Spying on Myself and LifeTracker

Picture 3Fred Wilson had a post this weekend about MyWare and his love of it. I couldn’t agree more as i’m a huge proponent of tracking my own activity. For instance,

Fred wrote that he likes to keep this data because, “I am interested in this sector of implicit behavior data. I believe that publishing the things I do on the web will allow web services to get smarter about me and give me better experiences.” I keep track for different reasons.  I actually like to keep data about myself. I find it interesting and i use to remember events of my life.

But i see it going even further.  What i wrote was:

When i look at the web, i see people trying to capture experiences. They capture photos on flickr, videos on youtube, and notes with people on email. Their life is being tracked but not in a comprehensive way.

I could imagine a site – call it “Lifetracker.com” which tracks all the things you do. You plug in last.fm, gmail (or other email), google voice, flickr/picassa, twitter, credit card (mint), youtube and other web services. I then matches 3 things: the data, the contacts, and the time. It creates a timeline for you and marks who you’ve been interacting with and when. There’s an API so each new web service you start using you can plug into it.

There are several benefits: (1) as you mentioned, you can give this data to services for recommendations; (2) you can search your life. If google is web search, twitter is real-time search, this would be “me search”; (3) just like we don’t remember phone numbers anymore b/c we put them into our phone to retrieve any time we want, we can start throwing information into lifetracker such as meeting notes, audio recordings of phone calls, etc. so we don’t have to write stuff down and remember it. Use the cloud as a memory storage instead of your brain

I see this coming and it’s really exciting to think about it.

I do think it will happen.  What do you think?

Fred Wilson's Take on Twitter

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

There’s a good video by Fred Wilson about Twitter and what he, as an investor in it, thinks about it.  What he boils it down to is three points:

  1. “the single most important is that twitter from day 1 is a platform that others can build upon”
  2. “it is very one-dimensional…it doesn’t do anything that is not in the timeline….It’s power comes from that – it’s straightforward”
  3. “Twitter is the news feed for the web” as people embed links in their tweets and it’s now an alerting system

What else is interesting is that Twitter wasn’t pitched to Fred but rather he was an early user of it and he pitched to them to try to get them to take money from Union Square Ventures.  This is why i think Fred is one of the best VC’s in the business because he uses the products.  The web is all about product.  It’s not like the industrial revolution, it is a consumer facing which means that the usability is extremely important.  He is an early adopter and gets into the weeds. I have a hard time imagining other VC’s using Twitter when it was still a part of Odeo.


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VC Economics

This is an article/blog post by Fred Wilson who, in my mind, is one of the best VC’s out there. He’s invested in Feedburner, Tacoda, Twitter and others and i’ve found that his opinions are usually on the money.

He wrote a good post today about how his firm manages their funds and in that he shows the assumptions they have for size of investments, length, carry, etc.. During my pitching process, I found that almost all VC’s operate somewhat like this – with bigger funds having bigger investment sizes. This is great information and would have been helpful a few years ago as knowing how you fit into a VC firm’s plans helps you figure out on how best to pitch to them.

Anyway, i was amazed he’d share this info on a blog and thought it was interesting. Post is here: http://www.avc.com/a_vc/2008/08/venture-fund–1.html

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Why I like to blog

While reading Fred Wilson’s blog today about Live Blogging, he ended his post with this comment:

Blogging has a reputation as an ego centric activity for people who want to be heard. And that is certainly true and a big motivation for many people who do it. But blogging can be valuable in many other ways.

I often get in conversations with people as to why i blog.  To many it’s viewed as pure a vanity project.  I’ve found that putting my ideas and thoughts down for others to read is a great way to stimulate conversation and “talk” with friends but to do so by;

  1. allowing them to jump in at their leisure.  After they see the movie or read the book that i’ve written about or if they finally get a moment when they’re bored at work.
  2. not requiring them to participate.  They can read and process but unlike email they don’t have to respond unless they want to.  I’ve noticed that many of my friends will read my blog, never comment but will bring it up with me weeks or months later.  I love this.  We’re talking but in a turn-based way.  I’m just always making the first move
  3. making the conversation to be public – anyone can join.

I love it for these reasons. I don’t really care how many people read it or if anyone at all reads.  Sometimes i like to just get my thoughts down on paper so they’re organized and stated and i can forget them.

Why do you blog?  What do you like about it?

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