Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Quote of the Day 2

"My generation draws the Internet as a cloud that connects everyone; the younger generation experiences it as oxygen that supports their digital lives."
Kevin Marks, epeus epigone blog

Quote of the Day 1

"What we're seeing right now is a cultural shift due to the introduction of a new medium and the emergence of greater restrictions on youth mobility and access. The long-term implications of this are unclear. Regardless of what will come, youth are doing what they've always done - repurposing new mediums in order to learn about social culture.
Technology will have an effect because the underlying architecture and the opportunities afforded are fundamentally different. But youth will continue to work out identity issues, hang out and create spaces that are their own, regardless of what technologies are available."
--danah boyd, on the myspace generation, in identity production in a networked culture

Monday, February 27, 2006

Quote of the Day 2

"...we're at an impasse today in the 2.0 space. The 2.0 crowd has the right tools (communities, networks, attention markets, etc), but not the right audiences. Big media still has the audiences, but not the tools.
... The failure to understand, craft and articulate 2.0 value propositions is just the latest example of this VC decay. VC must change organizationally and strategically - or the downward spiral is going to continue. And that's why we've reached an impasse: because, just possibly, the real chasm for 2.0 is exactly the set of guys that should be seeding, growing, nurturing, and building it."
--Umair Hauge, Bubblegum Generation.,writing on how VCs don't get media and therefore are faiing to help 2.0 tech companies and big media connect the dots.

Quote of the Day 1

"We're seeing all these feature-oriented startups lately - site after site of them. But does the world need more features at this point? They're not using the ones they already have. It's basic supply and demand, right? We're entering a glut of new ways to do the same old things right now, and that means the value for this stuff is accordingly low."
--Russell Beattie, writing on WFT Web 2.0, or how lots of features do not a profitable business make

Edgeio: Classifieds tag aggregator goes live

Edegio, an aggregator and community for the creation and publication of classifieds tags--think For Sale meets bookmarks--has gone live this morning, Keith Teare reports. Om Malik has details, including the "$1.5 million in angel funding from the likes of Ron Conway, RSS Investors, Transcosmos, Louis Monier (AltaVista founder, formerly of eBay and now at Google), and Jeff Clavier."
Next step is to see what kind of momentum and trial this very clever--and well-executed--idea gets.

Sunday, February 26, 2006


Burnham: Googlebase is facilitating payments as merchant of record--what will this do to eBay?
Dan Pacheo: Local classifieds/community site Bakotopia wins an NAA Edgie! Secret sauce: Bakotunes.
Ralston 360 View: My old friend Peter Levitan is blogging.
Malcolm Gladwell--he's blogging!
Lisa Williams: Her great citizen journalism blogroll.

Back from a break

This was one of those weekends I just turned all the devices off. Instead, I walked, did yoga, hung out with good friends, and went to the SF Chronicle winetasting. It's great to step away from the digital world and refocus for a couple of days; it makes diving back into blogging, news, work and the world of information much more appealing now that I've had a chance to chill a little.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Start-up cafes: SF favorites revealed

Jackson West's got a lovely post on how wired cafes are replacing office space--and back bedrooms--as start-up starters. However, he's failed to list two of my favorites--Canvas Gallery, where we started working on Rojo back in 2003 (I still go there--easy to park), and Coupa Cafe, on Ramona Street in Palo Alto, where everyone local seems to go.

Quote of the Day

"The main thing to remember is that you generally only get one look from the early adopter crowd. There is just too much going on for them to give a flawed company multiple chances to get it right. You either grab their attention, or you lose their attention. If you grab ?em, everything is easier from then on. If you bore them, you are facing an incredible uphill battle just to get them back to the site."
--TechCrunch editor and Edgeio co-founder Mike Arrington, via Emergic


Tristan Louis on movement in and out of the Technorati 100.
Dave Sifry on Technorati's new features: OPML and Technorati Favorites
Doc Searls: He's playing with it.

