bdg welcomes Michael Buckbee!

mike_buckbeeWe’re very pleased to announce that industry veteran, entrepreneur and Rails developer Michael Buckbee joined the bdg team today as CTO and Lead Developer on The Social Collective!

Mike’s career path is surprisingly similar to my own — in multiple ways. Fresh out of college, he joined a health industry startup called Aristar in 1999. They were acquired by SoftMed, which was then acquired by 3M HIS. (Recall that I worked at Plumtree, which was bought by BEA, which was bought by Oracle.) Unlike yours truly, who left Plumtree in 2002, Mike stayed on at 3M. As someone who just doesn’t know what it means to get bored, he also started several side projects. The most successful of these was Fabjectory, which could best be described as a 3D printshop that allows people to take their avatars (or other objects from the virtual world) offline and reincarnate them as real life figurines.

Again, our paths resemble one another, in an almost uncanny way. As I was toiling away on Feedhaus, Mike was building FeedMail, which essentially tried to allow people to read and respond to email from inside a feed reader. Like Feedhaus, the idea never really took off. However, some of Mike’s other projects — like Fabjectory — generated an amazing amount of buzz, including articles in the New York Times and WIRED. Prior to starting Fabjectory, Mike had yet another side project called Second411 which allowed people to search for virtual items both in-world and on the web. Second411 was purchased by ESC in October of 2006.

Never one to settle for just a few side-projects, Mike also worked on FoxyMelody, Watchlister, OneToFive, FeedSpeaker and an open source HTTP queue that runs on Google’s Application Engine. Here at bdg, we’ve long been in the business of throwing lots of spaghetti at the fridge and seeing what sticks, so obviously Mike will fit right in. Visit Mike’s blog and project page for more about his amazing career.

As Lead Developer on The Social Collective, Mike is already busy getting the site prepped for SXSW 2009, which will launch early in Q1.

Please join me and the rest of the bdg team in extending a warm welcome to Mike!

I Don’t Even Like Radiohead, But. . . .

800px-RadioheadI wouldn’t consider myself a Radiohead fan. But what they just did is about to turn the music industry on its head . . . again. Check out this snippet from an e-mail they just sent me:

To coincide with asking radio stations to think about playing Reckoner we are breaking up the tune into pieces for you to remix. After the insane response we got from the Nude remix stems and the site that was dedicated to your remixes…

Unique visitors: 6,193,776, Page Views: 29,090,134, Hits: 58,340,512, Bandwidth: 10.666 Terabytes, Number of mixes: 2,252, Number of votes: 461,090, Number of track listens: 1,745,304

…we thought it only fair to do the same with a tune that at least is in 4/4. You can get the stems (the different instruments/elements) from here.

Sample, cut, take the sounds, whatever. Play it in a club. Or your room. Then if you want you can upload your finished mixes to and be judged by everyone else. You can create a widget allowing votes from your own site, Facebook or MySpace to be sent through too. [Emphasis mine.] To start things off we asked James Holden and Diplo to do their versions.

Whatever you want to call this (user-generated production?), it’s downright brilliant. The idea that I — a mere mortal — get to mix and produce the next Radiohead song and that my version (if the general public likes it) could be the next big Radiohead hit is simply a mind-blowing and totally game-changing idea. Starting with Napster, then Kazaa and other P2P networks, then the idea that a major-label artist like Radiohead would put up an album (In Rainbows) and ask people to name a price for it — including $0 — the music industry has changed dramatically over the past ten years. And Radiohead is, as usual, leading the charge.

Chris Bucchere’s Oracle Open World Schedule

oracle_open_world_unconferenceI’m headed to Oracle Open World on Saturday, 9/20. Here’s my proposed schedule. Like I said earlier, I’m probably going to spend most of my time in the unconference anyway, but here’s what looked interesting to me.

[Editor’s note: I’ve removed the gCal from here because it defaults to the current date, so it’s not really usable anymore, now that Oracle Open World 2008 is a thing of the past.]

If you’d prefer, you can also access this schedule in XML or ICAL format.

Sneak Preview of Chris Bucchere’s SXSW RSS Preso at the Oracle Open World Unconference

oow(2)For anyone attending Oracle Open World, I’m planning to give a preview of my SXSW 2009 talk entitled “Not So Simple Any More: RSS’s Bleeding Edge” in the unconference track at OOW. (This will happen regardless of whether or not SXSW selects my talk for inclusion in the 2009 agenda.)

The talk is scheduled for Monday, 22 September 2008 at 2 PM Pacific in Moscone Overlook II. BTW, I’ll probably be spending most of my time in the unconference track at OOW, because I’m just that kind of guy.