Tuesday, May 31, 2005

BlogHer: SixApart to sponsor attendees--how about you?

Six Apart's Mena Trott and Deb Schultz have just announced that the company will cover expenses for 5 women bloggers from their community (ie using one of their software platforms) to come to the BlogHer conference in Santa Clara, CA on July 30.
Details are here.

How about everyone else running a social media company out there in the blogosphere?

Admission to the conference is $99--for a relatively small sum, you could sponsor attendees from your area, local attendees, or attendees from overseas (think Korea and Brazil, for example)--how about it?

(Susan says: I am paying costs for two local attendees via the scholarship fund.)

Krishna Bharat: Time out to gush

I know I should be amazingly cool and pretend that it didn't give me a total thrill to meet Google's Krishna Bharat, but that would be a lie. Meeting Krishna and chatting with him will definitely be one of the high points of the trip (another might be sitting cross-legged in the Korean Folk Village eating kim chee and ribs with Rich Skrenta and his wife--nothing like travelling 6,000 miles to dine with your neighbor from California).
Anyway, Bharat is smart, refreshingly low-key and very passionate about Google News and the service's committment to provide multiple viewpoints on an event via story clusters.

Chatting, Skrenta asked Bharat if they had any plans to index more video. Bharat said no, but pointed out that Google News is indexing some podcasts (?)--or at least the text transcripts that link to podcasts (think NPR). Currently based in Bangalore, Bharat still oversees Google News, but has also been hiring for a small Google engineering office in Bangalore.

Impressions of Korea

My very short visit to Korea so far has been limited to an elite downtown area, so these perceptions are squewed--but still, some thoughts about Korea--and Seoul in particular, with the acknowledge they are just impressions:

JD Lasica gets married--again

Okay, just kidding. JD's announced he's going to be the Executive Director of Ourmedia.org, whichs sounds like almost as big a committment.

New: Search 4 RSS

MacManus: "Search 4 RSS is a neat RSS search engine with some great add-ons. It features a directory of 125,000 RSS feeds, including ability to rate feeds. It also has an in-built web-based Aggregator and a Podcasting Player. "

World Editors Forum: Ito, Gillmor, Bharat, Sussman, Oh

I posted yesterday about digital media sessions of the World Editor's Forum, and commented at length about talks by Dan Gillmor, Joi Ito, Barry Sussman and Krishna Bharat, but I also took a bunch of pictures. A couple are posted below--the full slew are over here at flickr.

Bonus: GREAT pictures by Robb Montgomery of Chicago Sun-Times and Visualeditors.com of Seoul and the conference are here.

Here's a couple shots:

Gillmor, Skrenta, Bharat, Nachison line up for a mug shot at WEF, Seoul
Joi and Dan take questions
WEF's John Burke and editor(and future blogger)Hakeen Bello of Nigeria.

Steve Gillmor gets serious

Steve Gillmor's got an attention-worthy post this week over at Inforouter. Not only does Steve come clean on some of the stresses of the last 6 months and then some, he gets into a discussion of the line between the personal and the technological that, while unique to the tech community, will sound awfully familiar to anyone trying to exhort others to get something done (especially outside of a boss/subordinate framework). He writes: "In recent weeks I?ve watched myself, almost from an out-of-body perspective, reach out and challenge the notion of my most valuable professional relationships" and goes on to discuss some of the public tussles, with Adam Bosworth and others, over attention.xml.
He says "I don't pretend to have all the answers about how to navigate in what I believe is a fuindamentally altered world of discovery, innovation, and relationships. The forces unleashed by blogging, podcasting, and RSS in general have torn down the Berlin Wall between ideas and implementation, with best practices lying in shambles on the newly tilled ground"--
and that's the part that gets my attention--
We are in a marketplace of ideas, they are coming fromn everyone, and many have value--
Steve's post speaks to me because it's honest and clear--but also questioning how to get the world to move forward on a technology concept he cares a great deal about.

Midnight at the Oasis

It's 8:15 am on Monday in California, and 12:17 am Tuesday here in Seoul.
In the past 36 hours, I have started to see a bit of Seoul, an interesting new city, and have met dozens of people from all over the world: Egypt, Cameroon, Mali, Jordan, Finland, Germany, Italy, Nigeria, China, France, India, the UK and Korea.
I met and talked with Krishna Bharat, creator of Google News, and helped two people start blogs (hope to help a whole bunch more!).
I've told 5 people about Skype, and three about Feedster, Technorati, PubSub and Blogdigger.
Planning for Shanghai and now Beijing is almost complete--just have to work out hotel and tickets for the new leg of the trip.
Attending a global conference is wonderful; I'll post some pictures and share impressions of where the attendees are re social media tomorrow am.

Monday, May 30, 2005


Peterme: "Snapfish, Ofoto, and Shutterfly have been playing a sucker's game, trying to generate revenue from prints of digital images."
CNN: Yahoo! sued over woman's nude photos, profile. (Via Corante)
Hollywood Reporter on ABC's plans to cover the Indy 500: "ABC Sports will deploy more than 70 broadcast cameras around the 2.5-mile track, including a camera on the same type of 87-foot Strada crane used to film 1997's "Titanic," 15 robotic cameras to cover the action on the track and in the pits and up to 36 wireless cameras on board 12 different cars." (Via Parekh and Bergman)

Sally Falkow: "We had a number of clients interested in RSS feeds this week--a visitor and convention center, a major software company, a national park."
Jane Genova on the 'I'd rather be blogging syndrome': "... it takes a recovering sufferer of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and, yes, Zoloft does the trick for moi in taming this disorder) to recognize how seductive grassroots media is. Both producing it and consuming it.

Blogging over at Editor's Weblog and Morph

Posting at the editorsweblog.org and morph--more here--including pictures--later.

More Noted: WEF Mobile

WEF weblog, round-up on news and mobile:
Park Chang-hee, General Manager of JoongAng Ilbo Strategic Planning: "...The demand for newspaper journalism will always exist but newspapers themselves need to be open to new technologies."
Torry Pedersen, Online Editorial Director at VG Norway: "Mobile is replacing the internet as the medium of choice not only in receiving news, but in reporting it."
Frode Ugland, Business Development, Mobile Operations, Telenor:" Younger generations are rarely paying for newspapers, but that they are used to paying for content through their mobile phone bill."
Jim Chisholm, Future of the Newspaper.com: "Mobile technology provides the perfect medium for newspapers to expand their reach and increase revenue." (Good examples, here).

Bonus links(tangentially related):
Overture, aka Yahoo Search Services, to provide paid-search for Yahoo's WAP portal--how about local mobile search? (Via Mobile Technology Weblog)
Reuters reports that consultancy TMNG Marketing's latest study says 13-24 year olds are most interested (read likely to pay for) commercial-free radio over mobile phones and the ability to download music to phones. But you knew that, right? (Via The Feature)

Sunday, May 29, 2005

WEF preview: Dan Gillmor's keynote

Dan Gillmor's posted the speech he is giving later today at the World Editor's Forum in Seoul (hey , it's 6am, Monday,here in Korea).
some points from the whole:
And just as we should listen to the voices from the edges of networks, the citizen journalists -- people who are doing journalistic work -- would do well to listen to the people who do it for a living. We professionals aren't perfect, far from it, but we have learned a useful technique or two in the past century of this trade."

Gillmor goes on to flag thoroughness, accuracy, fairness and transparency as key skills to value--and teach, and to conclude:
"Citizen journalists are not the enemies of professional journalists, though they will make us furious from time to time, especially when they criticize what we do. They are part of an emergent ecosystem."

Bonus: Speaking about his new citizen journalism site, Bayosphere, Gillmor says "I will be a host, not the editor."

