For those who are not familiar with Spotplex, it offers up a snippet of code that blog owners can install on their site. That snippet does two things. First, it provides information about its traffic to the blog owner, much like Google Analytics. Second, and most interesting, it uses traffic data from the sites that have this code snippet installed to determine the most popular stories in a variety of categories. One … Read more
I am in Tokyo this week as we launch MuleSource in Japan. Pics and posts to come as I recover from the 11-hour flight. Somehow I managed to forget my watch, so I am not convinced that the flight was only 11 hours. It felt like multiple lifetimes.
At our Wii-off last week several people asked me if they should start considering expansion into global markets and specifically Japan. The answer is if your company is doing less than $10 million in revenue, probably not. The reason we're going for it is because there is a big push of … Read more
My colleague Hunter Smith of frog design has used his entrepreneurial spirit to launch a budding start-up based on his two greatest passions: eco-design and skateboarding. Hunter's company, aptly named SuperGreen Boards, employs some of the most advanced eco-friendly technologies for producing custom longboards, slalom, and speedboards.
SuperGreen Boards uses bamboo, which is not only beautiful, strong, and flexible but is also sustainably harvested. Maple wood, known as the gold standard for skateboards because of its strength under the pressure of the rider, takes a minimum of 100 years to mature before it can be used. Bamboo, in comparison, … Read more
It was just over a year ago that Facebook opened up member restrictions to move from college kids to the rest of the world. This was clearly a good strategy as Facebook now has an astronomical valuation and a huge userbase. The question is what was/is the impact on the core audience (college kids) that made the site what it is today?
There are a number of sites that have sprung up like College Tonight and ConnectU, but none of them seem to be as captivating as Facebook itself. As TechCrunch's Mark Hendrickson writes:Let's say you … Read more
For those of you who don't know me, I am the CEO and Co-founder of MuleSource, an open source company. We develop infrastructure and integration software that competes with BigCos at somewhere between 10-20% of what they charge. We are considered a market disrupter as we provide a product that is both innovative and competitive to incumbents at a fraction of the cost. … Read more
NBC and News Corp.'s new Internet video site Hulu is finally seeing the light of day. On Monday, Hulu finally launched the private beta of its site, which includes almost 100 different TV series and movies. After a number of delays, Hulu has its site out the door in October, as promised.
Hulu is a Web platform for viewing and sharing TV shows, movies, and clips. The programming selection (via NewTeeVee PDF) for Hulu on launch is pretty impressive. Content providers include Fox, NBC, E, Bravo, FX, SciFi, USA, and Universal. Hopefully, we will start to see some more … Read more
Link to The Duck Rabbit minisite
Today, Techmeme unveiled a new feature that they call the "Techmeme Leaderboard." The leaderboard essentially makes data that Techmeme has had for years available to readers. It lists the top 100 sources for Techmeme stories, ranked by Presence, which is described as, "...the … Read more
You'd think it would've drawn crowds.
TechCrunch founder and controversial Valley 2.0 icon Michael Arrington was making a rare appearance in New York, moderating a panel at the DigitalLife trade show on Thursday night. And the panel in question, called "The Disruptors," included a few of the start-up world's hottest names: Napster, Plaxo, and Facebook veteran Sean Parker (currently of the Founders Fund); Oovoo CEO Philippe Schwartz; SpinVox co-founder Daniel Doulton; IGA Worldwide CEO Justin Townsend; and Ooma founder Andrew Frame. Considering the resurgence of tech culture and startup spirit in New York in … Read more
I got an email from Fred von Lohmann of the Electronic Frontier Foundation yesterday. It began, "Half the companies you blog about have copyright or privacy legal issues simmering just under the surface. Since most of them are thinly capitalized, when they get into trouble, they're likely to call EFF for legal advice. Several already have."
I called von Lohmann right away, since I've had a nagging feeling for months that too many of the interesting products I've been seeing were legally shaky. So I talked with him to come up with this list: 9 Fun Ways Web 2.0 Startups Can Commit Legal Suicide.
For more information than can fit in a blog post, you might want to check out the EFF's upcoming Compliance Bootcamp on Oct. 10 in Mountain View. I told von Lohmann I'd link to the event in exchange for this preview.
1. Ignoring the rules of Safe Harbor Many media sharing sites, like SimplifyMedia, exist in a narrow legal framework carved out of the DMCA. But you can't take advantage of the Safe Harbor provisions of the DMCA if you don't register as a "copyright agent." All that's required is filling out a form and paying an $80 fee. You can't get protection without registering. As von Lohmann said, "The difference between you and Napster might be this form."
2. Ignoring the Terms of Service chain This applies to sites that collect or aggregate data--like Mint, which collects its users' financial information. The sites where the data are coming from may have terms of service that prohibit their users from sharing them with third parties. Sites that collect this information may be seen as encouraging breech of contract, which is a legal exposure.
3. Falling for a sob story If you're collecting personal information from or about people, there will be other people who want it. They may call up your company and give someone there a convincing story to get it. If your team falls for this "pretexting," or social engineering, users can sue you for exposing their information.