Efficient Twitter Theory

In Efficient Twitter Theory, enabling post hoc edits to tweets make no more sense than regulating financial markets does in Efficient Market Theory.

Valuing readers

The focus on raw circulation numbers is a holdover from the era of print, when a reader was a reader was a reader.

Aggregation aggravation

A federal district court in New York last week handed publishers a major victory in a lawsuit brought by the Associated Press against online clipping service Meltwater News. In an unusually sweeping ruling, Judge Denise Cote held that not all uses of copyrighted content in search results automatically qualify as fair use.

Today in Social

I typed that headline while shaking my head. Google+ is iterating – and integrating – quite rapidly, but it isn’t solving some problems its early adopters are encountering. Matthew Ingram agrees with Robert Scoble that it’s too hard to filter signal from noise in Google+, and that content discovery suffers. Google still hasn’t done anything with search, and relies on Circles that are people- rather than topic-centric. Twitter has similar issues. (Facebook’s discovery is at least as bad, but it’s less noisy because Facebook’s feed-ranking algorithm has a heavy hand.) I’ve advocated that Twitter use Sulia’s topic filtering for the mainstream; Google could do something similar. Here are some other ways to build a better feed.

Today in Social

It feels like Friday is “Future of Media” day. Matthew Ingram reviews a series by The Economist on the topic. Why does it think fragmented, audience-driven media mandates more attention on readers than on advertisers? Doesn’t it make sense that a key media conglomerate skill will have to be aggregating and selling audiences? Feels like that’s happening already. By the way, which do you think is more – or less – interesting: the future of blogging or of long-form content? I’m intrigued by Om’s “Alive Web” concept. Though it applies to communications via Google Hangouts, he introduced the concept in a music context. Live consumption dominates Twitter today, but perhaps that’s less due to user demand and more a function of a search and archiving failure. Inquiring moguls want to know.

Today in Social

The Wall Street Journal says the FTC is about to launch a wide-ranging antitrust probe aimed at Google’s core search business. Prior examinations were smaller, focused around mergers and deals. As Matthew Ingram points out, investigations can hurt a company even if they don’t pan out. Microsoft did a pretty good job compartmentalizing its defense so that senior execs weren’t completely distracted from running their business. But while Microsoft was the “evil empire” to many Silicon Valley digerati, it always had a solid brand reputation among consumers, at least until Bill Gates was testifying on TV. Similarly, I’ve done research that showed that Google was consumers’ favorite online brand. That status could be at risk.

Today in Social

Ryan Kim looks at a talk by Union Square Ventures partner Fred Wilson that reminds developers that they have to plan on their platform provider doing something that works against their best interests. Wilson brought up a theme I’ve examined: startups can leverage a big company for distribution and audience acquisition, while building their own customer relationships. As Matthew Ingram notes, usually it’s Twitter that’s causing developer consternation, but after yesterday’s developer conference announcements, Apple is the one building “replacement apps.” Everybody’s got a favorite list of which apps Apple has killed. Ryan Kim offers some coping strategies. Apple seems more keen on sharing and syncing photos than building online collections of them, so I suspect Flickr, Instagram and Facebook are safe. And Apple’s deep Twitter integration might eliminate some of the usefulness of its own iOS-only iMessaging product.

Today in Social

After looking at its prospectus, people are still arguing about Groupon’s IPO. I’ll be writing about how Groupon can start making money in my Weekly Update. Groupon may be aiming to raise as much as $3 billion at a $30 billion valuation. Ryan Kim summarizes what’s going on with some of the big numbers, and Matthew Ingram documents one of the arguments. Deal aggregator Yipit has the best analysis I’ve seen yet on some red flags revealed by the S-1, and here are some more cautions. Meanwhile, you can catch up on the social commerce space with my long report.