donderdag 26 februari 2004

The War at Home

"Halper makes a point of calling them missions rather than games because he sees his company not as a hyperrealistic competitor of Nintendo, but a highly interactive alternative to CNN. About a month after a battle, Kuma will release a videogame version with tactics, weapons, and terrain reconstructed thanks to the sort of research normally reserved for, well, journalists."

woensdag 25 februari 2004

Coke: Wooing The TiVo Generation

"Coke has diverted money into new initiatives that allow it to embed itself into the favorite activities of its target audience, everything from sports to music to the Internet. In Spain, Coke launched a Web site where the large share of twentysomethings who still live at home can design their own 'virtual apartment,' Sim-City-style. In Britain, the soda giant created a Web site,, that lets surfers mix their own tracks -- and then submit them for a 'thumbs up' or 'thumbs down' review by peers."

CrownPeak Builds a Hosted Keiretsu

"'Keiretsu' is the Japanese term for a grouping of affiliated companies that form a tight-knit alliance to work toward each other's mutual success. Hosted CMS vendor CrownPeak has cobbled together such an alliance that now includes hosted e-mail services, search, ad serving, and web page delivery, along with an SDK to put it all together. We're not too keen on CrownPeak's 'onshore vs. offshore' ousourcing angle. But we like the hosted keiretsu concept as a whole, because it allows organizations to undertake more sophisticated and unified web applications while still outsourcing the infrastructure..."

dinsdag 24 februari 2004

Now More Than Ever, Innovation Is The Answer

"First, it's especially important that corporations keep innovating in software development. One technique that was born in the late 1990s is called extreme programming. In this approach, programmers work directly with businesspeople, breaking projects into pieces that can be written and tested fast. Pairs of programmers literally write code together simultaneously -- creating real-time checks and quashing bugs as they go along. The technique is not yet widely employed, but it should be. By using extreme programming, Nextjet Inc., a transportation-management software company in Dallas, was able to cut production time on its projects in half. Says Oregon software-development consultant and extreme-programming pioneer Kent Beck: 'It's possible to get really good results at prices comparable to the outsourcers.'"

maandag 23 februari 2004

Brand matters

"Radical industry change is in the offering, and many participants will become extinct. Yet it would be wrong to assume that end-to-end means decimation of all telco participation in service revenues. The brand, distribution network and existing customer bases are too strong for that to happen universally. The challenge is to understand all the things the customer values -not just the raw service functionality- and use your brand strength and operational capabilities to stay part of the value chain of a 3rd party product."

zondag 22 februari 2004

An online-gaming innovator talks about technical challenges in his virtual world

"An online game or a community on the Web develops a culture that is set by the initial group of people in the community. The way people interact in There is much different from an online game. You will often find somebody who will be very happy to show you around or loan you his or her dune buggy or HoverBoard so you can fly around and decide if you want one for yourself. There's a community spirit. I think that is probably the largest influence on user-created content. It is actually the community of the people. It's not something technical. "

vrijdag 20 februari 2004

Now Where Was I? New Ways to Revisit Web Sites

"Software being tested at Microsoft Research takes a stab at solving that problem. Susan Dumais, a senior researcher with Microsoft who is also part of the University of Washington team, has helped develop a program called Stuff I've Seen. The software is designed to help people recall documents like e-mail messages and Web sites through a unified search interface. Keyword search results include related Web sites already visited, regardless of whether they have been bookmarked."

Flexible IT, better strategy

"The good news is that just as the limitations of the current generation of IT architectures are becoming painfully apparent, new methods of organizing technology resources are appearing. IT is on the verge of a shift to a new generation of 'service oriented' architectures that promise to go a long way toward reducing, if not removing, current obstacles to new operational initiatives. These new architectures are no panacea; technology in isolation has never created strategic value. But service-oriented architectures will enable companies to introduce new business practices and processes more rapidly and at lower cost. Such innovations will accumulate by increments into strategic advantage."

Interreality Business Machines

"The video-game industry has big hopes for so-called massively multiplayer online games. Not only do players pay about $50 to purchase the game software, they have to pay $10 to $15 a month to access the virtual worlds. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. In many of these worlds, in addition to slaying monsters and building empires, commerce has become a central activity, catching the developers by surprise. The economies have grown so complex that players have to take their transactions to other markets -- primarily eBay."

What Would Ogilvy Write?

"You'd imagine the best place to find a marriage of brilliant, persuasive copy and professional design would be the Web site of the most famous and established ad agencies. If anyone understands how to write and present good copy, it should be these guys. But I've had trouble finding that good copy."

In Japan, a wireless vision of future for U.S.

"Cell phones, or keitai in Japanese, are closing in on computers as the device of choice for surfing the Internet. While the Japanese are using their cell phones in the same way many Americans use their laptop computers or personal digital assistants, they also are pulling out their phones to watch TV, navigate labyrinthine city streets with built-in GPS systems, download music, take and transmit home movies, scan bar-coded information, get e-coupons for discounts on food and entertainment, pay bills, play Final Fantasy, even program karaoke machines."

