Thursday, 7 August 2008

Comments Race: Steward's Enquiry

Having previously declared the v8 of the comments (that's the one that receives the comments newsfeed from googleData), I've been watching the occasions when v2 (which uses gets the comments fed via the Atom system). Although I haven't been keeping an official score, I have found Atom to be more up to date with the latest comments more often than googleData. It could be that being on the west coast of Scotland, I'm nearer to the USA. Silly, I know, but as good a reason as any.

So, I'm declaring an end to this frivolity and code chasing. Atom's feed system (v2) has outperformed the runner up, googleData (v8) when it comes to the long haul.

Was it all worth it? Of course not, but that's technology for you. But comments are the social side of blogging, so being able to see a list of recent comments in a sidebar is important to me - if not to Blogger. Having to wait up to 3 hours for the feed to come through was simply unacceptable. A shame that no-one at Blogger saw it like that and answered my questions when they came back from their weekend.

In the interim, people like Darren are texting me to move to WordPress, and others are suggesting that I try non-Blogger commenting systems.I guess that it showed me a chink in the Heath-Robinson affair that is Web2.0. Imagine if your word processor was made up of components from different manufacturers - a spell-checker from X, word-count from Y, clipart from Z. Each needing separate downloads and installs. We'd think the world had gone feil!

My current state of affairs here at "Blogger" is:

Each one will make a bit of money from advertisers when services are visited. Just look at to see the daily growth of social software systems. With the credit crunch hitting advertisers (or so reports ITV bosses), with 3G not available in most towns in the UK, will there be an investment in the system to get the Internet into our mobile phones, and so adverts into our pockets.

To be blunt, social software simply means more eyeballs on adverts and so more chance of the elusive purchase. In return we get all these services for free. After years of listening to commercial radio and watching commercial television, I'm more likely to buy a product based on personal recommendations, eg at a recent meeting or in a magazine review or via an online discussion, than in a plain advert that just gives me a product name and price. What I want are shops that present me with enough information to allow me to decide that I'll buy the product. I've seen too many online shops recently that have minimal information (thereby expecting the consumer to have wasted time on researching the product). Like the rest of us, retailers have access to a vast array of media hosting, so they need to get the finger out and start to use these to promote their products. Customers are tightening their belts. Will online retailers produce fresher media to try and close the sale, or will they still think of the online medium as a new form of paper? We are already seeing a return to the old "soap opera" format with the direct sponsorship of tv and online shows. Will we see the same format being applied to online services? Will the future see companies like Tesco sponsor (not merely advertise on it) the development of new social systems? Will HSBC build a rival to Paypal?