Monthly Archives: March 2006

Flickr Lady: Too Late, Fools!

This has to be one of the best/worst posts in a while. Best because it rightly calls “hype” on Web 2.0, worst because her central message is “My company got acquired by Yahoo! and I started 3 years ago so the rest of you are not going to make it”.

This just gives more ammo to the vets who called “flukr” on Flickr’s acquisition. Not because it isn’t an amazing website built by talented people, but that business-wise they didn’t have a clue. Here’s a choice line:

Tagging was a great feature, no doubt. But Flickr was at break even — about to tip into the black — when we were acquired.

Wow, Flickr was at breakeven with 1/0000th the users needed to make any real money, with competitors realizing the potential and getting funding, and with larger players starting to make their own clones. In any case, at least she’s got it right about all the web 2.0 losers who don’t have a clue, a business model, or anything else to do. But she’s also dead wrong– it’s never a bad time to start a business, that’s the whole point of starting businesses, that you have to try or you’ll never know.

Technorati Sucks Again

Technorati worked for a while, then it sucked for a long time, and then it suddenly started working. Now it’s back to suckage, with lots of time outs, and missing posts and links. Now, of course, they’ve got big grinning idiot pictures of people no one cares about and their favorite blogs, and all kinds of other useless crap. Dudes, as soon as you perfect blog search and can keep the servers up, then go do a bunch of annoying things. The only reason anyone ever goes to Technorati is to find posts or find blogs. Nothing else matters at this point.
From now, until further notice, you should use Google Blog Search unless you enjoy being frustrated and not finding things as you should.

Mashable Hypes Edgeio

As we mention below, people are afraid to call a spade a spade in the Edgeio debacle because of the perceived power of its creator, who is also the TechCruncher. Case in point: Pete Cashmore of Mashable* (don’t forget the asterisk) has this to say recently:

Mike Arrington just gave me a heads up on Edgeio’s new feature release, slated for later today. As promised, Edgeio is adding the ability to create listings directly on the site – no blog required. What’s more, this feature acts as a kind of mini-blog, along with its own feed.

He then goes into a light critique of the business model, but never once mentions actually trying a search on the site, or the problem that Edgeio is basically unusable and they’ve probably sold about 50 things so far.

Edgeio = Crappio

No one and I mean no one wants to bash Edgeio because the founder is the TechCrunch dude. But have you tried using the site? Wow is it awful. It sounded like a bad idea to begin with, but you kind of thought the execution might be there given that the main guy behind it is able to write really good-looking blog posts about web 2.0 ‘companies’.

First of all, there are no good listings. Which is pretty much a dealbreaker when you’re trying to sell people things. A search for ‘powerbook‘ yields 3 results. One is total garbage, the other two are 22 and 28 days old. Ebay has something like 2600, and my local craig’s list has about 60 in the past day or two.

Secondly, almost all of the listings seem to be irrelevant or spam. For example, one of the top tags is “New York City”. OK, you think, I like New York City let’s see what’s in that sucker. Well, you get 3 listings for Apartments listed in the past 4 days, with prices of $21,000,000, $30,000,000 and $25,900,000. Yeah, those ought to sell on Edgio in a day or two.

Thirdly, even if all the listings are crap, the very least the site could have is decent UI. But it doesn’t. Search is pretty much the only way to use the sucker, all the “top tags” “popular items” etc. are meaningless when you’re talking about buying real things. For example, here’s one of the “hot items”. What the hell is that? Tagging and folksonomy are great for a lot of sites, but so far Edgeio just shows how bad it is to rely on that when you’re trying to actually sell things and make something usable. And there’s shit everywhere, it’s impossible to know where to go and how to find things, other then searching.

Lastly, the geocode or localization barely works. Or, it does, kind of, but the results it brings back are just like the rest of the site, which is to say irrelevant. The slider looks nice, though. Good localization might be a little important when you’re hyped as an ebay or craig’s list killer.

