Saturday, July 19, 2003

I have an AOL blog 

I started an AOL Journal, aka Blog yesterday. You can create one if you have a name in AOL namespace--Netscape. AIM, CompuServe or AOL account.
I'm trying it out as a photo blog and recording my comments.
Some links here if you want to accompany me:
My test AOL Blog
Link to a specific post that shows how AOL embeds a mini-You've Got pictures album into the Journal as a way to show more than one photo in an entry
Link to an archive of posts

The interface is wonderful, but the photo blogging thing seems pretty clunky so far.

I was impressed with this great relationship management email I was sent:

Subj: Your New AOL Journal: Susan Mernit's Photo JournalĀ 
Date: 7/20/03 12:11:59 AM Eastern Daylight Time
Sent from the Internet (Details)

Congratulations! You've started your own AOL Journal. Here's the address for your page:

Tell Your Friends and Family
Now that you've created your AOL Journal, be sure to announce it. Your visitors can read your entries and add their own comments. Once guests start telling their friends about your Journal, you'll develop a regular following of readers. Before you know it, you could have the most popular Journal on the Web!

(Yeah, right...)

Instant Entries
The best part about your AOL Journal is that it's easy and fun to update. Did you know you can create a new Journal entry via Instant Message? Just send an IM to the screen name AOL Journals with your daily thoughts. Your Journal will automatically update. Has fun online ever been this easy?

Ideas for Your Journal
Be yourself. Share your thoughts on current events, keep everyone posted on family happenings or special occasions in your life. Get creative and tell crazy stories. The possibilities are endless.

(Chirpy, but encouraging)

Need Help?
Find it in AOL Journals Help.

Thank you,
AOL Journals

Yard Sale Day 1 a Big Success 

Well, the vintage sweaters, Pottery Barn drapes, and 1930s hat boxes are mostly unsold, but the 80s CDs, old TNN review video review copies, kitchen detrius, and tons of what I am not sure exactly what that was but I know we didn't want it anymore have netted us about $400. I also acquired an impressive sunburn.
We have 3 more hours of selling tomorrow.
About an hour into the sale, everything will go 50% off currently prices (that means old pairs of shoes for 50 cents each). By 2 pm, I hope that the leftovers are all in boxes for charity, packed neatly for eBay sale later on (all that vintage cashmere), and/or tossed into a heavy duty contractor's bag for delivery to the dump.There were some nice moments:
--The heavily pregnant young woman and her heavily tattooed husband who bought some small items and were thrilled when we gave them our (free) 'hairy chair' for their pets to sit in in her studio.
--The neatly-dressed man who kept adding items for him wife: fur hat, hand-thrown bowl, small paperweight.
--Two middle-aged Africans, father and son, who bought up all the ExOfficio pants and shirts my husband no longer wanted.
--The dopy-smokling hippie artist who bought my orange Vera shirt, and the slender blonde who bought another Vera shirt because she had been friends with another one of Vera's (now-gone) designers.


Friday, July 18, 2003

Winer transfer RSS copyrights to Harvard 

What did I say when they fired John Robb? My bet was a SBV between Harvard and this news from CNET that Harvard owns the right to RSS and will support it with the aid of a newly formed board.

"Earlier this week, Dave Winer, author of the specifications for content distribution tool Really Simple Syndication 2.0, transferred the copyrights
to the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School. The
Center's advisory board intends to do more to promote awareness for RSS, a hugely popular syndication method in the blog community. "

Related article here.
Feedster search results link here.
Technorati links here.There are 55 comments in the comments section of the Berkman announcement site, many of them critical, negative, or cynical.
Scott Johnson, in The Fuzzy Blog

How Google can beat Amazon and eBay 

Why will understanding the semantic web, aka the relationships between things and people as described via electronic linkages, enable Google to triumph over all others? Paul Ford lays it out right here, with a related Wall Street Journal article coming out today(links via Chris Alden)

Blogging Daily and MIA bloggers 

Now that I am obsessed with my RSS feed, I expect bloggers with feeds--and hopefully those without, to blog more or less daily unless they tell me up front their blog is occasional. This expectation, totally self-created, makes me feel frustrated when a blog I am reading suddenly goes MIA.
Douglas Rushokff--where are you?
Mark Finnern, did the Bay Area futurists blast off for the month or something?
Guys, you have readers...let us know where you are.

