The Gillmor Gang – Mike Arrington, Dan Farber, Robert Scoble, and Jason Calacanis – savor ComCast/Plaxo, Friend Connect, and the Mesh metabolism. Recorded Wednesday, May 14, 2008.
Steve Gillmor: OK, who’s there?
Mike Arrington: This is Mike Arrington.
Gillmor: Hey, Mike.
Dan Farber: Dan Farber.
Gillmor: Hey, Dan.
Arrington: Hey, Dan.
Farber: Hi, Mike.
Gillmor: We may have Scoble join. I’m not sure it and when. Dan, you want to tell us about this Plaxo deal?
Farber: The company known as Plaxo was acquired today by Comcast for an undisclosed amount of money. Mike, do you know how much they paid?
Arrington: I confirmed that it was somewhere between $150 million and $170 million.
Farber: Yeah, the case is it wasn’t material to Comcast business, so they didn’t have to disclose. So it wasn’t a huge number by Comcast standards. The idea is that Comcast wants to bake in a social dimension across its television, its Internet, its voice businesses, which is a really smart idea. Plaxo is a pretty cheap way and a decent technology to get there.
It already had a partnership with them on their Super Address Book, which was a way to have a network address book, kind of like a [indecipherable] solution.
Gillmor: What? You broke up. You said some type of solution. I couldn’t hear you.
Arrington: Did we lose him?
Jason Calacanis: We might have lost him.
Arrington: Anybody still here?
Calacanis: I’m still here.
Gillmor: We’re all here except Dan.
Calacanis: I’m here.
Gillmor: Who’s that? Scoble?
Gillmor: Oh. Hey, Jason.
Arrington: So, do you want to move on, or are we going to wait for Dan?
Gillmor: No, we’ll keep talking and he’ll either call back in or whatever.
Calacanis: What is that sound? Is somebody on a cell phone or a conference call?
Gillmor: What are you talking about?
Calacanis: What is all that noise in the background?
Gillmor: I don’t know; I can’t tell.
Calacanis: Oh, Dan Farber? Is he, like, on a cell phone?
Arrington: Why don’t we keep talking about the deal while Dan figures out what he’s doing?
Calacanis: Is that Mike Arrington?
Gillmor: Yeah. Tina, can you get me Dan Farber?
Calacanis: Hi, man.
Gillmor: Go ahead. OK, this is the Gillmor Gang. We’re talking with Dan Farber and Mike Arrington and Jason Calacanis. Somebody start talking.
Arrington: So here’s what I was going to say. We lost Dan in the middle of the announcement. He was saying that this is a smart deal for Comcast because they’ve already been working with Plaxo for over a year on some limited integration, and they want to do more.
I’m going to actually sort of disagree somewhat, and maybe when he’s back on he can defend himself. I think it’s great for Plaxo that they had a liquidity event. I think that Plaxo, though, was always sort of the wrong company at the wrong time.
They launched in 2002. By 2006, they were pretty much universally hated by everyone because we all got 5-10 emails a day urging us to join Plaxo. And the reason is, whenever you signed up for Plaxo it asked you to upload your contacts — which, by the way, in most services you say no, but that’s the whole point of Plaxo, that you upload your contact book, your address book.
It would very [indecipherable] get you to confirm that you would send out emails to everyone you know. And so everyone who knew me who ever joined Plaxo would send me an email. Now, Plaxo half-jokingly said, “Well, if everyone…”
Gillmor: Scoble, can you hear me?
Robert Scoble: Yeah, hold on a second.
Calacanis: Holy Scoble, [indecipherable]
Gillmor: OK, go ahead, Mike.
Arrington: And this is back until 2006. Plaxo would say, jokingly, “Well, if everyone would just join” — and only half-jokingly — “If everyone would just join, you wouldn’t get any more invitations.” And they literally sort of half meant it. And people just went ballistic on them.
You could get out of it, but you had to go and go through, I think it’s a seven-step process. I actually sort of wrote this out one day. A seven-step process to get an email removed from their system and then they would never invite that email again. But for those of us who have four, five, six emails, it was literally impossible to get yourself out of their system.
Now in 2006, they stopped doing that, I think because they had enough members and they were approaching or reaching profitability. But until then they were sort of universally hated. And then by that time the social networks had already risen. So LinkedIn in particular as a competitor, had sort of had a footprint by that point and there was no looking back.
So I think Plaxo kind of missed the boat in terms of every getting to be a billion-dollar company.
