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Tomorrow, Thursday, July 29, RSS Weekly looks at the Democratic National convention. We'll follow up on the discussion last week at Blogon about the convergence of traditional and social media.
A consistent theme from the webcast interviews that DecisionCast did at BlogOn drew on the convergence of traditional and new media. Media companies are starting to showcase social media technologies. And the newer social media companies are beginning to integrate audio and video for more vibrant social connections within their networks.
This is quite apparent at the Democratic National Convention. MSNBC has bloggers, the Associated Press has bloggers as does Knight Ridder, Boston Globe, etc.
But CNN loooks like it is outdistancing them all by teaming with Technorati. Technorati is covering more than 3 million blogs, looking at the convention from across the political spectrum.
For RSS Weekly, we'll interview Mary Hodder of Technorati to discuss the convention and how RSS and weblogs fit with traditional media. We'll be joined by Stowe Boyd, whose media company, Corante, has a blog, loose democracy. And we'll have Bill Kearney of Syndic8 as a guest, who will have insights and commentary about RSS and democracy.
We'll explore the relevance of RSS with some of the people we interivew at the BlogOn webcasts. Here's something I wrote for my e-mail newsletter. How do relevance and circumstances converge to create changes in our culture? How does this apply to social media? I look forward to hearing what the perspective is of the people we interview over the next two days.
Why is RSS relevant?
I had lunch yesterday with Louis Moynihan and Robert Mendez of NetHawk, an interactive agency that is seeing a bit of change as advertising, search and RSS converge. For an advertising guy, Robert seems to really understand the whole concept of the semantic web and how it relates to his business. They're experimenting with RSS market syndication services as a better way for companies to get high search engine rankings but equally important, deliver relevant content. They're not offering paid search but instead, taking advantage of RSS and the information they can aggregate to get high search engine rankings for their clients with information that is relevant and robust for the individual who is seeking some new understanding and insight.
But as Robert and Louis explain, that's hard to do when the client is not invested in the content. They need to feel like the content is relevant. And that's the challenge with RSS. How do you make it relevant? How can you show the connection between RSS and the content they value most?
To hear this discussion from an advertising guy is heartening. But it comes from a guy who like many with this perspective, spent their formative years absorbing the unfolding events of the 1960s and 1970s. There's a comparison to today's events. People are engaging in the political process. In today's world, we see political events unfold and seek relevant information to make sense of what is happening. To illustrate, Robert said he stopped listening to commercial radio about 20 years ago. "Radio used to be great," Robert said. "But now half the time it is advertising." Increasingly, advertising is spreading across the web. Pages seemingly melt away for a video ad about breath mints.
This paid advertising is professionally developed content, which has far less value for people than the blogs people write, talking about what matters most. It is this information that is relevant. And RSS brings it forward for people to absorb.
I look forward to BlogOn so I can explore this issue of relevance with the smart group of people assembled at the event. I hope you can listen in to the discussion. It should be interesting.
BlogOn is sold out. But you can still attend the webcasts. I'll do more than 20 interviews over the next two days. The general sessions will be webcast as video simulcasts.
1 p.m.: Karan Barandi, chief executive officer, Optimal Access.
1:30 p.m.: Barry Spencer, founder and chief executive officer, Viditel
2 p.m. Salim Ismael, chief executive officer , PubSub.
2:30 p.m.: Buzz Bruggerman, chief executive officer, ActiveWords and Stowe Boyd, president and chief operating officer, Corante.
Friday speakers (More to come. We'll post later with more
* Bill Schreiner, vice president, general manager, AOL Community Programming
* Barak Berkowitz, chairman, chief executive officer, Six Apart
* JD Lasica, Open Media Consulting Group
* John Roberts, CNET
* James Currier, founder, Tickle
* Andrew Anker, executive vice president, corporate development, Six Apart
* Max Montgomery, chief evangelist, Viditel
* Mike Jones, CEO, Userplane
Rachel Barron/East Bay Business Times did an article on social media and the BlogOn Conference. The print edition featured a box on BlogOn that is not online. But the article frames my thoughts on social media, as well as Jerry Michalski's, and features many examples of kinds of social media, companies using it as well as difficulties that have come up from not understanding it.
I really appreciate Rachel's work on this, and her featuring me so much, but more importantly, it is one of the first articles I've seen that tries to define social media as a media issue, a technology, and an interaction between people across the web. We need more of that!
