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Microsoft’s future biz visions

GermanThis posting is also available in German.

Stephen Elop is the president of Microsoft's Business Division – naturally, he's more interested in business innovation than in shiny customer gadgets. In this 6 minute interview, Elop talks about the deep-rooted change companies currently face as the underlying question “how do we deal with this vast amount of information in an efficient way?” is an ongoin project:

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Apple iStore limits: How Pixelpipe got kicked

If you refuse to play by Apple's rules, you have to leave the store. The popular Pixelpipe application was removed last week simply because the developers dared to scan the contents of the DCIM-folder, which enables the users to select multiple pictures (or videos) at once. Even though this folder simply contains the user's own photos, Apple requires to use the official (single-select) API. Weird and sad but true: the software was removed after a third party programmer had filed a complaint. Read more

Weekly Blogistan Round-Up no. 26/2009

“Welcome to the world of tomorrow!” No, that's not right. Let me try again: “Welcome to the world of the last seven days!” That sounds better! There's a lot to show-and-tell, so without any further ado, let's jump straight into last week's social media news.

The Future of Facebook

There's been a lot of talk about Facebook's future last week. Regular Geek views the new multiQuery API plus the profile search as two important steps in opening the walled garden:

There is a very strong feeling from developers that a closed system like Facebook cannot succeed. While I tend to agree that a completely closed system will have difficulties, Facebook has slowly opened up little by little to a decently open system. They still have some work to do before they become as open as Twitter, but the foundation has been started.

And Copyblogger, even goes a step further in explaining “How Facebook kills SEO”:

But the rise of Facebook creates a growing segment of the web thats completely invisible to search engines – most of which, Facebook blocks – and can be seen only by logged-in Facebook users. So as Facebook becomes ever larger, and keeps more users inside its walled garden, your web site will need to appear in Facebooks feeds and searches or you will miss out on an important source of web traffic.

ReadWriteWeb looks even further into the future. My guess is that scenario 4, “distributed social networking”, has a huge potential, and Google wave might give this a huge boost:

The next step after Facebook may be no social network in particular at all – it may be social networking as a protocol. A set of standards that let you message, share with and travel to any social network you choose. Suddenly all the social networks have to improve because they are competing on quality of service, over customers that have free will and are able to leave at any time.

From blogging to lifestreaming?

Blogging is dead – that's what they've been saying for a couple of years now. But is lifestreaming here to stay? Of course a social media feed is a welcome guest on many sidebars, and the time budgets are indeed shifting:

It seems as if blogging is becoming old hat, or at least evolving into something smaller, faster, and more portable. Im with Louis Gray, Im not going to give up my blog, instead, I think of it as the hub of content, and the rest of the information I aggregate (notice the Twitter bar up top and the Friendfeed integration below). To me, joining the conversation is certainly important, but it doesnt mean the hub (or corporate website) goes away.

19 Twitter apps compared

Mashable compares 19 twitter clients, from pro-dream-machine to keep-it-simple:

Now that Twitter is older than a toddler, you have a variety to choose from. From apps for groups, Mac and PC specific clients, and apps that let you do a whole lot more than tweet, you can use this guide to help you find the desktop client thats right for you.

And just in case you don't know what to do with these clients, take a look at his Mashable posting on twitter strategy..

The matrix tie-knot

I found Henry's video on Lifehacker – this one should make many Matrix fans quite happy:

If you're a very sharp-eyed fan of Matrix movie trilogy, you'll recognize the knot captured below as a rare specimen sported by “The Merovingian.” The knot itself didn't originate with the movie, and isn't rightfully named “The Merovingian Knot,” but the Ediety Knot. Still, it's nearly impossible to find any reference to it independent of the movie, so let's just keep the Wachowski-an etymology for now.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YA-n2xkYX6s[/youtube]

It took me a couple of tries and my knot is still not perfectly symmetric – but I must say: great video-tutorial!

The cost, the pay-off, the quickie

The Cost (and Payoff) of Investing in Social Media sure is an impressive title. So there's no need for actual arguments, especially when the introduction acts as a series of climaxes:

But is social media right for your business? Could it be a free substitute for a traditional (read: expensive) advertising plan? How much time should be spent in the care and feeding of all those profiles? The answers may surprise you.

It sure did not surprise me – actually, I'd have guessed that the answer would be “maybe”. But one thing I do know for sure: SM strategy (read: social media. don't read: Sado-Maso) is not a series of quickies and requires careful analysis and planning. So this is probably one of the dumbest quotes I've read in a while:

Time is money, but Weathers says it's all about how you manage it. “Previously wasted down time like sitting in taxis for 20 minutes or standing in a bank line for 10 minutes is now spent on my mobile phone, bouncing between Twitter and Facebook. It's getting easier and easier, and for branding an entrepreneur, I think it's golden.”

