Blog Revolution Needed?


I think I’m too lazy to start the blog revolution some of us were carping about last year, but I hope somebody else does it.

Update: Jim Kukral says the Revolution is over!    I think he’s way too optimistic.

Marshall has a thoughful post about some of the issues surrounding tech blogging and the challenges of surfacing new voices within a system that increasingly seems to center on a handful of good blogs again and again rather than helping bring more attention to the *best* writing on a given topic.

Here’s his take on this.

I replied over there:

Marshall thanks for a thoughtful post. Although I think “A list” blogs are generally very good, I think ranking and commercial issues are keeping a *lot* of quality writing from surfacing. Huge search engine advantages are enjoyed by blogs with extensive incoming links.

Links can be a pretty good and democratic measure of what users want, but with so many A list blogs using very strategic linking, combined with so many “wannabe” blogs linking to existing A lists, combined with A listers rarely linking to even the best writing of others for competitive and commercial reasons, the system is probably no longer working well to bring new voices into the mix.

Solutions? Aggregators like FriendFeed should surface more new writers and content proactively rather than defaulting as they have. A listers should commit to featuring new voices much more regularly, and new voices should find a way to band together so the best writing – rather than the best linking and strategy and commercial cleverness – tends to prevail.

Yahoo’s Don Quixote


The Yahoo Microsoft fiasco saga continues as Jerry Yang, in today’s interview with Kara Swisher, seemed to suggest he’d basically go down with the ship.   Or perhaps more accurately he’s willing to take the ship down with him in what appears closer and closer to a Quixotic vision of what to do about Microsoft.   Yang seems to suggest two incompatible things – first that Microsoft has not given a clear offer to Yahoo and second that:

“Their motivations are suspect and there is simply no good reason to think they will actually show up at the end of the day.”

Huh?   MS is clearly prepared to buy Yahoo.   This is obvious to everybody including Jerry.   He could argue that they are going to screw up Yahoo after buying it, but that rings a bit hollow given the sad conditions of the company right now.     In fact it’s hard to imagine how Yahoo, a key brand in the key global sector, can be doing so poorly right now.   How in the world could Microsoft screw the company up more than Yahoo is screwed up right now?

Even if Microsoft *is* going to bring devastating changes to Yahoo, there is a shareholder obligation here that probably is not met without a sale to Microsoft.     It is simply no longer viable to suggest that an independent Yahoo is likely to show the revenues required to bring the stock to 33+ within a year.    Without any Microsoft interest  YHOO would be trading at about $18, so the likely Icahnesque MS offer can arguably be viewed as a premium of close to 100% on what shareholders can expect if this deal *really* crumbles, which is what Yang clearly wants to happen.

I agree with Swisher:

… even with all the noise, it should be entirely clear by now that Microsoft and Yahoo need each other.

Disclosure:  Long on YHOO

Googley iPhone Goodness


It is obvious that Google is going to embrace mobile applications very, very powerfully in the coming year and it looks like Google has a great first iPhone effort with their new search application featuring a lot of automated guessing so you can avoid the most painful part of the mobile experience – typing.

Of course things are *really* going to get interesting this fall or early next year when a new Google mobile phone will come out.    Although Google has produced branded hardware for some time in the form of search appliances these had an extremely limited distribution.   The upcoming  “G Phone” will be a *huge* success if it offers iPhone functionality at a lower price.   I think the latest assumption is that a Google phone will be made by HTC for Dell though I have not checked in on this recently.    I think the Google branding factor will be incredibly powerful, and predict that *most* users will choose  a “Google gPhone” over an “Apple iPhone” assuming similar features and cost.    This isn’t to suggest the iPhone market cannot exist alongside a gPhone, and clearly the iPhone is the mobile device to beat, so the game is very much on right now in terms of smartphone competition.     Sprint’s new “Instinct” is an excellent device with many advantages over the old iPhone (e.g. Geolocation), though I think we’ll see functionality in these devices converge as early as next year with no compromises for users.   Computing is rapidly moving to mobile.

Here is a demo of the iPhone application at the Google Mobile Blog

Google blog