The New York Times writes:
Love it or hate it, though, its success is past denying 6.8 million registered users worldwide, at last count, and 1.8 million separate articles in the English-language Wikipedia alone and that success has borne an interesting side effect. Just as the Internet has accelerated most incarnations of what we mean by the word information, so it has sped up what we mean when we employ the very term encyclopedia. For centuries, an encyclopedia was synonymous with a fixed, archival idea about the retrievability of information from the past. But Wikipedias notion of the past has enlarged to include things that havent even stopped happening yet. Increasingly, it has become a go-to source not just for reference material but for real-time breaking news
Fans of MySpace and Facebook are divided by much more than which music they like, suggests a study.
A six-month research project has revealed a sharp division along class lines among the American teenagers flocking to the social network sites.
The research suggests those using Facebook come from wealthier homes and are more likely to attend college.
By contrast, MySpace users tend to get a job after finishing high school rather than continue their education.
In India, a teenager I know put it thus: “South Mumbai uses Facebook, North Mumbai uses Orkut.”
Liz Strauss discusses the Information and Relationships Webs:
Two very different world views one informational, one relational. Each point of view defines the experience differently. Static or dynamic, take your pick.
This elephant is standing on the web.
What is a link? Is a link clicks and traffic and Google rankings? Or does a link represent that I know you, that Ive read your content, that youre relevant and of value to me? Is a comment conversation or something I can buy or rent?
Were living in two Internets. It looks much like the companies we find in the world of brick and mortar. One is about places, information, and data. Its the buildings in which people work. The other is about people, relationships, and conversation. Its the people who work in those buildings. One is a structure. The other is social.
Don Dodge writes about how widgets can be monetised:
What is the business model for widgets?
* The Freemium model, upselling from free to premium services seems to be the best bet, at least for now. Many of the widgets provide a free service with options to buy premium services such as more detailed traffic statistics, more powerful services, enhanced customization, or higher levels of service.
* Sponsorship might make sense. A simple “Sponsored by Big Company” tagline across the bottom of the widget might fit well. I don’t see how larger advertising units would work for a small widget, and I doubt the “hosts” would allow it.
* Revenue sharing with your host – Facebook and MySpace don’t need to share their advertising revenues with the widget guys, but a smaller social network might want to. If I were the owner of a social network and wanted to build an ecosystem of developers building cool widgets on my platform I would indeed share some advertising revenue with them.
* Syndication network – If your widget distributes content widely,, think YouTube, then the content owners might want to pay you to get their content on your widget.
The Economist writes about how Skype, podcasts and broadband are transforming language teaching:
Tens of millions of people in 110 countries now download the free ChinesePod podcasts, Praxis’s flagship service, says Mr Carroll. About 250,000 listen regularly and several thousand pay for the premium services, which include individual Skype chats with teachers. A second service, SpanishSense, is out, and more will follow.
The customers are everywhere from Berkeley to Alaska and the Vatican. In the past, when language instructionalong with haircuts and massageswas a non-tradable sector of the economy, many people would not have found a native Mandarin speaker as a teacher in their town at all. Now they need only a broadband connection.
WSJ writes: “In South Korea, Danal’s popular service lets people charge such items, as well as tangible goods like books or cosmetics, directly to their mobile-phone bills using an authentication code they punch into their personal computer. They receive the code as a text message on their phone when they are ready to buy something online. There is no need to install special software on the phones. In heavily wired Korea, 70% of all digital content — valued at more than $1 billion last year — is charged directly to cellphone bills instead of traditional credit cards, the company says.”
In India, mchek, in which I have an investment, is also working in the mobile payments space.
WSJ writes: “Facebook now offers more than 800 new services — from photo slideshows to online file storage — up from fewer than 100 a month ago. Meanwhile, those who are creating the Facebook services can access information about their customers and make money by selling related items and ads…Facebook is actually borrowing a tactic pioneered by Microsoft: Rather than building every piece of technology yourself, let others build on your “platform,” much the way Adobe Systems Inc., Intuit Inc. and others built software for Microsoft’s Windows operating system in the 1980s. Using this strategy, Facebook can nurture an ecosystem of developers who can create services far faster than Facebook could build them on its own.”
Dave Winer writes: “The features of social networks are due to deconstruct into simple services that can be recombined by skilled users in an infinite number of ways. At the core of all of it is an identity system. So what is an identity system? Is there a good definition somewhere? How many features can you add before it becomes more than an identity system? This is important because in this area, it’s important to strip it down to its bare minimum, so that the first component of any network of people, events and resources can be maximally combined with features that depend on identity. The goal is to give the user the most options with the fewest identities.”
Robert Scoble writes about Jaiku, Twitter, Facebook, Kyte and Plaxo. “Why am I using these services nearly every hour of my waking life? Because they are being talked about and I want to learn what is making people so passionate nearly everyone in the industry I meet either loves these things or despises them. It seems that every conversation lately is about one of these five services and how theyre potentially changing how we communicate with each other. Translation: theres a lot of hype here and were trying to figure out what they are good for and whether the hype is justified. In my opinion: it is.”
As online and traditional forms of advertising evolve, new measurement techniques are likely to emerge.
According to Werbach, online advertising will at some point be able to more accurately measure what consumers do and what they value. “Online advertising has the potential to be radically more efficient, responsive, and measurable than traditional advertising, so ultimately it will be valued using different metrics. At the macro level, advertising will eventually track user attention, which means online advertising will grow substantially,” he says.
Although these new metrics are also likely to be applied to traditional media, Williams says these will be harder to track relative to Internet advertising.
Forbes has an article by Elizabeth Corcoran:
A bevy of new devices are emerging, machines smaller than a laptop computer, bigger than a cellphone. Like variations of Darwin’s finches, each of these is evolving its own specialty:
–Steve Jobs’ iPhone will let you talk.
–“Mobile PCs,” based on Intel’s (nasdaq: INTC – news – people ) chips, will let you run the software written for PC on lightweight, portable machines.
–The “Foleo,” Palm’s (nasdaq: PALM – news – people ) new machine created by Palm Pilot and Treo inventor Jeff Hawkins, aims to be a “mobile companion” that sits somewhere between a PDA and a full-fledged laptop.
Each of these design efforts–and I’m sure there are scores more–are scratching away at the environment, trying to figure out what it will take to survive. What will consumers (and businesses) buy? At what price? With what usage caveats?