Worth AT LEAST a thousand words 

From Eugene Kim


Start an AOL Journal now 

It's here to AOL Journal set up beta. Technorati's links to here

Dinner with Zack 

Zack is back: Picked him up at the airport 1 am Thursday morning. He's been great since he returned--possibly his regret about the AWOL scene the night before he took off for music camp in California has made him more considerate. Whatever the reason, it's been a pleasure to have him home.
We went to the gym together last night, and then cooked dinner:
Salmon in curried coconut milk with cilantro and scallions
Stir-fry with bean paste of onions, carrots, broccoli and peppers
Steamed rice
Wicked Ben & Jerry's ice cream with devil's food cookies.


Around the Blogosphere today 

Dave Winer finds an RSS feed from an early AOL journal, proof such things exist.
Danah Boyd has started the Connected Selves blog, focusing on social network ideas and links.
NASA Spaceman, aka Expedition 7 NASA ISS Science Officer, Ed Lu is writing letters, which some are calling blog entries, from space. (Link via Slashdot)


5ive: A new kind of consulting company 

About 3 months ago, my new partners and I started 5ive, a new type of consulting company that was begun to help media companies, nonprofit organizations and mission-driven businesses to create and launch new sustainable revenue streams, new products, and new businesses. 
5ive provides a complete range of services, from helping companies to assess their organization, processes, and communications, to strategic planning, creative development, implementation to get programs up and running, and development of actual products, from newsletter and software products, to tangible goods such as wall paper and chairs.

My partners in 5ive bring solid experience in other disciplines: David Ross is the former head of SF MOMA and The Whitney Museum in NY; Greg Turpan was one of the developers of the Calvin Klein Home Collection and the cofounder of Turpan-Sanders, an influential design store in NY; David Gresham ran design for Steelcase and developed their best-selling chair, and Steven Madoff was one of the key figures in developing both Roadrunner and Pathfinder for Time Warner, as well as the President of the MOMA's recent Internet/commerce venture.

To date, we've been working with a media/ information company with a non-profit side, two large museums, a small foundation, and two internet businesses. We have proposed some wonderful projects, on both coasts, and I hope some of them come through--this is an amazing, vital sector to work in-- -- new revenue streams, actionable strategic business plans, and efficient, streamlined organizations are all crucial in this tough market, and we can help with all those aspects. In addition, 5ive is providing me with the means to work more in the education sector, an area I care about quite a bit, and that is great.

We're waiting for our web site to finish, and working to turn a good idea into a viable enterprise.


Moving West: It's days, not weeks 

I was on vacation in Portugal in early January, and I remember looking at the palm trees in Lisbon, and really missing California. Then I left AOL after 3 non-stop years, three cities, and two coasts, and started my own consulting firm with 4 amazing guys (I realize I haven't written about 5ive much, so I am going to do that in my next post.) At some point back then, we also decided to move back to California and spend just part of our time in New York (I have done so much commuting across the country, I am totally used to this).
Back then, the idea of moving was months away.
Now, it is days.
July 31st we move out of our NJ house. The truck with our belongings will be heading cross-country, my son, cat, and I will be on a plane, and my husband and the dog will be driving West on their junket. We're in the count-down now, even as I keep working on my business projects: get school transcripts, prepare for the yard sale we've having tomorrow (arrghh), pick through all the books and make boxes for the second hand store, plan what to bring on the plane and what to pack.
I'm excited about going back; there are some very cool projects I will work on out there, and some great people I will have more time to talk with. I'll also be back in NY in a few weeks, working with some clients and potential clients, and in Aspen for a few days for a project at the end of August.
But it's just about that transition point--the big move--the same big move across the country I have done twice before since 2000!

