8 services you should be using | 8 互联网服务

When I was working on the What’s Next presentation and series of blog posts, I put a list of services that people should try, in the unlikely event that they hadn’t already:


  • Quora – clean smart question-and-answer service that manages to intelligently connect your questions and your social graph. It’s focused and pleasingly minimal design, just like a good web app should be – Facebook take note!
  • Formspring – easy way to create an FAQ
  • Hunch – decision engine. I haven’t seen brands using it yet, but it has an immense amount of potential. Hunch also had Caterina Fake’s smarts at building a great community. Something that still sustains Flickr

Location has been where the heat is at this year and these are the front-runners give them a road test to sound knowledgeable in client meetings.

Augmented reality

  • Google SketchUp – an easy-to-use tool that allows users to create 3D models that can be an overlay on Google Earth. A great way of creating locative art and engaging consumers in a more creative way

Research | monitoring

  • Google Realtime – it took Google a while but I think that this a great monitoring tool

I like: Fedex & Ketchum benchmarking study on social media | 网上调查研究

FedEx and Ketchum did some interesting research in the US about current practices around social media and the video clip below highlights some of the findings. A downloadable PDF was available.

I like: Underworld – Always Loved A Film | 音乐 Underworld – Always Loved A Film

If you are used to Underworld’s earlier work pummeling your senses via a giant sound system like I am then this track will hopefully come as a pleasant surprise. It is a delightful piece of of downbeat electronica that would be right at home in a café in Ibiza.

Links of the day | 在网上找到

The hidden cost of facebook’s messaging system- The Inquirer

Asiajin » Hit List: Japan’s Top 20 Products In 2010 (And 2011) – interesting how environment | energy saving products will be most popular next year

Patentwiki – An Idea Incubator – really interesting ide, I wonder whether it would be hit by prior art legal claims?

BBC – World Tonight: Looking at the world from China – interesting post featuring the opinion of Chinese academics

Automated sentiment analysis? Yes, it is possible. And it’s here: Glide Intelligence « In Front Of Your Nose: An online PR blog – not so sure myself – where is the great leap forward in machine learning? The NLP aspect to it doesn’t inspire confidence. Even if it was based on a giant database of lexeme clusters a la the work of Professor David Crystal at AND and Crystal Semantics I would understand, but from what I’ve heard so far I am skeptical

Who the hell is Ayi Jihu? | China Music Radar – I remember seeing this get hyped a while ago on the Metro newspaper

Gopan Rice-to-Bread Machine: A Huge Hit | Japan Probe – interesting innovation this both flour mill and bakery all in one

Monocolumn – Branding Finland [Monocle] – interesting idea to brand Finland as a way of working out a path for the country in the future

Revisiting Delicious

Five years ago I worked on the launch of Yahoo! MyWeb, which was a social bookmarking service (it was moved into Yahoo! Bookmarks a a couple of years ago). MyWeb failed to go mainstream partly because it was a difficult concept for consumers to get their head around, God knows we tried.

By contrast, Delicious has been a success. It was never aimed at the mainstream, it never tried to over-extend itself in terms of its feature-set and has a brutally simple user experience.

Some five years later, many of Yahoo!‘s core constituent audience don’t really need a social bookmarking service because they are too business playing Farmville on Facebook to get out explore and remember. So where does that leave Delicious?

Well about the only numbers that Google Adplanner and Compete.com can agree on is that the site has over 500,000 unique users. Delicious seems to have hung on to its early-adopter audience; well that is what seems to be the case when you look at the audience interests that Google Adplanner:

  • Venture capital
  • Search Engine Optimization & Marketing
  • Writers resources
  • Public relations
  • Development tools
  • Graphic design
  • Home office
  • Web design & development
  • Content management
  • Advertising & Marketing

Also when you look at related sites, they are social bookmarking sites with only a tenth of the traffic that Delicious has. So Delicious sounds like it is holding its own and is a very targeted audience, but there is a big question about how this fits within Yahoo!’s portfolio:

  • It no longer has the excuse of keeping Delicious to help improve its search technology since that now comes from Microsoft
  • It certainly doesn’t fit into Yahoo!’s tech-backward, low income, late-boomer core audience
  • Whilst Delicious is a fantastically useful product, the ‘heat’ or buzz in the tech sector has moved on to mobile, social gaming and micro-blogs