Coté Memo #071: How to eat a bubble at #ApacheCon

The Cloud Foundry Summit is coming up on May 11th and 12th, in Santa Clara. It’s a great chance to dive into Cloud Foundry ecosystem both on the technology side and to hear how organizations are using Cloud Foundry to become Software Defined Businesses. Register now with the discount code COTE and get 25%, which will bring the price down from $250 to about $187.


  • None this week.

Tech & Work World

ApacheCon 2015

It being in Austin, I’m at ApacheCon this year. The ASF was nice enough to give me a media pass, which Pivotal being a big sponsor wasn’t necessary, but I thought it was a sweet gesture, the kind of sentimental stuff I appreciate. I used to do media training with them (come sit with a real analyst for 5 minutes) which I always enjoyed immensely.

I’m helping man the Cloud Foundry booth a bit (we have plenty of folks keeping the Pivotal booth humming since we do a lot of data stuff in this community and launched Geode today).

Today the traffic was pretty slow (the data folks had more), but the nature of people we talked with was more interesting than volume. I’ll see how it pans over the next few days, but my theory is that ApacheCon is good more for business development (partner, etc.) than for “lead-gen” (finding potential customers, working on retaining existing ones). Indeed, I talked with one of the fellas at another booth and he turned out to be their biz-dev guy, who echoed this theory back at me.

Also, they served lunch at Threadgill’s. Yuh!

Jevon's Chicken Fried Steak

(“Introducing a Canadian to chicken fried steak” photo no actually from today. Also: pie!)

A bubble-talk bubble

It’s like there’s some coordinated PR effort going on: have you noticed how much “there’s a bubble talk, yes/no?” talk has been going on of late? There’s this interview with Marc Andreessen, some horseman of the digital apocalypse vitriol, and more from Scott Kupor at Andreessen’s outfit.

The most recent Exponent podcast is the best overview of the topic, which I’d recommend, along with Ben’s write-up.

Quick Hits

Fun & IRL

How to eat

One day I hope to do a “series” called “how to eat.” It’ll go over the proper eating procedures for various types of food. When I pitch this to people, they get confused. Why would you need that? Well, for example, what’s the proper way to eat sushi? How would you explain how to eat a hamburger and onion rings to someone who’d never seen it? What do you do with all those little bowls of stuff you get a Korean restaurant? When you’re eating at one of those European hotel breakfast buffets, what’s up with all that lunch meat? How do you eat a taco properly, or a chalupa (as we call all tostada like things in Texas)? You get the idea.

Just think of how fun it’d be to make videos of all that! And then blogs-cum-books, and so on. Even a podcast.

The further part of the dream is couple it up with the series my wife would do called “You’re doing it wrong.” Each episode would be about the modern day etiquette practices that people often overlook. People would be going about putting on a wedding (“if you’re family helping out, don’t try to hijack the agenda”), a baby shower (“don’t just buy random stuff, figure out the style they want and don’t deviate”), visiting with friends (“ask if you should strip the bed when you leave”), and so forth, and Kim would bust in after the initial montage of things going wrong and say, “you’re doing it wrong!” and then go on in the rest of the episode to explain things like, for example, how you need to figure out if Christmas gift-giving is done on the “give them whatever you think they want” vs. the “give them only exactly what they asked for” methods.

The “cross-over” would occur every now and then (maybe during the credits) where I’d stumble on with some food-related thing (“here’s how to eat at a wedding”) and basically be a buffoon that my wife would roll her eyes at (“as long as the bride and groom are having a good time, don’t be afraid to fill your plate with those mini steaks! Is this an open bar situation?” [wife rolls eyes])..and then she could come on my show occasionally and tell people how they’re doing it wrong (“always bring over a nice bottle of wine, no matter what the host said!”).



Coté Memo #070: Lost in the review hole, Lord of Computing

There’s few links today, just some pointers to now published material that I’ve alluded to recently, and some moaning on needing to be a better team-player.


