Archive for April, 2007

WordPress Bloggers first Austin meetup


The Gingerman was the site for the first Austin WordPress meetup.  About a dozen folks showed up including a local member of the WordPress team who passed out cool t shirts.

I wasn’t able to stay long so I’m hoping to pick up the details of the last part of the meeting off others blogs.

Lorin Rivers has done a masterful job of stretching wordpress to it’s limit with his current project.  He extended the mysql back end of wordpress to do a much better job at handling large numbers of users, making it more suitable to host a large community.  Keep at it Lorin, you can go places with this if you open source it.

 Andy Skelton, one of the folks at the meetup said on his blog today: “Don’t ask me why I didn’t do it first. Paul Menard is doing a fine job starting an Austin WordPress Meetup. He listed it on Upcoming and Meetup and the crowds are growing.”

 Here are some cell phone pictures I took of the WordPress meetup at the Gingerman showing the attendees and lots of beer glasses.



NYT: Many Tweets, One Loud Voice


A New York Times article mentions me.

One of the best-loved twitterers, Paul Terry Walhus, a gray-haired blogger from Austin, Tex., has 9,177 friends and 1,851 followers, according to the tracking site Twitterholic.  (my name was mispelled in the article)

The article goes on to say:

At least one politician has tuned into the service. John Edwards, who has 2,001 followers and 2,082 friends, recently twittered that his presidential campaign would be “carbon neutral.”

After Robert Scoble, who writes a popular technology blog called Scobleizer and who himself has 2,985 followers and 3,045 friends, challenged this ambitious vow on Twitter, Mr. Edwards twittered back that he would, as president, offset his campaign’s carbon emissions by financing alternative energy research.

And they quote Bruce Sterling’s characteristically biting comment:

Bruce Sterling, the science fiction writer and journalist, who used Twitter at South by Southwest, wrote to me, “Using Twitter for literate communication is about as likely as firing up a CB radio and hearing some guy recite ‘The Iliad.’ ”

The articles author Jason Pontin is the editor in chief and publisher of Technology Review, a magazine and Web site owned by M.I.T. E-mail:



Justin does web 2.0 expo


Web 2.0 Expo: Justin(e).tv Is On the Air


New media connoisseur Justine Ezarik has strapped on Justin’s camera rig at the Web 2.0 Expo.

Justine’s twitter page is http://twitter/ijustine and her blog is at 

If you can’t make it to the web 2.0 expo this is the next best thing.  Or maybe it’s the best thing.


web 2.0 EXPO: The Social Media Revolution | mad dog in the fog – Yesterday, Robert Scoble, Chris Pirillo, Jeremiah Owyang  participated in a panel on The Social Media Revolution at O’Reilly’s Web 2.0 Expo.

Jeremiah has a great write up on the talk over here.

The talk was an interesting one about where social media is headed and especially the ways that small businesses can use social media to their advantage. Twitter, Flickr, Zooomr, MySpace, Facebook, blogging, videoblogging, podcasting,, Digg, etc., are all tools that all businesses ought to be aware of at a minimum and using to follow the conversations that are taking place about their company and products.

Mike Doeff caught some of the talk on video and you can see that here. featured prominently in the talk and there were three separate feeds running live while the talk was going on in addition to a back channel IRC and interaction through things like Twitter.

With the popularity of, especailly seems to be of interest these days. allows anyone to stream their life or real time video via cams and is potentially bringing a new realtime nature to social media. Jeremiah and Scoble spent much of the Web 2.0 conference broadcasting in real time through

Villa Muse – coming to Austin a major movie making center


Villa Muse, a $1.5 billion mixed-use project to be announced today, would have it all, developers say. But will it really happen, especially when so many other plans for a big studio have cropped up in the past and come to naught? This time, developers promise, it’s the real deal.

And if all goes as planned, Villa Muse would transform 681 acres in eastern Travis County, near the Texas 130 toll road about 10 miles south of Manor, into a small city 15 minutes from downtown Austin.

Developers said the completed project would provide jobs for 8,000 people and have about 8,500 residents. The residential neighborhoods would have several distinct styles, such as brownstones or Craftsman bungalows. And potential buyers would be told that their home could end up as part of a movie set, developers said.

The anchor would be the $125 million, 200-acre Villa Muse Studios, with facilities for film, television, advertising, music and video game makers, said Jay Podolnick, a 25-year Austin music producer and engineer.