More on this later today.

Seoul: CoEX Mall aka technology is everywhere

Seoul: Walked through the COEX mall, a popular underground mall loaded with shops, eateries, an acquarium, and lots of people strolling on Sunday aftermoon. Took some shots reflecting how technology seems a natural part of everything--posting as well on Flickr.

Huge movie megaplex, jammed with folks

HP display, a place to hang out and meet friends

Reminds me of Minority Report

People wait to use the computer area inside MacDonald's

In the middle of the mall, a 15X 15 foor booth where people can play Warcraft on big screens--it's jammed with teen boys, of course

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Daily Candy expanding to London

According to a recent Guardian story, Bob Pittman-owned fashion/lifestyle newsletter Daily Candy's just hired Kinvara Balfour, an aristocratic former Daily Telegraph Saturday magazine style editor, to launch a London edition.
While the Guardian author seems to think style and shopping email epistles are the next lucrative frontier, it's not clear what kind of bucks these businesses are bringing in--on the other hand, it's relatively inexpensive to jump in, even if the market is crowded (viz slny, flavorpill, dazed and confused, and urban junkies, all ny or london focused.)

Susan sez (kinda a side note): Besides, it's also not clear why anyone would prefer these babies to highly focused and super-creative resources such as Manolos Shoe Blog, The Bag Lady, Cool Hunting, Tree Hugger and many other great product blogs.

In Seoul, Asiana rocks

Flew to Seoul last night and found myself wishing United could be more like affiliate airline Asiana.
Let's see, the seats were farther apart, the blankets and pillows were better, the airplane was more spacious and I ended up sleeping for most of the night--which didn't happen the last time I braved a redeye in the US.
Also appreciated the Korean dinner of small protein and lots of veggies, the stretching exercises on the video, and the 'hey-it's-morning' birthday party and magic show the crew conducted for passengers--which somehow led to a gaggle of little kids clutching flowers made out of balloons and adults holding gift bottles of wine.
At first glance, Seoul looks like LA, New York, and a bit of Honolulu--high rise sprawl, tropical foliage(okay, NY doesn't have that) and lots o people (thought it's pretty quiet at 6 am on Sunday, which is when I rolled in.)
Heading over to the conference in a couple of hours after a quick nap...I want to go explore right now, but my eyes are crossing.

Merrill Brown to lead News21, Carnegie/Knight effort

Former MSNBC.com honcho Merrill Brown, author of the recent Carnegie Report on the future of news, will play a key role in the rollout of the Carnegie/Knight effort to improve journalism education--and hopefully news presentation and production--as an outgrowth of that initiative.

Brown will become the national director of News 21, aka News for the 21st Century, a significant piece of the effort specifically focused on what he describes as "coordinating efforts at four of the universities to produce important journalism, creating new ways to deliver and present it and launching an Internet site to serve as the platform for the project."

Brown's presumed bosses will be the deans at the four J-schools involved: Funding comes from the Carnegie and Knight foundations, which are kicking in $4.1 million for the first two years of operation.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Wordpress developer--for a client

For a client, I'd like to hear from WordPress developers who have done larger scale and multiple user implementations. West side of the contry (US and Canada preferred), but location isn't crucial. Please email me or leave in comments.

Jammed all day; flying tonight

Next post will be from Korea--unless it's from the airport.
Everything is arranged and now it's time for a very long plane ride.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

If RSS is a traffic jam, who gets through first?

Peter Caputa's got a post about RSS and internet advertising that does a good job arguing the point that RSS is empowering new ad models--but he misses the point that Matt McAllister and I are talking about content/information, not advertising, and that RSS can disintermediate content just as surely as search did/does.
Peter says "The very definition of online advertising may be that it is always being intermediated. Until, of course, it is all pay per action."
--And he offers examples of cool API s that can be tweaked and bundled together into new tools and services, all great stuff.

But Pete--for big publishers-this ain't about advertising.
It's about companies that care about metrics like number of subscriber and number of newsstand sales having to rethink everything--from what they're willing to publish on their web site to the fact that putting up articles on their web site just isn't enough anymore--now they need to distribute via RSS and onto multiple platforms AND have new revenue models AND figure out where their audience is going--and meet them there (Xbox, anyone?) --and they are going "Wow, so fast!"

And it's not that these guys don't get it--they do--but think of them as the big Hummers tooling along the roadway, and the emerging tech/social media publishers of the world as the bicycles gliding along.

If RSS is a traffic jam, who gets through first?
And how do those guys in the Hummers cope with that? (We already know how the cyclists are doing.)

RSS :the next generation of publisher disintermediation

Matt McAllister, InfoWorld: "The day InfoWorld's top news RSS feed received more requests than our home page, I started thinking a frightening thought - RSS is doing to the Web today what the Web has been doing to print for the last several years. We have disintermediated our Web site by offering our news in an easier to access format...again."
(Via Cyberjournalist)

How true is that--
(And further, as mobile search comes in, watch for the next generation of publisher disintermediation.)

Weblogs Inc: Making big bucks-- and better margins?

Calcanis reports that WeblogsInc is pulling $2K a day in Google AdSense revenue.
While this may drive the blogophere wild, imagine what the revenue at NYTimes/About, one of Google's largest partners, looks like.
Anyone want to do the math?
(I need more coffee.)

On the other hand, look at the margins--Calcanis has gotta be wnning on that.


Always On:57% of the merchants in a recent study by IRNewsLink reports that e-mail marketing accounts for less than 10% of their online sales.
Contentious: Women in podcasting list--over 100 shows.
Bloggerati: West Coast leads in blog readers--but 30% of all Americans say they've read blogs.
Knight (and others): Major new journalism reform initiative to launch. (I would love to help work on this.)
McKinsey: Improving the education of tomorrow's journalists--the report that started the new initiative.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Dean Wright moves to Reuters

Editor and Publisher reports that former MSNBC.com editor in chief Dean Wright is joining Reuters as senior vice president and managing editor for consumer services leading editorial operations and programming for the company's consumer media services, including the online, mobile, and interactive television platforms.
Dean's a super-talented guy, and this is a smart hire.
Let's see, that makes three executive departures in three months, right?
And two cross-country moves?
Congrats, Dean.

Russ Beattie: What if my blog was ONLY in RSS

Trust Russ to think different (and be relevant) : "What if I just wanted my blog published to a community of people who felt that they liked what I was saying enough to add it to their aggregators and see it daily? Well, I could have a page that just said "Welcome to Russell's RSS Blog." and underneath there was an orange XML icon and that's it."
(Thanks, Richard)

Did AOL execs sink the Corcoran Gallery new building?

NYTimes yesterday had a story about the resignation of David Levy, President of Washington, DC's Corcoran Gallery of Art in a tussle over funding for a planned expansion.
Apparently, $30 million of the money was to come from AOL exec and concrete and stainless steel kitchen connoisseur Barry Schuler and his uber-colleague AOL honcho Bob Pittman, but after AOL stock plummeted, the museum received only $13 million of the pledges, resulting in a shortfall to their building fund.

Come on and Skype me

Yes, I just installed Skype, bought a $20 microphone/headset, plugged it and and started chatting with a friend in New Zealand.
It is cool.
So Skype me...the headset is now travelling to China/Korea with me...fun.

P.S. You don't know what Skype is? Think VOIP (voice over IP) system that allows you to make calls over the Internet--free. And it works. And it's easy.

So, Skype me, come on.

Contrarian view: RSS is disintermedating the web

Umair's got a fulsome post on how RSS doesn't take advantage of web apps--and soon it wll be fullof ads.
While I've drunk the Kool-aid deep, he's got some good points--viz:

"RSS is disintermediating the www - no kidding - of course it is. The question is, why do consumers find this useful? ...After all, RSS erases the utility consumers might derive from html, javascript, etc. I know a lot of you will disagree with me, but I think the reason is that RSS basically very efficiently destroys crappy and ever-nastier web tracking and ads."

