Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Holidays from madKast!

The holidays are often a time to reflect on the importance of family and friends on one's life. (I, for one, know that I'm thrilled to be back home in Washington, DC spending Christmas and New Year's with my parents and sister.)

Now seems like a fitting time to take a moment to wish everyone in the madKast community Happy Holidays, a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

We here at madKast are grateful to our mentors (who helped us conceive and improve madKast), our investors -- who helped us turn our ideas turn into reality -- and, of course, our dedicated users (bloggers and blog readers) who've allowed madKast to grow so impressively over the past few weeks and months. (If you missed a recent post on madKast's growth -- we've grown by 33% in the past two months!)

All of us here at madKast: Johann, Doug, Tony, myself and Jon would like to wish you and yours happy holidays and a fantastic and fruitful New Years.

Thanks for all your help in spreading the word about madKast! Rest assured we have lots of exciting new developments and features to wow you with in 2008.

Happy Holidays!

- The madKast Team

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Is madKast Slowing Down My Blog?
I Promise You the Answer is NO!

Unfortunately, the most frequently asked question I receive as madKast's evangelist is is madKast slowing down my blog?

The answer is a decisive NO.

The best way to respond to this fear is to explain to bloggers that any seeming slowing down of their blogs from madKast is not real but perceived. Why?

madKast does not load until ALL, of the content on the page has already loaded (after the "DOM," for the technically-inclined among you). madKast was specifically designed not to slow down the blogs we're on so our widget is actually the last thing on the page that loads.

I think the key issue that has some people confused is that often one may see several seconds of "loading" at the bottom left corner of a browser when a page loads, but all that means is that madKast is actually waiting for everything else to finish loading before it even begins loading.

Most of the time, it only takes 100 to 400 milliseconds (i.e., well less than one second) for madKast to load -- and that is only after everything on the page is already loaded.

Hope this helps to clarify things.

Friday, December 14, 2007

madKast's Recent Growth Spurt!

I'm psyched to let you know that madKast has seen some pretty astounding growth over the past couple of months! Thanks to all the recent bloggers who've given madKast a whirl on their sites.

Some highlights:
  • Over the past month, our share icon has been viewed 2.2 million times!
  • The number of blogs we're installed on has increased 25% over the past four weeks.
  • The rate of increase of new blog installs has increased by nearly 40% when comparing the number of installs over the past four weeks to the four weeks prior to that.
  • The blogs madKast is installed on represent over 10 separate languages
    • the biggest, behind English are French, Spanish and Italian
  • There have been 234 separate blog posts written about, or mentioning, madKast on the web.
We're thrilled with these numbers, but not about to rest on our laurels. Every day it's my job to get people excited about, and using, madKast. If any of your friends have blogs that do not have madKast installed on them, tell them about us! We hope to see these numbers increase even more in the coming months.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Reflections on Evangicamp!

Though it ended up being a bit more philosophical than I think Tara and I had expected it might be, I'm pretty sure everyone who attended last week's Evangicamp at Lijit found it successful and intellectually engaging. I certainly did.

We had a great group of people including: Tara, Kevin and Barney (Evangelists from Lijit), Emily Driscoll from Fuser, Dean from Me.dium, Karen Hersh, Micah Baldwin (now of Lijit), Andrew Hyde, Ari Newman (from Filtrbox), Rob Johnson (from EventVue), internet marketer Brett Borders, myself, and several other people from outside the Evangelism Community whom Tara had connected with previously. (My apologies if I've mistakenly left anyone off that long list!)

About two hours of discussion brought about some very interesting concepts -- a few of the more intriguing ones for me I'll note below:
  • the importance of evangelists knowing their demographic
  • the importance of end user happiness
  • the importance of properly differentiating your company from others out there
    • what's the explicit added value of your service?
  • the potential for those "wanters"/"believers" to discover your company on their own
  • the problem of "unfindable" startups due to poor SEO of their front pages
  • the relevance of a sense of humor in evangelism and connecting to users
  • the idea that there still is a time and place for "old school"/print media
    • but be sure to know your demographic before embarking on that path
  • the importance of user engagement as opposed to just page views
  • the need to break through the "noise" of Web 2.0 to reach your users
As I said, I thought the most of our discussion was from a more philosophical, global point of view. I do think that there's considerable potential -- at the next Evangicamp -- to get much more down and dirty in the more local, concrete issues. Such as specific evangelism and marketing strategies and leveraging our relationships with other evangelists/Boulder startups as well as with our investors to get the word out their about the companies we evangelize for.

