Friday, March 23, 2007

Ideas I would have blogged if I wasn't Twittering

Too busy to flesh these out into separate blog posts, so here they are in abbreviated form:

I see Nik Cubrilovic summed up a thought that I had too: that Open ID is not living up to the hype because everyone wants to be a provider but very few want to accept Open IDs from elsewhere. I learned very early on in the publishing business that publishing, be it offline or on, is all about your customer database, particularly contact details (i.e. email addresses). If you have little or no control over that, what is your business? Probably not a business. I don't blame AOL, Digg or the like from not accepting external Open IDs, but I do blame those who hype the technology without acknowledging the point that Nik makes so well. Unlike Nik, I don't want to support Open ID in my application, even though it comes standard in the People Aggregator code which we're still in the midst of integrating with Tinfinger. I'll be turning that feature off for the moment. Perhaps Marc Canter will want to make the business case for Open ID for me, but I don't see a compelling one.

I am on board the Twitter bandwagon, which stops about as often as a suburban train at peak hour for 10-minute outages. It's a fine success story at this stage of its launch cycle, though there are certainly things it could have done better. A default friend, for example, would be invaluable, especially if it was a bot that included 10 tutorial tweets about how to use the service. A way to differentiate humans from data feed bots would be very handy so you don't get friendly banter interspersed with the latest TechMeme headlines or Woot items... maybe even a separate tab for those insanely spammy location posts? Twitter with a NetVibes interface would, as the kiddies say, r0xx0r my b0xx0r. Though that's not surprising since they're both based on RSS, which as far as I'm concerned is the real star of Twitter.

I am skeptical about Google's PPA scheme. The simple fact of the matter is that PPA, or CPA or whatever the relevant acronym is, just doesn't pay as well. The Google ads on FanFooty do about four to six times better than our Commission Junction ads, which admittedly are all for eBay. If Google can find a way to keep publishers onside through some technological breakthrough then they will have something, but otherwise it just sounds like the Goog is mopping up the small fry of unexhausted inventory and this is no big deal.

And finally... FanFooty is doing 10 times the traffic and revenue that it did on year-ago figures. Tai and I had a nice meeting with a bloke from Champion Data earlier in the week, it's all good. This week marks the site's second birthday, so it's appropriate that it's only now getting past the crawling stage and is starting to make some noise...


Blogger Leslie said...

jason reid over at 37signals has reported that 9% of the users of their new Highrise app are using OpenID. that's pretty good.

5:04 pm, March 23, 2007  

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