Monthly Archives: November 2008

Intensely Automattic

Everyone is honored and excited today that, the website of President Elect Barack Obama, has turned on IntenseDebate comments to discuss things like health care.

Micah Sifry has an excellent write up of the topic.

Imagine what happens if those numbers–on not just any “centralized site” but the one that symbolically and perhaps literally has the attention of the President-elect–start climbing into the five- and six-digits. Before our eyes, we are witnessing the beginning of a rebooting of the American political system. [emphasis added]


By using IntenseDebate (and the OpenID framework), the Obama transition is actually enabling a lot of interesting community development to start happening beneath the surface of a threaded discussion. Users get their own “commenter profile” on IntenseDebate, along with reputation points, and they can carry those profiles onto other sites that use the same system. Users can also choose to follow other IntenseDebate users, so if someone is really diligent they could start to gather a group or a crowd around them.

It has even started to make the cable news, as evidenced in this clip.

Pretty exciting! And it’s also a reaffirmation of Automattic’s platform-agnostic approach to Akismet, Gravatar, PollDaddy, and IntenseDebate that although uses Expression Engine for their CMS they’ve chosen IntenseDebate for their comments.

Entertainment Gathering 08

Tim said it better than I could, but I’m also very much looking forward to attending Entertainment Gathering this year. I was there covering the event last year and it was a huge creative recharge and very inspiring.

My favorite story from last year was at lunch I noticed this amazing looking device that was totally readable in broad LA daylight sitting on a table. I was gawking at it and a voice behind me said “Pick it up! You can play with it.” It was Jeff Bezos with his trademark laugh and the device was a Kindle. He gave a personal demo and I was sold, I pre-ordered one as soon as I got online and have loved it ever since. (Except it’s broken now, but that’s another story.) Registration is currently open here.

Two Thunderbird Extensions

I find there are two extensions that I install for Thunderbird every time I set up a new computer. The first is Plaxo for Thunderbird, which does a pretty good job at syncing contacts. The second is Messagefaces with Gravatar support turned on, which you can find in Add-ons > Options > Online Services. (Wish it was on by default, it doesn’t really work without it.) Plaxo has an avatar feature but I turn it off because way more people have Gravatars than Plaxo avatars.