Archive for May 2009
Once again, the Internet is shifting before our eyes. Information is increasingly being distributed and presented in real-time streams instead of dedicated Web pages. The shift is palpable, even if it is only in its early stages. Web companies large and small are embracing this stream. It is not just Twitter. It is Facebook and Friendfeed and AOL and Digg and Tweetdeck and Seesmic Desktop and Techmeme and Tweetmeme and Ustream and Qik and Kyte and blogs and Google Reader. The stream is winding its way throughout the Web and organizing it by nowness.
In this week’s kerfuffling on Twitter and blogs about the Wall Street Journal’s anti-interactive interactivity rules regarding Twitter et al, a New York Times editor took a few of us to task for not recognizing that this was just a case of a CYA - cover your ass - memo from lawyers. I responded that CYA can now BYA - burn your ass - when such memos become public, as they will, and speak for you.
Will May 2009 mark the beginning of the end for the free, unfettered Internet? From all the wailing on the Web — and the fist-pumping in some old-media redoubts — it might seem so.
The Observer’s John Koblin reports that the NY Times is considering putting a meter on usage of its site and charging once you’ve read too much. Incredible. They’ve spent the last 15 years trying to get people to stay longer and read more on their site and now they’re going to penalize their best customers?
The mad men of Madison Avenue are really mad these days, creating a spate of angry advertising campaigns that seek to channel the outrage, frustration and fear felt by consumers hit hard by what some are calling the Great Recession.
I've been following a fascinating 3-part series of posts this week by Greg Boutin, founder of Growthroute Ventures. The series aimed to tie together three big trends, all based around structured data: 1) the still nascent "Web 3.0" concept, 2) the relatively new kid on the structured Web block, Linked Data, and 3) the long-running saga that is the Semantic Web. Greg's series is probably the best explanation I've read all year about the way these trends are converging. In this post I'll highlight some of Greg's thoughts and add some of my own.
Over the last year, I have had to explain how social media works to diplomats, defense officials, and academics and students focused on fields as diverse as international affairs, management and sociology. I have found that first-timer find social media confusing because of two reasons.
What do guns, burglar alarms and condoms have in common? Their sales all boomed in 2009, with condom sales jumping 22 per cent over the same period in 2008. But why? The answer can perhaps be found in Nigeria and Chile – two countries I visited on my world tour promoting Buyology. Surprisingly neither of the two countries was familiar with the “R” word. When asking government officials why that was the case, the explanation was simple – the media hadn’t paid that much attention to it, and as such no one had effectively read about the Recession, so the Recession simply had not yet arrived.
Social media is not new. Media has been leveraged for sociable purposes since the caveman's walls. Even in the realm of the Internet, some of the first applications were framed around communication and sharing. For decades, we've watched the development of new genres of social media - MUDs/MOOs, instant messaging, chatrooms, bulletin boards, etc. Social media is the latest buzzword in a long line of buzzwords. It is often used to describe the collection of software that enables individuals and communities to gather, communicate, share, and in some cases collaborate or play.
As we are tempted by social networks and the kinship of new friends, followers, and fans, we intentionally or inadvertently, create a new era of personal recognition and attention that extracts an unconditioned human response and consequently shapes an unpredictable personality and behavior over time. Social networking, common sense, prudence, and direction are not ingrained in our DNA. We all need a little help and advice, now more than ever.