And how about those licensing issues when any news aggregator can insert ads in their own bundles' feed assortments, but the publishers don't profit?
Yep, things are going to get interesting, as always.

Jeneane Sessum: I miss the pig

Jeneane on the neighbors' new dog: "In our old pig-owning neighbor's back yard is the kind of high-strung, purposeless animal you know is destined to die by its own hand."

Just picked up my Chinese visa

I just got my Chinese visa at the consulate in San Francisco--got a parking spot right outside, how lucky is that?
Blogging in the Canvas Gallery, waiting for some meetings to start.

Seoul: Join the talk at the World Editors' Forum

I leave for Korea and the WEF in two days.
Come take part virtually in the discussions--The Editor's Weblog will offer live blogging of the conference during the digital media part of the program ( here).
Live reports will be posted every 20 minutes from the sessions of the 12th World Editors Forum dedicated to citizen media on 30 and 31 May 2005 (6 journalists and moderators participating to the BlogConf), and there will be open comments and a chance for virtual visitors to log in and post.

If you are a blogger or journalist and would like a log in, please email John Burke at Editor's Weblog.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Julie Leung: Blame and courage

Julie: "I'm setting a pattern of assigning blame to someone else. First it was Doc's fault I burned the soup. Then it's due to Dave that I didn't make lunch on time yesterday. Next I should blame our architect for designing a desk in my kitchen so that I developed the habit of checking aggregators while preparing meals."

Julie's humorous post turns into a perceptive riff on Lawrence Lessig's disclosure of child abuse (courageous man) and how pain and wanting to right wrongs can "connect us together," as Julie says.

A beautiful and meaningful piece, inspired by a hero.

Ventura County Star: Newspaper site reinstates comments

Problem solved, we hope: The Ventura County Star, one of the country's more innovative local web sites (okay, newspaper based-web site) removed comments from articles and blog posts a few days ago, due to out of control flaming and hate speak.
As of today, comments are reinstated, with a new policy that says:"All comments are routed through our online registration system. A script attaches the registered name to the comment. It also allows us to identify the email address that was used in registration. (And thanks to our friends at our sister newspaper Naples Daily News for doing this for us.)

That allows us to contact via email anyone who files objectionable comments. If they persist, we can block their registration in addition to blocking their IP address."

There's more, but this is a great example of addressing a problem and moving on.
And of having the courage of your convictions.
And convictions, period.

Tom Foremski takes Manhattan

Tom Foremski visits Manhattan and walks, uh, tall: "As a semi-famous blogger journalist with a burn rate that could lead to flame-out, I sometimes enjoy playing the part of what I'd like to be: a successful micro-media mogul. The poorer I get, the more affluent I like to appear. If I look like a million bucks, I probably could do with a million bucks."

Reading now 2: The Only Sustainable Edge

Also reading John Hagel III and John Seely Brown's The Only Sustainable Edge, Why Business Strategy Depends on Productive Friction and Dynamic Specialization. This Harvard Business School book focuses on the need for companies to develop outsourcing capabilities--not just to save money--but as a means of focusing their organizations and working with other groups as equally focused.
The implications for American workers trouble me, but the authors' read on economic theory and marketplace dynamics seems impeccable. And there are some rockin' biz-speak type quotes, such as this one:
"...We propose that accelerated capability building is the most powerful source of strategic advantage in a global economy characterized by intensifying competition. In fact, accelerated capability building across boundaries is now the only sustainable edge."

(Thanks to Ross Mayfield for sending this book)

Reading now: Bookmark Now, an anthology

Kevin Smokler's about to publish Bookmark Now: Writing in Unreaderly Times.
I snagged an advance copy of this anthology about writers, reading, blogging and life and had a wonderful time reading the essays.
Found some favorite writers (Nicola Griffith, for example, as well as some interesting bloggers-Liz Spiers, for example.)
He's got a Virtual Book tour going with info here.

Kristoff: Blogging in China

NYTimes: "...the Internet is beginning to play the watchdog role in China that the press plays in the West. The Internet is also eroding the leadership's monopoly on information and is complicating the traditional policy of "nei jin wai song" - cracking down at home while pretending to foreigners to be wide open....I think the Internet is hastening China along the same path that South Korea, Chile and especially Taiwan pioneered. In each place, a booming economy nurtured a middle class, rising education, increased international contact and a growing squeamishness about torturing dissidents."

4 million Chinese blogs? That's what the man says.

Kristoff mentions yuluncn.com/ and portal Sohu...but will a Chinese Chris Nolan emerge?
(For some good links to Chinese bloggers writing in English, see Global Voices , Fons Tunistra, Kevin Wen, Isaac Mao and others. )
Update: Measured commentary on the Kristoff essay by danwei's Jeremy Goldkorn.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Yahoo: Publisher's Guide to RSS

Yahoo's got an easy to follow new site explaining RSS--and providing your feeds to Yahoo--for publishers, bloggers, and other content folk.
This amazingly useful little guide walks through what is RSS, how to make money with Yahoo's publisher network, tracking data, etc.
The whole site is so bright, clear and persuasive it's easy to imagine a publisher saying "Yeah, why not" and signing up.

Good service, great sales job, folks.

(Via Robin Good)

Jason Shellen: Google's good communicator

Jason Shellen writes: "I don't blog much these days because I'm extremely busy working on a new initiative at Google and while I might feel that I have something to add to the conversation, I am not a full time communications, marketing or PR professional. I'm certainly not afraid of or restricted from blogging. At the end of the day there are products to manage, calls to make, meetings to attend, and on top of that a growing family at home."

Jason's post is cool because he sees himself as part of a networked, blogging community, as well as as a Google-ite.
He recognizes others look for his voice and is taking the time to explain what's up.

How many journalists, editors, or marketers focused on similar consumer audiences have this direct a relationship with their community?

This is what the new transparency is about--clear, two-way communication.

Cringe-bust your to-do list

Merlin Mann's advice on how to attack those tasks you put off:
  1. Print out your TODO list (alphabetically, if possible)
  2. Read it over?beginning to end
  3. Go back and circle each item that makes you cringe, or that causes you some kind of existential angst
  4. Per cringe item, think honestly about why you?re freaked out about it. Seriously. What?s the hang-up? (Fear of failure? Dreading bad news? Angry you?re already way overdue?)
  5. Now, again, per cringe item, add a new TODO that will a) make the loathsome task less cringe-worthy, or b) just get the damned thing done
  6. Cross the original cringe items off your list
Lots more here--all worth trying.

Susan sez: I have two sets of detailed to-do lists I update about twice a week--one is for personal items, the other work-related. Inspired by David Allen, I try to make each item into an actionable task and keep the top priorities at--yep, you guessed it--the top of the page.

Sunday, May 22, 2005


Paul Kedrosky on jargonwatch (and digerati/RSS): "People need to learn to measure their audiences and deliver their dollops accordingly."
Smart Mobs: "Roadcasting allows anyone to have their own radio station, broadcasted among cars in an ad-hoc network within a 30-mile radius. It plays the songs that people want to hear and transforms car radio into an interactive medium."
Gaping Void: 'The London Geek Dinner that Robert Scoble and I have organised on June 7th has topped 125 people."

Update: Caterina's moving to California...(with flickr and Stuart, of course.)

