Inform, news junkies dream

I just got off the phone with Julian Steinberg of Inform.com. They just released the first version of their news portal. Think Google News on steroids. Shows news from around the Internet, and lets you build your own channels, add your own sources, and remix the news in a number of different ways. The only weakness I saw is that they don’t yet have many blogs (only the top 100 are in there so far) and adding your own sources isn’t straightforward (I’d like to import my OPML file with my own news sources).

But, it earns a place on my favorites. I’ll watch it for a few days to see how it compares to MSN, Google, and Yahoo’s news pages.

Can I shoot someone?

I just asked someone why they only provide partial-text feeds. Here’s the answer I got back:

Currently our sites only provide excerpt feeds because we feel it is really important to get customers to our sites. We will be looking into full text feeds to see if this is something that is feasible for our sites. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

OK, let me get this straight? You’re asking me to send people to your Web site, but you treat me like a slave? Got it. Unsubscribed! No link for you. You just lost my 18 readers. Er, NewsGator says I have 18,000 subscribers. None of them for you. I’m not going to be your slave today. No sirreeeeeeeee.

Morning with Alan Cooper

I’m sitting with Alan Cooper, chairman of the board of Cooper (a company that humanizes technology, he says). He just gave a talk at the PNP Summit (there are two more PNP Summits coming up) about how to avoid “death-march software.” I wasn’t able to record his talk, but recorded most of the conversation that happened afterward. Should be fun to put out there.

I asked him how he can tell if companies are on death-march behaviors. Here’s his answer: “I ask them “who sets the deadline?” You should set your own deadlines. That’s how professional people work. The boss shouldn’t be able to set your deadlines. If the deadline is imposed from the outside, that’s it right there. That’s your smoking gun. It’s stupid not to give your people the resources they need.”

So, are you on a death march?