Thursday, July 17, 2003

Morning: News of the Miscellaneous  

San Jose: A little sex with your javs? Coffee shop aims for Hooters' crowd.
Alabama: Queen of bad writing wins annual contest by comparing romance to cheese: They had but one last remaining night together, so they embraced each other as tightly as that two-flavor entwined string cheese that is orange and yellowish-white, the orange probably being a bland Cheddar and the white ... Mozzarella, although it could possibly be Provolone or just plain American, as it really doesn't taste distinctly dissimilar from the orange, yet they would have you believe it does by coloring it differently."
Beacon, NY: B&N's Leonard Riggio funds Dia:Beacon Riggio Galleries, a new $55 million contemporary-art museum in a converted box-printing plant in Beacon, New York.
Mendocino, CA: This may be the land of the redwoods, it's getting harderand harder to do business in timber here---but this year the Mendocino grape crop was valued at $81 million last year, compared to $54 million for Mendocino logs delivered to local mills, according to Dave Bengston, county agricultural commissioner. This,1413,82~10834~1517409,00.html

Will AOL Journals help save AOL? 

According to a recent column, the upcoming call with AOL analysts cold reveal that the service has experienced a dramatic drop in subscribers. Since last year,AOL has lost 465,000 members high-speed providers or cheaper ISPs.
If the pace continues, the online giant will lose 1.3 million of its 26 million U.S. members this year. "They're getting squeezed.
AOL is clearly working hard to proovide added value for subscribers. I saw the new AOL Journals blogging tool last night and it looks great--clean, easy, and VERY functional. And the hot live events--Fred Durst, etc. should make the kids happy.
It's also clear that Jon Miller is striving to remake the service into a transaction and utility-driven tool that gets the highest % of revenue out of the members, and that he continues to cut costs and people in the unit. But will enough members care?
The competition is fierce, and AOL is going to go all out with 9.0--won't be boring.


Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Aways On Conference--AOL Chief Jon Miller presents 

Jon shows the conference the great comps of the personal pages the braodband team designed, and Marc Canter goes wild. I hope everyone's children subscribe--maybe my options will be worth something.

5 month blogging anniversary 

5 months of blogging! In 5 months, I was blogged once by Doc Searls, once by the NY Times, once by Anil and once or twice by Xeni, got involved with Shanti and Metapop, and have had fascinating conversations with many interesting people. Best of all, it's become an enjoyable hobby--a way to share in a dialogue with the blgosphere and anyone who reads my RSS feed or comes to this site.

Most of my connections are electronic-although I live in NJ (okay, NJ), I have not met Nick Denton, Elizabeth Spiers, Meg Hourihan, or Cameron Barrett, all of whom write blogs I read. ( I already know Jarvis, so I don't have to talk about him.) I also regret not meeting Jen Chung and Jake Dobkin. I'll be heading out to California in two weeks, and although I will be spending a lot of time in NYC, it seems a bit like a missed opportunity not to have met these folks. On the other hand, I know from experience that often people's products--writing, etc--are enough, and in fact, you get the best part of them that way.

Some of the people I hope to meet in California--this is another way of saying I admire their blogs and/or work but don't know them, are Dave Sifry, Robert Scoble(I love his blog), Marc North (I am so impressed by his photography that he is someone I feel shy of meeting), Phil Wolff, Ross Mayfield and the Social Text folks. I have already met the amazingly smart and energetic Marc Canter whose blog is muy compelling, so I won't add this to this list.

An interesting comment on my schizo interests and how I function on the two coasts: Most of the East Coast folks I mentioned are media people; most of the West Coasters are technology developers.


Are gay men and women more tech-saavy? Forrester says yes 

This just in: Cambridge-based Forrester Research, a technology
market research and advisory firm, announced the release of a new report
on Wednesday, based on the firm's annual consumer technology user
survey, which for the first time asked respondents to indicate their sexual
orientation. The report, titled "Gays Are The Technology Early Adopters
You Want," indicates that gay men and women are among the first to
adopt new devices and online tools, making them an important
demographic for online marketers. "Gay men and women are tech-savvy
consumers who use the Internet and tech devices at significantly higher
rates than their heterosexual counterparts for shopping, banking,
entertainment, and community building," said Jed Kolko, a principal
analyst at Forrester.


