Thursday, March 31, 2005

Brown: Abandoning the news

Abandoning the News by Merrill Brown is an essay commissioned by the Carnegie Commission on the changing technology habits and media consumption patterns of 18 th 34 year olds and what the shift means for traditional news sources.
Brown says: " This audience, the future news consumers and leaders of a complex, modern society, are abandoning the news as we've known it, and it's increasingly clear that a great number of them will never return to daily newspapers and the national broadcast news programs."
Brown's suggestions for radical thinking are spot on.


Parody is one of the sincerest forms of admiration, brutal as it may be, and the boringboring parody of BoingBoing is both amazingly mean and wonderfully detailed--and clever. Sean Bonner has a mirror at metroblogging and it's a scream.
Only flaw is that BB is rarely boring--but you can suspend belief and just laugh over all the details in the parody--it's a Where's Waldo of little jokes.

Kottke's gottkes

Okay, remaindered links:
Wordpress: Is Wordpress and an open source project like we've all been told or is it a company? (Via Waxy)
Post a secret on a postcard.
Belle de Jour--Is Laura Hilton the one?

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Elephants dance 2: Reuters pile on

Tom Biro posts about a forum hosted by Reuters next week on blogs and the media.
Sample question: Are bloggers journalists? Should they be afforded the same rights as journalists?
Jay Rosen and Dave Winer will lead a crew of corporate folk in what will no doubt be a familiar catcheism.
I will be in DC that day, or I would probably show up and sulk, maddened there were no women on the panel and annoyed at myself for caring.
This is how you know the bubble is back---corporate entities want to host discussions on topics that others have been discussing ad nauseum--only now that the bwanas are interested, they have enough muscle to get the natives dancing again.

Ouch, that was mean. Maybe the meanest post I've written in a while.
Time to cut back on the conferences, for sure.

Is Jeff Jarvis the Ben Jonson of our age?

Is Jeff Jarvis the Ben Jonson of our age? After reading Jeff's latest journalism and blogging post, I 'm tempted to say yes--I crowd round his coffeehouse broadsheets, for sure.
What's so cool?
Today, Jarvis runs the changes on the component pieces of journalism and examines what it means to practice journalism (as opposed to, say, being a journalist--think verb). He calls it "the new journalism of acts."
An excerpt from his long post: "The right question is: Can journalism be improved? Can journalism be expanded? Can journalism be exploded? I believe -- no surprise -- that a key to the future of journalism is embracing the idea that everyone does journalism. This doesn't mean that all journalism is equal or good or of interest. We still need to find ways to aggregate, select, edit, present, and distribute information in ways that are efficient, effective, and reliable for each of us."

We've got a lot of great people thinking about journalistic traditions and new ways to create and distribute information--for those of us who love media, this question is never dull (and for everyone else...)

Adriana Huffington & watching the elephants dance

Someone sent me the Business 2.0 article about Adriana Huffington recruiting high-level corporate and celebrity talent to "blog" for her new newsletter, the Huffington report. According to author Greg Lindsay, Huffington and her business partner, PR wizard Ken Lehrer are recruiting buds(and clients?) like Larry David, Gwyneth Paltrow and Tina Brown to, uh, blog.
Lindsay quotes an email that says:
We'll just provide a megaphone for the thoughts you're already thinking, the conversations you're already having, the e-mails and instant messages you're already exchanging with your friends.

The idea is that the members of our blog will weigh in whenever the spirit moves them: when a news story makes you mad, when you see a movie or read a book that turns you on, or when you have a cause that you don't think is getting the coverage it deserves. And we're not just talking about politics -- this blog will be about politics and entertainment and money and sports and religion. Anything and everything."

Uh, sounds great, maybe like the graveyard of the elephants--you know, the place where cultural pundits go to shake their big ivories one last time--or am I confusing the Huffington Report with Radar Magazine?

Update: More on this from Rafat.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Under the weather, aka moving

Behind on all the good stuff going on with attention.xml. Yahoo! 360, Jay Rosen, but am packing up for the movers and dealing with some personal business.
Back to regular--and more frequent-- posts by the weekend; light posting over the next couple days.

Blogger: Not working yesterday

What is it with Google? Blogger is way to erratic a product for a company of their size.
Pull out threat to move site again...

Monday, March 28, 2005


CNET: gets $2.4 mil (via Rafat)

Paul Kedrosky likes Brian Dear's EVDB, an events database: "A web-based calendar doesn't work because any sufficiently comprehensive calendar is so overloaded with data that it is literally unreadable. A better approach is an exposed API for a user-editable service (okay, a wiki) via which people can access & change the data. "

tony pierce: why are anonymous negative commentors so repulsive?

Blog Herald: David Duchovny's new flick has a blog,RSS, podcast.

David Byrne starts an internet radio station (via BB)

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Tild: Attack of the She-Bloggers

Tild gets creative:

Susan's new coordinates

As of this week, I'm moving to Palo Alto.
Starting the next stage in life with a kid in college and newly single.
Time to start keep on keeping on.
So, wish me luck.

Ayelet Waldman: I love my husband more than my kids

Ayelet Waldman, writing in the NY Times today, says: "If a good mother is one who loves her child more than anyone else inthe world, I am not a good mother. I am in fact a bad mother. I love my husband more than I love my children."
Now on one hand, I think this is Waldman's shtick; on the other hand, she's a terrific writer and her shtick sure interests me. And when she had a blog--it rocked.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

(More) New Voices

Today's new (to me) blogger's list is in honor of all the women who are starting over.
The grand prize goes to the single parent writer of Prose and Cons, whose post on How to turn your laid-back mellow hippie roomate into a passive-agressive bitch is an instant classic.
Some excerpts:
And more!

Also, reading Does it really matter anyway, Fork in the Road, and the digital media focused Rock-n-Go, by Xiao, a Chinese blogger (and a great read that has nothing to do with this week's theme, but check him out anyway.)

Om: How Yahoo got its mojo back

Om Malik's got a blog piece as good as anything running in Wired, 2.0 or NYTimes on Yahoo's resurgence on some shrewd initiatives that made them cool and up and coming once more. Russ Beattie, Jeremy Zawodny, the purchase of flickr and oddpost, the launch of my yahoo rss and beta of Yahoo! 360 all have played a role, says OM--and then there's the spectacular financial performance:
"For Yahooligans, 2004 was a year of frustration. No one noticed the fact that company’s stock posted a hefty 72% gain, ending the year at about $38 a share. Overlooked was the fact that it had sales of $36 billion and net income of $834 million. That’s twice as much money it raked in 2003, and nearly three times the profit. It is no surprise that many Yahoo insiders felt like the Yankee fans - no matter what they did, they were going to be overshadowed by Google."

Great piece, Om.. can we have more like this one, please?

Julie Leung: Inside, we are all outsiders.

Julie Leung is one of my most favorite bloggers because her life wisdom--and questioning--is part of what she shares in her blog. This week, she muses on how so many bloggers--including A-listers Winer and Blood say they feel like outsiders. She writes: " ... high school didn't have search engines and feeds to display the power of popularity. (snip)
The more we try to be like others, the less worth we have. Diversity is beauty.
The truth is we are all outsiders. Our secret fears are real and revealed. We are each random points, outliers, misfits, rejects and strangers. We are alone. We are all different. Yet we are all the same."

Bonus link via J: Deborah Branscum's comparison of High School and the Blogosphere.

Friday, March 25, 2005

YPulse: Teens turn to AOL

YPulse has a great bit on AOL and teens--apprently, AOL Red released a survey reported in the New York Post that said: "..Half of the country's teenagers would rather open up and discuss their feelings with a blog than with their parents. In addition, a majority of teens said they are turning to blogs over traditional Web sites because they are more entertaining and humorous."

So there.
More here.

Taking stock of online news--ten years later

At OJR, new vet and educator Nora Paul takes stock and asks Is online news reaching its potential?
Conclusion(the rest is worth a read): "...The great promise that was seen for this as a new form of journalism has yet to be fully realized. New methods for crafting and delivering compelling news stories online are still a long way from being fully developed."
(Via Amy Gahran, Poynter)

Transparent screens

Via kottke and Tammy Green on flickr:

Whose news? Aggregators vs. creators

Alan Mutter notices that the top news sites are going to aggregators, not creators, and asks :"If publishers eventually right-sized reporting into extinction, would the day finally come when all the links on Yahoo and Google were missing?"
Mutter is dead-on--the AFP suit has gotten many news and information companies thinking about requiring licensing deals from news-based search portals and aggregators.

Susan sez: Now that aggregators are describing themselves as media companies--because they provide media to consumers, of course--look for some bitter licensing and revenue battles--and a strong push, for both aggregators and news creators--to get beyond the ad revenue model.

Yahoo! 360-First look by Li

Forrester's Charlene Li on Yahoo! 360: "Central to the whole service is the concept that you want to communicate and connect with the people that you already know, rather than try to meet new people. To this end, your home page on the service shows the most recent content published by people within your network. This might be a blog post, a photo album, review, or an updated profile item. This page is constantly refreshed as the people in your network update the information on their spaces. This fundamental concept of linking people through their updated ?stuff? is what makes Yahoo! 360 unique ? and inherently will drive usage of the service higher than traditional social networks."

AskPang comments: "
Isn't much of the point of things like and flickr-- and for that matter, blogging-- that they let us maintain our "strong ties" (to use Mark Granovetter's phrasing) of friends and family and associates-- our known, mapped universe of people who are interested in us and the things we know/do-- while also expanding our network of "weak ties" to people who share certain curious combinations of interests, people we have never met but whose work we've read, or just sometimes work at the same cafe that we do, etc.?"

Mass market --meet early adopter

Embargoes: Biro deconstructs

Q: When is an embargo not an embargo?
A: When a major news organization breaks it, cause they can.
Tom Biro gets down and dirty into the story, the news embargo and the practice of--well--keeping agreed-upon secrets.
If embargoes matter to you, this is an interesting write-up.
If not--well, go have some coffee.

Thursday, March 24, 2005


1999 was back tonight, if the iPod carrying, black and plaid wearing hordes lined up for (free) tacos outside of Adaptive Path's South of Market offices at the party in honor of their new space and four years in operation were any indication of just how much the bubble mentality is back in force.
Of course, now we have flickr where we can check out the party photos--and the taco truck.

Music: AOL's walled garden comes tumbling down

AOL Music announced today that they will make the title track of Bruce Springsteen's new album Devils & Dust available on the web exclusively on Monday, March 28th as part of AOL Music's First Listen program.
Gone are the days when First Listen, as their program is called, was a jealously guarded premium for AOL subscribers (guess they must be dropping like flies.)

In a related note, former AOL Music GM Evan Harrison, now over at Clear Channel, has just launched his own online music program called"Stripped." Would you be surprised to hear that it sounds alot (like, totally) like AOL Sessions.

Goin' head to head now, guys?

Yahoo launches creative commons search engine

In yet another sign the long tail of open media is being paid close attention to by bigger companies, Yahoo launched a new search engine for content licensed under a Creative Commons license.
What will be it like when they apply their search tools to flickr?
(Via egfeed)

Topix: $5 mil or $50 mil?

Jeff Clavier fisks the Topix numbers and comes up with some theories. He writes :"There are enough whispers of the return of a bubble in the RSS/new media world to try and figure out whether this was a $5M or a $50M deal (see, I am not the only one wondering). And then quotes Bambi Francisco saying that Topic was valued between $50 and $100 million. Jeff writes:
"So we have confirmation that a large part of the consideration went to the shareholders of the company - allowing them to partially cash out, and a small portion went to the bank as operating cashflow. Great deal (somewhat similar to the MySpace financing where the original owner partially cashed out, and the co got some cash). Back to the original feeling of delight for these guys, etc.

