Archive for the ‘weather’ category

The 2.D’oh! Weekly Round-Up, Vol. VII

7, September, 2007

It’s Friday, which can mean only that it’s time for the weekly roundup of high points, low points and no points in 2.0 Village. 

Big media doesn’t cover the issues, you say?

Check out’s cooler-than-beans  Issue Coverage Tracker, which illustrates with interactive visuals how much media coverage there’s been on each candidates’ position on issues from abortion to Iraq. [Interest revealed: I’m a former employee of The Washington Post Co.]

You can also stick the feature on your blog or Web page, since it’s been widgetized. The only shortcoming I see is the lack of a downloadable button that says “I Am Boring at Parties.” 

Don’t Tell Google

The Issue Tracker rides on the back of a platform known as Daylife, a news tag-and-bag service that various media companies are using to mash up news content. Fortune is using it to monitor technology threads discussed around the Web; Parade is using it to harvest the latest celebrit-erations.

User Generated Weather

MeteoStone, a curious startup which invites people to report the local weather, imagines a vast, real-time database of on-the-ground meteorological data. Crowdsourced weather? Maybe. As of this writing there were precisely two U.S. reports: one showed it was 79 degrees and sunny somewhere in the mid-Atlantic states, and 68 degrees and sunny somewhere near the border of  Washingon State and Canada. Why so few players? To record your weather data, you need to know your longitude and latitude. Alas, there is no link to purchase a sextant.

2.0-phorisms, (barely) cont’d.

Only one submission to our truly brilliant but widely ignored “2.0-phorisms” feature, in which we hope to crowdsource a list of all the pithy, clever truisms about current Weblife that people come across in 2.0land. 

A correspondent who identifies himself only as “Ed, 27” made this contribution:

Blogging is proof that it’s possible to have nothing to say six times a day. 

For the record, Ed, Web 2.Oh. . .really? is published only once a day on weekdays.  

Go ahead, folks, make your contribution to our (slowly) growing list of 2.0-phorisms.  

And finally, our weekly Noted Without Comment feature

CEOs, white collars admit playing video games at work


The Future of News: Just Add Money

4, September, 2007

What with this being back-to-school day, I hate to start the week with a reading list. But it’s worth spending the time (3:30, I just clocked it) to read a column by Dave Morgan, chairman of the advertising firm Tacoda, in which he planks out ideas about the future of big city daily newspapers. Check out the comments too (another 4:00, including reflection).

There is plenty of blue-sky thumb-sucking (to coin a phrase) about the future of news, but Morgan’s vision is provocative. If I had to summarize it on a sticky note, it would be something like, “an always-on, multi-device, highly fragmented news ecology of very demanding micro-audiences.” 

I’d probably stick on another note which said, “How the hell is anybody going to make money at this?”

Morgan –conveniently! — has an answer. Tacoda is a leading behavioral targeting firm. These are the folks who put clients’ ads in front of Web users based not on demographics or target audience of the site, but by demonstrated individual behaviors: You know, people who own Ford 150 trucks and use Verizon Wireless and drink Budweiser and spend a lot of time playing fantasy football on Friday nights.

Which is to say: Morgan’s company is eerily well positioned to thrive in an always-on, multi-device, highly fragmented news ecology of very demanding micro-audiences. 

The value in Morgan’s viewpoint is precisely its self-interested nature. Most blue-sky thumb-sucking ™ about the future of news is being done by folks on the supply side of the business: The people who make the content. Their vision of the future is eerily self-interested too: Trusted brands will matter. Journalism matters. There will always be economic value in editorial standards and judgments. Build quality content and the advertising will come. 

So it’s useful to hear the views of someone who sits on the other side of the transaction, who has no loyalty to trusted media brands, editorial standards or, for that matter, journalism. From Morgan’s side of the economic equation, what matters is being able to serve ads to the right people in the right place in the right time.

As information monopolies implode, there’s little doubt that the power to shape the future of media lies in the hands of those who figure out how–to draw on a phrase from the heyday of newspaper journalism–to “follow the money.” Newsfolk, who are in danger of imagining a future based on sentiment and habit, would do well to pay attention to those whose careers are devoted to that.

Which they just might: Morgan is gathering his ideas at the request of the National Newspaper Association, which has sought diverse perspectives of the future for a visioning project. I insist on being encouraged.