Once upon a time, when content was king

Let me try to get from the Steve Gillmor‘s Gang to the big picture really quick. Although Steve says that it was not Jason Calacanis‘ fault that a certain episode failed, it goes back to Jason taking that episode hostage by interrupting it at his own pace, trying to force Gillmor to either publish the podcast more quickly or let Jason handle editing and distribution. The episode failed because Steve was no longer able to moderate the conversation – something he is a master of an which makes the Gang what it is.

Now, after a week of a new and additional show NewsGang and a Jason-less The Gang the content is back to the usual high-standard (not that episode XI was not good) the dilemma has been shifted to attention. All of a sudden Gillmor has quintupled his weekly output forcing his listeners to make decisions about their time.

24 hours in a day, no way to buy an additional 8 hrs from Google yet. Content is being published more quickly (best example tumblr – two months from now the Gang will talk about it being acquired), consumed more efficiently (Google Reader, esp. with the shared feeds), and mechanisms that help me find what is supposedly relevant (Techmeme, NewsGang) get a lot of traction. The same goes for audio and video content, but for me they are not as time-pressed.

The overload of content has to find the recipient, both in an sender<->receiver relationship and a time/interest-relationship, the latter one being quite a pickle for producers of long-formats or bulk-contents. It might make more sense to consume 10 short blog posts than 1 long one. I might be more sensible to listen to 3 10-minute episodes of different shows than 1 30-minute show. Example: I like watching the Scoble Show, but it was simple too many too long episodes. Sure, it is my choice. But it also a choice that I will make, costing a producer a viewer.

Coming back to The Gang, production speed is not really the issue, most people who listen to podcasts have a variety to choose from anyway. And it is not about the episodes being cut into pieces. For some non-tech-savy people this might actually be great, they don’t have to fastforward through one file to get to the point where they last stopped listening. The issue is a that the conversation needs to be worthwhile enough so that listeners spend their time with it. And make active decisions about re-allocating their most precious resource, time, when the producer changes his distribution mechanisms. Unfortunately, many pages and hours of great content will end up un-consumed.

//The Gang serves as example here, I could be talking about Lost, American Idol or The A-Team just as well.//

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Steve Jobs’ Keynote in 60 seconds courtesy of Mahalo Daily

What a great idea by the Mahalo Daily team, editing Steve Jobs’ MacWorld Keynote down to 60 seconds. Informative and funny. And did I mention the sharing features of the MD player rock too?

I am still going to watch the whole thing, but Mahalo Daily just erased the urgency.

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Attention: your Feedburner stats may just be iffy at best

After close to three years of Feedburner usage I want to say, “don’t judge the value of your blog based on Feedburner alone”. Why?
Because most people who use RSS are terrible when it comes to maintaining a good, current collection.
Ever tried a new feed-reader and just dumped your opml into it? Did you take it out again when moving on?
Ever switched blogs AND feeds and watched how many readers made the move? Well, I have. The original (aka old feed) sub number went down 10 percent but stayed that way for almost two months now.

There is the “dinosaur” function in NetNewsWire, but it looks like only few RSS-users know where to find it, as well as the unsubsribe button. I find this very puzzling, trying to keep my too high number of subscribed feeds (~350) from going much higher, that button is my friend.

I therefore argue that by now there are too many dead bloglines et al.-accounts out there so that advertising with “100k subscribers” just from Feedburner stats alone is a bit iffy. Yet another broken metric.

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Trackbacks are dead

I guess they are. Steve Rubel asked the question whether anybody still uses them yesterday on twitter. Mixed answers, but mostly negative.
. too much spam
. nobody cares
Me, I still use trackbacks from time to time, mostly when I link to something older and almost exclusively to blogs from people I know. I want to nudge them, “I linked to you”, without them having to go through the ego-feeds.

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The Police joined by Mariah Carey on tour

Excited by the news that The Police will be touring again I went to site thepolicetour.com and got even more excited when I saw the RSS sign. “Sure thing, I can’t miss on tickets, cause I’ll know as soon as they are on sale, thanks to my friend RSS.”
The feed, however, is the latest news for Mariahcarey.com–
that could be interesting, as long as I don’t have to watch!

Performancing vs. Flock

Well, I am a big fan of Flock, “the social web browser”. However, I am not using their blog editor. Why, you ask? While it would give me the option to alter old posts from a pull-down menu (something every offline-editor does), it doesn’t offer trackbacking. Trackbacks are dead you might argue, but still, I’d like that to be my choice. After all, I do still use MS Word from time to time. Flock didn’t offer trackbacks in the beginning and I cannot understand why this is still not implemented. Or am I just too darn blind to see them?
If you follow my writing you know that I use Performancing (or Performancing for Firefox). I only went to re-check on Flock’s blog editor after I read that not everything is well in Performancing land. But, it seems I need not worry because the blog editor plug-in will be continued under the name ScribeFire. Now, if they’d just add a local copy so I can edit my existing posts that would be swell. Or, if somebody would point me to an editor like Dave Winer users, just with the picture drag & drop that Performancing has, even better.

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