Friday, August 31, 2007

Keeping track of the online you

Scoble on Plaxo's new "online identity consolidator" which keeps track of all you profile information across the web (on Facebook, Flickr, Twittr etc) with an RSS-based micro-format.

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Brits race online

The National Statistics Office report on the state of online in Britain reports that nearly a million extra homes have gone online in the past year and eight out of ten connections were now broadband. This prompted Today to quiz web grandfather Vince Cern about the need for regulation to control the spread of user generated content. He handled himself very well, sounding eminently reasonable.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

UGC makes it to print

Jeff Jarvis reports that the Chicago Tribune has starting taking users generated content and putting it in a print publication and delivering to a few suburbs. He raves about opportunities this points to. For instance:
You can go to the local bloggers and get news from their blogs. You can encourage them to do more and get more bloggers to blog. You can pay them to encourage them to contribute what you need (it’ll be cheaper than paying staff and they won’t complain as much). The bloggers can perhaps take charge of organizing the news in the community and you help them. You make the product the center of a hyperlocal ad netework, which any of the participants can sell into.

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Friday, August 17, 2007

Why competition is a good thing

For many years Microsoft's dominance of the desktop was virtually total - and it is still powering ahead today - but things are happening to shake their confidence. One is obviously the rise of Google and the alternative vision of simple applications - Google Docs and Spreadsheets and the rumoured presentation package expected shortly - hosted centrally and available for free supported by ads. The other is the resurgence of a confident Apple, powered by innovative new products - the iPod and iPhone - and great new designs. This newly confident and commercially powerful Apple has caused MS to look again at the quality of its products and inspired the huge effort behind Vista. This is a good thing: MS is finally developing with the ordinary consumer in mind.

One simple example: I was setting up a new router yesterday and adding 128-bit WEP security. I had to go round the various computers in the house to add the long string of characters. On the Mac there's a check box which allows you to show the characters (instead of just ****) while you type. This is incredibly useful as you can check the string to make sure it's right (before unchecking the box again). Next I repeated the operation for the XP machines. No such option - and several goes to get the typing right! Our new Vista machine was a breeze, however. Guess what? The same treatment as the Mac. That's progress.

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Go forth and blog, young man

Jeff Jarvis quoting some good advice for would-be journalists:
Again, for those at the back: if you think you want to be a journalist, I now don’t think there’s any excuse not to have a blog. The closer you get to looking around for jobs, the better it should be maintained. If you enter the jobs market without one, no matter how good your degree, you’re increasingly likely to lose out to people who better present all they can do, and have the experience of creating and curating their own site.

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CIA and FBI changing Wikipedia pages

Great story from eWeek telling how a new program called Wikiscanner has unearthed the fact that various stories have been edited on CIA and FBI computers. The fact that this is happened is not remarkable - it would be rather surprising if this didn't happen from time to time. The interesting thing is the accuracy that the new tool is able to bring to the party:
WikiScanner revealed that CIA computers were used to edit an entry on the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. A graphic on casualties was edited to add that many figures were estimated and were not broken down by class.

Another entry on former CIA chief William Colby was edited by CIA computers to expand his career history and discuss the merits of a Vietnam War rural pacification program that he headed.

Aerial and satellite images of the U.S. prison for terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, were removed using a computer traced to the FBI, WikiScanner showed.
Wikipedia says the edits may have violated their conflict-of-interest guidelines.

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Social media explained - simply

Forrester's Charlene Li finds Common Crafts short, simple videos great for inhouse training on RSS, wikis, social networking, social bookmarking etc.

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Amazon advances

(One I missed) First they brought you pay-by-the GB storage, then pay-by-the hour processing, now Amazon are launching a new Flexible Payment Service - report from Robert Scoble.


Google in the firing line

TechCrunch on the "hypocrisy" displayed by Google as it stops others crawling its news content on Google News (which of course relies on news  providers allowing their content to be crawled). It's particularly galling, argues Michael Arrington (TechCruch founder) as they are now allowing people involved in the story to comment on it, thereby getting into the original content game themselves.


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New ways to pay for content

Jeff Jarvis has a piece on a new Edgeio widget which will allow for a new way of charging for, and distributing, content within a site - via a widget. The step-by-step approach is amazingly simple, but the thing that excites Jeff is that all sorts of paid-for relationships could be developed which go beyond the paid-for walled-garden approach he hates so much. And, there's a built-in mechanism for syndication and revenue-sharing.

Interesting stuff...


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More jobsites for DMGT

PaidContent reports on Daily Mail General Trust's £10m acquisition of niche jobs board player, which has such sites as, and


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And they say the US is having a problem....

China's mortgage problem gets an outing, too...


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Scoble takes a break

Robert Scoble, famous as the (ex-)Microsoft blogger, is taking a break because he is becoming angry and disillusioned by the blogoshere and all that goes with it.


Tonight I looked over my Twitters and blogs. They are angry. Confrontational. Disturbed. Hurt. Dismayed.

