Techzing 33 – The Passion Fractal

Justin and Jason discuss crowdsourcing via blog comments, MashAPI vs TweetMiner, how CentralDesktop succeeded without any special advantages, Peter Christensen and GeekStack, DotNetRock’s shockingly large audience, how microwaves interfere with wireless networks (hint: don’t use channel 6), making progress by doing a little work every
day, critiquing MySkillsMap, the TechZing ThinkTank, the challenge and frustration of design work, how TweetMiner is now blocked by TrendMicro, tithing 10% of TweetMiner’s revenue to the No Agenda podcast, emailing Dvorak, Justin’s fruit fly conspiracy, how to be lucky, the Random Traveler’s Group and why Jason talks so much.

  1. Ozzy (Bez) says:


  2. Justin says:

    @Ozzy Is that “Woot” you being Bez? 😉

  3. Bopinder Abu Morpalinder Singh says:

    I think the reason Indian accents may be considered offensive is that they are usually used in a derogatory manner rather than a fun manner. Ever been in a meeting with a bunch of white executives talking to their offshoring “partners”? Pretty depressing.

    One other thing you should probably not do is say a Scotsman is Irish.

    I very much agree on the app critique! I’d love for you guys to critique my next application.

  4. Bopinder Abu Morpalinder Singh says:


  5. Wow you guys were awesome with the critique! As much as I had a knot in my stomach while downloading the show and anticipating the discussion, I had a great time listening and writing down (after rewinding on my iPod) and agree with all the points. I wanted to have the mechanics of the site in place and a designer friend of mine is going to help me out. So far I had done a lot of the mock ups in pencil in a spiral notebook (wink-wink Jason). Now I can enter the next iteration and refine the UI, content and interactions.

    I agree I need to clarify the goal of the site and the benefits. My motivation to take a different approach than resume sites is that a list of arbitrary skills without anything to back them up is useless.

    So I wanted to let people track their skills (and the development of these skills over time) as part of their own projects whether professional or personal. Each activity in a given project is then mapped to a skill with a goal. The site will let you organize and share what you are working on. Over time the skills that you keep practicing will take more importance in the “skill map” which really is a like a tag cloud but for your skills. And to “back up” your credentials you can create portfolios including a selection of the most-representative activities. These portfolios can include links to testimonials/images/sites you created.
    The widget is just a quick summary status of what you are working on at a given time with the skill map/cloud. (See the sidebar on for my own widget).

    I had been thinking of the idea of having skills-development buddies to keep you motivated as you try to develop new skills but Jason’s idea of having other people you have worked with vouch for your skills is fantastic.

    The TBD business pricing is also to provide the ability for companies to offer the capability to their employees/customers/partners/etc.

    Anyway, so much to consider and tackle – now I am even more energized!!!
    I thank you both so much / Merci!

    Of course, I welcome anyone else’s critique too. You can use 7439 as the beta registration code to take the app for a spin.

    I am looking forward to “La Critique” becoming a new feature of the podcast! 😉

  6. yoshi says:

    Justin, my advice: do what your passionate about. If that’s no longer tweetminer, move on

  7. Ozzy (Bez) says:

    Ok, so now that I’ve actually listened to the show 🙂

    The No Agenda deal is a great idea IMO, you should definitely do that, and yes I’ve started listening to that show too thanks to @Justin — It’s very different to say the least 🙂

    I would also suggest maybe printing up a free tshirt with the tweetminer logo on it and sending it to that Shoemoney dude? Apparently he will plug and wear a tshirt every friday and he has a huge audience — an audience that could be a good fit for TMiner since it has a web-marketing focus, perhaps?

    @Jason Thanks for getting the CentralDesktop guys on board for the next show… looking forward to that! And your Arrington/Calacanis story was priceless — see what happens when you ‘put yourself out there” ! 🙂

    And finally, the Designing vs Developing meme, oh geez that’s a tough one 🙂

    The inherent problem I see with hiring or working with designers in general is that design is alot more subjective than code — to me it’s like Math vs English, you KNOW when your math is right because it works and does what you need to to do, just like code. English? We’ll as you know from your Creative English Writing class, there is never a right answer really, and everyone has an opinion about their own and other peoples’ prose and poetry. 🙂

    I think its important to remember that design IS an evolution like most creative endeavors and to understand that you are building a relationship and repore and you’ll seldom get it “right off the bat”. Of course you’re ability to provide clear guidelines and expectations through things like mockups etc, as you mentioned, certainly will help in closing that “disappointment gap”.

