Phil Sim

Web, media, PR and… footy

Make your blog brighter

Blogs are great. But blogs are pretty limited in what they're used for.

Primarily, you use a blog to communicate; to disseminate ideas and informations and, of course, receive feedback and responses.

However, I've been arguing for some time that blogs need to be a whole lot more than what they are today. And that's where Wyacracker comes in.

Wyacracker is the first offering you'll see from Wyaworks, which I also talked about for the first time today in my previous post.

The idea behind Wyacracker is to enable a blogger to build little widgets, or mini-applications that they can use to collect information or collaborate readers. Simply, it makes it dead easy to create a form, paste the HTML into your blog post and then manage the responses.

So for example. Say you launched an event via your blog. Simply create an RSVP widget in which people can leave their name, phone, email address, any questions they might have and their preferred method of payment and stick it at the end of the blog. Your responses will then feed into Wyacracker and you can set up an RSS feed to keep track of them. Export them into Excel once all the RSVPs have rolled in so you can work out if you're going to make a buck.

Basically, the only limitation to the type of data collection Widget one can create is one's imagination. Guestbooks, surveys, reviews, recipes, auctions, you name it. If you choose to do so, you can easily enable your reader to search through all the responses or view all the results. Say you were organising a cocktail party for friends. Get them all to RSVP and fill in what drink they're bringing, then people can see what else is being brought and not double up.

We really do believe that once people start thinking about using their blogs beyond communication, it really will open up their useage and Wyacracker will aim to grow with that interest. At the moment, Wyacracker is focused on Widgets that collect information because we think that's where the first genuine need is but as we roll-down functionality from the full Wyaworks platform, we'll add the ability to create more display-oriented Widgets that take information from elsewhere, like RSS feeds and let you manipulate how that data is displayed and interacted with.

ncidently, for projects like Edgeio to work, people need to start thinking about their blogs as their electronic interface with the outside world and we think these kinds of capabilities are key to that. I'm still big on the edge economics that something like Edgeio is based on, but there does need to be this mindset shift before it takes hold. As such, I'm going to be very interested to see the response to Wyacracker, which for us, is more than anything a proof-of-concept site and a way for us to learn how we can make applicaiton-building as simple as possible.

Wyacracker is currently in private beta. If you're interested in taking a look before we open up the beta let me know (and yes this is a Wyacracker widget). If you previously expressed an interest we'll send you the access code in the next day or so.

BTW, obviously the above Wyacracker widget would work better pasted directly into the blog post however unfortunatley WordPress.com blogs don't allow you to use form functional HTML in your posts. Normal WordPress blogs are fine of course as are Blogger and TypePad blogs.

In the future, we'll look to enable Widgets to be exported to any of the Widget platforms like WordPress, TypePad, Live.com or Google's personalised home page. Oh and Wyacracker Widgets are just as easily e-mailed or can be pasted into your homepage.

P.S. We'd love your feedback too. So if do blog about wyaworks or wyacracker (and please do! :-) please tag it with tag wyaworks.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Dibs on Web 2.5 – introducing Wyaworks

Finally, I can talk about Wyaworks!

What is this mysterious project I've been aluding to for quite a while now? Put simply Wyaworks hopes to do for web development what blogs have done for publishing.

And when we say web development, we’re not talking about Google Page Creator HTML-based web development. We’re talking full SQL database driven, J2EE-compliant, dynamic web sites and web applications.

Wyaworks is unique in that it is a Widget-based, wholly-online development environment that allows users to fire up a web browser and point and click their way to the kinds of web applications that only hard-core coders might have been able to produce previously.

You might be familiar with QuickBase which was acquired by Intuit or more recently DabbleDB or Zoho Creator. All those tools allow you to simply build custom web-applications, but they all limit you to a particular look-and-feel and application framework.

Not Wyaworks and that’s what is going to make this platform so special.

