If I Can't Have a Revenue Model, Then Neither Can You!

Here’s what I don’t understand.

People try so hard to couch the Web 2.0, blogosphere, etc. thing as a real business, but when a real business, with an actual revenue model, makes a smart and logical business decision to protect that revenue, a lot of those same people cry foul.

How in the world have we gotten to a place where eBay saying no to Google’s checkout service is lame, yet AOL giving away its services to broadband users is a good idea?

If you want to know why many real businesses don’t take the blogosphere seriously, this is Exhibit No. 1.

No right thinking business with the dominant market share eBay has would allow a competitor like Google, who is also rumored to be about to enter the auction market, to walk into its store and sell services to its customers.

The entire Web 2.0 movement and many desperate older web companies have climbed on the back of the ad dollar. Ad revenue simply cannot bear that burden for the long haul.

Sometimes I feel like the Web 2.0 groupthink is “if I can’t have a sustainable revenue model, then you can’t either!”

Pet Roll: Pet 1 (Pepsi)

As I mentioned the other day, I am really enjoying Doc’s series about his pets, so I’m going to do one too.


When I was born in 1960 my family had a white cat named Pepsi. I don’t remember him, but I have heard stories about him sleeping with me in my crib when I was a baby (so much for the stealing your breath thing). Maybe that’s part of the reason I have always liked cats.

My sister named Pepsi. She doesn’t remember how she came up with that name, but it’s a little ironic, since the south in general and my family in particular were loyal Coke drinkers.

When I was almost one, we moved to a new house a few miles away. Pepsi made the trip, but when he got loose, he would high tail it back to the old house and mom or dad would have to go fetch him.

Pepsi was later shot and killed by one of the members of a trouble-prone family that lived not too far from us. I didn’t know that until this past weekend when I asked my sister what happened to Pepsi.

I once walked down the steets of Bellaire, Texas with my shotgun looking for a dog that had earlier attacked my dog and scared my wife during a walk, but I can’t imagine shooting a dog or cat except in such an extreme circumstance. I don’t like people who are cruel to animals.

It’s probably a good thing I didn’t know about this until now.

I have vivid memories of the rest of my pets, which included dogs, cats, rabbits, ducks and a flying squirrel. More to come.

Amyloo suggests that we do an OPML directory, like this car roll. If I can figure out how to do that, I will.


Finding the Right Water Cooler: Credibility in the Blogosphere

Stephen Baker over at Blogspotting makes a very good point about the blogosphere and its credibility, or lack thereof.

Steven Streight commented to another post on Blogspotting, saying that the blogosphere is losing credibility. He compares the expanding blogosphere to the over-expansion of radio and TV stations that led to a decline in the quality of content.


To an extent, I agree with that analysis. I get well over a hundred stations via DirecTV, but there are close to a hundred that don’t interest me at all. I probably do 85% of my watching on 10% of the channels. While I don’t listen to traditional radio anymore because of the ads, I only listen to around 10 of the 100+ XM Radio channels. The rest of those channels and stations either don’t interest me or, in some cases, annoy me.

But just because I don’t listen to the other channels doesn’t mean they have no value. It just means that they attract a different audience. My kids barely tolerate my TV shows and have a limited tolerance for my music. They like some of those channels and stations I would never watch on my own.

I think watching people play poker on TV is about the most ludicrous thing I have ever heard of, but since there are 80-90 poker shows on at any given time, a lot of people must like it. On the other hand, I find Survivor to be compelling television, but many people look down their noses at any sort of reality TV.

Different strokes and all that.

It’s the same with blogs. While I tend to agree with Steven’s description of MySpace as the toilet of the blogosphere, I also know there are millions of young people who love MySpace but would find my blog to be the cyber equivalent of watching paint dry. Or even worse, watching golf on TV.

The blogosphere is merely an extension and expansion of the water cooler and dinner table conversations that are held all the time in all sorts of places. Some of those conversations would bore me to death. Others I would find very interesting. But my circle of interest is not the benchmark for worth- either for the water cooler or the blogosphere.

Saying that the blogosphere is losing credibility is like saying the spoken or written word is losing credibility. It’s not the medium that matters- it’s the person at the other end of it.

If somebody has opinions, mannerisms or agendas that bore me, I simply turn the channel or click away. I may doubt that person’s credibility, but I know that somewhere someone is saying, writing or blogging something that I would find more compelling.

I just have to find the right water cooler to fill my cup.

Stuck Inside of Blogger with the WordPress Blues Again

“Will my links lay in shambles
Where the inbound traffic comes
They all work perfectly now,
To change them seems so dumb
So here I sit impatiently
Just waiting for the day
When I can move to WordPress
Without my links going away
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end,
To be stuck inside of Blogger
With the WordPress blues again”

I continue to struggle with all of the things I’d like to do on this blog that are as impossible via Blogger as they seem simple via WordPress.

My files, etc. are hosted on my server, but I use Blogger to create and manage them. In many ways Blogger works fine, and I have created work-arounds for most of the stuff I want to do.

Except for the recent inbound links thing. I have not figured out a way to fully automate a the list of inbound links in the right column on the main Newsome.Org page. I currently handle this by tagging inbound links “inbound” via Delicious and then running my Delicious RSS feed through an RSS to HTML program and then including the resulting page in my main page via a server side include. That’s a lot of old school brain damage just to get a nicely formatted recent inbound links list.

And the hardest part is that I have to manually tag my inbound links, and when I forget, like I have the last month and a half, the task becomes insurmountable and a lot of links never make it to the list, since they will have rotated off at the same time they are added.

Whew. It was exhausting just to write that. Imagine living it.

I see inbound links lists all the time that seem automated and look nice. Steve Rubel has a nice list (though I want the link title and link only- without the excerpt) and Dave Sifry has exactly what I’m looking for (I spent some time trying to figure out how to create a Link Cosmos like Dave has, but I gave up when I got here). My way is hard, but not as hard as that looks.

As many of you know, I strongly considered moving to WordPress, but gave up in the face of the URL problem.

It just shouldn’t be this hard.

Scoble’s Senseless Tea Party

I don’t understand what Scoble is trying to prove by continuing to break Second Life‘s no-kids rule, this time from the podium at some conference.

All he managed to accomplish was to get himself kicked out of Second Life.

With all the issues and criticism surrounding MySpace and all of the problems that arise 100% of the time you mix children and grownups in online interaction, I would think Scoble would applaud Second Life’s attempt to actually do something meaningful to protect kids by creating a teens only version of Second Life. That may not be enough, but it is light years ahead of the meaningless jargon tossed out by MySpace in the name of doing as little as possible while placating the non-tech masses.

Scoble posted critically of the Second Life policy back in early May. I told him then why he was wrong and I feel the same way now.

Scoble admits he has been warned and that he saw this coming.

Here’s my question to Robert: Are you really saying that all parts of all of the net should be open to people of all ages? Surely you don’t believe that, and surely you aren’t suggesting that the application providers have no duty to at least try to make their services kid-safe?

I don’t really think Scoble’s doing his kid any good by publicly flaunting this rule, and I’m certain he’s not doing kids in general, many of whom have univolved parents, any good.

I just don’t get the point of this little tea party.