More on Silicon Valley from Evelyn

If I were really smart and a really good writer I'd be Evelyn Rodriguez who writes more about what makes Silicon Valley, well, um, Silicon Valley.

I've been thinking about that Silicon Valley post all week. A few of my readers challenged my assumptions. I'm receptive to that right now cause my mom's death caused me to look at all the assumptions I have about life.

That's what Sanjay Parthasarathy did with me with today too (he's my boss's boss's boss's boss and we had a little lunch date to get back in touch after my taking a few weeks off). Could I use my audience to help improve the standard of living in developing nations?

He said something like "what was the difference between Hitler, Stalin, and Kennedy? How they used their audiences."

That's called a smackdown. Leaders make you think about what you're doing. Make you take on big challenges. Make you dream.

That conversation is going to weigh heavily on me this weekend.

Do you have a dream for what you'd like the world to be like? Is it just to copy Silicon Valley and make everyone rich enough to drive a Mercedes SLR like I saw rolling down University Ave. in Palo Alto last week? Or is it to get a billion people off of the $2 a day living conditions that more than half of the world's people live under?

I've seen how to change a big company. How about change the world?

What about network neutrality? Isn't that an important principle to support as it comes to making an Internet usable by all? I guess if businesses had their way they'd charge us all a bunch of fees, particularly if we start distributing content and/or getting popular. I told Sanjay that the thing that makes this so interesting is that every blogger now has the power that only the New York Times or CNN had 15 years ago.

I love how Rick Segal and Shel Israel will travel around the world in August trying to find a way to change the world of investing and entrepreneurship.

What's your dream for the kind of world you want to leave to the next generation? How can we work together on that?

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Tantek announces Microformats search and pinging

Thinking back to my great meal in Jackson, Wyoming, what made it great? The small things. The way the apples were sliced. The way the dressing was dripped over the food.

It gets to my philosophy about technology. What makes an Apple store great? It's the wood countertops. I bet most of you have never fondled the countertops there, but I have. Aesthetics matter. Small things matter.

Today Tantek announced Technorati's Microformat Search and Pinging. It's a small thing. Hence the "micro" in the name (hey, I like that! Heheh.)

This is important. Why? Because it'll let search producers add all sorts of stuff to search.

Go to Google or MSN and search on my last name. Why can't I tell the search engine to put a picture of me in the result for this blog? Why can't I tell it to list other info? With Microformats I'd be able to, if the search engine recognized them.

Then I'd also be able to write restaurant and movie reviews, among other things, and have engines recognize those too. Or share calendars. Or do a variety of other things.

It's a small thing. I doubt the New York Times will write about this day. But, it could become something much bigger.

My hat is off to the Microformat folks. Nice small thing.

Answering Rude Q&A from Jeff Jarvis

Heh, our "On10" team used Jeff Jarvis' harsh comments against a product manager here in a video look at the New York Times Reader technology (that question comes toward the end of a 10-minute interview). Those in the PR industry call this "Rude Q&A" for "get out your rudest and harshest questions and make sure you can answer them."

Demonstrates something we've learned to do: we watch blogs for the harshest commentary and see if we can get straight answers for you.

Yes, Chris Pirillo, I'm watching your blog too! (But, really, I watch any blog that mentions the word "Microsoft", among other terms).

On10 has been getting some interesting videos lately. Another one that I liked was the Xbox Dashboard video. There's a sizeable update coming soon and Larry Hryb of the Xbox Live team visited On10 to show off the changes. It got Dugg and, wow, has this been hit a lot.