December 2006
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Month December 2006

Think Again: The New, New, New Journalism

Think Again: The New, New, New Journalism Yet another significant, but so far largely unsung development in the marriage of the blogosphere and MSM can be found in David Bennahum’s Center for Independent Media. The Washington, D.C. nonprofit launched two sites this past summer, ColoradoConfidential.com and MinnesotaMonitor.com—both of which are staffed by, get this, investigative bloggers.

CIM project gets some press (note I am a director at CIM).    The project is seeking to redefine grassroots, political, journalism and as the article outlines we had a great year in 2006..

Gmail Just Got Perfect?

"Techcrunch » Blog Archive » Uh Oh, Gmail Just Got Perfect Google quietly added a small feature to Gmail this week called Mail Fetcher. When that feature launched, Gmail became perfect."

gmail perfect? not yet — all too often I find that Google's religion often gets in the way of it becoming a great service.    Google's world view is defined by and through the lens of search.   This drives features that are sometimes bent (no folders, only labels, pray tell whats the difference, metaphors are important, no need to bend them), features that are sorely lacking (eg: IMAP, in search centric world where everything lives in the cloud no one needs to sync with clients or devices, why bother with IMAP?  Or is it because IMAP will break the conversations feature, or because it will give users a path around the ad's?), and features which are good but not great (like the conversations feature, that every so often mis-files a mail and suddenly mail is a mess) and a data / privacy policy that serves search not the users.  Last, in a world where there is a rich set of tools emerging for client based email (eg: here , or here , or there ), wouldnt some API"s make sense in gmail?

There is so much head room for improvement in mail – gmail made some great strides forward, but perfect, not yet, and not for most of the world, at least thats what the data suggest.   Last time I saw usage data for web mail based services, in the US, Yahoo was the leader with 40+% share, gmail had less than 3% share — i often hear that internationally gmail is meant to be way ahead, but I recently saw a piece on market share in India of web mail services and gmail has 5% share, yahoo, reddif and hotmail have most of the rest of the market.  Alpha geeks seem to gloss over this data with the assumption that its only a question of time, and the rest of the world will figure it out.   Two and half years after the launch of gmail the rest of the world still hasnt figured it out — and btw, in the quest to follow google, no one seems to talk much about myspace's  20% domestic share of email, the Newscorp UK / google deal is interesting for that reason and some.   

How smart is your network?

I have spent a week getting a pots number to call forward to another number. I set it up on verizon.com, took 4 days to complete the order, once it was done the number no longer worked. I called and after 25 mins on hold I got to a very perky tech representative — he checked it out, said it was setup wrong through the system. He went and made some adjustments — I swear I heard wheels turning in the engine room — another 15 mins later we were done. With the caveat that I need to call again nxt week to set it to ring straight through (right now its on 4 rings and then it will forward, and only the business office can change that rule).

Vonage, grandcentral, skype, pick your voip — this take less than 3 mins. to update. Hmmm that sure is one smart network.