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watch this space

Is pay to play the new way? We might be headed in that direction. 2013 will be the year of locked feeds, pay as you go distributed content, and more “subcompact” publishing than you can shake a stick at. Pretty exciting times. I for one am watching Pheed. It seems like it could be the most “bite sized” of the entrants.



bring on the internet of things

The more real world objects pop up that connect to the Internet, the more demand there is for network infrastructure like sensors and routers. 

Cisco has designed an infographic that offers a simple example of how Internet of Things will affect you in your everyday life. It also states that by 2020, there will be 50 billion ‘things’ connected to the Internet - everything from your body, car, alarm clock and even cows.

The number of things connected to the Internet has already exceeded the number of people on earth. So this is a big trend - and big business for Cisco and other technology companies.

via readwriteweb




Foursquare on steroids

Psst! I Tweeted about this one today, but loved it so much I thought it was worth a post. So here y’aar. :)


Assuming you haven’t been tweeting under a rock recently you’re prolly aware of Google’s aggressive run at the local business market. (Its Places offering and Interior store view endeavor for example). And as geolocation departs from trend to basic need and digital desire many a digerati have found themselves hunting for more out of the geo-apps they rely on. (Personally, I’ve been using Foursquare by proxy through Instagram because of its robust photo sharing feature, for example).

Screen shot 2011-01-13 at 3.05.43 PM.png

Well get ready peeps! Local is heating up fast and Google isn’t the only one looking to give a simple, smart and social kick in the arse to the run of the mill location model. Meet What Spot Now. It’s bound to be on the tip of your tongue a few times this year. (And lets face it, I’m right about these things.  :) )

Unlike any other location-based app on the market, What Spot Now? combines software and hardware to help patrons both save money and discover new places to hang out – discovery not based on hearsay, but reality — through its trademarked “SpotCams” mounted inside neighborhood venues. (How flippin’ awesome would it be to get a quick stream (or photo set, even!) of a potential spot on your hit-list?) You can! If you live in Portland. :)


WSN currently has 11 Portland locations you can view from your phone before leaving your home. Portland residents will recognize such names as Saucebox Café & Bar, Bridgeport Brewing Company: Brewpub, 23 Hoyt Restaurant & Bar, The Someday Lounge, Schmizza Pub & Grub, Backspace, On Deck Sports Bar & Grill, Bo Restobar, Bailey’s Taproom, La Costita on Barbur, and the Crown Room.

Im big on this one, Portland. You’re privy to exciting technology that might very well change the way patrons and venues think about the age-old concept of “happy hour”.

Kudos to Spotlight Mobile. WSN is a slick way to discover nearby venues and a practical alternative to the location-sharing services offered by Foursquare or Facebook. Its a sure hit if you can keep that WiFi network in place. Keep it comin’.



mercedes gets it: simple smart and social service augmentation

Mercedes-Benz just announced a new app that connects its in-car navigation systems with its customers’ iPhones. Mbrace version 2.0 still lets drivers unlock their vehicles and, more importantly, find it in a crowded parking lot while adding location-based personal assistance ranging from entertainment, restaurant, directions, and traffic updates via Mercedes-Benz’s Concierge service — assuming you’re are an mbrace PLUS customer. Destination information is then fired off directly to your in-vehicle navigation system to get you there. The updated app also includes enhanced Roadside Assistance that transmits the driver’s location whenever a call is initiated.



social networking meets the union.

Thanks to the power of people and the internet, the unemployed now have their own union, and it’s catching on quickly.

The idea is that if millions of jobless join together and act as an organization, they are more likely to get Congress and the White House to provide the jobs that are urgently needed. They can also apply pressure for health insurance coverage, unemployment insurance and COBRA benefits and food stamps. An unemployed worker is virtually helpless if he or she has to act alone.

