Web 2.0 This Week (July 24 – 30)


It’s been a fun-filled Web 2.0 week, capped off with BlogHerCon today. Good stuff below.

1. BlogHer Conference on Saturday, July 30, 2005

The BlogHer Conference ’05 is today, at Techmart in Santa Clara.

“This flagship event is open to all bloggers—including men and beginners—interested in enhancing their online exposure, learning the latest best practices in blogging, networking with other bloggers, and specifically cultivating the female blogging community.

BlogHer Conference ’05 will provide an open, inclusive forum to:

1. Discuss the role of women within the larger blog community
2. Examine the developing (and debatable) code of blogging ethics
3. Discover how blogging is shrinking the world and amplifying the voices of women worldwide”

We fully support the goals of BlogHer and are very excited about the buzz the conference is creating. Blogging conferences tend to have lots of blogging coverage, and there are some excellent posts coming out of today’s event. There’s literally a ton of important stuff to read and think about.

And unlike BeautifulPeople (see no. 10 below), we as men are actually welcome at this event. :-)

And all kidding aside, if you only read one link, read Julie Leung’s “A woman’s place is in the HTML” I had the opportunity to see Julie speak at Gnomedex last month and was captivated by her ability to tell a story that contains a meaningful message.

Additional Links: Lisa Stone, Charlene Li, Jan Kabili, Marc Canter, Lisa, JD Lasica, Halley Suitt, SocalMom, Tris Hussey, Scoble, FullCircle, Dave Winer, Jeff Clavier, Blogaholics, Blogherald

2. Pheedo reveals RSS Aggregator Usage

Pheedo (soon to be profiled) released very interesting stats on RSS usage this week.

Key stats and information:

“Tuesday is the most active day in RSS; Saturday least active.” (hmm, maybe I should move these weekly wrapups to Tuesday…)

“The “morning scanners” view most content; late night readers click through more.”

“Consistent with other RSS aggregator market share reports on the Internet, Pheedo is seeing Bloglines atop our feed reader statistics, followed by Firefox, Thunderbird, NewsGator and Sharpreader. In aggregate, these readers are used by almost 70 percent of people subscribing to Pheedo managed RSS content.”

Additional Links: Tris Hussey, BigPicture, BackboneMedia, Richard MacManus

3. Mary Hodder Compares Blog Aggregation and RSS Tools

The first in a six-part series. Worth the read.

Additional Links: Tim Yang, NewMediaHack, BennelliBrothers, Matt Hurst, Thousandfacedmoon, Wondiring, onebyonemedia, RamblingComments, ChangingWay, Blogspotting, BlogonSoftware, Telagon Sichelputzer, LicensedtoRoam, John Bell, EmergenceMarketing, SEW, Stowe Boyd

4. The word-of-mouth network v. official PR

Everyone was talking about MSN’s Virtual Earth last week (profile) except Scoble, because he wasn’t allowed to talk about it until the official Microsoft announcement. Scoble vents his frustration in a post that talks about the “word of mouth” effect in the blogosphere.

“Yeah, it is the second time in a week that I can’t talk about something when everyone else is talking about it (the earlier one was when the name “Windows Vista” leaked out and about 2,000 blogs had talked about it before I was able to admit that was the official name.”

“So, why do we have embargoes? I think it’s one of those last things that survive from old-school PR. They are trying to give everyone in the media an equal shot at being out at the gate. I personally think we need to reevaluate our rules here. The word-of-mouth network is just getting too efficient to try to live by these rules anymore.”

One does ask the question though, “why did MSN release the site if they didn’t want people chatting it up”, doesn’t one?

Additional Links: Steve Rubel, Rick Segal, Mark Evans, mathemagenic, bigkid, James Robertson

5. Chris Were writes about Recency

Chris writes an excellent essay about recency and how RSS can change the future web. At the end, Chris writes “Will such a system ever exists? Probably not”. We hope he’s wrong. :-)

“Recency is an emerging technology – something that is (relatively) new to the web. Its main driving force is RSS, which provides a very simple mechanism to tell the world when something is new or has changed. What started out as primarily a tool for bloggers to communicate new stories is fast evolving to encompass new areas; mainstream media, audio (podcasts), video etc. There are many reasons to believe this is just the beginning – especially given Microsoft’s anouncement that RSS will also be applied to “lists�? in their new Operating System, bringing RSS to the mainstream.

So what’s so special about recency? Currently anyone can search google for anything and it will bring up a list of relevant results… but what about NOW? I want to find results in the last 24/12/2 hours. The web as we know it started out with static webpages (the 90’s homepage) and has grown into dynamic webpages – where conversation and comment are the norm (blogging). This produces ever changing content where the ordering of the discussion is the relevancy. Google and the other mainstream search engines currently cater for the old days of static webpages. While this works well now, the future of search and web navigation with relevancy will be much more useful than the web today. (Obviously Technorati are beginning to provide this recency search service to blogging, along with other players).”

6. It beats making shoes for Nike

Business 2.0’s blog notes an article fro Electronic Gaming Monthly and writes “sweatshops are popping up in Asia where laborers are paid as little as 56 cents an hour to do mind-numbingly repetitive tasks in these games that help them acquire virtual gold and other assets, which their employers then sell to other game players. One worker’s “typical 12-hour sessions can earn his employers as much as $60,000 per month while he walks away with a measly $150.” Welcome to the information economy.”

From FacesofMe: “Who in the hell is buying that shit?”

7. Kevin Kelley: We are the Web

Kevin Kelley writes an article that will be referenced for years to come: “The Netscape IPO wasn’t really about dot-commerce. At its heart was a new cultural force based on mass collaboration. Blogs, Wikipedia, open source, peer-to-peer – behold the power of the people.”

