WinMoDevCamp is aligning with the Silicon Valley CodeCamp this weekend to help developers learn, share, and collaborate on future mobile and desktop applications.
Organized by Microsoft evangelist Giovanni Gallucci with some help from the Windows Mobile dev team, The WinMoDevCamp San Francisco will be held on Friday, October 2nd at the Microsoft Offices in Mountain View from 10 am to 5 pm with a slew of presenters leading sessions including Susan Kevorkian of IDC’s Mobile & Wireless team, Microsoft MVPs, Sony Ericsson, Samsung and more. It’s free to attend: RSVP here.
With Windows Mobile 6.5 aka Windows Phone launching October 6, this devcamp will help developers learn about the new OS, market direction and trends, as well as highlight opportunities to fuel innovative apps around the new WinMo.
The event continues throughout the weekend with Microsoft resources also attending the Silicon Valley Code Camp taking place at Foothill College.
There, developers have the opportunity to:
- Create new applications for the Windows Mobile Platform
- Meet and work side-by-side with team members from the Microsoft Mobile Developer Experience team
- Migrate existing mobile applications from the iPhone, Blackberry and Palm Pre to the Windows Mobile Platform
- Create applications to support Windows Enterprise Applications
- Test and optimize applications for Windows Mobile 6.5
RSVP for Windows Mobile Devcamp hosted this Friday
I admit it. I’m old fashioned. That may seem a silly statement coming from someone as deeply steeped in the digital realm as I, but when it comes to certain things this Silicon Valley geek likes to roll old school. I believe in charcoal barbecues. I believe in hand-writing thank you notes. I believe that white shoes have no business being worn after Labor Day. Most of all though, and to the great amusement of many I know, I believe in daily newspapers.
So when someone started to steal my New York Times off the front step of my building, I did what any self-respecting social media person would do. I launched an aggressive effort to catch the SOB, and began to chronicle my efforts in streaming video.
After a couple of weeks of on and off success in at least getting my paper but failing to snare the culprit I escalated my efforts, as I explain in this video:
Day after day I arose far earlier than my non-morning person self cared to, and I waited. Through the process I got to know many neighbors – those in my building as well as various and sundry folks whose morning schedules took them past my stakeout perch. I realized that every morning more than a half dozen newspapers landed on the step of my building alone. I saw similar stacks of newsprint on other stoops. I saw myriad people walking dogs and striding purposefully towards bus stops – many of them also with broadsheets in hand.
When it came to that daily paper fix, clearly I wasn’t alone.
Then there were my online comrades. Besides the amusement several people seemed to get from my daily commentary, I found a growing chorus of support from folks on Twitter and Facebook. People shared my self-righteous indignation at the theft. That surprised me less than the passionate support that many shared for getting that daily slab of printed paper to complement their morning coffee. Most people felt I should just set up a streaming web cam and save myself the burden of getting up so darn early. Others suggested setting a booby trap for the culprit. Still others offered to come and sit in shifts to help me snare the thief. Then came a note from Chris O’Brien, a friend and long-time Journalist who writes for the San Jose Mercury News. His suggestion? My videos would make a great ad campaign for the newspaper industry.
Some might say that an ad campaign for the newspaper industry would be a waste of time. After all, why waste effort for an industry that, according to statistics, is on the decline? Seeing Chris’ name in my comment stream, however, reminded me that in addition to his being a dyed-in-the-wool member of the Fourth Estate, he had an up-close-and-personal perspective that maybe, just maybe things weren’t so bleak after all.
After a bit of calendar choreography, Chris and I managed to settle in for a phone chat one afternoon last week. Over the course of about a half hour, we wended our way through a discussion from which I gleaned several key points:
1) Newsprint may be black and white but the media business isn’t – While people tend to lean towards a twofold viewpoint (the world was this way, now it’s that way; people used to do things this way, now people do things another way), the truth is that the advent of new forms of media have yet to wholly kill previous forms. Television didn’t kill radio. The VCR didn’t kill the movies. Okay so maybe the Internet struck a near fatal blow to the music industry, but even in that case, things continue to evolve. In Chris’ words, “People want to get into a binary debate that we used to just all want (the newspaper) because we had no choice and now people want the raw feed to mix up their own news. From where I sit what’s really happening is that people have splintered in a lot of different directions. You still have people who value the gatekeeper/passive experience at one end and then you have (people on the other end) who just want the raw feed of all data washing over them, but mostly people exist on the span in between.”
2) Never underestimate the power of human nature - The people who get newspapers in print tend to be committed to getting the product in that form and whether it’s habit or not, they tend to stick with getting that paper delivered to their doorstep. O’Brien related that when the Seattle Post-Intelligencer ceased publishing its print edition and went web only, thanks to a joint operating agreement all P-I subscribers were switched automatically to the only remaining Seattle daily – The Seattle Times. People had the option to cancel, but something interesting happened. They didn’t. Not only did they retain their existing subscriptions, but when those began to run out, almost everyone renewed. O’Brien is not surprised by this and spoke of the digitally saturated people with whom he speaks every day – the venture capitalists and tech company executives whose lives are shackled to Blackberries and RSS feeds. “These are people who use technology for everything in their lives and they still get the paper in print. They still have it delivered to their doorstep.”
