Last September I wrote about something which has intrigued me for quite a while — the notion of a virtual world as a “third place.”
Michael Arrington just wrote on MyMiniLife, which a great example of what I was thinking about then.
I am going to try reaching out to these guys and see what I can learn.
Will let you know what I find out.
Addendum: also check out this NYT article on the new Barbie-world.
A couple weeks ago I hosted a summit of our Internet/Digital Media portfolio companies, along with a stellar lineup of industry execs from Google, Yahoo, AOL, NBC, etc., to debate a range of topics and best practices.
As part of the summit I pulled together a bunch of articles pertaining to the topics on the agenda.
I got a ton of very positive feedback on this compilation of materials.
So, instead of letting it die on the vine (or on the blog, as it were…), I decided to use this as a foundation for keeping a live “Web 2.0 Reading List” here on my blog. It can be found at the top of this page, the third tab. Or just click here.
Please, by all means, feel free to leave comments with other articles/posts you think should be included.
The WSJ published a good email debate between my friends Todd Dagres and David Hornik on the question whether there is Web 2.0 bubble right now. Check it out here.
My own take, briefly stated, is YES, there is a bubble, in that there is alot of money going after mediocre deals in the “Web 2.0” sector, with the result that deals are getting done at silly valuations and increasingly with little real diligence and serious thinking.
But, that said, I ultimately come down agreeing with Hornik: regardless of the fact that a bunch of silly deals will get done, the Internet and its increasingly central role in all aspects of media offers one of the more exciting and rewarding opportunities for discerning venture investors.
I was recently reading a speech given by acclaimed MMO designer Raph Koster (hat tip to GigaOm for highlighting this speech). Although Koster was addressing game designers, he made a great point which I think is eqally germane and instructive to social media and digital media executives more broadly:
“Content isn’t worth a damn. What is of value is the relationship between the consumer and the producer. Being good is no longer an exclusive. In a hit-driven business, the epitome of success is to be the Beatles or Elton John, which means having a consistent record of making blockbusters, or almost never screwing up, of always earning out reliably and of doing this over the course of decades. Those people are so rare they are the dodo, and their share of the audience as a percentage of the population is shrinking.
“The goal instead should be to be the Grateful Dead. You don’t want to be the number one hit, you want a relationship so that you can ding them over and over and over again. The band’s t-shirts may make more than their recordings.”
Jeff Jarvis has a great response to the discussion of Metcalfe’s Law & Web 2.0.
You absolutely should read it if you have any interest in all this stuff.
The blogosphere has started bubbling some interesting discussion of how Metcalfe’s Law applies to current Web 2.0 dynamics like social networking. Some IEEE types, Brad Feld, Niel Robertson, a PhD. student named Fred Stutzman, my partner Sim Simeonov, myself and a few others have posted on this in the last few weeks.
Bob Metcalfe, who invented the law in the first place and is my partner at Polaris (and who, along with Al Gore, invented the Internet…), offers his own view in a guest blog post below.
I was just playing around with the newly released “Tagsurfing” feature on WordPress.com.
I like it quite a bit. I think it will be most useful once I go through and pare down the particular tags I want to see “surfed.”
The jewel for me, though, was finding a beautifully done post, integrating some really thoughtful questions regarding the MySpace generation with a really tastefully selected collage of photos.
“Chartreuse” has elevated Web 2.0 blogging to a new level, virtually an art form. I strongly recommend you check it out!
Fred Wilson offers an interesting and provocative post on blogs as the ultimate start page:
Blogs are the endgame for social networking. MySpace is the AOL of blogging. It’s where you go when you don’t know how to do it yourself. But with MySpace starting to rein in what people can do with their pages (for a host of good and bad reasons), they are seeding their own decline. A decline that will take a decade if AOL is a good proxy. In the next ten years, most people who want an online home will have a blog, it will be their online identity and their start page and much more.
I haven’t done it yet, but I should change my start page to my blog. That’s where I go to start my day and end my day. And I am hell bent to configure my blog with enough functionality that it can be my newspaper, my inbox, my tv, my radio, and my social network. It’s pretty damn close already.
That’s where all of this is going. We’ll program our online world and others will too. And we’ll start our day there instead of the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times. My best is many of you reading this are already there.
Rob Weisman of The Boston Globe has an interesting piece this morning on the relative dearth of Web 2.0 opportunities in the Boston area.
(And, in the process, outs me as an itinerant VC Worker…)