  • We got up to 100 subscribers, so good job there, y’all ;)

  • As several people wrote, the word I was looking for in that discussion of lower case letters is “semiotics”, the study of symbols.

  • The podcast I excerpted from on the operational needs of cloud platforms (and people who don’t capitalize words) is now up. There’s audio, of course, and a full transcript.

Tech & Work World

I am not scalable

I’ve been struggling with extending my reach of effectiveness at work. That is, working well with others. When it comes to “getting things done,” I’m very good at it if I do all of it on my own, and every knob and wing-ding from concept to delivery is under my control. Once someone else gets involved in more than a faceless way, things slow down. I almost give up because I can’t stand to wait.

This is very much so driven by the blogger culture that I “grew up in” over the lat 90s and 2000s. You would just type, hit publish, think of new edits, hit publish again, etc. It gets enforced by a (non-pairing) programmer mentality where you can do all you need on your own (short of last code review, perhaps), pretty much.

In the white-collar world, things are rarely like this. First, there’s often at least one other person who has to approve your work. This is often to the benefit of the message and making sure the company does well. Second, there are often “gate keepers” who control the release of product into the world.

Each of these steps (and others) are intended to add value to the end product, but I still struggle to value those steps myself and, thus, find the value in them. Obviously, that’s an annoying problem for all people involved. Now, watch me click publish…

New Podcast

I (re-)started a new podcast today, here’s the first episode:

How to demo your cloud poop, don’t smoke corn silk, and other advice for people who lived in the 1930s – Lords of Computing Podcast 001

After catching up several times over the past few months, John Willis and I decided to reboot our podcast from long ago. In this first episode, we talk about putting together good demos for cloud platforms, among other things.

We’ve re-named it the Lords of Computing, borrowing an ancient domain name I’ve had forever. Take a listen, and subscribe! (This will be three podcasts I do regularly now, which is great: it’s one of the things I like doing most.)

Fun & IRL

No fun today, just work. I did notice that there was a half pot of coffee left at 3pm today. Something was going wrong.



Coté Memo #069: Chili Cheese Tots, shift key avoidance syndrome

Follow-up, Follow-forward

  • The column I excerpted from last time is up, over at FierceDevOps: Software-defined businesses need software-defined IT departments. Tell me what you think; they asked me to write a monthly piece, so I’d love to get some ideas for topics going: got any?

  • I got some good feedback on the podcast sponsorship meanderings. Apparently, there’s pretty good money in tech podcasts. The next thing I’m curious about is if the advertising actually works…or how people even measure it.

  • We have 98 subscribers right now – exciting! Tell one of your pals to sign up so we can get above 100 for the next one.

  • I’ll be at ApacheCon (in Austin) next week. We’re hosting a related event during the conference if you’re interested; I advised them on pizza ordering (either Home Slice or Conan’s – we’ll see what happens). It’d be fun to chat if you’re there. A few weeks on, I’ll be at DevOpsDays Austin, giving a talk and hanging out. The Cloud Foundry Summit is coming up and, as you might guess, I’ll be there as well.

Tech & Work World

no caps

Today, I bring you an excerpt from an upcoming Pivotal Conversation episode with Andrew, due to be published this week:

Coté: You know, I was thinking. There’s something I wanted to ask you. You have, like myself, pretty broad experience in the IT world over a couple of decades now, which is odd to think about. I think you’ve had your head in a slightly different silo than I have, in the early days. I think you can answer something that’s been bugging me. What is up with people who don’t use the shift key? Like they never capitalize anything. They have good punctuation. They don’t capitalize the beginning of sentences. Am I over thinking this? Is there … I feel like a lot of technological people that I know, I shouldn’t say a lot, there’s a fair amount of them who don’t capitalize things. Because they’re sort of like programmers or operators, I know that they pay close attention to syntax. I feel like it must be a conscious choice. Right? They must have decided, sort of like: one day I decided I’m not going to put 2 spaces after a period. Done. I never do that. Right? So, I ask you again, what’s going on with people who don’t capitalize things?

