Archives for 2006


The Official Google Blog is NOT a Blog


The definition of “googol” is a number, and Google lives by numbers. So how else should we look back over the year but with numerical bits?”

That’s the opening line of A year in Google blogging, then it lists the number of posts, products unveiled, acquisitions ..etc.  There is one number remarkably missing: the number of comments.  I wanted to ask about this in a comment, but I couldn’t.   The Google Blog does not allow commenting. smile_sad.

They claim they love feedback: but the only way to leave feedback is by emailing them.  Hm, not much of “love” here, if you ask me.

Whatever happened to “conversation”?

I’m sorry, Google, you have Blogger, but until you open up commenting, you don’t have a Google Blog

Update #1:  Scoble is right, Matt Cutts does a better job for Google PR than this…

Update #2:  Mike at TechCrunch agrees, in fact he’s running a poll on the issue – worth checking a little later.

Update #3: The TechCrunch post drew a lot of attention to the subject, all of a sudden.  Quite a few commenters don’t feel comments are necessary – and ironically they make that observation in … yes, that’s right, comments.  In the meantime I re-read the Google post, and found this towards the end:

“And before long, perhaps you can begin leaving comments directly. We’re working on that.”

Hm.. that makes me feel a bit silly … am I pounding the table for something Google has already agreed to? I don’t remember having read this originally, but it could very well have been my mistake.  A quick check on Google cache finds a more explicit statement:

“Meanwhile, we really appreciate your interest and feedback, now visible through “Links to this post.” We know some of you would like to offer comments directly, and we would like that too, when we can add resources to the blog crew.

 The cached version is time-stamped 5:18pm, while the current blog post has 4:23pm, so the earlier version appears to be live … go figure In the end, it really does not matter, what’s important is that the Googlers agree to bring the conversation on.

[Update to the update:  I was blind, sorry. The cached version is from the end of 2005.  Thanks to Ionut for pointing this out.  It’s pretty sad though… if commenting was already on the agenda in Dec 2005, and it still is, it tells us just how seriously Google takes this “promise”. ]

And as for the lack of resources, well, perhaps the solution isn’t formally hiring more “blogging crew”, but embracing Matt Cutts’s idea:

“- Each project at Google should monitor the blogosphere for issues. Reduce the disconnect to reduce the danger.

– Get more Googlers talking online. There will be some mistakes, but the conversations will be worth it.”

Blogging crew or not, let Googlers volunteer on the Google Blog.  I’m sure we’ll have a lively conversation.  

Update (01/02):  Amazingly this is the third day in a row this discussion  lives  on  TechMeme ….

Update (7/11/07)Fred Wilson brings the subject up again:

You can’t turn off the comments and have a truly interactive blog with a community. Comments are where it’s at in blogging. If I turned off comments, I’d quit blogging.

… A blog without comments is a one way medium. And that’s not as good as a conversation.

I couldn’t agree more.  Unfortunately we’re seeing examples of just the opposite, like Marc Andreessen whose otherwise excellent blog is now commentless, or Zooomr, who simply turned off comments to redirect the conversation to their internal groups. 



Typo Cost $600 and $8K Miles


German student wants to see his girlfriend in Sydney (of course the one in Australia) and finds himself on route to Sidney, Montana.  Unbelievable… read it on CNN.

Update (12/31)… Wow, I guess this is becoming the last “meme” of the year


I’ve just warned Ben Casnocha (comment) to make sure he does not end up in the wrong Boulder, and now I’m reading about Vinnie flying over Buda, TX.

Vinnie, what are you doing there?  You’re in the wrong Buda!

Here’s the real thing



Happy New Year! 


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The Annoying Netli Test

Is anyone else getting this junk all over their feed reader?  The WordPress test post is dated Oct 26th, but for the past two days it shows up randomly in just about any Attensa folder… I can’t keep up deleting it.


Update (2/5): Well, whatever it is, whoever they are, just got acquired. Congrat’s  ( I guess?). 



The Rush to the Z-list


Seth Godin set up a Z-list of marketing-related blogs with the idea of sending some traffic their way.  It did not quite work the way he expected:

Several bloggers worked hard to game the list I posted, instructing folks to vote other (worthy) blogs down. That’s sad.”

What a surprise.

smile_sarcastic  It somewhat reminds me of the fight that often goes on on reddit, where gangs of users downmod new posts only to keep theirs on top. (Hey, it’s only fair to pick on reddit, now that their owner, Wired picked on digg

smile_angry )   Another recent example is the 43 Best Blogs wiki, a social experiment that became quite a fight: people kept on deleting others and adding themselves several months later…

Of course I am in a convenient position, being a  life-long  Z-lister


Update (12/30):   Steve Rubel’s New Year Resolution is to highlight new voices. So.. is that the … R-list?

And now I commit the despicable act of sucking up, sucking down, laterally ..etc, by linking to others posting on the subject:

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Yahoo Falling Behind – Literally

And I thought getting 3-4-day-old news was bad enough.  Naive me … today is serving up 3-week-old “news” from various sources:

According to  Yahoo the Fiji military coup just happened, Saddam probably has a few more weeks to live, and we won’t be ringing in 2007 for a few more weeks.

Or is this already the “2006 in retrospect” site? smile_baringteeth



RIAA Sues Russian Company for More then Entire Country’s GDP

A TechCrunch commenter pointed out that the amount the RIAA sued Russia-based AllofMP3, $1.65 trillion (!) is actually more than Russia’s GDP.    Isn’t that outrageous?



ProfileLinker – Just the Opposite of What I Need

ProfileLinker is a new service profiled on TechCrunch today:

“ProfileLinker wants to aggregate your social networking experience….You tell ProfileLinker your site credentials and it pulls your bio, friends and other information from those sites and centralizes it. You then use ProfileLinker to manage your activity on those networks: aggregate and manage multiple social profiles; discover new social networks and communities of interest within social networks; and receive notification of messages and friend requests from multiple networks.”

I am probably not the right target customer for ProfileLinker, I admit I don’t even have a MySpace of Facebook profile.  But I do have one on LinkedIn, and was invited to several networks whose function I’d find useful, except that I won’t take the time to create a profile from scratch again and again.  What I (and I suspect most networkers) badly need is a way to leverage the already existing profile and network (friends) information on other sites – probably by using a “central depository” of such information.

Who cares about ProfileLinker, give me ProfileCentral!



PayPal Virtual Card: Useful, Secure – Yes; Innovative – No

PayPal is inviting selected users to test their virtual debit card program.

“The virtual number is a MasterCard number used in place of your credit or debit card number. Each time you make a purchase from a website, a new number is generated. This avoids the problem of having the number stolen. Since it’s only good for one use, it doesn’t matter if someone steals it.

It certainly make sense, but I find it funny that it’s beeing heralded as new.  Like I’ve said before, “I only ever use throwaway, virtual credit card numbers on the Net, so scammers can bill all they want, they can’t charge my card” – that’s a service by CitiBank, and I’ve been enjoying it for at least five years. 

That said, it’s still a significant move, I’m sure PayPal will reach more tech-friendly users than Citi does.  So Markus Frind may be right:

If there is uptake on this it will really change online commerce.



Microsoft Handing Out Ferraris

Microsoft is sending Acer Ferraris loaded with Vista to selected bloggers.

I’m trying to decode the hidden message here: I guess Microsoft would like us to think that with Vista we’ll get the performance of a Ferrari…

That’s not the first thought that comes to my mind though… try this: despite the underrated system requirements, you’ll need at least a Ferrari for VIsta to even chug along. smile_eyeroll



Happy Holidays

on second thought … MERRY CHRISTMAS!