Widgets gone tame

Yesterday I went a little goofy with the widgets. So after tapping into the wisdom of the crowd (all two of you who commented — thanks!) and sleeping on it, I’ve decided to rein in my widget monster. The sidebar is a bit tidier this morning.

Now playing: The Pixies – Tame
via FoxyTunes

Widgets gone wild

I spent some time goofing with widgets, badges, and all that other goofy web 2.0 clutter. Check out the sidebar to the left. See my RSS shared items! Marvel at all my Twitter connections! Look at all the little social networking cliques I’m a part of!

Whaddya think? Overkill? I was just worried my austere minimalism was just not fitting in to this new world of interconnectedness.

Now playing: Madness – One Step Beyond
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Mozilla marks 10 years since source code release

mozilla_logo4.gifMozilla, the force behind the popular Firefox web browser (my browser of choice) and the Thunderbird email client, celebrates 10 years of existence on Monday. Mozilla source code was first released on March 31, 1998. The company will air a special retrospective from 11 a.m.-noon Monday on Air Mozilla (via the Mozilla Blog).

Wired also marks the 10-year anniversary with a photo tour of the lizard’s lair.

Mozilla is one of the great success stories of the open source movement. True, its web browser has yet to crush Internet Explorer’s hold on browser usage, a la Godzilla destroying Tokyo. (But who’s the real monster in this story, anyway?) Still, Firefox is the browser of choice for more than 36 percent of Internet users, according to w3 schools. That’s a market share Netscape was unable to accomplish. Not too shabby, if you ask me.

Happy birthday, Mozilla. Here’s to another 10 years of great open source productivity.

Now playing: Finest Dearest – Tunnel Vision
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Monday musings: social network economics, free and legal news pics, the future of marketing, etc.

Decided to take the day off to decompress from a couple of stressful weeks (while campus is quiet for spring break). And also, to try to get some writing done, because it seems I get more writing done at home than at the office. But guess what? Not a bit of writing yet. Too busy trying to keep the RSS feeds pruned, and straightening up the blogroll. (Thanks, debunkd., for the motivation.) Now, if I could just get motivated to finish off my story for the summer issue of Missouri S&T Magazine.

Anyway, on to the musings. And these may have to keep you for a while, as I’m going afk from Wednesday afternoon until the weekend. So, if you don’t hear from me until next week, that’s why.

  • Social networks: a business model? Not so much. Lots of bloggers are talking about this Economist article about the business value of social networks. (Hat tip to Buzz Canuck, who breaks down the main points of the Economist article — namely, that the social network is a bad business model.) Conversation Agent also offers commentary, and a clip from Jerry Maguire.

    The Economist argues that “it is entirely conceivable that social networking, like web-mail, will never make oodles of money,” but says social networking’s true value because may lie in “its enormous utility.”

    Social networking has made explicit the connections between people, so that a thriving ecosystem of small programs can exploit this “social graph” to enable friends to interact via games, greetings, video clips and so on.

    If only the myriad networks would tear down their “walled gardens” and open up to the rest of the interconnected world.

    The problem with today’s social networks is that they are often closed to the outside web. … [T]hey are reluctant to become equally open towards their users, because the networks’ lofty valuations depend on maximising their page views—so they maintain a tight grip on their users’ information, to ensure that they keep coming back. As a result, avid internet users often maintain separate accounts on several social networks, instant-messaging services, photo-sharing and blogging sites, and usually cannot even send simple messages from one to the other. They must invite the same friends to each service separately. It is a drag.

    Surely some enterprising entrepreneur will find a solution. SocialThing, perhaps?

  • Free and legal news photos for bloggers. GigaOM reports that San Francisco-based PicApp is making copyright news photos available free of charge to bloggers.

    The photos are displayed in a flash media file and can be embedded on any web page, just like YouTube. PicApp makes money off contextual advertising it embeds in the photos, and in turn shares it with the photo agencies. The new service is a sign of how tough things are in the stock photography business, where new and low cost competitors are emerging thick and fast, and challenging the old dogs like Getty Images.

