Phil Sim

Web, media, PR and… footy

Gimme karma

I’m a shitty blogger. I’m really bad at responding to comments, hardly ever comment on other people’s blogs, don’t link enough, etc, etc. Now it seems I’ve gone and pissed off the B-Listers as well as the A-Listers. I’m now thinking that this is the reason my Microsoft FUD post dissapeared and I clearly need to earn some karma points with the blogging gods. However, ‘Haarball’ assures me that it’s all about “high-scale government conspiracies” that will unsure the mystery stays unresolved. Check out his blog, Schdenfreude, which I found amusing and also via there I found Tossr, which is worth visiting if for nothing other than the name. C’mon, that’s gotta be worth at least a couple of karma points!

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Filed under: Recommedations

Why you should suck up Barron’s and not Time

Two Google cover stories. For the Time’s piece Google lets the reporter spend a couple of day’s in the GooglePlex, grants an interview with Larry, Sergey and Eric and subsquently generates a nice, fluffy piece on how wholesome and good Google really is.

For the Barron’s piece, Google refuses to provide any executive comments. Barron’s fills in the space with analysts going all bearish over Goog’s prospects. This morning, Goog’s stock plummets.

In retrospect…

Filed under: Google

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

Edgio really is an Edge Case

My good mate Crocodile Dundee once famously said “That’s not a knife, this is a knife”. I keep reading all this great blog press about Edgio and all I can keep thinking is “That’s not a business model, this is a business model” and then I pull out my great big, shiny Adsense blade.

Edgio now has an official blog. And oh what a blog it is. To quote Frank Gruber, Mike Arrington has penned a “wonderful explanation and background on edgio”. C’mon Frank, it’s marketing guff. Actually, then again it must be wonderful because everybody in the ‘sphere seems to have taken the bait, hook, line and sinker.

The second Edgio post lists all the wonderful things that bloggers like Scoble, Winer and Stowe have had to say about the Web 2.0 golden child. We note that Squash’ critique of Edgio didn’t make the roll call. An accidental oversight, surely.

Pete Cashmore also got all worked up over Edgio after Arrington gave him a personal demonstration.

I gotta say that I love Edgeio. Mike Arrington called me today and gave me a demo of the new classifieds service he has worked on with Keith Teare. I really can’t fault it.

Ok, Pete, let me help you out with the faulting part. You’ve written:

Last of all: the business model. Unlike about 90% of the stuff that gets labelled (tagged?) Web 2.0, Edgeio actually has one. Actually it has a few, but the main monetization method appears to be sponsored listings – pay 25 cents a day to get your listing bumped up to the top.

I’ll say it again, the whole reason the edge will prove successful if indeed it does, is because it means you don’t have to pay anyone to get your listings bumped. If Edgeio is even half successful, you’ll have all manner of clones pop up overnight. Except they won’t charge and they’ll just rely on AdSense revenues. You can’t lock up the Edge, it’s distributed, it’s wild, it won’t stand for this kind of commercialisation. I can’t possible see what Edgio can offer that will give it any semblance of ownership over edge listings, while still promoting the kind of critical mass it will need to get this off the ground.

Pete also call Edgio an eBay Killer. Care to explain? Now, maybe if Edgio created blog-plug ins where you could actually host your own little auction, then we could start to head down that path, but eBay is not just a classifieds engine, it’s an auction engine, and so as far as I can see, it’s pretty damn immune from any attacks from the edge.

Is the fawning over Edgio simply because Mike Arrington’s behind it. I find it hard to fathom how so many smart people are going goo ga over a concept that to me, appears based on a whole host of presumptions that are still light years away from proving viable.

It’s an “edge case” in more ways than one.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Who’s a hypocrite now????

Can you spell the word “hypocrite” boys and girls? Don’t you love all these try-hard B-Listers like Squash, Matthew Ingram, Shelly Power, Scott Karp, Kent Newsome, Seth Finklestein and so on who can’t stop bleating about how nasty the A-List is. Shame on those big, old ‘net celebrities who only link to each other and won’t let any of these wannabes play in their reindeer games.

Take this Squash fool. Has to be the most selfish blogger in the entire blogosphere. Have a look at his most recent set of posts. Who does he link to? If he does actually bother to spare a link it’s for the likes of Scoble, Doc, Ingram, Karp, Arrington, etc. He’s hardly doing his part to open up the blogosphere to new voices, is he? Yet when he’s not taking cheap pot shots at the establishment he sits back and whines about the “closed blogosphere” and what not. What a total, utter toss pot. And by the way, he doesn’t know how to use punctuation either. Not so easy to pretend you can write, when you don’t have a sub-editor to fix up your crap, is it, journo-boy?

Browse your way down tech.memeorandum and it’s full of the wannabes pretending like they’re one of the big boys. Half of them have only been blogging for a matter of months and already they feel like it’s their divine right to have the A-Listers perform some really top-class felatio on them. Mind the teeth, please.