Calacanis: And it missed it twice, right? It missed it for being a graceful contact manager, because they went on this crazy, hare-brained scheme to actually charge people. So to use the good features, they wanted you to pay. And I was like, “Nobody on the Internet wants to pay for this.”
And so they spammed everybody. They charged two critical errors. They blew the universal address book, which would have been sort of like OpenID or something in some ways. If they had actually done that open without spamming people and without charging, it could have actually gotten there.
And they could have solved that problem with a very easy technical solution, which was 10 people, only one email week. And at one email a week, it would look like a feature. At 10 emails a day it looks like spam, which is an important thing for people to realize about these viral [indecipherable].
The second thing is, they missed boat — like you’re saying — on being a business social network. So it was like two major strikes. And the fact that they got anything out of this company, to me is shocking. I thought this company was going to be dead pool material. I guess they must have been making money with those subscriptions. There must have been some people paying for it. I don’t know who would pay for it.
Arrington: And let me add to that, because Dan was saying it was a good strategic fit. Now I’ll say this, there were very strong rumors that both Google and Facebook took a long look at Plaxo before passing.
Interestingly, by the way, Plaxo did not use an investment bank. Everybody is using Allen & Company or Montgomery & Co to sell themselves. Plaxo didn’t engage with a bank. I don’t actually know why. They might actually have gotten a better price.
But everyone passed on them. All the big players passed on them and Comcast came in. I don’t want to slam Comcast any more than is necessary, but those guys are corporate development guys based in Philadelphia, they’re not known as the most Internet-savvy individuals. One company that tried to sell themselves to them actually told me that these guys will literally believe anything that you put in a PowerPoint and sort of ooh and ah. The people in Silicon Valley and New York are a little bit more circumspect about that.
So to a lot of people, and this may not be 100% fair, but I have heard this. To a lot people Comcast is sort of known as the buyer of last resort. They have a lot of money and they don’t really know what they are doing or what they want to do strategy-wise, and so you go to them last if you can’t sell to anyone else. I suspect that might have been what happened here.
Gillmor: Dan Farber’s back.
Farber: I think you might be right. But I did speak to Sam Schwartz, who’s their EVP for the Comcast Internet division, for their labs. They have a really good vision. You’ve got TV, you’ve got voice, as well as the Internet. How do you create navigation and make sense of all of that?
Having a social network where you understand what are you friends doing and what did you download when and where did you download it from, and what’s waiting in your DVR queue. And being able to organize all that, given the footprint that they have, and that they’re bringing a lot of the people on cable into the Internet via their services, it’s a good strategic move.
Arrington: I will agree with that. Comcast actually has a lot of users that actually use Comcast email and have them set to their home page. My father, for instance, still uses it. And he uses Comcast email system. By the way, Comcast — as far as I know — never deployed their partnership with Zimbra.
Farber: I did ask Sam about that. And it’s going to be deployed in the next few months.
Arrington: But when did they announce that? It was well over a year ago, wasn’t it?
Farber: Yeah. It’s typical, especially given that Zimbra got acquire by Yahoo. Who knows what happened in the interim. But they are going to be deploying it. The question is, are they going to be deploying it with all the bells and whistles that Zimbra actually provides, and are they going to bake the social networks into the email in the same way that Yahoo and Microsoft intend. Or even Google intends to do that.
Arrington: But what I was saying before I side-tracked myself on Zimbra is, there are a lot of, lets call them the AOL users of the late 90s; the late adopters who rely on Comcast. I don’t know the exact numbers; do you Dan, how many people use Comcast email every month?
Farber: I don’t know how many use email, but they’ve got 14 million people who are Internet subscribers who have the option of using Comcast.net. They have 25 million cable subscribers and three million voice users.
Arrington: Some fraction of 14 million use the email product, which is the primary overlap with the users of Plaxo, wouldn’t you say?
Farber: I would also say what you said, which is the people that are also using Comcast.net for email are people who are probably not your best prospects for the future. In the sense that the best prospects for the future are people who have figured out that it’s Gmail or Yahoo Mail or Hotmail or whatever else, and they’re not using something for Comcast. It’s like the AOL crossover audience.
Arrington: People who aren’t, the Internet isn’t their life. I wonder, an increasing number of those people are using Facebook and MySpace. It seems to me it’s a nearly direct overlap with Plaxo. The main goal of Plaxo is that you maintain your own address book and then all of your friends are automatically updated when you update.
