Thursday, June 29, 2006

BigBark: Community-Driven Political Site Debuts

Last week, a friend sent a URL to a new site called, whose tagline states its mission: "Elevating the Political Debate." The site "seeks to make sense of the complicated, spin-driven world of political news."

Sort of a for politics.

(That site just announced it's expanding from its technology base to include new categories such as World and Business, Entertainment, Science and Gaming.)

Folks who want to join the debate at BigBark register at the site, and then post news stories, blogs and essays and vote for their favorite postings, based on their interests. The articles that receive the most votes rise to the top of the page.

After week one, my friendly BigBark newsletter reports that members posted 278 articles and "barked" (commented) more than 800 times.

Favorite stories, according to the newsletter, included an in-depth piece on Iraqi terrorist Zarqawi. The story discussed his 800-year-old role model, the former king Nur ad-Din Zanki.

As candidates begin to primp and posture for another election cycle, this looks to be one to watch.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Webbys Wow with Wicked Wit

It had to be a five-word headline.

On Tuesday night, the Webby awards once again engaged us by highlighting some of the best work in the digital world, honoring the coolest Web sites (or websites if you prefer) and the innovators behind them. They're chosen by the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences.

The awards are famous for their five-word acceptance speeches, and this year's did not disappoint. My favorites below:

"The world really is flat."
- Thomas Friedman, NYT columnist and author (Webby Person of the Year)

"Make UNICEF obsolete. Help kids."
- Anne Venneman, UNICEF executive director and former US Secretary of Agriculture (Webby People's Voice for Best Charitable Organization)

"Darlings. Make blogs, not war."
- Arianna Huffington, HuffingtonPost (Webby Award for Best Political Blog)

"Everything you think is true," said Prince (winner of a Lifetime Achievement Award)

"Babycenter. You push, we deliver."
- BabyCenter (Webby People's Voice for Best Family/Parenting)

"We are eating this up."
- (Webby Award for Best Food)

"Because everyone has a story."
- NPR: StoryCorps (Webby People's Voice for Living/Events)

"We're deeper than Deep Throat"
- (Webby People's Voice for Newspaper)

"Note to self: update resume"
- Monster Career Advice (Webby People's Voice for Employment)

"Mark Cuban is not here."
- Bill Simmons on behalf of Mark Cuban (Webby Entrepreneur of the Year)

"Because some hotels really suck."
- TripAdvisor (Webby People's Voice for Community)

"I proposed, Elizabeth said 'yes.'"
- Dave Kerr, (Webby People's Voice for Best Personal Web Site)

"I know all your secrets."
- (Webby Award for Best NetArt)

"Please obey all speed limits."
- Mercedes-AMG by Razorfish / Avenue A (Webby Award for Best Automotive)

A list of all speeches can be found here.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Press Releases, Blogs Outstrip Trade Journals as Info Sources

Today, market analytics firm Outsell issued a release summarizing a survey of 7,000 professionals in corporate, government, healthcare and academic settings. The most startling results:
  • Press releases have overtaken trade journals as the top information source for knowledge workers, followed by trade journals and publications, reference books, academic journals and textbooks.
  • The average respondent to Outsell surveys is reading nine blogs. (!!!)
Feel like you're spending more time just keeping up to speed? The survey indicates users now spend an average of 12 hours per week on information-gathering tasks such as searching, up from an earlier high of 10.9 hours.

The study compared users' needs and behaviors "now" (using data gathered from November 2005-February 2006) with previous findings (based on data gathered from September 2004-January 2005).