Monday, October 25, 2004

good article on open access

Open for Business: Why Open Access is Good for Business and Science Publications

By Janice McCallum

From Shorelines newsletter


25 October 2004


“Many B2B and STM publishers have been struggling to find the right model for distributing their content as they confront pressures that are pushing them towards opening their databases to Web and enterprise search engines. These publishers are seeking the right balance between maximizing the reach and influence of their publications while maintaining the ability to provide - and to be compensated for - premium features for their core readers. If anyone doubts if there are successful business models in an open access environment, they need only look at Google, whose share price has more than doubled since it went public. B2B and STM publishers cannot be Googles, but they can leverage the openness that user-empowering technologies provide to create richer revenue models.”

Read the full news analysis





WSJ giving up on subscriptions?

Thanks to alert from!+Wall+Street+Journal+gives+away+Web+content/2100-1025_3-5423054.html

Extra! Wall Street Journal gives away Web content

By Stefanie Olsen

Story last modified October 22, 2004, 1:31 PM PDT

The Wall Street Journal Online, a bastion of subscription-only news on the Web, has begun giving away some content.

In recent months, the business news outfit has been sending nightly e-mail to bloggers, or online diarists, to offer up several daily stories free so that they can point to or link to them from their Web pages. And on Nov. 8, the company plans to remove its paid wall altogether for five days, for the first time in 7 years, according to the company.

For complete story go here:!+Wall+Street+Journal+gives+away+Web+content/2100-1025_3-5423054.html


Amazon adding community features - shared photos

Friday, October 22, 2004

Amazing list of weblog tools

Thanks to John Maloney of the Knowledge Management Cluster (KMCluster) for pointing me to this list.


WebLogs Compendium


Take a look at Xoops.  Appears to be open source.



Thursday, October 21, 2004


Political Friendster

The site is a total clone of Friendster which in itself is pretty funny.


New York Times

Political Dot-to-Dot


Published: October 21, 2004


Here's a Web site born not out of suffering from broken bones or passion for watches, but of homework. For an art class last semester at Stanford University, Doug McCune was challenged to "do something that involved the election," he said. "It was as open-ended as that."


The social networking site Friendster was popular on campus at the time, and it inspired Mr. McCune. "I just had the idea that since it was such a familiar concept for kids my age that using that concept to apply to politics would strike a chord," he said.


For the rest of the article go here:




Wednesday, October 20, 2004

article: Evite takes on Zagat, RedHerring, 10/13/04

More social networking…


Evite takes on Zagat’s

The party-planning web site launches a bar and restaurant guide.

October 13, 2004, the free social-planning site, plans to announce Thursday the launch of an additional service which will feature bar and restaurant reviews powered by social networking.


This new feature will allow Evite users to make decisions based on personal recommendations from friends and colleagues about where to go and what to do, said Evite President John Foley. The service also will be stocked with 1 million reviews of bars and restaurants provided by Evite’s sister site Citysearch - both sites are owned by IAC/InterActiveCorp in Los Angeles.


As Evite touted its refurbished site as a unique entry into the already crowded social networking space, industry insiders said it was no different from such sites as Zagat Survey, Yahoo!, Friendster, Tribe, and Meetup. Analysts also questioned the new site’s advertising-only business model, which has not yet proven to be a moneymaker for similar sites.

“In general, people are not going to use a web site for a typical dinner,” said Jeremy Stoppelman, CEO of, a social networking web site based in San Francisco. Mr. Stoppelman pointed to Yahoo! as a potential challenger for Evite because it has separate features for party planning and restaurant reviews. The only thing missing at Yahoo! is a connection between the two, he said.


That is Evite’s unique selling point, said Mr. Foley - there are no other web sites that offer similar services.


“It’s a totally new value proposition,” said Mr. Foley. “I follow the social networking players closely and I don’t know anyone who is going directly after what we are doing.”


