Blogging x 10 years

Dan Farber has a nice commentary on the state of blogging after 10 years based on his informal confab with Dave Winer, who arguably is the inventor of blogging.

10 years of blogging is misleading in the sense that the true tipping point is about … now …. as blogs are now a key shaping force in so many aspects of society.

Dan notes the common criticism of blogging as a bunch of amateurs spouting junk and mediocrity.   Of course blogging is all that, but mediocrity is hardly something that distinguishes blogging from conventional media.   Mainstream media, especially TV, has *always* been a few shiny gems buried deep in an ocean of irrelevance and celebrity gossip.    I’d rather find the gems within billions of pages of amateur but expert-in- their field-ramblings than thousands of pages of jaded professional “journalism” that must often focus on maintaining profitability or readership as much as uphold the so called standards of excellence that IMHO have not characterized commercial journalism since …  hey….quality standards have never been they key driving force of journalism!

Oscar predictions using search engine results? Not very accurate!?

WordTracker, which measures search queries, was used to predict tonights Oscar winners. Here’s the story from PRWEB. It looks like this approach could go down in flames based on Alan Arkin’s Best Supporting Actor win given that he had a fraction of the online queries of others, but still won.

Best supporting Actress in a supporting role: Jennifer Hudson! Hey, it worked for her.

Here are the numbers:

Wordtracker predictions:
Actor in a leading roll
Will Smith 8751
Leonardo DiCaprio 4485
Ryan Gosling 1507
Forest Whitaker 425
Peter O’Toole 100

Actor in a support role
Eddie Murphy 2670
Mark Wahlberg 2659
Jackie Earle Haley 656
Alan Arkin 236
Djimon Hounsou 167

Actress in a leading role
Penelope Cruz 10359
Kate Winslet 9077
Helen Mirren 5470
Meryl Streep 1155
Judi Dench 573

Actress in a support role
Jennifer Hudson 6439

Cate Blanchett 1716
Rinko Kikuchi 973
Abigail Breslin 416
Adriana Barraza 65

Best picture
Little Miss Sunshine 3121
Babel 2587
The Departed 2052
Letters from Iwo Jima 1317
The Queen 1112

Well, the results are in (bolded above) and only Supporting Actress was predicted by this approach.    Interenet people … must be stupid?

Ringtone Scams are about 99% of that business … so beware!

I  *hate* the ringtones business because it represents so much of what is wrong with the internet and wrong with people.   Here’s one post about some of the millions of problems that plague the Ringtones Scam industry – a very sad excuse for a business enterprise.

However, with Apple jumping in to the Ringtones biz I’m hoping Apple may bring some standards because they don’t seem like a company that would do the Ringtones “business as usual” scam which is to offer what looks like a free ringtone and then hook unsuspecting or stupid teens into  a “contract” that dings their parents cell phone bill indefinitely.

I’m ranting about this after running into a banner I clicked on out of curiousity which led to a “Zoltar Ringtones” scam with the fine print below the fold that, to the extent I could figure out what the heck it was saying, was going to bill me 5.99 per *week* plus other charges.

This is a dispicable industry, and it’s amazing to me that it has not yet been regulated appropriately.    The solution is simple – nobody can enter into these contracts without a *written* signature from the credit card holder.


Blinkx is a brilliant video search program that allows people to search *within* videos for specific content.  This has become one of the holy grails of search because the internet is now awash in video content. Tastes vary but almost everyone would agree that most of the clips out there are garbage. With routines like Blinkx users can rapidly search the tidal wave of video that pours online every day for things that interest them.

Check out the Blinkx home page with it’s “wall” of tiny video clips reflecting content they have recently indexed.   It’ll keep the attention of even the most stubborn A.D.D. sufferer.   Some cringe at the sensory overload of dozens of videos, but massive input reflects the new ethos of the internet, and I predict we’ll see desktops and applications become increasingly overwhelmed with content.    As a superb tool that will manage the most rapidly growing and complex part of the digital maelstrom – video clips – Blinkx has a rosy future indeed.

The New York Times reports on this today.