Bottle Neck
Insta Paper
#02 old OpenSSL grrrr
Book Publishing

Federica Cherubini notes Popular Science, Bloomberg Business, Reuters, Mic, The Week, ReCode, The Verge, and now The DailyDot. What do they have in common? They all decided to kill their online comment sections. What seemed a light trend a few months ago is now growing into a more consistent wave. (Blog Comment)

Oct02 update: News organizations must treat reader comments with the same level of consideration that they treat their own stories, New York Times community editor Bassey Etim said today speaking on a panel at this year’s Computation + Journalism Symposium at Columbia University. “We have to treat comments as content,” Etim said. “We can’t cede the social world to large companies.” (herm FaceBook)

Oct05: Mathew Ingram wonders Are comments dead, or have media outlets just given up on them?

z2015-06-28- Media Site Comment Battles

KinJa has launched. MegNut is leaving in a month. Ad-supported. I was not invited to the launch party.

z2004-04-01- Kinja Launch Meg Leave

Josh Dickson thinks EverNote is flailing. Much like DropBox, the core product has changed little over the past several years despite the company being flush with cash, traction, and resources... Evernote hasn't made even good products for a long time. Like many others I've talked to, I was once a heavy Evernote user, and its died a slow death of irrelevance in my work flow. It fails to even do one thing great, and instead tries to make up for it by doing a number of other things poorly... Most business customers are using other products already that more than adequately address the need of a Note Taking application. (Ugh I don't really agree those NoteBook alternatives - Google Docs, OneNote - are good, but from the general user's perspective I suppose they're Good Enough.)

It's unclear where Evernote for business might have ever fit in to business workflows, but with the additional openness that tools like SlackCom promote, Evernote is making a decidedly siloed application in a business world that's becoming more open, accessible, and real-time at every turn.

The idea of taking notes has always been a part of a larger mission around workplace productivity, just ask Phil Libin in 2012. The product roll outs that have occurred, like Work Chat, have been lackluster and late to market. It's core product remains too useful for free to encourage anyone but power users, of which there are becoming fewer, to upgrade. And it's hard to see how Evernote will have success in selling into corporations after it never built out a sales force or enterprise-focused product offerings.

Beau Blinder thinks mission-creep, both to be a "100 year company" and to chase money given challenges of FreemIum model, has caused them to lose their way. Here is Evernote’s current tagline: "Evernote: The workspace for your life’s work" - I have no idea what that means... Evernote’s expectation is that they can help you turn those ideas into a finished product now, but that doesn’t really jibe with how people work... Evernote needs to get back to its roots. Or, Evernote needs a new mission. Their current business doesn’t fit their vision and their products are suffering because of it.

DHH thinks they, like DropBox, repeated the Flip Video error of living on the wrong timeline. I bet you that both thought they were going to be around forever, so no amount of investment in the future would be too great. I bet you that even the mere suggestion that they should be taking profits during their first, seven fat years of prosperity would have been laughed out of the boardrooms.

Oct03: Eugene Kim on their woes. Evernote has laid off roughly 18% of its workforce in the past nine months, and said it will shut down three of its 10 global offices last week. ... “It’s going to be a tough road ahead,” one source familiar with the matter told us. “They want to go public, and, to do that, the focus on revenue now has to be a ruthless prioritization on things that make money.”... Several former employees believe a lack of focus hampered Evernote’s growth. Instead of focusing on its core note-taking product and on converting users to the paid service, Evernote spent more time releasing a bunch of new products and features that only helped it grab news headlines, they said... Evernote recently began adding new pricing tiers, designed to offer more options for nonpaying users to give the company money. That move is long overdue, say some people close to the company... But perhaps the biggest savings will come from canceling its annual developers conference, called Evernote Conference, which has been held in San Francisco for the past four years... Evernote appears to be downsizing the team in charge of the PlatForm it provides for developers. Among the employees let go in the recent round of layoffs were its director of developer relations, Chris Traganos, as well as several members of his team. But contrary to recent rumors of Evernote closing off its API, the company said it’s still open... “It’s not a fundamentally flawed business. It’s just not working as well as people expected it to,” Byron Deeter said. “They’re still likely worth hundreds of millions of dollars. They’re just probably not worth billions today.”

