Saturday, April 30, 2005

Mforma: Barry Schuler snagged Jon Sacks for them

Seattle Post Intelligencer story on X-AOL exec and NYer Jon Sack's move to leader of Mforma: Schuler recruited him out of retirement.
Explaining the move to Mforma, Sacks is quoted as saying"The most interesting part of this for me is that there are 1.9 billion cell phone handsets in use everyday. To me, that is the addressable market -- it is no different than the AOL business, the movie business, the television business or the book business. You just have to figure out what consumers want through that device" and "I only have one style, which is I want to make more money."
Sacks will be based in SF.

Takes on Topix

Had lunch last week with Topix guys Rich Skrenta and Chris Tolles at their beautiful Palo Alto offices (like, above the trophy shop). The conversation ranged from work focus post-acquisition to the legal issues around packaging up feeds.
For those who are interested in learning more about this very nimble company, some info from the talk:

Skrenta says that they want to become THE local home page for news around the US, as well as a major revenue driver for local advertising, but that they are also deeply involved with partner strategies (no surprise given they were just acquired by three newspapers).

Susan sez: It's going to be very interesting to see how development progresses, given that they are lean team (10 people) with three big parent companies that probably have a well-developed wish list already on the table.

Google News and the redistribution of licensed content

A quick analysis of a day's worth of Google News data to see what news entities were most frequently quoted and where their data originated demonstrated that the sources Google often lists as their point of origin frequently redistribute stories created elsewhere, often by Reuters or the AP , and licensed to the news entity.
For example, a review of stories picked up on Google News from their top ten sources for April 24, 2005, showed that 14 of the 50 top stories citied by Google News were listed as originating at ABC News, New York Times, Xinhua, Guardian , Bloomberg , Los Angeles Times, Washington Post , BBC News, or Kansas City Star, were actually from an AP or Reuters source.

In other words, roughly 20% of the top stories credited by Google News on April 24, 2005 were created by a source other than that attributed on the link.

What if 20% of someone else's blog was ALL headlines and digests from your site?

Adds new insights to concerns voiced by larger news sites, doesn't it, about redistribution of their content without clearly executed agreements?

(If you want more data on my research methodology, send me a note.)

Friday, April 29, 2005

Yahoo content staffing: Adding multiple layers?

X-AOLer Shawn Hardin's joining Yahoo! in Santa Monica as VP for content operations, a spot parallel to the one that MSNBC's Scott Moore just started.
Susan sez: Saw an LA friend last night who wondered what news honchos like Craig Forman and Neil Budde might feel about all the layers of management being added to the new Santa Monica division.
Reasonable question, eh?

Update: Ken is pals with Shawn

Noted: Media

J-Lab awards first citizen journalism grants.
Om Malik: Yahoo News is so vanilla.
Jay Rosen: News people...Can they migrate across the chasm? (Susan sez: I think many can...but can their companies?)
Anthony Townsend: One of my favorite researchers/thinkers is joining The Institute for the Future--and moving to the West Coast.
Global Voices: For an international perspective, add this to your newsreader, along with editors weblog.
Analyst Mary Meeker: The Age of Engagement, her preso from Ad:Tech.
Why isn't the AP more like Napster? Two members issue a challenge via OJR. Worth a read in a big way.

Also: Doc Searls--What blogs are--and what they are not--preso from Lesblogs.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Transparency: Xian is looking for work

Fellow Bay area blogger Christian Crumlish is looking for work, and he's posted a note about his search.
If you have job leads for writing/editing/project management spots, Xian is interested...check him out.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Da Borg: Google's ad network expands

Nate Eliott: 'Google, which absurdly still claims that its sole mission is to "organize the world's information," is officially turning its crappy text-ad network into a crappy banner network."

Susan sez: Yep, welcome to the world's largest advertising platform.

More Mobile Media conference notes

Brian Russell of AudioActivism has some detailed notes on the Mobile Media conference.
It's been a good day so far, with lots of discussion from the attendees, the best part of the event, in my opinion (not that the speakers weren't good--they were.)
More at morph as well.

Rich Gordon: Is Google a Trojan Horse?

Rich Gordon muses on Google's Trojan Horse aspects: "But I find it interesting that Google is going to help advertisers publish ads on other sites (with graphics and animation) that they wouldn't allow on I suspect that advertisers will find it appealing to be able to go to Google and buy richer forms of advertising and request specific sites for them to appear on.

I also think that Google will sell those ads for less than what publishers are selling equivalent ads for -- just as the ad networks already do."

Mobile: Lucy Hood, SVP, Fox News

Mobile Media talk, Lucy Hood, SVP, Fox on mobile initiatives and programs: "The ability to deliver 1:1 personalized content when and where you want it is the promise of mobile media."

Buzzwords to watch:
Mobisode--video soap opera series for phones--
24 Conspiracy--downloadable 1 minute episodes.
The series runs in parallel to TV show 24.
Also, The Simple Life Mobile--Paris & Nicole intern, unsuccessfully...right on your phone--the #1 selling mobiside in America. (!)

