WSJ – 6/2/09

I love the WSJ (Wall Street Journal)! Today’s technology section had so much good stuff in it that I decided that it needed a blog of it’s own. What set of this lovely section? The seventh D: All Things Digital conference last week in Carlsbad, CA.

There are several interviews included (Steve Balmer on Microsoft’s new entry into the search war, Carol Bartz on how Yahoo’s organizational structure got in the way of innovation, NBC Universal’s Jeff Zucker on why TV is still paramount, John Malone on how to get consumer to pay for content they now get for free, Roger McNamee and Jon Rubinstein on how Palm hopes for a comeback, Twitter’s Evan Williams and Biz Stone on finding revenue in Tweets, and Mark Cuban on why Internet video has been disappointing), and some very interesting blog links.

Out of all of the above, I was rooting for my homeboys (Microsoft), and not surprised at the interview with Carol Bartz (the new Yahoo CEO, replacing Jerry Yang). I have read interviews with her before, and I will say this – she is who she is – brash, hard nosed, and not someone that I would want to work with (or under). I am sure that she will do a good job – but at what cost? She resented the question about her moving from running a computer generated software company to running an Internet site like Yahoo, and likened Jerry Yang’s attempt to show her an organizational chart to a Dilbert cartoon. When asked about bringing in a strong number two that was more “Internet-y” (yes – that was how the word was written!), she abruptly insisted that she did not need a number two because that would remove her from the business. My take – I hope her board reads her interviews, and reigns her in!

I really like Twitter, but tend to wonder about its future myself. I am only minimally business savvy myself, but after reading the interview with Twitter co-founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone, I do give myself more credit! These boys have no plan, and have basically built the site by allowing tech savvy people to associate applications that they come up with to Twitter. The boys are happy with this – I think it is a big, chaotic mess!

On to the really cool links in this section! Under phone culture we have Tokyo Mango, written by Lisa Katayama – www.tokyomango.com. She talks about a treasure trove of things Japanese, and has a book out entitled “Urawaza: Secret Everyday Tips and Tricks From Japan”.

“Get Rich Slowly” – www.getrichslowly.org/blog – is a blog written by J. D. Roth – an average person showing people how to educate themselves about money. A major component of this blog is the ability of the reader to add their own theories/strategies for dealing with financial matters. On today’s blog, Roth addresses “lazy portfolios”, and gives some excellent examples. There is an incredible amount of information on this site!

“Bargaineering: Egineering A Richer Life” – www.bargaineering.com/articles – is a blog written by Jim Wang, focused on the role money plays in readers lives. Great site, with a wealth of information presented. I have to stop and read an author who writes things like “Five Life Lessons My Dog Has Taught Me”!

I hope that you enjoy this material as much as I did. Lots of food for thought – well presented, well thought out.

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