You can follow UCubed on twitter, and joining a Cube is at is as simple as it is important:

  • Six people who live in the same zip code address can form a Ucube.
  • Nine such UCubes make a neighborhood.
  • Three neighborhood UCubes form a power block that cntains 162 activists.
  • Politicians cannot easily ignore a multitude of power blocks, nor can merchants avoid them.

from the site:

You lost your job. You’re not alone. 31 million Americans face the same challenges. You want your job back. You want your life back. But you can’t do it alone. Neither can anyone else. You all need each other. That’s what UCubed is here to do: Help you and 31 million other Americans organize, work together and get back to work. Let UCubed help you connect. Form a cube, and multipy your political and economic power by 6. Then by 36. Eventually, by 31 million. Take Control.



if I can dream (big)

Yay! The folks at Mashable covered If I Can Dream again today. Pretty sweet since we’re so close to launch. (It’s set to premiere on March 2 on Hulu and See the latest teaser video below. 

For those that haven’t gotten the low-down yet, If I Can Dream is a live, made-for-web TV experiment — that will use Hulu as the “Television Network”, will be broadast live 24/7 at, and follow the lives of five young people – a musician, an actor, two actresses and a model – as they leave their hometowns and live together high up in Hollywood Hills – and go on their journey to stardom as their journey is documented across the Internet via Twitter, MySpace Hulu, etc.

Full disclosure this little labor of love is the baby of my little nerd tank POKE.

some great comments from mashable below

The show — with new episodes released every week — will take a reality-esque look at the lives of five aspiring artists who are trying to make it in Hollywood. A sneak peek of the episode can be seen below.

What’s especially interesting about If I Can Dream is not just the fact that it sprung from Hulu (a website) and Simon Fuller (of traditional TV fame), but that the content and format seem much more broadcast-like than typical web/TV shows.

Essentially the series has all the ingredients of a network television show, but an entirely different and experimental distribution model. It appears as if the basic premise being tested is whether or not the web as a platform can syndicate and distribute highly produced content and churn out a hit show without broadcast as a medium. Although we’ve seen web TV shows make their marks in the entertainment industry — The Guild comes to mind — we’ve yet to see this exact formula tested online. So the real question is: Can this formula pump out a hit show on the same level as a hit TV show?

Good question Jennifer. I confidently say from everyone back at POKE, we sure hope so. In a world where Hulu and Boxee are about to explode…it seems like a great wager to make. Wouldn’t you say? 

Readers, what say you?


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why I unfollowed you on twitter (and how to unfollow everyone too)

Welp. Evenyone has their limits and I’ve reached mine.

My wonderfully nerdy partner in crime Iain visited NY recently and over many glasses of wine and pasta we had a debate about the reason Twitter exists. A debate about Twitter’s purity of communication. A debate about how, why and even when people should use Twitter.  Iain thinks Twitter is a conversation tool solely. One where you should listen AND be listened to. He’s right. And until today, I wasn’t really “listening”. 

Until this very moment, I was following more than 1500 “friends” as Twitter. It was a lot of work getting up there and for a moment I was proud. Not anymore. I was caught up in a Twitter Frenzy I’m not sure I still believe in. Twitter has become a spammy medium and I’m falling out of love..sorta.

No I’m not leaving Twitter. It’s an amazing tool. It helps me connect with my team, I learned a lot from many of the people I followed. Many of you I will follow back. It’s just going to take me some time. (Want to give me a boost?) Shoot me an email.

Top three reasons why I declared follower bankruptcy:

reason 1

I’m getting inundated with autoresponders. (Robots that send thank you direct messages when I followed you. My thoughts on them: 1. They are impersonal (mostly). 2. Many people fill them with spammy advertisements, using it as automated marketing tool to “buy their product now!” etc. As such, my direct messages timeline has become a total nightmare and not usable anymore. I had to do something and I decided to remove all my followers in order to thwart the robot attack.

reason 2

The Twitter API is slow enough already. With so many follows, the best (free) tools our there (including Tweetie, etc) do not work properly. I want to use these tools to keep learning (and pass that learning on you YOU.

reason 3

I’ve been insanely curious recently just how many actual “friends” I have on Twitter anyway. Meaning - just how many of you are only following me because I’m following you. And worse yet, might be using a tool like TweetLater to automatically unfollow me the second I unfollow you. I guess we’ll see. :)

So that’s it. These things IMHO were F-ing with my ability to enjoy and get value out of Twitter. Today marks my battle back to Twitter fun. :)

where to from here?

Welp, I wait for this handy dandy script that chuck wrote to finish unfollowing everyone, and then I start adding back people that will make my Twitter expereince what I need it to be - interesting, informative and engaging. Are you interesting, informative or engaging? Hit me up, yo.

