Curtain Rasier on Zuckerberg’s 60 Minutes Interview

Beacon will be a "really good thing." In so many words, I agree. If…If…If…. PS – note to CBS, make the videos easy to embed, please……

Beacon will be a “really good thing.” In so many words, I agree. If…If…If….

PS – note to CBS, make the videos easy to embed, please…

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Computational Advertising

I think humans are required anytime you want to connect a brand with a person in any kind of meaningful way. But "computational advertising" is one way to optimize that connection, for sure. This talk by Yahoo's A. Broder does look interesting (via Greg). PS – Greg is starting…

I think humans are required anytime you want to connect a brand with a person in any kind of meaningful way. But “computational advertising” is one way to optimize that connection, for sure. This talk by Yahoo’s A. Broder does look interesting (via Greg).

PS – Greg is starting at MSFT next week. Great hire, and congrats Greg!

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It’s Time For Services on The Web to Compete On More Than Data

The recent kerscobuffle around data portability got me thinking out loud about what the value of a social network really is – and by extension, any service that might claim to have "lock in" around our personal data. For years now, a core (unresolved) issue in the Web 2…

The recent kerscobuffle around data portability got me thinking out loud about what the value of a social network really is – and by extension, any service that might claim to have “lock in” around our personal data.

For years now, a core (unresolved) issue in the Web 2 world has been data portability – with most of us – including me – arguing vaguely for the right to take our data where we want, when we want, without undue interference from the service that helped us aggregate it.

As the debate deepens, it seems there are two camps – first, the camp that says Facebook has either A. a right and/or B. an economic necessity to create a walled garden for our data. The second camp argues that Facebook – and any other walled garden – is A. Stupid or B. Greedy or C. Both.

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The “VRI”: Doc Wonders If Technology Can Help Us Talk With Companies

Doc notes my post on conversations and asks why we, as consumers, are not more empowered to control our conversations/interactions with businesses who have tons of information about us and our use of their products/services. I think what we need is something like an API. Let’s call it an…

Doc notes my post on conversations and asks why we, as consumers, are not more empowered to control our conversations/interactions with businesses who have tons of information about us and our use of their products/services.

I think what we need is something like an API. Let’s call it an VRI: Vendor Relationship Interface. Through it I could know, and see, what I’m getting from each vendor with which I “relate”. On top of that the dashboard could be built.

An interesting thing here is that I really don’t want to have a conversation of the literal kind with most of these companies, unless there’s a problem. I do want to relate with them, however. That is, I would like to request or arrange for services, pay bills and occasionally make suggestions or provide feedback. Most of that does not require wasting the time of another human being. A lot of that could be automated.

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CBS Video: Not In The Conversation

Close readers will notice a trend in 2008 here on Searchblog: I'll be posting stuff about conversations, and in particular how companies are doing when it comes to having conversations with their key constituents. You may recall my one of my seminal posts on this topic: From Pull To…

Close readers will notice a trend in 2008 here on Searchblog: I’ll be posting stuff about conversations, and in particular how companies are doing when it comes to having conversations with their key constituents. You may recall my one of my seminal posts on this topic: From Pull To Point, in which I urged the Wall St. Journal and the Economist to join what I called at that time “The Point To Economy.” I now call it “The Conversation Economy” and since I wrote that post, the NYT has joined, and it looks like the Journal may follow. But as this post from Poynter shows, CBS News ain’t even nearly there yet, and it’s particularly interesting, because it has to do with video, which I think is a key grammar in what I am starting to call the emerging Internet Creole. From the post:

CBS Sunday Morning may be the best news show on television. A couple of weeks ago, it carried a superb piece on the art of conversation — one that I wanted to send to a friend. So, logically, I went to CBSNews.com to look for it.

It’s not there. Or maybe it is — but I certainly couldn’t find it.

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An Idea About Language and The Internet

I'm reading a book as I prepare to start the real work on my next book. Called The Language Instinct, by Steven Pinker (wikipedia), I'm finding it a fascinating read, if at times a bit too happy with itself. However, I chose it carefully, as I've been developing my…

I’m reading a book as I prepare to start the real work on my next book. Called The Language Instinct, by Steven Pinker (wikipedia), I’m finding it a fascinating read, if at times a bit too happy with itself. However, I chose it carefully, as I’ve been developing my own theories about the interplay of language, conversation, and the future of the Internet.

I have a longer post in me about my first revelation upon reading this work, but it’ll take a full day to draft. However, for the record, it has to to with the idea of pidgin vs. creole, and the idea of search as pidgin, and the creole we all are creating, unawares, as we navigate the web.

