Archive for December, 2006

Web 2.0 is nothing more than infrastructure

December 31, 2006

The so-called social web explosion of web2.0 is nothing more than infrastructure. myspaces, diggs, youtubes – all make it easy for you to create a profile, add your own content, and then link to others. The wild woolly world of the free internet is just too chaotic and formless to act as a lone gun.

You need your mates online, and you need to be able to connect to them easily. That’s web2.0.

Examples?

1) flickr – upload your photos, connect to others

2) youtube – upload videos, connect to others

3) myspace – upload your life – connect to others

4) delicious – save your bookmarks, connect to others

These companies succeeded because they built fast, reliable infrastructure, and let their users do the rest.

That’s web2.0

The E List

December 31, 2006

Reputations are very important to human beings. And no less so than in the blogging world. And so we compare, we rate, we rank, we numerate, we technorati. We constantly check out where we are in relation to everyone else.

At present time (just before new years) I am officially, unabashedly an E List Blogger. What’s that? It means someone very, very, very low in the food chain. I, in fact, right now, have one link from one blog pointing to Ideas Man. Is that bad?

Of course it’s bad! Goddamn it, I’m an E Lister!

Blogging Zeitgeist

December 30, 2006

Has there been a change of mood in the blogosphere in the last three months? A whole raft of gited amateurs have abandoned their Blogger sites, either finally getting fed up with the erratic service, or ultimately embarassed by their gawky looking sites. Let’s face it, Blogger, despite it’s latest upgrade with tagging, is a service that hasn’t shifted in three years – which is a whole lifetime in internet evolution terms.

People with an interest in blogging are going either Myspace or WordPress. One is the for social networking, the other, the real professional outfit. And the numbers that are going the dedicated hosting route are just exploding. It’s a real demographic change. Everyone is backing their freelance writing capabilites, and punting on Adsense and Text-Link Ads. The small scale, niche publisher is going to really shake things up. Loyal, informed readers can drive real change.

What’s the change from 12 months ago? WordPress.

a new way of surfing?

December 30, 2006

Stumble Upon could be the next big thing. Although they’ve been around for a little while, the user base could be reaching a critical mass – where it can direct traffic and influence, and people start opting in because everyone else is.

Read about this experience here, where someone got a huge surge in traffic because they got Stumbled Upon.

Steve Pavlina running it down?

December 30, 2006

I’m a big fan of Steve’s site. His “Personal Development for Smart People” has been an intriguing source of ideas and wisdom since I first came across it.

But is Steve Pavlina running it down? Ever since the forums opened up, the postings have been pretty sparse. Not that they are of a lower quality – some of his sharpest stuff has been this month – but he’s almost down to a post a week.

I certainly hope he keeps it going, but I really think there are other challenges on the horizon, and he’s probably achieved what he’s wanted to with his site.

Check out his archives for an awesome collection of challenging, life-changing material. Thanks so much Steve.

Timely Knowledge

December 28, 2006

The whole archive of human knowledge and wisdom is being put online.  Whether it be wikipedia, classic books, great art, or mp3 music, the collective output of two and a half thousand years of thinking and industry is there for all.  And it’s indexed and searchable too.  So what’s the problem?

The problem is, the tiny little brain each of us has can only process so much information per hour.  And more importantly, we don’t need to know everything.  What we really need to know is what’s relevant to us at any particular time.

And that’s the Real Problem.  What is relevant, and what is applicable to my situation right now?  What do I need to know to get the job done in the best possible manner?  What is the best source of that information?

Developing strategies for Timely Knowledge will keep you ahead of the game.  It means success, and personal satisfaction.  It also means fulfillment of potential.

We all need to devote some time to the issue of Knowledge, and more importantly, Timely Knowledge.

10 000 Sheep … at last count

December 27, 2006

Amazon’s Mechanical Turk service has taken slave labour to a new level. Mundane, repetitive, demeaning tasks can all be set up for willing web users wanting to earn less than a dollar an hour.

One experiment conducted earlier in the year, and one possibly done to highlight the absurdity of this service, was the 10 000 Left Facing Sheep Task. Users were paid 2 cents to draw … a sheep facing to the left. The results were collected, and the final montage with instant zoom can be seen here. It’s actually quite amusing.

Yet, I still feel a sense of people being exploited and degraded, even if it is by choice. No different from people cleaning up after you in the shopping mall?

originally via info aesthetics from way back.

Doing Ads. Seriously

December 27, 2006

There are WordPress themes that do ads. And there are other WordPress themes that Do Ads. Then there’s the “SEO Adsense WordPress Theme” that Really Does Ads. It might come as a bit of a shock to your everyday garden-variety amateur blogger to come across such a template, but there it is, in all it’s vermillion red glory.

I actually quite like it. The ads are quite unashamably ads, not mixed into posts like is the trend these days. In fact, it’s getting so bad, I think google is going to have to address it this year. Adsense Deluxe is just too powerful a tool.

Picked up via BlogCarta.

Want Eyeballs? Think 4 Billion

December 27, 2006

Want a readership for your blog? Time to think big. Like 4 billion big. Yep, 4 billion readers. Forget digg, think of every person on the planet reading your stuff. I don’t know if aliens can log in, but they might want to, if you’re good enough.

It’s simple. In today’s instantly connected world, the “mass market” is bigger than ever. Think Simpsons. Think Spiderman. Think Lord of the Rings. For god’s sake, think of Harry Potter. It’s a global market, and the potential for one individual’s success is on a phenomenal scale.

Think big. Think 4 billion eyeballs. The whole planet is your potential readership.

Feed Reading: Time to Drop the Numbers

December 26, 2006

Do you approach Google Reader or Bloglines with a sense of trepidation?  Know you have an hour or two of hard grind ahead of you?  It’s all in the numbers.  Total clips left, and the number of clips in each feed is there in front of you.  Hard work it says.

What started out as being fun and amusing becomes a chore.  What’s needed is for these Feed Readers to drop the numbers.  Just give me a list of all the subscriptions I have, and when I click on one, give me the last 10 posts.  If I need more, I can go back, but just the most recent ten posts initially.  Your mood and temper will guide you through the feeds depending on your needs, but having the numbers stare you in the face is too daunting.

Bloglines have experimented with playlists, and Google Reader with a river-of-news, but what is needed is to just drop the numbers.  Let me decide what to read, and don’t let the numbers affect my decisions.