October 27, 2006
Slides from Blog Business Summit on Live Web Search
Yesterday, I gave a short talk on live web search at the BBS.
Here are the slides in pdf.
Earlier today, Robert Scoble, Ben Edwards and I talked about video tools and helpful ideas for businesses promoting or engaging with video online. For that one, I had no slides, as instead I showed examples of companies like the Little Mismatched video ad contest and the Zany category winner: Rockin' in Stockins or the BottomUnion Carp Caviar video blogger ad campaign.
Both companies did really creative things and people were quite interested in them. I played the Rockin' in Stockins video, which is quite funny. Take a peek!
October 26, 2006
Patent Lawsuits. Oy.
Eric Chabrow of InformationWeek emailed and asked my opinion about the IBM patent lawsuit against Amazon.
The patents IBM is suing over are:
1. US 5,796,967 -- Presenting Applications in an Interactive Service.
2. US 5,442,771 -- Storing Data in an Interactive Network.
3. US 7,072,849 -- Presenting Advertising in an Interactive Service.
4. US 5,446,891 -- Adjusting Hypertext Links with Weighted User Goals and Activities.
5. US 5,319,542 -- Ordering Items Using an Electronic Catalogue.
Here's what I said:
I think the larger issue with this case is that software patents are bad for everyone in the industry.
For little and big guys, patents are a distraction from innovation, yet funders and legal departments force them to engage in patents because they can. And because lots of people get them, everyone else feels they have to also. The system is very, very broken.
When patents are leveraged, especially in this way, they hurt our ability to be more innovative and interoperable, which is very important for users. These particular patents in the IBM suit are no different. It hurts our whole software industry when these things happen, and the suit is indicative of the kinds of mistakes the PTO makes overall because they don't understand that they are often allowing a patent for the software equivalent of sending someone entering through a side door instead of a front door. Most of the patents they grant are really for simple and basic concepts and ideas, not complex and innovative processes which is what the PTO is supposed to be allowing.
We would all be better off if companies concentrated on making better software for users instead of engaging in this kind of thing.
UPDATE 10/30/06: The article is posted here.
October 20, 2006
The last month or so I've been on more planes and traveled more miles than I want too, especially with the current liquid policy we started two months ago. You can probably tell I haven't been blogging much, and it's mainly because I have been offline at meetings or when I'm online, there is so much to do, I have hardly been able to think about blogging, much less do it. But there has been a lot going on, and I have a couple of posts that I will put up shortly.
Thanks for your patience.