TWiT 187/Transcript

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Episode 187


This transcript is provided by our friends at Pods in Print

Leo Laporte Bandwidth for this WEEK in TECH is provided by AOL Radio at

This is TWiT, this WEEK in TECH, episode 187 for March 23, 2009, So Say We All.

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This is TWiT, this WEEK in TECH, episode 187, and what a great TWiT this is going to be, ladies and gentlemen. We’ve got a massive crew in the house starting with my great friend, good buddy, Kevin Rose from Digg and Revision 3 and and Diggnation.

Kevin Rose Thanks for having me, Leo,..

Leo Laporte I am so thrilled.

Kevin Rose ...I’m glad that I could actually make it out here.

Leo Laporte I am really glad you could be here. Do you like it? You got some tea?

Kevin Rose Got the tea going, got the laptop, Wi-Fi. I’m pretty much set.

Leo Laporte We could put a table there if you want. Oh, you got the table. David Prager doesn’t. David, do you go anywhere without Prager? Is he your bodyguard? You know I saw a TWiT. Tell me if this is true that you had a bodyguard in Austin?

Kevin Rose There was security in Austin...

Leo Laporte Yes.

Kevin Rose ...but it wasn’t like a bodyguard.

Leo Laporte But it was crazy at that Diggnation.

Kevin Rose I mean there’s like – there was – how many people came by, 2,500 or something like that.

Leo Laporte Wow.

David Prager Yeah, the venue capacity was 2000 and then I think they crammed a couple more hundred in.

Leo Laporte Wow.

David Prager It was, it was – I mean every time we’ve done anything like that -- outrageously flattering. I mean and it’s all because of Kevin there.

Leo Laporte Oh, yes, he is a star.

Kevin Rose It’s just, well, people get crushed if you don’t have security saying like hey, get back and go over here.

Leo Laporte No you have to do that, yes. You have to do that.

David Prager But if you do a search on Flickr for like South by Southwest Diggnation, you will see you can find piles of – I think Digg has a photo pool.

Kevin Rose Yes, we did.

Leo Laporte But that’s not all, ladies and gentlemen, no. The star power continues. Mr. Jason Calacanis is also here.

Jason Calacanis Hello, hello, thanks for having me.

Leo Laporte Best known for poker.

Jason Calacanis Yes, lost 1,200 last night.

Leo Laporte Did you?

Jason Calacanis Yeah, at my own game.

Leo Laporte Did you – and your own game. That’s not right.

Jason Calacanis It’s terrible.

Leo Laporte You know the worst thing is when you tap out at your own game and you have to like serve sandwiches. That’s really awful.

Jason Calacanis Yes, it was not fun.

Leo Laporte Did you – you were in the celebrity poker for the world poker tour. How’d that go? How long did you...?

Jason Calacanis I did really good. I came in 90th out of 420 people or something 410 people.

Leo Laporte Does that mean you won? You won money?

Jason Calacanis No, I think I didn’t get in the money but this was every one of the top poker players in the world like Ferguson and Phil Hellmuth and all these guys so...

Leo Laporte Must be fun to sit at the table with the guys like that.

Jason Calacanis Yes, I was at one table. It was like six pros including the guy who has one more tournaments in cash in the last 30 years than anybody, and also Shannon Elizabeth and then the guy from Mad Men. It was just crazy. Mekhi Phifer, all these guys were there. It was very cool.

Leo Laporte He knows when to hold ’em, he knows when to fold ’em. Gina Trapani is also here. Formerly – well, I don’t want to say formerly of LifeHacker. You started LifeHacker?

Gina Trapani Yes.

Leo Laporte Now, it’s but you’re still LifeHacker associated, right?

Gina Trapani Yes, I am. I still write there once a week and bother all the editors there, tell them what I want to see.

Leo Laporte I continually go back to LifeHacker because I will do a Google search on how to use, what is it, that geek code, and then there will always be a Gina Trapani article. About anything I want to do, you have been there first.

Gina Trapani Excellent. Thank for that.. I’ll pay you later for saying that.

Leo Laporte Actually, it is good that you’re there because then I don’t have to redo it all. Also a newbie with us for his first time on this WEEK in TECH from ABC, Dan Patterson is here. Also Hi, Dan.

Dan Patterson Hey, how are you, Leo? Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

Leo Laporte You were also at South by... Who wasn't? Was everybody at South by Southwest except me?

Gina Trapani Yes.

Leo Laporte Gina, did you go?

Gina Trapani Yes, I did.

Kevin Rose Have you not gone at all?

Leo Laporte I have never been. Can you believe that?

Kevin Rose You’ve got to go

Leo Laporte It would be so much fun.

