More net devices

Do you visualize a situation in the next four years or so where there are more connected-to-the-Internet devices than there are Internet users?, writes Deepak Mankar.

business Updated: Apr 01, 2006 14:48 IST

In a recent $750, 6-page concept report ('Understanding Google: Competing and Partnering with the Most Influential Company Online'), Jupitermedia's JupiterResearch labeled Google's business model "insular" and with "intense focus on organizing consumers' information". It even expressed fears that this may hinder the search giant's expansion. The analysis found that Google had an "unwillingness to engage external people in its world," hinting that the "not invented here" attitude could hobble the company's ability to expand and extend services across the Net, according to ZDNet. Traditional portals like America Online, MSN and Yahoo! reach more people and are used for a longer time each day than is Google, says the report. The search company's extreme focus on providing search services "drives visitors to other sites rather than holding onto them with content," JupiterResearch said. The search function becomes an attribute as Google's AdSense and ad-placement partnerships result in ads appearing not just on Google pages but also on millions of external Web sites and blogs, though. A very important report and a very interesting perspective, that! Mark these wise words too: "Competitors and partners should think of Google as a platform company that creates marketplaces, products, and services that support consumers' efforts to organize their information. Google's corporate insularity results in biases toward secrecy and its existing search technology, and weakens Google in supporting industry ecosystems based on its platform."blogs.zdnet& readwriteweb.

What's new, bloggycat? 1,2 … yeah, a couple of things.

A couple of fascinating happenings in the blogosphere caught my attention this week. One of them is the publication of a list of "the 10 most powerful women in the blogosphere. Well… in the blogging industry" to quote the words of Coolz0rblognewschannelThe list by The LiberalCowboy on JackOfAllBlogs (1. Ana Marie Cox / 2. Heather Armstrong / 3. Jen Chung / 4. Xeni Jardin / 5. Wendy Cheng / 6. Elizabeth Spiers /7. Jessica Coen / 8. Joi Ito / 9. Mena Trott / 10. Shai Coggins) apparently contains an error. The 'woman' at No. 8 claims she is not a woman. What 'she' is not made clear, though. Fascinating happening #2 is a study by the Project for Excellence in Journalism. This report doesn't credit bloggers with much initiative. A review of news coverage found only 1 percent of bloggers doing an interview and only 5 percent involving original work. The study surveyed the popularity of online news and found about 70% of respondents saying they had read news online sometimes and 30% claiming they "got news online yesterday."journalismP.S.: By the bye, 'Sopranos' was the top term on the blog search engine Technorati a couple of weeks back. Now it is at #12.

Blogs for busy folks. How to write 'em.

'Ben' at Inside Firefox has these useful suggestions to offer. 1. Making important points up front. 2. Clear taxonomy of headings - and lots of them. 3. Writing clearly and succinctly. 4. No long, unbroken paragraphs or tracts of text. 5.Preferring bulleted lists with clear points to paragraphs. 6. Use of emphasis in formatting to make important things clear.mozillazineDarren Rowse's comment (28 March) problogger on Point #6 is worth a read: "I particularly would echo Ben's sixth point. I know that when I go to a blog and see long unbroken paragraphs that it's a major turn off. I don't mind reading long article but am much more likely to do so if I can see it's well organized, not too overwhelming and if it gives me some hints at a glance as to what it's about and what I'll get out of it. First impressions count for a lot." Darren makes one additional suggestion: "The only extra hint I'd add to Ben's list is to think carefully about your main title. He's mentioned headings which could include this - but I think if a title is designed well it can communicate a lot and be the thing that gets people reading or turns them away from your post."

Coming of age. 'Safe' blogs for kids.

Matt Marshall had the following to say in his 22 March SiliconBeat post: "Child blogging - It is getting younger and younger. Industrious Kid, of San Francisco, has raised $6M to go after elementary schoolers with its new site,, planned for launch in May. There is controversy surrounding sites like MySpace, where parents are worried about not having control over what their kids are seeing. So Jeanette Symons conceived of the idea for Imbee after her 8-year-old son wanted to start his own blog. 'The first thought I had was...when he goes to get a job or something, they'll pull up whatever bizarre thoughts he had as an 8-year-old,' she told VentureWire ... So this designed to be a safe place and has 'rigorous screening.' There is surely a market for this. It will be a closed site, not accessible from the wider Web. Question: How do you make money off of 8 or 9 year olds?"industriouskid.

More net devices. Fewer users.

Do you visualize a situation in the next four years or so where there are more connected-to-the-Internet devices than there are Internet users? You do? Then, you're in august company. Vint Cerf, vice president and chief Internet evangelist for Google and a founding father of the Internet also expects the number of people using the Internet to triple to 3 billion within four years from its current 1 billion level. And, with technology developers working to develop things like web-connected refrigerators, net-communicating vending machines and long-distance medical monitoring devices, logged-in machines may well outnumber people. "Think about the number of programmable devices; then ask how many there are surrounding you in the office or at home - it's amazing," he told VNU Business's Computing magazine.

Pay no more. For prime-quality 'paid' content.

Congoo is no big deal. In fact, it's a small startup, located about 50 miles from New York City. It has done something that's deserves a really big headline, though, by making possible free beta access to paid content on the Web from Financial Times, Institutional Investor, Morningstar,, BusinessWire, PRNewswire, Adweek, Editor & Publisher, The Hollywood Reporter, The New Republic, Encyclopaedia Britannica Online, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, The Denver Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer and others. Publishers have agreed to provide between 4 and 15 articles a month per publisher to Congoo users. In point of fact, Congoo is a Web search engine offering generally historical and encyclopedic information, with a news channel in the offing. Congoo's service comes via NetPass, a toolbar that needs to be downloaded and installed on Microsoft's Internet Explorer. A version for Firefox is expected soon. Ash Nashed, founder of Congoo said that his brainchild "has done what many thought would be impossible: make huge amounts of premium, restricted and/or subscription-only Web content available to anyone, free of charge."

The rich & famous. Online lives revealed.

What do the affluent Americans do on the Internet? "The average wealthy American uses the internet seven days a week for an average of 3.2 hours per day; those under 50 and worth more than $5 million are heavier users. Twenty-seven percent … are online for more than four hours a day. Almost all (98 percent) … use the web at home, and more than two-thirds use the web at work, including more than 80 percent of wealthy people between the ages of 21 and 49 and more than four out of five wealthy individuals with incomes between $200,000 and $500,000, " writes Milton Pedraza ('How to Reach American Millionaires'). Also: "Email is still, by far, the killer application ... Ninety-two percent … 'frequently' use the internet to send and receive email. The second most popular use … is checking news and weather (58 percent). Other frequent uses include planning travel and making reservations (42 percent), and paying bills (40 percent)." And: "As far as shopping goes, more than half (51 percent) of wealthy consumers … frequently use the internet to research products and services, although only 43 percent say they buy products and services online." Finally: "Nearly one-fifth of the wealthy tell the Luxury Institute that they read web logs on at least a weekly basis, and 28 percent …report being very familiar with blogs. Frequent blog readership is highest among the youngest wealthy consumers, and among men of higher levels of income and wealth. The youngest and the wealthiest are also most likely to keep blogs of their own."

That's all for now though there's plenty more out there. Join me again next week, same place.

Copyright (c) 2001- 2006 by Deepak Mankar. All rights reserved. Deepak Mankar, an advertising practitioner on the creative side since 1965, is also intensely passionate about the web and web content creation. Read his online articles at Website: You may e-mail him at

First Published: Apr 01, 2006 14:48 IST