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June 23, 2005


Looks like every web service worth it's money has some Google Adsense equivalent. Typepad rolled out a new text ad serving functionality using  Kanoodle's network.

Ad1 Not able to test it completely since I use   
custom templates (it sucks to see that  advanced  users can't use this feature who
incidentally pay more for Typepad service !).   It's only available for standard templates.

There are so many areas they can improve Typepad service,  after a long wait all we see is this text ad which doesn't work on custom templates. Overall I like their service but their slow adoption of all the plugins and nice hacks will eventually push me towards wordpress.

But then I am too lazy to manage my own blog infrastructure !

June 23, 2005 in Emerging Technologies | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 22, 2005

More on the citizen journalism

Like many of us who care about citizen journalism I am also keenly following Dan Gillmor's Bayosphere project.  Pushing trust and seriousness with wiki-type interface it focuses on Bay Area events.  This is a first of it's kind service so it makes sense to take a closer look at their pledge -

  • Fair: I'm always listening to and taking account of other viewpoints;
  • Thorough: I learn as much as I can in the time I have, and point to original sources when possible;
  • Accurate: I get it right, checking my facts, correcting errors promptly and incorporating new information I learn from the community;
  • Open: I explain my biases and conflicts, where appropriate.

Not to sound too cynical here but wondering how different this is from the  mainstream media code of conduct.  Shouldn't citizen journalism include new norms and new expectations. I would expect a more formal way of declaring biases.  Trust is the driving force  for citizen journalism. Without knowing who is behind the voice all the chatter will become just another form of objective spam ! I am sure Bayosphere team will keep evolving this pledge.

Annenberg Foundation  is working constantly to track the developments in this context. Bill Denspore captures all the suggestions made in a recent conference -

-- Create demand for the use of news in schools.
-- Provide "media literacy" training for adults.
-- Study worldwide media systems for ideas.
-- Accept that the current economic model for newspapers has failed.
-- Figure out how to provide non-boring substance.
-- Get corporate media executives involved
-- Better connect scholars with journalism business.
-- Abandon newspaper "core product" in favor of new forms.
-- Compare journalism to other challenged businesses
-- Learn more about readers and audiences
-- Celebrate journalism which works.
-- Regain more public use of telecommunications spectrum.
-- Create an "Associated Press" for ethnic and youth media
-- Become news gatherers, not just creators
-- Consider the "subscriber model" online

Some big changes are happening out there and like any new thing we should work towards new metrics and new processes.  Biases and conflicts are two pillars of journalism - they represent both positives and negatives of the news creation process. We need better tools to track them.

June 22, 2005 in Media | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 21, 2005

Who died and made them Moses

Jarvis on LA Times wikitorials experiment -

The truth is that an editorial is just another blog post written by one person witih one viewpoint. Here's a case where you can't argue that it makes a difference having a journalism degree and a newsroom. Editorialists and columnists get to read the same stuff we do and they put on their pants and opinions just the way we do. So why should they have rights to the mountaintop? Who died and made them Moses? Let the people speak.

Newspapers are struggling to understand new media tools. They need to experiment and resist the temptation to find clear answers.

June 21, 2005 in Media | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 19, 2005

What If

What If ? With roughly 11% of GDP riding on real estate this is a big If !

June 19, 2005 in Silicon Valley | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 18, 2005

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish

Steve Jobs at Stanford :

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, its likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.


Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

He is a true genius.

June 18, 2005 in Entrepreneurship | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Rotten morality

Something in that part of the world (yes including India) stinks when it comes to the treatment of women.  Every once  in a while you hear some crazy rural council giving  medieval justice to some women.

Few years back we had similar episode in India . People build NGO around that episode, elections won and lost, movie made and tons of other things and  then life moved on.


Are we going to see the likes of  Mukhtar Mai and  Sanwaari every few years ?
Despite all the advancement, our culture and basic instincts are still the same. At the drop of a hat people act like animals.  Something is really rotten in our selective morality that on one hand we cannot respect our women whereas we are ready to blow ourselves in the name of God. Even the so called developed pockets are pretty bad in handling their women.

June 18, 2005 in Social angle | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Softbank moves out of SV

[Via Silicon Beat] Soft Bank putting up a "we have moved sign" and moving their base to China. Their rationale -

U.S. deals are too risky - early stage and expensive to fund, not to mention technology-heavy. "Let's say I put $10 million in a U.S. company - it probably lasts 18 months," said Zhou, "and when I do that it's probably not even profitable. In China, chances are that when we do the $10 million deal the company's profitable and [the funding's] going to last a long time." India, Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan are also places SAIF will invest

It takes courage to avoid the Silicon Valley charm. Though if you work through your spreadsheet then its a no-brainer  to not have any expensive early stage here.  Apply all the Carr philosophy,  speed to market pressures, barrier to entry,  time to copy jitters, high sales cost etc and you get a decent enough logic to move out of the bay area deal flow.  Significant dollar amount will go out,  will get invested elsewhere and help grow the phenomena of start-ups serving global markets.

Though we are hoping those companies will continue to feed Bay Area economy by having their HQ here !

June 18, 2005 in Silicon Valley | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 17, 2005

Basic Ingredients

This is a new blog I started following.  Nivi writes in simple terms what it takes to build  a start-up:

  1. Have a Passion for making great products.

  2. Have an Idea for a great product.

  3. Have the Taste to discriminate between a good or bad product.

  4. Know how to Develop the product.

  5. Know how to Sell the product.

Venky had a similar post few days back.  He emphasized balls over brains.

What's your favorite from this list ? I am inclined towards passion and taste !

June 17, 2005 in Entrepreneurship | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 12, 2005

Blogger meet-up

Looks like people had fun at the Kron TV blogger meetup. I got invitation for this and was planning to attend this but  for some reason  I had to bail out. 

It's good to see Kron TV  incorporating what is fast becoming a new  source of local news.  Will keep an eye on this and wish Kron TV crew good luck in their efforts to build a loosely coupled link with the blogosphere.  Hopefully Brian Shields will share this experience on some blog.

June 12, 2005 in Media | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Newspaper for what ?

Today I bought a newspaper - physical one ! Sunday Edition of Mercury News.

Motivation was not the news, I wanted to study it's form factor and to verify that there is still value from the ad prints. Very much like a trip to zoo to visualize how the dinosaurs once lived and how their enormous physiology led to their extinction.

How many trees make one newspaper?

Thick, bulky, full of promotional material, newspaper looked like a dying patient. In this age of digital renaissance why are we still killing trees to push commercial products. If size of the newspaper is a sign of development then we better have few more Amazon forests in the back-pocket.

It's about time Government imposes environmental tax on print media in certain economies (like Bay Area).

June 12, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0)