Gina Trapani Yeah, you’ve got to go.

Leo Laporte So, but the impression I got this time, and of course this is at a distance, was it was just one big drunken orgy.

Kevin Rose That’s about after – yeah.

Leo Laporte And yes.

Kevin Rose ...after about six or seven in the night, that’s true, yes.

Dan Patterson You know you can filter through that. Well, I filtered through it by get – filtering through Kevin’s party and back but there’s – it’s a big drunken party but if you have meaningful conversation with people, you really can connect, and I can’t tell what this did for – everyone talks about the networking but really the personal relationships that develop there and kind of evolve there are tremendous. So, yes, you can party but you can also go – I hate to say ‘go to work’ but if you go and have the mindset that I am going to communicate with people and all the tools that we use just kind of facilitate that, you can have a wonderful time without and do the parties but without really getting stuck in the drunken muck.

Leo Laporte Were there any great seminars, sessions, that people really enjoyed? Because you don’t really hear about those.

Dan Patterson I would like to think mine was. I was privileged enough to speak with Lawrence Lessig and Amber Ettinger, Obama girl, Alex Wellen who is the guy who does all the cool prank stuff at CNN.

Leo Laporte We know Alex pretty well.

Dan Patterson Yes, yes.

Leo Laporte He is at CNN now, huh? That’s cool.

Dan Patterson Yes. Yes. Mark McKinnon who is a campaign strategist. So, that was – it’s humbling just to be on stage with Lessig. It’s like smart person, smart person, smart person, Lawrence Lessig.

Leo Laporte Kevin, what did you enjoy?

Kevin Rose Well, I didn’t get a lot of time to go to the talks this year. I was just in and out. I was there for three days and then bounced out. But...

Leo Laporte Were you doing meetings? What were you doing that was keeping you busy?

Kevin Rose Oh, we have got a big launch coming up in like a week and a half...

Leo Laporte Whose we? Digg or Revision 3?

Kevin Rose Yes.

Leo Laporte Oh, yes. You want to tell us anything?

Kevin Rose Oh, we talked about it a little bit. We’re doing a software-based, or not software-based but a web-based kind of short URL service with a tool bar....

Leo Laporte Oh, yes?

Kevin Rose ....that allows you to Digg on sites and trade around Digg links on networks such as Twitter and Facebook, and you name it, with these kind of shorter Digg URLs. I mean that’s got a bunch of different stuff. It should be like....

Leo Laporte That’s going to be huge.

Kevin Rose It shows you related content from that source...

Leo Laporte That’s going to be huge.

Kevin Rose ....just a whole slew of different features. So,....

Leo Laporte Wow.

Kevin Rose It’s going to be fun.

Leo Laporte So, I use now because I get stats.

Kevin Rose Yes, you get stats with this as well.

Leo Laporte So, I will get that plus.

Kevin Rose Right and it doesn’t have to be a submitted Digg story. So, you can just go. I think the most brilliant piece of it is how you actually create these. So, all you have to do is click in your address bar and this doesn’t work today but it will when we launch. You type in and then leave all of the rest of the URL in there that you are on and you hit enter. And that passes that full URL to Digg and then we re-forward you to the tiny, the shorter Digg URL.

Leo Laporte This is so smart because you are going to get a lot of data about what people are interested in over and above what you already get from Digg, right?

Kevin Rose Yes, we see many people who are passing around, how many people are viewing it. Then we can also...

Leo Laporte Can you monetise that kind of information?

Jason Calacanis Yes, I was just going to ask that.

Leo Laporte What do you do with it?

Kevin Rose When you click on the related content within that bar, we have as it folds down the content, kind of expands out. It’s hard for me to explain without you actually seeing it but there is ads on there as well but, more than anything, it’s to get more people digging in and embarked....

Leo Laporte Right.

Kevin Rose ...and feeding more data into our system.

Leo Laporte It’s just really clear. I mean I think about it with Twitter, it’s just very clear that all of this activity that is going on is generating a cloud of information about what people are into – I mean this is what Digg essentially did. How do you capture what they are interested in but you know more and more and more.

Kevin Rose Right. So, for us, it’s just adding in more of those connections into Digg and refactoring that into our own promotion stuff. So, we want to be able to look at like what’s being re-twitted. Like, that might be....

Leo Laporte Right, that’s huge.

Kevin Rose ... a rule in Digg’s promotion later on.

Leo Laporte Right.

Kevin Rose We are going to look at a bunch of different sources, see how people are sharing and spreading this information around the web.

Leo Laporte Seems huge. It seems like Scoble’s posited that what Twitter makes money when he says – okay we made – they made an announcement that Scoble’s pregnant, Scoble’s wife I think actually although it’d be quite an announcement if he were pregnant.

