Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Quote of the Day

"My generation should be called the "Burger King" generation. Remember the "Have it your way" slogan? I think that is us.

We don't want Wal-Mart or Sears to tell us what to buy. We want to shop our way -- on Ebay.

We don't want to watch entire baseball games, we want it our way -- highlights on sportscenter.

We don't want a DJ at a radio station to tell us what to listen to, we want music our way -- downloaded in to our own playlists on our portable MP3 players.

We don't want TV producers to design scripts and give us a plot-in-a-box show, we want it our way -- reality TV.

We don't want a Star Search talent show determined by a panel of judges. We want to vote like in American Idol.

When Toyota wanted to launch a brand of cars for the 16-29-year-old age bracket they gave it to us our way -- Scion, where cars our "Ready for personalization at"

We don't want News packaged by Dan Rather and Peter Jennings high on Mount Olympus and then rationed and handed down to us everynight. We want blogs. We want citizen journalism. We want it our way.

According to all of this, we should be the most democratic generation in the world. If we want to pick the order of our music, shouldn't we also want the government our way too? If we vote on American Idol to have it our way, why do we let old people vote for us? "

--Andy, 21, writing at A wall off which to bounce

Video ads get real: IAB announces standard

So the IAB's announced a new standard for video ads and members agree to become compliant.
The guidelines are posted online, but basic rules are:

Yahoo RSS--Leveraging integration

Yahoo's new RSS features in mail leverage integrated features in a way few companies seem to manage.
Scott Gatz says: "RSS in mail makes perfect sense for a few reasons: 1) people already spend a lot of time in their Mail experience, why shouldn?t personally relevant content be there too 2) While you read RSS you are probably gonna want to forward good stuff you find 3) Hundreds of millions of users use Yahoo Mail, so if we want to reach the masses, we need to go where they are.
And, its cool to realize that we are the first major webmail service to offer an RSS reader integrated into the experience."

Seeing Yahoo deploy features across tool sets is seeing a company do it right.

Updates: Charlene Li says: "I?m thrilled! I've long wanted to have my RSS feeds integrated in with email." Steve Rubel adds "Note that you can post to 360 or save an item to My Web 2.0. A nice start!" Dave Winer comments: "They're including a nice smallish RSS reader in their Mail app. I had seen it before, and it's a River of News aggregator." More here.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

More on mobile--identity and persona

Mitzuko Ito: A recent paper on virtual presence and cameraphones from the September conference PICS, Pervasive Image Capture and Sharing: New Social Practices and Implications for Technology (Via Smart Mobs)

Update: About 15 papers from the conference uploaded here on cameraphones and mobile...

NEW: Yahoo integrates RSS into mail and alerts

I was out of town so I missed the event, but Yahoo announced tonight that they have integrated an RSS reader directly into Yahoo Mail Beta, and are expanding Alerts to include RSS feeds.
Mike Arrington and John Furrier are first with, respectively, a brief story and a podcast/ interview with Yahoo's Scott Gatz and Ethan Diamond.
This is cool stuff! More tk.


Meet The Bubble 2.0 Snark Group, guaranteed to stand up to its name.
You gotta laugh...or scream.

Nick Denton's start up kit

Nick's list: A useful set of services, companies, software every start-up and small business will want to check out.

Jason Calcanis on AOL

Jason: "From what I can see, and I've only been here a month, we've got some work to do at AOL in terms of talking with our customer base.
...I'm pushing everyone here as hard as I can to start blogs and start talking with our customers."

Susan sez: I can't wait to see Jason clean up AOL!

Monday, November 28, 2005


Scoble: Happy third birthday to Technorati!
Paul Montgomery: Clone the Memorandum API (and comments here)
Via Design Technica: "According to a new report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, roughly one in six U.S. Web users have used to the Internet to sell something."
Charles and Marie Shop: Deal of the day, aka Woot for aesthetes.

Quote of the Day

"Back in 2000, every entrepreneur who started a Web content company carried the same PowerPoint slide. It charted the astounding growth of U.S. online advertising, from next to nothing in 1995 to $6 billion in 1999. Then a dotted line shot up to the projection for 2005 -- typically the $16.5 billion figure supplied by New York City-based Jupiter Communications. If a website could just attract visitors, the slide argued, advertising dollars would follow.

Venture capitalists and big portals bought in, placing sky-high valuations on sites that promised large audiences. Of course, the market for traffic dried up as online advertising slumped from $8.2 billion in 2001 to $6 billion in 2002. But here's the kicker: Web content deals are on the rise again, and Internet ad spending should reach $12 billion this year, meaning Jupiter's once-ridiculed forecast wasn't far off the mark.
--Om Malik,'The Return of Monetized Eyeballs', Business 2.0

Ask the experts: Jeff interpets Craig

So, Jeff Jarvis has come forward and explained what Craig Newmark's statements on becoming involved in citizen media really mean--Craig is an angel investor in Jeff's news-related start-up (one Jeff is advising, and has a chunk of, that is).

Susan sez: Am I utterly evil and cynical to think this coyness is the most clever way to raise investor interest? One would think that the combination of amazingly smart Upendra Shardanand and Blogfather Jarvis would command humengous investment sums for back end infrastructure no matter what.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

What I saw: Thanksgiving movie weekend

Many movies this weekend--saw
Capote was well-styled, a good period piece, but a small movie and somewhat disappointing.
Walk the Line was fantastic--the acting and the story were outstanding--this is a serious Oscar contender, IMHO.
The Squid and the Whale--GREAT movie, much to my surprise. Laura Linney, Jeff Daniels, Jesse Eisenberg and young Owen Kline give stellar performances in a compelling family drama. (My favorite, over all-though WTL is stellar.)

Now this is cool: Holla Back Blog

New and wonderful: NYC's Hollaback Blog, dedicated to speaking out against street harassment and posting pix of the fugly perps.
Posts are from SF, NY and across the globe.

As the girls say: If You Can't Slap 'Em, Snap 'Em!
This is going to go next to Overheard in NY on my blog list.

Scoble's new blogroll

Scoble's trimmed down his blogroll and published it here.
Nice to see this blog survived the cuts.
I'd like to see J.Wynia mashup this list up into an OPML outliner/aggregator--please!

Noted: Experiments

Web 2.0 workgroup posts, mashed up via OPML and Yahoo search API--worth a look at how it selects out *top* posts. (Via Crunchnotes)
J Wynia: OPML Sampling, Building a page showing the best item from each RSS feed. How he did it.
Marc C: Check out Restaurant reviews with Yahoo maps, a sweet little toy.
Via we make money not art: Zapped!/Preemptive Media mapped the results of their investigation about RFID use in Tokyo. Neat-o.
Via Programmable web: "Auction Mapper is an interesting little application built on the eBay API that gives fast Flash-based search results on a map (and not Google or other public API map)."

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Fresh look: Blogging conference dos and don'ts

This post by Kim Weinstein reminds me how NY and California blogging conferences are, well, different:

Do: Accept invitation heartily.

Don't: Forget this little noun: context. Find out the politics of the aegis under which you will be speaking.

Do: Purchase the sparkliest, pointiest stilletos you can find, especially if the Manolo is moderating.