Join us for a get together for BlogOn conference attendees, local bloggers, techies, media folks, and anyone else who wants to take part, hosted by some of the Bay area's finest blogger folk. The date is Friday night, July 23rd at the Pyramid Brewing Company in Berkeley, California.
Hosted by Bay area bloggers Christian Crumlish, Tantek Celik, Cheyenne Burnsworth, Marc Canter, Mary Hodder Jonas Luster, this is a chance for everyone who's interested to hang out, talk, eat and meet, whether or not you're attending the conference.
Drinks and dinner should run about $25 per person--come for drinks at 6:30 and dinner at 7.
Steve Rubel, of CooperKatz, and a BlogOn Bootcamp leader and speaker, interviews Jay Rosen, Chair of the Journalism School at NYU about PR, for Global PR Week 1.0. It's on both Jay's blog and Global PR.
Both Jay and Steve typically do high quality work individually as experts in their fields, but their teaming up is a great thing. A sample question:
Jay is bright, and when I say that, I don't just mean he's sharp. I mean his language and ideas have a brightness that just makes you want to read more because it's alive, relevant, useful, insightful. So don't be intimidated by the length of the post. He blogs one or two times a week in long essay form, and he once told me that people complain about that. But it's rich, good stuff, and if you care about where PR and journalism are going, and what online culture and activity are doing to this world, it's a must read.
Thomas Weber/WSJ writes about his new experience with aggregators for content, and a few of the sites he likes seeing there. Nothing particularly earthshaking, except that the Wall Street Journal decided to make the article viewable and linkable for those beyond paid subscribers. Since they have have so few links, compared to other online publishers (the NYTimes has 32,000 links, or instances of people talking about their stories and linking to them, so the WSJ's 1800 is pretty low) it's nice that this story about online information and RSS was made linkable.
WSJ should do this more often!
Blogging vs. Journalism has been done on the web and in on a million panels over the past few years, and it's pretty much been put to rest over the past two years, that it's not an either/or situation, but rather, something where blogs AND journalism need each other and interact pretty closely at this point, at least in an obvious way on the blog side, and in a more opaque way on the journalism side.
Blogs are not at all just one-way in their interaction, unlike journalism which is one way (though a couple of publications like Wired link out, and a few more have started, but it is extremely limited and they are still totally clueless about conversing with their audience so that doesn't happen at all). It is the social interaction of blogs that makes them a conversation, a multi-way interaction, and while few journalism outlets link back, the public is discussing news articles whether journalists like it or not. Journalists can join in, or at least read their readers thoughts on the day the stories come out. Or they can ignore them and be unaware of the conversations as the occur, but it means they are out of the loop with their readers and other reporters who are online blogging and interacting with readers.
Trustability on the internet, particularly with regards to blogs, has been discussed quite a bit on the blogosphere and in traditional media. Basically, whenever any journalist makes a statement dismissing blogs as untrustworthy, they are generally dismissed, at least online, because first of all, blogs are tool, as is newsprint, and what you write is flexible. It can be accurate or inaccurate depending on the person or publication. But all anybody has to to say is "stephen glass" and "jayson blair" and the whole argument is moot (see Adam Penenberg/Wired's article from last week on New Media's Age of Anxiety which covers this issue of the public's ability with the internet to cover journalists and Fisk them if they get it wrong -- Penenberg has a pretty full list of examples of Journalists making things up, including the May 14, 2004 UPI story that references a poll on Journalists relative truthworthiness to other professions, a poll which he says doesn't exist. He was also the journalist at Forbes who broke the Stephen Glass plagiarism story to begin with as well. Also note in his story that he links to everything he can to support what he is saying -- practically a requirement for blogging, but also a form of social interaction, and not often done by journalists, though Wired is one of the few publications to do this -- and they should. I hope he's also checking out who links to his story to see what readers thought about it.)
