Technology Stops for No Man

A good friend of mine is working on a film series, and has a running Facebook group to discuss the production process while it’s being made. He posted this today: Crazy world indeed. Technology marches on. Read our coverage on SiliconANGLE on the Facebook Skype integration...

MySpace’s Tom Anderson Comments on G+

The days when Tom Anderson, the iconic first friend on everyone’s MySpace account, was active on his own service have long past. Most of Tom’s old co-workers have headed over to Facebook, but Tom himself seems to enjoy what Google+ is doing for the Google ecosystem. Earlier today, he took the time to post a somewhat lengthy rumination on where Google+ fits into the major social networking ecosystem: Google+ seems like a "reaction" to Twitter/Facebook. But are you starting to see the ways that Google+ just makes Google a better, more integrated set of services? Google already has top-notch products in key categories–photos, videos, office productivity, blogs, Chrome, Android, maps and (duh) search. Can you start to see/imagine what Google+ does for Gmail? Picassa? Youtube? Not to mention search? The +1 system that Google now has control of (unlike Facebook Likes) can really influence and change the nature of their search. My original vision for [MySpace] was that everything got better when it was social–so I tried to build all the super popular things used on the web (blogs, music, classifieds, events, photos) on top of MySpace’s social layer. When Yahoo launched 360, MSN launched Spaces, and Google launched Okrut, I was shakin’ in my boots. But quickly I saw that it’s really hard to layer in social to features after the fact. At MySpace we had the luxury of having social first, and building the products on top of that layer. Then I choked and Facebook realized that vision. 😉 But Google+ really seems to be primed to make good on that original premise–that everything gets better when...

Should I Create a Facebook Page for SiliconANGLE? #fail

So I’ve had the discussion with several of my staff, and several publishers that I’m on friendly enough terms to talk about their metrics with, and I remain unconvinced that devoting efforts to the maintenance of a Facebook page is in my best interests. When it comes to traffic delivery and audience development, Facebook fails almost every time. The social network has much more critical mass than Twitter, or even Google Buzz, but consistently ranks lower than both of those sites when compared to organic traffic delivered as well as purchased traffic. Maintaining your community on Facebook is expensive in many ways – expensive when it comes to people cost (I’d have to devote one of my personnel to being a community manager for the Facebook page), and it’s expensive in that I’m actually devoting money to letting Facebook have all the traffic from community interactions I’d be garnering. That’s unmonetizable traffic that never makes it back to my site. Granted, we’re not CPM based, so it’s not nearly as critical as it would be for a Mashable or a Techcrunch, but it also creates a vacuum for those who would interact with the brand normally on our own properties, pushes them to Facebook, where (I’m told) the conversation will probably not revolve around our content so much as the weather and other mundane topics. That’s another thing – I’ve talked to about two or three potential community managers. They say that creating a Page on Facebook that simply houses links and descriptions of our library of content won’t attract interaction – it’s the conversations about the mundanities of...

Mashable Fired Federated Media in January

Pete Cashmore went on Old Media raw data buffet Bloomberg West today, and amongst other things, let slip that Mashable fired Federated media. He followed up with a rare post on Mashable proper: How are we fueling this growth? Among other big moves this year, Mashable took over its own ad sales at the start of 2011 – ads had previously been handled by our ad partner. This more than doubled our ad revenue, allowing us to grow the team, expand our coverage, and bring on seasoned journalists like San Francisco Bureau Chief Chris Taylor (formerly of Fast Company). This does explain the massive personnel growth Mashable’s been displaying this year. Here’s the problem with Mashable (without going into my petty quibbles with current and former staff members): Mashable still relies on CPM ad models, and thus severely undervalues the market position they hold. SiliconANGLE has been functioning quite highly on our data-based revenue model for quite some time (I’d have to check my calendar, but I’d say it’s coming up on a little over a year now), and while our data-based revenue model is nascent, I’d be proud to put the financials of Mashable and SiliconANGLE side-by-side and see which one values work output more highly. CPM, CPC, and CPA are dying models. Try as you might, you can’t compete against the likes of a Demand Media or a Business Insider. Demand has cost of content production to a fine science, and Business Insider has absolutely perfected and picked up tripe-printing where World Weekly News left off. The BI/WWN model is as profitable as The Onion; that is,...