The genius behind Wyaworks, is CEO and founder, John Hyde who began working on this platform before any like tool had been released including Quickbase. Much of the cool functionality that is available in new tools like DabbleDB, like the ability to import a spreadsheet and translate it into tables, has been a part of this platform for years. However, John has primarily used the WYA (Write your apps) platform as the foundation for a successful consulting business whereby he’s been able to go into companies and quickly turn around powerful web applications in dramatically, reduced timeframes than what anyone else might be able to do using traditional development tools. Days instead of months. Weeks instead of years.

The platform has already been used to build key applications for companies as large as Boeing. How many of your Web 2.0 plays can boast reference customers like that? Read John's introduction to Wyaworks on the Wyaworks blog.

What John hasn’t focused on in the past is making his platform user-friendly and intuitive enough to enable true point-and-click app building. That’s what we’re doing now as well as adapting a Widget-based approach to web development, which we believe will enable almost anyone to create custom-applications that do whatever they need them to do.

As a stake-in-the-sand, we’ve put out a product called Wyacracker, which is now open as a private beta and I’ll talk about in my next post.

I came to be involved with Wyaworks because John invited me to look at what he’d built because he’d been a reader of this blog. At first, I couldn’t see what was so special about it and I told him so, but he persisted and when I finally put my head under the bonnet I saw the magic! I’ve longed for something like this and I told him I’d love to get involved with it and I’ve been consulting to John ever since.

What really gets me excited about this if it goes where we hope it might is to really extend the read/web ideal of this Web 2.0 thing to make it Build/Rebuild. Imagine you can open up any application you like and easily customise it to suit your exact needs or integrate it into a custom-built app you’ve built to match your particular work practices. Now that’s cool. If I have to live with Web 2.0 then I’ve got dibs on this being Web 2.5.

So yes, I’m on the Kool Aid right now. But I only do so because this is a proven technology, with a real business model, genuine revenue streams that just happens to be sitting at the edge of where I think a lot of Web 2.0 attention will be directed over the next 12 months.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Anatomy of a Media 2.0 site

So, the first of my launches this week was the relaunch of my 1Eyed project. I thought it might be interesting to some people to pull the site apart because what we've been able to create pretty much encompasses a bunch of the new media ideas and theories I've developed.

First, some background. What is now 1Eyed Sports is based on the concept that sports fans are really, really interested in one team and only peripherally interested in the rest of the teams in the competition. So it follows that a site that focuses on their team but which also keeps them up to date on other important league news should be able to out niche and subsequently out serve a sport-specific site or a general sports site.

1Eyed started two years ago when I began a Blogger blog, basically pulling together all the media coverage I could find on the Rugby League team that I follow somewhat tragically, the Parramatta Eels. It did Ok, I was pulling perhaps 200 users per day at its peak. The next year, I decided that Blogger was too limiting. I wanted to start making the site more of a resource including results and player profiles so I developed a custom site on Lotus Domino and that got me through the season last year. At its peak, 1Eyed Eel was pulling in about 400 users during the finals series and that encouraged me this year to try and extend the single team media site across all teams in the competition and to try and develop a network which would feed off each other.

I contracted the website development work to Paul Montgomery who was able to leverage much of the development that he has put into his Tinfinger and FanFooty sites and this is the new 1Eyed Eel site we ended up with:

1. Business Model. The 1Eyed Sports concept is based on what I'm calling Expert Generated Content. This is the About.com model. You appoint subject area experts who aren't professionals but they're not amateurs either. So our mission is to find journalism-trained Rugby League fanatics who will write primarily because its their passion but will remain committed to it because there is a financial incentive to do so. 50 per cent of our revenue will go to our 'Franchise owners' with the remainder poured back into the site.

2. Minimal front of screen advertising. To me, sites that plaster their front pages with tons of advertising are doing their readers and themselves a disservice. Surely, the goal of the front page is to entice readers deep inside the site, to invite them to stay a while, where you then have the opportunity to serve up far more advertising than if they just stop by to read the front page or a story of two. Screen real estate is your most valuable commodity and I believe the opportunity cost in giving away your front page is too great. There's a very good reason that newspapers don't cover the bulk of their front page with advertising!

