If the US founding fathers had been fighting for internet rights.
I’m a big fan of TechMeme, a web aggregation service that provides, at a glance, a few of what’s being discussed in the technology-focused part of the blogosphere. It has allowed me to unsubscribe from a large number of RSS feeds that were providing me with redundant information and I’ve long hoped for a version of TechMeme that would provide me with a customized view that providing a similar user interface for my own personal feeds. Recently, though, TechMeme has gotten me thinking about the tech blogosphere conversations as a whole and their longer term relevance. To the small “web 2.0” community, TechMeme serves as a bit of a paper of record; The subhead even claims that it represents the “Tech Web, page A1”, claiming to bring us the important stories. But how do those stories fare over time? Is today’s hot topic a step in understanding a longer term trend or is it just a temporary distraction that will be forgotten a month/3 months/6 months/a year from now. Fortunately, Gabe Rivera, the founder of TechMeme must have anticipated such a question and provided a way to look at TechMeme as it was a particular point in its short history.…Read More
Having looked, in the previous entry, at the economic conditions surrounding virtual worlds, I am now turning my attention to the demographic profile of those users. Overall Numbers The overall population, according to MMOG Charts, is currently about 12 million people strong. What is interesting, however, is the growth rate: looking at the linked chart, one can see the population doubling at an increasing rate: it took 24 months to get from 6 million to 12 but it took 48 months to go from 3 to 6. This accelerating rate of growth is an interesting one. Assuming that few other factors change, one could envision a 24 million people strong population within the next 12 months or, on a more conservative basis, within the next 18 months. Considering the upsurge in stories about the phenomenon in the mainstream press, growth will, at least, continue at the same pace over the next year. A recent estimate shows that SecondLife is growing at a rate of 22 percent a month though a more conservative estimate shows a growth rate of 15 percent. Any which way you play it, this is a fairly high growth rate. Age The videogame industry has evolved and…Read More
In 2003, an off-hand remark by then incoming senate majority leader Trent Lott got little notice from the mainstream press. However, weblogs got into the action, picking up on the remarks and doing further research to put the story in context. The mainstream press picked up the brouhaha that ensued, eventually leading to Mr. Lott’s resignation from office. How does this relate to the modular by design approach? Let’s delve in. While the Internet did facilitate such discussions, what happened here was the result of a number of individuals discussing and sharing information, individual units building on top of the work of other individual units to have an impact on the way news is reported. Had the story developed in the mainstream newspapers, it would have taken much longer to take hold. For example, Woodward and Bernstein and the rest of the Washington Post team worked diligently on the Watergate story for 26 months and because the mainstream press generally looks for validation from their competitors in the guise of follow-on stories (what one could call either pack mentality or group think), they often had to check and recheck that they were heading in the right direction. Granted, the secrets…Read More
Tomorrow’s agenda for BloggerCon calls for a discussion of blog and journalism. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been reading what other people had to say, synthesizing it in my own head and trying to figure out what it all meant. From there, I came to a couple of conclusions: Blogs are not journalism Journalism happens on blogs Blogs are the single biggest threat to the online publishing industry and the print publishing industry. Blogs are the single largest opportunity to the online publishing industry and could represent a big opportunity for the print industry. I know it sounds like 2 sets of contradictory statements but I’m really not hedging my bets here. What is happening is that blogs are representing such a radical shift in online publishing that what the response is from journalists and other content publishers will either increase or decrease the impact of the blogging phenomenon. What is happening is not so much a revolution as a continuing evolution of the trends started with the rise of the commercial Internet. Looking back, looking forward Let’s first take a step back in order to better understand the blogging phenomenon. They year is 1994. At that point, the…Read More
There has been a lot of articles poo-pooing the concept of the new economy. However, many seems to be missing a critical part about the changes in the economic cycle. We are currently going through a period of sluggish economic growth but people are still getting fired in large numbers. Significant in the Times story is the following quote: the recent increases in corporate efficiency appear to have created a long-term change in the level of economic growth needed for an improving job market. The times is burying a huge story in this line. How did those increases in corporate efficiency happen? It is my contention that they happened largely due to the fact that a lot of the technology investments made in the 90s as result of the dotcom boom are starting to pay off. Whereas, in the past, memos were sent in paper form, and people had to talk to a lot more people to get access to simple bits of information, the introduction of intranet tools and email in the corporate world have helped workers become more efficient by cutting a large amount of unnecessary steps in the process of getting information. Whereas in the past, one…Read More