I was sitting in the office of Rojo.com, the newly launched website to manage RSS more effectively with the help of tagging and friends’ recommendation (some kind of SNS). It is located in a large warehouse-like space – actually it is the AT&T building in downtown San Francisco. The reason it looks like a warehouse instead of an office is, it is a large space, in terms of areas and height. Evryone share the same open space by placing their tables in the middle. It is just like the architecture company in the Suzhou creek art district in Shanghai. There is no separation between – no cubicles, no offices, no meeting rooms – it is just a large open space.
Chris, the CEO and founder of Rojo.com, introduce the team to me. They are all nice persons and Chris showed me the functions of Rojo.com. It is quite impressive – RSS made it easier to track many feeds (around 100? Some has 1000? Are you kidding?), and Rojo helps to recommend those only matters to the user. I would recommend everyone to open an account, take a look and share your feeds with me. My account ID is jianshuo. Free feel to add me as your friend in Rojo.
During our talk, Chris mentioned there are many blogging related companies nearby. “Really?” “Yes!”.
“Six Apart is 2 blocks away”, Chris pointed to one direction, and “Technorati” is two blocks away” Chris pointed the other direction. “Feedster is there, also two blocks away”. I said: “Wow. That is cool!”
This is really cool. There are many small dot.com companies popping up this year (or becoming famous this year). I feel a little bit strange to call these innovative company “dotcom” since they no longer have the attribute of the old dotcom has. These services provide values and start to spread by the word-of-mouth. Some has succeeded already.
To be honest, I feel boring when I look back to the computer history between the year 2000 and 2004. It seems the curtain of the wonderful Internet drama was closed. When the legend of Apple, Microsoft, Dell, and HP fades in 1995, Yahoo!, Netscape appeared. But after the year 2000, there are actually not so many interesting application on the Internet. From the year 2004, new things are happening very month. Many blogging software, social network software, taggings, podcasting emerges Google start to become hot. It is exciting.
For me, to read the story from the history book (at least from magazines) is one thing, to experience it in real life with me is another. In my trip to Redmond last Decemeber, I met the wonderful guys Eric and James, the founder of picture sharing application Heypix. I planned to write an article about the product but they said “hold on for several days since our website will release in 3 days”. 4 months passed, I dropped an email to those guys and update the current situation. They replied and say: “We were just aquired by CNET”. It is amazing. When this kind of stories happen around me everyday, both in China and America, I clearly feel that the Silicon Valley spirit come backs again.