Posts from April 29, 2005

New voices

New voices

: I’ve been remiss in not linking to the announcement of grants to 10 citizens’ media projects from the J-Lab, led by Jan Schaffer. I was on the advisory board and for those 10 spots, we got well more than 200 applications! There are tons of great ideas and pent-up publishing (and broadcasting and blogging) energy and imagination.

Buy me

Buy me

: New stuff regarding a few ad efforts for blogs:

: Greg Lindsay writes about John Battelle‘s new venture — which is revealing itself as slowly as a high-class stripper. It’s about acting as an agent to star blogs. With a set of bloggers of a certain size and weight, I think this will work well.

: Meanwhile, Roger L. Simon, Charles Johnson, Winds of Change, and Marc Danziger team up with Tim Oren to start their own ad network. I’m not sure what the ad pitch is for a network of primarily political blogs that tilts strongly starboard but I wish them luck; they’ll be stronger together than apart.

: And every blogger’s friend, Henry Copeland, keeps adding new blog mininetworks, like this one for food. I can’t find the full list; this post comes closest. I think this is the way to go. It’s about gathering critical mass for advertisers.

But we’re not at critical mass yet. And we need to stop viewing this just from our end of the pipe — blogs that like each other or want to work together, whether the lists above or Denton’s or Calacanis’ — and instead, look at it from the advertisers’ end: They want to put together ad hoc networks of blogs that meet their specific goals, which include both targeting and size. We don’t have the means to give that to them. All of which leads me to my predictable pitch:

I believe advertising on citizens’ media — not just blogs but also other text, audio, and video content — will truly explode only when there are more metrics about our medium, more attention to the needs of marketers (e.g., cookies in RSS readers), and an open-source ad call.

Podcasts are dead

Podcasts are dead

: Yes, Paris Hilton killed them. Un-like-bearable.

Local blogging goes primetime

Local blogging goes primetime

: Rex (see post below) tells us that a Nashville TV station has a very good local blog — with spiffy local blog aggregation — by a former waitress who also blogs here.

Nevermind

Nevermind

: Rex has an Emily Littela moment.

Trust is not a calculation

Trust is not a calculation

: Michael Zimmer points us to what I think is a fairly hair-brained scheme from Google that reveals its fetishistic prejudice in favor of machines and also its prejudice in favor of big, old media.

The search engine wants to come up with an algorithm to judge trust in news. They already have a trademarked name for it: TrustRank.

But trust is not a calculation, it is a judgment — a human judgment. If it were a calculation, news organizations — and politicians and marketers and clergy, for that matter — surely would have figured this out years ago: Forget the Q rating, here’s the T rating. But trust is based on experience and intuition and perspective.

Still, Google trusts machines. Says New Scientist:

Now Google, whose name has become synonymous with internet searching, plans to build a database that will compare the track record and credibility of all news sources around the world, and adjust the ranking of any search results accordingly.

The database will be built by continually monitoring the number of stories from all news sources, along with average story length, number with bylines, and number of the bureaux cited, along with how long they have been in business. Google’s database will also keep track of the number of staff a news source employs, the volume of internet traffic to its website and the number of countries accessing the site.

Google will take all these parameters, weight them according to formulae it is constructing, and distil them down to create a single value. This number will then be used to rank the results of any news search.

I do believe there are ways to capture trust but it is not through such metrics as number of stories, bylines, bureaus (rather than bureaux, he said, Americanesquely), and so on. That’s old journalism’s scale for trust: bigger = better. This eliminates experts and specialists in this age of niches. It also includes sources that many consider untrustworthy (those who can’t stand the BBC on one side or FoxNews on the other).

: I can’t find the Google patent (WO 2005/029368) but I find with interest that Google has 462 of them. Are they going to contribute any of them to the world?

: Earlier fretting about Google.

Is Google the trojan horse of the internet? Did it sneak in the gates over the night looking like a toy and turned out to be an army of conquest?

Just asking.

: I’ll be eager to see what Battelle has to say about this.

: Much discussion on SlashDot.

: Technorati cosmos on TrustRank (TM).

Touche

Touche

: Geoff busts me:

If you’re going to bitch about the president playing kissie-face with the nominal leader of Saudi Arabia, then don’t go and buy an SUV.

Your jihad news report

Your jihad news report

: Through my cohort Janice, I find the Global Jihad Monitor from the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.