Thursday, July 27, 2006

New Lopico

I don't really use this blog anymore (now at, but if you happen to come across it, be sure to check out the new version of Lopico. Thanks.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Make The Switch

I switched to wordpress for my new blog - so this is probably the end of this blog. Now that I am no longer hand-coding XML, I will likely use that blog as my sole means of blogging.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Lopromo Delay

Lopromo should have launched by now, but it is being pushed back as I am considering a few more features and methods of implementation before it is launched. The design and feel of the site is great, but I'd rather push it back than launch it in a sub-par state. Part of the problem is that it's not as mainstream friendly as I'd like it to be. It seems that too often companies in the web2.0 space are building exclusively for early adopters, which will mean many of the sites will be gone by the time the mainstream knowledge reaches that of early adopters. This is really a key to Microsoft's success that isn't often discussed, MSFT always makes products (at least thus far) that are built for the mainstream user. It gets a lot of flack from the tech community for doing this, but the strategy is much smarter than the early adopter strategy. Timing more than anything is why MSFT is a success. With that in mind Lopromo is being pushed back.

But I am working on other things for Lopico as well. I've recently begun an initiative to move to 205 cities in the next few months, I've added 10 recently and 40 more are planned. I'm also working on a few new advertising options which are unique in kind and should be very helpful from both a consumer and advertisers standpoint.

Side Note: I think that I may be dropping the other blog. I might not, but the less that I blog the less I use it so it's hard to justify.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

eHub Interview

My interview for eHub was posted today. Thanks to Emily Chang for giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts on Lopico and the web in general.

For eHub readers - I encourage you to leave feedback here on this blog, in your own blog, or through email to "info at lopico dot com." As I said in the interview I encourage criticism. When visiting Lopico I recommend checking out Akron to see how Lopico works when it is a little more developed. I'd also encourage you to try out Lopico Lovers and send some feedback. Lopico Lovers just launched, and I'd love to get more feedback on the user experience. Thanks in advance.

For non eHub readers - become one! eHub is a great resource which can really enrich your web experience. The web services listed on eHub are shaping the future of the web, and making it much more useful. Check it out.

Friday, February 03, 2006

The Chicken, The Egg, and AT&T

Much has been made lately of the end of the internet post. It's an interesting post, but seems to be a lot of speculation, and no one really seems to know for sure what is going on. First off, the quote from AT&T's Whiteacre is out of context, which is never very trustworthy, so keep that in mind as you read on.

The Quote:

"Why should they be allowed to use my pipes? The Internet can't be free in that sense, because we and the cable companies have made an investment, and for a Google or Yahoo! or Vonage or anybody to expect to use these pipes [for] free is nuts!"

The way I understand it is this:

Telecoms and other ISPs have the users that Content Providers need, ISPs therefore think that they should be able to charge the CPs for access to the users. Essentially if you want our customers you're going to have to pay.

The rationale behind this is flawed however. The power is with the CPs not the ISPs. If an ISP tries to create a walled garden in which only sites that are paying the ISP get included, it will fail. If ISP1 is offering a limited selection of sites, the value of that connection is diminished. Especially, if ISP2 (say an ISP created by Google) allows access to all sites on the internet. Thus unless the ISP can establish a monopoly (which it can't) it will fail because it is offering an inferior product.

As the web stands currently ISPs (typically) are not paying content providers and content providers (typically) are not paying ISPs. This is the way it should be. Yes, ISPs do bring value to CPs in the form of users, but without the CPs the users would not want the ISPs in the first place. AT&T is having a chicken and egg problem.

This is really a failure of AT&T to understand what their consumers want, and an example of how bad ideas can be if you think about profits first and customers second - a situation that usually leads to less profits as customers move away from your services.

