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Ian Ozsvald picture

This is Ian Ozsvald's blog, I'm an entrepreneurial geek, a Data Science/ML/NLP/AI consultant, founder of the Annotate.io social media mining API, author of O'Reilly's High Performance Python book, co-organiser of PyDataLondon, co-founder of the SocialTies App, author of the A.I.Cookbook, author of The Screencasting Handbook, a Pythonista, co-founder of ShowMeDo and FivePoundApps and also a Londoner. Here's a little more about me.

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29 June 2005 - 12:34CustomKnoppix write-up

CustomKnoppix.com (archive), the market test by Duncan and I for a customised Knoppix distribution is finished, I ended the hosting a few nights back. Duncan and I ran the site for three months to test Google Adwords and of course to see if anyone wanted such a service.

The test was successful in two ways:

  • We learned a lot about marketing
  • We learned that people probably aren’t interested in customised Knoppix distros just yet ;->

I’ve written up some detailed notes about cost, referring search terms, click-throughs and browsers versions. What’s cool is that in the space of a few hours and a few hundred pounds we could validate an approach to a new idea – that’s just peanuts in money and time. I love the ‘net.

I owe a nod of thanks to Seth Godin‘s Big Red Fez for inspiring the php-based contact form (dead in the archived version I’m afraid) as a way of making it trivially easy for a visitor to ping us a contact request.

1 Comment | Tags: Business Idea

29 June 2005 - 12:25New Theme

Hopefully I’ll settle on this theme and just stop faffing about. Thanks to Becca for providing the very refreshing Ocadia theme.

1 Comment | Tags: Life

28 June 2005 - 19:22shardcore

I see that my anonymous friend has launched shardcore, along with experimenting with selling his art via eBay (1, 2). Anyone else playing with a new venture?

No Comments | Tags: Life

27 June 2005 - 19:45Open-Source principles applied to films?

Joss Whedon, producer of the foolishly cancelled Firefly series (which was absolutely amazing, and so stupidly cut short by Fox) is taking a novel route to the release of Serenity, the film that (hopefully) ties up the loose ends of the series.

Rather than keep the movie under tight wraps before the September 30th release, instead he’s presenting a set of mini-previews around the States. What’s novel is that anyone can see these early production runs – so early that some scenes just contain placeholder special effects and temporary music, and the fans can give feedback and help make the final release a success.

This feels like an application of the open source movement’s mantra: release often, release early which helps refine great software like the Firefox browser in the face of MS’s bloated Internet Explorer. The early reviews of Serenity are good, hopefully this’ll beat the usual pap that comes out of Hollywood.

Very cool, I for one can’t wait to see Serenity.

No Comments | Tags: Films

23 June 2005 - 21:57Permalinks at GoDaddy

I’ve just switched Permalinks (definition) on for this Blog. It wasn’t clear whether my host GoDaddy supported the necessary mod_rewrite module…so I gave it a crack anyhow. It worked fine and all links were converted by WordPress automatically, so now the Permalinks are human readable (should you be so inclined). If you’ve linked to something I’ve said already then you’ll have to edit your previous Permalink – sorry about that, won’t happen again.

Oh, and I’ve changed the theme to, though this’ll be ongoing. So much to do, so little time.

3 Comments | Tags: Life

20 June 2005 - 20:56Stealth Start-Ups Suck

The CEO of bloglines asserts that Stealth Start-Ups Suck.

He goes on to state that a start-up shouldn’t be stealth for longer than 3 month before going public and gathering feedback. Is it a coincidence that BookAnExpert gained proper commitment from Kyran and myself back in April, and we’re about to launch the first service? Don’t go searching for the website – there’s nothing there yet, but soon – I promise.

He also makes the point

The sooner you get something out there, the sooner you’ll start getting feedback from users.

I hope you’re listening, I’m depending on your views. Original link via Slashdot.

2 Comments | Tags: BookAnExpert

20 June 2005 - 20:24JobTrawler

Duncan has just launched his blog using the rather cool WordPress. He’s also just released the third version of JobTrawler, a Java based app to assist in job searching via sites like JobSite.

No Comments | Tags: Life

17 June 2005 - 23:06Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs gave the Commencement Address at Stanford a few days back. At first I ignored it, the original Slashdot title was Steve Jobs In Praise of Dropping Out and it all sounded a bit mushy.

Having actually read it, I find I quite agree with what he says. I particularly like

“If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

No Comments | Tags: Life

14 June 2005 - 21:13Review ‘KNOCK KNOCK’

Seth Godin recently released a new eBook (pdf), KNOCK KNOCK, Seth Godin’s Incomplete Guide to Building a Web Site That Works.

The book costs $9 and can be bought via PayPal. I’m glad that the pdf didn’t have any silly Digital Rights Management foolishness, unlike some eBooks that Amazon sell. The process was painless, the 42 pages were designed more like a presentation (few words, plenty of space) and were easily printed.

Thankfully, unlike most presentations the content was very well thought-out and packed a lot of punch – I read it over a slow breakfast on Sunday morning and picked up a number of ideas. If you’re looking for ways to improve your site’s marketing, take a look. If you wait until September then Seth will be releasing it for free on his blog under a Creative Commons license, but £5 or so really isn’t much and the text is definitely worthwhile. Thumbs up.

No Comments | Tags: Books

14 June 2005 - 19:20Review ‘Free Prize Inside: The Next Big Marketing Idea’

I feel a little guilty here, hence this plug. I read most of this book over coffee in Borders and didn’t think I’d need to read it again so I didn’t buy it. Free Prize Inside: The Next Big Marketing Idea is a good book, it just wasn’t aimed at me.

Seth Godin maintains his high quality writing – if you’re interested in how to introduce innovative ideas at work but you’re not sure what constitutes a ‘good idea’ or how you’d champion and market it then this book is for you. The book is an easy read, the text is easy going and there are plenty of diagrams to back-up the points. Thumbs up.

No Comments | Tags: Books