November 2009 – Stay N Alive

The Future Has No Log In Button

Graphic Courtesy Chris Messina -

Since last week’s Kynetx Impact Conference I have gained an entirely new vision for the open web.  I now foresee a web which the user completely controls, lives in the browser, syncs with the cloud, and has no boundaries.  This new web completely makes the entire Social and Real-time paradigms miniscule in terms of significance.  What I see is an internet that, regardless of what website you visit, you will never have to enter your login credentials again.  I see the end of the log in button.

It all centers around identity.  The idea comes with a technology called Information Cards, and a term called the “Selector”.  With these technologies, websites will rely on the client to automatically provide the experience you want without need for you to log in ever again.  It relies on OpenID, doesn’t really need oAuth (since all the authorization ought to happen on the client), but the best part is you, the user, don’t ever have to know what those technologies are.  It “just works”.


OpenID LogoLet’s start with what you might already be familiar with.  You’ve probably heard about OpenID before.  If not, you might notice a little vertical orange line with a little gray arrow going from the line in a circle on some sites you visit.  Google just announced today that their profiles are now OpenIDs.  That basic concept is that you can specify on any website on the web a “provider”.  When you log in via Open ID, all you have to enter is your preferred website that specifies this “provider”.  The website you’re logging in to then redirects you to that provider, you provide your password, and it takes you back to the authenticating site.  It’s a simple authentication mechanism that enables sites to know who you are, just via a simple URL. is a identifying URL for me, and points to my provider,

In addition, utilizing technologies such as “FOAF” (Friend of a Friend), and the Google Social Graph APIs and other technologies, you can do cool things with identity.  Since I know your provider ID is being linked by your website, I know both your website and that provider are the same person.  You can link sites together, and now you know which profiles around the web are truly you – it becomes much harder to spoof identity in this manner, especially as more and more sites begin to adopt this methodology.  The problem with OpenID is its still a little confusing (even for me), and not everyone is familiar with entering in a URL into a log in space to identify themselves.

Information Cards


Enter Information Cards.  This is a new space for me, but a fascinating one.  An information card is a local identity, stored in your browser or on your operating system, which you can “plug in” to any website, and it tells that website about you.  Theoretically, they could even sync off of a local server somewhere, but Information Cards (so I understand) are controlled on the client.

The cool thing about Information Cards is that you can store lots of different types of information on them (again, if I understand correctly).  At a very minimum, information cards allow you to store an identity about an individual.  In an ideal environment, you would be able to download an information card program like Azigo, visit a site like, select your Yahoo information card, and just by clicking the information card it would immediately log you

into Yahoo.  The cool thing is that ideally, this completely avoids the phishing problem because Yahoo is the only one that can read your information card for

Here’s the kicker though – you can store more than just the log in for an individual in an information card.  Imagine storing privacy preferences.  What if I don’t want Yahoo to have access to my birth date, for instance?  Or what if I wanted to go even further and completely customize my experience?  What if I wanted Microsoft to provide updates for me right on top of  What if I wanted to get a completely customized experience based on the websites I really like around the web?  This is where the next part comes in.

The End of the Cookie and Birth of “the Selector”

Imagine a web where you, the viewer or user or consumer, are able to browse and get a completely customized experience that you control.  What if you are a Ford user and want to see comparable Ford cars on Chevy’s website? (I talked about this earlier)  Or here’s one I’ve even seen in production: I’m a big Twitter user.  What if I want to learn what others are saying about the websites I visit on Twitter without ever having to leave those websites?  Or say I’m a AAA member and want to know what hotels I’m searching for are AAA-supported?  What if I don’t like the way a website I visit is rendering content and I want to customize it the way I want to?   All this stuff is possible with the Selector.

Azigo Action Cards in Action

In the past you usually were at the mercy of these websites unless they provided some way for you to create your own context.  This is because these sites are all reliant on “cookies”, pieces of information stored on the browser that are reliant on IP that are only readable by the websites that generated them.  With a cookie there is no identity.  There is only IP.  With a cookie the website controls the experience – each website is in its own silo.  The user is at the mercy of each silo.

