Digg 3.0 – stats and cool visualization


I missed the Digg 3.0 launch party earlier this week where they previewed a cool new visualization tool that will be launching later this month. I was alerted to it because of the Diggnation podcast and am thankful to the site for pointing me to a video which shows this new visualization.

More details on Digg 3.0 with some interesting stats from the TalkCrunch interview with Kevin Rose and Jay Adelson. Notes from the podcast below.

Digg prototype built back in October 2004 in 2 weeks for $1200.

Launched December 5th, 2004. First big story on Digg was about Paris Hilton’s cellphone getting hacked. Both Yahoo & Google pointed to Digg as the nubmer one source of information on this story bringing down their servers.

Digg 2.0 launched in July 2005.

As of today, 1500 – 2000 new stories submitted each day. Between 30 – 50 stories make it to the front page.

700-800k unique visitors/day, 8.5 million unique visitors/month, doubling every two months. Adding 1,000 to 1,500 new registered users/day. On the average day, anywhere from 1/5 – 1/3 of the users are active on the site.

9.5 million pageviews/day – bigger than slashdot, maybe even bigger than the New York Times. A majority (95%) of this traffic is from the US with most of the non-US traffic from the UK and Japan.

Majority of traffic to TechCrunch come from Digg. More than Google.

Some interesting perspective of digg v. the new and Reuters’ view of blogs in general and social news sites in particular.

Current Events

Media Consumption in Middle America. TV still king but web not far behind.


I attended the presentation of the Online Publisher’s Association latest research report on media consumption at the Four Seasons in San Francisco this morning. Details on the report can be found within the OPA press release. The research was interesting in that it was unlike most reports which (a) are limited to what participants report in and, (b) usually are limited to a single media type such as web (ComScore) or TV (Neilsen) and rarely multiple types.


In this study, conducted by the Ball State Center for Media Design was observational. What this means is that researchers sat with 350 subjects for, on average, 13 hours a day tracking with a PalmOS powered handheld, every 15 seconds, what their subjects were looking at. Yes, every – 15 – seconds.


Some highlights:


Cross media study surfaced concurrent media use and how online & offline media compliment each other.


TV still rules in terms of reach (90%) and duration (300 minutes) but there is a large variation in duration across age groups with young males spending the least amount of time on TV.

If you look at reach over the day – TV rules the evening but throughout the day, the web is only 15% behind TV in reach and less than half the amount of time.

It’s come a long way though, used to be less than an hour/day in 1995 (remember, this is before flat rate internet access)


16% of all web use occurs while watching TV.

4% of all web use is immediately before or after TV viewing.


Combining the web with TV or print media ads significantly to an advertiser’s reach. Imagine the impact of an integrated campaign that runs a spot on the Lost TV show and then, runs sponsership across the web site.


Web has an at-work presence that exceeds all other media (not many people get to watch TV at work) but radio is a surprising second. I guess if you’re an auto mechanic in Muncie, IN, then yeah, radio would make sense.


Online drives offline and offline drives online. One of these days I’m going to count the number of times my local NBC affiliate news program says, “for more information on this, go to our website”


Offline media brands bring consumers online. The qualitative research videos mention The New York Times, USA Today, Sports Illustrated as the sites that cause people to go to their computers in the first place. No one said they went online specifically to watch YouTube, etc. I would imagine this would be different if they were covering those under 18 which were not part of this study.


Best Question of the presentation was from someone questioning if the researchers impacted their subject’s viewing habits in any way. Having someone with a clipboard peering over your shoulder and tapping something into a palm pilot every 15 seconds is bound to have some impact after all.


Dr. Michael Holmes, the coordinator of the research project, said that their figures are within just a few percentage points of other research findings so they feel they are accurate. While Dr. Holmes did confirm that the good people of Muncie, Indiana are good, clean folk, he did think it odd that in over 6,000 hours of data there was not a single observation of pornography media. That’s for another study I guess.


UPDATE: OPA posted the slides from their presentation.

Current Events

Alexander Vraciu, the original Top Gun

On my way back from a day trip to LA, I sat next to a quiet old man who was settling in for the short flight back home to Oakland. I asked him how his day was going and was kind of surprised to hear him say he’s been really busy. He then told me he just got through with his interviews for a segment of the History Channel about WWII fighter pilots.

I put my book down and then prepared to listen to what I knew would be a fascinating tale. At first I had to draw it out of him a bit but once he got going he was full of stories. He was not the bragging type – he told me a little of this, and a little of that about his activities during the war but as the time went on I later realized that I was talking to one of the top aces of the Pacific War.

Alexander Vraciu flew Grumman Hellcats during the war and shot down 19 enemy aircraft over the course of the war and was the fourth-ranking Naval Ace of the war. During this time he served on six separate carriers (two were torpedoed) and was shot down over the Philippines where he parachuted to safety and spent five weeks with the guerrilla forces in the jungle, leading command of 180 of them through Japanese lines to link up with General McArthur’s advancing forces.

Alex came home to Chicago a war hero later taking command of a jet fighter squadron in 1951. As one of the top naval pilots, he was sent a congratulatory message from then Admiral Stump, “delighted to hear that you are top gun in jets” which is the first known use of that phrase.

Despite his age (he’s 88), he was sharp as a tack and you could see his eyes sparkle as he swooped his hands through the air, recounting his famous dogfight where he took out 6 Japanese planes in the space of eight minutes. “It was my personal payback for Pearl,” he said.

