Archive for January, 2007

Call Me Now… with Jaxtr

Thursday, January 25th, 2007

Jaxtr logoExpect to see Jaxtr coming to a social network or blog near you… 

Jaxtr is now officially in BETA testing mode. Upon receiving the e-mail last night, I set-up an account and customized my settings. Having said that, I would really like to test the system. So give me a shout. Seriously.

Readers can call me by visiting my Jaxtr page or the embedded Jaxtr widget page I set up.

So what’s so great about the service? Here is the company pitch:

“With the free jaxtr service, you link your phone with your online network to get calls and messages from callers worldwide. You keep your existing phone numbers private and enjoy enhanced control over when and on which phone you receive calls. Plus, you get to call other jaxtr users in 29 countries from your phone without paying international toll charges.”

Jaxtr also proclaims that there is no need for a:

  • Download.
  • Headset.
  • High-speed Internet connection.

I’ve already profiled the company twice: Jaxtr - Beware the Dark Side and Jaxtr May Be BETA Than You Think.

For more information on this embeddable VOIP wonder, visit the Jaxtr FAQ page.

MTW Gets Some Micropersuasion Love

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

For a reason that is unknown to me, Steve Rubel stumbled across MappingTheWeb at some point yesterday. In any case, he must have liked it as he posted a link to the site as one of his links of the day on his wildly popular Micropersuasion blog.

The blog “explores how technology is revolutionizing PR and marketing”. It is well-known as one of the most popular web 2.0 blogs focused around marketing and PR. Equipped with an Alexa rank of around 10,000 and a PageRank of 7, the blog has done very well.

Most recently, the blog received a template re-design.

Having said that, the link has generated a considerable amount of traffic for MappingTheWeb and it reaffirms that MTW is now on the radar…

Thanks Steve.

Do You Digg Canada?

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007 logoIf so, then is the site for you. This Canadian version of its Southern cousin is all about user-contributed news. As the site says, “News 2.0 is all about Canadian user powered news. All the news are submitted and voted by users. Share, discover and promote the news that is important to you!”. Although very similar to Digg, the site takes on a very Canadian feel.

Current front page stories include articles regarding Vancouver and Ontario. Mark Evans referred to the site as the “Great White North Version of Digg”.

Although Digg itself would be impossible to compete against directly, niche news sites and verticals like are changing the game. By taking on a regional subset of Digg’s traffic, is able to not only survive and co-exist, but also develop a more targeted, tight-knit community around Canadian news.

Once again, this is evidence that user-contribution is here to stay. As more and more niche portals, verticals, and communities spur up around this concept, the stronger and more powerful the foundation becomes. is powered by a CMS called Pligg. This Digg-like back-end system is becoming more and more popular around the net. It is being used to power countless verticals and Digg-like sites that not only publish news, but also photos and videos.

Though the web portal is still in its early stages of life, already it is gaining some traction and exposure. For more on the development of the site, visit their blog.

It’s good to see yet another local, Canadian web 2.0 company making waves in the sea that is the new web landscape. Good luck guys.

NOTE: agreed to feature my site if I featured their’s.

The Mystery of Web Statistics

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

GraphFor centuries, believers and non-believers alike have argued over the existence of Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, and UFO’s among others things. But these mysterious phenomenon have been overshadowed by the biggest mystery of all… web statistics.

This enigma is even more prominent in the new web landscape. Start-ups are not known for sharing their page views, visits, or uniques… or more importantly their user base.

Even if a start-up does choose to share these coveted statistics, manipulation can transpire. Straight-up lying can manifest as no third-party auditing is being performed. Moreover, numbers can be skewed and morphed to the liking of the company. Sure, you may claim to have 2 million registered accounts, but if only 50,000 users sign in in a given month, we’re talking about a whole different story. And thank God the days of web 1.0 and ‘hits’ have passed. Otherwise, companies would still be glorifying these meaningless statistics.

Yet, let it be known, not all companies choose to hide their stats. The big guys (MySpace, Craigslist, Wikipedia, etc…) tend to divulge their metrics without hesitation. This is for obvious reasons. They have ‘made it’. Once a company is producing, say, 1+ billion page views per month, they’re more than happy to share their stats and bask in the glory.

But for the little guys, it’s the opposite. It’s almost like encountering a bear in the woods. Look big. Shy away. Don’t let it be known that you’re actually smaller than you appear to be.

Some interesting points to note:

  • AJAX is causing a stir around web statistics, as a page load is not needed. This will not only force changes in terms of web standards, but more importantly for advertisers and publishers. A new system/metric may will be needed.
  • Traffic information aggregators such Alexa, Hitwise, Comscore, and Compete are all trying to solve the web statistic mystery, but to no avail. Although they must be praised for their efforts and relative rankings, the only way to truly solve this problem is by having the individual sites open up their statistics and allow third-party tracking/auditing.

In the end, a chameleon company is only kidding itself. By trying to appear larger than it actually it, it is no farther ahead than its actual statistics. Without revenues, the company will fail. And if the company chooses to try and acquire financing or put itself up for sale, a due diligence process will be carried out by the prospective company or investor… upon which the truth will come out.

Where Did the Web 2.0 Buzz Go?

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007

Is it just me or has the hype seem to have faded? I swear it was only 6 months ago (or even a few months ago) that the buzz was still buzzing. Now, it seems to have lingered. Though healthy for the Internet economy, it seems that many entrepreneurs and web junkies aren’t getting their daily dose of high adrenaline, heart-pumping web 2.0 hoopla they so dearly crave.

Evidence of this trend can be witnessed by visiting TechCrunch, widely accepeted as the grand daddy of web 2.0 blogs. It seems the content nowadays is focused more and more around the big guys (Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, AOL, Amazon) than around the small start-ups that TechCrunch became famous for writing about. I wouldn’t go as far as saying TechCrunch is selling out, but maybe we are seeing a shift. Perhaps less and less new web start-ups are launching? Perhaps major consolidation is imminent?

Furthermore, it seems TechCrunch is adding a new candidate to the “Dead Pool” on a daily basis. In other words, more and more start-ups are filing for bankruptcy and/or selling off their assets, as they just can’t make a go of it.

Maybe the industry is in a lull? Maybe a moderate crash is to be expected? I don’t think so.

New web start-ups will continue to launch as long as the Internet is running, albeit less at times than others. In any case, it takes less money and human resources than ever before to launch a successful venture. Many 1-, 2-, and 3-man operations have gone on to accomplish big things in a short time period. Many web application frameworks, such as Ruby on Rails, have given start-ups a head-start and allowed them to concentrate less on building a service from scratch, and more on creating an excellent experience. Moreover, this also allows for more time to be concentrated on the business functions as well, most notably marketing and business development.

It will be interesting to see if this lack of news is just a short-term bump or if we are indeed in the midst of a major overhaul. My guess is that it’s the former.