Kim Cameron and Craig Burton have been big proponents of a new identity technology intended to replace the cookie.  It’s called “the Selector”.  The idea of the Selector is that you, the user, use Information cards in a manner allowing you to fully control the experience you have as you peruse the web.  The idea uses an extension to information cards, called “action cards“, which enable users and consumers to specify their own preferences as to who shows them data and when around the web.  The cool thing is that businesses have a part in this as well that the users can opt into.

For instance, Ford could provide an action card (or “Selector”) using technologies like Kynetx to display comparisons of Ford products right next to Chevy’s right on the website. can do nothing about it (other than provide their own selector) – it is 100% user-controlled, and the user’s choice to enable such.  Or, let’s say I’m a big Mac user and I want to see what Dell products are compatible with my Macbook – I could simply go to and find out because hopefully Apple has created a Selector for  Not only that, but these sites,,,, can all track my interest based on preferences I set and customize the experience even further so I am truly gaining a “purpose-based” experience around the web.

All of the sudden I’m now visiting “the web” instead of individual sites on the internet, and the entire web becomes the experience instead of a few websites.  The possibilities are endless, and now imagine what happens when you add a social graph full of truly contextual identities on top of all this.  Now I can feed my friends into this contextual experience, building an experience also based on the things they like and adding it onto the things I like.  There are some really cool possibilities when the web itself is a platform and not individual websites.


The future of the web is Ubiquity, the state or capacity of being everywhere, especially at the same time.  Users will be ubiquitous.  Businesses will be ubiquitous.  There are no boundaries in the web of the future.  I’ve talked about the building block web frequently but that just touches the surface.  In the future these building blocks will be built, and controlled by the users themselves.  Businesses will provide the blocks and the users will stack them on top of each other to create their own web experience.

Businesses will have more sales because the consumers will be getting what they want, and consumers over all will be more productive.  This new approach to the web will be win-win for both sides, and we’re just getting started.

Where We Are At

Here’s the crazy thing that blew me away last week – we’re so close to this type of web!  We see Google building an operating system entirely out of a browser.  We have Information card and Action card/selector platforms such as Azigo, which enable users to seamlessly integrate these experiences into the browser.  We have developer platforms like Kynetx which enable the creation of such an experience.

Imagine if Google were to integrate information and action cards right into ChromeOS.  What if Kim Cameron were to get Microsoft to integrate this into IE and Windows? (hint – they will)  What if Apple integrated Information Cards into the Keychain so you actually had context with your log on credentials?  All this is coming.

Where We Still Need to Go

We’re not there yet, but we’re so close!  I want to see more focus on this stuff and less on the Social web and real-time technologies.  For those technologies to fully succeed we need to stop, take a deep breath, step back, and get identity right.  We’re not quite there yet.

I want to see technologies such as Mozilla Weave integrate Information Cards for their browser (rather than reinvent the wheel, which is what they appear to be doing).  We need more brands and more companies to be writing contextual experiences on the Kynetx platform (which is all Open Source, btw).  We need more people pushing companies like Google and Microsoft and Apple to be integrating these technologies so the user can have a standardized, open, fully contextual experience that they control.  I want to see Facebook create an experience on these platforms using Facebook Connect.  I want Twitter to build action cards.

For this to happen we need more involvement from all.  Maybe I’m crazy, but this future is as clear as day for me.  I see a future where I go do what I want to do, when I want to, and I get the exact experience I asked for.  This is entirely possible.  Why aren’t we all focusing on this?

Sign in Graphic Courtesy Chris Messina


IMG_1366I love Twitter for its variety.  In many ways it’s a lot like my favorite programming language Perl, whose mantra is “There is more than one way to do it.”  Some people choose the messy, spaghetti code way, while others choose nicely formatted, object-oriented way, even taking it to the extent of protecting it further with libraries like Moose.  On the web I can do basic, old-style CGI, or take it as far as a full MVC structured framework using Catalyst (if you don’t know anything about what these are that’s okay – just know that they’re good, and well structured).  Perl has both a good and bad reputation because of this, and I like it that way.  I like it the same way I like Twitter – there’s more than one way to do it.

That’s why I get so bugged when I see so many people trying to tell me how to write my Twitter stream.  Some say I have to have multiple accounts to organize the data.  Others say I can’t run ads and my content can’t be promotional in any way.  Funny thing is most of those people are promoting something of their own, whether they admit it or not. Personally that doesn’t matter to me.

