Thoughts on GSM

My thoughts on the first Got Social Media Conference:

Erica O’Grady and Kelsey Rutger put on an excellent conference yesterday at the Houston Technology Center. Got Social Media was an advanced introduction to social media today. Many thoughtful presentations. Here’s a few insightful remarks I took away from the conference:

  • “Markets As Conversation” – yes, something I’ve always advocated, and is a sub-text of the “Austrian School” approach to economics. Sorely lacking, though, in mainstream economics.
  • “Customers like having a voice”. Echos of above
  • non-profits online (in social media space) are spending a lot of time saying “thank you”. This is a nice lesson that I think the non-profits I work with will love to emphasize.
  • “Women are motivated by respect, being listened to” – Laura Mayes. Yes, there are gender differences in markets, and marketing. I’ve often stated that shopping is the ultimate expression of capitalism, and women are, stereotypically, the ultimate shoppers … so, by extension, women are the ultimate capitalists! Recognizing this, I think we will see, in the long run, a “softening” of markets and businesses – there will be more listening, more give-and-take … and hopefully less exploitation, fraud, and con games in the marketplace. But, that takes me to: Continue reading Thoughts on GSM

iPhone 1.1.3 upgrade is awesome

Just downloaded the latest upgrade to the iPhone.  While the 1.1.2 upgrade was just some patch fixes, this newest upgrade is really a fantastic enhancement to the iPhone.  Stunning even.  Just one feature to mention: location finding!  Using cell tower triangulation, the iPhone can plot your current location on a map.  Very, very cool.  Click the location button on the Google map, and after a bit of a pause, to do some calculations, the map will zoom into your location, with a circle drawn around the most probable location.

The circle will be bigger or smaller, depending on how accurate the data it’s using.  Sometimes, it hits me dead on to my current location; at other times (like, when I drove along Westheimer, within the loop), it was a bit off, drawing a circle about a mile wide.  In any case, a very, very helpful tool – I guess I won’t be needing a GPS device anytime soon!

Map pinning is a nice new feature too, as is the ability to customize the home screen.  Now I can put my favorite web pages (like the Houston Transtar real-time traffic map) directly on the home screen as an icon, avoiding a few extra clicks – first click Safari, then click bookmarks, then click the Transtar link.  Very convenient.  More apps to come soon, I’m sure, so that’s why they’re making room on the home page.

Stunning.  Now, if I could only think of a cool corporate tax application to write for the iPhone.  Hmmm??!!

Got Social Media?

“It’s the event of the year!”. “You can’t miss this one!!”. “This is a must-do event!!!”

OK, I don’t subscribe to hype … and there’s never a “must-do” social event in my book. But, if you want to go to a really cool seminar, to learn and be inspired, let me recommend the upcoming “Got Social Media?” event, January 24. Hosted by my friend Erica O’Grady and the uber-cool Kelsey Rutger, the event will also feature talks by the personable Ed Schipul and the sultry smart Laura Mayes, co-founder of Sk*rt, among others.

Yeah, this will be a cool event – I hope to see you there 🙂


Well, no wonder my friend Luigi Bai has been so circumspect about his software development activities — his company has been in stealth mode! But now they’re out and about, and visible too. StashCast Media has just launched their website, and they’re promising to be a great new entry in the social media space.

Congratulations, Luigi, on your new venture, and best of luck to you!!


I’ll be presenting at the Houston NetSquared meeting tomorrow.  The topic is Ten Thousand Villages, Fair Trade, and Social Media.  I don’t know much about the 3rd subject — that’s why I’m presenting, as I hope to learn something from the audience!


There was an old tradition in the computer world – especiallly in the Unix culture – of giving computers “colorful” named, grouped in some constellation of words, such as, oh, constellations, colors, cartoon characters, beers, and so on.This tradition has been supplanted, sadly, in much of corporate IT – coming from a PC culture. – of “embedded data” names or sequential numbers. You get computer names like HOUSQL001 – note the numeric range being reserved here, because you “might” get 998 other computers with the same location and function. Or, you get a simple US1421, a random number drawn out of a hat.This is boring. And wrong too. What happens if your computer changes location? Or function? Or takes on an additional function, like Mail? I have run in to IT managers that say “we just rename the machine”. Yikes!This is wrong, because computers have personality. Colorful .names are easier to remember and associate. I can always remember that Polaris is in our. Boston data center, and is our chief guidance center sits it runs DNS. I can never remember if US1187 is in Denver or Miami, nor what how it differs from US1178. This truly is a safety issue, if obe of them is a test machine and can be rebooted at will, while the other runs a life support system (and yes, I have logged in to the wrong customer’s machines before, about to issue a destructive command!) Continue reading Personality

SEC Day 2

I’m at UH’s Software Engineering Conference again. Notes on some of the speakers:- Ben Galbraith – ajaxian.comThe conference organizers gave out incentives for the audience to ask questions: free books!  In response to my one question (toward the end of the day), I received two books: Grady Booch’s classic on Object-Oriented Design (already had it), and another book I’ve never heard of:  What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counter-culture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry. It’s been a very fun read so far: introducing personalities in our industry that I’m already familiar with (Engelbart, Ted Nelson, Alan Kay, etc.), but in a whole new light: sex, drugs, and rock & roll!  Lots of acid trips here. To note: Bill Gates completely missed out on this aspect of the personal computer industry 🙂 


I purposely keep a bit behind on the technology gadget curve; otherwise, I’d buy every new technology as soon as I could play with it! Instead, I wait until I truly “need” it. Well, I had been planning for quite a while to replace my current phone with something a bit more advanced, like keep my calender and contacts at my fingertips. But, verizon has crippled their Bluetooth phones , making such features highly unlikely. But, I was locked in a contract! I’ve had “October 2007” earmarked in my calender quite some time now! Coincidently, along came the iPhone. At first I ignored the hype. But after I got one of these babies in my hands, all I could say was “wow!”

This is a remarkably amazing interface. Apple has always been leaders in user interface/human factors design, and this device takes them to new heights. Awesome – are there any better superlatives I can use?

I’m hooked.

— from my iPhone


Yesterday evening, I dropped in on the OpMom launch party.  This is a new social networking site, devoted to busy moms.  This is another interesting Houston-based software company, founded by — of course, a busy mom.

Check out the site — it’s pretty cool.