That's right. And they are calling her a cultural anthropologist. Danah is a well-known social media researcher and Ph.D. student in SIMS at U.C. Berkeley. We recently pointed to a great paper she wrote on communities, which was the subject of the O'Reilly show.
With desktop software,
unexpected demand is great news, even if it creates short-term distribution
challenges. But with SaaS, unexpected
demand can quickly lead to poor performance. Check out the mea culpa from Michael
Robertson (and the second MS Office alternative, ajaxSketch): “Ok, we got swamped with traffic and
ajaxWrite was lethargic or broken for the first 36 hours as we struggled to
quadruple our server capacity. We even deployed servers in the US and Europe so
people can use the nearest server to them.”
It’s a small but relevant example
of the problem many organizations have with the SaaS model (here’s another from Salesforce.com). As all the technologies come together to
support dynamite web-based services, the big question service providers have
yet to answer is whether they need to—and are able to—provide better
performance and availability than internal networks in order to prove the
viability of the model – and whether they will back it up with a serious SLA.
As we said yesterday, we will soon be turning our attention to political wikis. In fact, we'll be writing about a couple this weekend. One problem -- we have great examples of how folks on the left are using the technology, not so great examples from the right. This is an equal opportunity blog series, so let's hear from everyone.
After the weekend, we'll look at wikis in education and knowledge management. Lots of interesting experiments in those areas. Sneak peek -- we're going to find out how the CoolCatTeacher earned her street cred. We'll also talk about a wiki that can help you prepare for April 15th. Something for everyone ....
This is the eighth installment in "33 Wikis," a close look at best practices in wiki-based collaboration. Each day -- for 33 days -- we look at one wiki and briefly describe what the wiki is for, why we like it, and what we all can learn from it. If you want to nominate a wiki, please let us know. On day 34 we will post a public wiki featuring info on all nominees.
*a repository of relevant information about how the PR practice is changing
*a collaboration tool for PR professionals and people interested in the practice of public relations
*an open space where anyone can ask questions, post ideas, or start a project.
Why we like it: At the end of a week when the PR blogosphere spent so much time anguishing over the musings of an anonymous blogger, TheNewPRWiki stands for the notion that there are better things to come ... or something else to talk about (we'll see). As we said yesterday in our discussion of SourceWatch, this is an industry that is undergoing major reform and renewal, and TheNewPRWiki, along with a couple of new industry groups (most notably NewCommForum) has done a lot to help PR folks educate themselves on both the theory and practice of new media. The wiki has good info, including case studies, corporate blogging policies, lists, and more.
What we all can learn from it: Bottom line: if SourceWatch is about getting rid of the old, TheNewPRWiki is about building the new. If you are in PR, this is a great resource. If you are not, this is a living case study on how to begin renewing an industry. It will surely take more than a wiki -- or a village -- but starting small, with a group of people who sometimes compete for business (because it's in their interests to collaborate) is a smart approach.
This is the seventh installment in "33 Wikis," a close look at best practices in wiki-based collaboration. Each day -- for 33 days -- we look at one wiki and briefly describe what the wiki is for, why we like it, and what we all can learn from it. If you want to nominate a wiki, please let us know. On day 34 we will post a public wiki featuring info on all nominees.
Why we like it: Wait ... a PR agency is promoting SourceWatch, the scourge of the PR industry? Precisely. As many of you know, our world is undergoing a major transformation, and the twin trends of openness and transparency are changing everything. It only makes sense to get completely behind the right side of this battle. We may not always like what Disinfopedia has to say about world, but we like that they have figured out a way to say it, using an innovative approach -- the wiki approach -- to gather information on activities that many of us in the industry would rather ignore. Right from the front page, you'll find resources on how to research front groups,how to study propaganda, and how to do research on the Web.
What we all can learn from it: Wikis are ideal for projects like this -- they can be used to gather and expose disinformation as well as information. It's an approach that can be used in industry -- think of corporate crisis campaigns, e.g., -- as well as in politics. We'll look at the latter in the next few days.
This is the sixth installment in "33 Wikis," a close look at best practices in wiki-based collaboration. Each day -- for 33 days -- we look at one wiki and briefly describe what the wiki is for, why we like it, and what we all can learn from it. If you want to nominate a wiki, please let us know. On day 34 we will post a public wiki featuring info on all nominees.
Full disclosure -- today's wiki runs on the Socialtext platform. Socialtext is an Eastwick client.
What this wiki is for:"The Start-up Exchange" aims to provide a "renewable resource for those working with fewer resources." It's a wiki for entrepreneurs, with a special focus on folks trying to get started in the technology sector.
Why we like it: Of course, we have a lot of Socialtext-based wikis to choose from, but to be fair to other vendors we are limiting our selections to just a few. We are particularly impressed with this little wiki because it seeks to close the real-life business knowledge gap that makes life difficult for so many first-time entrepreneurs. We also like the small community look and feel. Check out the short list of contributors -- nay, become a contributor -- and you'll see you are in good company (pun intended).
What we all can learn from it: If you are looking to start a new company, but have no idea how to get started, this might be a good first stop. With a small community of contributors, the "Start-up Exchange" provides all sorts of info including a "start-up kit" (with info and forms on finance, law, HR, etc.), VC links and resources,an events calendar, and, yes, info on VCs and angel investors. By the way, the start-up kit is the brainchild of Andy Stack from Stata Labs, a start-up that Yahoo! acquired in 2004. As the kit notes, the "business integration into Yahoo! was one of the fastest completed integrations due in part to the procedures that were in place." The start-up kit captures what Stata learned from that experience.
But for folks outside the start-up world, the biggest takeaway is this: a wiki could be a good way to close information gaps that really do not need to exist. Projects like this can shift the focus from insider knowledge -- because it will become less precious -- to things that matter more (like a little something called innovation -- our wiki topic for tomorrow).
We’ve written a lot about community and transparency in blogging… but what about the fundamental freedom to express oneself via blog without fear of censorship and filtering? According to recent reports, in Iran, bloggers have faced harassment by the government and arrest for voicing “opposing views.”Some have even fled the country in fear of prosecution. Check out the AP article here.
The Iranian blogging community is known as Weblogistan and experts estimate there are between 70,000 and 100,000 active weblogs in the country. Read sample postings here. Iranian bloggers are finding themselves navigating some dangerous roads, amidst a government that perceives blogs as a threat. Says one blogger: "I am very careful. Every blogger in Iran who writes in his/her name must be careful. I know the red lines and I never go beyond them. And these days, the red lines are getting tighter."
Meanwhile, I read that an Iraqi woman's blog, which details the war’s impact on regular people, is in the running for a literary prize, the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction. Check out "Baghdad Burning" here.
BTW -- why not? It's one of the biggest, most vibrant communities out there. Bubble or not, someone is going to make money on this.
UPDATE: Ok, Erick Schonfeld has a very good answer to the general question "why not":
At 7 million members, that values each college-loan-saddled college student who uses the Facebook at $285 million. Excuse me? Now, even accounting for future growth of 10X or even 100X members (forget for a second that there aren't that many college students in the country), and it's still hard to swallow. I don't care if the Facebook is now the seventh most heavily trafficked site on the Web. By that calculation, MySpace on its own would be worth $10.7 billion, based on its estimated 37 million unique users.
Erick is not the only person who thinks the numbers are too high. Search the blogs this morning and you will see some of the reaction.