Live Blogging: Josh Porter on Effective Social Interface Design

Josh Porter, has blogged about social design for 7-8 years. Is lead designer for, a next generation social network. In August he started his own design company to design interfaces that focus on enabling people to talk to each other. Main issues: how do you get people to engage with your site. How do you get them to sign up? He's had clients who got Techcrunched, had a spike, and then over time they all leak out. How to provide value over the long term? Five principles: 1. The Lesson. Delicious let you have bookmarks and access them everywhere. You could tag bookmarks, adding your own comments. Tagging was new back then. Designers talked about subverting hierarchical structures and folksonomies. But people were just saving bookmarks for later. I tell all my clients: "Personal value precedes network value" or social value. These are great tools even if your friends don't use them. I ask: is your service/software valueable even

10% time

Last week I listened for the third time to Marissa Mayer's amazing talk at Stanford about Google's culture of innovation. (I can't link to it right now. I'm blogging from my blackberry.) She lists the top 9 reasons that Google is innovative. One of them, of course, is that every Google engineer gets to work on their own pet project for 20% of the time. Marissa says that in the second half of 2005, 50% of the products Google introduced came from 20% time. Another was that "ideas come from everywhere," including customers, employees, senior management, and through acquisitions. Clearly Google folks are encouraged not only to have ideas but to share them and to pursue them. That is a very different culture from most companies I've ever seen, where few people are energized with new ideas, and those that have great ideas are often frustrated by politics or lack of resources to the point where they have no hope that their ideas will be heard or

Venture Capital in the Rockies Wrapup

I'm at the Beaver Creek Resort in Avon, Colorado today for the Venture Capital in the Rockies event. 20 startup and growth companies, including 14 from Colorado and 4 from Utah are here to present business plans to 200-300 venture capitalists from 8 states. Our company,, was selected as a presenter. We each get 15 minutes and then 5-10 minutes of Q&A. Here is a brief rundown of the presenters: - Albeo Technologies (Colorado) markets solid-state lighting systems based on white light-emitted diode (LED) technology. Lighting accounts for 40% of all electricity consumption in the commercial market. Have raised $1.55 million in two rounds of funding. - Altela (New Mexico) has raised $10 million to develop a new energy-reuse water desalination product that operates at remote locations such as oil and gas wells. - AVA Solar (Colorado) was spun out of Colorado State University. They

50 topics I wish I had blogged about

I keep a Google doc called Blog Ideas. I have added a few dozen ideas to it in the last few months, and haven't gotten around to blogging about very many of them. Right now, I'm looking at the Google doc on my new iphone (Google applications work beautifully on the iphone). Here are some of the blog ideas that I would have blogged about if I had more time:

Yahoo Go on my Blackberry

I switched to GMail about 2 years ago, but I have kept my Yahoo email account around so it can forward everything automatically to GMail. But today, because of Jerry Yang's CES Keynote, which makes it clear that Yahoo is going to become very friendly to third party developers, and because Yahoo Mail still has more users (I think) than GMail, I decided that I would download Yahoo Go! to my Blackberry, and start using YahooMail again, so I can keep my feet in both camps.