Archive for November 2005

Evan Williams’ Ten Rules for Web Startups

evhead: Ten Rules for Web Startups Ev has a good list of rules for internet start ups. They all are good but I liked number 3.

“#3: Be Casual
We’re moving into what I call the era of the “Casual Web” (and casual content creation). This is much bigger than the hobbyist web or the professional web. Why? Because people have lives. And now, people with lives also have broadband. If you want to hit the really big home runs, create services that fit in with—and, indeed, help—people’s everyday lives without requiring lots of commitment or identity change. Flickr enables personal publishing among millions of folks who would never consider themselves personal publishers—they’re just sharing pictures with friends and family, a casual activity. Casual games are huge. Skype enables casual conversations.”

The Web 2.0 Show

The Web 2.0 Show Just found these guys doing a Web 2.0 show podcast. Haven’t listened to it yet but it seems like a pretty cool idea for a podcast. Will listen on my way home from work today.

Update: Listened to their show on the way home from work last night and would highly recommend it. They’ve got a great interview up with Jason Calacanis in their most recent show. It’s great to see a show dedicated to all of the exciting things that are going on in web development today.

Microsoft Exec’s Internal Blog Gives BusinessWeek a Big Scoop

Micro Persuasion: Microsoft Exec’s Internal Blog Gives BusinessWeek a Big Scoop Steve Rubel is reporting on BusinessWeek’s big scoop. Apparently they learned through an internal blog post by Microsoft Exec Chris Jones that Vista may ship on August 31.

TiVo’s Adwords for TiVo

Om Malik on Broadband : � TiVo’s Adwords for TiVo Om Malik on TiVo’s Adwords for TiVo: “The Wall Street Journal reports (free link) that the DVR maker is working with three big media-buyers Interpublic Media, OMD and Starcom Media Vest Group and others like Comcast Spotlight ad-sales division on a new way to deliver ads to consumers, who are looking for a specific product. In other words its Adwords for Television. Type in BMW and commercials will appear in a special folder right next to saved television programs.”

The Personalization of Your TiVo Ads

Zatz Not Funny… TiVo CC Tagging Patent Application Dave Zatz has a post about TiVo’s latest patent, a patent for, “use of Closed Captioning meta-data as a means of communicating with the TiVo unit. For example, if the tag embedded in a regular Coke commercial appears during broadcast TV and I’ve opted-in to TiVo’s ad search, my box can replace the ad with additional/different Coke content that’s been previously downloaded.”

Blind Taste Test the Search Engines

Internet Outsider: Real-Time Relevance Assessment Tool Henry Blodget links to the “search engine experiment,” an interesting little game to play to see whose search results you like best. Basically you put in any term and it gives you back the top three results blind from Yahoo!, Google and MSN. Then you can choose which one you think has the greatest relevency and find out who it is.

I thought for sure Google would win every time, but in my case Google and Yahoo! were pretty close. It would be nice to see the results beyond three though as I think you’d get a better sense of the first page relevency with say 10 results or so.

I’d love to see this done for Google Image, Yahoo! Images and Flickr Images ranked by interestingness. I think you’d get a clear winner in that case.

Andy Goetze Interviews Fotolia CEO Thibaud Elziere: Microstock Sites Going After the Long Tail of Digital Photography

StockPhotoTalk | Special Interest Blog: Interview With Fotolia�s CEO Thibaud Elziere: “Microstock Sites Can Capture Up To 30% Of The Existing Market”: Andy Goetze runs the excellent blog on stock photography news and is out with an interview with 26 year old Thibaud Elziere. Elziere is CEO of Fotolia, a new micropayment site for digital photography. He calls his service a “social marketplace,” and is going after the long tail of the stock photography business. With millions of budding amateurs with digital SLRs these days Elziere is hoping to capture their attention, some of their work and offer them compensation in return.

“We think that we can get share from the traditional stock photo agency but above all we will focus on the not yet targeted market that couldn’t afford photos before (SOHO and individuals for example). We think that microstock sites can capture up to 30 % of the existing market and create a new market that will be as big, if not bigger, than the one that already exists. Only one or two big micro stock sites will survive, I hope we will be one of them. “

20 Random Songs From Thomas Hawk’s Windows Media Player 5 Star Playlist

Nothing like great music on a Sunday night.

