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word of the week Archive
Alright, so clearly the Word of the Week is Twitter this week. Why? Because it has become the most-hyped thing this side of the AirJordan III. Some love it, some hate it. Even the WSJ has joined into the madness. And Mashable now has a Twitter feed. So instantly you can be notified of new Mashable posts via Twitter. Lastly, where is Evan, Twitter's creator to comment on all of the positive/negative press over the last week? Mr. Ingram has an excellent post about twitter on his site. His comment, “But I also think it is another piece of the puzzle when it comes to understanding how we relate to each other in an online world, and how those relationship mechanisms are changing.” is spot on. Twitter is an evolutionary test perhaps. I still remember when MUDs were the best thing going.
Here are ten thoughts I noted during my time at SXSW and the headlines are in Twitterized format.
Twitter is great for group sms.
Want to tell your friends that the party has been moved from Mo's to Jake's? Use Twitter. It seemed to work prety well at SXSW (though I could never get my messages to show up on the panels). People could easily state where and when they were going to what panel, party or event. I am not a super-heavy SMS user but I am not sure if it is easy to group sms so this might work. Plus it keeps a nice log. It's nice to know that say Tara or Robert or Jeremiah or XYZ are at the club dropping beats and that I could go say hi. Tara notes that it was used widely during the last earthquake in the bay area of California. This is a good use. But still is basically group SMS with an online log.
Twitter is a fan clubs perfection.
Want to know that the presidential candidate just went from Houston to Dallas to speak? Signup to be a follower. Look at Scoble's friends page. 1500 followers. Doesn't anyone care that they are called a follower? It reminds me of seeing Kevin Rose, the ultimate fanboy magnet at the SXSW awards. They stick to him as if he was a magnet. I can only imagine how many followers he would have on his Twitter. The paparazzi will love this as well.
Twitter takes a lot to understand how it works.
I know some may disagree and call me lame, and that's fine. But "getting" how Twitter works, takes time and effort. You have the home page, which only some items show up on. You can become a follower, but for that person to see your messages, they have to add you as a friend as well. There is no way to tell whether x person has added you so sometimes you just write into a black cloud. Rafe at Webware has a good writeup on the basics.
The teenage MySpace type crowd will love Twitter.
Just imagine the messages… "Justin looks hot in those pants"… "the answer for question 13 is A"… "OMG did you see who Lindsay was out drinking with last night?"
Twitter ain't free.
You might think it's free until you get the $200 SMS bill in the mail. And yes, some of you twitter-maniacs are on an unlimited plan, but most of us can't afford that goodness. And just wait, at some point Twitter will need to make money. How will this be done? Hrm!?!?
Twitter will not replace blogging.
Why? Simple. Blogging takes time and thought. Go read a blog. The person typically puts time and effort into creating a post – some with quality and quantity. Can you do that on a sms message? Nope. And I don't want to read 104 twitters to get your message.
Twitter-bait will cause turmoil.
Ok, so we had link-bait, Digg-bait, Slashdot-bait, TechCrunch-bait, Mashable-bait, WSJ-bait, fish-bait, and now we have Twitter-bait. What is this you ask? This is when you post a link in your Twitter message to your post (or any post I guess) in the specific hopes of getting eyes on it. And of course after the Twitter-bait comes through, the other -bait's will start, therefore causing a Twitter-stream.
Twitter will face a spam attack soon.
As soon as the spammers realize they can put their horsesh** on the home page of a major site for free, you best believe they will. And that will be that.
Twitter is not a replacement for real-life.
I worry that Twitter is hurting my 2007 prediction about getting away from the PC. If I know everything you are doing at every minute, do we even need to meet up IRL? C'mon.
So I guess what I am saying is that I am stuck between good and evil Twitter. I would say I lean more towards the evil side but think there are some niches in which Twitter can (and probably will) succeed. Final words… Twitter is great for a group of friends where all are friends on Twitter and are on a level-field.
