Why monopolies may no longer exist in the online space.
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
Over the last few months, I’ve been trying to get a better understanding of what is happening with the concept of virtual worlds. Let me go into more details as to why I think this phenomenon has some real potentials. In this first entry in a series, I will explore the economic activity surrounding this phenomenon. Size of the market When talking about virtual worlds, I am focusing on the new space created by the gaming industry that allows to create online avatars and interact with other players in a fully immersive environment. From an economic standpoint, estimates range from around 100 millions to a high of US$1.5 billion a year. These are not insignificant numbers and they point to an emerging phenomenon and potentially the rise a new industry, with its own set of marketplaces, gathers, owners, creators, and marketers. Marketplaces To understand virtual worlds marketplace, one must first understand what si going on in those virtual worlds. When a player sets up an account, he’s given a basic set of skills. As he or she progresses and interacts with the virtual world and its denizens, the player gains more and more skills and goods. However, this type of…Read More
Apple has it. Google has it. Microsoft fails at it. Yahoo! sometimes does and sometimes doesn’t. What I am talking about is buzz and coolness. It seems every time Apple or Google introduces a new product, the buzz is high. For example, Apple recently introduced a $350 speaker and, while the reaction was more tepid than it has been for other Apple products, no one seem to point that the emperor was looking very very naked. Yet, Microsoft keeps throwing out new products and few people seem to be very interested (no matter how Scoble tries to browbeat us into thinking of Microsoft as cool). Similarly, today, Google introduced a finance section that mimicked much of what yahoo! finance has been doing for years. It has a couple of nice AJAX-based features but, all and all, it’s not enough of an improvement to be considered like something that could potentially dominate the tech news cycle. And yet, every major tech pub or mainstream publication has covered the release. why? Trying to divine the source of coolness What Google and Apple seem to have understood is that there are ways to make oneself look cool. I’m going to try to lay…Read More
Based on the recent discussion about new gatekeepers, I recently wondered whether we were just deluding ourselves in thinking that there were gatekeepers. What provoked this line of thinking was a recent comment by Doc Searls in which he says that “being an alpha blogger was like being an alpha paramecium.” This pushed me to analyze the rank of move within the Technorati 100. As frequent readers of this blog know, I did a study back in May 2005, in which I analyzed linkage to members of the Technorati 100. Using this data as a point in time, I have now decided to revisit the list and see how much movement happened. The first thing to do was to map out which of the May 19, 2005 members were still on the list. The results looked like this: Blog Title Position 5/19/05 Position 2/20/06 Boing Boing 1 1 InstaPundit 2 12 Daily Kos 3 5 Gizmodo 4 9 Fark 5 23 EnGadget 6 2 Davenetics 7 Â Eschaton 8 36 Dooce 9 15 Andrew Sullivan 10 51 The Best Page In The Universe 11 52 Talking Points Memo: by Joshua MicahMarshall 12 26 lgf: anti-idiotarian 13 35 kottke.org 14 21…Read More