Phil Sim

Web, media, PR and… footy

Trashing TechCrunch

Squash has never needed a reason to unload bile on somebody, but when we literally get invited to stick the steel-capped Docs (that’s Doc Martens, not Google Docs, you Web 2.0 freaks) into somebody’s rib cage AND THEN get the lure of $1500 worth of lucre as incentive, well all I can say is line up them shoeshine boys because there’s going to be some scrubbin’ tonight to get the evidence off of this pair of ball busters. So Arrington in writing up this kick-me-in-the-balls competition suggests that potential-trashers start at the site’s Company Index page. TechCrunch is so bad, I don’t even need to go past this page to prove what an amateurish joke this poor excuse for a media-wannabe really is. I will give it this much. TechCrunch’s Companies page is a very accurate reflection of the state of Web 2.0. That is, pitiful. This page is based on tags, yeh? You know, what I’m talking about. Tags. We used to call them categories, before someone put some thought and a bit of effort into the concept and developed them into taxonomies. But then along came “folksonomy” and the business of categorising content was plunged back a decade because it became all-too-difficult to categorise the great wonder that is supposedly Web 2.0. Well, guess what folksonomists, a bunch of four-eyed librarians worked out a far more useful and sophisticated system 130-odd years ago called the Dewey system. And anyone who has built a real content system knows the first-place you start is with a really strong taxonomy. It’s not that hard. But I guess when you cobble together something that’s such a mish-mashed and muddled mess as TechCrunch is then you’ve hardly got time to bother to properly organise your information do you? 

(But please, go ahead, rename something that’s existed for eons, bundle it up with a god-awful buzzword that makes no sense and call it progress. That’s the whole idea behind Web 2.0, after all, isn’t it?)

 Why do tags suck? Well, unless you actually care about what you’re doing, they get stuffed up. As TechCrunch so kindly assists us in demonstrating. Start scanning your eyes down the list of companies and products (TechCrunch was just kidding when they called it a Companies Index – there’s products in there too – because it’s based on tags remember and tags can’t distinguish between such things). You only have to get seven entries down before you hit 30 Boxes. Oh wait, perhaps they mean 30Boxes. TechCrunch doesn’t know which is correct? So don’t ask me. We suspect that if a tag has a space left in, it means it’s the collection of really sucky ‘oh-what-a-great-start-up-can-you-let-me-in-early-on-the-friends-and-family-offering’ style of stories , whereas if the space is missing it’s a ‘pull-together of the oh-shit-my-readers-are-seeing-through-all-the-kiss-arse-content-I-better-pick-on-a-couple-of-easy-marks-my-buddies-don’t-operate’ style of piece. Think 30Boxes is a misnomer? Well, keep scanning. Don’t go too far down, you only need to reach the A’s before you’re hit with another howler. Is it Azureus or is Azeurus? Apparently, little stuff that happens in a real newsroom like checking company names is optional when you’re a blogger.  

(And if you live outside of the US and are prone-to-wonder why Web 2.0 never seems to happen anywhere but in the land-of-stars-and-stripes then consider this piece of jingoistic claptrap from Arrington on one of the Azureus, or was that Azeurus’ posts:

 It is a tragedy that they didn’t include the only BBC show worth watching, The Office”.

 Squash wonders if The Office was any good before the Americans managed to rip it off. Message to all Britains. Turn off the BBC immediately – your YouTube is waiting…. And while, I’m hanging around this dreadful piece of faux-journalism is anyone else sick of Arrington writing lines like this:  “This spells trouble for Pando and Red Swoosh, which offer competing products to publishers”.  

It appears a hell of a lot lot of big-funded projects spell trouble for a lot of well-established start-up these days, probably in the same manner that TechCrunch spells Az-whateva. Success is not always measured by the size-of-your-VC-slush-fund, Michael)

 Anyway, the disaster that is TechCrunch tags goes on unbounded. Is it Moveable Type or is MoveableType? Should you look under Universal Music or Universal Music Group? Do you crack open a VideoEgg or a Video Egg? Pfft. Such details. Throw me another $10k for one of those tile ads, will ya? And can someone please remind me as to what advantages these tags have over doing a simple keyword search? It’s not as if any useful thought has been put into them, like actually using tags to group similar companies or particular markets together. I’m pretty sure if I wanted to find all the Google stories then typing Google into the search bar is going to work just as well as linking to these inane tags. But damned if TechCrunch is going to offer me much help me to find all the stories it’s written about Ajax desktops. Oh, that’s where I’m supposed to use a keyword search? I see the logic. Not. Thanks very much TechCrunch. Or is Tech Crunch? Oh hang on, they got they one right. And they got CrunchGear, CrunchBoard, MobileCrunch and edgeio all correct. Funny about that, hey? What was that? Yes, that was the sound of a rib breaking. Except, this is the problem living in Australia. We get way too much BBC television and you can never find anyone to shine your shoes. Dammit, Micky, sounds like I need to get myself over to the Good-ol-US-of-A for a Web conference. I’ve clearly got a bunch to learn. Like learning how to generate trackbacks!

