Change, and changes are afoot. Thanks for your continued support, and stay tuned.
OK, its been a bit in the making, but we are proud to announce the latest release of Oyogi. Lots of new stuff here, ranging from responses to user feedback to shiny new features, so please check out the latest version of Oyogi when you get the chance.
New features include:
There are lots of other tweaks and improvements, and even (gasp) the occasional big fix.
As always, please send us feedback with your ideas and comments-- it's how we make the site better.
Today Emily Chang and Max Kiesler graciously posted the results of an email interview (with yours truly) to their site. The eHub Interviews section features short interviews with the designers and creators of Web2.0 sites, and we are honored to be included in the roster of interviewees (Thanks again!)
So, we've spent that last few weeks cleaning up and paving the way for a handful of new features that we're planning. Thanks to every one for all the input and guidance. Its been very helpful; for those that have not had the time yet, we're all ears, so have at it. The main visible change you'll notice in the latest release is a modification to the main page. We've added some additional AJAX to collect info on latest yogis, questions, and chats -- we had been planning this, but a number of our early adopters including Pete Cashmore persuaded us to prioritize this ahead of some of the other heavy lifting we're working on.
Oyogi in the news .... Michael Arrington, an entrepreneur who has earned a reputation as a force within the Web 2.0 digerati and the author of both Tech Crunch and Crunch Notes happened to mention, briefly, Oyogi in a post a couple of weeks ago (Thanks, Michael). The long and short of the state of the concept is that there are an increasing number of entrants emerging in the space ... we're looking forward to the exchange, competition, and potential partnerships.
Stowe Boyd shines a warm, bright light on one of his blogs regarding what he sees as a key need that's been so far unfulfilled during the emergence of Web 2.0 applications. Stowe mentions Oyogi in an illustrative example regarding the reputation of users. Take-aways from Stowe's post are: (1) that in this era of the 'mashup', it would make sense for the concept of social karma (e.g. reputation) to be transportable and understandable across a variety of sites - an open exchange between various applications and services (2) this naturally leads to the concept of aggregate (universal) karma. He makes an excellent point and it is a worthy concept to seriously consider. As with any good idea, there are challenges of course. Do you weight karma differently based on the maturity of the site? The longevity of the user? The activity of the user? Should their be a central "clearinghouse" of sorts? Do you display an aggregate reputation rank? Sub-rankings for various sites? Do the way some sites compute Karma undervalue a Yogi's contribution, overvalue it (see Richard MacManus' ruminations on this on ZDNet)? If so, is this fair to use in an aggregate ranking? Nevertheless -- all challenges aside -- its worth serious exploration ... Its probably fair to say that -- as long as you can interrogate a site's "API" to determine a user's Karma, and have and understanding of what that value means on the site's respective scale -- there are plenty of us out their who'll find a way to make it work. As I'm finishing this post, I read that MIchael Arrington profiled a company that was trying to take the lead in this regard back in August. He has a good thumbnail of iKarma there and some interesting comments from readers as well ...
The Musem of Modern Betas honored us with coverage yesterday. So, with some luck and continued perserverance, we'll look back at MoMB and our beta years (presumably - to borrow from Tim O'Reilly - we ought to be in perpetual beta for the life of Oyogi) with wonder at how we've become increasingly relevant.
MoMB is a clever concept and will be an interesting, living artifact of the Web 2.0 movement. Relatedly, Michael Arrington has an eye-opening guide on how *not* to squander your Beta by underwhelming those you need the most -- your early adopters (Kudos and honorary TrackBacks: Geoffrey Moore and Everett Rogers).
Today, Emily Chang posted a reference to Oyogi on her eHub site. Thank you Emily. Pete Cashmore - who is also working on a site to "harness the power of user-generated content" -- Noodly -- also covered us and had some very legitimate areas for improvement. Pete's comments resonate with us as do the comments and encouragement of others who are beginning to use the service. We're "collating" feedback :)
Work in Progress ....
The team is also doing some re-factoring and working on the next batch of features. We're trying to figure out what we've got in the work queue that satisfies some of the guidance and recommendations we've been receiving ... thanks for staying tuned.
