What are Digg.com’s Real Numbers?

Digg.com Founder Kevin Rose announced on the company blog that they had just reached their one millionth registered user.

While the one millionth registered user is something to celebrate, it shouldn’t be made to look like Digg.com has one million active users. Registered users doesn’t mean active users. It is irresponsible for Kevin Rose and Digg.com to kinda sorta blur the lines between the two. Digg should release the number of active unique users they have.

I have had a Digg account for a while but I don’t use it that often. The convenience and novelty of Digg.com wore off a long time ago because it was an inefficient way to find the day’s top stories. I would guess that Digg suffers from the ‘try me virus.’ People use it for a few months then leave.

Didn’t all of the Silicon Valley companies learn from all the flack that Linden Labs’ Second Life got for not clarifying that in-world residents doesn’t mean active or unique accounts.

Where is the Clary Shirky investigative journalism when we need it?

Printing a TypePad Blog Entry Sucks

Now more then ever I have been reading lots and lots of content that I find on the Web. Usually if the document is under two pages I will quickly skim the document. If it is over two pages, I will print it out. I find it much easier to thoughtfully read longer text if I can hold the piece of paper in my hand and write on the page.

Screenshot of TypePad

I have noticed a disturbing trend. Any blog entry that uses TypePad to power the blog gets butchered when you try to print it. It will typically print the first page of the post and then cut off the rest till the comments. It is just a painful user experience. It usually ends with me swearing at the printer.

For example, I wanted to print off the following blog posts so that I could read them later.

After printing them out a few times from the browser with no success, I was forced to copy and paste these blog entries to a Word document before I could print them out in their entirety.

Any of you out there share in my frustration?

In the comments, share your experiences. Post this on your blog. Join me in my plea. Lets get a message to the gang at SixApart that we love TypePad but we want to be able to print stuff too.

Vote for Wash DC for Next Future of Web Apps. Conference

Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC

Ryan Carson of Carson Systems has posted a poll for where the next Future of Web Apps. conference should be. Show Washington DC some love and vote for it as the next conference location. It’d be great to bring some Web conferences over to the East coast of the USA.

(Photo by chadh)

Why Ning Will Be Bigger Than Facebook

The blogosphere is buzzing today with the relaunch of Ning. It is a platform for creating social networks. Anyone (and I mean ANYONE) can within minutes have their own social network, just like Facebook, up on the Web.

I created a social network about Fun Things in Washington DC (still need to add more content.) I had it up in minutes. This is way too easy.

I think that Ning will end up being bigger than Facebook. With Facebook recently announcing that it has 18 million accounts, this may be hard to believe. Mark my words, if Ning plays their cards right, it will happen.

If you look at what has been successful in Web 2.0, it has been the services which act as platforms for customization, user self-expression, and user-generated content. Sites like YouTube and MySpace have allowed users to express themselves in new and interesting ways that were never before possible. Ning brings this power of customization and self-expression to your social networks.

MySpace is a mass chaos of users and with Facebook you are tied down to a finite group of larger networks with the ability to create groups which you can’t do as much with. The thing is my social network isn’t the entire world like in MySpace or an entire corporation or university like in Facebook. It is a series of smaller networks that look like a bunch of overlapping circles in a HUGE venn diagram.

With Ning, my real life with many networks of friends and associates can be mirrored in my online life. That is the power of Ning. It is an open platform and can take any shape that you desire.

I could see churches using Ning. How about political campaigns? How about schools? How about small organizations? This would be great for small community groups. The limits are endless.

I need to read more of the documentation. I’d love to map a Ning social network to a domain and use it as the CMS for a Web site. What would be even cooler is if they released it as open-source software like WordPress. *wishfully thinks*

The YouTube Oscars and the Rise of Social Media

I completely agree with Robert Young and the whole gang at the GigaOm Networks. As less and less Americans tune into the Oscars every year, you really have to start to question the relevancy of Hollywood. In an age of blogs, podcasting, and YouTube, I don’t have to settle anymore for Hollywood to get my entertainment. Why should I, especially if there is something else that better appeals to my interests?

Hollywood has to appeal to the lowest common denominator because they make their money by attracting the biggest possible audiences at the box office or at the prime time television time slots. Every week I watch technology programming like Diggnation or DL.tv or listen to the podcasts from the TWiT network. These are shows that would never make it onto mainstream television or radio because they don’t draw a big enough audience. On the web, they are hugely successful.

This revolution isn’t just happening in technology. There is internet-based audio and video programming about every topic imaginable. It must drive Hollywood crazy that I give the same value to this niche market programming that I get off the Web as I do watching the television show 24 on Fox.

As I mentioned earlier, even with diminishing numbers, a fair number of people are tuning tonight into the Oscars to see which celebrities are going to be honored with various awards. Why don’t we have some type of awards for the social media celebrities who were able to use their medium to touch our lives?

If you could pick one player in social media to win an Oscar, who would it be?

SMS Text Messaging… the really killer app

Everyone wants to know what the killer and exciting application is that will change our lives in the years to come. Everyday I think more and more that it is right under our noses. It is our ability to send SMS text messages with our mobile phones.

Image of a cell phone with a text message

According to the MEX blog, a new statistic came out from the Portio Research group that 3.7 trillion text messages will be sent in 2012. Thats a lot of text messages.

I know I use it more and more. It is a great way to send quick messages to my friends. I can ask someone a quick question, let someone know I am thinking about them, or even flirt with that special lady. I know Google and other companies are working hard that allow me to utilize SMS as a way to get location-specific information like where a restaurant is or driving directions.

The question is… how can we use SMS text messaging to stay connected with each other and our communities in new and exciting ways? What does this new app look like?

Do you use text messaging? How many do you send a day?