Archive for the ‘Syndication’ Category


Dream: How The Guardian’s API Could Let a Thousand Stories Bloom

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Newspapers are reacting in different ways to the shrinking revenue pie, some have launched blogs, many have twitter accounts, and some newspapers like the NYT keeps content behind a registration page. Today, the Guardian has launched Open Platform, a feature that will allow content be repurposed in a variety of ways. Those who participate in this affiliate content network will be an ad partner, extending the Guardian’s monetization model to these third party sites. Their API will allow third party developers to create new ways to tap into their story stream, and extend it beyond the walls of the Guardian website.

I can think of half a dozen applications (as I was thinking aloud in Twitter and kicked off a conversation) that could be built that could make it interesting, here’s what I could think of:

1. Social apps that build stories based on what your real friends have read –and vote for
Make it social. Someone will develop an application that will tap into your social graph, and suggest stories that your friends are reading, or stories that your friends recommend, or stories that other people with similar traits as you have read.

2. Mobile app that provides relevant news depending on where you are.
As location devices improve, mobile devices in the future may serve up content based on where you are located at. Traveling to a new city? This device could serve up stories that are interesting to the local news palette. Or, make news stories based on where you’re at, I’d love to hear news stories about a store or industry that I’m near by, say, the financial stability of a electronics store or auto dealer before buying.

3. Deliver stories based on time of day and day of week
Reading habits may vary depending on time of day or day of week. Expect a developer to build stories related to your work industry as you’re riding the subway to work. Lunch time stories could be related to leisure activities such as style or sports. For the single, reviews of the local eateries or lounges would be appropriate on Fridays, and entertainment and movie reviews would be most importantly on a Saturday morning

4. Suggests stories based on your historical behavior –or related to page you are on
Go behind ‘recommended’ stories. Imagine a developer building a secured Firefox or Flock plugin that will suggest stories to you based on the other browser behaviors. If you’ve liked stories about the NY Giants in the past, you’ll likely like stories about the Red Sox, or weather and team info as the Giants are at away games. Or, take it a step further and suggest Guardian stories based on the actual page you’re on.

5. Build new visual interfaces for the Guardian
Imagine a developer building a new site for the Guardian, they could design and develop new visualizations to view stories by frequency, map overlays, by people, or topics. They should draw inspiration from Digg’s visualization tools.

6. Allow citizen journalists to submit stories
Perhaps the most bold, but a new system could allow tweeters, bloggers, and Youtubers to submit not only commentary about stories, but create new stories themselves –feeding the Guardians news stream with real time content from the crowd. Of course, the challenge with all ‘amateur’ media is that a certain threshold of quality will need to be met.

7. You dream: submit your ideas
That’s all I could come up with at 5am in the morning, I’d love to hear your ideas. Leave a comment.

Interestingly, my suggestions in Twitter have actually caused folks to build new applications, and in my day job, I’m hired to review product roadmaps for social media vendors, so I’m hoping we’ll see some apps built off the Guardian API. When you do, leave a comment, and I’ll consider highlighting it to the community.

Update: Peter Kim points out in the comments that the Guardian will monetize this by requiring developers to participate in their ad network.

Love the Weekly Social Networking Digest? Here’s the Feed

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The raves are coming in, the community likes the weekly social networking digest I put out every Wednesday. What is it? A fast summary of what you need to know about the space. Here’s all the recent ones. Organized, prioritized and succinct it delivers the details of this industry that you may need to know about…and what I’m covering as an analyst. If you’re working at a company in this space, this is a good way to get into my head and poke around.

If you’re a mediasnacker, and just want this weekly digest without the rest of my blog, (although I wish you’d subscribe to the whole thing, I realize it’s a lot to consume for the busy person)

Subscribe to the Weekly Digest of the Social Networking Industry

Thank Amyloo for the feed URL, she let me know that one of the default features (a hidden easter egg, really) is that wonderful WordPress can provide a feed for ANY category or tag. How? you just add “feed” at the end of the URL of the page that renders all the tags/categories.

What’s another way to get snackbytes from me? you can find me on Twitter (I’ll add you back), which has become a chat room, and I often link out to what I’m reading in near-real time with commentary. Don’t like Twitter? you may side with David, who I just had this podcast debate with.

Communication on the web is getting faster, smaller, more distributed, and mobile.

