You can say what you want about Tony Perkins, and a lot of people do, but he is doing something truly unique and of value over at AlwaysOn. A lot of people were getting all weepy about Tony being able to describe himself as a blog, or wondering outloud about whether he really understood the medium. Clearly he was an interloper!
Others cried about how Tony’s site looked like one big advertisement for the participants. A fair critique since you have so many service folks posting to promote themselves (i.e. lawyers, accountants, executive search folks, etc.)
However, the bottom line is that Tony really is the first person who has pulled together a professionally produced blog (like Nick Denton, Rafat Ali and Weblogs, Inc. are doing,) a business social networking site (like LinkedIn and ZeroDegress,) and finally a user-based blog platform (like Moveable Type or Blogger.)
Now, putting these things together is not Tony’s idea, and Tony’s feature set doesn’t compete with any of the sites I mention above on a one-to-one basis (i.e. TP’s social software can’t touch LinkedIn or ZeroDegrees.) The idea to combine these platforms has been out there since the start, so I’m not giving Tony any credit for the idea. However, you have to give Tony credit for actually doing it.
Brian and I have been thinking about user-blogs and social software for Weblogs, Inc. since we first came up with the idea. I’m not convinced that what Tony’s doing will work on any grand scale, and I’m certainly not convinced he is going to get people to pay (although the self promotional service folks will pay to be on there all day long talking about themselves,) but he is going to be the first person to find out.
Ideas are a commodity, execution is everything.
Rock on TP!
PS Tony, you gotta upgrade the software and serversthe site is still a total dog!