Update: Hood says mobile is a revenue stream for Fox, but the primary focus is still as a marketing platform.

More: Hood says Fox is looking at local mobile strategies for their stations...She says "This is valuable data that needs to be supported with strong marketing programs. She says carriers are interested and this is a way to extend your reach to your readers--and deliver info to that 18-34 segment that's on the phone and buying content and services."

Noted: Mobile

Mobile Media conference in LA starts today--blogging here.
Russell Buckley's list of the 14 Best Mobile Blogs has been picked up by Howard Rheingold on (Via A2ZSMS)
Mobile Monday: Yahoo on Nokia smartphones.
Mforma: X-AOLer Jonathan Sacks is their new president and COO. Wow! Does that mean a move out of NY? Guess so...

Also: Knowledge at Wharton: Cellphones in emerging markets (Via Emergic)--Really good article.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

RIP, Andrea Dworkin

I just learned that feminist Andrea Dworkin has died, at the age of 59.
I read--and knew--Dworkin when I was fresh out of college, say 20, and what Susie Bright has written about her rings true for me from back then--
"Here's the irony... every single woman who pioneered the sexual revolution, every erotic-feminist-bad-girl-and-proud-of-it-stiletto-shitkicker, was once a fan of Andrea Dworkin. Until 1984, we all were. She was the one who got us looking at porn with a critical eye, she made you feel like you could just stomp into the adult bookstore and seize everything for inspection and a bonfire."
Dworkin went off in a direction where I did not follow, but, geeze, she rocked.

Wired obit from April 11, 2005 here.
A memorial of sorts.

Newspapers and the new world order

Jarvis has some solid data and links about declining newspaper attention and revenue and a nice plug for The Media Center's latest Synapse on the future of news.
Also, a follow-up post titled Tipping Point or Melting Point?
Meanwhile Rob Runett reports "During last week's NAA Annual Convention, McKinsey Co. consultants hired by NAA told publishers they could lose billions of classified advertising
dollars to Internet competitors unless they fight back. "
"An AP profile of San Francisco-based craigslist and other competitors added
to the uneasy feeling. The San Francisco Chronicle covered the event with
comments from NAA, industry watchers, and yes, craigslist. CEO Jim
Buckmaster challenged newspapers strategies. ""Newspapers are cutting their
investment in reporting. They're running more Associated Press wire stories
and increasing the percentage of the product they devote to advertising," he
told the Chronicle."

Susan sez: When the Craigslist guys are quoted as citizen journalism experts, you know it's past the tipping point.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Read Meredith Sue Willis

My old friend and creative writing colleague Meredith Sue Willis is also Dave Weinberger's sister in law and he says she's just published a bunch of new work--and she is a good fiction writer.
Check out her latest story "The Story of Scheherezade and Dunzyad" in The Pedestal Magazine here.
Dave adds "
And the American Book Review gives Merry's Dwight's House and Other Stories a very positive review. That book and her new sf novel, The City Built of Starships, are both finalists for Foreward Magazine's Book-of-the-Year award."

Yea, Sue!

Why talking heads are just bobble-heads these days.

Mary's in Paris, but she has some issues: "I'm sitting here at a conference that I flew all the way to Paris for.. for two days, and damned if it isn't full of panels, broadcast mode all the way, telling the audience how it is. And well.. it's so freaking undynamic. Because it's not a discussion. These are bloggers. They know a lot. They know what it is. These 300 people make media every day on their blogs and yet, panels are here giving us time to email the office, our cats or the mailman about a critical lost postcard."
More here.
The big point is that the audience has a lot to offer and talking heads are just bobble-heads these days.

Update: Elisa Camhort chews on this one and comes out...mixed.

MLB: Be a blogcaster!

Digerati scoffed when Tony Perkins asked Always On members to help him write a book, but now has not only launched an affiliate blogging service that costs $4.95 a month and up--they're telling prospective bloggers that if they sign up and do a good job, their comments will be included in blogcasts!
Hear that, Dave Weinberger? Why not show your love for the Red Sox?
The MLBlog marketing pitch is "Share your passion for baseball with people who are important to you. Post photos, comment on your favorite team, keep a season journal."

I'm lovin' this.

Richard Edelman on PR & Blogging

Richard Edelman, head of one of the largest PR agencies, is paying close attention to blogging and has an excellent post on some of April's NYC blog-related events, including the Reuters panel and the Page Society conference. The big takeaways for him are that blogs are interactive, personalized, and carry the weight of personal recommendation, a very powerful tool.
His advice to PR trying to figure out the form is useful to everyone looking at DIY content and grassroots journalism: " We have to be operating in parallel universes, continuing to do a great job with traditional media, while engaging with new media. We should help our clients create original content, and advise them to engender conversations on-line but be honest about our inability to control outcomes. We must be on top of the breaking news in companies, because news is being filled by the person who has the newest information. The coverage of tsunami initially came from survivors with cell phones or mini-cams, and delivered across the Web. Our tone in new media must reflect the different expectations of the audience, which is to demand authenticity, individuality and transparency."

