Monday, October 31, 2005
Quote of the Day
--Terry Heaton, Pomo Blog
iMedia Connection sells edit, forgets to mention it
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
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
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.
Announcing 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
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
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: "....at 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
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
"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
At ONA today
- CBS.com 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.
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
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Global blogging: recent stats
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
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
--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
- "None of this is Real: Networked Participation in Friendster" by danah boyd - currently in review (email Danah for a copy), ethnographic analysis of Friendster, Fakesters, and digital social play
- Profiles as Conversation: Networked Identity Performance on Friendster by danah boyd and Jeffrey Heer - 2006 HICSS paper on how Friendster Profiles become sites of conversation
- Vizster: Visualizing Online Social Networks by Jeffrey Heer and danah boyd - a 2005 InfoVis paper about visualizing Friendster data (including arguments about using visualization in ethnography and recognizing the value of play in visualization)
- Public Displays of Connection by Judith Donath and danah boyd - a 2004 BT Journal article on how people publicly perform their social relations
- Friendster and Publicly Articulated Social Networks by danah boyd - a 2004 short CHI paper staking out what Friendster is.
Google(Base) gobbles everything
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.
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
--Ev Williams, The Odeo Blog, Podcasting for Regular People
(Via Roland Tanglao)
Sunday, October 23, 2005
Why local news belongs on the net
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
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
--David Vise, "AOL and Other Online Keys," Washington Post article, October 23, 2005
Sample implementations--TechCrunch and HorsePigCow.
Rebuilding Media: Geeze, newspapers are screwed
"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
- Overstock.com--12.1 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
- ShoppingNetwork.com--14.8million visitors--up 3% from Sept. 2004
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
(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
--Meg Whitman, explaining the eBay's purchase of Skype opens the door for ad-supported telephony.
Quote of the Day: Google earnings--and usage stats
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:
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?
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
- 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 about.com 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.
Quote of the day
--Howard Rheinfold, Urban Infomatics Breakout
(Via thesis tracker)
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Flipping 2.0: Acquisition economics
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.
- 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.
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
--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
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?
"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
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Enjoying surf and turf on Microsoft's dime, Halley thinks about how blogging's changed for her
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
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
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
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
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.
Quote of the Day
...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
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
As a frequent consultant in magazineland, Glam.com'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 Shop.org, 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
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 Search: the beta.
Chris Pirillo launches Gda.be 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 About.com. 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
- 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
Sunday, October 09, 2005
Verisign buys Moreover
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
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
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 Upcoming.org
- The cool toys: Tagging, social apps, social networks, mashups, API s for Google Maps
Web 2.0: Getting acquired is the new black
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
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 weblogs.com
"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.
Update: Great post from Dave Winer about the whole deal. Congrats, Dave!
Glam.com to incorporate AOL's AIM
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?
(One can only hope.)
LinkedIn to incorporate AIM
So, is AOL gonna buy them, too?
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
AOL buys Weblogs Inc--a deeper look
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 About.com 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 Upcoming.org
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?
Gizmodo to be licensed, published in Europe
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, Gizmodo.com 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
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 words..it 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
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
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
"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)
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.
Monday, October 03, 2005
In NY for a few days
Back to blogging tomorrow.
Sunday, October 02, 2005
YA MSM and Blogging discussion
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
"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."
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Okay, commercial over--thanks for listening.
Saturday, October 01, 2005
(Yet) Another reason I (continue to) admire David Weinberger
"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.