January, 2008

Don’t Confuse Prologue With Twitter

January 29, 2008 @ 8:54 am · Filed under Technology

In this post, Matt Mullenweg has announced a WordPress theme, called Prologue, that provides a Twitter like feed for all registered posters on a blog. Like all wordpress.com blogs it can be password protected, so the stream can be limited to a small group. While a cute idea, I don’t think it really has anything to do with Twitter. In my view, the most important part of Twitter (in my view) is the wide-spread social network it creates. It’s that voyeuristic element that has been key to Twitter’s success. And, if you do want Prologue like capability from Twitter, just protect your updates, and form a small group.

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Guest Post on ZDNet

January 26, 2008 @ 3:47 pm · Filed under Technology

I have a guest post up on Between the Lines about Facebook’s recent release of a JavaScript API. It’s entitled Facebook unleashes wave of new development with JavaScript client library. I think it’s pretty good, but let’s see what the talkbackers say.

UPDATE: The post is on TechMeme. Since this is probably going to be the only time my name appears there, I have grabbed a screenshot:

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Web 2.0 Immune to Recession?

January 26, 2008 @ 7:47 am · Filed under Technology

In a post entitled Belt-Tightening in Corporate IT Will be Good For Web 2.0, Eric Schonfeld argues that the projected recession in IT spending will be good for Web 2.0 companies. He claims this, because he thinks companies will increasingly switch from expensive enterprise applications to web-hosted, web 2.0 applications to save money. I think there are two main problems with this argument:

  1. Most web 2.0 companies aren’t application companies.
  2. Most web 2.0 are highly reliant on advertising revenue.

So, when I see a good argument why the coming recession in advertising won’t hurt web 2.0 companies I’ll listen. Right now, though, I expect a shake-out in 2008. Of course, none of this applies to Google who everyone agrees will grow revenue forever.

UPDATE: For Dan Farber’s much more polished and reasoned take on this issue, see Tech Spending Taking a Dip (Naturally) in 2008.

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Yahoo Powered Shortcuts Plug-In

January 22, 2008 @ 8:40 pm · Filed under Technology

So, I installed the Yahoo Powered Shortcuts Plug-in. So far, its suggestions have not been that impressive, but maybe this post will get some if I write about Google and Flickr. I will leave it to the reader to say if it’s useful.

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Mugen Honda Civic SI

January 21, 2008 @ 8:42 pm · Filed under Reality

I was down at the local Honda dealer getting my oil changed today. So, I wandered into their showroom, where I found a dark blue Mugen Honda Civic SI. It’s a sharp looking car, but who really wants a $30,000 Civic? Also, why the hell did they do this to a four door instead of a coupe? Anyway, here’s some pictures:

Mugen Civic

Mugen Civic

Mugen Civic

Mugen Civic

Mugen Civic

You can see larger versions in this Facebook gallery.

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Uncov Gives Up

January 21, 2008 @ 5:11 pm · Filed under Technology

I just heard from Mager that Uncov is shutting down. That’s a huge loss, and I wish he would reconsider.

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When Did Scott Karp Quit Twitter?

January 20, 2008 @ 8:55 pm · Filed under Technology

Scott Karp is going to use Twitter again, and has published a long post explaining why. I didn’t know that he had left. But, I’m glad he’s back.

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The Web is about De-Commoditizing Data

January 19, 2008 @ 10:02 am · Filed under Technology

If you are a developer of web content sites, then you must read Data and the Future of the Web by Scott Karp and Database Gods Bitch About MapReduce by Rich Skrenta. Scott provides the vision of where you need to go, and Rich provides an explanation of the new tools that are going to get you there.

Right now, most publishers provide commodity data (i.e. the same news that you can read on 1,000 other sites) without adding any value to either their users or their advertisers. As Scott notes, Google is the king of extracting commodity data. That has given them the power to also extract most of the revenue. But, there is another kind of data, the personal data that is created by a community of users on sites like Digg and Twitter: “it’s the data that’s still in our heads, the data that we have not put in digital form.” As Scott sees it:

“The future of the web will be determined by companies that can overcome people challenges — to bring EVERYONE’S data online, and make it useful. “

This is the primary challenge content producers face! How to mine the data their users provide them, in order to produce a better content experience that, in turn, provides more value to their users, and advertisers. The ability to do this will be the key to building a great content business in the web 2.0 era. And, it’s why I feel so strongly that content sites must embrace social media.

If Scott shows us the goal, Rich shows us the technical means to get there. Right now, most content producers have a database driven content management system (CMS), combined with a traffic reporting tool like Google Analytics. While this is perfectly good for serving content, and measuring your traffic, this combination will not allow you to do the kind of data analysis that will be needed in the future. The data is going to grow exponentially, and only a system based on technologies like mapreduce, HDFS, and Hypertable will allow your data analysis infrastructure to grow with it (at a cost you can afford).

Gathering increased amounts of data, and building the infrastructure that allows you to analyze and act on that data is the future of large scale content on the web. The only other alternative is content at an individual scale targeted at a niche audience (i.e a blog). At that personal level, the author can truly understand and respond to their audience. At any higher level, you need more, and the most successful publishers will be the ones who have the necessary tools.

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M’s Flash Project

January 17, 2008 @ 8:11 pm · Filed under Technology

Here’s a flash poem by M.

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Guest Post on Why Content Publishers Need to Embrace Social Media on MetzMash

January 17, 2008 @ 5:18 pm · Filed under Technology

I have a guest post up on MetzMash called Three Reasons Content Publishers Need to Embrace Social Media. Thanks are due to Don Marzetta who generously shared his thoughts on the issue. Now, I eagerly await Dan Zarrella’s comments.

UPDATE: The post has now been picked up by Social Media Today as the choice of the day.

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