Boing Boing's readers, hopped up on free-speech rhetoric, continue to find the tech-culture blog's act of unpublishing unspeakable. Hoping to put the Internet's most enduring drama llama this month to bed, the Los Angeles Times rounded up four members of Boing Boing's staff yesterday for a late-night confab. The result is transcribed here and there, but for those about to launch into a three-day weekend, we salute you with only the most wonderful bits, perfect for around-the-barbeque reblogging. It is at once brilliant and brain-numbing in its inconclusiveness. But if the answer to bad speech is more speech, why not answer an act of unpublishing with more nonwords?
Weary of the ad-supported world of Web 2.0? Outside the echo chamber of Silicon Valley, there are software developers who write code that won't change the world, but that customers will pay real, five-figure license fees for — enough to sustain a growing, private business. It's all about finding a market that works and copying the competition. Call it anti-innovation. To explain how to do it, an entrepreneur named Bill wrote a blog post called "How to sell your software for $20,000." We've edited it down to a reasonable length below. Give the hoodie to Goodwill, say goodbye to your IPO dreams, and prepare to write the world's next great automated parking garage software.
After a week of more reorgs a frustrated Yahoo emailed Fortune's Adam Lashinsky. At a thousand words or so, it's the sarcastic and vitriolic rant of a madman. It drove Lashinksky to ask: "Does Yahoo’s board have the slightest idea what’s up at Yahoo?" Read the best bits in just 100 words, below, and you'll know the answer: No.
The problem with "17 mistakes startups make," is that the guy behind them, John Osher didn't make that many. He started Dr. John's SpinBrush and sold it to Proctor & Gamble for $475 million. Jonathan Tang, who writes "Diary of a Failed Startup," not only founded a company, GameClay, he actually failed because of his mistakes. His advice on how to not be like him, pared down to 100 words, below.
Two years ago, Mark Cuban wrote: "Would Google be crazy to buy YouTube? No doubt about it. Moronic would be an understatement of a lifetime." Since then, Google did buy it — for $1.65 billion — and the site's become so popular its actually the Web's third most popular search engine all on its own. Does that mean Cuban has changed his mind? No, no, it does not. The reason is Hulu, Cuban explains in 802 words, which we've edited down to 100, below.
New York Times columnist Joe Nocera's open letter to Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang over the weekend nicely captured Yahoo shareholders' rage over the whole Microsoft mess. But will they stop fuming long enough to read all 1,500 words? A version they'll be able to finish before their lawyers get done filing the next shareholder lawsuit, and Yang will be able to finish before the next top executive's resignation letter hits his inbox, below.
What's wrong with Yahoo? Contentinople editor Scott Raynovich says that unlike Google, Apple and Microsoft, Yahoo doesn't have a succinct product-marketing strategy. He'd like to help them fix that. Unfortunately, at 1,700 words, Raynovich's piece isn't very succinct either. We're here to help, with a version Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang will have time to read before he gets another letter from Carl Icahn.
On Monday, Apple CEO Steve Jobs is expected to announce a relatively minor set of upgrades to the iPhone. Yet the world — and not just the tech world — waits with bated breath for the turtlenecked one to speak. How does Microsoft respond? With a 522-word memo from Microsoft mobile executive Andy Lees to "Our Windows Mobile Partners." Lees might have some good arguments in Microsoft's favor, but he buries them behind phrases like "It’s now my honor and privilege." Apple would just take our 100-word version, below, and turn each bullet point into a Mac vs. PC commercial.
Barack Obama's campaign for president has raised a staggering $200 million from contributors through the Web, tapping Valley talent like Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes and Mark Gorenberg, a VC with Hummer Winblad. Obama has surpassed fundraising efforts by his primary opponent Hillary Clinton, even though she's raised more money for her campaign than her husband, former President Bill Clinton, ever did in winning an election. And he's doing it under the rules put in place by the Republican candidate, John McCain, under the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law. You can read all the details in The Atlantic's 5,243-word feature by Joshua Green, but a summary, 98-word paragraph is all you need to read.
For our post "How a girly girl made serious bank on her startup," Patricia Handschiegel — who did just that with her own startup, StyleDiary — told us that sometimes one has to let the girl's-girl image go. More often, though, a girl just has to make the most of the time she has. Handschiegel posted 573 words on "ways to cheat the system for when I'm too busy to get a manicure or to the spa." Here's a version of you can read on your BlackBerry Pearl:
Before he left, former Twitter architect Blaine Cook's job was to assure the service's scalability," or the ability to expand to meet growing user demand. Didn't happen. Instead, Twitter leads all social networks in downtime so far this year. In a post to his blog today, Cook wants to make one thing very clear: He knows what scalability is, OK? If one eliminates database chokepoints and throws enough servers at the problem, even crappy code written in Ruby on Rails will work. Cook just couldn't make it happen for Twitter. Here's the 100-word version:
At Valleywag, we were quite proud to think we'd come up with the idea of reducing the verbosity of bloggers and pomposity of pundits to 100 words. How could we have missed that Brijit had started a whole business around the idea back in 2006? Our hats are off to them. We admire, too, the bravery of their pay scheme: $5 per summary, regardless of the number of pageviews it draws. They may well need to tweak that. But until someone finds a cure for logorrhea, both Brijit and Valleywag will have a market.
China's Internet population now exceeds that of the United States. But before moving into the market, companies like ABB, Gap and Novartis are scrambling to figure out how to do so without looking evil in the eyes of consumers in free societies. The Financial Times solved the problem in 885 words. A 785-word-lighter version:
The traffic boost from Digg-front-page glory only lasts a few hours. Getting an article picked up by eBay's StumbleUpon, however, can drive sweet, sweet traffic for weeks and months. So search-engine optimization expert Dharmesh Shah and social media marketer Lyndon Antcliff's "28 Tips to Make You a StumbleUpon Superstar" would be worth reading, if it weren't 1,400 words long. Here's a version you can read in less time than it takes for fanatical Digg users to bury your story.
Having made her name on a cover story about Digg's Kevin Rose and a $60 million fortune he has yet to make, tech columnist Sarah Lacy has paused to sniff dismissively at (questionably accurate) reports that Twitter has raised $20 million in venture capital. Lacy has a point: It should not surprise anyone that Twitter is raising venture capital; there are few obvious companies which can use the money, and Twitter, whose microblogging service is growing in popularity but not, measurably, in revenues, is one of them.
What's in Facebook's "Insider's Guide to Viral Marketing?" "Really nothing compelling," social media marketer Alisa Leonard tells us. "They basically expanded their online step by step business page sign up process and made understanding [Facebook] pages idiot proof (read: CMO-proof)." The reason why Facebook is pushing Facebook Pages: They're a key advertising feature whose launch was obscured by the privacy fracas over Beacon last fall. What would really have made it friendly to chief marketing officers: Trimming it down from 7,533 words. We've embedded the whole thing below, but first, read a 100-word version that could fit in your Facebook News Feed.