Andrew C Shafer: I think it’s just a hipster…I sometimes do that. It actually is conscious.

Michael Coté: See. This is … I’m not passing any judgment. I have no judgment to pass at all. I’m genuinely curious. When that affectation is applied intentionally, what the semantic thing is going on there. Is it, what’s that fancy word, like the study of symbols? Symbiotic? There’s some sort of symbiotic thing going on there.

Andrew C Shafer: Quite frankly, I don’t know how philosophical you want to get, in an encore performance here, but I don’t actually see the point of capitalization. Seems redundant.

Michael Coté: Now, that’s a statement right there. I like it. That’s something meaty. I think, this has been my theory.

Andrew C Shafer: With punctuation and spacing, what purpose does capitalization…

Michael Coté: Yeah. Yeah. It can all be inferred, basically. Right? You know. This would also highlight why, if this was like 2002 and we were complaining about the kids with their T9 texting, that would be a whole other discussion of no capitalization. In this case, I think it’s this subset of people who are technologically inclined. I feel like the answer you just gave is probably what’s going on with a lot of them. It’s like, I want to have an economy in my writing that strips out anything that’s unnecessary.

Andrew C Shafer: Yeah. It’s a protest against hierarchy.

Michael Coté: Namely the hierarchy of typefaces that are taller than others.

Andrew C Shafer: Exactly. We don’t need a class system.

Michael Coté: We need a class system. That’s an entirely different type of “class system” we’re talking about. Not separating things out in their value. More logos space class system.

We then talk some sort of tech stuff. I’ll drop in a link to the episode once it’s published. Or, just subscribe to the podcast feed to get it once it’s published.

“the feeling of being informed when you get to the very end”

Ben Thompson pointed out this good, short interview with The Economist’s Tom Standage

I love their Espresso app, and here’s some stats on it:

It’s $3 per month. It’s doing well: We’ve had about 600,000 downloads. Weekly reach is about 200,000 readers, daily reach is about 120,000 readers. 175,000 weekly subscribers have enabled free access to Espresso. So in all of those ways, it’s good.

…I don’t know all those term well enough, but let’s take a stab. I’ll assume “daily reach” means people paying for it regularly. So, the revenue could be something like:

$3 X 200,000 = $600,000

I’m unsure if that 175,000 weekly readers is on-top of the 200,000. I’m a weekly (digital) subscriber (through airline miles!) and I added it (meaning, I don’t pay “extra”). Anyhow, like many people I probably don’t actually read the weekly edition of The Economist cover to cover, but I do tend to read the daily Espresso.

Someone in tech needs to do that model. It’s a great format: a few hundred words per story with a summary of 3-4 stories at the end, and then the usual Economist numbers fest. If you could draw lines around “enterprise IT” (that is, not Apple, Google, Facebook, and all that), I think you’d have something pretty good. You’d need to define the companies, technologies, and topics you cover there, and then just take the Espresso approach. Their “model” is world news and business, of course: much larger. Scoping down to just some chunk of the IT world would be easy enough for 1, maybe 2 people to boot-strap in. And fun!

Quick Hits

Nice chart on Uber growth:


As you’ll recall, I threw together this one from rumored revenue in the Wall Street Journal:

Uber's rumored net revenue

I like to use these charts to illustrate how fast a software defined business can grow and that, you know, it’s a thing.

Fun & IRL

Eating Right

We visited with friends for Easter this weekend.

On the way, I enjoyed a rare road-food treat at Sonic:

Sonic Chili Cheese Tater Tots

To make up for that, our friends made excellent food each night, for example:

Eating right

I didn’t get a picture of the lamb-chops. Or the omelet stuffed with left over smoked pork.

#WorkingFromHome, lanyard signaling

A reader wrote in:

One tip on working from home from a friend that works at Cisco. He wears his Cisco badge on a lanyard when he works at home, so even when he goes to get a drink from the fridge the family knows he’s still “at work”. He just holds the badge up when his wife asks him to flip the laundry or take out the trash. For me, I’m still trying to get French doors put on my home office door to help w/the noise. Looking forward to your tips.

