Archive for February 2006
From Robert Scoble’s What if Microsoft designed iPod box
[Update] – Another permalink to the video. The older link isn’t working anymore. Apparently, the user has removed the video from YouTube.
There has been plenty of talk about the Rise of Edge Content lately. Edge Content – the content provided by the long tail of [web] community. Blogs are the perfect example of edge content. While I agree with the idea of eventual prominence of edge content over a centralized system, I’ve certain issues with the general understanding of edge content.
Everyone (I’ve read so far), who talks about ‘the edge’, has a basic assumption that the content has to be created on the Web to be available to everyone, and then there would be various services to aggregate and serve that distributed content. Blogging is super-fine as a casual/amateur content creation tool. But then we need to look for more serious aspects of it. The anonymity of web is a huge road block in the availability of more meaningful content. And also, why limit ourselves to the web, what about the huge content available on desktops.
Content creators need to get their due not only in terms of credit, recognition and feedback, but also monetarily. Why take away that choice from the content creator. The proposed/existing aggregator model may do fine on the recognition aspect, but pretty much dilutes the monetary part. Also, we need a way to measure the access and profile of content consumers. Otherwise the whole edge content thing is a setup to lose.
I need to expand a bit more here, which I’ll do in due course of time.
I’ve been doing little experiments with Google lately. This blog is up for little more than two weeks now, since I imported all posts from my old blog. That old blog used be #1 result for ‘Reverberations‘ ( #2 as of now) and ‘brajesh‘ ( eh! I do my share of egosurfing) on Google, probably because of my slashdot backlinks, though this blog has none yet. yahoo! has been less benevolent to me, but MSN been pretty favorable.
I acted link-conscious by linking this blog with ‘reverberations’ from the blogger and elsewhere. For the first week this blog was on the first page* in the results for ‘reverberations’ as well as ‘brajesh’ (*my default preference is 100 search results per page). But, by the second week, this blog surprisingly disappeared from first page. What’s happening here? I guess, it’s to do with some google algorithm for unnatural linking and/or Google Sandbox.
There are some other experiments I did with search engines, e.g. deliberate spelling mistakes, cross linking. I’ll write about them sometime later perhaps.
Links are the new (or not so new) currency of the Web. That is why Mike Arrington at TechCrunch can ask for contributions in exchange for linking back.
By the way, it looks like that there has been some major updates in Google PageRanks recently.
From this news item in Infotoday–
Citing the desire to create new revenue streams for authors, mega-publisher HarperCollins has announced the first free Web-based, ad-supported, full-text business book. Go It Alone! The Secret to Building a Successful Business on Your Own by Bruce Judson is now available on the author’s Web site, where an affiliate link to Amazon, not the publisher, can also be found. Not only can the book be read at the site, but it can also be searched. HarperCollins Publishers is calling the project a test of a new business model. Some self-published authors also offer ad-supported books online, but HarperCollins’ move is the first by a major publisher.
And about the revenue model and rationale behind the move-
Company spokesperson Erin Crum said: “We are exploring how online advertising programs can add value for publishers and authors. The results will be measured by the income generated through ads, number of page views and visitors to the site, and by sales of books from the site. If successful, this kind of digital product might be a new format that supplements the paperback edition.”?
Ad-supported media is here to stay. Television has shown us so far that even though advertising is overrated, it works.
A nifty new Web 2.0 buzzword. What’s a Memetracker? Let me define it first.
As communities grow in the online world new ideas emerge, spreading across the content fabric of the digital world at a sometimes furious pace. The speed of the emergence, and the following crash, of these ideas, or memes, makes tracking emergence by hand, or by an unaided individual, almost impossible. The sheer size and dynamic of the myriad communities makes tracking community information and ideas a data flow and logistics problem. Hence the need for memeTracker, a program to automatically crawl and analyze online communities, reporting the emergence and diffusion of new ideas.
The ‘blog-oh-sphere’ is a place where there are more content creators than consumers, and everyone is busy honking their own horn – me included. The issues with memetrackers of today
- There aren’t enough memes to sustain just blog based news ecosystem. So traditional sources of news are going to be part of memetracking, which narrows down its advantage over Google/Yahoo! News et al.
- By definition ‘Meme’ are old news, and among the early adopters, almost everyone is so proactive to have accessed it earlier than ‘memtrackers’ pick it up.
Memetrackers are going to pick up, as aggregation is the key to content access in future. But so is customization. Memetrackers are going to drive and be driven by the growth of RSS, as those can provide customized remixing of news and related content – synergies of the two.
Some blurb from the link I produced earlier.
The Data Conduit
MemeTracker as a data service required the formulation of the program as a data conduit, a program able to be placed into an existing flow of data without significant alteration of the existing data paths or data expectations. This is facilitated by the existing XML database formats used by memeTracker. The data conduit model is detailed in the final diagram of the programatic flow of memeTracker in relation to other applications. The key to the data conduit model is the seperation of all processed data into individual chunks of information that can be consumed individually or as a whole data structure, without corrupting the integrity of the data as a whole.
But what do we have there to make financial sense of it – ads, not innovative enough.
Scott Karp is tackling two different extremes. On one hand there is ignorance about ubiquitous RSS feeds among most of Internet users, and then there is issue of information overflow with too many feeds for some. Fixing one of them may even worsen the other pain.
Dave Winer talks about ‘River of News‘ mode of feed aggregation. Which is a great idea to fix the feed abundance problem, but has its drawbacks. ‘River of News’ model seems to be too news-centric, which is okay if you are aggregating news and blogs. Syndication is not just about news.What about syndicating a wiki, or a novel, or may be research data or online learning material, which you won’t wish to miss in the ‘conveyor-belt sushi‘. The no-brainer is to separate the two – a river and a pond.
I’m yet to use Dave’s aggregator, but the idea is compelling. Google Desktop’s web clips come close to the idea – though Dave insists on a web interface, a desktop interface would be nice. But it’s what I think it is, I’d still need a pond-type aggregator.