Archive for June, 2008

Out with the old

June 23, 2008

In short:scottru.wordpress.com is dead, long live scottru.com: here’s a new RSS feed. I’ve already started blogging there and you’re missing it!

WordPress.com has been great to me – easy to use, a good intro to WordPress, and no work. But I knew I was never going to update the theme here and I really wanted more control over the sidebar, so I ponied up some cash to InMotion Hosting (who I’ve used happily with other services) and moved the scottru.com redirect to there.

I haven’t figured out if I can or should move the content without having real SEO problems, so it may or may not migrate.

On on!

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Woot.com disclaimer: thank heavens they told us

June 19, 2008

As a fan of woot.com (and the creator of an accused imitator), I noticed tonight a new disclaimer:

do not taunt happy fun ball

If you can’t read my screenshot (because I still haven’t upgraded this theme), the first sentence says

Product narratives are for entertainment purposes and frequently employ literary point of view: the narratives do not express Woot’s editorial opinion.

I don’t know when this came along – it’s super-new and the google hasn’t been of any help.

Was this legitimately confusing anybody, or angering particular vendors who couldn’t overlook the silliness while the cash came in? The words “editorial opinion” seem specifically chosen.

(Random note: I’m listening to the new Girl Talk mashup album and “Whoomp! There It Is” just played. Woot was a better name than Whoomp.)

Snapvine, stockbrokers, and voice posting

June 6, 2008

One of the many real-life intrusions lately has been the recently-announced planned WhitePages.com acquisition of Snapvine, which I wrote about on the WhitePages Developer Blog on Wednesday morning. We’ve been working on this for quite a while, and I’m very excited about the energy I’ve seen from both teams as we start to meet each other and think about what we’ll build together.

The entire adventure reminds me of the first startup I thought about creating, which I discussed with Victor in 1999 when we were both working on NetDocs. Streaming audio was just starting to be embedded in websites, but there was no such thing as combining audio with personal publishing (and not much personal publishing, unless you count Diaryland – and I did).

My father has been an investment advisor since I can remember, and when I was a pre-teen, he ran a large office of Prudential Bache in Penn Station. One of my strongest memories was the broadcast conference calls he would lead or listen to each day – with clients, brokers, etc. – sharing what was going on in the market, learnings, etc.

So I got excited about building a set of online tools for this kind of person – someone who wanted to publish pure audio to a set of interested parties. I thought about simple web pages and simple audio controls, designed some very basic pieces, etc.

Then Shoutcast came along, and for some reason I decided that was the end of it – someone had beaten me to it. I can’t explain why I thought they were the same thing – maybe it was just that I saw Shoutcast as a demonstration that I was already behind the curve. Anyway, Victor and I worked on our doomed corporate project and played a lot of Run & Gun, and nothing came of it.

Fast-forward almost a decade later, and now I’m working with a company that’s come as close to building that toolset as anyone else out there, and I’m going to get to work on combining those kinds of tools with the most comprehensive people search website on the planet. It’s an exciting road ahead.

Oh, and I still listen to Shoutcast on my Chumby. (And I do owe Victor a call.)