RSS religion: keeping the faith

RSS father Dave Winer's working to keep the standards alive and the code current. Dave writes:
"Now, it may be possible that after three years in the market, that RSS 2.0 could be radically improved, but the roadmap says that no person or group of people has the exclusive right to improve it, and that no one can interfere with the stability of the platform. That's no different if you work for a small company or large, or don't work for a company at all."

What do you all think? Is RSS (still) a relevant format for you? If yes, why. If not, what's getting your focus now?

Yahoo: You've got phone

Red Herring: "AT&T Yahoo Go Mobile, will give users the ability to access their Yahoo mail, photos, address book, calendar, and Yahoo Messenger instant messages. The service also includes search engines for the web, images, and local attractions. Users also get access to news, weather, and sports coverage...An important part of the service will be the email access. Users will receive an alert when new emails arrive in their Yahoo Mail inbox."

Susan sez: Does this mean flickr photo streams on phones in 2007? Yum.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

MashUp Camp: Can't wait

I'm going to mashup camp(and hanging out at the hotel party tonight), so if you are there and want to meet up look for me, or send an email. Hope to see/help create some cool social media tools and see all kinds of great stuff/new ideas.

Sand Hill Slave: Welcoming the (Bitch)Goddess

So my new must-read is the amazingly dead-on and sort of unpretentious SandHill Slave, a 30-something woman (blogger name: Wendy Kroy) whose stories of life in Silicon Valley's VC-land as an exec admin type are hilarious and sharp-tongued.
Watch out for this future CEO--she's clearly going to not only get it right, she's going to get even with every guy who ever thought she was a bimbo because of her job.

TechCrunch5: Tweaking the SV bubbleists

The party was a blast--a convention without a convention--and filled with fascinating colleagues, entrepeneurs, geeks and media folk--thank you Mike and Keith, Pluck, Rojo, Eurekster(great to see you all)--it was so much fun.

Techcrunch5 party photos here. As of this morning, there are 550 photos of this party on flickr, which clearly does not translate into 1.1 photos of each attendee--it's more like lotsa photos of Scoble, Shel, Stowe Boyd, and then tons of other shots.

Also--Read a tremendously funny post from Rick Segal on the Web 2.0 cool crowd (is that an oxymoron?) at the Scoble-honoring Tech Crunch party on Friday.

Update: Did I mention how amusing it was that Scott Beale brought ValleyWag guy Nick Douglas? Waiting to read his *overheard* list.

Quote of the Day

"Making a fool of yourself for love is ultimately about you, how much you have to give and the distances you will travel to keep your heart wide open when everything around you makes you feel like slamming it shut and soldering it closed."
--Veronica Chambers, editor, essayist, journalist, writing on love in the NYTimes

Friday, February 17, 2006

Quote of the Day 2

"When I hire, I am constantly searching for that combination of someone who could step back and see how the world is changing and seek out ways to win AND gets excited about all the details that we need to nail to get it right. When I first interview people I ask a series of questions to get to the heart of the this. They usually put themselves into the do-er camp (tactical) or the thinker camp (strategic). It amazes me how quickly people identify with those. But the folks that are ultimately going to be most successful are the ones who get excited about both. They thoughtfully articulate why a product needs to completely change direction and then talk about the most minor detail that we just need to fix to make things better for consumers."
--Yahoo! Scott Gatz writing on why being both tactical AND strategic is the way to go (and responding to Chad D.)