  • The United States of Google. BuzzMachine’s Jeff Jarvis examines how an open-source mindset, a philosophy of transparency, and a better understanding of empowerment and interconnectedness could improve government. For example:

    Government officials and agencies should blog. This ethic of openness should go beyond official documents and files. Openness should be part of the work habit of government officials and conversation with constituents should be an ethic of government. The open blog is merely a tool and a symbol for this — and a more efficient tool, I’ll add, than individual letters and phone calls.

  • The future of marketing and advertising — a good (and funny) slide presentation by Paul Isakson, via the Marketing and Strategy Innovation Blog.
  • Simplicity. Via Eliacin Rosario-Cruz via Twitter.
  • Moving toward two-way marketing. This piece in The Buzz Bin talks about how listening, customer feedback, etc., have become more important in traditional marketing.
  • State of the news media: gloomy. Still. PRWeek summarizes the Project for Excellence in Journalism‘s 2008 report on the news business.
  • Be like the Internet (Slideshare). Slides from a SXSW presentation by Lane Becker and Thor Muller of Get Satisfaction, all about business success in the Internet age. Via Communication Nation.
  • Three Internet careers that soon won’t exist. Interesting thought piece from Steve Rubel.
  • Of course, now it’s only 29 years and 50 weeks before the Internet ends. Because I’m two weeks late in posting this.

Now playing: Michael Franti & Spearhead (Yell Fire!) – I Know I’m Not Alone
via FoxyTunes

Sick day = blog catch-up day

I’ve been fighting an upper respiratory infection all week long, and today I’m staying home in hopes of sending this bug to its death.

But I can’t seem to sleep, daytime TV is too dull for words (except for a showing of A Mighty Wind on Comedy Central this morning), and I’ve got several neglected RSS feeds in need of a severe pruning.

Plus, it’s been a long time been a long time been a long lonely lonely lonely lonely time since I blogged. (For the previous sentence, blame the Sudafed. And too much Led Zeppelin during my formative years.) Anyway, it all adds up to lots of contextless links for your point-and-click pleasure:

A del.icio.us list of iconic icons for web design, courtesy of Seth Meranda.

cheeseburger-in-can-blog.jpgI Can Has Cheeseburger!. In a can, even. Yes, it’s true. Just what the world’s been waiting for, right? Right? Via Snark Hunting.

Wired‘s interactive life cycle of a blog post will just warm the cockles of any bloggeek’s heart. Via (dis)information architecture.

$100 for a link on Digg’s front page? A new low in online marketing?

Meet the new web influentials. They’re not necessarily the most people-connected, but rather the “people who influence the network by leveraging the most powerful force on the web — the link. So says Publishing 2.0. (Note to self: More contextless links in the future.)

Hidden mysteries of marketing revealed! Anita Campbell, editor of Small Business Marketing Trends, asked a bunch of A-list marketing gurus to share their best-kept marketing secrets, and they obliged. A bunch of lesser lights also shared their tips in the comments. Lots of good ideas here. Link via Chris Brown’s Branding and Marketing.

seth_godin_action_figure_6.jpgWhile we’re on the subject of marketing gurus…no aspiring marketer should be without the Seth Godin Action Figure. Now with built-in BrandOMatic © and PurplePower ©. Via the man himself.

Use Hey!Spread to upload several videos at once.

Digital Perspective asks: What kind of tech user are you? And then links to ways to find out. Say hello to an omnivore (according to this Pew Internet quiz).

The rise of open-source mega-universities. “The world’s top universities have come late to the world of online education, but they’re arriving at last, creating an all-you-can eat online buffet of information. And mostly, they are giving it away.”

All the presidents’ blogs. Bob Johnson updates his list of college and university presidents who blog. There are 32 in all.

OK, folks. Sudafed’s wearing off. Time to go.

Now playing: Cat Power – Lord, Help The Poor & Needy
via FoxyTunes