Don't: Get yourself seated between two thin, beautiful women if you have not lost your two-year-old pregnancy weight. Who are you kidding? It's toddler weight. Why do they have to snack on frigging crackers and cookies all the time, despite your urgings of fruit and veggies? You WILL be photographed looking like Jabba the makeup artist and the unflattering photo will be posted on Yahoo News, so that all of your ex-boyfriends and former friends and enemies can gloat and bask in your back-fatness.

Susan sez: Does anyone in the Valley wear Manolos? Joking aside, Kim's post is worth a read.

Friday, November 25, 2005

RSS users visit more than twice as many news sites as non-users

From Emergence Marketing: "According to a recent Nielsen report:
"RSS users are significantly more engaged in online news than non-users, visiting an average of 10.6 news sites compared with 3.4 news sites for non-users...Not only do RSS users visit more news Web sites than non-users, they also visit those sites more frequently. RSS users visited the top 20 news Web sites nearly three times as often as non-users and all other news Web sites four times as often. This means that sites outside of the top 20 properties may be among the greatest beneficiaries of RSS. "

Another interesting tidbit is that among the RSS users who understood the technology, 78% were male..."

Fascinating, eh?

Surfing the Feedster 500

Scott Johnson announced the new list of Feedster's Top 500 blogs this week (and blogged about it here). I'm admiring the lovely--and clever--tag cloud of terms down the side of the (very long) list, but I'm even more interested in the unexpected blogs in the top 100--there are a whole lot of blogs I've never read, nor heard of--which makes me hope this is one way out of the big boys bubble chamber.

Some of the surprises (to me)
#18: Feminist Of The Day
# 35:
#45: National Center for Science Education

Feedster's kindly provided an exportable file for Excel analysis--I'd love to see Tristan Louis analyze the breakdown of the Top 500 by software provided, network affiliation, etc.

Noted just put up a completely new site.
Andrew Krucoff is off for a month in Israel.
Minority Rapport: Fresh takes on social media/software--my new blog read.
VC Steve Brotman on early social networkfounder Bo Peabody's book Lucky or Smart.
Coming up: Competitive study of search in Chinese market.
Winer: "Arrrgh, I plugged my new iPod into my old Mac and lost everything on it."
Wired: Kevin Kelleher story--Who's afraid of Google? Everyone.

What's in the GoogleBase? The same old stuff

CNet says GoogleBase was "awash in porm spam" till the problem was fixed earlier this week. However, CNET said "With the filter turned off, the amount of adult content on Google Base was staggering considering Google only launched the tool a week ago. A search on the terms "XXX" and "XXX webcam" turned up more than 14,000 results each, including numerous listings under "XXX teen webcam."

Susan sez: I checked GoogleBase out this am--XXX now has 451 results, about half on the first page clearly porn, XXX webcam has just 7--all porn-- and XXX teen webcam has 2--both porn, of course.
But here's the more fun comparison of data entered in the base:

iPod has 277,555
Blogs has 2,627
Podcasting has 280
XBox has 242
XBox 360 has 121

Stuff for sale:
Cars-- 985, 0945
Stuff for your driveway(!)--17,213
And for your dog--71, 014

Baseball --69,248
Sex -- 17,027
Harry Potter--8,333
Personals -- 8,252
Skiing -- 886

George Bush -- 2,181
Britney Spears -- 107
Bill Gates--96
David Beckham--42

Looks like the local classifieds to me folks--the data in GoogleBase seems to be replicating the same crappy listings we see everywhere--anyone have better news to report?

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thankfulness: 12 things

2005 was the year when I went through the biggest number of changes, ever. Given how full my life is right now, I have a lot to be thankful for--not only today, but every day.
Here's a short list of some people--and things-- I am thankful for:
  • Family and friends: Zack, Nancy, Ralph, Sidney, Amy, Lori, BJ, Randy, Peter, Ellen, Mary, Lisa W, Andrew N and many others.
  • The 5ive team: Steven, you rock--Kurt, Richard, Jory, ditto.
  • Colleagues: Too many to list, but I hope you know who you are.
  • Work: We're working with some good companies on interesting projects.
  • Intellectual challenges and problem-solving: I am always learning, and the conversation never stops.
  • California: I'm living in one of the most beautiful places on the planet. Every day I feel lucky to be here.
  • Blogging and writing: This year, I went from one blog to several and started writing poetry again after many years.
  • Chances to help others--always an honor.
  • Yoga and meditation: Martin and Lori, thank you for what you have shown me.
  • The pets: The cat is the boss of the dog. They both are the boss of me.
  • R: You know why.
  • Zack: You get called out twice because you are the best son I could ever wish for...and an terrific person.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

What tech companies just found out--Women buy technology, too

"Last week my 11-year-old came in and said she needed a JumpDrive to transfer digital files back and forth from school, and who buys it? My wife."
--Paul Rand, chief development and innovation officer at communications firm Ketchum

The Business Week article on Dell, Samsung and Best Buy's new interest in marketing to women is full of catchy sound bites, data nuggets, and tips on how to make your store decor more appealing to suburban moms(take that with a grain of salt.)
Of course, one hopes the authors came across some of the terrific women-authored tech/gadget blogs out there--ShinyShiny, TechieDiva, and Barb Dybwad's Geeked (also at Engadget)--as they researched this just in time for the holidays story.
After all, journalists are supposed to be smarter than consumer electronics marketing people--right?

Talking: The distributed web

One of the ah-hah! moments of the last three months is recognizing that one of the best ways for a digital media business to reach an audience is to stop trying to be a destination--
The (new) web we are moving into, the one some of us are already sick of calling Web 2.0, is both aggregated (think newsreader and personalized start page) and distributed (the same data can be found in more than one place, in more than one platform).
On a tactical level, this means that web sites that focus on improving their content, updating more frequently, recruiting users through community, etc. are missing half the picture--the half that says that if you issue APIs for your site's products and services, allow remixes, encourage--no, help--users tag your data--and RSS-ify everything--you'll be far ahead of the game and grow links--and audience--like crazy because your discoverability will soar. In other words, you need to not only improve your destination, you need to move off it.
With big media companies, the fear of letting data go into the ozone is often great--after all, mainstream media--outside of investigative journalism--is often about beautifully packaged, highly filtered points of view--as unique and distinctive as possible. The cost and effort involved in these products is often so great the idea of releasing assets--like so many red balloons--seems daunting.
And yet the user-driven successes of the past few years--the slashdots, the flickrs, the wikipedias--show that the greatest access and therefore the greatest exposure--come from distributed, remixed content that's linked and distributed across the net--personalized to fit, if you will, everyone's individual experience of Web 2.0.
Big media, if you want to catch up to your audience, you have to let go.

Update: In the middle of writing this, came across similar thoughts from Dorian Benkoil, NYC blogger and Corante columnist--worth a read, for sure.

