There’s already a business conference on podcasting.
Posts about Weblogs
Jim Treacher, one of my favorite interacters hereabouts, is manning a blog for the movie Blowing Smoke, said blog created by another fave, Jackie Danicki.
The challenge, of course, is that there aren’t a lot of blogs devoted just to walking. But we all do it. And I know there are good stories about good vacation walks with good photos and Flickr sagas memorializing these walks.
So do me a favor: Post about your favorite walks and walk photos and walk stuff (cameras, whatever) and send the links to Wendy: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m inspired by going on gorgeous strolls at Skytop last week and now that I’m back in miserably muggy Gotham, I want to smell the fresh air of freedom again. Beside, walking is the perfect topic for bloggers, isn’t it: Left-right-left-right….
Yesterday, Page 6 popped a vein over Gawker’s snarking. Today, Jessica Coen gives Page 6 some advice:
Thesaurus.com is my top bookmark, and I suggest you make it the same on your browser. Then you needn’t use words like “snarky” over and over again. Say I’m contemptous, irritable, cranky, cocky, insolent, sneering. Call me a dimwitted bitch, for all I care. Just don’t use “snark” twice in the same item.
There are two kinds of stuff on the internet:
* Resources and articles and other static gems.
* Feeds and lists and conversations and other dynamic goodies.
Even that is a quite imperfect bucketing of the wonders of online but stay with me for a second, for it’s at least a useful means of distinguishing some fundamental aspects of Web 1.0 from 2.0 and what’s coming next and what’s needed.
Web 1.0 is built primarily on the former, the resources and articles and pages and mostly static things: It’s about stuff that sits and is found at an address. It’s about search. It’s about URLs and permalinks. It’s about Google and Yahoo before that. All that is valuable, always will be.
But Web 2.0 adds on the wonders of the latter: feeds (RSS, Atom, FeedBurner, et al); lists (OPML, etc.); conversations (blog posts, Technorati links, PubSub feeds, comments); swarming points (tags on Flickr, Del.icio.us, Technorati, Dinnerbuzz); heat sensors (Blogpulse et al); aggregations (e.g., Command-Post.org); communities (Craig’s List, et al); alerts (Craig’s List feeds); decentralized distribution (bittorrent, etc.); and on and on.
See Fred Wilson thinking about feeds and asking what businesses will be needed and will emerge, especially as Microsoft embraces RSS in Longhorn. See also Kevin Hale’s wonderful post, which I linked to a few weeks ago, on how RSS is the new search.
But it’s more than that a new Microsoft or a new Google. It’s bigger than that. This is a new architecture. It’s a dynamic architecture.
And it’s not as if this is entirely new. About five years ago, when I arranged an investment in Moreover (which is when I met Nick Denton, which is when I met blogs, which is when my career and life changed, leading to the wonderful world of
un-self-employment), what excited me was that this company — which scrapes headlines to create categorized feeds — was a means of getting to the dynamic web. There are many other examples, such as Technorati and Pubsub. Now, they’re coming together to form the next generation.
One of the things I couldn’t get done at the last job was to rearchitect the news sites around feeds and RSS. When you think about it, that’s exactly the structure a dynamic news site should take and once it does, it becomes easy to replace static, produced pages with collections of feeds: I could put together my town page with feeds of newspaper headlines, blog headlines, forum-thread headlines, new classifieds (these homes added to the market since you were here), weather information, and so on: all categorized, all conscious of what I last saw here. It’s really not a gigantic change, it’s just that it’s hard to take something already built with bricks and rebuild it with hoses.
I’m also grappling with this in my present consulting gig at The New York Times Company’s About.com, which has an incredible collection of valuable reference material in about 500 topics and will also build lots of dynamic (current and conversational) material around those topics. Presenting each and organizing each brings different issues and opportunities.
In both these cases, the borders between the two buckets become very fuzzy: Dynamic content can turn into static reference content (e.g., a blog post you point back to again and again). And static content can become dynamic (e.g., Wikipedia).
And there are plenty of other issues that are only beginning to surface: There are not the means to measure audience for such things as RSS (readers don’t cookie). You can throw out the definition of a page view when we shift to a world of the post view (post as in an element of content). You can throw out the definition of content when much of this is about conversation and interaction and just plain action. You can forget control of time and display when people can timeshift/placeshift/mediashift their stuff onto their iPods and phones and such. You have to worry about how people will find stuff in a post-search world where Google is no longer the answer to everything.
Now back to Fred and his quest for new opportunities….
I’m still trying to hook up with Dave Winer across vacations and travel to figure out what he’s up to with OPML editors. I’m eager to play with his newest tools.