Now to be fair, and I usually am not, the thing may have potential, if they completely scrap 80% of what they’re doing and make a usable site with limited but actual listings. But it’s really, really hard to see them doing anything decent if this is the best they can do up to this point, given that probably everyone with a blog who’s paying attention has heard of Edgeio and perhaps been there. They may not know how to pronounce it, or give a shit about “the edge” and other buzzwords, but they’ve seen it (check out the Alexaholic graph) and by and large aren’t coming back for more or telling their friends.

Something to think about when assessing the acumen of TechCrunch next time a site is hyped as ‘indispensible’ or killer.

Top 10 Web 2.0 Personalities of All Time

10. (tie) Pete Cashmore
Pete Cashmore is building a brand, and that brand IS Pete Cashmore. With a name like that, how could he go wrong? More cash is the secret name of the game in Web 2.0 anyway. Pete, according to his bio, is a “Web 2.0 strategy consultant”, which is Web 2.0 speak for ‘unemployed’.

10. (tie) Steve Rubel
Another member of the unnecessary headshot club. Hyping and monetizing the blogosphere one link at a time, all the while protesting too much about revolutions, peer production, and other phrases that become meaningless in the hands of most marketers.

9. Nick Denton
It ain’t easy being debonair in a world of slouchy, sweats-wearing bloggers– that’s why Nick spends more time at the stylist and at Barney’s then he does updating his personal blog. In all seriousness, his lack of a regularly updated personal blog is his one saving grace in a world where to be the best-looking Blog maven you only have to beat Jason Calacanis.

8. Scott Karp
Using the clever moniker “Publishing 2.0″, Karp has wormed his way into the hearts of many a young entrepeneur looking for ways to put people like Karp out of a job.

7. Jeff Jarvis
So Buzz-worthy, if he could blog himself exclusively, would do so, and then tell you it’s a revolution that will change blogging forever and slay the New York Times in one fell swoop. Endlessly banging on about arguments he apparantly has with himself, his absolute favorite phrase is “full disclosure– I consult for this company on a regular basis”. Web 2.0 translation: “some guy in the company emailed me”.

6. Robert Scoble
“Microsoft Geek Blogger”. Is there a formula which says the less likely you are to want to see a picture of someone, the more likely they are to include it in a prominent place on their blog?

5. Om Malik
So far, the greatest moment of his life was when ‘Ookles got funded in my Loo’. Web 2.0 translation? No one knows what that means, but possibly some sort of George Michael thing.

4. Seth Godin
Marketing 2.0 apparently = self-aggrandizement. When you run out of ideas, (really, how many times can you say be open and honest and still get paid for it? Apparently a lot.) the key is to make yourself the real story. A trademark hairstyle and a bright headshot on your book covers and website should do the trick. Sorry, Trick 2.0.

3. Michael Arrington
Has “parties” where “people” demo “hot new web 2.0 companies”. Allegedly much wine is consumed, and “wild” pictures are uploaded to flickr within the hour. Even after perusing The Divine Comedy for a few hours, it’s still hard to pick out exactly which circle of hell has drunk geeks and VCdroids fever-dreaming a $30million buyout for an RSS reader clone.

2. Umair Haque
The plasticity of his place in the value chain is leveraged by frequent bursts of microchunked content, all of which strategically leverages an edge competency in jargonized ruminations. The Lewis Carroll of Web 2.0, but at least his jabberwocky has a sense of humor, which is more you can say for the people who link to him with deathly serious tone, afraid that they just don’t get it.

1. Jason Calacanis
The 40-year-old virgin of sell-outs, he finally popped his cherry late last year by handing over his weblog empire to AOL. Like Lenin erased by Stalin, in Calacanis’ instant new cosmology, AOL is now the hip and cool tech company which ‘gets it’. One thing you never want to be called on his personal blog is “my friend,” which is Jasonspeak for “motherfucking bastard”.

Full disclosure: We love each and every one of these sites, their creators, and everything about Webs 1.0 through 2.9