Thursday, September 29, 2005

Google Apps: Is calendar next?

Google Addiction reports that Google is building a calendar app.

Would Lycos buy Technorati?

Frank Barnako quotes Alfred Tolles of Lycos on Technorati as a desirable acquisition target: "This is the kind of company we are looking at, seeing if they are acquisition potentials or whether we have the ability to do the same thing ourselves."
(Via Paid Content)

Susan sez: Think this comment will fuel (another) acquisition bubble?

Rollyo launches

Gary Price has a good write-up of Rollyo, a new tool to organize and narrow searches and provide focused results. More comments from Rex Hammond, Steve Rubel, Library Clips, and founder Dave Pell, among others.
Susan sez: There are other roll your own search tools in development, with more launches coming this month. Will be interesting to see user adoption for these services (translation: I think they are neat...will a broader audience use them as well?)

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


AOL UK Study: Brit kids go online at school more than at home (this is so different than the US!)
Seattle Business Journal: Merrill Brown advising Curious Office Partners, a new venture incubator funding a Brit RSS company called FeedDigest whose home page says :"With FeedDigest, mix, filter and republish or syndicate feeds to HTML, JavaScript, WAP or PHP, or to a new feed."
Living the Romantic Comedy:Cousin Billy's been almost famous-and has great Dylan tales to tell.
Classified Intelligence: Peter Zollman says: "Google is aggressively moving to include classifieds listings in its organic search results, making the rounds of classified advertising Web sites, requesting a direct feed of listings."
Tech Memeorandum: Have you checked out page A1, as creater Gabe Rivera calls it, of blogosphere emerging tech news? A marvelous new aggregator updated every 15 minutes.
SF Chronicle: Google to take over Ames Airforce Base in Mountainview, CA and build Borg-sized campus. No, really--if no one is going to ever go home, they need a lot of space.

How do you describe Web 2.0? More comments

More interesting comments on Web 2.0 and definition of:
Richard MacManus (who will be in the Bay area momentarily) likes my post and has good words of his own.
Silkworm blog says: "I believe Web 2.0 is like many other things, that are compared to love - you can't satisfactorily describe it to anyone but you know when you are in it."
Dion Hinchcliff has a round up of comments, including Jeff Veen on giving up control on the web,
Josh Porter on web 2.0 as an era of interfaces, and the Unauthorized Microsoft Weblog on Microsoft's recorg and the wish to address 2.0 themes (and opportunities).

Back up and down in Estes Park

The conference center T-3 (!) went down this morning, so I am now in a crunchy coffee shop in Estes Park, feeding my digital addictions aka checking email and blogging.
Did ya miss me?
No, don't answer that, please.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

B.K.S.Iyrengar checks out the Yoga Journal blog

Proof that blogging, like yoga, is infectious: B.K.S. Iyengar, father of yoga in the West, checks out the Yoga Journal conference blog in our own little blogging room.

Web 2.0--it's not just RSS

Dave Winer says: Web 2.0 is really simple, it's RSS 2.0, but I would venture to disagree.
While RSS is an amazing tool, to me the heart of Web 2.0 is the user.
The enduring lesson of all of the social media and emerging technologies is that we've created an a la carte, do it yourself platform where users can engage with sophisticated forms of search, feeds, metadata and APIs, social networks and identity, and commerce and fill these vessels with their own information
--And that's the heart of the revolution, IMHO.
The tools power it, but the people do it.
And I celebrate them.

(Via The Compass)

Update: Danah's post

Tim Porter: Intentional Journalism

Tim writes: "In order to preserve the principles of journalism, we must change its practices and form. We must create journalism we can sell. We must commit journalism by any means necessary. [Read: Journalism by Every Means Necessary.]

The future of news belongs to those who build it. Journalists are not excluded from this process - although they have been acting like they are. Were I to rewrite the Quality Manifesto, I could call it the Innovation Manifesto or the Reinvention Manifesto (or the Phoenix Manifesto in honor of Phil Meyer's up from the ashes metaphor). More likely, though, I'd title it Intentional Journalism."

Tim's post is long and thoughtful. If you are riding the edge of change in journalism or participatory media, this is a good read.

TNL:Google has 22.5 and 26.5 billion items indexed, sees Microsoft as competitor

The frequently numerical Tristan Louis has an interesting post about the size of Google's index and the idea the company now sees MSN as its nearest competitor (no surprise there.)
Google has 24 billion items indexed, considers MSN search nearest
Yahoo says its index is over 20 billion items, but as John Battelle points out, it's not clear who's zooming who.
Tristan writes:
"The original index was 24 million pages. From there, it is easy to multiply by the 1,000 factor they talk about in their blog and get a number of items in the Google index.

That number would be 24 billion items in the Google Index, a little more
than what Yahoo! has in their index."

He's got some nice analysis plotting and exploring the growth curve for Google and MSN--

* Growth Curve of 50%: MSN Index is now 7.5 billion items
* Growth curve of 75%: MSN Index is now 8.75 billion items
* Growth curve of 100%: MSN index is now 10 billion items

And concludes "... it appears that the Google index is sitting somewhere between 22.5 and 26.5
billion items indexed and, more probably than not, at the 24 billion items indexed mark. This gives it a slight edge over the Yahoo! index and shows that the company considers Microsoft its nearest competitor."

The whole thing is worth a read if you're a metrics geek.

YJ Conference blog: Thanks for the linky love

Thank you to everyone helping to spread the word about the new Yoga Journal blog and the live conference coverage we're providing here in the Rockies.
The blog is filling up quickly--yogis, YJ editors and the blog team are all posting pix, MP3s, and video.
KQED, Pluck, Feedster, Learning the Lessons of Nixon, Hip and Zen Pen,Morning Mysore, Read/Write Web, RadioFreeBlogistan, Roland Tanglao's Weblog, The Bay Are Is Talking(TBAiT),Vacuum (Ed V), Rebuilding Media/Bob Cauthorn, and Yoga Weblog have all linked--thx.

