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Tivo Series 3 is Here!

Those of you who are thinking about what to get me for my birthday need to look no further than here:

Hands-on with the TiVo Series3! (Engadget)

This box is dripping with high tech sex appeal.  Check out the new LED display on the front of the device:

Tivo Series 3 LED Display

Even the new Tivo remote control is sexier:

Tivo Series 3 Remote

Unfortunately, there are quite a few reasons to give pause before shelling out for this hot new item:

  • List price: $799 (ouch) + service (double ouch)
  • Service is $12.95/mo, $299 for 2 years.
  • Cable companies & standards still leave Tivo2Go, MultiRoom Viewing, external hard drive, and video on demand features unavailable.

Interesting deal, though, for those of you who are interested:

  • For $199 you can transfer the lifetime subscription from an existing Series 1 or Series 2 Tivo to your new Series 3.

Personally, I may have to wait to see what the “Tivo software on the Comcast boxes” looks like later this year to make a decision.

So, Tivo lovers, rejoice!  We can only dream of a world where Tivo wasn’t fighting the entire cable industry to bring us a great product.

Mozilla Firefox 2.0 Beta 2 is Great!

First of all, let me just say that I’m very biased here.

I’m biased because:

  • I’m a former Apple employee and Mac lover. So it’s not likely that you’d find me posting great things about Internet Explorer.
  • I’m a former developer, and so I’m predisposed to be a fan of open source projects in general, and Mozilla Firefox is a real champion of this movement.
  • Two of my close friends are part of the management team of Mozilla.

But, I just had one of those moments – those rare bad moments that distinguish a great product from the merely good enough.

Here I am, writing a post for my blog that requires dozens of links. I’ve carefully opened them all in tabs, so I can paste them in, one-by-one.

I’m using Mozilla Firefox 2.0 Beta 2. Using Beta software is always risky – things happen. In this case, things did happen.

The browser quit, unexpectedly. Not unlike other browsers, like IE & Safari, which seem to quit randomly on a weekly basis.

I fire Firefox back up, dreading the over 45 minutes of lost work… and then I see a dialog. Do you want to restore your session, or start a new one? Apparently, your last session closed unexpectedly.

AMAZING. All my tabs are there. And, with a nod to WordPress.com, an auto-save of my blog post to boot.

WHAM. No work lost. No time lost. Back in the saddle, without a minute to spare.

So, to Michael Schroepfer, John Lilly, and the rest of the Mozilla team, hats off to you. Mozilla Firefox 2.0 is a great product.

Key Links:

Search vs. Comments: What Posts do People Like?

It has been a little over two weeks since I began this blog, and I thought now might be a good time to reflect a bit on which posts people have liked the most, and what type of posts I should concentrate on going forward.

I have to admit, the first question is really,

“How can you tell what people like?”

Interestingly, I have already found two measures.

The first measure would be based on which posts have drawn the most comments and/or trackback links.

Based on this measure, the favorite posts to date have been:

  1. Pluto is a Planet (2)
  2. Scott Kleper & SpotDJ (2)
  3. Behavioral Finance, Anchoring & eBay Auction Starting Prices (1)
  4. Google, Apple & EBM (Everyone But Microsoft) (1)
  5. Apple Updates: Mac Mini & 24″ iMacs (1)

The second measure I’ve been examining has been page views, with insight added based on which Google search terms people have used to find my posts in the last 7 days.

  1. Dream Machine: Tivo Series 3 Available In September (27)
  2. Scott Kleper & SpotDJ (11)
  3. Behavioral Finance, Anchoring & eBay (9)
  4. eBay Express TV Campaign Launches (8)
  5. Pluto is a Planet (7)

This is fascinating to me. I can already see the dynamic that many bloggers have discussed, which is that over time, page views keep accumulating to old posts, even as you add new posts daily.

As a special tidbit, here are the top search terms that people have accessed before reaching my blog yesterday:

  1. tivo series 3
  2. jason steinhorn ebay guide
  3. ebay express tv ads
  4. series 3 tivo
  5. ebay express television ads
  6. best buy Tivo Series 3
  7. psychohistory asimov

As a Product Manager for one of the largest websites in the world, I am very used to looking at various forms of site measurement. But there is something very different and very personal about seeing this information about my own blog.

I’m not sure what it is, but it’s almost like seeing my own thoughts from the outside – the way that the rest of the world finds interest in what I’ve written.

Anyway, after just two weeks, here are my initial thoughts on the information provided above:

  1. Timely information is valuable. The Pluto post was hot the week that it was in the news. Tivo Series 3 is getting close, and is really spiking in traffic. Apple news is hot.  And what could be hotter than eBay Express?
  2. When your readers are your friends, mentioning your friends gets you hits and trackbacks. It’s cheating, but it’s nice to see that it works as predicted.
  3. What people comment on is not the same as what they read. Clearly, there is passion out there for topics, like Pluto, Apple, Google & eBay. However, no comments on the Tivo Series 3 posts, but lots of hits.  Alternatively, I’ve had quite a few people email me personally about the article on starting prices.  It’s really motivational to get that kind of feedback.

I continue to be excited about this blogging experiment.  I’ll continue to share more insights as I have them about this experience.

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