Monday, October 31, 2005

Quote of the Day

"... Mass media is dying, and I have a lot of friends embedded in the bowels of the ship who deserve a seat on the lifeboats. Every day that goes by in which legacy media companies refuse to invest time, energy and resources into new business models is another day with the lifeboats firmly attached."
--Terry Heaton, Pomo Blog

iMedia Connection sells edit, forgets to mention it

Going through the inbox this morning, I saw an iMedia blurb for a piece by WhenU's Bill Day. This is the former Bill Day, now head of the former "I want to read that," I thought to myself, but I was kind of suprised to click into the page and see that the author's company--WhenU-- was sponsoring the article.
Guys, isn't that what they call an ad?
Geeze, seems like buying an ad and disguising it as edit serves neither the client nor your brand.
Yicky. Poor judgement call.

Update: As Greg Yardley points out in the comments(thanks, Greg) WhenU is a competitor to Claria, formerly Gator--not the same company.

11/01 update: As of today, the sponsored by WhenU gif is off the article.

Fortune: 50 Most Powerful Women package is up

Fortune's published their 50 Most Powerful Women package.
eBay's Meg Whitman tops the list, with Oprah Winfrey at #4, Viacom's Judy McGrath at #10, Time's Ann Moore at #13, Anne Sweeney from Walt Disney at #16, Cathleen Black of Hearst Magazines at #34, Susan Decker of Yahoo at #40.
Related articles on tough decisions, chucking it all, the renaissance of Martha, why senior women are MIA in hedge fund land and women's decision-making styles round out the package.
While I've definitely complained about Top 50 or Top 100 lists in the past, they're fascinating--and this one is a window into Fortune 500 companies and where (some) of the executive women sit.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Brewster Kahle: Digital Librarian, thinker, hero

The Mercury News has two stories today about Brewster Kahle, founder of the Open Content Alliance, The Internet Archive, Alexa, and WAIS. Brewster is one of the web's heros, imho, and one of the people responsible for inspiring me--back in '92--to jump into what was then the text-based Internet. The work we did together, back in the day, was fun and creative and useful--and I felt so lucky to learn from him--no one was doing anything like WAIS back in NY then.
One of the things I've always admird about Brewster is the good work he's consistently done--the other is how quietly--and effectively--he does it.
If you're not aware of the Archive--or want to learn more about the Alliance--click on the hyperlinks.
Congrats, man.

Announcing Beta Fridays

Lisa Wiliams and I are launching a new podcasting series called Beta Fridays.
Every week we will talk about our experiences test driving new software/tools--and give you some on the ground impressions.
If you have an interesting Web 2.0 or related tool or product you think we should look at, please let us know!
Beta Fridays debuts Friday, November 4th.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Brideshead, revisited

My friend Jay has a sideline business shooting weddings--look closely, can you tell which one he is? Yep, meet the bridez.

ONA conference : A look back and (brief) round up

So the first ONA conference I've been to in 2000 years ended tonight--what was my take?
On the plus side, this organization has some very passionate people and is truly trying to be more inclusive and diverse than in the past.
On the minus side, they're operating within a reactive, fear-driven culture that--as many pointed out--doesn't reward risk and/or innovation.
Final words--I'd be happy to participate again--this group wants and needs to change from within--it would be unfair to care about online news, citizen journalism, participatory media and media, period and not want to help, if possible.

So what's the blogosphere have to say? Curiously, not much--not only does it seem as though Jeff, Rafat and I are were the only participants actively blogging--outside of a few student posts--but few outside the conference had much to say--and those who did blog were skeptical.
Some of the discussion:
Rafat Ali: " ONA, where was the passion? Where was the excitement about working in the most innovative time in the history of media? In its place what I see is self-doubt, existential crisis, a siege mentality." (Note--read the comments on this post, especially John Granatino's.)
Vin Crosbie reminds us all that every voice on the SuperPanel no longer worked in a traditional news organization--they'd all left.
Terry Heaton questions whether ONA isn't too full of people who are "scared shitless of anything they can't command and control and profoundly confused by what they view as chaos."
Jeff Jarvis: "What the ONA should be doing is inviting in all the barbarians at their gates inside to challenge them: all the bloggers and vloggers and programmers and 2.0 publishers. who are reinventing news. I don?t know why they?d bother coming but the online news machers should be begging them to."

Susan sez: Maybe it's because I work with people in the industry, but I think most of the smarter people in online news grasp the sea changes going on--my sense is that the problems are not (just) about the people, but about the profitable, hard to refocus legacy businesses called print media that publishers are loathe to abandon till the money goings straight down the drain.

Also, it's ironic to see some of the condescension now flowing the other way.

Update: Notes from a teacher, aka Mark on Media--and Mash a list

The Craig: A new measure of web-application effort

Tech guy Bill Grosso takes a hard look at the as yet unlaunched Googlebase and is less than overwhelmed. In fact, he proposes a newer--and more accurate-- metric of effort called the craig. Says Bill:
"I?m going to define a new standard measure of web-application effort called the craig. One craig is the level of effort required to produce and maintain a truly robust and scalable consumer facing web application such as Craigstlist."
Here?s what my gut tells me: based on the scant information available, GoogleBase is probably clocking in at < .5 of a craig."

Want to figure out GB's ROI? More Grosso-think here.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Back in Brooklyn, again

I've been staying with my old friend B in Park Slope on some of my trips East, including this one. B and I met almost 18 years ago when we both lived in the Slope; we've remained friends through the years. B is planning to move out of the city in 2006; these plans add a special fillip to staying at her house, a house I knew as well as my own for such a long time. The house has been cleaned up for sale, with many things packed away, but it still has an ambiance I remember from long ago. It's a good feeling to revisit the house before B moves on; the park is unchanged, the procession of dog owners walking their pets to and from the park, the rows of brownstones and the leaf-swept streets leading to the train.

At ONA today

Moderated a panel on blogging best practices at the Online News Association conference today that had good audience commenting and interaction (Hat tip to unconference guru Dave Winer).
Best moments:

  • exec Dick Meyer in the audience and asking for advice on improving the quality--and quantity-- of commentators on The Public Eye, the (new) ombudsman blog--and getting advice from all over the room.
  • Spokesmanreview producer Ryan Pitt describing how he coaches the newsroom to get into blogging.
  • Lost Remote author and King TV maven Cory Bergman explaining that 10% of all staffers will get it right away--the rest need some help.
  • Jeff Jarvis reminding the audience--mostly newsies--that it's about listening--and linking.

Back tomorrow --will post notes on any good stuff.