Peter Caputa gets the prize for best sense of humor and link to flickr images. Steve Rubel #2 for channelling Yogi Berra.

Bonus pix (and then I will shut up about this conference--Lori's snap of log-time yoga student Annette Bening and Mr.B.K.S.Iyengar at dinner last night. )

Monday, September 26, 2005

In Estes Park, producing yoga conference coverage

Here's the ever-growing flickr gallery for the conference.
And a link to the blog.
And a photo of the blog team:

Sunday, September 25, 2005

2005 Online Journalism Awards: Finalists announced

ONA's released the list of 2005 finalists.
This year, LA Observed's Kevin Broderick and I represented the blogging tip, check out the list and see what you think.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Japanese Hot Dog Art!

Via Slashfood: "The Nippon Ham Group hosts a gallery of hot dog art on their site. Actually, it?s more than just a gallery. There are instructions on how to create roughly a dozen little hot dog creatures."

Judging for the sixth annual Online Journalism Awards

In LA, taking part in judging for Judging for the sixth annual Online Journalism Awards, presented by the Online News Association and the USC Annenberg School for Communication.

The jury for this year's awards, which is meeting today and tomorrow at USC Annenberg, is:

The ONA will announce the finalists for this year's awards Saturday evening, with the winners to be announced at the 2005 ONA Conference, Oct. 28-29 at the Hilton New York.

Susan sez: Kevin and I are the bloggerati in the group, but the (growing) openness of this organization is heartening and the process has offered up some cool surprises.

Friday, September 23, 2005


Charlene Li: Google Talk's potential --searchable conversation
Dan's Diner: "Community is at the epicenter of a disruptive earthquake of changing consumer behavior in media."
Feedburner: Pingshot "notifies aggregators, search engines, and directories about your content updates as quickly as possible."
Ted Rheingold: "Yes, you read that right, Dogster & Catster are profitable." (Via Clavier)
CNET: " Just about the only thing that's changed over the last decade is that Microsoft's amorphous nightmare has a name: Google."

Kevin Werbach looks to the future

Tantalizing post by Kevin Werbach: "Soon, though, most of the major Internet players are likely to be hybrids of two or more layers. Google and eBay will be infrastructure and applications; Yahoo! and News Corp. will be applications and content; telephone, wireless, and cable operators will be infrastructure nad content; Microsoft and Time Warner will span all three levels. And that's just what we've seen announced so far. In this market, everyone is in play."

Esty: Marketplace for handmade goods

Just stumbled across esty, a marketplace for handmade goods.
Going to check it out.
Anyone else watching or using this site?
Any other cool sites like this you can share?

Advice: How to sneak past censors with your blog

Via Steve Rubel: AP: ?A Paris-based media watchdog has released an ABC guide of tips for bloggers and dissidents to sneak past Internet censors in countries from China to Iran.?

Jay Rosen on Times Select

Jay Rosen on Times Select: " My own questions start with this sentence in the corporate side?s press release, describing TimesSelect as ?a new product offering subscribers exclusive online access to the distinctive voices of the Op-Ed, Business, Metro and Sports columnists of The New York Times and the International Herald Tribune (IHT).?

The phrase ?exclusive online accesss? advertises two different goods. The first good is the work of the Times columnists themselves. The proposition that some will pay for that is hard to prove until you try, but it?s simple to understand. The second good being advertised is exclusivity. You, the lucky TimesSelect subscriber, have access to these voices. Others do not. The value proposition there is muddled. If we prize up-to-date information about petroleum markets, we might value it more?and pay a premium?if the news is exclusively available to paying customers; but do we value Nicholas D. Kristof?s column more if he?s an ?exclusive??"

Jay's point is underscored by the fact other sites are carrying much of this content--free.

Google: Building data capacity in NYC

NY Post's got an article saying Google's in talks "to lease a whopping 270,000 square feet in the former Port Authority Commerce Building at 111 Eighth Ave. at W. 15th Street."
This building is home to dozens of telecom and hosting companies.
Guess the G's plans to take over the planet via digital services are becoming more and more real..that war chest can fund lots of fiber.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

New: Yoga Journal conference blog

For the next week, Yoga Journal and a small group of blogerati will be working together to create almost real-time quality coverage of the 10th annual Yoga Journal conference in Estes Park--and of the visit of Mr. B.K.S. Iyengar, father of yoga in the West.
I'm part of this happy crew and we'll be posting posting lots of unique photos, video, audio--plus lots of talk/observations/comments so that everyone interested in yoga, relaxation, wellness and balanced living can tune in and enjoy a look at what's happening here.
Kick off is Monday, but the blog goes live today.

Side note: We're going to bring some of the techniques of covering tech conferences--flash movies, podcasts, photo galleries, accounts & chronicles--to this unique yoga event--so if you are into yoga, or into emerging tech, check it out all next week.

Bob Cauthorn on newspaper business cuts

Bob Cauthorn scred on the decline of newspapers and the (complacency) elephant in the room. Favorite snippet (the whole piece is worth a read--and applies not just to newspaper businesses):
"You need brains now to save newspapers. Active brains. Big ones. With fresh ideas and no fear."
" What if newspapers were to become product focused rather than brand focused? The old modes of thinking will crumble. The print problem and the digital opportunity will be viewed as separate, but entwined, issues.

Digital media will be recognized for exactly what it is: a full medium in its own right, with its own internal logic, unique advantages, specific shortcomings and opportunities. Newspaper companies will begin to ask the proper questions about digital media, instead of simply mumbling about cannibalization and print."

Susan sez: Is the tipping point approaching--or are we just realizing we've passed it? (I think the latter.)

FooCamp 2005: Web 2.0 meme map

Tim O'Reilly's posted a picture of the meme map describing Web 2.0 that foocamp attendees made--I'm going to print one to stare at for a bit..good stuff.

Meme maps adapted from business model maps developed by Beam Inc.