As far as I am concerned, Doc Searls, Jenny Levine, Ed Felten, Donna Wentworth, Jay Rosen, Ernie Miller and Dan Gillmor are far more trustworthy and accurate in their blogs, and often sources of reporting, than the NY Times will ever be overall, for a couple of reasons. I'd take Ed's analysis of any copyright/security/DRM issue any day of the week of an NYT article on same. Reasons include: Firstly, if they screw up, they print a top of their blogs, an obvious mea culpa, that sits in the same spot on their blogs as the earlier piece they are correcting. Secondly, they have a body of knowledge and expertise that goes deeper than generalist reporters. And thirdly, they are absolutely upfront about their biases, letting readers decide how to take their assertions. Fourthly, their link to their sources to underlay their own authority. I could go on, but you get the point.
This is why I usually refuse to do news stories generally. Because almost everytime, I've been severely burned by inaccuracies by a generalist who is lazy about the big picture, going after something sensationalist instead of what is real -- taking the time to do something well so that the real story is shown for what is interesting about it or might be a bit complicated. Blogs often have to tell and retell, before trad media gets the hint, and then all of the sudden you see the reporters telling the real story in the mainstream press, but they do it as if they existed in a vacuum, with objectivity and no bias. So I find rules journalist's live by, editorial control, etc. to be disingenuous if held up as reasons why traditional journalism is better and more trustworthy than blogs. The bottom line is you are responsible for evaluating anything you read, no matter where it gets published. Doesn't matter if it's newsprint or online.
Also, the way we tell authority across blogs is not yet a set thing, and can include being a longtime reader, a personal recommendation from someone you trust, job status of the writer, inbound links, meme pushing, top 100 lists by other calculations than inbound links, posting history and context, etc. Additionally, to say that bloggers don't have to abide by any rules is false. Say something incorrect or dishonest on the internet, and the blogosphere will go after it with a vengeance and expose it. Matt Drudge already had a bad reputation before the Kerry intern thing, and now he is so dismissed. No one respects him and a lot of people removed him from their RSS readers and blogrolls. So there are far more severe corrective penalties, and far quicker, than what exists in traditional media. Again, it's the social, interactive form of this media, between blogging and journalism, that has led to this environment.
Regarding the issue of whether bloggers have editorial oversight, a few do, so it's not absolute as to what category of writer follows traditional rules, though most bloggers don't have editors. And most of the journalists I know spend most of their time with editors pitching stories, not getting editorial oversight on a finished story. In fact, Katie Hafner, among other journalists, shared a few stories with me, as she had turned them in, that I compared to what was published, and there was very little difference. To me the real issue here is with journalists is an unwillingness to be transparent about sources (link to them!) and biases, and yet that attitude is sort of being unwound by blogging anyway, whether they like it or not.
The bottom line is people are fed up with bad journalism and so blogs are a nice complimentary addition to get additional information on a story, fact checking, and for adding more complexity to the discourse. It is because of linking, which is the basis for online conversation across blogs, and our ability to find those who links to us, that makes the blog AND journalism social media equation different than what existed before the internet, between journalism and the public. Journalism used to be a very one-way affair (despite letters to the editor which relied on a big time lag, and a different place for publishing the letters than the articles discussed in the letters -- front page verses page D9). Neither form, blogging or journalism, is a replacement for the other. In fact, they need each other and could not exist or live without each other at this point. Bloggers rely heavily on the reporting done in news stories, and Journalists often rely on stories bubbling up on the blogosphere -- for both framing and a pointer to sources and events. But far more important is the social interaction and increased quality of discourse that occurs now that the internet and the rapid interactive quality of personal publishing is possible with the social technology tool that is blogging, as it mixes with traditional media.
Blogging shouldn’t be about volume, but about interactive quality. Mena Trott, co-founder of Six Apart, Inc., publishers of the MovableType and a BlogOn sponsor recently said, "I've gone from wanting a readership of tens of thousands to wanting a readership of 10. The trick is to reach the right 10."
Many bloggers have adopted a set of attitudes that measure their worth and importance by their ratings. And it's no wonder: blogging’s A-List is determined exclusively by ratings - the number of readers of any given blog.
The hunger for ratings sometimes reminds me of Howard Beale, the character Peter Finch played in the movie “Network,” who was murdered on camera for having lousy ratings.
If this was how it worked throughout media, the National Enquirer would be more relevant than the New York Times and Fox would matter more than PBS. In both cases, what really matters is not how many people are being informed and influenced, but who is being informed and influenced.