Noted: Search space presos

I'm working on a piece on aggregators and news sources, which I will post later this week--meanwhile, these are interesting presos that turned up while digging around in the Infonortics April 2005 search engine meeting:

Sunday, April 24, 2005

The coolest kids are in Paris this weekend

Doc, Mary, Halley, Catrina and all sorts of other cool folk are in Paris blogging this.
Of course, I'm jealous, but hey, some of us have to work (And then for others, going to this stuff is work!)

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Swapatorium: Rubber Stamp Madess

Swapatorium's got a richly detailed interview with blogger, artist and rubber stamp collector Mike Leigh, aka A.1.Waste Paper Co.Ltd, who, as wastedpapiers, has also has posted nifty collages and art, as well as photos, on flickr.


Friday, April 22, 2005

Topix "scrapes" Bloglines & dishes cool data

So Topix's Rich Skrenta read my post and came up with some fascinating data of his own re topix and bloglines, including the fact that " has 187k subs total on My Yahoo, compared with 7k on Bloglines."
Rich also says "Our knitting feed is our 12th most popular feed; quilting is #10."
List of all topix feeds is here.

Susan says: Larger implications of feed packaging and redistribution continue to be interesting...both from an ad perspective (think of the revenue these feeds could carry and who gets the $$) and from a licensing/permissions perspective...either way, Rich, this is so interesting.

Tribe: Return of the home page plus

Tribe founder Mark Pincus whips the covers off a new Tribe feature--socially networked, recommendation-showing, classifieds-listing, event listings revealing, blog-friendly home pages--aka profile pages!
See Marc's,Elliott's and Gary's--more info here.
Tribe says plans are to possibly:
- Have your own URL (something like:
- Display information about yourself from around the web, like your amazon wishlist or your blog.
- Customize the colors and background for your page
- Show all your activity on your page

Meanwhile, the new pages have enough ads that more $$ should start rolling in.

Scoble: We changed Microsoft

Microsoft blogger Robert Scoble, whose boss just left for Skype, says: "We changed Microsoft. Today I visit and and see thousands of employees talking with their customers in new ways. I see people taking over Channel 9 (one of our favorite posters there is a Linux advocate) and I know we changed how corporations work with their customers."
Scoble's right--he and his bosses made a huge difference--keep it going on, Robert---and don't forget to keep including women and new voices in yr mix.

Susan sez: Interestingly,while there is much talk of business blogging, no big CPG companies, for example, have stepped up to try to provide equivalent value to their brand--not yet.
Folks, what are you waiting for?

Thursday, April 21, 2005


Paul Kedrosky on VC Randy Komisar's move to Kleiner-Perkins: " Kleiner seems less and less like a venture firm, and more and more like a fascinating exercise in financial feng shui."
Om Malik on Internet Anxiety Disorder, aka Turn it all off!
Julie Leung on being overwhelmed. "Already in the past month I've unsubscribed from both yahoogroups and feeds in an attempt to simplify."

Bob Stepno discusses Chris Nolan's Stand-alone journalism concept.
Former colleague John Federico and fellow blogger/consultant Mitch Ratcliffe give Audible RSS feeds --and get paid for doing it.

Ericka Menchen analyzes (Via unmediated)

Confusability scrapes Bloglines, finds good stuff

Dave Weinberger says: Confusability is scraping bloglines and noticing how people are categorizing feeds. Among the first 100 most popular folder names on Bloglines are:
  • blogs
  • news
  • tech
  • Technology
  • People
  • Politics
  • friends
  • comics
  • blog misc
Plus--here's a list of the top subscribers to feeds on Bloglines--their subscription names, number of feeds, and number of folders they have.
Interestingly, topix is #3--with 3109 feeds in 17 folders, preceeded by Renwar (Chia Renwar?) and Divedi
Among the Bloglines feed consumers that I recognized are scobelizer(1085), Phil Wolff (813), George Kelly (764), Enoch Choi(759) and Andrew Nachison (712).
Someone has a list of 3,000+ blogspot feeds.

Bubblegeneration: Why Technorati doesn't get it anymore

Umair Haque:"Technorati, and I think most blog aggregators, have misunderstood the strategic landscape created by the economics of feeds."
And "The feedreader, I suspect, is becoming the browser 2.0. "
Terrific comments and ideas, here.

Susan sez: Put these thoughts about targeting, aggregation, ad revenue and newsreaders against the AFP desire to have news sites and portals license aggregated content and you have an interesting powder keg--now that tech companies may get $$ packaging others' (copy-right protected) content, is this baby gonna blow?


Update: I realized I should say that I am not convinced that Technorati doesn't get it per se--but I do agree that the whole paradigm is rapidly shifting20 degrees sideways.

Ethan Zuckerman: Measuring newspaper blog links

Ethan Zuckerman's got a neat post on ways to measure blog links against newspaper circ to gauge the *bloggiest* online newspapers (and yes, I realize that if if you care, you are part of a limited group).
Ethan finds the bloggiest include the Christian Science Monitor, New York Times, and Washington Post, and goes on to wonder whether RSS feeds play a role (Nah).

