Sanaz Ahari and Steve Rider - Start.com

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Description

After shooting this interview with Sanaz Ahari and Steve Rider I wrote a fun blog post titled: Hadi Partovi, what are you thinking?

That's cause this small team (now three people) is doing an innovative news portal, er, RSS aggregator, over at start.com.

They just updated that site too, details are on the start.com blog.

Anyway, hope you enjoy meeting this team as much as I did. The interview started in Sanaz's car so you can see what MSN's location looks like.

If you just want to see the demo, skip forward to about 14:00.

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The Discussion

  • User profile image
    wacko
    bright and early Tongue Out Intresting stuff
  • User profile image
    scobleizer
    Sorry, I wasn't expecting to use the stuff I shot on the way to the office so I was saving the "who, what, where, when, why questions" for then.
  • User profile image
    Nata1
    Is this the place? Smiley

    beautiful - these videos are driving me nuts because they make me realize how much I hate my job and minnesota If 2 people can ship something as awesome as that maybe there's hope MSN Search will let me build my Google Mini killer - give me 2 people, 2 months Smiley
  • User profile image
    fdezjose
    Cool stuff! It will be great to have a hotmail module on start.com/myw3b and international weather support too.
  • User profile image
    stic
    great stuff...

    they are like research inside the core of campus - funny think indeed ...
  • User profile image
    Minh
    MS should free up just 10% of your Longhorn team & break them up into 4 people teams and have them go at independent projects. Seems like everything is tied up into Longhorn these days.
  • User profile image
    Zolk

    Great stuff... I like start.com because of its simplistic design and compatibility with Firefox. I'd love to see more MSN sites done in a similar fashion as well as better integration among all these great new MSN services.

  • User profile image
    basictheory
    ha, i was driving on 148th today, went right by redwest.
    redwest is nice.
  • User profile image
    Pimp Daddy
    I like the innovation there. It's a shame MS don't market the site a bit more.
  • User profile image
    sohamroy
    anyone got invited to msn messenger beta as well as Mail
  • User profile image
    mixelz
    Wow, that works really well, that will definately be my start page from now on! I like the clean look and Steve and Sanaz have some great AJAX skills Smiley.

    So keep up the good work!
    (Btw a "reset" button would come in handy especialy after some experimenting, it's hard to get it all right again Smiley, in firefox I couldn't set the number of colums anymore after a while.)
  • User profile image
    Nata1
    Ahh Redwest - that's the name of the campus

    http://blogs.msdn.com/jobsblog/archive/2005/07/12/438157.aspx

    this has to be the most beautiful place on earth

    http://www.frostnet.net/chris/photos/summer_2003/microsoft/red_west/

    I used to think that my office was the most beautiful place on earth (its pretty ornate), but this is unreal - check out those photo graphs.

    I made a little compilation of interesting things around redwest like apartments, the bike shop, etc. but I have a fealing this list is going to become huge real fast http://www.Nata1.com/GoogleEarth.xml  
  • User profile image
    sanaz ahari
    intl support is coming very soon... we're working on hotmail too.

    you can actually see those plans on the whiteboard during the interview Smiley

    sanaz.
  • User profile image
    daSmirnov
    I've been playing with start.com since /1 didn't know about this new one.  Saw the demo and was like WOW, they've improved that the new look is way better then the last one.  Serve me right for using old bookmarks.

    Really cool stuff.  So cool I'm tempted to turn on active desktop and have it there permanently.
  • User profile image
    Minh
    I don't get it. I can add rss feeds, but I can't tell if my feeds have new items? I have to visit each feed? Am I missing something?
  • User profile image
    sanaz ahari

    Minh - we don't have feed read/unread support yet. 

    also, it's a bit misleading to refer to start as an rss aggregator, which presets some expectations such as the aforementioned.

    we alluded to this in the interview, by describing start as:
    bloglines meet my yahoo meet konfabulator - we don't want be just an entry point or a feed manager we'd like to be your personalized one-stop shop for the web.
     
    thanks, sanaz.

  • User profile image
    nektar

    For most users the issue is not if start.com will be beautiful or useful or easy to use or something so new, but the issue is if MSN will provide a single, consistent and simple interface accross all its site and do that now and not after all its compeeditors have done. MSN is slow in moving. MSN reminds me of a site built by more than one company. MSN does not strive for simplicity (looked at the new Shopping site?) but instead thinks more componentization (Passport is not on the same page but on a separate domain) and of features, as well as advertising. Many features confuse users. The web is not for overloaded pages. The web is for simple and nice looking services (Google maps?). The web is a fast market and MSN takes too longto think the details but forgets that what matters is the look, the simple urls (not spaces.msn.com/members/mylongname) and consistency.