Yeah, it’s that kind of a post.

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A Morning Lecture at Berkeley: Facebook, Time to Find the Value for the Individual

If you've read The Search, you know that my fascination with media and technology flowered while an undergraduate at UC Berkeley, in the Anthropology department. From my first real book related post on Searchblog: Back in the mid 80s I was an undergraduate in Cultural Antropology, and I had…

If you’ve read The Search, you know that my fascination with media and technology flowered while an undergraduate at UC Berkeley, in the Anthropology department. From my first real book related post on Searchblog:

Back in the mid 80s I was an undergraduate in Cultural Antropology, and I had a class – taught by the late Jim Deetz,which focused on the idea of material culture – basically, interpreting the artifacts of everyday life. It took the tools of archaeology – usually taught only in the context of civilizations long dead – and merged them with the tools of Cultural Anthropology, which interpreted living cultures. He encouraged us to see all things modified by man as expressions of culture, and therefore as keys to understanding culture itself. I began to see language, writing, and most everyday things in a new light – as reflecting the culture which created them, and fraught with all kinds of intent, contreversies, politics, relationships. It was a way to pick up current culture and hold it in your hand, make sense of it, read it.

At the same time I was making extra money beta testing some software on a brand spanking new Mac, vintage 1984. Anthropology and technology merged, and I became convinced that the Mac represented mankind’s most sophisticated and important artifact ever – a representation of the plastic mind made visible. (Yeah, college – exhaaaaale – wasn’t it great!).

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Grow Up?!

Indeed, grow up. But how? Why assume the only way to get paid is to charge directly? Why not assume a creator can be paid by inviting in companies who are willing to pay the freight so an audience or community can have the experience in the first place?…

Indeed, grow up. But how? Why assume the only way to get paid is to charge directly? Why not assume a creator can be paid by inviting in companies who are willing to pay the freight so an audience or community can have the experience in the first place? And how can one claim that an honest marketer, who wants to underwrite an extraordinary voice, is somehow not helping to create the experience, a patron of sorts, by its economic support allowing a creator to connect with his or her audience?

It’s immature, indeed, to assume there is only one way to get a creator paid. I can’t agree more with what Jaron writes in this Times Op Ed: “We could design information systems so that people can pay for content — so that anyone has the chance of becoming a widely read author and yet can also be paid. Information could be universally accessible but on an affordable instead of an absolutely free basis.”

Darn right we can. And if I, or we, choose to make our content affordable by letting the right sponsors pay for it, sponsors who respect, value, and wish to support that content, how on earth is that model somehow presumably corrupt?

We’re not all the way there yet, and many mistakes remain to be made. But there is no one correct model. I’ve argued previously that we must take the friction out of paying directly for content. And there are really only a few players who can do that. Amazon is trying now with Kindle. But honestly, there are really only three players who have what you really need to make such a model happen. Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft. What do they have?

Come on, you know the answer…..search.

And even were Yahoo or Google to execute what I suggested back some 3300 or so posts ago, it will never obviate the idea of free content and communities sponsored by commercial interests. Why? Because we are all involved in commercial pursuits – it’s part of our culture. Having a conversation with those pursuits in ways that feed all parties, well, that’s what a (healthy) economy is all about.

Welcome to the conversation economy, Jaron!

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Customer Policy in the Age of Conversation

AT&T has a TOS for its customers which, implemented strictly, would be an indefensible limitation on freedom of speech (and would create a shitstorm for the company if enforced). I'm very interested to see how long it takes for AT&T to listen to the howling in the blogosphere, and…

AT&T has a TOS for its customers which, implemented strictly, would be an indefensible limitation on freedom of speech (and would create a shitstorm for the company if enforced). I’m very interested to see how long it takes for AT&T to listen to the howling in the blogosphere, and revise that TOS. My take: Companies who don’t listen, respond, and iterate are doomed to fail in the conversation economy.

The language:

5.1 Suspension/Termination. Your Service may be suspended or terminated if your payment is past due and such condition continues un-remedied for thirty (30) days. In addition, AT&T may immediately terminate or suspend all or a portion of your Service, any Member ID, electronic mail address, IP address, Universal Resource Locator or domain name used by you, without notice, for conduct that AT&T believes (a) violates the Acceptable Use Policy; (b) constitutes a violation of any law, regulation or tariff (including, without limitation, copyright and intellectual property laws) or a violation of these TOS, or any applicable policies or guidelines, or (c) tends to damage the name or reputation of AT&T, or its parents, affiliates and subsidiaries.

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