The studios would “address the needs of our thriving creative industries in Texas while attracting business that has been out of reach and forced to go elsewhere,” Podolnick said.


Amber and Leo on Twitter and Jaiku


What is the price of presence?  Well you can have it simple and have twitter.  It’s a no brainer to get up and running.  You can tweet away instantly and give everyone of your followers updates.  And you can follow your friends.

With Jaiku you get bells and whistles.  You can create your own little mashup by adding your twitter feed (yea, you can have your cake and eat it too), your feed, your blog feed and any other rss feed that suits your fancy.

This was the gist of the net@nite podcast with Amber Macarthur and Leo Laporte.  Leo had to leave twitter because his lawyers told me he had to because his “twit” (This Week in Tech) podcast is too close to “twitter”.  But he made it clear he isn’t going to pursue any action against twitter, in fact he’s going to try and work out a mutual exclusivity agreement.

Twitter won’t podcast.  And Twit won’t twitter.  I guess that’s fair.

Here’s your link to the Amber and Leo net@nite podcast:

  • Leo has left Twitter in exchange for Jaiku. It is more a web “presence” system rather than little updates.
  • Leo Laporte

    Sez Leo:

    The problem is the name. I wish to heck he’d named it Tweeter, or Tooter, or anything but Twitter. Twitter is so close to TWiT that I’m afraid it’s really confusing. And it hasn’t helped the confusion that I’ve been such a fan of Twitter. I’m sure half the people there think we have some sort of relationship. But we don’t. And the proliferation of programs like Twitbox and sites like Twit This are not helping things much. So let me repeat…

    Twitter has nothing to do with TWiT.

    And, I’m afraid, I can’t have anything to do with Twitter, either. It’s just fueling the confusion. Fortunately, there are several similar services including Groovr, Dodgeball, and Jaiku. After a cursory glance at all three Jaiku seems to have the best mix of features for me (I’m too old to be groovy, or hooking up) so I’m moving to Jaiku. (In truth, it offers a much richer set of features than Twitter.) My handle is ChiefTWiT. Hope to see some of you there.

    “most popular person on twitter” – Slate


    Holy cow!  I just got this “direct [twitter] message”: jeffb @springnet: You get a shout-out in this Slate story:  Austin, TX

    “According to tracking site Twitterholic, the top 10 twitterers have thousands of people following them—a literal cult of personality. Paul Terry Walhus, a gray-haired Austin coffee-shop blogger who has 8,789 friends and 1,722 followers, is currently the most popular person on the site. His latest tweet: “5:33 am cst L:78704 starting work week … full plate today … toast, mango yogurt and coffee w half and half.”

    I’m floored!  Thanks for the shout out Slate!  What can I say?  I guess I’m going to have to dig deep and come up with some incredible blog entries now.

  » The Point of Twitter


    thanks to my twitter friend for this inspiring blog entry and the back pat.

    I started bugging my friends and family to join. No takers. “Why am I doing this? What’s the point? *DING* What’s this on my twitter page? A follower? What the Halle Berry!? Who is following me? And Why? Ooooohhhh, this is how it works. People add you. Oh, I’m getting it.” So I checked out my new followers page. Interesting guy. Added him as a friend. “Oh look. He has websites. Let’s check this out.” Blingo. This is where I started realizing the point and beauty of twitter. I checked out my new friend springnet’s site and lost yet ANOTHER few hours! I really enjoy this site. It’s a “Tag Based interactive slideshow”.
    Basically you enter a search term in the google toolbar and it presents the results in a column on the left but displays the site you choose on the right. It’s not a screenshot either. It’s the site encapsulated in the slide. The beauty is you can see the site and use the site and just click on the next result that interests you. So instead of just seeing a few lines of text that may or may not describe the latest content on the site, or if the site actually has anywhere near what you’re looking for, you can just view the site. It’s much more brilliant than my lame description. Check out the screenshot or just go use it. You’ll be hooked I think. Now, it’s not perfect yet. Occasionally it hangs on a search and returns “sorry no results”. ‘What? Google has nothing on PHP?’ But, I just hit enter again and it comes up.

    So, this I think is the beauty of twitter. Actually twitter/twittervision. It’s not really about making friends, there’s that side and it’s nice, but the real value is finding people with valuable information to you and having instant access to that info through their twitters. It is very cool and the potential is tremendous. » The Point of Twitter.

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