Everybody’s a middleman

I’ve been arguing that the internet kills the middlemen — home brokers, head hunters, editors….

But in another sense, the internet makes everyone a middleman in the sense that any of us can be a trusted source of a recommendation.

Tech Crunch (a wonderful blog that profiles new companies… beats what Red Herring tried to be) writes up YorZ, which enables employers to pay bounties for recommendations that end up filling jobs. I wonder how this could be gamed (my friend recommends me and I get a kickback) but it’s still a fascinating execution of an obvious notion. It takes LinkedIn and puts your money where your mouth is. I suspect this works uniquely in employment, since that’s about personal recommendations. I hope it won’t work in dating, since that comes dangerously close to pimping. I doubt it works in consumer products and services, and there the potential for corruption is high. But it’s a fascinating exploitation of an opening in the new marketplace.

  • Jeff, Thank you very much for the compliment. We really appreciate it. If we can be half as good as this young man (http://www.jakejarvis.com/) is, we’ll be happy.

  • Jim Dermitt

    We have all these top 10, top 100 lists etc. and tags. Are there any rss tags for products? I searched and found paper and adhesive tags and that sort of stuff. If you go shopping they don’t even put price tags on the goods. There is one price card on the shelf.

  • It helps if the person doing the recommendation has a good reputation. I recommend consulting a number of people regarding a service, person, or product, and keeping track of their recommendations over time for consistency and reliability.

    Just recently one Gareth Michael Skarka had a few things to say about a competitor and one time potential collaborator (it’sa rather casual industry). Gareth has a reputation in the industry, and people tend to trust him whether they agree with him or not on other matters.

    At the same time, one can tell a lot about a person’s reliability based on his enemies. Who hates him and why. Gareth has enemies. It is those enemies who convinced me that Gareth can be trusted. Because it stands for those things his enemies hate, and I like.

    On a related note Jamais Cascio notes the ability people have to make recommendations at places such as Amazonand other, and in Transhuman Space: Toxic Memes (p16) postulates the development of “Reputation Networks”. Networks where people, most often members, can be rated. With those with good reputations given more weight than those with poor reputations. Something like this could prove very useful in the job market and other areas.

  • I recall someone somewhere once used the term hypermediation for this kind of middleman activity, like intermediation, but in an extreme sense. The internet is also really good ad disintermediation, which is what blogs are now doing to traditional marketing, pr, and journalism. Put both phenomena together, and you have a process by which modern American society is becoming… re-intermediated. Or maybe remediated. Or maybe just remedial.

  • Jim Dermitt

    An offer you can’t refuse. Unless you don’t have $2250 to spend for a watch.

    Inspired by and named after actor James Gandolfini, the new Soarway Diver SEAL in titanium is the biggest, toughest, and most recognizable Kobold watch to date.
    *(Limited time offer, expires 9/30/2005; MSRP $3850)
    The Soarway Diver SEAL is a minimalist’s watch, and it does not display the date; it is specifically geared towards professional divers.

    This is interesting with all the stuff going on with NASA recently. I thought the Kobold website was much better than the Omega site. The Omega site has a black background, which I don’t like. I like a white background and black text and color content. I don’t know why people program sites with black backgrounds. I guess they figure it is a high tech look and modern. If you have the time, we have the beer!

    Omega has always been at the forefront of watchmaking. Selected by NASA to be the one and only watch to be worn on the Moon, Omega is now standard equipment for NASA shuttle flights.

    On 1st March 1965, OMEGA’s Speedmaster chronograph was “flight-qualified by NASA for all manned space missions” as the only wristwatch to have withstood all of the U.S. space agency’s severe tests under conditions of zero gravity and magnetic fields, extreme shocks, vibrations and temperatures ranging from -18 to +93 degrees Celsius.

    In the same month, the watch was for the first time worn officially on board the Gemini 3 mission.

    In April 1970, the OMEGA Speedmaster rescued the Apollo 13 mission from a potential disaster, earning OMEGA the “Snoopy Award”, the highest distinction awarded by the NASA astronauts.In another historical event, the Speedmaster was worn on the wrists of both the American astronaut Tom Stafford and the Russian cosmonaut Alexei Leonov during the historic Apollo-Soyuz space rendezvous. This was the first time the cosmonauts also wore the OMEGA Speedmaster.Ever since, the Speedmaster has been the official chronograph of all Russian manned space missions.

    The greatest moment in the Speedmaster’s history was undoubtedly 20 July 1969 at 02:56 GMT, when it recorded man’s first steps on the Moon’s surface. The Apollo 11 mission was a milestone in history and the Speedmaster became the first watch (and the only watch since) to be worn on the Moon. With this unique accomplishment came a unique nickname: the Moon Watch.

    Russia’s pioneering space station MIR was again used as an orbiting test laboratory in 1998 for OMEGA’s X-33 multifunction chronograph. After successful completion of the tests, MIR also offered a unique opportunity for presenting the watch to the public via a live satellite link-up with the Houston Space Center.

    The Speedmaster X-33 is now flight-qualified by both NASA and the Russian space agency and is therefore included in the standard equipment issued to all astronauts and cosmonauts. However, the legendary OMEGA Speedmaster Professional also remains an item of standard equipment and is still worn for extra-vehicular activity.

    came a unique nickname: the Moon Watch.
    As space exploration continued to break through new frontiers, the OMEGA Speedmaster was again selected by NASA in 1978 as its official chronograph for the new Space Shuttle programme following a new series of harsh tests.

