January 2009 – Stay N Alive

Meet My Baby

This is my Baby, no, not that baby. My Ford F-150 is my other baby, and my brother shot this for @MarinaMartin’s Elastic Labs. They hire amateur and professional videographers to shoot clips like this, and pay them for the clips they shoot, which then get used as advertisement on sites like Vehix (if I understand the deal correctly). My brother is a great videographer and if you need someone to shoot video for your event or party he’s the guy to do it – he currently lives in Las Vegas, but I’m sure could travel anywhere if you need his services.

In the video, I talk about my favorite accessory, the Monster iCruze
. It’s a fully integrated device, that sells for about $100, which allows you to control your iPod through the controls on your Factory stereo dashboard controls. Unfortunately, it only supports older iPod models and doesn’t support the iPhone, but if you can afford a cheap 40-60Gb older iPod model it works great, and makes a great alternative for a CD changer, which you can sync with iTunes on your computer. In case you don’t know, I’m the second guy in the video. Ironically, my truck isn’t white – they edited that in, I guess because my baby doesn’t look good enough for them. I see how it is, Vehix. Here’s the video:

[swfobj src=”http://widgets.vehix.com/_video/EmbeddedVideoPlayer.swf?vid=13F0000000027C1&cid=115″ salign=”lt” menu=”true” wmode=”transparent” scale=”showall” quality=”high”]

The License plate of my truck? “SOCIAL”

You can hire my brother through his website, Tripod Productions.

Looking for a RockStar Facebook or OpenSocial Developer?

Robert Scoble - the original RockStarSocialToo.com has been a huge success for me so far. Just this last month we have gone from just less than 1,000 users to over 7,000 users, and that number shows no sign of slowing down. We’re starting to monetize the site, via one-time purchases of various services, advertising, and will be adding some premium features very soon. I’m slowly actually starting to monetize a service based on Social Media, and thus far, I’m proving it’s going to work.

However, I’ve just about exhausted my resources financially to continue supporting this on just my own savings alone, and have decided it’s time to find something full or part-time that can supplement SocialToo. I am also looking for financing and investment as an alternate source of income, but in tough economic times I have to put my eggs in multiple baskets to ensure something works out.

So, here’s what I have to offer. If you’re looking for a RockStar Facebook, OpenSocial, Twitter, YouTube, or you name the Social Media platform developer to take your app to the next level, I’m your man. I have a very strong software development background which you can see on my LinkedIn profile. I have written two books on Facebook, one on Facebook Development and FBML for O’Reilly (see those in the upper-right of the blog), and one on Facebook professional growth and marketing. I speak and teach others regularly on the subjects of Facebook, Twitter, Social Media, and related topics. I have a good following on multiple networks and a great platform to build your brand as an employee or consultant for your company. Any such relationship would be announced in full disclosure here and any other place it makes sense to mention the relationship. In addition, I am an entrepreneur at heart, which means I have passion in the products I help build. I love seeing these things grow to become successes!

I can develop software – I wrote SocialToo.com from the ground up, by myself (with thanks to some great advisors). I can market Social Media. I am learning to monetize Social Media. I have a successful business, and have helped businesses based on Social Media become successes. So, if you or your company are looking for someone with my skills, let’s talk. We can talk full time relationships, consulting relationships, temporary relationships. I’d love to help you out. Oh, and international is definitely an option – I speak fluent Thai, some Spanish, and even some Indonesian and am no stranger to learning new languages and cultures!

At the same time, if you know anyone looking for a good investment that will make money in the near future please forward them my way. In either scenario, SocialToo will continue to grow, will continue to be a focus (while if I work full time for you it will be a side-focus), and you can continue to expect to see the same growth you always have as we move forward. At the same time, I’m a hungry entrepreneur.

You can read my LinkedIn profile at http://linkedin.com/in/facebook

My contact info is in the upper-right of this blog.

Please Re-Tweet

Photo courtesy the talented Brian Solis

Get Ready to be Punk’d Utah

Saturday morning, starting at 9am, Ashton Kutcher, in partnership with Digg.com and Revision3’s Kevin Rose will be doing a production, streamed over the live streaming service, Qik, all day for 24 hours right here in Utah. The idea is to get major blogging personalities such as VentureBeat’s Tech Blogger Matt Marshall, along with other personalities such as Video Game Blogger, CJ Peters, as well as Geek Entertainment TV’s Irina Slutsky, and Non-Society’s Geekette, Meghan Asha, to do crazy tasks while at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City Utah. Interestingly, they have picked bloggers from San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and other locations, but ironically no big bloggers from Utah were selected. Ashton and Kevin, you know we can compete as well as the rest!

