Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Visible Path

Visible Path is a web-based software product which aims to help sales people get introductions from people they know - sort of MySpace meets It works by analysing emails etc to work out who knows whom and then charting the relationships in software tools. Well worth taking a look at the short (two minute) demo.

Google in China

Clive Thompson has written an excellent piece in the New York Times on Google's move into China and the associated issues around censorship there. Long, but well worth a read.

Blogging groceries reports on GreenScanner, a public free web-based database of consumer opinions, good and bad, of grocery products which you can access just by entering in the UPC code.

"It's designed for use with network-enabled mobile devices, meaning that when you're standing in the grocery aisle fretting over whether to buy something, you can whip out your blackberry and find out on the spot. You can also add your own ratings and commentary after you've tried something," says the site.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Infosys storms ahead

For those that doubt the thesis of Thomas Friedman's excellent book, The World is Flat, Indian outsourcer Infosys has just posted its full year figures for 2005, reporting continued strong growth. One side effect is that it will hire 25,000(!) people in 2006, says Infosys CEO Nandan Nilekani.

Write for everything, says Herald boss

The Miami Herald editor Tom Fiedler delivered an edict to newsroom staff this week that from now on all staff will be expected to write equally for on and offline media. The memo is worth a read.

Friday, April 14, 2006

User generated riches

MIT's Advertising Lab points out the rapid rise of advertising on user-generated media, which it says is slated to reach $50M in 2006.

Reuters opens up to blogs

Jeff Jarvis blogs in BuzzMachine about a deal which will see Reuters include blog content in times of large, general interest events such as elections.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Windows lauches Scholar competitor

Microsoft has launched a competitor to Google Scholar - Windows Live Academic. "We have built several features designed to help you rapidly find the content you are searching for including abstract previews via our preview pane, sort and group by capability, and citation export", says the intro on the site.

Yahoo! maps add satellite imagery

Yahoo! has added satellite imagery to its map service, joining MSN and Google. Yahoo! is still the only one to offer live traffic information, though.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Straight to mobile phone

An Anglo-Italian five-piece band is set to make an entirely different kind of record next month when it launches Britain's first single that can only be bought by cell phone on the mobile network of "3".

Monday, April 10, 2006

Journalists and SEO

Jeff Jarvis deals with the issue of journalists writing for search engines. He acknowledges that it is an issue which causes mixed feelings, but comes down strongly on the side of writing for the search engines.

Google buys new search algorithm

Google has apparently beaten off competition from Yahoo! and MSN to buy Orion, a search engine which aims to help filter results more effectively, according to Techtree. The algorithm behind the search was written by Ori Alon, an Israeli student from the University of New South Wales.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Listening to your blogs

A new service called Talkr will take any RSS feed and convert the text to speech so that you can subcribe to the resulting stream as a Podcast. How's that for convergence?

Friday, April 07, 2006

Jobs zeitgeist

Recruitment site Jobster publishes a weekly jobs zeitgeist which shows the most popular job types, those that are growing the most and those which are falling in popularity the most. Simple but effective.

Video on phones

CNet reports that Motorola DVRs will sychnronise video content with their mobile phones.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Visit the dentist

The first visits to the dentist were possibly around 7,000 BC, according to Nature magazine
via Wired News which says research found at least nine skulls with 11 drill holes in a Pakistan graveyard. Doesn't bear thinking about.

Firefox gains ground

According to a report in Firefox has now past 10% market share (source: Net Applications)

Paid content drops in UK

The AOP Census 2006 shows that for the first time in its four-year history the number of publishers charging for online content has dropped (from 63% in 2005 to 37% in 2006).

"How I Work"

Steve Rubel, inspired by a Forbes series called "How I Work", decided to write his own. He says he "works Web 2.0 style" and tell you what programs he uses to achieve it.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Mag closes, but brand lives online

Hachette Filipacchi is closing its Ellgirl magazine, according to, but is increasing the investment in the brand online and in wireless.

Advice for media companies in a Web 2.0 world

PriceWaterhouseCoopers has produced a report, via, which provides advice to media companies and telcos on how to organise in a Web 2.0 environment. There is a link to download the report.

Google move beyond first base

John Battelle finds some evidence of Google's plans with Google Base - new interfaces for specific purposes like this one for real estate.

Update: Steve Rubel finds the same for cars.

Most blogged...

The New York Times has redesigned and has included a new feature highlighting the most blogged stories alongside the most emailed and most searched.

Registration pros and cons

Jeff Jarvis rehearses the arguments for and against enforcing registration on blog comments. On balance, he comes down on the side of open access, but with some reservations.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Search takes over half of advertising share in UK

According to a report from the AOP online search revenue was 56.2% of the £1.4bn online advertising market in the UK last year. Online is now taking nearly 8% of all advertising pounds.

Flagr - "share where"

Flagr is a new mash-up which allows users to send in a description, address and comment to from their mobile phones and which will then instantly put a flag in the map at that point. If you include a picture, that will appear too. As they say: "bookmark the real world".

"The List"

Curiously-named Sacredcowdung has a list of "All Things Web 2.0" - and very comprehensive it looks, too.

Google ads mash-up

Something I've not seen before: the "view ads about" box on the meta-search engine Try it out.

Update: on the face of it this is a really trivial idea (although clever enough in its own way). But if you think about it for a moment, there are some interesting implications.

Because isn't a publisher, it doesn't have the same preconceptions about the value of advertising that publishers do. If the targeting in Google ads is good - and we know from experience that it is - why wouldn't you want to search just ads instead of content, especially if you were looking to buy something?