Sunday in San Francisco--and dinner

Went to San Francisco this afternoon with my friend Deb.
She's a massage therapist, originally from the country up in Oregon and doesn't know the city well.
Before our play (matinee), I took her to the Ferry Building to see the Farmers' Market and get some lunch.
It was a beautiful clear day, not a cloud in the sky, and we took our take out from The Slanted Door outside and ate as we sat on a bench:
Grilled lemongrass chicken sandwich
Fresh shrimp and pork spring rolls
Ginger tapioca with strawberries
A few yards away, some Chinese musicians played as droves of people walked by.
What a beautiful day!
And one of my favorite places in the city.

Now, back in Palo Alto and post walking the dog, I'm cooking Sunday dinner again, this time for a different friend:
Curried chicken with tomatoes, garlic, ginger
Saffron rice
Carrot and potato sambar/stew (courtesy of Trader Joe's)
For dessert, carrot-red apricot/plums from the Farmer's Market

Nice to finally feel comfortable in the new kitchen.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Updated: Newspapers with RSS list

Tom Biro's updated his newspapers with RSS feeds list.

Kedrosky: Email Pathologies and phobias

Paul Kedrosky's got a classic list of screwed up behaviors he's witnessed--a couple here--

morph: Dean Landsman on culture shift and technology

Dean Landsman, The Culture of Connectivity and Immediacy: A long post that says: The culture is catching up to the technology, but the technology is leading the culture. And the culture is adapting to immediacy.

Leaving for Asia in a week

At this time next Friday (Saturday) I will be on a plane heading for Seoul and the World Editor's Forum. From Korea, I head to Shanghai for a visit, then back to Korea and back home in early June.
So, there have been a lot of chores to get ready.
Today I visited the Chinese Consulate to get a visa, picked up my Korea tickets at Asiana airlines, and did 5,000 related errands post client meeting.
Tomorrow, I buy presents for the friends I am visiting, get a chunk of work done, and pay bills.
And so on, with work and errands filling out the week.
Wow, I am totally psyched.

Jarvis jumps into Blogosphere, quits staff job

Buzzmachine's Jeff Jarvis just quit his ten-year gig at Advance.net to help the NYTimesCo improve About.com, launch a news start-up, advise CUNY on new media, write a book, and step up the blogging.
A whirlwind of energy and ideas, Jeff let a thousand flowers bloom at Advance and then did amazing things in the blogosphere in his *free* time.
Best wishes for these new endeavors, Jeff.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Gillmor Daily goes live

Podcast series Gillmor Daily launches.
Steve Gillmor kicks off with 41 minutes with Dave.
Winer, that is.
Listening later, after the coffee kicks in.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

RSS: How to get (and keep) all the toys)

Lincoln Milstein, Hearst Newspapers: ""The big money is being made by the aggregators, but who wants to be one of 1,000 publishers? That's just nickels and cents. We want to play the role of the aggregator.""

Susan says: The realization is dawning for many information companies...distribution is a double-edged sword without clear licensing models.

(Via Silicon Valley Watcher)

New: Chicagocrime.com

Adrian Holovaty's got a neat new local project: chicagocrime.org
He writes: "The site is a freely browsable database of crimes reported in Chicago. My scripts collect data from the Chicago Police Department once every weekday. The site slices and dices crime information in a ton of different ways, complete with a wide assortment of Google Maps.

I did all the development, data munging, etc. My talented friend and coworker Wilson Miner did the slick design. The site is powered by the Python programming language.
Some of my favorite features:

Neat, or what?

Info should be free, or Replacing The New York Times

So this guy's got it all figured out--everything that goes behind the paid wall, he'll says he'll swap in an equivalent--and he's got a handy little chart--

New York Times Media Equivalent Blog Replacement
Editorials LA Times
Washington Post
Daily Kos
Bob Herbert Robert Scheer Steve Gilliard and Jen
Paul Krugman n/a Brad DeLong
Nicholas Kristof Sebastian Mallaby
Fred Kaplan
Josh Marshall
Steve Clemons
Laura Rozen
John Tierney WSJ editorial board Powerline
Maureen Dowd Margaret Carlson Chris Nolan
Tom Friedman Max Boot
Jim Hoagland
Juan Cole
David Brooks WSJ editorial board Andrew Sullivan
Frank Rich E.J. Dionne Billmon
William Safire Charles Krauthammer Debka

Not bad, huh!
Peter Levinson, this is very cool.

Music@ Menlo--planning to go?

A friend just told me about Music@Menlo, a summer series here in the Bay area that presents outstanding musicians playing chamber pieces.
This summer's focus is Beethoven's Quartets.
Anyone else interested in going?
If you're local and interested, email me at mernit at gmail dot com
I am going to go to a couple of these for sure.

Syndicate (conference) watch

Paid Content, Richard MacManus and others are deconstructing the currently-happening Syndicate conference, plus there's a conference blog.
News to note: Pheedo announces they're going to focus on Japan and license their platform at marketer Transcosmos.
Interesting (new to me) voice: Joe Reger, datablogging
Also: How do you know an alpha-blogger? By the backpack.

Dick Parsons: We could sell AOL--but is that a strategy?

Parsons tells Fortune that he'd consider selling AOL if the portal/webbed garden strategy doesn't deliver.
This is interesting, because I think TW is at the point where they can't afford to sell AOL--they just need to make it do a better job and focus it in some respects.
But, it also underlies their lack of a visible web strategy for the bigger company.
Or, to put it another way--when the NY Times is one of the biggest sites on the Net in reach (thanks, About), CNN, Reuters and the AP are making new deals and everyone is thinking distribution, does TW need AOL as a platform for an effective web strategy?
Or is there another way?

Oh, what's that you say?
AOL is a subscription-driven business trying to become an ad platform, not a web strategy play?
Yeah, how true.

Keep AOL , sell AOL--babe, that ain't a web strategy--do you have one?

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

RSS tracking: Right on, Nooked

Bizweek blog (nice job, folks) quotes Nooked CEO Fergus Burns saying "Web publishers will be tweaking the feeds, in growing numbers, to follow customers."
The Bizweek kids write: " His prediction: Publishers will offer customized features and richer content to RSS subscribers who provide them with profiles. Then they will be able to track customer behavior and send along targeted ads with the feeds. "

Absolutely spot on, in my experience.
RSS feeds need to have metrics and access controls attached to work optimally for publishers skilled with newsletter and email models--development in this area--as Stuart Watson is doing with Syndicate IQ--will drive business--and mainstream adoption-- forward in a big way.

What do others think? You developing in this area?

Bubblegum generation: Why NYT Select is wrong move

Umair Haque posts on why NYT's charging for columnists etc is NOT a good move.
Basic premise--co opt key bloggers and do other things to ADD value, then charge for that--
"There are many innovative ways for the NYT to capture more value from it's content. But I think they all flow from the very, very basic understanding that it's goods are networked goods, they realize network FX, and micromedia (blogs, podcasts, etc) aren't substitutes for the NYT's content, they're complements - the source the aforementioned network FX - and this complementarity is how new value is created."
Nice point.

Syndicate in NY today

I'm gonna miss it, but the Syndicate conference is in NY today and looks good.
Conference planner and InfoWorld CTO Chad Dickerson writes:
"I don't think it's going to be difficult to get an interesting discussion going for either panel and while many of the usual suspects are involved in the conference as speakers and advisory board members, I think this conference will very deliberately reach outside of the blogging echo chamber. I agree with Stephen Baker of Business Week's new Blogspotting blog when he writes: The knowledge gap between the blog world's insiders and outsiders is wide enough for six lanes of Hummer traffic.. Scoble links to the BW post above and writes: I'm finding this too. When I talk with audiences I either find people who are very familiar with the blog world (if you know what Technorati is, for instance, you are probably one of those people), while most people just don't know much about our little world at all. Hopefully this conference will help narrow that knowledge gap."

