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When community sites get it right...and wrong

Church of the Customer blogs about 10 reasons why YouTube is better than Google Video. The short answer, YouTube

was built around the idea of community, and its design has more

incommon with Google classic than does Google video. Google got beat at

their own game. Plus, YouTube has this live-action Simpsons intro, which is making the viral-marketing rounds with a speed and simplicity that Google just can't accomodate.


Meanwhile, Signal vs. Noise (blog of the 37Signals dev group) teaches us about impossible customers by quoting a knitter's forum.

The short lesson: some people have unreasonable and illogical demands,

and no matter what you do for them—especially in an online community

setting—you can't reasonably satisfy them. Sometimes, you just have to

be OK with dissatisfying an irrationally demanding customer.


Wired gives some love to digg founder Kevin Rose, who is trying to democratize news promotion (not to be confused with news production). Rose cops to trying to build a better slashdot, which as all geeks know is immensely popular and immensely impenetrable for new users. Digg is now the hottest content referrer behind search kings Yahoo! and Google, but that doesn't make it infallible.


I'm not sold on digg's internal comment-digging system,

which let's you thumbs up/thumbs down rate any post in a thread, and

offers filters based on the post ratings (as in, "don't show me

anything with negative ratings"). That's almost too granular,

and I don't think I need to be told that a two-word "Java sucks" post

doesn't add much to a thread. That much I can figure out on my own. If

they allowed the same filters based on date ranges, rather than

ratings, I would probably find that a useful means of keeping up with

what's new, especially since digg is about the only other place on the

Web besides TR that uses a discussion tree, rather than a linear

discussion list.

About Jay Garmon

Jay Garmon has a vast and terrifying knowledge of all things obscure, obtuse, and irrelevant. One day, he hopes to write science fiction, but for now he'll settle for something stranger — amusing and abusing IT pros. Read his full profile. You can a...

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