3) In today’s rapidly moving world, tactile yet passive experiences have merit - One of my favorite things about that morning paper is, quite simply, turning the pages. Humans are, after all, kinesthetic creatures, so the hands-on experience of a paper has some value. O’Brien agrees with that, and thinks that there’s something even more simple. Sometimes people just want a “psychologically different experience … a purely passive experience.” He went on to explain that oftentimes people don’t want “something with buttons or to click around. Even with a Kindle, there are buttons to push and that’s not appealing to them. They just want something that’s there. Something they don’t have to think about.” There are some who disagree with that perspective, but I’m not one of them.
What does all of this mean? From where I sit, it’s pretty clear newspapers aren’t going away. While some may enjoy the macabre view of a deathwatch, the truth is that this is all about evolution; and as these things go, it’s not about today – it’s about what and who is coming across the horizon.
For starters, there are myriad efforts to revitalize and retool newsrooms and O’Brien has done more than dabble on this front. Awarded a grant from the Knight Foundation, O’Brien tackled the task of building a next generation newsroom for Duke University. His “Next Newsroom” project, included the development of a site on which to archive his research and create a conversation around the task of designing this newsroom of the future. Though the official part of the grant ended in 2008, the Ning network he created lives on – and is thriving. In addition, in spite of the bleak industry outlook, the numbers for Journalism programs across the US proffer a glimmer of hope – they’re on the rise.
Are these monumental steps that will swoop in and save the anemic newspaper industry? No. They do, however, represent positive movement in a necessary evolution – an evolution that will no doubt lead to a new kind of newspaper for a new kind of audience.
As for me and my newspaper thief – the problem has been resolved. No, I haven’t found the culprit (though I did narrow down the potential suspects to one of eight residents in my building). Instead, my newspaper delivery man has adapted. Rather than whizzing by my house and winging the paper out of the open window of his car, this fine fellow stops his car, and physically hides the paper for me every morning.
Besides the guarantee that this great service will keep me as a subscriber, you can be sure I’ll be giving him a nice present for the holidays.
Casting is set and Facebook the movie will be connecting to you through a theater near you.
David Fincher will direct the bio drama “The Social Network,” scripted by Aaron Sorkin-scripted about the formation of Facebook.
Jesse Eisenberg will play Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg; Justin Timberlake will play Sean Parker, the Napster co-founder who became Facebook’s founding president; and Andrew Garfield will play Eduardo Saverin, the Facebook co-founder who fell out with Zuckerberg over real money, not virtual goods. The story takes place during the founding days in 2004 while attending Harvard.
The real question is, will you “like” it? Will you leave a comment? Will you fan the fan page? Will you share it with your social graph?
You can bet that Facebook events will riddle the site for months to centralize and organize screenings, premiers and outings. using the social network to promote, “The Social Network” will break new ground.
Ok my fellow Young Grasshoppers, we need to fly. Let’s close deals, chomp on some revenue, and raise cold hard liquid cash. My Dot2Dot family and my NYC Nerdsters, I can be your connection to Silicon Valley who will get you in with the right people. But to actually cut the deal in SF, you need the right venue, with the right mixture of old school (for historical context), understated class, and worldliness (so you can think about the possibilities outside of the room). The point is to focus on the people at the table, the deal, and your future partnership together. Just be strategic about your bathroom breaks and watch your toes. Here’s where I’ve cut deals from $1000 to $24m.
Marissa Louie and Nalin Mittal at Cafe de la Presse, by David Gelles of Financial Times
I took control of a client dinner where everyone was twice my age by talking about how consulting executives cannot sell, even though 90% of top executives have a background in sales. We got the deal, celebrated, and then I bumped into Gavin Newsom and Willie Brown on my way out.
Marissa is the CEO and Co-founder of AD-Village. On the job, she handles, sales, PR, customer service, community relations, marketing, speaking at conferences, strategy, recruiting, coding, text messaging, Twittering, and returning calls and emails.
Google has acquired reCAPTCHA, one of the providers of spam prevention CAPTCHA. The financial details of the deal were not disclosed, but Google had hinted that it was previously working on its own CAPTCHA service as well as looking at reCAPTCHA as an acquisition target.
The reason behind the acquisition is purported to be reCAPTCHA’s ability to recognize and transcribe text. Through its service as a CAPTCHA provider, reCAPTCHA has been able to essentially crowdsource the transcription process. This can be applied to Google’s own initiatives across at least two of its applications, Google Books and Google News.
For Google Books, reCAPTCHA’s technology can be used for transcribing text for the books that Google makes readily available for download through its free service. For Google News Archives Search, a similar process can be applied. With both applications, the error rate is expected to drop significantly, improving Google’s ability to provide accurate search results.
I think the acquisition of reCAPTCHA hails an important development in the digitization and overall provision of printed content. In decreasing the error rates associated with the transcription and search capabilities of text, Google will be able to increase the distribution potential of digital book content across the world. Having ready access to such printed content is something that’s been slow to come about, despite the technological advances we’ve seen in the past decade pertaining to both the ability to digitize printed content as well as the ability to distribute it.
With new devices and pricing structures, however, the trend for digitizing and distributing content is a growing field. Today the ebook provider WattPad has announced some upgrades to its iPhone application, allowing you to download and save an entire book to read offline, as well as share what you’re reading with friends on Facebook and Twitter.
I think both of these announcements from Google and WattPad speak to the long-term potential of what we can expect to see from digitized content. Th ability to search, access and share such content is something that should be available to everyone. Integration with social networks and improvement on the transcription end will help speed this process a great deal, which I think is beneficial to the world at large.