Business & Technology

Congratulations, Socialtext

<![CDATA[Ross Mayfield discloses that Socialtext has raised another round. He’s not providing details and as a member of the advisory board, I can’t win the “break the Series B news” challenge Ross issued. Only this: Congratulations on a substantial increase in your capital reserves, Socialtext team!
Contest entries are to be tagged ]]>

Business & Technology Media Comment & Crimes

Is the PSP the next iPod?

<![CDATA[It could be, with improvements. I just spent the last few weeks digging into this really interesting gadget and, especially, it’s ability to share code with other PSP devices on an ad hoc basis.]]>

Business & Technology Influence & Networked Markets Social & Political

A better word than "feed"

<![CDATA[Am at one of those meetings you're not supposed to blog about. Question raised as a statement: If you can come up with a better word than "feed," let me know….
Well, seems like we want a word that reflects the vitality of information. We want it to be resonant with "feed" because people get that idea of a subscribed data stream. I propose bleed, we ooze data all day long, like a slow-bleeding cut and we’re all acting like data vampires much of the time.
There’s a Rolling Stones tune, “Let It Bleed.” Works, given the setting.]]>

Sheer Idiocy

NBC editor on the tech take

<![CDATA[MacNN | Apple pays tech guru $15,000 to talk about iPod:

Apple and other companies paid NBC Today show tech editor Corey Greenberg up to $15,000 to talk about their products on news shows, according to The Washington Post. Greenberg talked up Apple’s iPod last July, calling it “a great portable musical player… the coolest-looking one;” however, while NBC officials denied any knowledge of the financial relationship, Greenberg confirmed that he accepted payments from Apple, Sony, Hewlett-Packard, Seiko Epson, Creative Technology and Energizer Holdings.

Enough said.]]>

Business & Technology Media Comment & Crimes

Audible adds RSS goodness

<![CDATA[I've been a loyal customer of Audible, the downloadable audio book service, for years, as well as a consultant and content provider to the company (disclosure: I’m a consultant to the company right now and the subject of this posting is part of the project I’ve been working on). As I’ve moved much of my browsing to RSS feeds, Audible’s lack of easy access to titles and subjects in its catalog became clear. The site is built on Broadvision, which, while a powerful system for building a catalog, is a poor foundation for external access to the data in the catalog because every page is cooked on the fly for individual visitors. In other words, you can’t bookmark a page.
But Audible’s working hard to remedy the virtual invisibility of its catalog and an important first step takes place this week: Audible has created RSS feeds for hot new titles, various genres (my favorites are history, comedy and science), as well as its own bestseller list and that of The New York Times, BusinessWeek and Publishers Weekly. The project is built on FeedBurner‘s service.
If you haven’t tried Audible, they offer some great free audio every week. Important presidential addresses, Congressional testimony, the first prayer and speech by Pope Benedict XVI, media baron Rupert Murdoch’s speech to the American Society of Newspaper Editors last week, and a really great interview by Audible CEO Don Katz with Jane Fonda, whom he first interviewed for Rolling Stone in 1978. When I was back at Audible a couple weeks ago, Don was prepping for the interview; it makes me wish he’d take up the pen, again. Maybe you like American Idol and want the free update; that’s here, too.
John Federico’s giving me too much credit for the RSS feeds, but let me defer credit to Guy Story and others at Audible who really get the RSS phenomenon.
RSS is only getting started. I went into how it is misunderstood at length over at Red Herring last week, but I think it’s important to reiterate that subscriptions to data are going to be integrated into a wide range of application experiences, not just exposed as a feed for aggregation by a newsreader. RSS levels the playing field for anyone wanting to establish a direct relationship with an audience, and we’ll soon be using it routinely to engage in debate and relationships.]]>

Business & Technology Media Comment & Crimes

Webtalking again

<![CDATA[I was on Rob and Dana Greenlee's WebTalk Radio this past weekend…. We talked about Google’s video upload program, making money on RSS and a discussion about Rupert Murdoch’s recent comments about digital media.
You can listen in Windows Media, Real or MP3….]]>

Impolitic Sheer Idiocy Technic

Tom Delay's suspicious tiny mind

<![CDATA[DeLay Damns the Internet; What Was He Thinking? | Personal Democracy Forum:

“We’ve got Justice Kennedy writing decisions based upon international law, not the Constitution of the United States? That’s just outrageous. And not only that, but he said in session that he does his own research on the Internet? That is just incredibly outrageous.”

I am puzzled by this comment. What does DeLay think is so bad about someone doing online research? Or, to put the question more cynically, what does DeLay think he has to gain by saying as much?

It’s probably the fact that the Internet isn’t being dumbed down and made safe for fundamentalism, like broadcast TV and radio, that bothers Delay….]]>

Business & Technology Influence & Networked Markets Media Comment & Crimes

Wondir full of answers

<![CDATA[Wondir, a service that links people’s questions to answers provided by others, including domain experts, has launched a new version of itself and, so far, I like what I see. John Battelle covers the high points very well, so let me add a couple thoughts:

  • The service can be embedded into third-party pages as a crawler displaying recent questions being asked. This is a very clever approach to distributing access to intelligence. Allen Searls, who works at Wondir, has an crawler on his Wondering blog.
  • Unlike, for example, which gathered experts under contract, Wondir may distribute compensation (initially they offer just good feelings and the pride of answering questions well) to all comers; I think that’s a vastly superior approach for experts, who can accrue revenue based on time they contribute once there is a clear economic model—it’s certainly far better than working for a company almost 10 years and then seeing it sold for almost a half-billion dollars without the guides getting a significant share of the liquid value created.

Check it out.]]>

Business Economic Technic

AP to charge differently for online content….


The Associated Press Board of Directors has approved a new online licensing structure to cover use of AP content on newspaper and local radio and television station member Web sites. Starting next year, all members who use AP content in their online operations will begin paying a license fee.

Previously, AP newspaper and local radio and TV station members had been allowed to repurpose for the Web the AP materials received for their print publications and on-air broadcasts at no additional charge. While ending this “free re-use” policy, AP intends to couple this paid online license with an annual assessment increase that is smaller than the yearly average for the past decade, said Burl Osborne, chairman of the AP board and publisher emeritus of the Dallas Morning News.

Currently, newspapers that pay to use AP content online generally are charged according to their print circulation, and local radio and TV station members according to market size. The method for determining the licensing fee has not yet been determined.

This strikes me as an oddly unprepared announcement and a strikingly ill-timed move toward fees that may be passed along to the audience (or not, who knows?) But if you wanted to raise people’s hackles, this is exactly how’d you’d announce this kind of policy: short on detail and full of potential downsides.]]>

Impolitic Life Sheer Idiocy

Catholicism: Good luck with that….

<![CDATA[Andrew Sullivan quotes the new pope: “Having a clear faith, based on the Creed of the Church, is often labeled today as a fundamentalism. Whereas, relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and ‘swept along by every wind of teaching’, looks like the only attitude (acceptable) to today’s standards. We are moving towards a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as for certain and which has as its highest goal one’s own ego and one’s own desires.”
I’m troubled by someone who assigns modernity to the same category as Nazism and Marxism. That’s fucked up. For my 1.1 billion Catholic friends out there: Enjoy Benedict XVI, you get what you pope for, I guess.]]>