Web newspaper blog traffic triples in Dec: study

Web newspaper blog traffic triples in Dec: study – Yahoo! News

An interesting stat indicating the mainstreaming of blogs into the media stream. I wonder how many readers of newspaper blogs would identify them as blogs — or just more web content?

“The number of people reading Internet blogs on the top 10 U.S. newspaper sites more than tripled in December from a year ago and accounted for a larger percentage of overall traffic to those sites, according to data released on Wednesday.
Unique visitors to blog sites affiliated with the largest Internet newspapers rose to 3.8 million in December 2006 from 1.2 million viewers a year earlier, tracking firm Nielsen//NetRatings said.

U.S. news organizations are increasingly calling on their reporters and editors to write news blogs and compete with the expanding Internet format for informal analysis and opinion.”

When 10 Hours Is Not Enough To Appreciate True Awesomeness

Zen of Design»Blog Archive » When 10 Hours Is Not Enough To Appreciate True Awesomeness

I’ve been taken down at GigaGamez for slagging Second Life after a mere ten hours of usage. Guess I need to put in … what? …forty hours before I am permitted to ask questions about something being pushed on me. Guess twenty-five years as a tech journalist and countless software and online reviews don’t qualify me to express an opinion. Hey, at least I was frank in grading my “expertise” with the system as an F-minus. To follow the logic, I’m not permitted to say a meal sucks unless I’ve cooked the dish a certain number of times. Hey — like I said in my original critique: “your mileage may vary. Me: I don’t like it.”
Thanks to Damian Schubert for making my rebuttal for me at Zen of Design:

“James Wagner Au is incensed that people who have not played the game much are criticizing it. Which I suppose is would be a fair criticism, if it were true. But look at what he claims is not enough.Regarding proficiency with Second Life, [one reviewer] e-mailed back, “Mark me with an F. Make that an F minus.” He estimates his total visitations as ten hours or under, in which he more or less randomly explored a world the geographic size of an entire state, to form his assessment.

That’s right – 10 hours is not enough time to make an honest assessment of the Second Life experience. By comparison, my games rack is full of games that didn’t survive an HOUR of playtime. Electronic Arts (and most other companies) force their designers to obsess over the first FIVE MINUTES of gameplay, because most games don’t even survive THAT. Okay, someone reviewing the game should probably give it a tad more time than than but… 10 hours – not enough!”

I’ve wasted enough time on this topic as it is. I could return Mr. Wagner Au’s trashing with an in-kind slam at his methods and objectivity, but …. on to more important matters in my first life.

Why doesn’t Amtrak have wireless?

Just wondering. EVDO saves the day, but in general, wireless connectivity on the Amtrak like from Boston to NYC is terrible, with cell phone coverage spotty at best. But why can’t the train have a 802.1G signal?

Don’t get me going on the deplorable state of rail travel in the US. Two years of riding the Swiss train systems completely spoiled me to the possibilities.

Beautiful morning though, first true winter morning of the new year, with temperatures in the teens, but a bright orange sun flashing over Long Island Sound through the port-side windows of the Acela.

[update: four dropped calls on the train this morning. Yo, Sprint, build some towers along the tracks!]

The agony of Notes

My mission to get to a “zero inbox” is succeeding, with fewer than 100 emails sitting in my inbox this morning, and the hot ones being moved into one of four action folders. I have grown more merciless in deleting emails that have a questionable impact or “ask” of me. If I don’t have to reply, I don’t. If I don’t have to retain, I don’t. Delete is my friend.

But, I write to moan about the wrongness of Lotus Notes, the fact that it is the most isolated, stranded, proprietary, horrible email tool on the planet, one that offers its victims no options to migrate their calendars, their tasks, their contacts to a better alternative. Where do I want to be? Let’s start with the calendar — I want desperately to move to Google Calendar, Foldera or 30Boxes — but alas, the import/export functions of those tools don’t even acknowledge Notes, let alone support it. I am sure I could drop $75 on some third-party utility, but for now, Notes remains stuck to me like a low-level skin disease — always itchy, not quite disfiguring, a fact of life.

I know Notes is a favorite of IT administrators and I won’t slag it for that reason, but I wonder how many new hires have arrived at a new company only to discover, to their horror, that Notes is the central nervous system.

I first experienced the pain at McKinsey, where the firm depended on Notes like oxygen. Forbes was a cc:Mail shop — another Lotus product which had the weirdest icons on the planet. Then Forbes went to a strange off-brand Novell client — Groupwise — and life deteriorated until I figured out how to map the mail stream to Outlook.

I’d like to junk it all and move to POP3 run through GMAIL. But until the calendar coordination and scheduling tools get more sophisticated, Notes will remain my productivity psorasis.