Taking a break from blogging

Originally uploaded by renaissancechambara.

Hi,I am taking a break from blogging for a few days but will be back at it on Tuesday in the meantime I can recommend Bob Cringely’s weekly column which this week talks about YouTube, its licence changes, intellectual property rights and the whole phenomena of YouMedia.

Three interesting parts to it:– YouTube doesn’t believe in the warm fuzziness of web 2.0 companies i.e: Google’s don’t be evil mantra. But then Flickr has had its Nipplegate as well, so no surprises

– YouTube is going to make money by pillaging and repurposing other peoples content to their hearts content, how will affect the social forces that have driven YouMedia? For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction: the mass media begat media literate consumers that eventually became innoculated from conventional advertising. Also is there a market for them to charge PR companies for the privilege of not having their viral videos subverted, relicenced and remixed with competitor messages?– YouMedia is the emperors new clothes, there is evidence that it works, but the companies at the forefront of it often don’t really get it. They talk a good game on PowerPoint but that doesn’t really mean squat. Something that I have suspected for a long time, but Bob got a frank admission from some 30-something executives from a large unnamed media company. There again this kind of makes sense, the hippy movement could only really be understood in retrospect.

Trip down to the local

Originally uploaded by renaissancechambara.

Congratulations to my former colleagues especially Axl & team for finally getting this puppy out the door. Find it at yahoo.co.uk/local

Jargon watch: Calling in rich

Originally uploaded by renaissancechambara.

Calling in rich – When the partner of a business has enough money and doesn’t want to work any more they are said to call in rich.It can be very difficult if the business hasn’t succession-planned for the departure.

Generally it refers to the founders of technology companies, but I have known a partner in a hedge fund to do this.

Kudos to A VC.

I am about to use profane language

To many PR people time tracking is as offensive as any swear word, thankfully the interweb has once again came to the rescue. Courtesy of LifeHacker comes a downloadable paper sheet for those of you that like to mark their tracking and then put it in electronically. (I don’t get the sense of it, but there you go). For freelancers or budding the Martin Sorrell’s of this world, you could do worse than look at Toggl an online time tracking solution built on wholesome web 2.0 goodness.

Online value

Bob Cringely’s article got me thinking about a number of questions.- If a story is less likely to be read because of the nature of online media versus print media, how should this be factored into credibility and reputation (like opportunities to see numbers do currently for print and broadcast)?

– Does the nature and intensity of engagement between media and reader change for online outlets, and if so how does it impact on the relative benefit of PR?

– How can PRs take advantage of the slowed down media agenda online?

– Is there economic case for PRs to move from media influencers to creating their own media, given the diminished power of online media (large and small)?

Let me know any thoughts that you have on the subject.

Link of the day

Bob Cringely at PBS.org has an interesting article: They wrap fish, don’t they about the limitations of consuming news online versus in a newspaper. Key points:

Most of the news published on an online site is less visible and harder to find than a paper

Internet news also tends to be serial. The New York Times, for example, has an average of 25 stories each day in its business section and every one of those stories can be read online. But only a handful are presented as headlines in the Times web edition. So unless you are very diligent about ferreting it out, at least 75 percent of the Times’ business content is invisible and unread online.

Internet news is sloooow

We rely, instead, on aggregators, mainly newspapers, which are again aggregated by outfits like Google News. The result is that some information gets to the web long after it gets into print.

News lives longer online in a slower and ponderous way than in print because a newspaper has a useful life of only one day.

Newspapers, because they are printed daily, have a lifespan of one day. And because they generally have several stories on each page, we have the opportunity to SCAN the news in parallel. These are two huge advantages of print journalism over its electronic counterpart. In newspapers, news gets out of the way at the end of each day, leaving room for more news. On the Internet, we’re still talking about that safe landing of the Space Shuttle Discovery 48 hours after it happened. Okay, they’re down, get on with it. So people who get their news from the Internet may know a lot about Britney Spears’ attitude toward child car seats, but they don’t know about many other things because of all that Britney news cluttering the ether.

