Offshoring Myself

"About a year ago I hired a developer in India to do my job. I pay him $12,000 to do the job I get paid $67,000 for. He’s happy to have the work. I’m happy that I only have to work 90 minutes a day, talking code. My employer thinks I’m telecommuting. Now I’m considering getting a second job and doing the same thing."

Micro-multinationals.

Microsoft Contacts API

Microsoft has this really cool API for contact management in Windows Live. There was a little blogosphere kerfuffle about a few weeks ago over Microsoft’s issues with Atom for managing data, specifically why Microsoft thinks that Google’s GData (which is Atom-based) is insufficient. I’m not going to rehash that exchange, mostly because the level of technical detail is way above my pay grade.

John Udell weighed in recently offering two very interesting perspectives on the debate. First and foremost he highlighted how the blogosphere is increasingly home to the interplay between people who define these standards, and that’s good. This is a good observation, I can’t think of anything negative about the idea that technical standards are being defined in the clear rather than in closed committees.

Secondly, Udell ties the entire contacts issue to the proliferation of social networks and why this is important. I had no idea, I simply thought that these conacts services would be handy for synchronization and integration into third party applications.

"In order to find people you may know on one or another of the popular webmail systems, you’re invited to lend Facebook your credentials so it can probe your address book on one of those systems. I understand why this happens, but it’s totally the wrong message about security and digital identity to be sending to a large community of young people."

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Their Package is Definitely Bigger Than Mine

"I’m told that MySpace founders Chris DeWolfe and Tom Anderson have made a very aggressive (some would term it rather fanciful) compensation proposal to owner News Corp for when their contract is up in October. They’re asking Peter Chernin and Rupert Murdoch for a 2-year deal worth $50 million total. That comes out to $25 million each, or $12.5 million a year. Plus, the pair want a development fund of $15 million to invest in internet companies."

It’s hard to know what to say, but perhaps Murdoch should check out Danah Boyd’s research before committing to that comp package.

The goodie two shoes, jocks, athletes, or other "good" kids are now going to Facebook. These kids tend to come from families who emphasize education and going to college. They are part of what we’d call hegemonic society. They are primarily white, but not exclusively. They are in honors classes, looking forward to the prom, and live in a world dictated by after school activities.

MySpace is still home for Latino/Hispanic teens, immigrant teens, "burnouts," "alternative kids," "art fags," punks, emos, goths, gangstas, queer kids, and other kids who didn’t play into the dominant high school popularity paradigm. These are kids whose parents didn’t go to college, who are expected to get a job when they finish high school. These are the teens who plan to go into the military immediately after schools. Teens who are really into music or in a band are also on MySpace. MySpace has most of the kids who are socially ostracized at school because they are geeks, freaks, or queers.

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Lijit Raises $3.3m

Lijit is an interesting personal search offering for blogs, I’ve been using it for about a month and like it. In addition to great search capabilities, the company also delivers stats to you on a weekly basis detailing the user initiated search details. On other very cool feature is that you can upload your OPML file and enable search across the network of blogs that you personally follow. I’d highly recomend that you install the Lijit widget in your sidebar.

VentureBeat is reporting that the company has raised a $3.3m A round.

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About That Facebook Viral Thing…

A lot of people have asked me about my interest in Facebook and what I mean by “viral looping” and Facebook as a distribution platform. Here’s how it works.

  1. There’s a feed on your Facebook homepage that tells you what your friends are doing
  2. Included in that feed are the applications they are adding or removing from their profile page, which is the semi-private part of Facebook. (BTW, the content of Visual Bookshelf, which comes from Amazon, is also shared meaning that the viral effect extends beyond the app itself.)
  3. Your network of contacts see what you are adding and you see what they are adding, eventually this snowballs.

Case in point is the Visual Bookshelf application that I saw Susan Scrupski add, which I then added to my profile page. Today, 7 of my “friends” added it to their Facebook pages… I don’t even know what company makes this app and I’ve certainly never been “touched” by their marketing.

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More on the iPhone Hype

AT&T and Apple announced 3 calling plans for the iPhone, Om pretty much sums it up:

"These plans are no different than what AT&T actually offers right now on its website, except that the array of choices on their website can give any one a headache. Apple has kept it simple."

$99 for 1,350 minutes is actually more expensive than my T-Mobile plan, which is unlimited data and 1,500 minutes for $90 ($60 for the 1,500 minutes, $30 for unlimited data). Another $15 a month would get me unlimited SMS. I also have Blackberry service, which I guess you could argue makes it more expensive than Apple because they have "visual email" but I’m not sure how that compares to straight email (yeah, it’s "visual"… I get it).

Kind of leave me in awe of Apple’s marketing machine… they take something that is the same as, or more expensive than, a competitor’s offering and turn it into "simple and affordable" headlines.

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Mobile App Development

Received this inquiry and couldn’t provide any pointers, so I’m throwing it out here hoping someone more knowledgeable on the sector can help a friend.

"Jeff, do you know of any company that offers cellphone application creation service/hosting. i.e. zoho, weebly, etc. for laypeople but for mobile apps?"

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