  • User profile image
    Born2Run
    Please hire me ... I want to work on something coooool Smiley

    Actually, start.com looks ans works great. Like you, I am a massive Google fan, and have come to dislike MS websites in the past, specially Hotmail. But this is something completely different. User friendly, alternative to IE friendly (which is a big step).

    Like it, like it, like it.

    My website (although not a 100% done yet) is 100% AJAX. Only one page load, and then the content is fetched by Ajax components. Very, very cool stuff, although I say so myself :o

    Again ... please hire me Big Smile
  • User profile image
    Dr. Shim
    Hey hey! Start.com works in Firefox too. Neat.
  • User profile image
    arun_coorg
    Hi ,
      
         The idea is great. MSN have to think about such

    things in nearing future. Simple and neat.

    When 2 people can do so much then MSN is 

    missing something.

    All the Best to Sanaz and Steve.

    Thanks

    Arun.

       
      
  • User profile image
    Minh
    sanaz ahari wrote:

    bloglines meet my yahoo meet konfabulator - we don't want be just an entry point or a feed manager we'd like to be your personalized one-stop shop for the web.
     
    thanks, sanaz.

    I would so pay real money for an AJAX RSS aggregator. Blogline UI bugs the heck out of me.

    Edit: I guess that would require some server-side storage.
  • User profile image
    intelman
    Start.com is truely a wondeful website. I love it!
  • User profile image
    moofish
    You know I tried that site and actually understood its potential. I think its a great evolution from what most front pages are about, well done and get it on MSN now.

    Samuel, UK
  • User profile image
    moofish
    What does "<3" mean?

    and why do you come here when you like Linux Rules Linux so much?
  • User profile image
    Maurits
    moofish wrote:
    <3


    Hmmm... a heart?
  • User profile image
    intelman
    It does look like a heart sorta. I do wonder why he comes here and talks about linux all the time though.
  • User profile image
    Nata1
    It just dawned on me how super cool this is - I hope I can do that on MSN sometime soon, because I would actually use it for my homepage.

    Holy cow would that be cool or what....

    The dude who thought this up, your a genius

    MSN Rocks! Holy cow have I been impressed lately, they're doing all sorts of innovated stuff, and they're only getting started.
  • User profile image
    Joshua​Hayworth
    Any chance I could get Steve Rider to look at the following blog post?

    http://www.joshuahayworth.com/just_trying_to_figure_out/2005/07/startcoms_aggre.html

    There seems to be a bug in their RSS Feed reader.  It doesn't parse Dave Winer's titles correctly.

    Just a thought.

    Joshua

    p.s. Hey Scoble?  Any idea why you didn't pick up this post in your any of your egoFeeds?  Pubsub or Technorati?  I was sure I submitted my site to each of those services to be spidered.

    <shrug>

    Oh well.
  • User profile image
    erwlas
    Hi, Version 1 had a link so once I had set up my feeds I could use this link to access the same feeds on another PC without setting up again.

    I love v3 but where is the link that allows my feed to be seen on my other computers

    Erwlas

    (Not a dev....just a very interested user)
  • User profile image
    erik_
    Lol, The puzzle is easy if you look inside Puzzle.js

    Did Microsoft buy the start.com domain name or did they own it from day one?

    It's a nice project, but I don't see it's future if it stays something like this. There is stuff like this around, friends of mine use it local on there pc. Sure it is nice to bring this to a larger public, so my mom/dad can use it, but will they stay using it?

    The 'WOW AMAZING' factor is missing, there is nothing inside me that tells me I need to replace google.com for the start.com homepage.

    Anyway keep the good work up!

    Edit oops: I just noticed the START preview image is a button =) This is better I can add my own feeds.
  • User profile image
    BruceLee
    Cool enough, the idea is very nice.

    And Scoble, please do more exercises for your audiences. I can hear your breathy voice clearly from the video when you go up the stairs. Smiley
  • User profile image
    war59312

    Well this site made IE crash on first vist. lol

  • User profile image
    j0217995

    Just saw it posted on Slashdot like it was the newest thing since sliced bread.  Looks like it got slashdoted as well.

    I was reading some of the comments and boy does it get ripped to shreds by the anti-MS zealots.  It just gets shredded because of who owns the site   

  • User profile image
    scobleizer
    Joshua: I'll foward that to the Start.com team.

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