However the valuation seems... rich."

I spoke with someone last night who has another emerging tech company who was thrilled about this makes his company, like the others on Rafat Ali's best bets for buyouts list, seem all the more valuable.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Green Ribbons for Arctic Refuge preservation

Via Craig: "Millions of Americans have made it crystal clear that we don't want drilling in the Arctic Refuge. Yet many members of Congress are choosing to ignore their constituents and listen to the Bush administration's drilling boosters instead. Show your support for the Arctic Refuge by tying green ribbons in your yard, hang them in your home, pin them to your clothes or wear them around your wrists. When your members of Congress come home for spring recess and see green ribbons in every neighborhood and the news media in every state taking notice, they won't be able to ignore us any longer! Visit to learn more about the green ribbon campaign and how you can get involved."

Blogging in Korea--Big numbers, different experience?

Phil Wolff discussing Korean blog stats, the impossible numbers of bloggers, the very real broadband and wireless stats, and Bernard Moon's analysis of Korea's (broadband) lessons for the U.S.
Moon says : "If you visit any Korean blogs, you'll soon discover that they're all like MySpace on steroids ... lots of steroids. One hybrid service to develop out of Korea's broadband incubator is CyWorld (HatTip to Pip Coburn, who mentioned this site in a prior post). Think of a blog, social network, and Flickr (a social network that lets users manage and share their photos online) rolled into one, and you begin to get an idea of what CyWorld is all about."

Wolff comments: "Francesco Cara's How many people publish, read or contribute to blogs? 2.0. A January 2005 roundup of Cyworld traffic growth and Korean blogging in general. "The Cyworld form of blogging has reached 79% adoption among young people in their 20s and 30s (source SK Communication); and 90% adoption among young people in their 20s (source researcher KoreanClick)."

Bonus: Moon also writes: "Korea's broadband environment allowed a nation of just 48 million to create the first MMORPG (massive multiplayer online role playing game), the first paid online casual gaming services, the first avatar services, and the first mini-hompies. (Susan--what's a hompie?)

So, what do you know about RSS adaption in S.Korea? How does it compare with the US?
Yes, getting back to that language question...)


NowPublic--new. A social network meets a citizen journalism platform and you get--Now Public. Congrats to Mike Tippett on the, critical mass needs to build.

EVDB: Brian Dear launches a better mouse-trap, uh, I mean events database, calendar and platform for event organizers. Brian explained this to me a few weeks ago, and it sounds great.
No, let's see. (Via Ross Mayfield) see

J-Log: RSS and SMS =Feedbeep

J-Log: "What is FeedBeep, you ask? It's a service (with an obligatory blog) that connects RSS feeds to your SMS-enabled cell phone. That's right. When breaking news hits the Internet, you can be alerted to the fact on your cellphone. What else could it be used for? How about: learning about new marketing jobs in the Chicago area on, getting notified about social and local events from, etc. Cellphone use hasn't hit its peak yet in the US. We're years behind the asians, or so I read."

XML feeds to your phone--they've got lots of gov data, UPS data, and tutorials on how to set up more feeds yrself.

Susan sez: Is this new, or just broken out so it makes sense? Experts, please...

Update: PubSub is involved.

More Topix commentary and $$ news

CEO Skrenta lays the deal out.
PR rep Rubel weighs in, along with Malik, Battelle, Hammock, Ali, and Jarvis.

Update: Bambi Francisco, Marketwatch: " would not disclose the terms of the deal, only to say that the funding was less than $5 million. The capital will be used by the nine-person team, partly to give a salary to the founders, who hadn't paid themselves in three years."

Clarification: Valuation for is rumored to be way higher than Bloglines. If the $$ rumors are right, the founders should be feeling pretty, pretty good.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005 to be acquired by newspaper J-V

Earlier today, Tony Gentile had a rumor that was acquired by Knight-Ridder--it's true.
Knight Ridder, in partnership with the Tribune Media Company and Gannett, has acquired 75% of for an undisclosed amount.
I spoke with Rich Skrenta, Topix CEO and founder, and he told me that the deal would allow Topix to remain as an independent entity based in the Valley--and deploy their skills across the KRD-Trib-Gannett platform.
The press release states: " will use content and funding from Gannett, Knight Ridder and Tribune to expand and refine its NewsRank technology, services and operational infrastructure. ..Collectively, Gannett, Knight Ridder and Tribune operate more than 140 newspaper Web sites with nearly 30 million unique visitors monthly. The companies have partnered together in other joint ventures such as and"

This is an awesome event for the (self-funded) Topix guys, and an amazingly shrewd move by these newspaper partners--for far less than the NYTimes, they've acquired a resource that will help them launch and create local feeds, monetize text ads far better than Google AdWords can off the shelf, and help make them a leader in the search, local and RSS spaces.
The deal also plays well with Knight-Ridder's recent acquisition of 5 local daily newspapers in Silicon Valley, including the Palo Alto Daily News. If's talent is to aggregate and categorize local feeds, then these newspapers are both prime content for Topix and a potential platform for a new targeted local business--not a bad plan. And if KRD and partners are willing to take a run at adding citizen journalism--watch out!
So folks, maybe old media ain't so old anymore.

P.S. Plus, this is disruptive to the other companies (and there are many) pitching their search and RSS services to newspaper partners, who now see 3 of the big ones locked up...and to the big aggregators who now find online news business are alive and kicking still.

Jersey Journal: Local paper to go tabloid reports that the Jersey Journal, one of the first Newhouse papers and the paper of record for an amazingly diverse slice of urban New Jersey is getting a new format and going tabloid on April 25th. ""Our plan is to continue doing the same responsible community journalism that readers have come to expect from us in a lively, more colorful format that we expect will attract new readers,"said Journal editor Judy Locorriere.
Jeff Jarvis, who is both Buzzmachine's author and the president of, was a consultant on the redesign and is quoted as saying: "The Jersey Journal is going to be watched very carefully. I'm not sure that tabloid is going to work for every newspaper in the country. But it just feels so right for Hudson County. It's the right format for this paper."
Steve Newhouse, editor in chief of the JJ, is quoted: "We are confident that the switch to a daily tabloid edition will help us grow."

Susan sez: This is just great. The Jersey Journal was one of the long-time local papers in Jersey, but had trouble for a while finding its audience--because of the amazing diversity of the area. The move to a local tab is a great idea and it is so wonderful to see Newhouse investing a bit in the paper. I worked in the same building with this crew for 3 years, and they're so into their product...hope this is a resounding success...can't wait to see it.

NY News of meaningless importance aka new Fishbowl hire

The chance to put the words Standard Deviance and Andrew Krukoff into one sentence is too good to pass up, and the news via SD is that Elizabeth Spier's Media Bistro Fishbowl site has hired La Krukoff to replace one of its fledgling (and now flown-away) bloggers.
IMHO, Krukoff is a pisser, as they say in Brighton Beach, so that makes him perfect for the gig, right?
(And it ain't NY till you've worked for/with Spiers, Dobkin and Denton, right?--Isn't that the NY blogger's trifecta?
(I feel an article for NY Magazine coming on
. Ow, gotta lie down till that thought goes away.)

More on non-latinate languages and RSS

Andy Carvin has paid attention to some of the issues related to non-Latinate languages and creating RSS feeds and has some comments about how the UNICODE project has helped power non-Latinate sites (and therefore their RSS feeds).
He writes: "For languages with RSS support, knowledge gets produced and disseminated at a rapid pace, allowing more online knowledge to be produced, and an expanding community of people able to talk about this knowledge and contribute even further to it. But for languages that can't be transmitted via RSS, they'll be stuck sharing content at a much slower pace, to smaller, less-connected audience."

So, what do readers know about producing RSS feeds in Chinese, Vietnamese and Cyrillic languages?
Any experts out there? Inquiring minds need to learn more.

Blogspot revenue: aka NYTimes and Blogspot

More comments--points well taken, around monetizing Blogspot, aka what kind of revenue can you make from a blog services site.
Point-n-Click points out that it's not just about the ad dollars but the overall ROI.
Rick Bruner made a similar point in another email.

Guys, you're right--up to a point. It's inarguable that there's a network effect in which low cost of production/high page volume can make text ads amazingly lucrative--and make the Blogspots of the world wonderfully high-margin ventures.
BUT, most agencies--and many marketers--want to spent their ad dollars online on rich media, intrusive blockades, and brand-building programs--this kind of stuff they buy on cable TV.
No matter how much companies such as Revenue Science and Tacoda overlay their ad targeting capabilities on blogging sites--and on targeted and aggregated RSS feeds--we don't know that the high CPMs agencies spent on campaigns on their favorite sites will spill over into the blogosphere in a broad way (Nick Denton has already proven he can get this kind of advertising, but who else has? And, I would argue, Gawker Media is a far cry from the unwashed masses at Blogspot, of which, somehow I am one).
The Times is a good example of a media company that is hedging their bets--they've invested a huge amount in reporting and targeting so they can get premium ad buys on their sites--and they're now the owners of they can pull in more types of ad revenue--and get a cool platform to build out. But for the Blogspots of the world, crack sales teams or not, I'd say that those premium agency dollars are going to be harder to come buy, and/or will be spent only when agencies have exhausted most of their budget on their favorite premium sites--for now.

And will this change in the future?
Of course.
Blogging is the road ahead.
But it ain't all there just now.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Meeting people through your dogs, or SNIF

Josh Rubin points to SNIF, or Social Networking in Fur, an MIT Media Lab project that uses LEDs, FOAF and all sort of other techie gear to improve the mutual sniffing between dogs and their owners, and has amazing cute pictures of his two Sealyhams.
Susan sez: "My dog Winston and I go to the dog park almost every morning, and we know all this stuff without any high tech tools, so there."
Okay, now that I yapped a bit, I'll come clean--this is good stuff.
(via Modern Pooch)

Bonus facts: According to the researchers, there are more than 65 million owned dogs in the United States.
Nearly 40% of US households own at least one dog.
Nationally, pet owners spend upwards of 32 billion dollars on their animals annually.

HP to acquire Snapfish

So Hewlett-Packard is buying Snapfish, a SF-based photo service that's like a mini-Ofoto.
Guess it's a way to sell printing supplies to 13 million people.
What's next? Murdoch buying Six Apart?

Update: Rob Enderle--HP buys Snapfish, Kodak gets nightmare

Noted BCC's cutting over 2,000 jobs. Jemina Kiss writes that New Media will lose 58 staff, saving £7.7 million. Positions in news, sport, TV, radio, learning, entertainment, drama and children's programming will be eliminated as well. Ouch.
John Battelle: PC Forum rumors place the flickr sale at $15-17 million. Om Malik says rumor has it as $30-35 million.

PC Forum: If you're not there, but you care, check out the wiki. Bonus: Dr. Weinberger sleeps with two Sifrys...and laughs all night.
Paid Content: Sold! Diller's IAC acquires the Butler and his blog-reader. The magic number is $1.85 billion.
Mike Manuel likes Feedster's corporate blogging policy.

Anil: There is no one blogosphere, aka the continuous cycle of revolution

You think there's a blogosphere? As Anil points out, there are thousands:
"First, it's important to note that there is no "blogosphere". There are hundreds of blogospheres. Each sub-community of weblogs has its own social norms, its own traditions and its own thought leaders."
Anil then lays out the common discoveries which include the following:
  • What is blogging?
  • Our community invented blogging!
  • Blogging vs. Journalism
  • Where are the women/minorities?
  • You'll get fired!
  • Think about the children!
  • The technology is boring/unimportant.
  • Will blogs change the world?
  • What you do isn't blogging ? do it this way.
More here, all true.