Those are not words to describe someone in a state of mind to improve the world. Part of it is so many people are making stuff up about me and/or my employer without any care as to my feelings or the truth that I’ve got to get some distance. Over the weekend a variety of people said I had quit my job. Then another “A-list” blogger said I had been fired. Neither are true. Much of what I read over on that Silicon Valley gossip site lately isn’t true and they have demonstrated over and over that they really don’t care about the truth. It really depresses me cause I thought blogging would be a tool for humans to get smarter, not stupider. Depression isn’t fun.

So, I’m going to try something else for a while.

Meanwhile, he's going to concentrate on his video career. Hope he's back on form soon.


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Mapping education

Google Maps has been undergoing a quiet revolution recently with additional functionality like My Maps and the ability to draw polygons and add other attached functionality. This is an excellent example of just where it is going.


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New models of journalism

Jeff Jarvis:

journalists need to take responsibility for their economic fate...

There is a need for new and innovative journalistic products with sustainable business models, he says in his Guardian column. Journalists have to step up to the plate...


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More competition for the office

Could Adobe be the next pretender to Microsofts Office crown? Following hard on the heels of the news that Star Office is to ship with Google Pack, Wired speculates that office applications like word processors and spreadsheets would be an obvious next step.


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Journalists 4 aggregation

Publish2 is a new venture on the eve of going beta. Founder Scott Karp describes the project thus:

Here’s the short version: Publish2 is a social network and 2.0 platform for journalists (and independent “news bloggers,” “citizen” journalists, student journalists, i.e. ALL journalists, BROADLY defined), which aims to put journalists at the center of news on the web by creating a journalist-powered news aggregator.

If you want the long version, read his post.


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EMAP go for behavioural targeting

According to AOP EMAP have become the first UK magazine group to put in behavioural targeting technology which serves up ads based on where a user has been rather than necessarily where they are now. The technology is supplied by Revenue Science (which by the way is a great name for a company!).


One Laptop Per Child goes beta

There's an interesting review here of the ground-breaking One Laptop Per Child project's XO laptop intended for kids in developing nations. It has some startling innovations and is close to its goal of hitting $100 a unit.

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Twitter in the workplace

Is Twitter suitable as a business tool? CIO Insight argues it might just be and goes on to give some examples of where it might prove its worth.

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Yahoo! vote of confidence

Yahoo! president Susan Decker snapped up over $1m in Yahoo! stock when the shares hit a three-year low, says eWeek. Does she know something we don't? Or is it just general self-confidence?

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Google send-to-phone

Google has released a new Firefox extension which lets you select text from a web page and then click a "send to phone" item to SMS it to any mobile or you choice - sadly, though, only if it's a US carrier.

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Blogs are evolving

Fiona Blamey who writes the Web 2.0 Watch blog comments on suggestions that blogs have had their day, killed off by social media. Apart from being premature - Technorati she notes records that active blogs have levelled off at 15 million - she suggests it's also wrong. There has, she agrees, been an explosion in usage of social networking like Facebook and Twitter which has taken its toll, but she believe that Steve Rubel's decision to write only longer, more thoughtful posts on his blog and leave the short, snappy communication to Twitter is likely to be taken up by others. This, she argues, could lead to an overall rise the quality of the blogosphere.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Who owns web 2.0?

Who owns what sites that characterise the Web 2.0 revolution? Turns out, it's all the same old, same old....

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Online Community - motives

Why do people join online communities? Lots of reasons, apparently. If you want to read some of them, read the NYT blog post and comments on the subject.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Telepresence takes a step closer

Josh Bernoff from Forrest reviews the latest offering from HP which offers high fidelity video conferencing for a mere $400k. is this the end of business air travel?

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Google News bites back

Google is trialling a new service which allow the subjects of Google News articles to comment on the piece in question. Interesting stuff...

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Facebook to the rescue

There is speculation that a Facebook group called "I read Business 2.0 -- and Want to Keep Reading" has convinced executives at Time Inc to issue a stay of execution on the Web 1.0 poster child Business 2.0. Although there were only 2,000 members, the feeling was this was enough to flush out some potential buyers who have prompted the recall of laid off staffers and freelancers for an October edition.

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Google getting into the storage game

Google, which made its name in part by offering vast amounts of free storage to Gmail account holders, is now offering to sell additional storage to Gmail and Picassa users. The details are here at Search Engine Land. Still very competitive with Amazon's S3 - but an interesting move...

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Bloggers of the world unite

According to Wired bloggers in the US are looking to unionise in the hope of securing better terms and conditions. A bit counter-intuitive!!!

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Beyond in new role with CMP

CMP has sold techcareers to the business recruitment site in the UK. As part of the deal the company becomes the recruitment sales agent for CMP as a whole.

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Up-to-date indexes

Google is now indexing the web almost within the hour, compared with monthly in the days when we worried about the "Google Dance", according to Google blogger, Matt Cutts.

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Internet ads bigger than newspapers

VC Veronis Suhler releases a forecast that suggests that internet advertising will become the largest sector in the US by 2011, surpassing newspapers. Not all commentators believe this is an aggressive enough forecast.

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Google marketing insights

David Lawee, VP of marketing for Google explains to Business Week why he has the easiest job in marketing.

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