Rock on.

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watch this YouTube video without Flash

this one is for the markup nerds

The image below might look like a regular YouTube video player but the interesting part is that the YouTube video clip will play just fine even if you disable (or completely remove) the Flash Player from your browser.

How? The next major release of HTML, dubbed HTML 5, will include several new tags for embedding <audio> , and <video> as well as several other graphical types of content in web pages. These new tags will let you play video files in the browser without the Shockwave Flash plugin. Yay!

Currently, your browser needs a plugin to play embedded multimedia content. For instance, you need to install Adobe Flash Player for watching videos on YouTube while the QuickTime player is required for viewing movie trailers that are available on the Apple website.

Visit to see the HTML 5 video tag in action.

Note: You need either Firefox 3.5, Google Chrome or Safari 4 to view this video. If you attempt to go with an older browser, it won’t be able to understand the content that’s wrapped inside the <video> tag. You’ll most likely get some kind of error message upon arrival. That said, HTML 5 still looks very interesting and exciting.




the twitter gold-rush, direct marketing and Twitterhawk

I found this posting this AM from Guy Kawasaki on a new service called Twitterhawk. Basically an app that turns The Tweet into direct marketing on steroids. I for one am not a fan of the Twitter Ad-douche gold-rush, but I must say - there are some compelling points in here. What say you?

from the Twitterhawk site:

TwitterHawk is a real time targeted marketing engine…with true CPC link tracking…that will find people talking on twitter now by your chosen topic and location, allowing you to really hit your target mid conversation with ease. It will periodically search twitter for you and either auto-reply or generate a list of matches for you to respond toor reject from your twitterhawk account.

from Guy’s article:

Twitterhawk is a “real-time, targeted-marketing tool”—or the ultimate spam machine. First, let me tell you why I’m telling you about it: Because it can help you use Twitter as a marketing tool. Second, let me tell you how it works. You create keyword searches like what you can do at

For example:

Then you compose up to five responses to the tweets that it finds for each search condition and schedule the search intervals. An Audi dealer in Palo Alto, for example, can use this to find sales or maintenance prospects on Twitter. Twitterhawk will then tweet your responses for when it finds the right keywords in the right area.

Essentially this is a way to monitor public conversations for keywords without being the NSA while Dick Cheney was running things. In other words, this is as good as it gets for targeted marketing. The closet analogy I can think of is how Gmail searches your email and inserts ads based on the words it finds in your messages.

This is when the panic ensues: “Holy kaw, if many people started using Twitterhawk, it would mean the death of Twitter as a means of social networking and communication!” Let me tell you why this isn’t true:

1.  Twitterhawk charges $.05 for each tweet that it sends. What spammer can afford to pay $.05/tweet in order to ask you to help get money out of Nigeria or to sell you penis-enlargement products? By the way, Twitterhawk tracks how many times people clicked on the link, so that you can determine your per click cost.

2.  There is a blacklist of terms that Twitterhawk will not respond to. I don’t know what’s on the list, but I suspect words like “the” are probably on it to prevent too many matches.

3.  There is a limit of twelve fully-automatic tweets per day per search. At this rate, it will take a long time to find someone to help get money out of Nigeria or a man who wants to get his aforementioned penis enlarged.

4.  You cannot send the same person more than one tweet based on the same search. This means that the Audi dealer cannot send you a tweet every time you mention the word “Audi.” The dealer gets one shot at you.

5.  You can edit each outgoing tweet when you set Twitterhawk to manual approval. This means that you can use Twittehawk to find tweets to respond to and queue them up for individual answers. (The reason to manually approve each tweet is that you wouldn’t want to send a tweet such as “We’re an Audi dealer located in Palo Alto. We’d love your business,” in response to a tweet like, “I’m so glad I just sold my 1970 Audi. It’s given me nothing but trouble.”

At this price and at this rate, Twitterhawk is hardly a spam tool. It is, however, a very powerful marketing tool if you use it sparingly and precisely. The Audi dealer, for example, might find that it sent out 100 tweets at a total cost of $5 and got one oil change customer out of it. That’s probably worth it—particularly if the customer returns for more expensive work or buys a car.