Ourmedia launches--free open media site

9 months ago blogger/journalist JD Lasica finished writing his book darknet and began thinking about open media and grassroots content/remixing/transparency.
He hooked up with big thinker Marc Canter and they began to cook up Ourmedia, an open-source repository for digital assets.
Ourmedia is up. Check it out.
J.D. has the story of how it was born.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Rick Bruner comments on Blogspot/NYTimes revenue

Since I have comments turned off right now, Rick Bruner was kind enough to email his thoughts on my link to his NYT and Blogspot post.
Take it away, Rick:
Susan: Blogspot is probably monetized at less than $1 a page, while the
NYTimes is probably monetized at $20 or so a page.

Rick: "I presume you mean CPM not actually per page (view). I wonder if NYT
actually averages $20 CPM (they do still insist on serving
pop-unders), but let me not argue that point.

But as for Blogspot being unprofitable and untargeted, I wonder how
you come to those conclusions. Let's take those one at a time. As for
unprofitable, do you have any basis for that claim? Blogspot is the
free web hosting service of Blogger, which is owned, of course, by
Google (bought in 1993, I believe, off the top of my head). Google is,
needless to say, highly profitable, and as far as I know they don't
break out revenue for the Blogger division separately in their SEC
filings. So whether it's unprofitable or not is Google's CFO's to know
and ours to speculate about. (This is all based on my assumptions; I'm
on deadline tonight, hence procrastinating, so I'm not looking any of
this up.)

Anyway, Google does now serve AdSense ads against all Blogspot blogs,
so there is real revenue there. And I don't know exactly the size of
the Blogger staff, but it is an automated service, whereas the is a highly staff-intensive service, with lots of original
editorial and design overhead compared to Blogger. Were I have to
guess, I'd say Blogger probably has a staff of 20-30, while I have
been in the NYTimes's offices and would peg it well over 100 (probably
more like 200-400). I do know that is profitable (I noted
that in their SEC filings a few quarters ago), but I'd be surprised if
the premise of your economic hold true. Specificially, even with the
higher revenue may or may not be getting at the moment, the
much lower overhead of Blogger is a strategic advantage; when Blogger
reaches a certain critical mass, I exect it would be capable of a
significantly higher profit margin due to its greater ability to
scale. And if you look at that Alexa chart, it looks like it's just
now hitting he proverbial hockey stick curve.

As for targeting, true, the has an awesome audience
demographic. But the, blog readers are a pretty favorable audience in
their own right, as a recent BlogAds survey illustrates.

Moreover, if you want to talk about niche targeting, there is no
comparison: you want to reach PR professionals, for example? Good luck
pinpointing that audience on On blogs? No problem.

Besides, Google's whole point in buying Blogger (presumably) was to
target blog readers in great detail via its contextual targeting
system AdSense.

You want targeting? Don't underestimate blogs for a minute.

Thanks, Rick. What I actually meant was that the combined revenue per page was $20 or more--not the CPM.--that's definitely a higher page value than Blogspot, even with the greatly diminished staffing costs Blogger incurs.

I agree that someday blogs can make great money with targeted ads; right now, I don't see agencies jumping in, nor do I see most blogging platforms doing anything to win new business, with the except of a couple of publishers we are all aware of.

Of course, in the future, everything will change--doesn't it always.

Interactive buying Ask Jeeves-$1.9B

Another sale--NY Times reports that Interactive Corp is just thisclose to buying Ask Jeeves and its recent acquisition Bloglines for $1.9 billion.

Yes, Yahoo has bought flickr

Caterina: Yes! We can finally confirm that Yahoo has made a definitive agreement to acquire Flickr and us, Ludicorp. Smack the tattlers and pop the champagne corks!
More here.

Podcasters don't preach

Doc Searls: "I won't write another thing about podcasters until I'm doing a podcast myself."

Blogspot has more traffic than NY Times? How about the $$?

Rick Bruner says that Alexa reports that (hosting for Blogger) has more traffic than
Of course, Blogspot is probably monetized at less than $1 a page, while the NYTimes is probably monetized at $20 or so a page.
Do the math.
One big unprofitable, untargeted enterprise vs, one big profitable, highly targeted enterprise. Which is offering a better return on the dollar right now?
NY Times.
(It's tempting to let this veer off into a discussion of advertising vs.paid services but my personal opinion is that the NYTimes and Blogspot (or others like them) are going to become a lot more similar over the next 5 years--online news sites will(should) offer more paid services, and blogging services will get serious about both paid services and targeted advertising.)
So there.

How to grow your (blogging) audience

The traffic to this blog has gone up in the past three months, and it's surely at least in part a result of some things I consciously put into practice.
So, in the interests of transparency and sharing, here are some best practices:
  • Post consistently: Post daily, so people can maintain their habit of reading and get a payoff.
  • Post in the morning : Ideally, I'd be up at 5:30 am and posting so NYers can read when they get to the office. But, hey, I live in California, so I try to post between 7 and 9 am.
  • Post frequently: If I see a great item during my work day, I try to grab 5 minutes and get the link up--or save it till later and post after work.
  • Write about what interests you--within reason: I love pop culture, enjoy cooking, and want to get out and hike more...I also am learning about mobile. That all creeps in. Meanwhile, it's digital media and emerging tech, all new, all the time. Oh, and did I mention that sprinkle of social justice and market disruption?
  • Share and give credit: Be generous with links and attribute.
  • Have a point of view: This ain't no newspaper.
  • Listen to everything--and everyone. Discovery(as in finding things) and attention (as in saying Look at this) are useful.
  • Have fun. If it isn't fun for you, it isn't fun for anyone.
What best practices would others suggest (besides linking to Scoble (joke)?

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Saturday stuff

This morning I went into the dreaded garage to go through the countless books of books and etc piled in there. After 3 1/2 hours, the boxes were sorted and repacked, then stacked neatly, and there was a heap of books to be donated and/or given away. Also used the neighborhood email list to give some things away. (It's kind of like a miracle--you post items, people want them, they come and take them away). Now, everything is sorted and that dreaded task is over.
Later in the afternoon, I went to the gym and worked out. My friend N goes regularly, and I've been meeting her there, which makes it a lot more fun--and guarantees we both show up.
Then, tonight I cooked an interesting dinner--
Quiona, steamed in the rice cooker (looks wierd but tastes great), and sauteed chicken breasts with mushroons, onions, garlic and spinach.
Finally , a lot of boring TV and a chance to dig in and read Jennifer Weiner's Little Earthquakes, the weekend's guilty peasure.
And soon, off to sleep.

RSS and displaying non-Latinate languages

BBC's Richard Sambrook has a post in the comments at Rebecca McKinnon's blog that caught my attention big-time. He describes talking to an engineer at the BBC who points out that RSS is currently better suited to displaying text in Latinate languages--viz--
"The issue is RSS does not have a way to display right to left languages correctly and is not very compatible with non Latin languages. I believe it just was not thought about deeply by the people and development effort behind RSS.

This slows down the growth of non Latin RSS adoption. We need to develop multiple language RSS and hopefully redefine standards and approaches."

What do others have to say about this?
It it an issue? A perceived issue?
I'd like to learn more.

Blogjunkie redux: Whizspark wrote it!

So, it looks like Dominant Princess actually, uh, borrowed, the 12-step list from Peter Caputa, who published it in 2004.
Peter, thanks for the note.

Blogjunkie: The Princess Confessions

DominantPrincess is an addict:

The Bloggers Anonymous 12 Step Program:
1. We admitted we were powerless over blogging, that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than Jeff Jarvis could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our livelihood over to the care of Jason Calacanis as we understood Him and his 50-50 revenue split.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of our waypath related links.
5. Admitted to, to Movable Type and through any other blogging software the exact nature of our blogging.
6. We are entirely ready to have Joi Ito remove all these defects of character.

Of course, there are 6 more!

Today is Blog anniversary # 2

A blog story for my 2-year blog anniversary:
I started blogging in March 2003 because I'd been fascinated with blogging for 2 years, but didn't feel I could have a *real* blog in a corporate job.
Once the corporate job went away (or I went away from it), blogging was one of my first experiments. I remember reading Megnut and being awed by We Blog, wide-eyed at the prolific Jeff Jarvis, and fascinated by Xeni Jardin, Jeneane Sessums and Halley Suitt (of course, those were in the days when I had no news aggregator, and collected all these links from blog rolls.)
I had no idea what I wanted to write about (or what I wanted to do with my life post AOL), so I just wrote. And wrote.
My office was a pale green room in a house in suburban New Jersey. Some days, I went out to the world with a DSL line, and the blog was a bottle tossed into a digital sea; other days, I took the train into NY to go for corporate outplacement and have lunch with (employed) friends I'd been too busy to see.
One of the first posts was about the bIP blog, an intellectual property blog from the School of Information Sciences at Berkeley. Another was about an article I was writing about Kevin Sites--and the resulting firestorm when CNN asked him not to blog. I went to a Jupiter Conference about Paid Content and met Rafat Ali,who I was to remeet later.
And through all the changes in my life, I just kept blogging.
I started a consulting company, I moved back to California, I started commuting across the country (again), I got invited to BloggerCon (thanks,Dave --and Frank) and I just kept blogging.
Somehow, in the past two years, blogging became a core part of what I do.
On one hand, it's my hobby.
On the other, it's my obsession.
It's brought me friends, community, and an amazing range of insights and ideas (mostly from others.) It's taught me how to listen and made me more open, and helped me practice greater transparency in everything I do.
Thanks, everyone, for being part of this journey.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Evslin: What programmers really mean

Tom Evslin's got some great statements from programmers--and his take on what they really mean.
Tongue and cheek, but true. A few (of many) follow:

It'll be done ASAP.

Translation: There is no schedule yet.

That feature shouldn't add any time to the schedule.

Translation: There is no schedule yet.

It's fifty percent done.

Translation: It hasn't been started yet.

It can literally do anything you want it do.

Translation: There is no spec yet.

(Via Fred Wilson)

NAA's Nexpo: Newspaper conference this week

The big annual newspaper industry conferences are this weekend --Vin Crosbie explains why he won't be there and Pegasus News chimes in.
Meanwhile, there will be moblogging (RSS) from the IFRA newspaper techniques team, and a blog from The Digital Edge of the NAA for and by conference participants.
I read through the sessions and could not find anything about RSS, newsreaders, or social media.
Or Craigslist, Tribe or Bakotopia. Or hyperlocal citizen journalism.
Or local vertical search.
Parallel universe?

New West: Meth & Sex in Montana series --Wow

Jonathan Weber's New West has a riveting 6-part series on meth, sex & murder in Montana that's started going live this week.
Hal Herring, a Montana writer known for both his elk-hunting articles and his environmental pieces, has written a long investigative series-- Part I: Sex, Money and Meth Addiction: Inside the World of the 'Dasen Girls' and Part 2: A Mother's Worst Nightmare--that went live yesterday and will have a new installment posted daily through Tuesday next.
Short version is that this is powerful writing, great story, and probably some of the best original journalism I've seen on the web in a while (outside of tech and futurism, I mean).

Part 3 is up(Sat.)

More good reads

Daily Kos: Everything I Own, Owns Me (Via Luke Frand).
Halley Suitt: Beginning, Middle End--the intimacy of morning.
Dowbrigade: Cruising for a Bates Motel (Via Winer).
McSweeneys: Lists--of things you never imagined(Via Definitive Ink).

