An hour with Ross Mayfield, wiki pioneer

I’ve gotten around to a lot of Wiki companies lately. The market for them is white hot. One of my interviewees, Wikia, just got funded by Amazon. Another, JotSpot, got bought by Google.

So, to wrap up the group of Wiki interviews, I went to Ross Mayfield, founder of SocialText, which is the first company that I saw try to make a business out of wikis. We spend an hour talking about a bunch of things.

Other wiki-oriented interviews I’ve done:

Atlassian
JotSpot
Wikia

Twitter — hot service in SF, New York, and now London

Sam Sethi (of UK TechCrunch) had a breakfast last week in London. What did we all talk about? Twitter. Seems it was the topic of conversation on LunchMeet too!

My problem with Twitter? I keep forgetting to do it. Evan Williams, founder of the company that did Twitter, sent me email telling me that there’s a setting that’ll turn on a reminder. Oh, that’s what I need. More reminders that I’m behind. I just need to look at my inbox to remember that!

But, I do love Twitter for some reason. I can log in there and see what all my friends say they are doing.

UPDATE: Evan Williams, one of the co-founders of the company that made Blogger, is in this video.

Yahoo reorgs

Ahh, I see Yahoo has reorged while I flew home. It’s all over TechMeme. My analysis? Yahoo’s struggling to figure out how to monetize its users. I feel for them. Google disrupted Yahoo by going with text-ads and turning down the billions in banner advertising that was out there. Yahoo, like Microsoft, is struggling to deal with that disruption.

Trick is, I’m willing to click on blue-underlined content. Steve Broback noted this way back in 2000 when I still worked at Fawcette. The world hasn’t changed since then. I filter banner ads out. I don’t even see them. I certainly don’t take action based on them. Little blue underlined text? Much better cause it gets you to click. To take action. And they are easier to put next to content that makes sense.

Yahoo has two things going for it. 1) Audience. I watch how people use computers and they still go to Yahoo. A lot. 2) Brand. They have new hot brands like Flickr and Del.icio.us along with big old brands like Yahoo itself.

I wonder, though, if it’s too late to give up banners and go text-ads ala Google style? It probably is for Yahoo. And the hottest advertising market in 2007 are going to be in video and mapping. Both places that Yahoo isn’t really known for.

Translation: they might be reorging the chairs on the deck, but fundamentally Yahoo isn’t making the kinds of Google-stopping moves it needs to make.

Photojournalism on decline? Not so fast…

Dan Gillmor says professional photojournalism is on decline.

I think he’s missing the forest for the tree that’s getting cut down.

I know a photographer who is making $2,000 per month from advertising on his blog. That “job” didn’t exist a year ago.

I look at Flickr and see that tons of photojournalism is being done — and being done better than most of the “pros” I used to know did it. Some of those “Flickr-fabulous” photographers are building sizeable brands and are going to soon be sponsorable properties all by themselves. My Photowalking series is the most talked about videos on the ScobleShow.

I heard last week that Canon and Nikon are reporting that digital SLR sales are higher than they were expecting.

Speaking of all this. We’re going to have an open Photowalking. December 27th. 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. At Sacramento’s Train Museum.

I’m getting Seagate to give us some prizes and goodies (more on that later) and we’ll have a lot of fun. Thomas Hawk will be there. We’re inviting a few other “Flickr-fabulous” photographers too.

Why do this? Cause neither Thomas nor Heather Champ (one of the co-founders of JPG magazine) had ever been to the train museum, which is the largest in the world (and offers TONS of great photo opportunities).

First tip? Bring a tripod. It’s dark in many places in the museum.

Speaking of JPG magazine. Have you seen it yet? It’s freaking awesome. That’s another thing that didn’t exist for photographers two years ago.

So, yes, Dan Gillmor is right. A tree in the forest is going away. Getting cut down. But, watch for new trees sprouting up thanks to good digital SLRs and a new kind of “pro” photographer who is using photography to build new kinds of photojournalism businesses.