PaidContent reports that iMediaconnection's being sold to DMG World Media,, who also own Ad:Tech.
Researcher Anthony Townsend's sharing links
Bloomberg: Whitefish, Montana's the geekish Aspen?
Rojo founder Kevin Burton announces TailRank, a next-generation weblog ranking system--and his new start-up/

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

New Blood for (old) AOL

Click Z reports: "Erik Flannigan, most recently VP of programming for Walt Disney's Buena Vista Datacasting, will head up a new unit at America Online. Flannigan will oversee Moviefone, AOL Music, AOL Radio, and AOL Television, and will develop new content initiatives for both the AOL service and"

Welcome to Dulles, pal. Please bring back Mr. Showbiz.

Jake Tapper is blogging

ABC News has a raft of new blogs and one of them is by Jake Tapper. Jake is super smart with lots to say, one of those print to TV to web guys, and now new bloggerati.
Down and Dirty is Jake's take (I wanted to say that) on pop culture and politics--topics he's been engaged with for most of his career.
First posts are on New Orleans, let's see what's next(hopefully something more unique...)
And here's the RSS feed.

Students today: Portrait of a Digital Native

NJ educator Tom McHale has a lively piece about today's HS students and how they are digital natives--tribal members of the always on/always connected generation. A snippet (the lede):
"Meredith Fear sits in her room doing her homework. Books are scattered about, and a computer monitor glows before her. She is working on two Word documents and has four Web sites open. She checks her school e-mail account, her Bloglines news aggregator, and Furls of an online article for her independent study. She quickly transitions from this to respond to group members on Instant Messenger who have attached PowerPoint slides for an upcoming class presentation.

"The computer gives me a contact to all the people I need to talk to," Fear says. "It's a gateway to the world."

A good piece on kids and, well, devices.

Brian Wacker: Words from a (soon to be) J-School grad

Came across Brian's weblog and noticed this post about j-school and what learning matters:

"What I?m getting for my tuition is, ideally, the same I would have been getting 30 years ago. I?m not here to learn how to use WordPress as much I am here to learn how to write. I?m not here to learn how to use InDesign as much as I am here to learn what makes a good magazine page layout. While the medium may change, the basic elements of educating an intelligent, insightful, talented journalist stay the same. Great research skills. Great writing skills. A dedication to honesty and truth. These are the guiding forces of what made a good journalist 30 years ago, what makes one today and what will make one 30 years from now.

... In fact, I think it is the very change in media ? from radio to television to internet and beyond ? that keeps young people interested in journalism. As the number of media outlets expands, so too will the amount of people willing and capable of being good journalists."

In Brooklyn

Staying with friends in my old home town, Park Slope, Bklyn.
The area's gentrified further since I last lived here, but the charm of the streets is
just as strong--and the parade of owners and dogs back and forth to the park at dusk is just as eclectic and delightful.
If I were to move back to NY, I would definitely think about returning to this
area...there's a small-scale charm that's very special and accessible, and that still captures my attention.

Monday, September 19, 2005


Flying today, light posting till tonight.

Friday, September 16, 2005

AOL & Google: Analyst Lauren Fine says maybe

More fuel to the Google can't let AOL go to MSN discussion reported by Paid Content, who quote Merrill Lynch media analyst Lauren Fine: "We believe it is entirely possible that Google could consider making a bid for AOL as well. This would certainly protect Google's revenues from AOL as well as enable Google to keep 100 percent of the search advertising revenues as well as gain a significant amount of content. " Fine's focus isn't on Google alone. "Should such a deal between AOL and MSN materialize, it could pose serious competition for Yahoo as well as Google in terms of audience reach and comprehensiveness of content. According to August comScore data, AOL had 88 million unique visitors and 26 billion in page views and MSN had 100 million unique visitors and 18 billion in page views, in combination exceeding Yahoo's reach of 122 million unique visitors and pretty much matching Yahoo's 42 billion page views. In addition, this would give a significant boost to MSN's search engine."

Fun, hmmn.
Another wild card thought: Would Murdoch or Diller take a peek at buying AOL? Either of those scenarios would suggest we were in a bigger bubble than the last one.


Smart Mobs: Do you know what a neighbornode is? Hint: They're hyperlocal. (Via networked performance)
Steve Shu helps BizWeek launch an MBA area. Readers can get blogs, worry about grad school, and then talk about getting hired (sounds like a plan for premium services)
Also--BizWeek's got a new podcast series tied to cover stories--This magazine keeps getting it right, more or less.
We Media fellowship recipients: The October 5th conference has awarded 15 fellowships and the list is fascinating and diverse.
Amy Gahran: So what is citizen journalism and and why should news orgs care? (Good, pragmatic tips here.)

Local CA bonus Noted: MAS, a new magazine launching in the very small, very social-media hot zone of California called Bakersfield, has a nice new website/community built on the Bakomatic platform (a great example of reskinning a product, folks).
Old style publisher E&P comments here.

Google and AOL: Russ Beattie thinks its possible

Russ Beattie shares my view that Google's war chest could buy a slice of--or the whole shooting match--of AOL. Russ writes:
"Google, it seems, would be the most obvious suitor to me. They need everything that AOL already has in order to continue to compete in the online media space. Yeah, they have their Search cash-cow at the moment, but that's an undefensible lead. The switching costs for someone to move from Google to Yahoo! Search are nil - I should know, I've done it, I rarely use Google now and there was no real penalty involved in switching. Google is essentially an advertising company and needs to keep expanding its online media business, or get caught by competitors in the Search space and not have a backup. Snagging AOL would bring along some great assets that Google really needs, including the Netscape name (and campus down the street from Google in Mt. View), AIM, AOL Mail, AOL Mobile, multimedia assets, tons of content and tons of community services as well. Hell, what else is Google going to do with $4b in cash lying around?"

My sentiments, exactly, Russ!

