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Any portal is a storm

I finally took the time to read into the "de-portalization of the Internet" discussion.  What I clicked:

What drew me to the discussion is that I had understood the opposite to be happening.  My reading led me to understand that with so many individual content creators out there, we'd see a new importance placed on aggregators to gather up the good stuff.  If you click through the links above you'll see that what I was thinking and what "de-portalization" is really about is in the same family but really different topics, confused by a poorly defined set of terms.  The issue is that the really big companies who used to do it all, now have to figure out a way to also include the independent little guys (bloggers, indie sites, user generated content, etc.) and more importantly to some people, figure out how to keep making money.

The news that the New York Times is offering new social site sharing tools on its articles has been interpreted as a vindication for the social Web in every analysis I've read.  One remark (sorry I lost track of the link) pointed to the Alexa traffic graph of the Times versus Digg as reason enough why the Times should be courting Digg users.

But while the graph does show that Digg gets more traffic than the Times, what it doesn't show (yet) is that the Times has seen a jump in traffic as the result of making it easier for users to submit their stories to Digg.  Clicking on the Page Views tab shows quite the opposite, in fact.

If you work for a news outlet with very little offered on its pages for sharing on social sites and you want to encourage your dev team to come up with more options for readers, not being able to show a return in page views for sites already doing it is not very helpful.

P.S.  I wonder if the new permalink feature will render the NYTimes link generator obsolete.

For a nice concise splash of cold water on this whole idea: If You Think The NY Times 'Gets' Social Media, Digg This!

Speaking of social sites not paying off, Why digg is destined for failure - I understand the arguments made here but I'm not sure the perspective is right.  Digg wasn't created so that the referral traffic would be valuable, it was build for the community using it.  And judging by the size and success of that community, they like the site just fine.

Speaking of taking the shine off a site that receives a lot of positive press, Clay Shirky says Second Life is built on sand.  "Like video phones, which have been just one technological revolution away from mass adoption since 1964, virtual reality is so appealingly simple that its persistent failure to be a good idea, as measured by user adoption, has done little to dampen enthusiasm for the coming day of Keanu Reeves interfaces and Snow Crash interactions."

I admit that once the "cool, I can fly" euphoria wore off I lost my zeal for Second Life.  I'm glad I've familiarized myself with it and it wouldn't take much to draw me back with a news event or special performance or meeting, but as a regular form of recreation, what I've found so far doesn't hold my interest.

Where families lived in 1920

This scientist in this story draws a conclusion from pretty much nowhere that car drivers assume cyclists with helmets are more experienced and therefore can give them less space on the road.  My own unqualified conclusion from what's reported in the article is that a human with a helmet seems less human and is therefore regarded with less caution.

The history of the button

33 Names of Things You Never Knew had Names

Short stroll in a Chinese national park - I'm thinking this is what parks look like in places where there are no law suits.

In case you have or are a smart ass kid who thinks your generation invented headbanging, check out the bass player at 1:09 in this video.

Who has the power to arrest the president?

Lifestyles of the Rich and Fascist

Speaking of fashion, the reporting on Al Gore's wardrobe over more substantive matters in the 2000 election is still a sore spot for many liberal bloggers.  Seeing a similar tactic adopted in Obama coverage (and leading it to an association with Iran's president) has set off online alarm bells.

"Many of us would like to believe that different types of alcohol can produce very different effects. If only it were that simple."  It totally makes sense to me that alcohol is alcohol as far as the body is concerned, but for some reason I want to cling to the idea that different liquors produce different "kinds of drunk."

Christmas 2.0: Subverting the Holidays With Re-dubbing - Still more mashed up children's holiday specials.  NOTE:  Read the descriptions, some are a little sexual.

"The Nietzsche Family Circus pairs a randomized Family Circus cartoon with a randomized Friedrich Nietzsche quote."

Giant knitting