What goes around… OR Living The Dream


So this post is a long time coming but I finally got it together and it’s a doosie.  As I had posted a while ago about following my dreams, I in fact went out to Petaluma, CA to hang out with Leo Laporte and his entourage for a week.  First, I have to give a big thanks to my wife Kim for allowing this to come to fruition.  She is a huge supporter of everything I do and I love her; she completely handled the house and the kids for the week while I was out “playing” with Leo.  It was really “work” but when you love what you do and get to hang with your idols it can easily be classified as “play”.  I consider myself a Leo Fanboy so I will stipulate that this was more play than anything.


My time in Petaluma was great.  Leo’s staff was extremely welcoming and friendly.  I immediately got a great vibe from them.  They are serious about what they are doing.  They want to grow their business but are not going to rush into something simply because they can.  And I believe they can.  They are able to maintain a high quality of life while continuing to be a force to reckon with the technology media space.  Leo was great, down to earth and easy to work with.  I could easily see myself moving to Petaluma to work for him…


Come on, one can dream.



I realized before the trip that there was a chance that I wouldn’t actually be able to affect much seeing that I would only be there a week, so upon arrival I focused on things I could easily accomplish or lay ground work for someone else to finish.  I think it worked out well even though most of my stuff was probably lost.  But that is something you get used to when you build software – it is often 3 steps forward, 2 steps back to achieve greatness.  I am happy to see that one project that I worked on with Colleen, Twit Picks, rolled out recently.  http://twit.tv/picks


After I left The Cottage, I soon started my new gig at Unigo.com as the CTO.  Since then it has been a whirlwind of development, press, and networking.  While in Petaluma, my initial thought was that I would keep on consulting on the side for Leo.  I really wanted to finish what I started because I really enjoyed working with that group.  But after I returned home that idea was quickly put aside for my new CTO responsibilities. 



After a couple months at Unigo along with some decent press I reached out to Leo and Amber MacArthur suggesting that my CEO Jordan Goldman would make a great guest on net@night, one of the TWIT Network’s podcasts.  net@night covers the Web2.0 space.  Unfortunately at that time my emails went unanswered and life went on.



  Robert Scoble and Barry Goldberg  

After another month or so, we were able to score an interview with another one of my idols, Robert Scoble. 

Tweet about Scobleizer


Jordan and I met Robert downtown at the Club Quarter hotel.  Robert was also great and seemed genuinely interested in our business model and our offering.  I got to see Robert  again just recently at SXSW…but I don’t believe he remembered me.  Of course ones memory is impaired while at SXSW.   This was the only interview I actually got a little face time.  Woo hoo.










  Walt Mossberg and Barry Goldberg  

A short time later we scored a really big fish AND another one of my idols, Walt Mossberg.  We affectionately refer to him as Uncle Walt. Jordan and I trained down to DC to meet Walt at his office.  We had heard that he really liked our site and that he may write about us.  I was so excited about this interview that I tweeted about it the day before. 

Tweet about Uncle Walt



After a week and a few dozen back and fourth emails Walt released a very favorable video and in-print review of Unigo in the Wall Street Journal paper and website. SCORE!

Review – online.wsj.com/article/SB123499498840816053.html



With all this great exposure I reached out to Leo one more time.  I heard through the grapevine` that Leo had been talking about it, but nothing happened.  I let it lie until a week ago when I heard Leo talking about his daughter’s search for information about Emerson College.  I emailed Leo again reminding him about Unigo.  This time it stuck and with a little luck I was able to get Jordan on net@night a couple days later.  The interview was great, at least I think so… Leo gave Unigo great praise and said some very nice things.  He also talked about yours truly a little which didn’t hurt either.






Mission accomplished.

Go for your whims.