GigaOm: Om Malik goes daily, just like CNET.
Robert Young: Sex, crimes and myspace--Hey, the predators have landed.
Shawn Gold, SVP, myspace (and long time web exec): "...as an innovator int he social network space, I and the myspace team is dedicated to innovating and educating in this area through its evolution."
Palm Beach Times: Teen cyberbullies hassle teacher--on match.com

Quote of the Day

'Strategies' are big and sweeping and inherently pass the task of implementation to someone else. Tactics are inherently about executing. The distance between 'strategic' and 'tactical' is measured in meetings, PowerPoints, conference calls, and, well, 'not writing code.' Limiting (or even mostly eliminating) that distance is the key to making things happen.
I'm not saying that strategy isn't important, just that strategy directly combined with tactical skill is the real killer combo."
--Yahoo! Chad Dickerson, writing on his blog.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Steve Rubel joins Edelman Worldwide as SVP

My dear friend Steve Rubel's announced his news--he's joining big PR firm Richard Edelman to play a key role in a new practice. I met Steve back in 2004, when I saw his new blog, got to know him and asked him to come to California to help teach a blogging workshop with me, Halley, and JD Lasica. Been friends ever since.
Even then, Steve's brain--and his heart--were bigger than most people's. Congrats!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Quote of the Day

"Only when the proportional representation of entertainment, technology, culture, politics, and sports in blog "top 100" lists matches that in the broader media economy will we know that blogging has truly become mainstream. So if you want to watch a realtime blog-o-sphere mainstream-ing indicator, track the die-off of tech blogs from the Technorati top 100. When we're down to 10 or so, call me. But by my count we're currently at 31 tech/geek/science blogs in the Technorati 100, so we have a ways to go in the geek fall from grace. "
--Paul Kedrosky, Infectious Greed, writing on the blogging's democratization, in response to NY Magazine's news package on bloggers.

Roses, Starbucks, Chicago

Valentines Day with Yahoo! Personals in Chicago, working at a real time event. Pix and wine stories later, travelling today, regular postings resume tomorrow.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Dan Gillmor: Lessons from the Bayosphere

Heather Green's got a BizWeek article on ex-journo and thinker Dan Gillmor, his 2005 Bayosphere community blogging/citizen journalism start-up, and his 2006 shift to exploring similar interests in an academic mode, as a professor and head of a citizen journalism non profit.
Heather's article gets into the too little, too late scenarios and the it was never really a community to explain why Bayosphere failed to flourist; she also highlights some other local endeavors that have grown into community resources and compelling destinations.
It's worth noting that althugh the article's critical of Dan, it also acknowledges what new ground citizen journalism is and how tactics to trigger critical mass are fairly undocumented.
A must read for online news watchers.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Quote of the Day

"The media audience as a whole (that's all of us) continues to fragment along geographic, demographic and special-interest lines. We will continue to gravitate to the websites, TV networks and voices that mean the most to us. This is no different than MTV's tranformation from music to lifestyle programmer. As that shift continues, we'll see print publishers become Internet TV broadcasters in the same way that we've seen broadcasters become print publishers on the Web over the past ten years. National Geographic made the leap from non-profit society and magazine publisher, to TV programmer. We'll see many more.
These multimedia programmers will mix a range of self-published content, user-generated content and acquired media into entities that attract and satisfy the needs of their audiences."
--Eric E, writing in the Brightcove blog at the announcement of a deal with the NYTimes and About.com

How to chill, Saturday edition

One cooked, cold Dungeness crab, plus 1/2 a ripe avocado
Diet coke or Savingnon Blanc
A handful of assorted jelly beans
Flashdance, better now than ever.

Quote of the Day

"The sources of hype, however, need to be constantly identified and people do need to be reminded of any conflict, financial or philosophical, that may shape their messsage, so that they can make more informed decisions about the messages they receive in the media and the blogosphere. Both are equally corrupt and the blogosphere, because of the personal quality of the messages, is far more insidious in its ability to trick people into believing because it feels right to do it."
--Mitch Ratcliffe on integrity and blogging

Susan sez: Guess I've never gotten over being a journalist, because colleagues who hype companies or product w/o disclosing connections are one of my pet peeves--And yet, it's nothing new, has been happening for years--and when people find out who's shilling, they don't forget it--or forgive.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Ted Leonsis, cartoon superbuddy

AOL's Ted Leonsis doesn't sleep! In addition to running the company, owning a sports team, and captaining a nice big boat, Ted's got a blog and an AOL superbuddy of his very own--click here to have Ted as your avatar.