What matters to me is that I can use Twitter the way I want to.  I can write everything in one stream if I want to, or I can run ads if I want to (which actually, I just signed up for yesterday to see what it was all about – no one has purchased anything yet though so no worries there, if there ever were any in the first place).  I can be profane if I like (but generally I prefer not to, just like real life).  I can even retweet the way I like to.  The cool thing about Social Media is we all have our own purposes and our own ways of doing things and when we do such we use the best tools for the job.  The great thing about Twitter is that it allows us to do such.  I use Twitter the way I use Perl, however I want to and what works for me – and I get criticized in the same manner.  There will always be a critic of the way you use Social Media, just like there is always a critic of how I write Perl.

And I’m okay with that.

The fact of the matter is I’m interesting because I’m ME.  Hopefully you follow me because of that.  If I advertise it’s going to because that’s something I think will help pay for me to be me, and it will always be some sort of reflection of myself.  If I don’t advertise it’s because I don’t think that’s necessary.  If I separate my content into multiple accounts it’s because I want you to find out different bits of information about me in different ways.  If I keep it all in one stream that’s because I think that’s the best way of learning who I am.  If I retweet it’s for my own reasons, not anyone else’s.

I think we get way too caught up in what we think is the best way that works for us, and thinking others should do the same.  What works for me will not always work for you or the next guy.  What works for Chris Pirillo or what works for Chris Brogan will not always work for Robert Scoble or Leo Laporte or someone else.  We are all unique, and that’s what makes Social Media a beautiful thing.  Social Media is all about how you receive, not about how other people give.  Receive well, and you will give much.  Social Media is all about ME. And you. And him. And her. It’s about connecting Individuals, which individuals are not the same.

And if you don’t like that concept, I’m okay if you unfollow me.  After all, there’s always more than one way to do it.

This is What an RSS Reader is For

RSSYesterday Robert Scoble wrote a critical post claiming Chris Brogan was using Twitter wrong, stating Chris isn’t separating his content on Twitter well enough.  As one who had to create multiple Twitter accounts to separate out my activity, I am one of the first to support this method.  As it stands though, even I will be first to admit this is a hack.  The only reason I’m creating multiple Twitter accounts is because Twitter, by nature, makes it very difficult to separate out activity like this.  What Scoble wants is a way for him to better read people’s feeds on Twitter, and separate out your blog post from the rest of the content on Twitter.  The problem is, despite what everyone says, I think Scoble is realizing the weakness of Twitter which is that it isn’t really an RSS Reader.

Scoble wants a way to take all the Tweets, by list of those he follows, and read their blog posts, just like he would in an RSS Reader.  My guess is that this is so he doesn’t have to leave Twitter to find new blog posts, a legitimate excuse.  However, Twitter just wasn’t built that way.  As one of the most vocal critics of Google Reader, I think what Scoble and others with this problem need is just what they’re criticizing – an actual RSS Reader built around reading blog posts.

I’ve always been a proponent of the mantra that Social Media is not how you give – it’s how you receive.  If you have a problem with the way others are Tweeting or blogging or posting on Facebook, then find a better way of receiving that data, unfollow, or do something so that you’re only getting the data you want to receive.  There are so many tools out there – FriendFeed (FriendFeed is so much more than just community – it’s an incredible tool!), Google Reader, TweetDeck, Seesmic Desktop, Brizzly, Twitter’s own interface, Facebook’s own interface, and many, many more, that surely there has to be something that enables this.

If not, bloggers need to be petitioning developers, not individual users of these services, to change their ways.  For instance, why can’t I separate out the Tweets with links in them from the rest of the Tweets on Seesmic Desktop?  Or why can’t I specify what my blog is on Twitter and have Twitter distinguish that as meta data for other developers to separate from the rest of the stream?  Why can’t I preview the links before clicking on them?

If you’re not getting what you want from Social Media, this is the fault of the innovators, not the users.  In the case of RSS, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it – this is why I never left Google Reader or FriendFeed in the first place, and don’t anticipate doing so any time soon.  They solve the problem Robert Scoble is speaking of for me.

That said, to be considerate of those on Twitter I may still start an additional account that imports just my blog posts, but why? So just one or two individuals can read it? At what point am I separating my Twitter stream so much that you can’t find everything you want to find out about me?  IMO the mantra still exists that you should always be using the best tool for the job, and for reading blogs, Twitter just doesn’t cut it.