Expect lots of blogosphere coverage and, hopefully, some interesting announcements.

Update: Newsgator buys feed demon. Om has it.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Seth Goldstein: The apocrypha of (media) arbitrage

Seth Goldstein's fascinating series of emerging technologies apocrypha continues with the latest on arbitrage.
Today's lesson concerns media, arbitrage, & serial entrepreneur Priceline founder Jay Walker.
An excerpt from the beginning(and the rest is about as good):
"I like dirty words. Arbitrage is one of them. It is a scam, actually. Buying something over here and selling it over there- for more. Selling something over there before you have bought it here, but more cheaply. Nobody likes arbitrage, other than those performing it, and those that are doing so tend to be rather quiet about what they are doing so as not to attract competitors."
Previous provocative thoughts here, here, here.

Tim Porter: Newsweek flushes credibility

Tim Porter is angry and he wants you to know why in this powerful post on how such a good magazine could do something so bad.
Run don't walk to read this well-reasoned call to action, arguing "News today is a continuum. It flows ceaselessly from producer to consumer and, more and more, back again to the producer. It can be stopped and recorded for consumption later, it can be sampled at any hour of the day or night, or it can be ignored altogether, as it increasingly is. This news environment needs a new set of values."
Jarvis chimes in here.

Flying today

Flying today.
For something to read, check out notes from the citizens media summit this weekend and see what you think...meanwhile, more postings later.
And more citizens media: http://www.citizensmediasummit.com/ and http://torrentocracy.com/mediawiki/index.php/CitizensMediaSummit

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Lazy Sunday

Went to the gym this morning with a friend and sweated like crazy.
Home and took the dog to the park.
The two little Korean girls next door have never seen a dog as big as Winston, and they are intrigued.
I show the little one how to tell him to "sit" and "lie down."
They both feed him biscuits.
When we play ball, he tumbles into the grass to grab the tennis ball, then chews it like a pack of gum.
This is so amazing the little girls' Mom takes pictures.
Later, Winston and I lie under a tree and stare at the sky.
Later than that, I go inside and take a nap.
Is there anything more delicious than an afternoon nap on a beautiful day?
A few things, but I'll settle for the nap.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Yes or No: Does RSS does drive traffic back?

Steve Gillmor highlights Pamela Parker's story on reports on Feedburner research that says click-through rates from RSS driving traffic back to sites is going down.
Of course, the elephant in the room here is that Feedburner CEO Dick Costolo doesn't make a distinction between full feeds (which newspapers, for example, rarely provide) and others, like bloggers, who often offer full feeds (as I do.)
Kinda makes a difference doncha think?

(Via Ian Pope)

Another local launch: Daily Gotham goes live in NYC

Blogdiva Liza Sabater's just launched Daily Gotham, a community journalism site for NYC. This local site uses CivicSpaces' Community Network tool set and comes equipped with wikispace, plus message boards, polls, surveys, blogs and other features that can be turned on as the site evolves.
The RSS feed is here.
Sign up to contribute!

BTW, Liza is becoming a mini-mogul on the development tip: she's recently (also) launched Brownbloggers.com and BlogSheroes, a site that supports the July 30th BlogHer in Santa Clara.

Mernit heading to Shanghai: Advice sought

I'm visiting Shanghai in early June, and while I have written to a couple of acquaintances there, and have a good friend I am visiting, I'd welcome suggestions on bloggers and emerging tech folks to meet and must see places to visit--both day trips and within the city.
Please email me or leave suggestions in comments. Thanks.

Dan Gillmor's Bayosphere on Why Drupal?

Re Bayosphere: The number of people looking for open source community journalism platforms grows larger every day, and Drupal is one of the best platforms to consider.
That's why I read Jay Campbell's entry on choosing to build on Drupal with particular interest.
He writes:
"Drupal has a stellar philosophy of extensibility. On an old school CMS, changing the system's behavior required changing the software package's source code. Eventually the package requires an upstream upgrade (for security fixes, if nothing else), and a programmer has to reapply every local custom change ever made, an often-tedious and sometimes-impossible task."
And goes on to describe the platform in a concise, elegant way.
Great stuff for those wondering what to build in.
And a nice platform for Dan's effort (yeah!)

(Aside: Is this Jay Campbell the one from Santa Cruz Tech? One might think, but who knows?)

Friday, May 13, 2005

36 hours in Bend, OR

Gave two workshops on blogging, search and social media at Bend, OR's 2nd Annual CAM conference.
A full house of marketers and ad folk from Central Oregon, Portland, Seattle.
Dozens of California ex-pats, some Oregon natives.
What did people want to know?
I showed them blogging software, search and directory tools, newsreaders and blogs.
Talked about linking, power laws, and focusing on local.
We'll see what takes root.

Also: reading Phil Rungwalda's post on surviving in an age of customers with voices, and thinking how relevant it is to this group.

Targeterati: Edelman/Intelliseek create blog influencer directory

PR Week: Are you a PR or marketing type wondering how to target the most influential bloggers in your sectors? If you're an Edelman client then, Edelman/Intelliseek's new directory listing the most influential bloggers can be your targeted cheat sheet for reaching out where it counts.
Rick Murray, Edelman's EVP and GM of diversified services says "The risks to attempting to communicate with the blogosphere -- you will do yourself harm...Clients are calling us with increasing regularity, asking what's going on [with blogs] and how is this affecting the business."

I'd personally rather see marketers do a little work to understand the viral nature of the blogosphere than whip out some directory, but if David Weinberger is quoted in the announcement saying '"The Edelman/Intelliseek white paper does an especially good job explaining blogging as not just another opportunity to spout one's message, but as a way of entering into genuine conversation with and among one's customers," it gotta be worth a look (if you can get it, that is.)

Deb's blogging

Six Apart marketer and tech maven Deb Schultz just whipped the covers off an enhanced, yes I will post every day honest to goodness blog--and it's everything a fellow NYer turned Californian could wish for (like a comparison between Berkeley Bowl and Fairway).
You go, girl--have fun.

Julie Leung: It's impossible to meet God with sunglasses on

Julie Leung: " I long to be real. I long to be raw. But blogging has its limits. It's not me you see here but a veiled version."
Julie's wonderful post on blogging, intimacy and yes, Bono's spritual side, reminds me of things written by Kathy Norris and has an aching beauty and truth.

Great thoughts to read to start the day. Thx.

Thursday, May 12, 2005


Chris Nolan: "The absence of women's voices in our political culture is a bias against changing one of the most powerful aspects of our society."
Wired: Adam Penenberg fisks Michelle Delio.
Will Wilksonson: "Most people don't want sex, per se, but want sex with a person with whom they want to have sex that wants to have sex with them. For many, then, supply is low, and search costs are high." (Via Just a Gwai Lo)
tony pierce: "this is the glamorous life of a blogger, friends."
Pamela Parker: "When it comes to planning your blog, think twice and take your time."

Essay: Steven Henry Madoff, Casting for a fish to comfort the mind

"Somehow, with spring here, and nature burgeoning all around, newly green, the newspapers' daily toll of deaths tugs even harder at that notion of life's decency and the reckless damage being done every day to the meat of living things."
--Steven Henry Madoff, Casting for a fish to comfort the mind
My 5ive parter Steven Madoff has written a beautiful essay--more here.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Google: Need to build a top-shelf mobile team? Buy Dodgeball

As you may have heard, NYC/Lower East Side startup Dodgeball's been acquired by Google, which is also busy hiring mobile talent.
(Did you know that DB o-founder Denis Crowley lives(d) across the hall from former (in)famous Gawker employee Andrew Krukoff-(read this post, where all is revealed)

(Via Media Drop)

Update: More than Doughnuts has a list of items Google may also want to acquire:

Biz Stone speaks: Does this mean Google actually cares?