This week seemed to yell "controversy" to me. All over the place, there was controversy. PPP vs. Calacanis, Wired vs. Digg, Arrington vs. Wired, Best Buy vs. The Consumer, reasons to unsubscribe from a feed and Seeking Alpha vs. Yahoo's Semel. There are a lot more, please add other controversy in the comments.
PPP vs. Calacanis
Will this feud end already? Geez. I am frankly bored with it. It's kind of like when you see the same 2 wrestlers fight for 3 years, move on already dammit. The latest bit is Ted (Payperpost CEO) stating that Jason should win the "donkinator" award and even went so far to show his picture on a donkey's behind. Ted states, "Time and time again Jason has climbed upon his stacks of money and jumped upon his high horse, declaring PayPerPost and the other companies that have followed our lead "evil"." And then he goes on to discuss how Jason uses a company he is on the board of to promote their service on his blog without disclosing. I think this constant bantering and name-calling does not help anyone. In fact, I think it hurts PPP even more than it hurts Jason. Jason is a "name" in the business and will continue to get the speaking engagements and so forth. PPP is trying to show that they are a legitimate organization and silly name calling on their home page is just plain stupid. I can just see the PPP booth at the next event riding donkeys. You want to build up a reputation, you don't do this Ted. Take the high road. You have the posties (which appear to all be stay at home moms) behind you, but that won't get you to the promised land.
On a side note, I am not against the idea of paid advertorials and will cover this whole debate (hopefully using my diverse background for leverage) in the next few days.
Another side note, Jason, I am still waiting for the results of your gaming Alexa post last year.
Wired vs. Digg
Wowzers! Wired comes out with an article about how to game Digg and the blogo' goes off like a tea kettle boiling over. And guess what? This controversy got Wired 342 links to that article (courtesy Technorati). Did Wired do the right thing in showing that you can game Digg? I am on the fence on this one frankly. Wired is owned by Conde Nast, who also owns Reddit (a main Digg competitor) so that makes the article a bit harder to swallow. However, from what I can tell, the article is factual based on the events that took place. Should a mag which has a dotted line up and then a dotted line down, not write about the lead dog from a journalistic pov?
Reddit is not in the same league as a traffic magnet as Digg is. I think Reddit remains because it is cheap to run. The site generates no (basically) revenue for Conde. I am sure you can game Reddit and every other system out there. This would probably be considered cheap link bait. She probably paid User/Submitter $100 and got major press and 450 links in the process.
Side note… the latest issue of Wired has 186 pages and 85 of those pages are advertisements. Thats a 46% ad rate, meaning that basically one out of two pages is an ad. Yes, I am that lame to count this after attempting to read this mag last evening. Shame.
Arrington vs. Wired
What I would like to read from Mike is a semi-indepth to what grounds Digg has against Wired. Many of the commenters on the story asked for the same thing. Investigative journalism is hot all over, how many TV news reports don't have at least a bit of it every night? I think that Mike's point is that a service by Wired's owner is a direct competitor to Digg and this hit to Digg could help Reddit grow it's userbase. In a later comment last evening, Mike notes a quick reasoning for his title, "It’s not the disclaimer that’s the issue, and most readers get that. It’s the fact that they targeted and then trashed a competitor with an investigative journalism piece. They violated the Digg T&Cs and engaged in fraud to make their point. That’s what the problem is."
Mike did note this in the comments, "we don’t care that much about digg traffic actually. it’s far less than 10% of our total traffic, and when we aren’t on digg the comments are much more intelligent. digg is good for a quick traffic spike, but it isn’t a useful way to build an audience. I like digg as a business, but don’t really care about the links. most of our revenue comes from our sponsors, who pay a flat fee per month regardless of traffic. they want quality readers, not quantity. And digg basically sends a never ending stream of angry 16 year olds. not something the sponsors are that interested." I have to say I agree and disagree with him. I agree that a lot of the traffic is usually "mad" for some reason, but I disagree about the links. Everyone will agree that links are gold, and his post has about 100 links. These links remain forever, even when the Digg goes into the sunset.
