"On January 20th, 1980, after walking around at the Super Bowl in Pasadena in a fur bikini bottom, Rollen Stewart went back to his hotel room, turned on the television and saw born-again Christian preacher, Dr. Charles Taylor, on Today in Bible Prophecy."
This guy went to the superbowl (any televised spectacle) in a rainbow Afro wig and helds a sign that said "John 3:16". Then he held a hotel maid hostage while demanding a global press conference and went to jail.
Then there is the Devil of the Tour de France: Didi Senft
He chases riders with a pitchfork and rides the world’s largest bicycle. Most of the riders like him to do this.
Businessweek’s Blogspotting said "wouldn’t it be great if there was an open directory to share bike rides?"
I thought it was cool to perhaps use Google Earth, but found that there is an easier solution using Google Maps thanks to a nice hack that permits people to use GMaps like a pedometer and then share any routes they build.
Pat Kenealy, CEO of my parent company, IDG, talks to former colleague Adam Penenberg about the future of web publishing and along the way talks about the dangers of the Forbes.com model of going wide and big, perhaps too wide, and too big by covering the "top ten nude beaches" (which they’ve already done, along with a recent Flash picture show of bikini "fashion").
I should be a Google Earth Evangelist (it’s my favorite thing to demo these days) – this site offers downloads that overlay user-built map enhancements. Example – detailed Tour de France stage maps, replete with sprint points, feed stations, climbs, etc.. Maps showing the stadiums of every modern Olympic games, hurricane tracks from 1990-1999. And weird anomalies such as this view of the Studebaker proving grounds with the word "Studebaker" spelled out with trees.
The Tour maps are awesome and if they could be aligned with a real-time text commentary such as those on http://www.cyclingnews.com, I’d be a very happy man.
I need to figure out how to build these detailed route maps and share some of my favorite Cape Cod bike routes.
I’ve discussed the Matt McAlister warning that the decade-old online publishing model of "visit my site, read my content, rack up page views, see the ads" is doomed by RSS in past posts. So I won’t flog that horse again.
A couple items reinforce my belief that this concept is getting positively "memetic."
While listening to the Gillmor Gang on my homeward bound commute yesterday, one of the pundits opined that once a user experiences the convenience of RSS syndication into an aggregator, they never go back to the old behavior of clicking off to a destination site. This is very true. Once users get over the syllogism that RSS equals blogs, but truly equals the delivery, not the pull of information, then the magic of the syndication model becomes apparent.
The threat of course is that the old online publishing mission of getting people into a site and keeping them there goes away, and with it goes the ad impressions and the possibility of measuring the time spent, the clickstream, the clickthroughs, etc.
Then MIN’s B2B newsletter published Steve Smith’s thoughts on the McAlister view of the RSS world and advertising (I’d link but the piece is impossible to find) that ends with this warning:
"With newsreaders getting easier to use, major brands like NYTimes.com are embracing the format. Now, as RSS is incorporated into browsers like Mozilla’s Firefox and the next version of Internet Explorer, rolling your own online media will be as automatic as maintaining your own browser bookmarks. Face it. You’re about to get TiVo-ed.[my emphasis]"
This is going to be a fun challenge to figure out. While I don’t think the InfoWorld experiment in pushing big graphics or even text ads through the RSS payload is going to come close to a big revenue lift for publisher — and be a hedge against any future declines in impression advertising or reader response/lead generation, it is a good traffic development lever to pull at the very least. If RSS 2.0 gets "unfrozen" and the concept of microformats within RSS enclosures as embodied by the new Atom standard comes to the mainstream RSS world, then the possibilities of inventing a new revenue stream may become more obvious.
"Enabling advertisers to insert a customized call to action or branded "tag" in their commercial, replacing the generic ad tags previously used by TiVo’s advertising clients; — Ensuring advertisers’ traditional TV spots will be more visible in TiVo homes, whether viewed in normal play or fast forward mode; — Enhance the TiVo customer’s experience by allowing them to select the tag and "telescope" from the traditional 30-second ad while pausing their program to view long-form content, requests for information, or recording opportunities which will enhance the viewing experience; — Providing advertisers with the ability to receive leads directly from their TV spots, with the viewer’s consent, so advertisers can track leads to conversion and ensure a qualified return on investment; — Additional data for advertisers to gain a better understanding of the effectiveness of TiVo’s proprietary tagging feature, the strength of their creative executions, and the efficacy of their television media buying strategy."
He estimates he’d lose 10 to 20 percent of his pageviews if his blog network went to a full AJAX model.
(AJAX — see post below referring to Frederic Paul’s TechWeb column sounding the alarm — permits web sites to behave more like client software installed locally on the users machine, permitting users to perform functions without calling for a new page or reloading the same, thus cutting down on ad impressions).