Tag: internet

(Re)introducing Brian Krebs

I’ve been following the Washington Post’s Security Fix blog since the Spamroll days. Its author, Brian Krebs, was one of the most insightful internet security journalists around. He still is, only he isn’t working for WaPo anymore. Brian’s now doing his own thing, at Krebs on Security.

December 29th was the (re)start date, meaning you can still get caught up. And with internet privacy and security perpetually at the forefront of issues net-denizens face (even if they don’t know it until their identity is stolen), I suggest you do. Get caught up that is.

Krebs on Security…stuff the RSS feed in your reader before it’s too late.

MG signing off (to stay secure)

Even the fishing set needs a little education

If there was any doubt in my mind that the constant vigilance against ad tracking I’ve employed was futile effort, it is now gone…


Maybe it’s just punishment for my persistent use of the interwebs to check the weather in Hartsel, CO (a.k.a. Redneck Disneyland), in hopes of seeing it scream TORNADO FORCE WINDS AND COLDER THAN SIBERIA since I’m not actually there.

Web startups still throwing dice at ad models

NYT’s Claire Cain Miller:

During the dot-com bust, as the online advertising market dried up and the Web companies that had been buying most of the ad space went bankrupt, the people who start and fund companies in Silicon Valley began questioning whether Web sites could survive on advertising alone.

That moment of doubt didn’t last. The ad market revived and free Web services blossomed. But now, as advertising shrinks once again, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists are desperately seeking new sources of revenue.

Not only is advertising shrinking, but there is still inventory flowing into the online marketplace.

The constituents should have been begging this issue a year ago.

So much for mobile

The “Mobile” category is now gone…I’ve moved the paltry five posts to “Office.” I’d like to say I did this for the same reason Russell Beattie tossed mobile, but it’s not. I still believe in the general concept of internet mobility, but its contortions (like blogging) just don’t suit me. When I’m away from the desk I’m usually either:

  • Walking the dog – He gets pissed if I use the phone during his time and starts “drag-assing”, which results in a half-hour walk taking two hours.
  • Driving – I can weave through traffic and tap out text messages, but I have trouble logging into WordPress while doing the same.
  • Meeting – Downright rude to blog while in a meeting, although I’ve seen a few folks try it only to wonder afterwards why they were alone in a previously crowded room.
  • Drinking, eating, or otherwise making merry – If you must have web access while drinking, I suggest you find new friends to drink with; if you’re doing it while eating, remember to clean the keyboard afterwards.
  • Fishing – The water is my church, and my fly box is my Bible. You might blog while you’re in Sunday services, but if I do it during mine I run the chance of dropping my Blackberry in a river and voiding the warranty.

I think that is more than enough excuses.

Give me an alternative to the ad model, and I might kiss your behind

Meanwhile, give me your kingdom, and I’ll show you yet another ad

Ashkan Karbasfrooshan gave a few good reasons why most startups clinging to what seems like the one and only business model, advertising, will soon hit the skids. The guy used to be an ad salesman – fair enough.

Meanwhile, Dan Frommer toots Tumblr’s new business model, which just so happens to be…no wait…why don’t you guess…uh…advertising? I’m pretty certain you guessed right.

Are there really that many advertisers ready and willing to throw money at what seems like a never ending and limitlessly growing supply of ad inventory? And on sites whose content is also limitless (and free), and which, when combined with their userbase, reflects so little intent to purchase?

The Techdirt folks champion the concept of giving away goods of infinite supply in exchange for goods of a finite nature (latest example here). Seems to me internet advertising might just be reaching that unlimited availability point.

No firetrucks will arrive as online privacy battle heats up

To get people thinking about the related issues, Marshall Kirkpatrick has put together a list of questions well worth asking, and discussing. It is indeed timely.