Farber: This is a different play. It’s more of a corporate play. They want to bake the social dimension into what they provide for people, so that if you’re a Comcast user you can figure out “Well what are my friends watching on TV? What have they downloaded to their DVR?” On the Internet they can even track “Where do you go to, what do you click on the Internet?”
Obviously privacy is a big issue and they’ve got to deal with that. Then you connect it to Facebook Connect, you connect it to Friend Connect for Google, and that expands it beyond Comcast.
Gillmor: Before we get there, isn’t this sort of a TiVo play, basically?
Arrington: Well, no.
Gillmor: You just described what they’re watching on TV. Isn’t that social mixed with TiVo kind of a concept?
Arrington: It’s beyond that. They also own Fandango and Sandcats and a bunch of other things. They’re going to be buying; I think it’s more like the IAP strategy. They’re going to start buying properties that fit in with their notion of “We’ve got people. They get their content and entertainment from us. What other things fit in?” Such as Fandango.
Farber: Just in terms of, are these guys like Mike was saying, “Buyers of last resort”? I actually met with these guys under business circumstances before. I won’t say under which business circumstances, but I have. You have to realize they went from somebody who does plumbing. Now they’re building out the capacity to do other things with a very big audience that they have.
It’s not dissimilar to the business that AOL built up on top of their dial-up business, except probably they have better footing, which is broadband.
Scoble: I actually see them as a kind of Yahoo in some ways. They’re a very small Yahoo at this point, but if you look at all the pieces and how they’re trying to compose things as more of a media company, there are some similarities.
Farber: They also might be buying a hundred developers on this that can work on stuff. If you imagine Plaxo as your Comcast home page, you’ve got your address book, you’ve got good address book software. You’ve got your list of videos you’ve watched. It’s kind of interesting.
Scoble: Plaxo’s only 50 people.
Gillmor: So Mike, you think the dollars make sense? They obviously make sense for Plaxo, but do they make sense for Comcast and does it change the equation for other players?
Calacanis: I think that’s a complicated question. Like Dan said, this is not a win for Plaxo’s investors. Sequoia doesn’t get involved in companies to screw around with these kind of returns. Part of my answer is I wonder what Plaxo would have been able to do if they had hired a bank to help sell them.
I think waiting probably wasn’t in their best interest, because I think the longer they wait, the more people look at Plaxo as a competitor to Facebook and LinkedIn and not a very good one at that. I think now was definitely the time to sell. I don’t know if Comcast has really thought through their strategy as well as Dan seems to believe based on his conversation with them.
I tend to be a little more critical when I talk to sources about whether or not they’re trying to bullshit me than Dan is. I don’t know if I buy this as much as he does.
Arrington: What do you guys think of Power set?
Calacanis: Are you going to let that go Dan?
Farber: Am I going to let it go that you said that you’re more critical than me?
Calacanis: I don’t believe everything that people tell me.
Arrington: One person’s an optimist and one person’s a pessimist. What can you say?
Farber: I’ll say this. I think they have the right idea. Whether they can execute on it, and whether they can prove that they can spread this social dimension across their television, voice and Internet properties remains to be seen. But it’s a super good idea.
Arrington: What does this mean for other social networks? I’m here at the headquarters of Blue Pulse, which is a social network for mobile phones. Do you think this is good for them, bad for them? Certainly the CEO, I just talked to for a second while you guys were talking, he was shocked that the evaluation was so low.
Calacanis: When you have 1.5 million active users per month on your social network, that doesn’t give you a lot of negotiating power.
Arrington: 1.5? I’ve got 4.2 million. Where’s my $170 million?
Farber: Three million. I forgot what I was going to say. Oh! The price is indicative of a single buyer. It doesn’t sound like there’s any competitive process here. It sounds like everybody backed out and Comcast was all that was left.
Arrington: Also, I bet you they had $20 million in revenue or something like that from these people paying for something. They have some people paying the premium service for the smart network contact management.
Farber: How much does that cost, that product? $50 a year or $20 a month?
Gillmor: You were up at Microsoft today, looking at some tabletop toy or something. I couldn’t quite get what that looks like. Yahoo, is that over as far as Microsoft’s concerned?
Scoble: I had a two hour private meeting with Bill Gates yesterday where he outlined their corporate strategy in detail over the next couple of years. C’mon, I have no idea. [laughter]
Arrington: I was actually believing you. C’mon, Time 100 Man of the Year.
Scoble: They clearly continue to strongly signal that they’re not interested in Yahoo. What happened to Yahoo’s stock today, where is it hovering? It’s interesting that Yahoo’s stock hasn’t fallen to $20.
