Why dictating online conduct is a bad idea.
Following a recent article in Wired News about the viability of blogging as a revenue generating model, I started thinking about the value of archival material to a blogger. As readers of this site might have noticed when using the web interface, I am using the Google Ad service called AdSense. As I am not at freedom to reveal the terms of my contract with them or discuss specific, I’ll talk in general about online advertising programs. The first thing to take into account is that the model on using advertising in archives is one largely predicated on a long tail concept, whereas one can make more money from small increment over a long run than trying to score the big hit. In my case, this means trying to get a few good stories out on a regular basis, none of which is going to make lots of money on a single day but a few cents or a few dollars a day can add up to quite a nice payoff on a yearly basis. I believe that people who blog and develop a nice audience can see some of those results. Let’s take a hypothetical story of 1000 words.…Read More
The New York Times reports about changes to the White House email system that make it less user-friendly. After reading the article, I decided to take a look for myself and here are a few things which could help improve the system: First of all, a progress indicator should show how many more pages are required in order to complete the email. This would allow people to quickly understand that this may be a lengthier process than they expect and give them an indication of how close (or how far) they are to completing their communication. The mention of I want to write a supporting comment/differing opinion as the first item is a bad approach. While I understand that it will make it easier to quickly assess the level of support or dissent on a particular issues, the approach likes granularity and inspires instant suspicion of darker motives. A better way to approach this would be to include this as a later step in the flow, asking whether the writer supports or opposes the policy or other (the other category allowing for people who are not fully in support or dissent on a policy to offer suggestions). The next issue…Read More
The ragingcow blog got me thinking about the concept of Astroturf blogs (I would call them astroblogs). A lot of people are saying that a blog like ragingcow can’t work and yet, there is a number of discussions about it all over the blogosphere. Now, if it doesn’t work, how come I now know about a product that I didn’t know about a couple of days ago? I don’t watch TV so television advertising doesn’t work on me. I listen primarily to public radio so, apart from placements in the form of contributions, I can’t be targeted there. I read a paper (the New York Times) every day and a bunch of technical magazines. What I get of pop culture is from flipping through magazines at the supermarket cash register, or reading about it online. Online, I not only read the mainstream sites but also a number of blogs. I could have been blissfully unaware of the existence of raging cow, had it not been for the pointers to it from several blogs. Does the existence of the blog matter to me? Not really since it’s not a product I would buy. But what about a product I might buy?…Read More
A new worm called Hybris has been spreading across computers in Europe, the United States and South America. While it currently carries a non-destructive payload, some Anti Virus developers are worried that its plug-in architecture could turn it into a much more dangerous virus, opening backdoors in computer systems and escalating the war between virus makers and anti-virus developers. First discovered in South America by Kapersky Labs, a Russian anti-virus developer, the worm has spread through email to Europe and the United States at an increasing pace. “Hybris is one of the more common virus we’re seeing right now,” said Brian Kinj, a member of the technical staff at the CERT coordination center. Because it carries a non-destructive payload, the anti-virus community has been split over the threat level the virus represents. In the United States, the Joint Task Force Computer Network Defense, a division of the US department of defense, has upgraded the virus to a high-risk status. Meanwhile, European virus tracker Peter Kruse, of virus112.com, has announced on Usenet that his company was upgrading the virus threat to a medium risk status, due to the recent spread of the virus in Europe. Companies like Symantec and Sophos, however,…Read More