Friday, December 30, 2005

New Blog

If you'd like - but I don't know why you would want to - you can take a sneak peak at my new blog. It is now "live" at But it's not really a blog yet. For now it is a basic html document, in fact most of the links aren't even set up yet, and I've barely thought about CSS. I'm working with the open source project PowerBlog to adapt this look as my template for my new blog - it's going alright but I don't really have time to waste on this. I considered using wordpress or blogger, but I've always built sites on Windows/ASP servers so this was probably my best option for now. We'll see. The logo - if you're wondering - is actually a manipulation of the Lopico logo.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Is Wink the Answer?

In my last post: "New Service that I'd like to see in 2006," I may have overlooked Wink as the answer to this problem. Wink is ambitious, and IMHO a great idea, but needs momentum, which, judging by the amount of coverage it is receiving right now, will not be a problem. Unfortunately, momentum now is not as important as momentum once it starts working. I've been trying for a few days to sync my bookmarks from, and have received an error message every time.

But wink is much more than a way to track bookmarks across multiple platforms (or at least it's supposed to support multi platforms soon); it is also a whole new way to look at search. Similar to what I was thinking about in my 1st post on, Wink uses the power of people to create, what I believe, is a better formula for relevance than any algorithm will ever deliver. For example, if I want to find a great article on a new css trick, I will have much better luck searching, than I would Google., will bring up fresh results that have been tagged the most, Google will bring up champions of the SEO game, which usually means pages that have been around for awhile, that may or may not have what I'm looking for. Google's link based algorithm is great, but people are better at determining a good resource than algorithms.

Thus the evolution of the web continues, but is it an evolution or a devolution? It seems that more and more evolution in terms of the web means relying on humans rather than machines to determine what is important. Sites such as digg,, lopico, judy's book, and amazon's mechanical turk, are all aimed in some way at tapping humans rather than machines as a resource for determining relevance or for answering questions.

Perhaps this is what web2.0 really means, the building of an entirely new information retrevial system based on humans and social interaction. Old methods are new again.

Monday, December 26, 2005

New service that I'd like to see in 2006

Other than my new site (which I am working very hard on, and really think will be great) the web service that I'd like to see most in 2006, is a bookmark tracking aggregator.

Every few days I check the number of times that Lopico has been bookmarked on, and sometimes Furl, but there are also a handful of other bookmarking sites such as yahoo myweb 2.0,, clipmarks, and simpy. is the most important for now, but to truly use bookmarking as a tracking tool I'd like to be able to see data from all of the sites compiled onto one page. Sort of like clusty meets social bookmarking.

Will it happen? Who knows, but if it does I'm sure I won't be the only one using it.

Technorati Tags:

Friday, December 23, 2005

New RSS / XML Logo

The RSS standard logo: Mozilla started it, Microsoft has said it will adopt it, and now the rest of the world should soon follow suit.

I joined in today by creating a new rss logo for Lopico as well as the new site and new blog that I am working on. I modified the logo slightly to keep the XML abbreviation for the benefit of those not yet familiar with the logo.

If you want, you can grab the logo that I created, or go to

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Blogatus - A Blogger's Hiatus

I haven't been blogging much lately, well I've been blogging my usual amount after a heightened amount of blogging, and there are good reasons. First I'm working on a lot of great things right now that are consuming the majority of my time.

Some things that I'm working on:
I've discovered a way to make Lopico up to 10x faster and I am implementing the changes.

I'm finalizing some last (but important) details for Lopico Lovers

The majority of my time is being spent on my new site, which I am extremely excited about. The knowledge that I have gained over the past year is really helping me create a great new site. When this is launched it will give you some insight into what Lopico might look like in the future.

Lastly, it is the holiday season so I've been making a little more time for things tagged life.

What's been pushed back:
As much as I hate to say it, the mobile version of Lopico has been pushed back. I really like my mobile version, because it focuses on high level takeaways. Google Local Mobile is cool, but the prac app is lacking. When someone is using there phone to find a business they (for now) most likely just want the number and address. Why not the other features? 1. rates for Internet access via phone and 2. screen sizes and mobile browsers make it tough for most to really enjoy the Google Local Mobile features. That said, I think that if there is a Google Phone in the future it will be amazing.

My new blog is being pushed back, I don't really have time to design it or blog, so there's no point in me rushing to get it up.

