Bill Gates on Blogging

Gizmodo got a bit of a scoop with a face to face interview with Bill Gates. They’ve posted the first part of the interview which largely focuses upon blogging. Here’s a snippet:

‘I think blogging is super-important and we’ve got to do a lot more software. The phenomena for us is we’ve got in beta this MSN Spaces thing, and it lets you leverage everything you do around Messenger—that’s your buddy lists and those relationships—to set up blogs, and who has access, and who gets notified. We’ve got up over a million people [who] set up blog sites.’

Six Apart to go Public?

Dave Winer believes that Six Apart’s motivation for buying is LiveJournal is about Six Apart wanting to go public:

‘In all the speculation about the deal betw Six Apart and LiveJournal I haven’t seen what surely is the motivator. Six Apart plans to go public. The market will value SA based on its ability to generate profits, and it will likely do so in proportion to the number of users, the theory being that they can sell things to the users, so the more users, the more they can sell. The more users the more value. LJ has a lot of users. So the founders of LJ get SA stock, and the shareholders of SA get more users, and value of the combined companies goes up and the day of the IPO gets closer.’

Six Apart buy LiveJournal – Its Official

Live Journal have just made the news that Six Apart are buying them out official at Big news… Six Apart and LiveJournal! They attempt to answer the ‘why’ question with the following reasons:

‘Our companies are more alike than different.

We both use Perl.

Together we form super robot that’s stronger than the sum of its parts.

Super robots can fight super companies.

They respect us, we respect them.

We have a number of features they don’t.

We have experience with making “inward-facing” community sites, whereas their sites/products tend to be “outward-facing”. They want some of that inward-facing action.

Because we’re awesome.’

Six Apart also make the announcement official:

‘Six Apart, makers of the highly acclaimed Movable Type publishing platform and TypePad personal weblogging service, today announced that it has acquired Danga Interactive, Inc., the operators of the popular service LiveJournal, for an undisclosed amount of stock and cash. With the acquisition, Six Apart solidifies its position as the industry’s recognized leader in weblogging software across all markets, and LiveJournal can continue its rapid growth trajectory under Six Apart’s umbrella. As of today, the combined user base of both companies exceeds 6.5 million users, with thousands more added daily.’

Mena has also some interesting comments on her blog:

‘Brad’s initial question — an expected one — was “why does Six Apart want to acquire Danga (LiveJournal)?” The answer was simple; “Many of our weaknesses are LiveJournal’s strengths and many of LiveJournal’s weaknesses are our strengths.”’

Another Look Ahead at 2005

Some of the predictions for 2005 in John Battelle’s Searchblog are worth a read for pro blogging types looking into the crystal ball. Here is a taste of the first three:

‘1….We’ll all work on figuring out ways to stick to our principles and get paid at the same time, however, I expect that things might get more contentious before they get better, and 2005 may be a more fractious year in the blogosphere as we evolve through this process.

2…. It will get harder to innovate before it gets easier. We’ll all be surprised by the lack of what we consider “progress” in the RSS/Blogging world, and expectations of major publishing revenues will not materialize as quickly as perhaps we think they should. However, we’ll in fact be making huge strides in understanding the path forward, it just won’t seem like it….

3. There will be two to five major new sites that emerge from “nowhere” to become major cultural influencers along the lines of the political bloggers of 2004. One of them will be sold to a major publisher/aggregator for what seems like a large sum of money, driving the abovementioned #2 and #1…’

Read more predictions for 2005 at John Battelle’s Searchblog: A Look Ahead

The State of Blogging in America – Stats Released

The Pew Internet and American Life Project have announced study results into the state of American Blogging. Get the full PDF study here. Some of their results include:

8 million American adults say they have created blogs (around 7% of the population);

– blog readership jumped 58% in 2004 and now stands at 27% of internet users (ie around 32 million American blog readers);

– 5% of internet users say they use RSS aggregators or XML readers to get the news and other information delivered from blogs and content-rich Web sites as it is posted online;

– 12% of internet users have posted comments or other material on blogs;

– 62% of internet users do not know what a blog is.

Interesting results that fit pretty well with the anecdotal evidence I collect from conversations here in Australia also. Most people still don’t know what a blog is – but when you dig a little you find that many people have actually been reading them without knowing what a blog actually is.

[Read more…]

Blogs go Mainstream…. Again

The BBC announces that Blogs are taking on the mainstream – ‘Web logs or blogs are everywhere, with at least an estimated five million on the web and that number is set to grow….

But this year the focus has been on blogs which cast a critical eye over news events, often writing about issues ignored by the big media or offering an eye-witness account of events.

Most blogs may have only a small readership, but communication experts say they have provided an avenue for people to have a say in the world of politics….

US research think-tank Pew Internet & American Life says a blog is created every 5.8 seconds, although less than 40% of the total are updated at least once every two months.’

Looks like its that time of year again when all the articles come out to predict that this is the year of the blog.

On Comment Spammers

Jeremy at WebproNews has an interesting article written after meeting some comment spammers.

‘One of the comment spammers asked me: “You know why we spam blogs, don’t you?” And I knew the answer. They do it because blogs are easy targets and because, just like e-mail spam, it works….

Then a partial solution is fairly clear. I’ve heard and seen others discuss it over the past few months. The search engines needs to be smarter about reading and indexing content.

Read more at Some Comment Spammers Have Blogs Too

The Twelve Days of New Media Christmas

Jordon Cooper has a good post titled The Twelve Days of a New Media Christmas which is choc a bloc full of new media goodies to make any new media junkie’s mouth water – ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas are upon us and our trees are full of “geese a layin”, “piper’s piping” and “partridges in their pear trees”. In other word nothing useful at all. Instead of braving the long return lines at Wal-Mart in the hope you can return seven swans a swimming, why not check out some of the programs and web servies listed below and have a new media new year. All of the programs help spread knowledge, ideas, or help you create some new ones.’

Blogger Idol

Blogger IdolEarlier in the year I ran a blogging experiment by the name of Blogger Idol on one of my other blogs. It was a fun way of connect bloggers together to all write on a common theme each week. Over 150 bloggers signed up for weekly emails with a suggested theme. It took a bit of energy and time for me to run it but it was well worth it as I met some great new bloggers from around the globe.

The benefits of participating in the Blogger Idol experiment were numerous.

– A free and easy way to promote your blog

– Builds page ranking as your blog is listed on the Blogger Idol weekly pages as well as other bloggers pages if they vote for you

– Discover other quality bloggers

– Stimulation for post topics (sometimes we all get bloggers block and need a starting point).

Participating bloggers ranged from personal blogs, to business blogs, to photologs and even a couple of political blogs.

We took a break from the project a few months back but have decided to get it going again as of today. This time it will all run on its own domain/blog so as not to dominate this one. If you’re interested in joining the project head over to Blogger Idol and join in on week 1’s topic of ‘All I want for Christmas….‘ Entries can be anything from stories, photos, essays, rants, poems, quotes – whatever. Creativity is encouraged.

You can also submit a topic for future weeks and sign up for the weekly emails announcing new themes.