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Showing posts from February, 2011

Search is Stacked in Google's Favor

Andrew Keen of TechCrunch   posted this today about Google.  Here's the salient point: Google’s bias isn’t just limited to finance and health. In a January 2011  paper , “Measuring Bias in Organic Web Search,” written with Harvard Business School doctoral candidate Benjamin Lockwood, Edelman found that Google listed its own map service as the first result when a user queries “maps.” It’s hardly surprising, therefore, that Edelman and Lockwood discovered that 86% of map searches conducted on Google end up with the user clicking on Google Maps. Here's the original paper. The best results can be the ones people share with you. But if you don't know someone, how can you get content from them? I'm working on these problems, and creating some interesting opportunities. More to come this week.

Getting Things Done

Not the book, but in reality. I'm fortunate to have a friend as an executive coach; he knows me well and kicks my ass when I need it. Today we had a call and it helped just at the point where I need to shift gears. I find working alone less productive than when I have someone in the room to help hold me accountable. We agree on what we're working on, and work on our parts together. That really moves things forward faster, and provides a sounding board--useful if you don't abuse it (and I have in the past). At the moment my team and I generally work alone, but soon that will change a bit. Here's what I (pot) advise startups (kettle) to do: Make a list of things you need to get done, categorize and prioritize (1,2,3 is enough, and if it's a 3 don't work on it). Set realistic dates for each item in the list. If you change a date, write down the reason for the change. If you see you're changing things repeatedly for the same reason, ask yourself wh

Getting to Alpha

I want a smaller web. As I've been building Jawaya I've come to the realization that the ever-expanding web increases the daily noise that interferes with our lives. I'm not just talking about bots and content farms like Demand Media--it's the noise caused by irrelevant but decent quality information. The question is, relevant to whom? To me. To you. I read a lot about education, tech, politics, and food systems. Within each of those categories, there are hundreds (or thousands) of subcategories--that's a lot of content to sift through. So when I search for something, say " digital learning in middle schools ", I get a wide range of results and have to sift through them, or narrow my search. But I'm not great at narrowing. Or maybe I just have the patience for it. I'll try a number of iterations of the terms, but it doesn't matter because I have this nagging feeling that the good stuff is on Page 3. Or Page 30. I use search to discover--to find

.Net Developers: Learn Rails

I've expanded my dev search to great, dedicated developers regardless of skillset, but most interested in .Net devs with either C++ or Java experience who want to pick up a new skill: Ruby on Rails. The demand is incredibly high for Rails devs at the moment, so it will be a great marketable skill. But I'm looking for team members--the founding dev team. If that's you, let me know, and head over to and to get started