Structured Blogging Test

Here’s the deal at http://www.structuredblogging.org. And here’s me playing with it.

{update: oops, the plug-in is installed but the Php on my server needs upgrading before it will work.}

"The explosion in blogging has created a cottage industry for new tools – not only for managing our blogs and their content, but also for handling the tremendous wealth of new information being published to the Web every minute. Aggregators, search engines and matching engines are just a few of the resources we have at our disposal to corral and make sense of it all.

Blogs are an easy-to-use publishing system which offers value to the publisher through syndication, or the ability to reach wide audiences through aggregators and Web sites. The simple lesson we learned from blogging is that semi-structured data could be generated as quickly as natural-language blogposts if the tools were there—sort of a "build it and they will come" mentality.

We believe that it will be possible to meet the requirements of ease of use and added value in creating syndicated formats for many different content types through Structured Blogging. We’ll provide the mechanisms for creating content, reading content and embedding content in both XML and HTML. We can do this transparently, so ordinary blog readers and writers won’t even notice the difference. And we can do this within existing content systems, without breaking RSS, RDF or Atom (we can even create a system for mapping structure to RDF, and back)."

 

Ricky Gervais Podcast

Fred Wilson pointed at it yesterday, so I subscribed to the new Ricky Gervais podcast (creator, star of The Office and Extras) and laughed all the way down the Mass Turnpike. One of the funniest people on the planet. 

Today Reuters is reporting the podcast is number one, and for good reason. 


Verizon | Reuters.com LONDON (Reuters) – Ricky Gervais, creator and star of the hit BBC comedy "The Office," has topped the charts in the United States and Britain with his podcast, a booming new format that lets users download audio or video programming.

 Here’s the link for iTunes

What is the Wikipedia business model?

Wikipedia’s Chief: Don’t Quote Us

 From BusinessWeek this morning:

"About how many people use and contribute to Wikipedia? The number I like to talk about is the number of very active editors — those that do the bulk of the work. As of October, there were about 1,850 for the English version of Wikipedia, and 4,573 worldwide. We don’t know how many unique users visit the site because we’re lame and don’t keep track of it — we don’t sell advertising, so we don’t have to. But we get about 2.5 billion page views per month."

Okay, great site, I like it, I think it represents the best example of the avalanche, but how the hell is it subsidized? Is there any revenue model here? No way Jimbo, a former trader, is going to pay the ISP bills out of charity. 

“Cycling is the new Golf”

The New York Times rocked my cycling buddies last weekend with the piece in the Style section about how cycling (and other extreme sports) have become the power-activity of the elite in Silicon Valley. Being a fanatical cyclist, I was heartened to see the piece confirm what I suspected for sometime — getting up one’s lactic threshold is the modern measure of a person’s business potential, the cardiovascular equivalent of what my step-brother once told me: "If you want to size up a person’s character, then play a round of golf with them."

I despise golf for reasons of tedium and personal inepititude, but respect the passion for it that other people have. It is certainly a much more social sport — you’re never out of breath and you get to chat amiably during the cart ride from hole to hole — but it has never clicked with me. Cycling however, well, there is little or no opportunity to chat a person up while drafting their rear wheel at 30 kph or dogging it up a hill standing on the cranks. But there is a great chance to see how a person holds up under immense pain and suffering — 60 miles in the saddle will give anyone a chance to throw in the towel or aquit themselves as a true team player when it comes to be their turn to lead the paceline and haul their mates through a headwind.

The Times article (which I dare not link to due to their weird archiving process), made me wish, very fervently, that I was working in Silicon Valley and not Greater Boston, when cycling shut downs every winter. True, I do ride through the winter on my fixed-gear, and hit the road in earnest at the first sign of spring, but I would like the opportunity to put in 50 miles a day each and every day and not have to worry about snow, windchill, and the corrosion that road salt will do my bike frame.

Yesterday I taught a seminar on Web publishing to some colleagues at IDG and spent some time demonstrating the nebulous concepts of Web 2.0 by introducing them to the concept of mashing — I showed them Google Maps, then I showed them the Google GMAP Pedometer, and then showed them how I build bicycle routes and then share them with other through this site, Roadbikereview.com, and finally, tag them with de.icio.us tags so others can find them.

The demo clicked and seemed to work beautifully, illustrating:

  1. The power of the long tail — geeks who cycle
  2. The power of open architectures — Google Maps being overlaid with the Pedometer
  3. the power of tagging
  4. The power of community

As an aside and anecdote —  two summers ago I purchased a wonderful Italian racing bike frame on EBay and rode it with great glee and pride until the salt Cape Cod air got the better of it. I took it to a frame painter in Worcester, MA — Toby Stanton at Hot Tubes. Toby beadblasted some of the rust of it and condemned the frame as unrestorable. Seeing my sadness he handed me a used LeMond frame from the Saturn Racing Team (a pro team he used to coach). It was the bike ridden by Viktor Rapinski (now on the Swiss Phonak Team). You can’t imagine my delight to have a "celebrity bike."

Now if I only had the sunny clime to ride it in, and the cycling buddies to make it a power ride.

Newspapers Offer a Case for Keeping Them Around – New York Times

Newspapers Offer a Case for Keeping Them Around – New York Times

"Donald E. Graham, the chairman and chief executive of the Washington Post Company, said in a keynote address that the decline in print circulation and the growing migration of paid classified advertising to free Web sites like Craigslist are major problems facing the industry. "If Internet advertising revenues don’t continue to grow, I think the future of the newspaper industry will be very challenging," Mr. Graham said, adding that "Web ads work very, very well." But whether Internet ads are effective or not, L. Gordon Crovitz, the president of Dow Jones’s electronic publishing division, complained that current online ad rates are too low, saying advertisers have never before been able to reach a captive audience all day long with advertising messages. "This to me is the biggest issue," Mr. Crovitz said. "I don’t think any publisher has been getting fair value from advertisers." He added, "I think the challenge for all of us, and we take on this responsibility, is to do the hard work that’s necessary to keep informing advertisers of the value of online advertising."

 

Woo-hoo. You tell ’em boys, Mad. Ave. needs to get off of online discount mindset and start getting whacked with some rate increases. Nothing like sold out inventory and a messy print world to drive up CPMs.