Man, I think my wife would kill me if I did that, but it does get to the point. Sometimes signaling is all that’s needed. My wife is very good at responding to a door closed signal. Whether it’s locked or not she assumes that means no interruptions and will keep the kids out, even I actually don’t mind. So, I have to be very mindful of door closed or not.



Coté Memo #000: No jokes here.

Tech & Work World

“What kind of company do you think we are?”

Here’s some excerpts from a FierceDevOps column I submitted yesterday.

Quick tip: if you’re in a room full managers and executives from non-technology companies and one of them asks, “what kind of company do you think we are?”…no matter what type of company they are, the answer is always “a technology company.” That’s the trope us in the technology industry have successfully deployed into the market in recent years. And, indeed, rather than this tip being backhanded mocking, it’s praise. These companies are taking advantage of the opportunity to use software and connected devices in novel ways to establish competitive advantage in their businesses. They’re angling to win customer cash by having better software and technology than their competitors.

And, later revisiting my old IT – SaaS = what? trope…

There’s another “horseman” in the broader industry that’s driving the need to change how IT departments are structured: the rise of SaaS. Before the advent of SaaS across application categories, software had to be run and managed in-house (or handed off to outsources to run): each company needed its own team of people to manage each instance of the application.

451 Research ChangeWave Cloud Usage

Source: 451 Research/ChangeWave

As SaaS use grows more and more, that staffing need changes. How many IT staff members are needed to keep Google Apps or Microsoft’s Office 365 up and running? How many IT staff do you need to manage the storage for Salesforce or Successfactors? Indeed, I would argue that companies use more and more SaaS instead of on-premises packaged software, the staffing needs change dramatically: they lessen. You can look at this in a cost-cutting way, as in “let’s reduce the budget!” Hopefully you can look at it in a growth way instead: we’ve freed up the budget to focus on something more valuable to the business. In most cases, that thing will writing custom software. That is: developers.

Quick Hits

tumblr April Fools

Fun & IRL


I’ve been collecting some little aphorisms and such on working from home when you have young kids. I find it extremely challenging, and rewarding at the same time. I’m curious how other people cope. Part of the issue is that, with a 1.5 and 5 year old, about once every 30 minutes someone is crying or wants attention. There’s just no letting up. If you’re the parent working, you have to just ignore it, which is weird.

Here’s something I wrote up recently:

The end of the day is the worst. Your family asks you every five minutes when you’ll be done; they start wanting to play with you. At the same time, you’re desperately trying to find time to get done. Each time they interact with you, it slows you down.

The answer, of course, is the same as always: you have to control access to you in a way that;s not assholey. Lock a door, go to a distant room. You have to hide.

Five year olds aren;t up to speed on the cost of context switching and haven’t read the maker/manager essay.

Anyhow, I think there’s a good presentation in collecting enough tips and, more helpful, counseling to make it work.



Coté Memo #065: Back home, finally

After two weeks away from home, I’m finally back.


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Some reader follow-up on the Mexican matches from @MordodeMaru:

That match-box sure is another mindfuck. I think the key is the de lujo rather than the Clásicos. De lujo means high-class, luxurious and those objects (except for the Parthenon temple) are considered high society objects. It’s a very typical Spanish expression to say something is de lujo to mean cool, and this is something publicity picks up very frequently.

Tech & Work World

The industry analyst business – meta-level

I finally wrapped a long post on the tech industry analyst market. As I talked about in a recording for analyst podcast, I originally wrote the first draft back in April of last year when Ben Thompson first launched In a more recent episode, he went over how his business has been going (very well!) which reminded me that I should finish up the post.

In the proceding time there was new data out there which allowed me to rate his success by revenue, broadly. And, since I’d left the analyst world, I felt a little more free in analyizing that world.

