Archive by Author - Matthew Buckland

Le Web 2009, Day 2: The good, the bad and the vacuous

by on December 10, 2009 at 8:44 am

matthew-buckland-300For day two of Le Web, this Travelling Geek slinked off to one of the side rooms for the “deep discussion” sessions. There was the word “future” in quite a few of the session titles, which caught my attention. (more…)

(From an original article by Matthew Buckland)

Startups of Le Web 2009, Paris

by on December 10, 2009 at 7:11 am

The winner of the Le Web Startup competition was announced as Stribe — it’s a plug & play application that turns your site into a social network (not too dissimilar from the Hub actually). The runners up were CloudSplit and Mendeley.

The other startups that entered the competition included:

Siteheart Inc
Sports Predictions
the hyper words company
Yeasty Mobs

tags: le web, startups

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(From an original article by Matthew Buckland)

Le Web: Chris Pirillo’s pillars of community

by on December 9, 2009 at 6:29 am

Chris Pirillo, founder of Lockergnome, is a philosophical and passionate person. He’s a humble guy and a funny, engaging speaker. He’s someone who loves technology, community and gadgets — and is a great speaker. At Le Web he gave us some original thoughts about “community”. It’s a bit fluffy (and if you’re a cynic, you may say “vacuous”), but if you think about every one of these points below carefully, there’s quite a bit of insight and deeper truth to them. It makes a difference from the many business-oriented slides we see that tend to be literal and practical.

So, what is the essence of community? Community…

…lives inside us. Where I go, community goes. We create it based on our preferences, like dislikes and the people we link up with.

…is becoming increasingly distributed, as we distribute our ideas and thoughts across social networks.

…requires tools that can’t be built (so don’t try), ie if its us, we can’t scale ourselves.

…is a commodity, but people aren’t. It’s easy to set up a website or blog, but the people and voices behind it are what makes it unique, special.

…cannot be controlled, but can be “guided”.

…is no longer defined by physical boundaries. You probably have more in common with a geek living on another continent than your next door neighbour.

…grows its own leaders. the best leaders come organically out of a community, and is not an appointed one. It’s crucial that communities grow it’s own leaders for credibility and respect reasons.
…is the antithesis of ego. Community is myself and everyone else, not just me or my Twitter stream.
… is everywhere, inside you. It’s what you share, your passions — and it’s this that will spell success. tags: Chris Pirillo, community, lockergnome, pillars of community

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(From an original article by Matthew Buckland)

Day 1: A mixed bag @leweb

by on December 9, 2009 at 5:12 am

Le Web. Day one. It started off slowly, but then got better. There was nothing terribly controversial or any ground-breaking announcements. The Twitter and Facebook talks were mainly marked with meaningless platitudes like “our success depends on your success” or there’s a “shift is happening from the static web to the social web”: too much PR and not enough heart.

Later in the afternoon, it got a bit better: Chris Pirillo of Lockergnome delivered a stirring, original and passionate presentation on “community” — and YouTube CEO and founder, Chad Hurley, gave the conference some down-to-earth and interesting insights. (more…)

(From an original article by Matthew Buckland)

Travelling Geeks in Paris: The pictures

by on December 9, 2009 at 12:15 am


The Travelling Geeks are: Eliane Fiolet, Tom Foremski, Robin Wauters, Kim-Mai Cutler, Frederic Lardinois, Matt Buckland, Sky Schuyler, Jerome Tranie, Ewan Spence, Olivier Ezratty, Cyrille de Lasteyrie, Renee Blodgett, Amanda Coolong, Beth Blecherman, Robert Scoble, and Phil Jeudy.

tags: Traveling Geeks

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(From an original article by Matthew Buckland)

Traveling Geeks meet 11 Paris startups

by on December 8, 2009 at 5:34 am

On day 2, we arrived at the Paris Developpement Incubateurs an incubator of French tech start-ups. The Travelling Geeks, now with one added Robert Scoble, saw a rapid-fire set of 11 presentations from some very interesting companies and people:

Int13: is a French developer of next-generation games for Smartphones (iPhone, Windows Mobile, Symbian S60, Linux…). They are experimenting with mobile augmented reality games.

CityZeum: provide travel guides for the web and mobile phones, mixing UGC, with expert content and content from journalists.

Scan & Target is a 1-million-euro-funded startup, providing solutions around real-time text mining for web and mobile content (email, SMS, IM, blogs, forums, Twitter).

Rue 89 is a pureplay news website, something between and HuffingtonPost. They focus on creating news in a collaborative way via a mixture of journalists, experts and users.

Gostai: Focuses on building a common software platform for Robots, almost like a universal Robot operating system. These guys are way ahead of most mortals.