All Your OS Are Belong to Google – Why Aren’t We Worried?

Kool-Aid ManI’m following the stories of the Google Chrome OS release today and am a bit concerned about some of the claims that are being made.  Mashable even goes to the extent of predicting Google is going to “destroy the desktop” with it.  Google is banking on the fact that many users use their computers solely for accessing Twitter, Facebook, and E-mail through a browser.  They’re right – we’re becoming more and more of a web-reliant society, and the cloud is rendering much of the fluff that happens on the traditional operating system unnecessary.  However it concerns me when a company so known for wanting to run that operating system fully from the cloud is the one pushing this model.  Let’s not kid ourselves here – Google wants you to run as many of their services as possible (since they’re a web company) so they can own more information about you.  That’s not always a bad thing – the more they know about you, the better an experience they can provide for you with as little effort on your part as possible.  I argue it’s the wrong approach though, and it’s harmful to user-controlled and open identity approaches on the web. My hope is that Google has a plan for this.

A Client-based OS vs. a Web-based OS

Let’s look at the old (well, I guess it’s not old yet) approach to operating systems.  They were all about the user.  A user booted up a computer they could very well have even built themselves.  The user logged in to that computer.  On Windows machines they have a Control Panel where they can adjusted their system settings.  On Macs they have System Preferences.  On *nix they have command-line (okay, I’m joking there, mostly).  They can install the programs they like.  They can adjust who can and can’t log in through the computer.

The problem with putting the user in control is that they have to be responsible for their data.  They have to be responsible for their Hard Drive not dying and losing an entire life history because of that lack of attention.  Most users don’t know how to do that.  Not only that but allowing user control includes additional overhead on the operating system, slowing boot times down, adding complexity, and increasing the learning curve for most users that just want to access their e-mail or visit Facebook, etc.

This is why a web-based OS could make sense.  The web OS focuses on one thing and one thing only – moving the user experience wholly to the cloud.  The cloud becomes the new OS, and services can be provided from there to shift the burden from the user to the cloud in storing their data.  Great!  Where do I sign up?

The Problem With a 100% Cloud Solution

There’s still a problem with this model though – with a 100% cloud-based solution the user loses all control over the experience and puts it into the hands of one or two very large entities.  The only approach to ubiquity for users is for those entities to have their hands across every website those users visit and every web app those users run.  That’s a little scary to tell you the truth.  With a 100% web-based approach the user loses control of their identity and puts it in the hands of the BigCo.  As Phil Windley puts it, this puts the focus back on Location, which is business focused, rather than Purpose, which is consumer focused.

Let’s try to look at this from another angle.  What if we were all on 100% Web-based Operating Systems and Facebook were to successfully get Facebook Connect into the hands of every single website and every single company on the web in some sort of open manner?  You’d be able to visit any website, bring your contacts from Facebook and other data from Facebook to those sites and they’d be able to customize the experience to you and provide context, right?  That’s partially true.  A server-based approach can provide some context.

However, let’s say I’m a huge Ford fan and I want to see what types of Ford cars compare with the cars I’m viewing on Chevy’s website.  Sure, Ford could provide an API to enable other websites to integrate their own context into other websites, but do you think Chevy is ever going to integrate this?

Heck, if we go back to the standpoint of Facebook, even Google and Facebook are having issues working together on that front (look at Google Friend Connect – see Facebook in any of their providers?).  The fundamental flaw of a server-based approach is there is absolutely no way organizations are going to cooperate enough to be able to provide context across 100% of the web.  No matter how many foundations are formed there will always be some disconnect that hurts the user.  The only way that’s going to happen is via the client.

Enter Information Cards and the Selector

OpenIDSelectorAs I mentioned earlier I’ve been attending the Kynetx Impact conference here in Utah hosted by Phil Windley , author of Digital Identity published by O’Reilly, also attended by such Identity superstars as Kim Cameron (who probably made Microsoft more open than it ever has been with his pioneering of the Information Card concept), Doc Searls (author of The Cluetrain Manifesto), Drummond Reed, and Craig Burton.  My eyes have truly been opened – before anything Social can truly perfect itself we have to get identity right, and a 100% web-based approach just isn’t going to do that.  I’ll be talking about that much more on this blog over the next bit – this is the future of the web.