Anyhow, it’s been nice to hear the reception from other analyst types. In talking through the piece with Alex Williams today, I think the part that I found lacking (as I disclaimed in an aisde at the top of the post) was an explanation of how this new crop of analysts could better attract buy-side customers.

What the new analysts do is mostly “vendor sports” which is appealing to the investment community (who wants to know how to allocate their money), vendors (who want ideas and competative intel), and the smaller “general audience” that just wants tech news. Buyers want advice about what IT to buy and how to use it. Alex and others are exploring ways of doing that…but there could be a lot more done there to marry-up the kind of work Ben Thompson, Horace Dediu, and even RedMonk does with Wirecutter style reviews (credit to SDT co-host Brandon Whichard for the Wirecutting framing which I think is spot on).

The issue, as I do cover in the post, is that doing these kinds of reviews and advice for enterprise technology is really expensive. Imagine what it would take to build out labs and tests to evaluate all the OpenStack distros, running in various modes…and then compare them to VMware and Microsoft virtualization. Or to evaluate all the ERP software out there.

I think it’s technically possible and would even be interesting. The problem is the opportnity cost for people involved: if you had the analytical and technical acumen to do that kind of testing, you can probably make more money working for an actual enterprise or vendor.

The problem always comes down to what people want to pay for, and it doesn’t seem easy to make money off the hard work in IT analyst land. That’s part of why Gartner has such a strong position, and, as I advise in the piece, an area they could defence against well.

As a side-note, I left out something I’d noticed about Forrester while putting together charts for the piece: they seem to be loosing profits, I’m not sure why, could be for growth or something bad.

Quick Hits

Fun & IRL

It looks like you’re supposed to drink 3-5 cups of coffee a day now. That and two glasses of wine a day, and we’ll finally be livin’ the life!

Honestly, I can’t keep up with all this stuff. Is there some source for nutritional advice that can be trusted more than 24 months?


Coté Memo #064: I’m calling from Mexico, someone has stolen the Venus de Milo!


  • We’re up to 90 subscribers and one of you went a helped out one of our sponsors (The Craftsman PM), so thanks!

Tech & Work World


Week in Mexico

I had a nice chance to spend the week in Mexico this week. A friend of mine rented a house here in Sayulita and asked if we wanted to go along. Since I work remotely, so long as there’s a fast enough Internet connection, I’m good to go. Now, the family is frolicing around on the beach while I type away in cyberspace. What a world!

That advice from The Hitchhiker’s Guide was right, though: we should of brought more towels.

Allow to comment on the odd design of these matches:

Week in Mexico

First off all, the Venus statue. Sure. Makes sense for matches. And there’s a train, of course, and the Pantheon goes along with the statue…plus you can win $1,500 pesos? I’m not really sure what’s happening here.

I like to think there’s a caper where someone stole the Venus de Milo and is transporting it on a train. Perhaps an overworked Mexican detective is working with interpol investigating where this Mexican train is traveling and trying to find the statue. I don’t know, they sent the Venus di Milo to a musem in Mexico, or it was being transporting between the Panama Canal and Boston, or something. A sort of The City and The City situataion? Hijinks occur, and they end up solving the mystery with some match sticks.

That’s probably it.

Here’s some photos of the area:

Week in Mexico

Week in Mexico

Quick Hits

Fun & IRL


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Coté Memo #063: Working at Pivotal and Yak shaving


In reponse to the analyst access commentary from last time, a reader wrote in:

Are you familiar with Securosis? They’re a security-only analyst firm.

Their business model is pretty different – everything they publish is free, and make money through sponsorship and inquiries etc. They have a model they call totally transparent research. I don’t know how much they make – but apparently they make enough to cover themselves.

Tech & Work World

Working at Pivotal

Cote Pivotal Linedrawing

I started a new job earlier this month at Pivotal. I haven’t had time to write an informal overview yet, but instead I did this interview/post on the official Pivotal blog.

