Saturday, July 25, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
JD Rucker aka 0boy has uncovered the story and Mashable confirmed it: Digg's URL shortener 'diggbar' - which shortened web addresses and put a digg iframe on top of their pages - is now redirecting visitors to the digg.com site instead of the destination URL that was initially shortened, once the story is posted as a digg submission that can be voted on.
This isn't exactly the end of the world, but it wasn't previously like this for users. It's being used by a bunch of 3rd party twitter clients & sites as a regular utility URL shortener- not just a digg traffic engine. The appearance is that digg got people using their shortener for its own sake, and then changed how it functions to better benefit them after the fact. In a word: Sneaky.
The bottom line is the only reason to use Digg.com to shorten a link is if you're submitting the story to digg.com and want it to be voted on. Period. If you need a vanilla URL shortner, Digg (or any social network, really) probably isn't the one that you want to use.
Going forward, I'm using Bit.ly almost exclusively. I'm doing this mainly because it's not the domain of a social network's service, and because it doesn't have a toolbar that wraps the page in a frame we all know annoys at least 50% of the people who click thru. Bit.ly, as far as can be told, just wants the analytics and metadata (and shares most of it -for now, anyway- which is sweet)
You don't even need an account to shorten a link with bit.ly, but if you sign up for one, it saves all your URLs on public page like bookmarks but with the aforementioned yummy click and conversation data.
Any bit.ly link then shared on twitter or elsewhere can be looked into further by placing /info/ in between the bit.ly/ and /xxxx hashstring portion of characters in the URL (e.g. http://bit.ly/info/1RPfXx)
Back on their site, They've got a search that's a nice way to look at what links are being shared across twitter. You can use a twitter username as a search operator along with words like " listening to: " (or 'reading,' 'must read' etc.) You can subscribe to your recent bit.ly 'bits' as an RSS feed too.
It's like I've been saying to friends, bit.ly is the new del.icio.us
Update: Here's a screen grab I took that shows off the bitly sidebar for sharing your links:
If you want to try this service out, go to a web page you'd like to shorten the URL for (this one even, ;), and in the address bar of your browser, type ' bit.ly/ ' before the ' http:// ' and hit return. The link's right there for you to copy and paste and much more.
(I have no material interest, financial -or -otherwise in Bit.Ly I just think the service is good. This stunt by digg makes all URL shortners look bad. I don't think bit.ly and some other's are.)
Friday, July 17, 2009
Brass tacks: Can Microsoft hurt Google more in search advertising than Google can hurt Microsoft in selling software?
Sunday, July 12, 2009
But this isn't the first time technology like this has 'shrunk the world' and shone a light in dark places- In 1991 the news of Soviet coup d'état attempt was carried over IRC despite a media blackout in the country. Reports from the first Iraq war were carried over its channels as well.
And IRC is as old as the hills. In spite of that, It's always allowed for realtime group conversation -or- private one-to-one dialog. You don't need to create an account, big personal network, or audience of followers to start-up and jump into a conversation. You can monitor channels of topics and come and go as you please. It's a pretty damn efficient twitter, way before Twitter (and cell phones, text messages, even AIM for that matter)
What Twitter's done to the individual messages of SMS (and by extension, chat & IRC) is marry them to hosted nature of the world web web. Individual statements in 140 characters, published as html documents; those documents aggregated into user profiles & feeds.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Search by voice lets you find what you’re looking for, hands-free. The built-in GPS knows your location. So when you say, “Pizza” you get back your closest pizza places first. Search by Voice also comes in handy to help find long or hard to spell words, like amphitheater.
Over 5,000 applications are available for Android - Contrast that with over 50,000 for the iphone, and it does seem pretty small. However over the long haul there should prove to be more applications available on Anrdoid devices than on Apple ones. Especially given that Andriod is open source and Apple is, well...Apple. Say's Andy:
With Android, there can be 1,000s of different products built, and the magic here is that all those products can be compatible and all of them can be hosted by the same [application] marketplace...it's in an earlier stage of adoption
Whether on the desktop, in the browser, or the mobile device - The Giants of computing technology want to control the way you interact with the digital word.
The take here on the Grid is that controlling the user experience is central to any company making software or interactive applications.
Google's revenue comes from advertising, but they are fundamentally a (web-based) software, or user experience company. Apple's revenue comes from selling hardware and devices, but they are fundamentally a software, or user experience company (the user experience company, many would argue). Even Facebook, Myspace, Digg etc are earning revenue from advertising, but if you stop and think about it, are fundamentally software, or more generally, user experience companies. (made valuable by virtue of facilitating electronic interaction for, and being a destination of multiple users)
Big bad old Microsoft, OTOH, still makes it's money selling software, but has to do web stuff & sell hardware in addition to that just to support and defend the legacy revenue stream.
The problem for a company like Microsoft is that software (like file storage & management, apps, etc) is going to eventually move to a web-centric, subscription based model.
The answer is ALL OF THE ABOVE. Ultimately the web is out in the cloud and on our local machines. It doesn't matter what the form factor is (pc, notebook, netbook, phone) or where the code running it lives.
If Google can control the experience it reinforces their other properties and future ones they roll out. It also paves the way for subscription based services, like file storage.
It's a multifaceted approach to be sure, from all players. At the end of the day, they all want the same thing: To control us, er...the user experience...and we let them, because they usually give us such cool toys to play with :)