Looking at it another way: How else can you find people within driving distance of your dealership who are interested in Audis? Radio, TV, and newspaper advertising? Don’t make me laugh. It’s certainly worth trying—although, in truth, you can try Twitter targeted-direct marketing without Twitterhawk by simply using Twitter’s search capability or most Twitter clients anyway.

I close with an interesting story. When I first heard of Twitterhawk, I went nuts and set up searches for mentions of text like “Fashionweek” which resulted in automatic tweets to visit Fashion.alltop. After sending a few thousand tweets like this (perhaps TwitterHawk created the twelve/day limit in my honor!), my @alltop account was suspended, so I’ve cooled it. Clearly, there is some danger in pushing the edge of marketing, and I’m figuring that out too.

See Guy’s original article on OpenForum here.



fresh pizza made with computers

Italian food is famous for being cooked fresh with fresh ingredients, but an entrepreneur wants to popularize his automatic vending machine that will cook pizza with fresh ingredients, including the dough.

A new pizza vending machine will cook an entire pizza with fresh ingredients, flour, water, tomato sauce and ingredients in less than three minutes.

Claudio Torghele, 56, become successful by selling pasta in California, and now wants to sell his automatic pizza vending machines in Italy.




Google Latitude: schedule impromtu meetups or stalk people. the choice is yours

Welp, if you read my last post you prolly saw my rant about Loopt and Tweetie and how 2009 is the year for location based networking. Wait for it…waiiiit for iiiiit….

I told you so. :)

Meet Google Latitude. Google’s next foray into location based networking (miss you, dodgeballl. sniff.) It lets you see where your friends are on a map (Google Maps for mobile and iGoogle) so you can plan an impromptu meetup, see that a loved one got home safely, or you know, stalk people.

But that’s not the bad news. The bad news? (No iPhone support yet.) Grr.

It was only a matter of time before Google entered this market, and no doubt millions of people will soon be flooding the service with their up-to-the-minute location details. With the combination of Google Maps, Google Latitude, Google Friend Connect, and Android, it’s not very difficult to begin daydreaming about the potential for this service.

But it’s also a leap of faith as a user, entrusting Google with yet another piece of data that helps them figure out the puzzle of understanding you - and how and where you’re likely to perform actions that put money in Google’s pocket. It will be interesting to see where Google goes with this one - and interesting to see where you’re going, you know, now that I can stalk you.



10 gamechangers for 2009 and Boxee

OK, I can admit when I’m wrong. And boy do I stand corrected on Hulu’s rise to greatness. Though I’m not much of a Hulu fan, it seems to really be getting some traffic. This was a huge tactical win for NBC Universal, which owns part of Hulu (along with News Corporation)

As the great media war continues to rage, CBS isn’t just sitting on the sidelines. In their takeover last year of the tech site CNET, it snagged the URL and has finally starting adding some serious content. A refresh earlier this month has also taken the site past the mere “promo clip” launch phase - into full-length programming; (movies and prime-time TV shows) that come from a slew of major partners like Sony (and their wealth of great premium content), MGM, PBS, and even CBS-owned Showtime.

Here’s the kicker -’s launch phase barely offered video. (It was basically previews, cast profiles, interviews, and discussions)—yet it had 16.5 million viewers per month even then.

Look for their numbers to start climbing steadily over the course of 2009.

Boxee on the other hand, gathers video from all over the Web (Hulu, YouTube,, and many others including your very own feeds) and puts it in a very neat and easy-to-use interface that can be accessed on your PC or on the TV in the living room. This creates something like a programming guide for Internet video, such that you don’t have to surf around to different video sites—all your favorite Web video is right in front of you. One of my favorite features of Boxee is how it accesses and organizes the video, images, and music that I have on my local hardware AND out on the interwebs - putting it all in one place - my TV.

The current version of Boxee runs on Intel-based Macs, Apple TV, and Linux machines (it works particularly easily on Ubuntu distributions). A Windows version should be ready soon, Boxee says. (

All in all you can expect 2009 to bring us some pretty incredible changes in how you “watch”. ( (

Every music video you’ve ever loved, ever. (And a pretty cool API to boot!) ‘Nuff said. (


Loopt and Tweetie

Since the demise of Dodgeball, location-based mobile networking is something that at least a dozen start-ups, not to mention big Valley projects like Yahoo’s OneConnect and Fire Eagle, have tried to master. Nobody’s been able to make it work, perfectly, but they’re going to keep trying. And 2009 is the year you will get really “into” location based networking. Two examples that seem to have gotten us closer to the future are the iPhone’s Loopt andTweetie.