Kara Swisher Agrees With Me: Blodget Not a Good Journalist

Finally – someone who agrees with me (at least publicly) on the whole Business Insider / Henry Blodget thing. I’ve been bagging on Blodget for as long as I can remember. The dude was apparently some sort of huckster on Wall Street, and he’s been quite obviously a huckster in the New Media business. That hasn’t stopped people from reading his link bait and quoting it as if it were actual journalism. I’ve actually stopped bagging on the guy – as much – recently because I figured it was a losing war. People will read the tripe they want to read, and nothing I say about the National Enquirer, Business Insider, or any other junk publication will change people’s minds. Kara changed that today by being one of the loudest voices to call shens on Blodget in a long time: On some level of journalism, I guess anything could happen. At least that’s according to a recent article by Business Insider’s Henry Blodget about an alleged “mole” at Twitter who was allegedly spying for Google, specifically about an exec the microblogging service was trying to poach from the Silicon Valley search giant. In a decidedly splashy, hello-traffic, ALL-CAPs headline–THE SEARCH FOR THE “TWITTER MOLE”: All Eyes On John Doerr”–Blodget pointed his J’accuse finger at the legendary venture capitalist as the culprit. Based on… Well, based on nothing, it appears, except rank speculation and what appears to be no attempt to get Doerr to comment. And then, in classic Kara: It’s kind of like thinking that sparkly Civil War-era vampire falling in love with a moody chick in the Pacific...

Joint: Twitter Based IM Client [The B-List Lives Again]

If you’re in the in-crowd of early adopters today, you’re probably playing with Joint, an Air based IM client. Here’s the bare facts: It uses Twitter to authenticate, but doesn’t appear to use Twitter’s messaging for communication, from the best I can determine. It’s better than DMs for one on one communication, without a doubt. Despite the many implementations (including Trillian’s latest and most disappointing try), no one seems to have nailed DMs in a way that feels right. It’s unfortunate, I think, that it doesn’t use Twitter as a messaging protocol – it keeps my DM feed clean, I suppose, but it also means that I can’t take conversations to my phone easily, should I go mobile. It’s invite only. Add me on Twitter, then add @imjoint. You should get in that way. Group chat is fun, but doesn’t (yet) offer much over other group chat solutions, other than being trendy and where most of my friends are at the moment. They just stealth launched today, so I wouldn’t hold that against them. It’s stable. No crashes, memory leaks, or lag. Gotta love that. Group chat behaves much like old-school IRC – rooms aren’t persistent, so the last one out turns out the lights. Bottom line: give it a try, if you can get in. Try it now, and you’ll be here before Scoble and MG, so that’s...

Even More Unordered Thoughts from SxSWi 2011

Once again, the crappy laptop has been rendering video day and night. I swear, I’m going to buy an Alienware laptop or something (I was going to talk to Alienware down at Screenburn – but the only booth with their signage on it was abandoned every time I came around). At any rate, this laptop is slow, old, and taking forever, so I’m pausing between render cycles to tap out a few more list items here, since a few folks thought they were at least as entertaining as watching Valley residents get drunk in Austin the last time I posted them. I haven’t attended a single party since I’ve been here. This is mostly because I brought my family with me, and I feel a bit guilty partying with everyone when my wife is holed up in my sister’s apartment down here with all the kids. I did have sushi in town tonight, though. I didn’t feel guilty about that since my wife hates seafood, and my kids rarely want to eat anything but Mac and Cheese and pizza. The more people I run my “distribution year theory” past, the more people I hear agree with me. Or if they disagree with me, they’re nice enough not to do so to my face, which I certainly appreciate. They wouldn’t say anything on the record, but between the facial tics and the wink wink nudge nudging I got from the Canon reps on the trade show floor, there’s very little chance we’ll see a Canon 5D Mark 3 any time soon. Azure isn’t being pimped by Microsoft this year. Like,...

