Microsoft swims with Razorfish

Friday, May 18, 2007
Microsoft’s aQuantive deal raises Razorfish questions
Being Peter Kim

The Forrester Research analyst takes in the news that Redmond will pay US$6 billion for the online advertising network.”What I see missing there is a reason for the company to keep the Razorfish part of the equation…an ad platform doesn’t need the capability to build Web sites and intranets.  Look for a spinoff in the near future where Microsoft recoups some of their investment and another holding company gains digital expertise,” he writes.

Google is creating a data arsenal

A recent update to the search engine’s Analytics service impresses Gil Zino, particularly when he sees the data about his own site. “Dialup users stay on the site for 4 seconds, and the cable modem users for over 5 minutes (although this has to be skewed by people with cable leaving NextBlitz up in a tab or a separate browser window for long time periods when they are not actually on the NextBlitz tab/window). Those are just two examples.  Google also tracks stats about user browsers, operating systems, flash versions, java support, where geographically they come from, and which sites they come from,” he writes. “And that’s just the data Google chooses to show me about my blog for “free” (in exchange for adding a script to my code to help Google get the data).  Really incredible to think about all the data (100s of terabytes?) that Google is mining and parsing, and what they could do with it (just about anything).”

Thursday, May 17, 2007
There’s a reason Microsoft has no fan base
A German software developer looks into the issues that the Windows maker faces in terms of hostility, even among its own installed base. “The organization did have a religion and strong supporters. Do you remember the days when when you have been recognized of truly beeing an expert even with your Microsoft t-shirt on? From these days on (I don’t know when) the support of the community has dropped significantly, simply because Microsoft was not able to keep it alive,” he writes. “A community is not a one-way road, the gainer has to give back and honor the community’s efforts. Microsoft has not had perceived the value of communities to create wealth. Wealth is what the organization gets from the community and a community willing to create wealth must be honored, otherwise its members will turn their back to it.”

Google Analytics is getting better
Confessions of an Infomaniac

An upgrade to a new version gets a great response from SEO Ellen Moore. “My biggest complaint with Google Analytics in the past was the difficulty finding the information I wanted easily. Well, the new customizable dashboard puts the information I want to know right at my fingertips. Navigation of the various reports is now a breeze,” she writes. “I can access a great deal of information now from the dashboard whereas in the past I had to go from report to report digging for the web stats I was interested in. The report sections have been renamed making it easier to navigate around all the information available to me.”

If you’re going to blog, have some fun with it

The founder and developer of has some advice for his fellow bloggers. “Why should we albatross this new, improved and dynamic medium by using it in such a provincial manner?  How many ‘me too’ posts do people really need to read about the latest Web 2.0 application?  One might be too many.  Hundreds are far too many.  It’s imitation to the point of irrelevancy,” he writes. “Many, if not most, bloggers have the potential to be so much more than that.  To be more interesting.  To have more fun.  But fun makes the earnest blogger uncomfortable.  This is serious stuff for him, and he believes that serious and fun just aren’t compatible.  It saddens me to see all this brainpower, potential and effort directed at something so…indistinguishable.”

Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Amazon can’t stop the music
David Card
The Jupiter Research analyst is intrigued by the online bookseller’s plan to offer its own digital music service. “Aside from lack of details, this is a big, big deal, and a critical entrant into the digital music space. Amazon knows how to sell music, what it sells will run on any PC or device — including iPods — without copying or burning restrictions, and it’s (presumably) laying down the law on DRM and formats,” he writes. “Of course its catalog will be crippled at least initially, and it will have a difficult time making money on $1 or thereabouts sales. However, Amazon’s a master of upselling, and has zero customer acquisition costs. It should do just as well as any other store, likely better.”

WordPress updates will become more regular
WordPress Development Blog

As the service rolls out version 2.2 with widgets and a blog importer, Matthew Mullenweg makes his thank-you speech. “We delayed a few weeks from our target date in April, but ended up under our original goal of a 4 month major release cycle. My thanks and congratulations to the entire WordPress community for pulling together and making that happen,” he writes. “It wasn’t without its bumps, but the things we learned along the way will make our next release in September even better. You can now look forward to a fast but stable schedule of new features and goodies several times a year from WordPress.”

I’m a BA, you’re a BA
Jonathan Babcock

A self-styled “process guru” examines his career prospects. “Analysts often find themselves working with senior-level stakeholders which doesn’t hurt for visibility – for better or for worse. BA’s often get a unique, cross divisional/departmental view of how the business works, and how technology ties in to the core business,” he writes. “In addition to the technical and business aptitudes, Business Analysts are well-positioned for growth within an organization due to the fact that their calling card is the ability to communicate effectively and establish relationships of trust.”

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

When blogs become legacy
The Idea Dude
ISPs may not think about it much, but eventually there may be blog sites long after the blogger is gone, Vernon Lun points out. “When we are born we are given a name we own forever, etched on our tombstones. We leave behind our diaries, photos and life artifacts to pass on generation after generation. But where will our blogs be when we are gone?” he wonders. “What will become of our ‘permanent record’? How should we preserve out blogs to be living memory? Ideas?”

Globalization pitfall: It’s gotta be bedtime somewhere

“Whenever you do business with people from a different time zone, make sure you know what time it is over there before you try any sort of real time communication,” writes Rico Mossesgeld. “The World Clock lists all the world’s major cities and their corresponding current times. It’s yet another example of the great tools freelancers can find online. Being sensitive of your clients’ timezones won’t only save you from embarrassment. It’s basic etiquette and is actually a requirement to maintaining a great relationship with your client. “That’s because no one likes waking up in the middle of the night, to deal with something as stressful as work.”

Is Joost must-see WebTV?

J. Matthew Saunders gives the fledgling service, which allows users to watch old TV shows, a try. “The video can be a bit stuttery even on a good broadband connection.  I personally have not had any meaningful chats–I’m not sure what added value it offers–in the chat space provided.  The “remote” appears whenever you move your mouse on the desktop obscuring the video.  It would be nice if there was a video size between the small and full screen versions–with the remote not sitting on top of the action.

Monday, May 14, 2007
Microsoft better watch the whole Linux patent thing
Pramit Singh comments on claims from Redmond that the Linux kernel violates 42 of its patents, among other pieces of open source software. “Sure it reads like a list of U.N. resolution violations by the ‘Axis of Good’. However, dear FOSS supporters, there is actually nothing to worry about,” he writes. “If the issue comes out in the open, the tireless open source programmers would soon get their hands on all the alleged infringements and hack around them. So, will Microsoft win against the ‘Axis of Good’? I think not.”

The good old days are over — long over — at IBM
I, Cringely

The PBS host defends himself after receiving flack over an earlier posting discussing possible massive layoffs at Big Blue. “IBM’s outsourcing business has been declining for the last several years. Through a succession of cost reductions they’ve been able to partially compensate for the lost profit. But this costing cutting has had a negative effect in that it has accelerated the loss of business,” he writes. “A few years ago IBM started its “On Demand” service offering, but On Demand has not been as successful as hoped. It certainly has not replaced the lost services business.”

Kubuntu still needs to work the kinks out
The Far Corner

A new Linux variation gets a test drive from B. Tocher. “The most notable thing is that, for me, Debian was easier to get up and running than Kubuntu, yet Kubuntu is supposed to be the easier of the two. For example, on Debian the music player Amarok plays .mp3 files straight after installation. With Ubuntu/Kubuntu, you need to perform some additional steps to get it working,” he writes. “So, no crazy clicking disk noise, and an easier setup. I’ll be sticking with Debian in the meantime, though I’ll probably try a couple of other distributions just to see what they have to offer.”

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