(Via Amy Gahran)

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Untethered communities,or letting virtual strangers stay at your house

Lee Fefevre lets a stranger stay in his house; Ross Mayfield writes about untethered communities--both are examples of what Jon Lebowsky describes as " communities are no longer tethered to specific technologies or virtual places. They find many ways to connect, and they keep searching for more."
For a slice of the world, loose ties become stronger with the aid of social media tools...
Is this happening for you?
If yes, how so?
If no, why not?

Rojo launches,officially

Rojo's live and out there--and I'm quoted in the press release.
Congrats to the team!
I remember when this was an idea we'd sit around and discuss in the Canvas Gallery in SF, and now it's in GM release--how cool is that?
So go kick the tires and send'em some feed back.

Update: Enoch Choi tries to link to me on Rojo--problem is fixed; Jeff Clavier has a long and through appraisal.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

MacManus steps out

Happy Birthday, Read/Write Web--and way to go, Richard!
The blog is 2 and Richard's just gotten two solid gigs in the blogosphere--pretty, pretty good, as Larry David would say.

We bad: Britney Spear's playlist

What's on Britney's iPod? Read and roar (with laughter, that is.)
(Via Stereogum)

Rodale snags MNSBC newsie as VP/Ed director

Rodale Interactive's hired long-time MSNBC news hound Michael Silberman to be their new VP/Editorial Director, overseeing a network of web sites, and presumably, plans to move Rodale's rich health and wellness content into the 21st century with more rich media, video and photography, not to mention those funny things called RSS feeds.
Knock'em dead,boychick.

(Via Paid Content)

AP changes pricing structure, will charge for online usage

CBS News story: The Associated Press will now collect additional fees for online use of its content, but will reduce memberships charges to balance out the new costs, in essence making online a trackable revenue stream for the membership organization. A new digital commitee will help set pricing and advise on the shift.
Will charging bloggers be next? Mum's the word.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Halley's at MSN's Search Camp

Halley on why search engines are like yogurt containers: "We really don't know what we're buying when we make a decision to search in Google or MSN or Amazon's A9. (Maybe all the geeks do, but "regular folks" don't.) I'm not saying I want to know the mind-numbing details of the search algorithms, but I would like some sort of product description of what I'm actually searching through to help me know what search engine I need."

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Worth a read

Read/Write Web: RSS and the Big 3
Ypulse: Youth Marketing Mega Event Day 3
SF Chronicle: Verizon's Ivan Seidenberg needs a vacation (or he's a jerk) (Via Dan Gillmor)
More Seidenberg ridicule here.
Evhead: The tools, aka web apps, that his start-up uses (Odeo)
Cyberjournalist: Innovative online news coverage. Feedster's got a deal--just in time for further domination of the local DMA and all Sox fanatics worldwide--to add Feedster data to a branded page. (Oddly enough, the logo isn't hot yet).
In addition, while the Boston Red Sox page has dozens of links, even pix of players' dogs, the feedster page isn't linked in yet (or at least I couldn't find it.)
(Via Mr. Steve Rubel)

Manolo, unmasked, kinda

I am pretty nyc has an interview with superfantastic shoe blogger Manolo--it's sweet and if you're not visiting Manolo's sites, you're missing somethin.'
Of course, Kim doesn't reveal any of Manolo's real secrets...

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Licensing, AP & Google News

Jarvis has a post about the Associated Press' conversations with Google about using their news and information without an operating agreement. He says: "In this new world of distributed media, if you're not aggregated, you're nowhere" and "So if the AP pulled its content out of GoogleNews, it would be pulling traffic away from its members -- its owners -- and that would be a big mistake."

Jeff's points are good, but it's completely fair and appropriate for the AP to want Google to execute a similar licensing agreement to the ones it has with AOL and Yahoo--why wouldn't they want that?

As a member coop, AP's job is to provide services to and for its members--and that includes a pass-back of licensing and ad revenue. Requiring an agreement with GoogleNews makes good business sense.

But..on the other hand, when Jeff says AP should make the terms work or "Otherwise, they will become the dead trees that fell in the forest and no one was there to read or watch them" I completely agree.

One of the big lessons of our time, I'm convinced, is watching the old legacy media businesses struggle to cope with the new rules--or lack of them. Although AP is well within its scope to want to have an executed deal, that doesn't mean more nimble organizations won't have a significant competitive advantage in this shifting world--the law of perpetual revolution dictates they will.

AP will undoubtly get what they want--and need--from Google.
But that alone will not make them successful.
But neither will bending the rules.

(Disclosure: 5ive has consulted for AP)

Update: Terry Heaton adds to this discussion,

Blog counting: Blogger division

Marketwatch reports Blogger has 8 million blogs, according to the latest Perseus study.
Brian Hampson bets 7.9MM have just one entry.
What does Phil Wolff think?

On a somewhat related note, Blogger's Jason Shellen was at the Rojo lunch, and I slammed him for Blogger's terrible performance last week. He explained some hardware had (tragically) failure seems like something else Blogger should fix--but then, there should be no major problems in a mainstream consumer product, right?

