In reading articles, over and over again I would come to this word: Community. The purpose of Craig’s list is to create an online community for swapping items, ideas, job opportunities, etc.. In the mid 90s, founder Craig Newmark would give talks about the internet, saying that “this is how we should do business someday.” Perhaps someday was sooner than he thought and perhaps he was also made more of a contribution to that reality than he would have expected. It started as a small email chain that grew more and more with demands. He believes that “What [he does] is give people a voice and that’s powerful.” I believe it also started with just a focus on techie jobs and opportunities out of the San Francisco Bay Area. The current business model is $25 for job ads ($75 in San Francisco) and everything else is free. So from a profit stand point, he makes money off of job listings but by having everything else he drives an incredible amount of traffic to the site. He intends to “humanize and democratize the internet” by connecting people in an easier and more efficient way. It has grown to be worth $80 million in 2008 revenue and to be worth $5 billion overall. Not bad for starting out as a small contact list.Read More
Pageonce defines itself as the first “personal internet assistant.” Everytime people go to their computers, they generally start out by checking a myriad of different sites. (The weather, stock prices, facebook, checking accounts, and the most recent political news, for example). Pageonce tries to simplify this process by allowing the user to see all those things on their initial homepage.
Pageonce uses “fetchone” technology to allow the user to auto log-in to sites without having to always type in a username and password and it makes all relevant information avaiable in one place. They say, “Think of the possibilities. You could log on to one website, and simultaneously view your Wells Fargo checking account balance, see when Citibank expects your next credit card payment, view movies rentals from Netflix, know how many minutes are left on your Verizon Wireless plan, and respond to a message on Facebook.”
I’m not exactly sure how it works however I think they’re just starting out because in order to sign up, you give your email and then they email you promising to be back in touch in coming weeks. They have all the same security as other websites, like banking sites and other sites which hold your account information, so that you can be just as safe on pageonce as you are anywhere else.Read More
Well perhaps not quite; Youtube is, however, opening the doors for the transfer of valuable and helpful information. A series of “educational” videos were posted in the past year on how to deal with children with autism and other special cases. Youtube can also prove to be helpful with news clips, political videos, and even medical information. It would provide doctors and other professionals the opportunity to post “how to” videos in order to better serve patients and customers. Youtube could also significantly help many companies with new products that are struggling through the “early adoption” phase. A video on how to work innovative technology could answer questions and help customers understand how to use new products.Read More
I recently read an article about user-generated Digg.com being up for sale again (after nearly selling to Yahoo! back in 2006) and this time hiring influential investment bankers at Allen & Co. to search out prospective buyers. They would be aiming for nearly $300 million dollars, although speculation shows that they may now be contemplating selling for somewhere in the neighborhood of $225 million. Rumor has it that there are four “prospective” buyers in Murdoch’s News Corp (which owns MySpace), Google, Microsoft, and a fourth unknown.
Whether or not this decision to sell was affected by the potential sale of Yahoo! to Microsoft as a merger with MSN is unknown; If MSN were to merge with Yahoo!, Google may be more motivated to raise bids with regards to Digg and also to increase their involvement in the world of social media.
(Info on digg: Digg.com is an entirely web 2.0 user-driven site. One can submit videos, podcasts, articles etc. which others on the site can then browse. For more in depth information – the site describes itself well.)Read More
Bizarre. Trying to grasp the concept of Philip Rosedale’s Second Life is quite akin to grappling with the mind-boggling concept of life in Alduous Huxley’s 1932 novel Brave New World. The success of Second Life – attracting approximately 10,000 new members daily – seems to prove Huxley’s point of artificial happiness. As the windows provided by technology seem to be opening – are we losing a sense of true human individuality as people attempt to gain a newer more individualistic existence online? Is the internet serving more to numb our pains in this “first life” than it is to benefit humanity? With use comes abuse – and I must wonder if Second Life is a pure abuse of the internet, putting all apparent “advancements” aside. Regardless of its aims to provide “meaningful connections” among people, Second Life seems, rather, to cause people to neglect the true human relations they would have had at the outset. People are quitting their day jobs to commit themselves to some online ‘marketplace’ where they can gain a “foreign” currency – Linden dollars – through sales of artificial real estate and other means – that they then can exchange into US dollars.
While I must concede to innumerable differences in the workings of the worlds of Rosedale and Huxley, Huxley’s point on human happiness is well made and fairly applicable. While Huxley’s “drones” seem to float around in a slight, self-indulgent state of oblivion, they lack the true, deep joy and profound experiences that often result from the trials and the messiness of real life (seen in the Savage). Second Life seems to clearly advocate that one would foresake real life for the sake of another, duller existence cloaked in all the glitz and speed of modern technology (analogous to the scientific achievements prevalent in Brave New World). Bizarre. Very Bizarre.Read More