May 27, 2008

Blogger Beware: Big Brother Is (Always) Watching

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A new survey has turned up the following bone-chilling statistic: More than 40% of large companies read employee e-mails and are hunting for you on the major social networks.

Worried that you’re going to share corporate secrets (everyone already knows what happened under the stairwell last June!), big wigs are cracking down. And they have every right.

Responsible for the majority of these ‘leaks’ are blogs, message boards, social networking sites, peer-to-peer file-sharing services and multimedia sharing sites.

If you’re not aware of your company’s electronic snooping policy, now is great time to ask for it. I say you guys gather around the water cooler and let the short straw make the request.

Remember that everything you do on your work computer is probably tracked. Even if it might not be, tell yourself it is. Better safe than sorry.

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Are You Readers Keeping You Honest?

Pamela spanked me for screwing up a link. Ian found a misspelling. Sidney got me on a PHP code error. Angie corrected a fact. Finny found four grammar errors. Andy uncovered a dead link. Barry gave me a link to a better resource.

Are your readers keeping you honest? Are they keeping track of what you are doing and letting you know when you do wrong? Are they helping you blog better?

Sure, like many, I sigh and moan when I get a blog comment that corrects my blog post, wishing the spelling police would go elsewhere, then I stop. I work my ass off to encourage readers to come back to my blog. I bust butt to give them reasons to link. It’s important to me to build a community around my blogs, so why should I whine when I’m getting what I ask for?

When I look around at the friends I label “best” in my life, they are people of all cultures and lifestyles but the have one thing in common: They tell the truth when they find it.

They are people who tell you that there is toilet paper stuck to your shoe, your slip is showing, your zipper is unzipped, you have something hanging out your nostril, and a long hair growing out of your face in a way that catches the light and makes a rainbow. Pretty, but not esthetically pleasing.
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Show me the Money – Web 2.0 Firms not raking in the cash

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Many of us who had lived through the first internet bubble of the late 1990′s and early part of 2000 probably weren’t surprised to see this coming – but the news hit last night when the Financial Times published a piece entitled Web 2.0 Fails to produce Cash.

As an observer of this interesting little (or not-so-little) global tech industry that revolves around the “Web 2.0″ concept, I’ve long been wondering when the sky would start falling on the notion that you can drive traffic and change online behavior without having a business model that enables you to actually make money. read more

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Louis Gray: Who brought the story to TechMeme first?

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Now that TechMeme’s Search capability is available, I expected some folks to begin to datamine some of that information to draw new conclusions about our funny little techblogging industry here.

Louis Gray is up first with a look at who scooped the others and got a story on TechMeme first:

When Gabe Rivera opened up search on Techmeme recently, the three-year-old site’s archives became an extremely interesting playground to see trends, strong sources for news, simple ego-searching, tracking how companies have been viewed over time, and even to see which blogs are the first to bring the news to the big stage. I did some quick searches on a number of company names, products and other terms to see which sites were the first to have the terms included either in the title or summary of the piece.

The Blog Herald is represented with the first mention of a new service offering from Technorati

Louis’s piece is a pretty interesting look at who consistently scoops other sites with the latest in tech news…

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The Web Browser Wars

There’s a war going on, a web browser war, where you are the grand prize. The participating players all want to be your number one choice when surfing the web, and the #1 reason for this is search engine ad dollars. That’s right, every web browser has a search field connected to a premiere search engine, and although you can swap it, you can be sure that the company behind the browser will earn money whenever you search with this field, and then click a link. Apple does it with the Safari search field, Mozilla does it in Firefox, Flock does it, and so on. Even Microsoft does it, with the extra spinoff to try and add more users to its Live Search site, another war going on with Google there.

So Flock took money, $15 million, and it doesn’t surprise me one bit. As Mark Evans notes, there’s a lot of potential money in social networks in the future, but the immediate money is in search engine traffic. To be hones, I don’t think Flock will be the leading web browser for social network users in the future. It’s more likely that the big players, being Firefox and Internet Explorer, adds this functionality through brilliant extensions, or that the social networks repack and rebrand browsers to release themselves.

There’s a war going on.

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May 26, 2008

Movable Type Monday: Geolocation, Framework Proposals and more docs!

My apologies for missing last week’s Movable Type Monday. Today, I’ll be highlighting a number of awesome new (and updated) plugins that have been released over the past two weeks (especially in the realm of geolocation) as well as a series of new proposals and updates to the documentation as we gear up for the release of the next version of Movable Type.

Welcome to Movable Type Monday!
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Scoble & Israel to collaborate on live show ‘Workfast’

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Robert Scoble and Shel Israel will be collaborating on a new live web-video show called “Workfast’ according to a post on Shel Israel’s blog:

I’m co-hosting WorkFast with Robert. It is a live, half-hour interview show about the future of work. The premiere will be at 10 am [Pacific], Thursday June 5. After that, it will be every Friday at 10 am from the Revision3 Studios in San Francisco.

Yes the show has a well-known sponsor, but I’ll wait for the official FastCompany.TV announcement before saying who it is.

Each week, Robert and I will interview one or two guests on how internet-based technologies are making people and companies more productive. We’ll talk to tool-makers and tool-users. We’ll look at the history of office productivity and the future of it. We’ll bring in authors and experts.

I guess I’m suprised by this – as Shel’s show on FastCompany.tv doesn’t appear to be well received – and Scoble’s show is a step above just being ok…. but I’m looking forward to seeing the new show and how it compares..

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Reddit Gets a New Look, Still Hates Me

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While my blogs have experienced some community link love, I’ve never been fortunate enough to have the Digg-effect overload my server like a Ritalin kid on crack sugar. I can tell you that one social site that has never sent me an iota of traffic is Reddit. Perhaps their algorithms simply don’t like me – or maybe my content just sucks. I’ll let you decide.

Showing my objective-nature, I will not hold a grudge and will tell you about Reddit’s much-needed, well overdue redesign (the first such change since 2005).

The gang at Mashable have outlined the notable changes:

- The top navigation bar has been re-styled, and now includes a link to the site’s “most controversial” stories (stories with both a lot of up and down votes).

- On the right, you can now customize Reddit based on the topics you want aggregated on your homepage. Just check and un-check the categories you want included/removed.

- Links for creating your own Reddit and submitting a link to the site are much more obvious (also on the right sidebar)

- Story links have been re-styled – it’s not a dramatic change, but it’s easier on the eyes and includes links to comments, saving, hiding, and reporting.

One thing is dramatically clear: Reddit is easier on the eyes. Since I don’t expect the site to suddenly fall in love with my content, I’ll chalk this up to putting some makeup on an average looking woman.

Has anyone out there ever experienced a bump in traffic from Reddit?

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Duncan Riley 2.0

Steve Hodson draws a profile of Duncan Riley calling him “Duncan Riley 2.0″ with Duncan’s recent move away from TechCrunch and to his own internet site at Inquisitr read more

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The New York Times is launching an API

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Read Write Web (RWW) is reporting that the New York Times will release an API later this year. Their coverage is partially based on a post at Media Bistro earlier this week.

The New York Times, of course, is nearly the paper of record in the United States – with one of the highest circulations of any newspaper in the world. They’ve also led the way digitally for newspapers – doing their best to embrace the self-destructiveness that comes with putting a newspaper’s content on the web.

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