Addendeum: Back in the day (2000) the Netscape team wanted AOL to buy Google but one of the very senior executives didn't think AOL users would ever care about the Internet or web search, so they didn't try to buy the company. They did, however, invest about $10MM, a flyer that paid off handsomely when Google went public.
There would be something poetic about Google buying AOL now, doncha think?

Thursday, September 15, 2005

AOL Blog Survey: 50% of bloggers practicing self-therapy?

Heather Green at the consistently interesting Blogspotting breaks the news of an AOL Survey on blogging and why people do it. The story says that the survey reveals 50% of all bloggers blog because it's a form of self-therapy preferable to counselling. Other data points:
  • 16% blog because they're interested in journalism;
  • 12% blog in order to break or stay ahead of the latest news and gossip
  • 8% blog in order to expose political information

Now, here's the kicker, babies--this survey data is based on 600 users who answered it on AOL.
The idea that AOL users might be typical bloggers--or that 600 users is a statistically accurate sample--is the same fuzzy logic that makes MSN want to seriously consider buying AOL.

In other words, now we've heard from one segment of the blogging population--how about the rest?
(On the other hand, some of the top bloggers I read are definitely practicing self therapy--in public.)

Will MSN buy AOL? Or will Google?

NY Post reports MSN is talking seriously about acquiring AOL and folding it into the mix. However, the reporter says: " Talks are most advanced with Microsoft, Time Warner management's preferred partner, but the media giant has also had discussions with both Yahoo! and Google over a sale or venture with AOL, according to a source close to Time Warner."

Susan sez: Given the long history AOL has had with Google, and Google's interest in building out their network, I would not rule out a *surprise* purchase or investment in AOL by Google.
After all, AOL has built a terrific server network and infrastructure/backbone over the years, and that would be a strong asset for Google--as would be the millions of pages they could monetize directly.
And they'll have the war chest to do it, won't they?

(Side note to Google execs: Don't do it, you have no idea what you would be getting into!)

(Via Marketing Vox)

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Google Blog Search and new Blogger start page

So not only did Google launch blog search (more on that in a sec), but they redid the Blogger start page to reflect the new search and drive more traffic into blogs. There's a dynamic crawl linking to newly updated blogs, a blog of the day clickable list, and the good ol' random link.

As for the new Google blog search, it seems to be indexing constantly--I could swear my first search on Jarvis & Dell via Google Blog Search turned up(undated) two posts with no dateline, while the one I did just now resulted in 578 nicely annotated posts. Oddly enough, when I used the new blog search box on Blogger to do the same search I got 550 results--have no idea why.

Meanwhile, my Technorati search on the same keywords provided a clearly labelled 699 posts with 20 posts in the last ten days and a Feedster search provided 390 dated and annotated results.

Susan sez: A good start from the big guys; let's see how the indexing shakes out as they make the small tweaks--and, most importantly--where they integrate this thing. The elephant in the room isn't their computing power, IMHO, it's the building GoogleNet suite of indispensable apps--as they hook them together, world domination looms.

Update: Nick W at Threadwatch says the new search focuses on feeds, not blogs.
Winer explains.

Stats watch: Photo-hosting (and sharing)spikes up

New Netratings data reports that as more and more users integrate photos into their blog pages--and as the world reports on world events--the amount of photo-publishing and hosting has grown more than 406% since January 2005, with photo-hosting sites (including blog ASPs) accounting for 10% of active Internet users.

Netratings reports that top referring sites for the top five image hosting sites during August2005 included,, LiveJournal, Blogger and MSN Spaces.
InJuly 2005, Nielsen//NetRatings reported that 20 percent of active Web users, or 29.3 million people, accessed blogging or blog-related Web sites, growing31 percent since the beginning of the year.
Money quote is from Jon Gibbs, research manager: "The large rise in blogging activity has lifted other Web sites, the primary one being image hosting sites. Simple text-based 'diaries' have evolved into a more image-oriented presentation."
(Susan sez: One might add that world events, not only evolving customer behavior, are responsible for this truth.)

The table:
     Table 1. Top 5 Image Hosting Web Sites, Jan. vs. Aug. 2005 (Home & Work,
Site Jan 05 UA (000) Aug 05 UA (000) Jan-Aug Growth
PhotoBucket 1,537 12,241 696%
ImageShack 1,150 3,444 199%
______________________________________________________________________ -- 1,302 --
______________________________________________________________________ -- 715 --
______________________________________________________________________ -- 559 --
Category* 2,912 14,734 406%

Source: Nielsen//NetRatings, September 2005
*Note: Category is comprised of 50 image hosting Web sites.

The demos (yes,teens are into it)
Table 2. Highest Indexing Age & Gender Groups for Image Hosting Sites
(U.S., Home & Work)
Demo Group Unique Audience (000) Composition % Composition Index
Female 12 - 17 2,219 15% 259
Male 12 - 17 1,532 10% 191
Male 21 - 24 479 3% 182
Male 18 - 24 1,004 7% 175

Source: Nielsen//NetRatings, September 2005

AOL offers podcasts

So AOL's now added access to podcasts. In addition, TVEyes Podscope search will be integrated with AOL Search and there will be lots o original podcast programming from AOLChannels (and members, one would think.)
Susan sez: This is yet another great example of how podcasting fits the populace, making it quick and straightforward to adapt. AOL didn't add blogging till 2004, quite a while after blogging took off, but they're quick(ish) to adopt podcasting.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Expert volunteers needed for Craigslist Foundation Bootcamp Oct 8, SF, CA

Anyone in the Bay area interested in volunteering their expertise for the October 8th Craiglist Foundation Non-Profit Boot Camp - Ask the Experts tables?
Just heard they need some more volunteers--if you are able to provide some services, this is a really worthwhile program--volunteers are needed to work 2-hour shifts for one on one Q&A with attendees.
Check the site for details.

