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Marc's Voice

building the open web one bit at a time


After promising for almost two months – my good friends at Marqui have finally put up their corporate blog. We’ve hired a “conversation coordinator” to make sure that they reply to and listen to what people are blogging about them – and they’ve even opened up a ‘dabble mode’ version of the product - so people can play with it.


This Marqui program has taught me – that even when you design something to perfectly leverage the blogosphere and push the envelope – even the simplest of notions can go mis-understaood.

In the case of this Marqui program – the company missed the notion that we were setting up a pipeline – explicitely for the purpose of getting compelling stories and usage sceanrios out into our bloggers blogs.

With a piepline established – not only the corporate message – but success stories and on-going updates could be fed to our paid bloggers – utilzing their intellect and feedback to spread the Marqui meme.

But instead the entire program – up until now – has been filled with “talking about talking” – internal retrospective kind of blabber – which is typcial blogosphere filler – but not what we were hoping for.

But you can’t blame our bloggers. They haven’t really had anything to write about. That pisses me off. I’m bummed that Marqui hasn’t come through with more compelling stories for our bloggers to blog about.

Maybe this post will push them into finding those stories and feeding them to us. We’ve gotten some press from our program - but the idea was not to just get press – the idea is to close sales and recruit developers. That’s when we know this program has been successful.

And we can’t get there without folks being able to try out the product and hear responses from Marqui’s management. Well we can do that now. So NOW we’re ready to launch this program!

Date: Monday, January 31st, 2005 | Time: 8:40 pm
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Congrats to Jason and Allie Shellen!

I just love it when new babies arrive.

Jason is one of my favorite peeps. No wonder he won’t be at SXSW. Maybe Biz will come!

Date: Sunday, January 30th, 2005 | Time: 9:36 pm
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Congrats to Ted Shelton

Ted Shelton is at Orb Networks – coolio.

Date: Sunday, January 30th, 2005 | Time: 9:32 pm
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Om loves to jump on hot news

omheader.jpgIt’s night time in Califgornia on a Sunday night – and once again Om Malik has an exclusive (at least to me):

AT&T SBC deal is done

ALERT: WSJ just announced that two companies have reached a tentative deal and it could be announced pretty soon. According to the report, AT&T CEO David Dorman will become the president of the joint company, while SBC Chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre is going to retain those two positions. AT&T will have three board seats on the new combined company’s board. “SBC is expected to keep using the AT&T brand name, at least in dealing with its business customers, because the AT&T name is recognized all over the world. SBC’s brand, by comparison, has little recognition outside its territory of mostly Southwestern and Western states,” The Journal adds. The $15-billion stock plus $ 1 billion cash deal turns SBC into the largest phone company in the US, with presence in local, long distance, wireless and business markets. More to follow later!

Man on Man – those dinosaurs just love to mate and fuck themselves.

Date: Sunday, January 30th, 2005 | Time: 9:14 pm
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Mating Dinosaurs, crashed ‘puters and “virus’ galore”

Special thanks to the script kiddies who’ve decided to make me misreable with over 50 virus’ coming at me – at a time. And woe be it to the poor slob who’s repair shop forgets to put the screwws back in the internal hard drive.

So all in all – Jan. 2005 was my lightest month of blogging – like ever. I think I offended Jason Kottke at some Vloggercon party, my clients are starting to get cranky and my kids finally got their birthday presents – which I had promised them back in November at their Bar Mitzvah.

The good news is that Carl is back, he’s married and we’re ready to rock the world.

First up – ourmedia.org.

It was great to see Greg Elin in NYC at Vloggercon and Mary Hodder at both Vloggercon and Blog Business Summit.

I also upgraded to MR 3.15 – but swtill no WYSIWYG editing. Anil promised something – but now I can’t remember when we get it. He also said I get to come in and pitch open source infrastructure ideas to 6A – I can’t wait.

They always seemed like the most likely candidates for becoming a DLA company – and supporting all sorts of new kinds of micro-content standards.

I have my fingers crossed on that one.

Date: Sunday, January 30th, 2005 | Time: 9:04 pm
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Looking into the belly of the beast

We met with a big company today.

I can’t tell yah what happened – but it was intense. I mean like Arabs man – ‘in tents’. Totally groady to the max.

I’m sure glad I don’t work for a big company – I’d go crazy. The person we met with is the sweetest man – and he’s riding this Avalanche of momentum – which can’t be stopped. There’s no way we can f*ck this up!

So time stamp – today was the day we had the meeting.