For the rest of the article go here


Wikipedia users are defining politics - Bigger than Jesus

Wikipedia users are defining politics

Complete article here: Wiki wars

Red Herring


Wikipedia users are defining politics


When it comes to political trash-talking, there’s no finer place than the Internet. Leave it to the net-heads to duke out their differences in an online encyclopedia. allows users to easily edit encyclopedia entries on its interactive web site. Needless to say, “Bush” and “Kerry” are the two most edited entries on the entire site. The presidential hopefuls beat out both Jesus and Hitler as the most defined and redefined personages on the page. You too can change your definitional destiny in the world of wiki, but before you dive into definition editing, check out Red Herring’s Wiki wars.


Bigger than Jesus

Indeed, entries for Mr. Bush and Mr. Kerry have become the most contentious in the history of Wikipedia, said Wikipedia creator Jimmy Wales, president of the Wikipedia Foundation, which is based in St. Petersburg, Florida. Mr. Bush and Mr. Kerry have created even more debate than entries for sex and religion. As of October 8, Wikipedia’s President Bush entry had been tweaked 3,953 times. Its entry for Senator Kerry had been modified 3,230 times. By contrast, Wikipedia’s article on Jesus has only been edited 1,855 times since the site’s inception in 2001.



 Complete article here: Wiki wars












WSJ to open up all online content? (for a week....)

WSJ to open up all online content?  (for a week....)


From Rafat Ali’s amazingly informative daily newsletter


These two notes below link to the same story by Mark Glaser, very worth reading if you are interested in the topic of online content business models


But the question remains…what exactly is a viable business model for online content?  Clearly the walled-subscription and premium content business models are not working.

My notes on this subject are here: To Open Up Site For One Week: That's the news bit coming out of the OJR story (also linked below): will also open up the entire site for five days starting November 8. This comes after the site started opening up one story a day through RSS and Google News, for bloggers to link to... editor Bill Grueskin: "Between Google News and everything else, we had to decide how to open them up, and it's something I don't have the answer to yet."
[Oct.20, 04] | WSJ |

Open Season For News Sites: Mark Glaser round up some of the recent developments in online media industry: sites such as the BBC and are linking more outside their domains, and and are opening up more complimentary content in a nod to the "news conversation" online. Call it the blog effect, really...
Richard Deverell, head of BBC News Interactive: "I think Google News has been a shot across the bow of all news originators, making us say 'hold on, there's a different way of doing this.' It's very easy to flip between different sources of news. We either try to reverse that trend, which is likely futile, or we facilitate it, and I'm keen that we take the latter route."
[Oct.20, 04] | Newspapers |



Tuesday, October 19, 2004 buys social networking site

-- Buys Social Networking Site Metails:, the online retail site, has bought out a small Boston based social networking startup called


Thanks to for the alert…go here for more info:


I never even heard of this site…not that I could possible have heard of them all.  I wonder how many there are now?



Business Week article about revenue threats to content providers

Business Week article about revenue model threats to content providers due to shared registrations and mirroring


Why Web Publishers Fear a Little Sharing
Surfers are increasingly sharing passwords to gain access to online content, threatening ad revenue at registration-only sites


“…these community registration systems pose a problem for online publishers. To boost ad sales, many content providers require viewers to answer questions about their gender, age, and income level before allowing access to their site. With that information, they can tell their advertisers exactly what kind of demographic groups they would be reaching and then charge a premium to advertise to those readers.“

”Take away such registration, and the future of the $6.6 billion online advertising market begins to look fuzzy. Advertising typically accounts for 85% to 90% of an online content provider's revenues, so this has got to be troubling…”




“A growing chorus says the only credible response is to abandon online registrations in favor of registrations for premium services, such as message boards. "We use registration only where it makes sense to do so from a reader's perspective," explains Adrian Holovaty, lead developer of World Online, the Web division of The Lawrence Journal-World newspaper in Lawrence, Kan. "The classic example is on message boards and comment forms, where readers want to register so they can own the rights to their usernames -- and, thus, their online reputations." "




‘Net collaborators pose other dangers to publishers. Just in the last month, sites that completely copy a content providers' site have popped up. first posted in September copies, summaries, and links of stories that appear on, a popular tech message board. Then simply caches the stories to which Slashdot links., which runs its own ads with the stories as well as the original sites' ads, tallies the traffic for itself. And it all appears quite legal under current law, say experts.”