Best Buy vs. The Consumer
This one reminds me of the days when Amazon charged different pricing based on purchase patterns in the early-2000s. It appears that Best Buy has a secret intranet site designed to make sure they get the top price for their items. Best Buy admitted to having this intranet site after pressure from the 'sphere took off.
State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, "Their responses seem to raise as many questions as they answer, their answers are less than crystal clear."
ProBlogger's reasons to unsubscibe to a feed
Ok, now I must admit this is not as controversial as the above, but I believe there is one reason in there which I disagree with. Not that Darren is wrong, he is right. He surveyed 103 people (is that a statistically relevant sample? sorry could't resist using my mba education lol) and 25 of them said they unsubscribed from a feed because the feed was a Partial Excerpts Feed. Well duh. Everyone wants a full feed. Everyone wants a shiny mercedes. I have been in so many debates over this. Had blogs only offered partial feeds, no one would care. I am willing to bet that at some point this year, blogs will want to start to monetize the full feed. I love to debate this so if you see me at an event yell out "full feeds rock" and let's go 10 rounds. But just know, I am like Rocky and you will be Drago. :)
Seeking Alpha vs. Yahoo's Semel
It's not bad enough that Yahoo is not the front runner anymore, now the CEO is getting beaten up like a bumfight video. Oh wait, most are saying he has caused a lot of this trouble. Aah. Whether you agree or disagree with the writer, this is an excellent piece of writing. It is very detailed which it must be to call for a CEO axe. This comment basically describes the entire column, "Google’s stock price is up 336% versus Yahoo!’s stock price being up only 16%. Google has grown its shareholder value 21 times more efficiently than Yahoo! over this time period, when the Internet ad market has been booming."
I wonder if Semel gets a Home Depot package if he goes. Oh wait, he already has made $550 million in 4 years. And that's for a company who is running a horse race on 3 legs. Where is that Sarbanes-Oxley when you need it!? I still believe that Microsoft and Yahoo will merge at some point in the next 12-18 months.
For this second installment of the "Word of the Week", I have selected the Google Empire. Why? A big launch followed by some YouTube issues on the media front.
A quick note… Google began reporting on RSS subs numbers this week. What I would like to see is active vs. subscribed.
Google launched the "premier" version of their Google Apps service this past week. There was much talk in the blogosphere about the launch. My belief is still that the thing that will hinder any possible explosive growth is the fact that you are sharing EVERY secret with Google. When I interviewed Zoho for example, Raju explained how they protect your data so that no one at Zoho will be able to look at it. I would like to see the same type of statement come out from Google to make me more reassured.
The one thing I don't see is many blogs being critical on any aspect of the launch. Marshall has a short discussion about security. Even the InformationWeek article which supposedly broke the story is very fluff on the release. Do I think they will do very well? Yes. Do I think it is a good package? Yes. Do I think everyone of the Fortune 500 will run to it? No. Do I think some CIOs will make a move to cut costs immediately? Yep.
I think the big question now is whether YouTube will be the leader at the end of 2007. Google paid a ton for the company and lately it appears there is more bashing than loving. We had the Viacom clip pull about 10 days ago, now the filtering appears to be in place and some are starting to wonder if Google's YouTube will continue to be as strong going forward. My belief is that commercial clips should have gone to Google Video and YouTube should have remained for the people, by the people.
Here is some discussion around the media issues with YouTube over the past week:
- http://www.marketingpilgrim.com/2007/02/google-gives-up-building-own-youtube-filters-follows-myspaces-lead.html (I like Andy's comment comparing YouTube to Napster in the early days)
- http://news.moneycentral.msn.com/provider/providerarticle.aspx?feed=OBR&Date=20070221&ID=6511175 - YouTube and CBS deal unravels.