Bloggers & playing the influence game

So, the WSJ article on blogger's buzz has real timeliness for me; I've been brooding about how some folks I know--someone I will call Mickey (in honor of the Mouse), in particular, has done an amazing job building buzz for his as yet-unreleased start-up through an adroit mix of blogging and social networking.
Based on eyeballing Mickey's skillful moves, here's how an aspiring start-up founder, especially one eager to have a bigco pre-emptively acquire his company soon after launch--might play it today:
1) Move to/live in a technology center like Silicon Valley
2) Start a blog and write about other startups, technology buzz, tech news, and VC $$
3) Dabble in advising VCs and helping other start-ups get funded
4) NDA your friends and share your product concepts; tell everyone you are web 2.0 and/or disruptive
5) Build your blog influence as much as possible, through every means
6) Show up everywhere, at all sorts of conferences, parties, and events
7) Get your A-list pals to blog about you before, during, and after alpha release
8) Hire some of them as advisors; get free advice from the rest
9) Keep it moving by repeating #2-8 over and over (think of it as a spin release cycle)
10) Enjoy the huge buzz all those blog posts will generate and the free marketing and buzz you've so neatly engineered

How many new tech businesses have we seen spun in this way?
I can think of three companies--maybe four--who fit this bill without even giving it much thought.
New tech businesses that cause the same small Web 2.0 pack of boy bloggers to avidly pile onto the new, new thing and dissect it to death.
It's hype, folks, pure and simple.
And if you play it, it plays you.


Netimperative: Search marketing firm Miva has sealed a UK agreement to create custom branded toolbars for magazine publisher Conde Nast. "The toolbar is designed to drive user retention and enable Conde Nast to promote the Glamour brand, its content and services beyond the publication's website."
Wireless Week: '
A new study by Telephia shows Yahoo!'s instant messaging (IM) application is the most widely used (for mobile--SM), beating out AOL, MSN, Google and ICQ."
Gatecrasher: Would Hearst bring in a new editor at Harper's Bazaar? (One only hopes..)
Ecommerce-guide.com: "Online retail sales are expected to grow from $81 billion in 2005 to $144 billion in 2010, according to a study released this week by JupiterResearch."

Quote of the Day

"I find Web 2.0 a convenient shorthand for how Memeorandum differs from iVillage, two websites that to me represent the second generation and first generation of the Web, respectively."
--Anne Zelenka, Anne 2.0

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Rich II: CL vs dating sites (Yes, like Yahoo Personals)

So how does Rich assess CL vs paid dating listings, a la Y! Personals and Match.com? Some snippets of his POV here:
"The personals column competes with Match.com, eHarmony, and other dating sites. But it's got something they don't. A riveting editorial column written by the users. "
And, as Rich points out, Craig has lots more links on his home page to personals categories.
(Susan says true, but as users know, the very randomness of CL dating often makes the results (i.e. people you meet) as surprising as the posts.)

Rich's final quote:
" ...who else attacks so many different businesses on a single hompage? Online dating, events, real estate, apartments, forums, used cars, community, jobs. OMG... Yahoo. "

Gotta love that Rich, how true is that? LOL.

Rich Skrenta: The brilliance of Craig's List

The incomparably smart Rich Skrenta deconstructs Craiglist's succeess in a post that's a must-read for anyone interested in classifieds, citizen journalism, the semantic web and viral marketing/local. A snippet:
"Craig's lead-into-gold trick is that he gets his posters to accurately classify their spam. Into 160 categories. Holy Toledo Jacob Nielsen. You can't have a pulldown with 160 things in it. Half of your users wouldn't get a pulldown with 3 things in it right. Ah, but it's not a pull-down. Half of the entire homepage is a giant selector devoted to classifying posts.
Booting up new cities should be very hard, maybe taking years like the main SF site took. But there's another set of seed material to help new Craigslist cities get going. The discussion forums. These are global across all the Craigslist cities. If you go to perth.craigslist.com and click on 'transit', you're going to read about SF Muni. But fortunately many of the categories, like 'kink', travel well. So there is plenty of discussion on a brand new Craigslist city to look at even when nobody from the new town has contributed anything yet. "

As usual, Rich is sharp, incisive and original--folks, take note.