Jason Calacanis It looked like Kevin was about six months’ pregnant actually.

Leo Laporte Robert, you mean, yes. Not Kevin, he looks – he is getting skinny here. I don’t what we are going to do with you but he said – now, if Twitter were really on the ball, I should have been receiving tweets about, not that I don’t want to but I should be receiving tweets about stuff that – where to buy my bassinet and baby shoes and stuff like that because that information is of use.

Kevin Rose Yes, there is a really, I thought, a great use of Twitter even though it could get very spammy...

Leo Laporte But that’s the problem.

Kevin Rose Yes.

Leo Laporte You got to be careful, judicious.

Kevin Rose Somebody twitted out that they had a cold, and weren’t feeling well.

Leo Laporte Right.

Kevin Rose So, Zicam like that nasal spray monitors the search term cold and send a TWiT back to this person like, “Hey, sorry, you are not feeling well. Here’s a coupon....

Leo Laporte That’s so....

Kevin Rose ...for like 10% off.”

Leo Laporte That’s so smart.

Kevin Rose Wasn’t that crazy?

Leo Laporte I think that’s so smart.

Kevin Rose That was like all automated but I mean obviously they’re the first to do it so it’s kind of cool now but I...

Leo Laporte When a hundred people do it.

Kevin Rose When thirty different companies....

Leo Laporte Right.

Kevin Rose sending me like you needs these vitamins.

Leo Laporte How does Twitter stop that?

Kevin Rose Yes, I did.

Leo Laporte How does Twitter stop that though, right?

Kevin Rose Well, they just have to be careful in looking at who’s spamming, make sure people aren’t sending out hundreds of thousands of these kind of spam.

Leo Laporte I want to talk about Facebook too in just a little bit but I do want to continue to talk about South by Southwest and Gina tell me about your South by Southwest. What went on for you there?

Gina Trapani Well, it was my fifth one. I have been to the last five, including this year. And it was definitely the best one I’ve ever been to just because I hit on some good panels and just had some good meetings and conversations with people. It’s true that you know the sessions are kind of hit or miss. Although I did get a couple of good ones this time, but it’s really about like conversations and I am not much of a party girl so that all happens in the hallways mostly for me or at lunch or whatever. So, it was a good time.

Leo Laporte My friend, Craig Severson that does a conference called LobbyCon where you take, you just have the lobby conversations, forget the presentations. It is all about the lobby.

Kevin Rose Did you hear about BaconCon?

Leo Laporte No.

Kevin Rose Yeah, it’s supposed to be – it’s all about bacon.

Jason Calacanis That sounds awesome. I may go to that.

Leo Laporte I don’t know. I am over bacon. I can’t eat bacon anymore. Jason what was your, what was... I know, I know shocking. There is a website called, I think it’s baconizer. That will add bacon to any website.

Kevin Rose Oh yeah, yeah Baconator.

Leo Laporte The Baconator!

Kevin Rose Yeah, yeah. That was one of my favourites. You just add the URL in front of crates of, piece of bacon...

Leo Laporte That’s a slice of bacon. I don’t really get it but okay. Jason, how about you? What was, what’s it like for a wheeler-dealer like you at – in Austin?

Jason Calacanis I’m sorry, Austin. Where is that?

Leo Laporte You didn’t go.

Jason Calacanis No, I didn’t go. I have too much work to do. I have been. I really enjoy it. Actually, it’s a great conference because...

Leo Laporte It seems like a very friendly conference.

Jason Calacanis What’s good about it is is most of the conferences that Kevin and I go to and is, you know, they are like CEOs and markers and VCs. It’s not actually people who do work. It’s people who take credit for other people’s work and so when I go to South by Southwest, it’s like you get to sit in the audience and actually hear people who actually do real work, talk about how they do their work and it’s a much more interesting conference although most people tend to not be the best speakers but they tend to have the most insights. So, you have to deal with a little less polish, a lot more substance.

Leo Laporte I prefer that. I prefer that.

Jason Calacanis Don’t you? I mean it’s a BarCamp. You know when it’s a BarCamp, then it is just like...

Leo Laporte Yeah exactly.

Jason Calacanis Ten bad communications to one good one.

Kevin Rose You get the PodCamp vibe but because it is people who may not be professionals. You also get the energy of people who don’t have professional life dragging down their energy but it’s a wonderful chance to meet people in all levels of three different industries really.

Leo Laporte Yeah. Well maybe someday I will go.

Kevin Rose I’m telling you next year what we should do is we should like rent out – we did stubs this year for the Diggnation stuff.

Leo Laporte Right.

Kevin Rose But let’s rent out something over the entire day, pick a day like on th