Publishers have long published lists of featured advertisers in magazines, but this is not really much of a reader service, more a sop to the advertisers. The fact is, we've never invested time in classification of ads to make them really useful in this way, largely because we don't see them as information. Google (and doesn't have the same mindset.

Firefox extension of the week

eQuake Alert is a Firefox add-in which will alert you with basic information everytime an earthquake happens somewhere on earth. Better still, it shakes your browser in proportion to the severity of the quake! founder in elder venture - The Boston Globe

Monster founder Jeff Taylor has raised $10m to launch Eons, a site aimed at America's over-50s.

Aggregating the aggregators

popurls is a site which pulls together all of the latest posts from popular aggregators like digg,, furl, flickr, reddit, tailrank and slashdot. Where will it end?

Citizen journalism for and against

Dan Gillmor verbally slugs it out with journalism professor Samuel Freedman on the pros and cons of citizen journalism.

Inventory Crunch?

EContent discusses the looming online advertising inventory crunch and what, if anything, can be done about it.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Blogging from everywhere

The founder of Hotmail, Sabeer Bhatia, is investing $5m of the $400m fortune he made selling his email setup to Microsoft, in a service with the eponymous name The plug-in allows you to post comments on any website and also see comments from other users. It also promises faster Hotmail access among other "site enhancements".

Behavioural problems

There's a lot of money going into behavioural advertising companies, such as the $48m which has just been invested by Technology Crossover Ventures in AdKnowledge. That followed hard on the heals of Tacoda which raised $12m in it's third funding round. You might well think this was the new frontier...

UK spending spree

We Brits are destined to be spending $3bn a year on digital downloads of all kinds by the end of the decade according to research by Datamonitor and Paypal says

Second Life gets second wind

Linden Lab, publisher of the popular MMORPG "Second Life", just received a further $11m in second-round funding according to


The Guardian Online is in profit according to which was quoting Simon Waldman, director of digital publishing.

European mountains

Neville Hobson reports (via Steve Rubel) on the mountains we have to climb in Europe on the business blogging issue. In particular:
* 42% have heard of blogs but don’t read or contribute to them:
* 37% are not aware of blogs
* 11% said they read blogs
* 7% monitor blogs
* 7% find blogs useful as source of business information
* 2% write blogs

Find Similar Sites

Find a blog (or site) you link, paste the URL into and it will find you others which are similar - based on tags. Clever.


ZoomClouds - online tool for creating tag clouds about anything...

More News Media Outlets, Covering Less News

The New York Times reports on a study by the Project for Excellence in Journalism which shows that proliferating media does not equal proliferating news. Shouldn't have been too much of a surprise, I suppose.

Netscape redux?

Steve Rubel postulates that AOL is about to relaunch as a kind of Digg 2.0

Official Web 2.0 Certifyr

For when you want to make it official.

BoardTracker is a new search engine for forums which even includes a tag cloud interface and graphing facilities similar to Technorati. It says it is currently tracking over 18m threads.

ZoneTag Photos

A new research project from Yahoo! - ZoneTag - is offering to allow two-click uploading of photos from cameraphones which are then automatically tagged on Flickr with geo-tags based on the nearest phone mast. Sadly, the prototype is only available in the US currently.


Steve Rubel on Bloginfluence, a site which aims massage your blog ego (or blego[!]) by aggregating all sorts of indications of just how important you are in the blogosphere.


Social bookmarking for shoppaholics.

Filter RSS with Feed Rinse

If you have been downloading RSS for a while chances are you are now awash with information. So Feed Rinse has come along with a solution - add some key words and they will filter your feeds and let you subscribe to a new feed with only those posts that relate to the key words. Had to happen, I suppose.

Update: if you want the human version of this, Kent Newsome has just taken all of Robert Scobles' 800 or so feeds and reviewed them all to come up with his list of the ones he likes the best.

Blogging Basics

Another everything you always wanted to know about RSS but were afraid to ask posts.


Touchstone is a new "attention management system" which uses a visual interface to tune RSS feeds to match what you are really interested in. At least, that's the promise - the site is in "private Alpha" so you have to apply for an invitation to try it out.

Awards 2.0

Now it's the Web 2.0 Awards. 300 websites in 38 categories - plus interviews with 21 founders.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

A new free blogging platform called Eponym has launched. It is apparently very simple and straightforward to use.

Online Feed Readers

Techcrunch roadtests a crop of online feed readers.

All the digg-style applications

Useful list of all the Digg-style applications out there - Consensus Web Filters, as Kevin Kelly calls them.

AdWords Now Using Demographics

John Battelle spotted that Google's AdWords is now offering a demographic targeting feature supplied by Comscore. Demographic site targeting, he points out, will be a big new battleground among the search majors.

Consensus Web Filters

Wired founder Kevin Kelly blogs about what he calls "Consensus Web Filters" - the new sites like Digg and Reddit which list stories according to how many people are prepared to endorse them. He is a great fan.

Google's answer to Ebay

Techcrunch publishes what it says are screenshots of a new Google reputation system to rival that of Ebay. It looks like Google's efforts in the commerce space are hotting up.

Google Buys SketchUp

Google has bought SketchUp, a company which makes a program which allows people create simple 3D diagrams of buildings and then, for instance, place them on Google Earth.

Blogging the newsroom

The new "Comment is Free" site from the Guardian has started blogging the daily news meetings.

Hiring in an online world

There was an interesting article in this month's Wired magazine which looked at the relationship that somebody's online experience has to their suitability for real-world jobs. The thesis is that if someone is really good at motivating a band of online warriors in, say, World of Warcraft, they may well have the innate leadership skills much sought-after by corporations.