Conferenza, an e-zine covering tech conferences recently quoted consultant Amy D. Wohl on a similar note. "I know a private blog with five members, but they're all medical researchers. Perhaps they'll discover a cure for cancer some day. Who's to say that blog isn't infinitely more valuable than one with 10,000 readers?" She has a point, even if Suicide Girls has higher ratings.
Blogging is not about attention, although many bloggers have learned that if you want attention, be controversial. If you’re not resourceful enough to stir controversy, then perhaps you can emulate today’s TV producers, and be banal. My preference is for those thoughtful writers who try to be informative, who provoke thought, who reveal fresh perspectives. I prefer in so many ways the thousand writers who reach 100 a day to some bloggers who reach one million per day.
BlogOn will examine issues like this. As a social medium, we look at not just the commercial opportunities of blogging and other social media tools, but on the greater commercial implications of these powerful interactive communications tools.
Exactly as a business blog ought to be, conversational, revealing, personal. Way to go, Tim Bray, for leading Sun to the blog.
Posted by Mary Hodder at 07:21 AM on July 06, 2004 | # |
Doc Searls points out that RSS incorrectly comes across as a push technology, when in fact it's a pull. People who subscribe decide and not the other way around. Doc notes that it's a persistent misconception of the Net as an instrument of supply rather than an environment of demand.
Though that's easy to do seeing as there is so much digital content and people use the metaphor around the content where we drown in information but we use google to search through it. But RSS and the blogosphere together as an information model for users are more about discovery of things you wouldn't know to search for unless you knew about them to begin with. So messaging from supplier to users of the traditional sort is dead, and Doc suggests we quit wishing it back. Instead, putting the information out on RSS, where users configure it via RSS subscription, through the filter of the blogosphere is the model, with pull, mixed with authenticity, and community filter (sans spin).
Dave Winer has an aside to his thoughts on advertising and RSS:
To which, Doc replies:
But discovery is not about broadcast messaging, the old metaphor before RSS+blogosphere. Discovery on the supplier end is about finding users for conversing, finding user needs and thoughts, using this feedback well, and returning useful products and services. Discovery on the end of the user is about filtering to get to products and opportunities that better match those user needs, including a user's community who may use some product that only has value or excitement to a network of users (read: community of interest). However, RSS+blogosphere are not enough, only one step on the road to figuring this out, and the conference discussion is an attempt to iterate to the next level of what we need to move forward.
Posted by Mary Hodder at 07:38 AM on July 03, 2004 | # |
Investment in blog and syndication tools is accelerating. Some news from the past few days:
Feedburner raises 7 figures from Portage Ventures. (Via Rafat)
Brad Feld: Why we invested in NewsGator(and all the cool things it can do.)
Jeff Jarvis: What RSS needs to do to make $$.
Posted by Susan Mernit at 03:34 PM on July 02, 2004 | # |
GasPriceWatch.com has the cheapest gas locally available, with information on 100,000 gas stations nationwide and thousands of "spotters" who earn points for sending in local gas price info. The all time spotter is "carp" with 7710370 points (10 points for a new price, 50 for a new station, 100 for joining). Currently spotters just have bragging rights, but it's an interesting community of interest model. However the new partnership with Bonus Mobile means that mobile subscribers will get txt messages with information about lowest prices and locations. It means users driving around can instantly get the lowest prices. It's a fee service on cell phones and will be launching shortly.
BTW, just so you know, GasPriceWatch.com says we have the highest priced gas in the country today, at $2.69. Though I can tell you that I paid $2.59 in SF the other day and was the cheapest I saw with a random search on my way from the office to a friend's house across town. However, I'm wondering what this sort of gasoline information hedging will do to the market, and whether station owners or gasoline companies know this is happening or have thought about how they will respond to their users.
Posted by Mary Hodder at 12:02 PM on July 02, 2004 | # |
Okay, I've practically quoted the whole thing, but you get the idea. You should really read her whole post, as it's the usual insightful social-technical observation from her. And it's why we are having the bootcamp at the BlogOn Conference. Because you can't sit around talking about "rss" or "blogs" or "social networks" as terms when you don't use them, don't know what it means to interact with people through them, don't see personally that by acting one way, or another, what the implications are for those actions.
In fact, I spent two hours on the phone with a business reporter yesterday, explaining what social media is, giving examples, frameworks, exposing to this woman what to her is invisible activity on the web, and yet, upon exposure, she suddenly got a little of it. I was also laying out why companies need to engage with social media so they can converse with the people formerly known as their customers, but the main thing I kept coming back to about the conference was that if you are going to have a business with social media, you must engage personally, and not from a distance.
