Over the past year I've spoken or consulted with many people and ventures about the paradigm of blogging..etc. There are two camps of people that emerge from the discussion platform folks and publishing (tools) folks. The majority of the people look at things from the publishing side. There aren't many people talking about how bloggin is a platform. In 1994-1995 many people said how do you make money with browsers??? When they should have been asking "how do you make money using the web serving users"?.
Another story case in point today. Carl Haacke writes today on AO about Blogs and Transformation. I want to first say that I admire and respect Carl (he and I are comrades on AO) and I'm not a pajama wearing fanatic, but in this case Carl is looking at this through the wrong lens.
You can't compare blogging to email. You can compare blogging tools and its ease of publishing to the notion of email but the point is the blog impact or utility. It's what the blog make happen and its the collection of individuals. This is the power of an open source media platform. Individuals can unite and form groups and the groups produce content (or some utility).
On Carl's three main points 1) disagree transformation is fast in this case, 2) disagree publishing tool & email comparision is the wrong one.. (early web days everyone said - how do you make money?) and 3) I agree with you here...but the focus and success will be in the platform and how it's leveraged by users and corporations.
Carl's story goes like this....
"There is a lot of excitement about blogs these days. Reminiscent of the heady days of the mid 1990s, upstarts are calling for a revolution. “Off with their heads” they cry pointing to the big media titans. Some of these titans are disdainful of the mobs carrying pitchforks unimportant. The bloggers, cry back, “you don’t get it.” Others in big media are quaking in their boots launching their own preemptive strikes.
Carl makes three points:
1) Innovation is fast but transformation is slow. As fast as blogs seem to have arrived and gain in stature every day, the real impact will be gradual.
2) Despite the transformation, profits will be elusive. Think about email. It transformed the way humans interact with each other across the globe by making communication free, easy and fast. Despite this it is very difficult to generate notable profits.
3) Where will the money go? Over time look for a very small handful of successful personalities to emerge from the blogsphere and capture a large enough group of followers whose demographic is appealing enough to advertisers that they can generate some advertising revenue. However, this model will be little different from an individual perusing a career as a talk show host. "
I just got an invitation from Yahoo to look at and join Yahoo 360. I'll have more later since I'm just now getting the Yahoo 360 going. My first impressions are very positive. Yahoo has taken the right approach to providing basically a my yahoo approach and incorporating personal publishing and communications. What I also like is their openness to syndicating the content.
Not only integrating blogging, photos and other personal tool Yahoo also links in the groups that I'm associated. This is very important since I never really was motivated to use or join or even start a Yahoo group before - now I might just start more groups. Yahoo will take the LinkedIn concept and "blow past" them to provide integrated media development and syndication utilities for users. Make it easy and people will use it.
While they focus on 'edge publishing and communication". I think Yahoo needs to focus and partner in the area of infrastructure development.
Great move by Yahoo .. how they collaborate and partner will tell more about how well they will do. The paradigm of blogging and new new media is not about "walled garden" but decentralized aggregation of content and communications.
New York Times Steve Lohr reports that Silicon Valley is like Detroit?? Give me a break. Silicon Valley is the place to be if you're in high technology. I've seen the depression over the past few years but the upswing cycle is happening. For entrepreneurs and technology builders Silicon Valley is the best place to be.
The new media revolution of blogs and podcating will change how media is consumed and by who the producers of media are. Barriers to entry to become a publisher and broadcaster approach zero (well almost zero). This is the beginning of an exciting time. It the start of a technology revolution marathon. Thanks to Technorati and other innovators the blogosphere and podcasting is exploding to mainstream users around the globe. Also see my other post on Blog Trends
According to Technorati they are tracking twice the number of blogs they did in October 2004, keeping tabs on almost 8 million blogs and 940 million links. Those figures are constantly changing, indicating that the blogosphere doubles in size about every five months. Already, the blog universe has grown four times in under two years. This means it is 16 times the size it was in July 2003.
Technorati's figures show approximately 30,000 to 40,000 blogs are born daily. To put this number into perspective, compare it to the 15,000 blogs that were created each day in October 2004. (click on image for larger size)
The most dramatic (and obvious) blogging statistics come from the macro growth of the blogosphere, both in the sheer number of bloggers as well as the number of new blogs created every day. (click on image for larger size)
This trend will continue to include Podcasting. This is the beginning of a new media revolution.
Look for the directory of blogs and podcasting coming soon at BlogPubs.com
San Francisco Podcasting Meetup: Just started with a handful of us in SF to discuss how to move podcasting forward as a medium.
I've seen this movie before in 1977 with personal computers then the a sequel in 1994 with the Web. Now in 2005 it's Media and distribution. Early reviews look great.
Last night I attended the SF Podcasting group meeting and met a great group of SF Podcasters. One was Dave Hodson from MessageCast there..he has a brief writeup on the meeting from his perspective. I agree with Dave on his points. Thanks to Michael Butler "Rock & Roll Geek Show" for organizing it. This reminds me of the early days of the personal computer. Great innovation and great passion. Podcasting and Blogging is part of the New Media Revolution.
It's exciting to see the early stage momentum in podcasting, but what scares me is the possibility of selling out rather than build out a platform. I love to see Eric Rice doing the deals to get paid and educate the mainstream "label" but also we need to ensure that open channel of publishing and broadcast are available to all. What's impressive about podcasting is that now everyone can have a "voice".
I had a great chat with Doug Kaye - Doug runs IT Conversations the most recognized IT podcating show. Doug is a passionate pioneer of leadership in this new open source media model. He is doing it right. He and I also talked about a new startup that I've been working on with some other folks - not yet announced.
Eric Rice was there talking about his deal with Time Warner. Good job Eric. He talked with the group. His main points were: "my deal is exclusive for one band .... my goal is to educate the labels...they (labels) need to get it....it's early on .. and I doesn't know where the Time Warner deal will go.." ..."Odeo is talking about doing something....I'm doing it" he said.
I admire this about Eric. He is doing it. He's walking the talk. The other issues that we brought as a group was the notion of "Pod Safe" broadcasting.. what the hell does this mean..
Jack Herrington (not to be confused with Mike Herrington..inside joke) talked about his upcoming book.. Podcating Hacks. Jack had this cool microphone tied to his glasses recording the entire evening.
Finally a beer cast was setup by SparkCard founder Gregory Narain. It was a ton of fun. I hosted a show with the famous Doug Kaye and Jack Herrington and another podcaster. We had a ton of fun.
Overall I'm impressed with the group in terms of personality, knowledge, and passion. It was a great time. We all agreed that there is a ton of work to do to accelerate podcasting and blogging in general.
I haven't been posting in a while and I will be taking a few days off from blogging. I have been blogging recently about the future of communications, demand & lead generation, the future of search, the future of online advertising, the future of silicon valley, and the future of content, data and media. There are some changes happening here and soon I'll be blogging with news about my future and what's next.
Success in startups / young companies that are developing new markets and taking new products to market need to think about their value of their offering and how to enter the market. Successful companies are ones that stay on focus and enter the market at the right spot. How a company choses to grow speaks volumes about their culture and integrity.
At a recent Churchhill Club event Heidi Rozen, Dan'l Lewin, Steve Kirchner had some great advice to startups...
Heidi and Dan'l summed it up best:
Heidi: Be persistent
Dan'l: Know how to enter the market
My comments: hire smart people, go after a huge market, make good decisions, and be prepared to adjust. Figure out 30% of the solution and let the marketplace help with the 70%.