Sunday, May 30, 2010

Top websites devoted to top 10 lists

The Internet has no shortage of websites devoted to providing people with numbered lists of the best, worst, funniest, strangest, etc., things.
In my opinion, the best is Listverse. The site is the most professional of the bunch. I like how the lists are dated, so you know how fresh they are. The archives also are nicely organized.
Listverse has more transparency than other list sites. Founder Jamie Frater of Wellington, New Zealand, does a good job keeping visitors posted on changes to the website.
For instance, Frater announced May 30 that the site is getting a professional redesign, has hired an editor, and will be doing podcasts and videos. Plus, Listverse is publishing its second book of lists in November.
In earlier posts, Frater has been frank about mistakes Listverse had made since it was started in July 2007.
One major flaw of Listverse and other list websites continues to be the lack of sourcing and documentation for their lists. Without proof or some evidence, the information in these lists is suspect.
Listverse gets 1.5 million unique visitors a month, the site says.
Another good top 10 list website is TopTenz.
The lists are entertaining and the website is well organized and attractive. But it could use some improvement. Most notably it doesn’t date its entries, so you have no idea how old its lists are. TopTenz probably wants to keep its lists evergreen, but that’s a mistake.
TopTenz also isn’t very forthcoming about who is responsible for the website. Based on its Twitter page, I gather it’s the project of someone who lives in Richmond, Va. But that’s it.
And like Listverse, top TopTenz falls short in sourcing its top 10 list claims.
There are many other websites devoted to numbered lists. They include Make The List, The Top Tens, Top 10 Land, Top 10 Top 10, and The Top 10 List.
Almost enough for a top 10 list.

Funny vandalism, quirky sports in list form

Lovers of top 10 lists hopefully will appreciate these miscellaneous numbered lists gathered from across the World Wide Web.

The 25 funniest moments in vandalism history (Manofest, Dec. 28, 2009)

10 quirky sporting events (Neatorama, Nov. 24, 2009)

10 words people need to stop misspelling (The Oatmeal, 2010)

The 32 most popular web passwords (The New York Times, Jan. 20, 2010)

The 30 Most Unfortunate Names In Human History (BuzzFeed, Sept. 22, 2014)

Photo from Manofest gallery of the funniest moments in vandalism history.

Friday, May 28, 2010

The most bizarre, creepy, and mysterious places

List week continues here at Tech-media-tainment.
Here are several lists of the most bizarre, creepy, mysterious and secret places on Earth.

The world’s most bizarre man-made disasters (The Huffington Post, May 11, 2010)

5 mysterious places around the world (Uphaa.com, Feb. 11, 2009)

The 6 creepiest places on Earth (Cracked.com, Oct. 29, 2009)

The biggest holes on Earth (SmilePanic, May 18, 2010)

10 places you can’t go (Listverse, Jan. 6, 2010)

Photo: The Gates of Hell in Turkmenistan (from the Huffington Post)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Pop culture lists: Movies, celebrities, games

Here’s another curated set of lists, this time about pop culture.

15 funny movie marquees (Screen Junkies, April 30, 2010)

The disturbing last movies of stars who died young (The Frisky, Dec. 23, 2009)

20 sexy female celebs who haven’t aged well (Manofest, Feb. 2, 2010)

20 best TV series finales ever (EW.com, May 24, 2010)

9 video games that went too far (ABC News via GamePolitics.com, June 4, 2009)

Hollywood’s top-earning on-screen couples (Forbes, Feb. 10, 2010)

Photo: Funny movie marquee from Screen Junkies, a Break Media property.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

More fun lists: Wal-Mart to Girl Scout cookies

Continuing my review of fun web lists, here are several related to business and commerce.

