Two of my favourite blogs are Techcrunch and Mashable, both tend to cover the same topics a lot of the time. If a post goes up on one it will usually appear on the other soon after, which isn’t a problem really given their unique take on the topics. They both put their own spin on the stories which is interesting to see how their opinions compare. That said, the volume of posts which are similar between the two blogs is very high and surely this must affect their readership numbers, given that some readers will naturally choose one over the other.

For example; right now the latest 10 posts on Techcrunch are:

  • Facebooks verified app program
  • Macbooks new anti-piracy features
  • Google’s mobile voice search app
  • A Flash gaming collective
  • Twitter being down
  • Amazon CloudFront
  • Google’s mobile voice search app (again)
  • The iFun iPhone app
  • Jerry Yang stepping down at Yahoo
  • Facebooks verified app program (again)

The latest 10 posts on Mashable are:

  • Digg recommendation engine (been covered before on Techcrunch)
  • YouTube vs Hulu (lot’s of coverage on both blogs in the past)
  • NewsJunk folding
  • The iFun iPhone app
  • Jerry Yang stepping down at Yahoo
  • Facebooks verified app program
  • Sites you can sell old gadgets on
  • Mogees, an app store middle man
  • Google Analytics for Flash (covered yesterday on Techcrunch)
  • How not to build your Twitter community

The ones in red are covering the same topics on both blogs. The ones in blue have been covered before on the other blog. This shows the huge crossover between these massively popular blogs.

Now, I’m not saying this is a bad thing at all. I’m all for diversity and choice and I enjoy reading both blogs and the angle they take on the tech news of the day. I’m interested in whether you think that a merger between the two could actually be a good thing? I wonder what would be lost by this, whether Techcrunch could swallow up Mashable, cover the mainstream stuff still and allow Mashable a channel of their own (like Crunchgear) to continue their great lists of useful links and apps.

What do you think? Is it time to reduce duplication in the big blogs?

A study has come out which says that people who blog can feel less isolated and more satisfied with your friendships both online and in the real world. The two month study found those who blogged felt they had better social support and friendship networks than those in the study who didn’t.

Could this be because bloggers have a platform to vent frustration and express emotion? Or is it that we’re a bunch of egotists who like to think people want to read what we have to say ;-)

10 years of blogging

December 18, 2007

So, it’s ten years since the term weblog was first used by a man collecting a list of links on his Robot Wisdom website. It’s sure come a long way since then!

However, I really believe a blog is for documenting your thoughts on a subject that interests you. It’s a place for sharing and raising opinions, and a place for breaking the news.

Just because the term was only invented ten years ago doesn’t mean people weren’t blogging before that. A company I worked at had it’s own development diary on their public website which was in essence a blog. Many scientists I know were documenting their work in their field on the internet.

The real explosion of blogs happened thanks to the software that makes it all possible and the rise of platforms such as WordPress. Blogs existed long before that, they just weren’t called blogs and certainly were more difficult to create!

Blogosphere Stunned…

November 29, 2007

Have to agree wholeheartedly with Mike Arrington of Techcrunch. The Onion is genius!!

Entire Blogosphere Stunned By Blogger’s Special Weekend Post

NEW YORK—In what is being called a seminal moment in Internet history, a rare weekend post by 25-year-old blogger Ben Tiedemann on his website bentiedemanntellsall.blogspot.com rocked the 50 million-member blogosphere this Saturday.

The landmark post, which updated nearly every member of the global online community on the shelf Tiedemann was building, was linked to by several thousand sites, including Daily Kos, Digg, and The New York Times.

“Wow, what a special treat this was for all of us,” said Talking Points Memo head blogger Joshua Micah Marshal, who, along with all other bloggers, checks Tiedemann’s site every day just in case something monumental occurs. “I thought I was going to have to wait until Monday to find out if Ben decided to put [the shelf] in his bedroom or the living room. The pictures were great, too.”

Within two hours of going live, Tiedemann’s 15-word post received 34,634,897 comments.

Bloggers beware…

October 8, 2007

I’ve just been reading a story on the International Herald Tribune about the former U.K. ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray and his blogging woes.

He’s made what the press are calling a major faux pas by posting “potentially defamatory” information about Alisher Usmanov, a mining mogul who’s currently trying to take a stake in Arsenal football club. Murray’s ISP (Fasthosts) received a deluge of ominous legal letters demanding the removal of said information. And now, a couple of weeks later Murrays blog is no more having disappeared off the internet. Apparently he is due to reappear on that well known Dutch ISP who is happy to give a home to some of the more edgy bloggers out there.

Obviously the blogging community is up in arms about this kind of censorship. The main worry is the way Fasthosts removed the blogs without any legal ruling being decided. This means that none of our blogs are safe (if you’re hosting in the UK) and if you annoy the wrong people you could well see your blog disappear before your eyes.

I hope this doesn’t increases in prevalence, it would be nice to think that freedom of speech could exist in 2007, but I really doubt it does when dealing with people with vast fortunes.

I love The Onion, and here once again they’ve hit the nail on the proverbial head with this video showing how they (the media) respond to users comments. Really makes sense if you’ve ever run a blog, social network or user generated content based site.

Viewer Voices: Where We Respond To The Opinions Of Our Uninformed Viewers

So what would your business meetings be like if we all spoke like threaded comments on an internet forum or blog post? The below gives you a pretty good idea ;-)

Recently Technorati has been having problems with indexing new posts after you ping the service. A few weeks back it went almost a week without picking up anything new from my blog. Today it’s doing the same, and yesterday it picked up one but missed out older posts.

They seem to be having some issues over at Technorati towers. The indexing issue is the tip of the iceberg. Technorati is losing it’s usefulness to bloggers and regularly I see posts saying that bloggers no longer rely on it to deliver the traffic it once did. I get very little traffic from Technorati now but like to keep my site up to date by auto-pinging it.

I’d be interested to hear others opinions about the service and what they use to gain traffic now it’s broken.

Bloggers cashing in

July 17, 2007

Details in Business Week here about how much the top bloggers are raking in from their online antics.

Unsurprising list of people but the amounts are quite staggering. Some bloggers are refuting the claims but it’s probably pretty accurate judging by the traffic levels that they claim…

Good on them. However, it does of course make those of us who do it for nothing that much more honourable ;-)

Most annoying web words

June 22, 2007

E-consultancy.com has a blog post about a recent YouGov survey which asked people what words used on the web were most likely to make them ‘wince, shudder or want to bang your head on the keyboard’ (pretty extreme reactions to words if you ask me).

The results are below:

  1. folksonomy
  2. blogosphere
  3. blog
  4. netiquette
  5. blook
  6. webinar
  7. vlog
  8. social network
  9. cookie
  10. wiki, podcast and avatar

I’m a bit flummoxed! Who did they ask, a load of people who’ve never heard of these words or didn’t understand them I’d bet. Folksonomy is an excellent word but only really makes sense if you understand taxonomy and it’s meaning. Also, some of these words have been around for years, so why ask? All seems a bit pointless to me!

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