While writing the occasional tweet on your way to the airport or answering Facebook messages via Smartphone-client is a great time-killer for geeks, this is not what social media marketing is about.

btw: bad, bad entrepreneur.com! Using a javascript that dangles with the contents of the clipboard when copy-pasting is just… not a good thing.

Most WordPress Themes suck!

And it's Blair Williams who claims that – author of the mighty and highly acclaimed Pretty Links for WordPress. Now we all know that good looks are sometimes sufficient for a night of fun, but if you're thinking about a long-term relationship, there are plenty not-so-visible factor to be considered: in the case of a WordPress template comment formatting, landing pages and many more are among these. In his post, Blair outlines the 10 most common issues with WordPress templates – definitely worth a look if you're thinking about switching!

I'll think a theme looks clean, beautiful and professional then I install it, have a look under the hood and realize that it has fatal flaws.
This really makes me wonder how many people are slaving away on their websites and blogs all the while their site is dying a slow death because of a WordPress Theme that they think is fine.

Brno comin' up

It's been a while since Sacha Baron Cohen shocked the world as Kastachstan reporter Borat. In his new movie he portrays a gay Austrian fashion journalist – I'm so looking forward to see this film – starting on 10th of July. The trailer is *very* promising:

Pic of the week

Man's Best Friend is the title of zedzap's bw-shot – very nice pic, no HDR this time :mrgreen:

hundewoche

Video of the Week

This movie has got it all: action, car stunts, daring love scenes… unlike the director of the latest Bond movie, Asim Varol did a great job:

And that's it – see you again next week! Thanks for you whuffies and never forget: comments and feedback make blog authors happy :mrgreen:

Input for weekly round-upGot any news you'd like to read about in my weekly round-up of current blogosphere events?
Don't hesitate to contact me! Of course I'll include a backlink to your original story.

So don't hesitate – just click here for the contact form and give me an update on your issues: Give me input!.

Weekly Blogistan Round-Up no. 23/2009

This weekly round-up comes with a built-in 24 hours of delay, as the author was extremely busy during the last weekend launching the Austrian Internet Council [site in German]. This was an amazing proof of the power of social media: within the short time span of 5 days we our project was the cover story on ORF FutureZone, Austria's biggest Tech News site. Crowdsourcing is great, but it can be quite time-consuming, especially when there's a lot of interest and involvement. So, without any further ado, let's jump right into this week's hot social media topics!

Ignore everybody!

breas! Hugh Macleod of Gapingvoid published his first book titled Ignore Everybody: And 39 Other Keys to Creativity. Just ordered my copy – I'm looking forward to some inspiring quotes and cartoons:

The first rule of business, is never sell something you love. Otherwise you may as well be selling your children.

The Real Pip-Boy Deal

The Pip Boy saved me various time – while I was strolling through the post-nuclear wastelands of Fallout 3. But the nifty little arm-computer might soon enter real life: Engadget shows pictures of an impressive flexible OLED-Display:

The 4-inch organic electroluminescent display sports up to 1.67 million colors, QVGA (320 x 240) 100ppi resolution, and can be bent to a curvature radius of about 2 inches. Hopefully, this doesn't become a must-have fashion accessory any time soon: while it's perfectly appropriate attire for post-apocalyptic wastelands, we don't know how well it'll fly at the sorts of high society social events we normally frequent.

Seesmic Desktop: no Air required

TechCrunch interviewed Seismic founder Loic LeMeur – and the most charming Leena Rao managed to make the man talk:

According to Le Meur, Seesmic will soon be offering a browser based client. This offering is actually appealing, considering that Adobes AIR platform has some strange UI bugs and quirks and tends to use a good amount of resources on computers. And Seesmic will also launch an iPhone app, which is currently under wraps along with the web-based product.

Jeremy's own Affiliate-Network

Jeremy Shoemaker has been writing about affiliate marketing for quite some time; but recently he launched his own affiliate-network and published a post about his experiences. I'm really curious about his plans:

Sure I hear you your thinking “Why the hell would you pay people to sign up for a free course?” It's a great question and I think when the dust settles around the shoemoneyx.com program I will write all about it, why I did what, and what exact effect it had. I do have a method to my madness but it's not as many have guessed. We will see if it works but that is for another post

Twitter is becoming infrastructure

Regular Geek posted an interview view on twitter – his main point: Twitter is shifting from an online service to a basic infrastructure upon which early adopters are constructing an eco-system:

So, why is marketing and economy so important to Twitter becoming infrastructure? Without an economy building on top of Twitter data and functionality, Twitter would just be a toy. With people researching the data that is generated from Twitter, it becomes much more important. In order to monetize the system, they can sell the data, but monetization becomes much easier when you become ubiquitous.