Filed under: Self-indulgent wanking, Tech Crunch, TechCrunch

Harder, harder, harder…

So, the Poor Web 2.0 Fool post clearly upset some sensibilities: Eh said:

“stop using meaningless terms. you are an architecture astronaut. i hope you die.”

Firstly, bring it on. I really couldn’t give two rats if you disagree with me, abuse me, rip me a new anus. I Squash because it’s fun. I like to write. I like to debate. I like to float ideas and see where they go. I’ll say stupid things. I’ll suggest ridiculous concepts. I’ll commonly contradict myself from one day to the next. I’ll make a habit of writing they’re instead of their. Very likely in doing all this, I’ll regularly come across as a total, utter tosspot. But. I. Don’t. Care.

I find it remarkable how sensitive so many bloggers are. Are there really people out there who are so used to having people say nothing but nice things about them, that it so offends when someone thinks your a dick.

Quite frankly, I’m not here to be part of the “conversation”. People don’t invite me to polite dinner parties. I’m here to rip it up. So c’mon, engage me. Sock it to me. If we can’t beat each other around the head, from time-to-time then go ahead, dose me up on valium and call me an A-Lister. Let the show roll on…

(Oh, and the term “architecture astronauts” I believe refers to software hype mongerers and I’d defend myself to my dying breath that I don’t fit into that category. Oh, and if that point does come any time soon, don’t worry Eh you’re still welcome at the funeral).

Filed under: Self-indulgent wanking

Those that can do, those that can’t blog :-p

Ever get the feeling that the really, truly smartest people on the planet aren’t ever likely to blog because a) they don’t need to prove how smart they are b) they don’t have time c) they’re actually doing, not writing.

Anyway, I’m using that as my excuse for the pitiful absence of postings here of late. As Renai pointed out to me today, my return from a hiatus only gave way to another mini-hiatus! But I have been busy “doing”. Honestly, truly. We finally get MediaConnect Kickstart Forum out of the way and now our IT Journalism awards swing into action. On top of that I’ve got about four side projects on the go at the moment.

One of those projects, we’re still in the formative stages of working out an agreement but it has come as a direct result of Squash. If blogging is good for one thing, it’s as a social networking tool. I tell you, LinkedIn doesn’t hold a candle to the blogosphere. (I don’t think those really, truly smart people use Linked In, either).

Filed under: Self-indulgent wanking

Squash is back

We officially declare the Squash hiatus as over.

It’s almost been a week between posts but I figured this was the regression, Squash had to have. Looking back, Monty was pretty much on the money here. I think I went through a pretty bad case of blog burn-out, brought on by a maniacal greed for traffic. (Quite enjoyed Kevin from Pandora^2’s description of me as a ‘mister johnny come lately blog addict’ – didn’t need the 12 step program, though, just went cold turkey).

Anyway, I half wrote a post on some of the thoughts/conclusions/musings I’ve been going through during my period of near-abstinance which I’ll post sometime in the next few days when I finish it. However, suffice to say, I’m going to try and swear off my WordPress blog stats for a little while.

Blog burn-out wasn’t the primary reason for the hiatus, though. My inactivity has largely been down to Kickstart 2006, a media conference held by my company MediaConnect which has prompted a bit of discussion around the Aussie blogosphere this last week. We had around 170 delegates including the majority of Australia’s technology media come together across three days at the wonderfully lush Hyatt Regency Coolum on the Queensland Sunshine Coast this week. Our little team absolutely worked their butt off to pull the event off and it was an amazing success! But more on Kickstart in my next post.

Filed under: Self-indulgent wanking

Really, really wierd

Alejandro asked in a comment today whether yesterday’s Microsoft FUD is SAD post had been deleted? I checked and it appeared to be there. Then Crono Cr@cker commented to say that it definitely had been deleted.

That was really, really strange because I could still see it. But then when I was looking through my posts tonight, I finally noticed that it had been marked “private”, meaning only I could see it.

