Monday, July 31, 2006

Book Review : The Weblog Handbook: Practical Advice on Creating and Maintaining Your Blog

The Weblog Handbook: Practical Advice on Creating and Maintaining Your Blog by Rebecca Blood, is about blogging. I read it prior to starting this blog and can't recommend it highly enough. Rebecca discuss software to use, the history of blogs, why people write them and the social manners required. Its just excellent. I'd recommend it if you started a blog,read blogs or thinking of starting a blog. 9 out of 10.

Save your Space petition

Some users of myspace have put up a petition against the DOPA act (see link here). Sign up here.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

DOPA and the owners of sociall networking sites

Library Stuff has an interesting article called Do Social Networking Sites Care About Libraries? Well worth a read, as it wonders why the owns of social networking sites (like myspace) have said nothing about DOPA.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Why ban social networks?

As mentioned in my previous post, banning social networks in schools and libraries, I wonder why? Is it to do with our fears brought in with a neo-con government in the states creating false fears within society? Is it our culture within society, which from books like lolita in the 1950's to the present day film called Hard Candy [a film dealing with online stalking]? Is it that parents now leave there kids at home without supervision to surf the web? Its these three in my opinion.
We need to teach kids life skills against paedophiles, like not giving out addresses or phone numbers. Teaching them that the world is not a pure place all the time. But we don't need to make them scared, just aware of the dangers that are there. Wired also provides an interesting article on how adults can see how kids see the net on the virtual mystery tour. So come on. Kids have to learn about the world, but they also need some independence.

Myspace to be banned in school in Libraries in USA

I previously mentioned that the USA was trying to ban social networking sites such as myspace and Bebo will be banned from schools and Libraries in the USA. The reason being Deleting Online Predators Act (DOPA). Techcrunch has provide an interesting in site into act. Obviously, even as Mike Arrington say (owner of techcrunch says):-
I write about it here because it has the potential to impact a huge portion of our readership and the companies we profile on this site.
So he's being honest. But it certainly looks a very backward step. Lets hope it fails.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Book Review : Long Tail

The Long Tail: How Endless Choice Is Creating Unlimited Demand by Chris Anderson has just been released. I must admit its an amazing book. Wikipedia describes it thus:-
Anderson argued that products that are in low demand or have low sales volume can collectively make up a market share that rivals or exceeds the relatively few current bestsellers and blockbusters, if the store or distribution channel is large enough.
In reading it I agreed with it. TO SOME DEGREE. Anderson feels niche markets, in the digital age, storage is cheaper if not costless. But this is untrue. Apple's Itunes still takes up storage and bandwidth space. Apple still had to invest in making it a the best MP3 download site (to pay for). I'm not the only person to disagree. Tim Wu has a very good piece, pointing out that Anderson looks at only digital areas and not areas like petrol (which is more important to the economy than the internet. I think?) Lee Gomes in the Wall Street Journal is also critical. But as an economoc principle and a book its well worth a read. 8 out of 10.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Blogging a no go

Having said I was finally putting forward an idea to set up a blog at y local library I work at (here), it seems my idea is too forward for England. Put forward the idea, and the people who look after the website said NO. The reason? Mainly, it would need there colour scheme and too look over it. In other words too much work and they don't think it would add anything. Oh well. There loss, but why show any iniative?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

myspace not making a killing

With myspace the social networking site acquired by Rupert Murdoch . With all the stories about grooming youngsters on this site alone (here, here, here), it has finally got some good news. This being myspace gets 17% of internet banner impressions. Unfortunately, this does not seem to be making it the same amount in cash. Check techdirts story here.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Netflix and the long tail.....the negative side

Over on Siva Vaidhyanathan blog, he has written an interesting post describing how users are taking (or not) to netflix (the DVD mail rental company). Chris Anderson's book use's Netflix as an example of the long tail, and how with more choice, people will look at films that are not blockbuster. Siva though has pointed out the following:-

Netflix Inc., which boasts nearly five million members, often trumpets how its all-you-can-eat rental model is changing the way people are watching movies. But Netflix may also be changing the way people don't watch them. Through its Web site, Netflix makes it easy to comb through a massive catalog of 60,000 films. It offers access to everything from Charlie Chaplin's 1921 silent tramp movie "The Kid" to recent Academy Award-winners like "Crash." And some members admit that when browsing the Netflix backlog, they overestimate their appetite for off-the-beaten-track films. The result: Sometimes DVDs languish for months without being watched.

