TechMeme, Twitter, and Pownce

For some time my working hypothesis about new niche tech sites is that they appear to have explosive early growth followed by traffic stability or only slight traffic increases as all the early adopter tech enthusiasts sign on, and other people show little interest.     The following Alexa data really supports this hypothesis:

Alexa Graph

TechMeme is one of my very favorite sites and I know this is true for many others.   I’m surprised TechMeme’s growth seemed to have tapered off so early, but in some ways this makes sense because there are only so many people – a small percentage of all onliners – who are heavily absorbed with the latest buzz from the technology world.    Twitter would have broader interest and appears to be growing still, yet I’m skeptical enough people have time to play the Twitter game to make this a mainstream application.   Pownce is a great application but I think people are unlikely to abandon Twitter for Pownce, and thus Pownce will struggle to grow from an entirely new set of social networking non-twitterers.

Rumors of Google and Plaxo and the McCarthy Conspiracy

Megan McCarthy reports at Wired today that Google may be picking up Plaxo for 200 million.    A few hours later Caroline McCarthy at CNET shoots down the rumor saying it appears unfounded.

Wazzup with all these McCarthys?    Are they rival sisters, trying to outscoop or undermine each other?    Spurned same named journalistas fighting for truth, freedom, and the American way?   Is this all just a coincidence?    Are these women related to the infamous Senator from Wisconsin Joe McCarthy?   Rumor has it that …

Yahoo Live … dies

Update:  Chad replies in comments below from the Yahoo Live team and I certainly agree that the rumors of the death of of Live were greatly exaggerated.  

Yahoo strikes again with what looked like a neat application – live streaming video for everybody – but woefully inadequate capacity to handle the huge interest in the beta.    The application sounds promising – you plug in your camcorder and start streaming live onto the web via your Yahoo Live account.   Although several other places have these services, Yahoo has the huge population and umm … server capacity …  to make this work for the millions of people who’ll be interested in chatting in this fashion.

Hmm – not sure if I should be warming up to the video socializing idea I viewed skeptically earlier in the year, though as I noted before I’m not at all bullish on the monetization potential of this type of communication, let alone monetization of video clips like those at Youtube – only the best “shows” with clever, engaging, or sexy people will do well in that regard, but I think this is another aspect of globalized social networking that is the new online paradigm. 

Who projects server capacity over there?     Based on the current home page of Yahoo live it appears it is only handling a few thousand streams when the thing went down.     

Matt’s got a play by play of the death of Yahoo live.

Robert Scoble on other streaming video applications.

Google News goes local

Google has launched a local news service that scans local news items for context and then lists them according to relevance to your city or zip code query at Google News.   Testing this today on a few Oregon cities I’ve been  impressed with the results as they seem to pull from some obscure but relevant sources and if Google eventually starts using most of the tens of thousands of local newspaper online sites and other sources this could be a superb tool for mashing up news with websites and blogs.