3. Heavy cross-promotion between sites. We want our users to skip between sites constantly so we've given over one of the most important spots on our front page to promoting the news that is located on other sites. It amazes me that most of these so-called blog networks do nothing to cross promote except have a blog roll style listing of other blogs on the network. To me if you can't leverage content to get heavy cross-traffic there's very little benefit in being a part of a network.

4. Consistent look and feel. Because we want our users to skip and hop between sites we use an identical layout and feel across all sites. We've kept the layout and design very simple to help achieve that so you hardly notice when you've cross into another team's territory. So while we get cross-traffic we don't alienate the user experience too much extent.

5. Blog-style format. When you get this niche, you aren't posting huge number of stories and for that the longer, rolling blog format works very well. We try and keep stories to four pars, if they're any longer than that they roll over onto their own page. All stories have comments and feature links back to original sources if applicable.

6. User generated content. We've incorporated blogs within our blog. We allow the community to contribute their own content and in return for their words we promise to drive significant traffic to their posts. If you were to start your own Eels blog in WordPress it might take months if not years to build up a couple of hundred page views. You can get that tomorrow by posting to the 1Eyed site.

7. Links to external sources. We're using Tinfinger's scraping service to pull in headlines from other sources. This guards against the possibility that our individual editors may not have caught up on a recent news development and will ensure supporters know that they have one site they can rely on to bring them all of that subject-specific content.

8. Recent Comments. I've found that comments increase signficantly the more prominence you can give them and this enables readers to track the latest comments on the site even if they're on posts that are days old.

9. External Sources. We're not just pulling news from external sites but we've got scores, fixtures, injuries, league ladders. Our franchise owners don't need to worry about populating this stuff, we do it all for them so they can focus on their posts.

10. Resources. In this world of RSS, a website has to give readers a reason other than just posts to regularly visit their site. We've pulled together all the League data we've been able to get our hands on and organised and sorted it so that hopefully we become the site our users come to when they want to check stats or find out when a game is on or who their team is playing next week.

11. Network front door. Go to http://www.1eyedleague.com. We pull all of the content from all of our sites together into one front site for those fans who have a more general interest in League. Obviously the content model is depth rather than breadth. We're focusing on one sport and aiming to deliver the best possible content service for that subject area, but we of course will be looking to spread out to other sports as we (hopefully) prove the business model.

The additional depth of content has already doubled page impressions. If we can achieve the same kinds of numbers that 1Eyed Eel is now pulling across every site on the network, we'll be in the million plus page impressions per month and we can start looking at generating advertising revenue properly. Still, it remains to be seen if we can replicate the success of our flagship site. I'm trying to keep the standards high as to the credentials of our franchise operators but I've still got a fair way to go before we have someone running every time. At some point, I may have to lower my criteria which could impact the quality, which I believe has to be consistently outstanding to establish a credible network that is a viable alternative to MSM sources. I don't know whether the blog idea is going to work yet and it's already apparent that we're going to need to educate people as to what blogs are and what they can do with them. Footy supporters are very used to the Forum model, rather than the blog model. I think a blog model is ultimately a better read/write model but it certainly is going to take longer to establish.

What aren't we doing? RSS feeds. At this stage I still see RSS feeds as a site-by-site proposition. I don't think many of my readers are using RSS and at this stage I have a unique-enough offering that it makes more sense for me to try and convince my users to get into the habit of making regular visits to the website just to check if there are any new interesting posts/blogs/comments.

Let's see how she goes and if you've got any feedback or thoughts whack away!

