A technology blog for The Economist Group IT team

Friday, September 22, 2006


The social networks are getting mad traffic. Should redstripe make a social network site for high end people that clients will value??

Perhaps we could get a column on this comparison table and report. If the people on it want to date, they can. If they want to trade mp3's and amihotornot's then they can, it could be a business exchange, but that's no fun, they'll probably just show off business bling (watches and cufflinks).

We could build a world of warcraft stock exchange that could be used in the game, taking a cut all the time to build our own armory so that our sponsored virtual players can read out country reports in virtual towns. Perhaps taking outside world news into these arenas is a way forward. Is that bridging the digital divide? Should the EIU write reports on Ironforge

Whatever redstripe does, in it's mission statement I hope it contains the words "the world's"

Google's is:
"Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful."
Just found another post that really get's into the meat of Newspaper2.0. It's by Steve Rubel over at MicroPersuasion :

"For newspapers to survive, they need to turn themselves into an online and offline platform for local readers. I don't mean a platform for contributing to the reporting process. They're doing that already (and nicely). What I am saying is that local newspapers need to use their brands and their big web sites to help local readers profit emotionally and monetarily by: selling goods peer-to-peer, expressing themselves, developing new kinds of technologies, connecting through online and offline local social networking and more. Think Google or Yahoo, not USA Today.

In short, they need to become destinations where almost all value is created by the "readers," not by the publisher or journalists. This means tearing pages right out of the Wikipedia/Second Life playbook. In both of these communities, the greatest value is created by the crowd, not the online destination itself. The community is merely the operating system that enables value creation. Newspapers need to do the same - both online and off."

Now we're not talking about surviving, so we don't, technically, have to make any crazy plays. Our model is not bust, like many publishers.

Or does being successful give us the freedom to make really crazy plays?

I think anything that project redstripe should do must take advantage of the incredible audience The Economist Group has.

All over the web the sites that are amazing, inspiring and succeeding depend on their users. For that reason, I think access to Econ Group content is amazing, but freedom to enable our readers will really make the project blow up.

I'll make a few points about social networks and Economist users.

i) Economist readers are opinion formers. 60% of them have engaged in opinion forming in the past twelve months. Why not give them a new platform?

ii) The 1% rule - that 1% of a site's users become contributers ( http://tinyurl.com/rl8ov) would mean Economist.com would have an extra 19 000 content creaters/month.

iii) There is no social networking site for the post-facebook, post-myspace crowd. As commented on by Robert Scoble. Where would you want to create your professional online persona, as we all will?

iv) A big threat to display advertising is search advertising, however, MySpace now gets $900 million from Google for search advertising from its site.

Hmmmmm, it makes you think.

All the best,

Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?