A side note for AT&T:
how about including a web address on your hundreds of billboards, so that potential customers can find more information and you can track the success of your campaign.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

IE 7 High-jacking feedburner

I downloaded IE7 Beta 2 Preview to my laptop today ( I will keep IE6 on my desktop for a while) and I must say that I like it, with one exception: it highjacks feedburner. As with this blog, many blogs allow readers to subscribe (easily) through feedburner. When you click on the feedburner counter in the right hand column you will be presented with a number of options for subscribing to this blog, unless you're using IE7. If you use IE7 you'll be prompted to add the feed to the new IE favorites manager. This is a bad idea. Granted RSS is not mainstream, (which the new IE will help) and this makes things easy, but this is too limiting. Limiting because it prevents you from easily tracking feeds across multiple computers. I'm a big fan of bloglines, mainly because I use more than one computer and like to read the same feeds on all computers. I would like to use feedburner to simply add feeds to bloglines, if I use IE7 I can't do this - I can still add feeds to bloglines, but it takes another step (or two). I now have to grab the url of the feed, go to bloglines and choose to add the feed, and finally paste the URL.
Hopefully this will be gone by the time IE7 is final.

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Monday, January 30, 2006

Trenton, a sign of things to come.

I've added a new city to Lopico. Anyone from Trenton, NJ that would like to add their favorite local businesses to the web's most user driven local directory, can now do so.

This is just the first of 50 new cities that I plan to add over the next few months. Up next: Allentown, PA.

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Sunday, January 22, 2006

7 in 11

Well I wouldn't say Lopico Lovers is off to an amazing start, but it's better than not having any reviews at all. So far 7 reviews have been posted in the 11 days that Lopico Lovers has been up. I wouldn't say that this is good, but at least a few people have followed the links to review a business. Of course, this is only beginning, and for right now, Lopico Lovers is not directly accessible from every page - but if you add a business or vote for a business there is a prompt asking you to review it.

Here are a few examples (when you get to the page click on the heart):

Maumelle Barbershop in Little Rock

Papa John's Pizza in San Diego
Jimmy John's in Columbus

If you have any suggestions about how to improve the review program, I'm more than willing to listen.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

But, what makes it so great?

On Lopico you could previously only do three things: 1. Find Great Businesses 2. Add businesses to Lopico Listings and 3. Vote for your favorites (because of this I often said that Lopico used the F.A.V.orite system). Now, there's a fourth: introducing "Lopico Lovers" the new way to review your favorite local businesses. Lopico lovers is distinct from other review programs in that it requires you to say why you love a certain business, and also what you think could use improvement. This feature of the Lopico Lovers program is intended to create unbiased reviews. Typically on review sites reviewers tend to give either very posotive or very negative reviews; Lopico Lovers was designed to prevent biased and unhelpful reviews.

Lopico Lovers also ranks reviews based on the reviewers knowledge of the business that they are reviewing: think of it as Reviewer Rank. This feature takes responses from reviewers to two questions to determine familiarity with a particular business. I added this feature to give more insight into the value of the review. Someone may say that a business is terrible, but if they've only been there once, maybe they just had a random bad experience.

Personally I think the voting method is the easiest way to tell wether a business is good or not, but this gives you a little more information as to why something is being voted for.

For more on Lopico Lovers and Lopico in general check here and here.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Blogging about Blogging

I now remember why I initially thought using Blogger rather than hosting my own blog was a good idea: Blogger is easy. The new blog is up, but not much is happening with it, because it is a little more of a pain (not much more) to blog the way I'm blogging over there. Not much of a pain, and I wouldn't mind doing it that way if I were a blogger, but I'm not. I'm a web developer that happens to blog. If blogging was my main objective I would gladly use the slightly more difficult process for the tradeoff of the increased control, but I'm not a blogger.

I never thought that I would have a site that was my own name, I always find that a little egotistical, but I chose that name because it is simple and it's not trendy. Other names that I was considering (thingsTaggedLife,, and a handful of others) all seemed a little too Web 2.0 focused, I didn't want to limit my blog in that way. Anyway, if you happen to read this blog and you don't read the new blog, remember to visit Lopico Tomorrow or Thursday, because Lopico Lovers (the new Lopico review program) should launch tomorrow.