Archived entries for Publishing

I want change logs

The new version of iTunes, iTunes 5 was release on the 8th of the month. I’ve been using YME primarily lately, so I’m just checking it out now.

iTunes let’s me know that there’s a new version, and asks if I’d like to get it. The problem is, I don’t know what it has to offer. I wish companies would be better about offering change logs clearly detailing what’s new, what’s different, and what all’s happening.

Update to iTunes 5?

It’s not only because they are sometimes unintended riders on upgrades, or even because newer is not always better, but because it should just be the standard practice.

Communication fosters user learning and understanding. Transparency builds trust. Documentation encourages exploration. Knowledge is comfort.

Things like that.

As I’ve shown before, letting the users know what you’ve done is a great way for them to get excited about your products.

(But please don’t assume that I only want the PR-spun release notes that make it into your marketing. That’s cool, but not comforting, exciting or encouraging.)

Yahoo! 360 Launch, with Overview and Thoughts

Yahoo! 360 launched and began its invitation-only beta period today. Yahoo! 360 is a new product that allows you to easily share stuff with the circles of people in your life. It’s a social site, letting your connect with family, friends, friends-of-friends, and new people with whom you share interests.

Eric has a nice post up called Why 360 is not a Blog, and Jason has some good comments on target audience complete with a plea to invite your mom. Troutgirl wrote a thoughtful piece too that’s well worth reading.

So far I’ve been very impressed. I guess I’m what Jason has called a capital-W Weblogger of sorts, but I recognize that this service is for a different part of my online life. Not necessarily a place to build my career, forward the Debate, or even publish my complex travelog, it’s instead a great place to spend time, share things frivolous and intimate with friends and family, and benefit from my off-line connection online.

I can only imagine that this will spread its reach and therefor its value. Already you can share quick blast messages and longer blog (or journal) entries, as well as personal messaging. Photo sharing is integrated, as well as your music from Yahoo! Music LaunchCast station. Groups are there, and definitely some other things I’m forgetting about right now.

One of my early favorites though is over in Yahoo! Local (the web’s best yellow pages and location based search). Here you can see your relationship to the authors of user reviews for things including restaurants, parks, dentists and mechanics. If you look around the Yahoo! network it’s easy to see many sites where Y~360 may add significant value. As I said in the comments on Troutgirl’s entry, I can definitely imagine sending a message to a friend (or friend-of-a-friend) that’s written a review to ask follow-up questions on restaurants, dentists and mechanics.

All and all, I offer an unqualified congratulations to the entire 360 team: Well done.

(And it’s LSM too! With Progressive Enhancement and Unobtrusive Javascript!)

Let me know if you’re interested in an Invite, I still have a few left.

Yahoo! Research Labs Buzz Game

Yahoo! Research Labs and O’Reilly Media Collaborate to Introduce Tech Buzz Game, Inviting Participants to Predict Future Technology Trends Based on Popularity of Yahoo! Search Terms

The Tech Buzz Game is a fantasy prediction market for high-tech products, concepts, and trends. As a player, your goal is to predict how popular various technologies will be in the future. Popularity or buzz is measured by Yahoo! Search frequency over time. Predictions are made by buying virtual stock in the products or technologies you believe will succeed, and selling stock in the technologies you think will flop. In other words, you “put your play money where your mouth is.

At the O’Reilly Emerging Technology Conference today, Yahoo’s principal scientist Dr Gary Flake announced, among other things, the Tech Buzz Game, which “leverages search query volume and frequency on Yahoo! Search” and puts that “buzz” in play in a stock market model. Using the 10,000 in play money that you get with a free game username, you can buy and sell shares of technology concepts like “bittorrent”, “podcasting”, “Macintosh Tiger”, “yahoo photos” and other things. Things terms are broken down into markets, which as each zero-sum-game distinct markets “Browser Wars”, “Mobile Development Environments “, and “Rumor Mill”.

Check out this and more at the new Yahoo Research Labs site that launched in conjunction with the ETech conference. You can also read up on this year’s ETech Conference, or read the Tech Buzz Game’s press release.

(By the way, as of this writing I’m in 9th place on the game’s leaderboard – out of 697 currently. We’ll see if my beginner’s luck holds out.)

buzz-game-2005031601-9th

Internet Explorer and Accessibility

From the IEBlog:

Today I wanted to talk about three aspects of accessibility as they relate to IE and Windows in general. First is access to the Windows OS for individuals with disabilities, second are a couple of hints for users of screen readers using IE in XPSP2 and finally is a request for feedback to help guide our development in IE7 and beyond.

While it’s fun to pan Microsoft, and particularily, in my circles at least, Internet Explorer, I have to give them some credit for leaving comments enabled on their blog. It would be even better if they responded to some of the comments – a comment is more valuable if it initiates dialog – but at least they’re doing an ok job experimenting in the blog space. It can’t be a bad thing.

Blogging and Culture at Yahoo!

Mark Jen was fired from Google for blogging. The is old news. What’s interesting now is that he reports on his conversations with two prominent bloggers (and yahoo employees) about blogging at work, yahoo’s policy/stance on worker-blogging, at last week’s 106 Miles community meeting. It’s nice to see that Yahoo gets blogs and blogging.

after dave’s talk, i met russ. he apparently had been doing contract work at yahoo and just recently joined there full time. i took the opportunity to chat with him a little bit; mostly, i wanted to know why he chose to join yahoo out of all the other companies in the area. immediately, russ focused in on the culture and working environment. i thought, wow, a place that’s working on bringing revolutionary web technologies to the masses and a great atmosphere? sounds like a dream come true.

then, i met jeremy zawodny. since my story had started making rounds with the press, i had been compared to jeremy and scoble, but i had never expected to meet them in person. we got to talking and he shared with me his experience at yahoo, which also sounded great. jeremy told me that yahoo is extremely blog friendly and that posting their personal work experiences was perfectly acceptable – given, of course, that confidential information and NDAs aren’t breached. i left with his contact info and an invite to tour the yahoo campus.

FeedBurner Stats, Podcasts, Specialized RSS Clients


podcast_growth
Originally uploaded by natekoechley.

Feedburner, an RSS feed tracking company (that I use to understand my RSS statistics and readership), has been releasing some very interesting statistics recently. This batch provides some insight into the Podcasting space:

  • Since the beginning of 2005, the number of podcast feeds managed by Feedburner has more than doubled from 871 to 1746.
  • Four different rss aggregators specialized for podcasts are in the Top 50 RSS Aggregators list. This illustrates a trend that’s sure to continue… There are already clients specializing in aggregating video — how long until photo-specific show up?

Thanks for sharing, Feedburner, it’s a great post. Thanks also for the interesting and valuable service you provide.




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