Archive for September 2006

Very Recommendable: TEDTalks

There is one thing I would like to recommend to anyone interested in ideas & inspiration. TEDTalks is a podium for remarkable people who have done or are doing remarkable things. In the words of TED itself:

Each year, TED hosts some of the world’s most fascinating people: Trusted voices and convention-breaking mavericks, icons and geniuses. The talks they deliver have had had such a great impact, we thought they deserved a wider audience.

I found a range of fascinating talks there (and I still ain’t finished watching all of them). Sir Ken Robinson, for example is as inspirational as he is funny. Malcolm Gladwell speaks about things he also published in his book “blink” (his presentation at TED is from 2004). There are also musicians, philosophers and many other people sharing their thoughts.

From a web perspective, there is Mena Trott, who started the blog-software and service company six apart with the software moveable type. And there is also Jimmy Wales, who founded Wikipedia – a site that I increasingly enjoy nowadays. For researching, but also more and more for browsing.

If you want some inspirational ideas and thougts – don’t miss this.

MySpace Myth

I love it. There is always someone in the whole webosphere, who’s got the time, brains and curiosity to dive deep into things that we can’t be bothered with until we see the results.

This guy here, for example, was wondering about the fact that MySpace has 100 mio users. So he looked at a couple of hundred of them, clustered them, and found out that many profiles are probably abandoned or at least currently inactive.

Whew. Looks like the popular claim that MySpace has 100,000,000 users is hot air. More than 50% can’t even bother to visit again after a month. Based on assuming that type 5 and type 6 are the real ‘users’ of MySpace, it turns out that MySpace really has roughly 43,000,000 users. Very unscientific? Yep. More accurate than the 100,000,000 myth? Damn straight. The 100,000,000 number is inflated by 133%.

Might be unscientific, but at least he put his data into some nice bar- and pie-charts, which makes a marketeer like myself happy in any case ;)

Your Favorite Bloggers

Businessweek Online has a “Tech Special Report” online with lots of interesting articles. And also a slideshow about “Your Favorite Bloggers” – the guys behind boingboing, engadget. People like Seth Godin, Mark Cuban, etc. Nice flick through those slides. Unfortunately, the corresponding list for Germany would be different. We still don’t have that kind of blog-celebrity culture over here…

Other than that there are a few other things worth reading:

  • The internet is an entertainment medium:

    According to the Pew Internet Life Survey, on any given day, 40 million Americans go to the Web for no particular reason, just to pass the time.

  • An article about the (on the web) neglected target audience of the 50 year old baby boomers:

    Today, baby boomers make up the Web’s largest constituency, accounting for fully one-third of the 195.3 million Web users in the U.S., according to JupiterResearch. They also spend more money on online shopping than your average Web user.

  • And an article about Six Apart, and how it evolved from the very first journal entries of Mena Trott to the company it is today.

Zune on Ellen: Microsoft’s new leaking campaign

Just found this on Adjab: Zune on Ellen: Microsoft’s new leaking campaign.

Not bad going for Microsoft. With this kind of advertising they might actually invade the iPod space. I guess they had already practised. At least that’s what it looks like in this video, that was supposed to be “internal” but then hit YouTube nevertheless. (That must have been a well-orchastrated publicity stunt.)

Now they sent the Zune Player (couldn’t they have chosen a better name?) to so called influentiers and opinion leaders, such as Ellen, who presented the player in her TV show.

What I particularly like about the Zune Player, though (without actually having seen one myself – is the landscape display for movies, which probably makes it more fun to watch movies on this thing than on the iPod Video!

But back to my point: it seems like Microsoft might actually get their marketing right this time AND apply it for a good product. These two things were rarely seen before on their own, if at all – and almost never in combination.

Swickis tap communities for search…

ZDNet writes about Swicki tapping communities for search and really describes a new way of making search more relevant. This is the question most search engines are currently trying to solve and the model of Swicki seems to be similar to Rollyo:

Rollyo offers the ability to search the content of a list of specified websites, allowing you to narrow down the results to pages from websites that you already know and trust.”

… but then again, not quite. Since they don’t only allow for predefined filters, but also measure user behaviour to identify which results will be relevant in the future. This also what might differentiate them from Google: it’s not just about what people “voted for” by placing a link but also about what they actually visited.

Swickis combine Web crawling with filters defined by site owners and algorithms that analyze user behavior (keywords and pages accessed) anonymously and automatically, re-ranking results based on the community’s search actions.

(Just as I typed this I thought: who knows, if Google isn’t already measuring our behaviour anyway? – I mean, how would we be able to tell? In theory, they can measure our clicks on the pages of the search results – but in addition they can track us on any page that has Google Adsense Advertising – which would mean a lot of pages across the hit- and niche-websites of the web.)

Seems to be an interesting tool – if I have some time over the weekend, I might start my own Swicki search in this blog…

Corporate Videos filmed in Second Life

So, there is a machinima video by the PR company Text 100 filmed completely in Second Life:

Two things I find amazing:

  1. the fact that we will probably see more of these kinds of videos, since it is so much easier to have all the actors and the buildings put together.
  2. the thought that there might actually be a need for virtual PR, the way it is described in the video

Is this already web3.0, as some say? Not sure, but there is certainly still a lot more potential to leverage these virtual worlds. The only thing worrying me is that amongst the 700k residents there are only 330k that have logged in during the last 60 days. And that is not a lot, especially on a worldwide scale…

(via)

AmandaAcrossAmerica

So, Amanda Congdon is back with AmandaAcrossAmerica.

And she has also opened up a wiki, because:

As you may know, we will be traveling across the country in the next few weeks. On our way we will visit all kinds of people and places– we may even run into you. So we’ve created this wiki to interact with you.

We are asking you, THE FORCE, to suggest points of interest across the USA. You live in lots of different places and are all experts in those various places….you are also experts in the places where you used to live.

Not as funny any more, but still very entertaining and with more substantial content, which could actually make it the more interesting show!

(via)

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