As the year comes to a close, I decided to humor myself by taking a look back and choosing my favorite blog posts for 2011. (It's New Year's Eve and I'm home sick, so no partying for me.) Here's the list -- in chronological order, the first one from February, and the last from early December. I'm just showing the first paragraph or two of each of these posts below (or, for some of the video interview posts, just a screen grab of the subject), then a link to read the full post.
Let me know what you think in the comments.
Blogging Gone Wild
People who've been reading this blog for a while may know I started it in 2005. That's a long time in blog years, and it's resulted in a monstrous archive of what people now call "long-form blogging" -- at least it is for me, as one, lone writer. My quick tally is about 400,000-500,000 words (several books' worth), and I can't even begin to guess the *time* I have into it. Let's just say it's been countless thousands of hours that I've spent filling this space -- planning, thinking, writing, editing, covering events, managing comments, and, not the least, all the time spent in the behind-the-scenes (pain in the ass) administration of the site. That last part is especially a challenge with Typepad, the platform I chose way back when. Unfortunately, it hasn't kept up with bloggers' needs, especially from a UI/ease-of-use standpoint. (But the time to convert my blog to WordPress, as I might like, has just been way too much of a time hurdle to consider if I want to keep paying the bills with the income I have to generate in the non-blogging part of my business life.) The whole notion of "micro" blogging wasn't even in our minds back in 2005. But, of course, those of you who follow me regularly know I've been posting the majority of my online content for the past few years on a certain site that starts with a "T". .... Read the rest of the post here.
Live Blog: DEMO Spring 2011
I'm back at DEMO doing another live-blog. This is the 12th time I've reported on DEMO, and I've been doing the last few by using the "Cover It Live" app (see window below). Produced by the IDG Enterprise events group in conjunction with VentureBeat, the DEMO conferences in the United States and China focus on emerging technologies and new product innovations, which are hand selected from across the spectrum of the technology marketplace. The DEMO conferences have earned their reputation for consistently identifying tomorrow's cutting-edge technologies, and have served as launchpad events for companies such as Palm, E*Trade, Handspring, and U.S. Robotics, helping them to secure venture funding, establish critical business relationships, and influence early adopters. For more information on the DEMO conferences, visit DEMO.com. The conference kicks off officially at 9:15 am Pacific today, when my live-blogging will begin in earnest. Here's the agenda. .... Read the rest of the post here.
Glue Conference: A Chat With Mark Suster, GRP Partners
Glue Conference: Listen In On a Great Chat Between Terry Jones/FluidInfo and Seth Levine/Foundry Group
One of the things I love most about attending great events like Glue is getting to be a fly on the wall in some awesome conversations. Except, for this one, I had my brand-new review unit Olympus LS-20M at the ready (having been recording interviews all day), so was able to capture this chat literally on the spur of the moment in HD video and high-quality audio, just by unobtrusively aiming the recorder. Terry and Seth went on and on in a really interesting exhange about Terry's big-data startup FluidInfo (investors include Esther Dyson and Tim O'Reilly), so I just kept shooting and taking it all in. Give a listen. .... Watch the video here.
George Reese on "The Cloud's Shining Moment," Four Days Later
The major Amazon Web Services outage that began this past Thursday morning was unlike anything before it. Countless AWS customers, big and small, went down, many for days. Surprisingly, other biggies like Netflix, SmugMug, and Twilio had little or no disruption. One hungers to know why...
Over the weekend, George Reese, a cloud expert and author (and CTO of cloud-management tools company enStratus), wrote a fascinating post on O'Reilly about what some would call a cloud disaster -- entitling it, ironically enough, "The Cloud's Shining Moment." George has a unique perspective on the cloud, and a large following. .... Read the rest of the post here.
Live Blog: DEMO Fall 2011
It's time, gang -- for another one of my conference live-blogs, this time for DEMOfall. Once again, as I have for the last several events I've covered, I'm using the "Cover It Live" app (see window below). With more than 20,000 technologies reviewed and 1,500 companies selected to launch on the DEMO stage over the past 20 years, DEMO has continually searched the globe to find innovation where it lives. The DEMO Team has logged millions of miles to uncover technology '"diamonds in the rough. Some of the companies that have launched at DEMO include Salesforce.com, Netscape, VMware, TiVo, Skype (for mobile handsets), WebEx, Jajah, Boingo Wireless, BuzzLogic, Vringo, and many more. The DEMO conferences have earned their reputation for consistently identifying tomorrow's cutting-edge technologies, helping its presenting companies secure venture funding, establish critical business relationships, and influence early adopters. .... Read the rest of the post here.
Defrag 2011: My Interview of Robert Stephens, CTO, Best Buy
It was great to catch my friend Robert Stephens, founder of Geek Squad and now CTO of Best Buy, this morning at breakfast on Day 2 of Defrag. It was right before his opening keynote, and he gave me kind of a sneak peak to his talk. We covered a lot of topics, and could have gone on even longer. ... Here's the 10-minute interview.
Defrag 2011: My Interview of James Altucher
I had a chance to catch James at breakfast this morning, on Day 1 of Defrag. Could have talked to him for an hour... fascinating guy (he's been an entrepreneur, VC, hedge fund manager, and is a prolific writer -- author of several books and a regular TechCrunch contributor). Gonna have him autograph his latest book, "I Was Blind But Now I See," which we got in our Defrag swag bag. ... Watch the video here.
My Live Blog: Defrag 2011 - the 5th Annual!
Wow, time flies. Seems like only yesterday we gathered in downtown Denver for the first Defrag conference in the fall of 2007. Now I'm about to experience my fifth, and each has been better than the one before. A couple years ago, the venue was switched to the OMNI Interlocken Resort in nearby Broomfield, where I arrived today about noon. Why is Defrag special? Here's how conference organizer Eric Norlin (Twitter name: @defrag) explained it in a recent blog post: "It’s about being passionate about the learning process… that turns out to be what is different about Defrag." .... Read the rest of the post here.
Why I'm Returning My KindleFire (and Saving My Money for an iPad 3)
I picked up a KindleFire last week, a couple days after Amazon started selling them. I had pre-ordered one at my local Best Buy store. I didn't really need one, of course -- I've been a happy iPad user since Day One. (And the same for the iPhone since its Day One. It's no secret I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Apple fanboy.) The iPad has changed my online life. I could not live without it. But, heck, I'm a tech blogger, an analyst, a reviewer, and the KindleFire was cheap. (Sometimes, as a blogger, a review unit shows up at my door, but not this time.) For the low, low price, below Amazon's cost, I saw the launch of the Fire as an excuse for me to finally acquire an Android device and see what life is like on the other side. And I liked the idea of the Amazon-curated app store, which would cut down on all the rogue crap-apps and malware in the Android world. Well, the experiment didn't last long. I was not impressed. .... Read the rest of the post here.
That's it -- my 10 best posts from 2011. (Not counting the ones I contribute to Minnov8.com -- check those out, too.) Here's to another good year of banging on the keyboard in 2012. Happy New Year, everyone!