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November 2004

Wikinews Ultimate Participatory Journalism

WikinewsIN WHAT COULD BE hailed as the ultimate example of participatory jourmalism, the Wikinews project is live and its news items are representative of global events. The Wikinews stories provide a timely and often peer-reviewed take on current events.

Certainly the major wire services will be annoyed because several of the news articles have to be using mainstream reporters as their source. The attribution is often missing.

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In Conversation with Gavin Barrett

Gavin BarrettDUBLIN -- At the annual Nokia Media Briefing in Dublin, multimedia business manager Gavin Barrett told the press about current trends in mobile games, imaging and multimedia. Many of Barrett's examples revolve around the Nokia smartphone platform but since Nokia has 40% of that market, his comments were very helpful in predicting where mobile multimedia is heading. The short answer: down the path of imaging with smart cameraphones and clever strategic relationships (think "Kodak" and "HP")..

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CACS -- "Excuse me, stewardess. I'd like a pillow to cover my crotch because I can't turn off the air vent and it's blowing cold air right on my crotch and the light I can't turn off is like a spotlight on my crotch and makes me feel like my crotch is in a talent show which my unrehearsed crotch has no chance of winning. I notice that most of the other passengers have not complied with the ban on pants. I would like a diet coke without ice. Also, I'm sitting on someone's baby."

Overheard from Wes who is renowned for his wry wit.

Blocking referrer spam

SCRIPTING -- Dave Winer decided to pare back his referrers by blocking obvious referrer spam to his online listing of referrers. I think he could have used a SixApart strategy and keep the referrer page out of view of the public. That way, the spammers cannot see their handiwork, the site owner can see the referrers and a referrer page attractor loses its lustre as a spam attractor.

Dave Winer's referrers are listed here:
Bonus Link: Russell Beattie's referrers. He explains why his blog may be getting nearly ten times more activity than Dave Winer's. The reason is linked to a story about an Apple mobile phone, which is a question asked by David Stewart during a Nokia Media Briefing in Dublin tpday.

Nokia Media Snippets

DUBLIN -- My wireless journal has some scribblings related to a two-hour Nokia Media Briefing that I attended today. These briefings have long passed the point where voice quality and phone appearance could influence the market. Now it's about voice, appearance, cameraphone functionality, enterprise mobility, and gaming. Within a year, Nokia will have to add several briefing slides on memory features of the phones because many of the ones I saw today have video capability on board.

Nokia remains committed to an extensive portfolio, living with the mantra, "The breadth of our portfolio is our success." Actually, I think Nokia phones can make clever fashion statements that translate into comfortable margins at the cash till. Nokia phones have the most user-friendly interface for mobile phones on the planet.  One of the first questions concerned a talking point batted around by bloggers: "What does Nokia think about Apple's mobile phone?"

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Blogbox Review

BLOGBOX -- Laszlo continues cranking out some cool widgets called blogboxes that you can include on personal pages for free. You can copy blogboxes into your blog's template and get instant functionality for non-commercial use.  I'm playing with several of them on a development blog before deciding whether to use one on this blog. There are problems with Irish Typepad loading when it waits for a Blogbox to stream into a gutter of the blog. Some of my pages hang on my Sony Clie when waiting for Blogboxes to download on them.

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Blogging for dollars

DUBLIN -- Over lunch in a five-star Dublin hotel, conversation turned to why anyone would type keystrokes without being paid for it. Why would someone blog without getting paid? It quickly transpired that the questioner saw revenue only when he had to pick through advertisements. As Doc Searls uncovered during Bloggercon's Money Making Session, the real profits behind blogging are often far removed from standard advertising models. When explaining this perspective, I recalled the contentious atmosphere that surrounded some of the BloggerCon discussion on the issue. Some people pit the money-makers against the  unmonied bloggers. I think that's a false dichotomy because well-read blogs are worth money in one form or another. It's up to the blog owner to decide how to take the money flow--up front and from advertisers or on the side through contacts leading to consultancy services, paid employment or civic capital.

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Christmas Gifts Year-Round

BUSINESS WEEK -- What better spirit of Christmas than to continue giving year-round? That's part of the idea of the richest 31-year-old in history, eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, as he gives away $10 billion dollars. His ideas about philanthropy are as disruptive as eBay was to online commerce. Instead of investing purely in nonprofits, the Omidyar Network also invests in for-profit companies. And the profits from those ventures cycles back into social capital investment.

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