Recently a few cool things have happened in the blogosphere that I’m very excited about…
Michael Arrington of TechCrunch called to the masses for a “Dead Simple Web Tablet for $200.” In short, it’s an ultra-thin touch screen the size of two hands put together that runs on (free) open source software and its expressed purpose is to provide internet access. With a device like this you could: email, IM, stream music and videos, create and edit documents using Google docs, save your work to an email or online storage account like Box.net, make VOIP phone calls using Skype or a similar service, as well as simply surf the net. Basically this device would satisfy 99.9% of a normal person’s computing needs, for only $200 and about the size of a Readers Digest. Pretty sweet right? It gets better…
The coolest part about this whole project is Arrington asked his community to build it. He will organize the project but asked for anyone who could participate in any way to include an email in the comments section of the post. Not surprisingly within 24 hours thousands of very capable and talented techies had volunteered to help with the project. Admittedly it was a bit of a marketing ploy on Arrington’s part to launch his new TechCrunchIT domain but who cares? We’re all the better for it and what if the product actually gets made?! I’ll take two
Uber-blogger Robert Scoble had an epiphany* and realized tech blogging has gotten away from its roots and become more about the “new, shiny object/feature/technology” of the day/hour/second rather than real, insightful ideas and and discussions. Case in point, this week every “respectable” tech blog has been writing about the new search engine Cuil, before that it was Facebook and the F8 conference, and before that it was Apple’s WWDC and Steve Jobs’ health (with the Microsoft/Yahoo/Icahn battle as a common thread throughout of course).
Anyone with half a brain and an elementary understanding of history could have predicted this. Consolidation occurs (to some extent) in every vertical that reaches a critical mass and it seems that tech blogging is now at that stage. Consolidation in itself isn’t all bad but it comes with a new set of obstacles (like redundant content). The point here is it’s pretty cool that Scoble is conscious of the challenges ahead and actively working to solve them.
FriendFeed became mainstream for tech geeks. It’s only a matter of time before the teenage Digg fanboys infiltrate that playground too, but for the time being it’s a place where some profound conversations are taking place (and in terms of functionality nothing like this has ever really existed before).
Seth Godin asked “Are you in the tribe?” a brilliant idea for marketing his new (marketing) book to be released this fall. He has created a private online community (or “tribe”) for marketers, leaders, and anyone else interested to connect, discuss relevant topics and work on meaningful projects – including his next book :). Tribe membership is now closed but you can check back on Seth’s blog for future openings.
Update: Scoble wrote another post on this subject today