I recently came across the diagram below, which attempted to explain how feeds, blogs and various other parts of the content syndication process were interrelated. While this diagram was created to reflect the blog, feed and syndication situation in 2005, has that much really changed since then? Continue reading »
A while ago, I introduced a Google Custom Search box on this site that searched all the major knowledge management and technology sites. I’ve received a few messages asking me where that box went.
So you’ll be happy to know (admit it, you’re happy) that I’ve reintroduced Google Custom Search. The idea behind this search box is to extend search beyond Uncommon Knowledge to other KM- and technology-specific sites. The search box is at the top of the sidebar on every page (if you’re reading via RSS, please just visit the site).
Welcome to the February 26, 2007 edition of Business, Technology and Knowledge.
We’re featuring a post today fromÂ GameProducer.netÂ which tells us whyÂ 80 Percent of Companies Won’t Fail Within 5 Years (posted, of course, at Game Producer). The article points out that not all claims about business success and failure can be backed up by empirical evidence — and even the claims that do have legimitate research backing them can often be patently false.
Statistics are often misleading — andÂ one of theÂ most often-overlooked components of statistics is the definition people use for what they are talking about (OK, I don’t have any empirical evidence to back that up). In this case, if 80% of businesses were defined as ‘failures’ after 5 years, who exactly is definining what is a failure and what is a success? Failure is a very subjective word that has to be very precisely defined in order for the statistics to mean anything.
You can read the rest of the articles from this 6th edition of Business, Technology and Knowledge below.
We all hate spam — but if you’re like me, you also hate getting all those annoying messages from sites that you have actually signed up for.
Enter services like Guerilla Mail: a temporary email address that works for 15 minutes (you can extend the use of it for another 15 minutes by hitting a button if you need to). Other similar services exist, such as TempInbox and MailExpire (the nice thing about MailExpire is that you can specify the amount of time you want to use the disposable address for).
Most of the time however, we give up our real email addresses in order to get login information to sites. However, Bugmenot will allow you to get logins for various sites without requiring you to bother with confirmation emails and the like.
Robert Berkman has a post on his blog about Serph and TagFetch — two new metasearch engines that will search multiple blog search engines and tag aggregators (including Technorati, Flickr, Digg, YouTube, Google Blog Search, Bloglines and Newsvine).
The growth of these sites demonstrates the need for a metadata strategy for the web — which cannot possibly come from one central entity. Instead, it has to come from the users who create content, thus making distributed tags the only feasible metadata solution.
I stated a few days ago that I had now integrated MyBlogLog into this site. You may have noticed that MyBlogLog didn’t last very long here.
Don’t get me wrong, I like the concept of MyBlogLog — it does contribute to a sense of community.
While it’s a great idea, the HTML that they provide doesn’t validate very well. Getting XHTML-friendly code to integrate into this site has proven to be tough to do.
I’ve often wondered how effective the ‘nofollow’ tag is in blog comments — does it actually stop spammers from targeting a site (if you don’t know what ‘nofollow’ does, check out the short Wikipedia definition)?
Since I’ve launched this site, it has received 804 spam comments, versus 99 legitimate comments (including my own replies to comments).
In my own subjective calculation, I’d say Akismet has caught around 99% of my spam (of 804 spam comments, I think there have been 3 that have not been caught in the filter).
So I ask myself: why do I need the ‘nofollow’ attribute in my comments?
I decided to just drop ‘nofollow’ altogether by installing DoFollow.
So what does this mean for you? Simple: leave a comment here and you get a real link back to your site, plain and simple. Enjoy.
I’ve been tagged.
Instead of me just listing why I write, I’d like to list 5 principles for why knowledge sharing matters (and makes me feel the need to keep writing here).
1. Sharing knowledge is important.
Fundamentally,Â getting the right information at the right time is what we’re all struggling with. Anyone in today’s economy would be hard-pressed to say that knowledge sharing doesn’t impact their job or, in aÂ broader sense, their life.Â
2. Knowledge sharing can be done by anyone.
Everyone knows something that is valuable to someone else. Sharing your knowledge with someone else is a personally rewarding experience that (to me, anyway) outweighs monetary benefits.
3. Sharing knowledge through technology should be easier.
While technology has become increasingly prevalent and important in all of our lives, it also adds an increasing layer of complexity.
Some of our mostÂ widespread technologies have changed our lives dramatically by facilitating and changing the way and speed with which we communicate with each other.
We need to better understand how exchanging knowledge about technology and exchanging knowledge through technology depend on one another.
4. I like to write (especially informally).
While I spend most of any given day reading or writing, I don’t often get a chance to write informally to a wide(r) audience.
The growth in popularity of this blog has really surprised me (now up to around 70 feed subscribers), and has encouraged me to keep writing. Thanks to all who keep reading.
5. More people need to share what they know for free.
As I’ve said before on this site, sharing knowledge for free seems counterintuitive, but is often the best option.
The commodification of what we do as knowledge creators and sharers can potentially have detrimental effects that we haven’t even considered. Making knowledge freely available benefits us all as a species.
Collis has a great series of posts over at North x East about what it takes to start a business online.
These articles also apply very directly to other online ventures such as blogs.
The posts so far have delineated time and focus as two essential attributes for starting an online business (which I would absolutely agree with).
If I can elaborate a bit on Collis’ points within his article, I think there is a model that all successful online businesses share.
An online business’ success often hinges on the ability to either establish or create a community (that could be cat lovers, cycling fans, whatever) that has something they wish to share (cat grooming tips, exchanging spare bike parts — use your imagination).
Anyone who has attempted to either build a community or get a community to start sharing something they previously kept to themselves knows its a challenging undertaking — once you have a community established, you’ve got the hard part out of the way.
Matthew explained the concept of crowdsourcing — which is basically just user-driven and user-created content (although some people would argue that ‘crowdsourcing’ is more a cost-cutting measure than anything).
Yet when it comes to user-created content, the subject of compensation always seems to crop up somehow. Having just purchased YouTube, Google has been accused of contributing to copyright infringement.
Everybody wants a piece of the action.
But as a content creator, should you be compensated for the content you create? Or is your content like a letter to the editor (which the publication can print, reprint or not print as they see fit)?
YouTube (since being purchased by Google) seems to think paying content creators is the right way to go. It would seem that Google has decided to ‘do the right thing’ and pay content creators.
But wait a second.
Just like copyright and patents, content creation is about incentives — and creating aÂ mutually beneficial situation for sharing those creators’ content.
Just like Google’s advertising model, Google’s strength is in the network it has access to. By providing further incentives to video creatorsÂ (beyond the obvious, existing incentive to show off your video), Google is ensuring the dominance of its network over other networks.
Much like it has already done with AdSense, Google is consolidating its position in a particular niche of the advertising world through redistributing a portion of its revenue back to the people who created the content, in exchange for taking a cut to allow you to use their network to distribute your content.
While this may seem unfair to some, perhaps it may offer bloggers and web content creators who live in more economically disadvantaged countries to make the same money as their counterparts in first world countries.