Side notes: I used Gmail to create this post. Flock is great for blogging and probably my prefered app, but Gmail is convenient for me while I'm at my other job (another reason things are moving slowly). GMail mobile is awesome - sorry blackberry.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Final Flock Beta Review

This will be my last post about Flock until it is released. I've had some fun with Flock with but now I've pretty much switched back to firefox full time. It's an interesting concept, but not one with mainstream appeal. Nothing wrong with being niche.

Overall Strengths:
1. The blogging is great, especially the ease of tagging. Maybe it's pure coincidence, but my "web 2.0 picks" blog was by far one of my most read of all time, tagging may have played a role in this.
2. It's essentially a skinned firefox, so if you like firefox you should like most of what Flock is about
3. I enjoy the integration with, but prefer the extension for firefox.
4. Web Standards support
5. Clucene, the open source search engine that searches your history as you type into the search box, is a nice feature for quick access to places you've been.

1. Although it was on my strengths list the integration is also part of why I am sticking with Firefox as my primary browser. I don't like the fact that you cannot (or at least it's not obvious how to) bookmark sites outside of This probably is not a problem for most, but as a web developer there are times that I release features or even entire sites that I don't want the public to have access to yet, being able to bookmark these things out of would be a big plus.
2. Feed Aggregation. It's sort of a pain if you like to control what feeds you read when. I really prefer Firefox's live bookmark. I like it better than Opera's feed reader, but I think it needs some work.
3. On the subject of feeds, Flock should join in with Microsoft and Mozilla and use the standard RSS button. I think the uniformity will be helpful to users, a consistent user experience lets users know what they're getting.

Overall, I think that Flock asks you to give up too much control of how you like to use your browser in exchange for some cool features that you could get elsewhere. Good concept, and I really like the design of it, but let me do things my way.

I think that it will get better.

Side notes:
I have purchased a new domain and hosting plan for my new blog, so this space will soon be disappearing.
"Lopico Lovers" - my review program - is set to launch in the next couple of weeks.
I did my first podcast yesterday, it's available on odeo, and not very good or interesting.
I've been noticing a large amount of traffic coming from my "web 2.0 picks" posting, I'll probably set up a cleaned up version to go along with the launch of the new blog.

Links from this post:
Internet Explorer
Why are the links down here instead of inline? It's a new idea I'm trying out, comment if you like it or hate it, thanks.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Lopico on Your Site

I just noticed that Yelp added a feature that allows businesses to put a Yelp link on their site. The link displays the businesses current star rating (which if you've read my posts in the past you know I'm not a fan of) and the number of reviews on Yelp for that business. Why am I blogging about this? Well, I've been thinking about doing something similar with Lopico, but also very different. I recently released a button that anyone can place on their site, and gave directions for how to modify it so that it can be linked to the page where a business is listed, but I want to do more in the area of syndication. One idea that I've been kicking around is allowing votes to come to Lopico from other sites. I think that this is possibly a good idea, but it has high potential for compromised results. I've thought of a number of ways to tackle this problem, and you may see something happen with this in the future. Of course with the review program set to launch in the next couple of weeks (or maybe after the first of the year) there will be another new dynamic added to Lopico that I may consider syndicating.

For now if you want Lopico on your site you'll have to settle for this button Lopico!

Monday, December 12, 2005

What else are you going to call it?

I just checked out the flock blog aggregate for the first time in a while, and one thing that I was surprised to see was a post scorning the name web 2.0. Not because the name web 2.0 is a fan favorite that no one scorns, but because another Flock blog has a graphic on the bottom that says "take back web 2.0." Clearly not intended to be taken as more than a play on Firefox's take back the web, but if you're going to advocate the "buzz word" in one place, don't bash it in another.

The name Web 2.0 is not the best and some use it just to try to generate buzz or to look hipper than they are. But, what else are you going to call it? Overall it describes a distinct movement in the web in which users are switching from using the web passively to using it interactively. With such a sea change, I see no reason why web 2.0 is not a suitable name.

The real problem is the number of attributes that people try to throw in to determine if a site is web 2.0 or not. This is where I tune out. Too many try to limit what web 2.0 is by saying that it is AJAX or Folksonomy or any other limited category that excludes a bunch of great new sites. I especially dislike anyone that tries to say which technology is driving web 2.0. The only one that I would say actually drives web 2.0 is high speed internet. It's not that most of these sites couldn't have existed before or that new tech is revolutionary, it's that dial up wouldn't support it.

