Web Things Considered

Thursday, December 08, 2005


Web Things Considered has moved to a new location:


I'll keep this blog for the archive and search engine traffic for a little while, but all new posts will be on my new blog.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Diggdot.us - New Web Heroin

I recently dropped my Digg feed, just wasting too much time, and was back to relying on only del.icio.us/popular and /. for info. So, now Diggdot.us comes along to provide all three in one place with duplicates removed. Sweet! I think this will make me much more effecient in my blog reading.

Breakin' the rules

It's nice to know that I'm committing so many of The Seven Deadly Sins of Blogging. Gotta' find a way to stand out somehow I guess. Let's see:

1. Using Free Blog Hosting

Sinner. But not for long.
2. Ignoring the Basic Principles of Good Web Site Design and Usability

Not a sinner. I'm relying on a nicely designed template.
3. Being the Jack Of All Trades

Sinner. But since this blog is for mainly to share some thoughts and experiences for myself and anyone who may want to learn more about me someday. I'm not too concerned about it.
4. Not Posting Regularly

Sinner. Not enough hours in the day.
5. Publishing Badly Written Posts

Not really a sinner. Most of my posts aren't long or in-depth enough for this to matter much.
6. Spamming and Stealing

Not a sinner. This I don't do.
7. Failing to Establish a Personality

Sinner. But again, I'm not too concerned as I don't currently aspire to be a famous blogger.

So, all in all, I'm committing 4 of the 7 sins. Could be worse. But, aside from moving to my own domain soon, I definitely do need to develop some more original posts. I have a number of drafts in process, so maybe I'll finish some of them up someday.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

The one thing I like about the new Yahoo! Maps

The new Yahoo! Maps (more discussion) is out today. The interface looks ok and all, nice and big, smooth dragging (but a little jerky on zoom), etc. Though it won't be as cool as Google's or even Microsoft's until there's satellite imagery.

However, one thing that I'm exited about is the new Geocoding API (the other apis look great too). I've finally found a free, reliable source that geocodes a zip code by itself! This is huge in my book and will be great to try out when we hook up some geo features on NetworthIQ. Simon Willison has the API scoop.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Is Flock a half-assed product?

I mentioned Flock last month and was really excited to check it out yesterday when they launched their public beta. Wow, what a disappointment. I'll keep my POFF (Plain Old FireFox) for now, thanks.

I do like the del.icio.us integration, though it bugs me how easy it is to bookmark something without any tags, (when using the star button, there's a tiny black arrow to click on if you want to add tags, but it's definitely not obvious and it's difficult to click on because it's so small). Further complaints are that it's incredibly slow, the blogging tool doesn't really add much value, and the RSS reader is useless as far as I can tell (I want to store my subscriptions online, just like my bookmarks, how 'bout Bloglines integration?).

It's very interesting to see the abundance of negative feedback with the early reviews. This seems to be a good reinforcement of the 37 signals motto, "Build half a product, not a half-assed product". Flock seems pretty half-assed right now. You can put up all the disclaimers in the world, but once you put something out there, it will be judged.

With NetworthIQ, we've taken the half a product concept to heart by focusing on a limited number of features to get it out the door quickly. What features we do have are at least three-quarter assed ;-). But, then again, we don't have millions of VC funding and are building it in our spare time.


Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Tagging hits mainstream

I happened to catch the end of this commentary tonight on NPR discussing tagging, del.icio.us, and Flickr. Social software sites such as these were a big inspiration for NetworthIQ, so it's nice to see them in the mainstream press.

(sneak preview exclusive only available to Web Things Considered readers.... you probably could guess that tagging is in our future too)

Monday, September 19, 2005

Internet Explorer coming around?

I'm pretty much a confirmed Firefox guy. I'll probably give Flock a try, when it comes out, but for now Firefox is where it's at. There are two big reasons for this, LiveHTTPHeaders and the Web Developer Toolbar (along with tabbed browsing and the general abundance of plugins).

But as a web developer, I still have to respect IE's market share. Today, Microsoft released a web developer toolbar for IE. I'll have to check this out and see if it can make life in IE easier. Let's just hope this goes better than my experiment with IEHttpHeaders, which crashed IE on three different computers I tried to run it on.

Nikhil Kothari's Web Development Helper also looks like a great tool for debugging web apps if you're working with ASP.NET 2.0.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

In the New York Times

This is a big day for NetworthIQ, Fourio (our company) and myself. We were mentioned in a an article in the New York Times discussing how people are sharing their financial information on the web.

It's a pretty amazing feeling to to see an idea you had get put in front of millions of people. Needless to say, our user base has nearly doubled and we've had nearly as much traffic as we had in the whole first two months of operation, all in the last 14 hours. Let's see what happens as the west coast wakes up. Now, we have to get back to work on getting some new features implemented so that we can keep the momentum going.