Additional Links: Emergence Marketing, TimbreofTempests, fruitlesslabour, GMSV (excellent and funny user comments), Shinythingsthatdistractus, agenturblog, business2.0

8. Fred Wilson: Comscore Measures Blogs

Fred Wilson shares statistics on the major blog service providers. I hope he doesn’t mind that we grabbed this from his site:

9. Steve Gillmor writes about AttentionTrust

Steve continues to carry the torch on the captivating idea of “attention” (profile). He writes:

“I’ve been writing about RSS and attention for so long that I’m starting to repeat myself, a sure sign of the difficulty in avoiding wasting your time. So we jumped the gun and put up this site with the help of some brilliant folks who gathered a week ago and contributed their ideas and talents to rough out the basics. I asked, no, pinned Hank Barry down to take the role of Secretary; Hank had suggested the idea of a foundation in the first place. Seth and I fanned out to corral the rest of the initial board: Seth as Chairman, Nick Bradbury, Dick Costolo, and Clay Shirky. And I asked Mary Hodder to chair the Advisory Board and develop its goals and structure.

Later today, Seth will join the Gillmor Gang to talk more about attention and our intentions. Already the quality of the conversation about attention has deepened, both in private email exchanges and in feedback from our admittedly premature and sketchy efforts. We’re asking for a leap of faith here, and I always check for my wallet when someone says “trust me.” But we’re choosing our words–and our friends–carefully, and we’re not kidding.”

Dave Winer: “Apparently Steve Gillmor is not kidding about attention.”

10. Om Malik: Beautiful People, Not Smart Doesn’t Mean Smart

Om reports about an important (read: ridiculous) new social networking site…for beautiful people only. Maybe they’ll let us in, just to do a quick profile. :-)

Of course it only supports IE, so we can’t see the site. We’re a mac and firefox shop and unless there is a really good reason to fire up IE and the obligatory pop-ups, we don’t. This site doesn’t qualify as a “good reason”.

Additonal Links: ypulse, USA Today

11. Seth Levine: Occam’s Paradox

If you haven’t read Seth’s postings on “Occam’s Paradox”, read them now. They are a play on the Occam’s Razor principle, which in its simplest form is “The simplest explanation is the best.”

Seth originally wrote here, and updated here.

“I’ve been thinking recently about complexity in business and in life and think there’s a corollary to Occam’s Razor that perhaps should be called Occam’s Paradox – the propensity of humans to make things more complicated than they need to be. I don’t pretend to know why this is, but I notice it all the time (both in my own life and with other people). I guess it’s just easy to start down the road of dependency mapping (i.e., making everything you do a part of a larger matrix that has many interdependencies).

In the update, Seth writes “I fell a little short of really saying what I originally intended for the post, which was that I think that we have a tendency not only to make things more complicated than need be, but also to focus on too many things (and therefore the wrong ones). As a result we try to assimilate too much data to make decisions (not recognizing the massive diminishing returns on this effort) and try to pay attention to too many things.”

See also Will Price, here, where he talks about the paper by Anthony Bastardi and Eldar Shafir.

I agree. When I need to “get things done”, I switch the internet connection off (really), close email, and try to really think. When I was a corporate lawyer, working on documents and agreements, I was able to master this. Now, I really have to try. And when I make decisions, I try (and sometimes am successful) to really get to the core issues, ignoring the extraneous stuff.

Additional Links:
Jeff Nolan, Todd

12. MicroContent Musings: Web 2.0 Checklist

We missed this last week. Great evolving checklist for defining web 2.0 services.

” * Structured MicroContent – a service should be able to handle structured MicroContent. This can be the data stored at the service or processed by the service;
* Data Outside – the data should be primarily outside. Thus main focus of a service should be processing MicroContent and not storing MicroContent. This also implies that the service should be able to get the outside data. This can either be by a feed (limited window) or an import function. This also implies that the user is in full control (datalibre compliant) of his data (edit, delete, etc.);
* Licenses – for each MicroContent Item the user determines the usage license. One can differentiate here between private data, i.e. data that is only for the user and thus has a very restrictive license, group data, where for each Item is determined which other user might do something with it, and public data, for which the Creative Commons licenses are valid. (remark: I might throw this one out, as it is strongly related to Data Outside);
* Feeds Galore – A service should have many feeds to which clients can subscribe. This feeds mix and match the processed MicroContent in any way imaginable. Feeds can be compound in nature and use many types of enclosures. These feeds allow for syndication of MicroContent;
* Web API’s – a service should offer many Web API’s, which allow their functionality to be integrated in other services;
* Desktop Integration – A service should not only live on the network, but also allow tight integration with the desktop. This can for instance be achieved with MicroContent clients.
* Single Identity – A user should not have to copy with creating identities at all services he wants to use. It should be sufficient to have a single identity (but multiple personae) that can exported to service;
* MicroWeb – the user should be able traverse MicroContent space on the field level. From a single field in a MicroContent Item, the user should be able to go to relevant other MicroContent Items. The user decides for himself what is relevant. Thus seeing a name “Arnaud Leene”, he should be able to go to the relevant FOAF-file, Weblog, tags, etc;
* lowercase Structure – a service should support lowercase MicroContent structure. This implies that the structure is not set beforehand, but is determined by the user. There are no standard setting committees or services that set structure in stone;
* Placeholder – this checkpoint is a placeholder for something that I have not yet thought of, or seen on the Web”

(Mostly) unrelated to Web 2.0:

This last one’s for you, dad. :-) It sure looks like a middle finger to me. (Via David Weinberger) And this one isn’t debatable.

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