TechCrunch 3rd Summer Meetup

Going to TechCrunch’s 3rd summertime fling wasn’t at the top of my list for a Friday night. I ignored the event until Twitter-aided social alchemy came into play.

I was without Twitter for 10 days. A series of epic hardware/software fails kept me off the grid. On the eleventh day I settled in with a reconditioned Lenovo (oy!) and installed Twhirl. One of the first tweets I spied was Arrington putting up 200 invites for grabs. I jumped on it. Within 4 minutes all were taken.

The gig started at 5.30. Not that the Valley is a 9 – 5 place, but I figured that there would be a lot of Fred Flintstones sliding down the tail of their dino at 5 and making their way to Sand Hill Road. I got there at 6.30 to find a minor traffic jam adjudicated by rentacops. Once parked, there was a long line, but the socializing wasn’t bad. The shock for me was this…. young entrepreneurs being carded at the door. The borders of the sub 21 crowd’s badges had a different color to indicate their lack of drinking age.

I often ask myself why I give up a Friday night to attend such events. After all, none of the ideas are nearly as interesting as what you can find at MIT’s Media Lab or Stanford’s AI lab. The reward I get is seeing so many old friends. These are the ones that were there when this whole damn thing got started. I won’t name names, but they are the ones that were ambling about the West Coast Computer Faire thinking that this is cool shit.

Every generation has inventors. There are visionaries born every day. I just hope that none of us ever forget that seeing the unseen is still the game. We all need a bigger dose of that.

Social Hacks

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Ok, I agree with Loren Feldman about Seesmic. I followed a link from Twitter to some guy’s rant about social hacks. The title was irresistible. It drove me to register on Seesmic with the key I got from Rafe. What I found was an articulate rant, but I couldn’t leave a text comment! Damn. Let me leave a text comment please! I don’t want to brush my teeth, comb my hair, or fire up the lights. I just want to comment. The need to comment on Eric’s vid is why I wrote this post.

Eric Rice caught my attention because he used two of my favorite words in sequence, social and hack. Eric suggests that profiles can be set up that are not real people. As if this does not go on right now? Come on. Still, he had an important vidpost:

There are two threads of thought I’d like to share. One is humanity’s penchant for fantasy and the other is a reminder that the Turing Test hasn’t been passed by silicon…yet.

Marc Canter advocates that social networks allow multiple personas. The profile you show from 9 to 5 may be different than the one you show from midnight to 3. The details have yet to be worked out, but Marc’s idea conforms well with human nature. We present ourselves situationally in real life. Static profiles aren’t flexible enough.

Alan Turing’s test has not been passed by any bit of code that I know about yet. Bots in chat rooms are easily spotted and fake profiles are easily discovered. If you’re spending so much time online that you can’t distinguish people from proxies, it’s time to jack out and take a vacation.

Dead Bird

I tried connnecting Twitter to my Facebook account today. The resulting message from Twitter did not look good.

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I remained optimistic that at least I could get ZuPort’s Flickr feed going. That’s a no brainer in WordPress. Stymied again!

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Go home yourself, eh?