Carnival of the Capitalists – Part 2

Welcome back to this experimental format for Carnival of the Capitalists. If you missed Part 1, click here for a series of great posts from around the Blogosphere.

I broke with tradition somewhat and posted this week’s Carnival of the Capitalists in two parts. My reasoning was that with more than 50 posts, I suspect that the current format of a huge dollop on Monday leads to reader fatigue. In fact, I know this to be true as a post listed in the first 10 or so entries attracts many more readers than a subsequent one.

By the time you read this, the verdict from you readers will be in and we can see if this is a format worth repeating. I will also do a round up of comments in an “update” section at the bottom of this post.

Part 2

In Part 1 of this weekÌs Carnival I featured a post by Mover Mike taking a ÏprofessionalÓ journalist to task. Tim Worstall goes one better by launching an Economic Idiot Award to Ïjournalist or commentator who has shown themselves to be absurdly under-educated in the field of economics while still feeling competent to pronounce upon itÓ. Hmm, Tim, you donÌt mince your words do you? Find out who is the first lucky winner Ò surprisingly enough at the Press Association!

Anyone who has a remotely popular blog will know at first hand the evils of the blog spammer. These are the fiends who promote their nefarious websites by leaving urlÌs in the comment sections of blogs. The idea is that search engines are fooled into giving their sites higher rankings. The poor blogger meanwhile has to manually remove all this dross, which can be pretty time consuming. Blog Business World looks at the whole issue, including some very effective preventative steps you can take. But the main point is that bloggers mustnÌt give up allowing comments as a conversation is at the heart of the best blogs.

Having said that, Gizmodo, Boing Boing and Sun CEOÌs Jonathan SchwartzÌs blog all donÌt have comments and theyÌre doing pretty well, thank you very much, so itÌs not mandatory. But I agree with Wayne that most blogs can only get even better with comments enabled.

Ripples continues this theme about blogs being conversations, comparing blogging with the human experience of fire, in an interesting and thought provoking essay. Like fire, open communication can be dangerous as well as revolutionary.

My own contribution this week is about NokiaÌs new keyboard for their phones. ÏSo what?Ó you may be thinking. Well, itÌs the start of a new and revolutionary new trend as our mobile phones replace our PCÌs as our primary digital device. This coincides with a move to web services as opposed to on-device software. The PC is dead, long live the mobile phone!

By the way, various opponents of the two phase Carnival have suggested that I put the best entries in the first edition. Obviously this isnÌt the case, as I even left mine to the last one 🙂

On the theme of new trends, K. Todd Storch has been looking at Podcasting Ò recording audio and making it available for download as an MP3. ItÌs blogging’s close cousin and looks like itÌs going to be big. Carnival of the Podcasts, perhaps?

The Raw Prawn has a really interesting marketing post about ToyotaÌs innovative and successful strategies behind the Scion car brand. Targeting twenty-somethings, itÌs been experimenting with ideas like launching its own not-for-profit music label.

Part 1 also looked at better working practices and this is a theme continued with Steve PavlinaÌs excellent tips on how to do better email. As I currently have about 750 unread emails from my holiday, I can really relate to this one!

New Millennium Minds has also been looking at email Ò this time choosing an email service provider.

Christopher Bailey at The Alchemy of Soulful Work looks at one of his readerÌs ideas for Buddha’s Four Noble Truths on Job Hunting. Think career, rather than job. A nice post and a nice blog from a new contributor to CotC (IÌm pretty sure) so check it out.

From soul to sex÷sex sells, so weÌre told. And the Retail Store Blog looks at the phenomenon of using sexy baby boomer models Ò ie people who are 50 or more. And yes, 50 year olds can definitely look sexy as the post illustrates.

Still on the ÏsÓ word, Sand Hill proposes that software needs to be sexed up in 2005. Blogging could be an important part of the marketing strategy, but what else can be done to make your brand stand out from the crowd?

TJ Jacobi has been looking at entrepreneurship both Globally and in Germany, including the fact that Germans are terrified that their venture could go the wrong way, with only Greeks, French and the Israelis more worried about this!

Moving to Politics, Gongol lays into socialism with an unequivocal ÏWe risk most our own well-being whenever we grant socialism undeserved credibility.Ó. Ouch. But I guess this carnival is all about capitalism.