Thursday, March 17, 2005

NEWS: Knight Ridder Digital launches RSS & OPML feeds

Knight-Ridder Digital has enabled RSS feeds for all the the articles carried in The Mercury News, and NASCAR-focused That's Racing.
Using RSS 2.0, KRD's putting headline and digest feeds out for every story within numerous key sections.
Each property has its own master RSS index-- Silicon Valley's is here, Merc's is here, and That'sRacin's is here. There are OPML feeds to enable users to add miltiple channels at the same time--a smart use of that technology.
Over 100 feeds have been enabled, including all columnists.
My understanding is that additional KRD properties will be enabled, once these feeds run live for a bit.
Is a branded newsreader far behind?

Noted: Media

Poynter: Marketwatch's Neil Chase to move to NY as deputy editor for news.

Bob Stepno: Newspaper columns are becoming more blog like.

Blogtyme on gender and diversity in the Blogosphere: "If the people who started this conversation actually expanded their blog roll before this conversation started they'd realize there are way more women and minority bloggers than they realize."

Poem: Still Life with Bad Dog, by Janet Holmes

An azure-glazed pitcher; a few breakfast peaches; poppy blooms;
Matisse's empty easel, akimbo; tourists loitering in the room . . .

An aftermath of argument: harrowingly calm, night
inscribes its farewell note and hides it somewhere in the room.

For weeks someone breathed threatening messages to my machine
which I kept and played back to myself, evenings, in my room.

So many rejected dresses thrown aside as she packed: they floated
down to the bed and puddled in chairs after she left the room.

Coming home late I found the down pillow gutted and shaken,
furring with its soft innards every surface in the room.

--Janet Holmes

fr. *The Green Tuxedo*
[Notre Dame, Indiana: Notre Dame Univ. Press, 1998]

(Via Hal Johnson)

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Goodbye Classifieds, Hello Community

Dan Pacheo's got a post on his upcoming conference preso on Bakotopia, the Bakersfield, CA community-based classifieds site built with off the shelf software.
Dan says " the idea of Classifieds, advertising and the entire behavior around buying and selling at a local level is changing to be more about community and social networking," then explains that the new community-style classifieds offer a superior--and addictive-- customer experience.
"At the 50,000 foot level, what is the real difference between citizen journalism and online self-serve Classifieds? It's all about giving more power and convenience to consumers -- oh yeah, and making it a lot more fun :-)

Unfortunately, it's also about providing more value at low or no cost. This will undoubtedly be the hardest pill for newspapers to swallow."

Tags: , , ,

Chris Nolan on gender politics

Okay, I said I wasn't going to write about this anymore, but Chris did and it's wicked sharp.

Yahoo 360--Perfect for flickr?

Yahoo's announced their blogging/social network/photo sharing tool, which is invite-only right now.
In some ways, it sounds similar to AOL Journals, in that it's meant to pull personal data and shared links/info into one easy to manage--and share--resource; on the other hand, it sounds like it should be much better (after all, Yahoo has long experience in building friendly a la carte web apps).
Kottke had the best comment: "Looks like Yahoo! has created its own version of Livejournal (blogs + social networking)...Flickr will fit into this nicely. ;)."

Weds: (New) Blogging Voices

Another round of bloggers to note, as per Halley's thread:
This is the NY edition---
The Real Janelle: A *real* NYer.
Stephanie Klein: In love, in NY, and with a book deal.
A Socialite's Life: Snarky, shallow and super fun celeb and style dish.
A Corsair: Ron applies serious chaos theory to silly style occurrences.

And two from the Left Coast:
SnarkMarket: Matt Thompson and Robin Sloan's blog(think EPIC).
Enoch Choi, emergency room physician, husband and father Choi is a dedicated blogger, with great wine tips, spirituality and a flow of real life news.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Ben Hammersley's eTech tutorial--slides

Ben's posted his excellent preso on Atom and RSS from eTech 2005.

Yahoo & O'Reilly: The Real Buzz Game

Yahoo Research Labs announced The Tech Buzz Game, in conjunction with O'Reilly Media.
Anyone remember the BlogShares game?
This is its cousin on steroids.
Oh yeah, and it predicts the future.
Well, maybe not really.

O'Reilly: The Press Conference

Tim O'Reilly: "Alpha-geeks have migrated farther and farther up into society...We haw a generation that has grown up working with technology and they're running things. Also, we find it really interesting that we're starting to blur boundaries of computing and stuff.
"In addition, we see a couple of trends driving media--atomization of content--in small bytes and not particularly well-branded. Also we see that content is becoming more media rich, not just text. At the same time, computer personalities are starting to become media personalities--the lines between print and other media are blurring."

The press is chewing assidously (box lunches) as O'Reilly and team take questions.
I see folks from Popular Science, Newsweek, NYTimes, Linux Journal, Wired.
A bunch o' bloggers. Doc Searls, Sean Bonner.
Mary Hodder shooting video.

A whisper from the back of the room: "This press conference reminds me of the time-share pitch for the condo."

Sifry: Tracking posting volume

Technorati's Dave Sifry is pushing out their company's the blogosphere data. You can find new data, charts and more on his blog.
One (new) metric he's discussing, that I want to talk about, is posting volume--in other words what are the aggregate number of posts per day (this is a good number to measure consistency and commitment among blog owners.)
Sifry says posting volume has doubled in the past 9 months and that Technorati is tracking about 500,000 posts per day, compared to about 400,000 posts per day in Oct 2004.
Although Sifry agrees that these figures could be squewed by squewed by the US election, the tsunami and similar events, that's still an interesting number--and one it will be go to track going forward.

The Travel Guy Returns--in NYC

AOL's Travel Guy, aka George Hobica, stopped posting travel deals on Digital Cities when AOL Travel and their partnership deals muscled in about 2 years ago, removing one of the best resources from the AOL service.
Now Hobica is back, with his own travel bargains site called TravelGuy Blog. He writes (it pays to keep your old AOL address book emails lists, eh?):

"After much agonizing, and after your continued pleas, I am experimenting with reviving the site, starting with the New York metro area. As you can imagine, it’s hard work for one person to maintain a site like the one we had.
As you can see, the new site-- isn’t quite as comprehensive or detailed as the old one. But it does have the same kind of hard-to-find, great deals (recently we had Japan for $244 RT on United, for instance). We are no longer listing the fare codes or, in some cases, even the airlines, in order to save time..
In order to keep this site free and ad free, and to help us expand it to your city, we’re asking our fan base to please book your travel through our blog (click on any of the Travelocity links) when possible (even if you're booking something other than airfare). We get a small commission for all travel booked. The alternative is to charge a user fee for the site, which we are trying to avoid, although many people said they’d gladly pay $29 or $49 a year for our service."

I was addicted to Travel Guy. Welcome back.

Hey, I do link to women, cause I am one, part 2

Ellen over at Standard Deviance says:
"There are several efforts right now to promote the voices of female and minority bloggers. First, a great group of women bloggers are pulling together to create Blogghercon, a conference for women bloggers. This sounds like an excellent idea to us but we would rather the name of the conference have nothing to do with a conference which has reportedly been unresponsive to suggestions of diversity sessions in the past. Also, our friends Nichelle Newsletter and CultureKitchen are starting a Brown Blog series for minority bloggers.
..The answer is for the women and the minorities to keep producing great content and to listen and support to each other thus creating their own A-List."

PS: I am going to join Roxanne in being tired of this discussion, so this is the last post for a while ('cept for the neat bloggers' list tomorrow.)

Hey, I do link to women, part 1

Jeff Jarvis links to Rosie O'Donnell's Blog: "It's like Kathie Lee: The Dark Side."

Monday, March 14, 2005

Noted Annual report, The State of the News Media, 2005
MediaPost names Steve Rubel and seven other bloggers to Most Influential Media People list.
Rabble: A community of user generated mobile content launches--think flickr meets napster for yr cell. Or something like that.

eTech flow

Have been at eTech since the morning, enjoying the flow of tech folks, social media geeks, and a few just plain media geeks in the halls of the big hotel.
Ben Hammersley gave a good talk on RSS 1.0, 2.0 and Atom that I went to, but it's been about the hallway a lot--
I got to hang with Caterina Fake, who's a great conversationalist and fellow book-worm, marvelled at the eTech thing Greg Elin is playing with in the hall, saw Marc Canter,whom I realized, would be great to interview about all these different conferences and their specific flavors, chatted with Gordon Gould of Weblogsinc/BlogSmith and now am banging away on the laptop in the so-called press room, which seeme to be filled with stray programmers.
About to dive in for more.
Hallways, that is.

Ken Sands: Doing online news another way

Much comment on the Online News list on the Times story. This post from Ken Sands, recently named publisher of The Spokesman-Review online, was so interesting I asked him if I could post it:
Ken writes:
"We're at an interesting period in the evolution of online news. Many newspapers simply put their print content online, add some breaking news and maybe a few bells-and-whistles multimedia and interactivity and call it good. Sell a bunch of online advertising and everybody's happy, right?

I don't think so. In the next few years, in my view, online news should become much more independent of that print content. If you think about it, posting a newspaper online is giving people a snapshot of yesterday's
news. We should instead, give them today's news and a bit of tomorrow's news, as well as making full use of the unique attributes of the web, including: immediacy, interactivity, utility, multimedia, entertainment,
archiving, aggregation and community publishing. When you truly take advantage of those attributes, you've got a much different web site.

Here in Spokane, we started on Sept. 1 charging an online subscription fee, but it's ONLY for the repurposed print content. Everything else on the web site is free. As it is now, we frequently post breaking news and have between 20 and 25 staff-written blogs (immediacy and interactivity). We have multiple databases of information (the utility function). We have video, photo galleries, etc. Is it enough web-original content to withstand the partitioning of our print content behind a subscription wall? Obviously not, as we saw our year-over-year traffic growth go from plus 42 percent to zero.

In a perfect world, I would have preferred to wait a couple of years to let the evolution proceed toward web-original content before charging for the repurposed print content. (But you can hardly blame the print circulation folks for being antsy as their numbers decline.)

I'm hoping that what it really means is that we're simply ahead of the evolutionary curve. Give us a couple of years to jack-up the web-original content and people will come for that first and foremost. Then, who cares if we charge for the print content? (Of course, we could find out that the evolution is going an entirely different direction.)

Regardless, we really have no choice but to look for a better business model. If print circulation and advertising drop significantly, there's probably no way an increase in online revenue can make up the difference. Who's going to pay all of the reporters and editors? Maybe those of us who are left in the future will simply aggregate and edit the news that's provided by citizen journalists. I don't pretend to have all of the answers, but you can't say we aren't looking..."

Ken Sands
Online Publisher
The Spokesman-Review

News: Paid content vs. ad revenue

The NY Times article this morning made me laugh.
People may prefer the online edition to the paper, but readership of newspaper news online sites lags way behind readership of news on Google, Yahoo and Matt Drudge--when it comes to traffic.
So is asking whether newspapers can recoup their losses by putting their online content into a paid sub model really the right question?

Folks, most news is a commodity.
As long as the source is credible, the public will read it.
And often they don't have a clue when it isn't.

For many of the bigger online newspapers, the game over the past 2 years has been to optimize for advertising, so pages are fully monetized.
Remember that recent conversations at the Times about paid content revolve around specific premium services--not charging for the whole edition, or else.
That just doesn't work--
And--it limits ad revenue.

