Great article on Office 2.0

The Next Wave in Productivity Tools – Web Office extremely good and detailed article on the next generation!

How dependant on search are you?

I learned so much from this post:  How much do you Google? Looking at the details, the calendar, the graphs… it's amazing. The stats will be similar for me. I know that Google tracks searches (if I login) but I had no real concept of how much I google each day.

New Interface – going stealth to protect the IP

After poking our head up a bit in the Coding reBlogger blog (and on Flikr) we've decided to go stealth. I'll keep blogging, but Ivan's work will no longer be public.

We've always thought we were onto something big and we began building it. As we built it, we refined it and discovered we were onto something even bigger.

We've begun to see that it has the potential to significantly shake the web. It should change the nature of:

  • hyperlinking
  • tagging
  • commenting
  • user generated content

It's an evolutionary shift in the nature of the web. Evolutionary, not revolutionary… but it will be so pervasive that it will be rapildy included into more and more products. As it's use becomes widespread, it will force new extensions to the HTTP spec.

Some would think that developing this stuff in public will create buzz and that's good for our company, but I've realized that we need to be a bit more strategic and protect what we have invented.

We are now approaching what we're building in two parts:

  1. the products – reBlogger, reNNTP, various websites – which will use the new interface
  2. the IP – which has tremendous potential in itself as intellectual property/patents.

I have no doubt our IP will be bought out and I am planning for it. Possible buyers of the IP/patent include Microsoft, Technorati, WordPress and any other cashed-up blog-related IP company.

Why take this approach? It's simply because we don't have the ability to shepherd the idea, shape the IP and help with implementations.

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Google APIs, RoR and mashups!

You might have seen my post on Why Google is extending RSS and GData. I often comment on mashups and APIs, so I thought it would be good form to include a link to a list of Google APIs. Google is mashing up their own applications.

The experimenters and early adopters have already built mashups and the real growth will now come as pragmatists begin to mash things up. The importance of mashups in the next generation of the web will be incredible and will only reach the mass market when programming languages have been extended to provide easy tools to do the work.

I think Ruby on Rails or RoR is already going in this direction. Most people think RoR is just generative programming

Generative programming is a style of computer programming that uses automated source code creation

It's great that RoR enables such easy programming which in turn generates more code. But when I was watching some videos about coding in RoR, I noticed that RoR was not only generating, but it was consuming APIs with the greatest of ease.

The Ruby programming language allows for extensive metaprogramming

What is metaprogramming?

Metaprogramming is the writing of programs that write or manipulate other programs (or themselves) as their data

This ability to consume an application (or it's API) as a data source is old hat. DLLs, COM, AciveX all does that. But with Ajax (and the ability for RoR to generate all the client side stuff) the power to create complex systems (that mashup up APIs that were previously kept separate) has moved into the hands of the common programmer.

This is the thin edge of a very thick wedge. We live in interesting times!

Next generation of Talk Digger

Another heads up: Some screenshots of the next generation of Talk Digger. Read the full post or just check out the screenshots below of the upcoming improvements to Talk Digger (blog)

TalkDigger2.png  TalkDigger1.png

Feeding on Pheedo

One of the signals I look for in a company that will eventually have ongoing and lasting success is this: they keep on pumping out changes, improvements, innovations and products. They don't stop. One such company is Pheedo (blog). Pheedo just keeps on keeping on.

We know that FeedBurner (blog) (API) offers ads in your RSS feed. But you then have to have your RSS feed "hosted" by their website. So if I placed ad in my RSS feed, I can no longer point to my own RSS feed, but I'd have to point to their copy of my feed on their website. Sucky.

Enter stage from left… Pheedo. Easy RSS Advertising From Pheedo. Now I can have ads in my own RSS. Yeah! That's nice. But what I'm really drawing your attention to is their blog and in particular the posts about the state of the RSS industry.

I've often linked to the fairly basic Technorati graphs showing the upward curve of the blogosphere see: Times they are a-changing… and Technorati – State of the blogosphere April 2006 and Technorati – State of the Blogosphere, February 2006.

But now Pheedo are sharing some of their own really excellent statistical research. Here are some excellent posts related to RSS-based advertising (CTR ratios, best placement, best frequency etc.):

Pheed Read #2 – Standalone RSS Ads Perform, Ad-to-Post Ratios Clarified

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Standalone RSS ads are far more successful than inline ads.
A standalone RSS ad (the entire post is the advertisement) generates, on average, a 7.99% click-through rate – over nine times more clicks than an inline RSS ad (an advertisement within a publisher's post).

