Ahh… for the simple pleasures of childhood. When I was a boy – before PCs, before DVDs, before VCRs, before even cable – our seven-member family used to gather on occasion in the living room to watch home movies from the old clickety clack 8mm projector. My dad had a few reels of ancient cartoons (think Steam Boat Willie… silent, of course).
After every can of film had been turned inside out, invariably, one of us would shout out… “let’s see ‘em backwards!” And Dad would oblige, sending every kid in the house to the worn green carpet, rolling in laughter as Uncle George walked backwards up the hill, and brother Jim un-wiped out on Cypress Garden water skis.
So nostalgia got the better of me today when I saw twin postings by the Hungry Vermont guys, Michael J. Nedell and Steve McIntyre, each in their own neighborhoods on Front Porch Forum…
Hi folks. I shot the beginning of the marathon from Pearl Street as the runners made the first quick turn. A solid stream of them, which you can see by Clicking Here . I also ran it backwards because – I don’t know where this started – but I have an affinity for shooting videos that I feel will look interesting backwards, and Clicking Here will take you there.
My question… are there any 8-year-olds doubled over laughing at this kind of thing anymore? There must be some pithy youTube insight here, but I’ll leave that to the faithful reader.
The Local Onliner reports today from the Where 2.0 conference about online mapping. A couple points of interest…
MapQuest Gm James Greiner brought everything back to Earth with a survey showing that just 42 percent of Internet users use mapping sites, and relatively light penetration of advanced mapping services… just 22 percent want to post a map publicly (i.e. on a blog or Website). The survey found that while advanced imagery (i.e. 3D maps) is considered interesting, with 47 percent planning to use it, just 18 percent currently do. The demand for personalized features may be hotter than advanced imagery, with interest jumping from 49 percent to 68 percent when examples of usage were provided. The survey also found that 75 percent want to save addresses; 55 percent want to share with family and friends; 59 percent want Points of Interest on maps’ 50 percent want to increase the presence of storefronts on maps; and 50 percent want the ability to search select vendors and/or services.
I think this jibes with a larger trend of dot.coms putting out loads of great new technology and getting too far in front of demand. Or in some cases, going far astray… heading off to where the general public is unlikely to ever venture in big numbers. Front Porch Forum uses Googgle Maps API in a simple way and our members seem to appreciate it, but it’s not the main event. Peter goes on to report…
Outside.in co-founder Steven Johnson reminded the audience that “It is not always about the map. We don’t need maps all the time to show us what’s going on.” For Outside.in, a placeblogging site, he said, “we decided to make the map as small as possible” in order to focus on the thoughts of the community.
Hey… that’s what I just said! Excellent point.
Always interesting at Front Porch Forum world headquarters. Here are a few member headlines from today…
1. Stuffed dog-model wanted (cat and toddler too) – from The Addition Neighborhood Forum. The local Humane Society want lifelike stuff creatures to use in evaluating and training their animals and new pet-owners.
2. Free bags of dog fur – from the Centennial Neighborhood Forum. Tempting, I know. The person posting thought some gardeners might find it helpful in warding off pests. It would keep me away.
3. Metal detector needed! – from the Crescent Woods Neighborhood Forum. Only the title came through, followed eight minutes later by a retraction. Metal detected? Emergency passed? Now I’m curious!
Here’s a beautiful story that just came across the Airport Drive Neighborhood Forum…
Hi Everyone – This weekend (Sat & Sun, 9am-3pm) I will be holding a yard sale at 33 Forest Street [South Burlington]. The proceeds from this sale will go to send my parents on a much-deserved, very belated honeymoon. This June marks their 30th anniversary. They have never had the money or time to take a honeymoon, or even a vacation together, though they did find the money to provide me with a beautiful wedding last year. To thank them for that, my husband and I are putting on this yard sale to raise the money to send them off on a little honeymoon. How much we raise determines how far we can send them. Ideally, I would like to be able to send them to Maine or the Cape because my mom has never seen the ocean, but has always wanted to.
The yard sale is being held at my parents’ house. They are completely unaware that this is to benefit them. They think I am holding it to raise money for my grad. tuition. So if you can stop by to support this, keep the real purpose of it a secret!
There are ceramics you can paint yourself, yarn, crafty whatnots, books, clothes, dishes, kitchen things, games, toys, etc. Thanks for your support! -Rebekah
If you’re local… stop by a spend a couple bucks. If you’re a Front Porch Forum subscriber, post this message on your own neighborhood forum to help spread the word!
According to a new report, online ad revenue climbed to about $17B in 2006, a 35% gain over 2005.
Branded display ads and search placements helped the online ad industry post its best year ever in 2006, according to numbers released Wednesday by the Internet Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Overall, revenue increased 35% last year to $16.9 billion–due in large part to record fourth-quarter revenue of $4.8 billion.
Both search revenue and display revenue climbed 31% year-over-year, to $6.8 billion and $5.4 billion, respectively. Search accounted for 40% of last year’s revenues, slightly lower than the 41% it commanded in 2005. Display advertising, classifieds and referrals accounted for 32%, 18% and 8% of last year’s full revenues, respectively.
See more details here.
Front Porch Forum is just getting its sponsorship program rolling, and we’re going with a flat rate per ad approach. This report states that 48% of online ads work that way, while 47% of the ad deals are based on ad performance.
From today’s Local Onliner…
We’re all guilty of feature creep. A lot of the stuff isn’t especially useful. Now comes Palore. When it comes to directory listings, Palore believes hardly any of the info is useful. In fact, consumers want to know just one thing.
“The interesting thing was that they all wanted just one thing and didn’t care much about the rest. It was all about users wanting to see something very specific and personalized to them when making a local search,” says [Palore co-founder Hanan] Lifshitz, an Israeli who had previously started a banner exchange network. “They didn’t want more reviews or better maps. They wanted to know things like:
* The size of a restaurant’s wine list
* Does the business have handicap access?
* Is the business sustainable / vegetarian / organic etc.
* Is there free wifi access?
* Did the restaurant win any award?
With such results in mind, Lifshitz launched Palore in Israel a year ago. The service quickly got 100,000 – quite a landmark in a small country – capped it there, and has been working on bringing it stateside since then. He’s raised $1 million from angels to do so, and has set up shop in the Bay Area.
Sounds compelling. In Burlington, lots of folks just post those questions to their neighborhood forum via Front Porch Forum. Not only do they get good results, but they foster relationships with their real-time in-the-flesh neighbors in the process. Next time, they’ll just call out over the backfence to ask about the wine list… offline. (horrors!)
Also… I was just reading more about EveryBlock, the pre-start-up about to get underway by Adrian Holovaty, late of washingtonpost.com and recent winner of a $1.1M grant from the Knight Foundation. His project… To create, test and release open-source software that links databases to allow citizens of a large city to learn (and act on) civic information about their neighborhood or block. His goal… To create an easy way to answer the question, “What’s happening around me?” Hey! That’s one question again.
From the Local Onliner today…
The Knight Foundation has just issued a list of really big grants that should really jumpstart hyper-local media (and some more traditional media endeavors as well). As Knight itself says, its “News Challenge” was meant to combine “nerds, news and neighborhoods.”
This year’s recipients are getting more than $12 million. In my view, the money is coming at a great time, just as confidence in hyperlocal as both a movement and an “industry” has begun to wane.
Read the full post for details on some of the winners, such as Placeblogger and Villagesoup.