After my post yesterday I received some nice email and question about what exactly I do think a tech site should be covering. I have a lot to say on this, and I don’t have a ton of examples right now, but I thought I’d write the first ones that come to mind here and then just reply with the URL to this post.
In short two things interest me: the first is small teams or businesses that have managed to bootstrap themselves without angel or VC money. There are SO MANY ways to fund a company that knowing someone did it with a product that people actually wanted is so much more valuable to me as a reader. I think one could spend a year chasing down the people who have bootstrapped or overfunded their idea on Kickstarter and then went on to deliver another great product. A weblog with a hard requirement like that would be a daily read.
Look at Wirecutter on The Awl network. Did not take funding. A one man operation. Makes money with ads and Amazon referrals. Hell yeah! That’s a great story.
The second thing that interests me is actual emerging tech ideas, not manufactured ones. I am talking about the sorts of people who tinker with APIs and services to come up with a new way to publish or share.
This year I think the big thing will be taking back your data from the cloud. I think owning your own data and having file-level control of your photos and blog posts and personal relationships on your computer is going to become much more popular than it is now.
OpenPhoto was a Kickstarter project that successfully funded an open-source solution to managing your photos through Dropbox or S3. It was built with $25,000 of supporter’s money. I mean, look at this!
Jekyll is a “blog-aware, static site generator” that has been around for over three and a half years. The idea is that you don’t need a centralized blog posting service to generate and host your static files, you can have them generated locally and pushed to a static web server. Quite a few people have been thinking about this for a while now. Brent Simmons has been working on one since 2009, Marco Arment just pushed the source to Second Crack on Github. I just saw a new one yesterday that looks great but is extremely custom and probably won’t be released any time soon, but the need is there.
These “own your content” apps are still in the toothpick and wad of gum stages, but someone is going to get this right and it’s not just going to be a great story but a new way of thinking about how we publish and own our content.
What’s boring: $10 million in funding to make a new Facebook. Yes, you can hire a ton of people and make perplexing videos on someone else’s dime for quite a while it seems. I thought the first version of Color was actually cool if not cold and a bit cumbersome, but since then they haven’t done very much worth posting about yet we get new blog posts and profiles about the founder every few months.
All that said, and given I linked to a quote about PandoDaily in the previous post, I also think posts like this are absolutely worth discussing. Anyone up for a stop Jimmy Wales protest avatar?