“On the upside for publishers, getting someone to read a news organization's "dumb story", as Haughley puts it, may be getting easier. But making a buck off of content may be getting a lot harder.”



These are just excerpts, to read the entire article, please go here:

Business Week article about revenue model threats to content providers due to shared registrations and mirroring

at the time of this posting, registration is not required J


Thanks to (a great daily newsletter) for alerting me to this article


My solution to this problem is called “SubscriptionPal”.




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Saturday, October 16, 2004

article - "Investors flock to Web Networking Sites", Wash Post, 10/13/04


Investors Flock to Web Networking Sites

By Michael Liedtke

The Associated Press
Wednesday, October 13, 2004; 7:05 AM

SAN FRANCISCO -- Internet whiz kids Marc Andreessen, Josh Kopelman and Joe Kraus share something in common besides reaping huge jackpots during the dot-com boom.

All three belong to LinkedIn, a rapidly growing online networking service whose ability to connect people with common friends and work interests helped persuade the trio to invest in the company before it even started to generate revenue.


"From Pull to Point: How to Save The Economist and The Journal from Irrelevance", John Battelle, 10/11/04

Topic is the power of deep linking thru blogs.

John Battelle is Visiting Professor, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, one of the co-founders of Wired magazine and the founder and former Chair of Standard Media International ("The Standard"), publisher of The Industry Standard and

He makes the same point that Adam Penenberg did in “Searching for the New York Times” (major media is becoming irrelevant because it can’t be found via links) but his emphasis is on blog links rather than search engine links.,1294,64110,00.html

I added a comment to his blog entry and linked to my description of SubscriptionPal.



From Pull to Point: How to Save The Economist and The Journal from Irrelevance

by John Battelle




The real issue is how paid registration is handled. I find, increasingly, that sites which wall themselves off are becoming irrelevant. Not because the writing or analysis is necessarily flawed (though honestly, I don't trust journalists who eschew the blogosphere), but rather because their business model is. In today's ecosystem of news, the greatest sin is to cut oneself off from the conversation. Both the Economist and the Journal have done that.


”So what is to be done? My suggestion is simple: Take the plunge and allow deep linking. Notice I did not say abandon paid registration, in fact, I support it. Publishers can let the bloggers link to any story they post, but limit further consumption of their site to paid subscribers.


“I'd be willing to wager that the benefit of allowing the blogosphere to link to you will more than make up for potential lost subscribers. First off, if you as a publisher do not offer additional paid subscription benefits beyond the articles themselves, you're not paying attention to your community. And in any case, many folks will pay to subscribe to a site which is continually being linked to. In fact, I'd wager that the landing pages from blog links might be the most lucrative place a publisher can capture new subscribers. It's a massive opportunity to convert: the reader has come to your site on the recommendation of a trusted source (the blog he or she is reading). It's pretty certain that if you make that page inviting, and use it as an opportunity to sell the reader on the value of the rest of your site, that that reader will eventually feel like the Journal is worthy of his or her support.


“Why? In short, if a reader finds him or herself pointed to the Journal on a regular basis, that reader knows that by subscribing to the Journal, he or she would be more in the know. After all, all of the blogs read and point to the Journal, the reader thinks, so perhaps I should read it too. Before subscribing, the only time a reader might find out something in the Journal is if someone points to it (a far sight from where things stand today, by the way). But if they subscribe, they can get their own RSS feeds, and be first to know something. And, in the end, isn't that what drives subscription sales?


“Net net, I think allowing deep linking will drive subscription sales, rather than attenuate them.”


RE: [webcommunities] Yelp - local recommendations thru friends



Wow, thanks for the great link to Slashdot which linked to the Register article which is excellent and links to some other interesting stuff.

Warning!!!!!  Social Networking Luddite opinions in those articles!!!!  Don’t say you weren’t warned and don’t go there if your toes will get burned.