With Matt Marshall in the crowd, he will probably be the most familiar with early-adopter technologies and the audience of this blog since that is what they cover, so it will be interesting to see how he and his partner, Shira Lazar, will do in the contest. Ashton Kutcher, via his Twitter account, is asking for suggestions on what you would like the contestants to do, so hopefully Utah can represent. Regardless of what happens, I fully expect the entire contest to be one big punk on Utah Saturday so beware of what you see as these bloggers fight to do anything to win this reality competition tomorrow. You can watch the competition live, over Qik at the website http://www.24hoursatsundance.com. Prepare to be Punk’d.

Matt and Shira, we’re rooting for you.

Photo courtesy Matt Olson

Facebook Launches Custom Tags, Helps Developers Share Their Code

Facebook just released documentation about a brand new feature surrounding FBML that I think is game-changing. They call the feature “Custom Tags”, and the concept is simple. You create code on your servers that renders Facebook-compatible code. You register that code as a “custom tag” on Facebook’s servers, set it as private or public, and now you can represent that code you just wrote as a simple FBML tag. Here’s the clincher: You can make your tags available to other developers!

So here’s an example, based on their documentation (it looks as though the documentation is still being uploaded so it is limited at the moment):

Let’s say you create some code that generates FBML code that looks like this:

(${attribute_name} will be used to replace any attributes passed to your custom tag.)

All you need to do is register that tag in your server-side code (which in this case would be at http://external.facebook.com/apps/my_movie_app) with the FBML.registerCustomTags method, passing it the name of the tag, and the FBML markup to replace the tag with when it is encountered on the page. In this case, and based on the wiki documentation we’ll call that tag, . Your code on your page (or other developers’ pages that use your code) will look like this:

Through this simple method, Facebook has provided an easy way for Facebook developers to share their code, in a nice, compartmentalized way. It also makes it very easy to re-use developers’ code across applications and throughout developers’ apps. Facebook says this is only for Facebook Apps, and does not yet support Facebook Connect or third-party sites, but they do have plan to support such. As more details emerge I’ll update you here, or on LouisGray.com. In the meantime, check out my book on FBML, FBML Essentials to learn more about developing with Facebooks FBML Tag language.

A Proud Moment for the Geek Dad

I started programming in the BASIC computer language when I was 10 years old. In third grade, I won third place in my school’s Computer Fair Elementary division (I went to a very large International School in Jakarta, Indonesia). So today was a very proud moment for me when I was able to watch the joy in my 8 year old daughter’s eyes as I taught her how to write her first computer program. We taught her a very basic web page first, then, a simple alert() box in javascript. I’m a proud Papa right now.

[swfobj width=”576″ height=”324″ src=”http://www.facebook.com/v/127801530112″ param name=”allowfullscreen” value=”true” allowscriptaccess=”always” allowfullscreen=”true” width=”576″ height=”324″]

SocialToo Has a Blog!

Some of you may have noticed from my Tweets and FriendFeed posts, but I just wanted to notify others here as well. SocialToo.com now has its own blog, and I’ll be doing more SocialToo-related posts there now. I still may re-share a few announcements here, but most SocialToo-related posts will now go over there. Be sure to subscribe to get all of our updates, news, and announcements!

I Changed My Twitter Username – How You Can Too

For those that follow me on Twitter, be sure to look for me now under the username, “Jesse” (or @Jesse in Twitter speak). If you’re already following me, the transition should have occurred seamlessly, and you shouldn’t have to re-follow me. If you have me in a TweetDeck Group or similar 3rd party app, you may want to update me there. I have created a new account under my old username, “JesseStay“, just in case anyone has anything pointing to that username still. It just sends people back to this account.

You Can Too!

Making the switch was easy! And it serves as some great Google juice for my first name – maybe I can finally achieve my dream of beating Jesse McCartney as the number one spot on Google! To get the name you want, assuming it’s already taken, verify that there haven’t been any updates for over 9 months on the name. Then, send an e-mail to username@twitter.com – you’ll receive a support e-mail back, asking you some more questions. Answer those questions, and wait a few weeks. Assuming someone hasn’t already beaten you to it, you should be set!

