Yahoo! Hack Day, with Beck — and special hacked video

First of all, suffice it to say that not blogging about Beck’s upcoming appearance at our first open Hack Day at Yahoo! was ABSOLUTELY KILLING ME. For various reasons, we had to keep it quiet. That being said, I was surprised that no one ever thought to look at my weekly top artists on last.fm for clues. While the speculation was in full swing, I was suddenly devouring my Beck back catalog in full public view. Amazing how all this transparency gets us nowhere sometimes.

I love Beck. On a trip to Hawaii once, back before everyone had an mp3 player, I managed to forget to bring any music along, so I found a record store and bought one CD: Odelay. It lasted me the whole trip — didn’t need anything else.

Of course, we worked our magic to get Beck because Beck is an awesome musician and artist, but we also knew that he was a hacker in his own right, and that was the greatest appeal (I got to spend a surprising an amount of time with him and his crew after the show, and Beck is a really down-to-earth guy — no rock star attitude whatsoever). Completely unbeknownst to us beforehand, Beck and his video guys hacked a special video for us that is as funny as it is clever. Check it out:

http://us.i1.yimg.com/cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/player/media/swf/FLVVideoSolo.swf

Thank you, Beck. You’re an awesome hacker.

(I’ll write more about this later, but the show at Yahoo! last night was one of the best rock shows I have seen, and I’ve been to quite a few.)

Matt McAlister joins Yahoo! Developer Network

There’s too much going on right now to post anything too lengthy, but suffice it to say that I am absolutely ecstatic that Matt McAlister has joined the Yahoo! Developer Network team. Read Matt’s post for more details.

Matt and I worked together very closely back at InfoWorld — working with Matt was one of the best parts of the job. We worked together on some innovative experiments there (e.g. rolling out RSS advertising ahead of the Google patent application on same) while having a lot of fun and pulling at least a couple of semi-delirious all-nighters in the process. We came to Yahoo! within two weeks of each other and had been working in different parts of the company — until now. I’m looking forward to great things working with Matt again. Welcome, Matt!

Yahoo! Hack Day: kicking off next Friday 9/29. Sign up!

Planning for the big open Yahoo! Hack Day that I wrote about three weeks ago is well underway, as it should be — we kick off next Friday, September 29 at 5pm, and man, we are EXCITED and have some amazing things in store. If you’re interested in attending, submit your information on the form at the bottom of the hackday.org homepage, or mark yourself as “attending” on the Upcoming page for the event. Space is limited and we’ll have to cut off signups before the event, so sign up now. We’re still issuing invites, so if you haven’t gotten one yet, don’t despair (for logistical reasons, though, we ask that you sign up and not crash so that we can plan appropriately, print out your name badges, etc.)

Also, don’t forget the free Friday developer workshop — here are all the details. To come to this, just fill out the form at the bottom of the hackday.org homepage and indicate that you want to attend the workshop.

YurtSo far, we’ve been contacted by hackers, designers, mimes (!), and at least one yurt enthusiast. Well, it takes a village to pull off a Hack Day, so if you’re coming, prepare yourself (and your yurt, if you so choose) for camping on the beautiful Yahoo! grass, good times with your hacker pals and the new ones you’ll meet, and the opportunity to demo your work in front of your peers and some other very cool people we’ll have there. Mike Arrington from TechCrunch is our emcee.

At this point we already have carloads of people coming from all over the Bay Area, planes from Canada, college students flying in from Florida, a strong Chicago contingent, and people from everywhere in between (one person is trying to make it in from Australia!)

If you’re coming and don’t know who you’re going to hack with, don’t fret — we’ll be doing on-site matchmaking and people like myself, Rasmus Lerdorf, Jeremy Zawodny, and many, many other sharp Yahoos will be on-hand to help you as well.

For more details, check out these resources:

We’ll be posting ongoing updates on the Hack Day blog. Stay tuned!

Product manager job is filled / LinkedIn becomes essential

For those of you who saw the Product Manager job at the Yahoo! Developer Network that I posted to LinkedIn (and got posted to CrunchBoard by someone), that position has been filled. I’ll announce soon.

Thanks to everyone who contacted me. There were many excellent applicants and I hope to be getting back in touch with many of you in the coming weeks as I hear of other opportunities at Yahoo! My apologies in advance for not being able to get back to everyone personally.

Incidentally, although I’ve been a user of LinkedIn for about 2.5 years now and I’ve always thought it was “cool” (I even wrote about it in my old InfoWorld column), I had never found the service absolutely essential, but this particular hiring experience suggests that it will be in the future, even though the person who ultimately got the job didn’t come directly through LinkedIn. Still, it’s clear to me that LinkedIn is the most efficient way to reach out to my personal network and get in touch with quality people.

100 emails at 2:45pm

On a quiet Friday, I decided to see just how many emails I get in the course of a day at work. At 2:45pm, I passed the 100 email mark just for today. I agressively filter mailing lists, bulk mailings, etc. so these are 100 “real” emails.

Reading all of these, of course, is untenable if one hopes to get any “real work” done. Answering them all would be tantamount to dereliction of my real duties. So, for all the kind people out there who have sent me email and are awaiting a response, my apologies — I love you all. (There’s a certain asymmetry about email anyway — the more you answer, the more you get).

Check out this post in January where I had gotten my inbox down to zero. So long ago. . . . now my inbox is at 6400 emails.

Time to declare email bankruptcy?

Update: My Yahoo! colleague Cody Simms offers an “apology” for putting a few of those 100 emails in my inbox. No problem, Cody — yours were awesome. :) One thing that I didn’t make clear in the original post is that the biggest problem with the email deluge is that most of them are interesting things from interesting people (seriously). I actually really do wish I could get to all of them (ok, well not all. . . . )