The challenge for online news sites--especially those who heavily rely on news feeds for content--is that they are playing a game they cannot win.
Classifieds are dispersing to Craigslist and others
Articles are dispersing to news aggregators.
Journalists are turning into bloggers, and vice versa.
The money they used to have in the margins of print doesn't have a parallel online.
And their overhead is crushing.

Paid content is definitely a strategy to deploy--but, for some news sites, it may be a deck chair on the Titanic.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Brian Dear: Everything new is old, but not new enough

Compelling long essay by Brian on "The Long Trail" (as opposed to Tail, get it?) He writes:
"The Long Trail is about the unevenly-distributed future. Stuff that's coming on your radar today came on someone else's radar days, or weeks, or months, or years, or decades, ago. Stuff being presented at the ETech conference next week is for the most part remixes of work done over the past years to decades.
I wish ETech would be the place where these new things, finally emerging into the mainstream, get some limelight."

Bloghercon: On a roll

Elle's one of the bloggers who's been talking about Bloghercon, a women-focused get together that intends to give women's' influence a boost in the blogosphere.
Elisa Camhort, Lisa Stone, Sylvia Paull, and a few others are the main originators.
Dave, Doc, Scoble, are some of the A-listers taking notice.

I remember trying to get Dave Winer to agree to do a session at Bloggercon on alternative voices (meaning women and non-white males, GLTG, etc.) and making no headway.
Of course, that led to the wonderful session on personal voice where Julie Leung first spoke.

To me, what's great about this is the community, grass-roots, groundswell effect.
Everyone who wants to talk about citizen journalism, blogging and identify should be able to do so, in the best ways they see fit, and having a conference or meet up is a wonderful sign of vitality and health.
And these are people who have a lot to contribute.

Ladies, you go!

News is not free, it's fake

NY Times: "Under the Bush administration, the federal government has aggressively used a well-established tool of public relations: the prepackaged, ready-to-serve news report that major corporations have long distributed to TV stations to pitch everything from headache remedies to auto insurance. In all, at least 20 federal agencies, including the Defense Department and the Census Bureau, have made and distributed hundreds of television news segments in the past four years, records and interviews show. Many were subsequently broadcast on local stations across the country without any acknowledgement of the government's role in their production."
(Via Yelvington)

Will citizen's journalism become the next free marketplace for news?

Dreaming of...Steve Rubel?

Noah Brier dreams about Steve Rubel, who he's never met--but who discusses the future of the Internet with him and Robert Scoble.
Dude, you need a break!

Okay, truth is, I dream stuff like this more than I want to admit..and I love it.

Newsweek article & diversity in the blogosphere

Newsweeker Steven Levy's got a column about the Whose News conference and discussion of gender diversity in blog land.
Recaps the good points we're heard before--
My question, however. is whether we are only talking about is this about gender and race, or about class and influence?
If the person who raised some of these question--Keith Jenkins--wasn't an editor at The Washington Post Magazine as well as a blogger--would Levy have picked up on this discussion?

My point is not that we shouldn't address these questions, but let's be open about how Jenkins' very good points probably captured Levy's attention--because of his own stature--the same kind of stature many other A list male bloggers enjoyed in the real world before they ever started blogging (We're talking top school law professors, CEOs/Presidents/Founders of tech companies, uber-consultants, etc.)

And then let's go back to Halley's lists of *new* bloggers and make sure to step outside the echo chamber and let more voices in, thank you very much.

Keith J should have the last word, which is dead on: "What can you learn by keeping an open mind; what can you learn from someone different? Will it be something that can change the world, or will it be something that will change the way you look at the world? Either way, this is how we all get better, by taking our own experiences, coupling them with those of others and then learning new ways to perceive and act."

Thank you, Keith, for teaching me. (And Steve L, keep reading blogs.)

(Via Halley)

Saturday, March 12, 2005

AIM: No longer private

Ben Stanfield checks out AOL's AIM Terms of Service and discovers that while you may own your words, they are NOT private, and they really don't belong to you:
"In addition, by posting Content on an AIM Product, you grant AOL, its parent, affiliates, subsidiaries, assigns, agents and licensees the irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide right to reproduce, display, perform, distribute, adapt and promote this Content in any medium. You waive any right to privacy."


(Via Memex)

Update: Yardley says this is old news and overblown.

New: Does more ad $$?

Have you checked out
Threadwatch says it's just gone up, but there is an earlier (related) posting at Outercourt.

Whenever,whomever it broke, the deal is that Google's put up a new mobile start page with links to all their current mobile services--SMS, web and image search, imode interface.
Most interestingly to me, there's an invite to partner with Google to get these services on your (mobile) site and a request to send them links to mobile sites to crawl.

Mobile links+mobile ads.
Mobile ads=$$
Distribution means more views, more clicks, and therefore more ad $$.

Okay, time for a new phone.

March 13 Hike: CANCELLED

We've cancelled the Sunday hike for lack of takers and a deadline crunch for yours truly.

Winer: Internet 3.0, circa 2001

Dave Winer may be sitting at home reading blogs, just as I am right now, cause he just sent me the most perfect, appropriate link to a piece about Web 3.0 he wrote back in 2001.
Here's the gist:
"Internet 3.0 will realize the groupware vision of the late 80s which was really Doug Engelbart's vision of the 60s and 70s. Shared writing spaces with good boundaries. Structures that link to each other but are capable of managing greater complexity than the page-oriented metaphor of the Web. (Which few people read, everyone skims, so why not create interfaces that optimize for skimming.)
Internet 2.0 brought us online car purchases, eBay, bill-paying, banking. Those were profound changes. Version 3.0 will refine this by giving us better tools for working with the new power."

I edited for space, but you should read the whole thing.

Dave, yeah, you are a visionary sometimes. And smart!
Thanks for sending--this was so relevant.

Tom Foremski: Web 2.0 blowing up new (old) media

Silicon Valley Watcher's Tom Foremski puts a long finger on media disruption: "Internet 1.0 produced media technologies that continue to disrupt print media, and that disruption will accelerate in Internet 2.0 because of the new media technologies such as blogging, wikis, and related technologies/tools/applications.

Internet 2.0 media technologies provide a two-way web, a readable and write-able web, as some call it. (Or if I were Dr Doolittle, a PushMe-PullMe type of web.)...(snip...)
The new media technologies pull together a community of readers as the content seemingly magically finds its readership."

Tom is so right: the platforms are shifting, the grassroots in bubbling up and legacy businesses are having trouble competing (not nimble enough, bigger staffs). Read more here.

Friday, March 11, 2005

May meet up: Citizen journalism begins to take form

New Media Musings: JD Lasica, Dan Gillmor and some other folks are planning a social event and all day retreat in San Francisco May 13-14 to focus on citizen journalism advocates aligning their interests and planning for a large public event in the fall. The distinguished group also includes Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales, Craig Newmark, Public Knowledge's David Bollier, Mary Hodder, Danny Schechter, Don Hazen and Scott Rosenberg of Salon. More here.

Blog Cheese: The Sequel

Jeff Clavier went and read all of lindsayism's blog cheese indicators, gave himself score of 49, and promptly came up with a few more, including these:
  • Reading your ego-feeds first.
  • Having a feeling of deep loneliness when your traffic is 50% below average.
  • Actually wasting my time calculating my BCF.
  • Not only wasting my time calculating my BCF, AND blogging about it.
Anyone else have a few?

eTech: I'm going

eTech: I'll be there next week, Monday on.

Digital Edge articles: RSS for newspapers

The Digital Edge of the Newspaper Association of America's just published two pieces I wrote--a brief article about RSS, newsreaders, and companies in the space, and an interview with Simon Waldman on the same themes.

Check out the article here.
Interview here.

Peopleweb: Mark Pincus has a vision

Peopleweb: Tribester Mark Pincus has a vision. It's kinda open source ad tags, only for people.
Mark writes:
"as more people take on 'open' identities online, that can be crawled, found and linked to with bits of semantically organized data like 'profile', 'about me' or 'my tribes or groups', there will soon be an ability for search engines to organize people into relevant groupings...(snip)
...imagine a future where the network acts as one database. you will tell the web that you are single and what your dating criteria is. your dating profile will only be shown to those people."

Amazing how tagging and search can transform everything so quickly.

Bringing on the blog cheese

Lindsayism calls out the cheesy stuff bloggers do--highlights from the hundreds:
  • Photos of you having fun with famous people last night.
  • Blogging drunk.
  • Blogging drunk about how you shouldn't/never blog drunk.
  • Confronting someone at a party because they don't link to you.
  • Introducing people at a party by their blog name.
  • Having, going to, or blogging about any sort of "blogger get-together", "blogger party" or "blogger bash."
  • Selling t-shirts/mugs/stuffed animals with the name of your blog on them.
I'm going to have to make sure to do all the ones I haven't yet.

Update: Here is the geek programmers list (Via Ultranormal)

Kedrosky: Dark matter and the long tail

So blogs and other forms of microcontent are part of the long tail, and search technologies and filters expose and surface them, right?
But there are others kinds of long data content/data that Paul Kedrosky calls "dark matter" and he writes about how they're now discoverable--and trackable--via RSS feeds.
"Syndication technologies make it possible to cost-effectively and usefully expose informational dark matter, which is more than press releases and blog articles, but is just about every kind of change of state you can imagine in our physical, social, and organizational environments.

What would you (or your organization) monitor if you could? What would like to know about that you don't? What happens on a daily basis that would like to track but you can't? What if you could search all that information prospectively and retrospectively?"

The PubSub guys talk a lot about applying prospective search to what Kedrosky might call dark matter--press releases, earthquake reports, traffic delays, etc. Feedster's talked about this as well, especially in terms of listings, and when I first met Phil Wolff, almost two years ago, he charmed me by talking about RSS feeds tracking machines--like subway trains.

I'm curious what kind of dark matter, to use that term, people would like to see surfaced--I have trouble thinking of much that I would value in my every day life, but a lot I would value on a sporadic basis (like travel delays when I am taking a trip.)

And doesn't this pre-suppose a mobile platform for true usefulness?

Thoughts, anyone?

Noted: Community journalism

Lisa Williams: H2.0 town, Watertown, MA launches (congrats!)
Ed Cone: The Market Street Journal, Greensboro, NC
Rosie O'Donnell, (Okay, this doesnt strictly belong here, but I could not resist--it's the real thing.And she is her own community.)

Thursday, March 10, 2005 Sorta back in NYC

Curbed reports that fledgling home delivery service is actually the spawn (okay, brainchild) of Chris Siragusa -Kozmo's CTO.
What? You don't remember Kozmo--the online ordering service for real world food and services?
Well, for a quick trip back before the bubble, hold two images in your mind:
1) A nice Kozmo delivery truck pulling up before a Manhattan high-rise to bring forth a movie and a pint of Haagen-Dasz
2) Those same trucks--a whole shiny new fleet--getting auctioned off when the company went bust.
Product differentation? They say "When you need something, we bring it within an hour, eliminating the inconvenience associated with next day grocery delivery."

Oh yeah, and if you want to run the warehouse, field calls, or be a delivery or inventory associate--they're hiring.

Update: Okay, okay, some people aren't mocking this--Fred Wilson says: "This can be a great business if it's done right. Most people don't realize this but Kozmo made money in NYC. It was the 18 other cities that brought the company down."

Proof: Google IS building an OS for Web 2.0

Google News has gotten a subtle redesign and some new features, the most talked-about one being a customization tool that allows users to modify their Google News home page. Not only can the order of key elements be moved around--a la My Yahoo and other My services; but users can set search queries and add them to their news page.

So here's the thing, folks, if you're Google, the next step is to integrate in all the other apps you have--email, search, shopping, alerts, etc. and let users add those customized elements to their start page, uh, I mean news page, as well.

