Presence and Micro-blogging

Eric Rice writes:

Lately, Ive been paying attention to an onslaught of new applications and how they fit into my normal flow of must-read-every-bit-of-information-that-exists-EVER. Such apps involve conversational presence web sites like Twitter and Jaiku.

Everyones experience may vary, as well as peoples loyalties. A good number of the hot, cool web sites out there are very clique-driven, while other hot, cool web sites, are driven by the general public (and the hipster kids hate em (read: myspace, youtube, et al).

Micro-Blogging and Twitter

Mark Glaser has an excellent tutorial: “Micro-blogging allows you to write brief text updates about your life on the go, and send them to friends and interested observers via text messaging, instant messaging, email or the web. The most popular service is called Twitter , which was developed last year and became popular among techno-gurus at the 2007 South by Southwest Conference in Austin, Texas. Part of the magic of Twitter is that it limits you to 140 characters per post, forcing you to make pithy statements on the fly.”

Social Web Ladder

Dan Farber writes: “Forrester analysts Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff have published a report, “Social Technographics,” ($279) that identifies six levels of participation in the realm of social media or the social Web in the U.S. based on a recent survey.”

The Live Web

Doc Searls writes:

[The Live Web is] the one with verbs such as write, read, update, post, author, subscribe, syndicate, feed and link. This is the part of the Web that’s growing on top of the old Static Web of nouns such as site, address, location, traffic, architecure and construction. Nothing wrong with any of those static nouns (or their verb forms). They’re the foundation, the bedrock. They are necessary but insufficient for what’s needed on the Live Web, which is where your paper needs to live and grow and become more valuable to its communities (as well as Wall Street).
Lemme unpack that a bit. The Static Web is what holds still long enough for Google and Yahoo to send out spiders to the entire universe and index what they find. The Live Web is is what’s happening right now. It’s dynamic. (Thank you, Virginia.) It includes all the stuff that’s syndicated through RSS and searched by Google Blogsearch, IceRocket and Technorati. What I post here, and what others post about this post, will be found and indexed by Live Web search engines in a matter of minutes. For those who subscribe to feeds of this blog, and of other blogs, the notification is truly live. Your daily paper has pages, not sites. The difference is not “just semantic”. It’s fundamental. It’s how you reclaim, and assert, your souls in the connected world. It’s also how you shed dead conceptual weight, get light and nimble, and show Wall Street how you’re not just ahead of the curve, but laying pavement beyond everybody else’s horizon. It’s how your leverage the advantages of history, of incumbency, and of already being in a going business.

Mobile RSS Readers

Web Worker Daily reviews web-based mobile aggregators. “The bottom line: If it were possible to take the full browser version of Google Reader and sync it with the mobile HTML version of Bloglines, I would be a very happy camper. That said, I have to give the edge to Google Reader for the best all-around cross-platform browser feed reading experience.”

Online News Communities Report

[via Thejo] Here. From the introduction:

In this report, we look at the first generation of traditional-media innovators in community engagement online. Well be talking about what worked, and what didnt, in this early round of experimentation.

If youre interested in the movement towards crowdsourcing, citizen journalism, or user generated content by traditional media organizations such as newspapers and television news programs, you’ll find information about some of the major efforts underway today.

RSS Explained

WSJ has this interesting analogy:

Think of information as water. A library, therefore, is a lake. The information is just poured in there, as books and periodicals. Those who want to use it wander in and scoop the water out. There’s water coming in and going out, but most of it just sits there: still water, that we have to go to in order to enjoy it.

Web pages are much the same. Information is added to the lake that already exists, but for the most part it’s a pretty static, if not stagnant affair.

Email is different. There the water comes to us in buckets. Much more useful, because the water is no longer stagnant, and we don’t have to go and scoop it out ourselves. But we are still dependent on someone sending the stuff to us — filling the buckets, as it were — and we also have little control over when, how and what kind of information we receive. No surprise, then, that one of the shortcomings of email is that we find ourselves receiving lots of waste water — spam — along with the potable stuff.

If information is water, surely there must be a way to pipe to our house just the kind of water we need, when and where we want it? This is RSS: a way to deliver information to us in a way that suits us. RSS is the piping and the faucets that let us order and manage that information flow.

Feed Market Overview

FeedBurner provides an overview. One stats: “The top 4 aggregators as measured by clicks – My Yahoo!, Google Reader/Personalized Homepage, Bloglines and Netvibes – account for 95% of all web aggregator clicks to FeedBurner publisher’s content.”

Collective Action

Paul DiPerna has an interview with Howard Rheingold:

What is happening now has to do with not only the expanded capabilities of individuals, but the new forms of collective action that people will inevitably concoct with the technological platforms and the media that are built on those platforms. The action is on multiple levels simultaneously, just as it is in biology. Now, it’s the individual technology, the technical network, the application layer, the psychological, social, economic layers. In biology, it was the cellular, organ, organism, ecosystem layering.

