Category Archives: Social Media


I just started a tumblr account. As I test it out I may push more and more content there. It seems that tumblr has a crazy growth rate, and really provides some advantages for sharing ideas. Maybe wordpress just is not social enough to keep up.

If you have a tumblr account let me know, my tumblr account is

#NUD National UnFriend Day

I have been using Jimmy Kimmel’s announcement of #NUD or National Unfriend Day as a reason to clean up my social connections.

So far I have been clearing myself off of old Meetup Groups, Google Groups, Yahoo Groups. I have also been removing old apps from my Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace apps. It’s good to to do a bit of social fall cleaning. Not only have I been removing my self from these email lists, groups and other things, but I have been unsubscribing form newsletters that I don’t read any more. It’s great. I think I now get about 20 less emails a day that were otherwise not spam, but I had no continued interest in, and it was blocking my communication with the people and topics I care about.

I recommend for you to take action and to pair down who you spend your attention on. ( in a few cases, I actually friended a few new people, when I discovered they were now married )

My blog here is no exception and I found that I have 444 subscribers, and most of them are some form of bots ( an interesting number in Asian cultures ) I would like to apologize if I am deleting a valued reader, but if you are real and have something to tell me, please tweet me @jdavid, or just re-register. ( I think there are only a handful of humans that have registered here on my blog. maybe everyone else was afraid of the bot-apocolypse, so like a good John Conner I am clearing out the junk. )

I have added a few tools to make it harder for bots to register, and to track user activity on my blog. I am hoping that I can start fresh with users that are per-capita more human.

Opening social networks/ graphs up to Researcher Collaboration Tools, a UCSF Harvard Profiles collaboration project

For the past few months I have been consulting part time with UCSF and the department of Clinical and Translational Sciences. You might think that has something to do with my browser plugin Babelfin, but Translational Sciences really has nothing to do with language learning, but rather taking exciting patterns in other fields and translating the processes between them. In this case UCSF is focusing on how Social Media and Social Networking can be used in an academic sense for collaboration and messaging rather than games, photo sharing, or virtual resumes.

The UCSF OpenSocial project (–shindig-apps/ ) started as a Harvard project called Catalyst PROFILES ( ). Profiles (as we call it), is a simple social networking server that manages the graph relationships between colleagues, co-authors, and research interests. Profiles looks at relationships differently than Facebook, Linkedin, or event MySpace, but it’s pretty bare bones and limited in what it can do.

The innovative part comes in where UCSF thought it would be neat to extend Profiles without altering it’s code. So, Eric Meeks at UCSF bolted on an Opensocial container named Shindig to Harvard’s Profiles project which allows external apps to run on top of Profiles. This makes for an interesting mix of code, as Profiles is a Microsoft C# ASPX project, and Shindig comes in PHP and Java flavors. Eric rightly choose to implement the Java flavor of Shindig as it’s the most current.

So, this is where I come in, as, I am building the applications that run on the Shindig server accessing the Profiles social graph. In many cases it’s just like building an application that runs on Linkedin, Bebo or MySpace, however, there is no friend graph, but, there are 3 other graphs I can use, co-author, colleague, and interest graphs.

Initially we are keeping it simple, but we plan to extend Opensocial in a standard way so that other universities and research institutions can apply Opensocial to their graph servers. UCSF and Harvard are hoping that their work will make it easier to use Profiles as the graph server, but they are both very excited about creating an open platform that can develop a rich ecosystem of applications that extend their work, and are able to run on other platforms with small tweaks. In the end we want researchers to be able to better collaborate using social tools.

Validation: Sometimes as an entrepreneur you think you are crazy.

As an entrepreneur you are constantly coming up with ideas, some good, some bad, and you are always looking for someone that will buy your story.  So,  sometimes when a 1st customer, an investor, your parents, or even when a competitor just gets what you are up to feel set free, validated and even empowered.  Now, no entrepreneur likes to loose, but sometimes just knowing that someone else is thinking what you are thinking, well, it validates you and your hair brained ideas, and sometimes that feels good.

So, when I saw that eventbrite had revenue of $100 million in what they thought was a $35 billion dollar market place, it kinda gives me goose bumps.

Over 2 years ago I started pitching a company called “Social Helix” and then and now I am still excited about the idea of connecting people thr0ugh events.  I always felt like profiles like myspace and facebook were a bit lifeless compared to the real thing.  I mean the people we care about, really care about, well we meet them in person don’t we?  And when I realized that, I started to get really excited about changing the way events work.

Today, I am working on a few other ideas, some with potential investors, and others are just engineering projects with a possible revenue upside, like, but in those cases, SocialHelix got me in the door, but we never got the money we needed to make it happen.

Sometimes as an entrepreneur you think you are crazy, not because other people tell you so, but you really wonder if your bet is right.

Today I received some validation that I am not crazy when eventbrite announced revenue.  Eventbrite claims they have revenue of $100 million ( some of that goes to event curators ), and placed their market size at $35 Billion.  $35 billion is an interesting number because that is what we predicted with SocialHelix nearly 2 years ago.

The event space is huge and ticketmaster plays a role in such a small space of it.  It’s the classic problem of long tail vs short tail.  Ticketmaster went after some of the worlds largest venues, and secured deals with those locations.  Large Venue style ticket sales which are usually divided into primary and secondary sales total about $1.5 billion and $6 billion respectively.  While movie ticket sales are around $10 billion a year.

Sites like Eventbrite and SocialHelix would rather target long tail sales which are usually personally, or organizationally curated instead of venue curated.  In that industry we have several interesting segments, and this market is huge, it so huge that most people don’t think about it.  Groups and Meetings which include corporate events, business meetings, and

Startupweekend Micropost

At LA startupweekend I built with one other team member
a geolinking service that computes a geohash for gps coordinates or a
street address.  The resulting geolink will provide a map, and some
other interesting information when a user clicks the link.

It’s kinda a little cobbled together, but by dec.3rd it should be working well.

What would you want on the landing page?

Federated Twitter bots

Just a quick thought.

I wonder if all of the the twitter bots are a result of people trying to gain free api access to twitter.  Normal rules allow a certain number of requests per minute or or something.  However if yo were to have 1,000 accounts, you could perform 1,000x that number of requests and searches per hour.

I bet if twitter looked for accounts that were performing high volumes of API requests, they would find accounts that were most likely linked to bots.

I am not yet sure if it is worth it for twitter to remove these accounts or if they are oddly good for the ecosystem.