Awasu » 2003 » August
Sunday 31st August 2003 11:58 AM [General]

Part 1 of a series of articles on the use of weblogs for media relations. Robin Good raises a lot of valid points but IMHO, this is the key issue:

Blogs empower and facilitate the work of great writers, journalists and reporters, offering a lean, efficient and devastatingly effective framework for moving PR out of technical specialists and into the hands of great personalities, unique support people, skilled researchers and great thinkers with a voice.

And also:

[Blogs allow you to] Engage yourself with customers and potential partners by leveraging the Comments facility of blogs to maintain public exchanges and to create through them relevant solutions and suggestions both for customers and your company.

As I have written before, it's all about communication. No longer do you need to be able to know HTML and be capable of maintaining a web site to publish. Now anyone's mother can do it! :-)

A corporate weblog can help forge a completely new kind of relationship with your clients and potential clients, a more personal and appealing one. And check this post out for details on how Awasu can help.

Thursday 28th August 2003 12:23 PM [General]

An interesting article about the relative merits of email newsletters and RSS.

Who'd have thought that things could get this bad? E-mail -- long touted as the "killer app" of the Internet and the best online channel for publishers -- is rapidly being decimated by spammers and virus writers.

Recent studies show that opt-in messages (that is, e-mail that people have asked to receive) are now erroneously blocked as spam by ISPs and e-mail services at rates of 17% (according to a Return Path study) to 38% ( study). ... Of the subscribers (62% to 83%) who do successfully receive e-mail from ethical publishers, there's another big chunk who don't open it. The typical opt-in commercial/marketing message is opened only about 40% of the time, according to the most recent Doubleclick E-mail Trend Report.

Whatever you believe, at least recognize that as a publishing platform, e-mail is now seriously impaired. Whether you convert to RSS whole-hog or just offer it as an alternative, now's a good time to start thinking about a transition in your business plan.

Bill French recently raised the question on Lockergnome: "So, why haven’t any RSS reader tools innovated in ways that promote and leverage brand and brand awareness?" They have and it's right here :-)

Tuesday 26th August 2003 1:31 AM [General]

If you are a content publisher, whether it be a company wanting to keep your customers informed, a CTO wanting to disseminate information throughout your organization, or anyone else wanting to publish information, you'll want to check out this RSS primer.

It's written for non-propeller heads and talks about why you should do it, how you can do it, and how you can do it well. A great resource.

Saturday 23rd August 2003 10:54 AM [General]

As I posted earlier, auto-discovery is already done and will be in the next beta release.

Barry Paul has written a toolbar plugin for Internet Explorer that searches a page for RSS feeds and opens the Channel Wizard in Awasu for you to subscribe. Look for the "Description" and "Download" links in the sidebar on the right.

I had been mulling over how to get Awasu to do auto-discovery in browser windows outside of Awasu for a while now. It's a bit tricky but I'll still do it since it will integrate much better with Awasu (e.g. it will figure out if you are already subscribed or not) but this is handy in the meantime. Thanks!

Thursday 21st August 2003 9:02 PM [General]

Australia's first flash mob.

PEAK-hour Melbourne commuters were left gaping when 120 people, each wearing a yellow dish-washing glove and pointing at the sky, blocked the Flinders Street Station steps this evening.

After gathering at 5.24pm and staring quizzically at the sky for one minute, the yellow-gloved mob abruptly dispersed into the five o'clock rush hour, leaving behind befuddled bystanders.

Woo hoo! :-)

Wednesday 20th August 2003 6:19 PM [General]

nervous, adj.

What I was after being woken up at some horribly early hour this morning (OK, so I'm not a morning person :roll:) by the security alarm complaining that mains power had been interrupted, crawling out of bed to find that it was not a total blackout but instead a rather severe brownout, then noticing that my main development machine that had been left on overnight had died and was totally unresponsive but the hard disk access light was permanently on, then trying to go back to sleep, all the while thinking "jeez, it's been a while since I last tested my backup restores." :eek:

Everything was OK when the power came back, BTW.

/taka busies himself reviewing all his backup and recovery procedures. Nothing like a good scare to motivate you to do things. Sigh...

Wednesday 20th August 2003 2:42 AM [General]

From the Devil's Dictionary (version 2.0):

blog, verb

To noisily and simultaneously void one’s spleen, stomach, bladder and bowels.

“Get outta my way! I think I’m gonna blog!”

Sigh... :-)

BTW, they have a feed (auto-discovery coming Real Soon Now (tm)).

Tuesday 19th August 2003 5:40 PM [General]

Adina Levin writes about why RSS isn't push technology.

Media companies would pay huge premiums to snag plum real estate on the "webtop" [in a push environment]. The cable television business model would take over.

RSS newsreaders put the choice of content in the hands of the end-user [my emphasis].

Other people have been musing about similar issues e.g. arguments against RSS and 10 reasons why companies won't blog.

If you read these articles, you'll notice that one of the underlying themes is a loss of control on the part of the traditional content providers. Bosses don't want to lose control over what their proles valued employees are doing and saying, companies want to continue to bombard us with advertising to make us buy stuff.

Blogging routes around this, allowing people to connect with each other and disseminate information via informal channels. And if those channels start to lose their value to us, whether it be because of a decline in quality or excessive advertising or bias, we cut them off. Simple as that. The balance of power is shifting and the big boys don't like it :-)

Interesting times indeed.

And yes, I know that is an old Chinese curse :-)

Tuesday 19th August 2003 11:54 AM [Awasu News]

To everyone who has registered:

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!

I've been working really hard on Awasu this past year and we've received far more registrations than I ever expected. It really helps to know that people like it enough to shell out a few bucks and help keep the hamsters in business.

Did I say thank you already? :-)

Tuesday 19th August 2003 11:16 AM [Awasu News]

I have received a few queries about Awasu and Windows 98/Me, especially with regard to the Advanced Edition. There seems to be a bit of confusion and upon reflection, I have to agree that it is confusing. Sorry y'all... :oops: This is how it works:

  • Awasu 1.1 is a full, public release (it has 2 digits in the version number) and both the free Personal Edition and paid Advanced Edition run on all operating systems (including 98/Me).
  • Awasu 1.1.1 is the latest beta release and runs only on NT/2000/XP.

So, if you like Awasu and want to register but are worried that it won't run on 98/Me, it will. When you register, you get 1.1 which will work fine.

As far as future versions go, providing continuing support for 98/Me is something that we very much want to do. If you want to run on 98/Me, send me an email since I'm doing this because I'm such a nice guy rather than because I've received an avalanche of requests :-)

The next beta (1.1.2) will be released early next month and hopefully I will be able to add 98/Me support shortly after that.