Facebook Developers | Facebook Developers News

Congratulations to my friends at Seesmic for being at the front of the Facebook Open Stream…

To get things started we’ve worked alongside a few beta partners to test the Facebook Open Stream API. For example, Seesmic Desktop is now a full-featured client for the stream and Adobe has created a simple stream Notifier using the AIR development framework.

[From Facebook Developers | Facebook Developers News]

I’ve been using Seesmic Desktop since it’s launch, and loving it. It doesn’t support all the services I’d like, and maybe could have a few other features, but what they have implemented has been done well. Keep it up!

ProjectVRM Blog » VRM and the Four Party System

I’m not sure I like “4th party” as a description. We spent way too much time at the VRM West Coast Workshop wrangling over the naming of firs, second and third. But when you get past all that, this key idea is really something big:

VRM is about enabling the first party. It is also about building fourth-party user-driven (and within that, customer-driven) services, which make use of first-party enablement.

Fourth parties will provide many services for first parties. In fact, VRM should grow large new fourth party businesses, and give new work to large old businesses in the same categories. (Banks, brokers and insurance companies come to mind.) Native enablements, however, need to live with first parties alone, even if fourth parties provide hosting services for those enablements.

Fourth parties also need to be substitutable. They need service portability, just as the customer needs data portability between fourth (and other) party services. That way whatever they can provide can be swapped out by the user, if need be.

[From ProjectVRM Blog » VRM and the Four Party System]

The combination of service portability and data portability doesn’t just put the user in charge, it also makes the data better. Companies should be very interested in that.


Stereotyping is easy for all of us. Our brains are categorizing machines, shoving every thing we see and do into tidy little boxes within boxes. A stereotype that conjures fear is even more powerful, because nothing gets our attention faster than danger – this also is built-in our wiring.

So it’s great to see more diverse presentation of Muslims in the media.

For an excellent point-of-view on this, check out Time’s Mona Eltahawy on video,

[From Latest Videos from TIME.com]

Stowe Boyd on Free Trade


Free trade is a game rigged so that global corporations can arbitrage over all sorts of cost factors, based on a patchwork quilt of labor and environmental laws, and nearly always choosing what makes the most money.

Shouldn’t our core principle be doing what causes the least harm?

[From /Ground: Protectionism and The Unions: Free, Fair, and Scalar Trade]

Read the rest of the post. Really. Well done, Stowe!

Apple netbook/notepad

“It’s not a surprise if you’re paying attention,” says my wife. Of course, when it comes to new sexy toys from Apple, we want details and dates. We know it’s going to come… eventually. It’s fairly obvious that the Macbook Air was the first step. This is the product development process we’ve come to know. And when Steve Jobs says, “We don’t know how to make a $500 computer that’s not a piece of junk… ” we all know to add the implied “… yet.

Still, I was pleased to read Jason O’Grady’s article in the WSJ this morning:

Less than a year after Apple dismissed netbooks as a “wait-and-see” product it may be getting upgraded to an actively-developed project overseen by none other that Apple’s mercurial CEO Steve Jobs. According to the WSJ the Apple’s netbook-like device will come in at a size larger than the iPhone/iPod touches, yet smaller than any of its laptops.

Wall Street Journal reports that while Jobs is technically on medical leave from his duties as CEO, he remains actively involved with business decisions and has completed a 180-degree turn and is taking a more critical look at a netbook device.

[From WSJ: Jobs heading up Apple netbook project | The Apple Core | ZDNet.com]

Will we see this before WDC? I doubt it. I’m guessing the new iPhone will be first and this netbook/notepad won’t be until summer, at the earliest.

Performance and Failure

Some things that seem to be good are actually failure.

I’ll use an example tech support pros will all know: A customer calls, you know the answer, you give it to them and it works, and everyone is happy. Simple, straightforward, case closed. Right?

No. This is a failure. Simply put, if you knew the answer then why did the customer need to call you for it? Why wasn’t the answer quickly available to them? Why wasn’t it already fixed in the product?
The answer immediately at hand for tech support tells you that something else has failed to work, or isn’t completed. Measure it, for sure, but you must drive those known answers out of your system.

In your business, what is it that looks on the surface like a good thing, but is actually an indicator of a more fundamental failure?

Craigslist Foundation’s Boot Camp – June 20th, 2009, in Berkeley, CA

My wife and I founded Square Peg Foundation in 2004, the same year Craigslist Foundation had their first “Boot Camp for Non-profits.” That first Boot Camp was an amazing experience for me, and since then I have only missed one.

As Craigslist Foundation describes it:

Boot Camp is an inspiring and unique community effort that connects people to the resources they need to help build stronger and healthier communities. Our focus is simple – to connect, motivate and inspire greater community impact.

[From Craigslist Foundation’s Boot Camp]

If you work at a non-profit, volunteer, serve on a board, or have always dreamed of starting something that really matters, you should join us at the Craigslist Foundation Boot Camp for Non-profits! I hope we’ll see you there.