tasty morsels of goodness on open platforms, developer relations and motherhood 2.0

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

sea ranchers for a weekend

we made our first trip to The Sea Ranch this holiday weekend. It was David's combination Valentine's Day gift/surviving our 2-week holiday in the UK with cranky baby, and it was lovely.

The Sea Ranch is ten miles of coastline on the Sonoma-Mendocino border, famous for its environmentally senstivive-architecture. Residents actually sign a covenant with nature, kind of like a home owner's agreement with the land. You'd think that would be the creepiest thing about Sea Ranch. But the creepiest thing was seeing "Private Property. No Tresspassing" signs everywhere, albeit "tastefully" embedded in rocks and wooden markers to blend in with the surroundings. These signs successfully mar an otherwise beautiful view with needless and constant marking of territory. And I thought our dogs were bad.

Actually, here they are being quite cute, after a nice long hike and play. blythe knows how to "pet gentle" now.

After you get over the initial creepiness, the Sea Ranch is a perfect weekend getaway to watch the surf, dip your toes in the tidepools, read by the fire, jump in the hot tub and grill on the deck. You can't do that too many other places in mid-February.

Monday, February 06, 2006

the wisdom of crowds: is digg the new slashdot?

anyone involved with developers and community has had experience with slashdot at some point. and no matter what your experience, you have to respect the traffic they can heave your way. however, the slashdot effect is not just about traffic, as jason kottke correctly points out, but rather the influence developer communities can wield given longevity, trust and human editorial touch vs. pure traffic. snarkdot probably still has the influence edge on these grounds - so far.

or does it? kottke further speculates that digg comes across as more "bursty" (my favorite new community adjective) in his traffic analysis than slashdot because a higher percentage of its audience reads the site via RSS because they're younger, "grew up with newsreaders in their cribs", etc. social networking + RSS + developers = the new slashdot?

then, I happened upon this competition site, diggvsdot, where points are awarded +3 for first post, +1 for ties (within 50 min) and even negative points for ripping off the title & url of a news story. looks like digg is on a roll. turns out that speed of information combined with RSS alerts, can start winning you a lot of influence, esp among the younger set.

so the wisdom of crowds in the digg vs dot debate comes down to how you define the influence of a developer community over the long haul. bursty can be beautiful.

can you digg it?

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

developer challenge contest - what a blast

Remember the eBay Developer Challenge we launched back in mid-November? Well the deadline for submissions was last night, and our developer community was submitting fast and furious right up until the midnight deadline. Judging will begin soon, and then we will announce the winners in early March 2006 at the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference in San Diego, CA.

We received a ton of fantastic entries from developers and got great program exposure from the blogosphere during the event. Lessons learned?

1) 50 Benjamins is a strong lead - don't dilute it

2) Don't think that your global developer community won't call you out for hosting a US-only contest on every blog, every discussion board imaginable

3) The concept of a secondary category where open source project teams collaborate in order to compete is either a) a fantastically brilliant idea ahead of its time, or b) irreconcilable

BTW, for all the international developers who emailed, posted and commented about their inability to submit entries for our developer competition, make sure to check out the eBay Integration category of the Skype Developer API Competition, which Lester posted about today.

How cool would it be to celebrate a developer from our community winning the eBay Integration category!