Friday, April 15, 2005

Dan Pacheco: Defining community

Dan's Diner: "I now believe that anything -- whether it be online, in print, on a cell phone, or in some other medium -- that connects people with each other is a community tool, and if the people who use it meet each other through it, they are by virtue of that fact "a community." This is why I now even see things like Classifieds as community...Communities are about connections, period."

Dan is so right.

Orkut anniversary party DNA Lounge April 23

Anyone planning to go to the Orkut party in San Francisco next weekend? DNA Lounge. Saturday.
Oh yeah, that's Passover.
Never mind.

Straight outta beta: Rojo, next-gen newsreader

Rojo CEO Chris Alden and crew invited some bloggers and press to come by the Folsom Street digs and see the new and improved Rojo next gen newsreader. As some of you know, I worked with Chris ,Kevin Burton, Mark Graham and Tim Caitlin on Rojo's very early stages, so it is really nice to see the product get to this point.
What's the customer value?
Well, Rojo offers users a relationship-oriented, multi-view newsreader/aggregator tool that discovers, shares, and classifies information in ways that Bloglines does not.
Some of the feature of note:
Om Malik and Steve Gillmor were in the group--they sparked some interesting discussion of mobile posting and attention.xml, as well as the potential to morph a tool like Rojo into a web services play.

Looking forward to seing the user adaption path... and the new features not yet rolled out.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Noted: Mediarati

Editor's Weblog: Murdoch gets blogging, podcasting, and digital media.
Jeneane Sessum: Layoff or Shitcanned: Two Paths to Blog Freedom.
The Alarm Clock: John Battelle teases out his new business.
Amy Gahran: 70+ podcasting shows by women.
Doc Searls: edhat online mag rocks Santa Barbara.
Lisa Williams talks about hyperlocal news (check out the movie).

Ken Sands: Teaching journalists to be bloggers

Great post over at MORPH by Ken Sands on the above--with advice for newsies to follow.

All Consuming: The 43 things version

43 Things' Erik Benson's given new life to his book site, All Consuming, and turned it into a 43 Things for books. Recreated with flickr-like tags (think of the book title as the object) from registered users, the site (still) offers RSS feeds against members, book titles, tag topics, etc.

Rufling through the screens, I can't help wondering if this is a playground for 43 Things to launch more multiple (targeted) services--43 Places, or 43 Friends, or 43 Jobs, or....

I loved All Consuming back in the day, but don't know that I would haunt this new version in the same way-still, glad Erik's given it new life.

(Via where there's smoke)

Wednesday, April 13, 2005


Biz Week: Ain't tagging grand? (piece on tagging in general and in particular (funding info here.)
Hypergene: A new interview with the very smart Richard Sambrook, director of the BBC Global News division.
Scripps: Can the newspaper publisher make the move to cable-and survive on the web? Kim Garretson thinks so. (I'm not convinced.)
Jay Rosen: New blood for old panels--Deb Galant, Lisa Williams, and others--all great choices.
Flickr: Unhappy Disneyland photos (poignant and hysterical) (Via BB and Disney Blog)
Halley: Gender spam. What's that? Read this.

Blogher conference:July 30th

The Blogher conference is really happening--July 30th in Santa Clara, CA.
Open to both men and women, the conference will offer chance to talk about blogging and related social media tools--from a different perspective.
Among the areas of focus are the following:
  • Discuss the role of women within the larger blog community
  • Examine the developing (and debatable) code of blogging ethics
  • Discover how blogging is shrinking the world and amplifying the voices of women worldwide
I'm proud to help support this very grass-roots, exploratory new event--the sked won't be online until May 1, but there will be some wonderful sessions--and a chance for participants to run sessions and BOF events.

Update: Video news

Play for play: blogging for bucks

OJR's Mark Glazer has a thoughtful article on payment models for bloggers, pay for performance incentives, and pay scales.
Some highlights:
Denton pays bonuses for traffic, but the payouts are banked so not all the upside gets realized for writers.
Calcanis pays a flat rate, reported here at $300-1,000 per month (which jibes with what I've heard from some of his writers)
Chris Nolan and Rafat Ali talk about wrangling--and managing--sponsors.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Pleasures of Palo Alto

Picked the dog up from the kennel and have been walking in the park with Winston (dog).
There's almost no one around at 7 am--we had a great time this morning walking up through the park and then into the neighborhood.
I met two women walking (little) dogs and saw lots of Eichler houses and sawtooth palms.
When we went out this afternoon, the Little League and soccer teams were going full tilt and lots of kids just had to pet Winston.
Meanwhile, the dog's biggest interest is how to figure out how to get me to feed him all of the Manchengo cheese.

Jarvis: Aggregation is the new scale

Jeff's got it going on: "Scale doesn't scale anymore....Aggregation is the new scale."
More than 1,000 delicious words and some great ideas here.
It's the platform and the relationships, my friends.