There’s also a follow-up piece that I haven’t promoted too much yet. I’ve been busy. Hopefully I’ll have my feet better under me.

So far it’s been great, I’m really liking it. We have so much cool stuff at Pivotal and are getting crazy traction, with around $40m in Pivotal Cloud Foundry bookings last year.

Quick Hits

Fun & IRL


  • This Memo is sponsored by The Craftsman PM – Amp up your skills and get to the top at this Whole Product Workshop Feb 21-22 in Austin and Mar 7-8 NYC. Grab a spot at 10% off for just Cote Memo readers (use code: cotememo62) before it’s all gone:

  • FRONTSIDE.IO – HIRE THEM! Do you need some developer talent? When you have a web project that needs the “A Team,” call The Frontside. They’ve spent years honing their tools and techniques that give their clients cutting-edge web applications without losing a night’s sleep. Learn more at


Coté Memo #062: The Problem with Analyst Access

We’ve got a new sponsor this week, see below. There’s a 10% coupon. I’m planning on going to the event to get my lurn on.

Also, I wrote this pretty fast. Pardon messups.

Tech & Work World

The Problem with Analyst Access

One of the core opportunity/problem diachotomies in the analyst industry is “access”: access to the analyst’s insights, access to the analysist content, and access to the analysts themselves. Gate-keeping this access is the basis for much of the business: paywalls, paying for consulting, etc.

However, that business model can be a dangerous leaky abstraction in seamingly trival ways. For example, I recently wanted to sign up for RSS feeds for all the published research from Gartner, Forrester, IDC (actually, they have several, but no “everything” feed I’ve found yet), etc. (I already know 451’s feed URL, which is admitly not super easy to find, but there for finding). They don’t really seem to have them. There’s not full text in these feeds, of course: you need access to their paywall to read the full text. But, it’s important for me to know what they’re publishing and I imagine other folks would like to know.

Here’s how most access to analyst content seems to happen, you ask the AR person to send you a copy. You rarely get your own account (it’s too expensive, most analyst customers seem to think). Instead, there’s one account that an analyst relations people uses, and you can ask them to look up things for, like a reference librarian. And yet, analyst shops rarely put out a “card catalog” (that RSS feed) that lets us without accounts know what’s published. Thus, I don’t know what I should be requesting.

Of course, the analyst side of this is “well, you should stop being a cheap-ass and pay for an account, doofus, problem solved.” And, having been an analyst for almost 8 years of my career, I can’t fault them for wanting to get paid. I’ve got 5 kids to feed too!

But this need to control access so tightly that I don’t even know what they’re publishing is sort of a non-starter.

Once again, this brings me back to “access” as the number one variable and lever you can play with in the analyst business. GigaOm toyed with this when they set a very low price in their early days (around $70-200 a year for an individual subscription, depending on discounts) and I look at people like Ben Thompson as hacking that even more (he’s just $100/year). My alumus RedMonk took another tact years ago and just ditched the paywall, getting paid for consulting and other things (like their growing[?] events business); someone once derisivly called RedMonk a “patron” model, which is sort of right, but only a tiny bit.

So, in other words: hey analyst shops, can you get some RSS feeds? (Hopefully, they exist, and I just haven’t found them yet. Remember: all published research, not just blogs and announcements.)

Cloud SOTU, 5 years late

I had the privilege of talking to the Austin cloud user group earlier this week. I’d given the opening talk back in 2010, so they asked me to come give an update. The themes and many of the charts will be familer, but I’ve been honing down to a more specific message: you should get a platform…and probably not build it on your own.

Quick Hits

Fun & IRL

Too much fun this week to document. Stay safe out there.


