2010 The Year in Bookmarks
As you may have heard, Delicious is going away, or at least being sold off, or otherwise being destroyed by Yahoo. In the last 72 hours, I’ve tried out the two leading alternatives, Diigo and pinboard. Along the way, I got to wondering why I keep all these bookmarks around. I do often search back for things. And in paging through my 1173 bookmarks from 2010, they formed an interesting lens through which to look back at the year. And so I present 2010, the year in bookmarks.
Startups and the Death of VC
A lot of the links in my bookmarks are about startups and venture capital. A popular topic in 2010 is the death of VC, or debates about angels versus VCs. Also, discussions about whether Boston or New York are the number two startup hub to Silicon Valley.
- Twilight of Venture Capital: Back to the Future? How about Forward to the Past! and It IS Broke!
- Every Time an Engineer Joins Google, a Startup Dies
- Warren Buffet on the hidden risks of investing in rapidly growing industries
- It’s not East Coast versus West Coast, it’s about making more places like the valley
- IPO Anxiety East Coast Version
- Canada Now Somewhat Less Anti-Startup
The notion of a startup visa also caught my attention. Here are just a few links.
- Maine Business is Shut Without a Renewed Visa
- Startup Visa and Startup Visa
- Tech Entrepreneurs and US Immigration: A Documentary
Startups Without Software
At the same time, everyone is excited about the prospects of tech startups that don’t have any technology risk, because they don’t actually require new technology. Unfortunately, the best examples of these startups are fairly small businesses
Old Ideas are New Again
Another theme was all the old ideas that are new again, demonstrating that timing and execution can both make all the difference.
- Party Like It’s 1999: 10 Old Tech Ideas That Are New Again
- The 10 Most Tempting Software Startup Categories
The Maker Movement
I’m not sure if it is old or new, but the “Maker Movement” is getting a lot more press attention, and a lot more bookmarks from me.
- Adafruit’s successful sponsorship of Kinect driver hacking, which got mainstream attention.
- Not just tech, there is a lot of food blogging with a maker feel, from Unwholesome Food’s Turdunkin to My Jello Americans artistic jello shots.
- Sometimes tech and food go together: Microwave Vacuum Dehydration: failed experiment “What I hadn’t thought of was that under partial vacuum, microwave ovens really, really want to make balls of plasma.”
The iPad was the biggest new consumer technology of the year
- What iPads did to My Family
- The iPad: a Near-Miracle for My Son With Autism
- Seth Godin asked for the iPad App of his Dreams
- Hyperbole and a Half
- In The Pipeline
Far be it from me to catalog all the memes, but here are two
- Some of the strangest stuff to come out of America’s two wars: Navy I’m on a Boat also Afganistan Army Telephone.
- Old, but apparently I didn’t see it until 2010: Hitler Orders a DMCA Takedown
Next Generation Marketing:
Though speaking of memes, I also have a bunch of bookmarks around next generation marketing.
- The Insane Clown Posse have possibly the most clever marketing ever around their Miracles video and How Magnets Work.“I know this sounds crazy, but I’m being as honest as I can: We planned all this out.” Or maybe he’s lying.
- For a different technique: Groupon CEO Andrew Mason: “I Decided To Set The Bar Very Low And Make Up Lies About Myself That Make Me Sound Lame”
- Or, more historically: How Viagra and related drugs were introduced to the scientific community through edgy marketing: How (not) to communicate new scientific information: a memoir of the famous Brindley lecture
- A big change in 2010 was increased optimization of headlines for social media. I saw evidence of this constantly. Here is a how-two: Blogging by Numbers: How to Create Headlines That Get Retweeted
- Of course, those tweetable headlines make for questionable journalism. As the Columbia Journalism Review found: Business Insider and Financial Press Sensationalism
Data and Journalism
The use of data to drive new journalism was a big trend.
- Databases will soon be eligible for the top prize in journalism: Pulitzer board announces changes for 2011 competition
- NYTimes Netflix Culture Map
- Mapping America
- Guardian publishes their data for public access
- Chicagocrime.org is now EveryBlock
- Analytic X has set up a prize for social predictions
- Very Small Array: The Streets of Park Slope, Brooklyn has a clever take on mapping culture
- The OkCupid blog does a lot with data about online dating: Don’t Be Ugly By Accident and How Races and Religions Match in Online Dating and The Four Big Myths of Profile Pictures
If you are going to do journalism with data, visualization matters a great deal:
- A Tour Through the Visualization Zoo
- Unfortunately visualization oriented startup Verifiable had to shutdown because customers were not interested in paying for the product.
- But you can get Sparklines in Microsoft Excel
- And IBM Research’s Many Eyes
- Quantitative Brokers has a great visualization of market microstructure on the CME
- MapReduce and Parallel DBMSs: Friends or Foes?
- NoSQL v. SQL is the worst holy war ever
- MongoDB is Web Scale
- Visual Guide to NoSQL Systems
- Using MySQL as a NoSQL: a story for exceeding 750,000 qps on a commodity server
- PyPy JIT for Regular Expressions
- God’s Number is 20: http://www.cube20.org/
- Putting It All Together: Using Socio-Technical Networks to Predict Failures
Who Programs and Who Doesn’t
- If You Were Hacking Since Age 8 It Means You Were Privileged
- Why Johnny Can’t Program
- Separating Programming Sheep from Non-Programming Goats
- How does biology explain the low numbers of women in computer science? Hint: It doesn’t.
- Why Diversity Matters
- Female Teachers Transmit Math Anxiety to Female Students
- Video Games: The Addiction
- Nethack: The Greatest Game You Will Ever Play
- Wayne B Wheeler: The Man Who Turns Off the Taps A history of prohibition, women’s suffrage, and the origins of single-issue politics
- Who’s Got the Acid? These days, almost nobody. and This Is Your Country On Drugs by Ryan Grim
It was the 50th anniversary of the birth control pill, inspiring a range of articles, including two contrarian pieces:
It was also the 30th anniversary of John Lennon’s death
- I really enjoyed reading Scenes From An Alternate Universe Where The Beatles Accepted Lorne Michaels’ Generous Offer
- The Future History of the Beatles is very clever
- I had never read 1980 Playboy Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono and it clarified a lot of things about Lennon for me.
Keeping Your Eyes Open
Finally, two links about keeping your eyes open for the surreal and the wonderful things around you every day: