Twitter / Balaji Sowmyanarayan

Monday, August 07, 2006

AOL Private Data Release Fiasco: Daffy Duck Did It

Top 10 Reasons why AOL Proudly released search and clickstream data

Overheared near the watercooler:
10) Daffy Duck Did It.

9) This is our cool new way of proving to the world that AOLer are not dumb. They *do* search all kind of intelligent things.

8) We want to reassure our users that you can do idiotic things in the Internet and still get by.

7) We want to try out this opensource thingy. Maybe this is the way to do it.

6) We want to be pro-active with DOJ.

5) There is no such thing called free lunch. We are free service from Aug 2 2006. This is our way of saying there is no free lunch.

4) We want to bring it to the notice of the world what Google, Yahoo, Microsoft can do with your data.

3) We just want to quickly show that our API is better than Amazon AWS A9, or GYM's. And we are anyway sinking, and we would love to take Google( 5% Stake holder) along.

2) We are experimenting with he Wisdom of Crowds Thingy that is so popular these days.

1) We wanted to kill Digg. That is not happening, at least let us be on the Digg's top for a while.
PS: Stay tuned for a statement by Bugs Bunny....

Update: Greg Yardley of RootsExchange a pioneer in the area of Intent Economy is going gaga with the data:
You never had privacy anyway

Get your AOL data on
A funny one at:
AOL user says "just kidding" about searching "How to kill wife" 30+ times

Friday, August 04, 2006

TIE-ISB Connect:Venture Market Warming up in India

I came to know about TIE-ISB Connect Seminar through Interpid's Everyday Entrepreneur. It is a serious effort to connect the entreprenurs with VCs and other support services.

Shishir Bhate's interesting article at Rediff Have a biz plan? Here's how to get VC funding

Who can participate?

"Whoever has a bright idea that can make wealth," Sarma puts it succinctly.

To elaborate, basically three categories of enterprises can participate:

* Growth-stage enterprises seeking capital infusion (may be even second round of funding) to ramp up their businesses;
* Early-stage enterprises that have a great idea, put together a good team and are seeking capital to build their businesses; and
* Idea-stage entrepreneurs, who have a great idea and have proof of concept that a viable business can be built around it.

Even if you are not planning to present a business plan it is a good networking opportunity:
Great networking opportunity

TiE-ISB Connect will be a great networking opportunity for entrepreneurs with over 500 delegates expected to participate in the event.

Some of the keynote speakers at the event include serial entrepreneur Kanwal Rekhi, Air Deccan chairman Capt G R Gopinath, founder and CEO Ajit Balakrishnan, Headstrong Corporation chairman and CEO Arjun Malhotra, CEO Sanjeev Bikhchandani, and Satyam Group chairman Ramalinga Raju.

Among the venture capitalists to be present at the event are Carlyle Group, Sequoia Capital, DFJ, Helion, August Capital, NthOrbit, Comcast, Sherpalo Ventures, TSI Ventures, ICICI Ventures and Actis Partners.

If you are averse to seeking venture money: Convert your 2 cents to $20m with almost zilch

See you at ISB!

Alexa Thumbnails, darn Why I did'nt think it up!

Today I came across the new Amazon Web Services: Alexa Thumbnail Service. For a really small fee, you can get thumbnail image of the site you specify. This will be useful in showing preview of sites say in a search result.
Ad sites like Text Link Ads, show site preview for potential link buyers. A quick preview of the site's look and feel will be useful for making an ad purchase decision. Site thumbnail could be a good way to link sites in blogs.

I see lot of opportunity for creating widget services around this: A S3 based permalink thumbnail that gets updated as the site content changes. This permalink image can be used as a profile image in social networks.

I was kicking myself why I did not think up this service. Looking back, AWS has all the crawl data available. They just have to render the html as a NxM pixel image to generate the thumbnail. It is simple and cool.

As an extension, if sites can be converted into small flash animations it will be cool.

If you want to enhance the search experience with site thumbnails it will burn a hole in the pocket with 20 cents for 1000 thumbnails.