In my post-TPR (The Princeton Review) – trying to figure out what I want to do state of mind I decided to do something a little different.  All of us get whims and in most cases, at least with myself, I tend to be all talk.  Lately, with a sort of "nothing to lose" attititude I decided to attempt to follow through with some of my whims.  One of these whims stemmed from my fan-boy status of a particular tech celebrity Leo Laporte.  I have been listening to his podcasts for years and watched him on TechTV before they went caput.  I have always admired him and been amazed by his overall knowledge of not only the history of technology but all things new and cool. 


So here is the beginning of the story.  I sent Leo a simple email volunteering my time for a week, where I would fly out to Petaluma and intern for him.  I truly didn’t care what I did for him.  Be it washing his car, making coffee or something more useful like help with his websites. 


To mitigate my barrier to entry I told him I would pay for all my own expenses.  A couple weeks later I got a message back from Mara, Leo’s email person.  She told me that she would pass my email over to Leo.  To be clear she told me that he reads all of his email eventually.  To my huge delight, I was soon contacted by Leo who extended the invitation to visit him. 


I am planning on going to Petaluma on Sept. 15-18. 


Let’s hear it for our whims.  More to come…


The MacArthur Manifesto

MacArthur Manifesto


While recently listening to an edition of the Net@Night podcast, Amber MacArthur introduced a new segment of the show called Beef of the Week.  She explained that she has basically been shutout of her Facebook account for months now.  Turns out that she has too many friend requests and the Facebook platform cannot handle it.  She is prevented from logging in and accepting the thousands of friends requests she has received.  When she reached out to Facebook their answer was basically that there was nothing they could do and that she might try deleting all of the people that were attempting to befriend her.  Not very social.  Now Amber is kind of a Social Network poster child in that she dedicates most of her time promoting social media and networking and believes that the web is the best place to form communities.  Seems to me that building their platform for and supporting users like Amber is in Facebook’s own best interest.

We use social networks like Facebook for many reasons.  Most people use it as a place where they can keep up with their friends no matter where they are.  But we are also seeing more and more groups being formed that relate to causes and charities.  These are very important communities and networks like Facebook become more relevant as they host and support them.  I spend a good part of my day thinking about how to promote organized social networks.  The questions I ask myself include what tools or mechanisms are best for a particular social network.  This typically boils down to a feature set and target demographic.  NOW I am thinking I have to also consider if the platform can handle the load. 

Should I create social networks on Facebook knowing they may not be able to handle it if it becomes popular?

User loyalty of Social Network websites has proven over time to be fickle.  For the most part users go where their friends are.  However, as we have seen in the past – my friends used to be at MySpace and now they are at Facebook.  In a couple months they could be somewhere else.  My main point is that if Facebook as a platform cant handle the vast numbers of people who flock to these types of communities they will fail and the users will go someplace else.

The Mission: To use Facebook against themselves.  We must convince Facebook to fix their platform and to support people like Amber so we can continue to build important social communities.  Maybe we should create a "Free Amber" Facebook Fan page.


First Post – Welcome

Came time that I needed a presence.  I used to redo my website every year, sometimes everys six months.  Well, it has been a while but lately I feel the necessity to jump back in.  Through WordPress I can get things off and running and the thought was I would spend my time creating content instead of design but then it took me two days to pick a theme that someone else made.  Best intentions I guess.   Thanks for visiting.

New York Tech Meetup on 1/8/2008

My Notes:

  • GoMoBo.com
    • EZ Pass in restaurants
    • Pretty kewl site; but for my every day it wont help me.
  • Tagiton.com
    • I don’t get it.
    • 6 degrees of separation communication
    • Seems spammy
  • Gilt.com
    • W00t for women
    • Not great
    • Membership based sales
  • Im in like with you
    • Blockles – they totally stole this from networked Tetris
    • Ruby, AS3/Flash
    • Kewl app
  • First
    • Commercial
    • Robots
  • TableXchange
    • I am torn on this one.  I tried to use it but of course nothing available at any restaurant I wanted to eat at when I wanted it.  I think it should have an RSS feed so I can see on any day what is available without visiting their site.