Filed under: Uncategorized

Doing not blogging

As a journalist you spend you're working life is primarily devoted to writing or commenting on the things that other people are doing rather than actually “doing” much yourself outside of that reporting. The irony of the situation is being priviledged to the journalist's point of view is actually the greatest education you can get to being able to go out there and really do something. Since launching MediaConnect five years ago, I've constantly drawn on the wisdom, experience and contacts that I was able to pick up along the way as a journalist.

Blogging is not dissimiliar. I started blogging because I decided that I was never going to understand what blogging was all about until I started doing it myself and in the process I've picked up a whole bunch of knowledge, contacts and experience in a multitude of areas along the way.

However, I've become a firm believer that unless you do eventually get up out of your armchair and get out and do something a lot of that knowledge simply withers away unused. So when I started blogging at the start of the year I made a New Years Resolution that I'd only blog about things that I was actually doing. So I've had a couple of side projects running alongside my main business and this week both are going to get some oxygen as we finally flick the “on” switch.

The first is the realisation of my vision for the 1Eyed Eel blog I've been running for the last two years. I'm treating this project as my opportunity to put into practice all the ideas and theories I have about next generation media sites and we took the wraps off that one this week. I'll go into more detail in a separate blog post.

The second project is the online company I've been consulting to. All going well, we're going to put out to beta the first iteration of that project in the next couple of days. I can't tell you how excited I am about this project – if we achieve what we want to achieve it's really going to be quite special.

Anyway, that's why Squash has laid dormant for a few days. In days gone by, I would have stressed about Squash withering away, people unsubscribing and my traffic falling through the fall. I'm now much more relaxed about my blog. If I don't get to it for a couple of days because I'm 'doing' rather than 'blogging' than so be it. There's always something to Squash tomorrow (although be prepared for Squash to be a little self-indulgent this week – we're proud of our babies and we want to show them off!)

Filed under: Uncategorized

Why are people so stupid?

I'm constantly amazed at how stupid people are.

I received in my inbox today, a pretty convincing phishing email asking me to log in, in order to keep my account active.

I actually haven't used my account at this bank for a very long time, so I did click on the link, fully expecting I'd be directed through to some dodgy URL, which of course it did. However, even if I hadn't of looked for the URL, don't you reckon the banner ad for what looks like a Russian dating service might have given the scam away?

Filed under: Uncategorized

The fleetingness of memes

Dave Winer says we should think of the Internet as an "idea processor".

The value of writing publicly on the Internet is that you can solve problems quickly, by using a network of people who pool what they know to create something larger. When the Internet works this is why it works.

Dave's got this absolutely right and absolutely wrong all at the same time. 

Yes, the Internet, and in particular the blogosphere is an "ideas processor". But this isn't "when the Internet works". The Internet works when it acts as an action agent.

For Winer, I can see how he might see the Internet in this way. Many of the conversations that Winer is involved in relates to actual tangible things. When Winer debates RSS or OPML ideas that come out of those discussions (save for the political crap) can actually go towards "creating something larger".

However, I'd suggest 99.9 per cent of 'conversations' don't actually lead anywhere. Most of the conversations are just the digital equivalent of having a yack down the pub with your mates. You postulate, pimp and preen but in the end the only thing that ever gets done is the consistent emptying of glasses of amber ale.

Now, there's nothing wrong with that, but let's not pretend it's something it's not.

For me, the proof in the pudding is the fleetingness of memes(and god I hate to use this term and i apologise profusely for putting in the headline but the blogosphere made me do it). How many memes actually last longer than 48 hours. As soon as a meme drops off the front page of memeorandum, how much oxygen is it given? SFA. There are any number of memes over the last six months I would have loved to have really sunk my teeth into but they came, they crackled and they expired all in the space of a couple of sleeps. 

How can we really evolve ideas, how can we evoke change, when we give what could be really interesting ideas and issues such limited time to play out. It's simply not possible to read something, sit on it for a few days and then take your time to write a meaningful response because by that time the meme has already burnt out and nobody is going to read what you've written. This is a fundamental flaw in the blogosphere and why for the most part it equates to nothing but hot air.