(Friday) Noted

Crunch Notes: Mike Arrington launches a second blog. How many does one need before being judged truly obsessed?
Frederico Olivera deconstructs his time in Silicon Valley--and resolves to rock Portugal.
Carnival of the Mobilists: Proof that mobile is global. Neat blog. Interesting links.
Forbes to Bloggers--You Suck, Bloggers to Forbes--Hey, here's tons of traffic back at ya. Yawn.
Wired: Erotic online games for women are, uh, hot.
ONA: NYT's Arthur Sulzberger lays out the 7 habits of highly effective journalists--and the news orgs that (for now) employ them.
Der Spiegel , biggest German newsweekly, does a deal with Technorati. Forums TK in 2006.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Web 2.0 workgroup: Now we are 12

So Susan Mernit's Blog has s joined the Web 2.o Workgroup roster-this is a loosely affiliated group of sites focusing on aspects of Tech Crunch BBQs (oops, I meant to say aspects of Web 2.0 experience and development)--it's a super smart and opinionated crew, so I'm honored--dig in and check the blogs out.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Global blogging: recent stats

Duncan Riley's recent stats snapshot of blogging world-wide reports as of Oct 05 says that there are 100 million blogs around the world.
Some locations and blog counts:
  • Australia: approx 450,000
  • Austria: approx 20,000
  • Belgium: approx 100,000
  • Brunei: less than 3,000
  • Canada: approx 700,000
  • China: 6 million and growing
  • Croatia: approx 50,000
  • Czech Republic: approx 10,000
  • Denmark: approx 15,000
  • Finland: approx 100,000
  • France: approx 3.5 million
  • Germany: 300,000
  • Greece: less than 5,000
  • India: approx 100,000
  • Iran: 700,000
  • Ireland: approx 75,000
  • Italy: approx 250,000
  • Japan: at least 5.5 million
  • Malaysia: approx 20,000
  • Philippines: approx 75,000
  • Poland: approx 1.5 million
  • Russia: approx 400,000
  • South Korea: approx 20 million
  • Spain: approx 1.5 million
  • Ukraine: 50,000
  • United Kingdom: 2.5 million
  • United States: approx 30-50 million

For more info, check out the detailed view, which includes data sources.

(Via Enda Nasution)

Online News Association conference this week

I'm heading to NY, and will be at the Online News Associations (ONA) conference. I haven't been to one of these conferences in a few years, and I'm eager to see how it goes.


Umair gets mushy on why memorandum rocks.
Ben Metcalfe: Sky News launches a blog." Essentially, any comment is allowed, as long as it's not legally dodgy, offensive or irrelevant. And of course we'd encourage you to be as constructive, friendly and informative as possible."
Googlebase: It's official.
SEO Watch: Microsoft joins Open Content Alliance (OCA) . Go Brewster!

Quote(s) of the Day

" The barrier to entry for creating and consuming user generated content is lowering every day. As a result, small publishers are wielding an increasing amount of power and influence. There's a warning here too: Networked conversations are growing faster and louder than anyone expected. Can corporate America really tune in and successfully keep pace? "
--Mike Manuel, Media Guerilla

"BBC is thinking of participation and collaboration as a modus operandi, a core component of how the BBC gathers and disseminates its reports. If citizen contributions are placed in the kind of blogger ghettos that we've seen (like at MSNBC), the result is going to be pseudo-collaboration, a nod to the riff-raff and no more."
--Andrew Nachison, Director, The Media Center (via Steve Outing)

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Danah Boyd's research links

Research and social media trickster Danah Boyd's done everyone the service of posting links to some of her recent research--

Google(Base) gobbles everything

Some swirl around Google Base and a spare little screenshot from the GPlex via New Google Blog, Seems like this new product will take all sorts of data from everyone and organize and structure it and then present it back in Google results--in other words, who needs web servers, Craigslist, eBay, or whatever when you can use Google search tools to find whatever was added to the soup--and make Google a few pennies in ad revenue at the same time.
The mind boggles--or would that be goggles?
Here's another screenshot of a template for real estate listings.And an email from Google to Gary Price about the new service. And speculation about Google's introduction of a micropayments service at the same time.--and yet more screen shots and Terms of Service.
Wouter Schut says the following item types can be selected; Course Schedules, Events and Activities, Housing, Jobs, News and Articles, People Profiles, Products, Reference Articles, Reviews, Services, Travel, Vehicles, and Wanted Ads.

Susan sez: This is starting to feel like a chapter in a sci-fi movie call Invasion of the Killer Tools--thing is, Google's technology rocks--but their ability to dominate the market, disintermediate or remove the middleman and create new user paradigms is both amazingly great and kinda disruptively scary. Wow.

Update: AP has a story, and the WSJ too.

Satori: Andrew Krucoff=Toby Young?

It just hit me--NY blogger Andrew Krucoff, a fine young snarker if there ever was one, is this generation's Toby Young--there's no other explanation for how Krucoff's pass-along of a Conde Nast memo could lead not only to his ejection from the building, but to almost simultaneous stories on Gawker, Blogcelebrity , Jossip, Gothamist, and in the New York Times. Fortunately, Krucoff is a talented writer and wit--and that's only partially true for Young (like, maybe half).

Andy Carvin: Greetings from Bangladesh

Andy Carvin, who runs the just-lost-its-funding Digital Divide Network, is in Bangladesh and sends updates from there--he's now minus camera and Treo(stolen), but still blogging and podcasting away.

Go, Andy!

Update: On a related note, the Global Voices list has some posts about the this short list of 100+ blogs in yet another contest. Check it out.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Quote of the Day

"While blogging can be about playing on a world stage to influence, gain audience, and, potentially, monetize (the same goals as most other media), there are millions of people who are happily publishing daily without those motivations. For them, it's more about expression, self-reflection, and communication."
--Ev Williams, The Odeo Blog, Podcasting for Regular People
(Via Roland Tanglao)

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Why local news belongs on the net

Reading about the San Jose Mercury's pragmatic decision to close or sell its two ethnic-language dailies, the Spanish-language Nuevo Mundo and the Vietnamese Viet Mercury, I want to just scream "move them to the web!"
My yelp would not be addressed to Knight Ridder, which has its own business issues--and plans--to manage--but to the local readers and community--who could create the means to launch local ethnic web sites--and print digital editions or broadsheets on demand, as Advance Internet did with an Indian-language broadsheet in Jersey, oh,10 years ago.
Folks, if you fear a vacuum, why not fill it?