One great thing about OPML is that it exposes the depth of possibilities of working with lists. Any feed or any list of feeds carries with it the option of action: Click on a headline to see the article. Click on the classified alert to get a job or a house. Click on the eBay alert to make a purchase. Listen to a podcast. Respond to email or posts. Mush it all together and rearrange it into your own to-do list. Make that your calendar.
Feeds are dynamic in what they present, how they present it, and what you can do with it.
Five years ago, I worked with a smart bunch of people in Munich who were creating a company called Twest that aimed to create much of this functionality: They were making the module that let a family create and edit a shopping list via browsers and phones anywhere anytime. Or party lists. Or quizes. Sadly, they were ahead of their time. But I still want that functionality today.
In this post, a few weeks ago, I suggested that blogging and feeds should become a metaphor for how newsrooms operate — and thus, a new content management tool for them.
See Dinnerbuzz, below (or at least the Dinnnerbuzz of my hungry imagination).
Like Fred, I’m eager to hear what opportunities there are in this next world. As you can tell from this rather rambling post, I’m not even ready to categorize the opportunities in buckets. But let’s try a few:
* New means of creating: that new newsroom system, that OPML editor….
* New means of finding what you want. What’s the next Google?
* New means of aggregating. Dinnerbuzz (to overuse that example!).
* New means of acting: That family shopping list (with buy-it-now buttons).
* New means of organizing: The ultimate calendar/to-do list/alert machine.
* New means of communicating: Use SIP to give me that urgent alert in the best medium for me at the best time.
* New means of recommending: Beyond Technorati’s one-size-fits all authority.
* New means of policing: What to do about the next generation of spam scum.
* New means of marketing: If I’m going to be motivated to deliver via RSS I may need to make money doing it.
* New means of consuming: What happens when you take the best of every RSS reader out there today and coordinate with all my Windows and Apple applications and all my devices? What’s the next browser?
What else? What are examples?
: See also Heather Green’s chat with Yahoo’s RSS pointman Scott Gatz.
I just came across Dinnerbuzz (catching up on my RSS after vacation; saw it via You’re It). Though the execution is iffy at best, the concept is close to what I’m talking about in creating new information services for the distributed world. Here’s the deal:
When you post a review of a restaurant on your own blog, you tag it and Dinnerbuzz picks up the link and aggregates it with other links to posts about that restaurant, other posts with those tags, and other posts in those cities. So when it comes time to eat, you can come in and find what locals are saying about a restaurant or you can search for “outdoor” “Mexican” joints in “New York.” Further, you’ll be able to get RSS feeds so you can get an alert whenever someone writes about a great new vindaloo in your neighborhood.
In old-centralized-marketplace-think, you’d try to get all those people to write restaurant reviews on your big-media site. And the question is: Why the hell should they? What do they get out of it? And in the old world, you tried to get people to read the reviews on your site when they knew there were reviews on tons of other sites out there as well and it’s a pain to find them all.
In new-decentralized-distributed-think, you recognize that people will write about what they want to write about where they want to write about it and if you’re smart, you’ll find ways to take advantage of all that great information and aggregate it and and aggregate audience around it, sending traffic out to all those writers on the edge because readers know they can come to you find find it all.
To make this work, you need to get people to tag their posts and you need a critical mass of them so that people can start to agree (e.g., “byob” instead of “dry”) on the right tags as happens on Flickr and Del.icio.us. But people will do that if they see that people are finding what they right because they tag and also if they start using the service themselves to find restaurants and so, in this gift economy, they realize that you need to give to get.
The example I’ve often used about how tags will work best in a distributed world is jobs: You tag your resume anywhere on the internet and a specialized successor to Google (who may, indeed, use Google’s API to get raw data) finds jobs and matches them with job seekers without forcing anyone to pick one centralized marketplace or another. I’ve also said this will work in hyperlocal: I don’t want to write an entire blog about my town, but I would tag the occasional post to be aggregated into a community of them — because I’d want to read that collection myself.
This is a model for the future of media. There is tons of great stuff to be had out there; it’s impossible to find and keep up with it all; search won’t do the trick; tags and feeds will help. The key is not to collect the content and traffic — the old, centralized media way — but instead to collect enough information about that good stuff to help people find it when they want and to help support the people who create it all.
: OOPS: Well, it appears I was projecting what I wanted Dinnerbuzz to be. I misread one description of it. As I see the service now, I have to go there to add tags to it with a link to my post.
It would be better if I could just put the tags on my post (Technorati tags) or on Del.icio.us (with a for:dinnerbuzz tag) or simply add the posts and ping them and that would travel to Dinnerbuzz automatically. Those would be the better, more distributed ways to accomplish this.
I also find it terribly frustrating that I can’t find the way to get from a Dinnerbuzz listing to the actual posts!
Or I’m wrong again….
Well, at least in my imagination, I see potential here….