The View from Guidewire: Needs a New Name

I don’t know about you but this title ain’t doing it for me. I tend to shorten things and calling it ‘The View’ only brings to mind four women who yell at each other about subjects they don’t know much about. Something snappier, zippier is needed. Suggestions?

It was a quiet week around the technosphere, with only an ill Steve Jobs, a slash-happy Google, a new Yahoo CEO, and a plane crash to keep us occupied.

News from the Social Media Vortex

-But what should really keep you up at night is the news that Robert Scoble hit a mark of 25,000 followers on FriendFeed. It was the top post on FriendFeed this week, with a convoluted comment explosion involving phrases likeĀ  ‘augmented cognition’ and ‘homophilous networks’. What we should instead discuss is that Scoble now has a literal army of followers. A takeover of a small state is sure to follow. I nominate Rhode Island or Delaware.

-Burger King introduced a Facebook app in which users received a free Whopper for every 10 friends they deleted on the social network. Over 50,000 friends were sacrificed on the first day and 230,000 by week’s end. But Facebook quickly got wise and crippled a key feature, resulting in Whopper Sacrifice ultimately sacrificing itself.

-The social channels were put through their paces yesterday with the announcement of Steve Jobs’ medical leave in the morning and a miraculous plane crash in the afternoon. No snarky comments from me; it was one of those days when social media really proved its worth. From amazing instantaneous pictures of the crash to constant updates and discussion on both subjects, it was solid proof of what sometimes frivolous technologies can mean in the real world.

Special Inaugural Section (or Sweet Jesus Mary It’s Almost Over)

-Those of you stuck at your desks on Tuesday can tune into Joost for livestream coverage of the inauguration.

-Can’t livestream? Write your own speech with the Inauguration Speech Generator. See if you can out-hope and out-change our new President.

-And for the wonks out there, the great 10 Links a Day blog has put together all manner of sites (well, just 10 actually) for Inaugural info.

-Last but most certainly not least, drop by your local Krispy Kreme next Tuesday for a free doughnut. If for no other reason than just to annoy these people.

Tweet of the Week

Goes to Jason Meserve, who made me laugh out loud just after I published last week’s wrap-up: “Guy next to me at McCarran is going to transform the medical/pharmaceutical business. He just needs some cash. I hate him.”


-I like to title this story, “When Tweets Go Bad.” A PR rep from Ketchum made the mistake of tweeting that Memphis may not be the most fabulous town on the planet. FedEx, it turns out, doesn’t have a sense of humor about that kind of thing. Am I only the one who’s far more concerned with his typos?

-We are not, it turns out, completely made of stone. The top FriendFeed post of the week was a collective ooh and ahh over one damn cute baby, Miss Audrey Moskovitz. Congratulations Akiva and Rochelle! Really, she’s gorgeous.

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Engaged with Adobe

I am spending the morning with about 120 of Adobe’s customers and developers at the company’s second Engage event at San Francisco’s DogPatch Studios.

Throughout the day, developers are showing the work they’re doing with Adobe’s tools, including the AIR platform which was officially launched from beta today. Here are a few of the demos I saw this morning.

shifd logoShifD was born of a Yahoo! hack event in London a while ago and was launched last night by The New York Times Company. The application lets you easily move content from Web sites to your desktop and/or mobile phone. We’ve seen this application before, but ShifD seems to be super simple. The app is fresh into beta and there are kinks to be worked out, but the developers expect to open up an API in the future.

DEMO fans got a first look at Sprout last month at DEMO 08. The Engage audience got a look today, as Carnet Williams walked the audience through building a sprout rich media player. Sprout lets you gather up media assets from any live Web site or upload them yourself. The beta is live now and open for public trail.

FedEx showed a desktop application that provides real-time status of package movement through the FedEx delivery system. The app brings better convenience and more information directly to the customer, and provides real-time alerts to improve customer experience. The application was built in-house in about 12 weeks on the Flex platform. is a marketplace that links the global manufacturing economy. The site has created a rich internet application to coordinate transactions among suppliers, manufacturers, and customers. This may not be the application you rush to, but it is a great example of a rich Web application.

I’m on next, in conversation with Adobe CIO Kevin Lynch. We’re due to talk about a range of things modestly summarized as “what’s next for the Web.”