Online social networking is already on fire, but there is a price to be paid as well – mashups galore are making it ever easier to get the data you want, as well as enable people to acquire data on you. I find it amusing that users scream when their Facebook accounts are disabled because they tried to mine some of the data within, but in the Scoble case and many others just face the facts – all those people you think are your friends aren’t really your friends. The majority of the people on that “friends list” won’t ever ask you out for a drink, help you move, or read your business plan, and they certainly don’t want you taking their email address to another site so that service can spam them with invitations to join the next best thing. I’m no particular fan of Facebook, but I can’t help but give them a thumbs up here. The myriad of user privacy settings they offer are there for a reason, to prevent pseudo-friends from taking users’ data while they are attempting to grab their own.

It’s a quandary for many internet users. The fact that some join and befriend in the first place makes them particularly vulnerable. It won’t be long before the type of intrusion exemplified by Robert Scoble/Facebook is going on undetected – its centralization makes it low hanging fruit. Meanwhile we’ve moved beyond the average person’s grasp of privacy – it no longer exists – the best one can hope is that the information available about them isn’t ultimately damaging.

No fire truck is going to arrive to help you if it is.

UPDATE: If the risk of all that social networking data floating around isn’t bad enough already, you can always worry about your ISP doing the mining.

UPDATE 2: Regarding the Scoble/Facebook drama, Paul Buchheit wonders: Why aren’t Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, and Hotmail blocking Facebook? Another good question, and with TOS excerpts to boot!

U.S. Online Sales Growth Slows Amid Holiday Slump

Internet holiday shopping slows. It seems Nielsen not only reported goofy stats a few weeks back, but jumped the gun as well.

UPDATE: According to ComScore, sales grew at the slowest pace ever this holiday season.

250+ Tools and Resources For Coding the Web

A very useful list (particularly for newbies and armchair engineers).

Will Mortgage Collapse Hurt Web Ads? Looks That Way

I found this part more interesting:

Two weeks ago, financial services advertisers made up the single largest sector on the web, accounting for 34% of all impressions…

Watch the markets, and predict next quarter’s advertising take.

A week of open thoughts: OpenID, open authentication, and open internet-based society

And yes, I’m fishing tomorrow – rain, shine, or Class 5 wading conditions

It’s been a great week for being open…

Dare Obasanjo started things off with A Proposal for Social Network Interoperability via OpenID, but expresses skepticism as to whether business interests will ever allow it to get off the ground (h/t to Kim Cameron – and Mr. Cameron digs a bit into the business issues here). My guess is someone is going to do it whether others like it or not.

But, while OpenID can be spread ubiquitously – and under the control of many versus a few – it’s bewildering from a consumer standpoint (h/t to Simon Willison). I too think this is a major hurdle. When the first truly whizbang app hits the market, everyone is going to rave – but I say grandma still won’t be able to figure it out. In addition, there’s fact that while there may be a lot of OpenID available for serving, there’s still not a lot of consuming. More OpenID consumers (i.e. sites that accept it) will be the leading force in education and understanding of its benefits. Some are doing their part towards that end, including a bit with the WordPress plug-in (and I’ll have more for you on that in the weeks to come), but more effort is still needed.

Next, Kevin Fox of JanRain discussed interoperability and whitelisting (including but not limited to AOL’s practice of it). Whitelisting is a necessary evil in a world where technology is so easily deployed. The cheaper it is to get up, the more people are going to use it for “alternative” means. AOL, by the way, is no stranger to exacting tolls for access to their network, but in this case I don’t think they’ll try it – there’s just not enough at AOL worth paying for right now, and it’s just too easy to switch OpenID authentication providers without giving up one’s “identity.”

Brad Fitzgerald and David Recordon wound up the week publishing their thoughts on the application of open identity systems to social networks, with a view towards portability of profiles, including friends data. Again, larger social networks (say “big business”) are probably not going to be agreeable to this, but a lot of smaller networks, including those being built on OpenID Code Bounty winner Drupal, will jump on it. Pete Cashmore agrees, and added that he and his crew will be following the efforts closely.

All that, just this week. I don’t think saying these concepts are “picking up steam” is doing them justice anymore.