October 30, 2007
Few days ago I’ve read a post about Mozilla-clone “web 2.0 browser” Flock to include cross-social networks interface - allowing you to view all your friends from various social network systems like facebook or twitter, in one place -> flock user interface.
This neat feature can be seen from two perspectives - both equally interesting and gaining more and more “tracking” across various blogs:
first is the issue of some kind of cross-social network “OpenID”-like mechanism, that would allow users to see all their friends from various social network sites in one place (and import those contacts to various soc. networks as well) - instead of having to login to facebook.. to myspace.. to linked in.. to beboo… and all other sites one of which your friends happen to use. Of course from technological point of view such “open network” is more than possible, and few companies (like Microsoft of Google) already started to work on prototype versions of thereof. However, the main issue I’d see here, is… what good can come to facebook or myspace or any other social network site, from such open system? Nothing. The strength of any website comes from its users’ visits - and by eliminating the need to go to one website, login, see the ads (SEE THE ADS!), interact, click on something - by eliminating all that through some easy to use open network ID / API - all participating sites will loose. (Of course all their users will win big time - at least until that open ID network API starts to distribute text ads like… Facebook Ads Distribution system )
So as you can see, the basic idea behind using such open ID, is that whoever became the dominant design for usage of thereof, is going to be ultimate winner of the whole social networks market. Simply because by having all friends from all networks in one place, users wont have any incentives to go back to those networks anymore.
Which leads us to the conclusion: those who controls the dominant “user interface” of one system, are automatically on the best position of getting most $$$ / benefits. What flock is trying to do by adding “transparent facebook & twitter integration” is (very clever, indeed) stealing users from those sites - and eventually, monetizing on them…
What’s the second issue?
I’m waiting for Firefox to became a platform. Not just for web 2.0 apps like flock. And not just for “Firefox >>stupid little<< plug-ins”. I’m waiting for Firefox to became full grown web applications development platform, with its own SDK allowing to integrate as many features and as many websites as user (and developers) wants. Facebook platform was a huge success, for sure. But imagine how many users Firefox have, and how many sites (not just Facebook) it presents daily to all those users - being effectively their “user interface” to Internet. For millions of people “Internet” is their web browser. Why not monetize of this?
October 3, 2007
I couldn’t stop laughing when I read this post:
”I have had some minor success using Odesk.com. I’ve hired one guy hourly there, that was a mistake. He told me he was having Internet problems and couldn’t upload his work, so I gave him a little leeway and then I missed the deadline for disputing his hours and got stuck with the bill. He is supposedly still supposed to be finishing for me so he can get new work for me, but it has been 2 months.”
I think I should get used to it, but I can’t. It’s always a shock to find people who really believe that the right way to work on Internet project is to “find programmer, find designer and let them to the dirty work”.
Sorry guys - it almost always fails. Single programmer can do only really small projects (if he is good - that’s another story). If you have two (or more) - you instantly jump into problems with project management. That’s one of the main problems with ODesk and hiring “freelancers” - you always end-up being 2nd on their priority list (daily job is usually first) and you always have comunication & project management problems. Plus they are almost always crap. And in case of problems - they can disappear in the middle of the project! Oh yeah!
Solution? There are two. First is simple - build your in-house team (if you can afford it). It will be expensive but you will get a lot more control (if you can handle it of course). Second - if you want to go off-site - hire a team, or even better, a company specialized in projects which you want to build. There’s plenty of offshore companies out there, small specialized software houses, working with their clients on-line, and doing really good job. Why not use one of them.
ODesk, eLance, Guru… if you really believe its possible to build “clone of ebay” for $50 in two weeks - go ahead, try it. But if you are in business and your software project is really critical - then you better invest good money and don’t expect $10/h developers to be great. World is one market now, there’s millions of other people who want to do their projects, but only few good developers. And those developers will work with those who pay most - simple as that.
Pay more than usual. Include bonus for successful project delivery. Get team of programmers (who worked together in the past) or specialized development company. Learn more about software project management, quality assurance etc. And I guarantee you will start having better results, and getting better software..!