Hu Yang: Shanghai Life

Shanghainese artist Hu Yang has three photographic series posted online at Shanghartgallery. A documentary photographer, Yang shot 500 families around the city of 26 million. Straightforward, yet evocative, the photos are well worth a look.
Like Robert Frank's 1955 work The Americans, Yang's collection is both full of fascinating photos and powerful as a whole.
(Via Notes from Somewhere Bizarre and ponchorama)

Quote of the Day

"Winning on the Internet these days is all about attracting the largest and most engaged audience of computer users and converting those eyeballs into profit through advertising. The increasing amount of time people spend online has led to an enormous jump in spending, by companies large and small, on Internet advertising and commerce."
--David Vise, "AOL and Other Online Keys," Washington Post article, October 23, 2005

Exporting memorandum

For those of you (like me) who are tech memorandum junkies or want to export memorandum to the world (or just propogate it on your site) Gabe's got a new widget (aka snippet of code) that will put memorandum's top links right on yer very own blog.--And if you're more handy that that, Gabe's got the code here to be hacked up.
Sample implementations--TechCrunch and HorsePigCow.

Rebuilding Media: Geeze, newspapers are screwed

Meaty post from Corante/Rebuilding Media's Ben Compaine saying that newspapers have been in decline for 20 years and the economics--because of cost of production--are basically screwed. Compaine writes:
"So the down sizing of today is insidious if we think that newspapers are only in a temporary down trend. If only the publishers would hold on, things will get better and they can keep staff and profit. But that's not the reality, as I noted 14 years ago.."
Compaine goes on to describe a changing market without big newspaper publishers as intermediaries brokering and distributing news.

(Susan sez: All this changes when it comes to local, doesn't it? A focused local site, like the new Buffalo Rising, can take a good run at packaging content for both a psychographic and a demographic slice of a local market--witness, for example, the brilliant example of Jon Webber's New West, a web property that may add print.)

AdWatch: Who's buying the most?

More stats, courtesy of Internet Retailer--
In September, Procter & Gamble had (aka bought) the most online ad impressions in the consumer goods industry, according to Nielsen's AdRelevance Report. Leading companies and their number of impressions (in millions) are:

  • The Procter & Gamble Company 436.0
  • The New York Times Company 393.3
  • General Mills, Inc. 298.5
  • Hydroderm Beverly Hills 251.8
  • Nestle USA, Inc. 229.5
  • Cadbury Schweppes 195.7
  • L`Oreal SA 152.0
  • PepsiCo, Inc. 145.6
  • Energizer Holdings, Inc. 123.0
  • Busted Tees 100.5

Does anyone have stats on what these big budget advertisers are currently spending on SEO? And growth in the spend over the past two years? How about targeted social media (aka blogs)? My guess is that (ad)measurement and reporting for blogging is not quite clean enough for these guys, yet, but I bet they are ready to take a hard look as audience attention continues to shift.

eCommerce Watch: Mainstream shopping--Who's growing?

In anticipation of the imminent kick-off of the (winter) holiday shopping season, a quick look at mainstream shopping sites and September 2005 growth stats. Big winners in the growth game in September were:

  • Target--15.9 million visitors--up 81% from Sept. 2004
  • million visitors--up 60% from Sept. 2004
  • Ticketmaster--11.1 million visitors--up 50% from Sept. 2004
  • Wal-Mart--15.6 million visitors--up 39% from Sept. 2004
  • Dell--15.6 million visitors--up 60% from Sept. 2004
  • Amazon--35.5 million visitors--up 19% from Sept. 2004
  • eBay--52.9 million visitors--up 17% from Sept. 2004
  • visitors--up 3% from Sept. 2004

Two of the top 10 shopping sites lost audience--Yahoo Shopping went down 30% to 11.1 million from 15.8 million, and Expedia went down 8% to 14.5

Susan sez: If you take Dell and Ticketmaster off this list as very narrow plays, the growth at Target and Walmart become notable when compared to the huge(but naturally slow-growing) Amazon and eBay. It would be very interesting to know what execs at these companies thought led to the higher growth rates--and to see how they all do over the Christmas selling season----which seems to be starting this week--has anyone else noticed the Christmas shops opening beside the Halloween outlets?

(Via Internet Retailer)

Friday, October 21, 2005

Yahoo Media adds Deanna Brown to exec team

Offering yet more evidence that Yahoo is serious about building a senior-level content biz dream team, Yahoo has hired Deanna Brown as general manager of Yahoo Health. A former VP at AOL, Brown was cofounder of Breathe Media, where she was CEO and publisher. Earlier, she served as publisher at
(via paid content)

Susan sez: Look for some interesting musical chairs in NY and Dulles as an outgrowth of this hire...Brown is smart.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

eBay's Meg Whitman: Phone calls will cost zero

"In the end, the price that anyone can provide for voice transmission on the 'Net will trend toward zero."
--Meg Whitman, explaining the eBay's purchase of Skype opens the door for ad-supported telephony.
(Via Reuters)

Quote of the Day: Google earnings--and usage stats

"Third-quarter net income rose to $381.2 million, or $1.32 a share, from $52 million, or 19 cents, a year earlier, Mountain View, California-based Google said today in a statement. Net revenue doubled to $1.05 billion, topping the $944 million average estimate in a Thomson Financial analyst survey.

Google users are growing at about twice the pace of Yahoo! Inc., as the company expands beyond Web searching.... Google handled 56 percent of global Web queries in August, compared with Yahoo's 21 percent and Microsoft's 11 percent, according to Reston, Virginia-based ComScore Networks Inc., which tracks Web use."

Via Bloomberg:


The Start Up Exchange: Resource central, hosted by SocialTextt
Liza Sabater talks about the Asian American Journalist Association's Executive Leadership Program in Aspen, Co...Wish I'd been there.
Charlene Li: How AOL's assets fit the portals and why MSN is the best potential investor.
Smart Mobs: SwarmSketch..Fascinating collaborative art tool. Check out the image build.
Ed V: Maira Kalman's illustrated The Elements of Style--gift book alert!

What has ribs, wireless and a keynote?

A TechCrunch BBQ meetup!
Want to make a stir in the Valley? Be really smart, write a great blog, get a big house and have some wireless BBQs--that's the TechCrunch way and it is kicking some bubble butt.

I respect the way Keith and Mike have used a combo of charm and guerilla marketing techniques to make their Atherton rental the magic bus of the latest bubblet..if I was back in the Valley tomorrow night, their *sold out* meet up would have me right there passing the grilled tofu(okay, the ribs.)
A Winer keynote, emerging tech start-ups fronting for filet and booze, a ball-seeking dog, 100+ geeks--what could be bad?

