Long time no see

And that’s because things have been very hectic at Xfire. We’ve got a bunch of exciting stuff (as always it seems). In particular the clan system is really taking off – thousands of clans in place already, and we’ll just keep building more features onto that system to help make it easier to manage clans. To be fair, I have very little to do with the implementation of any of these features – it’s all the engineering team at this point. I’ll have some projects more relevant to my direct work coming out soon…

In other news – it’s an exciting time to be around the Bay Area. It seems like every other day is this or that major new acquisition. I missed the last round of frothy bubble-ness, tucked away on the East Coast (and not in NY), so it’s a nice feeling to know that a couple blocks away is the next startup that will have a shot at changing the world (or at least a $10 million round of VC funding). Of course, this time I’m neatly tucked away in a major media company during much of the hype. But you’d be surprised at how entrepreneurial Viacom is letting (and encouraging) us to be.

Another conference:  Widgets Live. This looks to sort of be the catch-all event for widgets, put on by Om Malik and Niall Kennedy. The power of what you can do with widgets amazes me everyday. I’m looking forward to seeing some demos, but I’m most looking forward to intelligent discussion around what the future of the “widget economy” will be, and whether there really will be such a thing.

The term widget is loosely applied to a variety of structures, but generally indicate a semi-standalone element that can display information. I run widgets on my desktop, as well as on my NetVibes homepage, Google customized homepage, etc. The disappointing thing so far is that these widgets are almost always exclusive to the platform you’re using them on. Sites like WidgetBox are working away at trying to assemble a collection of widgets that can easily be embedded in websites in general. That’s a start. I’d love to see a more common standard emerge around the modules that I use on live.com, netvibes.com, pageflakes.com, etc. A nice competitive advantage for all of these customizable homepage is the robustness of their library of widgets/modules/whatever, but you also end up with a lot of duplication of effort. Since the fundamental coding for many of these modules are very similar, I wonder if we’ll see some consolidation around a standard format sometime in the next year or so…

Anyway, if you’re heading by the conference, let me know!


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