MemeWatch: Five social media tools bloggers can’t do without

This meme first came to my attention on Drew Benvie’s blog, he has a good summary on some people’s answers there. My suggestions:

  • Blogger – yes it is tempramental and the spell-checker is dyslexic, it is virtually unusable with Safari, but its what I have been using to blog for the past two years and a half years or so
  • Flickr – It is just so easy to get the whole pictures thing, prior to using it I didn’t bother with photos at all. Now when my old Yahoo! employee Flickr Pro account runs out in September I will have to pony up my own cash to sort this out
  • Bloglines – Whilst I dearly like NetNewsWire for the Mac, having my newsreader on the web makes life so much easier
  • Email – yes its old school, but its still an invaluable source of news and its contents has persistency that IM doesn’t. I dearly love the IMAP4 standard that allows me to keep my mail on a server and access it from work, my home computer and my mobile phone
  • Yahoo! MyWeb 2.0 – Ok so the log-in/sign-up process can be a dog, the pages have a foul colour scheme and it is hard to get your initial bookmarks in there, but thanks to project leader Tom Chi this service went from awful to something useful that could outperform delicious in a few iterations time: (Chi sorted out basic things like making MyWeb work with the Safari browser). Another thing really valuable about MyWeb is the ability to keep a copy of the page that you are looking at like a virtual photocopy for you to read at your leisure after the content has disappeared behind an archive paywall.

Since six is the new five, I would add my MacBook Pro by Steve ‘I invented the iPod you know’ Jobs and Co. Whilst I preferred the titanium of earlier models rather than the aluminum sheet look garnered from Ikea and prefer a computer that runs a little cooler, it still rocks big time.

I guess that I should pass the baton on to some others: Jonny Rosemont, Iain Tait, Wadds, Tom Coates and James Warren.

Viral nature of memes kills lazy comics

GQ Magazine’s 10 things that you need to know carried an interesting story on how text messaging in a theatre performance meant that after a comedian tells a new joke it has a shorter shelf life.The viral mechanism by which memes are spread means that a new joke can get a laugh one night and barely a ripple of a response the next night.

Is this the real reason why Jim Davidson was reportedly declared bankrupt?

Scientists also claim that it would be cheaper to send a man to Mars than make Jimmy Tarbuck funny. The story also featured in The Metro.

On the subject of laughs this faux blog of Steve Jobs is the bomb.

Social bookmark(et)ing just got professional

Thanks to the GMSV blog for the heads up. AOL-Netscape have offered the top contributers to Reddit, Digg and Flickr the opportunity to be active on the New Netscape site and get paid for it. This is interesting because it means that there is now a price on the super contributers that make up every social community product.Arguments go along the lines of it won’t work it will disrupt the community dynamics, I am sure that Bradley Horowitz and danah boyd would have more feedback.

Where I think it is interesting is that it shows how community or micro media is morphing back into becoming part of the ‘big media combine’. Big media has long ago recognised that blogs represented a viable way of publishing content without having to resort to a complex content management system.

I could see social bookmarking working as a media, some of my favourite blogs post links of the day, imagine what would happen if an aggregator of news and links on gadgets was open to sponsorship from say Energizer?

It messes with the numbers of players relying on free user-generated content as consumers get hip to their value. Just like power sellers on eBay sent everyone scurrying into the attic to sell their tat online, so they will start to look at their online life in a different way.

Where does this leave the start-ups and some product groups within the big online players and their business plans? Will points and web badges be enough?

For instance will social networking, email and instant messenger operators have to pay highly-connected individuals for their patronage in order to continue to get eyeballs?

I think that the opportunities it offers marketers (and PR folk who are willing to get involved in through-the-line-marketing initatives) addressing global niches are very interesting.

