Zude site riot

Zude, a new Web site by Fifth Generation Systems (5g), lets you make a collage of all your favorite items from the Web and present them in one spot.

The site took down its password-only entrance and went into "soft launch" last week. In other words, it's testing the waters to see who in the public sphere will find and use it.

And I'm just not sure who that is.

Similar to, Zude allows you to create your own, personalized Web pages or profile page--called a "Zudescape"--with text, photos, videos, audio … Read more

The next round of the social-networking craze

Mash, Yahoo's way of quietly saying farewell to Yahoo 360, is at first glance a somewhat uninspired attempt to catch up with Facebook. Even the name is boring--Mash. Don't mix it up, by the way, with Mosh, Nokia's mobile networking site (currently in beta) and Mashable, the social-networking blog. Mash (invite-only as of now) looks like a cross between Facebook, MySpace and Netvibes--and it also has a bit of wiki DNA: Anyone you grant permissions to can edit your profile or add modules they think are relevant to your profile. Besides that, nothing new.

To be … Read more

Yahoo finally gets a good social network: Mash

Yahoo's new social network, Mash, is appropriately named. It feels like a mash-up of Facebook, MySpace, and Wikipedia. It's taken the best--or, at least, most popular--features from these services and put them together in a very compelling social service. I strongly doubt it will suffer the same fate of that other social network, the failing Yahoo 360.

Here's how Mash has borrowed from the best:

MySpace: Users can add their own backgrounds and color schemes to totally destroy the readability and speed of their pages. This is big part of MySpace's appeal. I've never understood why, but there you go. There's a twist with Mash, though: When viewing any profile, users can switch from the pimped out page (the "fugly" version) to a plain, clean page with a white background.

Facebook: There's a library of modules users can add to their pages. And the layout of the Mash pages is pretty strict, which preserves readability, especially if you turn off custom backgrounds. Yahoo plans to open up the module platform to developers, but it hasn't yet.

There are already some interesting modules, though. I like the MyMashLog feature, which, like MyBlogLog (which Yahoo acquired), collects the names of everyone who visits your page.

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Micro-productivity: man vs. machine, divergence vs. convergence

According to a McKinsey & Company study of US economic activity, "Raising the productivity of employees whose jobs can't be automated is the next big performance challenge." The study argues that "as more companies come to specialize in core activities and outsource the rest, they have greater need for workers who can interact with co-workers, partners, and vendors," supported by highly personalized organizing and communication tools. 40 percent of labor activity, says McKinsey, comes not from making things or from traditional transactions but from what the consultancy calls the "Interaction Economy," which it … Read more