Andreessen’s Ning launches social network tool

Ning, the free service that gives you the power to create your own social network for anything, today unveiled Ning Version 2, which brings together powerful new features and levels of customization not before offered by any social networking service.

On Ning, you mix and match your choice of features (for example, videos, photos, music, forums, profiles, and blogs) from an ever-growing list of options, customize every aspect of how your social network looks, add a logo if you have one, make it public or private, and offer your members the ability to make their profile pages uniquely their own.

“Today’s social networking services are fantastic, but they are very similar in approach to AOL, Compuserve, and Prodigy in the early nineties. They have a fixed and rigid view of what people can do,” says Marc Andreessen, co-founder and CTO of Ning. “The web is filled with people who want the freedom to create, to express themselves, and to connect with other people in new and interesting ways. Hopefully, Ning contributes in a small way to this growing freedom for everyone.”

World of Warcraft Gold blog launches

The World of Warcraft Gold blog launched today, giving an entire overview on making gold in the popular game. It is a must-red for newbies and experienced players alike. With many scams and cheats that are rampant on the web, Blizzard has banned users who buy, sell, or download programs that allow them to earn gold unfairly. This blog gives all the ins and outs of making gold the honest—and free—way.

“Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” author launches new media network

Remember Lauren Elliott, author of the hugely successful “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” computer software series from way back?

He’s back and has launched Personal News Network (PNN), a new media network that allows anyone to share stories, photos, videos and opinions on the web. “All of us have stories and opinions,” said Elliott, CEO of PNN. “Sharing these ideas with each other is what matters; the tools shouldn’t be a barrier.”

Lauren had a personal reason for starting PNN. “A couple of years ago I helped my mother, Eleanor Roosevelt II, put together stories about growing up with her aunt and famous namesake — Eleanor Roosevelt. The stories she told about putting a pony in FDR’s elevator in the White House, or ER staying up until 3:00 am every evening to answer her mail, are wonderful, personal accounts that you don’t soon forget. I realized then that it’s these kinds of stories, told by all of us, that needed to be shared. In a way, PNN is a result of that feeling,” said Elliot.

Bloggers And Generalizations

Bloggers are fond of making sweeping statements, according to an observation by Lifespy blogger Alex Maximo on his personal blog. He says these generalizations tend to lead to unsound arguments, especially if absolutes are used, because these are tantamount to logical fallacies.

I do observe that some bloggers (myself included) are very much liable to commit sweeping statements. It’s a fallacy that’s quite common to commit. I know teachers of college freshman English will be so frustrated knowing that a good number of their spawns are going against the rules of academic writing. And it’s just one of the many inductive fallacies and all the other logical fallacies that one can commit in writing.

[Read more…]

People care about news, they just don’t want to read newspapers

Jason Kaneshiro wrote an interesting post at Webomatica entitled “I Don’t Read Newspapers, But I’d Read Your Blog” in which he challenges Steven Rattner’s (WSJ) viewpoint that Americans are less interested in ‘real news’ and more concerned with entertainment and gossip.

It’s all a response to the ever declining readership of newspapers. Jason’s headline sums up his desire to read the news, but to do it using a medium that offers greater choice and interactivity.

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Warning: Politics Can Get Messy on Digg

Recently a conservative blog called Little Green Footballs voiced their displeasure with Digg’s “mob rule”, claiming that they are falling victim to left-wing diggers. If you set aside the partisan politics, there is actually a lot to learn from the situation surrounding this particular site on Digg. It brings to light some common misconceptions about Digg as well as problems that need solving.

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Blogging Can Affect Politics — On Local Level

Blogging, as a means to give every disenfranchinesed individual a mouthpiece, has grown to encompass cities far beyond Silicon Valley.  Take Greensboro, North Carolina, for example.  The local City Manager recently met with a group of individuals who had a few complaints about how the city operations were being run.  What did they have in common?  They were all bloggers, for one.

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A Glimpse into Russia’s Blogosphere

Ever wonder what some non-English speaking parts of the blogosphere are like?  I do.  And there’s an interesting write up in the Nation on Russia’s blogosphere and how its a bit different than that of North America or even Western Europe.

For example, it makes the case that, in Russia …

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What’s the perfect formula for blogger payouts?

There’s been a long discussion for a week now on Wisdump on why Blog Networks Failed which branched out at 901am with the reasoning that blog networks don’t seem to be paying their bloggers enough. Jeremy Wright took it a bit personal, wrote “Do we pay our bloggers enough?“, and was a little frustrated that outsiders are always criticizing b5media without an inkling of suggestion for improvement or an alternative solution of some sort.

I’d like to break the ice and offer a possible solution from how I see it in the perspective of a network blogger. [Read more…]

What Message Is Your Blog Sending?

Trees in snow, photograph by Brent VanFossen, copyright Brent VanFossen, used with permission,

In How to Convert Your First Time Visitor Into Regular Reader, offering tips for traffic conversion to audience, this section rang out loudly and true:

1. Make Your Blog Message Very Clear on Every Page
If your reader cannot work out what is the point of your blog within a few seconds they will probably take off pretty quickly. Ask yourself this question – What message are you sending about your blog?

This is the single, most important element in your blog often overlooked in our race to shove attention-getting content out the blog door.

Let’s look at some of the different ways your blog has the ability to inform people immediately on the message your blog is sending. [Read more…]