11 things Wal-Mart has banned (Mental Floss, Sept. 17, 2009)

The 10 retired Girl Scout cookies fans miss most (Divine Caroline, March 18, 2010)

America’s 9 biggest rip-offs (CNNMoney.com, Feb. 2, 2010)

6 inventors who got jack shit for changing the modern world (Cracked.com, Nov. 19, 2009)

9 great moments in false advertising (Minyanville, Nov. 19, 2009)

The most popular Christmas toys, by year, since 1960 (Geek In Heels, Nov. 4, 2009)

Photo of Megan Fox from the Superficial goes with the Wal-Mart list.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Curated web lists: best, worst, funniest

Websites often use numbered lists to drive traffic. People can’t resist a good top 10 list of the best this or worst that.
The Huffington Post uses such lists pretty frequently. Here are some interesting examples:

The 14 funniest police composite sketches (Feb. 23, 2010)

Best bridges: The most amazing engineering ever (March 8, 2010)

The 15 most controversial video games (March 12, 2010)

The most inappropriate wireless network names ever (March 24, 2010)

The worst-paying college degrees (May 10, 2010)

The funniest kids test answers of all time (May 25, 2010)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Hotties who follow me on Twitter

In my mind, some of the hottest, sexiest women hang on my every word on Twitter.
Of course, it’s just an illusion. Marketers use pictures of pretty women as their profile photos to get men interested in what they’re selling – mostly online dating services.
Often the young ladies are scantily clad. (See above photo of Twitter follower “Krista Gordon” in her bra.) Or they’re posing in a sexy manner. (Hence Twitter follower “Selena Burton” on all fours, above.)
This is my eighth installment in the past year of my attractive female Twitter followers. I’m sure it won’t be the last.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

‘Lost’ art found



In honor of the series finale tonight of ABC’s drama “Lost,” here are some links to interesting fan art inspired by the show.
My favorite is a retro-style movie poster about central character John Locke by British designer Olly Moss. (See top photo.)
Another poster featuring Locke by artist Ty Mattson also is very cool. (Second photo from top.)
I enjoyed these Saul Bass-inspired posters of “Lost” from Hexagonall, too. (Third photo.)
Check out these “Lost”-themed tarot cards by Alex Griendling. (Fourth photo)
What would “Lost” look like as a comic book or animated series? A series of drawings by Michael Myers provides a good idea. (Fifth photo.)
Or take a look at the interactive graphic done by the National Post’s Steve Murray.
Great work by all.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

3-D porn cashing in on the home 3-D TV craze

Gizmodo and the Huffington Post got all hot and bothered this week with news of the first modern 3-D porn movie.
But it looks like they were a little premature.
The movie, “Kama Sutra,” by French adult film producer Marc Dorcel isn’t really a porn movie. It’s a soft-core erotic film with nudity and simulated sex acts, according to Allocine.com. But it was filmed with the intent of being shown on modern stereoscopic TVs that use active shutter eyeglasses for full 3-D HD video.
Earlier 3-D movies on home video were designed to be used with cheap 3-D glasses with colored lenses. The effect was headache-inducing video with washed out colors.
Released in Europe in February, “Kama Sutra,” isn’t the first erotic film produced in 3-D. That honor goes to the 1969 soft-core 3-D film “The Stewardesses.” Other 3-D erotic movies followed including “Love in 3-D” (1973) and “Emmanuelle 4” (1984).
According to the Internet Adult Film Database, there have been seven 3-D hardcore sex movies released to date. They include “Sexcaliber” (1982), “Screw My Wife Please” (2007), “Cummin’ at You” (2008), and “Octopussy 3-D, a XXX Parody” (2010).
All of them, Oscar worthy, I’m sure.

Photos: 3-D porn demonstration as seen through active shutter glasses (top), from report by El Mundo at Cannes Film Festival; Cover of DVD for “Octopussy 3-D, a XXX Parody.”

