Thinking about App Stores

These days there are no shortage of App Stores. iTunes, Android, Blackberry, Palm, OneForty, Boxee and there are many more still and many more coming.

My favorite app store model is the open one like Android and Boxee. You can install an app from their app store or from the open web.

Having said that, the app store model provides important value. For the users, the app store provides aggregation, search and reviews. For developers, the app store provides distribution and economics.

The key requirement for a successful app store is a vibrant developer community.

The best thing about Facebook’s platform for third party apps is that they are great for users and developers can make a real business from the platform. Good for users + economics for developers is great for Facebook.

I was in a cab with Fred and Andrew last week. We were talking about how some apps can generate huge velocity on Facebook. Fred mentioned the three things on Facebook, newsfeed, requests and inbox tied with the social graph, are the keys to that distribution network.

That is absolutely correct and other App Stores can learn a lot from this.

Imagine if you checked into iTunes and saw a your friends or folks you follow in a newsfeed or timeline:

Mo Koyfman just downloaded Tweetie2

Brad Feld just purchased

Lauren Sabet likes Word Wrap

And with a single click you could install or buy that app.

It’s a simple example but those viral functions don’t really exist on any other app store that I’ve seen. But I suspect they will shortly.

Here’s my Suggested User List

I’ve been using the new Twitter List functionality over the past month and I’m already addicted. I’ve created a few lists for my benefit including some super close friends which I made private and a bunch of other lists that are public. It’s a simple way to filter my stream.

Now that more users have access to Twitter List, I took some time and created a new one called bijanisfollowing. This is a list of everyone I follow on Twitter.

I guess it’s my very own Suggested User List.

I love getting tweets from the folks on that list. Check it out and if you like what you see you can follow all of those people with a single click.

Some thoughts after a day at 140conf

Yesterday I attended Jeff Pulver’s 140conf in Los Angeles.

(btw that’s me, ron conway and howard lindzon)

I ran into a bunch of friends and familiar faces. It was also plenty of fun meeting a number of new entrepreneurs.

Frankly, I didn’t know what to expect from the conference. But I have to say, I was really impressed. Jeff Pulver has organized a fantastic event and I’m really glad I was able to participate and attend many of the sessions yesterday.

The coolest thing about the sessions was the range of topics and ideas about the real time web, Twitter and where media is going.

To give you an idea of the diversity of topics, the speakers covered everything from venture capital, television, news, music , law enforcement, public diplomacy and mom communities. And that was just Day 1. Day 2 is today.

But the most powerful session yesterday was led by Mark Hovarth. Mark talked about his experience being homeless and his tireless work as an advocate for the homeless. He shared intimate photos and stories about specific individuals that were beyond moving. He uses his blog & Twitter to tell the world what is going on.

Mark brought a woman on stage that he met in Chicago that is homeless. She uses Twitter at public libraries and SMS (publish only) to share her experiences about her life (I missed her twitter username so I’ll have to ask Jeff to send it to me). A number of us in the audience gave Mark a standing ovation after his session. And for good reason.

Thanks Jeff for putting on such a great event. Thanks for inviting me. And thanks for your passion.

Update: I just got a tweet from Mark. The woman’s name is Ann and she tweets at @padschicago.

(found these 140conf pix on flickr from george dearing)

Wasted & Ready – Ben Kweller

Took the red eye flight from LAX to Boston this morning. I’m taking way too many of these flights so I decided to make this my red eye theme song from now on :)

As Ben would say, “I am wasted but I’m ready / Running as fast as I can! ”

Thinking about time shifting and live, real time streams

The very first time I used a DVR I was hooked. The DVR was more than just a glorified VCR. It was something completely new and refreshing. Beyond season events or one click recording, I could actually pause live tv. Or I could go back 30 seconds. Or I could record a show and then start watching the show 25 minutes later so I could catch up in real time by skipping all of the ads.

Absolutely amazing.

The DVR also came at the same time broadband was being deployed. As users we expected to have an always on connection to the web and everything on the web was unicast and on-demand by design. There was no such thing as an appointment web or Must See TV online. And the DVR brought that on-demand, time shifted experience to our big screen.

But it’s interesting to think that as television copied some of the web’s best behaviors, the web went real time. For some television shows, time shifting is far less interesting because we are now plugged into real time information networks like Twitter & Facebook. For example, I used to DVR football games but that’s harder to do nowadays.

The web now also has many more real time activies beyond Twitter & Facebook. Online games aren’t merely turn based but they are social and real time. CNN and others stream live online. MLB streams live. The other other day YouTube streamed the U2 concert live. The Presidential inauguration was steamed live. The list goes on and on.

But the real time web vs the real time broadcast television model in reality couldn’t be any different. The real time web is a two way network. It’s social. It’s a la carte. It’s comes with a permalink. It can be indexed, saved, copied, and blogged. It can be retweeted. It has super distribution built into it’s guts.