Kim Cameron pioneered a concept called Information Cards, in which you, as a user, can store different profiles and privacy data about yourself for each website you visit.  When you visit the websites you frequent around the web, you can be presented by your client or browser with previously used Information cards that you can choose to identify yourself with. This can be a very useful and secure approach to combatting phishing (when users become reliant on information cards the authenticating site can’t obtain their log in credentials), for instance.  Check out the “Good Tweets” section of his blog post here for context.

Another great use of Information Cards, a client-based approach, is the ability to provide browser or OS-based context for each user.  This is something Kynetx is working to pioneer.  Craig Burton has talked about the concept of the “Selector”, and how the next evolution of identity from the cookie has now moved to user-controlled context as their accessing the web.  The idea is, as you select an information card, a service such as Kynetx can run on the browser (right now via extension, but future browsers will most likely have this built in) and provide a contextual experience for the user based on the “Selector” for each website that user visits.  The user sets the privacy they want to maintain for those sites, and they are given a contextual experience based on the selectors they have enabled, regardless of where they are visiting on the web.

One example of this, as I mentioned earlier, was at the Kynetx Impact conference when I visited I was presented with HTML in the upper-right corner of Facebook asking me to become a fan of Kynetx and providing me with the latest Tweets talking about the conference.  Among other examples shown, for AAA Auto service, members could provide a selector so that when they’re searching for hotels AAA can customize the experience on or or anywhere they want to let the user know which hotels provide a AAA discount and what the discount is.  AAA doesn’t need to provide an API to these sites.  They don’t need to negotiate deals.  They can just do it, and enable the users to turn it on at their full discretion.  The consumer is in full control with these technologies and they’re available to any brand right now.  Kynetx has an open API for this that they just launched yesterday.

This form of ubiquitous context for the user can’t happen in a full web-based model.  Users will always lose some sort of context if the entire experience is controlled by the web.  There has to be some involvement by the client to allow the user to truly own their identity and control the experience they have on the web.

Google Has a Responsibility to Do This Right

Google hasn’t revealed their end game in this yet, but my hope is that they continue their “Do No Evil” approach and take this as an opportunity to give the user some more control in the Web OS experience.  There is a huge opportunity for Google to be leaders in this space, and that goes beyond just Open ID.  Google could integrate Information Cards and selectors right into the Chrome browser, for instance, forcing an open, user-controlled approach to identity and introducing a new approach to marketing on the web that is controlled by the consumer.

I hope that the leaders in open standards take note and continue to push Google in this process.  The user deserves this control.  I still think the Web OS has a huge place in our future, but my hope is that we do it right from the start and keep the user in control of this process.  The way it stands it’s looking a little too Google controlled.

Be sure to check out my Twitter stream from tonight for a few more links and thoughts on this subject.

Information Card Image Courtesy Kim Cameron

Kynetx Kills the Portal, Launches Identity Platform for Developers

indexToday at Kynetx Impact Conference Kynetx is changing the future of Web Identity and privacy as we know it by taking the power away from the server and moving it over to users’ desktops, mobile phones, or other client-based technology.  Dr. Phil Windley, company CTO and co-founder in his keynote shared that the web client is the “forgotten edge” when it comes to open software development and identity management.  Currently the traditional model in identity has been one of location base, instead of purpose-based, as Dr. Windley has suggested is the future of internet activity.  Today Kynetx is releasing a developer platform which intends to enable that purpose-based identity on the web.

About a year ago I wrote on about how sites like Twitter have become the “portal” of Web 2.0.  The idea is that users are starting to use Twitter as a gateway to post content to the other sites that they actually use.  Portals have been around for awhile, Yahoo perhaps being one of the most prominent and brings content all into one location, intended to personalize the aggregation of content to the user.  In that sense, sites like FriendFeed are also modern portals.

Identity Solution #1: The Silo

The weakness of the traditional portal is that it is Location-based.  Dr. Windley suggested that users that visit websites aren’t there to visit a location – they have a purpose as to why they visit the website and portals can’t solve this problem.  Server-based solutions cannot determine the purpose of users visiting each website, as they are only capable of tracking an IP address for that user, which in and of itself isn’t even always reliable.  Sites like Facebook have tried to resolve this problem by bringing the user into a Silo, enabling them to tell others in that Silo about themselves, allowing better privacy since it is all controlled in a Silo.