Update: Web 2.0 workgroup

I've been cross-posting with MacManus, Arrington , Clavier, et al for forever, so it was a pleasure to join the Web 2.0 workgroup in October. Now, here's an update on the members:

Analysis & Trends
Read/WriteWeb, Dion Hinchcliffe,
Susan Mernit's Blog, Web 2.0 Explorer

Companies & Products
TechCrunch, SolutionWatch, eHub

Design & Usability
WeBreakStuff, Bokardo,
ParticleTree, Emily Chang

VC & Business
Jeff Clavier, Nivi

PodTech, Web 2.0 Show

Tech & Development
Programmable Web, CrunchNotes, Librarystuff

Scripting News, HorsePigCow

Mashing it up and then some

It makes me happy without compare to see some major (commercial) media companies following the lead of the BBC and providing content that can be remixed with tools and/or APIs and then redistributed. The Washington Post has just taken the plunge and launched Post Remix, a place to share and showcase the good stuff.
Some of the (first) examples Adrian Holovaty and Jim Brady offer:
Susan sez: Here's some free advice--If you're a big media company and you want to see your Google Page Rank and blogosphere buzz influence go up, there is NO BETTER WAY than to distribute your content via RSS, allow users to tag data, and permit limited-use mashups.


Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Michael Bierut: Innovation vs. Design

Designer Michael Bierut has an interesting post about design and innovation at The Design Observer. The short version would be that businesses--and organizational development teams--are swapping out the term design for the far sexier code word "Innovation."
Bierut writes: "It's not hard to see why innovation is becoming the design world's favorite euphemism. Design sounds cosmetic and ephemeral; innovation sounds energetic and essential. Design conjures images of androgynous figures in black turtlenecks wielding clove cigarettes; innovators are forthright fellows with their shirtsleeves rolled up, covering whiteboards with vigorous magic-markered diagrams, arrows pointing to words like "Results!" But best of all, the cult of innovation neatly sidesteps the problem that has befuddled the business case for design from the beginning. Thomas Watson Jr.'s famous dictum "good design is good business" implies that there's good design and there's bad design; what he doesn't reveal is how to reliably tell one from the other. Neither has anyone else. It's taken for granted that innovation, however, is always good. "

Susan sez: Reading this post made me think about the number of times in the past month people have talked about wanting to hire designers who are "really Web 2.0" types--and how what they always seem to mean is they use Ajax.

eCommerce Watch: San Francisco slips off list of top online shopping cities

AOL "Online Shopping Cities" survey reports that San Francisco--for the first time in 4 years--slipped down the list of online shoppers and spenders to number 22 and off the top 5 list for the first time.
Susan sez: Is it because everyone's recycling their stuff on eBay and Craig's list?

Here's the top (online) shopping cities list, just in time for your rush to the mall:
------------------------------------------------ --------------------
1. Tampa/St. Petersburg/Sarasota
2. San Diego
3. Philadelphia
4. Houston
5. Miami/Ft. Lauderdale
6. Washington, DC
7. New York
8. Dallas/Ft. Worth
9. Chicago
10. Pittsburgh

Who knew?

greenwich village 60s photos

Jazz musician Ned Otter has built a gallery for 50-odd photos taken by his father, photog Robert Otter. These evocative black and white images of NYC harken back to a quieter downtown, filled with beatniks and bobbysoxers, and they are nice.
(Via Alex Vassifer)

Quote of the Day

" My interest is to build the great library. That was the goal I set for myself 25 years ago. It is now technically possible to live up to the dream of the Library of Alexandria. Folks are using the Internet as a library, and they're using it many times every day. We're seeing much more traffic on the Internet then we ever did in our public library system, but what's available on the Internet isn't the best we have to offer. Almost everything on the Internet has been written since 1996 -- and most of it has been written for the Internet. Do you know what's carved above the Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh? -- 'FREE TO THE PEOPLE' -- what a goal! I can believe in this! At the Internet Archive, we think of our mission as 'universal access to all knowledge.'
That should be carved over our door. If we do this right, it will be remembered as one of the great things humans have done, up there with the Library of Alexandria, Gutenberg's press and putting a man on the moon."

--Brewster Kahle, founder Internet Archive and Open Content Alliance, speaking in The San Francisco Chronicle about efforts to digitize the world's great libraries.

Gawker closes Oddjack: Stats were lousy

Nichelle Stephens sent me a post from MediaBistro highlighting the news that Gawker Media's shutting down gambling site OddJack and laying off the editor.
Interesting, this unsuccessful site--whose numbers, said Denton, were "just never really there," had 420,000 pageviews and about 180,000 visitors during its peak traffic month of September--probably not too far from the traffic some small regional newspaper sites receive (draw your own inferences from that dig, folks.)

Update: Lock says my stats were wrong, plain wrong--the real data is here and suggests that OddJack actually got fewer visitors than a Fire Department pancake breakfast.

Global Voices wins Best of the Blogs Award

Ethan Zuckerman reports that Global Voices has won a Best of the Blogs award from Deutsche Welle. Judge Lisa Stone said: " In my opinion, Global Voices is the most important blog in the English speaking world, bar none. This site is more than an up-to-the-minute guide and encyclopedia of the international blogosphere. Global Voices Online is a mega-blog the covers free speech by a global citizenry--and covers it well. It's so important at a time when so many international voices are denied free speech by their governments and, in the United States, a very few, English-speaking, first-world media conglomerates dominate and determine the ownership, distribution and content of news. Kudos to founders Rebecca MacKinnon and Ethan Zuckerman, and all the writers on the site. "

Kudos, indeed.

AOL: Layoffs pending in Q1?

It's that time of year when AOL is inevitably readying its layoff packages-there hasn't been a fourth quarter in the last 4 years that wasn't the time for AOL dusting, cleaning and trimming--but the story from inside is that while the cuts are being planned now, they won't be implemented till Q1 '06--possibly to avoid those AOL lays people off at holiday time tales?
On a related note, I heard that AOL execs are reconsidering their multiple portal strategy and worrying that some of the traffic going to AOL web properties should better go to, all the better for a concentrated, targeted set of data--and users.
Does this mean that someday soon Netscape, MovieFone, and perhaps even Mapquest are going to become landing pages for the new AOL?
As one insider said to me, "They just never really got multi-brand."

Monday, November 21, 2005

Frensno Famous makes LA Times cover story

I started reading Fresno Famous as a way to feed my (now gone)Kevin Federline/Britney Spears gossip addiction and stayed cause editor Jarah Euston is a good writer and a chronicler of the town's (small) music and art scene. Now she's quoted in a "all the smart kids are fleeing town" story in the LA Times--congrats, Jarah.

Rules for (today's) workers

Tom Formenski's spurred some wise rules for workers from long-time free agent Mitch Ratcliffe:
  • Carry and use your own cell phone/number for business
  • Carry and use your own email address even at work
  • Carry and use your own health insurance
  • Incorporate and work on contract rather than as an employee
  • Carry and use your own hardware, building tech expenses into your compensation

Susan sez: While not everyone is going to do all this (no one wants to pay for health insurance), putting even one or two of these suggestions into practice makes obvious good sense.

AOL, Noted

KPUA: AOL cofounder Steve Case invests $10.2 million dollars in Maui Land and Pineapple Company, giving him 3.5 million shares of the land holding and resort company.

Marc Orchant reports on the new AOL Pictures, saying the old You've Got Pictures service has some fancy new Ajax apps, and an offer to give new users AOL 100 free 4x6 prints as sign-up incentives per AOL account/screen name. AOL GM David Liu emphasized the integrated capabilities of the new site, which allows photo-sharing between AOL Mail, the AIM service, AOL Journals and AIM Blogs.

Danny Sullivan hacks AOL stats using the new Google site maps tools. Here's how--and more here.