Date: Thursday, January 27th, 2005 | Time: 12:08 am
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I didn’t get to post any images from Vloggercon – so here’s at least one. Please notice Jay Dedman, Steve Garfield, Greg Elin’s head and whole panel if video nerds.


Date: Tuesday, January 25th, 2005 | Time: 6:33 pm
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Blog Business Summit


Got one post out – Anil is doing Q&A now. Great show.

Date: Tuesday, January 25th, 2005 | Time: 3:26 pm
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God Bless Paolo

topicmediaall.gifOne more time with gusto – my dear friend Paolo Valdemarin has repaired my blog.

I’ve been under attack for a week now – receiving hundreds of virus’ a day. They figured out some way to take down my blog and I haven’t been able ot blog for almost a week.

from paolo.JPGBut I’m back. With a GUSTO!

So what happened in the past week?


Blog Business Summit – hanging out with Scoble and lots of others.

Almost got stuck in NYC in a snowstorm.

Kicking butt on a number of fronts. Seriously getting into Drupal. Thanks to Boris et al.

But for now – I’m back!

Date: Tuesday, January 25th, 2005 | Time: 2:58 pm
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Now it all makes sense…..

Greed and digital convergence often go hand in hand.

Many a deal has been f*cked up by some greedy (usually white male) as**hole who thinks he can’t just stick to his business model and evolve into digital convergence – organically (read: later.)

No this guy – needs to try and take it all – NOW. He’s gonna make his play, and dam the logic of the alliances, the virtue of doing it right and smart – we want IT ALL – NOW.

That seems to be what Mike Ramsey at TiVO did.

Instead of going into a deal with COMCAST, which was critical – given the fact that PVRs are becoming a commodity and Microsoft and Digeo are on their asses. TiVO turned down a deal with COMCAST supposedly in favor of their “digital convergence/Home LAN” play. This is why they bought Strangeberry.

But what seems strange to me is why couldn’t TiVO have lciensed it software to COMCAST and STILL do their Home LAN play?

Why can’t they organically grow into a Home LAN play, evolving their brand into something that means – cool, compelling experience that works?

By turning down the COMCAST deal, Mike Ramsey got kicked out and now they’ll probably never ship the Strangeberry V3 – and they’ll just tube – as COMCAST will hook up with MS and squash them.

Oh well.

Here’s Peter Rojas’ engadget report….

Ok, now we understand why TiVo CEO Michael Ramsay was “promoted” out of his job last week. You know how people have been telling TiVo how the only way they’re going to survive would be to convince some a cable company to license their digital video recorder software for use on set-top boxes?

Yeah, well according to the New York Times last summer they were about to score a big deal with Comcast to do precisely this, that is until Ramsay pulled the plug at the last moment because he was convinced TiVo wasn’t getting paid enough money or given enough control over the service.

We won’t second guess his decision, since we don’t know the exact terms of the deal (though apparently they were pretty bad), but you know what, TiVo is sort of in a life-or-death situation right now and might have to take what it can get if it wants to stick around. The company is still not turning a profit, they’re facing increased competition from all sides (from cable companies with their generic DVR-capable set top boxes, Digeo’s Moxi, and Microsoft’s Media Center OS, not to mention stuff like MythTV and Beyond TV), and having deal like this in place would have been especially valuable in the wake of their recent break up with DirecTV. Now it’s Microsoft and Digeo who are testing their software with Comcast and TiVo that’s being left out in the cold. Ramsay says his strategy was to make an end-run around the cable companies and focus on turning the TiVo into a digital entertainment hub (i.e. “convergence”, i.e. the same thing everyone else claims to be working on), but now he’s out (at least as CEO, he’s staying on as chairman) and it’s unlikely that whoever succeeds him will have the luxury of grand visions: right now they’re going to have to focus on ensuring that TiVo is still in business a year from now.


This is important stuff. TiVO defined PVRs and now they’re about to lose the market. Same thing is happening to NetFlix as we speak.

Is it lack of patents and bank account that causes this to happen or it something more about execution and staying smart. It’s not good enough to be first and be really smart about your product offering or compelling experience.

It’s about staying smart and working with others. Not being too greedy and keeping your eye on the end-user’s experience – not your bank account. Or shall I say your future bank account.

Yah gotta follow DROC (do not run-out-of cash.) But you also can’t be too greedy. TiVO knew that COMCAST knew that DirecTV was blowing off TiVO. TiVo should have known that MS was sucking up to COMCAST – HARD.

Why was COMCAST trying to do a deal with TiVO? Cause TiVO has the best product and experience. But they weren’t able to come to a deal. Hmmmmmm.

Sounds like Apple to me.

Date: Monday, January 17th, 2005 | Time: 7:45 pm
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