The myth of celebrity sex tapes

The story has been repeated time and again: A female celebrity claims a home video showing her having sex has been stolen and is being shopped to adult movie distributors. She says the tape is personal and should not be made public. Then word leaks out that she’s been behind the sale of the tape all along.
Such is the case with reality TV personality Kendra Wilkinson, best known as one of Hugh Hefner’s girlfriends on the E! television series “The Girls Next Door.”
Wilkinson feigned shock and outrage when news reports came out that the sex tape was going to be commercially distributed. But it turns out Wilkinson had been shopping the video around for some time until Vivid Entertainment bought it, according to RadarOnline.com.
The problem with celebrity sex tapes is that they’re mostly of D-list celebrities. They’re barely famous. They often feature women who want to be famous and are leaking the tapes to get some press and notoriety.
And why not? It’s worked before. Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian were just rich socialites when they put out sex tapes to raise their profiles.
What’s so shocking about borderline celebrities with sex tapes? They’re basically porn stars who entered the business through the side door.
The Wikipedia entry on “Celebrity sex tapes” lists about 35 such tapes.
Vivid even has a special division to sell such tapes called Vivid-Celeb. It’s already sold sex tapes featuring Kim Kardashian, actress Pamela Anderson, and country singer Mindy McCready. It plans to released the Wilkinson tape on June 2 as "Kendra Exposed."

Photo: Cover of "Kendra Exposed" DVD from Vivid.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Joining the ranks of Wikipedia editors

The other day I decided to make some changes to entries in Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit.
I’ve always wondered who writes and edits Wikipedia, which has nearly 3.3 million articles in English alone. It’s a special type of website called a wiki that is designed to make collaboration easy. Mostly volunteer writers and editors contribute to the website.
Making changes to Wikipedia articles is pretty easy, but there’s a lot of special coding to be aware of. It's also time-consuming work, so I doubt I'll be a major contributor.
I made fixes and updates to four articles: Halls of fame and walks of fame, Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame, Toy Industry Hall of Fame, and Plaxo.
In the article on Halls of fame and walks of fame, I deleted two redundant entries and added the Burlesque Hall of Fame, Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame and the Toy Industry Association Hall of Fame.
For the article on the Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame, I added the 2009 inductees. I also added the 2009 and 2010 inductees into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame.
And finally I updated the entry on Plaxo, the online address book company. I changed the article to reflect its new owner – cable company Comcast – and new CEO. Plus, I added some references, including a company press release and company blog post.
I like Wikipedia and think it’s a great public service. I’d caution anyone using it as their only reference though. It can get out of date and is always subject to possible false information. But its use of references to back up claims goes a long way toward alleviating concerns.

Art: Wikipedia logo

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Cool infographics on video games, Google, mobile phones and the 2010 U.S. Census

Following yesterday’s post about the infographics boom online, here are several more interesting mega-charts – this time about technology.

Video Game Timeline (Online Education)

Teens and Their Mobile Phones (Flowtown)

Google Facts and Figures (Pingdom)

Government requests directed at Google and YouTube to remove content or provide information about users (Google)

2010 Census Participation Rates (United States Census 2010)

Art: Screenshot of current participation in 2010 U.S. Census

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll infographics

Infographics are big – literally and figuratively – on the Web these days.
Digital artists have embraced the idea of designing large graphics that contain tons of information in charts and tables. These are pretty graphics that you need to scroll down and sometimes sideways to read.
A great place to find fun infographics is OnlineSchools.org. You can see several examples of their work below.
In keeping with the headline of this article, here is a set of infographics about sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll:

Porn vs. the Economy (Visual.ly)

The Striptease (Infographicality)

Coming Clean about Infidelity (Infographic List)

The Scoop on Semen (CafeMom)

Illegal Drugs in the Americas (Next Generation Pharmaceutical)

The Music Industry and Online Piracy by the Numbers (Deviant Art)

The iPod Revolution (Mashable)

Art: Online Schools logo

Saturday, May 15, 2010

TV show cancellations free up my fall schedule

I could be watching four hours less TV a week this fall thanks to the cancellation of several shows I watch.
Walt Disney Co.’s ABC this week officially cancelled the interesting, though flawed, sci-fi drama “FlashForward.” Disney earlier canceled its well-regarded, syndicated movie review program “At the Movies,” which I love. Plus, I’m losing ABC’s “Lost,” which is ending its six-year run this month. That’s two and a half hours of Disney programming I won’t have this fall.
The other lost hour and a half of programming comes from the cancellation of Fox’s action series “24” and Comedy Central's politically incorrect comedy “The Sarah Silverman Program.”
Maybe I should fill those hours with a new hobby.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Con Artist Hall of Infamy: A Hall of Shame