What We Learned In The New Economy

"The Internet seems to work best alongside existing systems rather than, as the dotcommers believed, undercutting them entirely. That's the rationale for Connection to eBay, a new Web-based company that sets up a virtual storefront for larger companies that want to get rid of excess inventory on the auction site. Here, the Internet is not the sole distribution system but rather an alternative to liquidators and others. 'I've never seen a business that can use one channel,' says CEO Robin Abrams. 'This is absolutely complementary.' Now there's an absolutist statement."

woensdag 18 februari 2004

Keeping an Eye on Google

"Wal-Mart, McDonald's, Microsoft: a handful of companies are so dominant in their markets that almost everything they do is condemned by someone as an abuse of power. Now Google has joined that exclusive club. As the proprietor of the Internet's most popular search engine, Google has become the de facto gatekeeper of the Web-with the ability to make or break a site simply by moving it up or down a few notches in its search rankings. And while that hasn't affected Google's pristine brand image among hundreds of millions of Internet users, it has some programmers and Web publishers thoroughly riled. "Search engines are an essential part of the Internet now, and yet they're all controlled by private organizations, and their mechanisms are secret," says Doug Cutting, an independent software consultant based in Petaluma, CA. "There's a lot of room for these companies to manipulate their services for commercial gain. It's an unhealthy situation."

zaterdag 14 februari 2004

U.K. bank sees browserless future

"Llube also said the changing philosophy will affect the way developers will have to think. 'My developers are going to have think much more about what it means to a customer--how it looks to them--than they do at the moment,' he said. 'I am becoming more discriminating about the type of developer I think I need, if I'm to develop these types of application. It is because technology is so fundamental to us. It runs through everything we do.'"

vrijdag 13 februari 2004

Web Services: RSS on Steroids

"The most dramatic impact Web services is having in the marketing world is among the ranks of affiliate marketers.'s affiliate program is widely acknowledged as one of the best, and the company is diving into Web services in a big way. As an example of what's possible, Jeff Barr, Web services evangelist at, points to 'With Web services, the dream is to allow it to be simplified,' said Godfrey Baker, group director of engineering at Organic. 'As a technology enabler, I think it's going to end up doing things that no one ever envisioned.'"

woensdag 4 februari 2004

Rupert Goodwins' Diary

"As an experiment, I hook up a Web cam to the laptop and point it out of the window, relaying the images to the office. This proves almost infinitely entrancing, especially after someone hooks up a video projector back at base. IM after IM flow in, requesting that I point the camera at this or that, offering guesses as to how far I've got, and -- most popular of all -- asking that I spy on fellow passengers."

The Payoff from Cheaper Web Tech

"Call it the perfect tailwind for the Internet. Demand for goods and services delivered over the Web has continued to grow rapidly even as the dot-com bust lowered the cost of Web technology. And it helps that the number of Web visitors keeps rising. 'Our growth has enabled us to leverage the costs of our network and data communications downward,' says Ajit Patel, CIO of clothing retailer Chico's FAS (CHS ). 'The [improved] economies of scale have allowed us to reduce the cost per transaction.' Indeed, Pourzanjani estimates that Pricegrabber pays 35% to 40% less than five years ago to run its Internet operations."

The Buzz Continues: RSS and Newsletters

"RSS allows marketers (particularly newsletter publishers) to make their content available to any interested constituency in a number of new and interesting ways. With an RSS feed, readers can receive article-summary information, with headlines, short abstracts, and links to online content and full stories. People can subscribe to RSS feeds and receive them at the time and place of their choosing, often sidestepping many e-mail delivery issues."

GENERATION C | An emerging consumer trend and related new business ideas

"So what is it all about? The GENERATION C phenomenon captures the tsunami of consumer generated 'content' that is building on the Web, adding tera-peta bytes of new text, images, audio and video on an ongoing basis. The two main drivers fuelling this trend? (1) The creative urges each consumer undeniably possesses. We're all artists, but until now we neither had the guts nor the means to go all out. (2) The manufacturers of content-creating tools, who relentlessly push us to unleash that creativity, using -- of course -- their ever cheaper, ever more powerful gadgets and gizmos. Instead of asking consumers to watch, to listen, to play, to passively consume, the race is on to get them to create, to produce, and to participate."

dinsdag 3 februari 2004

Free legal downloads for $6 a month

"Imagine a world where music and movies could be freely exchanged online, where artists are recompensed and the labels don't lose a cent, and where 12-year old girls need not fear harboring an MP3 of their favorite TV show theme tune on their PC. All that could be yours for less than the price of a subscription to Napster: for less than $6 a month. Harvard University Professor Terry Fisher has completed the first comprehensive examination of various alternative models and the one we outline here offers such tantalizing social benefits, that even the most jaded sceptic ought to pay attention. Professor Fisher belongs to the school of forensic sceptics rather than the school of wide-eyed techno-utopians, and he's spent three years trying to make the sums add up. We think it's worth a look, and we think you ought to take a look too. (To make his task even more difficult, Fisher's license model also takes on the additional onerous task of compensating Hollywood, too)."