Hi all. Here’s an object lesson for everyone. Especially me. Even experienced web guys get burned once in a while. My former hosting company appears to have folded its tents. Forever. Their site is down and their 800# is disconnected. The result is my site has been dark for the last 18 hours or so. Given that running this site isn’t my day job, I haven’t been able to expedite the fix any quicker. But, no excuses. When you live your life online, you also need to prepare for when things go wrong. Shame on me.
Anyhow, I’ve been planning a move to a new hosting company for about a month now and had been working through the details. Unfortunately, AvidHosting (the former host) has forced my hand. I’ll be working over the next few days to restore missing content and to correct the lost categories on the blog. Thanks for your patience while I correct these problems.
P.S., anyone with good tools/utilities for converting older WordPress database categories to the new 2.3.1 database structure, please drop me an email at tim-at-timpeter-dot-com. I would appreciate the assist.
Mike Moran points out a great social media case study. The thing to note is that most companies – Toyota included, in this case – miss the point of social media’s “dangers.” The problem isn’t that customers can say anything. It’s that customers can see everything. Toyota has no issue being green, so long as that green is opaque. It’s transparent green that it’s having problems with. The company’s response is that of an opaque company mindset, while its customers live in an increasingly transparent world. Even in today’s world, most customers are going to point out your flaws to a very small number of their friends. And a very small number of your customers are going to try to point out those flaws to a large number of potential customers. But, it’s very easy for that large number to find that small number, far easier than it’s ever been. Many business books point out the merits of running your business as though its dirty laundry could end up on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. The reality of social media is that it doesn’t have to. So long as it’s out there, somewhere, your customers – current or potential – can find it. Are you ready to run a truly transparent business? You should be. Because no one’s going to give you a choice.
Fred Wilson asks interesting questions about the utility of Kindle as a blog reader, particularly given the $0.99 monthly subscription cost per blog Amazon is tacking onto the thing. I wasn’t aware of that “feature” and agree with Fred that I want my content to be free (though if you want to buy a book and support this site, that’s OK too). Here’s the thing, though. How many folks interested in an e-book reader will think that $0.99 per month is unreasonable? Clearly, the early adopters will – and that’s likely the current audience for the Kindle. But what about a year down the road? I don’t know. Does Amazon think they’re playing nice with the blog community and encouraging a new business model. Maybe. It does seem awfully weird to me that the company who essentially invented the concept of disintermediation (remember the “how to avoid getting Amazon’ed” meme during Web Bubble 1.0?) is now trying to become a content intermediary. I wonder who’ll Amazon them this time around.
Are social aggregators of blogs over? Fred Wilson thinks so. And generally, you won’t go wrong listening to what he has to say. What I found disappointing, though, is that Fred seems to miss that nature hates a vacuum. While there’s always been mainstream media, there’s also always been an alternative press. That’s where the action is and that’s where it will be again. Techmeme may have become the CNN of the blog space. But, there will always be an audience – and not just Fred Wilson – for the voices Fred worries this shift has silenced. Who’s up for going after it?
[BTW - it looks like a number of folks are using Freds comments to show how they're going after it. Who's doing it best of that bunch?]