When ads are placed in every other feed post, users clicked on the ad 3.24% of the time. This is over three times more effective than placing an advertisement in every post in a feed, where the CTR is 1.04%

"Pheed Read" No. 1 – report on the state of RSS advertising.

Tuesday is the most active day in RSS; Saturday least active.

The “morning scanners” view most content; late night readers click through more.

Pheed Read #1 was just the basic info, but Pheed Read #2 contains really valuable information. I find it quite rare the a company will publish truly useful stats with truly useful graphs. If you're into RSS-based advertising, you should DEFINITELY subscribe to the Pheedo blog.

(Found through SEOData using the reBlogger aggregation product)

Tracking the mood(s) of the blogosphere

Want to know the current moood of the blogosphere?

blog mood analysis

Ok, here are the details: it's updated every 10 minutes and it's not the whole blogosphere, it's only the 10 million LiveJournal bloggers. But still it's cool! Well done to MoodViews – Tools for Blog Mood Analysis.

Read more about it. An excerpt:

Software that tracks mood swings across the 'blogosphere' and pinpoints the events behind them could provide more insightful ways to search and analyse the web, researchers say. The software, called MoodViews, was created by Gilad Mishne and colleagues at Amsterdam University, The Netherlands. It tracks about 10 million blogs hosted by the US service LiveJournal. "I noticed that blog posts on LiveJournal have mood labels attached," Mishne says. "We started to collect this information and noticed trends in different moods over time."

Hmmm… but in the interview I recently did, I described something similar to Moodsignals. Before I get to that, let's first read a bit about Moodsignals:

On Valentine's Day, there is spike in the numbers of bloggers who use the labels "loved" or "flirty", but also an increase in the number who report feeling "lonely". The latest addition to Moodviews, a program called Moodsignals, tries to explain match these blogospheric mood swings to current events. It identifies emotional peaks by comparing recent label usage with records of previous use. When it finds a spike, the program picks out less commonly used words from relevant blog posts in an effort to identify the cause of the emotional change.

Here is the "loved" Moodsignal in the month of February (valentines day):

loved_valentine_moodsignals.png

Check out their various services:

In my interview about reBlogger I described the usefulness of tracking the employee blogs for a competing company:

Mark Wilson: For example, the Chief Technology Officer at Microsoft, he has a problem at the moment: he's got 27.000 employees and I don't know what percentage of them blog, but the OPML file for Microsoft is HUGE. So they have an enormous number of people blogging. Now the CTO of Microsoft cannot possibly read all of those blogs everyday, so he needs something which is smart enough to capture into themes, perhaps positive comments or negative comments, and in this way he could follow what is happening in terms of the bloggers inside the company. Somebody else, like Bill Gates, might want to track graphically, with a graph, the growing number of interest in Ajax; he might want to track what people are saying about Live.com, or Microsoft Office, the Windows version vs. the web version. If you've got a script being used on any day you'd find a 100 different opinions, and there is somebody out there who wants to track those opinions, and watch them rise or fall.

That isn't my the Moodsignal idea, here it is…

Mark Wilson: Well my idea is this, let's say that you're doing market research and you're trying to figure out what your competitor's doing. So for example let's say Microsoft is trying to understand what any competitor is doing, if you were to collect all their blogs, and you were to analyze them for upcoming themes…so say Microsoft wanted to follow the performance of a product such as Flex, a new product from Macromedia. Now, I'm just guessing this, but because companies try to encourage employees to blog in advance of a product coming up, I'm willing to bet that if you mapped out the number of posts in a particular team, say the Flex team, there would be a spike in the number of posts while they're developing their new version, and then there would be a spike just before launch the new version. So I'm guessing we haven't built the software to test this, but I'm guessing that if we mapped against product launches, and if we mapped the number of posts that that team, if we could figure out who was on that team, if we could map the two we would see a correlation. So, it's a possibility for market research all sorts of things.

Check out the rest of the interview with me.

It would be pretty cool to see some kind of Technorati style overview of the blogosphere containing moods or something useful, kinda like Technorati makes their graphs public every few months… like this one:

Technorati April 2006

I'm just day dreaming here… but if they had an API and encouraged mashups and mashing of their data… wooo! My mind boggles with possibilities. I could extend reBlogger to include their API and overlay their data on top of the stuff we generate for customers.

BUT they would need to extend beyond just tracking LiveJournal. And they can't just collect the moods that LiveJournal generate, they will have to evaluate the mood of blog posts themselves. That's a fair amount of work.

I'm convinced that corporates will find this useful.

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