Elephant Gun – Beirut

I’m ending the year with another song from Beirut. That’s three in a row at this point. I have fallen for this band pretty hard. Lauren doesn’t like it nearly as much as I do but I can’t stop the beat.

Justin Vernon gets love from blogs but needs to give it too.

The WSJ has an article today about Justin Vernon and his new band Bon Iver’s success.

The biggest part of the story is how much of Bon Iver’s success came from blogs.

“Thanks to the buzz his online tracks generated on music blogs and social-networking sites, Mr. Vernon has played at numerous venues and appeared on the "Late Show With David Letterman.” He signed a record deal in October 2007, and his first album, “For Emma, Forever Ago,” sold about 87,000 copies through mid-December, with about half of those downloaded online.“

And if you follow this blog you’ll know that I’m a huge Bon Iver fan. So i’m thrilled that Justin gives so much credit to music blogs.

That’s why I was surprised to get this FB message from his project manager last month. 

Including this one, I’ve only received two such "take down” notices since I started posting songs to this site. And both times I took down the material in question immediately.

On the other hand I’ve received tons of supportive emails from various bands thanking me for my support.

The social blogging community is a huge gift to fans and artists alike. I know i would discover less music and buy less music if it wasn’t for the rich community that I’m part of online. Fred called it a song circle awhile back.  And I also know that my music posts are getting others to buy more music too.

So we need more artists to believe in blogging and support the new music scene online. It’s gonna happen anyway.

The Twitter API

I’m enjoying two new Twitter products.

And the most powerful part is that the Twitter didn’t have develop them. They came from 3rd parties using their own creativity + Twitter API.


I’m using a Blackberry Bold these days and I’m not a huge fan of any of the existing twitter clients for the blackberry. Dabr is mobile web interface to Twitter. It’s clean and fast. It’s just what I needed. I use SMS for a subset of the folks I follow on Twitter and for everyone else I’m now tuned easier thanks to Dabr.


There are tons of Twitter apps that you can run on your Mac or PC these days. Tweetree isn’t an app but it’s a new web interface to Twitter. Some folks will like that Tweetree brings in Flickr, YouTube and other rich media into the Twitter timeline.

I really like how they put Twitter Search front and center at the top of the page. I’m not sure that threaded conversations are there just yet in the service.

* * *

The Twitter API is something special. Brad Feld calls Twitter the master of the API. I’m not sure I’m supposed to disclose the actual number of API requests per week but I can tell you that it’s an enormous number.

And that API is a big part of whats happening with Twitter.

I noticed on Techmeme that Google was putting up a thumbnail next to blogs powered by WordPress.

Steve Rubel first wrote about this over on his blog.

I thought that sounded pretty cool until I tried searching for “bijan sabet

Unfortunately that thumbnail isn’t mine. I have no idea what it is.

But it bums me out a little.

Update: Google fixed this and removed the incorrect thumbnail. Santosh at Google gave me the heads up. 

I grew up in NY and as a result I’m a Yankees fan. I grew up loving Mickey Rivers and Graig Nettles.

In our house, Sophia and Lauren are Red Sox fans. While Ellie and James are on my side :)

We are in NY this weekend and I bought James a Derek Jeter shirt.

This was the reaction from folks on Twitter. Where are my fellow Yankees fans!?!

Thinking about patents

I met up with a close friend a couple of weeks ago in Palo Alto. 

He has been building a highly sophisticated product. And if it works, it will significantly change a lot of things (for the better) 

He’s a big fan of patents. He recognizes the flaws with our patent system today but he doesn’t want to get of them. He wants to make them better. 

My friend Brad Feld has been a thought leader with those sharing the opposite view. Brad has been saying for years that we should get rid of software patents. Earlier this year Brad sent me the book “Math You Can’t Use”. Somehow I slogged thru it – it was a tad bit dry :)

The book makes a convincing argument. The essential point is that software is a combination of art and math. Art is protected under copyright and you can’t/shouldn’t protect math.

There are a few things I hate about our current patent system. First, the patent office has approved senseless claims. Second, big companies sue small companies over their claims and the little company doesn’t have a chance. And those two things in combination are a nightmare.

But here’s the thing: how do we protect the little guy’s intellectual property?

For example if TiVo didn’t have patents, every MSO and satellite operator would have ripped off the Tivo method for digital video recording. TiVo recently won a lawsuit with Echostar over these patents. I bet those patents are one of the reasons Comcast is working with TiVo. 

I don’t have the final answer but I’m looking for a system that rewards the entrepreneur, motivates him/her to keep innovating on really hard problems and prevents large companies from waging bullying legal tactics.

Is that so much to ask!

After the Internet bubble burst in 2001, there were a lot of people in “the established business world” who said something akin to “see – that was just a fad.” Anyone who has clung to the idea that the Internet was a fad is in a world of hurt right now, as the premise, functions, and implications of the Internet revolution of the late 1990’s becomes deeply instantiated across the global economy.