February 28 $100 ValueWiki Contributor of the Day

February 28, 2007

And the ValueWiki Contributor of the Day is…

Wikister!

Wikister continued to improve his magnum opus at Research in Motion Limited (RIMM), and contributed new material to ISHARES TR FTSE INDX (FXI), (GOL) and MOTOROLA INC (MOT).

He also encouraged members of the finance community to comment on his work at RIMM, which will help to improve the depth and quality of his article. Congratulations to Wikister!

In the next 24 hours, Zach and I will announce the $500 Grand Prize for best ValueWiki Contributor for the month of February. Thank you to everyone for helping to build a great online resource for the finance community.


ValueWiki Haikus

February 28, 2007

For your afternoon meditation…

 

My soul yearns for more
Login to ValueWiki
Now I am complete

 

Water cascading
on rocky shore. Login to
ValueWiki.com

 

Ten World Exchanges
Sixty thousand stocks and funds
Pooling our research

 

Stock Message Boards are
Web 1.0. Login to
ValueWiki.com

 

I want Nirvana
Login to ValueWiki
Okay, got it now

 

UPDATE: Zach thinks this post is weird, but I thought it was funny. He’s worried I’m spending too much time in front of the computer, which is a fair point. Still, I can’t resist one more ValueWiki haiku:

Existence is Suffering
Login to ValueWiki
Not so bad now, huh?

I’m picturing this is an edgy ValueWiki ad campaign. But maybe it’s only funny inside my head. Okay, I’m turning off the computer and going outside for a walk.


Catster and Dogster

February 28, 2007

We live in a world where 257,590 dogs have their profiles up on Dogster.com, 108,062 cats have uploaded their profiles on Catster.com, and only 10% of ValueWookies have created their profiles on ValueWiki.com.


Web 2.0 Rant

February 28, 2007

I was just reading The Top 100 Alternative Search Engines over at ReadWriteWeb (which I read every day), and after supressing my gag reflex, decided to write this post. It’s time we talked about everybody’s favorite buzzword, “Web 2.0.”

Web 2.0 is the Macarena of Buzzwords

Broadly speaking, Web 2.0 refers to any web innovation following the Web 1.0 industry crash in 2000 – 2002. That’s it.

Successful Web 2.0 companies build communities to share information in innovative ways. MySpace, YouTube, Flickr, Digg, and Wikipedia all allow people to find and share information on a level humans have never experienced before. This is all fine and dandy.

The Lame Side of Web 2.0

Unfortunately, there is a massive clique of sugar-high people who think Web 2.0 is a candyland of free webapps that perform identical functions to desktop apps. Or even worse, that Web 2.0 is about cuddly pastel logos and cutesy titles. Sites with titles like this:

AnswerBus
Blabline
blinkx
bookmach.com
ChaCha
ClipBlast!
Clusty
collarity
CONGOO
d e c i p h o
Ditto
dumbfind
exalead
factbites
fazzle
filangy
FyberSearch
girafa
gnod
gnosh
GoLexa
goshme Beta 3.0
GoYams
grokker
GRUUVE
hakia
ICEROCKET
ixquick
KartOO
Lexxe
like
liveplasma
lurpo
mnemomap
Mojeek
Mooter
mrquery
MS. DEWEY
Omgili
onkosh
Pagebull
pipl
PlanetSearch
PolyMeta
qksearch
Quintura
Quintura for kids
RedZee
retrievr
riya
scirus
sidekiq
Slifter
soople
Speegle
Sproose
Swamii
Swoogle
Trexy
TWERQ
UJIKO
VMGO.com
WASALive
whonu?
yoono
yoople
yubnub
ZABASEARCH
zapmeta
Zippy
ZUULA

These websites may be jim dandy, but they reek of the self-concious bid to appear hip to their users. Early adopters aren’t daft. Surely all web users are savvy enough to cynically wrinkle up our noses at naked attempts to appeal to the cliched trends of the Web 2.0 style elite.

I think it was Marshall McLuhan who wrote that consumers prefer variations on things they already know, rather than anything actually new. But I imagine Web 2.0 graphic designers are exactly the sort of people who go around quoting a supercilious McLuhan remark and believing it!

And while I’m on my soap box, can we mention the Web 2.0 problem that there are even 100 Top Alternative Search Engines, or that ReadWriteWeb has to update this list every month? Maybe we need another crash so we can clear out the dead wood, and get started on Web 3.0!


Okay. I Took a Deep Breath and I Feel Better

I don’t know why Web 2.0 trendiness irks me so much. Sometimes I suspect that fifty percent of all Web 2.0 startups only exist to promote the other fifty percent of Web 2.0 startups. Or that most blog posters are really bloggers posting in order to promote their own blogs. There’s like this sinister undercurrent of stylish self-promotion lurking just beneath the surface of Web 2.0 that’s extremely difficult to put a finger on. But it’s there. I know it’s there. And it irks me.