Lovosphere: Personals noted

Orlando Sentinel(from LA Times): EHarmony Marriage: First find a mate, then manage the marriage--a new online counseling service.
China Business Weekly: This report suggests online dating in China is a rapidly expanding category--"The sector is expected to quickly expand over the next three years to reach 653 million yuan (US$80.6 million). There were 6.5 million active dating service users in China by the end of 2004, iResearch says. That figure is expected to rise to 29 million by 2008."
Modbee.com: Craigslist--busting hookers. Who knew?
Online-Dating-Zone.com: The Kayak of dating sites touts their talents (press release).
Click-Z: Carnival Cruise Line launches a social network--is dating far behind?
Phillips and Match.com team up for VDay on devices, music.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Sifry: State of the Blogosphere

Dave Sifry and co have another fascinating report on da blogosphere:
Technorati now tracks over 27.2 Million blogs

Social media, anyone?

Susan sez: If you have any doubt that we're now in a paradigm shift toward an object or post level distributed web, aggregated thru search and tags, read this now.

Media. listings, and information services business--What does that mean for your portals?
Users may not need to come to your site to get what you offer.

Umair: Another acquisition bet

Umair says: "I would be willing to bet that Yahoo acquires Last.fm in the next six months or so, as the relative lack of success of Yahoo Music becomes more transparent; I also bet that Yahoo pays a significant premium, as they did with delicious (>50% recent comps)."

Anyone want to bet?

Disclaimer: Ms. Mernit has no c0nnection to any of the Y groups or other companies mentioned above, so don't ask me what could happen, eh?

Quote of the Day

"Memeorandum is what google news should've been."
--Doc Searls on the gillmor gang podcast featuring M's Gabe Rivera, quoted by Richard MacManus

Yo, Jackson! Om goes West

Much to my delight, Jackson West is contributing to Om Malik's blog on web 2.0 coverage. Not only does this mean a fresh perspective (thank god!) it means I'm not the only web tech blogger with a twisted sense of humor and an appetite for pop culture and quirky stuff who's writing about emerging tech.
Om, this is so cool!
Jackson, you're in the blogroll once again...here and here and here and...

Saturday, February 04, 2006


So it's been an interesting experience moving from three years as a consultant into a staff role.
On one level, it's completely seamless--the team is great, the work is interesting, and the ambiance is familiar (lots of former Netscapers around).
In that way, it feels like the past three years were a dream in between bigcos.
I also see how much I have learned consulting--I am definitely going into this job with a much sharper range of skills and experiences--not to mention more emotional resources--than I had a few years ago.

On the other hand--I am definitely going through a transition--While showing up to an office every morning is still an adjustment, I feel like I've made a good choice--one that will require focusing in in a way that will be very worthwhile.
One of the big new things--which I am very much enjoying--is the need to focus--Success will be about envisioning and executing against some very specific goals--and knowing what NOT to engage on. I've learned--after much effort--to become pretty good at saying no, or letting certain kind of opportunities pass by because they won't lead where I want to go, so the need to set priorities and drive to them in this new job is a pleasure.

As for the Yahoo culture, still feeling my way on that one. It's probably not disclosing too much to say that the company has its own jargon, which I am starting to collect--I was in a discussion recently and was the only person who didn't know that staffers refer to the Yahoo user ID--what at AOL was called a Screen Name, as the YID (Yahoo ID, get it?)--still hoping to hear more priceless gems like that one, tho I probably won't publish them here.

All in all, totally digging the job.