All and all, though, I was very impressed with the participation, level of interest, and depth of the discourse that was Evangicamp 1.0. Let's try for Evangicamp 2.0 in January!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Evangicamp is Tomorrow!!

You'll recall from a past blog post that Tara -- Lijit's version of me -- and I talked last month about organizing an Evangelist brainstorming session with some of the local Boulder startups. Well, we're a day away from said "Evangicamp" -- Tara came up with the term, not me -- and I couldn't be more excited. Check out Tara's lovely post on her blog for all of the details.

I'm stealing her what/when/where seen below:


When? Thursday, December 6th at 5:30 p.m.

Where? The Lijit HQ...1050 Walnut St., Suite 340, Boulder

I'm quite sure that there's a lot to be learned from one another as we discuss our experiences with evangelism, AKA, promoting our respective companies. I will have a full wrap-up on the outcome of Evangicamp on Friday! Stay tuned...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

madKast Getting Mentioned in the Blogosphere!

I thought I'd take a brief moment to do a little round-up of blogs and bloggers who've mentioned madKast recently. Thankfully, all of the mentions are positive! We love it when bloggers write about us, since it provides a great avenue of feedback for us. Below is a partial list of some of the recent comments in the blogosphere about madKast.

  • Rand Fish, on the popular search engine optimization blog -- SEOMoz -- called madKast "not to be missed" and said that he found it "remarkably useful."
  • Bob Stumpel, on Everything 2.0 mentioned madKast as providing a useful "one click share widget and analytics for bloggers"
  • Sources and Methods mentioned madKast as "the good people who make it easy to share [our] posts; they also mentioned our previous endeavour, Zemble, as an easy way to send text messages to individuals or groups
  • Tara, from Lijit, talked about madKast's presence at Blog World Expo, calling us "another useful blogging tool from a Boulder start-up" and mentioning the fact that I am "organizing the upcoming Evangicamp and [that she] couldn't be more excited."
  • Finally, Eric Olsen, mentioned madKast, saying that we "let the reader quickly and easily share [his] posts in a number of different ways; he added, "the install is quick and painless and I would suggest giving it a try if you have a blog."
Thanks to the blogs and bloggers who've mentioned madKast recently! We're happy to hear that you're finding madKast useful and easy to install and use.

As always, please send any feedback -- positive or negative -- to feedback [at]!

Happy Blogging!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Reflecting on BlogWorld Expo

Now that I've had almost a week to "recover" from Vegas, I think it's appropriate to jot down some musings from the Blog World & New Media Expo that madKast attended.

We found it an excellent networking experience as well as a great glimpse into the current status of the blogosphere. The booths we stopped by and people we talked to gave us an excellent window into what bloggers are looking for (including the importance of blog analytics and ad revenue). Since we are moving in the direction of having madKast be the one-stop-shop for turbocharging your blog (sharing, analytics, ads, etc.), this was great for us to hear.

We also attended several interesting and informative panel discussions; one that stood out for me was Raising Capital for Your New Media Business with Brad Feld, David Cohen, Dan Rua, and others.

It was also a pleasure to meet new people in emerging startups like ours. In particular, I enjoyed talking to Scott from Blogcosm. The premise of his site is that, while there's no shortage of blogging about blogs (meta-blogging?), no one site does a great job of assembling all of the data and putting it in context; I would agree him and look forward to seeing what Blogcosm rolls out in the coming weeks and months.

I also enjoyed meeting and talking to Dante from 7Search about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and how it relates to blogging. It was good to meet Jalali and Israel from Yovia, as well.

One of the highlights of the trip was drinking sake at Nobu with Ari Newman from Filtrbox, Josh Morgan from Intense Debate, the Lijit girls, Tim Wolters from Collective Intellect, Brad Feld and David Cohen.

So, all in all a great few days in Vegas for madKast and affirmation that the directions we intend to take madKast are ones that will appeal to a wide cross section of the blogosphere.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

madKast Grows by 50 Percent!

I am delighted to announce that in the past week, madKast has grown from 4 full time employees (Johann, Doug, Tony and myself) to a total of 6 full time employees with the addition of two awesome new software engineers: Alex Grach and Jon Legendre.

Jon and Alex will be instrumental in helping us build madKast into a robust and multi-faceted company over the coming months. We have lots of stellar ideas for new and exciting directions we'd like to take madKast in and now adding two people on the technical side of things will immensely help this effort. In fact, stay tuned because we are going to have big news in the next couple of weeks. I'll give you a hint, think: world's best blog analytics.

