Naked Conversations – on Amazon’s Best Books of 2006 List

[tag]Naked Conversations[/tag]: How Blogs Are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel made it on Amazon’s Best [tag]Books[/tag] of 2006, Top 10 Editors’ Picks: Computers & Internet. Robert Scoble helps run Microsoft’s Channel 9 Web site. He began his blog, Scobleizer, in 2000 and now has more than 3.5 million readers per year. Scobleizer has been mentioned in Fortune magazine, Fast Company, and The Economist. Shel Israel played a key strategic role in introducing some of technology’s most successful products, including PowerPoint, FileMaker, dBase, MapInfo, Paradox, Sound Blaster, and Sun Microsystems workstations. He is an expert on innovation with more than twenty years of hand-on experience. (mouseover the thumbnail for ordering information)


Tweaking your Blog for Holiday Sales

Recent polls show that online shopping will soar this year with 80% of internet users buying gifts online ($33 billion in the fourth quarter of 2006). Traffic in some niches run 10x in December as compared to September. Is your blog ready? If you are an advertiser, publisher, or both (like me), you need to prepare your sites for the holiday rush. Both advertisers and publishers should expect delays in getting updated stats as servers will be jammed. Get everything set by early December at the very latest. Then, sit back and relax!


Printable Semacodes for Wikipedia allows creation of printable semacode tags to Wikipedia pages. Semacode is a software company based in Ontario, Canada. It is also this company’s trade name for a machine-readable visual tag which encode internet Uniform Resource Locators (URLs). Semacode camera phones have built-in readers and web browsers. The example shown here is the semacode tag for the Pier 39 (San Francisco) page at [tag]Wikipedia[/tag]. A visitor to Pier 39 could photograph the tag (presumably placed on an information kiosk) using a semacode enabled camera phone, then be automatically taken to the Wiki Pier 39 page to retrieve information. The [tag]semacode[/tag] could conceivably be placed in guidebooks, newspapers, and even on T-shirts.


QR Codes – the next big internet trend?

A QR Code (QR = Quick Response) is a two-dimensional bar code introduced by the Japanese company Denso-Wave in 1994. QR Codes were originally developed for inventory tracking in auto manufacturing. They are the most popular type of two-dimensional code in Japan. Many business persons in Japan include QR Codes on their business cards. This simplifies exchanging and entering data for new business contacts. Recently, mobile telephone operators in Japan began including QR code reading software on camera phones. This move has paved the way for consumer-oriented applications of QR Codes. Users photograph QR codes. Then, their camera phone decodes the embedded text, displays, manipulates, and stores the information. This capability eliminates the need to enter data manually into a mobile phones or PDA. QR Codes for storing URLs are becoming increasingly common in advertisements and in magazines in Japan.


Using Skype? Get a Skype Phone!

I am using Skype more and more for both personal and business calls. Typically, the person on the other end is still using a headset and microphone. This set-up results in excessive echoing and erratic performance. Months ago, I switched to Skype phones for my desktop and laptop computers. There is no going back! For desktop Skyping it’s hard to beat the Linksys products. I am currently using a Linksys CIT200 Cordless Internet Telephony Kit that comes with a handset and charger, and a USB Base Station that plugs into your computer. With the easy-to-install Skype program running on your PC, the handset can read and display your contact list on its built-in illuminated display. You can choose who you want to talk to from the menu, press a button, and make a call. It is so nice not having to sit in front of the computer when you want…


Google Sitemap Protocol now the de facto Standard

If you are not already using Arne Brachhold’s Sitemap Plugin for WordPress, you had better get it installed as soon as possible. [tag]Google[/tag] announced this week that [tag]Yahoo![/tag] and [tag]Microsoft[/tag] are joining them in officially supporting the Sitemap 0.84 XML protocol. Sitemaps help improve website visibility in search results by insuring that indexing bots don’t miss pages. Google’s Webmaster Central supports only the XML protocol. Yahoo’s Site Explorer current supports a plain text list of site URLs that must be named ‘urllist.txt’. Microsoft simply crawls your site the best they can once they either find it or are notified via their submit page.


Performancing Says Bye Bye to Metrics

Today, Nick Wilson announced that [tag]Performancing[/tag] will kill Metrics as of the end of December. Evidently, the 16,000+ users are a huge burden on their servers. They are looking at other options such as making Metrics open source or selling it. This decision is a big disappointment for bloggers as Metrics is one of the few stat packages that gives bloggers an indication of when and from where they are getting [tag]Adsense[/tag] clicks. Without Metrics, will bloggers say bye bye to Performancing? This blogger thinks so. I suppose it’s more fun making money with ads than giving stats aways for free. However, the Performancing ad network is just getting off the ground. And, bloggers have an ever-growing list of monetization choices with limited available space. Without Metrics, Performancing will be left with mediocre forums, a blog editor, and those over-sized ads. Bad move Performancing. Update May 1, 2007: Metrics is…