Update Your Third Party Sites!

Now that you’ve changed your username, you may want to go back and create the old account, and put a post, pointing it to your new name just in case. Then, be sure to go to sites like SocialToo.com or clients like TweetDeck and update your username there, as many sites will still think you’re under the old username. It will take some work, but if you really, really want that new name, it may just be worth it. Oh, and change your passwords to something strong! If you have a common first name, you will now be one of the first to be targeted in a hacker attack. Good luck!

You and Your Friends’ Facebook Updates are Public, After All

Nick O’Neill recently wrote about the possibility that if Facebook would just open up your status updates, Twitter could be put out of its tracks. Well, actually, Facebook updates are open – it’s just up to each user to release them. Any user on Facebook can provide their friends’ status updates to any third party provider, through a simple RSS feed, and this feed has been around since April of 2007!

To obtain the RSS feed is simple. Just click on “Friends” in the header at the top of Facebook and select “All Friends” in the drop-down. Now, look up in the URL bar of your browser (this works best in Firefox or Safari) – see the little RSS icon? Click on it, an voila, your friends’ status updates will come, in a live feed, straight to your RSS reader. There’s nothing stopping developers from creating a service around this, asking for this URL from users, and providing a Twitter-like interface around it. The URL goes in this format, and it’s completely controlled by the user, because a key must be provided to the app that wants to use it (this is for me and my friends, key obviously omitted):


This also works for your own updates. To get an RSS feed of just your updates, you have to go to your mini feed page at this url (I can’t find a way to get there through links on Facebook – if you know of a way please let me know in the comments). On the right hand side of the page, you’ll see a “My Status” link. Add that to your RSS reader and now all your personal Facebook status updates will go to your reader! Again, with a key you give out as a user, any app can now use this data to track your own status updates. In fact, FriendFeed is already utilizing this feed! The URL for personal updates is in the format of (I’m leaving my key in this case so you can see my own updates):


Of course, any developer can also access these updates, with the user’s permission, via the Facebook API as well so theoretically you don’t even have to collect these URLs. However, through this method, anyone can track you, and your friends’ status updates with your permission. So your Facebook updates are public, sort of.

Twinkle, Little Star

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
How I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high,
like a Diamond, in the sky.
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
How I wonder what you are.

When the blazing sun is gone,
When the nothing shines upon,
Then you show your little light,
Twinkle, twinkle, all the night.

Then the traveller in the dark,
Thanks you for your tiny spark,
He couldn’t see which way to go,
If you did not twinkle so.

In the dark blue sky you keep,
And often through my curtains peep,
For you never shut your eye,
Till the sun is in the sky.

As your bright and tiny spark,
Lights the traveller in the dark,—
Though I know not what you are,
Twinkle, twinkle, little star.

Jane Taylor

Original Photo (Jesse Stay)

Apple, Safari is Worthless to Me at the Moment!

Okay, I know no one at Apple reads my blog, but this is wishful thinking on my part. I’m getting really desperate, and so are what seems to be hundreds of others who have recently upgraded to the 10.5.6 update on the various Mac and Apple forums on the internet. The issue lies around Safari, and Facebook, and Gmail, and sessions. When I use Safari, no matter what I do, after about 30 seconds, Facebook logs me out. I can’t use Facebook in Safari. After 30 minutes or so on Gmail, it becomes unresponsive, and refreshing returns a 400 Bad Request error.

The only way I’ve found to fix this is to reset Safari, reboot, or clear all my cookies, but then, another 30 minutes later or so, all the other problems resurface again. I tried downloading the latest Webkit build, still no go. I tried reinstalling Leopard, still no go. I tried installing the full package from Apple.com for 10.5.6 and it still gives me the same issue. Each time I think it gets fixed, but a few minutes to hours later the problem comes right back.

It would appear that I’m not alone on this issue, either. Just doing a google search for “10.5.6 safari cookies session” or “safari gmail 400 bad request” returns page after page of users having issues. Threads like this one and this one prove there’s a serious issue here, with no response at all from Apple.

I’ve switched to Firefox, which actually I prefer, but Firefox is extremely slow for me on my Mac when compared to Safari for some reason. I want my Safari back! Apple, please, if anyone is listening, we need a fix soon! I am powerless without this update, and I’m really, really close to just getting a PC.