As a long-suffering Blogger user, I read today's InfoWorld story on Google's consideration of new efforts they might make with Blogger with something resembling shock..
I mean, just because Blogger guy Biz Stone speaks, does that mean the big Google guys actually listen?
After all, it seems that if Blogger were a kid in the Google family, it would be the one eating off the plate locked away in the basement while everyone else feasted upstairs.
The reporter quotes Biz describing at least 3 or 4 feature enhancements that they are considering, but the reality is that resources have gone toward the very bottom line goal of stabalizing the current system.
"We really spent a lot of time working on that and overall performance for 95 percent of users is really great, "Stone said. "We're continuing to work to make that last few just as good."

And those contemplated features? Yeah, please, guys, tell the big G to implement'em.

Is (corporate) blogging like writing?

When I was a full-time writer, I used to privately grumble at the people who'd come up to me at parties and either ask me to help their write their biography (often, they were drunk) or tell me, with a bright smile "Hey, I write, too."
On one hand, I believed that one becomes something by doing it, not saying you are that thing or taking about what you intend to do; on the other hand, I felt writing was a craft--and a talent--that it required work to hone.
I've had some similar thoughts over the past few weeks as PR, marketing and communications folks have told me about their plans for launching blogs for themselves or their clients, asked for some ideas, and then--in one case--blithely announced that the team decided they'd just "jump right in."
"Maybe you want to practice internally for a few weeks?" I said. "You know, work the bugs out?"
"Naahh, no need, we want to connect with our customers," said X, and as my face smiled politely and my voice said I'd be happy to check out the link when they launched, my brain was thinking "Are they fudrucking nuts?"
While there's no question that the way to start a blog is to just do it, there's also that painful scrutinity that start-ups, established brands and even the small business down the street can be put under when they start to interact in a more transparent way with customers--
And then there's the (corporate) pressure when the higher-ups realize the tiger's got their brand by the, ah, tail.
Maybe one of the differences between personal blogging and corporate blogging is the amount of forethought--and practice--and blogging policy rules--you want to prepare before you launch your new baby into the world.
Or then again, maybe it's like writing, and hey, everyone can just do it.
On demand, that is.

Footnote: Heading to Oregon tomorrow to talk about blogging with a marketing and PR crew, so have this on the brain. Pearls of wisdom most welcome.

BBC to public: Dude, take our feeds, please

Dr. Weinberger notices that the BBC has relaxed its rules about re-publication of its RSS-driven content, allowing other sites the ability to display "headlines, active links or other source identifiers and other information or materials that you specifically select to receive from the BBC via the BBC Feed."
Some twiddly bites of note in the Terms and Conditions, aka Standard License:
In other words, the BCC has created a standard, open licensing model for the public to use--an extension to their more traditional licenses that protects their property but permits wider distribution of their data.
Pretty cool.
And a great thing for bloggers and community journalists, no doubt.

You are right, I was...wrong

Rethinking my quickness in posting a bunch of names for the AO/Technorati 100 earlier this week. Others have raised very valid thoughts about the self-congratuatory, same ol' names flavor of some of the lists, mine included, and also questioned whether this is more than just PR.
Jeff Clavier has some very relevant points--as does Mary Hodder and Elisa Camahort(in Jeff's comments).
Thanks for broadening my thinking, folks.
As Josh P says "Anyone who plays this game pretty much declares which side they are on."

AOTechnorati100, OpenMedia100

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Guardian UK: NY with only a blog guide

The Guardian UK isn't writing about Brit ex-pat Nick(Lord) Denton-no, instead its bloggerati story involves sending a clever young thang over the NY to make his way with only a Crackberry, Nokia, and a list of blogs.
Who's home in young Mike's neighborhood?
Hipster Tien Mao, pizza guy Adam K, Bloggies nominee Manhattan Transfer, foodie Vittles Vamp, Chinese food expert Gainjin Girl, and others, including Steve Rubel.
All leading the way to yummy food and drink.
Such a sweet little list tempts me to wonder about some alternative universes of blogging.
What if Mike's listings had led him to polyamorous Dacia, Jefferson, Colton, and the rest of their infamous gang of New Yorkers?(Note: these are over-18 blogs, folks)
Or to Fred Wilson, Gotham Gal and their three kids?

Or...The mind bloggles--and that's one of the things I love about blogging.

New Grub Street redux: Bloggers' pay (kinda) sucks

Tristan Louis deconstructed recently published snippets about fees paid to Gawker writers in an effort to figure out whether they were 1) totally being ripped off 2) somewhat being ripped off 3) being paid like kings and queens.
Conclusion: Like poets, Gawker bloggers aren't in it for the money.
But you knew that, right?

The (local) long tail: ABC, others launch local news network

Interesting MediaPost story on ABC and 147 other small news entities joining with broadband video platform. integrator service called WorldNow ('Putting the growth back into local media') to create a local online advertising network.
The rolled-up sites reach 20 million unique users a month, definitely a competitive figure for ad sales.
Ad units include streaming video, rich media, banners, and skyscrapers; MasterCard, Delta Airlines, Verizon, and Vonage have signed up.

This catches my attention for a couple of reasons:
--Streaming video ads--and ads in video bumpers--are the coming thing, IMHO.
--It's a local play going after national advertisers--this is always hard to do, but has great value for smart advertisers.
--The basis of the content is multimedia/video, delivered via the web.

The potential to build out from this type of network, assuming it works on the revenue site, is very appealing.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Getting things done, home version

I've been in this new place in Palo Alto for almost 5 weeks, but I had tons of unpacking to do.
My office, for example, was a forest of boxes and alarming bags of...stuff.
So, tonight I took a deep breath and dove in.
8 boxes and 3 hours later, I have an almost-clean and neat office, a new and refreshing (paper) filing system, neatly shelved books, and an emerging sense of order.
Even better, I have a plan that will take the 6 boxes of can't use it right now stuff out of the living room and stash them away, unseen.
Boy, this feels good.
I also unpacked the last vestiges of stuff in the bedroom, pulled out the pictures that are ready to hang and cleaned out my jewelry box.
Nothing like claiming your space...even with all the work I have to finish, this is so worth it.

Attention XML revisited by the Gillmor Guy

Steve Gillmor's wonderful post on his 4 year old, Dave Winer's parents, and attention.xml starts with eloquent poetry and ends with a call for an API.
If you care about the attention concept, read this.

Ecommerce: Luxury market heating up?

Luxy retailer Neiman Marcus is being sold for $1.5B and DMNews is saying one of the factors is the booming luxury market--and the chance to cash in big online.
NM has a special InCircle Rewards customer loyalty program, as well as a store/catalog site--the plan is to build out both the brick and mortar stores and the online operations.

New York Times to add (more) blog coverage, pretend to be cool

Marketwatch reports that the New York Times is redesigning and expanding the Business Section, and will offer detailed and expanded coverage of blogs.
Does anyone else find this funny?
Nothing like using a distribution platform involving paper to make sure folks know the important goings-on in the digital world.
Why don't they just license a feed from Rafat Ali and be done with it?
After this weekend's Denton piece, I am convinced too many of the Times digital media writers are kids trying to compensate for taking such an uncool job--even tho it's at one of the best papers in the world.

Related: John Leo of the NY Daily News discovers EPIC and finds the Googlezon good.

MediaPost: Yahoo says display ads trigger user search

Mediapost:" Online display ads have a significant impact on consumer search behavior, according to a study Yahoo! plans to release today."
The study reports "
consumers who were served display ads conducted 61 percent more searches on related keywords purchased for search marketing purposes. Also, the group that was served the display ads clicked through onrelated terms at a rate 249 percent higher than consumers who were not exposed to the ads, and clicked on links leading to the testt site at a rate 139 percent higher than those not served display ads."