You can spot one of the Wannabe’s a mile away. Check out their About page and chances are they can’t help but grand-stand about how they’re really a big shot journalist, writer, analyst, media or dot com executive. In other words they’re used to having a big audience handed to them on a platter and now that they have to actually go out and earn a following, they can’t cop it.

Wannabe’s whinge about being outside of the establishment but they consistently link to it, hoping to pick up a couple of referral links to push their daily traffic into triple figures. You can also find them hanging out in the comments pages trying to trawl up some interest in their musings. They pretend to be critical of the A-List but then will also add “Not that this is meant to be critical”, just in case they actually offend some A-List sensibilities. Never know when you’re going want to a favour from one of those, boys.

They write loooooooonnnnnng analytical posts, because there are under the delusion that the more you write, the more interesting it is. Then they can’t work out why they haven’t got any comments or why people “just can’t understand what they’re really trying to say”. It’s because nobody can be bothered reading past the fourth par, you dick. You’d probably be a lot more interesting if you stopped spending your whole day blogging and actually went out and got a life.

tech.memeorandum used to be a really good read before they let the riff raff in. Please Gabe, shut the doors. Let’s just import Dave Winer’s OPML file and lock that in. God, if we wanted to read the ramblings of pseudo experts, we’d still be buying mainstream media.

Oh and just for good measure: Here’s a suggestion for the B-Listers. Link to one C-Lister every day, link to a D-Lister once a fortnight and just for charity’s sake, please link to an E-Lister once a year. Probably around Christmas time would be nice. They say the suicide rate of E-Listers around Christmas time is at its peak. The unfortunate reality is that Squash is fast running out of things to take the piss out of, so we really need to crack this blogosphere thing all the way open.

Filed under: Blogs, Piss take

The Piss-ant blogosphere

Jessica just posted an alarming comment:

What happened to you? You used to be the voice of reason and now you sound like the rest of the web 2.0 crowd.

Squash has clearly spent too long repeatedly clicking on his WordPress blog stats. But wait – we think there’s some good can actually come of this. You’ll just have to excuse us, while we go out and run into a brick wall again.

PHWACK!

OK, that’s better. Now, you may or may not have noticed that Squash is still tracking pretty highly on the WordPress rankings. “Wow, you must be pulling in some mega, massive numbers there, Squashy-boy”, you might be saying. Well, actually, no. In fact, Squash got to #3 based on just 2000 page views over the last 24 hours.
Have a look at this post from AtariBoy. He got to #1 and beat Scoble with about 20,000 page views. A link from Boing Boing, the single biggest blog in the world, only generated a couple of thousand hits.

That’s absolutely piss-ant. Maybe, I’d be impressed if one of my Aussie journo mates boasted to me that their websites were tracking at those levels. You can think about trying to build a website business in Australia with those stats.

But we’re talking GLOBAL bigshots. I would have expected the top WordPress.com blogs, and blogs of the stature of Scoble to be tracking in the hundreds of thousands, not low tens of thousands. The #3 blog before me was a four-post fan site on a rapper I’ve never heard of called Daddy Yankee.

It makes the recent discussions about how certain high-profile bloggers can make or break Web 2.0 start-ups look pretty ridiculous. I’d suggest if you’re a start-up expecting that a bit of blog publicity is going to get you kickstarted then you need to have another look at your business plan. Most trackbacks that Squash gets generate half a dozen or so page views.

Blogging is fun. Blogging is cool in many ways. But at least right now, we should all keep in perspective that blogs are a mere pimple on the greasy back of the Internet. Cheers for the wake-up call Jessica.

Filed under: Blogs

The Next Gatekeepers

Doc Searls post in response to a discussion about The New Gatekeeper’s almost made me cry. Poor Doc. I’m only half taking the piss, here, too. It actually was a very touching post and the Doc does come across as very genuine with his Internet as the Great Equaliser ideologies.

As much as Doc is wrong in his belief that today’s blogosphere is a great big egalitarian delight, so too are the keepers of the Gatekeeper conspiracy. I’ve made numerous posts about the closed nature of the blogosphere so I’ve paddled down that stream before but before you cast your boat off in that direction again have a real look at the impact that aggregators are starting to have on the b’sphere.

And for God’s sake look beyond memeorandum. It’s self-referential nature only reinforces the closed blogosphere. It’s great for what it does but it’s not going to help Doc’s vision. On the other hand, Reddit does an awesome job of bringing new ideas and bloggers to prominence. I’m not even sure why? Maybe it’s the community, maybe it’s the ranking system, I dunno.

Aggregators are going to get better. There will continue to be a melding of human and machine filtering and I firmly believe Doc that one day the blogosphere really will look like it does to you through those rose coloured glasses of yours. We’re just not there yet.

Filed under: Blogs

Blogging is like cognitive aerobics

A little while ago I wrote a post called about blog fatigue, which has popped up in my traffic figures again because Scott Karp, who I originally referenced in that post, brought it up to support an argument he made about the long tail fading.

