Thursday, June 25, 2009

2 Cent Tweets Anyone?

Given some estimates about Twitter's value of $250M [1],[2],[3], and that its current usage stats are 3M tweets per day, one cannot but wonder what's the cost-per-tweet? Suppose that it takes 10% of Twitter's value to keep the LEDs on Twitter's servers blinking (i.e. all operational costs are around $25M/year), and we consider the number of tweets per day is its currency,

$25M/year = approximately $2M/month = $200K/3 / day (1 month = 30 days)

At 3M tweets/day,

$200K/3 ~ 3M tweets

therefore,

1 tweet = 2.222... cents

So, would you pay 2 cents for every tweet you send? Alternatively, if you were an advertiser, or a sponsor, would you pay the 2 cents required by your "followees" to keep their tweets flowing?

Take the poll on the right.

Remarks: Obviously, if just the number of tweets/day continue to grow, the cost per tweet will decrease. However, I'm assuming that Twitter's operating cost will increase with the number of tweets/day. Whether it's going to be a 1:1 ratio, that's up for debate.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Squarespace Promotion: Smart or Annoying?

Squarespace is the number one trending topic at the moment. How so? They're giving away 30 iPhones in 30 days, that's how. That's a pretty good incentive to tweet about it. But does it work? Will all those tweets turn into new customers - or just annoy Twitter users? It's a fascinating experiment in promotion. What do you think? Take the poll.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Would you pay for cross-browser testing?

Yesterday, Adobe announced it is offering a free preview of its BrowserLab service, which allows Web developers to quickly see what their site looks like on a number of browsers. Designers can compare a site in two browsers side by side as well as use an "onion skin" mode that shows a site in multiple browsers overlaid one on top of the other.



With Adobe Dreamweaver® CS4 BrowserLab adds powerful functionality such as the ability to test local content and different states of interactive pages.

I haven't had a chance to test Adobe's service out, but it sounds like it will save designers a lot of time and frustration. I could also see this service advancing the state of browser compatibility. Just think about it: all these users doing cross-browser compatibility testing should generate a lot of factual information about which browsers deliver compliant layouts.

But here's the catch: while Adobe said the preview version would be free, it plans to charge at some point.

We all know that Adobe software isn't cheap. Do you think Adobe should continue to offer BrowserLabs as a free service - at least for designers that own Adobe Dreamweaver® CS4? Take the poll on the right.

If anyone has tried BrowserLab out, please comment about your first impressions.

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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Microsoft Project Natal - Is This For Real?

Yesterday, at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Microsoft unveiled "Project Natal," pronounced "nuh-tall" and a code name for a revolutionary new way to play video games, no controller required. Natal is a sensor that combines an RGB camera, depth sensor, multi-array microphone, and custom processor running proprietary software all in one device.

Unlike 2-D cameras and controllers, "Project Natal" tracks your full body movement in 3-D, while responding to commands, directions and even a shift of emotion in your voice.

This is absolutely something that you must see in order to believe. In fact, here's the promo video on YouTube. Go watch it and then come back. I'll wait... I promise.

Ok, did you watch it? Great.

Now I'm a little skeptical. There's just a little too much going on here. I'm no expert on recognition software but this looks a little too good to be true. I mean, it's a great idea and all, but...

What do you think. Are you stoked about Natal - saving your pennies? Or do you think it's too good to be true? Take the poll.

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Monday, June 1, 2009

Will You Try Microsoft's Bing Search Engine?

Microsoft's Bing is the latest search engine to challenge to the dominance of Google. In a press release Microsoft describes Bing as:
...a new search experience and consumer brand, outlining a new approach to helping customers use search to make better decisions. This “Decision Engine” approach focuses initially on four key user tasks and related areas: making a purchase, planning a trip, researching a health condition or finding a local business.
For the fun of it, I did a quick search using the keywords "spymaster twitter" to compare results between Google and Bing. I received some strange results:

Top Google hits:
  1. http://www.techcrunch.com - several detailed posts on spymaster
  2. http://playspymaster.com - the actual homepage for Spymaster
  3. http://perth.norg.com.au - people-powered news (problem loading page)
  4. http://internet-games.suite.101 - a quick and dirty review
  5. http://hubpages.com - a quicker and dirtier review
Top Bing hits:
  1. http://twitter.com/seanpercival - twitter tweets
  2. http://twitter.com/briancaldwell - twitter tweets
  3. http://www.techcrunch.com - their first article
  4. http://www..techcrunch.com - their second article
  5. http://explore.twitter.com/seanpercival - same as #1 (I didn't even know their was an "explore" subdomain on Twitter)
I was kind of baffled by Bing's results: links to Twitter users are "pretty much kind of useless don't ya think?" But to be fair, I wouldn't describe Spymaster as a store, a trip, a health condition or a local business.

Moving on to something more relevant, I seached the keyword "diabetes". Here were the results:

Google:
  1. http://www.diabetes.ca
  2. http://wikipedia.org/wiki/diabetes
  3. http://www.hc-sc-gc.ca - Heath Canada information on diabetes
  4. News results - diabetes in the young on the rise...
  5. http://www.diabetes.com
Bing (note, I forced Bing to give me Canadian results):
  1. http://www.diabetes.ca - main page
  2. http://www.diabetes.ca - about diabetes
  3. http://slimband.com/diabetes - a sales pitch for "adjustable gastric banding"
  4. http://diabetesontario.org
  5. http://www.lifestylemakeoverbook.com/diabetes - page not found, main site a sales pitch
Personally, I thought Bing's results sucked. Two of five hits were what I would basically call spam.

But it's the early days, Bing is still a preview, and at least it gave me different results than Google. So the jury is still out. Nevertheless, search engines live-or-die in the early days - remember cuil.com?

What do you think of Microsoft's Bing? Are you going to check it out, or will you stick with Google for now? Tell us what you think on our latest poll on the right and if you think you can explain the strange search results - please take a crack at it in the comments below.

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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Spymaster

Spymaster shot up to #1 on Twitter's Trending Topics today. Spymaster is a new social game, currently in private beta, based around Twitter in which you do spy-like things such as buy things on the black market, assassinations and put money in Swiss bank accounts.

Spymaster is clearly an addictive game. Techcrunch says it will "assassinate your time".

Twitter already sucks up enough of my time. Do I really need something else to distract me? What do you think: chide or cheer?

Take the poll on the right and comment on your experience with Spymaster.

Google Wave

On May 27, 2009 during the Google I/O keynote, Google announced it has developed a whole new model for communications and collaboration on the web called Google Wave. A "wave" is equal parts conversation and document, where people can communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more. Google's Lars Rasumussen claims, “Wave is what email would look like if it were invented today.”

Wave has attracted a tremendous amount of buzz in the industry. Techcrunch says Wave "makes both email and instant messaging look stale".

But not everyone is impressed by Google Wave: Fast Company cites 5 reasons why we should all be terrified of the new platform.

What do you think? Do you chide or cheer the launch of Google Wave? Let us know by filling out the poll on the right.
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