1. Tribute to Hank Williams, Evan Dando, Live at the Brattle Theatre / Griffith Sunset, Disc 2.
2. The Ghost of Tom Joad (live), Bruce Springsteen, Railroad Tracks (bootleg)
3. For Everyman (live), Jackson Browne, Black and White, Live in San Francisco, 1986 (bootleg)
4. Drive, The Cars, Just What I Needed, The Anthology, Disc 2
5. Every Breath You Take (live), Sting, Storytellers (bootleg)
6. Greetings to the New Brunette, Billy Bragg, The Peel Sessions
7. It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels, Kitty Wells, God’s Honky Tonk Angel: The First Queen of Country Music
8. Here I Am, Steve Earle, El Corazon
9. Big Blue Sea (live), Bob Schneider, KGSR Broadcasts Vol. 9, Disc 1
10. Fourth of July, Dave Alvin, Romeo’s Escape
11. For Those About to Rock We Salute You, AC/DC, Who Made Who
12. Mama Tried, Randy Travis, Tribute to Tradition
13. Sylvio (live), Bob Dylan, After the Heart Attack, Disc 1, (bootleg)
14. Still I Long For Your Kiss, Lucinda Williams, Car Wheels on a Gravel Road
15. Funeral Parlor, The Eels, Electro-Shock Blues
16. Safe European Home, The Clash, Clash on Broadway, Disc 2
17. Desolation Row (live), Bob Dylan, Bob Dylan, Completely Unplugged Live in New York 11-17-94, Disc 1 (bootleg)
18. I’ll Follow the Sun, The Beatles, Beatles for Sale
19. No Depression, Uncle Tupelo, No Depression
20. Cry, Cry, Cry, Robbie Fulks, Dressed in Black: A Tribute to Johnny Cash

Update on TiVo’s HME Beta

Update on HME Beta | PVRblog Looks like you can expect plug ins for Yahoo Traffic, Yahoo Weather, and Yahoo Photos and a TiVo podcatcher.

The TV Broadcasting Business Stinks

The Long Tail: The TV broadcasting business stinks Chris Anderson has a post out on the collective performance of stocks that own television properties over the past 12 months and surmises that the TV broadcasting business stinks.

* Belo (BLC): -11.6%
* Emmis (EMS): +8.7%
* Fisher (FSCI): -3.1%
* Gannett (GCI): -24.2%
* Gray (GTN): -38%
* Hearst-Argyle (HTV): -6.9%
* Media General (MEG): -17%
* Meredith (MDP): -2.4%
* New York Times (NYT): -30.7%
* Sinclair (SBGI): +29.1%
* Tribune (TRB): -24.8%
* Young (YBTVA): -80.2%

Average: -16.8%
Dow: +4%

While it’s hard to conclude anything with certainty based on 12 month stock performance charts, Chris most likely is right.

I can’t help but think of the TV Broadcasting business in comparison to the Music business when Napster first reared it’s head and popularized digital music downloads. They are stuck in a catch 22. On the one hand there is no doubt that consumers are demanding their TV in different better ways. They are demanding control and are for the first time being given the tools to take that control. Timeshifting, placeshifting, competing digtial media (internet, blogs, podcasting, etc.), BitTorrent — all of these ultimately eat into the revenue of the TV broadcasters. And yet they can’t really bring us anything super compelling because even as they see their demise, they are addicted to the advertising revenue and to a degree the DVD revenue that they know will still last for several more years.

I’d like to say I feel their pain but quite frankly I don’t. When rather than give me as a consumer something worthwhile and exciting they give me BS talk about how “God intended” for us to watch TV “live,” it just makes me gloat that much more in their demise.

And I smile as I realize that here it is Sunday night, a time when I was once sitting on my couch watching 60 Minutes with commercials, and instead I’m sitting here at my PC having just finished my FlickrNation podcast, with a nice glass of burgundy, kids asleep, blogging about the decline of the broadcasting business and listening to a kick ass cover version of Van Morrison’s Bright Side of the Road by the Hothouse Flowers. And 60 Minutes has still recorded and I may or may not watch it later this week depending on what’s on it — but most certainly without the commercials.

Damn, this long tail thing sure is working out well.

“Let’s enjoy it while we can. Help me share my load. From the dark end of the street to the bright side of the road.”