March 12, 2006

Women are cleaner, some work naked

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According to a recent UPI article, some telecommuters work in the nude:

Some 10 percent of worldwide telecommuters wear nothing at all while working at home, finds a survey by the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based SonicWALL.

About 39 percent of respondents of both sexes said they wear sweats while working from home, but 12 percent of males and 7 percent of females wear nothing at all, according to a survey of 941 remote and mobile workers worldwide conducted by Insight Express and SonicWALL, a provider of integrated network security and productivity solutions.

Forty-four percent of women surveyed said they showered on work-at-home days, as opposed to 30 percent of men.

I work from home and have a nicely equipped home office that keeps me nice and happy. Considering that it has two very large windows, it would probably be a bad idea to work in the nude…

Just think, the next time you’re having a nice chat with your favorite wordpress designer, he could very well be working in the nude.. all 300 lbs of him… or her..

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March 11, 2006

Chartreuse, the New York Times, and Broadcast TV

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One of my personal favorite bloggers, Chartreuse (Beta), made The New York Times this week for his post about the death of broadcast media.

The New York times writes:

Mr. Campbell wields superlatives in a particularly bloggish manner at chartreuse.wordpress.com. “Broadcast television is dead,” he declares. “Just like the Internet killed the music industry, it’s about to do the same thing to broadcast TV.”

Never mind that “American Idol” draws about 30 million viewers, that MSNBC is a cable, not a broadcast, network, and that, while the music business may be wounded, it is far from dead. Still, despite the bluster, Mr. Campbell’s underlying point is true enough.

A staff of two produces Rocketboom.com/vlog. “How many people do you think it takes to produce ‘The Abrams Report’ on MSNBC?” Mr. Campbell asks.

Good question.

I’m not saying broadcast television is dead. I get a ton of entertainment out of Battlestar Galactica, The West Wing, The Sopranos, and others. But I do think that broadcast news is dead.

I get more entertaining and engaging news, opinion, and thought from the 780+ feeds that I skim each day than anything I get from watching television or other news.

i

Aggregator Nations & States

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Niall Kennedy takes a look at the current state of feeds & aggregators:

We have only just begun to explore the full possibilities of current feed technologies. Rich media enclosures, related content definitions, and well-defined author data open up new possibilities for user interaction and content discoverability. I believe most future uses of syndication technology will occur behind the scenes as a transport layer opening up a common XML parsing format to multiple applications and specialized uses. We’ve only just begun to change the world of publishing, customization, and personal empowerment.

I see the next “big thing” with feeds and aggregators as mobility. With millions more people carrying cell phones each year, the mobile feed space will get hot in a hurry.

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5000% ROI from Corporate Blogging

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Darren Rowse, over at Problogger, relates some statistics related to Forrester’s Corporate Blogging:

Debbie Weil writes that Charlene Li has apparently brought in close to one million dollars in business to her employer, Forrester, in the last year – all through her blogging.

That’s a 5000% Return on Investment!

Assuming that these statistics about the business that Charlene Li has brought over to Forrester, this is one of the best arguments for corporate blogging I’ve seen yet.

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March 9, 2006

Bloggers Unite to Promote Online Freedom of Speech Act

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Bloggers from both sides of politics have joined forces to push the Online Freedom of Speech Act (H.R. 1606) through the US Congress.

According to Human Events Online, a bipartisan letter urging members of Congress to vote in favor of passing the bill was sent off this morning. The letter was authored by Michael Krempasky of RedState.com and Markos Moulitsas Zúniga of DailyKos.com.

Part of the letter includes:

H.R. 1606 would preserve the status quo which governed the 2004 election cycle and beyond, one in which a vibrant blogosphere empowered millions of citizens to influence national politics, leveling the effect of wealth on the electoral process, and without any of the corruption which its opponents now fear. Its passage would send a strong message to the Federal Election Commission to tread lightly when it comes to the Internet, telling it that Congress does not wish to stifle online citizen participation in the political process.

Published reports indicate that, as of February 2006, there are over 14 million weblogs, with approximately 75,000 new blogs are created every day, about one every second. The blogosphere is over 60 times bigger than it was only 3 years ago. With the blogosphere continuing to double in size about every five-and-a-half months, it is simply not possible for any person or entity, no matter how wealthy they may be or how much money they can spend, to dominate or corrupt online political discourse.

Mind you, they cant count. 14 million blogs? Even Technorati managed to track 27 odd million.

i

Nokia releases updated version of Lifeblog

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Nokia has announced the availability of the latest version of their Lifeblog software.

The new version allows mobile bloggers to automatically attach location, time, and relevant calendar information to photos, videos, and audio clips.

(via TechWackNews)

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March 8, 2006

Where do iBegin ?

