Archive for January, 2011

“I Can See Your Stage”

Unless you run a blog, there’s a small part of the web that goes unseen by many: comment spam. Most blogs are moderated and spam-protected, so comment spam does not usually see the light of day. But that doesn’t stop people – robots/scripts actually – from trying. (continue reading…)


Can LinkedIn Make The Grade?

LinkedIn wants to be an integral piece of your social network. With 70MM users, and a planned IPO, it hopes it can be considered at the same level as Facebook or Twitter. But it seems to me that they have a lot of work to do.

In the past week, the service has been hit with numerous outages – some planned, some not. But while the planned downtime is forewarned via banner messages on the site, the un-intentional have gone un-reported, un-acknowledged, and un-explained. Worse yet, few in my small circle even noticed. This bipartisan disinterest has led some people to suggest that the world would not even notice if LinkedIn were to disappear.

The LinkedIn blog site has remained up throughout any downtime, but the posts are not providing explanations – choosing to announce open-source code contributions and what motivates a “Data Scientist”. Their Twitter feed, meanwhile, mentions absolutely nothing about uptime.

Instead, people are left to speculate and tweet on their own. Some have suggested that the outages are related to their new LA Data Center brought online in Dec. However, I have noticed some minor, though architecturally significant, features on the home page UI this week – such as a new-items count added to the title bar – and wonder if maybe the new codebase has proven to be less than bug-free.

Regardless, the mere fact that we have to speculate at all concerns me. If this were Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, or any of the popular online services, they would have kept users informed via out-of-band channels and provided a deeply technical post-mortem in the aftermath. For a social site that is geared for “professionals”, LinkedIn is being neither social nor professional. Instead, they are showing that they have a lot to learn about Customer Service.

How Do I Get To The Holodeck Controls?

I have not actually tried this yet, but the UI caught my eye. It looks like someone watched quite a bit of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” for interface ideas. The LCARS Reader for iPad looks a lot like the TNG Enterprise computer!

A one-stop media shop for $4.99. Claims to be an RSS Reader, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, and Picasa. Even Ebay and Craigslist interfaces, which I must admit is unique when compared to FlipBook, FLUD, Taptu, and others.

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