Cheer up, China Investors!

February 28, 2007

If you’re like me and lost money on China, India, and Internet Stocks yesterday, watch this video! It will make you feel good about keeping your money in Asia for the next 25 years.

Did you know that if MySpace were a country, it would be the 11th largest in the world? The average MySpace page is accessed 30 times a day. There are over 2 billion Google searches every month. Watch this video if you need to be cheered up about the markets. Hat tip: John Chow.


More Sites Take on Wikipedia

February 28, 2007

I am a faithful Wikipedian and believe Wikipedia is one of the greatest achievements of the internet. But I have blogged lately about Wikipedia’s slowing growth, Wikipedians quitting the site, and a growing sense that Wikipedia is failing to accomplish its goals. I’m not nearly as pessimistic as many Wikipedians, but I think it’s worth reporting these attitudes to those people socialized enough to live healthy and productive lives outside of Wikipedia’s bizarre subculture.

Beware the Wiki Admin

The bulk of Wikipedia-angst appears directed towards the only Wikipedians with any perceived power: the Admins. Armed with the power to block users and delete pages, Wikipedia admins are increasingly accused of protectionist behavior, programatically driving away the Noobs. Entire websites are now devoted to exposing the perceived injustices of Wikipedia Admins.

Not to side with the management, but you have to consider a day in the life of a Wikipedia Admin. You live in a moldy room above your mother’s garage, you’re trying to reach a Level 49 Power Alliance Levelling Spot on World of Warcraft, and you’ve got to deal with a bunch of high schoolers trying to vandalize the Mr. Sulu article on your Wikipedia watchlist. Over time, you become exasperated, and tend to expect the worst from Noobies. I’ve seen plenty of Admin snarkiness on Wikipedia, but most of the time it is understandable.

Citizendium

I blogged about Wikipedia Co-Founder Larry Sanger’s Citizendium, an attempt to create a more authorative and protected Wikipedia. As I noted, I’m skeptical of anyone’s ability to challenge Wikipedia’s dominance at this point, and I think Sanger’s personal motives are openly questionable. Sanger’s articles will be protected from corruption by a feudal heirarchy of professional experts, “constables,” and lowly editors.

Opencycle

Meanwhile, Opencycle has emerged, promising greater Admin accountability and a culture that encourages editors to only worry about what matters, and not get caught up in petty edit wars. Opencycle has the best of intentions, but faces an uphill battle with 35 users and 66 articles.

Conservapedia

Built on the belief that Wikipedia has a liberal bias, a Christian Wikipedia has entered the playing field with Conservapedia.com. Conservapedia takes a broad definition of liberal bias, including for instance, Wikipedia’s tacit belief in evolution.

Though I have seen compelling examples of liberal bias on Wikipedia, I find Conservapedia’s examples of bias on Wikipedia unconvincing. For instance, they take great umbrage with Wikipedia’s “anti-Christian” use of B.C.E. to indicate “Before the Common Era,” as opposed to B.C. which indicates “Before Christ.” Conservapedia writes, The dates are based on the birth of Jesus, so why pretend otherwise? Conservapedia is Christian-friendly and exposes the C.E. deception.

Well, if “C.E.” ammounts to liberal bias, then I’m Michael Moore. “Common Era” is used in the understanding that not everybody believes in Christ, and not everybody thinks we should use him to tell time. The purpose of an encyclopedia is objective credibility, and I don’t think this is Conservapedia’s goal at all. To their credit, they have amassed over 3,800 articles.

Let’s Work with Wikipedia

Wikipedia has 1.6 Million articles, and hundreds of thousands of editors. It amazes me that people imagine it is easier to start a new encyclopedia from scratch, rather than find solutions within Wikipedia. If Wikipedia is struggling, it may be because of the absence of a unifying leader like Jimmy Wales. It is amazingly inefficient to run a pure democracy. I believe squabbling Wikipedians are looking for guidance, inspiration, and direction. I imagine if Jimbo returned to Wikipedia, it would be like Steve Jobs’ return to Apple. Morale and creative inspiration would return to the site. Perhaps the MediaWiki Foundation needs to elect a clear leader to reunite Wikipedia.


February 27 ValueWiki Contributor of the Day

February 27, 2007

And today’s $100 ValueWiki Contributor of the Day is…

Khartand!

Khartand wrote stock articles for three different countries today, writing a thorough Avigen, Inc. (AVGN) article, a Canadian AETERNA ZENTARIS INC. (AEZ:CA) article, a textbook disambiguation page for the American traded AEterna Zentaris, Inc. (AEZS), and our first Singaporean article with Tung Lok Restaurants 2000 Ltd (540:SGX).

Congratulations to Khartand for his usual top caliber work on ValueWiki. Tomorrow is the last day of the contest! Login and contribute!