Tuesday, March 09, 2010

MikeMoir.com Site - Soft launch

I have been working on a new site for my personal and professional site. Check it out at www.mikemoir.com. This will replace my existing site and blog in the next few days.

I am happy with the way it is turning out and am still fine tuning some of the HTML and such. I have switched over to wordpress from blogger. Below is a screen shot. Please send me any feedback - if its positive :)

My old blog will be retired (the one you are reading now) once the new site is fully operational.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Social Media to Support Causes > Haiti Positive Impact

One of my startups is centered around creating group sites. Group sites can be used for many purposes such as Marketing, Support, Sales, Loyalty and Causes.

Our group sites are like ning but are more super charged for business using Online Meetings, Email Marketing, Social Analytics and other industrial strength web tools. As a test for our new platform capabilities (and also to help support the Haiti Crisis) we created a site that brings information, context, understanding and the ability to spread the word.

I encourage you to check it out and join to show your support.

Visit Haiti Positive Impact

Monday, December 21, 2009

Exchanging Education Everywhere - academiacs.org

As I mentioned in my last blog post, I am revealing many of the sites I have been working on in the past year in this blog. This one has been in stealth mode and in hardcore development. I think it has one of sexier business models and is timely for the market. We are beta launching early next year. We have been busy integrating several powerful opensource frameworks together (Moodle, DimDim, Drupal) to create a new education platform for the world. Think facebook for education with realtime teaching tools. Not your typical educational offering as it's "Student Friendly".

Below is a snippet lead in to the opportunity from our stealth website...
"Most educators, administrators, and parents would agree that the access to a quality education has been uneven and unfair. More can be done for the creative and talented students that are often stifled by lack of budgets, high achievers kept from advancing because there was no place for them to go, and ESL students struggling to learn their lessons while at the same time learn our culture and language. On top of all this, there is the increasing pressure to get into College and University - not just in our country but all over the world. Demand for a better education globally far exceeds the supply of it. Most of the teachers we have are caring, qualified and committed. Unfortunately, there aren't enough of them and the ones we have are often under-paid and over worked."
The Solution

An open educational platform for the world. It provides a virtual swiss army knife of free tools and resources and is completely socially enabled. While its free to use, it also allows educators to charge for their services by providing them the ability to securely transact with their students. Can be leveraged by institutions, teachers, students and those that want to give back to society.


Realtime Educational Tools

This is a sneak peak, stay tuned for more details...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Living Social Archive - Wereyouthere.com

Over the past year I have been working on building out several very interesting new startups. In this blog I want to begin to introduce some of this work to my audience.

Wereyouthere is a timeless site concept about creating a living archive that captures and connects us around the memories that matter most in lives. As the web is in UGC overload, it's increasingly apparent that the content that is most cherished (the experiences we share together) are being lost and hard to find. Wereyouthere provides a platform for us all to experience and share our posts in the "Ourkive".

When posting to wereyouthere, we ask that the content fits these criteria:

  • Will your story, photo or video interest strangers, and not just friends and family?
  • Will it stand the test of time a year or more from now?
  • Is your story told from your point of view?
So in the age of microblogging, buried blog posts, and the web's numbing echo effect, the time has come for quality places where we build lasting and human connections. Please take a moment and check this site out and feel free to share a life experience or two.

Be warned, this is a highly addictive site.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Reflecting on (Inspiration + Influences)

I find that my passions are often fueled by many different fields. Fusing together the influences of many disciplines has always been a focus of mine. While this is very acceptable today in our mixed media world, it hasn't always been so common. Professions like to neatly categorize people into nicely organized groups. As a professional in all-things-digital my learning is progressive and evolving. To this end, I have studied and been influenced by the works of..

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Google Wave - The Future of Collaboration?

Google recently announced their most ambitious project to date called Google Wave. According to Google, Wave is “what email would look like if it was invented today.”

If you haven’t made time to watch the one hour video, I’d highly recommend you do so.

What’s the big deal?

I believe there are many reasons why Wave is going to have a huge impact on communications and collaboration. (However, this is all predicated on mass adoption of the technology. If no-one uses it, then obviously it won’t have a world-changing affect.) However, I strongly believe Wave is going to achieve mass adoption for several reasons:
  • Google has the world-wide audience necessary.
  • Google has the cash in order to market Wave and promote its benefits.
  • There is a huge financial benefit to working more efficiently. People who use Wave will be able to work faster, thus leaving behind those that stick to good-ol-fashion SMTP email.
  • Wave is open-source (more on that below). If you want, you’ll be able to run Wave on your internal corporate network, without ever sending a single byte of data to Google.
  • You can run it on the cloud, thus reducing in-house IT costs.
Now I’d like to explore 6 more reasons this will be a big game changer.

