I didn't comment on Daylife at first, I didn't know what to say because I don't really know what Daylife is.
I saw a really sexy demo early last year in NY when visiting with Jeff Jarvis, it did a lot of things the beta we're all using now doesn't do. I've already disclaimed that I have an investment in the company, not a huge amount of money, but I have hopes to make a fat profit from the investment, and that certainly colors what I say and don't say. (And not knowing what it is at this point is not a fatal flaw, for sure.)
That said, I agree with Mike, they should do something with RSS. They're getting all these people looking at it now, and surely some of them would subscribe to a feed of news about Daylife itself. Nothing more than a flow of new features, or new partners. How do they expect to invite people to come back for another look if there's no way to subscribe.
This is a very common opportunity that entrepreneurs overlook. Your first challenge is to build the lines of communication to the people you want to influence. The more efficient those lines are, the better your chance of success. In the old days that meant buying ads in trade pubs, today it's a lot cheaper -- just put up a feed, and don't forget to post to it.
PS: Salim, can you hear me??
Okay, the second Opportunity Knocks post was spectacularly unsuccessful. There must not be any underemployed PHP programmers in the Bay Area in my sphere of connectivity, or none who are interested in making a few bucks pioneering the attention economy with the principles of vendor relationship management.
So be it. But I'm one stubborn mofo. I'll keep making offers until something hits a nerve. I really want to do this project.
I no longer want a PHP programmer, and I'm willing to relax the rule about being in the Bay Area. I'm also willing to work with a developer community instead of hiring a contractor.
So here's my idea...
I want to define a cloud in Amazon S3 space, a cloud of subscription information, some of it public and some of it only accessible to the user. We're going to depend on Amazon's ability to keep stuff private that we want private, and make available publicly the stuff we want to publish.
I'm looking for a family of apps, some that run on the desktop, some that run on servers, that allow a user to:
1. Upload an OPML file with subscriptions to S3, in such a way that only the user can see the list of subs.
2. Present that list to the user, with a checkbox next to each subscription. By default each box is checked. The box indicates whether or not the subscription will be visible to the public. The user can change the status of any of the subscriptions to shield it from public view. This is remembered, so whenever the OPML is published an unchecked item will not appear in the public list. (This is necessary because the existence of a feed in a subscription list may reveal private information about the person, where they live, who they bank with, etc.)
3. A way to create a publicly visible OPML file, following the guidelines in the 2.0 draft spec, to be shared publicly, so that aggregators may create recommendation systems based on the information. It should be possible to create lots of interesting views of the informaiton.
4. Every time the OPML file is updated, send a ping to a changes server that will either be operated openly by the community, or if no agreement can be reached in time, I will operate it myself. This avoids "who does he think he is" arguments. If it's possible to put something together that is free and open, and reasonably well managed without being owned, I'll support it. Otherwise I'll run the service myself, with the possibility that I may someday profit from it.
I will also implement a desktop app in the OPML Editor. It'll be GPL, as is all the code I ship in the OPML Editor (and the editor itself). That's the plan.
Michael Gartenberg says you shouldn't go to CES unless you have to go to CES. Ooops. I don't have to go. He pointed to this list of things to do to avoid exhaustion or illness. Maybe I'll just stay in my room. I'm one of the people who will bring disease with me, a nasty little cold I picked up in NY last week, I've been nursing it all week. I'm going down tomorrow, hope to have a press pass (the Podtech people are working on it, they're totally rolling out the red carpet for me, which is much appreciated). I'm in the same hotel with Steve Gillmor, Jason Calacanis and Gabe Rivera. Two crazy uncles in one hotel. Should be pretty fun. It's a Hilton, where I have a billion points, so maybe I can get an upgrade. Even though I've been warned, I'm still excited.
Ads in CAPTCHAs??
Patent the idea, and license it for $1 million per instance.
I am part of the selection committee for the next Under the Radar conference, on March 23 in Mountain View, CA.
My main responsibility is to help them find interesting companies with products in relevant categories that aren't very well-known.
The goal of the conference is to help draw attention to those products, and help get them staffed and funded, and successful.
Naturally, I wanted to blog about this, so we could get the idea out in front of Scripting News readers.
They're looking for companies with products in the following eight areas:
1. Organize - Tasks, Database, Project, Notes, Bookmarks,
2. Collaborate - Groups, Wikis, Spreadsheets, Word Processing, File Sending, Document Management
3. Track - Time, Expenses, Budgets, Accounting, HR
4. Publish - Blog platforms, Web publishing, Feeds/RSS, Content Management
5. Communicate - Email, IM, VOIP, Voice, web conferencing
6. Create - Presentation Mngr, music, photo edit/manage
7. Personalize - Desktop, Calendar, personal organizers
8. Search - vertical, social, create your own
How to proceed. If you know a company with a worthwhile product in any of these areas, one that isn't well-known, but has potential, please post a comment here, with a pointer to their website, and I'll pass them on to the people running the conference. Should be pretty interesting!
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