The only way, of course, for a meme to grow and prosper is for it to be based on something real, and preferably to have a high profile champion, who can keep bringing the meme to prominence. There are people like Dave Winer who fulfill both these criteria and so Dave would see the Internet as an action agent.

But for the most part, Winer is right when he calls the Internet an "ideas processor". Stick the idea in, turn it on, wait a short amount of time and watch the idea come out the other end all mangled up. 

Filed under: Uncategorized

The Oscillating Hype Cycle (plus the world’s shabbiest attempt at a graph)

My favourite anal-ist material of all time is the Gartner Hype Cycle. In my not-so-humble opinion, it very much reflects the 'hype cycle' that most big technology trends go trough.

It looks like this:

Basically, as a significant technology breaks through it will pick up momentum and it reaches the peak of its buzz stage. Then the doomsayers step in and tear down the tech for not living up to unrealistic expectations. Slowly as the technology matures it takes a gradual rise back up in terms of visibility as successful case studies emerge and eventually it plateaus out.

So I was looking at this and I was wondering where both blogs and Web 2.0 fit onto this graph. And it struck me that it's not so simple to plot. Were this two years ago, I'd have said both blogs and Web 2.0 were at the top of the hype cycle. Both Web 2.0 and blogs have made cover stories in major mainstream magazines and that's generally a pretty good indicator of having reached that "peak of inflated expectations".

And you'd probably also be able to argue, as I have in recent posts, that we're notwstarting back down the slope. I'm not the only one who's saying things have gone flat and certainly the increase in Web 2.0 "snark" has been well-and-truly recognised.

However, you probably could have made similiar arguments a number of times along the way to the point we're at now. There's been big bursts of publicity and interest in both blogging and Web 2.0, followed by a pretty serious backlash in the blogosphere.

So, what I'll posit is that the blogosphere actually changes the shape of the Gartner Hype Cycle some what. In mainstream media, we pretty much all tend to jump on the same boat. You'll tend to note that it's generally all one way or the other as the media both shapes and reflects public opinion in a self-perpetuating snowball.

However, the blogosphere is different. The diversity of voices mean you get a lot more positive vs negative. So as a technology rises and falls you'll get a constant to-ing and fro-ing of champions and critics and therefore in its early days the hype graph will oscillate quite dramatically (and yes, I know this is the world's lamest attempt at a graphic but hopefully it gets across the picture).

I'm not quite sure what impact this has. Perhaps the trough doesn't go so deep because a lot of the negatives have already come to the surface along the way and may even get addressed before we go into freefall.

But it does change communications models somewhat. It also does make it hard to look at data and say is this a mini-spike or mini-trough or are we actually heaving over the peak and down towards the trough? My last post regarding the tech blogosphere peaking. If indeed what I was claiming to observe was really there, was it just a small dip or has the peak indeed been reached as was originally hypothesised.

I dunno, but I think it's good food for thought.

Filed under: Blogs, Web 2.0

Squash gets pounded

Yeehaw! Just when I was getting bored of the blogosphere (see previous post) TDavid, who writes the Things That … Make You Go Hmm blog has launched a scathing attack on the Squash-meister. Goody, goody gum drops. Some fun, some fun.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. The blogosphere is generally too polite and too sucky. If we had more of these kind of TDavid posts the blogosphere would be a far more interesting place.

Anyway, Squash loves a bit of debate so let's take a look at what TDavid has to say. Firstly, what's with the TDavid, anyway? Sounds like some, wierd geek porn name. Actually, there might be something to that. TDavid boasts that he's been a "paid, published columnist for an adult webmaster print magazine". But I digress.

Firstly, TDavids (he called me Phil Sims so I'm taking revenge) says Alexa's not reliable. A couple of posts in the comments on that post (which are really great reading btw, Squash readers rock) make the same argument including Gabe from memeorandum. Maybe, maybe not. Even if Alexa's crap, it's become pretty much the standard gauge for publicly recognising website traffic and there's got to be some element of truth. In any case, it backed up my own feelings on the staleness of the tech blogosphere right now and based on the response to the column, I'm not the only one.