And then port it all via alerts and RSS feeds (if they ever allow that) to mobile devices...with a nice new mobile interface for the customized, personalized services.

Back in 2000, this is exactly what AOL wanted to do with Netscape--build a customized set of free applications that users cound integrate together, either through the Netscape My platform, through the portal, or through the infamous and unsuccessful Time-Warner "hat."

Google building an OS? I say it's yes.

(Note: Wrote this at 7 am, but blogger has been down all day, so posting w/o all the links, will add in later.)

Yahoo: RSS goes mobile

I'm a mobile newbie and have been reading as much as possible to get more up to speed. So when I heard that Yahoo had just launched a feature on Yahoo! Mobile for users to get their RSS feeds from MyY! on their mobile phone (all wap 2.0 devices), I paid attention.
Yahoo RSS guy Scott Gatz explains how it works: "You just go to on your phone (or access Yahoo from your provider's menu) and then click on "News" and then "My Headlines". The biggest thing we did was to make it automatically use all your My Y! settings (this joins our other things on mobile like My Stocks, My Sports, My Weather, etc)."
As we all have been told, Yahoo's goal is to extend their services beyond the desktop, and RSS is part of that mix. Hey--Would love to get reactions/comments from folks using rthe service--please trackback or link and I will aggregate the conversation.

Tag: RSS+mobile+Yahoo

Wednesday, March 09, 2005


Kottke, my business influences: Craig Newmark, Coudal Partners, Ludicorp, Dave Eggers, David Bull and more.
Steve Rubel: Why attention.xml matters--and incidentally, what it is, in those layman's terms we all need. " What if you could get an RSS feed that notifies you every time there are blog posts that are read by more than 100,000 people? Attention.xml as I understand it could make that possible."
Nextaris--a search and share tool--has just formally launched-- and it's mobile, too! (Via JD Lasica)
Read/Write Web
: Share your site data (RSS feed stats from Feedburner, for example), and help create a baseline for RSS usage and tracking. (Geeky, but if you know what this means--then help out, eh?)
Mutually-Inclusive: Six Apart's spell check doesn't recognize the word "blogger."
Popular Science: Top technopolis cities. (Via Kedrosky)

Jarvis: Open Source Ad tags

Jeff's got a provocative--and creative--concept that might solve the "I have a blog but how do I get ad dollars for it?" problem Google Ad words doesn't solve.
Jeff says: "One solution to this would be to create a citizens' media ad network and infrastructure and work like hell to make it the ad network of choice. But that's unlikely to work and it only presents another choice in a world where people are getting good revenue from BlogAds and Burst and Google."
But Jeff proposes another solution--open source as tags.
How would this work?
If I understand him correctly, you woud place an ad tag and some other identifiers and FOAF type site data on your pages and d networks could harvest or select your site to carry their ads.
"The goal is to get the ad call on any site that wants it and to collect the data advertisers want and to enable efficient buying and selling."
So, someone needs to define how the metrics, micropayments, inventory management etc work..but this is the start of a pretty interesting idea.

Tag: Open Source Ad Tag

Ebay: Will Kijiji and Craig divide the planet?

EBay takes the local/global mix to a new level with the roll out of Kijiji (can you spell that?--it means village in Swahili), a community/listings service that has a lot in common with Bakotopia at first glance--and that launches with no English-speaking sites (nice touch, that).

A look at the interface shows similarities with both eBay and Craigslist, but the spirit of it seems pure Craig's. Interestingly, of the 50 sites launched, only Berlin and Tokoyo overlap with existing Craigslist sites.

Does this mean Kijiji and Craig are going to divide the planet?

InfoSpace: The lie

Comments all over the net about the Seattle P-I investigative report about Naveen Jain and Infospace.
The above image via Paul Kedrosky.
Past history here.

Blogger is broken

Blogger: Is anyone else getting their posts chewed up today?

Weds special: Ten New Voices

I read them, and you might, too. New voices to note.

Chez Pim: Silicon Valley Cambodian-American aspires to the finer things--and has one sharp palate.
Bakerina and Hammer and Peg: One lives in NY, the other in Seattle. They're friends, they're 20-something and they're wonderous.
Mobile Girl: Anita Wilhem rocks the mobile house.
An Aggregated Life: Tammy Green is into RSS, being a good person, and media. What's not to love?
Brazilian Muse: Alizinha knows the night life and all things Brazilian in NY. I'd love to go clubbing with her.

Snarkmarket: When he's not reporting for the Fresno Bee, updating EPIC, or going to conferences, Matt Thompson blogs here.
Graham Holliday, Noodlepie: Food and media, from an expat in Saigon.
Dan Washburn, Shanghai Diaries: A roadtripper and expat living in Shanghai, with pix.
The Lost Nomad: American expat, living in Korea.
Simon World, East Meets Westerner: An American expat living in Hong Kong.
Glutterbug: Yan blogs everything--art, media, life--from Hong Kong.

Okay, okay, there is a theme here, I know--it's my trip to Asia this spring.

Bonus: Hypergene list here.
Update: And Rex Hammock list here..umm, new blood.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Wildflowers and hiking: Come hike on March 13th

Tom Mangan and I are trying to entice some bloggy blog readers and writers to get off your butts, aka machines, and come for a hike this Sunday, March 13th.
Plan is to go to Grant Park in San Jose: Meet at 10 a.m. at the parking lot next to Grant Lake.
Tom has a six-mile loop picked out that should offer stunning vistas, provided the valley isn't fogged in.
Should take four hours at most.
Interested? Let us know by emailing smernit at aol dot com.
So far, we have a rather, uh, small, group, but I've done this hike before and it is a nice one...great views, not too strenuous.

Burning Bird: Machismo, Autolink, and linky love

(Via Roxanne Cooper): In a tremendously amusing--and sharp-witted post--Shelly Powers deconstructs Autolink, (some) guys' linking habits, and the alpha dog sniffing we can't ever completely escape: "Where I saw AutoLink as a relatively uninteresting and innocuous innovation, to some guys it was a way of dropping their pants and swinging what they got, while to others, it was a big metal Zipper, just waiting to catch the unwary. "

Shelley's post might go up there with Judy Syphers' I want a wife as a feminist classic...only in this case, it's linky love.


Lockhart Steele: James Truman in the making?

So, okay, if I wasn't convinced Conde Nast or some other major publisher will buy Gawker Media within the year, then maybe I wouldn't imagine Lockhart Steele, Gawker's new Managing Editor as a budding James Truman--but as he tells I Want Media "My goal is to read each of the sites every day for the big picture"--it's hard not to hold that thought.

In the interview, Steele gives some great data about Gawker's schedule of payments, minimum number of posts required, and establishment of themes or sequential narratives for blogs or sets of blogs. He says Gawker's just introduced a new thing--incentivizing writers and paying extra based on traffic spikes--and not ebveryone likes it (yeah, right).

The interview is excellent--here's a bonus quote:
"...blogging requires a reset of the mind. You write it up, then post it. Part of the reason I like blog writing is that it feels loose -- and if it has a typo, who cares? As they say, "Blogs fact check in real time." The idea being that you're not afraid to just post stuff and then, if there are problems, people will let you know about it."

Craigslist launches in Seoul

Joong Ang Daily: Craigslist goes live in Seoul. Now, this is hot!
(A look at the site reveals that alot of the initial posts are from Koreans living abroad, mostly in the US, and from Americans planning to visit Korea, but hey, that's a start.)

Ecommerce: Discovery hires AOL Shopping vet

Internet Retailer reports that Patrick Gates, long head of AOL Shopping, is going over to Discovery as EVP of Consumer Direct, a new unit within their ecommerce group.
Gates' mission: Bring a more merchandising and affiliate-driven focus to Discovery ecommerce, and give they greater presence--and results--with referral sites such as Froogle, and BizRate(Shopzilla) .

Monday, March 07, 2005

Google AdSense: Giving it a try

Readers may notice I turned on Google Ad Words for this blog.
I asked for image ads, but only have text so far.
Of course, it's only been 15 minutes.

New, noted and kinda techie

Microsoft mobile: AP reports that they've opened a mobile communications research lab in South Korea, the world's most wireless (and wired) country. Anyone able to help me arrange a visit to the lab when I visit Korea this spring?

Tacoda: Denver Post and parent company Media News Group to use Tacoda audience management/ad targeting software on 74+ sites--Tacoda software is now used on more than 2,700 Web sites that reach over 80 percent of the US Internet audience each month.

Technorati: Tagging takes a step forward as Technorati introduces related tags--tags users associate with the tags they add to data. Works okay for blogging, VOIP, and conference, but not so good for Chez Panisse and Prada. Doh!

Department of Good Ideas: Nick Denton's writing Gridskipper and has invited readers to compile and send, flickr and wist links and tags. Shmart.

(Thanks, Rex)

Jennifer Weiner: Pink Ladies vs. Grey Ladies?

Jennifer Weiner: " Question: if Meg Wolitzer is going to call writers like Helen Fielding, Sophie Kinsella, Marian Keyes and "a couple of the others whose names, to tell the truth, I never quite remember" the Pink Ladies, do you think it would be okay if I called writers like her, and Elinor Lipman, and Cathleen Schine, and whatsherface, you know, the one who wrote that one novel with waves on the cover, the Gray Ladies?"
BTW, I am addicted to Jen Weiner's books.

Halley: Bring me ten new (blogging)voices

Halley calls for the bloggers at Whose News? to move beyond their echo chambers and highlight a more diverse batch of blogging voices.
I am so there.
For the rest of March, every Wednesday I will post notes on some bloggers I'm reading--both those new to me and some of my (old) favorites.

How about the rest of you?
Why not take up the challenge to highlight some of the bloggers you read--and find some new voices to listen to.

Bonus links for today, bloggers I've been reading for over a year-- Two Boston-area bloggers: Lisa Williams, Learning the Lessons of Nixon, a long-time favorite blogsister, and Sooz, AKA Susan Kaup, who is heavily involved with the Boston Wireless Group and runs lots of cool local events.
And a third final bonus link for Move the Crowd, Trader Mike's blog.
Mike's a trader by profession with good taste in music and media.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

More noted

  • The Shredder: Nothing can survive this baby.
  • Doc Searls on the Google Toolbar: "Google is an advertising company, more than a search company. That's becoming clearer with this feature, and the company's apparent lack of interest in the feedback they've been getting."
  • Identity Fraud: How to protect yourself.
  • The Bloglines vision: "The Internet home page for the 21st Century!"

Allen Weiner: Global sports talks is a killer app

Allen Weiner: "I have told anyone who will listen that one of the great future businesses/applications will be a national (followed by global) sports talk show."

Susan sez: Fan radio has always been huge. AOL did really well with AOL Live back in the day, and played with sports talk (and radio).
So the interactive premise has always been there--but now, with VOIP, Skype, etc., Allen may be on to something.

The growing threat to free expression

Looking at current developments with the Apple/ThinkSecret case and interpetations of FEC rulings to regulate bloggers' writings, Dan Gillmor says it well:
"We're moving toward a system under which only the folks who are deemed to be professionals will be granted the status of journalists, and thereby more rights than the rest of us. This is pernicious in every way.

Mass media journalists and their bosses should be leading the fight against what's happening to bloggers. I fear they won't, because old media typically refuses to defend the rights of new entrants until the threats against the new folks directly threaten everyone. But my former colleagues in Big Media should understand that when we distinguish among kinds of journalists, discriminating against some because they're not working for organizations deemed worthy (or powerful) enough, trouble will arrive soon enough for everyone."