Online influences use online sources for their info 

From Digital Edge and Rob Runette:
A recent study of readers who are deemed to be Online "influentials" -- a group said to represent the 10 percent of the population that shapes the attitudes and
behaviors of the other 90 percent -- say that the Internet is their top
form of weekday media, according to a new poll conducted by RoperASW and

According to the study, this group relies heavily on the Internet, with 86 percent using it to research places to visit and 82 percent using it to research what to buy. Most also say
that they actively pass along the information they receive to friends and

One question that interests me is how we can quantify the value of a referrer network--I get the value of the friends of friends referrers of friendster, ryze, etc. but how about referrals of information and news--what is their value and how do we measure that?

Department of you always knew newsletters drove registration, right? 

Those of us who weren't totally convinced that offering an email newsletter as a registration benefit drew customers can read the latest survey from Belden Associates and feel reassured--email newsletters are viable incentives.
According to Belden, incorporating free e-mail newsletters as part of the site "membership" can help reduce customer resistance, particularly among women and younger users.

Belden reports that forty-three percent of all visitors to five newspaper-affiliated sites said
they are willing to endure a one-time registration process to gain free
access to a site, compared with 29 percent who say no. The other 28 percent
aren't sure what choice they'd make, according to Belden's "Sales and Site
Survey" conducted in March and April of 2003.

Women and visitors between the ages of 18 and 34 expressed more interest in
e-mail newsletters than the overall set of respondents. Among the total
group of 8,801 participants, 42 percent said they were very interested in
breaking news e-mail messages, followed by messages about weekend events (35
percent), breaking weather news (35 percent), daily headline news (34
percent) and weekly coupons (25 percent).


Knight Ridder sees black 

In the red just a year ago, this year Knight Ridder Digital enjoyed a 35.4 percent revenue increase, generating $19.3 million during the second quarter. The Knight Ridder interactive group achieved a $3.4 million operating profit, compared with a $2.6 million loss one year ago. KRD headquarters are in my home town San Jose, so this is great news...we need those Silicon Valley success stories.

How to get page views from pets 

From Rob Runette at NAA's Digital Edge: Adopts Pet Listings as Community Service, Revenue Opportunity

Online search and the opportunity to sell targeted ads on results pages have
dominated digital-media discussions lately. Certain site sections are proven
page-view generators, particularly in the classified verticals. In Phoenix,
The Arizona Republic's is enjoying strong usage of a recently
launched adoptable pets site that's perfect for multiple searches per visit.

Operated as a co-brand with nonprofit organization pets911, the site's
database includes listings from dog pounds, Humane Society chapters and
fostering organizations throughout the U.S. There were no upfront or
recurring costs for, which keeps full control of the ad
inventory on the co-brand pages and keeps all revenue, says Mike Coleman,
the Republic's senior manager/digital media. The sales team plans to
approach major pet chains, veterinarians and even "doggie day spas" in
Phoenix, Coleman says. The pets site has averaged 250,000 per month since
its launch in late April.


Comments on Netscape Layoffs/New Mozilla Org 

Okay, I am almost totally sick of this topic myself, but here are some good comments from MozillaZine folks.


Netscape: "They've pulled the logos off the buildings" 

Web logs are reporting that AOL staffers have pulled the Netscape logos off the buildings in Mountain View., , Jeffrey Zeldman, , and just laid off Netscape employee Daniel Glanzman.

I worked on that campus for three years, worked my ass off, and it's really sad to think about Netscape's demise.

Should Google support Mozilla?  

