Comments

Turns out the email notifications for many of our comments of the past two months were lost somewhere on the intertubes. I just freed up a big ole’ logjam of comment goodness. So sorry if it appeared we didn’t want to approve your comment. Lots of new comments are now sprinkled throughout the past couple months of posts.

There are advantages

A few days ago, we finished the Recipe View and launched it on Viewzi.

viewzi-recipeview-tenderloin.jpg

I think it is a fantastic way to search recipes, and was really excited to show it to Tricia. After about a minute of looking at it, Tricia asks, “Does it have Southern Living recipes?” Well no, as it so happens, it didn’t.

Hmmm… turns out Southern Living hosts their recipes, along with several other magazines, on myrecipes.com. It also turns out myrecipes.com has the sort of data that we need for this particular View (a rich picture contained in a well-labeled div). So now we have Southern Living recipes.

There are advantages to being married to the product manager (that is, the guy who helps decide what gets built next).

Viewzi has launched!

Sunday night found most of us viewzers huddled around a table sorting out the final details for our launch until almost midnight. Thankfully, the table was at a nice country club, so it wasn’t all that bad. Monday morning at 7 a.m., TechCrunch posted their exclusive coverage of our launch. For the next 12 hours, Viewzi was live but only accessible via the TechCrunch link. Then at 7 p.m., the wall came down fully and we were live.

It has gone fantastically! All the new platform code, some of which was written just days before launch, worked flawlessly and the site absorbed a massive increase in traffic without so much as flinching. At 8 p.m. last night, a huge group of us (well, huge for a company of 12) met at Kenichi and celebrated the success with wives, husbands, and even a set of parents. What fun! There’s pretty much no better way to enjoy your success than to eat some raw tuna.

Now go use the coolest search on the internet to find something fun.

Food, folks, and fun

My first post on the Viewzi blog went up a few days ago. More to come over the next few weeks.

Thirteen

Yesterday, Tricia and I celebrated 13 years of marriage. She was amazing then, and is so much more now. What a privilege it has been to grow and love and live and work together these many years. I am not the man I was (which is a good thing!), and much of that change is due to Tricia’s patient love for me.

May God bless us with many more decades together. I love you, sweetie!

Viewzi in the Newzi

Okay, first, let’s just clear up one thing. The whole “newzi” rhyme was Tricia’s idea. So if you loved it, now you know. And if you didn’t, well, there you have it.

Yesterday around 4:30 p.m. a news-team of two showed up at our offices to put together a story on Viewzi’s upcoming live launch. Stephanie Lucero interviewed several of us, got her footage, and had a story run on the 10 p.m. news. We were on the air at about 10:15 p.m. The end of the story included a teaser for a referral code found at the story’s accompanying web article. At approximately 10:22 p.m., our servers became a giant molten blob that sank into the earth’s crust…

Actually, the platform did amazingly. And the story had a fun “local boys try to make good and take on the big-bads of internet search” angle to it. You’ll see me briefly. If it was a movie, I would be listed in the credits as “Man 1, 3 men at a table”. Here’s the video. Enjoy!

It’s all about the Views

It is with great pleasure that I announce I am now an employee of Viewzi. It’s a great bunch of folks working together on a great product, and I am extremely excited to be part of it. I began contracting for Viewzi on April 7 after a whirlwind interview/discussion period. On May 1 I became a regular employee and showed up on the About page yesterday.

Viewzi’s got several great ideas all rolled up into one product. Ask yourself, should search results always look the same (e.g. a text list)? No! The display of results should merge two things: the intentions of the searcher and the results. I may enter “Madrid” as a search term, but I likely have a goal in mind such as “I wonder what it would be like to stay in Madrid?” or “I think that song I heard on the radio had ‘Madrid’ in the title”. Should travel information and MP3s be presented in the same way? Not to humans. Viewzi solves this need. It’s all about the Views.

Also, should everyone be forced to use the same means of traversing search results? No! Even with multiple Views, you still need to be able to customize your experience. Viewzi is currently hard at work on the first wave of enhancements to support user customization.

What about the long tail of niches? If you know you are searching for recipes, why get song titles or travel destinations in your search results? Why even search sites other than recipe sites? Why indeed? Viewzi tailors niche Views to appropriate data sources. So for general search Viewzi uses the big 4 and others. But for all the other Views, it pulls from a rich diversity of specialized sites and data sources.

And all this is built on an open platform that (eventually) allows anyone to build their own View. Viewzi isn’t trying to figure out the best way to search automobiles. Instead, Viewzi is building a platform that will allow the wisdom of crowds to settle that issue, and even come up with a diversity of answers.

If you are interested in joining the beta, I’ve set up 50 referrals for our steadfast readership. Go to www.viewzi.com/invite and enter the referral code “hornes.org” and you are in.

Something to say

I am very excited to say… not much, at this point. But in about 4 weeks, I’ll have lots to say, and I’ll be excited about it, and I’ll also say why I don’t have much to say right now. But suffice to say, as of today I am no longer looking for new employment. And that is very good news at the House of Horne. Thanks be to God!

My Boring Bible Story

Near the end of 1997, at the tender age of 26, I wrote my first Deacon’s corner article in my church’s monthly newsletter. I was just sifting through old files on my laptop, and came across it. I ask you, what is more fun than plagiarizing yourself?

My Boring Bible Story

circa November 1997

This morning, chapter seven of Numbers happened to be part of my devotional reading plan. It is a favorite of mine, because I learned a great lesson from it a couple years ago when I listened to it in my car for the first time. Unlike a book, one cannot skim a passage when listening to the Bible-on-cassette. There I was, trying to keep a disciplined focus on the words coming through my speakers as I cruised down the highway, when God ‘enlightened’ me. You see, Numbers 7 is perhaps the most boring chapter in the entire Bible.