Archive: December 2009

Internet: The Natural Selection Era

The internet is dying. According to the latest traffic data for major sites like YAHOO! and MSN the number of visits has dramatically drops since 2008. Lots of people have seen this happening and I’ve been meaning to blog about it for a while but never wanted to put the data together. Luckily Nicolas Moerman did all the hard work (presentation)! One can only speculate the reasons why these trends are happening. I think (and many others) the cause of all the traffic loss is to the growing popularity of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. People are turning towards their network of people for all the relevant information they desire. Who knows their taste in news media and Youtube videos better than their friends?

The bigger question is – What are these business going to do to keep from going out of… business? They need to pay employees and if they’re losing traffic that means advertisers are going to start pulling out. Since most online media is based on advertising it puts “traditional” media sites in a tough spot. Especially when advertisers can have incredibly focused ads on Facebook and create relationships for free through Twitter. Even Google has to feel some heat in sectors of its advertising sales. There are less people clicking on ads and spending their precious time commenting on status updates and the latest weekend pics. So, what do these companies do?

Perhaps start charging for content? Hahaha! In the emerging freeloading mentality that is the internet, it will be unlikely that YAHOO! (or anyone else) can find additional content to charge for. It hasn’t worked for big newspaper conglomerates, I doubt it will work for anyone else. Besides the fact that Microsoft has its head up its own CPU regarding content in general. Only the specialized content creators have been successful in charging for content. This comes with a price – limited user base.

Worst case scenario? Let Google continue their conquest to take over the internet and move all advertising mediums to run through them for shared revenue. There is a bright side to this dilemma. Slowly but surely, the internet will naturally start to weed out all the low quality and noisy content providers. Consider it the “Natural Selection” era of the internet!


At least @grapplica seems to think so.

Tweet Categorizing – #BeOriginal

The first thing I do in the morning is check my phone for emails – something Merlin Mann (@hotdogsladies) would call an act of assurance. I rarely answer the emails I see until later in the day… usually just the SMS messages. The second thing I do is jump on the computer and check TweetDeck. I spend a good hour (at least) responding to awaiting messages and jumping into a few conversations. The conversation that intrigued me most today was #BeOriginal. Good friend, mentor and pseudo mom, Joan Koerber-Walker (@joankw), was challenged to start tweeting original ideas in place of your favorite book quotes. This spread like wild fire and even good friend, Steven Groves (@StevenGroves) jumped on board.

The point! I’m a rare user of #HashTags – for the tweetilliterate, those are keyword you can attached to tweets for words & concepts used in a common space. Like #BeOriginal is all tweets for original ideas – (The point is coming!) My personal opinion is that I spend WAY TOO MUCH time online. Although I do accomplish many things like making new connections and sending out important emails, I futz around a lot. This gave me an idea. I decided I’m going to start using #HashTags to categorize my tweets. I want to see how many of my tweets are useful and how many are just a tweet for the sake of it. The goal is to start reducing crappy tweets - like those sharing what I’m eating for lunch or what color my shirt is today – and increasing the ones that actually engage others in conversation.

Here are my categories for tracking:
#frivolous – stupid tweets that don’t mean anything to anyone else. i.e. “Doing laundry”
#gratitude – thank you’s to people who deserve my thanks
#muwblog – links to my blog
#muwpinion – my personal opinion on topical subject matter
#muwshare – links to things I find interesting and want to share with you
@______ – naturally, engaging a specific user

I’m sure more will categories will come about as I continue this task. Let’s see what happens!

(@MerlinWard)

The Real Mark Zuckerberg?

Recently Facebook announced a few new changes in the world of their social empire. They presented the changes in a new bulletin as you log in as a letter from the great Mark Zuckerberg, founder and creator of Facebook. Granted the new changes come as a early Christmas gift with changes like eliminating the old method of “networks” and allowing people to only allow user to control content to be displayed to friends, friends of friends or everyone. Also in the plans of change is the ability control who sees individual pieces of content – No more worrying about your mother or boss finding the latest pictures of you drunk and hanging out of your friend’s car trying to high-five stop signs.

Granted these changes sounds like good ideas, but I doubt that Zuckerberg actually wrote the letter. It opens with a brief history of Facebook and its recent accomplishments in a vernacular so far outside of Zuckerberg’s. Does anyone remember seeing him speak at the Web 2.0 Summit or at the last SXSW interview? This letter doesn’t sound anything like him! The awkward internet dweed seen in those videos cannot not have possibly written this letter. It sounds more like the work of a English Major intern. Take it from someone who has had a professional letters edited by genius, English Lit ex-girlfriends.

The point I’m trying to make is what happened to the openness and RAW-ness of social media and blogging? Where are the typos and semi-formal phrases? Most of all… Why can’t Mark Zuckerberg write his own damn letters??? The fact that this perfectly written letter is presented as the words of Zuckerberg himself spits in the face of the basic values and principals of Faceboook.

PUT UP A VIDEO EXPLAINING THE CHANGES WITH MARK ZUCKERBERG HIMSELF!

PS: Check your privacy settings on FACEBOOK.