Home The Top 10 RWW Stories in September; Summaries and Follow Up

The Top 10 RWW Stories in September; Summaries and Follow Up

Do you remember what was happening one month ago in web technology? On September 1st the only story on most of our minds was the news of a Goolge browser, Chrome, which would be released the next day. Chrome was a big story last month, but it wasn’t the only big news by a long shot.

Below we summarize and follow up on the 10 most-read stories on ReadWriteWeb in the month of September. These aren’t necessarily the best stories, but they are the most popular. We hope you enjoy this little trip down short-term memory lane. Do these posts already feel like old news to you, our hyper savvy readers?

10.Does Google Have Rights to Everything You Send Through Chrome?

Google released its own browser at the start of this month and at launch the software had some really egregious claims in the End User License Agreement. An anonymous commenter pointed out in our previous coverage of Chrome that Google claimed to have rights to all the information you send through their browser to reuse for promotional purposes! Google quickly backed down and removed the clause, though we questioned in a later post (It’s Time for a New Terms of Service Regime) why such conditions were a part of the default “boilerplate” licenses for all Google services.

This post was discovered by readers from a wide variety of sources, including the Official Google Blog, which called us eagle eyed for catching the section of the license in question. In truth, it wasn’t us that caught it, it was one of our anonymous readers, and we weren’t the first blog to write about it either – we later noticed that Ina Fried at CNet found it first.

9.Five Ways to Use Social Media to Reach People Who Don’t Use Social Media

I wrote this post myself, after giving a presentation to the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network where several people in the audience said that they were concerned their target constituencies weren’t using social networks, microblogging and blogs. Could those technologies be useful anyway? We listed five techniques we’ve found to be effective.

More than 100 other blogs linked to this post in posts of their own, including particularly active conversations at Brazen Careerist (Social Media Is Difficult, Like Intimacy) and StreamXy (The Success System that Never Fails).

8.Top Digg User Zaibatsu Banned – Reactions from Both Zaibatsu and Digg Management

Digg cleaned house this month, closing the accounts of scores of people it accused of cheating the system. Founding editor Richard MacManus covered this story for RWW. One of those users kicked off the site was the popular user Reg Saddler, or Zaibatsu, the person with the 3rd most submissions to hit the front page of all time. Digg said the last straw was Zaibatsu’s submission of a page that claimed to have lascivious pictures of a female Digg user on it and actually was a sales page for some product – both of which are violations of the Digg Terms of Service. Zaibatsu offered his own defense but in the end said in comments that he’s since decided to “cash in” after all and do the types of things he’s been wrongly accused of doing.

For an in depth look at the charming characters like Zaibatsu that make up and surround many top Digg users see our earlier post MrBabyMan: Digg Users Revolt, Against the One Pure Man at the Top. Our coverage of Zaibatsu’s expulsion got a whole lot of readers from Digg.

7.Google to Offer its Own Browser: Chrome

On the first of September, we wrote about Google’s new browser that would be released the next day. The company mailed out some fantastic comic book style explanations of their plans and we linked to a slide show of those books in my post. There were a lot of questions that came up that day: what about Google’s relationship with Firefox? Would Chrome ever go mainstream? Would another browser make web development more difficult?

The idea behind Chrome was to build a browser that was mean for running applications, not just viewing web pages. We think that’s a great idea and apparently a substantial percentage of our readers do as well. 6.5% of you visited ReadWriteWeb using Chrome in the first week it was available, in the past 3 weeks that number hasn’t grown but it’s only fell to 6.2%. We expect that percentage to grow substantially when a Mac version of Chrome is available.

6.Walmart Gives Consumers Number 1 Reason Why DRM is Not The Answer

This weekend Corvida wrote about Walmart’s decision to shut down its DRM server and either eat or tie to a single computer the music it sold its own customers. The post was huge on Digg, where conversation was heated in comments. We put the comments people left on that story at Digg in a Wordle.net tag cloud below, just to give you a taste of what that community thought about the post and news.

5.Cartoon: Anything You Tweet Can and Will Be Used Against You

Rob Cottingham’s weekly cartoon midmonth was very popular with readers – we’ll let you click through for yourself to see it.

