Rush. That's right. Canada's finest export. And whenever you envision me riding my little commuter to work, coffee in hand, you just put this little ditty in your head. Working man. That's what they call me. OK, 'they' is me. And maybe my kids. But I digress...
So on that subject I've had a zillion emails saying 'Keller! Whatup!? How's the new gig? What are you doing? What is Lijit? First, MAD props and thanks for all the well wishes and questions. It's been a whirlwind couple of weeks, but I am finally starting to get those feelings back again...feelings that I had AGES ago when I controlled the destiny of software and turned nothing...or at a minimum, opaque ideas...into real tangible stuff that made real people happy and productive. All with kick ass engineers and coffee.
It's happening again. I can feels it!
We do search. But search with people and their trusted relationships at the core of the technology. So, taking a step back, and super generally speaking, the interwebs are are basically a 'web' of pipes (TCP/IP) with 'walls' at the end of each pipe (web pages/html/data, etc). Large search engines essentially crawl the web, day and night, cataloguing all those pages...all that content...all the finite changes...and lastly the frequency that those pages are 'hit'. So, when you search for a term, the results you see first are basically there because lots of people (you do not know) may have looked at the page or site for various reasons.
But, are the results contextually relevant to you? Possibly, yes....but very often no. Think about it: so often you need to dig 3, 4, 5 or more pages in of results until 'voila', a relevant answer/result. An example is something like searching for 'Grocery Stores + Boulder'. We're a bunch of hippies here in the Bubble so keep that 'in context' for the moment. The first thing that comes back is some giant food store chain. Not relevant to me. Would never go there. Why? They're not green enough, not organic enough, not....hippy...enough (remember?). But, if I search my graph of friends for the same data, suddenly I can see a trusted array of answers leading me to places relevant to me...like Sunflower Market or Whole Foods, etc. Twitter streams, Flickr photos, FaceBook posts etc...all from my 'trusted graph' of contacts led me to the answer. Not a machine's 'caching' of the page ranks so to speak.
Now, take a look to the right of my blog. That's it...right, THERE! Upper right corner in the sidebar. That is essentially the 'portal' you as my reader need in order to tap into me and my 'trusted network'. That is the most well known 'face' of Lijit at the moment. Likely, if you're reading this here blog, we've got stuff in common and you can trust me (hopefully). You can search anonymously, see what my network and I say about your desired topic, etc etc. Sort of like this:
That's you in the suit. Ha! That's me (I'm Elvis...and I'm back in the building) and one of my network connections Micah (among many many others). You've input a search term and poof, you get results back in various forms...all to give you a contextually relevant 'edge' on what my network has to say (or visualize in pictures, etc) about your query. You may search me for bikes and get the typical data back you'd expect from me, but say you searched me for 'pets' or 'dogs'. Then you'd see data from me and Micah and others in my graph on the furry four legged friends. Anything we'd written, taken photos of, tweeted about, etc etc. Again, trusted network and hopefully relevant to you as well. Maybe you'd then be inspired to 'connect' to us, through Lijit or maybe FaceBook or other social means. Works great when geography separates us yet we truly share so much in common.
So the technology is maddeningly interesting to work on. 10's of 1000's now use our technology and we've graphed/cached 100's of millions of page views of info. And I get to work on pushing the platform and products into new places. Exciting frontiers that can help real people relate to other real people. Real brands do a better job of finding their right audience. Always evangelizing the publisher to help readers interact with more...and with more relevance and context to them (you in this case!).
So there it is, mostly. I wake up with the (good) nervous pit in the stomach to push and create and inspire. It's early, but I feel the same way I did in the mid 90's when everything was possible. SO, rhetoric aside, I'm stoked and have LOTS of work to do...thus the blogging absence.
But I'm STILL riding! Ha!
1.5 months until the sport of the changing leaves engulfs us all. I haven't lost focus on that either...