Via NYTimes: Steve Case-backed Lime, a media company "devoted to new-age lifestyle programs on subjects like organic food, hybrid cars and alternative medicine" gets mucho press. Deepak Chopra, Danny Seo and Rodney Yee are the celeb gurus.

Friday, November 18, 2005

WSIS: Expression under repression

The show went on--despite the authorities cancelling the presentation. Ethan Zuckerman tells the tale of talking truth in Tunis. A snippet:
"Our joint project, Global Voices, is all about finding ways to call attention to conversations taking place in Citizen?s media? and our first panel includes two GVO regulars, Isaac Mao and Hossein Derakshan, as well as Taurai Maduna, from Zimbabwe.

Before introducing our citizen journalists, Rebecca talks about one of the critical issues we?re focusing on for the next two days: Internet filters. She mentions the just-released Open Net Initiative report on Tunisia, demonstrating how a US firm - Secure Computing - helps the Tunisian government censor the internet. Rebecca shows us pages that are blocked by the Tunisian firewall, as well as net censorship in China (including a comparison of a Google search for Tianeman Square Massacres from within and outside China.)"

Susan says: Now this is brave-and good.

Mark Pincus on Google

Mark's got some thoughtful comments on the Borg--oops, I meant Google:
"google base is a very msft mba approach to the world. while it makes business sense, it lacks soul. it does as little to help the community as bringing in a walmart. in fact, google feels a like walmart today. once the excitement over trying out their latest release wears off we are left with the realization that they are going to ultimately put the corner grocer (being craigslist) out of business, and suck value out of an economy not add back. and while it's a beautiful day here in san francisco, it's a sad one for me to see a company with so much promise to help the world, primarily focus on helping itself."

There's lots of good talk in the comments as well--

Friday, Noted

The Kauffman Foundation's relaunched eVenturing, a site for entrepeneurs that offers practical advice and info on finance, HR, Products and so on...accompanying blog here.
Smart Mobs: "A typical Chinese Internet user is a young male who prefers instant messaging to e-mail, rarely makes online purchases and favors news, music and games sites." AP story here.
Google celebrity maps: An API for the stars.
CNET: Taking back the Web--a special report on social media and Web 2.1 users that's worth a read.
Dan Conover: What inquiring reporters read--a solid list o'blogs.
News via Niall-- Google bought Riya--that was quick. $4o-60MM, they say.


Thursday, November 17, 2005

Bakersfield participatory media:User profiles driving traffic

Bakersfield's Dan Pacheco led the team that built the Northwest Voice participatory media platform for the Bakersfield paper's Bakotopia site. Noting changes after a recent platform and feature upgrade, Dan writes: "We're seeing a tripling of traffic to Bakotopia, and much of it can be attributed to user profiles. In the past two months, profiles have jumped from number 13 to number 3 on the list of most popular features. I see this as a reflection of the core value proposition of Bakotopia -- meeting and connecting with people who have similar interests and goals. Even more fascinating is the fact that user profiles now get more traffic than content -- which includes things like furniture for sale, musicians wanted ads, rants, reviews and the like."

Susan sez: It ain't MySpace--but it is the same impulse--clustering actions and content around core identity as an important community attribute.

Quote of the Day

"What's perhaps most interesting about the Google Base design is that it appears to have been designed from the ground up with RSS and XML at its center. One need look no further then the detailed XML Schema and extensive RSS 2.0 specification to realize that Google intends to build the world's largest RSS "reader" which in turn will become the world's largest XML database.
To faciliate this, I suspect that Google will soon announce a program whereby people can register their "Base compliant" RSS feeds with Google base. Google will then poll these feeds regularly just like any other RSS reader....(snip)... Soon, every publisher on the planet will be able to have a highly automated, highly structured feed directly into Google base."
--Bill Burnham, Burham's Beat

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

API launches newspaper innovation initiative--spending $2MM on consultants' fees?

The American Press Institute is spending $2 MM on a year-long project that is supposed to result in a white paper that will tell newspapers how to stay afloat instead of getting sold by share holder mandate. Only it seems like most of the funds will go toward paying for Harvard Business School guru Clayton Christensen's company, Innosight, , to do consulting work with project laders Stephen T. Gray, former managing publisher of The Christian Science Monitor and former chief executive officer and editor of The Monroe (Mich.) Evening News.
According to API, the project's goals are:
  • Assess the threat to newspapers in the next decade, including emerging competition
  • Determine opportunities for newspapers, including implementation of available new technology
  • Suggest executable new business initiatives ? products, services and strategies ? with detailed rationales
  • Provide implementation guides for these business plans, addressing the management of change and risk.
Of course, seems like it might cost a lot less than $2MM if some of the folks on this team were just keeping up with blogs covering the space--Buzzmachine, Pomo Blog, Tim Porter, and this blog come to mind--or. if, as Rafat Ali said, they gave the money to some cool start-ups.
Rafat's succinct two cents:
"The viability of news gathering will have nothing to do with the future of newspapers, in the future...if API was really serious this, it would have invested that $2 million in some local sites or independent investigative journalism projects, instead of trying to get a bunch of 45-year olds (even though the list is impressive) from old big media companies together and come out with a report...(snip)... If you want news gathering in the future to flourish, stop talking and pondering about it..either do it yourself, or fund those who are."

Susan sez: I wonder why they didn't just give the money to The Media Center--isn't this exactly the kind of think tank they are? (Oh yeah, I forgot, they're not at Harvard.)

Yahoo to distribute Gawker blogs

Reuters reports that Gawker Media has landed a deal for Yahoo to distribute Gawker blogs (does that mean we get to see Denton and Lock in Silicon Valley sometime soon? I think yes.)
Content--labelled as commentary--from Gawker, Defamer, Gizmodo and Wonkette will supplement Yahoo's news pages, adding a flavor that will only be matched when Yahoo finally manages to create a platform to channel content from ALL of the most linked/authoritative sources in the blogosphere (and that day will come, believe me.)
Meanwhile, Yahoo's rush to compete in media and social media is admirable--it will be interesting to see if some of their vertical categories take advantage of the learning the media/news group is doing and tweak/rethink their platforms a bit to integrate some new tools (and user involvement).

Update: Priceless Denton quote from Washington Post:"Yahoo has developed a certain weird geek chic, their philosophy is just edgy enough. The key to the Yahoo deal is the wider audience out there. This is the same younger audience that responds to 'The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.' "

New: Eurekster--Building a better swicki

Today, Eurekster's launching Swicki, a new community search product for small publishers and bloggers that lets them create targeted searches, publish the searches as tag clouds on their sites, and lets the swickis return search results most relevant to their community's user behaviour. Swickis are cool and useful search tools that are easy to build...Some early comments and reviews at Solution Watch, SoftTech, Phil Bradley's blog, Tech Soup, Hip and Zen Pen, Allied, Browster blog, and Direct marketing news.

Some swickis to note:
I've been working with Eurekster as a consultant on this product and am eager to get feedback on this early beta...And more examples of swickis to check out.

Update: Press release here. Tech Crunch story here.

Quote of the Day

"...People under 30 turn the dial -- they try everything. Looking at the Internet, when you get people sort of over 40, you find that they probably use eight or 10 sites but use them quite a lot. People under 30 use 100 sites. It was the same with television, so when you're starting, you tend to go for that younger demographic because you have a better chance of getting their attention.

