Daily Archives: July 15, 2007

Wall Street Journal gets blogging history wrong

Mike Arrington is right, (so is Duncan Riley) the Wall Street Journal got blogging’s history wrong. Dave Winer had a blog long before Jorn Barger started blogging or came up with the name “blog.” In fact, if I remember my history right Jorn was using software developed by Dave Winer to do his blog.

Dave Winer was certainly at the center of the kind of blogging I was involved in. It’s sad that so many journalists get the history wrong. It’s also amazing that very few (I don’t see evidence that ANY were interviewed, actually) of the pre-2001 bloggers were interviewed for this article.

I thought mainstream journalists were supposed to get it right and leave the inaccuracies and all that to us bloggers…

If only I got $1 for each Google Reader opened…

I just looked at the new Google Reader app in Facebook. Since I went to sleep at 4 a.m. hundreds of people have added that app to their Facebook home page (and thats just in the ScobleFriend network). The Appaholic stats are pretty interesting to look at too.

I should have made a deal with Eric Schmidt to get a buck for each Google Reader account that’s opened. Heck, the Mozilla Foundation is going to rake in about $100 million this year alone from its deal with Firefox.

But, no, I do this cause I love it and not cause I’m getting any financial renumeration. That said, next time Matt Cutts and I go out for dinner, he’s paying! :-)

The AOL question as applied to Facebook

James Robertson asks an interesting question: “why was AOL looked down on, and Facebook is admired? Is it as simple as “all the cool kids like Facebook” ?”

First of all, most of the “cool kids” are over on Pownce, if truth be told.

But the business people are moving into Facebook very quickly.

Second, Facebook is no AOL.

Facebook is a Web app. THAT alone is a HUGE difference between AOL. I don’t need additional software, or to pay fees to get into Facebook.

It doesn’t work differently than my current Web does. Back when I joined AOL, in the late 1980s, it looked and worked COMPLETELY DIFFERENTLY from Prodigy which worked completely differently from the BBS systems my friends ran.

AOL isn’t a walled garden. It’s something else.

Facebook is a data roach motel. Your data goes in, but it rarely leaves.

Heck, last night I was trying to use Anagram to see if I could easily save contact info from Facebook into Outlook. It wasn’t working. Turns out that it’s very hard to get data OUT of Facebook. (Anagram is a cool utility to grab emails, Web addresses, and other info off of emails and Web pages and add them to Outlook’s contact manager).

Look at how that cool new Google Reader app works inside Facebook. Data comes in, but it doesn’t leave.

That leads me to why Facebook is cool and AOL wasn’t. Facebook is somewhat open where AOL wasn’t open at all. Facebook is evolving rapidly because they opened up to third-party developers where AOL didn’t open up to third-party developers.

But it does have a little bit to do with the fact that I could kick idiots off of my Facebook experience at any time. I couldn’t do that with AOL and that’s what got it derided.

Google Reader + Facebook Application = Digg killer?

Mario Romero has built something very interesting that’s getting more interesting all the time.

If I weren’t on Facebook and didn’t have his Google Reader application plugged into Facebook I would totally have missed it.

If you come and visit my Facebook Profile page (which is what we call a home page in Facebook land) you’ll see that I have a Google Reader component on that page with the latest headlines from my link blog. That’s Mario’s code that’s doing that.

But if you just stopped there you’d be missing what Mario just turned on.

Add that component to your own Facebook Profile and hook it up to YOUR OWN Google Reader shared page (I call it a link blog, but Google calls them “Shared Items.”).

If you do, you’ll see a page that lets you see your shared items, your friends’ shared items, and top shared items.

Wait a second, top shared items?

Yeah! But only from other Facebookers. It shows you top items for the past 12 hours, or 24 hours, or 48 hours, or the past week. And it shows how many times each item was shared.

This is the beginning of something really killer. It’s something I wanted Google to do — Google could put out a Digg-style killer that’d be a lot harder to game. Admittedly this isn’t to the level of a Digg killer yet, but it is gathering steam at a very rapid pace. There’s a lot of smart people using Google Reader — Eric Auchard at Reuters is on the list, for instance. That’ll lead to a lot better news than Digg picks on an average day.

It’s not finished, yet. I wish he’d let me click on the results and see WHO linked to each item. But this has already brought me some new blogs I didn’t know about.

The “Your Friend’s Shared Items” is already becoming a great directory of other people’s Google Reader’s Shared Items. More than 220 of my almost 3,000 friends already have added Mario’s Facebook application to their profile. Imagine the data if everyone started doing a shared feed from Google Reader and added Mario’s app to their profile!

Anyway, I’m already in love with this app, developed in Mexico by Mario. It demonstrates that a new kind of app is possible when you mix RSS into Facebook’s platform. Thanks! Oh, and it works and hasn’t failed since I added it a couple of weeks ago. Can’t wait to see what Mario does next.

Hey, Roi Carthy, do you get the power of “we are media” yet? This is just the tip of the iceberg that’s coming at us.

UPDATE: Mario just sent me a message on Facebook and said that even more features are coming in the next day or two.