From: Charles Jo []
Sent: Friday, October 15, 2004 11:20 PM
Subject: Re: [webcommunities] Yelp - local recommendations thru friends


Slashdot has a discussion on Yelp here:

My favorite comment from one of the readers is:

It's about time somebody saved me the hassle of having to hit that CC button, my efficiency is going to skyrocket now.

This one may be a tough sell unless they change their model. But out of curiosity, I may test it.

Best Regards,

Charles Jo
Silicon Valley 


Friday, October 15, 2004

article: Neopets gambling controversy

Article: Neopets gambling controversy


Posted by Zonk on Friday October 15, @10:05AM
from the neoaddicts-eh? dept.
Neopoet writes "Players of the online virtual pet game Neopets (claims 70 million pet owners worldwide) have gone nuts against an Australian current affairs show called Today Tonight after the show ran segments railing against the Neopets for introducing children to gambling. Click below to read on.

It started when McDonalds Australia included a Neopets plush toy with every kids' Happy Meal in Australia, directing kids to the Neopets website.

To "feed" their pets, Neopets players have to win points in a variety of mini-games, including versions of poker and blackjack. Australia has a high rate of gambling problems with poker machines ("pokies"), so when a mother discovered her nine-year-old playing online poker to feed his virtual pet, she approached Today Tonight claiming McDonalds was setting her son up for a life of gambling addiction.

TT aired the story Parents not McHappy over pokie toy and the Neopets message boards went nuts. Meanwhile McDonalds heavied Neopets into banning Australians from the gambling games. Today Tonight must have received a lot of hate mail because the next night came Neopet players fight McDonalds ban, featuring interviews with adult Neopets addicts. But this only increased the outrage on the Neopets boards - they're now trying to squash rumors of McDonalds withdrawing sponsorship altogether, and Neopets shutting down."


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Social Media & Social Software  | Web Communities | Online Content Business Models

Online Career Profiles & Social Networking | Software & Internet Product Mgmt & Marketing  | 408 867-8875 office | 408 828-1370 cell



Monday, October 04, 2004

my latest bio

I wrote this new bio for the upcoming Online Community Summit conference sponsored by the Online Community Report.

I have been creating, developing, and managing online communities since January 1995 when my co-founder and I launched GolfWeb, a that included a golf course database with reader reviews and a "find a playing partner" service. With a small group of engineers and product managers I added further capabilities including a classifieds section (1995) and the "GolfWeb Players Club" (July, 1997).

The GolfWeb Players Club was a purposeful community application for golfers to use improve their game. It was offered as a subscription service and consisted of a game tracking system (golfers entered their rounds and the community provided the tee lengths for each course), private and public groups (where members could compare themselves to others in 30 different ways), online searchable and browsable profiles (including a reputation system), "invite a friend", and other features which were unique at the time; now standard in successful online communities. GolfWeb was featured in Business Week as one of the "Best Products of the Year" in the January 1997 issue that covered 1996 (click on the image to make it larger). GolfWeb was acquired by CBS Sportsline in early 1998.

Using my experience at GolfWeb as a specific example, I spent the next year exploring the underlying principles of communities by researching sociology and speaking with the leading sociologists involved in online communities (most notable was/is Marc Smith). From that research I developed "The 12 Principles of Civilization", a framework for developing and analyzing online communities (this space is now also called "social software" or "social media").

In 1998 I founded RealCommunities, a software startup that transformed the "12 Principles" into a software platform. We had early success with 3 major customers, then the internet bubble burst and RealCommunities was acquired by Mongoose Technology.

For the last three years I have been consulting and, with colleagues, creating and managing various free services including the Software Product Marketing eGroup (a.k.a. ProfGuilds) and the ResumeBlog.

My areas of passion, expertise and experience are:

I am particularly interested in how my clients can tap into existing services such as blogs, groups, Amazon (lists, reviews, guides), eBay, Evite, social networking sites, etc. to achieve their online community goals -- either as prototypes or even as the final offerings. I look forward to discussing this and other topics with the rest of the attendees.

I invite all dog-lovers to visit the blog of Sam, my foster German Shepherd dog, who is seeking his forever home.