....What does a portal mean? In a sense, we say we've got 30 million portals: In MySpace, everyone has their own portal. All of our sites will be tightly interlinked technologically, so you can click from one to another. I think you've got to network your stuff -- that's interesting. Half the advertising on Google, and a lot of it on Yahoo!, is coming from networked sites. You help people: If someone has a good blog on Yahoo! and there is some connection by Google, then they share in the advertising.

--News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch in The Hollywood Reporter.

GoogleBase is live

Googlebase launches. FAQ here.
What does it mean?
Google's everywhere.
Check out the examples of recipe-finder, personal data mangement, cars for sale, full time jobs...
The mind boggles..or is that goggles?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Charting an explosion in expression.

It's been fascinating to me to see how the worlds of podcasting, journalism, citizen media, video upload, tagging, etc are all starting to cross. Not only are bloggers writing about an every-broadening circle of tools, they're charting an explosion in expression among 18-35's and the wired digerati. It's an amazing soup to swim in, and one in which content--cool podcasts, amazing mash-ups, wonderful blog posts--swims to the surface, only to be eclipsed by a new aggregator, a search tool, a photo manager, etc.
How to keep up?
You can't.
The explosion of expression--both content and technology--is just so rich--and sometimes, so innovative-- that not being able to look at everything, while frustrating, is a good problem to have.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Quote of the Day

"... There's a shift under way in which authority is being transferred to authors with no accountability other than to themselves and their readership. Does it matter? Should it matter? The mainstream media can look down its nose at the blogosphere, but the numbers tell a different story. More people than ever are reading blogs because of shared affinities and it's coming at the expense of print newspapers."
--Charles Cooper, Executive Editor, News Commentary, CNET

Killed: Piece by probably fictional author about equally fictional cable TV show

According to WWD, The NYTimes has killed a piece on the (fictional) HBO series Deadwood because they are concerned the article may be written by the equally fictional JT LeRoy. According to the Sara James piece, LeRoy (or someone who assumed that persona) told her on the phone that the Times killed an upcoming story because the paper was afraid LeRoy was a fake--and his refusal to hand over a passport, social security card or other government-issues idea nixed the deal.
LeRoy told James: "I've always played with identity and gender. I understand what [the Times is] saying, but they entered into working with me knowing that ... Just because the Washington Post came after them, why should I be forced to prove who I am? They knew exactly what they were getting when they dealt with me."

Susan sez: At what point does the TV movie follow the well-detailed exposes?

Friday, November 11, 2005

Quote of the Day

" In a Web 2.0 world, there is going to be an increasing amount of fragmentation of services that users will want and the multiple services at which they'll need to have accounts at (free or otherwise), to get them.
These won't just be from the big portals but also dozens if not hundreds of new startups that'll continue to grow, evolve and consolidate.
Think about it as a microchunking of online services. That's dozens, and possibly hundreds of user names and passwords, and log-ins and log-outs a day for every single user.
And it gets especially complicated when needing to access all these services not just via a PC, but cell phones, PDAs and any number of wired and wireless gadgets coming down the pike."
--Michael Parekh on IT--and the whole post is worth a (close) read!

AOL reports on instant messaging (IM) behaviors

AOL press release --aka survey--on IM behaviors has some notable nuggets:

  • Two-thirds (66 percent) of teens and young adults (ages 13-21) say they send more IMs than emails, up from 49 percent last year.
  • Teen boys (55 percent) are more likely to have parental rules about IM use than are teen girls (50 percent).
  • One in three (33 percent) IM users send mobile IMs or text messages from their cell phones at least once a week. This is an increase of 14% from 2004. The figure was 10% in 2003.
  • Half (47 percent) of those ages 13-21 change their away messages every day, to let others know where they are (71 percent), to list a cell phone number or alternate way to be reached (47 percent) or to post a favorite lyric or quote (47 percent).

According to the survey, the top ten markets for instant messaging are: 1. Miami, FL; 2. New York, NY; 3. Boston, MA; 4. Chicago, IL; 5. Atlanta, GA; 6. Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX; 7. Detroit, MI; 8. San Francisco, CA; 9. Sacramento, CA; 10. Tampa, FL.


Tough enough: Lichens can live in space.
NPR is podcasting, major.
Yale conference Dec 3: Regulating Search-A Symposium on Search Engines, Law, and Public Policy--convener Eddan Katz was at Berkeley with Mary Hodder.
Merc News: Google offers free WiFi to Mountain View, CA-After all, if you're leasing 1MM square feet at NASA and building housing, you need free WiFi at the train station, right?
Yahoo's Scott Gatz: " Google is replaying Yahoo?s playbook circa 1996."
Tristan Louis: Reading the Google Tea Leaves--Tristan's take on things is becoming invaluable--and this is fascinating.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Quote of the Day 2

"I have seen the future of media and it looks like this:

Mashed Up Blog Posts at tech.memeorandum

Mashed Up Funny Videos at delicious

Mashed Up Playlists at webjay

Here is the future of media:

1 - Microchunk it - Reduce the content to its simplest form. Thanks Umair.
2 - Free it - Put it out there without walls around it or strings on it. Thanks Stewart.
3 - Syndicate it - Let anyone take it and run with it. Thanks Dave.
4 - Monetize it - Put the monetization and tracking systems into the microchunk. Thanks Feedburner."
--Fred Wilson, VC and smart guy

(Via Definitive Ink)

Quote of the Day 1

" I don't think any of us really doubts that the Microsoft memos were leaked deliberately and with careful thought and planning. Both memos, Gates and Ozzie's, read as if they've been copy-edited, and every phrase meticulously constructed for maximum conjecture and obfuscation, perfect for a new takeover campaign."
--Shelly Powers, Burningbird on the "leaked" Microsoft memos

Fun with food news

A recent and USA WEEKEND Magazine has some interesting data points about American adults and, uh, food:
  • Stranded on a desert island and faced with a choice between an unlimited supply of beer and burgers or a vegetable-only diet and Angelina Jolie as a hut mate, a solid majority (61 percent) of men would become vegetarian.
  • For women, the choice between unlimited chocolate or a lifetime of eating veggies with Brad Pitt is much closer. At 51 percent, Brad Pitt just wins over the unlimited chocolate.
  • Bucking the national trend, 58 percent of women in the Northeast chose chocolate over Brad Pitt.
  • Meanwhile, a whopping 85 percent of men in that region -- significantly more than anywhere else in the nation -- picked Angelina over beer and burgers.
  • When asked to choose a popular TV show's character(s) for a breakfast companion, most people (34 percent) said they wanted to share a tropical fruit plate with the castaways from Lost.
  • Over one-quarter of Americans admit they hide foods from other members of their household, with candy being the most frequently hidden food.
  • Women (20 percent) are more likely to hide candy than men (12 percent), especially if they are married.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

AOL to distribute CBS News Video

Mediaweek reports that Web portal player AOL has just anounced a deal with CBS Digital Media to distribute both video and text news content from on AOL News, adding CBS to their CNN/ABC mix.
This morning MSN and the AP announced their deal; what's next?