1. Extensions
Google is making it easy to augment the power of Wave by writing Wave Extensions. These are similar to Firefox Add-ons and they fall into two areas: Robots and Gadgets. Here’s an explanation from the Extensions site:

1. A robot is an automated participant on a wave. Robots are applications which run in the “cloud” and can modify state within the wave itself. A robot can read the contents of a wave in which it participates, modify the wave’s contents, add or remove participants, and create new blips and new waves. Robots perform actions in response to events. For example, a robot might publish the contents of a wave to a public blog site and update the wave with user comments. Check out the Robots API Overview and a Tutorial.

2. A gadget is a small application that runs within a client. The gadget is owned by the wave, and all participants on a wave share the same gadget state. The only events a gadget responds to are changes to its own state object, and changes in the wave’s participants (for example, participants joining or leaving the wave). The gadget has no influence over the wave itself. Wave gadgets typically aren’t full blown applications, but small add-ons that improve certain types of conversations. For example, a wave might include a sudoku gadget that lets the wave participants compete to see who can solve the puzzle first.

So why are Wave Extensions such a big deal? I believe that developers and designers will be able to sell Extensions to their clients or to a wider audience, possibly in an Extensions marketplace. This means a huge potential source of new income, providing there is mass adoption of Wave.

2. Embedding APIs
Google has created a huge API to Wave, but one of the really interesting parts is the ability to embed a Wave into any web page. A great example of how this could be used with blogging. You can create a Wave and then publish it to your blog. Then whenever someone comments on the blog post, it appears as a reply to you Wave in your Wave client - no need to visit the site.

That’s the kicker, embedded Waves remove the need to physically visit a site in order to interact with it. This is a fundamental, and very exciting, change to the way we currently interact with blogs and content.

3. Collaboration
The separation between documents and emails will be completely removed with Waves. This is because Waves can be edited by more than one person. A great example would be taking notes for a meeting. Here’s how it might work:

1. I create a Wave titled “Notes from website branding project”
2. I add the other people in the meeting as participants in the Wave
3. Everyone who is a participant in the Wave can take notes simultaneously
4. After the meeting, everyone’s got a copy of the notes

An added benefit is that people can “chat” during the meeting, by creating private replies right inside the Wave. The writer can choose whether or not to make this chat visible to other participants.

4. Open Source
Google doesn’t intend to ‘own’ Wave. They have open-sourced the technology and created the Wave Federation Protocol. A brief explanation from Google is:

[Wave Federation Protocol is] the underlying network protocol for sharing waves between wave providers.

Yes, that’s between wave providers: anyone can build a wave server and interoperate, much like anyone can run their own SMTP server. The wave protocol is open to contributions by the broader community with the goal to continue to improve how we share information, together.

To help potential wave providers get started, our plan is to release an open source, production-quality, reference implementation of the Google Wave client and server, as well as provide an open federation endpoint by the time users start getting access.

This means you can either use Wave hosted on Google’s infrastructure, or you can have it hosted on your own server, without ever interacting or sharing data with Google.

5. Google Web Toolkit (GWT)
Wave is written entirely in Google Web Toolkit. GWT allows you to write HTML 5 web apps in Java, which are then cross-compiled into optimized JavaScript. I’ve always been wary of auto-generated code, but I think this might be an exception to the rule (providing your ensure the HTML is accessible and standards-compliant).

What does this mean for you? I means if you’re a web developer, you need to have a serious look at GWT and the potential benefits it has to offer. Programming in Java gives you all the traditional benefits of breakpoints and being able to step through your code.

6. Playback
The increased collaboration that possible with Wave might actually make it confusing for someone to be added to a Wave after a lot of editing and replies have been made. Enter Wave Playback. This feature allows you to step through the changes to a Wave as they happened over time.

As they say, stay tuned to this space...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Widgets > Testing Clearspring

Please ignore this post. I am testing and conveniently using my blog for this. :)


Copyright © 2009 by Michael Moir. All rights reserved.