After way too many weeks of talking head conferences, I wish I was there...Hopefully, November...

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Mark Pincus: How to fix online news

The always interesting Mark Pincus, founder of, muses on What Rupert (Murdoch) should do online, and in musing about why NewsCorp should buy Craigslist, comes up with some good advice all local newspapers(and aren't all newspapers local?) should follow:
  • go after the business opportunity of community classifieds.
  • use newspapers to drive my online classifieds business.
  • offer free liners (that's the small text classifieds that use weird acronyms and are unreadable anyway) as an incentive to post online - ie. you get free newspaper placement for giving us the gift of your free online listing. maybe you can charge $5 but doesnt really matter.
  • go for all color print classifieds for cars and housing.
  • use branded local papers to drive community.
  • transform papers to an model where most editorial/writing staff are part timers and a lot of content is coming from other sources.
  • turn ad people into reps for local media, both offline and online.
Mark's got more ideas here--if I was GM of a local news site, I'd read the whole thing and implement some of his ideas.

(Via Buzzmachine)

Quote of the day

"I believe the most important critical uncertainty today is whether location-based media will develop as an open system like the Internet, where everybody will be free to associate a review, a photo, a video, a map, a work of art, a political polemic, a database, with specific locations ? or whether information associated with places will be a closed system where only those who buy a certain brand of proprietary software or only those who own the local franchise will have the right to write geodata to the readers almost everybody uses. Will entire populations of city-dwellers create, use, and exchange information and media associated with geographic locations? Or will the right to write or access restaurant reviews, geospecific photographs, neighborhood crime stats be constrained?"
--Howard Rheinfold, Urban Infomatics Breakout
(Via thesis tracker)

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Flipping 2.0: Acquisition economics

Anil Dash has a smart post on how selling to a big brand today is different than trying to go IPO five years ago: "Some folks are bootstrapping their services and some are taking angel funding (that means a rich friend of the company gives you money). So, instead of being pushed to do a huge IPO with a huge return, a lot of these people are more than happy to be acquired rather than shoot for a ridiculously huge IPO. "

In other words, realistic expectations=survival tactics=acquisition targets.

Best phrase: "Yahoo bought everyone on my buddy list, and all I got was this t-shirt".

Update: TechDirt: Build to flip as your resume?

Monday, October 17, 2005

BlogOn Kick Off: Seth Godin's Kick Off--AKA Commercial

Liveblogging BlogOn keynoter Seth Godin--How do bloggers differentiate themselves--and get attention amid the clutter? More is not the answer--the answer is word of mouth and the old fashioned idea that the best way for ideas to spread is for person to tell person b--digitally augment word of mouth can spread like wildfire.

One problem: Does it matter who you are? Is being *important* enough? Nope--most of the top 100 bloggers did not have a platform before they started.

Godin talks about three kinds of blogs

  • Friends and family blogs, aka cat blog--limited audience
  • Boss blogs--blogs for folks who have to read on command
  • Viral blogs--monster that want to reach everybody and feed on traffic--these blogs live and die by how much their ideas spread.

Godin: We don?t surf online, we poke around. When we are faced with too many choices and not enough real information we are like deer caught in the headlights?

What we need is a platform for meaning, says Godin--the essence is something called the lens--(Now we go into a promotion for Godin?s new platform, Squidoo?the rock?em, sock?em solution for organizing information and making your blog stand out (Susan sez: why does this spiel sound so familiar?.)

Godin is now demoing Squidoo--Susan sez--Like about 4 other apps I have recently see, this is another media and social identity or personal aggregator--a great idea but one that will launch in an amazingly crowded field. Godin?s pitch is also interesting because it actually seems to contradict his opening remarks about reducing clutter---it seems to be me that what he?s pitching is a series of PERSONAL HOME PAGES that users can create--but are these pages going to be more discoverable than any blog, home page, etc?

He?s addressing that issue right now and saying that his Squidoo algorithm will rank query results in this network and get the best results to the top--

Okay., so here?s the real pitch--Godin is going to offer MARKETING SERVICES to everyone in the network--building pages is free, but Godin owns a chunk of the page and he gets to run Google Ad Words and whatever else he wants and that money goes into a pool and is allocated based on traffic.

Recap: BlogOn?s key note by Seth Godin is a 20minute commercial for his new product, yet another tool set to harness bloggers to generate pages that can make Google Ad Words $$ for someone who has $250,000 to build a platform

AM I jaded, or is this really off focus for a conference kick off?

Update: Good discussion on Squidoo over at Buzzmachine. For me, who lives in Silicon Valley, the wow factor for Squidoo is less than it is for Jeff because I've seen at least 3 solutions like this--and they all seem to not take into account that search, not an integrated page/dashboard, is the prime discovery tool for content--if these personalized pages have value as organizers for users, cool, but they're just another more elaborate form of tagging when it comes to making content discoverable--and not one I think will work better for the general populace.
On the other hand, I have not build one, so all this is talking without experience...not worth as much as a considered look.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Quote of the day

"By 2010, we could be generating half our operating profit from online. That will cause us to add to our online resources and shift down on print. That's bad if you're in print and get laid off, but it's not necessarily a bad thing for the paper or the industry."
--Drean Singleton, chief executive of MediaNews Group, which publishes The Denver Post and The Salt Lake Tribune, in the New York Times.
(Via chew shop)

Attack of the splogs--time to take action

There's an awful lot of splogging going on out there--little bits of this blog--and thousands of others--are being picked up and recycled as bits in utter crap. Jeff Jarvis has a good post on this and some links out. His (wise) conclusion: "Google needs to both fix Blogspot and share its secrets for ignoring blogspam."

Chris Pirillo, Dave Winer, Tim Bray, Dan Gillmor, Allen Tsai weigh in as well.

I like the Russ Beattie approach--cut off their AdSense $$.
Russ sez: "It should be very clear, if you create a site that?s created solely to harvest links to generate traffic for advertising, then you get to be sued for damages."


Rubel: How many X will the market support?

Steve Rubel's got a smart post today, prompted by the releease of new news search engine, inform:
"The bigger question is how many web-based aggregators will the market support? There are already dozens of them. ...(snip)... Right now Bloglines is on top, but OPML (definition) makes it easy for me to take my feeds anywhere. There's no lock-in." (More Rubel here.)

Susan sez: Just take newsreader and swap in every other social media tool--how many are unique their categories--and are there any categories that aren't getting filled with 3-8 players? To me, this is a sign of viable markets--and platforms--emerging--but it's also a heads up that more acquisitions, mergers, and consolidations are ahead (like we didn't already know that.)

