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World of Warcraft Helps Cure Email Attention Disorder

wowemail World of Warcraft Helps Cure Email Attention DisorderIf you have had problems with sifting through hordes of unwanted email to actually get to the email that matters, Seriosity has the cure for you. The company has developed an e-mail management system that derives from the virtual economies in World of Warcraft and other MMORPGs.

The system relies on a currency, called the Serio, that e-mail readers spend to classify messages according to the level of importance. The more important the message, the more Serio you spend on it.

[The system] was directly inspired by the virtual economies of online games like WoW. There, players accumulate gold or platinum pieces or some other form of currency and can spend them on weapons, armor, dwellings and the like that have real monetary value as demonstrated by what people will pay for them on auction and third-party sites.

Ultimately, the idea behind the e-mail management system is to manage the attention of corporate employees. According to a study by Basex, e-mail-related attention-management problems along with other online tools cost the U.S. economy about $588 billion a year. For one Seriosity client, the problem costs about $1 billion a year.

CNet has the full report.

34 Reasons Why Readers Unsubscribe from Your Blog

rssc 34 Reasons Why Readers Unsubscribe from Your BlogDarren Rowse has revealed 34 reasons why his readers unsubscribe from blogs. He asked his readers why, and there were total of 109 comments from which he has categorized the results. While I agree with most of the reasons, some of them were truly asinine. Here are the 10 reasons that topped the list.

  • Too many posts (the post levels are too overwhelming) – 37
  • Infrequent Posting (or the blog is effectively dead) – 29
  • Partial Excerpts Feeds – 25
  • Blog Changes Focus (too much off topic posting) – 23
  • Too many posts that I see elsewhere (Redundant, Repeated or Recycled News) – 19
  • Uninteresting Content – 16
  • Irrelevant Content – 13
  • The Blogger’s Ego – Too much self promotion – 11
  • Low Quality Content – 11
  • Too many posts that are too long – 10

Visit Mr. Rowse here.

Death of the Paparazzi

cmph Death of the PaparazziAccording to a top paparazzo, amateur camera-phone photographers are putting the squeeze on celebrity photographers.

German Hans Paul, who says he once earned $120,000 for a picture of a then-pregnant Julia Roberts, said fees for paparazzi had been driven to new lows as even fans and autograph hunters now know how to market their pictures.

The advancements in camera-phone technology have made camera-phones cheap enough and the quality of the photographs good enough to be used widely and be useful at the same time. Furthermore, online outlets have made it incredibly easy for ordinary people to be linked with newspapers and other media to sell pictures to them directly. We covered one such outlet last December.

Mr Paul highlighted the example of the pictures of the execution of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein as evidence of how images captured on a mobile phone can create news in any media. He said: “There is no doubt that we paparazzi are suffering from this. There is hardly any money to be made in the everyday business.”

The Guardian has more. (Subscription required, required information is available here)

Australian Government set to censor Bloggers

australia Australian Government set to censor BloggersIn an extraordinary move, the Australian Government is set to censor all publishers of electronic content, including Bloggers, under legislation due to be presented to Parliament in the Autumn sittings.

The Communications Legislation Amendment (Content Services) Bill, a reaction to the famous (in Australia anyway) Big Brother Turkey Slap incident last year will see all publishers of electronic content having to submit all content to the Government for classification prior to publication, where upon the content would receive classification in the same way currently that films receive a rating, with content deemed MA (Mature Audiences) or R (restricted 18+) only being able to be published with approved age restricted access systems.

Todays Crikey subscriber email (not available online) suggests that the wording of the bill would would indicate that it is primarily aimed at providers of mobile telephone and internet content such as online video, however that “nobody has thought through the implications for book and magazine publishers who also deliver content online”.

The legislation, if it passes in its current form (and like Crikey I’m confident it won’t) would stifle, if not destroy the Australian blogosphere and many others working within Web 2.0 and new media within this country.

If it does pass there is also some question remaining in terms of where a blog is published, for example many Australians, including myself, host our sites in the United States, and yet the High Court decision in Gutnick v Dow Jones would suggest that legally such sites could be deemed published in Australia even if hosted overseas, and could in theory be subject to the new censorship regime.

I’d suggest that there will be a lot more to be said about this legislation in the coming months. Certainly it will be a sad day when bloggers in China, Vietnam, Burma, Zimbabwe and other such countries have greater rights and freedoms than Australian bloggers do.

 

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Is YouTube handicapping embedded video to drive more traffic to youtube.com?

Seen a YouTube video embedded on a another site lately? Of course one of the more popular features of YouTube from the beginning has been the ability to embed videos on your own site, it’s a great feature that allows many of us to present videos without needing to host them ourselves.

But have you encountered embedded YouTube videos lately that either wont play or take for ever to start? I have, on numerous occasions on many, many different sites. Naturally my first thoughts were that the site hadn’t added the include script properly, but as I saw it on more and more sites it got me thinking.

