On Streams, Pages, Business Models, and Tor

Conversations across sites are one of the things I miss about the early days of publishing.

We used to start a topic in one blog and move across several (sometimes) discussing its merits and different angles. It was fun.

These days there's a lot of chatter on many networks, yet very few true conversation agents. You recognize them because they hit a nerve on a timely topic by advancing our thinking about it. Which in turn inspires others to look into it.

Then there is another way to have been there, understanding where next, and implementing to get there with your business.

In my experience, it often involves simplifying a concept so that looking back it seems obvious, yet you had to go through the process to get there, because it didn't exist in that form.

The other story that rounds up our weekend links is an onion, and it won't make you cry. In fact, probably just the opposite.


On Streams, Pages, Business Models, and Tor

The three stories that caught my eye this week are:


1He is a master at capturing the conversation around topics. Anil Dash often publishes links and additional commentary to subjects he writes about. He did that this week on the Streams vs. Pages discussion:

What about permalinks?! I love permalinks, and the more geeky sort were worried about what happens to permalinks in an all-stream world. The way I see it, there are two possible evolutions to the permalink: They can either be a link to a particular point of information within a stream, or (more interestingly) they can be a link to a representation of how a stream looked at a particular moment in the past.

That is a good thought on permalinks as doors rather than gates. Since there is no link to a source, I assume this is Dash's.


2When something is not working, don't do more of it. Do something else. Jason Goldberg went that route with Fab.com and thrived. You can't iterate yourself to a business model, he said at the 99 percent conference (link is to a video). A couple of quotes from the talk:

The company (Fab.com) launched in June of 011. They grew from half million year end to four million in four months. 4 million members (50% of which coming to the site from social sharing) is not an eCommerce site. That's a movement.

You can't make that stuff happen even if you try.

It happens by keeping things authentic and real. By staying true to your principles of design and following the users.

[it amounts to] do we have an emotional experience with the customer that is going to make them want to come back the next day, and the one after that? To see what Fab.com is going to do next.

He then proceeds to talk about how they decided to scrap the original company. The idea was: if you can't figure out something in a year, just throw it away and do something else. So they did.

Focus on one thing that the market hungers for (and you're passionate about), and something you can be the best at reminded me of Jim Collins' three circles. Will this design make the customer smile?


3What is a Tor? You may ask. Dan Schultz tells us all about a Tor of the dark Web, making good use of humor in the process:

Tor is a program that makes you anonymous. This means that, for better or for worse, the big brothers, neighborhood hackers, and ad agencies of the world can’t tell what you are doing on the Internet without going through a lot of effort and expense.

Is that too abstract? Here are some illustrative statements. *Taps the microphone*

  • A Tor user walks into a bar, the bartender says “who are you?”
  • How many Tor users does it take to screw in a light bulb? Only a few, but you’ll never know who did it.
  • I used Tor last night and now my wife says that she doesn’t even know who I am any more.

I’ll be here all night.

If you're not laughing at this, I can't help you.


There is still plenty of opportunity untapped by digital media and social technologies. Yet, I hope we don't forget that making actual things is part of what life is made of. When I hear people talk about creating jobs and focusing solely on technology in the programming sense, I cringe. 

We need to remember how to make things again — this time better, so we can make better promises to future generations.

Have a great weekend everyone.



Valeria is an experienced listener. She is also frequent speaker at conferences and companies on a variety of topics. To book her for a speaking engagement click here.

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