All that a site needs to be web 2.0 is creativity. User input and independence help.

Still in Flock, still not checking the spelling.

technorati tags:

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Name this blog

One last note, I hate the new name of my blog, and seem to be stuck in trying to come up with a great name for my blog. I'm looking for one that is not a registered domain as I plan on moving out of blooger. Any Ideas?

Still using Flock and posting much more.
Sometimes I feel like I am talking to my self in a socially acceptable manner when I blog. I'm guessing that I will not get any responses.

Web 2.0 Picks just got picked up by Yahoo! and it really was my second favorite web 2.0 site, but there are many more great sites that people should try. This is just a short list of sites that I like, and most likely there are more I am forgetting:

These are in no particular order:
  1. eHub - have to start here because this is the place where I picked most of these from
  2. Odeo - best place for podcasting, I use it mainly to stream podcasts.
  3. - not necessarily my favorite site, but I would definitely like it more if I had more time, you can look me up on my login is jfromak, and yes I do like Wolf Parade that much
  4. YouSendIt - Send huge files over the net
  5. AllYourWords - Cool concept, but I think it's a dangerous playground for spammers
  6. Springdoo - send email through voice. Something I've wanted for awhile.
  7. Judy's Book - Yeah it competes with Lopico, but I like it (they have way more money).
  8. Squidoo - Seth Godin doesn't like Akron, so I don't like him, but I agree that this type of niche search is the future of the net. Not sure that this is exactly what I'm thinking of but it's a start.
  9. Meebo - AIM always seems to act up on my pcs, I now use Meebo with no problems.
  10. Ning - I don't use it, but I like the idea and I'm looking forward to the apps people create.
  11. Digg - I might not be a geek if it weren't for Digg.
  12. Flock - still a little hesitant, but liking it more.
  13. Netvibes - Great alternative to a big 3 homepage.
  14. Cityfeeds - Good idea, needs more cities.
  15. Riffs - Pretty cool app, but no clear sense of focus.
  16. Instant Domain Search - I just like playing with this.
  17. Lopico - well of course.
I'm sure there are more, but try these out if you haven't already. For more subscribe to eHub's feed.

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Buy me out! was bought by Yahoo! yesterday, and I'm upset about this. Not because I am against Yahoo!, I really like a lot of what Yahoo does and I've been using My Yahoo since about the day it came out. The only thing that I don't like about Yahoo is the amount of spam that I receive in my Yahoo inbox. I'm not Dvorak but I get very little spam in all of my email accounts with the exception of Yahoo. The reason that I am upset about the buyout is because I felt that was going to be a major player on its own. I really wanted to succeed. This is success, but a different kind. The web right now is fragmented, and should ideally stay that way. Web 2.0 is probabbly best defined as outstanding creative and innovative thinking coming from independent sources outside of the big three. The big three are leading the web 2.0 charge but are doing so by adopting ideas that come from independents. This sort of sucks if you're an independent, and the only way to survive is to be bought out, or to do something that the big three cannot (unlikely) or will not do. Yes, I was hoping for a revolution of indpendent sites takign on the big guys, but it doesn't look likely.

On that note, if you are an independent site I'd love to support you both through my blog and on Lopico. But wait, people have to actually read this blog first.

Lastly, I cannot blame the people of for joining Yahoo! I would do the same, and for much much less. I'm a little upset by John Battelle's post on, because he doesn't seem to understand the power of Flock note: I'm using it more and liking more... still overhyped. I'm really starting to abuse Technorati tags with the help of Flock. Okay this one hasn't been spellchecked.

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Friday, December 09, 2005

Live Mail's 5 Minutes

Yesterday I posted about Live Mail's 5 minutes of being as good as Gmail, and that is over as far as I'm concerned. My biggest complaint with live mail is the lack of RSS incorporation which Gmail just added. Live Mail still has a calendar which is great if you use it, but I don't, and I imagine that Google will soon have a competing service. I suggested RSS through live mail's feedback and I'm sure that I wasn't the only one. Hopefully they'll get it together before it's taken out of beta.

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New Homepage

Some Mornings you just wake up with an idea. This morning I woke up thinking about the Lopico homepage, and within an hour or so I had a new homepage. I would classify this as an intermediate step to the next new version of the Lopico homepage.