Great post from the always wise Anil Dash--Should Google support Mozilla?
Now that Netscape's more or less officially dead, it occurs to me that it might be worthwhile for Google to bankroll the Mozilla Foundation, either by donating a substantial sum or by hiring several of the browser engineers. Google's shown a penchant not just for being "not evil" but for supporting products and companies (ahem) that contribute to the web even if it's not directly in the area of search.
....What would be the business model? My mind tells me that a free, open-source browser with built-in hooks to Google services and APIs would be good enough to push increased usage of Google's revenue-generating services and advertising."(Link via Sameer Vasta, not that I don't always read Anil.)

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Mozilla team: We have always wanted an independent organization... 

Brendan Eich, "We have always wanted an independent organization for Mozilla, and those of us who've been on have conducted Mozilla business
according to what we judged was good for Mozilla, not what was good for
any one corporate contributor. It has not always been easy to wear two
hats; conflicts have come and gone, but we're better off for our
experience running the project as an open source meritocracy. There was
never any other way to go.

Now that the Mozilla Foundation has been launched, we believe the time
is ripe to move aggressively toward new distribution channels, new
end-user markets, and better incorporation of developer-driven
innovations from the whole Mozilla community."

More here.


"To summarize: Mozilla is not dead. Netscape is." 

In its heyday, Netscape employed more than 2,500 staffers. Back in 2000, Netscape probably had about 900 staffers. Up until today, the current Netscape had about 500 staffers, now down to 450 with the announcement that 10% of the workforce has been laid off, and that the company only planned to continue to support current versions of the Netscape browser and the Netscape Web portal.
Since the Netscape web site team has been part of the AOL "Web Properties" group since 2001, it's probably safe to speculate that the so-called Netscape staff is made up of technology and marketing staffers focused on Netscape-specific applications, from the browser, to mail, to the sidebar, to Netscape search. While all these technologies have been based on an AOL back end since 2000, there was continued development for the browser-based versions.
Now, AOL's relationship to Netscape seems similar of the US government's to the old and expired satellites floating around our galaxy, lost in space. Drifting, unmoored, the browser is there for those who want to use it, but the days of development and integration are gone. From now on, the open source baton has passed to the non-profit geeks at Mozilla, who will take all responsibility for any next-gen browsers, ensuring that no new development will feed back into Netscape.

RIP,, you were a great place to work and a life-changer for many people.

Bonus: Blogzilla on the layoffs


$2MM in browser severance pay? 

American Online and today announced AOL's donation of $2MM to create The Mozilla Foundation, a group to promote.".. the development, distribution and adoption of the award-winning Mozilla standards-based web applications and core technologies, including the Gecko browser layout engine...AOL will also contribute additional resources through equipment, domain names and trademarks, and related intellectual property, as well as providing some transitional assistance for key personnel as they move into the new organization."
New home page for foundation is here.

Susan's comment from the cynic's view: This is the equivalent of paying severance to a movement, instead of an individual, and reminescent of pinning a note, with a nice fat check, onto your child's coat lapel before putting him on the night bus to anywhere. "Take care of little Johnny, we love him a lot and here's $500 to pay for his keep for the next few years...."

Susan's comment on the sunny side" Isn't it nice AOL cared enough to set the technies up with a cash stash so they could hired as many of the laid-off folks as they deemed fit to carry out their mission?"

Both equally true--there is nothing surprising or new about the fact has become strategically less and less important to AOL over the past 2 years, and that the browser and the underlying technologies were a disappointment to many Dulles execs. Given the tight cash flow issues and the continuing march to cut costs, this all has been coming for a while.

Wild question of the moment: Who's playing the ad sales game in a way where they would want to buy Netscape to add to their traffic?

Dan Gillmor
on Netscape today in the Merc: "AOL's financial commitment is also crucial, and deserves credit. It might have just torpedoed the project entirely -- though the Mozilla project has attracted a legion of developers. Most contribute their time and expertise, but at least a few are being paid by large companies, such as IBM and Sun Microsystems, to help out."


Phil Wolff: Is email the ultimate microcontent manager? 