(Note re comments: Thanks, Rafat--review here)

See you at BlogOn

Tomorrow's the start of BlogOn...if you are there and want to meet up, let me know.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Enjoying surf and turf on Microsoft's dime, Halley thinks about how blogging's changed for her

"...We all wondered Monday night if these newly arrived MEN WITH MONEY will twist, divert or blow up the bridges on this natural path of innovation we have been walking in the blogosphere. We made editorial decisions and built blogs based on passion -- because that's all we had in the beginning -- when there was no money and the need to amuse and entertain one another was the key motivator in blogging.

You could hack together any old thing and be a complete maniac and blog any old shit and be perfectly stupid but fun, because nobody was watching ... or only a few of us were. It was a culture of freedom we all miss, since it's already gotten less free around here. We were talking about how this sense of celebrity many of us find coming down around us, feels just plain weird and constraining, makes it harder to just be yourself on the blog page and is not always welcome. It's disingenuous to say the fame part doesn't have it's perqs, but the reason we're here is because we were here when blogging wasn't cool, wasn't well-known, wasn't lucrative and never promised to make you famous.

All of us had to answer those questions in the early days, "What the hell is a blog? Why do you do this for no money? What's a trackback?" on and on, and now this onrush of fans and supporters makes you think, where were you back in the good old days when we were barely making it?"
--Halley Suitt, Halley's Comment

Friday, October 14, 2005

Friday : Noted

Backfence: Community publishing platform raises $3MM--Omidyar one of the funders.
Here's the quote from Omidyar's Doug Solomon: "
With Backfence, everyday people can report on what's happening within their own communities and connect with others who care about the same issues. Backfence's citizen-driven model brings people together in a way that's meaningful and empowering to the participants and to the businesses that support them."

Consultant Peter Krasilovsky's started blogging. Welcome to the neighborhood, man.

Bizweek on AOL's possible sale--
"Selling ads against lots of content that's easily searchable and on-demand is where Big Media is heading."

94 Million Americans Viewed Online Videos In June, According To comScore Media Metrix

PR Newswire: ComScore Media Metrix reports that in June 2005, more than 94 million people in the U.S., or 56 percent of the domestic Internet population, viewed a streaming video online. Over the three months ending June 2005, the average consumer viewed 73 minutes of streaming video content per month.
Findings from the June 2005 analysis :
  • Male users, who represent 50 percent of the total online population, account for 61 percent of all video streamers.
  • Male and female viewers spend virtually the same amount of time viewing online video content (72.4 and 70.6 minutes respectively).
  • The 18-34 year-old male segment, which has proven difficult views a significantly greater 84 minutes
  • of online video content per viewer.
  • For the month of June, the Daytime daypart (10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) had the most streaming activity with 18 streams per streamer. This was
  • followed closely by Late Night (1 a.m. to 7 a.m.) with nearly 17 streams per streamer and Late Fringe (11 p.m. to 1 a.m.) with 15 streams per streamer.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Gladwell: Colleges as Brands

Malcom Gladwell's new NYer piece is about education marketing in the Ivy Leagues.
Quick quote: "The extraordinary emphasis the Ivy League places on admissions policies, though, makes it seem more like a modelling agency than like the Marine Corps, and, sure enough, the studies based on those two apparently equivalent students turn out to be flawed. How do we know that two students who have the same S.A.T. scores and grades really are equivalent?"
(Via Public Eye)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The race for AOL

Google and Comcast -or Microsoft?
Let's see, that big merger that ruined everyone's pension funds was Q1, 2000--will this potential "minority acquisition" happen before the end of the year?
I guess yes.

WTF? Darkon

Quote of the Day

"Internet media companies will need more than just content and traditional distribution to attract the audience of the next generation. They need the tools and platforms to arm their audiences -- ultimately the viewers/readers in charge of finding and promoting the talent from within their own ranks - so they can distribute the content through their social networks, blogs and connected links on the Web.
...New media companies, like Fox Interactive, may need a bunch of tools, like instant messaging and voIP to get the people chatting amongst themselves and to get the buzz going about a particular piece of music or home-grown documentary that's worth getting excited about. The new media networks will need blogs-and-podcasting-hosting services. ....The new media networks might even need online publication aggregators, photo, video and media organizers, a search engine, a music subscription service, etc. "
--Bambi Francisco, Marketwatch

Microsoft has to be doing a deal with AOL

So Microsoft and Yahoo announced they'd agreed to make their messaging tools communicate--or merge.
AOL, which is investing a HUGE amount of its strategy in AIM, was conspicuously missing from the announcement.

Susan sez: Is this about competition--or acquisition/investment?
Me vote for acquisition/investment--my guess is that the strategic co-venture Microsoft is exploring with AOL will deliver AOL's audience eyeballs up to MSN tools over a staged 2 year phase in and will allow AOL to pretend it is a successful content company as it transfers its music and entertainment teams (the ones who get it) into a merged group that can deliver content to both entities.

Update: Scott Rafer has a similar post here.

update 2 -- Richard Lusk says "It looks like it may be a AOL+Google+Comcast mashup."

Big media take note: Fashion blogs build a network

One of the realities of working with big companies is that they're not always prepared to take the risk (read investment) that comes with jumping into a (new) opportunity.
As a frequent consultant in magazineland,'s development of a fashion blogging network pulling in popular shopping and style blogs BagCrazy, Coquette, SheFinds, PopGadget, InMyBag, FashionTribes and Tia Williams seems like something some bigger media entity might have started 10 months ago, but that hasn't been the case--this Silicon Valley start-up is the first to get that exposing and promoting fashion bloggers can be lucrative and --yes--fun.

Gas prices=more online (holiday) shopping?

A story in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer quotes a recent study by Shopzilla that says that high fuel prices made 40 % of the consumers queried plan to go online more often to shop, rather than drive to the store.
The Biz Rate study surveyed surveyed 119 online retailers, all members of trade group, and 1,891 online buyers. Some other data points to share:

  • 79% of online retailers plan to offer free shipping of some kind this holiday season
  • All companies in the survey are expecting online sales to be higher this year than last
  • 19% of online retailers expect holiday sales to double from 2004
  • 54% expect onlines sales growth of 20% to 99%
  • 60% plan to begin holiday marketing by the end of October
  • 70 plan to spend more on SEO advertising this year (!)

(I hate the feeling I need to start planning holiday shopping now...makes me feel like I should start saving up for it.)

