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Archive for the ‘network’ Category

Wherever you turn on the web these days you’re constantly hearing about the next social web 2.0 site. Whether it’s twitter, Facebook, or MySpace or the next big site or technology destined to conquer the web, everyone is after the hearts and minds of the individual trying to build the largest social network. What I’m wondering is why someone hasn’t started the MySpace or Facebook equivalent for local businesses.

Despite all of the improvements to the latest search engines, it is still very difficult to receive great results for the local companies you would normally use the phone book to find. The only way Google, Yahoo, etc. can return these results is if these business have a web site which many of them still don’t.

To solve this problem, I’m proposing a simple low cost (or free) alternative to creating a web site and that would be to create a site similar to MySpace for local business. This Local Business site would focus on what local businesses need to promote themselves; address information and maps, contact information, and coupons. It would allow ratings for services, blogging by business owners, and event information. Most importantly it would allow businesses to connect and partner with one another similar to how people connect on Facebook or Linkedin. Think about this for second. How powerful would such a feature be?

Here’s one example, I recently purchased a new gas fireplace insert. The company I purchased the fireplace from also recommend two different plumbers and a mason that I could call for estimates. Recommendations like this can be priceless to local businesses and simplify my search. This information could be readily available on the Local Business site. What if I needed a plumber and didn’t know where to look. If I go to the phone book, I just start calling people based on their ad or their business name. Wouldn’t it be better if you could look up a plumber on the Local Business site and see what other local business have partnered with them?

This is just the tip of the iceberg. The potential for such a site would be enormous especially when you factor in advertising, perhaps a Google Adwords type system built into the site. Certainly, like all social software, it’s only as good as the people (or in this case businesses) that join but I think the advantages of joining such a network would be huge for many businesses. It would also save me, and probably thousands of others, from wasting their time randomly choosing people from a phone book.

Now I just need a team, a business plan, and some funding 😉

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I’m not sure how this fit into things but here’s a thought I had earlier today…

Today, if you were to visualize how news spreads, it would look something like this. Picture a globe spinning in your mind. As that globe spins, picture one point on that globe briefly flashing. This flash represents a new blog post. Now picture subsequent flashes as people pick up on the conversation and either reply to or expand upon that blog post. These flashes would jump around from continent to continent, city to city, with no rhyme or reason as to where the next step in this conversation will take place other than a common interest in the same topic.

Now picture how such a conversation would have taken place in the early 1900’s. If you looked at the same spinning globe, you would still see the initial flash of light, but the subsequent flashes would probably look more like a ripple effect slowly moving away from the conversations epicenter. You would need to magnify your global vision and look at the conversation based on a smaller region such as a city or town to see the same “jumping” effect we now see on a global level.

What does all this mean. To me, I find it fascinating how small our world has become. Today’s global mapping of a conversation probably looks like a conversation mapping of a city early 1900’s. Today’s ripple effect has been minimized by our ability to easily take part in conversations on a global scale. In fact, if the same ripple effect was to take place today, it would have to happen beyond our planet, beyond the current boundaries of the internet.

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Nice comparison of Apple TV vs. Mac Mini. I need a way to get my photos, archived DVDs, home movies, and music to my HDTV from my home network but I’m not convinced the best solution is available just yet. I was hoping the Apple TV would be the answer but I’m back leaning toward a Mac Mini…while hoping that it gets another spec bump to better handle HD recording. For now, I’ll wait and see what comes of the Apple TV. Once the reviews file in and the hackers come out with some enhancements it may make the answer more clear cut.

In the end, it doesn’t have to be Apple, but it has to have slick UI, support multiple file formats (VIDEO_TS,DivX,etc.), and be easy to use. Other nice to haves that may push me toward my final purchase would be HD recording, TV show archiving, and web. Hopefully an affordable solution will present itself in 2007.

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Hard drive sizes have got to pick up the pace. For several years, I used to think that it would be impossible to fill my 60GB drive. Now that I have a daughter, I’m wishing I could get several Terabytes of data on a single drive. I’m taking many more photos then I have ever taken and I’m even shooting short movies. I’m also playing around with archiving DVD’s so I can access them from a media center whenever I want. Sure I can string together several 500GB or 700GB drives but buying separate drives gets expensive real fast. I’m also using a D-Link NAS for it’s Gigabit speeds and data throughput but it only holds 2 drives. I don’t need a NAS farm and I don’t want to invest in a file server. What I need is a huge drive, 2 to 4 TB, at a reasonable price to put in my NAS. This would a least get me through the next several years even if I’m archiving some high-def content.

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