Alex describes himself as a 10-year Boulder local who moved out here for the "music and mountains." Upon locating to Boulder, Alex went back to school and received a B.S. in Computer Science from CU Boulder.

Jon, like Alex, moved to Colorado 7 years ago and attended the Metropolitan State College in Denver, where received a B.S. in Computer Science. He spent the last three years working at a video and audio analytics company doing both software development and business analysis. He is married, and he and his wife, Summer, are expecting their first child in March. He adds that they have a "very naughty cat named Milo."

Please join us in giving a warm welcome to our two newest madKast members. We're so glad to have them working with us!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Evangelism Brainstorming Sessions Rock!

As the Evangelist for madKast, I am always looking for new ways to promote madKast, reach out to bloggers, and keep our current users happy. Last night I had the pleasure of grabbing a bite to eat with Lijit's rockstar Evangelist, Tara.

It was interesting to learn that she, like me, had almost no previous experience in tech evangelism. She used to work as a teacher and in customer support; I used to work as a meteorologist. But we both agreed that our previous backgrounds outside of the tech space actually helps us communicate better about our respective companies' products since we approach them much as the lay person we're communicating with would.

We also talked a lot about our specific evangelism strategies. The bottom line is that as evangelists, we need to be in constant communication with our users. For instance, I e-mail every person who installs madKast thanking them and asking whether they have any questions, comments or feedback. When someone uninstalls madKast, I also e-mail then, asking why they removed it and what we can do better. Through this interaction with end users we can constantly try to improve our share widget and better cater to blogger's needs.

Tara also alerted me to several upcoming local blogging meetups, including The Rocky Mountain Blogger Bash and the Front Range Blogger Meetup. I, and Tara, will surely be attending both.

Finally, and something that's quite exciting to me, Tara and I discussed our joint desire to initiate some sort of local "Evangicamp," as Tara called it. We think it would be very beneficial to, on a monthly basis, have evangelists at various local startups (madKast, Lijit, Fuser, me.dium, etc.) meetup to throw around ideas and tips about how each of us can better promote our companies' products.

If you are an evangelist in a local tech startup, and would like to be included in the "Evangicamp" we're looking to start, please contact me at josh AT madkast DOT com!

Friday, October 26, 2007

madKast in the News!

Two great articles about madKast and TechStars have come out recently in local Colorado press which we are quite happy about!

The first was an article in the Boulder County Business Report which mentioned madKast having closed our round of funding and also our future plans for our share widget.

The second article, was in Boulder's Daily Camera and mentioned madKast very favorably; one of the pictures in the article was of the madKast team -- see image above.

We're thrilled to have gotten this good press about madKast, as we spread the word to bloggers and blog readers that our widget is the most powerful way to share news and blog content online.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Startup Weekend Wrap Up

So I'm back in Boulder (albeit a bit jet-lagged) after an excellent weekend in Boston for Startup Weekend! It was a pleasure to met and work with a whole slew of very talented people -- most of whom were from Boston or Boulder. In the period of 54 hours, we joined together to build a brand new startup company from the ground up: the result is

In particular, I'd like to mention Christina Greene, a new media consultant from Boston who gave me some great evangelizing advice as well as taught me how to create an engaging "Social Media Press Release" -- a.k.a. an SMPR.

It was also terrific to meet and learn from Laura Fitton who also had some great tips on evangelizing, blogger outreach, and branding.

Thanks to both of you, along with Andrew Hyde, and all of the other people who made Startup Weekend a great learning experience for me.

Friday, October 19, 2007

madKast at Startup Weekend in Boston

I'm live blogging from Startup Weekend in Boston! There's a ton of positive energy here and by the end of the weekend our team of 50+ people will have built a functioning company. Since I'm the evangelist at madKast, I'm one of the members of the "PR" sub-group in startup weekend.

More as the weekend rolls on....

Monday, October 15, 2007

DEMOgala a Success!

As previewed in last week's post, madKast (along with two fellow TechStars' companies -- Villij & Eventvue) attended Colorado Technology Association (CSIA's) annual celebration of Colorado technology and innovation last Thursday. We had a live madKast demonstration going throughout the course of the day which showcased our share technology as well as some of our future plans as a company.

As I mentioned in our last post, madKast's own Doug Ludlow was one of three panelists who spoke during a session called "From Napkin to Market." The panel, and Doug's contributions in particular, was well-received. In one of the more colorful moments of the discussion, Doug argued for his view that non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) with potential investors, mentors and future customers can actually be hindrance during the early stages of a developing company as they often stifle a free, organic exchange of ideas and brainstorming.