Noted: Buying and Selling eContent conference

Reading accounts of the Buying and Selling eContent conference:
John Blossom: 2005 is about the 4 Cs. Cooperation, Commercialization, Containerization and Consolidations (via Ross Mayfield)
Dave Weinberger: Keynote on tagging, social media and content (podcast)
Steve Goldstein: Conference comments.
(Doesn't sound like anything momenteous was discussed, but hey, I am conferenced out.)

iVillage--women's health care conglomerate?

iVillage has taken another step in its plan to offer full-service health care information (and solutions?) to women with the acquisition of HealthCentersOnline, Inc., a privately-held, leading online destination for physician-edited information on health conditions, treatments and preventative care for patients that offers a series of topic- driven sites (think heart, allergies, etc.)
For $12 million bucks, iVillage now has a rich network of medical/wellness and health content that it can build out into packaged apps (think rich media and streaming), as well as a set of sites to operate as a network (think
As the population ages, instructional video moves online, and platforms diversify, iVillage will be well-poised to grow its brand as a health information player, which in turn could support new products. (On the other hand, the company is notoriously slow to move sometimes, so this might just be a nice advertising and aggregation play--for a while.)

Monday, April 11, 2005 3.2 billion web pages from over 40 million web sites

Take that, Froogle! As of today, the beta blockers are down at, and the site is wide open for users to search for product review and recommendations.
I checked out queries for Balenciaga bag (Mary-Kate Olsen's fav) and Canon Powershot cameras.

Pretty nice.
Of course, I am super curious about what the revenue and the click-through from the paid search ads will get them in terms of revenue.
And curious how this new venture from Michael Yang, founder of, will execute its customer acquisition play.

Can you actually blog for a living and not plaster ads all over your site?

Kottke writes about his fund drive, shares ideas about funding yourself as a blogger.
Some highlights(enumerated you know where):
  • Consider advertising.
  • Think community (or cult of personality). The more investment people have in a site, the more they will be willing to pay for it.
  • Be committed to growing traffic.
  • Keep costs low.
Oh, and Jason raised enough to live on comfortably, which was his goal.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

NY Thoughts

Back from the road and digesting the talks, confabs and meetings.
What's to share? Some impressions:
  • Blogging has moved way beyond an exotic phenom for many marketers and corp comm folk. At The Page Society conference, CEOs and SVPs of big agencies said that their clients wanted to have blogs related to products, brands, and launches, and that they themselves wanted to figure out how to blog about their businesses, internally and externally. The questions now are about timing and execution.
  • (Some) bloggers are starting to feel their power. At the Reuters discussion on blogging and journalism, NYC blogerati were out in force and the PR folks were hanging on every word. Watching one 6-foot tall in high-heeled boots downtown blogger sass a couple of the Reuters honchos (who listened delightedly) was a trip.
  • It ain't just blogging. People understand there's an attention shift toward distributed and DIY media--the big question is now can they play in that space in a way that enhances their core business?
  • The boom is back. 85 jobs on the BayChi list and headhunters are calling--this means companies are rushing to align themselves to where the money is--and where the audience is going.

LA Times: Oh, my darlin' Xeni

LA Times runs a 5,000 word in-depth stoy about the exuberant editor,writer, and personality Xeni Jardin,
Xeni's multi-talented, multi-dimensional--and fairly self-made.
Written around the time of eTech, this story is both a big wet kiss and a good appreciation of one of the Net's communications stars.
Nice piece on a talented--and generous--person.
Way to go, X.

(Via John Parres, pho list)

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Dave Morgan: RSS web advertising will be big, soon

Yep, Dave (TACODA Systems) says it's a comin' and Fred Wilson is the (blogging) test case.
(Via Terry Heaton)

Seoul and Shanghai bound, late May

So I just got my tickets to Seoul and Shanghai--I'll be in Seoul for 6 days to attend and speak at The World Editors' Forum, and then take a trip to Shanghai, where an old friend now lives.
I need a decent hotel for Shanghai, introductions to some other folk to meet there, and suggestions on side trips, must-see places, etc.
First trip to Asia; excited about going to the world's most wired country (think wireless broadband), and then onto a distant city I've heard about my entire life.

Just in time for spring

X-radio guy and Doc Searls pal Dean Landsman is blogging again.
(and still hanging at Katz's deli, vegetarian's delight.)

The Long Tail vs. the bottom of the pyramid

Chris Anderson, Long Tail author, writes about the different between creating cheap, widely accessible commodities(BOP) and niche products(LT). Conclusion:
"So the Long Tail is made up of millions of niches. The Bottom of the Pyramid is made up of mass markets made even more mass. Both lower costs to reach more people, but they do so in different ways for different reasons. They're complimentary forces, but fundamentally different in their approach and aims. "
More here.
(Via Emergic)

Friday, April 08, 2005

The fine art of Jason Calcanis

Paul Kedrosky on Calcanis: "Now that's the mark of a real marketer: He gets you in promising one thing, and then socks you square between the eyes with a commercial message once you cross the transom. There's nothing wrong with that, of course, but you can learn more about business success from Jason Calacanis's skills at self-promotion than from how easily he squashes recently-minted venture associates."