Boosting women's interest in technology/science careers

Via Lauren Gelman: Cisco Systems and the National Center for Women and InformationTechnology on Monday announced a new Internet tool aimed at boosting the interest of women in careers in science, engineering and technology.
The release says: "The digital library is geared toward students, parents and educators. It includes tips for encouraging girls to succeed in mathematics and computing, sample lessons for teaching computing to girls, and details about technology-themed summer camps and programs for girls. While the Labor Department predicts the creation of some 2 million tech jobs in the United States by 2012, the number of women in the information technology workforce has declined by18.5 percent over eight years, according to a report by theInformation Technology Association of America. The EducationalDevelopment Center, ITAA, the Stanford University office of science outreach and Junior Achievement also have collaboratedon the initiative."

Ray Ozzie's Three tenets of (disruptive, Internet) success

A fascinating excerpt from the leaked memos--this from Microsoft CTO Ray Ozzie:
"Today there are three key tenets that are driving fundamental shifts in the landscape all of which are related in some way to services. It's key to embrace these tenets within the context of our products and services.

The power of the advertising-supported economic model.

Online advertising has emerged as a significant new means by which to directly and indirectly fund the creation and delivery of software and services. In some cases, it may be possible for one to obtain more revenue through the advertising model than through a traditional licensing model. Only in its earliest stages, no one yet knows the limits of what categories of hardware, software and services, in what markets, will ultimately be funded through this model. And no one yet knows how much of the world's online advertising revenues should or will flow to large software and service providers, medium sized or tail providers, or even users themselves.

The effectiveness of a new delivery and adoption model.

A grassroots technology adoption pattern has emerged on the internet largely in parallel to the classic methods of selling software to the enterprise. Products are now discovered through a combination of blogs, search keyword-based advertising, online product marketing and word-of-mouth. It's now expected that anything discovered can be sampled and experienced through self-service exploration and download. This is true not just for consumer products: even enterprise products now more often than not enter an organization through the internet-based research and trial of a business unit that understands a product's value.

Limited trial use, ad-monetized or free reduced-function use, subscription-based use, on-line activation, digital license management, automatic update, and other such concepts are now entering the vocabulary of any developer building products that wish to successfully utilize the web as a channel. Products must now embrace a 'discover, learn, try, buy, recommend' cycle, sometimes with one of those phases being free, another ad-supported, and yet another being subscription-based. Grassroots adoption requires an end-to-end perspective related to product design. Products must be easily understood by the user upon trial, and useful out-of-the-box with little or no configuration or administrative intervention.

But enabling grassroots adoption is not just a product design issue. Today's web is fundamentally a self-service environment, and it is critical to design websites and product 'landing pages' with sophisticated closed-loop measurement and feedback systems. Even startups use such techniques in conjunction with pay-per-click advertisements. This ensures that the most effective website designs will be selected to attract discovery of products and services, help in research and learning, facilitate download, trial and purchase, and to enable individuals, self-help and making recommendations to others. Such systems can recognize and take advantage of opportunities to up-sell and cross-sell products to individuals, workgroups and businesses, and also act as a lead generation front-end for our sales force and for our partners.

The demand for compelling, integrated user experiences that 'just work'..

The PC has morphed into new form factors and new roles, and we increasingly have more than one in our lives , at work, at home, laptops, tablets, even in the living room. Cell phones have become ubiquitous. There are a myriad of handheld devices. Set-top boxes, PVRs and game consoles are changing what and how we watch television. Photos, music and voice communications are all rapidly going digital and being driven by software. Automobiles are on a path to become smart and connected. The emergence of the digital lifestyle that utilizes all these technologies is changing how we learn, play games, watch TV, communicate with friends and family, listen to music and share memories.

But the power of technology also brings with it a cost. For all the success of individual technologies, the array of technology in a person's life can be daunting. Increasingly, individuals choose products and services that are highly-personalized, focused on the end-to-end experience delivered by that technology. Products must deliver a seamless experience, one in which all the technology in your life 'just works' and can work together, on your behalf, under your control. This means designs centered on an intentional fusion of internet-based services with software, and sometimes even hardware, to deliver meaningful experiences and solutions with a level of seamless design and use that couldn?t be achieved without such a holistic approach."

Quote of the Day

" The broad and rich foundation of the internet will unleash a "services wave" of applications and experiences available instantly over the internet to millions of users. Advertising has emerged as a powerful new means by which to directly and indirectly fund the creation and delivery of software and services along with subscriptions and license fees. Services designed to scale to tens or hundreds of millions will dramatically change the nature and cost of solutions deliverable to enterprises or small businesses.

We will build our strategies around Internet services and we will provide a broad set of service APIs and use them in all of our key applications."
--Bill Gates , Oct. 30, 2004 in an internal memo to senior staff, via Scripting News

A leap forward--MSN and AP do deal for video news service, player

Yet another data point suggesting how quickly Internet video is going to become a standard--The Associated Press (AP) and MSN announced this morning that they are teaming to develop an AP Online Video Network to provide AP members with news video for their Web sites. The press release says "With the new service, AP will make AP news video available to a network of more than 3,500 AP newspaper and broadcast members in the United States. MSN will provide the video player and technology and will sell the advertising for the fully ad-supported service. AP will retain full control over editorial content in the AP Online Video Network."
The service, which will be free for members, is scheduled to launch in first quarter 2006.

Note that MSN will be selling the ads--and, persumably, either paying a rev share to AP--or paying a straight licensing fee for the content.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Newspapers circ. is contracting--are you surprised?

Matt Drudge's list of the declining circulation figures for major market papers, released Monday by the Audit Bureau for Circulation, provides an at a glance cheat sheet for a contraction the industry has been talking about (and dreading) for at least a year. The biggest losers:
  • San Francisco Chronicle, 391,681, down 16.4 percent
  • The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 362,426, down 8.73 percent
  • The Boston Globe, 414,225, down 8.25 percent
  • Houston Chronicle, 521,419, down 6.01 percent

One would argue that the large regional papers are especially vulnerable to both circ and advertising losses, since they lack the global cachet and national subscriber base of the NYTimes (up slightly) , the Wall Street Journal, and perhaps, The Washington Post--and they are not really able to be microlocal or fully zoned--it's just too expensive.

Will newspaper be able to extract enough revenue out of their online operations to make their current business work? Probably not--if revenue growth is going to come from online, news organization will need to adjust their businesses accordingly-the tail just can't make enough $$ to wag this big dog--or, in other words, a 30 person online operation can't support a 300-person newsroom.

So, what's next? It's reinvention time.


Update: CJR editorial goes gentle into that good night.

AOLEntertainment: You've got blogs(not)

What has 23 live links to gossip and entertainment blogs, no comments, no timestamps and no dynamic updating? If you live and work in Dulles or the NYC AOL bubble, it's AOL's Hollywood Blogzone, the clear product of some editor's desire to obey their boss's directives to "Be cool" and "Link out."
A retreat of the old "Gossip" main page with a nod to bloggerati, HBZ feels so tired and old--it's a great example of how wanna-bes can mangle what's supposed to be a fresh,dynamic and interactive form--even with the current passion for gossip online, there is no way anyone who know how to click on a link would ever be compelled by this tired little puppy.
Susan sez: Fellas, you you bought Weblogs Inc--how about you get some counseling on this Web 2.0 thing?