Monday, October 10, 2005

CNET Top 100 blogs= 5 women writers

Just looking at the CNET list of 100 blogs and noticed that of the 100, just 5 have a woman as a principal author.
While there are a lot of REALLY good blogs here, I'm surprised the editors at CNET weren't able to come up with a wider range of voices.
Chris Nolan, Mary Hodder, Halley Suitt, Shelley Powers, Rebecca McKinnon, Heather Green at Blogspotting...that's just off the top of my head.
Boys, boys, boys...I know everyone at CNET is not a white male...but is that what you are all pretending to be?

P.S. I am just as tired as the rest of you at repeating this where are the women rant for the 10,000th time--but hey, youguys can--and must-- do better.


Yahoo News: PayPal buys Verisign's payment processing business for $370 million; guess that offsets the recent purchases.
Yahoo News Search: the beta.
Chris Pirillo launches tagging meta search. TechCrunch reviews.
Steve Gillard wants Jason Calcanis to distribute $$ to his bloggers, post AOL $25MM sale. He writes: "Personally, I think AOL bought a bag of air larger than It all hangs on the writers like movies hang on their stars, and if the writers leave, what do you have? Nothing. "
Brad Neuberg: "
I started working at the Internet Archive this week on a month long consulting project. We are building a very exciting, AJAX project that unfortunately I can't blog about until it's done. It's so cool to be working with one of my heros, Brewster Kahle."
VC Fred Wilson recommends MediaEater.
Project Manager Leaves Suicide PowerPoint Presentation | The Onion - America's Finest News Source (Via a whole lotta nothing)

What web 2.1 really looks like

Start ups

Let's see, what has crossed my path in the past 3 weeks that is not yet public, but interesting?
  • A Bit-torrent based object transporter working on both open and closed networks
  • A blogging/social network/newsreader tool that does everything and then some
  • Two ad and tagging companies/directories, both promising
  • A tagging directory of sorts
  • A classified ads play that could be very disruptive, if it worked
  • A new web publishing play
  • Another blogging ad network, this one tag-based
  • A new vertical search with huge user--and ad revenue--potential
  • A personalized search tool that fine tunes with usage
The Valley is humming with activity and with what some say is acquisition fever, but is often the happy sounds of geeks being creative. Many of these products are in early beta and launching around BlogOn, or before the end of the quarter.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Verisign buys Moreover

Tim Formeski's broken the news that Verisign--recent acquirer of writes: VeriSign is about to announce it acquired Moreover Technologies, the San Francisco based news aggregator. The acquisition price is around $25m according to SVW sources."
Rafat adds: "The sale has been in works for a long time and puts to rest all the money and management change the company has seen in about 7-8 years of its existence."

Friday, October 07, 2005


Fine Young Journalist on whuffie:"News certainly is in a bind, though. A generation is coming of age that's accustomed to lots of free stuff and probably increasingly distrustful of the non-Whuffie economy, especially when it chooses sources of information. On the other hand, Big News is only Big News because it can afford to be -- because it can afford to pay staff reporters to spend their days harrassing the powerful, digging up dirt, and producing the writing and broadcast material that gives life to 99 per cent of the news-oriented blogs out there."

MediaPost: "About half of all US online web users view the Internet as their main source of shopping information, according to a new BURST! Media report...the percentage of respondents who say the Internet is their primary tool for comparison-shopping increases from 59.0% with those reporting household income of less than $35,000, to 70.6% with households reporting income of $75,000 or more."

Doc Searls thanking Dave Winer: "When they scroll the credits of my life, Dave's is going to be one of the first names on the list."

Joe Reger on chasing Web 2.0:"... why the hell am I paying $2500 plus airfare and accomodations to go to a conference with a bunch of other geeks who don't know what Web 2.0 is, why they're getting together or what they hope to achieve? Is it the excitement of being part of something new? Not for me... I just need some sales... I need to pay for a plane ticket back home.."

Bonus: NYTimes/RW Apple story on eating in Shanghai--when I visited last spring, I hit some of the spots Apple describes...yum.

Web 2.0: The good stuff

There was a lot of great stuff at Web 2.0: Lots of super-smart people with great demos and comments to share.
Lots of panels and presos stuffed with the current memes.
John Battelle being smart.
For me, some moments that stand out:
  • Platform apps and Ruby on Rails coming off so cool
  • Everyone's take on platform technologies
  • Meeting Jonathan Weber of New West and Andy Baio of
  • The cool toys: Tagging, social apps, social networks, mashups, API s for Google Maps

Web 2.0: Getting acquired is the new black

Another thing about Web 2.0 that struck me was the uniquity of young entrepeneurs who'd sold out to Google, AOL, Yahoo or other big companies over the past 15 months, clearing $5-60 million per company.
I must have seen 14 people who fit that bill, and 400 who wanted to be next in line.
A VC at the conference explained the strategy as follows " We work backward from a list of 4 potential acquirees, and if they don't have that, no $$."

The day the big portals stop buying is the day the bubblet pops.

Web 2.0: Slinging the hype

Spent the past 36 hours at Web 2.0 in SF.
Although the line-up of people--both speakers and attendees--was amazing, the conference left me non-plussed.
For starters, the format squeezed Web 2.0 into a Web 1.0 world.
Somehow, it seemed hard to have such a high-powered audience sit politely while talking heads up on the stage had a dialogue.
Althought it's challenging to run a conference of 650 or more any other way, the rigid--and old-fashioned--format took some of the air out of the room for me.
Also, it was a conference that seemed to be more about money than about technology, media, products, tools, creativity or users.
The wall-to-wall spackle of VCs, M&A guys, and been around the block CEOS almost overwhelmed the gaggle the West Coast cool kids, new (and old) media managers, techies, big company geeks and accomplished entrepeneurs I'm used to at emerging tech conferences.
On the other hand, there's no question that there's a bubble in full swing and that folks aren't feeling the pain... they're filled with anticipation.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Verisign acquires

More shifting landscapes! Versign announced today that they will be running, the ping directory begun and operated by Dave Winer. Versign's Michael Graves writes:
"There?s enormous value for the ecosystem in realizing Dave?s original vision for his ping server: a free, standards-based service that is easy to use, and effective in signaling to the world at large that you?ve submitted new content into the system."
SiliconBeat reports the purchase price was $2 million; Rafat has additional details.
I'd heard a while ago that Verisign was looking for ways to extend their directory-based businesses; adding a ping server that can be the basis for more data-driven reporting sounds like a fit. Jason Kottke says that Verisign is also going to report a blog/RSS acquisition: given the way they are moving into a services/middle wear level, my bet for that would either be an integrated play like Feedster or even Technorati (huge data mine opp there), or a services company such as Pheedo or Feedburner.
Who knows?