Yahoo Pipes for RSS

Jeremy Zawodny writes:

You can get RSS output from lots of non-news and non-blog stuff. Everything from classifieds on eBay and craigslist to Bugzilla, Wikis, and so on.

The problem has been a lack of good tools for pulling it all together. In the Unix world, we often connect sources of data to filters and utilities using pipes. A pipe is a way of constructing ad-hoc workflows composed of any number of inputs, filters, and manipulation tools. And the beauty of the whole system is that they all use a very simple input and output method, so there’s a nearly infinite set of ways you can combine and recombine them.

Yahoo Pipes is a hosted service that lets you remix feeds and create new data mashups in a visual programming environment. The name of the service pays tribute to Unix pipes, which let programmers do astonishingly clever things by making it easy to chain simple utilities together on the command line.

Tim O’Reilly adds:

Yahoo!’s new Pipes service is a milestone in the history of the internet. It’s a service that generalizes the idea of the mashup, providing a drag and drop editor that allows you to connect internet data sources, process them, and redirect the output. Yahoo! describes it as “an interactive feed aggregator and manipulator” that allows you to “create feeds that are more powerful, useful and relevant.” While it’s still a bit rough around the edges, it has enormous promise in turning the web into a programmable environment for everyone.

Rethinking Feed Readers

Michael Parekh writes:

It’s not going to be long before mainstream cable and media offer subscription streams for every imaginable type of video content, coming into your DVR and/or home server.

And it’s not just subscription services to PC or even TVs anymore. Let’s not forget SMS subscriptions on your cell phones (or mobiles as they’re known overseas).

It’s time we re-thought feeds readers of all types for mainstream folks, and really reduce the stress in their online lives.

Techmeme Founder Interview

Danny Sullivan has a Q&A with Gabe Rivera, Creator of Techmeme, a site I check daily.

Q. Is Techmeme an echo chamber, just showing blogs commenting about blogs commenting about blogs? Does Techmeme feed into that echo chamber? Or how do you break apart the conversations on a particular topic into sub-conversations or topics?

Clearly Techmeme creates superficial incentives for “echo chamber” participation, yet I don’t see clear evidence that this makes things noticeably worse. I still like to trot out the example of the day my site launched. eBay’s acquisition of Skype became one of those huge story clusters, and this was hours before Techmeme [then tech.memeorandum] was publicly launched, i.e. before anyone believed they could get on the site by linking to stories.

The Read-Write Web

EirePreneur writes: “My predictions for 2007 were dominated by Google Reader because it’s one of the products best placed to dominate the Read/Write web. The addition of support for tagging and link blogging were the warning shots but the coming months will see Reader evolve into a fully fledged Reader/Writer (let’s call it ReWriter). Google ReWriter is the first product that will tie the major pieces of the Read/Write web together – RSS/ATOM (feeds), OPML, Social-Bookmarking/Tagging (folksonomies), Attention and Microformats.”

Teens have Tools of Cultural Production

Howard Rheingold: “The tools for cultural production and distribution are in the pockets of 14 year olds. This does not guarantee that they will do the hard work of democratic self-governance: the tools that enable the free circulation of information and communication of opinion are necessary but not sufficient for the formation of public opinion. Ask yourself this question: Which kind of population seems more likely to become actively engaged in civic affairs a population of passive consumers, sitting slackjawed in their darkened rooms, soaking in mass-manufactured culture that is broadcast by a few to an audience of many, or a world of creators who might be misinformed or ill-intentioned, but in any case are actively engaged in producing as well as consuming cultural products? Recent polls indicate that a majority of today’s youth the “digital natives” for whom laptops and wireless Internet connections are part of the environment, like electricity and running water have created as well as consumed online content. I think this bodes well for the possibility that they will take the repair of the world into their own hands, instead of turning away from civic issues, or turning to nihilistic destruction.”

2007 Blogging Predictions

From Duncan Riley. Among them: “Its sad to note that there has been no great innovation in the blogosphere since the successful uptake of WordPress some 2-3 years ago. Of course, WordPress success itself is a quirk of history, being in the right place at the right time, particularly as SixApart imposed fees on its user base. But where in the past, every year bought great innovation, from GreyMatter to MovableType to WordPress, and others in between, the last few years have been a barren wasteland of conformity and similarity. Whether 2007 will provide a great new innovation of blogging is, I suppose, best left to conjecture, but word that AOL may release Blogsmith in one form or another offers some hope. Surely, amongst the masses of VC funding and startups a company exists that will revolutionise blogging for us all once again.”

Two 2007 Trends

HipMojo writes:

First, it should be noted that video consumption amongst users will become even more commonplace. Smart media companies like News Corp. are putting a lot of their good stuff online, even those who do not put it all out there and experimenting, like Walt Disneys ABC.

But, what I see becoming more and more mainstream is something that has been brewing louder and louder this year. People will begin to increasingly get their virtual newspapers (proverbially speaking) delivered to them; via RSS (Real Simple Syndication) and other means, be it in their inbox, on their blogs or social network profiles (see how everything gels?).