Zoomorama cares about the “art of information” and is focused on creating a new visual way of surfing the internet and creating presentations. Not too different from innovative Hungarian presentation company, Prezi. Check out more here

Stribe A b2b, Techcrunch50 canditate that’s a plug and play service, allowing a site to instantly create a social network on any website. Sounds quite similar to something else I’m doing actually…

Path Motion. A web 2.0 recruitment play that offers users “friendly questions” to identify their ideal career path, also providing jobs that match them.

MLstate think that web development is “broken” and they want to “rethink web development for the 21th century”. They’re developing One Pot Applications (OPA), a common platform enabling easy development of SaaS web applications.

Teacheo: Is an online tutoring community with virtual classrooms. They make money by linking tutors and students. Simple, but effective. They use 3D modelling to demo items between students and tutors and have good video chat.

Stupeflix: A web service that turns your pictures, videos, and text into professional videos on the fly, just like that!

tags: Paris startups, Traveling Geeks

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(From an original article by Matthew Buckland)

Traveling geeks intro video (LOL)

by on December 7, 2009 at 5:10 pm

tags: Traveling Geeks

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(From an original article by Matthew Buckland)

Visual social bookmarking: Innovative, but will it fly?

by on December 7, 2009 at 2:35 am

Fresh off the plane, I’m on the road with the Travelling Geeks, and the first startup on our schedule is an innovative Paris-based social bookmarking operation, Pearl Trees. Their founder and CEO, Patrice Lamothe, says the site offers users a new way to “curate” or organise their lives on the web.

They’ve secured about US$3,5m in funding for what is essentially a type of visual social bookmarking site, offering a relatively unique drag-and-drop interface. The site, which has been in development for about 7-months, relies heavily on Flash. As far as I can see, it’s essentially a, but with a visual twist, offering a tree-like structure in which to categorise and store your bookmarks. It also offers a nifty, generously-sized real-time preview of the sites you have bookmarked.

The UI may appeal to some, but not to others. I’m in the camp of wanting simple UI and getting my bookmarks quickly (and and Google bookmarks does this very well for me). For me, social bookmarking sites are essentially utility sites, so its interesting that the creators of Pearl Trees went for this highly visual, more complex approach. In my opinion, simple interfaces and simple HTML sites may work better for utility sites such as these.

Pearl Trees is still in Alpha (0.4.1) and by Lamothe’s own admission it’s still early days. What they have achieved is impressive, considering its only been in development for 7 months.

I find it interesting that the site offers no way for a user to search through his or her bookmarks. Lamothe reckons users won’t need search as a result of the unique way they are categorising and storing information, although he later concedes its something they may look at. Search feels like a big omission: When my little Tree of Pearls gets busy, I’m going to need a way to access my bookmarks quickly via a search without excessive clicking. Also the heavy use of Flash seems like a barrier to entry to accessing the info quickly.

Pearl Trees also takes us back to a “real-world” hierarchical approach of organising information, which we know tends not to work on the web where information is endless, and you can’t predict what that information will be. So there are questions over how scalable their model is. In the future, as my Pearl Tree grows large — I may find myself constantly revisiting the hierarchy, trying to manage it, change it and remould it as new information pours in. (I don’t have the time to do this.)

Apart from Pearl Tree’s visual edge, which actually may be a inhibitor, I struggle to find how it differentiates itself from other social bookmarking sites? I guess it may boil down to what type of person you are: Someone who just wants the information or a visual person that enjoys bold UIs that may mirror a desktop experience of storing and filing data.

The genius of Pearl Trees may actually lie in the fact that it appeal to a broader type of user, and not the early adopter crowd. In many ways social bookmarking sites like Digg, haven’t really ventured very far outside the tech-savvy, early adopter markets. However lyrical I wax about them, my mother is unlikely to ever use these sites. However she may use something like Pearl Trees, because the UI will make sense to her: It looks and works like her desktop.

Pearl Trees is a good start, and I generally like their approach. I think they are on to something if their plan is to target a broader type of internet user, and I predict Pearl Trees will evolve quite radically (maybe into something else) as the founders continue to build, interrogate and innovate around their creation.

tags: Paris startups, pearl trees, social bookmarking

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(From an original article by Matthew Buckland)

Les Geeks de travel @ le web

by on December 1, 2009 at 12:13 pm

I’m off to Paris this weekend to attend Le Web (agenda here). I also need to come clean about something: I’m part of a top secret, Illuminati-type organisation known as the Traveling Geeks. The TGs know everything about everything. They knew you were going to read this post, and have also just taken your DNA […]

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(From an original article by Matthew Buckland)

A vision of 2019: Interface eye candy

by on May 21, 2009 at 3:11 pm

It’s a vision of the future from Microsoft Office Labs. If you’re into interfaces and devices — and how they may look in the future, you’ll love the video below:

(You can watch a crisper version too)

tags: future interfaces, interfaces, Microsoft, Microsoft Office Labs

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Will Facebook eventually replace the Windows & Mac desktop?…

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