Halls of fame celebrate positive, uplifting human achievements. But what about the dark side of human nature? They’re best recounted in halls of shame or halls of infamy.
The website Con Artist Hall of Infamy is one such hall. It profiles scam artists, swindlers, hustlers, grifters and frauds such as Charles Ponzi, Jim Bakker and Bernard Madoff.
The site has inducted 35 into its hall of infamy so far. And you can vote on the 2010 inductees on the website’s blog.
The Con Artist Hall of Infamy is the brainchild of San Francisco financier Warren Hellman, founder and chairman of the Hellman & Friedman private equity firm, and Arthur Rock, a venture capitalist who was among the first investors in Intel and Apple.
The two men decided in the summer of 2008 to create a “Who’s Who” of the most audacious financial con artists. They hope the Con Artist Hall of Infamy is both an entertaining read and a lesson for business students on the importance of ethics.
The website, which went public in July 2009, is researched and written by Becca MacLaren.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Today’s brilliant idea: hall-of-fame hall of fame

The opening of the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C., on Tuesday got me thinking.
There are so many halls of fame now that there needs to be a hall of fame for halls of fame.
I amaze myself sometimes.
Wikipedia lists about 170 halls of fame, mostly for sports. There are 11 halls of fame for motorsports, 10 for baseball and softball, eight for horse racing and six for professional wrestling.
There are 22 halls of fame for music, including such categories as rock and roll, country, blues, jazz, classical, gospel, rockabilly and polka.
We have halls of fame for astronauts, cowboys, miners, the insurance industry, sports mascots, and porn stars.
Not all halls of fame have physical locations. Some are only online.
But here are my picks for interesting halls of fame to visit:

1. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Cleveland, Ohio
2. Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Springfield, Mass.
3. Robot Hall of Fame, Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh, Pa.
4. National Toy Hall of Fame, Strong National Museum of Play, Rochester, N.Y.
5. NASCAR Hall of Fame, Charlotte, N.C.
6. United States Astronaut Hall of Fame, Titusville, Fla.
7. National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
8. National Inventors Hall of Fame and Museum, Alexandria, Va.
9. National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Cooperstown, N.Y.
10. Pro Football Hall of Fame, Canton, Ohio
11. International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame, Arlington, Texas
12. Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Seattle, Wa.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

2009-10 TV season in review: Lost, Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries stand out


The 2009-10 TV season is winding to a close this month, starting with season finales for two of my favorite shows – “The Vampire Diaries” and “Supernatural” – airing Thursday.
For my money, “The Vampire Diaries” is the best new show of the season. It’s attracting solid ratings for the CW, but doesn’t get much respect from critics. That’s likely because the critics passed judgment on the show based on the first few episodes, which were admittedly weak. And then they stopped watching.
I kept with it and am glad I did. It’s a terrific Southern gothic soap opera that keeps adding layers to its characters and is building a dense mythology. At its heart, “The Vampire Diaries” is about two vampire brothers (one “good” and the other “bad”) in love with the same human girl. But there’s a lot more going on here than “Twilight”-esque teen angst. “The Vampire Diaries” keeps the shocking revelations and plot twists coming at a brisk pace. It’s a gas.
“Supernatural” is another CW show about two brothers, demon hunters Sam and Dean Winchester. This season they’ve been battling Lucifer and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. I love the show’s combination of horror and humor. This was supposed to be its final season, but “Supernatural” has been renewed for a sixth season. I hope that’s not a mistake. Too many shows outstay their welcome.
Other season finales I plan to watch include “House” (Monday May 17), “V” (Tuesday May 18), “30 Rock” (Thursday May 20); “Lost” (Sunday May 23), “24” (Monday May 24) and “FlashForward” (Thursday May 27). For a complete list of season finales, check out EW.com.
“Lost” is racing toward its finale after six seasons and it's going out at the top of its game. The trippy sci-fi drama defies easy explanation.
“30 Rock” is still a lot of fun, but comedies have never been appointment TV with me.
Fox’s “House” and “24” are both past their freshness dates. Now in its eighth season, “24” has already been cancelled. Though it might return as a feature film. “House,” which is in its sixth season, should set an end date before it starts to stink.
Two new ABC shows that started promisingly – “FlashForward” and “V” – both took turns toward mediocrity and suffered.
“FlashForward” had a great premise: The world’s population blacks out for 137 seconds and they “flash forward” to see visions of their lives six months in the future. But miscasting (milquetoast Joseph Fiennes in the lead role), bad scripts and plodding pacing crippled the show. It almost certainly will be canceled, according to TV Series Finale.
Alien invasion show “V” had a great pilot, but went downhill from there. Now it’s pretty silly – a resistance force of five people vs. thousands of visitors from outer space. Please. And why hasn’t someone just skinned an alien and shown the world that they’re lizard people under their cloned human skin? Problem solved.

