To Twitter or just copy Twitter?


In technology there are few more important questions than “What’s going to happen with Twitter”.    As with many early adopter issues, only the digerati and a few smart marketers understand how profoundly and importantly Twitter is reshaping the online landscape, giving a voice to millions who want to interact casually and superficially with … millions more.

This spinoff effort will be very interesting to watch as it’s a successful niche website that is  establishing a Twitter like interface:
http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2009/03/27/a-twitter-spinoff-launches-for-moms/

The challenge here is that if every website you go to has it’s *own* chatting interface you’ll either 1) get ticked off or 2) spend the rest of your life interacting with people at all these sites.

The answer is not individual site chat areas, rather we need to integrate the real Twitter with websites.  (or some other chat standard,  but Twitter seems to be the right choice given it’s ease of use and exploding subscriber base)

Open ID, Facebook connect and Google Friend Connect and open social and Disqus (for blog questions) and many other applications  have the right general idea but nobody seems to be able to integrate all this across the board.   We need to be able to seamlessly move from site to site, carrying our identity along with us so we can comment and interact easily.

Obama: We are Bound by a Common Humanity


Here in the USA many amazing social and financial experiments are underway.    President Obama’s approach to international diplomacy really impresses me, and I’m convinced it will impress the overwhelming majority of the world’s people who, like us, want peace and prosperity especially for their children.

It’s not naive to believe that dialog and engagement are more strategic than warfare and violence.    I’m all for keeping a big stick handy if the bad guys threaten your family or your country,  but it is interesting to me that some Americans seem to think diplomacy is a waste of time when it’s better perceived as an extremely cost effective and strategic alternative to violence.

The world is an increasingly complex and interconnected place, and clearly we need to shoot *last* and ask questions and engage people *right now*.   President Obama’s appointment of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State was a great move in that direction, and videos like the one sent to the people of Iran help make it clear to our friends around the world that we are …. their friend around the world.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/Nowruz/

Would you be the Ambassador to Afghanistan?


Watching (on C-SPAN of course –  why we can’t get the important real news into the mainstream news?) the respectful and thoughtful confirmation hearing of Lt. Gen Karl Eikenberry, likely to become the Ambassador to Afghanistan, I am again struck by how transparently and nobly our system functions in most matters of state.    This position will become one of the key Ambassador appointments in the world, and it appears President Obama has again chosen an intelligent and insightful political moderate to spearhead this complicated diplomatic mission.

There is far too much chatter from both the far left and far right who fret about the personal lives and minor gaffes of our public servants.   Sure there are a few bad apples but on balance we owe an enormous debt of gratitude – especially during these challenging times – to those few who are willing to work so hard to bring peace and prosperity to the rest of us.

General Eikenberry is not only taking on a difficult assignment, he’s taking on what is likely to be one of the most dangerous ones in US Government.    I really appreciate the fact that folks like this are willing to take these risks in an effort to bring peace and stability to the most troubled regions of the world.   I was not a harsh critic of President Bush’s policies, feeling we generally don’t have enough information to make informed criticisms, but I do feel that the Obama team has a much better understanding of the importance of projecting diplomacy as well as power to bring stability to regions where the bad guys have undermined the ability of the people to make their own decisions and lead the lives they choose.

Thanks General Eikenberry, and good luck to you!

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