Ta da! We've taken much of the input from our Friends & Family releases and have made the changes most requested. Thanks to everyone who spent the time exercising Oyogi and coming up
with ways in which we could improve the site. A special thanks to Lee
who inspired the visual treatment of the dashboard and search bars.
This inspiration led to other refinements of more visual elements. There are a number of items that we are continuing to work on that we'll unveil in the coming weeks, but we've been hard at work for the last few weeks implementing your suggestions ... we believe that you'll agree that the improvements are noticeable
So What's Changed?
In short, a lot has changed. In addition to alignments and spacing, the major modifications enable you to:
So, those are some of the highlights. You all have really helped us to build a release that, we feel, represents a noticeably better Oyogi. We look forward to you helping us press forward ...
"Does Oyogi make sense?" "Will people really use Oyogi?" "Is there something, useful here?" ... These are just a few of the questions we and you, our community, have asked for some time. Well, Yogis, I think we have our answer ... Pun Intended.
Yesterday, we learned that our first clear and very formiddable competitor had entered the space ... One thing is certain, there *is* clear power and magic in the interaction of human beings as they exchange knowledge, share ideas, and ask and answer questions. This power and magic intensifies as others are able to "overhear" or participate and enrich their own understanding, draw their own conclusions, or formulate their own enlightened questions.
This has and continues to be the inspiration for our humble crew - to help people find one another and to share knowledge --- all on a grand scale.
So, on to the competition ... In the 6th grade, I remember there was a bully who pushed a friend away from the water fountain as he was having a drink and took a cheapshot at him in the process. I also remember the rush of adrenaline that came over me as Benji and I chased him down the hall ... I think we all get that feeling from time to time, and its all the more powerful when you feel it as a group ... We just enjoyed a little dose today.
As the weeks and months unfold, we're going to see even more competitors enter the space. You, our Yogis, are our strongest assets and our most honest critics. We've developed a lot of really useful features, and you've told us that we've needed to re-think others -- we're working on it. In the next few days, we'll expose another release of Oyogi. It won't be perfect, but it will be better after having been refined based on your scrutiny. We continue to rely on you to tell us how to get it right, how to make Oyogi better. We're listening, and we're counting on you to help us chase the bully down the hall .... Ding, Ding, Round 1.
While nearly hypnotizing myself with a steady, turkey ingesting rhythm, I listened intently to the knowledge and wisdom of my Father. Over the years as I've had to make my own way in the "real world," I've come to wish for a time machine to be able to return to my insolent youth so that I could have listened more intently, with a lot more respect to his stories and guidance. Certainly there is an emotional and biased component to my reverence of the information and perspective he has; but, there are clearly things my Dad has learned from his travels, family history, work experiences, and personal chutzpah that could fill more than a few tomes. From his birth in pre-partition India, to coming to The United States with only a one-way plane ticket, to his love for the World Wrestling Federation, my Dad can effortlessly entertain with rapid-fire context switches from his memory bank. He definitely has both the gift of gab as well as lateral thought...
The thing is, when you remove the emotional context of Dad-as-hero, what shines through at the core, is the vast power of human experiential knowledge. In my opinion this is one of the most fascinating parts of humanity: the stories, the information that you did not have prior to a conversation, the 'light' that goes off in organic exchanges, the utter amazement at the decisions, circumstances, and choices that others make to bring them to where they are ...
In no small measure, this experiential knowledge is an inspiration for Oyogi. My professor at The University of Virginia, Adelaide Wilcox King, exposed us to concepts around Knowledge Management and the 'stuff' in people's brains that are not in the 'whoops, we need an answer handbook ...The "stuff" that does not get written down. Its the information in people's brains that they take for granted and is only exposed when they're called upon to answer a question, engage in conversation, solve a problem, or another similar organic exchange. We feel there is tremendous power and magic in this information because much of it is not easily duplicated, chronicled, or utilized by others ...
So, in some measure, we hope that Oyogi can be a useful tool to aid in capturing these pearls of information, this 'table wisdom.'. We are honored that you're assisting us in this endeavor, and we believe that with your help, we might just get it right ...