Photos: Title shot from "The Vampire Diaries," and Winchester brothers Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) from "Supernatural."

Cable television model is broken; Not getting programming I want, like 'Ashes to Ashes'


I was excited to learn that season two of the BBC TV series “Ashes to Ashes” would begin airing in the states on Tuesday May 11. But unfortunately my cable company, Cablevision, doesn’t carry BBC America so I won’t be able to watch it.
It’s yet another sign that the cable television model is broken. I pay for dozens of channels that I don’t want, but can’t get one channel that I do want.
Hopefully I can find a website that is streaming "Ashes to Ashes," though I’m not thrilled about watching the show on my PC. Or I’ll have to wait for the DVD to come out and get it from Netflix.
When this happens, it forces consumers like me to think about other ways of getting video, especially online from Hulu, Netflix, TV.com and elsewhere.
What I want is to subscribe to individual channels on an a la carte basis, something TV services have resisted. I don’t want to subsidize the Food Network, the Golf Channel and a bunch of other channels I don’t watch.
But content owners are getting more demanding and want more money from cable, satellite and telco TV operators. We’ve already seen News Corp. take on Time Warner Cable over Fox fees and Disney battle with Cablevision over ABC fees.
But monthly TV bills can only go so high before consumers start looking for alternatives.
Count me in that camp.

Photos: “Ashes to Ashes” second two DVD cover and still from the show.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Where did all these cute photos of cats sleeping in boxes come from?



My recent run-in with the copyright cops got me thinking about photos on the Internet.
Whenever I use a photo that isn’t mine I try to provide a link back to the source. But many websites do not provide credit for the photos they use. I believe my use of photos from other sources is fair use because I’m commenting on the websites where they come from and I'm adding to the public discourse on media and culture. Plus, my blog is a non-profit enterprise.
But because other people don’t provide proper credit for digital photos and artwork, their origins and back stories get lost in the process. I’d like to know when and where many online photos were taken and more details about what they show.
My mother often forwards e-mails from friends with cute or interesting series of photos.
Just the other day she sent me a gallery of 25 photos of cats sleeping in small boxes.
I searched online to see if I could find the origins of the photos. I found two websites that posted the same photos without attribution: Damn Cool Pics and WireSmash.
Then I stumbled on a website that looks like it originally compiled the cat photo gallery in question. My Smelly posted the 25 photos and provided credit to all the photographers and links to the original source material. Most of the photos came from the photo sharing site Flickr, owned by Yahoo. Others were posted to My Smelly, a "social petworking community."
Shame on Damn Cool Pics and WireSmash for not including the attribution and source material. It’s not hard.