So there, display ads work.
So, don't you think that makes the folk at Google and the big portals getting 80% of this type of advertising feel good?

Media: Huffington Post is live

Well, their dev server is live. And so is the real deal, right here.
Wire news and cool columnists seem to be the starting point.
No ads, yet.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Happy Mothers Day

A wonderful day to everyone celebrating, and a link to this poignant memoir of a mom.

Susan's votes: AOTechnorati100, OpenMedia100

Here's my list for AOTechnorati100, OpenMedia100

The Pioneers: (formerly The Founding Fathers): industry luminaries who created the vision of open media and continue to shape it.
Xeni Jardin
Shelly Powers
Dave Winer
Jeff Jarvis
Adam Curry

The Tool Smiths
: web service entrepreneurs and companies building the open media tools (blogs, social software, wikis, RSS, analytic tools, etc.).
Caterina Fake
Dave Sifry
Scott Rafer
Rich Skrenta
Roland Tanglao

The Trendsetters: the influencers driving and evangelizing the adoption and applications of Open Media.
Brewster Kahle
Marc Canter & JD Lasica
Mary Hodder
Doc Searls
Dave Weinberger

The Practitioners: the top bloggers in politics, business, technology, and media.
Jason Kottke
Rafat Ali
Om Malik
Susan Mernit
Halley Suitt

The Enablers: the venture capitalists and investors backing the Open Media Revolution.
Dave Hornick
Esther Dyson
Joi Ito
Brad Feld
Hilary Schneider

, , , , , ,

Update: Jeneane's points are well-taken.
Update 2: Peter has a great list and more dead-on comments--probably shoulda been the 200..or not happened at all.
Those Bastards has the best take on a more cynical viewpoint, via mobile jones.
Another good (and amusing) list from Barb D.

AO/Technorati 100 2: They apologized and...

Sifry apologized, very graciously. Marc Canter said he'd get them to make it good.
Lots of folks complained and now Forefathers has morphed to Pioneers.

Update: Lisa Stone waxes eloquent and sez "Make your mamas proud." (Okay, not exactly, but close.)

Saturday, May 07, 2005

AO/Technorati 100: These guys are clueless

Liz Lawley just put words to the clueless thinking of some of the supposed-to-be-so-smart tech guys--the AO/Technorati Open Media 100 not only seems to be distinctly unfriendly to women, it's got a category that is for Forefathers only.
Come on gentleman, just because the only women at your companies are in support positions, is this really justification to be Neanderthal?
If you were a company, not a contest, you'd get sued--as it is you should change this ASAP.
Walk the walk, boys...THINK about it.
You have to do better.

Technorati Tags:

Nick Denton and Gawker get big wet kiss from NYT

NYT: A long and admiring story about Nick Denton and the Gawker clan, just what people in the burbs need to know about on Sunday morning.
Like many, I think what Denton is doing rocks, but am amused imagining that the breathless awe of this piece may be a reflection of how sucky many find practicing main-stream journalism (as in, these folks make less, but they are having fun.)
(Via Rubel)

Update: Jon Lebowsky's comment: "...there really is a revolution, I think, and it's about gathering so many voices online, in a kind of public commons where anybody's voice might rise above the rest, if only for a moment or two. And where you can aggregate the many voices and discern some sense of vast cyberspace room."

Eating Epoisse (de Bourgogne)

I found a new favorite cheese this month..Epoisse (de Bourgogne).
Had some on a cheese plate at a restaurant, then bought a small wheel yesterday and brought it to a (French) friend's house to have with some wonderful wine.
Did I mention it smells?
But that it tastes great?

Update: Jeff served the most wonderful wine.

Elisa Camahort: There are women EVERYWHERE

Elisa's writing about the low number of women at many events in the emerging technology community and reports that she's been asked "Has it been hard to find women speakers?"
Answer: No, there are women everywhere...In fact our only trouble was that there were way more fascinating, skilled, accomplished, intelligent, richly expressive women out there than we could fit into our agenda."

Okay, I have an agenda in posting this, which is I am on the BlogHer planning committee, but I also like Elisa's point--women are everywhere--but are you paying attention? As we all know, it's not just who's out there, it's what you notice.

Lecture over.

RE: Google Accelerator

Om Malik says it best, IMHO: "Just because it's from Google, and has a fancy name, doesn't mean you need it."

Friday, May 06, 2005

Craig Newmark: Studying citizen journalism

AP wrote a story in which Craigslist's Craig Newmark tells the reporter that he's now interested in citizen journalism (good!).
Says Craig: "People are looking for attitude and guts in reporting - not full-on gonzo journalism, but hey, tell us what you think. Maybe Hunter Thompson had it right."
The story says Craig's kitchen cabinet is Jeff Jarvis and Dan Gillmor, two guys with their own long list of citizen journalism deliverables--Jarvis is preparing ad-driven local blog sites for his Newhouse newspaper employers and Dan's got seed money from some mission driven investors to spend on delivering a state of the art platform and product--and both need to show results.

Craig's huge audience base and spectacular revenues--not to mention his genuine and altruistic interest in empowering community-- make him a great student for these two A-listers--and it will be interesting to see what kind of efforts his influence and dollars support.

Update: Craig, for the record.

Mark Wagner: Blast from the (Internet) past

Mark Wagner, owner of blog Educational Technology and Life, wrote a post recently on innovation past, present and future in which he goes back to educational technology papers written in 1995 and looks at what the authors said--and what he thinks is important today.
Yep, Mernit (that's me) is the author of one of the papers.
A couple of old quotes--and Mark's observations on them--caught my attention:
"Mernit (1995), too, mentioned publishing, but this was at a time when she was amazed to announce that there were 1300 educational websites available; a Google search today for the phrase "educational web site" turns up about 286,000,000 hits! At the time Mernit was writing "Only one-fifth of one percent (0.2 percent) of the approximately 100,000 K-12 schools in the United States [had] enough network access to develop their own Web sites" - now such access is ubiquitous and almost universal. (California, for instance, has 73% of it's schools not only connected to the internet, but to a high speed broadband network.) Mernit's projections about where WWW publishing was going in 1995 seem spot on, in spirit, especially the suggesting that "the focus on multimedia and interactivity will increase" - even if she did not specifically foresee the read/write web that students have access to today."

Mark has his own interesting comments on what he'd like to see emerge:
" With text based blogs already graduating to visual and audio content (consider flickr.net and ipodder.org respectively), and with vodcasting (video on demand casting) already here, what I look forward to is students creating more and better multimedia content to contribute to the community through their own blogs, podcasts, and vodcasts."

Mark, you're going in my newsreader--please keep writing.

New: Comments enabled

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.
Although the number of commentators on the blog was small in the past, a few readers have asked--and asked again--for comments, so this is a new experiment for you all.
Since you asked.
House rules:
Save the flaming unless you are an out of control personality and think others don't know it
Realize if you are out of line, I will delete you and ban you.
Having said that about the annoying 1% or less, please feel free to post comments, disagree, or even ignore this space.

The amazing techno color dream quilt

Now this is cool: guy's mother in law made a quilt from his techie t-shirt swag:
(Via BoingBoing)


paradox1x: It's Real Cities vs MSN Sidewalk vs AOL Digital Cities all over again (on hyperlocal).
MacManus on RSS and bloggers:"So for some of us, and I include so-called professional bloggers in this, the RSS feed is a vital part of our professional trade and potentially a means of getting paid."
Inforum: Craigslist hosts The Onion at a free SF party on May 13th.
Suw Charman: Creative Commons dumps BzzAgent, aka reason returns.
tony pierce: my favorite LA blogger got laid off(sad) and now is writing more (happy).

