Sunday, April 29, 2007

Microsoft redux

It's easy to forget that Microsoft is the largest software company on the planet, especially when the news is relentlessly against them. This week they unveiled financial results which show just how resilient they are: revenue up 32% to $14.4bn for the quarter and profit up 65% to $4.93bn. There's life in the old dog yet.

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Methinks they do protest too much

Page 3 of The Observer today was entirely given over to a story about the backlash against "the web's endless cacophony". Citing British-born Andrew Keen, author of Cult of the Amateur out at the end of the month, it argues that the rise of self-publishing is a direct threat to truth and discernment as administered by "experts". It targets Wikipedia, MySpace and YouTube, among others, and has only a couple of sentences in defence by Jeff Jarvis. I thought it was an extraordinarily intemperate piece of unbalanced journalism, and even Keen was dismissive on his blog today. It sounds a bit like a wounded "old media" stalwart trying to make sense of a tidal wave of change, and failing.

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Google number 1

Google has reached the number one spot in as a website and as a brand, points out John Battelle, citing two separate sources.

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Which search is best?

PC World sets out to find out as it road-tests a bunch of contenders. The verdict? Google is still best, but others are coming up fast.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A short history of blogging

One view of the evolution of blogging is here at mashable.com. Another view from Gapingvoid.com...

history of blogging.jpg

It must be happening......

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Forrester define participation


forrester_ladder.png
Originally uploaded by jmuttram.

Tech consultancy Forrester has defined a "ladder" of participation as part of its "technographics" research. Based on the US online population they have even helpfully put numbers on the different rungs. More on Charlene Li's blog.

Postscript...

A Travolution snippet I forgot to add: Glen Drury of  Yahoo! illustrated the long tail by quoting a statistic that there are 2,100 different groups on Yahoo! Groups for backpackers. 2,100! Actually, I could only find 884 when I looked, but still...884!!! 

 

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Travolution Summit stuff

Spent half of today at the excellent Travolution Summit (full disclosure: it is run by my company, but has nothing directly to do with me).  It was a good line up including speakers from MSN, AOL, Worldspan (the GDS), Lonely Planet and Wayn.com.

Highlights for me:

  • Stephen Palmer, EMEA ceo of Lonely Planet expounded on the popularity of top 10 lists. They started with company lists, but pretty soon extended to allow users to upload their own and vote and comment on other people's.
  • Glen Drury, UK managing director of Yahoo! says their research indicates that only 15-20% of human knowledge is on the web - hence, he says, the popularity of Yahoo! Answers with its 100m users.
  • Mel Carson, community manager of MSN's AdCenter demoing PhotoSynth, an immersive photo technology bought with a company called SeaDragon. (I say demoing, but actually he had Vista installed on his laptop and it wouldn't work with the projection equipment so he had to fall back to canned slides.)

A couple of interesting quotes:

John Bray, senior strategist of consultant PhoCusWright says user content is "infecting search results" - interesting perspective!

And Yahoo's Drury defines the stages in the evolution of search:

Phase 1: human editing exemplified by

Yahoo's original directory

Phase 2: mass automation exemplified by AltaVista (remember them?)

Phase 3: topological analysis exemplified by Google...and

Phase 4: social search, exemplified by...guess who? new Yahoo!

So, there you have it.

Anyhow, a great event and I wish I could have stayed for the afternoon where a trip to Second Life was promised. The whole event was blogged, though, by Travolution's chief writer, Tricia Holly Davis, if you want more...

 

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Growth accelerates online

UK digital publishers experienced an average 60 per cent increase in turnover in 2006, and are predicting an average of 72 per cent growth for 2007 – double what they were forecasting this time last year, says the AOP's annual survey of its members

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