Get connected with Web Strategy: How to find more online

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Ted Tom Conrad of Pandora (a website I’m a big fan of and needs our support right now) told me today at the CommunityNext conference here in Sunnyvale that I’m one of the people he feels he knows really well because of how much I share on Twitter. I could be considered a spammer, but he can unsubscribe anytime he wants, so I’m not worried about it.

Lane Becker (who’s launching Get Satisfaction) told me that he’s subscribed to my shared feed but not my blog feed, I suggested the content may be better than my blog feed.

Here’s a few ways you can subscribe to Web Strategy:

  • My blog feed
  • My Shared Feed XML or Shared Feed HTML (I’ll suggest recommended reading from my Google Reader)
  • My Twitter
  • My Facebook (If you add me, I’ll reciprocate, as long as you’re not being devious, or search for me “Jeremiah Owyang”)
  • Web Strategy Video Show: I interview web decision makers
  • Why do I use all these tools? Partly it’s R&D so my clients will know how to use these tools, I try to make mistakes so they don’t ahve to.

    Lee Lefever on the Common Craft Show

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    This is one of my all time favorite video blogs, at first, I was worried this would be just a series of one-offs, but Lee has created a handful of “web in plain English” videos called the Common Craft Show. There’s something to say about an expert who can communicate to anyone. Update: Lee has thanked his fan base, and I’m at the top of the list.

    Really easy to understand, very succinct, and very helpful. If only consultants and lawyers could speak so clearly.

    Below: Three videos, if you’re reading from a feedreader or email and don’t see them, view this post in a browser.


    Social media in plain English, great starter video. Update: now the videos can be seen in many languages


    Understanding Blogs


    Above: Understanding Social Networks


    Above: Understanding Wikis


    Above: Understanding RSS


    Above: Understanding Social Bookmarking


    Above: Understanding Google Docs


    Above: Using WetPaint


    Above: PR Web, the social press release


    What other topics could they do next? APIs, Blogs, Mashups, Identity, Podcasts, Facebook, Video Stremaing, and Media!

    Info glut with little time? Subscribe to Scoble’s link blog

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    If you get caught up in a feedreader for hours a day, and are getting distracted a work, I recommend that you subscribe to my colleague Robert Scoble’s link blog. He subscribes to hundreds of feeds and filters through all the junk every day and then shares them using Google Reader which he calls his link blog –you should subscribe. In fact the google reader team confirmed he consumes the most feeds on the entire planet of google reader users.

    Why? You can subscribe to this shared link blog, and save yourself time. A lot of these pieces are the highlights of the day, and the fact that he is sharing these are ‘gestures’ that carry nearly as much weight as a link. Of course, I also show up in his shared feeds #23 this month, but if you’re already reading my blog you’ll just get a double dose. He also suggested that some are getting more traffic from this shared link feed.

    Tim Ferriss, author of the best selling book the Four hour work week, interviewed Scoble to figure out how he consumes so many feeds. Robert and I don’t always agree, we had a civil discussion about the future of corporate websites, while I feel they will share the voice of the customer, he suggested that’s the wrong direction, marketing is shifting completely off to blogs –I saw it’s an “and”. We’ll see.

    In any case, it’s a privilege working with Robert, I get asked a lot “what’s it like working with Scoble”. I always say, he’s one of the hardest working people in the tech industry I’ve ever met, it’s true…he never stops.

    What’s the difference between a Portal and an Aggreagtor? not much really

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    Portals are Dead. Portals are Dead. = the mantra of Web 2.0, content is distributed, open, and amorphous.

    The Web Portal, which gained fame in the late 1990s was a web application that was intended to keep eyeballs on one page by providing all the information in a dashboard type style at once. From 2000-2003 I was the UI designer on the MyExodus customer portal, it was a lot of fun.

    An Aggregator, like a feedreader, techmeme, page flakes, netvibes, and myyahoo (and now facebook) is designed to collect all the information you want on to one page. If you think about it for a moment, Google search results is actually an aggregator too.

    So what’s the difference between a Portal and an Aggreagtor? Not much, if you ask me. So if portals are dead, then are aggregators too? While sure, the resources required to create the modern portal/aggregator or low, the strategy is the same: bring all the resources to one page.

    Conclusion: Portals aren’t dead, we’ve just renamed ‘em.