Update: Yes, I am feeling a little mean this hasn't kicked in yet.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Sunday supper returns

Back in the day, I took pleasure in posting Sunday dinners I made for the family. The family is in different places this year, but I've started cooking again and last night (Sunday) I made:
  • Spinach, radicchio and endive salad
  • Garlic bread with oregano
  • Baked potatoes with non fat sour cream
  • Roasted tri-tip, Buckhorn brand (thanks, RK!)

My 19-year old, over for the night, hungry and always broke, was impressed enough to eat a ton. It was so pleasant I thinkI may take a page from Lisa Williams' family dinner and invite friends for chow next time.

Dave Winer's Hypercamp: Imagining a blogging newsroom

As usual, Dave's onto something--Hypercamp, a blogging virtual newsroom. Works for me.

Seattle Mind Camp: Women just in it for the parties and beer?

Seattle PI reporter John Cook covered the Seattle MindCamp and apparently quoted Tara Reid (oops--Tara Hunt!) out of context--reporting that she said she's into Web 2.0 for the parties and the beer, provoking outrage and hurt.
Scoble notes the misstep, Liz Lawley calls it out, and Tara sets the record straight.
This raises one of those age old questions--if you interview 20 people, quote one woman, and make her sound stupid, is that sexism--or just poor reporting?
You decide.

Susan sez: Okay, I think it's both--but the best last word comes from Adam Kalsey who says:"Not that it will make you feel any better, but Tara, you're my marketing hero. A month ago I'd never heard of Riya/Ojos or you. As a result of your blog, community building, and networking at parties, I hear about Riya several times a week."

Quote of the Day

"You can look at the evolution of search as a play in three acts. The first is the 'public' Web, where if different people type the same query they'll all get the same results. The second is purely personal search - finding a file or photo, usually on your own machine. The third is the one that we are very interested in--This is "social" or "community" searching, in which each attempt to find the right restaurant listing, medical advice site, vacation tip or other bit of information takes advantage of other people's successes and failures in locating the same information. "
--Jeff Weiner, Yahoo's senior vice president for search and marketing, quoted in a NY Times article on the company.

(Note: I have modified the original paraphase of Weiner's comments in the story to make the quote flow a bit more smoothly.)

Internet TV: Brightcove hires sales vets to drive Internet TV ad relationships

Brightcove announced today that it's hired two big agency/media shop veterans, Adam Gerber and Dina Roman, to run a chunk of the company (to recruit and work with agencies and their $$, one would think), and has teamed up with big co Publicis.
Quote of the minute from founder Jeremy Allaire: "The advertising industry is changing rapidly, and the emergence of Internet TV promises to give agencies and marketers major new opportunities to distribute brand messages and marketing content that engage consumers in ways that are impossible in traditional TV."

Scripps efforts lead to Food Network web ITV exclusive

Food Network's launching a Web-exclusive series, "Eat This with David Lieberman" on Nov.21st. The 13-episode series visits five cities--New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle and Miami--and focuses on culinary trends. Three new episodes of the show will be made available on every week. The press release emphasizes that "the concept for "Eat This With Dave Lieberman" was developed by FoodNetwork as the perfect opportunity to kick off Scripps Networks' launch into series programming via broadband."

Susan sez: Are there any big media companies left out that that don't get that ITV, citizen-journalism-style video, and podcast video are 5 minutes away from the next big thing?
Of course there are.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Topix starts indexing blogs; asks "But are they news?"

"Blogs and news are now on equal footing on," says Topix CEO Rich Skrenta, who reports that Topix has added 15,000 blogs to its index, and offers an inside look at a question that intrigues the Topix guys: "Are blog posts news?"
To figure that out, Rich and co. took a look at the coverage of key categories--news, sports, entertainment, etc.--but mainstream media and blogs, decided blogs added a lot to the mix, and then crawled (he says) about 1 MM blogs to build a list of the 15,000 now incorporated into the Topix index. He's got some interesting charts and some fascinating data, including the fact that 85-90% of the daily posts hitting ping services such as are spam--and now visitors to pages like US News and Wierd News can see the blog posts highlighted alongside the other feeds.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Quote of the Day

"Let me make a prediction. Five years from now, the blogosphere will have developed into a powerful economic engine that has all but driven newspapers into oblivion, has morphed (thanks to cell phone cameras) into a video medium that challenges television news, and has created a whole new group of major companies and media superstars. Billions of dollars will be made by those prescient enough to either get on board or invest in these companies. At this point, the industry will then undergo its first shakeout, with the loss of perhaps several million blogs ? though the overall industry will continue to grow at a steady pace.
And, at about that moment, Forbes will announce that the blogosphere is the Next Big Thing for investors."
Mike Malone, former editor at large for Forbes ASAP magazine re Forbes' anti blogging rant.

(Via CrunchNotes)

Best Bets: More on which companies Google might buy

Good speculative piece by Rick Aristotle Munarriz over at Motley Fool on what Google might acquire with all that cash they've collected. Rick's picks include
iVillage, AOL, CNET, Tivo and The Knot (what, no Knight-Ridder?) and his conclusion is that Google has the cash to buy'em all if they choose.
Would they? Who knows?
(Via memorandum)

Update: thanks, bleh.

Will work for books--Amazon Mechanical Turk

Amazon's developed an extremely clever--but kinda strange--interface to match humans with little mundance tasks they say machines can't do. Called Mechanical Turk, the service asks you to sign up and then get paid--pennies, mostly--to do all sorts of things, like correct A9 mapping photos.
A typical task right now is for A9 and reads as follows:
"You are presented with the name and address of a business as well as a set of photos taken along the street where the business is supposed to be located. Your task is to identify the best photo of the business that is listed."
For that, you get .03; if you do it 179 times, you get 5.37.
Amazon's estimates work so that if you have spent an hour to fulfill 1170 of these requests, you get $35.00, which means your time is worth $35 an hour if you can fulfill about 1 per second--if it takes you 5 seconds to fulfull each task, your time is only worth $6-7.00.
Amazon says that they take a slice of each transaction and that workers can transferr money to their U.S. personal bank account or to their account.
The most amazing thing about this, IMHO, is that the Amazon guys let the Web Services team put this up--which means they had to run some use case scenarios on what it would save them in terms of hiring freelancers or outsourcing company wide.

Gross n' geeky: What has 30,000 calories and costs $47?

Via BoingBoing, and almost as gross n'geeky as goatse
(More pix of the thing here (via Kottke)


Via SaurierDuval: The Museum of Modern Betas: Markus has done what any good compulsive would do and compiled a list of 200+ beta or pre-web web 2.0 style apps. Web 2.0 tools blog.
Chad Alderson: Google Map hacks collected--here and here.
Society for New Communications Research: Jen McClure launches a research group.
There is no cat:
RalphBrandi's blog, almost live from NY.
Jason Calcanis: Code thieves, you suck--when imitation seems to cross the line to rip-off. Bonus: Building a weblog ad directory.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Why Krucoff is beyond charming

Get fired from Conde Past, write an amazing blog post, make everyone laugh--more proof here why Andrew Krucoff is going to get both the best laughs and the last one.
(P.S. Check out the hilarious comments, including one from the *real* Toby Young.)

Quotes of the Day

"Saving journalism isn't about saving jobs or even newspapers. In fact, the goal shouldn't be just to save journalism but to grow it, expand it, explode it, taking advantage of all the amazing new means to gather and share news we have today.