I didn’t have it in me to break in and say I’m half-Japanese.


Ergo Sum in the Digital Age

Steve Rubel calls it Picture-in-a-Picture marketing, Fergus calls it widget marketing. As the traditional walled garden web blows apart, more and more small, loosely joined pieces are made available to re-configure themselves into new combinations.

Call it mashups for the rest of us – your blog or MySpace profile is a platform where you mix & match services like an events badge and content such as your linkroll. Mix it all together and add a spice of CSS for your new digital persona.

In the future, will we be defined by the services running on our pages? Will these pages continue to update even after we’re gone taking on a life of their own?

UPDATE: Sue Mernit and I were laughing. We both came up with almost the exactly same meme but she added a biblical spin also adding the exciting and important development of Yahoo Local’s support of Microformats. 

Tyler gets a Yellow Belt

Aikido Yellow Belt Test
Aikido Yellow Belt Test,
originally uploaded by inky.

On Saturday, Tyler passed his test for a Yellow belt in Aikido. He was nervous at first but did just fine. More photos here.

Current Events



Went to Mie & Dav’s celebration/baby shower for their baby due out anytime in the next few weeks. Mie literally looks like she ate an entire basketball – she’s perfectly round.

No, they haven’t decided on a name yet but “Tesla” was being mulled over as of yesterday. I’m sure they’ll find the perfect name once they see her.

Dav caught this rare photo of Izumi who always hides from the camera. Isn’t she beautiful?


Yahoo Hack Day

Nice write up over on TechCrunch on a hack that I worked on with a team of seven other Yahoo’s spread out across the US.

Every couple of months groups of Yahoo’s band together to work on simple prototypes to work out a new concept or feature. Most are simple extensions of existing Yahoo products that extend them in new and original ways, some just use API’s in a way to poke fun and get a laugh, and others are full-blown software or hardware wizadry that blow your mind with their creativity and flash.

The rules were simple. Teams have from noon on Thursday through to noon on Friday to take their project from a concept to a working prototype that can be demoed in front of a panel of judges in 90 seconds or less.

Recruiting for the team took place in the weeks leading up to hack day and as we got closer we had a rough idea of what we wanted to do and emails were traded on how to break up the tasks at hand. We found out that having two members from NYC helped us out b/c the time difference meant that the West Coast team could hand off to them in the early morning and catch some sleep while they carried the torch and picked up where we left off.

I learned many things at Hack Day and am really happy Yahoo gave me the chance to participate. I would argue that I learned almost as much about Product Management in those 24 hours than I did in two years when I was product manager at 24 hours and a 90 second demo do wonders to focus your attention to the absolute core. What company would give their employees two half days of to scratch an itch and then give you a chance to get in front of folks like the CFO, co-founder, and Head of Product Strategy to let you state your case? What a cool company.

There were lots of highlights, unfortunately I can’t write about most of the hacks themselves but there were some great flashes of personality too. Chad bought a sound level meter to measure the cheers & hoots which were many and supportive. We were all running on fumes so all was forgiven. My favorite demo was the poor man’s karaoke machine (lyrics on the screen set to associated flickr images) which croaked on the flickr image part and just ended up being 90 seconds of Jeffery Bennett singing while he waited for his demo to work.

Jeff’s voice is not half bad either!

Nokia delivers a podcatcher

I see that Nokia’s shipping a piece of software that in hindsight is so obvious, it’s amazing no one thought of it earlier. As onboard storage gets larger and larger (the new Nokia’s have 4GB!), the viability for the phone to double as an iPod substitute makes more and more sense. Sony played around with their memory stick but it’s a pain to have to copy files from your PC over to the stick in what’s basically a glorified floppy disk.

While I have a pretty steady collection of favorites in my Nano, I primarily listen to podcasts. Basically, updating my podcast subscriptions & recharging are the only reasons I synch up my iPod on a daily basis. What if we were able to break the cord? 

MobileCrunch reports that Nokia announced development of new software that will pull down podcast subscriptions into the phone. We all have cell phones charging up on our bedside table. What if you could set it up to make a call in the middle of the night (when bandwidth is cheap and fast) to download your multi-megabyte podcast subscriptions? The phone companies are going to be psyched because they can put their excess bandwidth to use while using up your minutes and you’re going to be happy because maybe you can leave your iPod behind every now and then.

Nokia Podcasting 


eBay completes social media troika, message boards, blogs, now a wiki

logoebay_150×70.gifEBay recently launched blogs for it’s members as a supplement to its very active forum community. While message boards are useful for loosely classified conversations where anyone can start a thread, blogs are better suited for individuals who want to project a voice around an area of expertise. We’re already seeing examples of this as members share their knowledge of things such as eBay-specific HTML tags.

Now eBay has added a wiki (powered by JotSpot) to the community area and one hopes that it will become an excellent source of hyper-detailed, domain-specific knowledge about collectibles. Where else (outside the rarified world of Yahoo Groups) can you find a detailed discussion of the net worth of a bag of trolls?

Richard MacManus has a detailed writeup.

Current Events

Found with Davy Rothbart

While my normal commute hour is filled with podcasts from the usual tech talk shows and NPR highlights, every now and then I dip into the vast archive of talks over on and pick a few interesting lectures.

Today I found a gem! Davy Rothbart runs Found magazine and speaks at Pop Tech about the weird and wonderful ephemera people find on the streets of America.

Davy Rothbard @ Pop Tech 2005 (about 35 minutes)