Webometric Thoughts

October 31, 2007

Google Shares at $700

Filed under: Google,share price — admin @ 4:13 pm

Just over three weeks ago, as Google shares passed $600, analysts were predicting that they could reach $700 next year. I guess this just shows that really analysts don’t know what on earth they are talking about. The markets are far too complex for anyone to really have an idea what is going on, we all just keeping making rather uneducated guesses most of which will turn out to be wrong, and those that chance on the right result will inevitably be thought of as geniuses.

I still think, as I did three weeks ago, that the Google price is over-inflated and there will be an inevitable crash. The only problem is, we just don’t know when. Whilst I previously said that I would sell at $699 and never look back, now it is at that price you have to think it must be worth hanging on until it reaches the inevitable predictions of $800, or $1,000. But there again the market always looks stable before the crash appears, and when the crash starts its too late to off-load.

Luckily for me the whole game is theoretical, and I can just watch from the sidelines, but if I was so rash as to make a prediction it would go something like this:

Now the $700 mark has been reached relatively easily, and the $1,000 mark is in the market’s sites, the market will go a little crazy until it reaches the $1,000 mark…possibly to coincide with Christmas. The price will then slow down and, given time to reflect, people will realise they have all got carried away. At this point people will try and sell their shares, unfortunately everyone will be trying to sell their shares, and the Google price will crash. The fear that they have overpaid will spread to shares in other Internet businesses, and those shares will also see a massive dip in share prices. It will quickly become known as bubble 2.0.

Obviously this is just one of a million scenarios, but it is always worth having a stab at what will happen. If you get it right there is a cushy job at the London Stock Exchange and you are hailed as a prophet, if you get it wrong then no one remembers anyway.

Second Life News

Filed under: Second Life — admin @ 9:39 am

A few hours after pondering/blogging about what sort of news stories would be found in Second Life I found myself in a pub testing the quality of their cider, and what should appear on the TV screen but a story about Second Life! Unfortunately, as with most news stories, it was about the seedier side of life. In this case what was described as a “virtual paedophile ring“.

It is unfortunate that it is always the worst aspects of new technologies that gain the most media attention, and difficult to see what Second Life can do about it. Whilst the news article indicates that people are engaging in some rather sick fantasies, whilst contained within a virtual world are they doing anything illegal? If not it seems hard for Second Life to do anything, it is stuck between a rock and a hard place. If they start to dictate what is and is not acceptable behaviour in Second Life where do they stop? On the other hand, if they do nothing it will seem as though they are condoning the sick practices, and will harm their image amongst the public at large (some of whom will never have heard of Second Life before).

It would be nice to see the Second Life users do something about these groups, turning up on mass and disrupting the groups. Unfortunately the groups would then end up building secure members-only areas. At which point I would like to see Second Lifers and some good hackers turn up to disrupt these places. Successful self-governance of this situation would save Second Life from having to dictate what groups are acceptible, and also save the image of the Second Life user.

October 30, 2007

CNN sets up an office in Second Life

Filed under: CNN,Second Life — admin @ 1:13 pm

Whilst CNN’s setting up an office in Second Life emphasises the interest that the traditional media have in the online world, it makes you wonder what sort of stories they will find, and what sort of effect it will have on the world itself.

Second Life is one of those things I keep an eye on, convinced that there is something to it, but at a loss as to what it actually is. Whilst Tim Guest et al. provide a vision of an exotic world full of strange people freed from the inhibitions of the regular world, I just tend to see groups of people camping on benches as they earn a few Linden dollers. As such a news service would be a useful way of finding out what is going on, without having to trawl through extensive lists of ‘garage sales’ and ‘free giveaways’.

With a lack of wars and deaths to occupy the headlines of a Second Life news bureau, it will be interesting to see the sorts of news stories that get covered. I just hope that we don’t see the rise of the celebrity Second Lifer.

Diabolically Innovative

Filed under: captcha,spam — admin @ 10:18 am

I doubt there are many people who like spam, and personally I am not keen on those people who send it. However it must be said that they are an innovative bunch. Whilst Godin describes one group of spammers methods of dealing with captcha as diabolical, it should also be said that it is rather innovative: the public type in the captcha code in exchange for the promise of a striptease program.

If only the spammers applied themselves to more legal activities.

Blog conversations

Filed under: blogging,blogosphere — admin @ 9:05 am

The best way to learn about the blogosphere is to be involved in the blogosphere, however much that will make you want to pull your hair out and bang your head against a wall. Whilst blogging can be a joy when writing down a few musings and reading a few comments, when those comments turn into a conversation it can be one of the most exasperating moments. It feels as though you are having a conversation at a party where everyone else has had a few drinks, and you are the only sober person. Whilst that is not to say that my opinions are necessarily more lucid than the next person’s, it is merely that they make more sense to me; equally other people’s opinions will feel more rational to them.