In addition to our demonstration booth and Doug's panel discussion, we had the opportunity to meet many new faces in the Colorado entrepreneurial and tech field. We also got to catch up with some of our business acquaintances including Todd (CEO) and Tara (rockstar evangelist) from fellow widget-startup, Lijit; people from Me.dium -- another Boulder startup -- and talk to Brad Feld (one of our key investors), David Cohen from TechStars David Brown, another important investor and mentor of ours, and Rob Hooke from EONBusiness Venture Capital.

All and all a great opportunity for us. And a heartfelt thanks to Brad Feld not only for sponsoring us to attend DEMOgala, but also for mentioning us in his keynote speeach!

Monday, October 8, 2007

MadKast Participating in CSIA's demoGALA

MadKast has been selected as a finalist in Colorado's Technology Association (CSIA) annual celebration of Colorado technology and innovation. The DEMOgala, which takes place at the Grand Hyatt in Denver, CO on October 11, will also feature our very own Doug Ludlow as a featured speaker.

Doug will be speaking at a session called "From Napkin to Market," where he'll be discussing the process of nurturing an inchoate idea or innovation (such as one scribbled on a napkin during a brainstorming session) all the way to a viable market product.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

madKast Closes Series A Investment!

After countless meetings, investment pitches, and many documents signed, madKast is delighted to announce that we have closed our Series A round of investment for $300,000 from a group of extremely well-qualified and influential investors.

Most of the investment that we have raised will be spent on hiring a couple of rockstar developers to help Tony build the cool technology that we have in the pipeline. If you know anyone who might be interested, please let us know as we'd love to interview him or her.

Specificially, the investment will allow us to improve our share widget, build an advanced widget distribution platform and allow us to initiate enterprise level custom widget installations. We'll talk more in depth about each of these in future blog posts.

More important than the actual dollars raised is the caliber of the investors that have joined our team. Our talented group of investors includes: EONBusiness Venture Capital, Brad Feld (Managing Director of Foundry Group), David Cohen (Executive Director of TechStars), Jared Polis (Founder of and, Paul Berberian (Founder and CEO of Raindance Communications; founder of Market Force Information), David Brown (Founder and President of ZOLL Data Systems), and Marc Silverman (Executive Director of CTEK Boulder). Each investor brings a unique skill set to madKast that we intend to take full advantage of.

We look forward to working with this fine group of investors over the coming months.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Changes Abound at madKast!

It's been a while since the last blog post on madKast here, but rest assured that that is not due to a lack of activity here; quite the contrary, as we have been working as feverishly as ever and have some great new news to report to you.

First, we have moved our offices from the summer location of Texture Media to what we call "THE BUNKER" -- also in downtown Boulder, a block from Pearl St. Also sharing this unique office space with us are several other teams from TechStars. Our shared office space has a lot of positive energy that will carry madKast (and the other startups we're sharing the space with) to the next level.

Second, we'd like to introduce you to the newest member of madKast: Hunter. He is a ten week old German Shepard mix who we've had for about two weeks. He brings with him boundless energy, enthusiasm, and charisma. He often usually by our side whether we're working at home (in the beautiful Colorado fall weather) or from the office.

And as a teaser for the next post...we have some exciting funding news to share with you next week!

Pictured above: our adorable new companion, Hunter.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Hottest Startup in Boulder seeking experienced developer

What do a meteorologist, secret agent, speech writer and pro cyclist have in common? They all work for madKast!

madKast is hiring a rockstar .net / javascript developer (no musical experience required) to work with our existing super-human developers. The ideal person would have several years of experience with a Microsoft stack environment (Asp. net with C#, web services, and SQL Server 2005) and several years with object oriented Javascript. Experience with blog widgets is a huge plus!

We are a funded start-up company that is looking for someone who enjoys being part of a small team, is a self starter, and can help us bring madKast to the next level. Of course, a competitive salary and stock options are included along with the more than occasional, celebratory free food and drink.

Our new offices are in downtown Boulder (Walnut and 14th) in what used to be the Pulse gym. We're pretty sure we are the only office with 2 hot tubs, a dodge ball court, locker rooms, and 20 other former TechStars in all of Colorado.

