I took the day off on Friday and spent most of the three day weekend trying to catch up on life: taxes, laundry, newspapers, Target runs -- and not a lick of work.
It was punctuated by the best hour and a half I've spent in a long time, walking through the Sackler Gallery with an old friend: the most rewarding "catching up" I did all weekend.
In the spirit of catching up, here are way too many del.icio.us tags and an empty promise to try to stay on top of things around here.
Twitter Will Save the World - Andy Carvin wants to put Twitter to good use and is thinking creatively about new features that could take the service from "what am I doing right now" to "what do I need right now to save someone's life".
Stop Your Whining - The folks at Business Week shouldn't be so terrified of the venomous mobs attacking brands left and right. Even the folks at Chevy managed to make it out alive, guys. In fact, despite your suggestion otherwise, opening up their brand to be "attacked" was a big success for Chevy. The campaign micro site brought in nearly 650,000 visitors who spent an average of nine minutes on the site. Two-thirds went on to visit Chevy.com, driving more traffic to the site than Google and Yahoo! during that same period. And, yes, sales increased.
Pay Attention - I sent John a del.icio.us link to Compete's announcement of their new measurement for engagement, which they call "Attention". John got around to posting about it before I did because he has less work to do than I do ("I'm sorry too, Dmitri . . . I'm very sorry . . . Alright, you're sorrier than I am, but I am sorry as well . . . I am as sorry as you are, Dmitri!"). Good stuff from John, who thinks the measurement for engagement needs to go further and gives his recommendations for what needs to be measured.
Have Fun, Wonder Why - I spent an insane amount of time creating something that looked like a book cover circa 1983 (except that my teen idol was Jeff Tweedy) after discovering ScrapBlog. But, in the end, I didn't know what the h*ll to do with it. It's easy and fun and has loads of features. If you figure out how I can use it, tell me.
The State of Things - Dave Sifry posted on the State of the Web on Thursday, expanding on his regular State of the Blogosphere feature (can we retire that term once and for all?). It's interesting to see Sifry assert, in his explanation of the expansion, that Technorati is not only the "leading blog search engine*," (until someone else actually manages to do it right, without excluding content and using a more complex measurement of authority) it is also "the main aggregation point for all forms of social media on the Web". (Well, la-di-f*cking-da.)
What's new? Here's what perked up my ears/eyes:
- We're now at 70 million blogs.
- Spam blogs continue to be a pain in the ass that make me hope that they will be the only reading material in h*ll for those who have created them.
- The number of blogs ranked in the Top 100 most popular sites has grown from 12 to 22 in the past quarter and users are becoming less likely to distinguish between the two.
- Farsi is now in the 10 of blogging languages.
Sorting out South African Blogs - Amatomu, from South Africa's Mail and Guardian, is the go-to blog search engine if you're looking for content from South Africa. Fascinating stuff, as they're tracking trends. I'd be interested to know a little bit more about the people behind the blogs.
Flickr Fun - FlickrSpy tracks photos as they are uploaded, which is cool, but also occasionally a less than flattering portrait of user-generated content. I'm not quite as in love as I am with Flickr Related Tag Browser, but it's still fabulous -- just don't dawdle if you want to click on a photo, it'll be gone in a blink of an eye.
Searching in China - Read/Write Web says that 87 percent of the 105 million Internet users in China use search (more than 91 million people) and the majority of them are using Baidu, with Google coming in second and making "significant progress" in the past couple of years.