Photos: Cats sleeping in cardboard boxes (top to bottom) by Woodenship, Taurussun and Simplybecka on Flickr. Selections from a photo set curated by My Smelly.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Remembering Kiddieland: The amusement park for kids in suburban Chicago

Kiddieland Amusement Park in Melrose Park, Ill., closed in September 2009 after 81 years in operation.
The park, located just west of Chicago, was razed to make way for a Costco.
But thanks to the Internet, memories of the park are being preserved. Theme Park Brochures, which I wrote about yesterday, has a map of Kiddieland from 2002. The Kiddieland website is still up for people to post memories of the park. Wikipedia also has an entry on Kiddieland.
Plus, a fan set up a Flickr photo page for people to contribute their snapshots to a group pool.
I was fortunate to visit Kiddieland with my two kids and my brother in May 2009, during its final season. We’ll remember the Little Dipper roller coaster, the Ferris wheel, the log flume ride, and the free soft drink fountains.

Photo: Riding the Little Dipper roller coaster at Kiddieland in Melrose Park, Ill., in May 2009.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Theme Park Brochures: Check out historic maps like Marriott’s Great America circa 1979

Here’s a fun website for people who want to reminisce about amusement parks from their youth: Theme Park Brochures.
I was able to look up a map of Marriott’s Great America in Gurnee, Ill., from 1979. The Marriott hospitality company opened the park in 1976, during the American Bicentennial. Six Flags purchased it in 1984.
I worked at Marriott’s Great America two summers while in high school in Lake County, Ill., in 1978-79. I worked in the games and arcades section of the County Fair area, running carnival games like the Ring Fling.
I have some great memories of working there. I got to hang out with some beautiful girls who worked there (Jane, Betsy, Edie, etc.) We were able to get into the park for free. Sometimes we’d get off a few hours before the park closed, change into our street clothes and ride the roller coasters.
Some of the rides are still operating, but under different names. The roller coaster I remember as Willard’s Whizzer is now just the Whizzer and the Turn of the Century is now the Demon. Other rides, such as the Tidal Wave, are gone.
I met John Willard “Bill” Marriott Jr., now chairman and CEO of Marriott International, while I was an employee of the park. “Bill,” as I called him when I shook his hand, is the son of company founder J. Willard Marriott.
In 1979, admission to Marriott’s Great America was $9.60 for adults. Today general admission to Six Flags Great America costs $54.99 (but you can buy tickets online for $34.99 each).
Now I feel old.

Photos: Front of brochure for Marriott’s Great America 1979 (top), and inside pages from the brochure (bottom).

Monday, May 3, 2010

Terrorists don’t have to be successful to impact American life

Islamic terrorists are a pretty stupid bunch. Angry and dedicated, but dumb as a box of rocks.
From blaming the West for all their problems, instead of their own leaders, to agreeing to kill innocents for the sake of their religion, they don’t have a lot going on upstairs
The would-be car-bomber who left an SUV parked in New York City’s Times Square on Saturday packed the vehicle with more than 100 pounds of fertilizer. But the dope used the wrong kind. Instead of ammonium nitrate, the kind of fertilizer used by Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, he used a harmless fertilizer, according to ABC News.
Still the SUV also was loaded with propane and gas cans, so it could have caused a giant fireball if it had gone off, Fox News says. But the amateur terrorist couldn’t get that right either.
Since 9/11, there have been a bunch of failed terrorist attacks.
But they’ve still impacted the lives of everyday Americans.
The Times Square incident is likely to lead to more and better security cameras in Manhattan. I’m a proponent of public surveillance cameras. They make solving crimes much easier.
New York will spend $110 million to add video cameras in Midtown Manhattan to expand a security network centered on Wall Street downtown, Bloomberg reported.
A suspect in the Times Square attempted bombing was caught on video leaving the scene.
A Pakistani Taliban group has taken credit for the attempted attack, but government officials have not been able to confirm a link.
Islamic terrorists have made flying a pain thanks to their failed attacks. Going through airport security now is like running the gauntlet because of all the silly rules.
You have to take off your shoes, sometimes your belt, remove all metal objects from your person, take your laptop computer out of its case, keep your boarding pass and identification in your hand, and submit to pat down searches.
Oh, and don’t forget to put all your liquids in a small clear plastic bag when using a carry-on bag. They created the not-so-memorable 3-1-1 rule: 3 ounce or smaller containers of liquid or gel, 1 quart-size, clear plastic, zip-top bag holding the small containers, and 1 bag per traveler placed in the security bin.
Thank you, terrorists.

