James Governor's Monkchips

Twittering To The Max: Thoughts On Adobe Late 2008

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I recently attended Adobe’s MAX conference in Milan. Great show, and a chance to catch up with old pals like evangelists Duane Nickull and Ryan Stewart, Flash Platform uber maven Peter Elst (essential blog if you’re into Adobe, lots of great video content), and newer friends of RedMonk such as Ben Forta.

Adobe has some of the best evangelists in the industry and treats them accordingly. These guys are allowed, are even supposed to have fun, and to drive that sense of fun into the communities they interact with.

Bit of a Spat

I had a bit of a spat with Adobe on Twitter yesterday, when I accused the company of going quiet on the service after an initial burst of activity. I wanted to generate a reaction, and mission accomplished. It had surprised me that the same company that until recently was saying the web is broken were happy to ignore A-listers like @ross and @cshirky saying PDF was where data went to die. PDF of course has a role to play in some truly important contexts – the world of legal documents, tax forms and so on. Adobe wouldn’t take my criticism lying down though. I got dinged by @ddura, @rcharney, @peterlest (community member rather than employee), @sjespers, @jdowdell. Oh yeah and @ryanstewart, who said it was stupid to have an opinion about how people should “do twitter”. There are many that would disagree.

But really what I am saying is Ok I get it. Adobe is there and prepared for rapid response and pushback (against me at least!). I somehow even missed the fact Duane was on the service. So well done Adobe. I take it back. I still think the company can do more in using Twitter as a listening and responding engine, but really that’s up to Adobe.

GENERAL POINTER TIME: whatever your company, brand or product a great way to get unvarnished views and reviews of your product is the Twitter Search engine. Its the mother lode of modern word of mouth. You can set up a search and subscribe to it using RSS. You will therefore get a notification when anyone on the Twitter network mentions the term. Very useful in a number of areas- such as brand management and requirements gathering.

Adobe is listening (to me)

How do I know this? Because the company’s AR team here in the UK led by Marc Duke, working with Belinda Tewson (she of the crazy husky voice- I really must ask Belinda to record some RedMonk idents for our TV and radio shows) was tracking my tweets at MAX. When they told me I thought super- I can post those as a blog roundup of the vent. And that is what follows – I have cleaned them up a bit, and worked on chronology – Twitter is suboptimal for documenting events because its chronological. So thanks Marc, Belinda and everyone at Adobe. Its been great working with you in 2008 and I look forward to 2009. Twitter on, dudes. 😉

If you’d prefer a podcast of my thoughts on MAX check it out here.

MAX Twitter Report, summary here:

major win. just got an IP address in the Max keynote. better text support in Flash – thank god. lets unbreak the web!

rt @tomraftery: “@monkchips when there is a View Source with Flash, then the web will be unbroken!”

@ryanstewart demoing Adobe Thermo (now boringly called Flash Catalyst). he’s playing the role one of Q’s technicians in Bond (today’s theme)

rt @timanderson “Now showing Alchemy in the MAX keynote – example, take OpenSSL C code for encryption, convert to ActionScript for Flash”

ColdFusion getting some love. import to Flex Builder codename Gumbo: the forthcoming “throw everything into the pot” Adobe IDE.

Adobe just showed off a project from a company called Ensemble. the visual studio flex editor, a port of BlazeDS with AMF remoting to .NET

Adobe showing off JQuery goodies to make Dreamweaver look good.

Tofino is a new tool from Ensemble Systems – produces Flex code from a Visual Studio plug in. MXML editing support http://tinyurl.com/5woahf

matt choten “Flex differentiation vs Microsoft… is ubiquity amongst designers”. i think its that Flex doesn’t make java devs wanna puke…

upcoming feature in flexbuilder. service introspection. current one is “not our best implementation”. allow “Adobe code to do the work”

meeting matt chotin, who is “in charge of the Flex SDK”. part of the platform group at Adobe. “i have to be very friendly with everyone”.

benefits of open sourcing the Flex SDK- acceptance and adoption. some limited outside contributions from individuals, rather than vendors.

@aral great tweet stream on Adobe Cocomo and Google App Engine. go read ’em folks. “Google App Engine, for example, is Google Lite.”

Adobe is apparently considering developing applications for project managers- software and media production.

@billhiggins the context is talking to human beings at Max. I don’t have links, only conversation to report.

Photoshop is absurdly slick for photo manipulation. but we knew that already. now it has 3d painting – onto 3d models. useful? dunno.

holy crap- Adobe Premier Pro will do video to text transcription. @cote it looks like redmonk is going to be buying some software


  1. Er, listing tweets is not good content for a blog post.

    Try writing.

  2. FWIW, I find these contextualized tweet round-ups to be quite informative. It can be hard to follow the many threads of the backchannel, especially tracking conference chatter. Thanks for sorting through and publishing the important bits. Fine fodder for blogging AFAIAC.


  3. DE- hey thanks for the feedback. You have a point of course. That said, tweeting actually is writing. Forced brevity can be a very useful tool in reporting on an event. See http://www.redmonk.com/jgovernor/2007/05/04/somebody-shot-the-president-twitter-nothing-to-see-here-get-back-to-work/

    I appreciate this may look sloppy but feel free to pass over it.

    Chris – thanks very much for the positive feedback. Clearly we don’t have a consensus yet but “informative” is just what I was looking for. woot!

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