Techmeme Bandwagon Jumpers

January 23rd, 2008 | Categories: blogs, marketing, networks, off topic, social media, strategy, trends

TechMeme Leaderboard logoLet it be known that I love Techmeme. Along with Digg, I read it every day. I would imagine this is the daily routine of many other bloggers as well. I think there is some great content on there. This blog has hit the front page a few times and witnessed a surge in traffic. For this reason, I’d love to be promoted within the “Techmeme ecosystem”. The added exposure and increased subscribers are wonderful byproducts. But in order to do so, I may have to conform to the unwritten rules.

Techmeme is a “club”. Only a very small percentage of blogs will achieve front page status. I think it’s safe to say that 0.1% of blogs receive 100% of the coverage. These include TechCrunch, Engadget, and the New York Times to name a few. To attain membership to this club, there are a few ways to expedite the process. These involve “selling out” to some extent:

  1. Writing about any and every breaking tech story, following the lead of many of the top tech blogs. This usually involves regurgitating the news on a time-sensitive basis.
  2. Linking, trackbacking, and adding blogs to your blogroll just because they are the A-listers. Obviously, if value is present, then do so. But flattery and conformity are just plain weak.

In other words, writing about popular topics and linking to popular blogs will facilitate a boost in the Techmeme hierarchy.

Much has been said about the Techmeme system. Is it a manual process? Does it involve complicated algorithms? Who knows… One thing is certain though: promotion should be based on the value and analysis provided rather than political reasons.

Assuredly, I’m not willing to link to blogs that I don’t care about just for the sake of Techmeme. I’m also not willing to blog about a certain topic because it is “hot” at the moment, even though all the top blogs may be doing so. In any given blog post, it is my goal to add value and provide a new perspective. If I fail to achieve either, I have failed myself and my readers.

Note: I do link to some of the top tech blogs on my blogroll, but only because I find them informative and insightful. I do not have any ulterior motives.

Is Ruby on Rails The Future?

January 22nd, 2008 | Categories: design, off topic, social media, strategy, trends

Ruby on Rails logoFirst, let me say that I am not a programmer. Apart from basic HTML and CSS, I’m useless when it comes to coding. For this reason, my discussion around Ruby on Rails will take place at a high level.

Ruby on Rails is a web application framework written in the Ruby programming language. It was designed to decrease the time and effort needed to launch a database-driven website. Today we find more and more start-ups taking advantage of the platform. These companies recognize the value in such a framework. It provides an immediate jump-start.

Extracted from 37signals’ Basecamp, Ruby on Rails is exploding in popularity. Although hype and buzz are abound, the framework seems to be backing up all claims and continues to impress. Popular sites and services that are built off Ruby on Rails include Twitter, Revolution Health and

Downfalls and issues surrounding the framework seem to be few. Having said that, I keep hearing about potential scalability problems. My lack of insight in the area prevents me from providing an opinion. Obviously there are opportunity costs with every decision - but perhaps there are the fewest with respect to Ruby on Rails.

So I ask all the web developers, programmers, and coders out there: Is Ruby on Rails the future of the web? Or are there other superior frameworks out there that either haven’t caught on yet or failed to generate as much press?

Favourite Canadian Tech Blogs

January 21st, 2008 | Categories: blogs, networks, off topic, social media

Maple LeafI often get asked which blogs I read on a frequent basis. To be honest, my RSS reader is crammed with over 100 feeds. This makes it nearly impossible to stay on top of all the headlines. Nevertheless I still scan over them on a daily basis. If a post title jumps out at me, I delve in. Having said that, there are a small number of blogs I read more often than others. It may seem like national bias, but most of my favourite tech blogs are Canadian tech blogs. The perspectives, writing styles, and post topics are engaging and thought-provoking. So here is the short, but sweet, list:

Extra kudos go out to Matt Ingram. He’s consistently been headlining Techmeme with interesting content.

For more information about the 3 blogs listed above, visit my older post My Favourite Blogs and Why. Note that Mark Evans no longer blogs at Maple Leaf 2.0, but the rather obvious Mark Evans Tech.

Other notable Canadian tech blogs include StartupNorth and TechVibes (whom I blog for). Both are focused on profiling Canadian start-ups and events.

Be sure to add your favourites in the comments.

If You Like Pandora or, Check Out Jango

January 18th, 2008 | Categories: design, launch, music, networks, social media, trends

Jango logoJango hit the scene in mid 2007 and has soared ever since. The company describes itself as “Social Internet Radio”. Similar to Pandora and, Jango allows users to create customized radio stations and discover new artists.

The beauty of the system lies in the social network component. Some of the social features that Jango has integrated include:

  • Adding friends and listening to their stations
  • Viewing artist suggestions
  • Rating artists’ songs
  • Discovering “Like-Minds”, i.e. users who have very similar music taste to you

The service is completely free and no dowload is required. The New York-based startup is a legal service and has been licensed by ASCAP, BMI, SESAC and SoundExchange.

Revenues are generated via affiliate music sales. Jango has agreements with both Amazon and iTunes. I would imagine that an advertising model may emerge as well.

I tried out the service and I really enjoyed it. It was a nice, refreshing touch. The interface is slick and intuitive. Creating a station and discovering new music is simple. I would encourage everyone to try it out - especially those outside the US. After all, Jango may take over where Pandora stumbled… seems like good timing.

Web 2.0 Rapidfire

January 17th, 2008 | Categories: launch, marketing, markets, networks, social media

I get a lot of post requests by various companies. Rarely do I have the time to fulfill all their wishes. Nevertheless, I appreciate their thought and consideration, and often I do find time to profile a single company. In this case, I’d like to highlight a bunch of companies that have contacted me. I will include a one-line pitch and you can decide whether you want to delve deeper. Without further ado, here they are:

ScheduleOnce - Easy meeting scheduling tool.

PostMapper - Plots Wordpress blog posts on a central map.

WOT (Web of Trust) - Social-based website trust ratings.

AdRoll - Collaborative, niche ad network.

TagItOn - Centralized discussion facilitation tool.

Fixya - Community-based tech support.

There you have it… that’s the list. I’d appreciate any opinions or perspectives relating to the companies listed above. If the companies have anything to add, please do so.

Innovative ideas are what inspire me. I think that all these concepts are genuine and merit further scrutiny. Obviously not everyone can benefit from all products and services, but perhaps one may make your life a heck of a lot easier.