    However, perhaps your previous bad experiences might have something to do with your expectations and your $500 budget :p

    Lastly, I have no opinion on accents for the show’s intro, other than perhaps doing one in a Jamaican accent — that would rock! :p


  8. Jason says:

    @Bopinder Abu Morpalinder Singh Yeah, I guess that’s why the Indian accent seemed offensive to me. Imitating it shouldn’t be any more offensive that imitating any other accent, but in the larger context of cultural biases, etc, it’s probably a good idea to follow your gut if something doesn’t sound right.

    Also, I’m glad you liked to app critique concept. If the feedback from our listeners is generally positive then we’ll continue to do it.

  9. Jason says:

    @Philippe Monnet I’m really glad and relieved that you found our feedback to be helpful and not irritating or condescending. It’s so easy to come off as know-it-alls when critiquing something and I wanted to make sure you understood that we realize how hard it is to create a functioning web app and that our opinions aren’t necessarily any more informed or expert than anyone else’s. Your idea is interesting and unique and I just want to give you a big thumbs up for actually making the effort and putting yourself out there. As we discussed in this episode, getting out of your comfort zone and taking risks will generally lead to good things. Good luck with MySkillsMap. You’re off to a very good start.

  10. Jason says:

    @Ozzy (Bez) Yeah, I’m excited about having the CentralDesktop guys on the next show. It should be informative and fun. Those guys are pretty entertaining.

    Analogizing design vs development to English vs math is very apt. That’s probably why I chose to major in math. 😉 Somehow working to solve something that has a right answer is just so much less frustrating, that is unless you can’t solve it in which case it’s probably even more frustrating! 😉

  11. Ozzy (Bez) says:

    @Jason, Let me just say I really appreciate it when you “Geek out” on the Math/Tech stuff, not all of us majored in Math or come from a Computer Science background, so we need guys like you to help us when those “frustrating problems” come along and give us the insights that only experience can.

    Phew! I’ve never commented so much before in my life! 🙂

  12. Robin says:

    Hey Guys,

    I like Ozzy have never really participated in commenting on podcasts before and I think the difference with your podcast is that you guys come across as normal developers like me, just trying to find the best way forward with your projects wit the resources you have available. The other reason is that you converse with your commenter’s in a natural way without coming across as being know-it-alls.

  13. Justin says:

    @Ozzy (Bez) @Jason

    I think that’s why Jason & myself work well together because I come from a right brain arty viewpoint and Jason comes from a left brain math/logic viewpoint.

    Although… having said that when I look at this picture here – – I can make the dancer spin clockwise and counter clockwise at will 🙂

    Which way does it spin for you guys?

  14. Robin says:

    @Justin – regarding you new romantic phase as a kid, I went to see Tony Hadley and Paul Young last year, they were touring New Zealand and as I was brought up in England and went through the new romantic era like you. Tony Hadley was amazing but Paul Young was a bit disappointing. unsurprisingly Hadley didn’t wear a kilt or make up.

  15. Justin says:

    @Robin I think “Toast” by Paul Young is a classic song. It’s certainly a classic food… Nothing. quite. like. TOAST – Here’s the song (and video)

  16. Jason says:

    @Robin I’m glad it comes across that way. We certainly have our opinions, but that’s all they are. We’re just like you guys except we record our phone calls, put them on the web and call them a podcast. 😉 Oh, and of course add a little music for good measure. 😉

  17. Robin says:

    Another sneaky food reference.
    @Justin, have you made a definite decision about whether you are going to push on with tweetminer or sell it and invest the money in to mashAPI?

  18. Ozzy (Bez) says:


    The dancing girl… she…. she…. spins clockwise! CLOCKWISE! ONLY CLOCKWISE!!!!! How can she spin any other way? This is witchcraft! This must be a joke because there is no way she can spin anti-clockwise — NO WAY!

    Wow, that was fun.

    I guess I am a right brainer… and when I read the description for right brainers, that sounds about right for me! Well, what do you expect from a Flash developer/designer type 🙂

    That page is so bookmarked right now, brilliant stuff, thanks @Justin 🙂

  19. Ozzy (Bez) says:

    Btw, I did know Paul Young was the original rapper?! 🙂

    Next time @Jason is coding he can listen to this pop classic instead of Duran Duran and PSB 🙂


  20. Justin says:

    @Robin For the moment I’ve decided to halt work/effort on mashAPI and focus on TweetMiner. That may change, however, after the show and tell to 50+ techzing listeners…..!

  21. Neville says:

    What’s the mashAPI webinar RSVP addy again? I couldn’t tell whether you said “podcaster” or “podcast” (a)

  22. Neville says:

    @Jason sounded like Nigel Tufnel when talking about available channels on his router. He said “it goes to 11.” That was good for a laugh.

  23. Justin says:

    podcast AT techzinglive DOT com 🙂

  24. Neville says:

    Sorry, meant @Justin

Trackbacks / Pings