The great email harvest

Whilst searching for great apps, I am regularly encountering the landing page with almost no details on it other than something along the lines of "great app coming soon, please leave your email adress". Duh. Ok, let me surrender me email address to whomever in the hope you may have something interesting and promise not to pass it on to spammers, assuming that you're not spammers yourselves.

In fact, if you are a spammer, what better way to harvest email addresses than to simply set up a web 2.0 app beta home page promising great wonders will be unveiled in due course!

There must be a better way such as a trusted third party service which will notify those expressing an interest of the beta apps launch.

posted by John Wilson @ 1:19 PM Permanent Link ,

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Searching for the best search vehicle

Whilst I tend to use google extensively and almost subconsiously, particularly with the release of the new google toolbar that
- autosuggests phrases as you type in a list below the search box
- allows you to move back and forward between search links without returning to the google page

I also tend to use Snap which has a pleasing UI and retrieves the search links in the view for rapidly viewing sites, and a relative newbie Grokker which provides spacial representations of the results of a search.

posted by John Wilson @ 1:05 PM Permanent Link ,

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Just been listening to the podcasts of bloggercon - worth listening to some of the great ideas discussed.

posted by John Wilson @ 4:32 PM Permanent Link ,

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The "long tail" has regularly been cited by bloggers - the idea of the internet of opening up to very niche markets that the traditional media would find it hard to support.

Often the focus of comment is on the fact that the internet "enables" small markets with distributed constituents to become economically viable. I saw a company today who are focussing on the production and distribution of video content. Three guys are the brains, money and muscle behind the company and they only need several hundred subscribers to generate positive cashflow - that would have been unthinkable without the internet. Sure, they have to tackle many of the traditional issues like connecting with potential customers, finding revenues, producing quality content which remain BIG challenges BUT even venturing into a niche media space previously one would have faced huge barriers. Now, it feels so much easier.

Ok, so the content may be of varying quality but when you find the good it often more than makes up for the dross.

posted by John Wilson @ 4:23 PM Permanent Link ,

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Great article on 10 ways to become a web 2.0 billionaire

Excellent "tongue-in-cheek" post from Ben Barren in Oz.

posted by John Wilson @ 1:22 PM Permanent Link ,

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Just what we need - another opinion in the cloud

I spend much of my time evaluating "great ideas", a small number of which generally are. This blog is going to simply be a record of the good and the bad as I come across them, as well as as pointers to insightful comment from those I meet (often just stumble across) in the "internet cloud".

As for the title - well, the thing about useful stuff is

a) it can become engrossing with the result that you look up only to find hours have slipped by without you even noticing.

b) you become passionate about that stuff and readily share your "joy" in the discovery by telling people about stuff that you've found useful and which they might find useful as well

c) its not useful to everyone, so get over it when they don't get as excited - not everyone has the same problems and hence don't all need the same solution as you! Its a pity some sales people don't get this, in that I think their solution is fine, just that it doesn't satisfy a need of mine. That said, always make people aware of stuff in the first place because they don't always tell you their needs upfront or necessarily even know them.

My favourite quote of the moment is Henry Ford's comment on listening to customers which went along the lines of "if I'd of listened to my customers, I'd have built a faster horse". Sometimes people don't know what they want or need until they see it - who'd have reported that they needed a Pot Noodle, but once they see it they immediately grasp the concept and embrace it. Some of the best technology has been created by folks anticipating or creating needs (despairing times for the Project Office looking for a Business Requirements document signed off by the user!).

Looking around the "cloud", there is astounding innovation going on - some of it pointless and destined to die, but other stuff will transform how we work, play and interact. Both kinds fascinate me, simply because its a new evolution going on right in front of me.

So when I find some of that stuff, I'll pop it up here.

posted by John Wilson @ 9:52 AM Permanent Link ,

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