VC asks for pitches via RSS-delivered audio feeds

From the San Jose Mercury News comes the story of Fred Wilson, a venture capitalist with New York-based Union Square Ventures:

He’s soliciting entrepreneurs to send him their company pitches on a recorded audio file, which he downloads for later listening on a bike ride. There’s minimal hassle: Entrepreneurs simply tag their audio files at with an identifier that Wilson subscribes to, via RSS.


Clustering: Is this the next evolution of RSS?

I love RSS, but it has a ways to go before it hits its stride. I get way more information than I need in my channel groups. For example, just today in my “Public Relations” folder, I got at least 15 iterations of an article about the resignation of Volkswagen’s pesonnel chief, all stories appearing in different publications about the same event.

Jose Nazario aims to fix this problem with a technique he’s developed called RSS clustering. His article about the process is fairly technical, but what it comes down to is an approach to news aggregators that will identify trends within retrieved content and help us manage the flood of… Read More »

It’s awful quiet out there in tech support land

Is something going on in tech support land? I’ve submitted queries to two companies through their formal channels. I might as well have folded them into paper airplanes and sent them aloft into the canyon just beyond my backyard.

Query 1: Technorati

I’ve jiggered my templates in Expression Engine (the software I use for my blogs) to create Technorati tags, but Technorati isn’t picking them up. It turns out, according to Expression Engine tech support, that my Atom feed isn’t validating as a result of an update to Atom (which Technorati uses). The Atom feed works in most of the newsreaders I’ve checked, but it’s producing an error when… Read More »

Alberta bans keystroke logging

The director of the Parkland Regional Library in Lacombe, Alberta, had some doubts about the productivity of one particular employee. Being the progressive manager that she is, she decided to assess the worker’s productivity by installing keystroke logging software. This application does just what its name suggests: It records an employee’s every keystroke so it can be reviewed later by Big Br…er…the employee’s manager.

The employee found out and filed a complaint with the province’s information and privacy commissioner, who ruled that the action violated the Freedom of Information and Protection Privacy Act. The Globe and Mail has… Read More »

The Hobson and Holtz Report - Podcast #48: July 7, 2005

Content summary: The London bombings; communication plan for new media available for download; listeners’ comments (on mixing a real CEO blogger with a fake blog; explaining open source marketing; critical analysis of Virgin’s New York podcasts; political PR in the US and EU; a new podcast browser); report on raising awareness in the UK about new media; Technorati tags, Expression Engine and no answer from Technorati support; social media, trust and what’s now on/off the record; last words on the length of this show.

Show notes for July 7, 2005

download mp3 podcast

Welcome to For Immediate Release: The Hobson & Holtz Report, a 66-minute conversation… Read More »

Skype introduces Outlook toolbar

I just got through installing the Skype toolbar for Microsoft Outlook, and I’m impressed. (That’s not saying much; I’m impressed by pretty much everything Skype does.) The toolbar, among other things, associates an active email message with your Skype contacts so you can dial directly from Outlook. You can also initiative SkypeOut calls to any contact phone number within Outlook. The web page for this beta application lists a number of other features I haven’t yet tried, but so far, I’m thrilled. I can Skype a contact instantly after getting an email from him without having to switch apps. Very nice.

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