Wednesday, April 06, 2005


Tammy Green: Ten Ideas for Corporate RSS Feeds
Dina Mehta: Don't let them kill RSS with DRM
BBC: Blogging from East to West

Update: Wired News story on online news sites and promise/threat of RSS....some quotes from moi.
Update 2: Okay, a personal record--mentioned in two Wired stories in one day..this one is about "Blogger Sucks."

Lucas Gonze: comments on 18-34 talk

Lucas Gonze has sent along some comments on my earlier post--
Hey Susan,
My thoughts on the questions:
* As print editors, what is the best way to bring this into our newspaper?

The most important thing for them is to realize that the old gatekeepers,
like RollingStone for musicians, are not as good an indicator as they
were. If print editors want to cover the stars the millenial generation
is interested in, they need to use barometers like BoingBoing and
* Do we need to have a writer who focuses on digital media and can
find the best bloggers etc to point to?

It's more important to become literate in internet culture. They have to
stop saying embarassingly clueless things. One litmus test issue is
unauthorized distribution, where the print media is painfully out of tune
with consensus on the internet.

And thanks for including Webjay in the talk -- very cool.

Mobile Media conference: Free/scholarships

Via Gloria Pan: Thanks to generous support from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation of Oklahoma City The Media Center has two fellowships available for the LA conference on mobile media (in addition to some already distributed), including registration fee, hotel and up to $300 travel expenses.
They'd like to hear from leaders of small, independent, alternative or startup media ventures (including bloggers) who can attend the entire program.
Please send via email a brief statement about who you are and why you're interested in the program, to

Sixfoo 660-Have you seen this?

Laughing out loud at this Yahoo!360 parody.
Click into it and see lots of pointed commentary and hysterical jokes.

(Thanks, Rick)

Notes from talk--The Real Deal: How Young Adults Spend Their Time Online

So I gave my talk at the American Press Institute Seminar on the Millennial Generation: 18-35.
Talk was entitled The Real Deal: How Young Adults Spend Their Time Online-- from RSS and SMS to peer-to-peer file sharing, find out how newspapers can tap into the new information networks, and the audience was about 40 newspaper editors and one online news producer.

Here's a summary of the ideas I presented and some links:
  • First of all, most people under 35 think of themselves differently in terms of identity and affiliation than their counterparts did 20 years ago.
  • Specifically, people identify less with their town or region, and more with affiliate groups or tribes--their college or fraternity for example, or NASCAR, or their mother's group.
  • This is partly because everyone moves more often, but it is also because emerging technology supports offline/online relationships.
  • What this means for newspapers, is not only do they not control a region through dominating distribution, but there is a rise in DIY (do it yourself) media that is taking attention away from traditional media products.
  • In other words, when people can blog, share photos, plan outings, share music and music playlists, meet friends of friends and share ideas and notes online, not to mention remixes, videos, recipes, knitting patterns, home theatre plans, and so on, the attention that 18-34 year olds (and lots of other people I know) have to give to newspapers and other big media becomes greatly diminished (and then there's all that cable TV they're watching, as well...)
  • And then there are the trading and transactional communities, and the local news blogs, and...
So I showed them the following and talked about them as examples of categories and behaviors.:
(Note: this was a sophisticated crew of American and Canadian editors, but most of them were unfamiliar with most of these sites and services)
I also touched on tagging and how it's a form of user-generated content and content management.
We had good discussions during the talk, with some of the following points/questions coming up:
  • As print editors, what is the best way to bring this into our newspaper?
  • Do we need to have a writer who focuses on digital media and can find the best bloggers etc to point to?
  • Is it appropriate to find local bloggers and include/quote them in the paper?
  • If yes, what are the liability issues?
  • Aren't bloggers more liberal and unreliable that reporters? In other words, if we link to them, will our more conservative readers be outraged?
Any thoughts or comments? Email smernit at aol dot com and I will post them.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Zen Judaism (What, you don't call?)

Not quite kosher koans, via Brad Feld:
  • If there is no self ... Then whose arthritis is this?
  • Let your mind be as a floating cloud. Let your stillness be as the wooded glen ... And sit up straight. You'll never meet the Buddha with such rounded shoulders.
  • Be patient and achieve all things ... Be impatient and achieve all things faster.
  • To Find the Buddha, look within. Deep inside you are ten thousand flowers. Each flower blossoms ten thousand times. Each blossom has ten thousand petals ... You might want to see a specialist.
  • To practice Zen and the art of Jewish motorcycle maintenance, do the following ... Get rid of the motorcycle. What were you thinking?
More here.

Dream Mergers: Anyone can play

Ross Mayfield's started a clever thread--what are your *ideal* aka dream mergers?
Some from the wiki via Ross and Jeff Clavier:
  • SixApart acquires FeedBurner
  • Google picks up
  • IBM acquires JotSpot, connects its back-end to Lotus Notes, and makes it its entry level collaboration platform
  • Microsoft buys Expedia
  • Google buys Encyclopędia Britannica and makes the content available for editing via Wikipedia.
Add entries here.