So what the hell happened? It took me about 10 minutes to even find where I could mark the post as public, so I’m thinking it’s pretty unlikely that I accidently made it a private post.

We’re a big fan of a good conspiracy theory, so we’re happy to entertain all possibilities. Did Squash break the WordPress servers? Were we hacked by a Microsoft PR flack? Did we upset the blogging gods who used divine intervention to remove our post from the blogosphere?

I’ll take any of those options over the possibility that I was plain, stupid enough to somehow trigger a setting that effectively deleted what was one of my best ever performing posts.

Plain wierd.

Filed under: Self-indulgent wanking

Who’s a Google fanboy then?

Well about half of you reckon I’m a Google kiss arse and the other half, agree with me and think GMail rocks and would make a cool app to live in.

I want to make one thing perfectly clear. Although, you may have seen pictures that would suggest the contrary, Squash has never once kissed Larry Page’s bum. Larry simply said to us, “Hey Squash, bro, is that a stain on my trousers around my left butt cheek” and Squash, being the gentleman that we are, was simply trying to get to the bottom of Larry’s problem (ho ha he, pun so intended). Unfortunately, the paparrazi just happened to be there, but hey, you’ve got to deal with this shit when you’re a big megastar #3 WordPress blogger. Yee-haw.
Anyway, it seems to me that’s its getting cooler by the day, to diss all over Google. Squash is all up for dissing up and down the big G because we’re Australian (despite the fact that our use of the word ‘diss’ would suggest otherwise) and it’s part of our national character to cut down every tall poppy we can get our hands on. But also because the last couple of time’s we did diss all over Google (re Google News and Picassa it got us lots and lots of links and traffic).

But then we found out, being nice works even better. We got to #2 on Digg with our GMail: One app to rule them all post and our traffic subsequently went nuts. So from now on, no more cynical, jaded Squash. From this point on in, we’re a fanboy of everything. 30 Boxes. Best Calendar Ever. Web 2.0. Like Wow! The blogosphere is beautiful. RSS will break through. Puke. Vomit. Hurl.

Hey, we tried!

Filed under: Piss take, Self-indulgent wanking

Prince Charles visits Squash

The only reason I’m blogging is so that I can continue to indugle in my favourite daily game of ‘Check out the kooky Search Engine terms that get Squashed’.

Apparently, if you want to know “How to build a canon” then Squash is the place to come. We’re also a recommended site for people who want to “poo on people”.  Squash is definitely the place to visit if you want to discover the “cool parties for generation y 2005″ and we continue to dominate the competition for both online wanking and live wanking.

But our favourite search term over the past two days had to be “When can you get you ears pinned back?” Who else can boast that they get royalty visiting their site, hey?

Filed under: Self-indulgent wanking

Happy Australia Day

It’s Australia Day today. If you live in Australia that means you’re likely enjoying your day off, but if you don’t live in Australia Squash insists that you do at least three things today to honour my great country. Here’s a couple of suggestions…

Call your best mate a bastard…
Wear a thong on your foot, not under your pants…
Preface every sentence you say to someone by saying “Maaaaaate”.
Put a garbage bin in the background or in the middle of your street, grab a tennis ball and a fence paling and have a game of backyard cricket. And remember if the ball bounces off the house it’s only out if you catch it with one hand.
Have a BBQ and if you must throw a shrimp on there, please call it a prawn…
Drink an Australian beer (Fosters doesn’t count, noone drinks it here!)

Any other Aussie is welcome to contribute their own suggestions.

Filed under: Self-indulgent wanking

Squash is all wanking, poo, Oprah fish smells

They say you can tell a lot about a blog, by the search terms that people use to find it (well, they probably don’t but they should).

Quite clearly then, Squash, is one classy piece of literature.

In our top search terms over the past two days, ‘wanking’ continues to reign supreme but has been challenged by ‘stick death.com’ (don’t ask me!). Making a new entrance into our top search terms today was “poo web site where you can see all diffe..” and yesterday we had “sims ‘throwing up’ screenshot”.

My personal favourite was ‘oprah fish smells’ and then just to prove my readers are a highly literate lot ‘litlle leg’ got a guernsey too.

Filed under: Piss take, Self-indulgent wanking

Squash is back

You know you missed me. Squash is back from our oh-to-brief holiday. Just thought you’d like to know.

P.S. I like to throw in a post with the “Self-indulgent wanking” tag in it, every now and again because the keyword ‘wank’ gets me my most traffic from Google. Ah, gotta love the Internet.

Filed under: Self-indulgent wanking

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