According to YackTrack, 30 people Twittered a link to the cartoon out to their circle of friends. Among that group was Spanish poet and political blogger Jaun de Bravo, who said “No todo es tuiteable.” We didn’t know that was the Spanish word for Twitter!

4.Podcaster Developer Uses Little-Known “Ad Hoc” Mode To Distribute Banned iPhone App

Sarah Perez dove into the mid-month debate about development on the iPhone platform with an in-depth post about a renegade app that used a back door to distribute an app outside the official App store. It was an app that let phone users listen to podcasts without subscribing to them in iTunes, which Apple wasn’t very excited about.

The post was submitted to Digg by a Washington state high school student named Zak M. Zak’s been on Digg for more than a year now and has had 40 submissions hit the front page. Almost 40% of his front page submissions have been in the past 2 weeks, since sending up Sarah’s post on this iPhone app! All we’re saying is that Zak’s on fire and maybe his success with Sarah’s awesome post has something to do with that. Only joking! We offer our most humble thanks to anyone who summarizes and submits our posts well to Digg.

Jason Ankeny at FierceDeveloper wrote just yesterday that Apple has now closed the loophole and the app that Sarah wrote about has been kicked off the platform. The developer, Alex Sokirynsky, says he’s headed for Google’s Android platform.

3.Rumor: EBay Trying to Sell StumbleUpon

In the middle of the month TechCrunch did the kind of investigative work that, let’s face it, no one in the tech blogosphere does better. They unearthed efforts by eBay to sell off social discovery site StumbleUpon. Our own Frederic Lardinois wrote up the rumor and speculated, as did Silicon Alley Insider, that selling off Skype would be an even better idea.

Our post was a huge hit on StumbleUpon, as we presume most other posts were on this topic.

2.Top 10 Apps Worth Jailbreaking Your iPhone to Get

On the first weekend of the month, Corvida wrote a monster post arguing that there were iPhone apps outside of the thousands of approved ones that were so good they were worth nullifying your phone’s warranty for.

Think the iPhone is just for Mac lovers? This was the 2nd most read story on ReadWriteWeb for the whole month and almost 80% of our site visitors use Windows. People love the iPhone, almost everyone does. (60% of the RWW writing staff, however, do not own an iPhone.)

And the #1 most-read story on RWW for the month of September was…

1.Serious Security Flaw in Google Chrome

On the day that Chrome came out, September 2nd, Frederic Lardinois wrote about a big security hole in the new Google browser. Tens of thousands of people wanted to know what it the security flaw was – perhaps for their protection and perhaps to gawk at the shortcomings in software from the otherwise triumphant Google.

To be honest, it seems in retrospect like an odd story to be the hottest story here for the whole month. That’s the facts, though.

Ryan Narraine, a security evangelist at Kaspersky Lab, wrote the first report on the flaw at ZDNet but after a fairly extensive hunt we can’t see any follow up from ZDNet or anyone else about whether the flaw has been fixed. A fair number of people argued that it wasn’t even a flaw as it required a user to choose to run an executable. As Frederic pointed out in his point, the “flaw” depends on a lot of social engineering. Many commenters all around the web responded simply that it was too early to trust a brand new browser on its first day online.


Last month was a big one for the web. As is often the case, the topics our readers came for the most were ones concerning control. That’s one way to interpret them, at least. Could Chrome wrestle control over the browsing experience away from IE and Firefox? Could it put users more in control as a more appropriate tool to use in an era of applications, beyond web pages? DRM and the closed Apple iPhone store were the subject of multiple control control stories as well.

Some of our favorite posts from last month that didn’t make the top 10 list but that we wish had include User Experience, Learning from the Pros, Sarah Perez’s 3 part Scannable World series and Richard MacManus’s write up of a report finding that 70% of businesses now allow social media use at work.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by ReadWriteWeb in the past month to read these stories. We appreciate your ongoing support and engagement in discussion.

Image credit on water photo above, Seventh Sense by Flickr user woodleywonderworks.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

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