Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Lessons From Club Penguin

Wonder why the kids love Club Penguin? My daughter showed me this yesterday (see pre-Disney buy email below). She's 11, totally passionate about Club Penguin and was very humbled by the fact that Club Penguin took the time to write her back. Wow. From time to time, i send companies feedback on their products and generally speaking, I never hear boo and if i do it's usually some boring automated thanks for your feedback message. Lessons from Club Penguin. I love it.

From :
Subject : Club Penguin Support RE: Ticket: [1007094-21152]

Hello CeeCee,

Thank you for the great ideas.

It would be fun if we could actually eat and drink. It would make the pizza and coffee shops even more fun.

A mall would be fun too, especially if we could shop from all different kinds of shops.

I will be happy to pass on all of your ideas and the fact that you would like to see more games and rooms. If you have specific ideas for games, please feel free to share them with us. I cannot promise that we will be able to use your ideas, but I can promise that we appreciate the inspirations.

Keep up the creativity!
Club Penguin Fan Mail

From: CeeCee

Dear Clubpenguin,
i love your site!
I think we should be able to eat food from the restaurants and drink shops, we should also be able to work take orders and serve other penguins at the restaurants. You should open up a Mall that you can buy more things from and that members and penguins that are not members can shop from. Also there should be lots more rooms and games added. I hope you listen to my ideas.

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

That's Not Called Innovation

Great quote from Peter while talking about a particular company and what they are trying to do that they call innovation:

"That's not innovation - That's called improvement."

Got me thinking about how few companies and products really strive for and achieve true innovation. Innovation is a scary proposition and let’s face it, once companies try to minimize the risk by doing research, innovative products fail (Sony Walkman, Aeon Chair).

Innovation seems to me to be something that people tend to identify in retrospect. I think Blake Ross got it right. The next big thing isn't generally the brand new innovative thing. It's whatever makes that last big thing more usable. And that isn’t innovation. That’s improvement.

Saturday, 25 August 2007

One Degree Five Questions

I didn't get a chance to blog about the 5 Questions that Kate T. asked me on One Degree.

She asked me about ucaster, our business model, the choice not to include advertising in our models (especially as I work in advertising) and our current slow to market launch plans.

Photo credit to my very professional 11 year old child and her digital camera.

Friday, 24 August 2007

The Real Facebook Stalkers....Your Family

My mom was talking about joining Facebook this morning. Well isn't she in for a bit of a surprise.

My nephew has notes all over his walls about the digital camera she bought him that he has lost. My brother who has been too busy to call her back because he’s working so much has been spending hours on it. And my sister is posting blow by blow accounts of her 'exciting times' in Mykanos Greece.

Luckily for me, I had already read Howard Lindzon's post
Guilt 2.0 and My Mother is friending me on Facebook (which made me laugh - which could be because it's funny or else I am a bit delirious from my 48 hr trip from hell back from Australia so I am thinking everything is funny).

So sorry Mom, and you can blame Howard. I won't be accepting your request. But remember, I love you and see you next week for Sushi.


Thursday, 23 August 2007

Finally A Valid Reason For Women Not Running Software Companies

According to Anil Dash, "How will this software get my users laid" should be on the minds of anyone writing social software (and these days, almost all software is social software).

In his words:

"Your "use case" should be, there's a 22 year old college student living in the dorms. How will this software get him laid?"

First rational reason I've heard for men running software companies. We’ll just categorize this under the 'sad but true' banner.


update: Anil made a clarification in the comments - and just to be clear, my posting was more a tongue in cheek one over previous debates for women as valid technology entrepreneurs - Anil has often been a big supporter in fact of more women in technology - here's a link to a previous posting where I quoted him on his posting, Boys Clubs Are For Losers

Mango Map Has Launched

My brother has officially launched his companies new product Mangomap.

According to the site:

"Mango is a fully featured turnkey Internet GIS system. Our rich user friendly interface has been designed to allow you to share your geospatial and related data sets with non-expert users via a powerful and highly secure yet simplistic web browser interface."

Jeff had a really successful launch at a recent mapping conference with people particularly feeling their user experience was leaps ahead of their competition.

So now you know, if you need a Internet based GIS system, you know where to go. And feel free to tell him his sister sent you (I'm still working on getting myself a free Garmin handheld)..

