also hope that Adriaan and others can get more coolio features in MT and TypePad - and start it's evolution into a digital lifestyle aggregator.