going ajaxy

<b> going ajaxy:</b> I’m going to be old-school when it comes to any interface design evolution at <a href=””></a>. Perhaps tapping into my preference for design that springs forth from an html minimalist tradition, the interface of communicates to me that each page is not only a display of information, but also a working document — there is no “admin” area, each page is a place I can work and view simultaneously. I just noticed tonight (it may have been a feature for a while, but I’ve just now noticed it) that is adding some subtle features to their site that only hardcore users may notice, but that add to the website-as-software-tool feeling of the site. For example, the “edit” feature has some added <a href=””>ajaxiness</a> so that you don’t have to re-load a new page to make changes — an edit box now simply slides down from the text you’d like to change. Doing things like this, rather than caving into the “redesign” temptation could mean that the team will provide a much-needed model to web designers of how fat-rounded-fonts are not what is special about what is being called Web 2.0.
<!– technorati tags start –><p style=”text-align:right;font-size:10px;”>Technorati Tags: <a href=”” rel=”tag”>delicious</a></p><!– technorati tags end –> going ajaxy

Web/print hybrid magazines

Web/print hybrid magazines: I’ve blogged in the past about my thumbs-up for the creative way in which the folks at JPG magazine have gone about taking an online collaborative, community experience into print and about how they are displaying that certain types of creative and intellectual expression will ultimately seek a print outlet. As I’m both a hopeless wonk of magazines and online communities, these guys had me at hello.

They are now using what they’ve learned doing JPG magazine to create a new startup venture, 8020 Publishing. Apparently (I’m reading between the lines of their blog posts on this), we can expect from them more print-on-demand magazines created by online communities. For narrow niche, short-run magazines created and read by a passionate audience, I think this is a powerful idea. Best indicator of their potential success: they’ve had a couple of years of in-the-trenches experience to learn what works and doesn’t work in this hybrid media they’ve helped to create.

As I’ve recommended looking at JPG Magazine to hundreds of people during the past couple of years, I feel I have a stake in their success. Come to think of it, if they are successful, I think I’ll become a competitor. In the mean time, I’ll be their first and very enthusiastic fan. One suggestion for the new company, however: I think your name, 8020, is the wrong number. What you are pioneering is a bold repudiation of Pareto — what you’re doing is the ultimate in long tail publishing.

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A blogger fairy tail – Billy Goats Rough

A blogger fairy tail – Billy Goats Rough: Once upon a time there was an island named Blogosphere, and at the very center of that island stood a bridge over which lots of bloggers walked happily each day. Under the bridge, in a dark and gloomy hole, lived a troll named Nick.

One day the troll read an essay by a 90-year-old economist named John Kenneth Galbraith that suggested the only people who benefit from capitalism are the people that control the capital and one day, all those capitalists got together to come up with a better term called “market-economy” so the dumb schmucks who purchase stuff at Wal-Mart will think they’re actually benefitting from the ability to buy all that crap at a discount — while in truth, the only people benefiting are the capitalists who own stock in Wal-Mart, except he left out the part about the shoppers who have Wal-Mart stock in their 401-K.

And so, the troll decided he’d have some fun.

He yelled up at the bloggers crossing the bridge, “Hey, dumb schmucks. No one gives a flip about anything you have to say, so quit thinking you’re important. You think you’re going to supplant big media. You’re sheep — or goats, or something. Oh, and by the way, can you link to me?”

“Huh?” responded the bloggers to the troll in the hole. “Do you have nothing better to do than ridicule people who are posting updates for a few employees or sharing their experience of fighting cancer or creating a little community with other people who also like to knit. Oh, and by the way, you can supplant a kiss on my butt.”

“Oh,” said the troll. “But could you still link to me?”

So, feeling sorry for the troll, the bloggers linked to him, but did so in a mocking, jeering way.

Moral of the story: Mike Arrington was correct.

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Wiki fun, the early days

Wiki fun, the early days: Today, there are lots of comments bouncing around the blogosphere and wikiosphere about the purchase of the domain name for $2.86 million to be used by John Gotts to launch “an online destination for consumers to learn about, create and share wiki sites.”

He partnered with wiki hosting firm MindTouch to handle the technology side of things after, according to, he “called JotSpot and offered the deal, assuming they’d jump at the chance. But the wiki company told him they didn’t want to work with a competitor.”

I am not a dispassionate sideline observer of such news. I am a full-blown wiki kool-aid drinker. Not only as a creator of media, but as an area of business. I am a big fan of wikis and almost feel fortunate that so much media coverage of wikis is focused on controversies surrounding abuses of Wikipedia. My “evil business side” lets me know that as long as wikis are getting such negative mainstream coverage, other “traditional media types” won’t dive into yet another goofy sounding web thing. Indeed, I consider it a competitive advantage of mine whenever I discover some really amazing Web 2.0 technology or approach is being called by some silly-sounding name as it assures me that I have a year or two to play with it before anyone I know in the real world will start thinking about it in terms of a business application. (I especially love really brilliant web applications that leave vowels out of their names as that adds another six months to my opportunity to see if it really makes sense.)

Also, it helps me to know that the most popular open-source software running the best known wikis is so user unfriendly that it frightens off all but the most tech-savvy traditional media developers and, unfortunately, potential contributors to a wiki-powered website. For me, that’s also a competitive advantage. Indeed, even if you go try to set up a site today (and it’s utilizing a relatively “easy” user-interaface) chances are if you’re not a geek, you’ll be extremely frustrated with how hard it is…and you’ll write off the whole “wiki thing” for another six months. (Hint, you’ll probably find it easier to set up one on

I’ve long gotten past equating Wikipedia’s downside with the incredible upside potential of the wiki platform and approach. It’s like in the early days of blogging (and, frankly, still today) when the critics of “bloggers” (primarily, those threatened by bloggers) couldn’t get over their dislike of who was blogging to realize the medium was, in effect, a real simple to use content management platform that could be used by traditional media as easily as by someone wearing pajamas. Frankly, they still don’t get it. Today, that same type of “not getting it” is taking place over wikis because of two reasons: 1. “Wiki” is a goofy word — it sounds like a toy, not something with the engineering and cultural significance of, say, Hoover Dam. 2. Wikipedia’s first “mainstream” coverage has nearly all been filtered though a lens of its potential for evil and abuse. These two factors mean, simply, that the arena of wiki-based media is wide open for people like me to play around in.

And by play, I mean do something I enjoy that brings me great satisfaction, that will be of service to the greatest number of people — and that also has the potential for being a significant business opportunity.

Those who read this weblog closely know that for the past few months, I have used a rather valuable piece of Internet real estate, the domain name to create what’s becoming a wonderful casebook example of the power of a wiki platform. When I set it up, I couldn’t believe no one had registered the URL, so I did that and redirected it to Also, the same is true for and

The one URL I thought I’d never get was, but, as the saying goes, “The early bird let’s some other guy pay the $2.86 million.”

That’s what I mean by fun.

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