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Is charging users for online content an act of slow-motion seppuku? The New York Times may be about to find out. But the real risk is that it is neither a runaway success nor an abject failure, but rather a slow, steady decline. Read more »

After four years of watching from afar as my friend Om has built a blogging empire, I’ve finally caught up with him. As many of you may already know from reading his post about the news, I’m joining the GigaOM family as a senior writer. Read more »

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Updated: Users of social networks choose where to spend their time based on factors entirely outside of those such as uptime and reliability, according to report issued Tuesday (PDF link) by Pingdom, a service that tracks web site uptime and optimization for companies. Not that such […] Read more »

When Twitter first hit my radar screen sometime back in 2007, I (like many others) immediately dismissed it as a gimmicky little time-waster with no real value. I mean, a message limit of 140 characters? Lame. And what was it for? Nothing, apparently. It was like […] Read more »

There’s been a lot of chatter about the newspaper industry in recent weeks — about whether newspaper companies should find something like iTunes, or use micropayments as a way to charge people for the news, or sue Google, or all of the above — and how […] Read more »

Everyone seems convinced that the Internet owes them a living, and that Google (being synonymous with the Internet the way it is for so many) is the best one to settle the bill, especially since it has billions of dollars just lying around, like Scrooge McDuck. Let’s call this the “Google as sugar daddy” argument. But why should Google pay? Especially when the main argument as to why it should seems to be because it can? Read more »

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As everyone waits to find out how new Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz plans to resuscitate the struggling Internet giant, in the meantime, the stress of watching Yahoo bungle one thing after another — such as coming within inches of a merger with Microsoft, only to blow […] Read more »

Apple finally acquiesced to the demands of the record labels and introduced variable pricing to its iTunes music store. That’s good news for consumers, who also get DRM-free music. The problem is, it won’t fix what ails the music business, which by agreeing to 69-cents-and-up pricing might be setting consumer expectations even lower. No one ever said record labels were smart. Read more »

The Recording Industry Association of America, which has spent the past five years suing tens of thousands of individual file-sharers for copyright infringement, has apparently decided to change tactics, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal (hopefully this one is a little more reliable […] Read more »

Traditional media outlets like the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times have begun to use some of the tools of social media — blogs, Facebook pages, even Twitter accounts. But they seem a lot less eager to adopt some of social media’s core principles, […] Read more »

Earlier this week, I wrote about the launch of Google’s Native Client, and how the company hoped that the new software would help web-based apps run faster and more securely. After the post appeared, I got an email from Google, asking me if I wanted to […] Read more »

With Google’s release of a software platform known as Native Client, the company has moved even closer to fulfilling the early promise of a “web operating system” — a vision originally offered by browser-software pioneer Netscape Communications. By allowing browsers to run code in the language understood by a user’s PC, browser-based software and services will run faster and be able to offer more functionality than they can now — and browser-based services that could replicate all of the features of a desktop application would become a reality. Read more »

Gabe Rivera, the creator and programming genius behind a series of news aggregation sites including Memeorandum, Ballbug and Techmeme, has admitted that the algorithms he uses to find the latest hot news haven’t been working all that well. As a result, he has added the services of a real live human being to the mix to try and improve things — a move that should be seen as a bright spot in these otherwise dark economic times. Read more »

The closure of Pownce, which was announced Monday via posts by co-founder Leah Culver and her new employer, blog software company Six Apart, didn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone who’s followed Pownce since its launch last year. Despite help from co-founders like Kevin […] Read more »

Update: Few online events have ended as horrifically as the Lori Drew case. Befriended by a boy on MySpace who later began bullying her, a teenager named Megan Meier hung herself, and her online friend later turned out to be the mother of a school classmate, […] Read more »

Twitter sparked further speculation about the future of its business model on Monday with its purchase of Values of n, whose services include a smart sticky-note application called Stikkit and a personal assistant application called I Want Sandy. For while the founders of both companies said Values of n would be shutting down the two services, both also hinted fairly broadly that aspects of them might find their way into Twitter. Read more »

Google has pulled back the curtain on a new feature that until now has been in restricted beta: the addition of wiki-style functions in standard search results. In many ways, Google is taking the same principles that power a site like Digg and applying them to search. So will these new wiki-style functions be subject to rampant gaming and manipulation? Of course. Read more »

Now that Yahoo co-founder and CEO Jerry Yang has finally stepped aside, removing what many saw as one of the main barriers to bringing the two companies together, Microsoft should re-ignite acquisition talks with the company. But that’s not the only reason. There are plenty of […] Read more »

Updated: Adeo Ressi, the serial entrepreneur behind the venture-capital rating site TheFunded, has been getting a lot of attention for a presentation he gave at Harvard Business School in which he argued that the VC industry is “broken.” His central point is that there are simply […] Read more »

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