TDavids then wafts on about tech.memeorandum and aggregators and there's probably a point in amongst it but I got a bit bored somewhere along the way there. Not too bored to note, though that TDavids didn't provide any counter argument. Now, debating 101 will tell you that's it all very well to tear down someone else's argument but it's pretty much an exercise in cognitive masturbation unless you're willing to present an alternative point of view. Did TDavids list a bunch of really fantastic new bloggers that have set the blogosphere alight in the last month or so? What about rattling off a few really mesmerising threads. How about some traffic stats from somewhere or other showing just how strong the tech blogosphere is. Well, until someone wants to back up a counter argument with just a modicum of evidence, I'll stay up here on my high horse, thank you very much.

Then, TDavids smashes me for being contradictory. Well, I'm a self-confessed contradictorist (yes I made that up). As I've said, I write a lot of stuff that's probably so widely off the money that it rocks up bankrupt. But amongst that, I hope there are a few 'money' posts (Swingers: one of the greatest movies of all time) that make it all worthwhile. That said, I shouldn't get called on this one. For, TDavids pulls out a couple of my pasts posts and asks:

Make up your freaking mind, Phil. Is everybody smart in tech already blogging or not? If we’ve passed the “golden age” then you think they already have come and gone or that they will never start blogging at all?

I think the answer is there are still tons and tons of smart tech people out there just itching to start a blog (maybe they don’t know they are, but they will be someday) and I hope I am among their early subscribers. It’s all too easy to say: the good ones have already come and gone. I’m just not that pessimistic. Cynical about the industry and certain technologies, yes, but pessimistic that all the good technology writers have come and gone?

Ahh, pretty much, yes that's exactly what I'm saying. I see no reason why someone who would be good at blogging isn't blogging right now. Like I said, if you've got the inclination to blog and you're in tech, then I reckon the majority of people have given it a whirl. I REEAALLLY want to be proven wrong. Leave a comment with some hot new bloggers on the street, I'd love to check them out.

Anyway, then TDavids gives me some gratis blogging therapy which I'm really appreciative of:

Bottom line: I think Mr. Sims is projecting here. He can’t decide if he wants to be blogging or not and/or if he is happy with the current state of tech or not and is rolling out Alexa stats and some poorly thought out, self-conflicting rant to legitimize his flawed opinion.

There’s nothing wrong with tech blogging and there is no golden age that has come and gone. Want to be in the grandstands? No problem, that’s less work and it’s fun to watch. Want to join the scene? Just fire up your post editor and let’s play ball.

Ouch. Props to TDavids for a very, nice blog slam. I really, don't think he's addressed half of my "flawed opinion" which largely was based on my own experiences, having been a professional writer for more than a decade and having spent the last five specialising in the study of tech journalism, of writer burn-out. I'm not exactly sure what TDavids does with his time but he seems to blog a lot. If he can keep that pace up then all the best to him. It's just my experience that most people can't manage it. Yes, some people can, but most can't. Journalists turn over beats/jobs at a very high rate for a very good reason.

Anyway, all that said, the essential argument I think TDavids is making is that I've probably overplayed my hand. Matthew Ingram said likewise. Yeh probably. Like any profession/endeavour there will always be new talents and generations coming through. But nothing has been said to change my opinion that the tech blogosphere has at the very least plateued and that content wise we're in a bit of a hole right now.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Tech Blogosphere has peaked

The tech blogosphere has peaked. Definitively. It's reached it's nadir and I'm afraid it's nothing but downhill from here, baby.