Based on that, I thought I might actually post and update as to where I’m at in my development as a blogger.
I actually think I’ve turned a corner and blogging is getting easier again because:

1) I’ve developed a routine

2) I’m starting to think as a blogger

Pretty much before I go to bed each night, I trawl through memeorandum, digg, reddit and a couple of my very favourite blogs as a reading exercise.

NOTABLE OBSERVATION: The only time I find my way to a Big Media site is if its been linked to. I’ve been asking myself why is that? I think it’s because I’m no longer just willing to consume news. I want immediate contextualisation and analysis. I want to save time. Why would I read a news piece, digest it, analyse it, draw some conclusions when somebody has already done a lot of that work for me. In fact, it’s likely that five or six people have already embarked on that exercise, so it makes a lot more sense for me to analyse the analysis where I should be able to draw deeper, more insightful reasoning from any news issue.

So I have a couple of hours where I read and blog at the end of my day. It just happens to coincide with the part of the day, or should I say night, when I think I do my best thinking. If you set aside a part of your day to blog, it’s not nearly as invasive as when I was blogging whenever an idea popped into my head. (That said, I will occassionally throw up a quick link post at times outside of my blogging period, but I save all my longer, analytical pieces for my Blog Time).

Along with that, I think I read differently now. When I was an editor/journalist churning through a hundred press releases a day, you read to critique. You’re looking for mistakes, angles, insights, anything where you can value-add. I now find myself doing that with EVERYTHING I read. I no longer just consume media, I now very much see myself as being part of a knowledge cycle and so I’m looking for every opportunity where I think I can add something to that process.

Subsequently, I’m having more ideas and creating more insight, in most every other part of my life. For me, blogging has become a kind of cognitive aerobics routine that keeps my mind fit and active.
Now, if only I could find the motivation to do the same thing for my body.

Filed under: Blogs

Next Stop: Google web page editor

BTW, on the Ajaxian blog it says that Google is developing an AJAX-based web page editor.

I’ll submit that as Exhibit D to support my thesis that Google is very, very focused right now on going head-to-head with Microsoft’s Office Live initiative.

Filed under: Google, Online Applications

Microsoft FUD is SAD

Robert Scoble’s whine that all these horrible bloggers are cuddling up to Google whilst ignoring poor old Microsoft has to be the ultimate irony, doesn’t it?

Having worked as a tech journalist for many years I’ve heard a million times, competitors to Microsoft incessantly bitching about how the press only ever covers Microsoft products while ignoring their alternatives. Kinda sucks when the shoe is on the other foot, hey?

That simple reversal would be ironic enough were it not for the fact that Microsoft very deliberatly and expertly dined out on this marketing advantage that it enjoyed. We used to call it the FUD factor, FUD referring to Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt.

Back when it was the only game in town, Microsoft was famous for pre-announcing products. As soon as someone at Microsoft got back to the office with a new product idea scrawled on the back of a napkin, Microsoft would announce it. Often, not only did it used to talk about the coming release, but also the one after that.

The reason for doing this is that if Microsoft was talking about a feature or capability that it was working on, it worked as a disuader to purchase rival software. So yes, maybe NetWare could do this and this and this, but why would you buy it when Microsoft says that its next version of NT will do exactly the same thing. Of course, Microsoft was infamous for missing its ship dates but that hardly mattered, because it had thrown enough FUD into the air to stop people from genuinely considering alternatives.

The problem for Microsoft is not only is it’s no longer the only choice on the block. It’s no longer the one that has the media entranced. That’s clearly Google. The fact is people can’t get enough of Google so journalists and bloggers will continue to write about them because it rates. It’s just how media works.

Yet, Microsoft hasn’t updated its marketing strategy, to fit with its new place in the world. Let’s take the Office Live announcement that Scoble is talking about. Microsoft announces Office Live with absolutely nothing behind it, except a landing page and a couple of snippets like the Domain Management capability. It promises that it will be able to do this and that when Office Live launches sometime next year.

It made headlines for a day or so, but because there was very little substance to what it had to say, few journalists or bloggers got enraptured with what it had to say.

Microsoft doesn’t have FUD power anymore. Pre-announcing products without even opening up to beta these days only achieves SAD – scepticism, ambivalence and disinterest.

By pre-announcing Office Live, though, it did achieve one thing. It publicised its roadmap to Google and every other competitor in this space. It handed Google over what should be top-secret, classified intelligence about what it’s going to announce and approximately when. The Google marketing team would have then had the opportunity to go away and draw up a counter-marketing strategy to effectively blunt anything Microsoft is likely to come up with when Office Live does launch.

I have no doubt that this latest announcement from Google is absolutely a part of that Office Live counter-strategy. The difference being when Google chose to talk about it, it had something real, even if its just a closed beta program and a single reference customer.

The blog bleating of Robert Scoble and also Reeves here would have had Google’s marketing team giving high-fives all round. They amount to nothing more than an admission that Google is out-marketing Microsoft, as well as further re-inforcement of the fact that Microsoft is just not sexy anymore.

Microsoft, your FUD days are over. It’s time to tear up your marketing manuals and start again from scratch. We’ve all moved on, it’s about time you guys did as well.

Filed under: Uncategorized

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