Strangled by the Grassroots

 Steve Outing writes a bittersweet eulogy to his failed startup, the Enthusiast Group, which tried to build a business around grassroots media. His conclusion: with the exception of one or two sites that make it big (YouTube, Flickr) user generated content is not strong enough to stand on its own. In my view — and …

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The Real, Sad Lesson of Burma 2007

Reuters I fear another myth is in the offing: that Burma’s brief uprising last month was a tipping point in citizen journalism. Take this from Seth Mydans’ (an excellent journalist, by the way; I’m just choosing his piece because it’s in front of me) article in today’s IHT: “For those of us who study the …

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Web 2.0 Ain’t About the Technology

Scoble makes some good points in a blog posting about why Microsoft, and more specifically his old boss Steve Ballmer, doesn’t get Web 2.0. I don’t agree with everything Robert says, but he has an understanding of this era of the web born of living and working in its eye the past seven years: “There …

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Songs for Suits

Things are never so weird they can’t get weirder. Techdirt posts on a legal firm’s corporate song “Everyone’s a Winner at Nixon Peabody” which really has to be heard to be believed. I don’t guarantee it’s a pleasant experience, but it’s the only way to know just how low companies can go to get their …

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The Gecko in the Machine

 (This is the text of my weekly Loose Wire Service column, syndicated to newspapers like The Jakarta Post. If you’re an editor interested in subscribing to the service, drop me a line. Regular readers of the blog, meanwhile, will be familiar with some of the themes here) I found myself reading the words of one …

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Twittering in the Forest

I was a bit rude about Twitter in my last WSJ column (subscription only, I’m afraid), about the Web 2.0 satire Useless Account: I can’t have an online conversation these days, for example, without someone telling me to use Twitter, a fabulously popular way to broadcast your current activity (and I mean current, as in …

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What Probably Won’t Happen in 2007

The BBC has asked me to make some predictions about the coming year, something I’m always loath to do because I seem to get it wrong. Anyway, here are my notes. They’re based in part on my own bath-time musings, and partly inspired by the thoughts of others (tried to credit them where relevant.) 1999 …

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What Probably Won’t Happen in 2007

The BBC has asked me to make some predictions about the coming year, something I’m always loath to do because I seem to get it wrong. Anyway, here are my notes. They’re based in part on my own bath-time musings, and partly inspired by the thoughts of others. 1999 just took longer than we thought, …

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The Power of Bus Uncle

Not a new story this, and you’ve probably heard it, but another case that highlights the dangers of blowing your stack in public the distributing power of the Internet, especially sites like YouTube the global creativity of folk that folk in Hong Kong are, er, sometimes more tense than people elsewhere. The story is best …

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