Photo: Video frame of the Times Square attempted car bomber. See Reuters for more photos and video.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Fun business lists: Top tech rivalries, worst corporate name changes, biggest dot-com flops

Web surfers love lists and I’m no exception. Here are eight interesting business-related lists, including one by yours truly.
Enjoy!

Top 10 tech rivalries today (Investors.com, May 3, 2010)

Top 10 Worst Corporate Name Changes (Time, Feb. 8, 2010)

The 100 Least Powerful People Under 100 (AOL Finance & Money, 24/7 Wall St., Feb. 16, 2010)

The World’s 25 Most Inventive Companies (Bloomberg Businessweek, Dec. 23, 2009)

10 Stocks to Buy Your Kids in 2010 (Jim Cramer, “Mad Money,” CNBC, Dec. 14, 2009)

The 100 Oldest Companies in the World (BizAims, March 7, 2008)

Top 10 dot-com flops (CNet, April 2007)

The greatest defunct websites and dot-com disasters (CNet, June 5, 2008)

Photo: Dollar symbol by Svilen.milev from Wikimedia Commons.

The bloom is off the rose for Twitter

Twitter’s owners should have cashed out when they had the chance.
The microblogging service was last year’s tech darling and its freshness date has expired.
I still use the service as a way to promote my articles on Investors.com and my personal blog. But I’m getting less bang for my tweets than I used to last year.
Whenever I post a link these days on Twitter I usually get about three to five clicks, as tracked by Bit.ly. A year ago, I got at least twice that. I just get the feeling that the Twitter community isn’t as active as it once was.
Even some celebrities have tired of it. Miley Cyrus famously quit Twitter. John Mayer is thinking about quitting.
Attention in the social media space is going elsewhere – most notably to Web 2.0 juggernaut Facebook. It’s adding features that could replace other tech services. Its Like button could supplant Digg and other social bookmarking services. And Facebook could replace Twitter as a way to share short updates and interesting weblinks.
A new study by Edison Research finds that awareness of Twitter has exploded from 5% of Americans 12 and older in 2008 to 87% in 2010. By comparison, Facebook’s awareness is 88%.
But despite equal awareness, Twitter has not been able to attract the users that Facebook has. Only 7% of Americans (17 million people) actively use Twitter, while 41% maintain a profile page on Facebook, Edison says.
Edison notes that online social networking is now a mainstream behavior in American society. Nearly 50% of Americans 12 and older maintain a profile on at least one social networking site.
“While sites like Facebook and LinkedIn have well-defined use cases and benefits, Twitter has yet to establish a clear value proposition (even as a purely entertainment service) for a majority of the current users of social networking sites and services in the United States,” Edison says.
In March, Web security company Barracuda Networks reported that a whopping 73% of Twitter accounts have tweeted fewer than 10 times, according to CNNMoney.com. It said Twitter appeared to be becoming more of a news feed than a social network.
Twitter finally released some statistics about its service at its Chirp conference on April 14. It said it has 105.8 million registered users and is adding 300,000 new users a day, according to PaidContent.org. Twitter also said it gets 180 million unique visitors to the site each month.
With all the spam accounts, inactive accounts and joke accounts on Twitter, it’s hard to gauge the real active Twitter user community from the company’s official number.
Just consider all the weird stuff being tweeted about on Twitter. A Huffington Post list of the nine craziest things tweeting on the service included a bed, office chair and a bathroom scale. But there’s also a New York L train rat, a house cat named Sockington and a common squirrel, among other creatures using Twitter.
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