Unordered List: Thoughts Thus Far on SxSWi 2011

I haven’t had a lot of time to sit down and write – I’ve been editing video on my sub-par laptop, which takes a lot of CPU cycles and leaves little time for much else. I’m in between render sessions, so I thought I’d take some time to put down an unordered list of thoughts. My favorite conversation thus far has been with Francine Hardaway. I got most of it on video. We didn’t do live video this year. I thought not having four hours a day blocked off my schedule would give me more time to relax and make me more productive. That hasn’t consistently been the case thus far. I did, however, do a crap-load of non-live video. This is important: I should remember to trust my instincts. I knew that the “Google Circles” announcement was BS. Several very smart folks told me I was wrong, and that it was real. I went ahead and told Kristen to write up the rumor, but I didn’t provide my skeptical comments. As it turns out, everyone continues to have a very, very, very surface-y understanding of Google’s core strategy (only AllThingsD seemed to get the analysis right). There is no Google Circles, and there will likely never be a serious contender for Facebook or Twitter to come out of Google, unless it’s by accident. They aren’t trying to kill their ecosystem like Facebook accidentally does sometimes or Twitter intentionally does constantly – they want to expand their ecosystem in every way possible. The more ecosystem there is, the more web and internet users there are. The more users there...

Paint.EXE – the Remix!

If you read The Next Web, you may have seen the post today: “What happens when you import Paint.exe into an audio program.” Someone had the evidently terrifically brilliant idea of dropping the old MS Paint executable into a PCM audio editor, cleaned it up a little, and posted it to the web. This is what it sounds like: Then, as is custom on the Internet, someone made the remix. Paint.exe by fisco130 I could actually dance to this. Well done. Makes me wish I still...

Cool App of the Day: VVall Grid

This thing is cool. Check it out. It turns out a timeline of your pictures uploaded to a variety of services, including Facebook or Twitpic. It gives you some stats – like total timeline length and photos uploaded per day. Picasa does the same thing within the program, and the majority of my collection is contained inside Picasa, but data visualizations are always...

… In Which Techcrunch Claims They Don’t Read Me.

For the record: I could give two sh!ts as to whether Techcrunch reads my blog or not. They started the “war” when they began badmouthing me and the rest of my co-workers at Mashable back in 2006-ish. By “war” I mean where I don’t think highly of them, and by “badmouthing me” I mean giving a friend a ride home from the Crunchies and subjecting him to “Rizzn sucks” conversation the whole way. I actually unsubscribed from Techcrunch a few months ago, after finally realizing that they weren’t all that relevant to my work anymore. I suggest “The Next Web” as a suitable replacement. Covers a similar beat, ultra quick to the news, and you don’t have to put up with arrogant and ignorant posts from Mike Arrington, MG Siegler and Devin Coldewey. I don’t mind Robin Wauters’ writing all that much. He’s one of the few folks left over there with the ability to compose solid analysis. Louis Gray made an excellent suggestion: Don’t subscribe to Techcrunch, subscribe to the Robin Wauters minus Techcrunch feed courtesy of Shyftr. http://t.co/j5s1Mhr Techcrunch writers definitely read both SiliconANGLE and my personal blog. I wasn’t lying. I do have Woopra installed. Why are you reading this bullshit post, anyway? Go read that thing that Steven wrote. Still, pretty funny Twitter snapshot,...

The Hard Thing About What I Do [journo-programmer]

On my business card (or for those who have actually met me, my laptop sticker), my official job title is “Editor-in-Chief.” In actuality, this means I’m SiliconANGLE’s chief bottle-washer. Today, for instance, I’m editing up a full length documentary. Yesterday, I was choosing and editing a series of short clips highlighting the round-the-world trip John Furrier, Dave Vellante and I took with EMC. The week before that, I was behind the camera exclusively. The week before that, I was elbows deep in code on a revolutionary product launch we’re working on behind the scenes at SiliconANGLE. The week before that, I was playing sales engineer, coming up with product descriptions that the general public could understand. Before that, I was focused on refinancing our editorial processes as we onboard more writers and editors. I could go on down the timeline in either direction in time and come up with more hats I’m wearing, but you probably get the point. Changing hats isn’t hard, or even particularly stressful to me. I enjoy it, actually. I’ve always been a bit of a jack of all trades, and now that SiliconANGLE has grown to the point where I have support staff, I don’t have to lose sleep at night wondering what mission-critical tasks I’ve let drop completely. The Journo-Programmer and Me Dave Winer talked today on his blog about the “journo-programmer” and whether or not it could “save journalism.” There’s an idea, emanating from New York, that if we somehow combine the talents of programmers and journalists, we’ll figure out how to make news work in the age of the Internet. I...

