MySQL Used By Majority Of “AlwaysOn 100″ Innovators


Which must say something about the popularity of MySQL in Web 2.0 businesses.

This week at the AlwaysOn Summit at Stanford
University, Stanford, California, 100 private companies are being
honoured for their technical innovation, customer adoption and market
potential. It is no coincidence that the majority of these "Hot 100"
start-ups are using the MySQL open source database to power their IT infrastructure, Web sites and products.

When Joe Kraus launched the Excite search service in the early days of
"Web 1.0", he estimated it cost around $3m to get the business
up-and-running – much of this was attributable to the technology needed
– eg hardware and software. Today, after founding JotSpot, Kraus
estimates a Web 2.0 company can start up with an investment of around
$100,000 (£50,000) – a reduction by a factor of 30! One reason? Open
source software like the LAMP software stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL,
PHP/Perl/Python) now provide Web 2.0 businesses with a robust, low-cost
platform to start trading – while providing built-in scalability as the
business grows.

Links:

AlwaysOn 100: http://www.alwayson-network.com/comments.php?id=10939_0_1_0_…

AO100 use MySQL: http://www.theopenforce.com/2006/07/alwayson_confer.html

Joe Kraus: http://bnoopy.typepad.com/

MySQL: http://www.mysql.com/why-mysql/awards/

PR Business – RIP


Link: Open (finds, minds, conversations)…: Sad footnote to PR Business saga.

So. Farewell then, PR Business.
Even moving from weekly
To monthly
Couldn’t save you.

Jotspot – the instant Wiki has arrived


I don’t know about other people, but keeping up with Web 2.0 applications is a full time job – you could easily spend your entire working day trying out and using things like Flickr, Writely, etc.

However, something tells me JotSpot might be on to something. In short, its a free, Wiki creation and management tool (though you do have to pay for it if your user and page numbers go above certain levels – even then, the charges are hardly onerous).

So why does it seem quite good? Namely because it does make it v. simple to get your own Wiki up and running. The promise of collaborative working via the web has been with us since the beginning – but no one has really cracked it – perhaps, that is, until now.

I’ve only had a brief play around with it – but it is easy to see how this could be put to good use – it’s like Lotus Notes for Web 2.0 (albeit a much simpler and way cheaper version).

Dennis Howlett has long touted the benefits of the Wiki approach – I’d remained more cautious because I didn’t think the tools for building and managing were simple enough – but JotSpot certainly seems to be making a good fist of it.

If anyone else out there has begun playing with JotSpot, I’d be interested in their comments.

CEO press tours


Chris Edwards vents his spleen here about getting press invites to meet a CEO (or presumably any other senior exec), on the (apparent) basis that they just happen to be in town.

Charles Arthur picks up the baton here

As someone who has had to organise this kind of thing on many occasions in the past, I’m well aware of some of the issues involved. I have to say, most companies are savvy enough not to want press meetings set up for the CEO just because he happens to be coming  UK/Europe, usually for reasons other than meeting the press eg conference, customer meetings, troop rallying, etc. However, there are times when the sales guys can’t come up with enough customer meetings for him (or the UK management team don’t want the CEO hanging around with nothing to do), and somebody has the bright idea of getting him to meet with some journalists. The in-house marketing or PR person is duly leant on, who in turn leans on the PR agency to "organise something" (and no doubt at very short notice).

Agencies should of course ask the tough question of "why are we doing this?" Occupying the CEOs time is not a good enough reason to get journalists to take several hours out of their day unless they can justify it.  The other questions that should be asked are:

- is a face to face meeting the only way in which we can deliver this story/information to the journalist? As others have pointed out, the vast majority of information can (or should) be available in others ways eg web site, email, blog, podcast, hey, even a phone call.

- does the story/angle/opinion/information really have value to the journalist (or more importantly, the journalists readers). Even assuming you do persuade the journalist to turn up, will they actually write anything – journalist attendance is not a result in its own right.

Another typical issue is that the journalist is expected to fit around the CEOs schedule – not the other way round. So the time slots for press meetings are  secondary to things like customer meetings – hence the arm twisting to persuade the journalist to turn up at a precise time eg 2.15pm to 3.15pm. Or the frantic call to try and shift the time of the meeting when a customer meeting gets changed and trashes the original agenda.