More (ideas) on why eBay bought Skype

Now the fun begins--more comments on eBay and Skype and market implications:

Nivi imagines eBay should next buy SixApart and writes: 'Ebay cannot accept the risk of having a powerful supplier that essentially has a monopoly on VoIP because Skype has a viral product that runs on a closed network with network effects. You could describe Paypal the same way: a viral product that runs on a closed network with network effects."

Michael Parekh says: " Wired and wireless voice communications are being cut loose, from the predictable, steady, metered subscription revenue streams of the past few decades, to having to fend for themselves. .. In the eBay/Skype case, they'll have to be supported through seemingly esoteric but potentially potent new revenue opportunities like "pay-per-call" (a twist on the "pay-per-click" model popularized by Internet advertising companies. Incidentally, pay-per-call is not a hypothetical exercise."

Umair's as shrewd as usual and takes an economics systems approach: "Web 2.0 is about the shift from network search economies, which realize mild exponential gains - your utility is bounded by the number of things (people, etc) you can find on the network - to network coordination economies, which realize combinatorial gains: your utility is bounded by the number of things (transactions, etc) you can do on the network. " So in his world, Skype is another platform with a transactional user base (as opposed to the NYTimes) and that's the future.

Having fun yet? I sure am.

J-Learning site goes live

The new J-learning site just also went live--it's a training site for people interested in community publishing and participatory media and it's huge.
If you're interested in community publishing, it's well worth checking it out,
commenting on an article, registering and writing, etc.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Memorandum gets an upgrade

Gabe Rivera's given Memorandum an upgrade that's totally worth a look.
Basically, the site sorts Google News and blogosphere data to present information on two topics--politics and digital media/emerging tech-- as a set of verticals that highlight the contributors from a community of writers. As Gabe says, the pages are built automatically, but they feel meaty--and they uncover links and stories the usual suspects do not.

More: See Robert Scoble's rave review

More on eBay buys Skype

eBay explains the deal to its investors via a packet of presos (via Paid Content)
Ross Mayfield says "Skype will provide eBay a communications platform for the other half of it's market -- the conversations. eBay will enhance the liquidity of it's spot market, gains a business with great fundamentals, positioning for yellow pages business, further infrastructure for billing, payment and -- identity."
Jeff Clavier weighs in: "eBay is spending about half of its cash reserve to acquire the VoIP company, at a stratospheric multiple (based on Skype?s rumored revenue levels)....and "A key learning: after this one, no deal is impossible or unthinkable."
Richard McKinnon writes: "This would have to be the fastest richification of two founders ever! 2 years after starting Skype, Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis are billionaires. Cool. More. It was the IPO of Netscape in the ninties, a company with no revenue, just converts to an idea, the browser, that ignited the first internet era. Was that just ten years ago? Is this that deal of the second internet era?"
Chris Carfi says the key points are: An opportunity to extend eBay communities to the desktop; a strategic move into emerging markets; integration of PayPal into the Skype interface.

Susan sez: All the above are true, but the two bellwethers, for me, are eBay's diversification into another powerful platform business (VOIP + community) and the global nature of the deal--this is the acceleration of eBay's ongoing growth across the planet.

Community publishing: Austin paper launches new features

The Austin American Statesman's just launched a new set of Pluck-powered community publishing features to complement their long established Austin360 entertainment site and the news site at www.statesman. com. The community blogs and newsreader will focus on twelve topics of local interest, including an upcoming music featival and kids sports, but citizens can start new topics to discuss.
My favorite quote from GM Jim Debth is this one: "This is very new for us and our advertisers, so it might be a while before the blogs create real revenue. But from the start, we're sure this will significantly broaden coverage of big stories, and add real value for readers."

Susan sez: As local newspapers roll out these offerings, it will be interesting to see who does the best job of marketing and execution and how quickly newspaper evaluate how this kind of product fits into their ROI.

(Via MediaPost)

Jeff Jarvis: New gig, new platform

Congrats to my old boss Jeff Jarvis, who has just been named Associate Professor at CUNY and Director of their new media program. Jeff's been working with CUNY on a curriculum since last year, so this is a nice extension of that work--Congrats, Jeff!

EBay's assets=Platform + Skype; also question re Google

So the press is reporting that eBay is about to buy Skype for $2.6B
If that's true, it means that eBay has the following:
  • A distributed platform for small biz/merchants
  • A namespace/base of over 22 million users, more if you count affiliates
  • A micropayments and merchant banking system (Paypal)
  • Reputation management
  • An integrated IM and VOIP system (if they buy Skype and integrate it)
Very cool.

So, here's the question--Will Google buy eBay? Or Amazon?
I'd like to bet that big war chest goes for platform tools, not media.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Kevin Sites will report for Yahoo

The LA Times reports that Yahoo's hired Kevin Sites, one of the first stand-alone journalists and the first blogger to report from Baghdad, to roam around the world and deliver "Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone" a show that takes the hunky newsman around the world and into hot spots crying out for eye witness accounts and cool video/photography. The Times says
"In an Internet-age twist on the nightly news report, on Sept. 26 he will begin filing video, audio and text dispatches to Yahoo News each day and hold live chat and videoconferencing sessions from the world's most brutal conflicts."

BizWeek's Jon Fine: This guy needs a (better) editor

So Elisa Camahort sent me a link to an article by BizWeek's Jon Fine on Technorati's wonderous new blog finder product (never mind T's infrastructure problems when you need t to write a wet kiss piece about their general hotness so your magazine can makes people feel like they're inside the bubble).
The lede:

"How excited is Peter Hirshberg, Technorati's executive vice-president, about his site's new toy? We're at a birthday party -- music playing, cocktails flowing, women in slinky dresses -- and he drags me over to a laptop to show off a beta version of Technorati's new searchable blog directory."

Elisa's comment on this piece of breathless prose:
What is the message here? This product is so good that Hirshberg is willing to delay the certain orgiastic fucking ahead implied by the very presence of "women in slinky dresses" (snip)...