Arrington: 27 bucks.
Farber: The only reason it hasn’t fallen in the toilet is because people still think Microsoft is going to come back, and there’s this play.
Scoble: Microsoft filed an FCC statement last week saying they released their board members from their obligation, which obviously was a formality. They’re making pretty strong statements here on the record that they’re done. I suspect that they would still love to own Yahoo, but I think to maintain credibility they have to wait until Yahoo comes to them.
It seems like some of the stockholders clearly want that to happen, and they’re making moves to make it happen.
Gillmor: If Dan’s right about the sort of uber-strategy that Comcast may be going for here, that Yahoo is in the process of being picked apart by smaller competitors who are going to then aggregate themselves together and then make Yahoo obsolete.
Calacanis: If Comcast had the money, they should have gone after Yahoo. That would have been a better play for them.
Arrington: I don’t think they have the wherewithal for that.
Scoble: What’s Comcast’s market cap, 70 billion? Something like that?
Calacanis: Market cap is 66 today.
Arrington: I’m sitting here without a computer, and so I don’t sound near as smart as I would if I could look shit up before I state it as fact.
Calacanis: Don’t worry about it. You’re a Time 100 Man of the Year.
Gillmor: You can’t just ask Bill. He hasn’t got anything to do except…
Calacanis: Can we talk about PowerSet for a second? I wanted to hear people’s thoughts on Powerset.
Arrington: Come on. Jason, you’re a competitor. I don’t think that’s a reasonable request.
Calacanis: Not really a competitor, actually. I would see us more as a partner.
Scoble: You should be a partner because you have structured data they could use. There you go.
Calacanis: Ah. And they could basically do the same thing on Mahalo as they’re doing in India.
Scoble: There you go.
Gillmor: And then this “Minority Report” thing that you were looking at today? You could hook that up, right?
Arrington: Oh, god. Can I talk about it for a second?
Gillmor: I couldn’t let you go without it.
Arrington: We all know about Surface, which is a table-top computer. It’s an entire system. It’s a PC, it’s software, it’s the screen. What surface is, though, is it’s powered by cameras. So cameras look at what you’re doing on the screen, it watches your hands. If you put a phone on it, it sees it’s phone and then you can interact with it.
Surface is really cool, but it costs $10,000. What TouchWall is, which is what I saw yesterday and wrote about last night, is a touch screen that’s based on infrared lasers. It only takes three of these things and they’re dirt cheap, and then a camera to watch the lasers and sort of pan across any surface.
They made a Plexiglas screen and then projected onto it. It’s multi-touch, and the videos are just stunning. I actually tested it, and it works really well. And it’s sort of “Minority Report, ” this was in “Iron Man” a little bit, they had this sort of vertical touch screen as well. It works just like that, and it’s absolutely amazing.
They’re not talking about productizing right now, but it only costs a few hundred dollars to put it together with stuff of the shelf from, like, Frye’s. And literally, you could use a normal projector to project a computer screen onto the wall and with a few hundred dollars worth of parts turn that into a touch screen.
So they see this kind of technology replacing whiteboards over time. Basically possibly people using like an architect’s desk-type set-up for their main computer interface and the screen can be huge, because you can rear-project onto a piece of glass.
So I’m pretty excited by it, just as a pure sort of science play. It’s really cool. I hope that they productize it.
Gillmor: And then what we saw on Monday was sort of another piece of this kind of Lego set that seems to be emerging, which was Friend Connect. Which would allow you in the model that you’re talking about to be able to wire together, say, a group of associates in an architectural firm to be able to come together using that kind of technology.
Arrington: So, I have to go.
Gillmor: Thanks for showing up. And good luck with whatever you do. You’re too important now; it’s just exciting to be on the same call with you.
Calacanis: Time 100 Man of the Year.
Scoble: I have to go too.
Arrington: Our new book, a Web 2.0 book, and it’s actually live at TechCrunch, so I’ve got to be quick. So by the time anyone hears this, it’ll be over. See you guys.
Gillmor: Thanks, Mike. Thanks, Robert. Dan Farber?
Arrington: First before I leave, I have to go, but I’m here at the offices of [indecipherable], so I’ll try to get some comments from them on the Friend Connect as well, and see if they’re going to use it.
Gillmor: OK, terrific.
Arrington: All right, see you later.
Gillmor: Dan Farber?
Farber: I’m standing by here at Harvard Square, John F. Kennedy School.
Gillmor: And, Jason, just for the record, you’re in Los Angeles?
Calacanis: Santa Monica, California.
