The shocking thing about the Facebook outage is the collateral damage on other sites

Sites scrambled like the dickens when Facebook launched its Like button a few months ago, plastering the button all over their content. But now they’re finding out what happens when FB goes down and you don’t have a contingency plan.

As an example, check out what just about every article on CNN looks like now.  Where the ‘Like’ button would normally be, there’s a gigantic “Service Unavailable – DNS” error shown.  Ouch.

FB outage causing all kinds of headaches for other sites

The NYT handles this a little better; the Like button is still shown and you don’t get the error until you click it. But still – this ain’t purty.

Facebook seems to be back up now. But I wonder if the outage is going to cause some of these major sites using the Like button to assess what contingency plans they could enact should the FB API fail again. It’s a relevant question to ask.

Beer heaven in the Bowery

A couple of weeks ago Paul and I crossed the great divide (5th Ave) to venture East and have dinner in the Lower East Side. Dinner at The Orchard was ok- (great flatbreads but a suburban mall-like decor). It was the walk back, when we discovered the beer room at the Whole Foods on Houston, that was the highlight.

The Beer Room has more than 1,000 different types of beer, many refrigerated but even more on shelves. A handful are also offered on tap at any given time, and they also sell home brew kits if you want to do it yourself.  This place is worth a visit.

About 1,000 types of brew, including a few on tap

Kits, drums, and capping equipment for the DIY crowd

What to do on a flight from NYC to Berlin

This sketch series is hilarious.  I wish I could draw…

New Urban Art on 21st Street

The elementary school on 21st Street between 8th and 9th Avenues in Manhattan is getting a major piece of artwork added to its 6 story high walls.  Pretty cool:

In progress

Fuzzy pic of artists and crew, taking a break

Check out the details on the shoes/feet

All done. An awesome addition to our block.

You can read a bit more about the artists here and here or watch them in this video interview. Even better pictures of this particular piece are on

Smart move by Yahoo to partner with Gannett for local sales

I’ve written before about the challenges of selling local online advertising and the difficulty of delivering a good local experience for end users.  (and don’t even get me started about that most dreaded of all local advertising vehicles, phone books)  So I was glad to see today’s announcement that Yahoo! will be partnering with Gannett’s sales force to peddle Y!’s inventory to local businesses.  It’s also interesting that Yahoo will be offering ‘interest targeting’ as part of the inventory. That’s something that’s going to be more and more critical for publishers to provide to sophisticated ad planners/media buyers.

Whatever the economics of the agreed-upon Yahoo-Gannett deal, you can bet the numbers are a boatload better than if Yahoo had to put their own feet on the street to cater to local businesses.  I recall my experience at AOL over a decade ago when their local sales force was integrated, separated, and re-integrated with the national sales team every 6 months or so. It was a complete mess.

Local businesses are by definition “people people” based on who their customers are.  And in my experience, newspaper salespeople are also great relationship builders.  Some might call them old school, old media, or some other uppity term, but the fact is that they know how to engage customers, brush off rejection, and ultimately close deals.

Yahoo! could use every boost it can get these days.  Executed carefully, this partnership should provide one.

Google’s new background images (esp. the default one) make me want to hurl.

Thank you, that is all.

Limelight Marketplace: Not the Limelight you (might) remember

Until recently, the only time I had seen the inside of Limelight (originally a church on the corner of 6th Ave and 20th St) was between the hours of 2am and 6am on the occasional weekend in the early 90s. For those who remember, the place was a dance club (and a fun one at that).  It went through several owners and names and a lot of disrepair since that time, finally shutting down and remaining unused for quite awhile.

So that's what the building looks like in the daylight

Last month the former church turned club reopened as a high-end shopping center called Limelight Marketplace (website not really functional- lame).  The transformation is pretty amazing. These aren’t your typical chain mall stores, but rather boutique mini-shops (some as small as 75 square feet or so) with unique and interesting merchandise.  I have to say that I’m impressed.

Pick the scene you'd prefer

Stores range from clothing to housewares to some food, including a nice selection of cheeses and gourmet food.  A restaurant and wine bar will open pretty soon.  It’s worth a look, even if it might make you nostalgic for those all-night dance days from your 20s.

Scary to think the state this place was in before its reincarnation

Mmmmmmm.....cheese (in your 40s, that's more exciting than a night of dancing, for sure)