Nrme scares me

27 Jun

Nice write up on TechCrunch about Nrme, a location-based twitter type of app for the iPhone. What does it say about me that my first reaction was that people are going to send creepy messages like “I’m right behind you” or “I’m about to drop something on your head”? Clearly, my twisted paranoid mind is keeping me from really enjoying the idea of this application. No doubt I’ll give it a try, but I’m not sure a 9 block radius is really enough. Honestly, I’m not sure in what capacity I’d really use Nrme. I subscribe to an extremely useful list called Clever Commuter that is used to send out commuting warnings, questions and alternate route suggestions via email. This way, if there’s trouble in the tunnel for instance, I can just stay at work a bit longer and save myself the headache of standing in a 5,000 mile long line of angry commuters. Or I can opt for the train over the bus. Now that I’ve used Clever Commuter for the past year, I can’t imagine myself living without it, but the purpose of the service is very specific and there’s no limitation on proximity. A TC commenter makes the good point that iPhone doesn’t run apps in the background so you would need to actually keep this open all the time. That won’t work for someone as OCD as myself. What about spam? I wouldn’t put it past some clever marketers to start abusing Nrme as a way to get the word out about sales or appearances.

I may decide to send “Is there a Starbucks around here?” messages just for fun.

Anyone need a new job?

24 Jun

Yahoo is hiring. Or, attempting to at least.

Overheard in one of my meetings today

19 Jun

Developer chick: “This is going to be very difficult to develop if we’re using nothing.”

Feel the magic

18 Jun

Watch the Firefox 3 download counter live.

LinkedIn’s new company-focused plans

18 Jun

I’m a fan of LinkedIn. It’s an easy way for me to keep up with former colleagues without fearing that any of them might try to bite me or send me a plant. Plus, it’s a great place to go to check up on questions asked by others in my field and to read the advice they’re given. I’m a little unnerved by the new company-focused plans I read about in the Times. I’m just not sure why any company would want their employees to do all their talking to one another at LinkedIn and not within a more secure company-created Wiki or Intranet? Or maybe even, I don’t know, in person? Not to mention, no one I know uses LinkedIn to be connected specifically to the people they currently work with. Let’s face it, it’s used for networking and – more often than not – for getting yourself out there in case your next great career opportunity is waiting around the corner somewhere.

As mentioned in the article, there’s also the concern that former employees will still be able to access the corporate web forum if they don’t bother to update their profile unless someone else removes them. The onus is then put on the company itself to go through and weed out anyone who no longer works there. Technically, anyone in the group can remove someone, but how many companies would be happy to just sit back and hope their employees take it upon themselves to police the web forum? So then, who is the poor schmuck who will get the assignment of keeping up with their company’s LinkedIn forum? And will they actually do it? Doesn’t seem like a terribly secure environment in which to discuss corporate strategies or toss around proprietary ideas to me.

What I would love, LOVE, would be for LinkedIn to fix their iPhone site so that I can accept invitations. I can view them and think to myself – oh I sure would love to accept that invitation – but then I’m forced to wait until I get in front of my computer at work to do it. Accepting invites is just too integral a part of the service to be left off the iPhone version. How do we get that on the roadmap?

I do love the closing (and SHOCKING) quote in the Times article:

“Scrabulous is not work, and it does not enable you to be an effective professional,” he [Hoffman] said.

Repeat that to yourselves 20 times before bed all ye Scrabulous addicts.

Saving Yahoo!

17 Jun

This is so very yesterday of me, but sometimes I get busy (or lazy). Following the Yahoo drama as it has unfolded over the past few weeks has been somewhat depressing. I ran across a really interesting post yesterday — 18 Easy Ways to Fix Yahoo! from Sean Percival. Totally agree that one of Yahoo’s big problems is one that I think is facing so many big 1st wave companies — namely, they’ve suddenly found themselves the embodiment of that old adage: Jack of all trades, master of none. Too many services. Good services that have been left to just sit and grow old instead of being integrated usefully. Crappy properties that should have been tossed overboard long ago (Geocities? Really? I’m not sure brand rehab is a possibility there) The only one of Sean’s paragraphs that I disagreed with was the advice regarding omg! It’s not my thing and, yes, the world needs another celebrity gossip site like it needs a hole in the head, but I see more than my share of interns staring at omg! during the day. Plus, big pictures=less thinking and people don’t want to think too hard about their celebrity gossip. After all, this is a web genre wherein one of the gold standards is a blog whose author writes all over celebrity pictures with MS Paint.

I too remember discovering Yahoo back in the dark ages and how much it changed the way I looked at the web. I can almost distinctly map my discovery of Yahoo to the exact moment when I began to waste hours online as opposed to spending just a few minutes checking email. And, yes, I also have Yahoo email address that is older than my car. Frankly, it’s older than most cars on the road today and, okay, I have more than one address that fits that criteria. I do harbor a certain nostalgic connection to Yahoo. It’s definitely a moment of truth time for the company. It could either rise from the ashes or completely collapse. I’d prefer the former. Possible? I don’t know. There are some real quality services there and I think Sean has a point in saying that, to people outside of the tech sphere, there really isn’t some huge wave of dissatisfaction sweeping the general populace with regards to Yahoo. Now, I’m off to figure out exactly what I think of Shine.

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