Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Kara Visits Sphere (and Finds No Place Like Om)

I went down to visit the offices of Sphere on Monday to see new developments at the blog search engine.

sphere

Full disclosure, although it is right in front of you throughout this site: AllThingsD.com uses the Sphere widget to point readers to more related articles and blogs based in authority and other algorithmic criteria within the site, recommended by Walt and me and also from around the Web.

It’s a nifty widget–in a Web universe now addled with widgets–and Sphere co-founder and CEO Tony Conrad is adding some interesting new functionality to it, making ever more specific topic widgets that can be embedded on sites.

In the video I did below, he shows, for example, Sphere widgets designed to be loaded with left-wing and right-wing political content, which would be useful for readers sick of wading through so many sources.

Sphere has been growing its market share–especially on big media sites like the Washington Post and CNN–since it launched in 2005. Conrad, who was involved with Webmail and RSS aggregator Oddpost (acquired by Yahoo in 2004), is also on the board of Automattic/WordPress, the blog publishing system this site also uses.

Here’s a video I did with Conrad. While there, I ran into Om Malik, blogger and creator of the terrific GigaOM tech site, who works out of the same office, due to the investment in his effort by True Ventures. In the round-and-round world of Web 2.0, Conrad also is a partner at True.


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work