You see, if you’re like me and you’re trying to watch a video on a website and it’s not working, and you really want to watch it, what do you do? Easy, you click on the video frame itself which takes you directly to the page at youtube.com that hosts the video, and 100% of the time the video works promptly at youtube.com itself. I’ve found myself doing this more and more lately. Here’s one example from Gizmodo. I’d note that I hit play on this video 5 minutes ago, nothing is playing:

gizmodo Is YouTube handicapping embedded video to drive more traffic to youtube.com?

A quick click on the YouTube logo at the bottom right of screen: bingo! I get a working video.

The question then becomes: is YouTube intentionally stifling/ handicapping embedded videos to force users to visit youtube.com? Perhaps not all of the time, and with all videos, but perhaps through some random or not so random algorithm? Is there any other explanation for the regular failure of embedded YouTube videos not working as they should? Food for thought.

Digg The Next President? – Reprise

Blogger Andy Ostroy has a piece in yesterday’s ABCNews site’s politics section entitled Al Gore will not only run, but he can and will win. Now, given how far ahead Senator Barack Obama is in terms of stories submitted to Digg, the social networking engine, and its new US Elections 2008 section, this should prove very interesting to watch and see whether Ostroy is right.

If he is, can we conclude that winning an Oscar for the film Inconvenient Truth and then winning the Presidency means that old media is more powerful than new media, particularly the blogosphere? I’m not sure that’d be a fair assessment, but it’s still true that more people in the United States watch TV than use the Internet for any great length of time.

However, research from late last year shows that kids in the late pre-teens and early teens are ignoring TV for the Internet. Maybe, when they’re old enough to vote, the key to gaining the Presidency will rely on a proper new media campaign. For 2008, however, that may not be true, no matter how popular Digg’s Elections 2008 section becomes. Which might mean that Ostroy will be right, that Americans will vote in a President who has proven his/her ability to get things done.

Are New Media Workers Multi-Taskers?

When was the last time you were doing multiple things at the same time? A Washington Post article talks about how teens multitask with homework, video, phone calls, and Internet chatting. But I quickly realized that I pretty much to do it every day. It’s a necessity for working in New Media. You’re browsing in one window, with a blog editor in a split pane, and running 1-4, maybe more, chat windows with different collaborators or clients. You might even be talking with someone via Skype or SightSpeed.

This sort of multi-tasking activity becomes second nature for new media workers, and if you have a large enough screen, you can actually do it productively. Teens who multi-task their homework and interact online say they feel more productive. But experts are not so sure that this is a good thing for younger people:

There is special concern for teenagers because parts of their brain are still developing, said Jordan Grafman, chief of cognitive neuroscience at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Despite that, young students feel better because they can get the answer to a homework problem by firing up a chat session and asking a friend, or a friend of a friend. Since this sort of multitasking seems to be widespread, if there are any problems it’s not known how detrimental it’ll be. But if proves not to be a problem, I think we’ll have a generation of youth fully ready to handle the role of professional bloggers.

NBA channel hits YouTube

ytimage NBA channel hits YouTubeGoogle and the NBA have reached a deal that lands a NBA channel over at YouTube, much like the NHL one.

According to Ars Technica, the NBA videos won’t only make it to YouTube but also on ad places in the Google Adsense network for a limited time. Both parties are to evaluate this method of reaching out after this initial period.

Users will be encouraged to continue uploading NBA videos to YouTube. The top “Post Up the NBA” (e.g., user-submitted) videos each week will be compiled into a weekly “NBA Top 10 on YouTube” highlight reel that will be broadcast on the league’s cable NBA Channel. Users will be able to rate the “Post Up” videos.

Ars has more, as has the NBA channel of course, with the typical autoplay feature on the videos so turn down the volume. I’ll tell you one thing, Ahmad Rashad’s words does not rhyme well with Regina Spektor… Then again, what does?

Swiss paper publishes fake Gucci ad

stupiddude Swiss paper publishes fake Gucci adOh this is hilarious!

The man, who claimed to represent the Italian fashion giant, called up the Swiss weekly SonntagsZeitung last week to book the expensive color spread in Sunday’s edition, a spokesman for the paper said.

Christoph Zimmer told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the man asked for the 60,000-Swiss-franc (about $50,000) bill to be sent to Gucci.

It gets worse though.

Zimmer said the paper fell for the scam because the call arrived too late for the advertising department to check whether it was genuine.

Right. Perhaps you should look over your routines?

Have anyone seen this ad? It certainly should be somewhere online. Link us up if you have!

Gizmodo’s Anti-RIAA Manifesto

farktehriaa1 Gizmodo’s Anti RIAA ManifestoGizmodo has declared March to be their Boycott the RIAA Month. They have finally gotten sick of the despicable tactics that the RIAA has been employing for so long, and have decided that it is time to do something about it. To make more clear what they fight is about, who it is against and why, and why the fight is so important, they are kicking the month off with a manifesto.

The manifesto covers the following:

Who We’re Up Against

Piracy Lawsuits: Extortion and Privacy Invasion Under the Guise of Copyright Enforcement

DRM: Pay More, Get Less

Rescuing Artists From Those Claiming to Support Them

Out With the Old, In With the New

Head over to the commendable team at Gizmodo to learn more about this manifesto and what you can do to help.