THIS is a discussion I can really get behind. Steve Gillmor and Phil Wolff asking Is email the ultimate microcontent manager?

Perhaps blogging tools will also blend into mail clients.

Posting from your mail client (your blogs are just special email addresses) and IM/irc/SMS.
Read your RSS feeds with Outlook or Eudora or whatever Macheads use these days.
Configure your weblog with a properties dialog your mail client.

Meanwhile, all the independent software developers are getting creative. Mail service providers jump at RSS to differentiate themselves. NewsReaders gain features people use to manage overflowing email. Portal makers flow RSS feeds in and out. Blog hosters bake RSS into default templates. Social network and digital ID elements are touching syndication, promising new value for getting messages via syndication server vs. email server.

This is GOOD stuff, Phil I look forward to talking with you.

Were you an 80's kid--or do you just pretend to be one? 

Let's see, who's young enough to be an 80's kid? If you're not sure, give your friends this test:
You know you were an 80's kid if...

you had any of the following toys: my buddy, legos moon rider, lite brite, laser tag, atari 2600, teddy ruxspin, polly pockets, hit stix, speak and spell, cabbage patch kids, transformers, voltron, pound puppy, friendship bracelets, velcro dart board, garbage pail kids, sit and spin, choose your own adventure books, g.i. joe, rainbow bright, etch a sketch, my little pony, the original nintendo entertainment system (nes)

you ever had a hair style with the words "jehri" and "curl" in it

you owned a pair of l.a. gear, british knights, or converse tennis know you had some chuck taylor's.
you remember the iron sheik, bret "the hitman" hart, the ultimate warrior, andre the giant, the four horsemen, dusty rhodes...or worse, you owned the entire wwf action figure collection (and wrestling ring)
you owned a t-shirt with a black bart simpson on it

you have ever in your lifetime said "i pity the fool" or "you be illin"

you have watched star trek & said "hey that's the guy from reading rainbow" ''

you know the theme song to any of the following: duck tales, 227, mcdonald's big mac song, the clapper, toys r us, alvin and the chipmonks, ghostbusters, diff'rent strokes, pee wee's playhouse, the golden girls, the facts of life, saved by the bell, the incredible hulk,, dukes of hazard, the smurfs, zoobily zoo, fraggle rock, scooby doo, teenage mutant ninja turtles, yogi bear, he-man, oscar mayer, silver spoons, chip n' dale, gumby, gimme a break, care bears, inspector gadget, punky brewster

you wore shorts on top of your sweats in p.e. class

you had a jean jacket, jean purse or jean bookbag (acid-washed, of course)

you can hum the theme song of the first super mario brothers game


Yahoo Squeeze Microsoft with Overture Acquisition 

Yahoo!'s $1.6 billion acquisition of Overture potentially is a huge blow to Microsoft. Yahoo! announced the transaction this morning. In the Jupiter Research report "MSN Search: Microsoft Guns for Google, the Desktop and the Enterprise," which published today, Matthew Berk and I predicted that Yahoo! would likely buy Overture.

Do compaies cry out in pain when they get squeezed? Fortunate not, or we'd have to little to a whole lotta ouching. The just-announced planned acquisition of Overture by Yahoo puts the Big Gorilla in a difficult position, well expressed by Joe Wilco in the Jupiter analyst's Microsoft web log:

"The acquisition puts Microsoft in the difficult position of relying on rival Yahoo! for key services, alogrithmic search technologies and paid search. Earlier this year, Yahoo! acquired Inktomi, which provides alogrithmic services to MSN. The Overture deal is potentially more problematic for Microsoft. That's because the majority of MSN revenue comes from paid search services--or at least it has in recent Microsoft quarterly results. Microsoft announces fourth fiscal quarterly results on Thursday, and it will be interesting to see the extent of paid search's contribution to MSN revenue." (Link via Michael Gartenberg)

For more, see the comments at Up2Speed:
Yahoo already owns Inktomi and had not yet integrated Inktomi results within Yahoo results. Post-merger, they will also own FAST and AV algorithmic technologies

The Silicon Valley take in the Merc:
"The combined assets position Yahoo as the largest global player in the rapidly growing Internet advertising sector,'' said Terry Semel, Yahoo's chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement.