There is using a social technology to see how the technology works (blog as a tool, social network as a tool, etc) as well as how the interaction is (blog as interaction, social network as interaction between people). They are just tools in a way, but the word, "blog" for example, gets used to describe the tool, the output of a single blogger, the writing within a post, the interaction across blogs, and on and on. The happens because people who are engaging in it, as well as those who are not, need a common word to describe the tool and activity and interaction and output. But blog represents all these very different things, and then of course, what is in a blog user's head, as a framework for the tool and activity and interaction and output is very different than the framework in the head of a non-engager, a lurker who is distanced and unfamiliar with all the aspects "blog" represents.
So the bootcamp is an attempt to get a few people using the tools, interacting with each other in the room through the tools, interacting with those outside the room, and seeing the results. It comes from my belief that using is imperative to understanding the many aspects of these technologies, and from my experience that seeing how exciting the interaction is only comes from using.
Posted by Mary Hodder at 07:41 AM on July 02, 2004 | # |
BlogOn has assembled approximately 50 of social media’s foremost thinkers, innovators, and investors.to share their knowledge and perspective on July 22-3. This is probably the most concentrated gathering of social media thought leaders ever assembled. Our BlogOn team believes it is essential to present a panoramic view of the market, so that attendees will walk away understanding the enormity of this fast-emerging new category and how it is already changing all forms of communications.
Social media is in its infancy, but its growth rate is astounding --faster than PC adoption, the Internet, and perhaps even music file downloading. The disruption is being felt in publishing, advertising, public relations, and anywhere authorities wish to control information flow. Social media lets you rely on trusted colleagues as information assets and sources. Your reputation becomes a personal brand. Relationships and reputations provide context for understanding whatever information you consume.
Social Media is not just about the swelling troops of bloggers, and hordes of social networking community members. It’s about conversations between peers, companies and their prospects, customers and employees; it empowers anyone with online connection to be heard in the world. It enables free access to information in and out of countries where censorship is enforced.
While traditional media establishes a passive, static relationship between author and reader, the social media provide true interactive, passionate exchanges of information and ideas.
Posted by Shel Israel at 08:42 AM on June 30, 2004 | # |
Today the cost to register for BlogOn's main event is $495. Tomorrow it rise to $550. Today you can attend the BlogOn Executive Boot Camp for only $149, but tomorrow and thereafter, it will be $199.
Our point: Today is a fortuitous day for registering.
Posted by Shel Israel at 08:35 AM on June 30, 2004 | # |
Last week, Brad Feld, a VC, and Greg Reinaker of NewsGator closed a funding deal. Feld has just blogged about why he did it. Basically, he started using Newsgator, then started blogging, realized he wanted to invest somewhere in the space, and then looked into what Newsgator did beyond their Outlook RSS Aggregator plug-in. Newsgator also has a GMail interface, mobile and web apps, and custom search, all of which Feld thinks are not well enough marketed, and so that's why people misunderstood his reasons for investing in Newsgator. He says people thought it was just an RSS aggregator investment, but in fact, the other platforms and products make it much more interesting.
Not sure whether Feld's logic will play out, but social media that takes advantage of multiple or at least different platforms, and finds interesting holes not covered by other services will definitely have better chances for funding and surviving the competition.
Posted by Mary Hodder at 12:21 PM on June 29, 2004 | # |
Jenny Levine of the Shifted Librarian has a great summary of Debra Overbey's reaction to abebooks.com's adds put into RSS feeds by Moreover. Out of the 59 headlines, 30 were ads for Abebooks on the day Overbey wrote to Moreover to tell them that while she didn't mind some ads, this was entirely too much. Also, on another feed Overbey subscribed to (the Moreover Book Review feed), there were 44 ads for Simplyaudiobooks out of 78 headlines.
Overbey contacted Abebooks who was very responsive, but Moreover completely ignored her two notes to them explaining that the feeds were overrun with ads. Overbey ended up dropping the two feeds from Moreover, because they weren't responsive, and the value of the content became so reduced it wasn't worth it.