If you think you'd be a good fit, please send your resume to jobs [at] along with a list your top three favorite blogs.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Successful TechStars Investor Day

Last week was the much anticipated TechStars Investor day. Don Dodge had a great post about what each of the TechStars teams presented. Tom Higley was also there, and he, too, has a nice post with less details on the companies, but more commentary on how the day went. Also notice that both of them have the madKast share icon installed!

David Cohen, Brad Feld, Jared Polis, and David Brown did a fantastic job convincing active angels, institutional investors, and prominent journalists to spend their day listening to our pitches. In the end, the day went quite well for most of the teams.

We're happy to report that we've already received commitments for the $300k that we are raising; we have also lined up several more meetings with angel and institutional investors who understand the space that we are in and who may be able to provide a lot of expertise and value to madKast. We'll write more about who the investors are as soon as we close the investment round.

Thanks for keeping up with madKast!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Thank You For Using MadKast!
We're Now on Hundreds of Sites

Thanks to some great exposure on TechCrunch as well as, we're happy to report that madKast has now been installed on hundreds of sites! We'd like to thank the many bloggers, big and small, who've decided to put madKast on their site to increase readers' interest and exposure to their content by allowing anyone to extremely easily share any post they write.

Pictured above: the madKast team; from (L) to (R) -- Tony Restuccia (CTO), Johann Moonesinghe (co-CEO), Doug Ludlow (co-CEO), Josh Larson (Director of Communications).

In particular, I'd like to thank the bloggers who have specifically mentioned madKast on their sites and who have told their readers to try it out; there are too many of you to individually mention, but thank you! (There have been nearly 100 blog posts across the web mentioning madKast over the past few weeks.)

In addition, I'd also like to give a special mention to Patrick Cameron and his blog, Carrie Scott and her site, and to Mark Horowitz and his site, TCFIL. Thanks, also, to the people who saw us at yesterday's Boulder New Tech Meetup and decided to add madKast to their sites!

One final thanks is in order, and that is to all of the people who've sent us their feedback regarding the entire madKast user experience to feedback AT madkast DOT com! We are constantly trying to improve our product and your feedback -- positive and negative -- helps us to do this.

As a final note, I should let you know that we are in the process of developing a detailed analytics package so that all of the blog publishers who have madKast on their sites can track who's shared what with whom and through which methods, as well as what other blogs their readers are visiting. We hope to roll this out in the next few weeks.

Friday, August 3, 2007

MadKast Has Officially Launched!!!
TechCrunch Gives Us An Awesome Review

Today marks the day that madKast has officially launched! It's been quite a journey getting here from Zemble to Boulder, CO with TechStars and the development of madKast, but we think it's been well worth it.

As of late Friday afternoon, we are up and working smoothly on approximately 125 blogs!

Even more exciting, TechCrunch, the second most-visited blog in the world, and the 636th most visited site on the internet, wrote a very positive review on madKast.

In addition, Brad Feld, one of the nation's most influential VC investors also wrote a glowing review of us on

As always, our number one priority is making madKast the single best sharing tool out there, and statisfying the needs and demands of all of our users. Please continue to send any and all feedback -- whether positive or negative -- to feedback AT madkast dot com, and please continue to spread the word about madKast!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Official MadKast Site Now Up & Running
Blogs Are Talking About Us Too!

So for the past few week's madKast's home page has forwarded to our blog. As of this morning, however, we now have an actual landing page when you go to

There we have a nifty video which Doug created explaining the high points of madKast, and right next to it we have three ways for you to get madKast: copy the snippet of the code itself, or use our one-click install for Blogger or Typepad. In addition, we have some information at the bottom in the form of contact us, about us, terms, and a link to this blog.

We are now up on approximately 35 blogs at the moment, and I'm happy to report that some people are starting to talk about madKast on their blogs -- largely of their own volition.

Most significant, TechStars' David Cohen wrote about us this morning on his ColoradoStartups website! Thanks for the write up, David!

We're also happy about the fact that Noah Kagan has put madKast onto his site, OkDork. Thanks, Noah.

In addition, two other blogs have written about us in the past 48 hours. First, Carl Lenox mentioned us on his blog about renewable energy called Heliotropic. Second, Amanda Swanson mentioned us on her Pearls and Pugs website.

Finally, we're happy to report that four blogs -- oldebostonbulldogs, towards2012, jennlog, and thedailyvirtue -- have adopted madKast on their own; that means that they either heard about madKast somehow or clicked on the madKast icon on a blog they were reading and clicked "get this on my blog" in the lower right hand corner of the sharing panel. This is the kind of viral adoption we're looking for. Thanks guys!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Put MadKast on Your Blog!
Now at The Click of a Button

Excellent news from madKast for all of you out there! We have made it incredibly easy for you to put madKast on your blog and allow others to share your blog content with the click of a mouse.

