Monday, February 27, 2006

Web 2.0 vs Oldschool - The steel cage matchups part 2

I used Alexa a few posts
back to compare the relative popularity of a few different businesses. Pitting them against each other in a head on head competition sometimes with surprising results.

Our first fight tonight is a classic; pitting centuries of tradition with a few years of communal effort.

Yes Britannica is on the same graph you can just make out the red line at the bottom. I figured this would be a runaway victory but I wasn't prepared for a first round knockout.

The next bout was held in a dark (firewalled) corner of the internet.

It seems that not all internet pursuits are cerebral (but most of us knew that). If in your next web design meeting it comes up that no one reads on the internet. Use this as a comeback.

Ok now for tonight's main bout:

Is craigslist the death of all classifieds printed? Not unless it gets itself a heavyweight coach, with static traffic patterns and no hunger for the fight its not really going to trouble the major contenders yet.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Social Bookmarking Optimization; the long tail of PR?

As more and more companies cotton on to the power of social bookmarking sites to move large volumes of traffic around the internet. and others have made public the effect a front page story on can have on website traffic. I predict it won’t be long before a host of Social Bookmarking Optimization (SBO – a new TLA remember you read it here first) “experts” pop out of the woodwork offering the opportunity to make your company’s blog on the wonders of carpet cleaning the centre of the world’s attention.

Google gave small companies around the world the opportunity to be found and in doing so created the long tail of advertising. Causing small Mom and Pop businesses around the world to consider an advertising budget and pay serious attention to marketing perhaps for the first time., Digg and others in the same realm might just inadvertently have created the long tail of PR. Sure my business is never going to feature on the Front page of the New York times, Wired or even USA today but given the right circumstances, a dash of hyperbole and a bit of spin you might just find your company blog in the middle of a flood of traffic. Even carpets can be
interesting sometimes.

The can of worms that this opens with regards to volume spam, fraudulent digging (voting) is not something I want to get into yet, that debate will come in time andit will have to be addressed by the sites involved. The interesting thing now is looking forward to the entrepreneurial possibilities this opens up. Journalistic and marketing skills are more important in this realm than tech skills (this is probably the reason we haven’t seen a proliferation of SBO companies already) a young hotshot with writing and internet skills is more likely to be able to survive in this new world of PR than someone with a large rolodex collected over expensed lunches. It might be fun to see a PR company explain results rather than column inches for a change.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Apple vs. Google is this a remake of Apple vs. Microsoft?

A lot of people are saying that when Google launches a competitor to iTunes it will fail. I am not so sure yes particularly if they don’t learn from past mistakes. Have a look for yourself and then make your own mind up. But I wouldn’t be shorting Google stock anytime soon.

Apple vs Microsoft
Installed own client base
Tightly integrated hardware and software platform
Excellent brand image
Coolness factor
Ahead of the market curve

Selling through open channels
Software primary and usable across multiple device brands
Brand is secondary to distribution (initially)
Behind the curve in innovation ahead of the curve in distribution

Apple vs Google

Installed own client base
Tightly integrated hardware and software platform
Excellent brand image
Coolness factor
Ahead of the market curve

Open channel and access to large client base
Software primary and usable across multiple device brands
Brand is secondary to utility
Ahead of the curve in innovation ahead and in distribution

Monday, February 20, 2006

digg vs Slashdot, Flickr vs Kodak, Istock vs Gettyimages, vs webring
is Web 2.0 really kicking butt?

I starting playing around with some Alexa graphs and for fun started comparing old (well comparatively in some cases) vs new companies with some surprising results.

I know you want to know the digg vs Slashdot comparison but I'll leave that till last and start with one which really matched up to my expectations. Istock vs Getty Images.

Istockphoto for those that don't know is an upstart in the stock photography business, charging as little as $1 for professional quality photographs that have traditionally been in the $350 - $500 range. The photographs are taken and uploaded by a growing army of enthusiasts, hobbyists and professionals who have found a more direct outlet for their talents. A classic case of disintermediation.

OK next match up an old world heavyweight and and the Web 2.0 posterchild.

A runaway victory for the company that understands its place in the lives of its users. Kodak it seems is struggling to drag its brand into the digital age despite a century or more of experience on its side (or should that be weighing it down).

This is fun whose next?

Some of you may remember a youngster who really "got" the net bringing us a way to group like minded sites together a few years back. Webring provided a means to let site owners group themselves with others so that if we found something we liked we could hit the "next" button and presumably get more of the same.

Turns out that letting the user decide cumulatively what they like is just a little more powerful.

OK now we get to tonight's heavyweight bout.

looks like a victory for the reigning champion here with a rematch definitely on the cards.

But our fun isn't quite over yet. If these are our two tech heavyweights shouldn't we throw the original tech news destination into the mix?

Whoah there. It looks like there is a space for the creation of content in this new world. If every site was a "social bookmarking" site where would they all point to? And it looks to me as if when users find an efficient way of finding content that appeals to them as a group, the creators of the content benefit in far larger proportion than the sites who merely point the way.

Or maybe I'm just reading too much into this. Either way I'll let you know when the next fight night is scheduled.

Can you define a meeting?

Most meetings in business are strategic. There are strategies for appearing as if you care, strategies to mask incompetence and most importantly strategies for staying awake so that the drool doesn't start to slide down your chin.

I used to doodle until I discovered a new game: coming up with real business definitions.

I'll share them with you through this blog from time to time and here are a few to start with:

Advertising: (n) Reviving the ancient practice of wealthy patrons supporting the whims of those artists who are able to peddle genius.

Analysis: (v) Extracting meaning from data. The practitioners of analysis are an arcane sect calling themselves analysts, reputed to be direct descendants of the alchemists of old. cf Alchemy: Transmuting base metal into gold.

Data: (n) Aggregation of numbers with little or no intrinsic value. Highly prized and sought after by collectors.

Workstation: (n) A device for the increase of productivity, equipped with diversions and distractions enabling the effective use of time gained.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Is the first post in a blog the same as the first line in a novel?

It could set the tone for the whole of whatever is to come, or it could just keep you staring at a blank keyboard for hours.

Best to just get it done.