Part of what I like about Lopico is the freedom that I have to play with the look and feel of it and the ability to change things so quickly. If you read my blogs on the day Loblogo launched (which feedburner tells me you didn't) then you can see an example of how quickly I can turn things around. This would not be possible at a large internet company (but then again they'd also get people to notice their changes).

This is my second post through Flock, and I must say that I'm happy with this portion of it, with the only caveat being that their is no spell check.

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Thursday, December 08, 2005

Who has time to Blog?

With the exception of people that are paid to blog, who has time for it? I know that I don't. But if you look at my blogs compared to frequent bloggers, mine tend to be on the long side. I'm going to try to blog more often with shorter blogs.

Beta Blog preview...

I'm involved in beta testing a handful of services right now, and would like to blog about these. This would include Flock, the browser that I'm not too impressed with yet, but am using for this post. Not sure how it's supposed to be better than firefox or why you would use it instead of firefox. I listened to the Inside the Web podcast with one of the Flockers and he really played up the star button as his main reason for liking Flock better than Firefox. Personally I prefer the extension in Firefox.

I'm also using live mail from Microsoft. It's close to as good as Gmail for the next 5 minutes, but in danger of falling behind before it gets off the ground. I honestly am a fan of Microsoft, which is why I would like it to be a good service, but it could use a few tweaks. Of course, Microsoft being Microsoft it will be tweaked, by the time it becomes a true hotmail replacement. Microsoft is overly criticized for taking too long to release products, but they are so heavily scrutinized when released that they have to take a long time to release them.

Search engine comparison...
The reason that I am a fan of Microsoft is probably because of MSN search. I really think that it is the best non-niche search engine available right now. Search builder is probably the best search feature that gets the least attention. I'd like to blog about my comparison of the big three as well as some of the niche search engines, and why I think non-niche search is nearing its peak.

I'm too longwinded

Don't forget to vote!

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Sunday, December 04, 2005

Sea Change

Now that this is my blog and no longer the Lopico blog there are going to be and have been a few changes.

Changes that I've Made:

  • I changed the title to reflect the new scope of the blog

  • I added a Lopico button on the side bar as well as a feedburner counter

  • You can now subscribe to this blog by clicking the feedburner icon

  • Lopico news is now available at Lopico News

What to expect from this blog:

  • As with the addition of the feedburner counter, you can expect me to try out new features from different sites around the web, some of which I will be testing before incorporation into Lopico

  • More about the web and Less about Lopico. I still plan on dedicating the majority of this blog to Lopico, but I would also like to post more about what's happening elsewhere on the web. There are plenty of good blogs about things happening on the net right now, things like web 2.0 and AJAX, but I don't think that there are enough. And the people that run these services and that deserve attention I'm sure don't think that there are enough.

  • More insight into things that I am working on outside Lopico including and other side projects.

I look forward to this new blog and hopefully it will be enjoyable.

As always, the more you add the better we get.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Loblogo Launches!

I said it was likely and now it's done. I have now created the new Lopico News section on Lopico called Loblogo, available at

Cool Site Update

Everything is now updated. It's been updated for a while now, but I haven't really had time to post.

Overall, being Cool site of the Day was a great experience, which produced hundreds of new listings. Thanks to all who contributed and voted for Lopico.


My rank wasn't the highest, it was pretty average at 5.332. I'm pretty happy with this considering Lopico is a directory of business listings. Think about it, would anyone say that the phone book is Cool? I also think that had Lopico been Cool Site of the Day a few months ago, before the redesign, it would not have faired nearly as well. SO yes I'm happy with my rank, but I think that it will be even cooler in years to come.

The end of this blog?

On a side note I am considering dropping this blog, in it's current form and adding a Lopico News section to Lopico. I will keep this blog for my thoughts on Lopico and the web but for pure news about Lopico I would like a separate space. I often feel that there are things that I cannot or should not say on this blog because they are not really related to Lopico (for example my post), by having the two separate I can say whatever I want to here and leave the Lopico news to

The proposed change was also brought about by being Cool Site of the Day, I wanted to have my blog feed displayed on my homepage so that visitors could keep up with the progress of the update, but there are certain things that I say here that I wouldn't necessarily want featured on my homepage.

I also think that by creating my own feed and moving out of Blogger I will have more control over the look and feel of the posts. However, I will keep this blog for my own thoughts because Blogger really is easier than hand coded RSS.

Of course this is just an idea, but also very likely.

As always, the more you add the better we get!