Avinash Kaushik from Google and Market Motive: Get on the train or get run over. Relevant metrics are changing dramatically and are an essential part of your online strategy. RSS as the key blog metric, because this is the ultimate permission marketing environment where you push content out to your readers.
Jim Sterne: Web and search metrics are changing the game from reporting to analysis to promotions to “hearts and minds” marketing.
Mathew Baily had the most entertaining yet relevant presentation I’ve seen in some time – probably not as helpful as case studies but brilliant! Analytics and Star Trek: 1.0 analytics endless cycle of mundane reporting. This runs you down. You want 2.0 analytics! Star trek death conversion rate? = 14% mortality, mostly among red shirted actors. Need more context which is where story-driven analytics comes in to answer the detailed questions. Ask questions – best human tool.
Measuring Success in a 2.0 World
How do you know if you’ve been successful with search engines and your website in general? You can check your “rank” at search engines for particular keywords, analyze log files to see the actual terms people used to reach your website, or make the ultimate jump and “close the loop” by measuring sales conversions and ROI. This panel explores both classic and cutting-edge techniques to measure success, what statistics you should really care about, ways to be more strategically focused, and how to drive increased revenue for your business.
Mashup Camp 6 is in about 10 days and I’m really looking forward to the firehouse of new mashups, APIs, startups, and application information that’ll be there. I attened the first two which were both great, then missed the last three including Dublin which would really have been fun.
Incredibly, this *four day* technology conference is free of charge. This is especially notable because from an education point of view Mashup Camp is arguably one of the very best conferences in Silicon Valley, laregely because it’s run in large part by the participants and this always leads to excellent levels of interaction and information flow. Everybody knows that the best conference stuff often happens in the halls or after hours when you can really get into good conversations with speakers and other folks, where at Mashup Camp this type of interaction is more likely to happen right in the sessions which are generally very unstructured and informal.
Organizer David Berlind had actually started out by charging some attendance fees this time – partly just to reduce the number of no-shows that can make conference planning even more difficult. But concerns about the fees led him to refund them all, making the conference totally free, supported by the many sponsors who help with everything from the espresso cart to the excellent lunches and great Mashup party on Wednesday Night. I’m not clear why anybody would protest the trivial $35 for developers and observers, though people who routinely pony up that much on a bar tab can be notoriously cheap when paying for education. Perhaps though the protests came from some of the Venture Capital folks for whom the formerly free entry fee was boosted to several thousand.
I hope Greg Linden, who is a sharp and experienced guy, was just in a bad mood when he wrote this ominous prediction about what he sees as a bleak dot com future:
We will see a dot-com crash in 2008. It will be more prolonged and deeper than the crash of 2000.
I’d have to say I’m not as worried and although I’d agree there is likely to be an overall decline in the sky high valuations of companies like Google, it will be partly offset by the fact that internet advertising is still in an infancy period. Most internet money comes from ads, and the total internet ad pool is still a tiny fraction of the 500 billion spent per year on all advertising.
Scott Karp has a nice post today about the intersection of journalism and blogging. I’m glad he notes the weakness of the argument that bloggers cannot be journalists. Suggesting mainstream journalism is on firm and high ground is especially absurd in this world where yellow journalism generally trumps quality, superficial treatments cripple even the few fine writers at major newspapers, and Fox and CNN TV news parade AnchorModels chosen primarily for looks (women) or bombastic nonsense (men) or both (Anne Coulter).
I’d suggest that a key challenge to conventional journalism is not so much one of quality writing as it is *scalability*. Bloggers work for nothing or peanuts, and there are many more coming in the wings. Most blogs will continue to suck, but some will be great and this number will increase as more writers get comfortable with the medium.
It will be increasingly difficult for publishers – even cutting edge, well funded ones like Nick at Gawker who is hiring a “journalist” – to justify paying much for content. I don’t think Gawker’s decision to hire a legacy media journalist reflects a new trend, rather it reflects a fairly atypical reversion to old trends during this transition period.
Contrast Gawker’s success with the demise of Blognation, which was not even paying people. Would they have succeeded with a bunch of “real” journalists? No, of course not. Good writing is cheap and getting cheaper. That’s not necessarily a good thing, but it’s certainly an inevitable thing.
WebGuild will be presenting the second annual Web 2.0 Conference and Expo on January 29, 2008. The location is the Santa Clara Marriot. I missed this event last year but will be there this time and I’m really looking forward to it. Last year Marissa Mayer was the keynote and I’m hoping she’ll be speaking again. She’s one of the best thinking technologists anywhere, and a major reason Google continues to dominate the online landscape.
Note that this event is not to be confused with the Web 2.0 Expo series put on by O’Reilly Media or the Web 2.0 Summit also by O’Reilly.
ReadWriteWeb has an excellent summary of the idea that online relationships between people can be described in terms of a “Social Graph” that defines and to some extent dictates those relationships.
I guess I’m OK with a lot of the faux complexity that Social GraphOlogy is going to bring the table, though it would sure be nice if Tech folks and academics could just talk about things in the simple terms they deserve. All this stuff, and most of the internet, is about the intersection of information with *human relationships*. We are talking about basic sociology here, and I’m not sure it’s going to be helpful to redifine things with new terminology when it’s not really needed. The Social Graph recognizes and defines online human relationships. Couldn’t we just talk about this in the same way we talk about other things and preface everything with “online”? Probably not, because that won’t socially graph well enough.
The New York Times is summarizing some interesting plans from Google and Yahoo to turn their email systems into forms of social networking. This idea could have a lot of potential, as the Yahoo’s Brad Garlinghouse points out in the article that Yahoo has a lot of information about an individual’s social relationships – for example who they email regularly – and this info is simply begging to be mined to help users navigate their increasingly complex online worlds.
update: I think I was in a bad mood on this – not fair to be so hard on a new company without even trying it. Sorry Twine, I hope you … ROCK!
Twine is the new social network applications just “launched” at the Web 2.0 summit in Silicon Valley. Like Paul Kedrowsky I’m skeptical before I’ve even had a chance to test Twine. (I will test it and review as soon as I get an invite…).
No, this is not fair but I’m getting sick of applications priming the buzz machine with hyperbole before they have even put out the application to enough people that you can figure out if it’s “Web 3.0” as Twine claims it is, or just another overhyped social application that needs widespread adoption to be useful.
My favorite 2.0 observer, Tim O’Reilly, has a detailed review of the Twine demo after which he wonders if they’ve succeeded. Note to Twine – if you can’t convince people in a demo that you are great you probably have some work to do, and you might even suck.
Now I really feel like an Assclown 2.0 to be so critical of what is clearly a thoughtful and potentially great application from Nova Spivak, a very clever Web 2.0 fellow.
But I think I’m suffering from Web 2.0 stress syndrome where the hype, lies, and video clips are overwhelming me with irrelevant stuff while I try desparately to winnow out the good stuff from the bad. We need an automated routine (aka ‘search agent’) that does the preliminary winnowing of content and organization of other stuff and my stuff for us. Now THAT would be web 3.0 and THAT would be worth my time as well as the time of all the moms, pops, and kids out there who are the backbone of the new web. Silicon Valley often spills out silly companies and ideas as if the other 99.9% of the global population is clueless or irrelevant. Theoretically Web 2.0 was to change that and make people, not computers, the center of the internet universe. But sometimes I wonder if the Silicon folks have even paid any attention to that change.