Start with the real goals, which are informing society, keeping power in check, improving people's lives, making connections (right?) and then ask what the best ways are to do that today. After that, you can ask what the role of journalists and newspapers should be."
--Jeff Jarvis,Buzzmachine

"Newspapers and television remain the greatest producers of journalism in this country. Yet, their one-way communication models- we print and distribute, we produce and broadcast - are antiquated mechanisms to a generation that makes no distinction between the pre-Internet era and Web 1.0 or Web. 2.0. "
--Tim Porter, First Draft

Would Google buy Knight Ridder?

There is something peversely fascinating about the idea of a big distributed services portal--like Google, Yahoo or eBay--buying Knight Ridder, a newspaper chain with a well-run--and growing-- digital media group--as the Wall Street Journal suggests in a story today. After all, the bigger newspaper groups have been pushing hard to roll their unique visitors up into large enough numbers to play meaningfully with the paid search big boys, and the eBays and Google of the world--not to mention HotJobs and Yahoo--have taken enough big, profitable bites of the classified and directory markets to know that the local distribution newspapers offer can give them a competitive edge.
And yet, on the other hand, having KR be acquired by one of these brands seems unlikely. For one thing, none of them have a practice of acquiring widely diversified holdings--most of their acquisitions have been coherent with an overall strategy and digital delivery platforms. For another, while alot of the revenue growth in the company seems to be coming from online, the dollars generated by the local papers--and the proportionate share of local media they command in their markets--is too great to dismantle--or ignore.
It's just not the most pragmatic decision--for a digitally-driven company to buy one with lots of presses and delivery trucks--and yet is offers a fascinating concept of how to fast forward to the future....after all, wouldn't the Google-ites perhaps have a fresh look at how to build a cost structure that was both distributed (they've done it on a global scale) and centralized?
And wouldn't a digital media or tech company have some fresh points of view on the paralyzing costs of operating the legacy systems and processes that keep many people employed--but make the growth margins deadly?
This is one of those wildly speculative questions to me--if KR did sell, it is unlikely (IMHO) it would go to any of these players--but I'd like to think we'd see some new approaches to systems and legacies--and a continued appreciation of the power--and responsibility--of the press--if one of these digital players did make the buy.
Susan sez: This could be interesting--or it could just die down.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Ad Networks: Tacoda teams with Technorati--and 199 other sites

MediaPost reports that Tacoda System's new targeted ad network has just added Technorati--and 199 other sites--to the network, bringing the undiplomatic, aggregated reach to 80 million uniques per month, with plans to roll up sites that will add another 10-15 million uniques per month to the Tacoda Network.
According to the MediaPost article, the Technorati sites will not serve ads, but will send data to Tacoda that will allow their system to better target those users as they move to other sites...The idea of Technorati--and other similar sites licensing their back-end data was discussed as a possible business model back in the early days of large-scale data historical data aggregators like Technorati, but not many of the new-style search companies have done these kinds of deals, to my knowledge.
Susan sez: One would think that there would some instant cash benefits for Technorati here--both in a licensing model and with a revenue share incentive. And for Tacoda, the benefits of adding these datasets are obvious.

iVillage: Up for sale?

Will iVillage's sale to a bigger player be one of the consolidation plays for this end of the year?
Reuters and others are posting reports that women's portal iVillage has--or is about to--put itself up for sale for $700MM, give or take.
The analyst quoted in the Reuters story imagines Yahoo or AOL buying the service, ideas I think are very remote possibilities--
After all, Yahoo just hired a former AOL women's channel GM to run their health and wellness portal, and I just don't see AOL making that kind of spend.
On the other hand, a media/newspaper conglomerate with some cash (are there any left?) who wants to bump up their ad inventory might be one prospect (News Corp?Viacom? Part owner Hearst?)
IMHO, Best prospect--MSN, who could afford to roll up iVillage and acquire a chunk of AOL and go to battle against the portal guys Yahoo and Google--and if they don't get AOL, iVillage could be a tasty consolation prize.

Quote of the Day

"Put the Gawker titles in a media conglomerate and they would spontaneously combust. Imagine, for instance, how AOL Time Warner would handle the X-rated party photos in yesterday's Fleshbot, or a snide report on Defamer about the latest dross from Warner Brothers, or Gawker's borderline libelous mockery of [Time Warner CEO] Dick Parsons. Without media conglomerates as targets, the Gawker titles would have no purpose. Gawker is not for sale but it is, more importantly, and in a deeper sense, unacquirable."
--Nick Denton, founder, Gawker Media, quoted in OJR

Susan sez: What do you think folks, is Gawker really unacquirable (grin)?

Steve Rubel's 4 points for managing customers via blogging

Shel Israel liveblogs Steve Rubel's keynote speech at The Blogging Enterprise conference in Austin, Tx, and while it's a big wet kiss of a post, it nicely captures Steve's great energy and smarts--The finale-- 4 points for using blogs to manage customers-- from Steve, via Shel:
  • Find--determine which bloggers are most likely to become your company evangelists. Understand what's being said & join the conversation
  • Listen--use a combination of Technorati, Feedster, IceRocket Pubsub et al. to track what matters to you. Understand the common thread, the beat on the street and take it seriously.
  • Engage--show bloggers you care. Blogger complained abut not being able to find his favorite deodorant. Unilever sent him a case of the store and told him where in his neighborhood he could get more. That's engagement. That shows customers you care. "It puts you at eye level with the people you care about most.
  • Empower--help people achieve something they could not do on their own. Create programs that create customer evangelists.

Update: iMediaConnection weighs in

iMedia Connection's exec editor, Brad Behrens, did the right thing and wrote a graceful editorial/clarification about the Bill Day piece--replete with ads from Bill's company, WhenU, that they ran yesterday--and about posts Theresa Quintinalla and I wrote taking them to task.
Brad says they didn't sell the edit, they have always wanted Bill to write for them, and when they realized it looked bad, they took the ads down.
Brad goes further and says they don't sell edit, period--"...if somebody -- anybody, even a sponsor -- submits a byline for our consideration and the article turns out to be a veiled or overt commercial for the contributor's company, then we don't run it."

Brad's explanation works for me.

So does their quick response in addressing these issues.
The fact we can have this kind of dialogue--in public--is part of how the web has changed things and driven everyone to more transparency.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Goldman Sachs forecast: Newspaper $$ down the tube in 2005

A recent Goldman Sachs report confirms what publishers trying to streamline operations and cuts costs already know: 2005 was the worst year ever for the industry.
Stories in E&P and MediaPost report the 2005 is ground zero for lowered ad revenues, weak classifieds, and softness across all markets and most properties.
Interestingly, 2004's Scarborough Research Report conducted for the Newspaper Association of America and the NAA's related benchmark report found that "Eight out of 10 (77.8 percent) adults 18+ in the top 50 markets are reading the newspaper over the course of a week (five weekdays plus a Sunday)." An October 2005 NAA report says "three out of four (77 percent) adults in the top 50 markets read a newspaper at least once a week, or 115.6 million readers in those markets" and "analysis also confirms the strong spending power of newspapersÂ’ audiences by showing that in the top 50 markets nearly 60 percent of consumers with household incomes of $75,000 and above read a daily paper."
However, reading this week's dismal forecasts, one wonders which particular ostriches spent a little too much time in Pollyanna land.

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