From the monthly archives:

August 2010

A Review of the New Digg; The Tech Pundits Are Wrong

by Ryan on August 26, 2010

Digg 404 Error

Digg recently released a new version of it’s site. Users are immediately asked upon sign in to import Facebook, Twitter, and Google friends. We’ve got 25,000+ Twitter followers at AudioMicro and Digg keeps throwing a this 404 error. The site’s homepage presently can’t be accessed. I’m sure they’ll get it up and running soon, but for the time being it looks like the migration has not gone as smoothly as planned.

The tech pundits are writing about how bad the new Digg is and how it’s the end for Digg’s power users.  After spending 5 minutes on the site, I think that they are DEAD WRONG.  Digg power users will still control the site because all of their followers have been migrated over and the new default homepage for logged in users is the “My News” Feed, which the power users will certainly still control for the majority of folks on Digg, as these are the accounts with the most followers.  Therefore, when the power users Digg something, it will still show up in the feeds of a great number of Digg users to be dugg up and these stories will ultimately make their way to the “Top News” page as in the past.  The smartest move Digg made in this migration, though, was to the keep the Digg homepage, for non-logged in users, as a stream of the “Top News” stories.  Here’s why…

The power users who control Digg will digg a story and have it show in the “My News” feed all of their followers.  Once their followers Digg, the stories will begin to appear in the “Top News” stream, which is the default homepage for any non-logged in user.  The non-logged in users are the ones who visit the Digg homepage and actually click through to the articles, rather than the power users and their followers.  Most the traffic that Digg actually sends to external sites comes from casual homepage browsers who actually click on links.  Because there is little to no change for these folks (aka the “lurkers”), the redesign will not hurt Digg in any way.  The only way that Digg could have hurt itself with the redesign would have been to  change it’s homepage for non-logged in users (e.g. to something like that of Facebook – i.e. an informational welcome / parking page).  Because they didn’t go this route and kept the homepage for non-logged in users as the “Top News” tab, I think the redesign will have no negative effect on Digg.  Will the changes have a positive effect?  We’ll have to wait and see.

Posted via email from Ryan Born

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The Curse of Lane Kiffin

by Ryan on August 14, 2010

lane kiffin tiger woods knoxville billboard curse

DISCLAIMER: If you attended USC, please don’t be offended by this post. It’s really not your fault.

Before we head into the 2010 college football season, I just have to get a prediction out of the way, one that’s been on my mind for a while now. I’m hereby predicting a 20 year curse on the University of Southern California brought on by their hiring of Lane Kiffin as head coach. During the next 20 years, USC WILL NOT WIN ANOTHER NATIONAL TITLE. I’ll even go on to say that during this 20 year period THEY WILL HAVE A LOSING BOWL GAME RECORD, regardless of how long Lane Kiffin sticks around.

For a little backstory, Lane Kiffin coached the Oakland Raiders for a little over one season with an overall record of 5-15 as an NFL coach.  He was fired from the Raiders and even called a “flat our liar” by Raiders owner Al Davis.  He went on to sign a 6 year deal to coach the University of Tennessee Volunteers, taking over for the legendary Phillip Fulmer (the Vols were the 1998 National Champ under Fulmer). Before UT’s season even started, Lane was talking trash about SEC powerhouse Florida and their well respected coach Urban Meyer.  In 2009, Lane coached the Vols to a mediocre 7 -6 season.  To show his pride and dedication to the University, Lane even named his son “Knox“, after UT’s home city, Knoxville.

At the conclusion of the 2009 season, 5 years before the expiration of his contract, Lane turned his back on the city for which he named his son after and resigned from Tennessee to take the head coaching job at USC, which was vacant after Pete Caroll took a position with the Seattle Seahawks.  This is the move (dissing Tennessee for USC) that I truly believe will bring about the 20 year curse of Lane Kiffin, during which time the USC Trojans will not win another national championship and have a losing bowl game record.

Soon after Kiffin arrived at USC, his curse went into full effect as the Trojans were banned from postseason play for 2 years due to recruiting violations from the Reggie Bush / Pete Carroll days.  More recently, and this certainly won’t be the last controversy he causes, Kiffin went behind the back of Titans coach Jeff Fisher, one of the most respected head coaches in the NFL, to illegally recruit an offensive coordinator and he’s now being sued for it.  USC fans, good luck with your new coach. I predict that it’s going to be a tough couple of decades under the curse of Lane Kiffin.

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Will There Ever Be A 3G iPod Touch?

by Ryan on August 5, 2010

Posted via email from Ryan Born

Leaked images of the new 4th generation iPod touch were released today. They’re probably fake but nevertheless the photos show that the new device may have have both front (for Facetime “whoop dee friggin doo”) and rear facing cameras. Adding a camera w/ video to the iPod touch would certainly be a huge improvement; however, just one more minor improvement would blow the iPod touch up bigger than a Michael Bay film. What’s that? Adding a 3G connection.

I can imagine many specific use cases for a 3G enabled iPod (as a substitute for a Garmin / GPS for example, solely as a camera with easy upload capability, a hacked wireless hotspot, a dedicated checkin device for social media junkies, etc.) if the iPod touch could handle 3G connection for $15 to $25 per month – just like the iPad. There are so many times these days when a cell phone is just not necessary but having a 3G stream right to a killer multi-media device like an iPod touch would be a HUGE move for Apple and AT&T. By adding 3G, Apple could likely move 2x to 3x the number of iPod touches that they’re presently selling.

Is the honeymoon over for @blippy? @pud, perhaps it’s time to buy some new users?

by Ryan on August 4, 2010, the darling of Silicon Valley, having raised a Series B round of $11.2M just 4 months ago, seems to be going through a rough patch these days. US Traffic on the site (as measured by has waned significantly over the past 3 months to what I would call “tiny little, barely funded startup levels”. They’ve been live about 6 months and Blippy’s traffic to date peaked in April 2010 right around the time they were caught up in a privacy leak scandal in which the full credit card number of users were found in Google’s search index cache.

So what will Blippy do to regain it’s momentum? I’m predicting a massive display ad campaign / press circuit / viral campaign tour in the coming months. Regardless, the site has certainly not seemed to take off like a rocket. Perhaps people really don’t want to share their credit card transactions publicly and that a real time stream of purchases is not going to win the social shopping space?

UPDATE: This post was drafted 8/3/2010 around 2pm PST. At 5pm the same day, Blippy made a nice PR move and released a funny 404 page that got great viral coverage. These guys certainly have a good sense of humor. I guess from now on I’ll have to publish posts as they are written because even a one day delay can spoil a scoop.

Posted via email from Ryan Born

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