The problem with the Silo method is that one single entity owns the user’s data in that case.  Users are at the mercy of the Silo to get their data out of the Silo and if the Silo ever goes away or the user ever leaves the Silo, so does their identity.  What Kynetx is doing is working to remove the need for that Silo, hopefully enabling sites like Facebook that intend to respect user privacy and user choice (something I defined earlier as another definition of “open”), taking the user’s identity information and allowing them to store that information on their desktop or in the browser itself.

Identity Solution #2: The Client and “Information Cards”

Currently through an open technology called “Information Cards”, users are able to store identity information for the various websites they visit on their own desktop.  This information is owned by the user, does not get stored on a developers server anywhere, and gives an even more detailed view of the user than any other source can give.  Kynetx is looking to bridge these Information Cards to the browser via an API through which developers can utilize these cards, and customize the browsing experience a user has as they have a purpose they want to accomplish on the web.

One example Dr. Windley shared was that of AAA (triple-A) automobile service.  Using the Kynetx engine, a developer can take AAA data, and mesh it with search results on and, and based on a user’s Information Card identify the search results that might be pertinent to that user in relation to AAA.  Another example of this is on the actual wireless network they are using at the Kynetx Impact Conference, in which they are placing various markers to give more information about the conference.  For instance, as I type this, I am seeing a little “Schedule” tab to the right that I can click any time and have the schedule for the conference pop up.  Anyone can implement this technology, and Kynetx is enabling any developer to write their own layer to the web utilizing a user’s true identity and bring that identity on top of the web itself.  This stuff is powerful!

Imagine these applications in the mobile space – what if a developer could take this similar conference technology Kynetx is using at this conference, and apply it to a mobile browser, showing the location of everyone else in the conference on a map, but also showing their identities, perhaps grouping people together by experience and what their interests are.  Or, if you take this to the shopping experience, a vendor could cater a completely customized shopping experience that is completely controlled by the user.  With Kynetx, the customer truly is the boss.

Kynetx is doing some amazing things in the identity space.  It’s amazing to watch as the leaders of this space – Phil Windley, Craig Burton, Doc Searls, Drummond Reed, and Kim Cameron are all here working to change the way we view identity.  True identity belongs on the client.  True identity belongs in the hands of the user.  Kynetx has just changed everything with their new platform.  I encourage you to check it out. You can learn more about Kynetx at

Here’s an interview I did at a dinner they invited me to last night with Phil Windley where he explains the concept:


Phil Windley, CTO and Co-Founder, Kynetx

In this video I interview Phil Windley about his company, Kynetx, and what they're doing to change the focus of the web from the server back to the client. Phil's expertise in identity makes this change even more interesting.


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Science & Technology

Earth Misses Meteor by 13 Miles

Meteor Streak Lights Up the Night Across the StateOkay, maybe it’s not that cut and dry (the earth hits meteors all the time – they just disintegrate before hitting ground).  Tonight about half of all my Utah friends all at one time reported a light, as bright as day, ascend in a blue-green aura from East to West.  For some reason I missed it, although I was up during the event.  It turns out Utah got to experience one of the closest calls of the Leonid Meteor shower tonight. Some are saying it was only 13 miles high.

Stories are surfacing from Utah to Las Vegas of bright lights, “turning the night to day”.  One was even in a plane when it happened, and the ground lit up like it was day.  According to, University of Utah Physics Professor Patrick Higgins said the light was most likely a Bolide Meteor, which, according to Wikipedia, is just an exceptionally bright, fireball-like meteor that lights up the sky.

Twitter user @sunsetlover68 has been sharing what she’s seen tonight, stating she saw at least 3 or 4 big meteors after the first one.  The second one looked like the picture to the right (I’m unsure of the source).  She also shared a video of her security cameras, which show what it looked like from the ground – as you can see it truly did light up the entire landscape!

I don’t know much about meteors, but is this a frequent occurance?  How close does the earth actually get to these things and how often?  Leave your comments below.