Susan sez: Given how great BizWeek's Blogspotting is, let's not only slap Fine's hand for being politically incorrect, let's wonder what his editor was thinking by letting not only a sloppy lede, but a whole article that sounds so 1998 slip through into publication.

It is absolutely hysterical for Fine to publish an article datelined September 19 that doesn't acknowledge that these days, for most web users, it is IMPOSSIBLE to reach Technorati 20 out of 25 tries--especially when the CEO of the company acknowledges the problems on his own blog.

Guys, can you try getting it together a bit? Maybe act more like women in slinky dresses for a change?

Friday, September 09, 2005

Friday Noted

Om Malik: Vin Cerf at Google =Googlenet. World domination is just the half of it, think geo-mapped ubiquity
Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and how it changed America(Via Travis Smith)
Jeremy Zawodny: Email bloopers, mail merge edition(very funny)
Roland Tanglao: Rupert Murdoch buying AudioBlog is the latest rumour
Ross Mayfield: Blogging Our Social World conference, Cambridge, UK

Bonus: The New Yorker now has RSS feeds.

Techie road trips: How to travel light

BioTeams' Ken Thompson has some suggestions on how to hit the road with only a laptop and a cellphone and still stay connected to everything.
His key points:
  • Store your data at an ASP service like
  • Get web based email (natch)
  • Makre sure all access works before you go
Ken references an earlier Dan Gillmor piece in the Financial Times on travelling(and Dan should know, man's a world-class globetrotter.) Dan's must-carries:
  • Retractable cables, including phone-modem, Ethernet, USB, FireWire and audio connectors.
  • A power supply for my computer that plugs into wall sockets and airplane-seat power outlets
  • A 80 gigabyte portable disk drive
  • USB headset and microphone system for Skype
  • Casio Exilim digital camera
  • Treo
  • Bose QuietComfort 2 audio headphones
What tech tools do you bring on the road? Besides your laptop, that is?

Quote of the Day: Citizen Journalism

"The hybrid is the signature of our age. It's emblematic of the casualness with which we have established ourselves in real, physical habitats as well as in digital, virtual domains. Nobody planned SMS or citizen journalism in the form of blogging, RSS feeds and podcasting. Their emergence is a hybrid condition that was most certainly foretold by visionary artists and cultural theoreticians, though not by the marketing gurus of the new economy."
-- Gerfried Stocker, artistic director of Ars Electronica, Wired News

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Reading: Ahtisaari's Blogging over Las Vegas

If you enjoy the writings of Howard Rheingold and Anthony Townsend, then you will surely want to read Marko Ahtisaari's Blogging Over Las Vegas, an essay/talk about mobility, values and the future. Currently director of design strategy at Nokia, Ahtisaari is passionate, articulate and smart and this essay carries the authority and confidence of an experienced entrepeneur.
A snippet:
"Next year there will be more than 2 billion mobile phone users in the world. Over the last fifteen years the mobile industry has seen amazing growth. Much of this growth has been in the developed economies but increasingly the value is created in emerging markets.Just as it is difficult to perceive the speed of an airplane from within - blogging over Las Vegas - it is hard to fathom the scale of adoption of mobile technologies. We are numb to it. How will we explain to our children that before, when you wanted to call someone, you needed to stand against a wall? "

There's more, all well worth a read...

Misquoted by the press

So I had one of those watershed moments this morning, when I discovered someone I like and work with put quotes from me into a story he published without ever letting me know I was being interviewed, never checking the quotes, and then getting both the quote and the attribution/relationship completely wrong.
I've written and asked for a correction, but I have to say I am amazed that someone I regard as professional would do that. Despite all the slime (about not being journalists) that bloggers have thrown at them, this feels far more sloppy than anything any blogger I know has done.
Gives me a small taste of what others experience, say, weekly?

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

BlogHer: The dinner

So we had a BlogHer reunion dinner at my place last night; Elisa Camahort, Jory des Jardins, Charlene Li, Ashley Richards and Maria Niles came over and we talked and ate and drank and talked and talked...and did I mention we talked a good bit?
It was a pleasure to host this crew; we had some great wine and an assortment of cheese, salami, home-made guacamole, and then roasted chicken, roasted red potatoes with rosemary and onions, and a big salad with goat cheese, walnuts and berries. Cookies and more wine for dessert.

Rafer leaves Feedster

Scott Rafer's just announced he's leaving Feedster. Rafer did an amazing job, imho, in taking a small startup and turning it into a successful early stage company--mostly by dint of sheer hard work and perseverance. Best of luck in your new endeavors, Scott, you definitely have a legacy to be proud of.
(Oh, and he's got a new blog over at Wireless Ink.)

Rubel's podcasting & Yee's blogging

I don't know how Steve finds the time, but this should be good--He writes: "Joseph Jaffe and I dropped subtle hints yesterday, but now we're ready to formally announce our new weekly podcast on marketing. It's called Across the Sound. (MP3 enclosure)."

Also, local Bay area CEO/investor Mabel Yee has launched a new blog called Lead Ceo. She writes: ' is focused on sharing problems, solutions and ideas that CEOs face....I've always wanted to network within the CEO community to get solutions to problems and leverage more resources, but I didn't have time to do it. I thought, why not create a blog for all CEOs where we can post information, resources and solutions to problems we all faced."
She's one post into it, and building..good luck!

Wikipedia grows as news resource ?The Wikipedia, which has surged this year to become the most popular reference site on the Web, is fast overtaking several major news sites as the place where people swarm for context on breaking events.?
Reuters says:
"Wikipedia recently attracted 22.3 percent of users searching for information on "Gaza Strip," tying the CIA World Factbook. It has drawn five times more U.S. traffic than Google News, Yahoo News or BBC, according to Hitwise analyst Bill Tancer.

Similarly, in April, Wikipedia tied with as the No. 2 most visited site among U.S. Web users searching for details on the new Pope Benedict., a Catholic encyclopedia, was the most visited site among people seeking to learn more about Joseph Ratzinger, according to Hitwise data."

