October 15, 2006

A Day in San Francisco

Days like yesterday remind me how much I do miss living in San Francisco. I had a day all to myself, with no plans, so I headed to SF, and biked around. I've drawn out the bike route on Community Walk, and am embedding it here:

CommunityWalk Map - October 14, 2006 Bike Ride

It was a very good day. Highlights include:

  • glazed raised at Bob's Donuts -- still the best in the city
  • banh mi at Baguette Express -- I liked the ham and head cheese, but the pate made my mouth taste like ass
  • Hayes Green -- the new park on Octavia Blvd and Hayes Street is a true community treasure; Jeff, Julie, Lane, Courtney, and Niall provided the camaraderie
  • Propeller -- a furniture store I'd never been in, and immediately wanted to plonk down $$thous$and$ of dollar$
  • Frjtz -- back patio with a good book, a cone of fries, and a belgian ale (Affligem); this is about as good as it gets
  • Cafe La Onda -- I hadn't known it was no longer Macondo; also it was closing forever the very next day; spent 2 hours shooting the shit with Mike, Liz, and Maya, all great company
  • Dosa -- Mysore Dosa! And good chatting with Judith
  • The Homestead -- I must admit, I'm sad that this place is no longer Dylan's (which was my local when I lived in the neighborhood); still this place is very pleasant, and has Fullers on draft

    Such a simple day. I had no plans to meet anyone before I came in. Those I did hang out with were coordinated either on a lark via SMS, or, almost literally, running into them on the sidewalk (hi Mike!). Such happenstance is very much a part of SF magic. I could do it every weekend.

    Posted by peterme at 09:40 PM | TrackBack
  • What does Jakob Nielsen have to do with the current state of the web?

    Jakob proudly points to an article in The New York Times on Google's acquisition of YouTube, where he is quoted, "What does a video storage service have to do with search?" Suggesting he doesn't appreciate the reasoning behind the takeover.

    This sentence reveals two drastic oversimplifications. Taking the second, first, Google is as much an advertising company as it is a search company. In fact, without advertising, there would be no search. Google's true genius is not in the search engine, but in figuring out how to extract massive value from that search engine, with a brilliant approach to advertising that plays directly to the web's strengths (Think "long tail," think algorithmic, think decentralized, think results-driven, etc.)

    YouTube is not "video storage service," but a video *sharing* service, much like Flickr is about sharing photos, not just storing them. With sharing you get human interaction, and with such interactions, you get emergent behavior. And with emergent behavior, you get all manner of unpredictability, such as a site becoming the 10th most visited on the entire web in the less than 12 months.

    And so, if we ask, "What does a video sharing service have to do with web-native advertising?" we begin to get a sense of why Google was quite smart to pay $1.65 billion.

    Posted by peterme at 09:10 AM | TrackBack


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