Ning Doesn’t Support OpenID??

Trying to join this Web Content Syndication social network on Ning, the newly relaunched “start your own social network” service. Can’t tell if I can’t create an account because my full name is too long (way too common a problem) or if I’ve already started an account (probably the problem). Why on earth does a hip, new site for building social networks require me to get a whole new Ning ID? Ugh. Of course the company I work at doesn’t support OpenID yet either, but that’s another matter 🙂

TechCrunch gets a CEO

Here’s a shocker, though it needn’t really be – Michael Arrington has reportedly hired a CEO for the Crunch Network. Heather Harde, senior vice president of mergers and acquisitions at Fox Interactive Media, will take that position, Om Malik reports and FIM confirms. It’s news to me but I presume it’s true. Sounds smart.

My six months at TechCrunch were a whole lot of fun. Working at a pre-funding startup in the crowded media sharing market as I do now is actually much less stressful than TC was, believe it or not. I filled in at TechCrunch for two weeks last month and had a good time, we’ll see if I fill in again what it’s like to work with Heather. That could be fun.

I wish all parties involved the best of luck, I’ll be very interested to see what changes the network undergoes. Maybe Mike will get more sleep, he certainly deserves it. Good luck Heather!

WorldChanging presentation at SXSW

Just watched a really self-satisfied white guy on stage say things like “we all want to be affluent, but we want guilt free affluence” while showing slides of poor black people around the world. His point about helping people deal with their worst issues in order to provide a springboard for self determination was fair enough, but the presentation had an icky feel to it. It was far more politically conservative than most of the people in the audience appeared willing to admit.

Whatever. WorldChanging is an interesting enough web site to check out every once in awhile. Want a cooler one? It’s less optimistic, but it’s smarter, more honest and less politically retrograde -check out I’m sure the Grain folks wouldn’t say these kinds of things about WorldChanging – but I’m not involved, so I can.

Ready to Rock Austin

That’s the plan anyway. Alex Williams and I are headed down Thursday afternoon to cover South by Southwest for SplashCast. We’re both speaking on panels as well. He organized the first panel of the whole conference – all about Snakes on a Plane!

Anyway, we’re going to work our tails off to be as on top of the news there as possible. I think we’ll be able to do some very cool things with RSS, podcasting, photos and video all delivered through SplashCast. We are armed with new EVDO connections and Twitter accounts. We even created a special RSS feed for the coverage: Here’s our first post kicking off coverage. Thanks to Scott Beale, one of the first people to post the player publicly.

We (ok, I) talk a big game, so hopefully we’ll be able to live up to it! I’m addicted to blogging first on news and Alex is a great interviewer – so it should be fun. If you’re down there too, don’t be shy.

Ask goes nuts on local search – again announced an upgrade today to their already impressive local search tool. Now you can draw a shape on the map with a drawing tool and limit your search to inside that shape. They do so many impressive things over there, yet they are so far behind in market share. Is it too complex? Like the blogsearch tool, I don’t even use it myself but it’s so smart! They filter out blogs that don’t have at least a small number of subscribers in Bloglines. Goodbye blog spam in search results! I should start using them more myself.

I just joined Twitter

We’ll see how it goes, I’m at I’m going to have to figure out the best way to deal with the SMS options. I’m used to getting piles of SMS alerts from RSS monitoring services, but this is ridiculous!