While I was waiting for BlogOn to start, I made a pilgimage to Fry's. While people on the West Coast may take this chain for granted, there's nothing like it in Boston, except perhaps for You-do-it Electronics which is one tenth the size.
Fry's has aisle upon aisle of electronic components:
Obscure tools you can purchase nowhere else:
And, since no geek should need to shop anywhere else, plenty of food to fuel one's creative energies:
It seems it was only six months ago that everyone I knew was signing up for LinkedIn, Orkut, and every other Social Networking service. Every day I got a slew of invitations to be someone's friend, many from people I never heard of, until I had 297 connections on LinkedIn and 96 on Orkut. That's nowhere close to Marc Canter, but enough to be able to see the potential. It was fun to renew old contacts and see who else my friends knew, but the real question was what else would this be useful for.
I get the occasional request to introduce someone I've never heard of to a famous person I barely know, but for me the prime utility has been to maintain my address book in an era where people would sooner have sex with someone that tell them their email address. (Remember when you would go to an industry event and come home with a list of people and their emails? No more in the Age of Spam.)
What about you? Are you still getting lots of "be my friend" requests or have all your friends signed up or given up? Is the pig still moving through the python? Have you made a valuable business contact, landed a job, or got a date through Social Networking? Please let me know.
One thing I've learned in the software industry is that as much as we love to dream up and build innovative new things to do with computers, customers care first and foremost that the thing just works. In building ASAP we've devoted many hours to boring things such as working with NATs, firewalls, proxy servers, various versions of Flash, different operating systems, USB cameras, etc, etc. Often it's not very gratifying...until we get unsolicited testimonials like this. Please keep those cards and letters coming!
Chuck Digate & I founded Convoq in the Summer of 2002. Our ambition was to build a tool for communications that combined the spontaneity and convenience of instant messaging with the rich communications capability of audio, video, and data conferencing.