Gillmor: OK. So I want to talk a little bit about this Friend Connect stuff. Because I thought it was really fantastic, what they’re doing. I was really surprised by how interesting it really turned out to be.
Basically all I think is important these days is Twitter, so it takes something to get through to my numbskull. Dan, what do you think of it?
Farber: I characterize this as a very smart move by Google. It’s kind of an end run around Facebook, MySpace and others that very large social networks in the front set. They’re going after this long tail of the billions or millions of sites that could be socially enabled simply by throwing in a few snips of code by a webmaster who’s not very technical.
This would allow Google, for example, to collect a lot of data anonymously, and to kind of create plumbing. I kind of liken this to Microsoft’s Mesh. This is about plumbing, and it’s a social plumbing for the web. And it’s enabled by…
Gillmor: I think it’s complementary to Mesh. Jason, what do you think about it?
Calacanis: When it was MyBlogLog, it was kind of dorky. When it’s Google Friend Connect, it’s kind of sexy. I thought MyBlog was kind of stalkerish and goofy. Like, I didn’t want to put it on my blog.
Gillmor: The problem with MyBlogLog was that they were making deals with website owners that the users had no idea about. So in other words, there was no social contract between the users and the data. They were simply stealing it.
Calacanis: Yeah. And I was just like, “No, I’m not giving you my users.” They wanted us to but it on the web-blogging sites and — no. In this case — because the value proposition for a big site or somebody, it’s like, “OK, I’m giving my users over to you for what?” You aren’t really providing that much value, like you build this software in a week or two with my team, and users don’t really care that much about it.
Now you’re bringing all these LinkedIn or Facebook — I’m not sure exactly who’s involved in it. I think LinkedIn is; I’m not sure Facebook. You bring in all these other people to your site and now it’s a benefit. They don’t have to re-register and they’ve got their ID and they’ve already got their group of friends.
It becomes sort of cool, because the value proposition for a small to mid-sized site owner is free software — which is MyBlogLogs, but also traffic and a large group of users, so it gets more interesting. It’s got me intrigued, and I think it’s the atomization of Facebook.
Gillmor: The interesting thing, you mention whether Facebook’s involved. I don’t know if they’re overtly involved, but they demoed a capability which Google has been — Google has a lot of different social APIs and constructs that they’re beginning to mobilize together into an integrated suite.
And some of them sort of handle the issue of trying to capture your identity from another social network by giving them — as I think was the case with Plaxo –giving them access to your login information for another network. Which was a no-no which a lot of frowned upon.
But what they’ve done with demo that they showed on Monday is basically hand you over to Facebook so that you can log onto Facebook using Facebook’s direct…
Farber: Yeah. Everybody say hi to Bob Frankston.
Calacanis: Hi, Bob.
Gillmor: Hey, Bob. OK.
Farber: Bob just walked by. He’s going into the John F. Kennedy School. He’s out of my sight now, so we’re back to the discussion.
Gillmor: Thank you. So what was interesting was that you could log onto Facebook and then basically find the friends that you had and authorize the application to be able to display those friends. But that’s essentially the way I understood what it was doing.
In talking with some of the people at Google, what’s interesting is that although they didn’t demo this on an individual basis — in other words, they didn’t aggregate multiple clouds, but you can in fact do so.
The gaining factor is that the terms of service of each of these other services, at the moment have to — like for example, with Facebook I believe you have to sign on again every 24 hours. So somebody who was essentially putting their social graph cloud up from multiple sources might have to have sort checkerboard situation where they would have to keep reinitializing over different periods of time in order to gain access to this.
What I think is really interesting, the traffic, which is what Jason is talking about. The notion that the atomization of these cell phone services is going to encourage the different vendors to relax their timeout procedures. We’re going to get a consensus, I would think, over the next few months of the amount of time that the user would tolerate in order to not having to keep signing in, if you follow me.
Farber: Yes. Saving your login, having to re-put your stuff in, micro-formats; it’s all there. I think for Google a fragmented market in the social space is better than being the number four player. It’s all a business decision. For them, they’re not going to knock MySpace or Facebook, but they already own MySpace.
They already bought MySpace in their advertising deal. You don’t need to own these names; they can just keep the market fragmented and own the ad inventory, which is all they’ve got.
Gillmor: I don’t get the feeling that they’re fragmenting here, actually. For example, their use of OpenID as the front end and OS in the middle, basically the adoption of OpenID by users is going to accelerate dramatically. That’s going to have the effect of basically bringing a much larger community to this aggregate form, if you will.