NAA New Media Symposium: Publishers face the future

NAA's Digital Edge just published a piece I wrote on the pre-conference seminar on newspapers, digital media and Web 2.0. Throughout the April 17 symposium, 'Shaping a Multi-Platform Future,' a packed room of about 200 publishers and other attendees listened to discussions about the future direction of online advertising, best local practices for growing audience, cultural changes within the newspaper business and the need to address local content /community and citizen journalism. Hilary Schneider, senior vice president at Knight Ridder, closed the session with a powerful keynote detailing Knight Ridder's efforts to maximize online revenue in the classifieds and directory business, the company's M&A approach to product development, and best practices in making digital media a key component of their near-term immediate growth plans.
For more...go here.

Schneider's strong preso and other good docs from the sessions are here.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Listening to Shelley

Shelley Powers just blew me away with a long post that talks about BlogHer, women claiming power, and recoginzing diverse voices as unique--and more importantly, as people to listen to.
She writes: "It's just that a certain class of weblogger (white, male, Western, educated, charismatic, pugnacious) has defined the 'winning' behavior in weblogging and what must be done to 'earn' a link, and this is what we need to change, if change it we can. We have to start valuing the poet, the teenage girl, the middle aged gardener, as much as we value the pundits, whether political or technological."

Shelley, as you clearly recognize, the way to empower what you are describing is to practice it.
I believe strongly in actions, not words, so for me it's about who I link to, who I recommend for things when asked, being open and seeking out new voices, not staying in a clubby zone. In other words, practicing my beliefs.

Your post makes me think about how we can work together to drive this kind of change, create a positive climate for the openess you describe.--That's an age old question and one I have personally never learned the answer to, but welcome any thoughts...and hope to bring these questions into the Blogging 101 session at BlogHer on July 30th.

(Thanks, Julie)

Dave Winer: My blog is an ad

Dave Winer:"The other day I was asked how I make money from my blog, for the 18 millionth time. I turned it around and asked "How do you make money from your office?" You have an office, of course, as part of your livelihood, but how it makes money depends on what you do. I explained that my weblog is my place of business."

Chocolate: Peter's wickedly great

Somehow, Ms. Dieter here ended up with four boxes of Cococa Peter's Chocolate Bars as payoff for a KQED or KPFA donation. Three of the boxes are on the highest shelf in the kitchen, and the fourth is now...in...mah..belly.

This is wonderful chocolate, and I sincerely hope I never see any ever again, it is that good. You can buy it here. You. Not me.

flickr: does Yahoo ownership bring censorship?

Was disturbed to hear that flickr is emailing some of the edgier, more out there members and telling them their pictures are too racy...
Is this a function of Yahoo ownership and wanting to make the service more family friendly?
Or is it just having the bandwidth to check what's being published?
I enjoy the random craziness of flickr's community and since I have seen nothing truly evil, am sad that some of the wilder stuff has been scrubbed out.

Anyone else noticing this?

Update: flickr co-founder Caterina Fake emailed: "The thing about your post that was inaccurate was the idea that Yahoo was censoring Flickr. Now that we're part of Yahoo there will be more liberal rather than more strict photo policing, strange as that may seem. Photos that are currently not available will once again be available behind a Safe Search wall, which can be accessed optionally by people over 18."

Thanks, Caterina, appreciate the info.

Rheingold: Cameraphones as personal storytelling media

Once again, Howard Rheingold's found something fresh and interesting to think about--his article on cameraphones as a personal storytelling medium, based on a 2004 paper by Daisuke Okabe, explores the idea that a camera phone is used in a manner distinct from both a phone and a digital camera, being, somehow, used primarily to share a point of view moment to moment (Rheingold describes the research as identifying key actions as "personal archiving" (saving images for one's own use, as a memory of a day or special moment, a "self-authoring practice"), "intimate sharing" (showing a mini-slideshow of one's day or one's hour in person to a friend), peer-to-peer news and online picture sharing.)
Given that the phone is definitely our future platform--and a pretty important one today, as well--understanding casual use--since everything about phones seems to be casual except for people's fierce addiction to always carrying them around--this is another one of those well worth reading The Feature articles by one of the smartest thinkers around.

(Via Playpen)

Bonus link: Older article on mobile phones and social capital.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Back home

Wrapped up my quick trip to NY today; back in California at last.
Missed lots of events, including a geek dinner, but that's okay, just being on the left coast is bliss.
Back at my park.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

New and noted

Backfence launches: the latest hyperlocal news sites
Backpack is live: A getting organized tool from the Basecamp folks--of course I am trying it.
43 Things wins a Webby and Erik Benson sez: "Holy shit! Yesterday I gave a stool sample in order to diagnose my Brazilian parasite and today 43 Things wins a Webby for best social networking site! Can these two seeming disconnected events be somehow cosmically linked?!?!
Kelsey Local Search conference: How far away is mobile, really? (Tony Gentile's notes)
Blogspotting: At the BDI conference today, PubSub's Bob Wyman said at there were more bloggers in Korea, China and Japan combined than in the rest of the world

BlogHer: Consider coming to Santa Clara

The schedule for BlogHer is up and if you can face another conference, this is one to consider.
It's coed, despite the name and will have some great sessions and a down to earth spin (I think/hope.)
I am leading a session on Blogging 101--this is for people who are new blogger or who are thinking about blogging and want more hands on info and advice. We'll also talk about linking, power laws, tagging and getting your blog read.
Early indicator of good conference--comments are really worth reading!

PS There will be a spot on the wiki about places to stay, volunteer lodging, etc, so think about joining in.

Register here

Calcanis to CNET: You don't own the news

Jason Calcanis tells CNET editor: " Blogs are out-hustling you, plain and simple. The audience is voting with their eyeballs as are the big companies who appreciate the transparency and passion of blogs."

Blog for Vespa--and then some

Steve Rubel and company have announced a set of viral PR blogs for Italian scooter company Vespa--now they are seeking bloggers (Vespa-riding, one assumes) to write them.
If you are Vespa-obsessed, Vespa-focused, Vespa-loving and want to share your love with the multitudes, this is a great gig for you.
On the other hand, if you are a creative non-fiction writer and want to temporarily pretend to be all these things, it's probably a great gig for you, too.
Either way, the details of how to submit (hah!) are here.
WSJ story here.

Update: Any Vespa owners already blogging?
Okay, how about giving away some of these babies?

Update: Monsieur Rafer from le feedster writes in that there's a better way to find Vespa blogs right here. Whaddya know.

Monday, May 02, 2005

TW: Dude, some guy's got my data!

Time Warner announced today that thousands of personal record of current and previous employees (that's about half the planet) were lost. Blog reference tone says the identities could be for sale by the Russian mob.
As if it wasn't bad enough to have all your old stock underwater, now there's a threat of identity theft?

Grand Central Blogerati dinner

Just came from the Steve Rubel/Robert Scoble and Dave Winer dinner in the food court at Grand Central Station.
Those guys may have been the *stars* but it was thrilling to meet some other folks I've read and/or communicated with--Tristan Louis (an early blogging hero/influence), Mary Jo Foley, Erin Joyce, Ephraim Cohen, Scott Aikens, Jim Wilde, and B.L. Ochman were there, among (many) others--along with Bob Wyman and Richard Tredway of PubSub.

Cameras were snapping, so pix should be up somewhere, soon.

Best moment: Winer's face when Rubel whipped out the giant birthday cake.
Second best: Sight of all the happy faces gabbing away.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

NYC bound

Quick trip to NY tomorrow, blogging light till the pm.

Dave Winer turns 50

Happy returns, dude!
Have a great day.

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