We just started reading, and are totally glued to Linked: The New Science of Networks by Albert-László Barabási and Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution by Howard Rheingold. Also see the Smart Mobs weblog, and review in Seattle Times.
We are continually impressed with posts coming out of Adrian Holovaty’s weblog. He has an acute ability to define the challenges facing online news design, and has the capacity to present viable solutions. Recent evidence: Separating photos and captions at ABCNEWS.com, Pull quotes on web pages and Page titles on news articles.
Articles of interest
eBay’s Bid for Success The democratic idea is the core principle of eBay: “Big companies do sell on eBay. And they find it to be a very cost-effective distribution channel. But they sell on the same terms as you, an individual, would sell.” Later in the article: “Our business model is to connect buyers and sellers. And so ultimately our buyers and sellers may do more economic activity than a Walmart. But it is not one group of people deciding what to buy. It is the power of many sellers.” Man, does eBay get it or what? (CBS.com)
Interview with Sandee LaMotte, WebMD Q: What role do communities play in WebMD’s business strategy? A: Members are “royalty” at WebMD. (Online Community Report)
Slashdot interview with Dan Gillmor While this is a repeat of his mantra, Dan can’t say this stuff enough: “One of the great changes in my business has been the result of technology. I assume that my readers know more than I do. I also think that’s a great opportunity, not a threat to my journalism. When we’re in this together, we get better results. It’ll be interesting to see how tomorrow’s audience and journalists handle this evolution. My sense is that the combination of traditional journalism, tech-savvy reporters, weblogs, etc., will lead to a wider understanding of the issues.”
The Blog Realm: RSS, Aggregators, and Reading the Blog Fantastic: “For those who like to skim many of these frequently updated sources, a better approach is to find something that summarizes the new content, presents it in a compact format, combines multiple sources in one interface, and provides links to the full content to make it easy to pick and choose which new articles to read.” (Online Magazine)
The art of the blog “I see that online news organizations have recently turned not to “yet-another-columnist” for provocative comments but to bloggers whose personalities and passions are natural eyeballs attractants.” (Computer User)
What’s Wrong With The American News Media? “The dishonesty, hypocrisy and arrogance that is prevalent throughout America’s news media poses a serious danger to our country’s future.” We happen to agree with JD’s commentary, that this piece is a bit over the top, and lacks foundation. However, it’s worth considering that many do share the author’s sentiment. (Cybercast News Service)
Blog to Court: Check Your Facts: A great example of weblogs acting in a fact-checking, verifying role. (Wired)
Online Message Boards: An Enterprise Powerhouse: “Once no-frills tools that enabled a few like-minded souls to exchange ideas, today’s bulletin boards host millions of participants, offer a wide range of configuration options, and have both commercial and noncommercial uses.” A good overview of the current state of forum service providers. (Newsfactor)