Can't argue with that – with all the various mash-ups and the growing interest in real-time search, it seems that Twitter is here to stay. At least for now.

Bing beats Yahoo

Microsoft's new search engine hat a great start: TechCrunch reports that Bing overtook Yahoo – now the question is: will this trend last or will the wearer of the ancient headband #2 leap for a comeback?

The companys analysis for Thursday finds that in the U.S. Bing overtook Yahoo to take second place on 16.28%, with Yahoo Search currently at 10.22%. For the sake of comparison: Googles U.S. market share is pegged at 71.47%, and its worldwide share at a whopping 87.62% (vs. 5.62% for Bing and 5.13% for Yahoo).

Content ain't king

“The idea that ‘content is king' in blogging is total bullshit” says Viral Garden:

Every day I read hundreds of blog posts. And every day, I see dozens of truly GREAT posts that get no comments. Every day I see dozens of pretty good posts that get dozens of comments and have vibrant conversations.
The difference? Most of the bloggers that write those pretty good posts are also pretty good about leaving their blog and interacting with people on OTHER sites. They comment on their reader's blogs. They tweet their links on Twitter. They are ACTIVELY social with social media.

Interesting thesis… I'd say that both factors come into play. Social media spamming will just piss people off unless you got some stories that are actually worth watching your moves.

Pic of the week

I admit: I just couldn't decide between these two beautiful shots. A direct path was taken by eyesplash Mikul, it's a free-handed shot. The seconded picture portrays a female lying wolf in the zoo of Zrich and was taken by Tambako the Jaguar:

picweekbird

picweekwolf

Video of the week

Boats are only people – pretty unreliable ones, to be exact. These love boat passenger are in for a wet treat – feel the pain of these great sailors:

This is the end – of this week's round-up. Thanks for stopping by and offering me some of your Whuffies. Let's do it like this: I'll keep posting and you'll keep coming back and drop a dime from time to time :mrgreen:

Input for weekly round-upGot any news you'd like to read about in my weekly round-up of current blogosphere events?
Don't hesitate to contact me! Of course I'll include a backlink to your original story.

So don't hesitate – just click here for the contact form and give me an update on your issues: Give me input!.

Weekly Blogistan Round-Up no. 04/2009

twestivalSeth Godin got the best business advices, here comes another one: ask your customers if you can pitch in times of crisis. Don't buckle down, let's face the not-so-hard truth: great times are coming up for small enterprises and networks: after all, the small overhead costs allow for efficiency. So there's actually no need to worry, unless you're planning on launching a new car company. Or a web designer, for that matters – Which brings me to my first news of the week:

TechCrunch reported the sad story of a guy trying to sell his Digg-Account on Craigslist. Right now, TechCrunch is collecting money for his rent, since there's not enough web design work:

How bad is the economy? In an effort to raise money for his rent, one man named Victor is trying to sell his Digg account on Craigslist for $650. It

Pownce shuts down – And the moral of the story?

pownce shuts downMicroblogging-platform Pownce announced its shutdown on 15th of December yesterday. The company was bought by Six Apart, the makers of Movable Type and TypePad. The team will continue to work for Six Apart on new projects – seems the company saw no light at the end of the infamous twitter-tunnel: while Pownce hat a couple of unique features to offer, the community never reached the critical size that turns microblogging-fun into a profitable business.

Pro-users who had to pay 20$ per year for premium features will be notified via e-mail, a new export features enables powncers to export their blog for future re-import into TypePad and/or WordPress, check the official pownce blog for details. My personal grief is strictly limited, as I wasn't a regular user. Why would I? Contrary to blip.fm I didn't see much value in maintaining a second microblogging account; Twitter is already consuming enough of my time. And I was not the only one to abandon ship:

I

Weekly Blogistan Round-Up no. 47/2008

obamoidaNo more denial, it's official by now: no more outdoor swimming 2k8, winter has kicked in Vienna. Yesterday, the little white thingie called snow was floating around in the air, which is nice, if you live near the Alps (skiing season!), but which sucks, if you live in Vienna: as soon as the first snow is falling, car-drivers get crazy: no matter if the streets are actually slippery or not.

