The Secret Life of Bloggers

Two interesting reports/articles on the web with a similar theme about content creation and social software on the Internet:

  • Picked up by Anecdote (and many others), the Guardian talks about the 1% rule – “It’s an emerging rule of thumb that suggests that if you get a group of 100 people online then one will create content, 10 will ‘interact’ with it (commenting or offering improvements) and the other 89 will just view it“; and
  • The Pew Internet & American Life Project have released a new report on the motivations and habits of bloggers – one of their findings is that most bloggers don’t view their efforts as a “public endeavour” and spend on average only 1-2 hours a week blogging.

To be honest, there is nothing surprising here but it does counteract some of the hype in this space. Its also worth (again) referencing back to Figallo‘s practical guidence on hosting web communities, which again is still looking pretty solid even after a few years… so even if time alone is the only barrier to blogging its unlikely we will ever see everyone writing a blog because there are clearly other factors at play.

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Pre-paid credit cards arrive in Australia

Nice to see a bit of disruption in the Australian banking sector with the recent launch of what is claimed to be Australia’s first pre-paid credit card – the Bopo pre-paid Visa card from Bill Express can be ordered online and then topped up at 3,500 newsagents.

But I find it strange that there doesn’t appear to be any other way topping up the card other than going physically into a newsagent. Considering two of the proposed benefits are “To keep your bank account separate when you buy online” and “Convenient Internet-only statements” the reality is it looks more like a product for non-online consumers. For example, Visa‘s pre-paid Buxx card (available in the US) appears to offer more top up options.

Reviews of the new pre-paid credit card early in the year by consumer credit advocates (as reported in the Sydney Morning Herald) also suggested that when you look at the fees and features, a traditional bank debit card might offer better value and more flexability.

Still, its a good example of how technology can help to disrupt existing markets.

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Hands on SNA for organisations

Many people have asked about learning the practical side of social network analysis (SNA), as its much more fun if you can get your hands on the tools and work with them. Optimice have put together a 2 day hands-on course on ONA (…SNA for organizations) which will be held in Sydney in October. As a bonus they are giving participants a copy of Rob Cross and Andrew Parker‘s book on the “Hidden Power of Social Networks“, one of the most practical books on SNA that you will find. There is an early bird offer as well!

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Change of gear at ChiefTech

Just a quick note to let you know that I’ve decided to put Chief Technology Solutions on hold in order to take up a full-time position with CSC in Australia as an information and knowledge management consultant. While I’ve enjoyed working with a range of businesses over the last few years, this is an exciting oppourtunity for me to focus on consulting in projects for CSC’s blue chip and government clients. Its also a chance to work with some interesting people in the information and knowledge management space like Laurie Lock Lee and Cai Kjaer.

As for the ChiefTech blog, hopefully you won’t notice any real changes to what I’m posting, but I will point out that moving forward this will very much be a personal blog about technology, information and knowledge management – don’t expect to find me talking (directly) about my work at CSC 🙂

I’m also going to continue with being involved as a board member of Workplace Learning Illawarra, a member of the NSW KM Forum committee and a supporter of the Illawarra ICT cluster.

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Customise me, Jessica!

In an innovative move by Yahoo‘s music channel, they have released a DRM-free personalised MP3 by Jessica Simpson. The personalisation is quite simple, you can pick a person’s name to incorporate into the song, but provides a proof of concept. The Yahoo! Music blog provides a bit of background and feedback putting forward a point we haven’t heard much about before, the cost of implementing DRM:

Our position is simple: DRM doesn’t add any value for the artist, label (who are selling DRM-free music every day — the Compact Disc), or consumer, the only people it adds value to are the technology companies who are interested in locking consumers to a particular technology platform… It’s very expensive for companies like Yahoo! to implement. We’d much rather have our engineers building better personalization, recommendations, playlisting applications, community apps, etc, instead of complex provisioning systems which at the end of the day allow you to burn a CD and take the DRM back off, anyway!

Great to see ideas emerging for alternative business models that use the mass customisation potiential of technology to open up rather lock down music and other downloadable media.

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