You might have noticed that Gabe launched his memeorandum engine into another vertical yesterday – baseball. The reality is, he had to. Since Christmas, tech.memeorandum has been trending downwards. It hasn't been a plummet or anything, but there's a very definite gradual decline there. In March, that decline got a little bit steeper and a little more consistent. And it wasn't just memeorandum, Tailrank pretty much mimicked the traffic flow as well.

Now maybe it's the memetracker category hitting a flat spot. But I think tech.memeorandum in particular has been the barometer for the tech blogging community for a long time now, so it's now an unreasonable suggestion to declare that what's good, or should we say not so good, for the gander or also bad news for the goose.

I hardly blogged over the last couple of days. Fact is, I rely on memeorandum to keep me up to date with what's hot in the blogosphere. Unashamedly, memeorandum is my muse. This week, memeorandum has been my valium.

I think it was last Friday, when I started to notice the rot. The top memeorandum post was about Yahoo! and China (blah, heard it all before) followed the next day by the Scoble vs Amazon CTO dust-up (blogosphere = geek celebrity tabloid). Next up we had the joy that was April Fool's day where those self-indulgent rib ticklers just seemed to go on and on and on. That was displaced by the New York Time's "radical" front page redesign where, wait for, they've discovered RSS and today I'm staring at some story about nasty ads that have GM's nickers in a knot (ok, this one is a little bit interesting).

All in all, dross. Where's the disruption? What happened to the revolution?

Here's a question: When was the last time you found a really, great new voice. Who's the hot new blogger? Late last year/earlier this year, there was a pretty significant influx of new bloggers into the game and personally I think we'll look back and say that was the tech blogosphere's golden age.

About that time, anybody in tech who was ever likely to start a blog did. Let's face it, you need to be a certain type of person to blog. You need to be something of a workaholic because good blogging takes time and anyone who's any good should have a pretty full plate anyhow; you need to be able to string a few sentences together; you need to have a raging ego and you need to have a head for ideas. If you're one of those people, you've almost certainly already started to blog.

Now, there's a pretty fair chance that you've either considered giving up the blog or you're blogging less. Let me as an old Dead Tree 1.0 dinosaur give the Web 2.0 folk a quick editorial lesson.

When I was an editor, two years was always as long as I felt I could give a job. After two years you find yourself recycling the same old stories, writing the same old opinion pieces, producing covers that looked like something else you did last year. I like to live under the delusion that I could find an angle on a flag pole but at that two year mark, I run dry. Actually, I reckon you start to run dry after 12 months but you can probably hang on for another year with selective recycling.

A lot of your more interesting bloggers will be hitting that point now. They'll be writing something thinking 'god, this sounds like that other post I did about…' On top of that, their families might be starting to tire of the old, 'As soon as I've finished this blog post' routine and then there's the kicker – Web 2.0 itself is getting stale.

Turn over to TechCrunch and tell me how many of the new launches are really inspiring or new. Mostly they're tweaks on the same old ideas – social networking, search, photo sharing, news aggregators, etc. I never thought I'd say this, but I'm missing the Web 2.0 ballyhoo!

So begins a slippery slope. The tech blogosphere gets progressively more boring so less people are inspired to blog which begets more ennui and so on. I'm not suggesting for a moment that it's dead or anything, just that it's plateued. Those of us who are still blogging are probably doing it because we've discovered a positive ROI on it and we'll likely keep doing it. However, I don't see where the next rocket is coming from that's going to start a new wave of smart people blogging about tech. Web 3.0 anyone?

Filed under: Blogs

April Fools – literally

OMG, I've now seen once and for all why the blogosphere is evil.

April 1st, 2006 was either the day the blogosphere killed April Fool's Day or it was the day that April Fool's Day killed the blogosphre.  Either way, the carnage wasn't pretty to watch.

Was it me or did every single blog in the universe just take advantage of the fact that now that any one can publish it means that we all have the means and wherewithall to prove just how not funny and unimaginative we are. Ho Ha He. Squash has quit our job and is now working for the opposition. Ha de Ha. I think my sides just split.

Filed under: Blogs

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