Jenny Levine points out:
Making conversation with your business' community of interest is key, and Moreover needs to understand that if they don't, they'll lose that community to other businesses that do those conversations better.
As Hugh McCloud says, "Smarter conversations equals better products. It’s so frickin’ obvious."
Posted by Mary Hodder at 08:21 AM on June 28, 2004 | # |
I’ve been mulling over social networks for much of the last year, and I admit that I didn’t fully grok them at first. I’ve looked at LinkedIn, Spoke, Tribe and Google's Orkut, and others, and I’m on the record as questioning the value of these networks to both user and investor. I just didn't see a clear and viable business model for these services.
But then, I had a series of those slap-yourself-on-the-forehead moments and the word “Aha!” came through to me three times, each time a little louder and clearer:
Aha! #1 came to me while I was updating my Orkut profile. I realized social networks, in certain iterations, are the perfect platform for targeted advertising. After all, when you register at any of these social network services, you describe yourself in great detail: your hobbies, political leanings, favorite activities. When I update my Orkut profile, I become a valuable target for marketers. I also identify with a circle of friends, groups or tribes—depending on which service you use—who share these interests. Marketing dollars effectively targeted to me can have an amplifying effect throughout my network.
Aha! #2 Perhaps this was a blinding flash of the obvious, but business relationships open doors. That is the theory behind Spoke and LinkedIn, of course. You use business relationships to ease the way into new business scenarios. Guarded relationships are more valuable than freely available relationships and as the novelty wears off, members are becoming increasingly cautious about those with whom they share social networks. As this occurs, the membership value a in that network increases.
That is, effectively, what has happened over the past couple of months. We are linking less, but better. And as a result, the referrals along these linked lines are more successful, because there is a real, rather than tenuous, relationship among the links. And that's worth paying for.
Aha! #3 Relationships are a type of new media, because they bring context to communications. When social networks are combined with new media such as blogs, that media is annotated and amplified. The collective community responds to and recommends ideas. I can use the references of like-minded business and social relationships as a filter on the media I consume. In effect, relationships combined with new publishing tools create a new social media.
This concept of social media— a convergence occurring at the three-way intersection of social networks, blogging and syndication is complex. As I prepare for the BlogOn conference and speak directly with this awesome conglomeration of thinkers, pioneers, investors and innovators, I realize that in just a few short weeks I’ve moved from category skeptic to cheerleader.
Social media has the potential to change how we communicate, how we maintain close or cordial relationships, what we read and who publishes it. Social media threatens to disrupt all publishing by decentralizing the process and thus democratizing it.
This is exciting. This is important.
Posted by Chris Shipley at 08:32 PM on June 27, 2004 | # |
Something incredible is happening in the marketplace. Social media is the most rapidly emerging technology sector—-one with at least the same disruptive potential as the Web promised in the early and middle 90s. At BlogOn, we are presenting the case for social media, and the business models we believe will endure. We are demonstrating not just the tools but a look at how the world will be once the social media goes through the inevitable transitional wormhole.
I am so convinced of the power and promise of social media that I have joined two long-time colleagues to form Guidewire Group. My partners are Mike Sigal, a serial technology and media entrepreneur and Frank Kelcz, best known for launching Ziff-Davis’ media properties in Europe. We share a vision for a diversified media company that accelerates innovative technology into emerging markets. BlogOn is our first step and we are preparing for it with all the urgency and zeal required by a start up wishing to successfully deliver its first product to market. For me, this is a time of euphoria.
After more than 20 years of looking at start ups under the employ of global corporations, it is exhilarating to actually drink the entrepreneurial Kool-Aid and build some equity through inspiration and perspiration.
I hope this blog starts a conversation that continues onto the BlogOn stage, and then on and on. When we began this project a couple of months back 2.7 million were being tracked and by the time our speakers take to the stage, the number will have exceeded 3.2 million.
Simultaneously, 10s of millions of people are using social networking software to find jobs, deals, friends or dates. All of this has only just begun. The mainstream has not yet seen the tsunami forming on the changing sea, and I believe the best is yet to come....
Posted by Chris Shipley at 03:16 PM on June 25, 2004 | # |
'Enterprise Feedback Management' vendor Perseus Development Corporation randomly surveyed 3,634 blogs on eight leading blog-hosting services last fall. A couple of interesting tidbits:
- They estimate 4M+ blogs have been created on these services
- Fully 66% of the blogs haven't been updated in the last 2 months
- 92.4% of blogs created by people under the age of 30.