Whenever you see the madKast icon on a blog (it is now 30 sites and growing) click the icon and it will bring up our sharing panel. The extremely cool new thing is that if you click "get this on my blog" in the lower right-hand corner of the panel, you will see options for ONE-CLICK AUTOMATIC installation of madKast on Blogger or Typepad, or if you have another blogging platform, all you need to do is copy and paste the one line of script that shows up once into header of your blog. That's it; viola!

It could not be easier for you to put madKast on your blog. No registration! No signing up! No username or password. One click install. Get it on yours today.

And tell all your friends, colleagues, family members, and distant acquaintances to try out madKast by sharing blog content on other peoples' blogs or adding it to their blog so that others can share their content.

Below, a list of the current blogs we are on:
MadKast;; ColoradoStartups;; TheCarBlogger; Listoff; David Cohen's blog; TechStars; HelioTropic;; OnlineAspect; Dt.Obility; T-Shirts Around the Internet; RNAVentures; SearchforQuality; Liberty Belles;; Filtrbox Blog; ScatteredPaper; DailyPrez;; NotLikeMinded; Montessori Materials; ZeroLogic; Btared;

Monday, July 23, 2007

MadKast = Fixed

After extensive testing and updates late last week and this weekend, we are happy to report that madKast is up and fully functional again.

Please check it out on the sites listed below. And, as always, spread the word about madKast and badger your friends with blogs to check it out. Finally, feedback is always appreciated: feedback AT


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The madKast icon is on break

We all need some time off every now and then and the madKast icon is taking a much earned rest for a few hours today.

All this means is that the share icon will not show up on your blog for a few hours. Don't worry, this won't affect any other part of your blog.

UPDATE: We are back up in Firefox on all blogs except for

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Check Out MadKast On...

It's been less than a week since we announced the beginning of beta testing for MadKast, and I'm happy to report that a lot has happened since then. First, Don Dodge -- the Director of Business Development for Microsoft's Emerging Business Team -- came to visit TechStars last week, and he wrote about us in his blog.

Second, we have nearly tripled the number of blogs we're on right now from the seven we were on last week to about 20 at this time. Remember, since we are in beta testing right now, we are not interested in getting on as many blogs as possible; instead, we're interested in getting on a diverse cross-section of blogs so that we can test how well the product is functioning as well as get as much constructive feedback, from both blog publishers as well as readers, as possible.

Here is a list of the most recent batch of blogs we are currently on. (Don't forget that this does not include the first batch of blogs we got on, as mentioned in the previous post.):;;;;;;;;;;

Thanks to all those people who have graciously put the MadKast widget on their blogs so that we can test it. Especially since the widget is not working 100% correctly on all of those blogs; hey, that's why we're testing! The fact of the matter is that the MadKast widget does load on all of those blogs -- but on some of them there are some hiccups.

Here are some of the technical problems that we have run into so far in beta testing:
  • (1) the share icon showing up on the text in the body (or comment sections) of posts
  • (2) saved friend contact not showing up the way they're supposed to
  • (3) the share icon is sometimes showing up in old/archived posts in the sidebar
  • (4) clicking on the share icon brings you to the post itself instead of opening up the sharing panel
Thankfully, our resourceful CTO, Tony, has already made significant headway into many of these bugs. For example, the first bug has already been fixed. In addition, by the end of the day today, when we "push" a new update for MadKast, several other bugs -- including some of those listed above -- will be fixed. In essence, the update to MadKast allows the software to better "understand" the posts so that the widget is much more likely to be placed next to the title instead of in links to archived posts or in comments.

Over the next week we hope to continue to add MadKast to more blogs as well as resolve the remaining bugs that are as yet unfixed. Adding MadKast to more blogs, however, will likely lead to the discovery of new bugs -- but that is exactly what testing is for.

We'd love for you to experiment with the MadKast sharing widget on the above sites (as well as those listed in the previous post) and contact us with any feedback -- positive or negative -- you have have at feedback AT Finally, if you know anyone with a blog who you think might be willing to test MadKast, please let me know at josh AT

Happy Blogging!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Ready-Set-Go: Beta Testing Begins!

Today marks the launch of the beta test phase of madKast! We're very excited about this and have worked furiously over the past few weeks to come to this stage; but we're not resting on our laurels, because we still have a lot more to do to make madKast as powerful as we envision to be.