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Sharing On A Stick

cross-posted from the official oponia blog

While i have versions of ucaster on every computer I own, what I also wanted to be able to do was give any computer I happen to be using the same capability without forcing anyone to download the program if they didn't want to.

So, Vanessa (our CTO) made it so that you can download a version of ucaster and install it on to a flash drive for 'instant sharing on a stick'. You choose the version you want (i have separate sticks for MACs and PCs), choose a new URL and then just plug it into any compatible computer and voila! You can send away. As we like to say, drag, drop and your done.

We've opened up the download now so anyone can try it. Have a go yourself and happy sharing.

Friday, 10 August 2007

Digital Remembrances: A Memorial To An Old Friend

For the fourth time this year, I have had the tragic news that a friend has unexpectedly died – a life cut exceptionally short.

I haven’t seen Chris in a long time. It’s funny how people come and go and yet still somehow remain as part of your present. Chris was a big part of my twenties.
He was my ex-husbands oldest and dearest friend and was the god father to my 11 year old daughter. As happens often with break-ups, one tends to lose those friendships that are more closely aligned with the other partner. And yet, Chris always sent me love and kisses as our mutual admiration was felt through the connection of CeeCee who would bring back news of his travels and many adventures.

What I didn’t know however, and was only told by my ex- the other day – is that Chris has been blogging for the past year. How strange an experience of suddenly missing someone who is now gone only a couple of days only to find them online once again.

Having not seen Christos in years, I have now spent hours with him on the Web, having experienced an almost surreal remembrance of the many amazing times we had together and discussions over the first version of his Sundial poems that he showed me now over 12 years ago now, which are completed and published online.

In his blogger profile, Chris says of himself:

“I write poetry, literary fiction, as well as on philosophy, terrorism, foreign policy, and anything else that comes into my head...”

I wish I had known he was blogging so I could have followed along and converse with him (and yes Chris, even argue with you a bit ;). But how lucky I feel that I am able to feel him just one last time through his blog, now a digital memorial to his amazing life and life’s work.

S’agrapo Christos. Gone but not forgotten. You will truly be missed.

Friday, 3 August 2007

Light Blogging

It's been insane working on multiple consulting projects while launching ucaster for the past six weeks. Of course it continues but I will be taking a break at least for a long long long (did i mention long?) plane flight.

Going down under. See you from the otherside of the world.

(It's really in these moments that I wish I didn't hate to fly so much)

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Imagining the Preamble For The Big Strategic Brainstorming For Every Media Company In America

I think it's going something like this:

"Team, this is an emergency meeting.

Our data and research group has come back and shown us the curve and basically our core audience will all be dead within 10 years. Advertisers are leaving us in droves. Our revenue is down.

Disney just bought Club Penguin...
That damn Facebook kid refuses to sell...
Murdoch got Myspace and is going to make the wall street journal online free...

We are here today to figure out our strategic next steps. Anyone got any ideas?

Yes Bob?"

"We could buy that Treehugger Site"

"Already been bought by Discovery Channel. Anyone else? Anyone? How about you Jane?"

" Um....I think we should invite that really techno kid, whatshisname, you know the summer student?"

“Great idea Jane. Ok, let’s reschedule this meeting until the kid can make it.”

Access The Right Version Always Using ucaster

cross-posted from the offical oponia blog

So I realize that there are all sorts of things for elaborate collaboration. But I am just a gal of habit. i use Microsfot office. There. I said it.

Anyhew, my consulting business partner often wants to see where i am at in a document at any given time. I used to get a nuber of IM or email requests - can you send me the latest yada yada. That was until ucaster.

What i have started doing is working on my project folders right in a password protected fileshare folder that she has access to through a regular web browser. That way she can go the folder url whenever she wants to get my latest versions even and including up to the moment as i work on it and it auto-saves. Saves me hassle. Makes her feel more in control while i never have to worry about someone else editing or touching the actually document itself (documents that are written by five people always sound like they have been cobbled together vs. many people working together but one person writes it - just my humble opinion)

Like I said, not elaborate. Not complicated. Not full featured collaboration. Just the right tool to get the job done in the right way. Try it. You won’t believe how much easier it will make your life.

To get a download key just go here and i'll hook ya up. :)

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