Update: Great post from Dave Winer about the whole deal. Congrats, Dave! to incorporate AOL's AIM

Another announcement that new fashion and style site have just launched an additional horde of fashion and style blogs, all ecommerce enabled--will integrate the AIM service into the Glam site.
This provokes some interesting thoughts:
How does AIM fit into AOL's new strategy--clearly, they see it as key--and what does that say about which audience segments they want to retain/consider most lucrative?(Hint: 13-24 might be a start..get'em then and try to keep'em later.)
  • How many more deals will we see with AIM embedded--and what kind of promotion or branding is AOL offering to bring these guys in-it's clearly either a revenue share or a customer acquisition metric that the two companies are working with.
  • Will AOL want to incorporate AIM presence into all the US and international editions of Engadget and all the other Weblogs Inc properties they just acquired?
And does that mean that AOL might, for the pleasure of those of us in the community, make a Jason Calcanis superbuddy?
(One can only hope.)

Comments: Missing?

It looks like comments mysteriously disappeared this morning--will try to fix later today.

LinkedIn to incorporate AIM

More news: LinkedIn has done a deal with AOL that puts AIM into everyone's profile, showing if they are online.

So, is AOL gonna buy them, too?

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

AOL buys Weblogs Inc--a deeper look

Rafat Ali's broken the story that AOL has acquired Weblogs Inc, the blog company founded by Jason Calcanis and Brian Alvey that includes engadget and Autoblog. Terms of the deal are not known--folks at dinner tonight speculated that the purchase price was $5-15MM (based on estimates od $70,000-1000,000 a month in gross revenues--but other blogosphere reports put the number at $20-40 million--amazing for a company less than 2 years old!

Susan sez: I've been waiting for either Calcanis or Denton's company to be acquired--I thought by a magazine company--but the AOL deal makes sense--they will get a MUCH higher return from these sites than Jason was getting because, even if they run them independently, they can sell their ad inventory and greatly improve both the cost and the network effect.
What will be fascinating will be to see if there is any cross promotion with Time Inc titles serving similar audience segments offline and on site--Parenting and Blogging Baby come to mind, as do Pop Sci and Engadget--those web sites could *license* their content to the corporate parents to beef up their own packaging.

What's noteworthy here is that--like the acquisition of by the New York Times, this is simultaneously a deal of content acquisition, platform tools and new advertising inventory that the new owners can better monetize.

Congrats, Jason and Brian and everyone on the team!

More from Jeff Clavier and

Yahoo buys

Om Malik reports that Yahoo is buying scheduling/meetup tool
This is interesting for a couple of reasons:
  • Yahoo is clearly chasing Google to build the base tool set/platform for a consumer-driven Web 2.0
  • It sends (yet another) signal to start-up entrepenurs in the tool set/social media space that acquisition is the most likely outcome for a viable product with a decent user base and cool apps
  • There's a (new) rush to acquire and integrate these new tools--and take them off the market
  • The bubble--at least in Silicon Valley--is truly back(in other words, this convinced me)
  • We're moving into a digital divide between the application makers--Yahoo, Google, eBay--for example--and the media and information companies--who have the content, but lack the means to both build and integrate--that's the reason they acquire, but can they do as much with the compaies they snap up?
Last thought: Why did they buy upcoming and not meetup?

Gizmodo to be licensed, published in Europe

Do you recogize the future when it falls on you?
Big media, pay attention!
Steve Rubel notes that Nick Denton has licensed Gizmodo to VNU in a deal in which "VNU will provide its local presence and its network of bloggers as well as its knowledge of the local consumer electronic players in Europe. Gizmodo's content will be translated from English into 6 additional languages, then augmented with local coverage for each market. Besides English, now will be available in French, German, Dutch, Spanish, and Italian and covering the Belgium market in Dutch as well."

If anyone wondered in new media has the business chops to become (and displace) old media, this is a deal to pay attention to--congrats, Nick, brilliant.

We Media: Al Gore speaks out

Al Gore is about to speak and he's got his whole family here! Tipper, Karinna, Al Jr-Did you know that Gore started out--pre-Watergate--as an investigative journalist?
Gore--the man who invesnted the Internet (joke) is partners with Joel Hyatt in Current TV--and
he's got somthing to say: "I truly believe American democracy is facing a great danger... one that is sometimes hard to describe in is no longer possible to ignore the strangeness of our public discourse--I know that I am not the only one who feels something has gone basically and badly wrong in the way America's famed market place of ideas is now functioning..."
Gore says it seems like we are living in an alternative univrrse sometimes, goes on to squewer the excesses and "serial obsessions" of the news media, and asks "Are we, as Americans, still routinely torturing helpeless prisoners and does it feel normal that we are not expressing outrage at this practice? Does it feel right to have no ongoing discussion of this issue and whether this abhorrent behavior is being carried on regularly in the name of the American people?"
Gore is stumping--but his message is that the big questions are not being discussed openly in the US under the current presidency. He asks What's happened to the "full and vigorous debate" in the senate--and, presumably--in the media--and says "30-second television commercials are the only thing that matter anymore in politcal campaigns."
Gore goes on: "Forty years have passed since the majority of Americans received their news and iformation from the printed word...The republic of letters has been invaded by television that completely dominates the flow of information in modern America...Americans how watch televisio 4 and a half hours per day..that's 3/4 of all the average discretionary time the average American has (Susan sez: Is this why he started a TV network--gotta be.).
Gore goes on to say that TV has pushed the markeplace of ideas aside, and that the "public forum of our founders" has been grossly distorted beyond all recognition..."It is the destruction of that marketplace of ideas" that has made today's discussion so strange--and fleeting (and I thought he was attaching Bush..this goes far beyond that!)
Gore is going on and on....but the college professor lecture mode--all good points--has kicked in--and we're off to a greatest hits medley of the poor choices and sparring made by mainstream media and the Democratic media...and how media has soldoutto advertising (he's right on that).
--Okay, it's the wrap-up--a plug for Current TV--and says the channel relies of streaming over the next for user-created content and two-way cinversation.
His close: "As exciting as the Internet is, it lacks the real-time mass distribution of full motion video, the thing that makes TV a powerful medium....It is television, delivered over cable and satellite that will continue to be the dominant medum of communication...We must ensure that the Internet remains open to all citizens regardless of connectivity provider...We must ensure that this medium of democracy's future develops in the mode of the open and free marketplace of ideas."