We are placing madKast on a select number of smaller blogs at this stage, and if you would like to have madKast on your blog, or have a close friend you think would like to test out madKast, please contact me at josh AT madkast dot com.

Our widget is already on the following blogs if you want to give it a whirl:
Below, an invitation to test madKast and why it's so powerful:

We’re launching our service, an all in one, free blog widget that allows readers to share blog posts with other people through e-mail, MMS text message, IM, or existing social bookmarking sites, on July 24th, but I wanted to extend an invitation to you and (your blog) to participate in our “invite-only” beta test phase.

You will want to put madKast on your blog for the following reasons:

  • we increase interest and readership in your blog by allowing visitors to share content with others
  • we provide you with analytics on who is sharing what and how
  • we share ad revenue with you from targeted ads; this supplants your current ad revenue

What’s more, the installation of this widget could not possibly be any easier: all you need to do to put madKast on your blog is to insert ONE line of javascript code anywhere in the template of your blog and our intuitive software will correctly place it on your website. No registration. No signing up. Simple as that.

A few more details on madKast you may be interested in:

MadKast was one of only 10 startups chosen (out of more than 400 who applied) to receive intensive mentoring and guidance this summer in Boulder, CO with some of the top entrepreneurs and technology experts in the region. Please visit TechStars for more information on this prestigious program.

Madkast is truly unlike any currently sharing technology, and we are confident that it is far superior for the following reasons: our widget only takes up a 16x16 pixel space in the header of your blog posts; madKast does not direct users to a separate page, but instead pops-up a small panel on blogs it is on for the reader to share posts; it integrates all pre-existing sharing functions in one simple tool, thereby reducing the typical ‘sharing clutter’ on so many blog sites. Sure, you already having social bookmarking links on your site, but do you know if they’re being used?

I hope that you will strongly consider adding madKast to your blog. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me via e-mail (josh AT madkast dot com).

Happy blogging!

Josh Larson

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Ta-Da: Part One!

I promised you in Monday's post that this week would be an exciting one for madKast, and I'm happy to say that I can deliver on that promise!

We have begun the process of putting up our partially-functional madKast widget on a select number of blogs including this madKast blog as well as Johann's tech-startup blog -- In addition, David Cohen has been kind enough to put it on his ColoradoStartups blog, so check it out there as well. As the week wears on we will continue to add madKast to other blogs for beta testing.

What exactly is the madKast widget, you ask? You should see a small green icon (with the word share next to it) to the right of title of this blog post. Once you click on the icon, a sharing panel will pop up and the rest of the page will temporarily be grayed-out. There you will be asked to enter the contact information of the person or people you'd like to share the blog post with. The neatest thing about madKast is that you have every sharing option at your disposal: e-mail, MMS text message, or instant message.

Even cooler, once you enter a friend's contact information madKast will remember this information. That means that not only the next time you head back to the site you've just shared, but also ANY site that has the madKast widget, your friend's contact information will be saved, so all you have to do is click on their name and hit send. How sweet is that?!

In addition, the full blog post is shared with your friend no matter what sharing method you use. This is significantly different from, and much more useful than, many other sites that allow you to share their content in that madKast sends you the ENTIRETY of the blog post within the e-mail/MMS message/IM instead of just the title, a link, or the first few sentences, like many other distribution "services" do.

Basically, madKast is the easiest and most powerful way to share blog posts. Try it out on this site or now....and we'll let you know as we put it on more and more sites. We are still working on the distribution method, so if you want to add an icon to your blog, send an e-mail to josh AT madkast dot com and I'll email you a snippet of javascript. Remember that we are still in beta, so we'd love to get feedback!

Monday, July 2, 2007

An Exciting Week at MadKast!

First off, you may notice that the icon for madKast has changed in color from orange to green. There were several reasons why we decided to do this -- for one, I'm not sure we were ever that wild about orange -- but primarily it was based on advice from some smart marketing/design/branding people at Texture Media. Among other things, we think that green will probably be less likely to clash with the colors on blog posts than orange. Let us know if you think we made the right decision!