Seth on Trust: I trust you, says Seth, but if you abuse my trust once, you won't be part of the inner circle next time. No need to comment on that, expect: full akk:

If I believe I'm talking on the record, to everyone, I need to be a lot more careful in what I type. Of course, there's no way for me to enforce this. No way for me to sue you or something if you start taking my words (in context or not) and post them here and there. Except for one: I just won't trust you again.

Craig's face gets redder: Obviously, Facebook wants to re-furbish its marketplace. Classified are big business, which currently is largely covered by Craigslist, MSN and eBay (via Kijiji). According to TechCrunch, Facebook chose Oodle, who probably won the pitch thanks to their previous field-experience aka Walmart Classifieds – the relaunch will take place in December. If Facebook manages to offer a better product than their competitors, this could mean some big buck: the combination of a social network with a classifieds-system sounds like a very good idea – but obviously, something was missing so far, since the current marketplace is one of the least busy areas in FB-town; let's see if Oodle will change that.

Monty Python on youtube: No more need to illegally upload MP-sketches: the British comedians are going affirmative and created their very own Channel, which not only features the well-known pieces but also rarities from the vault. I bet fan-numbers will increase rapidly! [via Laughing Squid]

A quantum of what? Glad I don't have to watch the newest JB movie, as Dan reviewed A Quantum of Solace and came to the frightening conclusion that there is actually no bond girl in this movie. Actually, his resum

Blogcatalog premium features rule supremely

…over any other blog catalogue. These guys offer very good value for very little money, considering the popularity of the site. Some of my blogs have been listed for quite a while now, and I like the looks and usability of my blog catalogue profile page. Instead of trying to spam as many irrelevant directories as possible, bloggers are much better off concentrating on a handful of important dirs, and bc is definitely one of them.

Today I became a “supporter”: for 6$ a month bc offers a pretty impressive range of feats: supports receive a special profile icon, geta beta access to all new features and surf a completely ad-free site. Any freeware adblocker can do that as well, but not if you're on a public computer.

I can almost hear your thoughts – nice, but why should I pay for this? Okay, here's the two killer features: first of all, donors are able to integrate their other social media profiles and leverage their catalogue presence by doing so. Currently only twitter is supported, but Digg, Delicious, last.fm and others communities will follow in the near future. And finally, here's the juicy part: bc offers increased visibility, or in their words:

As a premium member your blog will be prominently displayed on our homepage, helping you get the exposure your blog deserves!

There's also a weekly snapshot update (a recurring task that bc should do for every users anyways, as it's in their own interest) or you might wanna spend some more money: an additional business model enables users to rent sponsored category links, the prices vary depending on the demand, but start as low as 8$ per month. Recently, Jeremy did an interview with one of the bc founders on these listings and on their newly launched social search. The reason why the made their prices so cheap is that they hope to make a lot of people use the premium services – at least in my case that worked quite well. I think this longtail-business-model is a lot smarter than high-prize premium placements and it shows that a good longtail site (containing no pr0n) *can* indeed be monetized.

[youtube]JW9AHPAiAA0[/youtube]

If donating some money for enhanced exposure in the bigges US blog catalogue (we're talking pagerank 7 here) sound like a good deal to you, simple login and chose “donate” in the account-menu. No subscription fees, just chose the time span (starting form one month), pay via Paypal and you're all set.

I quit my job at Google

Google quitterYup, it's true. Of course a lot of my friends asked me, why I'm leaving such a great opportunity behind: Big G gives me everything I need free of charge. Unfortunately, I do not work at the headquarters, I'm just a simple member of the data collection department, and I'm working from home.

And that's where all the trouble began: I was working part-time, and I did a lot of projects besides my Google job. And when the money started rolling in, the trouble began: soon I found out, that G is a pretty greedy employer. They're generous with the freebies and all that, but in return they ask a lot back. I know I run just a tiny business compared to this multi-national corporation, but I still feel very uncomfortoble about giving them insight into every single one of my projects. There are a couple of sites I run for my customers, and there are even more domains which I run for my own purposes, which are quite diversified but all end up in the idea of bringing some cash home. My business techniques proved quite succesfull so far, and I'm not willing to lose income streams by offering Google full insight into what I use as an alternative for Adwords, to name just one example.

Neither am I too happy about the idea of sharing all my linkbuilding techniques with Google or even all my customer data – this would even conflict with my standard NDA by the way. So there's only one happy end to this relation.

I'm leaving. We spent some fun times together, now it's time to move on: no more Google Analytics on datadirt.

If you considering doing the same, you should definitely take a look at John Andrews great posting on this topic!


Image Credits: K