Friday, September 18, 2009

ArchiveFacebook 1.0 is Live

Just launched my Firefox extension for archiving your facebook account. Here's the download page. Here's the support page.  Thanks to my advisers Dr. Michael Nelson and Dr. Frank McCown for the guidance and support (and the great idea).

You may not believe this, but Facebook will not always be around. Your Facebook account will not always be accessible. It's up to you to archive your data before it lands in the big bit-bucket in the sky.

Here's an Ignite presentation I put together for it.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Gmail Down: System Failure or Genius Marketing Ploy?

The Internet has been buzzing with the news that one of the largest web services on the web, Gmail, is down. Just a few hours ago TechCrunch wrote an article about how this news was crippling Twitter. They estimated that during that time there were 10k twitter posts being generated every minute containing the word "gmail". Can you imagine how much publicity this is generating for the email powerhouse? This is Twitter alone. Doing a search for "gmail" on Google News and limiting the results to the last 24 hours we get back 16k results. It's insane how newsworthy this is.

There are some really bright minds at Google. They have some of the best engineers in the world, but Google realizes that their engineers can't do it alone. Google has been hiring top notch management and business professionals all the while. I wouldn't put it past some young MBA, trying to make a mark for himself, pitching the idea of a fake outage for sheer publicity. Sure, its bad publicity, but as we all know - there is no such thing as bad publicity.

Google has a history of timing their press releases and public events at crucial moments. Take for instance the launch of Chrome OS right before Microsoft launches Office in the Cloud, effectively stealing their thunder. They also conveniently started sharing information about Google Squared before it was even launched in an attempt to steal the limelight from Wolfram Alpha.

Google may seem like a clumsy, brain filled company, but they know what they're doing. Eight years of recruiting the best talent from Stanford and other hotbeds of brilliance has kept them sharp and creative, and I think their marketing team just maybe had a moment of glory, at the expense of their engineers.