• Business,  Design,  Internet

    The Devil’s in the Details – Frictionless Checkout

    Recently I’ve become a fan of Lot18, a flash sale site for wine lovers, which works much like Gilt Groupe for wine. Like Gilt, they offer quality products at a discount to standard retail, and their site features rich descriptions and photos. They’ve also taken advantage of some best practices in flash sales, including: Daily emails to introduce the latest offering and drive traffic Limited quantities Time-limited sales Countdown “expiration” timer after you’ve added something to your cart The last item is key, as I believe it’s one of the things that makes Gilt so successful: urgency. Items are reserved for a limited time (10 minutes) when you add them…

  • Internet,  mobile

    Tethered Thunderbolt Faster Than My Office DSL

    I love my new Thunderbolt Android phone on Verizon’s network. It’s a battery hog, but I’ve managed to tease out almost a full day’s usage with judicious battery management. The best thing, though, is Verizon’s 4G LTE network, which kicks ass. I just moved into new office space in downtown SF, and we have AT&T’s DSL here. We’ll probably get a new provider soon, though, because the Internet speeds suck. As an experiment I’m tethering my Thunderbolt to my laptop today, and after a quick speed test it’s clear that my tethered Thunderbolt kicks my office DSL’s ass: Office Internet Speed This is actually much better than average, maybe because…

  • Business,  Internet

    The Never-ending Twitter Ordeal

    As you might guess from the fact that I’m @peter on Twitter, I was a pretty early adopter. In fact, I signed up almost immediately after the service went live. For the past three years I’ve enjoyed using the service, and it’s been fascinating to see its evolution. Imagine my surprise, then, when nine days ago I woke up to discover that Twitter had suspended my account. I received no notice from them, and there was no apparent reason for the suspension. I’ve only ever evangelized Twitter to all my friends, and I’ve never done anything shady, so I figured the suspension must have been an accident. Now, I know…

  • Business,  Humor,  Internet,  video

    A.P. Achieves New Depths of Cluelessness

    You really couldn’t make this stuff up if you tried. The Associated Press is well on its way to becoming the RIAA of the news industry. Their latest stunt involves one of their VPs sending a cease and desist letter to a Tennessee radio station (WTNQ), asking them to remove an AP video they had embedded on WTNQ’s website from YouTube. The source of the YouTube video content? None other than the AP’s own YouTube channel. That’s right – the AP’s right hand doesn’t even know what it’s left hand is doing. I guess no one told their legal department that they actually have their own YouTube channel on which…

  • Internet,  mobile,  social network

    What’s Your Real Twitter Cred? – A Better Metric

    People who propose a count of followers or followees on Twitter as a meaningful measure of a user's "authority" are completely missing the mark. Twitter is a social, interactive tool, so to measure influence properly we need a more appropriate metric. In this post I detail what those measures should look like and why they're so much better at describing influence.

  • Event,  Internet,  social network

    Drink for free all week

    Hooray! Web 2.0 Expo is here. What does that mean? Well, beside the fact that there are way more tech nerds in SF than usual, it also means a lot of companies are spending perfectly good VC money to get you liquored up. For all you party animals out there, here’s a quick list of the Web 2.0 parties going on this week.