"It's a paradox of abundance," said Siva Vaidhyanathan, a professor of culture and communication at New York University. If people aren't pressured to see a movie in a specific time frame, he said, viewers tend to put it lower on their priority list. "When you have every choice in front of you, you have less urgency about any particular choice," he added.

Interesting article though.

Long tail,blogging and associations

Was reading Thoughts from a Library Administrator, discussing The Long Tail: Libraries and Associations (ALA). Having read Chris Anderson's book. The blog above was discussing how the American Library Association can use the long tail. Then today I was discussing my blog idea for the library and she said (the library manager) I might start on the mobile libraries. I think this would be a good start, as it could show the management what numbers I could be getting (I would set up a sitemeter, to find the numbers I would get). I feel to get an aggregator going I could underline how we can bring the numbers to the blog. I'll tell you how it goes after I speak to the guy about the blog.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Book Review : Stealing Time : Steve Case, Jerry Levin, and the Collapse of AOL Time Warner

Stealing Time : Steve Case, Jerry Levin, and the Collapse of AOL Time Warner by Alex Klein charts the rise and fall of Steve Case and Jerry Levin. It opens with how AOL was formed. It started as an idea to spread music via satelite to Times Warner, who thought it maybe better if they did it instead with games. The books interesting on how gung-ho AOL was and how (along with Netscape) started the internet bubble, when it had an IPO and had money to spend. And bought Times Warner......Unfortunately, when the bubble burst and AOL shares (which helped buy Times Warner) dropped. The pure greed makes the book a great read. Unfortunately, we never here much of the them buying Netscape or much on there idea behind the companies walled garden (which is soon to stop for broadband users if the blogosphere is to be believed. Anyhow, its ok. Lots of business talk (Klein revealed AOL financial antics in the American press). 6 out of 10.

RIP......Web 2.0 is dead......official

It is with much sadness I can offically announce today that web 2.0 is dead. Why? Well the British TV programme for mongoids, Richard and Judy has started discussing web 2.0. Please, no........ And now they mentioned the Long Tail......damn

More news on In search of the Valley

Seems the film in search of the valley are providing merchandising for it. I've been fortunate to get a limited edition cap. Picture below. I will tell you when the full catalogue of products are up.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Get this

near to finishing Chris Anderson's Long Tail: The new economics of culture and commerce. Having nearly read it all in two days, I would highly recommend it. I'll review at a later date. Don't agree with it all, but still good.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Book Review : Accidental Empires

Accidental Empires: How the Boys of Silicon Valley Make Their Millions, Battle Foreign Competition and Still Can't Get a Date by Robert X. Cringely is a book dealing with the rise of silicon valley. It covers microsoft, Apple, Adobe and IBM. Cringely also brought us the excellent Triumph of Nerds which covers this book. Although the book was written in 1996, and dated, its amusing, insightful and covers all area's of the rise of the personal computer well, FROM A USA PERSPECTIVE (no mention of Sir clive Sinclair). Cringely also talks about the mainstream companies, both from a hardware and software perspective. Unfortunately, he neglects how many people got into computers (well me); Gaming. I mean why not discuss ID software (well its better discussed in Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture. But I digress. Cringely calling the chapter on Steve Jobs THE PROPHET, really struck a cord. I would really recommend this book if you want to know about silicon valley. I just hope the guys who did in search of the valley read this book. 8 out of 10.

Friday, July 07, 2006


Presently working on a proposal for the blog idea to my library, and holidaying with my brother. Normal service will be resumed from monday.