So how do they work? Basically the apps let you stalk, well, maybe not stalk, ok, fine, stalk your pals when you’re needing a buddy fix. Loopt alerts you when your friends are nearby, but shows you their pics, reviews, and favorite hangouts right on your mobile device. Tweetie lets you search for people tweeting near your current location, all so you can meet up wherever, whenever. (Loopt), (Tweetie)

You probably know by know how big of a fan I am of the current wave of social music. You probably also know how hard I took the recent collapse/neutered relaunch of Muxtape. My pasture anew? Whle Muxtape allowed you to upload your mp3s and share it with others, Blip.FM takes it much further. In Blip.FM you can add favorite DJs and as they add music to their playlist it will show up on your Blip homepage. You basically then navigate your homepage as a playlist (made up of as many or as few DJ’s as you’d like).

I’m not the first to make this comparison, but also acts like a “Twitter for music.” Your scrolling playlist is an ongoing list of the DJ’s you follow and their song choices. These are called Blips. You can listen to the “blipped” songs as they come up, or skip up and down the list to songs you like. If you like a particular user (called DJs here), you can give them “props” for the songs they play, or you can choose to “follow” that DJ. After you have found a decent number of DJs to follow, you can switch to a mode where you see only that group’s blips.

If you think of a song you want to blip, you just search for it, make your selection from the search results, write a little comment about it, hit send, and then your blip is added to the stream of other blips. The site then shows you the other members who have also blipped that artist. It’s surprisingly engaging and fun, especially if you find good DJs to follow, or if your own real-world friends sign up and participate. (



This one is near and dear to me. The Qik app (which I currently run on my Nokia n95 and iphone) records LIVE video on your mobile and broadcasts it live to your Qik profile (or where ever else you embedded your channel). Qik’s platform lets you can easily stream and share live video from your mobile phone camera. When visiting the site, it’s easy to find live video streams being shot by Qik members from around the world. This is great for family stuff, like wife’s mom in Salt Lake City watching her baby grandsons in Connecticut in real time, for example.

After you are finished streaming your video live over Qik, and, if you have already set your account up to do so, Qik sends the video to YouTube, your blog, or to your page on Facebook. You also get access to the video files (I happen to love this download feature) letting you pull down each video so you can store it on your own hardware.

Unlike many video solutions, using Qik does not require any fancy hardware to work properly. 2009 will be the year many more video enthusiasts and life bloggers flock to live streaming like this because of how simple and straight-forward Qik makes it. (


Blackberry Application Storefront

The facts: The iPhone app store is wildly successful. RIM is launching sexier-looking more entertainment-oriented smartphones. People love their Crackberry’s.

RIM is planning on taking a page from the iPhone playbook by opening up a store for independently developed BlackBerry apps, called the BlackBerry Application Storefront. Nuff said. (BlackBerry Storefront Signup)

With 5 million users worldwide and growing, might be a name you’ll hear a lot more of this year. The self-proclaimed “social inter-networking” site operates on the premise that many of us now belong to several social networking sites and that it’s a hassle to log into and post to each one separately. lets you log in once, then view (and post to) any of a long list of social networking sites that you sync the service up with—all from one place. You can see the posts, status changes, and so on, of your friends on multiple social networks, and simultaneously send new messages or updates to all of those sites (similar to You can also automatically log into, and instant message using MSN from within—cool. (


All your links, files, bookmarks, and media in one place. It’s about damn time. (

OK, fine. 11 gamechangers. My extra pick for gamechanger in 2009 is a big idea from a guy by the name of Jason Satler. From the site: “In this up and down economy I’m outsourcing my wardrobe (namely shirts) to corporate america and you! I’m going to wear a different shirt for 365 days straight in 2009, take multiple pictures throughout my day and blog about it. Days are sold at “face value” so January 1 is $1 and December 31 is $365.”

Would you make yourself into ad space? In an age when there’s no telling what they’ll come up with next, I’m not afraid to tell you: “I wish I’d thought of that”. (