Friday, October 05, 2007

Who will be the fourth horseman of the coming web 2.0 apocalypse?

Writing about the current turmoil at eBay in respect of problems with Skype, which did not deliver what eBay hoped it would (big revenues), and incidentally big profits were never on Skype founders’ minds, the Economist has this to say about the current direction the web revolution is taking:

By buying Skype, the internet phenomenon of 2005, eBay started a bubble.

Google, with its purchase of YouTube, the cyber-star of 2006, inflated it further. And Microsoft and Google now appear tempted to add more froth by investing a silly sum in Facebook, the latest big thing.

All three—the internet telephone firm, the video site and the social network—make almost no money.
EBay's disappointment with Skype is a timely reminder of where this fad might lead.

Contrast that view with MSM outlets like the New York Times which now has taken reigns of chief Facebook evangelist.

Maybe the fourth horseman is a combine of the largely ‘I have no clue’ MSM and bloggers who have a stake in the the Facebook hype machine.

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On Older people and Facebook

"...Older people being on Facebook is kind of weird."

- Tess Lippincott, 16, when asked what she thinks about her mother and other adults joining the currently IN social network.

Via Valleywag

Related Reading
Social Networking Quote of the week
When a professor joined Facebook
The two groups battling for the soul of Facebook

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Social Networking quote of this week

...’cause I never used LameSpace or Facebook in college, because they’re for teenagers. 20-somethings using social-networking sites is, contrary to popular belief, sad and pathetic.

- A commenter in an article about 20 innovations that changed college life

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

95% of CCTV cameras in UK may be illegal

In this post 9-11 world, citizens accept many security measures as natural course of things without giving thought to the fact that their activities may be recorded by their employers, the police without any legal backing.

According to Data Protections in UK, anyone who wants to put security cameras in their premises or outside must inform the information commissioner first and must also put prominent notices outside informing people that their activities are being recorded.

CCTV compliance consultancy DatPro found in a survey of buildings and other installations that over 90 per cent of the UK's 4.2 million CCTV systems were not compliant with the Data Protection Act.

This raises some important things to consider:
1. Are there similar laws in effect in other countries? Let us start with the developed world.
2. How much do we know about the legality of CCTVs in our cities? Is there any register of CCTVs for every city?
3. Do people know of relevant applicable laws?
4. Can we challenge those who are recording our activities to prove they have the necessary permissions?
5. It would be worthwhile to put prominent notices displaying that people are entering an area of “constant observation” at their own risk.

It goes without saying that CCTV awareness is a topic which demands greater coverage from citizen bloggers everwhere.

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To succeed, does blogging really have to be dumb and stupid?

Successful blogs have much in common with successful mainstream media properties, covering a similar topic range from Paris to iPod. People magazine, E! News, Engadget, all are same.

Commenting on blogs on blogging, Lyndon Antcliff has to say this,
…they offer small lumps of candy floss like posts. Sweet, attractive but with zero nutrition.

We are what we read (& talk).
Lydon is right is saying that most of would rather read the Sun, eat food that that makes us fat and discuss highly biased politics.

The media caters to the tastes of the majority and I think that Lyndon is talking about blogging following the same path.

What is way out of this?
Again, Lyndon has a solution to this:
...there is that very, narrow path. The one where you can keep a little of your depth, whilst still being able to reach the mass market of the the idiots. That way is called the Story. You tell a story.

Useful.Something I might put that into action if I am to get myself some decent readership.

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Monday, October 01, 2007

Techmeme’s leaderboard: A-listers, rejoice!

Techmeme has introduced something called the Leaderboard, which will list 100 sources that had the most number of headlines appearing on the Techmeme homepage for the past month.

This new leaderboard is positioned squarely against Technorati’s Top 100 blog list, which has long been an indicator of blogging influence, and includes blogs who have attracted 3700 links during the past 6 months.

There are some who say that ranking bloggers on the basis of links is not ok.
Links can be bought, managed, whatever…

There there are people who will point out that many top bloggers enjoy the first-mover advantage and rankings like Technorati Top 100 and now Techmeme’s Leaderboard don’t reflect true and original opinion of the blogosphere.

Come to think of it: When Gabe Reviera, who founded Techmeme, came up with his indexes for his chain of selective topic aggregators, he must surely would have taken into account the Technorati Top 100 list (advantage no 1 for existing bloggers) and his own preferences (advantage no. 2 for silicon valley types and other sources).

Aggregators are never perfect.
This ‘A-lister upon A-lister’ arrangement leaves little scope for new voices and opinions to break in.

Chances are if a blogger wrote about the problems the iPhone had wouldn’t have made a blip on Techmeme’s homepage unless that blogger happens to be from Giozmodo, Engadget, Crunchgear and other and I don’t mean these aren’t fine blogs.

This A-list Economy forces writers, including this poor hack to take something a big-time blogger has written and then add to it, the implications being that your opinion is worth nothing for Techmeme and its type unless you toe somebody’s line.

That’s the A-listers’ tax most bloggers have to pay in order to be noticed.

There is always a gatekeeper and the gatekeeper has different shades for different people.

People will contend that only ‘original’ A-listers have something valuable to say and then maybe small bloggers like yours ruefully will decide not to write so much and not to suck up to anyone anymore.

Aggregators be damned.

Related Reading:

Rules of the Superstar Economy
Downsides of the A-list pheneomenon: Link Bait is easy
A-Listers: Navel Gazing dies hard

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Facebook Quote of the week

"As far as I can tell it's a sort of cyber-exercise in filing and admin. It must be a colossal pain in the backside to have to run one of these things."
- Richard Hammond, writing for the Mirror

Via Valleywag

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