Blog conversations can be exasperating due to their unique combination of being asynchronous, public, personal, and providing room for long comments. Whilst other forms of communication may contain some of these factors (e.g., email-asynchronous and chatrooms-public), it is the combination of all these factors that make a blog conversation so potentially exasperating.

As blogs are both asynchronous and allow for the inclusion of long comments, people include long comments. Whilst this may seem a rational response, after all you would be conversing on the same subject for weeks if you limited yourself to one comment at a time and then waited for a response, it creates a debating environment that people try to ‘win’, rather than one where ideas are discussed rationally. Postings are not read rationally and responded to as a whole, in context of the whole conversation, but rather disingenuously with tactics that would make Eric Berne blush. The must-win mentality is only exaggerated by the public nature, whilst the personal nature of the blog to one party makes it very hard to leave a conversation whilst the other continues promoting opinions you disagree with.

Nonetheless there is a time where continued conversation makes no difference, opinions have hardened and an understanding of different perspectives is more distant than it ever was. It is at this point that you have to bite the bullet and walk away, it’s annoying, but if you don’t it becomes a slow walk to the mad house.

October 29, 2007

Dear Technorati, what is wrong with my authority?

Filed under: technorati,webometrics — admin @ 11:04 am

I must admit to having an unhealthy interest in web statistics, especially when they relate to my own web site. It is therefore annoying to note that my Technorati authority doesn’t seem to be worth as much as everyone else’s. Whilst their filtering system allows users to filter the results according to whether hits have: any authority, a little authority, some authority, or a lot of authority; my authority seems to account for little, and my results (for the term webometrics anyway) only seem to appear for people not interested in the authority of the posts.

I am a reasonable person, and wouldn’t expect my hard-earned authority of 5 to appear under ‘a lot of authority’, and maybe not even ‘some authority’, but surely under ‘a little authority’! Especially as others are appearing under ‘a little authority’ with an authority of 1.

Web statistics are nothing but trouble.

October 27, 2007

Shelfari vs. LibraryThing

Filed under: LibraryThing,Shelfari — admin @ 5:46 pm

I was pleased to notice that Shelfari has shot past LibraryThing (according to Alexa anyway). I was always put off LibraryThing because there was a fee if you entered more than 200 books, which doesn’t exactly encourage you to get involved in the community….and its especially annoying as most of the site’s value comes from the members who put in the most effort!

I have taken to supporting web sites rather sports teams in reaction to the sad demise of Norwich City F.C.

October 26, 2007

Mobile test

Filed under: hotmail,mobile test — admin @ 2:07 pm

…with a picture of my empty sandwich packet.

[It turns out to be the simplest job in the world after giving up on MMS and POP3 and just sending the email from the Hotmail using the regular web interface!]

A New T-shirt

Filed under: blogger,t-shirt — admin @ 12:34 pm

Whilst not on a par with my personalised qr code t-shirt, it is nevertheless a welcome addition to my blog promoting t-shirts:

The picture quality isn’t great as I MMS-ed it to my Hotmail to save on carrying a usb lead. Unfortunately, despite hours of trying, I have failed to successfully manage to get my T-Mobile N95 to post directly to blogger…although the rumour seems to be that I can manage it through a Yahoo account.

October 25, 2007

Who really won Facebook?

Filed under: Microsoft,MySpace,facebook,share price,social web — admin @ 8:30 am

You couldn’t really describe the Microsoft investment in Facebook as breaking news, the story seems to have been going on for weeks. The final outcome, a 1.6% stake for $240 million, valueing Facebook at $15 billion. If Facebook is worth $15 billion, then I’m the Queen of Sheba.

Whilst I think that it is an outrageous price, it will probably work out quite well for Microsoft as it will tie Facebook into their adverts for the forseeable future. Whereas I don’t think it is necessarily a good deal for Facebook, they should have sold a little bit more whilst they had the chance, their stock is unlikely to be riding this high forever and they need to capitalise on it ASAP. Zuckerberg talks about going public in two years, by which point it will probably be worth half as much.

The other big social networking sites are going to continue innovating, new social networking sites will enter the market, the mobile market is going to become increasingly important, and teens are going to decide they want to hang out somewhere different to their parents. The market is constantly shifting, but the $15billion price tag seems to reflect a continued status quo. Yesterday Techcrunch published the growth rates of a number of different social sites, and the fastest by far is IMEEM a site that has managed to pass me by up to now. Whilst I have yet to have a close look at IMEEM, it serves to illustrate the point about emerging sites; it may be the next big thing, it may not, the point is nothing will stay the same.

However the future of social networking pans out, one thing is for sure: Rupert Murdoch got MySpace for a bargain price.

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