z2015-09-17- Dickson Contra Evernote
Calcula Tor
Raising Kids

The Subvers Ive story of the creation of the Graphing Calcula Tor app for MacOs. I was frustrated by all the wasted effort, so I decided to uncancel my small part of the project. I had been paid to do a job, and I wanted to finish it. My electronic badge still opened Apple's doors, so I just kept showing up... Apple at that time had a strong tradition of Skunk Works projects, in which engineers continued to work on canceled projects in hopes of producing demos that would inspire management to revive them... Once we had a plausible way to ship, Apple became the ideal work environment. Every engineer we knew was willing to help us. We got resources that would never have been available to us had we been on the payroll... Our recognition made life interesting in other ways since we could no longer remain a well kept secret. After a demo to outside developers, one person called Apple claiming that we infringed his PatEnt, causing a fire drill until I could show PriorArt. Another company, the makers of Mathemat Ica, simply demanded that our product be pulled. Apple very politely declined. One week we were evading security, the next week Apple is rising to our defense... I view the events as an experiment in subverting power structures. I had none of the traditional power over others that is inherent to the structure of corporations and bureaucracies. I had neither budget nor headcount. I answered to no one, and no one had to do anything I asked. Dozens of people collaborated spontaneously, motivated by loyalty, friendship, or the love of craftsmanship. We were HackEr-s, creating something for the sheer joy of making it work.

z2004-12-24- Graphic Calculator
Learning Programming
ProjectEuler, HackerRank, CodeChef, TopCoder, CodeForces
Lotus Connections
Interactive Art
Rise Of The Videogame Zinesters
Physical Fitness
Situation Ist

Good little interview with Cory Doctorow...

  • Business Models For Information: The thing about it is that there is synergy. The stuff that I do for Boing Boing is basically research in support of EFF and the writing, and the blog is how I keep track of it. By doing it in public, I get lots of suggestions, and I also get a lot of feedback. Boing Boing is a net time saver because I get more research done with less effort, and I keep track of it better than I would if I were doing it privately. The research that I do on EFF issues is also feeding the fiction.

  • and... In the U.S., there is tons of Venture Capital, so everyone went out and started a company. In Canada, there are tons of Socialized Medicine, so everyone became a freelancer. If you're a freelancer (Free Agent) (in the U.S.), and you're in poor health, and you can't get insured (Health Insurance, you are embarking on a kind of slow suicide. And then, in the U.K., they had tons of arts grants, so all the geeks became Net artists, and that's why there's all this kind of strange, Situation Ist, British NetArt.

  • the scary origin of WhuffIe (Reputation Management): The word is what we used in high school instead of "brownie points." A friend of mine pointed out, given the era that I went to high school in, that it almost certainly came from "The Arsenio Hall Show": "Woof, woof, woof."

z2003-01-26- Cory Doctorow Interview

The wedding is the latest in a chain of BART (Mass Transit) interventions thrown by a loosely organized group of EastBay artists and activists united under the tongue-in-cheek moniker of the Passenger Liberation Front. The happenings belong to the same art-as-activism family as Reclaim The Streets, which stops traffic for street parties, or the Situation Ist-s, a group of 1960s artists and activists who sought to alter people's perceptions of the modern city. The Nyc Club Kids, who held dance parties in subways and fast-food chains in the late 1980s, may also have inspired a prior Passenger Liberation Front event, an '80s dance party held in March. Reminds me of z2004-09-03-ThackaraStreetPerformance.

z2005-05-31- Passenger Liberation Front

My Intro Blurb:

This is the publicly-readable WikiLog Thinking Space of Bill Seitz (a Product Manager and CTO).

My Calling: to accelerate Evolut Ion by increasing FreeDom and Opportunity and AgenCy for many people via DAndD of Thinking Tools (software and Games To Play) that increase the LeverAge of Free Agent-s and smaller groups (Small World).

See Intro Page for space-related goals, status, etc.; or WikiNode for more terse summary info.

Beware the War On The Net!


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