December 20, 2011
So, you’re on the web (or you wouldn’t be reading this) and you need to identify yourself to various web services and to various web readers, many of whom are real human beings. I was enthusiastic about OpenID a few years ago. But OpenID resonated with only a small and rather specialized subset of people.
Most people want to use an online identity they already have, or are already considering having, rather than forging a new “one identify to rule them all”. That cuts the field down rather drastically.
Maybe you want an identity that is lightweight, in the sense that it doesn’t carry the burden of private information. That’s an argument against Facebook, which seems to want to be your identity and to gather somewhat private stuff about you.
Fred Wilson argues that the lightweight criterion suggest Twitter as identity provider.
Twitter is default public and everyone knows that’s what it is. Your Twitter identity is the lightest weight, most public, and therefore the best identity on the web.
I’m inclined to agree with Fred. How about you?
December 14, 2011
In the years I’ve been blogging about social media, even before we thought that Web 2.0 was a cool and cutting-edge term, ReadWriteWeb has been among the feeds I follow. So I knew (or at least emailed and otherwise interacted with) Richard MacManus when he was an ambitious and hardworking blogger. I continued to follow RWW as it became a new media property (whatever that means) and added staff, such as Marshall Kirkpatrick.
I’ll continue to follow RWW as it moves into the third stage. Having been a blog and a media property, it’s now part of a media empire. RWW has been acquired by SAY Media.
Richard, sincere congratulations. I hope that this is a very profitable event financially. I also hope that it is not an exit from RWW for you as a blogger.
November 27, 2011
It’s time to stock up on t-shirts, and also time for a sale at Threadless. The sale end is due to end at the end of tomorrow (Monday), and the design is “Larry the Fox Doesn’t Feel So Clever Anymore.”
I see that today is the 6th anniversary of my very first Threadless order. Back in 2005 I lived in Boston and had only one kid; now I’m in Bethesda, Maryland, have two kids, and have seen a lot of other changes in those years. So has Threadless, although still has its community rate the submitted shirt designs.
Another social media site so old it can remember when Web 2.0 was a trendy term is Reddit. I see that I’ve been a redditor for 6 years. Mu current favorite subreddit is Breaking Bad, to which members submit links relevant to the excellent TV show of the same name.
The image shows one of my favorite recent submissions. It turns out that the original was sold on Etsy, “the world’s homemade marketplace”, and another older-than-6 social site. By the way, I did search for Breaking Bad t-shirts, and there are some out there, but none of them edged out the shirts I liked at Threadless.
This very blog is currently hosted at WordPress.com, which is run by Automattic, another social web company that passes the rather arbitrary 6-year test. Congratulations to the four above-mentioned veteran firms, and to other who have been around that long: it’s been a long and interesting passage of time.
November 17, 2011
Google Music launched to a rather lukewarm reception. Don’t Be Too Disappointed By Google Music’s Lackluster Debut was the advice from TechCrunch. Here’s How Google Music Plans to Compete So Late in the Game was the slightly-perkier reaction from RWW. GigaOm was rather more upbeat:
The service mirrors smilar offerings from Apple and Amazon, with a unique social twist: Users will be able to share their purchases on Google+, giving their friends and followers a chance to listen (one-time only) to singles and complete albums for free.
So essentially it’s a music locker linked to an MP3 store (i.e. Android Market). We can browse, sample, and purchase. The browsing works fine. The sampling, not so much, when I tried it on iPad: the browser-based player seemed to think it was playing, but there was no sound. Playing is fine on the Windows/Chrome setup I’m currently using. The Google Music/Android Market apps won’t work on my Android phone, but then, not many recent apps work on a G1…
I tried music purchasing in two ways. First, I compared Android Market MP3 prices with Amazon. Amazon was usually less expensive; for example, Laura Veirs’ Tumble Bee is $9.49 in the DroidMart, rather than $7.99 at Amazon.
But I did already make one purchase from Android Market: Los Campesinos!’ Hello Sadness for $5.99. I’ll get round to making a Google+ playlist including tracks from this, and other music I own, soon. Right now, I’m uploading a lot of music from disc, while barely making a dent in the 20,000-track Google Music allowance.
I feel rather overwhelmed, in a good way, by the options open to the web-based music listener. I’m not blown away by Google’s offering right now, but will keep on comparing it with Amazon’s – and with Apple’s, and Spotify’s, and with other – and plan to post as I compare. I’m interested in your comparisons also, so feel free to post them as comments here.
October 4, 2011
HTML5 kills the blog format! That’s the hope, if not quite the prediction, made by Scott Fulton at RWW. There’s a lot to like about the post. For example, Scott acknowledges that it’s strange to wish for the death of the very format you are using to express your wish.
But I’m not sure that Scott is aiming the HTML5 gun at the appropriate target. He detests “the fast food of today’s publishing society.” So do I, but blogs are, by today’s standards, leisurely and thoughtful repasts. His main complaint, though, concerns formatting.
The blog format relieves publishers from the tiresome duty of producing covers and front pages and things to make their content more attractive and make readers want it. In some cases, it enables publishers to surrender any responsibility for making content attractive in the first place.
This may have been true a couple of years ago. But it ignores the work done at WordPress, Tumblr, and other platforms to provide tools for the management of content – including the very aspects on which Scott focuses.
If Scott wants to aim to HTML5 gun at any platforms, for the reasons he states, then he has at least two targets more appropriate than blog/content management platforms. I refer to Facebook and Twitter. Each enables and hosts the production of vast amounts of fast food, in generic containers.
I expect to be blogging, probably using WordPress, for years after HTML5 makes its mark on the web. I’m less sure that I’ll be using Facebook and/pr Twitter that long. How about you?
July 25, 2011
For example, Ian Rogers disagrees with Kurt Vonnegut. I’m glad that each of these smart people did the right thing for himself, and shared the rightness with others.
July 15, 2011
I was among those who thought that flying pigs would arrive in the USA before Spotify did. Well, Spotify has arrived. The pigs probably did too, when I was too distracted by Google+ and SpotifyUSA to notice.
I’m using the free version right now, and liking it. The range of music is wide. The only thing I’ve been disappointed at not finding is the new Gillian Welch album.
I’m currently listening to Richard Thompson’s 1000 Years of Popular Music (which I really should have bought by now). The first thing I listened to was Traffic’s John Barleycorn Must Die (which I bought on iTunes, but promptly lost due to a computer accident and due to Apple’s ridiculous policy against re-downloading music one already owns).
Here’s what has most impressed me so far about Spotify. When this computer (old PC running Windows XP) lost its wireless connection, and I couldn’t get to my email, bank account, etc. in the browser, Spotify kept playing. It kept playing Radiohead’s Amnesiac (yet another album I should have bought by now).
So, I am impressed by free Spotify and am considering paying for one of the premium versions. I’m sorry to say that I have no invites to give out…