Power to the People: SF's Illegal Art Gets Sued 

Remember the Illegal Art show in San Francisco, which I wrotre about a few weeks ago? Well, Joho the Blog has an update--apparently, Mattel sued artists/exhibitor Tom Forsythe for selling his photographs, called "Food Chain Barbie," of Barbie in kitchen appliances. Mattel sued, lost and is appealing. Joho points to an excellent Boston Globe piece"
by Chris Gaithers that explains both the purpose of the exhibit and reaction to it.

"Barbie sprawls naked in a blender. A familiar green-and-white logo bears not the Starbucks name, but the appellation ''Consumer Whore.'' The familiar image of Bert, from ''Sesame Street,'' hangs from a noose. All are images from ''Illegal Art: Freedom of Expression in the Corporate Age,'' a new exhibit at the Artists Gallery of the Museum of Modern Art here that criticizes the increasingly strict intellectual-property laws that artists say hurt their ability to borrow cultural imagery to reflect the impact of business on American society. "
More here.

Monday, July 14, 2003

Typepad CEO says AOL Journals won't affect her business 

Department of Rationalizing 800-lb Gorillas:
Mena Trott, founded and CEO of TypePad, a new service desired to provide blog tools to average people, went down to DC to see AOL and wrote:
" As a weblog tool maker, am I threatened by AOL Journals? I don't think so. We're marketing our tools to entirely different audiences and our users require the level of functionality and customization that would be overkill 1000 times over for AOL. Having tens of millions of AOL users exposed to weblogging can only be a good thing for Six Apart and since we knew that a weblog offering from AOL was coming, we have gotten used to the idea that we'll be sharing the space with a number of the world's largest companies."

Newark to New York: We're smarter! 

This may be only time anyone ever gets to write a headline like the one above. What's the dish? A university professor's survey reveals that Newark, NJ, New York's gritty neighbor, has the highest rate on newspaper subscribers to populace in the country, easily beating out New York, ranked # a lowly 47th.
As a New Yorker who lives 5 miles from Newark, in the arty NJ burbs, my next question wold be--do these yahoos read The NY Times or the Newark Star Ledger? Or is it the Wall Street Journal that drives the stats up (we KNOW it's those long train and bus rides into the city, whatever pages they're flipping...)
Thanks, Gawker, for another priceless item.

AOL: Building out the transactional playbook 

A little more indulgence in second-guessing the current plans of my former employer:
Is AOL going to out ticketmaster Ticketmaster? My guess is yes, and one of the subtext for supporting blogging tools is to be able to place contextual commerce and transaction offers on a reserved space on those pages.
AOL's deal with expires soon, and word on the street is that AOL wants to get back into the personals business themselves. Remember Love@AOL and NetGirl, created by Roz Resnick? Those properties raked in the bucks for AOL.
AOl has also bought OneMade, an ecommerce software company that reportedly develops both the tools sellers use to sell on sites like eBay--such as the ability to create listings--and a marketplace platform where sellers can pitch their wares.
AOL launched a ticket-selling service last year, is selling music and DVDs direct, and has been exploring the idea of a movie-buyers club for some time.
Seems like it's looking a lot like CitySearch..only with that AOL Time Warner content to justify that $23.95.


Commuter train derailment wrecks my day 

Today was one of those days, the ones you are glad don't come to often, the ones where the parts don't add up to enough change for a cup of coffee. There was a train derailment this morning than snarled my trip into NY and sent me through Hoboken, then my lunch meeting got cancelled and I ended up rushing to make a train at Penn Station to go home only to learn the trains were not running--because of the morning's trail derailment.
None of this is awful stuff, but I am feeling intensely busy--have a big project I am finishing up, some smaller projects that also need attention, and some very interesting new projects developing--so time needs to be managed.