Well said. More at Dan's.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Whose News? Jarvis' small group session

Jarvis at Whose News: "Instead of being the gatekeepers of news (controlling it), we become the enablers of news."
Jeff's taken the notes from our working group at the conference and laid out the team's vision of what a news and information business will become in his blog.
High points: Trust drives audience, revenue is services and affiliated-based, and content is created by information entrepreneurs, some on staff of an organization, most not.
Jeff's detailed notes on the vision are here.

The Obvious: Yahoo to invest in blogs, social media

Reuters reports on Susquehanna Financial Group analyst Marianne Wolk's note on Yahoo. "We believe Yahoo is likely to continue to invest in the blogosphere; we see Yahoo building and buying blog tools and RSS search capabilities to complement MyYahoo's readership/aggregation service."

Oh yeah, and she thinks advertisers will follow the audience.

Saturday nite

Saw Judy Irving's The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill tonight, a sweet movie about Buddhist free spirit Mark Bittner who cares for a flock of cherry headed conjures, parrots who live in the hills about North Beach.
Then an opening for artist Matt Holloway, friend of a friend, where I met Pim, of Chez Pim.
Then home and a walk with the dog, who was thrilled to be out at night and wanted to walk miles, peeing on everything.
Now, this.

Swedish Fish: Julie Leung meets her madelaine

Julie: "The girl forgot about Swedish fish. She grew up and Redmond also grew up, buildings and subdivisions filling the flat pastures. The horses disappeared. Sears lost its candy store and pet store. Her father moved away."

Julie's story is beautiful.

Lucovsky: Building a Google OS

Via, a pay-attention post from Mark Lucovsky, former Microsoft distinguished operating system architect, now Google engineer, on what it means to ship software:
" I am not sure I believe anymore, that Microsoft 'knows how to ship software'. When a Microsoft engineer fixes a minor defect, makes something faster or better, makes an API more functional and complete, how do they "ship" that software to me? I know the answer and so do you... The software sits in a source code control system for a minimum of two years (significantly longer for some of the early Longhorn code)...(snip)..In many cases, particularly for users working in large corporations, they won't see the software for a year or more post RTM...

When an Amazon engineer fixes a minor defect, makes something faster or better, makes an API more functional and complete, how do they "ship" that software to me? What is the lag time between the engineer completing the work, and the software reaching its intended customers? A good friend of mine investigated a performance problem one morning, he saw an obvious defect and fixed it. His code was trivial, it was tested during the day, and rolled out that evening. By the next morning millions of users had benefited from his work."

In other words, speed of execution makes a huge difference in making a difference, and as Rich Skrenta so perceptively said, Google IS creating itself as a massive OS.
And now they've got the guy to do it.

Outerspace: Craig's List new community

Craig: "rough estimate: 36,000 ads earmarked for space in first 4 days...looks like we're seeing roughly a 5% "opt in" rate overall."

Whose News: Reading the coverage

Sat am and reading through what the larger circle has to say, posting some comments, ideas, feedback:
Dr.Weinberger has a good precis of day 2, a productive working session:
Jeff Jarvis summarizes each of the three groups' presentation with a word: Trust, transparency and conversation. [Yup. And how does this compare with the news media's current values of, approximately, trust, authority and accuracy?]"
Technorati tag here and cosmos here.
Danny Schechter,
News Dissecter.
Kent Bye,
Echo Chamber Project "I was a bit frustrated with hearing the same perspectives on blogging and journalism, and I made an effort to make getting some of my perspectives heard in this closed conference."
Shelia Lennon, Projo.
Bob Stepno.
And of course MORPH, the Media Center blog,covering the sessions in detail.

Will post more on the last day later this weekend.

Eric Rice letting it rip.

Jeneane Sessum: UN Sues Media Center

Jeneane's got some points to share about invite-only, academic events centering on the limits of any round table. While I'm relieved she didn't squewer moi, J should be heard (and usually is).
Short version:
“"Look, I don’t care what they say they'’re up to, but the bottom line is this: You can set your room up in a circle; you can set your room in ten circles; but if you’'re exclusive of who fills them, you’'re limiting what you can accomplish. This sure as hell ain'’t the UN. Now put that in your story and blog it.”"

Friday, March 04, 2005


Sitting in the conference, typing out something else.
Suddenly remember being in high school, sitting in class, pretending to listen, and actually writing pages and pages in my journal.
Doing the same thing now.

Some things never change.

Dave Weinberger: News is commoditized

Dave Weinberger writes (at Whose News?):
"I have an overly simple view of the media ecology: News is getting commoditized. The momentum — for better or worse — is on the side of voice, passion, connection and bias. The space between commoditized news (the AP) and the voices expressing that news increasingly belongs to aggregators, not to the news media."
Susan agrees--for many people, resources like Google News have turned much reporting into a commodity, moving the craft somewhat closer to giving the weather.
At the same time, what's going on here is a supply-chain issue.
Most newspapers want to have their own reporters at the state capital, in Washington, and wherever else they can afford to post them. (Often, at big papers, the editors yearn for 5,000-word stories set in exotic places that might get them a Pulitzer. And at little papers, they yearn to act like big papers.)
This means that there are more supplies of particular types of stories created than the public actually wants to buy.
And that means that newspapers end up with products they can't sell, not in the form they are offering them.
And the ad side revenue that subsidized the reporting, and made those great print margins from classifieds dollars, say, is going away.
What's the right balance? No one wants a scarcity of data--only one story about a motion on the floor of the statehouse for example--but maybe having 8 different reports about that motion is too much. And yet in a free-market economy, how do you legislate supply and demand?
You can't--and you wouldn't want to--and yet those 8 stories--and thousands of others like them--are what newspapers can't afford to produce anymore--because both the demand and the value aren't there,
Or, to put it another way, if a news entity is an ecosystem, the majority of their stories fall down into the long tall where they cost too much for the value buyers assign to them.


AP: Yahoo's bought Stadeon, a NJ mobile gaming company and is reportedly going to use their technology to enable real-time multiple player games across platforms.
In other words, you and your friend could play cards on your cell phone and her computers.
The AP reports that Yahoo has been growing its presence in the emerging mobile game market, which saw estimated U.S. revenues of about $204 million in 2004, according to In-Stat/MDR, a market research firm.
NY Times: Martha Stewart given new body in Newsweek photo
Steve Rubel: Gallup study says most Americans don't read blogs. Rubel says who cares-the influencers do.

RSS News: Nonprofit TechSoup has RSS feeds. Cool.

Winery News: Jared Brandt goes for the grape

Grouper guy (and former Tribe PM) Jared Brandt and his wife Tracey have opened a winery down south of Carmel.
A Donkey and Goat will have 20 barrels of 2004 vintage that they will begin releasing this spring.
Tracey says:

This spring we will begin pouring our wines at industry events which is HUGELY exciting for us and we hope to see as many of you there as possible! The first two coming up are:

The 8th Annual Rhône Rangers San Francisco Tasting, Saturday March 19, 2005 at Fort Mason

The 2nd Annual Pinnacle Wine Festival, Saturday April 30, 2005 at The Inn at the Pinnacles near Soledad

I'm thinking...Road trip. Congrats!

Whose News: Halley's 2 cents

Halley has some strong points about how the Harvard session was run.
There's some truth there.
So, Halley, how would you do it differently?
(The calling on folks part, I mean, the rest is clear.)

Great sound bits and observations from Jeff Jarvis here.

Meetup meets a milestone: 100K meetings's just passed 100,000 meetings!
Not only that, they're evolving tools for organizer, building a services-based business model, and tweaking the back end a bit, says Myles Weissleder, Communications VP.
Oh, and they've added RSS feeds for local events...mapped to zip codes.
Pretty good for a network whose first bubble was political campaigns.

Rheingold: Cameraphones as Personal Storytelling Media

Howard Rheingold has a new piece in The Feature: "The cameraphone exists at this moment in that ephemeral, potent and confusing phase of its adoption cycle where people are still deciding what kind of social medium it is....Cameraphones represent a new opportunity to tell the story of our lives to ourselves as well as to others, and to share a sense of continuous, multisensory, social presence with people who are geographically distant."

(Via Networked Performance)

Whose News: The Remix

Day One of Whose News? is past, I'm in my room winding up for an insomniac blogging feast(not food, links) and it's quiet in freezing cold Cambridge.
So, how did it go today?
To my way of thinking, the major brainpower in the room spent a lot of time trudging through the weeds.
  • We steered away from a fight about blogging and journalism (oops, did that last month), established that folks had vastly unequal understandings of RSS, moblogging, folksonomies and tags, and agreed that while we all got blogging many of us were sick of talking about it thank you very much, whiles others felt it was THE answer.
(Answer to what?)
  • Len Apcar of the Times and Jim Kennedy of the AP made the very good points that their companies are smart as they come but have to fund their newsrooms (not to mention that great NYC real estate) and there's no real business model in social media yet.
  • Michael Schrage said that legacy brands weren't the groups' problem.
  • Rebecca McKinnon said she valued a brand like the Times--
  • And that's when yours as moderator truly stepped in and dragged the group back from the well-worn ruts of a familiar argument so that we could skim over mobile, open source media, and the need to get outside of the US-centric media model.
But it could have been better--while people made good points individually, we didn't have any great insights, major epiphanies, or well-developed new insights.
In truth, it felt to me like a lot of the same people swirling the same wine around in the same glass, falling back on the old homilies because they weren't sure what else to say.

In retrospective, what I wish the organizers had done:
  • Opened an IRC backchannel and projected it on screen for all takers
  • Webcast the proceedings in real time
  • Asked for statements from virtual participants and interested parties and published them in a wiki
  • Organized the sessions a little more tightly; for me, free-floating discussions don't work once you get over 6-8 people.

What did work:
The mix.
  • Some great experienced online news practicioners, some newspaper folks, a good mix of bloggers.
  • Matt Thompson, late of Poynter and now of the Fresno Bee (this guy is smart!) Telecom and mobile folk who didn't get to say enough.
  • At least two J-School deans.
  • One Yahoo guy, one Comcast exec, the founder of Craig's List (yes, Craig!).
  • Berkman fellow Dave Weinberger.
  • Nieman fellows, a political/policy consultant, an alt media dissenter.
  • Two (or more academics)--and one ethnographer.
More and related from Rebecca McKinnon and Halley.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Noted: Tech

Stuart Henshall: 2 1/2 years with Skype lead to a new online publication about--yep--Skype.
Dr.Weinberger: Why tags matter. The good journalist explains clearly what tagging actually is--and why you should pay attention.
Newsgator teams up with the Denver Post. The SVP and COO of corporate parent Media News Group Interactive says, "We believe that RSS-based reading is the next generation for a rich, personalized experience for our readers. " (If he really said this, what does he think about all the ad revenue he's potentially losing?)
Always On: Microsoft researcher Lili Cheng talks about Wallop, Inner Circle and other projects related to social media.

Scoble: Is Google growing evil?

Robert Scoble posts:
"Mark Lucovsky is at Google now. Hmmm, I'm noticing a trend. The folks who did "evil" stuff at Microsoft (Hailstorm and Smarttags) are now at Google. Remember Hailstorm? It never shipped. Why not? Because we (customers, this was back before I was a Microsoft employee) didn't want to let Microsoft own all of our data."
(Via Technovia)

Is there a better way to make Microsoft sound sweet than bash Google?
Probably not.
And yet Scoble makes a good point.

Liveblogging Whose News?

Dr. Weinberger did the honors on the morning and the session I facilitated. Read it all here, here and here. Also here.


