Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Skype 2.0 adds video and more!

Skype just released its latest version and it rocks! It finally includes many of the key features that I have been waiting for including:

- Skype video: I first saw this demo when I was at the Skype office last June before we (eBay) purchased Skype. Their video is far better than video from any other app!
- Groups: You can now group your contacts
- Personalization: Personalization will be very important especially as Skype goes into mobile. You can also set your mood so you know what your friends / contacts are feeling like before reaching out to them.

Well, give it a try and I hope to talk to you and see you soon!
Blink It

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Why Google should and likely will purchase Riya

There have been lots of rumors floating about that Google is in talks to purchase Riya! I first learned about these rumors from Niall's blog here.

If the rumors are not true, they should be! In other words, ever since I read the review about Riya on Techcrunch, it became very obvious that Riya has potentially a huge competitive advantage.

Why? Because they combine tagging with the power of automation. In other words, it means you only need to tag your friends once and let the computer do the rest as you continue to take more and more pictures. As consumers take thousands and thousands of digital pictures it is very clear that they only want to train one software product on how to recognize people in their network and then let that product annotate their entire picture library. More over, whose photo album are you more likely to want to check out online? The one where all pictures are tagged by name, etc. so you can quickly find what you are looking for or the album where few pictures are tagged, which limits your ability to just see the pictures you care about.

While Google owns Picassa, they completely missed out on online photo sharing, and Flickr has clearly been a run away success amassing over 1 billion pictures.

Well, Google could start to catch up very quickly if it combined Riya with Picassa. In fact, they might be able to leapfrog Flickr in a big way! So, I would be very surprised if Google misses out on the one company that appears to have the technology right now to take digital picture sharing to a whole new level. Then again, if I were on Yahoo!'s side, I would also try to buy Riya to further extend the lead over Google.

Blink It

Google Base | What am I missing?

It is amazing how much buzz Google Base has received but I honestly don't see why in the world I would want to use it. What's the killer app? What's the one unique advantage of Google base? Why would I as a user want to go there? Does it do anything better than any of the existing services?

I think the answer is a clear NO!

I just tried to search for some items such as a "BMW in San Francisco" and the results are crap! It just looks like spam. Sure, Google is just at the very beginning of building a base in user generated content, but so far I am rather disappointed.

I am getting the feeling that Yahoo! is actually a bit smarter than Google in the area of community and user generated content. However, none of them come close to eBay or craigslist. In fact, Google base makes me yawn. I think it is the worst site that Google has launched in a while. Then again, perhaps I am missing something.
Blink It

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Scoble stops talking about GYM

I am a big fan of Scobles blog and I read it all the time.

Why do I read Scoble? Because I love to hear his thoughts on technology and his thoughts on what Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft are up to. Plus, I enjoy reading Scoble's thoughts about some new trends and startups worth watching.

However, I am not sure if Scobles goal of not writing about GYM in 100 posts is a good idea if the content suffers. So far its fun watching. I just hope that either of the three companies announce something big and I wonder if he can keep to his list of 100 posts. :-) Then again, maybe he does not have to do 100 consequetive posts.

Scoble, too bad I am not in the Valley this weekend. Would have loved to take you up on your offer to meet up since you wanted to get together with some startups that are working on new ideas. Mike
Blink It

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

New Feature: The Fastest Way to Get Online

We are excited to announce a new feature that we just released on BlinkList! The new feature is called the QuickStart page and it allows you to rapidly go to your favorite websites.

For those of you that know me and Vishen, we used to build these QuickStart pages on our own so that we could always navigate to all of the sites that we visit on a daily basis. It was like having our own dashboard with all the top links that we need and use all the time. We figured why not add this cool feature to BlinkList so that everyone can have their own QuickStart page.

Plus, we already have all the data of your favorite links and tags so it requires no additional work on your part to start using your own QuickStart page. To learn more about the QuickStart page and how to fully customize it click here

If you are already a BlinkList user you can access the QuickStart page by clicking on QuickStart below your username.

Blink It

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Google Development Process

This is a good document (perhaps a little dated but still very valuable) outlining Google's development process on how they keep out churning great new products that users love! Given that everyone including us are obsessing over Google, I thought this was well worth reading. :-)
Blink It
see web stats