    The Speedmaster was later subjected to yet another gruelling test on board the Russian space station MIR between July 1993 and July 1994. The success of this exceptional test is attested by a certificate initialled by the MIR crew. The OMEGA Speedmaster had become the most tested watch in the world.

  • Jim Dermitt

    Note to current TV Web watchers.
    More space stuff. If we are all middlemen, I guess middleware will replace software and save time and as a side benefit money. You can spend your money on a better watch with all the money you would of had to spend on software.

    SpaceWatch, presented by the Omega Watch Company, is an Internet TV channel webcasting shows that you watch on your computer.

    Exploring Mars is intended to serve as a starting point for web-assisted exploration of Mars, and is designed to be used by casual browsers as well as those who are seeking detailed and authoritative information. The site includes basic facts about the planet Mars, as well as a guide to NASA’s Mars Exploration Program.

    WITS, the Web Interface for Telescience, is the command software used by the Mars Polar Lander robotic arm operations team. The Downloads Page contains a public version of WITS that you can download and use on your computer.

  • Jim Dermitt

    -I-KEW.com- originated from the need to deliver an integrated web-enabled environment for software-assisted knowledge acquisition and knowledge asset management.

    Problems of acquisition: knowledge is notoriously difficult to acquire(huh!), irrespective of whether it already exists or needs to be created from bodies of data.
    Problems of communication and knowledge transfer: the problem of communicating and transferring knowledge remains an important bottleneck in many knowledge engineering initiatives. TRY RSS!

    (Scratching my head)….try the library or the Internet for finding notoriously difficult to acquire knowledge. All these bottlenecks and there is a blog a second being created and a billion feeds. Problems of asset valorization, I guess.

  • Jim

    The Web Interface for Telescience
    The Web Interface for Telescience (WITS) is an Internet-based tool that enables members of geographically distributed science teams to participate in daily planetary lander and rover mission planning. WITS enables the viewing of downlinked images and results in various ways, terrain-feature measurement and annotation, and the planning of daily mission activities. WITS is written in the Java language and is accessible by mission scientists and the general public via a Web browser. The public can use WITS to plan and simulate their own rover missions. WITS was used during the 1997 Mars Pathfinder mission primarily for public outreach and was evaluated as a science operations tool at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). WITS will be used as an operations tool in the 1998 lander mission, which will land on Mars in December 1999, and in the 2001 and 2003 lander-rover missions to Mars.

    Language: English
    Document Type: Research article
    Affiliations: 1: [email protected]. Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 2: IA Tech, Inc., Los Angeles, California

    The full text article is available for purchase
    $10.00 plus tax
    MIT Press

    I wonder if they sell a lot of these at ten bucks a pop. + tax?
    Who said the Internet shouldn’t have tax?

    MACS is sponsored by the U.S. Air Force Robotics and Automation Center of Excellence (RACE), Scott Petroski program manager.
    has a link that can help find free casino games and Texas holdem.
    Welcome to the rat race!

  • Jim Dermitt

    The more stuff you can sell the more money you can make.

    It beats all this endless blogging about nothing, linking to everything selling nothing. I saw a blog that was pitching a plan for making your business blog friendly. It was only $695.00. What could take off soon are RSS auctions that don’t use a website and have no transaction fees. Bad news for ebay. When everyone is a marketer, you won’t need a middleman like ebay.

  • Jim Dermitt

    Maybe ebay will just turn to the Google biz model and just sell word ads for stuff on RSS auctions. I’m putting together a dollar list of words that people can auction at their blogs and double their money for nothing. You’ll get your chicks for free!

  • Jim

    Is anybody out there making $40,000 to $70,000 blogging?
    I got corporate downsized, so I turned to blogging. It’s actually costing me money. I’ve been learning. Hey, this could be the next big thing with the home schoolers and cyberschoolers. Everybody’s a student.

  • Jim

    Hey there all you middlemen.
    I’m looking for a Senior Vice President of Blogging.
    Must have a Ph.D from Harvard.
    Free lunch and all the Pepsi you can drink.

  • Jim

    Heres’s a thought for Sunday.
    If bloggers spent as much time improving their blogs as they do trying to link them they wouldn’t need to link them. Some folks are buying links based on word searches so the folks searching can find them, all so they can turn them over to somebody else with a deal that is advertising something else that is better. We might be better served if the words were left to the scholars and dictionaries and we started buying pictures. A picture is worth a thousand words and can be traded for paper with paper. You just can’t eliminate ink from business and still have a business. Ink is sort of like blood. You could always run an ad on a corpse after the blood was taken out of the body. Your stock isn’t worth the paper they didn’t print it on. There was a plan to make a government agency paperless, but nobody could figure out what would happen when the guy selling them pens went out of business. Blogs can’t replace ink. If it starts raining, grab an umbrella, a blog won’t keep you dry.

    “If advertisers spent the same amount of money on improving their products as they do on advertising then they wouldn’t have to advertise them.”Will Rogers

  • Jim Dermitt

    What I’m thinking is that blogs may be a good platform for print on demand services. Distribute content, print copies and automated shipping. The blog then eliminates a trip to Kinkos. A big time saver. Really useful for documents being created by groups in a large organization. They aren’t bloggers, they are just using the blog to save time and speed production for printed materials. It needs to lower costs and be secure via encrypted RSS.

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