Also, there's that yard sale I haven't done much for besides buy signs, the school transcripts I have to get and all the rest of life's desiderata (great word, huh?)

This is a polite way of saying I spent about 90 minutes this afternoon feeling like the top of my head was going to blow off. Only then I had the Susan Mernit survival reaction, which is one of those strategies that have saved me from ulcer, high blood pressure and carob-loading fries when under stress---I got over it. Yes, I GOT OVER IT. Said this is the way it is, lousy luck, and went on from there. Actually ended up going to see a friend/colleague on the way home and had very productive conversations about cool business ideas and new products we want to develop together.


Sunday, July 13, 2003

Department of Exciting Predictions: 300 million feeds in 3 years 

Will there be 300 million syndicated blogosphere feeds in three years? Phil Wolff's Aklog apart says so.
First, assume that Microsoft, AOL and everyone else and their brother will enable blogging on their services in the next 18 months, converting 10% of the online population (70MM people) into bloggers.
Then, assume the folloqing(more klog apart logic here):
In two years:

Every blogger will publish a main feed.
Each blog's category or topic will have a mirror feed.
Every business system requiring a user ID will customize feeds for each user.
Every major media outlet will drive traffic and affilliation by publishing feeds.
Some consumers will add editorial value by blending existing feeds into new, focused feeds.
Even better, we will be ale to rewad, manage, and filter up to 1000 feeds.

I like this posting! And I completely agree--this is where information sharing, consumption, and distribution are this post--it's worth the click.


Sunday & Sunday dinner 

The son is still in California at music camp, so Spencer & I went off the Central Park this am with the dog--great walk, cool breeze, and a chance to experiment with the new digital camera.

Had a nap and a quick trip to the library. Took out All He Ever Wanted by Anita Shreve, renewed the McNally Grateful Dead history for 2 more weeks, Atwoods' Oryx and Crake, and still have Colette's Claudine novels to get through.

Made a good dinner for a change--have been doing NO cooking (always a reflection of how busy I am). Tonight's meal, however, was carefully assembled:
Salmon, tuna and cucumber/avocado sushi from the market
Big composed salad: Peppers, olives, blueberries (got into putting fruit in my salad in California), sweet onions, radishes, tomoatoes, salad greens
Salmon salad
Warm pita bread
Bottled water

Now Spencer's taken the dog to the woods for his evening walk (dog is clearly benefiting from no child around), and I'm back at work, about to edit a large document.

Heading to the West Coast August 1st. Lots to do before then.


More press on AOL Journals 

The drum is beating for the release of AOL Journals:
Leslie Walker in the Washington Post, and CBS MarketWatch picking up blog postings.
, and Slashdot

Around the Blogosphere: Posts & Quotes 

) Bush lied and the Media helped him--Not Geniuses: Brent Cunningham in Columbia Journalism Review on bias in the media.
In his March 6 press conference, in which he laid out his reasons for the coming war, President Bush mentioned al Qaeda or the attacks of September 11 fourteen times in fifty-two minutes. No one challenged him on it, despite the fact that the CIA had questioned the Iraq-al Qaeda connection, and that there has never been solid evidence marshaled to support the idea that Iraq was involved in the attacks of 9/11.

When Bush proposed his $726 billion tax cut in January, his sales pitch on the plan's centerpiece - undoing the "double-taxation" on dividend earnings - was that "It's unfair to tax money twice." In the next two months, the tax plan was picked over in hundreds of articles and broadcasts, yet a Nexis database search turned up few news stories - notably, one by Donald Barlett and James Steele in Time on January 27, and another by Daniel Altman in the business section of The New York Times on January 21 - that explained in detail what was misleading about the president's pitch: that in fact there is plenty of income that is doubly, triply, or even quadruply taxed, and that those other taxes affect many more people than the sliver who would benefit from the dividend tax cut.
More here.

2) You can mobblog with the rest of them and get invited to cool events: SmartMobs touts BuzzNet, a new photoblogging and "instant moblog" service that hopefully will be interesting for more than 5 minutes..

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