Susan sez: We're surely seeing this with Katerina--Wikipedia as a core asset to get definitive information from an always-open, participatory database of info.

Winners of the 2005 Black Weblog Awards

Via the always interesting Move the Crowd: Winners of the 2005 Black Weblog Awards: Congrats everyone!--AND BIG SHOUT OUT TO GEORGE

WSJ blesses (some) *newer* search engines

The WSJ's got a piece today about how the newer search engines jump through hoops Google, MSN and Yahoo do not, and by new they are talking Technorati, Feedster, IceRocket and BlogPulse.
While the article is light, it's a good introduction if you're not trolling for data in this uiverse and want to get started...or if you need a piece to pass around to less techy friends and colleagues.

Update: Get the real-deal evals on more search engines--in depth--from VC Fred Wilson.

Web 2.0:Devaluing the user?

Umair's got a post speculating--and modelling--how the market might value a DIY media web 2.0 user whose all of whose content goes over IP, vs a more traditional Web 1.0 user--and it's a good read.
His conclusion:"Web/Media 2.0 is going to destroy a great deal of value for many incumbents along the value chain. "

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Noted: Podcasting & mobile

Brian Russell: Audio Activism » How to Create Interview Podcasts on the Cheap
Eric Rice: Audioblog has funding to launch in Asia(Via OmMalik)
NPR launches a large Podcast Directory
Ad Age: Dawn & Drew to work for Adam Curry's Podshow Network.
Phonecontent: Mobile, mobile mobile online mag.

USA Today: Pre teens are the new target for cell phone makers--anyone surprised?

Katrina: Immortal quotes of the moment

Barbara Bush (on the poor left homeless and evacuated from New Orleans): "This is working very well for them."
George Bush:
"The good news is, and it's hard for some to see it now, but out of this chaos is going to come a fantastic Gulf Coast."
Britney Spears(2003): "Honestly, I think we should just trust our president in every decision he makes and should just support that, you know, and be faithful in what happens."

Ad Age:Thoughts on the evolution of newspapers

Ad Age asked some designers to rethink the NYTimes, but what resulted was a dialogue on newspaper products and how they need to evolve. Some highlights:

Pelle Anderson: "The newspapers of the world, and that includes the New York Times, will have to realize that they compete not in a newspapers market, nor in a media market, but in a time market. The core business idea of any newspaper (although the publishers and editors tend to avoid admitting to this) is to deliver a number of readers to the advertisers, or, more precisely, a certain exposure of the ads to a specific audience. The time the readers spend with the papers is the currency the newspapers sell to advertisers, and that time has been steadily diminishing since the '60s. What to do? To just go on producing what to a large extent is an increasingly irrelevant newspaper, like the New York Times does, is not a good idea."

Lucie Lacavaa: " The newspaper of the future will have options for single urban people just as it will have options for families. The same consumer who is getting used to having convenient on-demand options in all their other media and entertainment is also a newspaper reader, so you have to design newspapers to be bought a la carte."

Jarvis: Recovery 2.0 aka a clearinghouse wiki?

Jeff's got a smart post about the value of netizens planning ahead to coordinate around the next disaster, especially around peoplefinder and identity standards--see , the (and )-- that can look across various databases and other data sets.

Jeff's ideas are good, but on a simpler level, I think the best thing to develop is a centralized wiki where people who want to address a problem can go--and everyone *knows* it's a clearinghouse so the spontaneous respondents to a disaster have a designated resource to work from in addition to what happens on the fly.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Honoring Labor Day

In my house, Labor Day was always the last free day before school started, but it started as a way to honor the working people--and the unions--of America, back in the day when unions meant something.
For that reason, I was drawn to a Labor Day post by Tom Guarriello at Truetalk Blog, who wrote:
"My parents were both union members. My mother was a seamstress. She started working in the first of a long series of small manufacturing "shops" when she was 14, and immediately joined the ILGWU. When she died a few months short of her 89th birthday, she was still receiving retirement benefit checks.

My father was a Teamster. But, an odd one. My dad worked a lot of different kinds of jobs, but for the last 25 or so years of his life he worked in the cosmetics business, manufacturing cold creams, toilet water and other products for Charles of the Ritz and Estee Lauder. Those plants were Teamster shops, and eventually my dad was elected shop steward.
My mom finished the 8th grade; my dad, the 6th. They were the kinds of people Labor Day was established to commemorate: simple, hard-working."

Here's to all of us and the ways --good and bad--that work has changed in the past 50 years--and to everything we each contribute.

RSS as an API for content

Nivi articulates what many are discovering: RSS is a pretty damn good way to build an enclosure to distribute all sorts of content and applications.
In this new platform-driven, disaggregated world we've building, RSS can be the workshorse driver for a distributed network of information and resources.
How cool is that?
Feednation, Feedburner, Pheedo and lots of others are putting the pieces together for feed processing, but there's tons of other work happening as well...
More tk on next-gen RSS efforts and distributed platforms.

P.S. Have you seen Raw Sugar, a social-network and tagging search tool?

eCommerce Watch & others

National Retail Federation, via Providence Business News: Back-to-college spending is expected to soar 33 percent to $34 billion this year, while spending for kindergarten through 12th-grade students is predicted to be down 8 percent to $13.3 billion.
Techie Diva: Gadgets for the girlz, reviewed by a Knight Ridder reporter, via North Jersey News.
Forbes: Cosmopolitan Magazine to go on radio with Sirius Satellite radio--Can Cosmo podcasting be far behind?

Sunday, September 04, 2005

New: Bloggery

Chocolate Grey, the deanguelo Chronicles: Electic and fascinating takes on news, entertainment, tech and more.
Yan's Glutter: A Hong Kong digerati's opinion journal.
Orato: New site for first person (news) stories--selected by editors and paid to be published (!)
The The State (Columbia, SC) launches community publishing web only site with local experts as bloggers. iUpload's the platform.
AOL Journals launches a Katrina photoblog(Via MagicSmoke)
Eyes on Katrina: See the power of hyperlocal citizen journalism on this informative blog from the SunHerald.