We Media: Rebecca McKinnon on access issues

Rebecca McKinnon, Global Voices, is commenting: "Most of the communities developing online are based on people who have fabulous broadbad what extent are media companies in the US doing to help more people get online?--Are American media compaies pushing for free Wi FI access in communities? Are they doing things to ensure people who don't have the means to get online have the means to do so?"

CBS' Larry Kramer responds: More and more, we're developing content to be distributed on multiple media formats..I thik we will do more with engaging more people over the next few years, but it's harder in our situation to support or fund one fund of distribution over another."

Susan sez: Somehow, the commentators are missing the social justice nature of Rebecca's queastion--to me, that undescores its serious consideration--except for Farai Chideya, who is talking about peer to peer media and economic diversity as core tenants of citizen journalism.

More We Media bloggin linksg here.

More We Media: Tom Curley, AP

AP's Tom Curley: "For 150 years, we have filed for the slow format--print--first. Now we are filing for the fast format-digital media--first. The staff wants to move forward and has a sense of mission we want to capture and extend regardless of the change in technology."
Merrill Brown pushes on their involvement with citizen media--Curley says that new AP product ASAP has blogging; building a more nimble new platform(I think this means it will integrate blogosphere feeds).

BBC at We Media

In a packed room at the AP, listening to the opening panels of We Media-- quotes from BBC's Richard Sambrook on participatory media stand out:
"We don't own the news anymore," Sambrook says,"Our job is to be facilitators....As news becoms democratized,with a lot more input from the public, what is the role of a news organization like the BBC? What value do we bring?"
Sambrook goes on to talk about BBC as a validator or filter for citizen media and as a provider of context for the conversation. He says "It's a whole new game."

More Sambrook on the organization shift required by citizen media and Web 2.0 shifting consumer expectations and behavior: "It's about repackaging ourselves and reorganizing ourselves for a completely on- demand platform--how we allow the public to engage with it, repurpose it, talk about it...In the end it's a huge cultural challenge--you have to ensure the body of the BBC understands and gets what's happening."

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Something really stupid (that I did)

So for the past week or so, my wireless has not been working.
I tried everything--went into the systems file and checked the hardware, tried rolling back the
system to restore a check point when it worked, read endless screens of indeciperable Microsoft Windows help, checked the connections over and over.
Finally, tonight, I realized that there had to be a real switch somewhere on the machine that has gotten turned off.
Sure enough, someone--probably me--had turned the wireless switch off and I failed to notice it.
The good part is that the wireless is working again.
The bad part is that this apartment doesn't reach any network points.
Du-oh, again.

Monday, October 03, 2005

In NY for a few days

Flew east today, so no posting (getting up at 5 am to drive to the plane kinda kills it for me.)
Back to blogging tomorrow.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

YA MSM and Blogging discussion

Yawn, yawn, the always interesting Jay Rosen does an admirable job of reporting on (yet another) discussion between impassioned journalists turned bloggers and main-stream media editors who have not yet jumped the shark and embraced social media--but I am tired of this discussion. Haven't we beaten this topic to death, yet?

Ken Sands, in the comments, says it best: "While "Big Media" sits and stews about pointless questions like those raised by Michael Conniff in his OJR article, those of us in the "Medium Media" are busy experimenting with different journalistic practices. Heck, we started blogging four years ago."

More great comments from Kirk H, who says: "I wonder if journalism will survive like open source software does now. I use Wordpress for my blog and paid $50 for it even though it's free. Wikipedia also survives on donations. That won't work in a world where journalists rank near politicians in terms of trust-worthyness."

Lisa Williams gets the last word: "Lisa to Traditional Media: I'm just not that into you. Sorry -- you're a great guy and I know there's someone out there for you. Somewhere."

Susan sez: Did the dinosaurs hold roundtables as they searched for lichens to chew? (In other words, move on and get with the program, dudes.)

Tom Watson's Road to Nowhere

Whether you agree or not, the writing in this post about our time by Tom Watson just blew me away--here's an excerpt, but the whole thing is excellent--Christopher Hitchens, move over!

"Nothing so completely sums up the Bush years in this country as the images of cars streaming slowly away from our southern coast, heading north to escape the wind, the water, and the destruction. Endless lights, endless bumpers, endless radios locked into all-news weather stations that tell the time but don't which way the wind blows. Sure, it blows from the south; sure, it brings death. But the winds of the nation? The evolution (or intelligent design) of our national soul? You tell me. There is no direction; it swirls and skitters, not enough of a steady wind to hold even a child's kite aloft, much less the collective dream of what was America.

Just head north, if you can find the gas."


5ive: Services offered

Reading Steve Schu this morning made me realize a quick note (aka blurb) about my consulting practice was a good idea, so here's a bit on services we offer:
  • Strategic business planning and new product development for web and mobile media, mostly information or consumer facing
  • Rethinking web-based products ad businesses to drive revenue, acquire or retain specific audiences, br0aden strategy or improve key metrics (uniques, active users, time spent, etc.)
  • Management consulting and organizational support on moving into Web 3.0 and multiplatform distribution/cross channel production distribution
  • Blog and community strategy and implementation
  • Benchmarking and original and market research associated with all the above
  • Editorial development

And for start-ups, in particular:
  • Strategic planning, marketing support, positioning, packaging, both for initial launches and funding presentations, and for beta launches with consumer focus
  • Advice and support for packaging product to pitch to third-parties
  • Editorial development

We do not do biz dev and we tend not to do projects that contractors could fulfill...we're focused on the upfront and can help you hire the right people to do long-term implementation.

The majority of our work is with media and information companies and/or with search companies, social media start-ups, or platform-focused consumer ecommerce ventures.

We work with clients across the country and have a discount rate for non-profits.
Find more information including client lists at 5ive's web site or at
Okay, commercial over--thanks for listening.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

(Yet) Another reason I (continue to) admire David Weinberger

File under acting on your principles--Dave writes about a small conference that invited him to particpate--along with a all-male list of other participants. Dave declined, and said:

"I want to go primarily because I want to meet these folks. I want to know them. I want them to know and like me. It's the networking that attracts me. In other words, this is exactly how the old boy network is built and maintained.

When I told the organizers why I wasn't coming, they replied that they had invited three women who turned out to be unavailable. After our conversation they have invited some more women. But, only a few because, they told me, they're trying to keep the total number of participants down so it will be more intimate - more better bonding! I told them they could use my spot to invite another woman. Have I mentioned that this is how the old boy network is formed?"

Susan sez: Dave, I am not only impressed you made this choice, I am impressed you wrote about this--and find it inspiring.

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