Google Sidebar/Firefox?

I've been test driving the Google Sidebar for a few days.

It is interesting from the standpoint that it has a pluggable architecture with available API's (Brad thinks this is good :-)) The "out of the box" Sidebar items are fairly vanilla and include widgets like weather, news, etc. Several of the widgets, including "Quick View" and "Web Clips", sniff IP traffic to monitor sites you have visited and RSS Feeds among other things.

The Quick View widget works pretty well for IE traffic, however, for some reason it refuses to monitor anything I visit in Firefox. The Sidebar image shows Firefox views, so it must be me. Anyone encountering a similar issue?

Mother Hips - Everyone Knows This is Nowhere

One of my favorite bands, The Mother Hips released a download-only (with great artwork) show where they play Neil Young's "Everyone Knows This is Nowhere" in its' entirety. The sound quality is fantastic; make sure to get the FLAC version :-)

In a big picture sense, I wonder how this works for them. They don't have a deal with a major label but they are able to still get music out to their fan base. A good long-tail example.

BarCamp:Friday Night (Day One)

I attended BarCamp Day One (Friday night) -- very cool. Too bad Marc Canter wasn't there as it was about as unconference as it gets; he would have loved it. The interests were quite varied - everything from Web 2.0 to "Old Macs".

I met several entreprenuers who are completely bootstrapping their startups with open source and teams that are remote (i.e. working from their houses). Some people seem a bit squeamish about admitting this, until I tell them that MessageCast (and Bloglines) did the same thing. We didn't move into our office in Redwood City until we had been at it for more than 2 years. The new paradigm - embrace it.

Thanks to Ross Mayfield and SocialText for hosting us in their (very) new digs. Barcamp goes through Sunday so stop in if you are in the area.

Radio Commentary from Doug Kaye

Doug Kaye has a great post today about the "Future of Radio". One quote that stood out to me was this one:

The future of public radio may not be podcasting, but it will certainly be based on much lower-cost methods of producing and distributing most programs, and as incumbents in the industry, the WGBHs of the world are unable to cannibalize their own operations to the extent they must to survive.

I saw this first-hand when I was on John Furrier's show. Using a laptop, a mixing board, two mics and an iRiver, John had his own portable studio. Total cost, including the laptop, was under $6k. One (of many) reasons that podcasting has grown so rapidly; it is "open source media" at an accessible price point.

Podshow gets funded

Private Equity Week is reporting that Podshow has closed an $8.85m "A" round with KP and Sequoia.

The sound you here is podcasting, launching into the stratosphere. iTunes adds support and now KP/Sequoia team-up on Podshow. Congrats to AC, you (along with others) had the vision to see how to use enclosures to bring us time-shifted media. Sometimes great, sometimes crap, you've changed the way I interface with content.


Jason has kudos/questions

Odeo announces their own deal

Google Adsense

I dropped in the required Javascript earlier today to enable Google Adsense. A bit of poking around tells me that there is quite a bit of tuning to be done to maximize things.

My first thoughts are not so great - the ads took hours to show up and when they did, they are all for garage doors! (probably taken from my URL I'll be monitoring this closely over the next few days to see if the ads become more contextual based on the actual content in my blog.

Post-vacation Payback!

You think I would have learned by now - fresh off a week vacation (the first one in a while) and I fire up my email. Gee, only 1012 unread messages If I plow straight through, I should be caught up by Friday or so...

Micropayments and rel="payment" attribute

Jay Deadman has an interesting proposal to create a simple micropayment mechanism for content creators. He proposes adding "payment" to the "rel" attribute. When added to a blog, it would provide an easy way to subscribers to contribute via the tip jar:

Since this is an open protocol, any tool can use this info to connect viewer with the videoblogger to give money. So the link would look like this: Pay Me I created a page at DropCash that will let you donate money to me. rel="payment" is then thing that FireANT or Mefeedia can tell its a Payment button. We were very excited because its so simple. You are just sending someone to a URL...which could be anything: a paypal account, a way to buy your DVD, a place to donate to "save the whales", a page that gives me your P.O.Box to mail a check. It's up to you where you want someone to go to pay you.

Let's see if this goes anywhere. The tag wouldn't provide enough info to iTunes to say, charge a certain amount for a download (although I doubt the amount would be exposed in the RSS feed anyway...or would it?) It is a very simple mechanism; however, sometimes simple = most effective.

Update Based on the comments in Jay's post, it looks like a few vloggers are already trying it out