Skype reduces an micro-multinationals phone bills to a very large extent. But if someone isn’t at their computer, you still have to call them (and pay for the international call).
Voipbuster is a web-based service that solves this problem.
Rashmi was quoted in a recent New York Times article on how collaboration technology is revolutionizing small businesses. The “micro-multinational” (buzzword for startups with offices in two or more companies) simply wouldn’t exist without the internet, VOIP, and collaboration tools (skype, basecamp, webex/gotomeeting, etc).
I particularly like the article’s emphasis on how entrepreneurs are better positioned to work with foreign labor, because they are willing to put up with the headaches (staying up all night talking on skype) and have connections in the country where the work is taking place (something that is crucial to hiring the right people and having the trust necessary to operate remotely).
AJAX and rich clients are indeed intimately related, contrary to what some people say. And it’s not just that they sprang up at the same time, in the same companies, and are therefore associated with each other.
Stewart Butterfield brought this point home at the BayCHI Web 2.0 panel. The following is a transcription [via] from the podcast of the event:
My recent post on how web 2.0 is very open until you try to make money by remixing got some interesting responses, including an excellent comment by Paulo Eduardo Neves.
They should just put a price tag in it. Something like: if you are making money from this API, you’d have to pay US$0.0001 per access. At least somebody would be able to make a business plan before starting to code.
If Web 2.0 is all about openness, then it’s time we have transparant pricing. Old school players like eBay have transparent pricing. The web 2.0 companies that talk about openness all the time owe us developers a transparent pricing model!
How about it, Technorati? Do you really want us to remix? Let us know the price tag for commercial API access before we start to code!
Richard MacManus’s blog uses the mullet layout to excellent effect. Read/write web actually has two blogs within it. His linkblog (ideas.readwriteweb.com) is a classic mullet. The top seven stories displaying links and excerpts, and the next eight just displaying links. His main blog (www.readwriteweb.com) uses a modified mullet that has anchor links at the top of the page, as well as shorter links at the bottom for older entries. This is a nice touch: the addition of the anchor links means that links to the top 5 stories are always “above the fold” on the front page. I dub it “the sandwich”.
Usability testing is no longer something that happens in an expensive lab. Digital webcams and screen-recording software have made it possible to do usability testing with almost zero infrastructure (using software like morae, which essentially replaces a conventional usability lab). Joel Spolsky has written a nice article describing the experience the copilots had usability testing their latest product.
But conventional wisdom still says that usability something is to be done by specialists, as a structured project that generates a report. While this is often a good idea, it’s not always the right approach, for the following reasons:
Yesterday at the BayCHI Web 2.0 panel, David Sifry said that 2/3 of blog content is not in English, and that the biggest changes he’s noticed in the last couple of months is that the Chinese have discovered tagging. The other day the hottest post on del.icio.us was about using Chinese google to find and download warez. My biggest referrer right now is this guy (note: not sure if this guy is chinese, japanese, or korean: preliminary research revealed nothing more than the fact I don’t know squat about asian languages). My bloglines searches on AJAX and Web 2.0 are full of Chinese postings. Slowly but surely, the Chinese (and Japanese, and Korean) internet is creeping into our conciousness. The internet is changing again!