Blogrunner: The Annotated NY Times

A company called Blogrunner has created an annotated NY Times that shows the link citations for every article in the paper (or so it seems.)
The site is very cool, but I couldn't help noticing the careful balance they strike between lifting out articles (they only print the digests) and enhancing the Time's content with digests from bloggers' feeds.--In other words, The Annotated NY Times is potentially a great test case--assuming the site starts running ads--to see how Big Media and bloggers feel about a packager making money off their work.

Steve Rubel)

Update: Gabe at memorandum sez:
BTW#1, did you notice: they lift full entries from blogs, but only excerpts from the NYT. (Excerpt size inversely related to legal team size! :D )

BTW#2, Jason Calacanis (of course!) has voice concerns...back in 2003:

Categorizing the world? quotes How Not to Blog on the joys of assigning everything--and everyone--in the world a virtual squew:
"Every person, place, thing, and event would be assigned a unique ID (this can be automatically done for both new and current entries). One could then form or enable the formation of a relationship with anything in the database merely by copying and pasting the ID. Put it in your blog profile, mobile phone, an email, feed reader, or other field in your client. It will automatically know what it is because of its categorically-oriented ID, and how to organize it in your profile. You could even select the type of relationship you have with it ("relationship key") from a list of relationship types."

This caught my attention for two reasons:
a) the privacy issues
b) the categorization issues

One of the things I find so intriguing about tagging is what I perceive as it's messy, organic nature-it's disorganized, but discoverable through search.

Taxonomy, on the other hand, is organized and structured--and expensive as hell to create.
So this idea of squews seems pretty arduous--unless someone assigns them at random, first come first served, in which case we'd be living in The Phantom Tollbooth.

Craig tip on flight cancellations

Craig Newmark's got a good tip on handling flight cancellations by requesting a seat on another carrier.
Why do I think he got caught in the same East coast delays that I did?

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Preparing talk on emerging technology, media and 18-34 yr old attention/focus

In DC at the American Press Institute.
Talking tomorrow about 18-34 year olds and their media/social media behaviors to a group of newspaper people. Planning to show and talk about examples of:
  • IM
  • ICQ
  • P2P
  • Classifieds and transactional communities
  • Blogs
  • Citizen Journalism
  • News aggregators and RSS feeds/syndication
  • Podcasting and DIY digital video
  • Music playlists
  • BitTorrent and streaming media tools
  • Moblogging and photo sharing
  • Multi-player real time gaming
What attention-sinks am I leaving out that should be mentioned?

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Scoble and Gillmor on Attention.xml

Read this.
No muss, no fuss attention.xml run-down.

Reuters debate on Tuesday

I'll be at the Tuesday Reuters discussion on blogging and media.
So, who else from the NY blogging community is attending?
Perhaps we can turn this into a going out for drinks and food afterward revel?
Once we've settled all the questions (that should take about 90 minutes at a NYC pitch), there will be nothing left but drinks and fun, right?

Alright, no more joking (giggle). If you want to get together that night post event, let me know...Halley's in--who else?

Friday, April 01, 2005

Justine Cooper photos

Entrancing and unique gallery here:

(Via kottke)


The Well turns 20--what progeny its spawned.
Scoble: "To all bloggers and journalists, though, here's the rule: disclose your conflicts or we'll disclose them for you in a messy way." (Via things that make you go hmm)
Chris diclerico and Stephanie Klein have a great story about a homeless 20-yr old in NYC: "The kid spends all day looking for ass in all the wrong places. He eats leftover sweets from Starbucks or strangers. He saves what little money he gets for cleaning himself." The comments are priceless.
Roxanne & friends punks Michelle Malkin.

Narc Denton:Another loving parody

Narc Denton: YABP (yet another blog parody) of Gawker's BlogLord.

Mernit logistics and travel

Moved into the new place and really appreciating it.
Heading to DC and NY next week...if you want to meet up, send me a note.

Blogging best practices discussion

Some disagreement and other best practices from Teal Sunglasses (via Phil Ringalda). Chuqui sez (abbreviated version)
  • Don't be first: be interesting.
  • Don't blog because you should
  • it's your blog. Write it the way that you feel most comfortable, about things you are most interested, in a way that you enjoy. Otherwise, you're going to grow to hate it, and your discomfort (unhappiness, hate, etc) will show through to the readers. If you don't like/love what you're doing, why should they? But your love for what you do will infect those around you.
The great thing about blogging is that there are no rules. It's so easy to experiment and see what works.
And what works for you--hey, that's an answer.

April Fool: Bob's Fridge

A loving--and funny--parody of Romensko here.
(Via Bruce Koons, thanks!)

New: Bloglines adds podcasting directory

In addition to blogs, news feeds, UPS data, weather and so on, Bloglines now also offers a podcasting directory.
The marketing copy sez:

"Experienced podcast listeners like to use Bloglines to monitor for updates and get notification when new podcasts are available, so they never miss episodes of their favorites".


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