The Future of IT Conversations

I’ve been researching, scratching my head and talking to people for the past two months or so, and I wasn’t planning on announcing my plans for the future of IT Conversations for another month or so. But I was being interviewed by Cameron Reilly for the G’Day World podcast, and I just couldn’t help myself. Cameron asked me point blank about the future, and I decided to spill the beans. Cameron gets the scoop.

I’ll have more details here in the blog over the next few days, and in the IT Conversations news podcast this weekend. But for a preview, listen to my interview on G’Day world. We start talking about the future of IT Conversations at 16:50 into the show.

A Record Day

Thanks to the new traffic from iTunes, Tueday was an all-time record day for IT Conversations traffic: 378.32GB. That adds up to more than 11 terrabytes/month. Thank you Limelight Networks for your awesome content-delivery network. We literally couldn’t do it without you.

iTunes: Day One

Today was the launch of iTunes 4.9 with support for podcasting, and IT Conversations is proud to be among those included in the initial iTunes directory. The presentation is a bit of a mess, and over the next few days I hope to find time to add the iTunes-specific tags to our RSS feeds.

iTunes has been responsible for a 31% increase in our traffic today, and I can say that with a fair degree of confidence. The reason is that Apple chose to include our AAC/M4B feeds rather than our MP3 feeds. Normally — and it’s quite repeatable — AAC/M4B accounts for about 10% of our traffic, but today it looks like the AAC/M4B traffic will account for 38% of the total, which can only be attributable to iTunes.

IT Conversations News: June 26, 2005

(Hear the MP3 version with additional commentary in beautiful monophonic audio.)

New Programs This Week

Listed in increasing order of listener rating. For descriptions, visit the IT Conversations home page.

  • Ken Berryman – Software Company Building Blocks (rated 2.6 by listeners) Ken Berryman’s presentation outlines the new factors affecting the industry and how companies can adapt to remain a force in the game. The belief that software companies can work under different rules than companies in other sectors no longer holds water. The world has changed and the demands of customers and the market have become more sophisticated.
  • Allen Husband – BioTech Nation (3.1) On this week’s Biotech Nation segment, Dr. Moira Gunn interviews Novogen Research Director, Dr. Allen Husband, who tells us how a dietary supplement which relieves menopause symptoms in women shows great promise as a cancer drug.
  • John Hagel – "The Only Sustainable Edge" (3.3) Moira also speaks with John Hagel, who with co-author John Seely Brown, has written "The Only Sustainable Edge," a new perspective for business. (See also more with John Hagel.)
  • Jim Griffith – eBay’s Dean of Education (3.3) "Griff" is the official dean of eBay education and eBay University instructor. Larry Magid speaks with him about how sellers make a profit by simply buying product X from Wal-Mart for $20 and selling it for $25, and what buyers should do before they get out their credit cards. It’s a must for all kind of eBay retailers. Fact: there are approximately 430,000 eBay sellers who either make a profit full time or part time in the US alone.
  • Wil McCarthy – Voices in Your Head (3.4) We’ve all imagined teleporting from place to places and making clones or copies of ourselves. But have you ever wondered what might happen if we were actually able to do so? Host Dave Slusher speaks to renowned science fiction author Wil McCarthy about what these advancements might mean and about technology, science and us.
  • Todd Cochrane – Geek News Central (3.5) On this week’s Web Talk, host Rob Greenlee speaks with Todd Cochrane, host of the Geek News Central Podcast and weblog, and the author of the first book on podcasting, "Podcasting: The Do-It-Yourself Guide". Todd also talks about topic-based podcast networks and how they might just be the wave of the future.
  • Lawrence Lessig – Re: Mix Me (3.6) Culture is remix, and remix, culture. That’s the message from an IT Conversations favorite, Lawrence Lessig, at O’Reilly Media’s Emerging Technology (ETech) conference in March. After Larry’s presentation, Cory Doctorow of the Electronic Frontier Foundation engages him in a Q&A session.
  • Tim O’Reilly – "Make" Magazine (3.7) Dr. Moira Gunn speaks with Tim O’Reilly, the founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media. Just to give you a new project or two to build over your next free weekend, we’ll hear about their new magazine "Make."
  • Guido van Rossum – Open Source Projects & Community (3.9) From the SD Forum Distinguished Speaker Series, the creator of the Python programming language reflects on the early days of the Python community, describes its development into maturity, and explains why he is still having a good time after 13 years of herding cats. In an entertaining and informative talk, he also describes the origin of many of Python’s most characteristic features and compares Python to some of the other languages in widespread use today. In two parts.
  • Peter Norvig – Web Search as a Force for Good (3.9) Web search as a Force for Good? No, we are not talking about a new beta service from Google! Peter Norvig, Director of Search Quality and Research at Google, says that when web searches are not actually saving people’s lives they are improving them by saving time! He talks about how the 4 billion web pages Google indexes can be harnessed to actually make a difference in the everyday lives of people around the world with the innovative new services that Google is coming up with.
  • Rob Curley – The World Company (4.9) Since the dot-com days, nearly every newspaper in the world has made use of the Internet and now has a website where readers can get their news faster than they can get the hardcopy paper. But just having a website is one thing. Doing it right — which is what Rob Curley is known for — is another. Hear Rob’s fascinating keynote presentation from the Integrated Media Association’s New Media Summit in which he gives examples of how he and his web-development team at the Lawrence Journal-World continue to do it right.

This week’s Doug’s Favorite from the IT Conversations archives:

  • Malcolm Gladwell – On Human Nature (4.2) From last year’s Pop!Tech conference, author and New Yorker Magazine journalist Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point has been a tremendous bestseller for over three years and counting. In this presentation he explores why we can’t trust people’s opinions — because we don’t have the language to express our feelings. His examples include the story of New Coke and how Coke’s market research misled them, and the development of Herman-Miller’s Aeron chair, the best-selling chair in the history of office chairs, which succeeded in spite of research that suggested it would fail.

A Pop!Tech 2005 Special Discount

Pop!Tech is one of the most awesome events, and this year it will be held in Camden, Maine, October 19-22. Last year’s Pop!Tech brought some of *the* most popular IT Conversations programs such as presentations by Malcolm Gladwell, Thomas Barnett, Doug Rushkoff, and Spencer Wells. This year’s lineup looks at least as good.

Pop!Tech is all about the future. It’s an eclectic gathering of great minds from a diverse set of specializations. But it’s not just about the sessions. Like all great conferences, Pop!Tech is about being there and getting a chance to interact with a phenomenal group of people.

The good news is that thanks to our close association with Pop!Tech, I have been able to secure a special discount for IT Conversations listeners. The bad news is that it’s only good through the end of the month: another four days. That’s the end of their early-bird discount, which is $300, and for IT Conversations’ isteners they’ve agreed to give an additonal $200 discount, so that’s a full $500 off the July 1 registration price.

To take advantage of this discount, just go to If you’d rather register by phone, call Jamie Griffin at 800.673.4855 and mention IT Conversations. Either way, I hope to see you at Pop!Tech 2005, sure to be one of the most talked-about events of the year.

To register with our special discount go to

You can also peruse IT Conversations’ coverage of last year’s Pop!Tech.

On Danish Radio

If you can understand Danish — to me it sounds like English played backwards — you might enjoy an interview I did with Carsten Nielsen of Danish radio. You’ll have to understand English, too. He replaced his questions with Danish and left my answers in English. It’s like Jeopardy: I know my answers are correct; it’s the questions I wonder about.