(I’d hazard a guess that big important customers would never get treated like this. Journalists are a special kind of customer – so should be afforded the same courtesy. Saying: "We think you are very important" is one thing – if your behaviour doesn’t mirror your words, it sends the wrong kind of message),

Having said that, there is no question that the tech PR industry still lays great store by the face to face press meeting. And under the right circumstances, it can be very valuable for all parties concerned. Though Chris Edwards does seem to have been at the receiving end of a particular ill considered invite.

Who won the Sark Sheep Race?


Every Friday afternoon for the last 6 years, the Isle of Sark email newsletter (*) has dropped into my in-box.

It occurred to me that this perhaps little known publication is worthy of more attention, especially as it has quietly pioneered good email design and podcasting for probably longer than many much larger operations and undoubtedly operates with far fewer resources.

So what’s good about it? For a start, it has never missed a Friday in 6 years, as far as I can tell. That takes some stamina.  Not only generating the copy, but the MP3 version has to be recorded too. As a means of serving the information needs of a small community (both the 600 indigenous population and those, like me, who have an interest in the place), then you can’t really fault it. Even more remarkable when you realise that the whole thing is produced by one person – namely resident Sark
journalist, Jennifer Cochrane. She also finds time to edit Sark’s only newspaper, ‘La Vouair
de Sercq’.

Perhaps some lessons could be learned by more established publishers and marketers.

Oh, and in case you are wondering, Captain Teers’ Skull and Crossbones 
Challenge – or the 1.10 pm race – was won by No. 5, Oak Frame, out 
of West Wind by Rupert, owned by the Sark Building Company. 

(*) My interest in Sark stems from the fact that my wife grew up there – my mother-in-law has been resident for over 40 years – and we try and get over there at least once a year.

Bob Cringely: online news gets read less than offline


Many thanks to Renaissance Chambara for this one.

Tim Dyson and the $10,000 PR problem


Tim Dyson reports on the uptick in demand for PR in Silicon Valley – the return of the $10K a month start up spender. As he points out, the catch is that start ups want experienced PRs working for them – and they typically want $15K worth of service value.

On the first element, as we’ve documented here previously, there is a dearth of experienced, senior PR talent – both in the US and UK. Tim rightly notes that the last 5 years has seen an exodus of good people from the tech PR arena – so there is a mismatch between what clients want and what the industry can supply.

On the second point, clients everywhere are demanding more for less. Effectively, an immediate discount. 

With my basic grasp of economics, I’d always understood that when a commodity was in scarce supply, its value went up – however, the reverse appears to apply here.

Nevertheless, that is the challenge facing tech PR companies. Somehow, I don’t see the supply of experienced PR personnel growing rapidly overnight – something tells me the people who have left the industry won’t be coming back any time soon – and besides, so much has changed in the last few years, their experience might be a little rusty anyway. And it’ll be a while yet before the bright young things of today have gained the level of experience demanded by clients – assuming of course that they too don’t quit the game early – given that investment in training in PR still seems to be in the doldrums, then don’t hold your breath.

SEOmoz Blog | 10 Remarkably Effective Strategies for Driving Traffic


SEOmoz Blog | 10 Remarkably Effective Strategies for Driving Traffic.

Better than his top 10 list, says Glyn Moody.

VNU to chop 25pc of editorial staff?


That’s according to tech PR gossip site World’s Leading – full post here: VNU Job Losses.

Although there is no hard evidence at this point, it would come as no surprise if further cuts are to be made – it merely confirms  the general trend to remove staff editorial resource from the publishing equation.

The claim is also made that VNU’s News Desk set up may make a return – if at first you don’t succeed, etc.

We don’t make mistakes, merely self-induced execution failures


My thanks for to Rupert Goodwins at ZD Net for unearthing this gem:


And while we’re dallying in the land of press releases, here’s a lovely little piece of marketing-speak. EMC has had a bumpy time of it
recently: it overestimated demand for one product and underestimated
that for another. You or I might call that sort of cock-up a mistake.
Not EMC: "This issue was a self-induced execution failure on our part.
There is no excuse", said chief executive Joe Tucci. I shall treasure
that for the next time I’m being carpeted — "I cannot tell a lie," I
shall say. "This issue was a self-induced execution failure. Can I go
now?"

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