MyBlogLog Communities

Scott Rafer came by my office last week and showed me what they are doing with MyBlogLog Communities. I am a fan of MyBlogLog and have been using their service for a while. Scott asked me what I liked about it, which is a good question. The javascript they are using doesn’t screw up my page load times like some other less well behaved services (ever see that “waiting for rpc.xyz.com” message in your status bar when a page is loading, that’s what I’m talking about). The outgoing click counter flyover is very addictive because it instantly gives you a gauge as to what people are finding interesting on your blog. The incoming click statistics are good enough for me.

    So how could Scott take a service that is already solid and make it better? Two things, the first being on overlay of geographic data to analyze what people in various cities are clicking on most frequently. This is pretty cool, but it’s not something that I would find myself pining for, it’s the equivalent of a sparkly new toy.

    The second thing that Scott showed me that really did get me excited is MyBlogLog Communities, here’s my profile. What MyBlogLog is doing is tracking the clicks of the aggregate and building a social networking site as a second order effect. Still in beta (what isn’t these days), the service is bound to grow in a number of interesting directions, and all I can say at this point is that this is the one social networking service that I find myself using on a regular basis.

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    What Google Spreadsheets Means

    The perspective that gets lost in these debates is that Microsoft itself appears to be well along the way to delivering componentized Office (Live) that satisfies the needs of casual and advanced users alike. Whether this avails itself in the timeframe that Google and others will deliver more robust online services in a legitimate question, and given Microsoft’s challenges with complex products (e.g., Vista) I would say this is a critical question. However, at the same time you would have to ask the question of Google and the others when they will have the richness of MSOffice and an offline mode.

    IT|Redux » What Google Spreadsheets Means:

    Here is why: on one hand, customers buying Microsoft Excel on its own usually need the advanced features that are offered by the product. On the other hand, most Excel casual users usually got their copy Excel as part of the larger Microsoft Office package.

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    US to Russia: shutter music site if you want to join the WTO

    AllofMP3.com rocks. I bought the Strokes new album for $1.47 (that’s 50 rubbles) vs. $9.99 on iTunes Music Store. It seems to me that if AllofMP3 is in fact operating legitimately in Russia (I realize that there is a high degree of flexibility in the term “legitimate” when used in conjunction with Russia) then the focus should be on changing the law and not simply focusing on one company. Of course this is Russia we are talking about…

    US to Russia: shutter music site if you want to join the WTO:

    The combination of US pressure, recent statements by Russian President Putin on the need for better copyright law enforcement in his country, and Russia’s desire to join the World Trade Organization make the likelihood of Allofmp3.com’s disappearance ever more likely. It’s probably a good time for customers of that site to burn up their download balances.

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    More on this topic (What's this?)
    The Evolution of Modern Ukraine
    The Top Partners of Russia
    Ukraine Accuses Russia Of Economic Aggression
    Read more on Investing in Russia, Velosi at Wikinvest

    Microsoft: Legal issues around PDF support

    I have held off on commenting about the recent flap between Adobe and Microsoft regarding PDF Save in Office. After reading more about this on Brian Jones blog. The entire dustup does throw cold water on the notion that PDF is an open standard when Adobe can make demands on publishers that they charge for it when integrated but offer it for free otherwise. Secondly, it seems rather hypocritical of Adobe to say now that they don’t want “save to PDF” in office as a standard feature when they have been crying foul for years that Microsoft wouldn’t support the file format.

    It would appear that a possible motivation behind Adobe’s move is to throw up a roadblock for Microsoft in those circles where open source is threatening them, as is the case in Massachusetts. The dilemma for Adobe is that if PDF really is perceived as being an open standard and Microsoft supports it as a native format in Office, then Adobe itself is responsible for removing a major competitive differentiator between open source office suites and MSOffice, that the file format itself is guaranteed to be supported in other vendors applications.

    Here’s a second post that goes into more detail about how Microsoft implements PDF in Office.

    Brian Jones: Open XML Formats : Legal issues around PDF support:

    It looks like Adobe wanted us to charge our customers extra for the Save as PDF capability, which we just aren’t willing to do (especially given that other companies already offer it for free). In order to work around this, it looks like we’re going to offer it as a free download instead. At least that way it’s still free for Office users, but unfortunately now there is an added hassle in that anyone that wants the functionality is going to have to download it separately.

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    Google Is A Tourist In D.C., Brin Finds

    What did he think, that he would just show up and members of Congress would meet with him? Maybe Google (and Eric Schmidt in particular) should spread their political contributions around to both parties instead of just Democrats is they want to be heard in the halls of Congress. Of course, according to the Post article Brin couldn’t get meetings with big name Democrats either.

    Google Is A Tourist In D.C., Brin Finds:

    Dressed in blue jeans, silver mesh sneakers and a black T-shirt and jacket, Google Inc. co-founder Sergey Brin came to Washington yesterday to lobby members of Congress and found it was a little harder than he had hoped it would be to get meetings.