Monthly Archives: October 2006

Before I get started on

Before I get started on why I can’t get my Slingbox to change the channel on my TV even after I’ve read all the Help instructions, let me remind you that if you hate getting these in your email box, you can go directly to the blog they come from at http://blog.stealthmode.com, and if you use a feedreader, like Google Reader (www.google.com/reader) you can have this blog fed to your desktop.

And if you are planning to attend the already highly successful (which means the room will be full) First Annual Arizona Entrepreneurship Conference on Nov. 8, you had better go to http://www.azentrepreneurship.com and sign up.

Never mind about the Slingbox; it’s too negative. Let’s talk about the power of networks. When I got the idea for the entrepreneurship conference it was because there is no such thing as a superfluity of networking opportunities in a high growth business community. If you doubt me, go to http://www.workit.com, which is a list of networking opportunities in the Bay Area. On any given day, there is more happening than you can ever attend. You get to sort by region, by date, event type, and industry segment. I bought a house up there about a year and a half ago, and by judiciously attending a FEW events (I’m only up there in the summer and about one weekend a month during the rest of the year) I have already begun a second network, which I am valiantly trying to connect to my primary network.

Every time you go to one of these networking events and talk to somebody new, you either learn something, find a customer, make a friend, make contact with someone who can help you later, or just begin to think differently.

But most small businesspeople, entrepreneurs, or managers either don’t realize the full value of networking, or thing there’s some mystery to it.

Well, there IS a mystery to it: it’s the mystery of manifestation. The universe is always manifesting what you need, if you just take the time to look around you and find it.

Yes, that sounds “way out there.” But I built a business on it. Many of you have heard me say this before, but when I was first going into business, I would volunteer to hostess a fundraisers, or do their publicity pro bono. At those events, I met the people who would later become my clients. And as soon as I had two dollars to rub together, I began to buy tickets to those fundraisers, and get on their mailing lists and committees. On those committees, I met local bigwigs who would have never taken my phone calls.

Unless you network, you never know who actually has money to lend, invest, or spend on your business. And you never find out who your ideal teammates are. They are all working for someone else right now, going to these same events, waiting to hear your story about why they should jump ship and go to work for you.

So that’s why I planned the conference, and why I told the panelists they could not use Powerpoints during their presentations, sit at the front of the room at a dais, or speak without being spoken to. I wanted the panelists to learn as much from the attendees as the other way around. Think of this conference as “user-generated content,” much like that on the Web. In some circles, it’s called an “unconference.”

And I’m taking a page from my daughter’s book — I’m not letting people sit down for lunch without standing on a buffet line. My daughter did this for her wedding dinner, because her guests came from all over the world, and no one knew anyone else except the bride and groom. Not as elegant, perhaps, but a great way for strangers wearing nametags to ask the person ahead of behind them “what does your company do.” And perhaps, then, not to go sit down with the same three people they knew from before, but rather drift to a table with a stranger.

So next Wednesday, when the conference occurs, I will not care much what is said from the front of the room. I will only care what people say to one another.

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What Jotspot sold to Google today

Demo at Scobleizer

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Google Acquires Wiki Company

Here’s another good analysis from Marshal Kirkpatrick on Tech Crunch.

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Google bought Jotspot!

Hooray! Google bought Jotspot! I’m really anxious for them to buy everything so I can have access to all my data online when I travel back and forth from California to Arizona and work on my three different machines! And I really want an editable web site, so a free Wiki would be great.

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No one, even if they

No one, even if they do it all day long, can keep up with all the available and cool new technology. This week, I feel like I’m really behind the tech power curve, so I decided to try to figure out what I’ve done with my time. It�s not like I�ve been sleeping.

In the past three weeks, I’ve purchased a Blackberry Pearl (the best cell phone I have ever had by orders of magnitude) and taken photos with it of my European cruise. It has a 1.3 megapixel camera, and it was tempting to use the phone rather than my Canon to document the ports I stopped at on the cruise.

I have posted those photos to my Flickr account (www.flickr.com), and even blogged some of them, along with photos and video of my daughter’s wedding in September. (You may see more of my daughter�s wedding at http://www.danielandsamantha.com).

I have downloaded another version of the social browser Flock, which connects me to both Flickr and my blog automatically, making it more efficient for me to do those things.

And, because, I am always curious, I�ve also downloaded and installed the new Internet Explorer 7 browser, and the Firefox 2.0 update. Do you want to know what I think? I think they are all trying to look like Mac OSX; everything is minimalist and blue. And everyone now has tabbed browsing. I�m not sure any one of these browsers could be defended to the death against the others.

Next, I’ve downloaded the new Democracy Player (http://www.getdemocracy.com/downloads) so I can watch Internet video, and watched the new Scoble Show on Podcast.net and Eddie Codel’s Geek TV (http://www.geekentertainment.tv/), where figures from the technology world are interviewed and MORE new technologies are demonstrated. I watched Scoble film Codel interviewing the CEO of Wetpaint (www.wetpaint.com), which is a new software that creates Wikis (editable web sites). By the end of the interview, by dint of assiduous multitasking, I had created my own Wiki.

I listened to the Gillmor gang, where Steve Gillmor (used to be with InfoWorld) chats weekly with Dan Farber, Jason Calcanis, Michael Arrington, and Dana Farber � most of them journalists who have now become bloggers.

Also this month I’ve downloaded the new Google reader (www.google.com/reader) so I can read all my RSS feeds (other people’s blogs, newspapers, etc) quickly and in one place. I have to thank Scoble for teaching me to page through the reader in the old Evelyn Wood Speed Reading fashion by repeatedly hitting the j key.

I have signed up and created an avatar to play the simulation game Second Life, which has a million players (http://secondlife.com/) and is attracting the attention of advertisers like Reuters. Unfortunately, I�ve only been back once to Second Life, because my first life has been too busy. On Saturday night I sat in Scoble�s house watching his son play the X-Box360 game �Oblivion� on a huge home theatre screen with surround sound. It was very much like being at a movie, especially since Patrick is extremely good at this game.

I’ve been trying to do all this keeping up with technology while planning the First Annual Arizona Entrepreneurship Conference, attending the ESS EXPO 2006, cruising the most exotic Mediterranean islands, treating the respiratory infection I got on the plane home, planning next spring’s FastTrac program, and voting by mail for a bunch of ballot propositions that are not what they have been advertised to be.

And I burned a few more hours searching the web for toilets and showers for the bathrooms I�m redoing in my house. (Tip: go somewhere familiar, like the Kohler site or homeclick.com , find a product you like, and then type it into Google. Up will come all the other sites that carry that product at sometimes as much as 50% off. The Internet is a perpetual price war.

Oh, I also have a full time job as mother to a golden retriever who requires a lot of ball throwing.

So there are many aspects of every technology that I have still not mastered, and which I like to think are saved for the future: I still have to figure out how to voice dial on the Blackberry; build a home on the lot I bought in Second Life, and find out how to make good real estate investments there like I do in First Life; and watch more Internet TV.

No wonder you haven’t seen me in person lately 🙂

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Wedding Pictures

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The pictures on here are of the wedding of my daughter Samantha, which took place at the Navillus Birney winery in Glen Ellen, California on September 9, 2006. While I am not a sentimentalist, I was blown away by the wedding and I am now amazed by the technology that allows me to post these to Flickr and share the most endearing ones with you!

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FrancineRuralDev_1722.avi

FrancineRuralDev_1722.avi

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