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About Ross Mayfield

Ross Mayfield is CEO and co-founder of Socialtext, an emerging provider of Enterprise Social Software that dramatically increases group productivity and develops a group memory.

He also writes Ross Mayfield's Weblog which focuses on markets, technology and musings.

Topix Goes Beyond Aggregation

Topix went beyond aggregation today by launching the ability for local news readers to post or comment upon stories.  CEO Rich Skrenta describes the business model transformation where they took more risk to turn SEO attention into participation — sharing control to create value.

Could This Scandal Change us for the Better?
I wanted to add a non-personal comment about the impassioned scandal rocking our community, the best way I could think of to improve the silence. 

This is a real test of the blogosphere.  Our culture and openness.  We don’t know all the facts, but there is enough to be disgusted.  We do know that part of this involves real core and dedicated bloggers.  We do know that this involves trolls, there will always be trolls, and we all have them.  We do know that some speech is illegal for a reason, and sociopaths run against society, but there are slippery slopes in all directions from the hill we think we have climbed.

Wikis Compared to Wikipedia
Matt Mahoney spends most of his time working with enterprise wiki customers, cultivating adoption and best practices.  In his most recent blog post, he provides a practical look at how enterprise wikis differ from Wikipedia. Wikis evolve in the context of corporate culture and inter-personal communication styles, for good or ill.  The sense of ownership people have over pages is different than the norms that have arisen for Wikipedians.  After discussing work conversations and group memory in wikis, he leaves us with some tips:

Analyzing Attention

Read/Write Web had a good overview the attention economy the other week,written by Alex Iskold and edited by Richard MacManus.  They suggest information overload will be solved through personalization and explain the trust issues of information metadata.  Unfortunately, the analysis is flawed on both the cause and scope of the solution.

Moodgeist, Skype & Twitter IM Overlay

Given Twitter has reached escape velocity, I’m sure Obvious Corp. is in for an exit.  It is a clear and simple fit for many social media portal players.  But I think the interesting fit is how Twitter could complement an IM network.  To turn this question around, consider if AIM, Y! messenger, MSN or others suddenly enabled IM status to serve as the message and the buddy list to be a social network?

Enterprise 2.0 in InformationWeek

The InformationWeek cover story is Enterprise 2.0, based on a survey of engagement:

 Despite the risks and problems, a solid minority of the 250 business technology pros surveyed by InformationWeek are behind this IT strategy push that has come to be known as Enterprise 2.0 (even if the overplayed 2.0 terminology makes some people wince). Nearly a third, 32%, describe their Web 2.0 strategies as fully engaged, our survey finds.

1 Wiki, Best of Both Worlds

Back in November, Andy McAfee shared a great wiki case study from Avenue A | Razorfish.  They adapted MediaWiki to meet their needs.  Leveraging open source, a great approach for a company that builds custom Intranets.

But Jeff Walker of Atlassian Confluence, a commercial wiki vendor, disagrees:

Entrepreneurial Hindsight

I was asked by email to provide what was my best decision and worst mistake as an entrepreneur.

Best Decision — To become an entrepreneur in the first place

Destroying the Silicon Valley

For some time now, I’ve wondered if my destiny is to destroy the Silicon Valley. I grew up here, the weather is nice, but I’ve watched it change time and again into a massive marketing function too expensive to live in.

Wiki Deliberation Passes Bill in Legislature

On Friday, the Utah House of Representatives passed the first Universal School Voucher bill in the nation.

The bill is destined to become law according John Fund in the Wall Street Journal and was also the first real test of wikifying the legislative process.

Wikinomics Playbook

The last chapter of Don Tapscott’s new book, Wikinomics, invites readers to write it: “Join us in peer producing the definitive guide to the twenty-first-century corporation on www.wikinomics.com.”

Widgets – Battering Ram for Social Networking

When on a social networking panel last week I said something that can be seen as stupid or insightful.

Wikipedia and nofollow
The SEO Blogs are all abuzz about Wikipedia applying the "nofollow" tag to all outbound links so Google doesn’t index potential wikispam.

At Jimbo Wales’ directive, all external links within the English language Wikipedia are now coded "nofollow" — this should help cut spamming immensely onc

Winner Gives All

Rich Skrenta’s analysis of Google’s winner take all positioning in search and advertising is a highly recommended read.

Searching for Trust

Blake Ross of Mozilla chides Google for giving preferential placement to their own apps as “Tips” in search results.

Polar Rose: Facial Recognition Startup

While at Le Web 3, Nikolaj Nyholm told me about his new facial recognition startup, Polar Rose, which just launched.

Transparent Media and Wikify Everything

Chris Anderson is on a roll about transparency  and six tactics for transparent media:

Socialtext Unplugged

Today at Le Web 3 in Paris we launched Socialtext Unplugged, the offline wiki.

Mayfield Talks Wikis with Scoble

Robert Scoble and I spent an hour talking wikis and other stuff. The result is this video.

Socialtext Proposes Attribution Provision

When going through the process of opening Socialtext, we need to choose a license that is a fit for a commercial open source company. Commercial open source strikes the balance between freedom and profit motive, and the license you choose becomes a contract not just for the company, but a community.

New Screencast Of wikiCalc

Dan Bricklin just put up a new screencast of wikiCalc that shows off some of the features in the same release that will become SocialCalc.

Confabb Confabulation

Somewhere along the way with Socialtext, I found myself partially in the events business.

Web 0

I’m giving up on version numbering. The future of the Web is Web 0.

There Is No Web 3.0

John Markoff writes in the NY Times that Web 3.0 is coming.