Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Bloggers really need a job

Weren't we just talking about this????

Now Silicon Valley Watcher has launched a job board

And forget what I was talking about $150 or $100/pop job postings, the Watcher is offering them for free! (So far, one has signed up...a marketing position in New York.... hmmm...interesting....)

Guys, seriously... if you are all writing about the future of Silicon Valley and the future is job boards, then I'm cashing in whatever stock options I have that are above water and heading for the hills.

Scoop on the Sleuth

One of my favorite bloggers is Silicon Valley Sleuth. The Sleuth doesn’t try to be an “insiders” blog that talks about the names and faces of Silicon Valley, or one that tries to latch on to the latest tech fad. I like the Sleuth because it is a solid meat ’n’ potatoes tech blog without the pretension.

What’s on the Sleuth? What works, what doesn’t; what’s real, what’s vapor; who’s got something, and who is full of something.

Although the Sleuth is not a technologist by training (I think he studied Russian and Eastern European Studies or something really useful like that), he is one of the most tech savvy bloggers out there. Maybe sometimes he’s a bit too savvy and ends up writing about things that bore the heck out of me (try as I might, I can’t get excited about open source software). But even then, he puts a spin on it that makes the blog colorful.

But most of all what I like about the Sleuth is that he is trying to innovate. He is the first (and one of the only?) bloggers to actively incorporate video into his blog. And he does so using available tools such as YouTube, Yahoo Video and Google Video, which adds (dare I say) a more community, open source feel to his blog.

Also, the video is news video, not a vlog of punditry or self-congratulatory “insider’s insight.” It’s straight up technology news from the technology newsmakers. An idea so simple no one else seems to have thought of it.

And I’m not the only one who has noticed the Sleuth’s video innovation. Luminaries like none other than Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz also appear to be fans and are ripping off some ideas.

Video seems to be good for traffic as Sleuth says that his exclusive “One Laptop Per Child” has attracted an impressive 100,000 viewers so far.

One thing worth noting is that unlike guys like Om Malik or Tom Foremski, Sleuth is not independent and has the backing of the mighty VNU corporate machine, so maybe that gives him more resources to add things like video? Who knows…

Anyway, I know that journalists consider it faint praise indeed when a PR flack pays them a compliment (only when they rile us up and we are forced to use threats of violence and lawsuits that many feel like they’ve done their job). But in this instance the Sleuth will have to listen closely because I am saying something nice.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Farewell, Pluto - we thought the world of you - National - theage.com.au

With the endless horrors going on in the world right now and an overwhelming feeling of helplessness to do anything about it, I find it uplifting to read about a debate that does not involve life or death, but makes us contemplate the wonders of the universe.

I've been reading a few stories on Pluto's cosmic demotion, but leave it to the Aussies to really sum up how people feel about this decision:

"Pluto," she writes, "retains an emotional hold on planethood. People love Pluto. Children identify with its smallness. Adults relate to its inadequacy, its marginal existence as a misfit."

Farewell, Pluto � we thought the world of you - National - theage.com.au

Bloggers get jobs...

So GigaOm has launched a job board a few weeks after TechCrunch did the same.

Michael Arrington of TechCrunch held out an olive branch to Om to start up a separate company for job postings which Om declined.

Om’s a smart guy and to be honest, I like his blog more than TechCrunch (matter of what I find interesting) and I’m sure he has his reasons for passing on Arrington, but I can’t figure out what they are.

Job listings are a commodity product, you can get them anywhere and it doesn’t really matter where you get them. And with RSS readers, for the most part you may set up your search once and then you’ll have no idea where you got them from. They’ll just show up in your reader.

So why is Om attempting to make a big splash in a commodity market? He set his price at $200/pop, which is the same as CrunchBoard. This is smart because the last thing either probably wants is a price war. However, I’m sure some other blogger is going to come in with a cheaper job board and there goes the market. No barrier to entry, no differentiation of value.

I see the blogger job board market last a short while and then melt away like Icarus’ wings. It takes one blogger with an RSS and $50 postings and the whole market will plummet to Earth.

Sure, both Om and Arrington could argue they get higher traffic numbers, but who cares? I’m a MyYahoo junkie. All I need to do is set it up once and then I’ll never know/care how much traffic the original site gets.

In fact, you could imagine a Craigslist type place with a solid RSS feed, no content to get in the way and super-cheap price for companies and there you go.

Or, you could imagine that either Om or Arrington see a slow down in their $200/job post model, and dip their toes in the $150 pool. Then it is just a race to the bottom.

I’m not trying to be a bag of downers… I really hope both Om and Arrington succeed and that they can finally create some sort of repeatable blogger business model. I just don’t really see how offering competing job post boards will do it.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Pluto sent down to Minors

A view of astronomy from the dug-out. It is sad, but I think demoting Pluto was the rigth choice... I just feel like I've lost part of my childhood in the process.

Major League Baseball : News : Major League Baseball News

Selling arms by the pound

Yesterday Cramer on Mad Money talked about how Cisco is selling arms to both sides of a battle (cabelco vs. telco) like the Swiss.

Here's USA Today article on how that battle is shaping up on Long Island.

As a Sopranos fan, I worry what happens when turf wars get a little too heated around that area....

USATODAY.com - Verizon, Cablevision skirmish as war nears