Archive for January, 2007

What lessons can we draw from the craigslist anomaly?

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

He proposed the following:

Providing a valuable service for free can attract a large and loyal audience. This is one case where the first-mover advantage is tremendous. You want to post your ads where lots of people will see them, which makes it hard for a new site to gain traction.

Design is secondary to functionality, at least for sites that are delivering a simple utility, rather than entertainment. When compared to a newspaper’s classified ad section, craigslist isn’t especially ugly.

User-generated content can form virtually the entire content of a very large site, if you choose your domain carefully.

With user-generated content and little effort expended on design and new features, it is possible to have a lot of traffic with a very small staff.

Hillary’s question – on Yahoo!

Monday, January 29th, 2007

Here is her question:

Based on your own family’s experience, what do you think we should do to improve health care in America?


Saturday, January 27th, 2007




“Inhaling the Spore”

Sunday, January 21st, 2007

“In Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonder, the first image is of ants foraging for food on the rainforest floor, who every once in a while accidently inhale the spore of a fungus. The spore lodges in their brain and they start to behave oddly. They leave the forest floor for the first time in their lives, climbing up the tendrils of surrounding vines, and eventually impale their mandibles on the stalk of vine and wait to die. ”


On the BART to SFO

Saturday, January 20th, 2007

“It is a pity indeed to travel and not get this essential sense of landscape values. You do not need a sixth sense for it. It is there if you just close your eyes and breath softly though you nose; you will hear the whispered message, for all landscape ask the same question in the same whisper. “I am watching you – are you watching yourself in me?”


Story or News?

Wednesday, January 17th, 2007

Dave’s point:

There is a way to separate the human interest stuff that’s clogging the air waves from hard news. When four climbers are lost on Mount Hood, for example, if we look at it dispassionately, we’d see that the only people who are affected are the climbers (who died) and their families. If you want to stretch it, other people who climb mountains in inclement weather might also have an interest in that information. But the rest of us are only getting an emotional hit from the story. We project ourselves into the situation, and think how horrible it would be to die that way, or to have a family member or friend die that way. It’s not news, it’s not conveying information that affects us, it’s story-telling.

On the other hand, there is information that is news, that affects all of us, that has almost no story-telling to it. When the Fed raises interest rates, there’s no story, but wide impact. The fact that many Americans don’t understand how it impacts them, is perhaps itself a story.

When we were young at sea

Sunday, January 14th, 2007

“Ah! The good old time–the good old time. Youth and the sea. Glamour and the sea! The good, strong sea, the salt, bitter sea, that could whisper to you and roar at you and knock your breath out of you.”



A peculiar “sameness”

Wednesday, January 10th, 2007

Perry wrote:

“Although “identity” is not familiar in Chinese, the term “alienation” has been widely used in the 1980s to describe basically the opposite idea – namely, a sense of difference between oneself and an ideology or a group. ”


This Nation

Monday, January 1st, 2007

The legacy
The Flag
And the Spinning Wheel