AT&T Profits, GigaCrunched

It would be a dull web if everyone agreed. But I’d have thought that GigaOm and TechCrunch could agree on whether the profits of a public corporation like AT&T went up or down.

To make things even more confusing, the link from Google Reader to the TechCrunch post actually took me to a CrunchGear post called iPhone iPhone iPhone! iPhone. iPhone. As my astute reader may have deduced, it’s about the iPhone. Apparently, as well as being a phone, music player, fashion accessory, etc., it’s a double-edged sword. AT&T saw profits drop as customer acquisitions rose.

GigaStacey, on the other hand, reports a slight boost in profits. She agrees, though on Q3 iPhone activations: there were 2.4M of them.

Maze of Twisty Little Startups: Tale of Two Events I Didn’t Attend

DEMOfall08 and TechCrunch50 each took place this week in California. Each is a launchfest for tech startups. Here are a few of the things that struck me as I read about the events.

First, reading about the events is like a concentrated helping of startup soup, and many of the startups are variations on existing themes. Hence the post title’s reference to the famous line from Colossal Cave Adventure.

Second, the events reflect increasing emphasis on Enterprise 2.0 (the deployment of social media within the enterprise). We can see this reflection in Bernard’s preview of DEMO for RWW, and in Liz Gannes’ account of how enterprise software stole the show at TC50. OK, Liz was referring to the first day of TC50, but I get the impression that her point still held at the end of the event.

The TC50 jury prize went to Yammer, one of the startups featured in the enterprise session. Yammer is essentially Twitter for the enterprise. That’s not so much the third point as it is reinforcement for the first point (much about Yammer is familiar) and for the second point (Yammer is for the enterprise). What’s fresh about Yammer is the way it plans to make money while keeping the barrier to initial use low.

Anyone with a corporate email can sign up and follow other people in their company. But if a company wants to claim its users, and gain administrative control over them, they will have to pay. It’s a brilliant business model.

That’s almost enough, given that this is a second-hand account. There are many first-hand accounts. For example, here’s a list of links to the many GigaNET posts from the two events.

Nobody Expects the Australian Inquisitr

Duncan Riley is one of the most prominent tech bloggers. He’s just left TechCrunch to start Inquisitr, a blog that will focus, not only on tech, but also on pop culture and oddness.

Inquisitr, like TechCrunch, runs on WordPress. I can’t say I like the look of the site, but I’m not sure that Duncan does either yet. “The site itself is still a slight work in progress… and I’m still not 100% on the front page magazine layout.” I am 100% sure that the front page should not have its lead story on a black background.

On behalf of the association of WordPress blogs covering web tech and enough other stuff to lack focus, I welcome Duncan and Inquisitr. I’ll leave others to roll out the welcome map for other relevant assocations: bloggers who couldn’t afford the last vowel?