Katrina giving: It's gonna take more than one shot

Erin at Dress A Day has some smart thoughts about how to help survivors of Katrina, and she says it's going to be about helping poor people make it through a season of rising gas prices:
"But -- poor people, just as poor as those left behind to suffer in New Orleans, are going to be hit by a gas price hurricane, right where you live, wherever you live.

High gas prices are going to take a big chunk out of the pockets of the people who can least afford it. Rising gas prices are going to mean hungry and cold people all winter long.

So, please, give what money you can to Katrina relief now. But please also make a resolution to give what you can to your local charities, now and all winter long. I've just put a repeating reminder in my calendar on the 29th of each month for the next year, to remember to see what I can give on that day. Call it Katrina Donation Day."

Erin's got a good point--maybe it's time to start saving the cost of those gourmet coffees and muffins and passing it on.

Bonus: Good list of places to give from Go Fug Yourself

Saturday, September 03, 2005

DWR: The Corporate Bed

Highly amused today to get a newsletter from Design Within Reach announcing their new bedding collection and to see this photo entitled The Modern Workspace--it makes me smile that DWR recognizes folks now work on their laptops--in bed--and yet, doesn't this bed look far more corporate--and orderly-- than any home office--not to mention bedroom?

Volunteer: Populate a master missing persons DB

More from David Geilhufe on a New Orleans/Katrina digital volunteering effort to create one master Missing Persons aggregrated database. David says " We need community leaders that can help coordinate a massively parallel data entry effort so that thousands of volunteers can enter information from message boards across the web without too much duplication of effort. The thing we need to resolve first is how to coordinate such a significant effort."

This is something everyone everywhere can help can give an hour--or more.

To get involved go to

Also, see the list of survivor sites they are trying to aggregate here.

Katrina: Missing Persons Databases

One of the efforts ongoing in this horrific situation is coordination of missing persons efforts.
There's a new site that David Geilhufe of the Social Source Foundation and others have pulled together at that has a "people finder" that can aggregate all the data they can get their hands on.
David says: "We need a plan/strategy for massively parallel distributed action....Basically there is all this unstructured data out on the web in forums and message boards. We want to get it in a central database along with the Red Cross database, Gulf Coast News (33k records) and
any other structured data we can find.

The big issue is how and where to coordinate a massively parallel volunteer effort. How do we make sure that four different people don't enter the same five forum entries, creating a massively duplicate database? (some duplication is fine, but how do we minimize?)"

David--and this project-- need help--contact him at david -AT- socialsourcefoundation -DOT- org if you can assist.

Meanwhile, Cyberjournalist is linking to a list of missing person and found lists pulled together by OJR readers in a wiki on the site. There's an authoritative list at the Red Cross, here.

NowPublic is not only posting queries, but has suggestions on how to search for someone missing and how to place a missing notice. Also Andy Carvin has a site here.

My heart goes out to everyone caught up in this disaster, where help came too late and preparedness was sacrificed to budget, with alarming results.

NY Times: Post-modern Polyamory

Stephen Elliott, Three Men and a Woman: "Her husband is upset because having multiple sexual partners is one thing and falling in love is something else. She says this is the first time she's fallen in love since meeting her husband nine years ago."
"When I first met her I was shocked by her raw physical beauty. I didn't think the fact that she was in an open marriage would affect me one way or the other. I wasn't thinking long term. I had no idea of Angelina's capacity for affection. Some think that love is a finite resource, like food. That love given to one person is love taken from someone else. Others believe that the more you love the more love you're capable of. It's what enables families to have more than one child."

Susan sez: When the NYTimes goes alt., what (sacred cows) are left?

Drinks with TechCrunch

There was no better way to kick off the holiday weekend than drinks in a garden with the TechCrunch guys--Michael Arrington and Keith Teare, the gold dust twins of Archimedes Ventures.
Michael's a lawyer turned editor/entrepeneur, Keith's the former CEO of Real Names, and they're cooking up a whole lotta stuff.
These two guys have some keen ideas they're planning to roll out as Web 2.0 related services and if they can pull them off as described the (blog) world will say wow.
More tk.

Update: I said TechDirt, this morning...that's what comes of blogging before coffee. Sorry.

Friday, September 02, 2005

New Orleans: The Mayor speaks--and a call for help

The mayor of New Orleans, C. Ray Nagin, speaks out (mp3).
NYTimes quote: "I keep hearing that this is coming, that is coming.
And my answer to that today is
... where is the beef?"

Meanwhile, via ONA, and Advance Internet ask for news producer help:
"We need to find skilled producers who want to work for us on a
temporary basis, at first from home, and eventually down in Baton Rogue
(as soon as we stabilize an office location for them), as a part of the team. I don't have details on what we can offer them in terms
of pay as of yet. We don't have an idea of how long this assignment
will be for,but, depending upon the person, it could be a number of
weeks, or even a number of months.
For info, email"

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Citizen journalism: Katrina gives a push

No question but that the latest disaster has pushed participatory media aka citizen journalism into the forefront. Two firsts--home pages from AOL and CNN touting stories by residents caught up in the malstrom as well, as asking for inputs.

Two views of New Orleans

George Bush: ''I think there ought to be zero tolerance of people breaking the law during an emergency such as this -- whether it be looting, or price gouging at the gasoline pump, or taking advantage of charitable giving or insurance fraud. And I've made that clear to our attorney general. The citizens ought to be working together.''

"I don't treat my dog like that--I buried my dog--You can do everything for other countries but you can't do nothing for your own people. You can go overseas with the military but you can't get them down here.'' New Orleans resident, Daniel Edwards, one one of thousands of people stranded at the Superdome with no services and more than one dead body lying out in the heat, quoted in NYTimes.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?