(Note: post inspired by Jeneane Sessums, what i used to write here)

Quote of the Day 2

"The most interesting platform isn't the internet; it's the cellphone....The internet connects all this stuff. The internet is kind of the metaplatform but beyond that the cellphone is probably going to the mediating device in many markets."
--Esther Dyson at SIIA, quoted in Paid Content.

Friday, February 03, 2006


Walt Mossberg: Search tools Rollyo and PubSub, discovered by the Man.
Paid Content: Yahoo's Neil Budde on columnists, advertising, and content strategy.
Andy Carvin's joined rocketboom (yea).
Melissa Gira, Sexarati: "...nothing says 'bubble' like men in logo-print polos trolling craiglist -> erotic services for companions (think Firefly) for sacred weekend handjob retreats." (Yow!)

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Lovosphere: Dating/Personals noted

Quote of the Day

"4 years ago, I stated that from that moment on I wouldn't work on anything I didn't love, and I would only work on things I loved. (I needed to say it redundantly, because it felt wobbly inside, saying it out-loud. I was terrified.) As soon as I said, it I knew I could never go back. A door had closed. The old way was over and no longer reachable. I could not understand the old way, from that moment on. The new way had clarity, passion and intensity.

It doesn't mean I don't do a lot of hard, trying, difficult, long work, but I have to say, but the overall goal, the project, the commitment, must be something I love. And frankly I haven't worked for a second in the past four years. And I work all the time. Because it's not work. Down with work that you hate! Do only work that you love. And the work will pour in, you will have more choices that you know what to do with, the quality will be high, the satisfaction will be high, your life will change, and your free time will become so much more satisfying."

--Mary Hodder, CEO, Dabble

Mary Hodder launches Dabble

So Dabble, my friend Mary Hodder's new video remix service is in alpha, 8 months after Mary got serious about making it happen, and less then 6 months after the team really dug in.
Om Malik has a nice piece about it, saying it's a flickr for personal video management, remix and aggregation.
If you want to test it, sigh up here.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

RIP: Wendy Wasserstein

I can't believe that author and playwright Wendy Wasserstein has died! Only 55, PW says Wasserstein had a months-long battle with lymphoma and breast cancer. The mother of a daughter, long-time New Yorker Wasserstein was one of the smart, funny woman who informed the intellectual life of NYC--it seems tragic she would die so young.

Quote of the Day

"Imagine if all the media companies just up and died,who would complain? I'll tell you a group of folks who wouldn't: creators. Creators create whether or not there is a industry-sized business model. ..media is something people want and technology is how they get it. "
--Joshua Porter, Bokardo, a blog about Web 2.0

DIGG is bigg

Reading Thomas Hawk this am: "Having had several of my articles appear on Digg, Slashdot and Boing Boing all three, I can personally attest that Digg is moving traffic these days on par with Boing Boing and Slashdot. Recently I blogged about Digg Founder Kevin Rose's presentation down at Yahoo! earlier this month. At that presentation Kevin said that at present Digg has about 140,000 registered users and is serving up four to five million page views per day. "

Yep. Digg is getting big--how many readers of this blog use it regularly? (Confession: I don't.)

Google News: Fair Use Hits the Fan

After 18 months of grumbling, more newspapers companies are pushing back against Google's news aggregator--Reuters reports today that "A group representing global newspaper publishers has launched a lobbying campaign to challenge search engines like Google that aggregate news content."
WAN, aka the World Association of Newspapers, said it is exploring ways to "challenge the exploitation of content by search engines without fair compensation to copyright owners."
(Note: I spoke at a WAN conference last year.)
"They're building a new medium on the backs of our industry, without paying for any of the content. The news aggregators are taking headlines, photos, sometimes the first three lines of an article -- it's for the courts to decide whether that's a copyright violation or not," said Ali Rahnema, a managing director of the association.

Susan says: This has been a hot button for a couple of years, and some U.S. news organizations have looked hard at whether they could go after Google, Topix, etc. in court--and decided either to take a licensing approach, or back off completely. Let's see what the global press group decides about their course of action..my guess this is mostly grandstanding."

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