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First off I like these guys mentality. They take the hype bucket and pitch it squarely out into the backyards of other folks who use hype to gain attention just like the schoolyard bullies who crave attention to launch just another website. I haven’t seen a lot of coverage about them. However there really should be a little more coverage and encouragement to these folks. They do 15 things really well for local search. Something none of the big search engines do well at all.

iBegin boasts a whole load of very cool social features including user editable listings,reviews, ratings, integration with Google Maps and thats just the beginning. However the downside its just in Toronto so I shouldn’t get my hopes up. But when they come to New York. I’m all over it.

iBegin is the future craigslist of local search, and a whole lot more useful than any other search out there. What this has to do with bloggers I have no idea. But its useful. I can’t wait till they integrate local bloggers into the search portals. That would be an idea. Ahmed did you see that integrate local bloggers into the search results, then share revenue with them. It would be a huge success.

Check out iBegin

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March 7, 2006

Feedster Expands into Japan

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Feedster has announced that it is expanding into Japan by partnering with Mitsui & Co., Ltd., a diversified and comprehensive trading companies and a Feedster investor.

As part of the Mitsui partnership, Feedster’s syndicated content service will provide Japanese web publishers with web-based tool to help editors tailor aggregated feeds to generate new content and new ad inventory.

“Blogging and feed creation continue to experience explosive growth around the world. In the US alone, our index has exceeded 25 million sources,â€? says Chris Redlitz, president of Feedster. “By using Mitsui’s evolving media group, Feedster is entering a very hot market at just the right time with a product mix and a partner that will accelerate our growth in Japan.â€?

“Through strong relationships with major US partners like Feedster, Mitsui will establish its market leadership in Japan for a variety of e-marketing services that satisfy e-commerce client needs,� says Andrew VanEtten, senior director of Mitsui & Co., (U.S.A.), Inc. Consumer Service Business Dept. “We are confident that Feedster and Mitsui will enjoy rapid and great success in Japan.�

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Web 2.0.. Who cares

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Weblogs, Inc. CEO Jason Calacanis has a couple thoughts on the AJAX/Web 2.0 nonsense:

3. Web 2.0 is a buzzword designed primarily for people who don’t know what they’re talking about (or to get people to pay $3,000 to go to a conference).

4. 90% of the companies in this Web 2.0 image will not be in business in three years, regardless of how cute their logos are.

Jason’s rant reminds me of Russell Beattie’s Web 2.0 WTF post from a few weeks back where he said:

The worst thing about all the Web 2.0 hype is the complete loss of business perspective. There’s a few companies out there that seem to get it but just about every other new website I’ve seen lately is nothing but features parading as businesses. Sure, these guys get to be entered in the “Flip It Quick Acquisition Lottery�, but beyond that, none seem to be creating anything of any real value. Yeah, I’ve bitched about this before, but hey… today seems like a good day to start in again. I mean, not only is Bloglines not updating so I don’t have much else to write about, but I saw Jeremy’s link to the 16 ways to think in Web 2.0 and sure enough, not one of the points included anything about actually making money or creating a lasting business. It’s like the hype has climbed to whole new levels overnight.

Web 2.0 to me seems to be alot about design and technology when it should really be about building a solid business model that generates a profit and keeps your company around for years to come.

Sure, there’s much talk about how how conversations drive the blogosphere, and that’s something that I believe in – building a community, bringing readers back for more, generating great original content, and interacting with others. It’s those things that make blogging fun and interesting. Open APIs allow folks to create great mashups like what we’ve done with Blog Network List.

But, in the end, it’s about being able to have a sustainable business model, and then delivering on that business model again and again and again.. and there’s nothing 2.0 about that.

I’ll make a snide sidenote and point out that there are some blog networks in that big Web 2.0 logo collection that Jason has on this post – and some of them don’t have viable business models – I don’t expect to see many of them in 2009.

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Wal-Mart uses bloggers for PR Spin

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Today’s New York Times carries an article about how the largest company in the world, Wal-Mart, is covertly using bloggers to influence public perception of their company:

Brian Pickrell, a blogger, recently posted a note on his Web site attacking state legislation that would force Wal-Mart Stores to spend more on employee health insurance. “All across the country, newspaper editorial boards — no great friends of business — are ripping the bills,” he wrote.

It was the kind of pro-Wal-Mart comment the giant retailer might write itself. And, in fact, it did.

Several sentences in Mr. Pickrell’s Jan. 20 posting — and others from different days — are identical to those written by an employee at one of Wal-Mart’s public relations firms and distributed by e-mail to bloggers.

Under assault as never before, Wal-Mart is increasingly looking beyond the mainstream media and working directly with bloggers, feeding them exclusive nuggets of news, suggesting topics for postings and even inviting them to visit its corporate headquarters.

Honestly, I believe that we are going to see more and more of this as companies wise up and begin to see the blogosphere as a natural extension of their public relations machines…

The problem is, of course, that bloggers have their own opinions about things – though spin like what Wal-Mart is doing will help any company spin the blogosphere’s opinions.

The political parties are on the forefront of this – take a look back at how Howard Dean, George W. Bush, and the Kerry campaign used blogs to raise money, spin their message, and so on. As we see with Wal-Mart’s example, companies are just now catching on…..

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