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Rafe Needleman from Webware is live blogging the "Factory Tour of Search" at Google’s HQ today. Check out his notes on Webware and I’ve embedded his live blogging below. I sure hope they bring the same event to NYC! Marissa Mayer, VP of Search Products and User Experience, will be speaking, as well as Carter Maslan, from Google Maps, R.J. Pittman, GM of Search Properties, and Johanna Wright, Google Search product manager.
Mark Hendrickson suggests that Google Health will launch in a few hours.
(the clicking sound really emphasizes that it’s live!)
CNET’s Web blog Webware has announced the winners for the 2008 Webware 100 today. As most of would have guessed, nearly all of the winners are big Web companies. Companies that are household names like Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, eBay, Bebo and Google dominate the list. NYC represented with the following winners: Vimeo, Pando and hakia.
Here’s the full list of winners and congrats to each and everyone of you!
Audio: Amazon MP3, BlogTalkRadio, eMusic, FineTune, ilike, iTunes, Last.fm, live365, Pandora, and Zune Marketplace
Browsing: Firefox, Google Reader, iGoogle, Internet Explorer 7, iphone, Maxthon, My Yahoo!, Opera, Safari, and Windows Live Home
Commerce: Amazon, Craigslist, eBay, Etsy, Google AdWords, Kayak, PayPal, Woot, Yahoo! Shopping, and Zillow
Communication: AIM, Gmail, iChat, meebo, Microsoft Windows Live Messenger, ooVoo, Pidgin, Skype, Windows Live Hotmail, and Yahoo! Mail
Productivity: 30 Boxes, Basecamp, Google Calendar, Google Docs, I Want Sandy, Microsoft Office Live Workspace, Mint, Remember the Milk, Yahoo Calendar, and Zoho
Publishing: .Mac, Blogger, Drupal, Flickr, FotoFlexer, Photobucket, Picasa Web Albums, Twitter, WordPress & WordPress.com, and Worth 1000
Search: Answers.com, Ask.com, Google, Google Earth, Google Maps, Hakia, Live Search, Wikia, Wikipedia, and Yahoo
Social: Bebo, Deviantart, Facebook, Friendster, Gaia Online, Google Groups, LiveJournal, Myspace, Stardoll, Yahoo Groups
Utility: Amazon S3, BitTorrent, Box.net, LogMeIn, OpenDNS, OpenID, Pando, ShareFile, Yahoo Briefcase, and Yousendit
Video: Amazon Unbox, FixMyMovie, Joost, Miro, Netflix, uStream, Veodia, Vimeo, VoiceThread, and Youtube
The Webware 100 Awards are now accepting votes and so far nearly 1,000,000 votes have been cast. I’d like to share my votes with you, please share yours in the comments. They are accepting three votes per category and my picks below are in no specific order. One note, I didn’t select any of last year’s winners — let’s allow some others to win this year!
Editor’s note: Flock and Zoho are current CN sponsors.
CNET-owned Webware has opened voting on the Webware 100. Last year they received over 480,000 votes and this year you can select three companies in each category so that there is more chance for some of the smaller players to win. There’s a good mix of companies from around the world. From what I can tell, the winners will be selected by user voting. Vote here
I will post my voting selections later this week. There are 10 categories looking for votes:
- Audio: Music, podcasts, audiobooks.
- Browsing: Browsers, start pages, RSS readers, widgets, runtime engines.
- Commerce and events: Retail, auctions, travel, real estate, concerts, conferences.
- Communications: E-mail, chat, voice.
- Productivity: App suites, to-do lists, groupware.
- Publishing and photography: Blogging, content management, photo sites.
- Search and Reference: Search engines, encyclopedias, mapping.
- Social: Social networking, family sites, recommendations, online worlds, contests.
- Utility and Security: Infrastructure providers, storage, online protection.
- Video: Video storage, playback, streaming, editing, and animation.
Here is a video of Editor Rafe Needleman explaining the Webware 100:
There has been a good bit of conversation over the past week regarding CNET and the financial issues they are facing. I don’t cover stocks on CN so we will leave that discussion on the side, but I’d like to take a look at why I believe Cnet isn’t where it could be in terms of revenue, customer satisfaction or traffic. We are only going to look at the CNET blogging empire in this exercise, not the downloads or other portions of CNET.