I think what we’re seeing here is constructing reasons for people to go through the pain, the first time of signing on to OpenID because once they’ve done that; get two or three popular sites, maybe the first site they’ll say “Ah, I don’t want to waste my time.” The second site they’ll say “I just noticed the same screen yesterday; maybe I’ll just do this.” Then they’re in. Dan?
Farber: There’s a bunch of standards out there, and if people are using them it’s a much more open environment. I think those people who are in control of advertising stand to reap a lot more benefit.
Gillmor: Right. The basic problem of authentication and security has always been adoption. These are difficult concepts to understand.
Farber: This is where I talk about the issues of metabolism. We talked about this last night. The basic foundation pieces, like the genes, are in place. We have OS, OpenID, Open Social Net, and other standards that can be used or emerging standards that can be used to create this kind of capability. The question is how do you create the right user experience so that the user feels like they’re safe, and have enough granularity to control their data without trying to program a remote control?
In that sense it’s a very good call. The metabolism is just not mature enough at this point. It takes a few more turns of the wheel.
Calacanis: Who knows how far this can go? What was the free; was it Google Base? The database that was going to kill everything? I think that people assume that every step Google takes crushes five start-ups, and the fact is it’s just not true.
Gillmor: I don’t think this crushes anything. I think it’s a win-win for Google and Microsoft would mesh with Facebook.
Calacanis: I don’t know if it’s a win for Facebook and MySpace at this point.
Gillmor: I don’t know about MySpace, but Facebook I think is definitely a win. Facebook has got a built-out relationship with a lot of people where they don’t have to go through the pain of getting signed in, they’re already in.
Calacanis: You might be wrong about that.
Gillmor: Go ahead. Explain.
Calacanis: Where you’re logged in and stuff like that, that’s a big issue people have. Password managers built into browsers now and all that kind of stuff, it’s not that big a deal. Even registering, not that big of a deal. What is a big deal is Facebook owns the graph; they’ve got control of the graph. They’ve got the ecosystem of applications.
They’ve got the ecosystem of their advertising integrating with those. That’s really the glue, and I think what Google and some of the other competitors are trying to do is unseat that a little bit. They’re attacking it on every front. OK, the login is an issue. Yes, trying to pull the graph out. Yes, trying to put ads into their stuff, like put AdSense into apps on the applications in Facebook. Trying to make the applications in Facebook work on a platform.
People are just trying to keep Facebook and MySpace from having a monopoly.
Gillmor: Look at it for a second not as a competitive situation, which of course it is. But just pretend that this is not a competitive play. I’ll give you an example. Facebook today, or yesterday, announced that they are going to support XMPP with their IM, with their new chat system.
Which means that in very short order you’ll be able to plug it into AIM and into Gtalk and you’ll basically have an aggregation of IM services that are flowing through Facebook. They’re coming from owning a very, very large cloud of social data to be able to export it and flow it in through some of the other services.
The one I’m most interested in would be Twitter, as an example, which also functions over a XMPP gateway. So, in that context what Google seems to be doing is providing services that are ubiquitous enough that they will encourage adoption of some of these standards, much like Discus and Seismic today partnered on a comment model.
You’re starting to see an aggregation of these services so that people can then wire things up in ways that they feel comfortable with. I think it’s highly competitive for Google, because it gets them into the game seamlessly without really seeming like they’re doing anything other than promoting open standards, which is ironic but I think very effective politically.
Calacanis: It’s all very interesting chess boards; I guess we all agree on that.
Gillmor: Dan Farber, last thoughts? I’m going to wrap this up early.
Farber: Good, because I need to go get something to eat. My last thoughts are I will be at the Berkman event tomorrow to hear about the future of the Internet.
Gillmor: Hopefully we’ll have someone from Google on the Friday gang. Unfortunately, Jason won’t be able to make it to talk more about Friend Connect. Tomorrow, if all goes well Blaine Cook, one of the architects of Twitter will be on. This is Steve Gillmor; this has been Gilmore Gang for whatever today is. Oh, and of course, Jason, you’re about to announce your endorsement of a presidential candidate, right?
Farber: Yes, my endorsement is, I am officially endorsing that everybody come to the TechCrunch 50 conference on September 8th, 9th and 10th in San Francisco. That’s my endorsement.
Gillmor: Thanks so much for that, I’m glad we all waited around.
Farber: I would like also for everybody please to go to audible.com.
Gillmor: Thanks to everybody who showed up and especially those that didn’t. Bye-bye.