Show Me Your Desktop Adam Ostrow

14 March, 2008

What's On Your Computer

adam Show Me Your Desktop Adam OstrowLast week’s interview with the sword swinging and keyboard wearing Lisa Bettany was a huge success. Especially because of Lisa’s use of twitter, flickr and Pownce.

This week it’s Editor-in-Chief of Mashable, MindSay co-founder and ReadBurner owner Adam Ostrow’s turn to show us his desktop. Many of you probably know Adam from Mashable and MindSay (one of the oldest blogging communities), but from today we’ll also know Adam as the one of the guys, who acquired ReadBurner.

In January 2008 Alexander Marktl launched Readburner as a hobby project, but within a month is became a very popular service. So popular that it took more time than Alexander Marktl had. Luckily for ReadBurner and for us Adam Ostrow, Drew Olanoff and Eric Kerr recently bought it and is making sure the service lives on. So what is ReadBurner?

ReadBurner collects the shared items from each feed. It’s similar to Techmeme and heavily inspired RSSmeme. It has a lot of potential. If they can get the attention and coverage, it’ll beat the current FriendFeed hype. Adam, if you need my help promoting ReadBurner, you can count on me.

The interview is a little taste of what season 3 of Show Me Your Desktop will offer.

What is your background picture?

Hilary Duff. Not like Lizzie McGuire Hilary Duff, that’d be kind of sketchy. But she’s all grown up and looks amazing.

Why did you choose that picture?

In addition to being really hot, Hilary seems like a breath of fresh air compared to a lot of the celebrities out there. She’s involved in a lot of charities and actually does stuff with them like handing out meals in New Orleans after Katrina. I shouldn’t know all this, but I spend almost as much time on WeSmirch as I do TechMeme, so, I do.

If you have a personal and a work computer, which program do you use the most on your personal computer?

They are one and the same. Sadly, I’d say when I’m not working, the program I use the most is still Firefox. I spend too much time on the Web.

Which program do you use the most on your work computer?

Firefox and Trillian are tied, since they are both open all day. Within Firefox, the programs I use the most are Gmail and Google Reader. Those two are also always on.

Which web browser is your preferred browser?

Firefox 2.0. I still do use IE on occasion though for quality assurance on my various side projects. It’s amazing how different the same site can look on different browsers. Usually, it’s not pretty.

Why is it your favourite browser?

Initially, it was the tabbed browsing, but IE has that now too. It also used to run a lot faster than IE, but that advantage also seems to be fading with all of the memory leaks. I guess Firefox won me over originally with their innovations, and much like Google versus Yahoo or Ask, it would take a lot more than a few shiny new features to get me to switch. I’d need to see something truly radical and innovative.

What is your favourite program and why?

My favorite has to be Google Reader. Pulling together all of the sites you read in one location is such an amazing time saver, and of the RSS readers I’ve tried, Google Reader does the best job of it. As someone that consumes and creates news for a living, it’s absolutely the most important tool that I’ve got.

Which program is the worst?

Adobe Reader. Loading up PDFs grinds my computer to an absolute halt. Note to PR people: don’t send us PDFs!!!

Do you have any tips and tricks on how to get the most out of your computer or blog?

To get the most out of your computer, you need to constantly delete the crap you don’t use. Similar to how a messy house can create a lethargic environment, a desktop cluttered with worthless apps can be rather de-motivating.

As for getting the most of your blog, I think one of the most important things you can do is respond to as many of your commenters as possible. Not only are these people your most important readers, but if you write for a more newsy and commercial blog like Mashable, I’ve found it’s the best way for people to get to know who you are. Similar to newspapers, with the exception of a few bloggers, almost no one remembers the bylines, so even if you write for one of the big sites, it’s up to you to build your personal brand.

From a content perspective, one tip I can offer is to constantly vary the format and length of your posts. I know I can’t stand reading big blocks of text, and know most other people don’t enjoy it either. So experiment with different image placements, shorter paragraphs, and block quotes.

adamdesktop.thumbnail Show Me Your Desktop Adam Ostrow

Thank you very much Adam and the best of luck with ReadBurner. It’s a great service and I’m certain you will succeed. Oh and if you ever need my services on Mashable…Not that I’m waiting or anything. (Updating Gmail every two minutes and redirecting Skype, IM and twitter to my cell)

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