I am just waiting for Digg.com to announce dress down Friday for users, reflecting the new professionalism in The Conversation.

Weblogs, reputation management and rotoscopes

InfoWorld says that Jupiter Research claim that 70 per cent of large companies will be using blogging to try and get word-of-mouth online karma going about their product. IT is having to look after the weblog infrastructure and the columnist is bitching about it as IT resources are overstretched. Ok, well why not use the outsourced blog in India as a trial for rightshoring more of the IT taskload?It isn’t as bad as they make out as there are plenty of really good hosted services that are ready for enterprise grade blogging; Six Apart most immediately springs to mind, hell Yahoo! product-specific blogs for Yahoo! Answers run on Y!360 which is a toy platform in comparison to Six Apart and yet the IT department are worried about enterprise blogs. What I find interesting about this article is that the journalist does not see weblogs as important for the company image and reputation, yet they wouldn’t say the same about the corporate website would they?

The laurel branch of innovation has been passed on from IT to other branches of the business apparently.

Brandchannel have a good primer for marketers on the importance of PR and reputation management, I can think of a couple of marketers who think that the PR budget should be spent on Google AdWords who may benefit from a read ;-).

Stephen sent through a link to a French film that has the monochrome feel of Sin City matched with the rotoscope goodness of Through a Scanner Darkly. Find out more here.

Carson Workshops had some good guidelines in their email newsletter about pimping your latest web application:

Tips: How to Market Your
Web App – Ryan Carson
1. Write your “Ten Second Sell” and learn it.

2. Put up a holding page to generate pre-launch buzz (You’ll probably get between 2K – 5K email addresses).

3. Use the blogosphere to your advantage, pull in favours.

4. Write useful articles for big sites and submit them.

5. Dream up a publicity stunt – we did http://www.barenakedapp.com

6. Try to avoid paying for advertising in the beginning

7. Tell people how great your app is – every chance you get.

8. Try to get speaking slots at conferences
9. Network – be helpful to others and they will help you back.

10. Use Technorati and Google Blog Search to track when people blog about you – Subscribe to these feeds

Requiem for the page

Yahoo!’s three-year old home page design is being replaced in the US with other countries soon to follow as the site becomes more web 2.0 buzz compliant and is more in keeping with the luck and feel of newer and revamped properties. It would be good if they could reinvigorate the look and usability of the search homepage in a similar AJAX fashion.It gives a better user experience (and hopefully a stickier one) at the price of losing a little on network advertising inventory space for Yahoo! properties (though I may be wrong on that one). How many casual users will realise the blood, sweat and code that went into the new look.

It plays nicely with Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla and Safari which is good news. I will wait to hear from Ian Wood if does equally well on Opera.

Return of the Jay

Kevin Smith is doing a follow-up to Clerks, the first of his films to feature Jay and Silent Bob – two of the most awesome slacker deities.Mewes and Smith will be back as Jay and Silent Bob.

Slackers get a hooky DVD copy down the pub and get ready book out the sofa for the next 18 months watching this latest installment in the generation x life guide.

After me 1-2-3 Snu-gins.

Kudos to AP.

The canary in the mineshaft

There is an interesting article on Reuters Curse of the Devil Wears Prada by Abha Bhattarai today about how luxury goods are being affected by the high cost of petrol and other economic pressures. Apparently the middle classes and the nearly rich (people with only 5 million USD to their name) are cutting back on luxury goods including Calvin Kleins, their latte from Starbucks and Tiffany’s the jeweller. Are these luxury brand the canary in the mineshaft warning of an economic downturn?Well this follows on from profit warnings across a number of industrial sectors including most parts of the technology sector. If a five-dollar coffee is too rich, what about a 500 USD PlayStation 3?

lastfm has gone all 2.0

lastfm has gone all 2.0
Originally uploaded by renaissancechambara.

Music site last.fm has had a make over with artist collages generated from your playlists and graduated fades that say web two point oh. Click on the image to get a better view.