The first reason is way too much decentralization. From what I can tell, CNET has three main properties: CNET, ZDNet, TechRepublic and Bnet. We will leave Bnet out of this discussion. I started putting an overall site structure map together but gave up as it’s just way too confusing. Each of the three sites mentioned overlap each other in some form and it becomes an issue for the consumer.
CNET has what appears to be 100+ bloggers all over the place. It’s impossible to follow a single blogger. Two of my favorites are Rafe Needleman and Caroline McCarthy. Both blog in multiple places on the CNET properties and there’s no way to grab a feed of a specific author. Rafe mainly blogs on Webware, but also blogs on CNET News (and maybe other places!). Caroline blogs on CNET News, Webware, The Social and potentially others that I don’t know about. How many posts from Caroline/Rafe am I missing because they are on another CNET property that I don’t follow?
It would be easy to say that all news is published on news.com, but I’ve seen plenty of news items on the other CNET blogs. For those who only follow news.com, how many items a day are they missing?
Now let’s take a look at ZDNet and their mass of bloggers. There appears to be approximately 40 bloggers in the network. Should these bloggers be closer affiliated with the bloggers on CNET, Webware, etc. that cover the same topics? I suggest the answer is yes. Here’s an example: Janice Chen blogs about gadgets, why isn’t she on Crave? I enjoy reading Steve O’Hear’s social posts… should these be on Webware? I could go on.
Here’s a list of the blogs on TechRepublic – about 30 or so in total. These blogs tend to focus more on the development and business side so perhaps this could become a category in the new blogging network for CNET.
Why would CNET resist a change? Everyone fears change and CNET (I am assuming) fears lose of pageviews and thereby revenue (either that or they just ignore it). I believe the opposite is true. By creating a new hierarchy, they would increase pageviews and therefore revenue. Customers would be able to subscribe to a blogger of their choosing, blogs would be in silos that make sense and searching would find items across all blogs and the interface for customer interaction would be consistent. I went through an exercise just like this in 1998 when I merged 32 branded Web sites into one corporate site. The brand managers were against it and it took a huge amount of selling to make it happen but in the end it increased sales, customer experience and reduced the development time by a large sum.
Mike Arrington believes that TechCrunch is bigger than CNET in terms of page views but with the massive decentralization that CNET employs, it’s nearly impossible to find an accurate count of total traffic so the comparison is an unfair one.
I am by no means suggesting that CNET reduce its writing staff. What I am suggesting is that they get out their whiteboard and think about how their blogging network should be organized and ignore how it is currently organized. It’s the most difficult thing to do inside of a business, but by creatively destroying the current properties, the CNET network could rise again as the leader of the pack.
What are your thoughts? Do you read any of the CNET blogs? If so, which ones and do you find the CNET network to be as confusing as I do?
Today I had the opportunity to have lunch with Rafe Needleman who is the editor of Webware. Rafe is a real journalist and it was interesting to get his perspective on the industry and where blogging is headed.
Webware is owned by Cnet and is a great Web 2.0 blog. Webware authors include Josh Lowensohn in San Francisco and Caroline McCarthy in NYC along with a variety of other Cnet writers.
One of the articles I think is very-much worth reading is titled, "Legal Suicide for Web 2.0 Startups" in which Rafe discusses some of the things many startups forget to think about when launching their apps.
Rafe gave me a variety of tips for improving CN and I look forward to implementing them over the coming weeks. Anyway, check out Webware – it’s a great complement to CN.
Caroline from Webware has a scoop on a new combination of MySpace and MTV which will hold "interactive" presidential discussions. Seems similar to YouTube and CNN"s presidential debates last month. From her article:
"These dialogues are not going to be a debate," said Ian Rowe, MTV's vice president of strategic partnerships, in an interview with CNET News.com. "They're going to be one-on-one, unfiltered conversations between a group of young people who are sitting inside a college campus auditorium (and) an audience online (that) will have the ability to submit questions in real-time." Rowe added that this will be a totally interactive experience. "They'll be able to literally respond to what the candidate is actually saying during the conversation. Even if you don't have the opportunity to physically be in the room, you can participate tangibly in the conversation."
It appears the first of these conversations will take place on September 27th with John Edwards. Think he will Twitter it live?
Will it really be "anything goes" or will it be "filtered conversations" as was reported with YouTube/CNN? Is MTV even relevant anymore?