Like many people with a pension plan, I look glumly at my end of year statements and wonder why I bother investing when my capital seems to decline every year. Of course, professionals mouth the tired phrase that Ïyou have to look at the long termÓ. Conveniently, if I wait until IÌm 65 or so to take this view, these same professionals will have retired and be well out of the scene. The Big Picture looks at this long term investing scenario with some rather sobering results.

But it would have been far worse if youÌd been an employee of certain telecom companies and exercised Incentive Stock Options, according to Roth & Co. We havenÌt heard the last of this scandal, thatÌs certain.

Another potential scandal is covered by Sanity Check. Public companies are required to disclose all material risks. But they donÌt disclose the huge contingent liabilities from the fail to delivers and the margin shares loaned out to short sellers. This could be the next big class action suit to hit corporate America.

Meanwhile, Political Calculations has been looking at Personal Retirement Accounts (PRAs) as an investment vehicle for US residents. Most retirees today would have been better off, but read the full post as itÌs pretty comprehensive.

An alternative strategy would perhaps be looking at investing in the Chinese market as followers of the China Stock Blog will no doubt be doing.

Staying on the investing track, the Internet Stock Blog looks at the implications of the email war between behemoths Yahoo! and Google and the effect on the other big players. No easy answers, but lots of thoughtful questions. Sister site Media Stock Blog looks at current issues facing Hollywood Entertainment.

Can Capitalism be wrong? asks The Golden Gate. Well, yes if itÌs applied to the housing market of San Francisco.

Meanwhile, Steve VerdonÌs been writing about the US Healthcare system. Specifically, heÌs been questioning the claims that socialized medicine is quite all itÌs cracked up to be.

JS Logan has been exploring the topic of testimonials in business and it seems no matter how many times that weÌre told how important they are, we still donÌt use them properly. I can certainly vouch for their effectiveness at first hand Ò read the post and try his recommendations. It works.

Staying with the international theme, Interim Thoughts looks at a housing boom in Bangalore, India and asks if it has all the hallmarks of a bubble. Watch that space.

And finally÷on a lighter note, WordLab has been blogging about ShitBeGone toilet tissue. Their business blog errr÷. stinks apparently or as Abnu writes is Ïreally a piece of shitÓ.

UPDATE: If the debate on having two editions of the Carnival of the Capitalists doesnÌt interest you, read no further. But if you are interested, hereÌs some analysis on the experiment.

I estimate that about 4,000 people read the first post. Of these the overwhelming majority didnÌt seem to care one way or the other Ò or certainly not enough to leave a comment.

IÌve had a total of about 12 people commenting. One was very positive and the rest pretty much or very much against it. However, the ones who felt most strongly about this subject were all contributing bloggers who werenÌt included in the first edition and seemed to feel slighted in some way. There is no truth that I put the best posts in the first edition as you can read for yourself Ò I worked pretty hard to get the right balance. I also ensured that posts in this second edition werenÌt especially ÏperishableÓ or topical.

You can read most of the comments yourself and make up your own mind, but the main argument for not splitting the Carnival seems to me to be summarised as that we havenÌt ever done it before.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that if no one ever tried anything new, the world would be a pretty dull sort of place. And I thought that bloggers generally would be the very sort of people who would welcome change, bearing in mind that they’re very much at the forefront of changing the way the world communicates.

Besides which, I ran this experiment with the reader in mind Ò contributing bloggers, in my opinion, are only a secondary consideration. If the reader isnÌt being served, they wonÌt come back, which will be the end of the Carnival.

So, letÌs carry on this debate. If splitting the Carnival isnÌt the answer, but reader-fatigue is (I think weÌre agreed on this), what else could be done?

IÌm sure Jay and Rob would welcome any new ideas before the Carnival becomes unmanageable Ò and that would be a great shame for all of us who care passionately about it.

So please leave a comment or drop me an email Russell AT mobhappy DOT com.

Thanks for reading.

Russell

(Breathes sigh of relief and ducks behind a convenient fire wall, wondering why 10 hours of work on this and motivated purely by a desire to help could lead to such vitriol.)

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