Thursday, August 30, 2007

Help Wanted Among the Qlippits

I suppose I've had more jobs, and more kinds of jobs, than most. No straight line from high school to college and a career for me. In no particular order, I've been a dishwasher, teacher, auto mechanic, forklift operator, truck driver, landscape laborer, programmer, door-to-door salesman, animal manager, director of software development, proofreader, consultant (whatever that is), CTO, typesetter, and, they tell me, CEO - but never a Community Evangelist, at least not by title.

So now I have the pleasure of offering a few of the right people a job that I have never done myself, but sounds like more fun than any of them I've ever had. Play the Qlippit below for the job description. If you know of anyone who fits the bill - creative, energetic, clear, communicative and connected (it doesn't hurt if they have a zillion friends on Facebook, MySpace, etc) to folks who could really have some fun and get some good out of QlipBoard - please send them my way. This is a spare time (which could be full time), $25/hour (more than 10X what I used to make as a typesetter for the Dandy Dime want ad newspaper in Tucson!!!), work at home gig. A lively Qlippit sent to will do the trick.

- Chris

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Different Makes All the Difference

Add the moon to the list of things that can get me out of bed at 4 am (the others include racoons caught in the fence, and hordes of uninvited teenagers grazing through the comestibles). Or at least the shadow of the earth on the moon. While some folks see the wisdom of getting out the telescope and looking at different worlds at all times of night, the rest of us seem to need something different. And a red moon apparently was different enough to convince me to wake some (willing) denizens for a look.

The look was much enhanced for me by what has to be my favorite technology - image stabilization.

To the aided and image stabilized eyes, it was incredible. Not so for my unfortunate camera, even with its image stabilization enhanced by my "tripod" (a very dirty car). Oh well - the memories are still worth preserving. This Qlippit will serve as my memory stabilizer, and years from now will remind me of a warm August night when, from this spot, we got to see the moon looking different.

- Chris

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Be Still My Eyes

I often hear people talk about video as though it is more realistic or compelling than other kinds of content. There is certainly some truth to that viewpoint. After all, much of what we experience of the real world involves people moving - walking, talking, singing and dancing.

But there is another way in which video is less "real" than still pictures. As we move around in the real world, walking, rotating our heads, moving our eyes, the world itself appears to be stable. We could not navigate at all if our brains did not compensate for all this motion of our eyes. And our brains use a lot of other inputs and assumptions to still the world. It doesn't take too long on YouTube to figure out that we don't see the world from the point of view of a handheld camera. For the most part, we see, and remember, objects of interest, moving or not, against a stable background.

When it comes to explaining something to somebody, stability is essential. The person who is trying to learn from the explanation needs less, not more, moving parts. Step-by-step is best explained, well, step-by-step - not "watch me do this and see if you can figure out what was important".

Here's a link to a little Qlippit that hopefully will hold still long enough to explain this point.

- Chris

The original YouTube post is

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Surprised Again!!!

Professor T. Frank Saunders, who tried to teach us to think at University of Arizona back in the 70s, founded SEEP -The Society for the Elimination of Exclamation Points. His point, as I recall it, is that if we really knew how to think, or doublethink, as he put it, then we would never be surprised.

Clearly I failed. Here I am, surprised again. At the three exclamation point level. I got together with some guys last year (thank you Norwest Venture Partners and Outlook Ventures for believing in us with so little to go on - and beyond thanks to my co-founders) and we tried to do something simple - create a tool that would make it easy for software QA folks to accurately describe bugs without all that typing and remembering. And to give them a little more credibility with the developers, so they wouldn't have to hear "It doesn't happen on my machine" quite so often.

And next thing you know (literally) we had invented the telephone. Well, not literally, but it felt like it. When we added narrative voice to the the nascent app, it transformed itself into a way to do a ridiculous range of things. Within 48 hours I was using it for contract reviews, sharing a Jackson Hole paragliding extravaganza, recording ecommerce transactions, recommending web sites and books - on and on. Oh - yeah - and reporting bugs...

Next thing you know, we dropped into deep stealth, and have spent the past year trying to make it simple enough for anyone, with packaging that makes it easy to try (and buy- if you are that kind of user). What we ended up with is called QlipBoard, and it lets you make Qlippits - multimedia files that you can attach to an email, send as links that play at, post to YouTube or Photobucket, stuff into your profile on Facebook, stick into your blog (see below).

Qlippits are funny things - faster and easier to make than a text email (or a text blog entry, as I am discovering), and much less likely to be misunderstood, or ignored. And you don't need any special software to play them, so it's OK to send a Qlippit to anyone.

QlipBoard looks and works like this. At the moment on Windows XP/Vista, but coming soon on Mac (sorry - but we just had to get it out for folks to use, and the Windows version was done first).

And now (pace Dr. Saunders), we'll see if any exclamation points show up...

- Chris