I’m Not a Fan of Pummelvision [and Other Useless Single Purpose Apps]

Some time back – right before the clock turned over for the new year – a service called Pummelvision started making the rounds. It didn’t get very far, but a few high profile folks used it. Essentially what it did was take videos from your Facebook albums, compile them into a rapid-fire slideshow, put some funky music behind it, and automatically upload it to YouTube. Like the early-adopter lemming that I am, I tried out the service. A few of my Facebook friends openly mocked me for allowing a junky looking video hit my timeline, I took the beating, and went on with my life. Today, though, I caught a brief review of the service from The Next Web, who dubbed the service “beautiful.” I couldn’t disagree more. I reshared the post on Google Buzz, which I tagged to also go to Twitter. My exact review was: These things suck… There were entrants years ago at SxSW that were much better than this. My Extended (Bad) Review Pummelvision certainly doesn’t deserve the accolades it has been getting from early adopters or the few reviewers who’ve given it the time of day. There are dozens of services out there for creating a video slideshow of your images on a myriad of services. I’ll talk about one of my favorites (one that I discovered at SxSW ‘09) a little later called Animoto, but I know I’ve seen a handful designed to work with Flickr’s API, and the slideshow maker built into Picasa is truly top-notch. Pummlvision doesn’t allow any customization of your slideshow, no selection of background music, and doesn’t even...

Fantastic – Law Enforcement Handed Over to Zealots

From TheHill today: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is taking a shot at bolstering its controversial net-neutrality rules with a new contest for application developers. The agency is asking researchers and members of the software industry to design applications that allow users to "monitor and protect Internet openness." So the same zealots that freak out when they can’t download pirated movies will be responsible for creating the apps that monitor whether the world’s infrastructure providers will be liable for hefty fines....

Update Your WordPress Now!

You need to update to 3.0.4 if you haven’t already. If you’re relatively current, this won’t break anything, but it’ll protect you from a “critical” vulnerability. From Matt Mullenweg: Version 3.0.4 of WordPress, available immediately through the update page in your dashboard or for download here, is a very important update to apply to your sites as soon as possible because it fixes a core security bug in our HTML sanitation library, called KSES. I would rate this release as “critical.” I realize an update during the holidays is no fun, but this one is worth putting down the eggnog for. In the spirit of the holidays, consider helping your friends as well. SiliconANGLE managed sites have all been updated. If you’re running a self-managed WordPress instance, you need to run the update yourself. [Cross-posted to SA Media...

Me, on Windows, Kinect, France and the WP7

I had a blast getting back on the air with my old blogging and podcasting buddy Steven Hodson. He and I have co-hosted tons of podcasts together, but none recently – until now. I sat in for the vacationing Paul O’Flaherty on the WinExtra Daily Brief. We talked about how revolutionary we thought the Kinect was, Microsoft’s evolved stance on security, France’s lack of a Windows tax, and why Scoble is wrong on the Windows Phone 7. By the way … have you seen Steven’s new site, Winextra.tv? It’s pretty...

The 17th Century Roots of Activity Streams

It occurs to me that history is written by journalists. That seems a bit obvious now that I read it in black and white, so let me backtrack a second and explain the train of thought that lead me to that “epiphany.” The etymology of the word “journalism,” it turns out, goes back to the fourteenth century, when the word “jurnal” was used in Anglo-French to refer to a “book of church services.” The French, sometime in the 1560s, enlarged the word to also encompass a daily record of transactions. It wasn’t until 1600 that the word “journal” was found to be applied to personal diarists’ tome of writings. Somehow, in the ensuing ninety years, the term “journalist” grew in it’s scope, including not only those who kept personal diaries, but “one whose work is to write or edit public journals or newspapers.” If you haven’t read the book yet, you probably don’t recognize the style of writing in this post thus far – the style is a blatant rip off of homage to Bill Bryson. The influencing book in question is At Home: A Short History of Private Life,  a book I’ve been reading in bits and pieces over the last few months. According to my Kindle’s progress bar, I’m about halfway through the book, and it’s taken me up to this point to grasp the utter invaluable nature of historic personal diaries to the end of understanding history. You grow up in school and colleges, and the way history, society and culture is taught, you’d think that our history books were written by, well, history book writers....

John C. Dvorak Agrees with My Analysis on Network Neutrality

To all the commentors on Facebook and Twitter that insulted my parentage after reading my take on Network Neutrality, you should know that one of technology’s most experienced pundits agrees with me. From John’s post: “No matter that the net neutrality debate should have been taken up by the FTC (Fair Trade Commission) which totally dropped the ball on the issue.” You can read his whole post here. You can read my whole post...