Blogging from my iPhone

Writing in a hand held device is constraining. I’m pecking now with a single finger in the dark. House asleep, new baby Rhea sleeping. Makes me choose words much more carefully, no slower. Thoughts: iPhone apps that should be:
1. Skype for children. 2 buttons and 2 buttons only. (1) call mommy (2) call daddy. Parents set it up and it is locked down so my 2 year old could use it with safety. My 6 year old has an iPod touch and wake up parents who don’t undersytand that these devices are pocket computers.

2. Net nanny for iPhone, with a twist. Every single web site content filter I have reviewed has holes in it. Violence, hate, porn and everything a child should not be exposed to can slip through the filters. This is the problem. Why not make the parent responsible? With ubiquitous mobile tech, I could receive a “push” notification each time my child wanted to access a new website. A click of a button would allow or deny. Simple.

Now take it to the next level. Dad, Mom, Grandma, Uncle, Aunt; a real social network. Using a trusted social network to help approve content is more reasonable than interrupting Dad at work during a sales call.

Final level. Trusted social networks that are disparate can interact on a limited basis. Network A says sesamestreet.org is 99% rated G. That is input, but not gospel unless the rules of your network allow it to be. An eBay type rating system could give clue over what social networks are to be trusted.

This is a business model that parents would not think twice about sinking $$ into. I’m one if them.

Why give away ideas? I firmly believe that if you don’t empty your head of what is on your mind, the ideas stop.

All this typed with one thumb

Vision of a mobile future; embrace your mobile computer

Vision of a mobile future; embrace your mobile computer

Don’t get caught up in the naming of things with words, it gets confusing.  Words change the very nature of how we think about something.  It is “this”, therefore it is “that”.  Now, a tree is a tree and a rock is a rock, unless you are in some altered state on consciousness, but we won’t go there. I’m focused on the newcomer words that are still in flux.   Too often it is herd mentality that gives  new things their name.

Today I stared on my iPhone, Blackberry, GPhone and Palm pre on my desk and ask myself  “what are these?”

mobile-phones1Cell Phones, Mobile Devices or Mobile Computers?

My company, Broadlook is developing software for mobile devices and I needed to have all of them.  I’m also a gadget freak, so I enjoy having all of them. Perhaps the collection of them, together, was odd and put me into a bit of a trance.

“What are these?”, I asked myself again.
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Fun with Tag Clouds

Fun with Tag Clouds

Tag Cloud

Tag Cloud

I’ve had some recent fun with Tag Clouds.  These are the sections of blogs that show the most frequently used words in blog postings; the most used words are shown in larger text, less frequent in smaller text.

Tag clouds are great summary tools.  In my next presentation at the Specialized Information Publishers Conference in DC,  I am presenting on The 7 laws of Internet List Generation.  I thought it would be fun to start the talk with the first slide that shows a Tag Cloud of the most frequently used words in the PowerPoint presentation.

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Idea for Google Android(GPhone): no ring zone

After reading about the new Google Android cell phone platform (the Gphone), it rekindled an idea that I had at a conference some time ago.  Turns out there is no “phone” behind the gPhone.  Instead it is an open source platform for cell phones.

About 2 years ago, I was a member of  a technology panel at a recruiting conference.  While one of my fellow panelist was finishing answering a question, a cell phone started ringing in the audience. 

On most panels, audience questions naturally get directed to the right person; the panel learns quicky how to use each others expertise and take or defer questions as needed.

I got a question right after the cell phone rang.  The specifics of the question, I do not remember. It was something about how to apply the right mix of technology in a recruitment process (right up my alley).   A cell phone ringing 10 minutes after the event MC asked everyone to turn their phones off perturbed me.

With microphone in hand, I addressed the crowd. “I’m wondering if the people in the audience today heard the announcement about turning off cell phones. It is quite disturbing for the people on stage.  I guess I don’t understand it.  In the last 30 minutes, I’ve heard 4 cell phones.”  Several people noticibly slinked down in their seats…most likely the offenders.  The crowd was expecting that I was going to chastise them all. 

In reality, I had an idea that I wanted to share with the audience:  The no ring zone.  The topic of the panel was technology in recruitment. 

Here is a general idea of what I said

“We’ve been talking about the right application of technology and when to apply it.  Here is a perfect example.  What if there was a device set at the door of this conference, that when passed by, set cell phones to vibrate only?  Call it a no ring zone.  In high schools around the country, cell phones are being banned.  As a parent, I want my children to be able to reach me and I want to be able to reach them.  What if this same device could set high schools to parent only ring zones?”

I got a good deal of nodding heads, and a few emails from people over the last year about this idea.  I’ve had good conversations about it and it always ends up with our agreement that unless there was some unifying standard behind the cell phones, we wouldn’t be seeing this feature any time soon.

Now that Google has the Android platform, we just need some developer to create a single application, make it free, and market it to speakers, conferences, high schools and parents. Not a bad little market.