I got married a few weeks ago. It was definitely the highlight of the past month, followed closely by the beta release of the new Live Suite. I downloaded it mainly for the fantastic Windows Live Writer, but while attempting to upload some wedding photos, I was pleasantly surprised by the thoughtful touches added to the Photo Gallery app. Things like the intelligent time-based filter to allow you to import pics based on specific events, or the ability to upload videos directly to the web. The new Live Mail and Messenger are nice as well, but probably won't displace my current communication combo of Outlook and my cell phone.
Speaking of life-changing events, I recently became an ActiveWords convert and now I have an Atkins-like compulsion to spread the good word. If you haven't heard of it, it's basically a lightweight background service that allows you to assign keywords to launch programs, open websites, or execute simple tasks. I met with ActiveWords evangelist extraordinaire Buzz Bruggeman last week and he described the app as an extension of our natural interface methodology, which can be broken down to three simple concepts: thought, utterance, action. Do yourself a favor and give it a shot - it's very, very cool.
Tafiti launched today. Though the card-catalog motif unleashed several traumatic childhood memories, overall it's a beautiful reminder of the power of great visual design. It's no surprise I want to lick the screen each time I run a new search, as it was co-created by one of my favorite Seattle startups, Jackson Fish Market. They have a great blog, here's a quick snippet describing their unusual moniker: "The name is a bit odd, but it was the only remaining .com name in English, so we took it." Nice.
Speaking of odd names, buy this album and listen to it twice straight through. If you don't love it, let me know and I'll give you your ten bucks back.
Are people still using Twitter? That's not a knock, I think it's a great service, but I personally stopped using it a while back and haven't seen much hype lately. Back in the day, I was a huge Twitter believer. I burnt a few March weekends putting together a little app, which is still kicking around in the depths of the interwebs. I even signed up under several Email addresses in an attempt to "Twitter Squat" on some usernames that I thought might be valuable when Twitter became mainstream. Anyone willing to give me fifty bucks for the name "Horoscopea" (For people who misspell "horoscopes", which was already taken). Or how about "adgj", which can be entered quickly by typing '2345' on a standard cell phone?
Last but not least, for all you Seattle-based techies out there, next Thursday is another meeting of the Seattle Tech Startups group. You don't need to be a bootstrapping entrepreneur to attend, it's open to the tech-loving public and is great place to check out some demos of cutting-edge new startups. This month's meeting features some real-life marketing advice from Tony Wright, which should be pretty fantastic. Details are here, be sure to say hi and offer to buy me a beer if you stop by.