Watching the latest version of EPIC with Craig Newmark and Len Apcar of NYTimes in the room.
Much laughter,
EPIC still rocks.

Whose News, continued

First of all, my connectivity stinks and I keep dropping posts.
Okay, enough whining.

So everyone is talking about what to keep in journalism and what to lose--a lively discussion that feels not very fresh and very self-congratulatory, to be honest. Everyone is jumping in with relish to share their tidbits, but the tidbits are all over the map.
Maybe the point of this is a group bonding exercise...truth is,I dislike these group brainstorming sessions cause all the alphas talk and the quiet folks stand down--
Why doesn't someone see what the media really needs to regain is their independence?
Product placement, infotainment, political agendas--blogs and big media alot are plagued with thinly disguised agendas and plugs--and no one is stupid enough to fall for them, not for more than 2 seconds, that is.

Okay, rant over.
Some good points being made in the room, including the need for US media to readjust their idea of what's local and how to work with press--and citizenry--aboard.

Continued, Session 1: Media Inflection: Mainstream Media and the survival of professional journalism

Talking about the BBC efforts as a model for open media and participatory content:
Shane Bowman: BCC is one of the world leaders in citizen journalism because of their public mandate...
Richard Sanbrook, BBC: BBC is moving from being a mediator to being a facilitator..we are also planning a free open archive.
Henry Brooks; How could the BBC concepts of public value translate into US interests?How can we reframe the discourse so the concept of public value resonates with a public value? Also,how about the issue of neutrality and the BCC? How do you instill principles of neutrality in the reporters?
Sanbrook: We think alot about democratic values and social capital..(this is a small room, but he is difficult to hear..speak up....)

Session 1: Media Inflection: Mainstream Media and the survival of professional journalism

Bob Giles from Nieman is talking about media and citizen journalism before the roundtable, moderated by Merrill Brown, begins.
"How do we use these information technologies for the common good?"
Larry Grossman is talking about the digital promise project--idea is to develop a trust fund modeled on the NIH and the NSF and to focus this fund on research on how to use the new technologies in the nonprofit and education sectors, financed by the sale of spectrum.
Merrill: How will your efforts help journalism and media?
Larry: We want to digitize content and make it available to the world; through education and civic education, we want to improve the quality of democracy and citizen's knowledge.
Michael Schrage: I disagree. This is very symbolic of the paternalistic intervention approach of what blogging really is and denies the realities of the marketplace. One of the most important things we can do to encourage citizen participation is to allow technical innovation and support open source and create access that way.
Larry: That's one of the silliest arguments I've ever heard. We have public education because we think society has to help education... This is an effort to bring existing institutions into the digital age and the 21st century...This is not a government mandated program or elitist effort.
Shrage: I have something against the belief that bottom up participation will be better helped or encouraged by institutional intervention.
Halley Suitt: The quickness and the fastness of blogging is part of what conventional journalism is banging up against. The best thing about blogging is not what bloggers do, it is what the audience is doing out there.
Danny Schechter: Michael, you've attached Larry, but the fact of the matter is that the public broadcast spectrum has subsidized private interests for a long time. The idea the market will save us has no connection with reality. Nonprofits have a tremendous struggle today to sustain themselves because they are seeking to operate in a public interest way and depend on the subsidies of funders who have made their fortunes in industry. The common good--what do we mean by that?
Rebecca McKinnon: How do you strength deliberative democracy? At the same time there are issues about legality that need to be looked at....There is a huge fight going on about municipal wireless and what the rate for access will be and this ties back to legislation...this is where we need to look..
Weinberger: IWhen you go one level down, do we all believe in the same thing? I am not sure we do.
We do have a private organization our digitizing the world's great libraries--Google. So, which is better for the common good--for Google to own those libraries or for the government to own those archives?
Also, I think it would be great for the common good if newspapers owned up their archives--but there are business issues--do we we all agree?
Jan Schaffer: One of the most robust areas we're seeing is non profit media--there is alot of media looking to get a social return on the investment--this is evolving and may well supplant a profit model.

Whose News, round one:

Some sound bites
Orville Schell: "How are young people going to make a living doing this? What is the ladder they can expect to climb up? Is all journalism moving toward a world similar to that of the magazine freelancer, where there is no structure and no hierarchy?"
Craig Newmark: "I've come here to meet Wonkette. I'm trying to see how we could help out other people and get out of the way. A major focus of all this is trust issues..but I want to assure my colleagues I will not say anything prematurely." (Tease!)
Michael Schrage, MIT: "I'm interested in discussing what is the future of peer review in editing as bloggers and media evolve."
Bill Weiss, Promar: "People want to do what they wish they could do, if only they knew they could do it--where is the market taking us?"
Len Apcar, NY Times: "The stakes have never been higher. There is a serious question in my mind whether this new medium can support the great news-gathering operations that big media represent. I don't think it can. Newspapers will have to reinvent themselves."
Jeff Jarvis: "The voice of the citizens being heard is a wonderful thing--we have to learn how to listen better...There is an excitement going on and we have to figure out how to embrace it rather than push it aside."
Bill Gannon: "How does Yahoo get our users involved in a way that makes sense for Yahoo--and for users? I find myself really drawn to ethics of value, credibility and trust...and to issues of scale and business models.'
Danny Schechter: "How does our media system server--or undermine democracy? This is an issue of responsibility beyond craft and markets."
Me: "Disruption/atomization, integration and adaption, and access--my key three issues and interests. "
Jay Rosen:"The ideas that journalists grew up with are in danger of becoming irrelevant and they need to figure out new ideas."

Liveblogging at Whose News

Gonna try some liveblogging from the Whose News? Media Technology and the Common Good discussion at Harvard, courtsey of The Media Center and The Nieman Foundation.
Introductions going on august group...hopefully some good ideas to share...The group is a mix of academics, bloggers, news and media execs, consultants and writer/reporters(with one ethnographer) and are doing their intros now...

NY Times: Master plan unfolding?

Dave Weinberger reports that the New York Times is going to create a boatload of new landing pages, using current feeds, archives and who knows what else to craft the page. Dave writes:
" is going to publish thousands of topic pages, each aggregating the content from the 10 million articles in its archive, going back to 1851, including graphics and multimedia resources. Topics that get their own page might include Boston, Terrorism, Cloning, the Cuban Missile Crisis and Condoleeza Rice. News stories will link to these topic pages. And — the Times must hope these pages, with their big fat permanent addresses, may start rising in Google's rankings. "
Susan sez: Interesting. Not only is this for news, but it lays a nice framework to launch citizen journalism and integrate via a good search application (like Technorati?), with RSS feeds, of course.
If the Times did integrate blogosphere content-and blogs--into its new architecture--it could have a potentially powerful effect(say pushback?) that could help beat back the tide of Craigs List, popular pro bloggers, etc.

Podcasting could (will) cost ya

Michael May's detailed potential costs to comply with ASCAP's new licensing requiring podcasts that play ASCAP titles be licensed. He's saying it's gonna take $750 plus to (legally) DJ via podcast.

With a little help from my Friend(sters)

Blogging software company Six Apart's done a distribution deal with Friendster for Friendster blogs, joining search company Eurekster as a source to round out the Friendster offering. According to exec Loic Le Meur, Six has also launched a UK and a Finnish service.
Can anyone say localization, neat?
When do we get Typepad Russia?
Seriously, this is one of Six Apart's great strengths--watching Netscape struggle with localization back in the day was a good prep for appreciating the global view taken by these folks.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Let the (branded) newsreaders roll

How fast can you say media flavor of the moment?
The Denver Post's launching a custom/branded newsreader with Newsgator, and others are sure to follow--
3 months ago, I thought this was absolutely what online news sites should do, but I now wonder it many of these projects will succeed--new features like newsreaders need to be integrated into bigger sites to successfully acquire their existing readers as new users--will Denver Post and others take on the level of integration ideally required?

March 9, Free Webcast: The Vanishing Newspaper: Survival and Public Service in the Age of We Media

FREE Webcast: The Vanishing Newspaper: Survival and Public Service in the Age of We Media
March 9, 2005, 2:00-3:30 ET, online
From the Media Center:
How can historic mass-media institutions use new communications trends and tools to once again take possession of credibility and public service, replant them in journalism's firmament, and transform themselves into vibrant 21st-century media enterprises?

This online discussion will be led by Jeff Jarvis,with discussants:

* Phil Meyer, Knight Chair in Journalism, UNC, Chapel Hill; author of The Vanishing Newspaper: Saving Journalism in the Information Age
* Stefan Dill, Online Editor,
* Mary Lou Fulton, Publisher,, the Bakersfield Californian
* Tim Porter, newspaper analyst and blogger

To find out more or to register, go here.

Rafat Ali: Billboard buys some blogging talent

The Billboard/Paid Content-powered blog on the digital music business went live today, illustrating the axiom that purchasing talent is a great way to jump into the middle of the game.
Billboard's first blog (though presumably not their last) is a Rafat Ali edited (and mostly written right now) daily news sheet.
Given the numbers of junior bloggers enlisted to break in via Denton and Calcanis, the Ali deal offers a different model--lease some top talent to a company with bucks and a desire for industry presence. AOL did it with John Scalzi, kinda, MediaBistro did it with Spiers, but this is the cleanest deal so far--and one I expected will be replicated in other trade categories.
What does Billboard get from this play?
Audience and relevance.
What does Paid Content get?
Cold, hard cash, one hopes.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

What Will You Do If You See an Injured Animal on the Road?

Dave Pollard passes along advice from Making Kind Choices : Everyday Ways to Enhance Your Life Through Earth- and Animal-Friendly Living a new book by Ingrid Newkirk of PETA .
If you're one of those people who stops for strays, etc., Dave's passing along good advice.
And if you're not, then skip it.

By popular demand: Craigslist populates outer space

Craig is having some chuckles at the notion of expanding into the (Marklar) galaxy.
A Feb 28 press release sez:
"Today craigslist, global leader in local classifieds and online community, announced plans to offer its users the opportunity to have their postings transmitted trillions of miles beyond the confines of the Solar System. craigslist currently handles 5 million earthly postings each month, from 8 million humans, in 99 cities and 19 countries on the planetary surface.

"It looks like we may hit 2 billion page views per month in March here on Earth," noted craigslist customer service rep and founder, Craig Newmark. "We wanted to be the first to offer free job postings, apartment listings, personals and other classifieds to the extraterrestrial community. We believe there could be an infinite market opportunity," chuckled Craig as he turned back to his computer screen to respond to craigslist customer service emails."

You know, this kind of thing is why the rest of the country thinks Californians are wierd.

Webjay teams with Blogdigger

Webjay, great home for playlists, is getting help from search engine Blogdigger to provide better tools for users.
Specifically, Webjay will use Blogdigger's Media Search technology to provide enhanced audio and video search to quickly finding audio/video content.
In turn, Blogdigger will promote Webjay's PlayThisPage technology.
These are both cool litle services.

Blogging while compulsive

No, I'm not getting up and running to the keyboard when I wake up at 2:30 am for a pee, but I am getting close.
How else can I explain that it's 1 am in NY and here I am, blogging away?
Yep, Miss Infojunkie over here is a little, uh, compulsive.
Addicted to Bloglines.
Reading far too many Google Alerts.
And fueling it with way too much coffee and Diet Coke.
Oh yeah, and calling it fun.
You know what this is ?
A hobby that turned into the Id Monster (remember, Forbidden Planet?)
Those dancing red shoes.

Heading for the snow, East, that is

In NY and Boston for a bit...flying today.
Back to the blog...later.

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