Scripting News for 11/14/07

Startups must be sponges 

I posted this on Twitter, it’s worth posting here too.

You’ll never make your product better if you shut out all criticism. You have to iterate to hit the sweet spot.

Startups must be sponges.

I don’t often say people are wrong, I’d rather say products are flawed, or companies make mistakes. But companies that try to shut down critics, with personal attacks, are wrong. Startups that do it are worse than wrong, they’re doomed.

Watching Jay Rosen 

One of the biggest scores of BloggerCon I in October 2003 was connecting with Jay Rosen, journalism prof at NYU. He predicted almost everything we’re doing today with blogging, long before there was a world-wide web. He understood that eventually publishing tools would become easier and cheaper, as would distribution, and that eventually the ability to write and publish news would become more commonplace. He used different words for what we do, but we understood what he was saying anyway. He taught us so much about the value of journalism, things we understood intuitively, he gave us words for.

At Jeff Jarvis’s journalism conference at CUNY in October, Jay talked about his latest idea, combining the tools of social networking and journalism, combining the expertise of the readers and community members with the resources of professional news organizations.

The project he described then is now launching as part of NewAssignment.net. I’ve learned to pay attention to Jay Rosen, and recommend the same to anyone interested in the future of blogging, publishing and news.

NewTeeVee conference in SF 

Today I’m at Om Malik’s NewTeeVee conference in San Francisco. I came in at about 10:30AM, at the beginning of a panel discussion about advertising in Internet television. I seem to always walk in for advertising panels, it happened in the journalism conference in NY and at the Web 2.0 conference in SF, both last month.

Is it just me, or do they talk a lot about ads. As you know, this isn’t something I’m very interested in. I’m more interested in, as Andrew Baron says so well, in how we can make stuff that’s more interesting and useful. Not into the Long Tail stuff, or maximizing sell-through and all that other very good stuff that marketers are focused on. I’m more interested in communicating with the people I choose to communicate with.

“Maximize the parameters you want to maximize.”

“The most effective units are the most disruptive.”

Advertising panel movie 

Video thumbnail. Click to play

Performance test 

Incredibly high free wifi bandwidth here at SF State.

The scene at NewTeeVee Live 

Video thumbnail. Click to play

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