Photo source

Want to Learn How to Write Facebook Apps? Now’s Your Chance

facebook platformOn Thursday morning I’m doing a free webcast for Safari Books Online (moderated by OReilly’s Laurel Ackerman) in which I’m going to go into further detail than I have before on how to get started building Facebook apps.  I’ll take you from start to finish, focusing this time on more hands-on coding, and less introduction and together we’ll build a Facebook app from scratch.  I haven’t figured the time yet, but if we have time, I’ll also show you how in just 3 steps you can integrate a simple Facebook login into your own website and apply the same principles we went over with the Facebook on your own website through Facebook Connect.

I’m going to stick to HTML, FBML, and Javascript for this session – if you have a knowledge of just HTML and Javascript you should be able to follow along pretty well, so this should work well for both the new programmer wanting to get their hands wet, and the experienced programmer just getting started in the Facebook platform environment.  These sessions I normally charge businesses and organizations hundreds per student so this is a unique opportunity for you to come learn on a budget (free)!

You can register for the webcast here – it starts at 10am PST this Thursday (tomorrow!).  Each participant will get a free 45 day registration to Safari Books online’s huge library of tech books, and 10 lucky participants will also win a free autographed copy of my book on Facebook development, FBML Essentials.  Also, I’m starting a thread on my Facebook Page that I’d love to hear your questions and suggestions on what you’d like to hear in the session.  You can comment on that here.

I’m looking forward to sharing what I know with all of you – please hurry and register before it’s too late!

MuseBuzz Sends You Song Notifications Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Signed, Sealed And DeliveredI love new music. When I was younger I would spend my evenings and weekends surfing the used CD stores finding that rare track or remix no one had heard before.  I would spend hours at Blockbuster Music (remember them?) previewing every CD I could to find the perfect album or single.  Maybe it’s a bit of music ADD, but I get bored with old songs easily.  That’s why I try to use iTunes Alerts as often as I can to be notified when my favorite artist has a new Single or Album out.  Recently at a local Launchup event I came across a new service which seeks to simplify the iTunes notifications process. The service is called MuseBuzz, and it’s very simple, but incredibly useful!

With MuseBuzz you’re given one click, and PC or Mac, it automatically reads your iTunes library, retrieves the list of artists, and gives you a nice, simple interface to select (all are defaulted selected) or deselect the artists you do or don’t want to receive new music notifications for.  I left mine all checked, and look forward to receiving e-mail notifications for the artists I listen to in my library.

While it would be nice to have more filtering options and maybe a smarter recommendations filter to suggest my most frequently listened artists (maybe using or Pandora data?), this is definitely a step much further than Apple has been able to provide in their own iTunes interface.  I am unaware of any other service that does similar.  The site requires a simple registration to get your e-mail address and a login, but after that you’re immediately presented with your list of artists.

musebuzz artist list

MuseBuzz is founded by Chase Brammer, a new entrepreneur and local Utah Flex expert.  For such a simple business concept, I’m excited to see what new songs show up in my inbox next.  The service is completely free and you can run it at

You can see Chase’s presentation at Launchup on Ustream here.

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Come Learn About SocialToo At LaunchUp - Your Companion to the Social WebI’m opening the books tonight on my company, SocialToo.  I’ll be presenting tonight at Launchup, an event compared to be a “community barn raising for entrepreneurs”.  The event happens every couple months and has featured such Utah companies as TodaysMama (whom I am an Advisor) and Entice Labs.  The idea is to allow each company a short time to present (I have 7 minutes), expose themselves in as transparent a manner as possible, then let the community ask questions and provide advice and help in helping that business grow.

Tonight I’ll be sharing all the details most businesses won’t share about themselves with SocialToo – yes, it’s a risk, but I am a big believer in transparency. You’ll hear about how many users we have, how much revenue we’re bringing in per month, where I see our weaknesses and strengths to be, etc.  I’ll show you a demo about how you can get set up with a SocialToo account and DM spam filters for Twitter in under 2 minutes with just the click of a button.

This week Launchup will also start bringing these entrepreneur features to the world with Ustream.  You can watch anywhere in the world on Ustream at or on the main website at  The event starts at 6pm, and will also feature presentations by MuseBuzz and PageMass (which I got a demo of yesterday – I think bloggers are going to like this one).  Launchup is organized by Jeremy Hanks, CEO and founder of, another Guy Kawasaki Advisorship company (as is SocialToo).  Come join and say hi!

You can read a brief Q&A I did for them at