- Females are slightly more likely than males to create blogs, accounting for 56.0% of hosted blogs.
- They expect the number of hosted blogs to exceed 10M by the end of 2004.
See the complete survey summary here.
Posted by Guidewire Group at 12:31 PM on June 19, 2004 | # |
This is my first entry on a group blog and I'm pretty happy about being a BlogOn blogger. It's not just that I love the group I'm working with, it's because once again, I find myself at the dawn of a new era. I'm an old dog who was around when PCs--"micro-computers" first came in. Then there was the Internet--don't get me started on that. Now comes blogging, and it's incredible promise--to make the world a smaller place with easy global communications between peers. I've written about it on my personal blog. BlogOn is assembling the many of the most promising companies and players, and it's bring them together with some of the most insightful business players. I think the conference could be a breakthrough minute.
Posted by Shel Israel at 07:07 AM on June 10, 2004 | # |
Previously, we talked about radio and RSS (Radio Simply Syndicated). But Jeff Jarvis has posted a pretty definitive roundup of the latest on what he calls "exploding TV," including Rafat Ali's take , Ernie Miller, Adam Curry, Doc Searls and Dave Winer. Jeff is calling for tools for allowing people to make their own content and then posits that BitTorrent and RSS will make it easy to distribute, and cheap. Some are already encouraging users to make content like the BBC which is allowing people to make their own sportscasts of the Olympics.
There is no way in the future that companies will be able to afford to make all their own content and distribute it. Instead, they can develop communities of interest, let users make things, enfranchising them, and then with BitTorrent, let the users help distribute the content. But it requires listening and working with your users, involving them in your business processes, and having them feel connected with you, which means they will develop an emotional relationship with you. The positive part is you will have loyal users that keep working with you, but the potential for screwing it up is great, unless you maintain and nurture the relationships, and treat them well, ask them when you make changes, keep things transparent, in other words, make them your partner.
Posted by Mary Hodder at 11:23 PM on June 09, 2004 | # |
Doc Searls has a great piece on Communities of Unmade Minds where he posits that people converse in little communities online because we are looking for something... an answer... because the "subjects of interest are inconclusive."
I think he makes a very good point, that we are discussing to figure things out, but those interests change, as news and information change, and so communities morph. That's one reason why I find social networks clunky. They are about stating the nature of a relationship at one moment in time, in one way, though humans are messy and morphing constantly. Emotional truth is a moving target.
And you socialize for different reasons, both internal and external. It's a feedback loop, where I find myself responding to the news of the day, talking about it with others in my blog, both so I can understand it better by writing about it, and so that others can know and respond, and in this way we help each other. But I also have interests that originate internally and my blog is an opportunity to reach out to a community to talk about those things that originate with me, that are questions or issues of importance.
Where I think new business models can help is by listening to people, thinking through the complexities of these issues, the user interface and the interaction, to make tools for socializing online, with various media, to meet user's needs in intelligent and sensitive ways. They you don't have to shill, because people will be all over you wanting more.
"It's the UI, stupid."
Posted by Mary Hodder at 02:07 PM on June 08, 2004 | # |
Speakers Include Reid Hoffman, Jason McCabe Calacanis, Doc Searls, Tony Perkins, Dan Gillmor & Allen Morgan
BERKELEY, CALIF. -- June 16, 2004 — BlogOn 2004:The Business of Social Media, the first executive conference to assemble leading voices from all aspects of this rapidly evolving social phenomenon, today announced an elite roster of speakers for the July 23 event. Focusing on the business opportunities derived from the integration of blogging, social network software, RSS standards and related technology, the one-day conference is designed for business development executives, investors, media company executives, and corporate marketing professionals. Featured speakers will include such thought leaders as Reid Hoffman, founder and CEO of LinkedIn; Jason McCabe Calacanis, Chairman and co-Founder of Weblogs, Inc.; Doc Searls, co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto; Tony Perkins, founder of AlwaysOn and the original Red Herring; Dan Gillmor, columnist and blogger at the San Jose Mercury News; and Allen Morgan, Managing Director at Mayfield and investor in Tribe.Net.
Posted by Guidewire Group at 08:39 PM on June 16, 2004 | # |