Now, onto even more exciting news: this week is a BIG one for us! We are getting closer than ever to being able to launch a functional, if not 100% polished, product. By mid-week, we hope that we will have madKast up and working on a select number of beta test blogs; thanks, David Cohen, for the referrals. If you would be willing to put madKast on your blog as a beta tester, please contact us! (josh AT madkast dot com)

Tony has been working like mad over the past week (which shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who knows him) on dynamic placement of the madKast icon -- which will show up next to the title of a blog's post. In addition, Johann and Tony made remarkable progress during the end of last week in perfecting the method madKast uses for cell phone carrier lookups for MMS messages. What does this mean in plain-speak? Once madKast launches, you will now be able to share a entire blog post with a friend via MMS text message, replete with at least one picture from the post. The key difference between SMS and MMS is that MMS has no character limit, while SMS messages are limited to a measly 160 characters.

We will keep you posted with more information and updates as the week proceeds!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Our Blue Ocean

I love Nintendo. I vividly remember the Christmas of 1988 (I was 6), when my grandparents bought an NES for my brother and me. This week's Fortune Magazine has an interesting article about Nintendo, and how they came back from trailing Microsoft and Sony with mediocre Gamecube sales in 2001 to trouncing them with phenomenal sales of the DS in 2004 and the Wii in 2006. Nintendo has sold two Wiis for every Xbox 360 and four for every PlayStaion3.

What's interesting to me in the article is the approach that Nintendo took when creating the Wii. CEO, Satoru Iwata explains "We are not competing against Sony or Microsoft. We are battling the indifference of people who have no interest in video games". He goes on to explain that they are creating a blue ocean (new markets) rather than enter the red ocean (bloody competition). The article gives another examples of a company that created a blue ocean. There's always been coffee, but Starbucks gave us the coffee experience.

I think that for a startup to be successful, it too must create a blue ocean. At MadKast we think that we are creating a new approach to sharing blog articles. Some could argue that it's really a red ocean since there are several other companies that provide a subset of our functionality; however, I think that our approach is revolutionary enough to call it a blue ocean. Current blog sharing widgets like addthis target hard-core technology people since these people are the only ones that really use social bookmarking tools. Sharethis allows users to easily email a blog post; however, it doesn't provide the blogger with any analytics on what is being shared and a user has to enter in the email address of the person they want to share with, their own email address, and their name every time they send an article.

We hope to expand blog sharing to include people who have no interest in technology. They want an easy, convenient, and standard way to share a blog post using more standard mediums like email, instant messenger, and text message. Of course, for those technology people, we'll include all the social bookmarking sites as well. And of course, we'll provide the blogger with detailed analytics of what is being shared.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

More on MadKast to Pique Your Interest!

We thought we'd fill you in on a few more details about MadKast's progress. Almost all of the underlying technology has already been created. We have internal prototypes of our all-in-one, “sharing panel” and will hopefully have a hush-hush pre-beta release to our closest colleagues and friends most likely during the second half of next week. Tony Restuccia (at right), our CTO, is doing an amazing job writing the code that will power MadKast’s incredibly powerful and useful technology.

Though we can’t tell you too many specific details about the product just yet – so as to not tempt our potential competitors – here's a general overview of what MadKast will allow you to do once it’s fully up and running: you’re on a blog and you find a posting you’d like to share with someone you know. All you’ll have to do is click on the MadKast logo (shown next to the title of any blog post) and click on a friend or acquaintance and choose the method of sending (every conceivable way you could imagine!) and – viola – you’ve shared it! Piece of cake.

More soon, so stay tuned…..

What's MadKast?!

We are launching something fresh, revolutionary and it’s going to completely change the way you read, interact with, and share blog posts. It’s called madKast. For a little background, the Zemble team has been involved with a program called TechStars for about a month now and here we’ve had unprecedented access to incredible mentors and advisors. The fruit of this relationship is an almost-completely new product we’ve created. The only reason why it’s not completely new is because a lot of the underlying ideas and technology come from our experience with our text messaging and social network site,

You know how almost every blog you go to has a completely different and disparate way to allow you to share their content with your friends? Some will let you e-mail a blog post to a friend; some, if you search for a few minutes, will let you share your content; other sites won’t let you share their content at all -- unless you copy and paste the link of the post into an e-mail sent specifically to a friend. Our mission here at madKast is to completely streamline and revolutionize the way any reader of a blog can share posts they find interesting, fascinating, maddening, (and any other reason you might want to share a blog post with someone you know) with other people.

Suffice to say, the way you might have tried to share content on the web will become immediately obselete as soon as madKast launches. For both publishers and readers, no more searching all over a blog to figure out how to share its content with other people; and no more being overwhelmed with all of these potential sharing and bookmarking buttons: digg; del.ici.ous; Google reader, etc.

Keep tuned to madKast a lot over the next few days and weeks as we roll out the best way for you to interact with blogs.

- The madKast team