  • This Memo is sponsored by The Craftsman PM – Amp up your skills and get to the top at this Whole Product Workshop Feb 21-22 in Austin and Mar 7-8 NYC. Grab a spot at 10% off for just Cote Memo readers (use code: cotememo62) before it’s all gone:

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Coté Memo #061: On the tedious need to have an opinion

Tech & Work World

Having an opinion, or not

In the types of jobs I’ve found myself in over recent years – analyst, strategist, “content producer” in the form of podcasts and blogs – you have to generate a lot of opinions. The best actually seem to really care about the things they have opinions over and can express, at length, why they think like they do. Think about the ATP crew or any of the other podcasts out there: they really care about Apple! Ben Thompson is another font of opinion, and his content is very interesting for it.

I seem to have powered down my opinion engine of late: I just haven’t cared as much. I find myself taking a “wait and see position” more than not: in the technology space, I’m more interested in learning how people are using technologies and about how the actual technologies work than having a strong opinion about which their metaphysical essence.

I find that “having an opinion” also guides a lot of managing teams. A manager should have an opinion about how the team runs, what their work product looks like, how they’re rated, and ways to improve. That takes a lot of opinion, expressing it, and enforcing it. At an individual level – managing yourself – the same applies.

This leads me think that we need opinions to simply tell us what to do day to day and how we should rate how we’re doing. It feels something of a wrong conclusion: you’re not supposed to be overly subjective in “managing.” And yet, it seems to me that most interesting – not always the most profitable – “work” is driven by a strong opinion, and following it to its logical conclusion.

Quick Hits

Fun & IRL

My old cache of D&D books. And there's a whole 'nuther box!

Whenever I dig around in the attic, I came across the two (!) boxes of Dungeons and Dragons books I have up there. It makes me long to DM again. After coming across this “Three Sad Wizards” module and listening to the first episode of Total Party Kill, I wrote up the beginning of an adventure that night sitting up in bed.

Here’s the summary I tapped out at the top:

“The player wakes up in a dungeon with no memories of who they are and must quest through the valley of five rivers [can you tell I’ve been reading Game of Thrones?] to discover their past. The player should either be a warrior or a thief, they can decide which at some point early on.”


  • FRONTSIDE.IO – HIRE THEM! Do you need some developer talent? When you have a web project that needs the “A Team,” call The Frontside. They’ve spent years honing their tools and techniques that give their clients cutting-edge web applications without losing a night’s sleep. Learn more at


Coté Memo #060: Mark all cookies as read


Tech & Work World

Whatever happened to “mark as read”?

Like most old cyberspace people, I lament the death of Google Reader and RSS daily. I still use Feedly (coupled with Newsify it’s alright – I wish Flipboard would work with Feedly but, you know, it doesn’t, because monetization or some crap, I guess), so I have that going for me.

Now that are so many other options out there for “reading interesting links,” I find that what I like about RSS readers is that they mark a story as read. Things like Flipboard, reading tumblr, HN, and all that seem to lack that feature – I don’t want to see the same thing twice, or, more likely, five times.

Which brings us to the “fun links in your social networks app du jour”, Nuzzel. It’s nice enough, but like all the other apps like it, it has no mark as read feature. I keep seeing the same stuff over and over. (And if you recall how I actually use Twitter, ignoring my “real” timeline in favor or a list I made, apps that depend on the Twitter timeline are borked for me).

As I alluded to above, Flipboard was the best when it worked with Google Reader – I could load up all the social crap it works with, and Google Reader, and it was tidy, marking as read my RSS stuff and letting me swipe through all the other nonsense that would sate my FOMO goblins.

So, a plea to all you FOMO app people: add mark as read to your app. Even better: add Feedly integration, they must have APIs or something, right? Make it an in-app purchase! I bid 20 quatloos on the new comer!

(The reason I really like Newsify – the one feature I can’t live without, as it were – is that it marks as read as you scroll, like the old Google Reader! The Feedly app sort of does that, but it doesn’t have real scroll, instead it flips through pages, making me have to shift my eyes from the bottom of the screen to the top each time I “scroll.” I know, this seems like a tiny thing, but when you read as many feeds as I do, it’s now.)

Quick Hits

Like most folks, I was gone for two weeks. These may be a bit stale.

Fun & IRL


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