donderdag 30 juni 2005

Betaalde MSN op de mobiel

Vodafone koppelt haar mobiele chatprogramma, Vodafone Messenger, aan het MSN netwerk zodat gebruikers ook met hun reguliere MSN contactpersonen kunnen chatten. Instant messaging (IM) op de mobiele telefoon gaat zeker een vervanger worden voor een groot deel van het huidige SMS verkeer. Het feit dat Vodafone gebruikers gaat laten betalen voor het versturen van IM berichten zal dit proces alleen maar versnellen. Dit aangezien mensen kennis zullen maken met de voordelen van IM op de mobiele telefoon, maar daarom ook met bestaande, beter werkende, oplossingen die tevens gratis zijn. Agile Messenger bijvoorbeeld, en het zou me niet verbazen als MSN zelf niet al een mobiele IM toepassing aan het ontwikkelen is...

"De mobiele MSN-chats worden niet gratis. De verzender van het bericht betaalt. Vodafone komt met chatbundels, zowel voor prepaidklanten als abonnees. Zo'n bundel geeft het recht een bepaalde hoeveelheid te berichten te versturen naar andere chatters. De prijs van die bundels is niet bekend, maar de Amerikaanse zakenkrant Wall Street Journal meldt dat het tarief per bericht lager komt te liggen dan de prijs voor een sms'je."

Waarom willen we mobiel bloggen?

Nou, kennelijk hierom:

"It lets you document your experience right on the spot," he said. "If you get dumped by your girlfriend or boyfriend, you can talk about how much they stink," without having to go home and write about it.

woensdag 29 juni 2005

De 'Fifth Wave'

Om Malik en Michael Copeland hebben een artikel geschreven over wat zij de 'Fifth Wave' noemen. Ongetwijfeld een interessant artikel, maar ik vraag me meer af waarom Business 2.0 het artikel niet publiekelijk toegankelijk maakt. Zou Chris Anderson's artikel over de 'The Long Tail' nog steeds zoveel impact gehad hebben indien Wired alleen maar toegankelijk was voor abonnees? Business 2.0 snijdt zich wat mij betreft zelf in de vingers door artikelen met een potentieel groot bereik niet (op z'n minst af en toe) makkelijk toegankelijk te maken zodat de rest van de wereld er naar kan linken en erover discussieert.

"The Fifth Wave, is the fifth wave of computing, with first four being represented by mainframes, minicomputers, personal computers, and client-server/Internet 1.0. The fifth wave is powered by cheap commodity computing, open platforms and of course, persistent connectivity, be it broadband at home or narrowband while on the go. The remix of these three ingredients has created a platform which is the spring board of innovation."

Virtuele en echte sociale levens

Het is erg grappig om te lezen hoe je sociale leven kan verschillen afhankelijk van of je in een echte of virtuele wereld bent. Een onderscheid dat ik niet graag maak overigens. Lees hier (vergeet de reacties niet) alles over wat Joi Ito overkomt in World of Warcraft.

"Try a female character and you might notice the difference just as interesting. People abuse this difference though. At one point, I found myself being the only male character among a hundred female newbies. Another interesting thing is that, if you are observant enough, you can tell the sex and approximate age of the person behind a character. Lots of areas to do some real *cough* research in."

Simpay faalt vooralsnog

Erg jammer.

"Volgens de Financial Times trok T-Mobile zich terug omdat er met de andere partijen geen overeenstemming kon worden bereikt over de technische specificaties. Daarbij gaat het bijvoorbeeld over de manier waarop Simpay samenwerkt met mobiele telefoons, netwerken en andere elektronische betaalsystemen."

dinsdag 28 juni 2005

Entertainment blogs

Toen we bij Media Republic met Eccky begonnen was er de nodige discussie omtrent de vraag of we wel of niet een publieke weblog moesten hebben voor dit project. Eigenlijk waren er op dat moment geen bekende entertainment merken/produkten die een eigen blog hadden. Voor ons is het een succesvolle zet gebleken, langzaam zijn er nu ook meer partijen die begrijpen dat weblogs zelfs in deze strak geregisseerde industrie een belangrijke rol kunnen spelen.

"Done right, blogs offer a cheap and easy way for the filmmakers to converse with their most avid supporters, the very same folks that will get the word out about the movie in the months prior to its release. And its not just big blockbuster movies that can benefit: Posts to Zach Braff's Garden State blog (a movie released months ago) still regularly attract thousands of comments from loyal fans. That sort of community involvement and excitment usually costs tens of millions to build (if it's possible at all), so don't be surprised to see scores of these blogs popping up around your favorite flicks."

Mobiel internet wordt beter

De 'walled gardens' zijn bijna weg, ruim baan voor een innoverend mobiel internet, zeker nu er een nieuwe 'portal oorlog' lijkt te zijn begonnen.

"One thing to note: This battle will directly benefit consumers, sooner rather than later. What it portends is a day when carriers won't have complete control over the content their customers access from the phone. The walled-garden strategy espoused by everyone from Vodafone to Verizon Wireless will soon be a thing of the past."

Gratis marktonderzoek

Ik heb helaas teveel marketeers ontmoet die verbazend genoeg niet echt geinteresseerd zijn in het leren kennen en begrijpen van hun klanten. En dat is niet omdat 't zo lastig is.

"In fact, blogs may be grabbing all the media headlines, but online communities like FlyerTalk are wielding a different kind of influence in the corporate world, providing instant feedback from those critics who marketers have called influencers. Just by logging on, companies can study, learn from and even respond to the cacophony of opinions about what they are doing wrong and what they are doing right without spending a dime on focus groups or market research."

maandag 27 juni 2005

The Fifth Wave

Om Malik and Michael Copeland have written an article on what they call the 'Fifth Wave'. They refer to Robert Hof's 'Power of Us' piece in BusinessWeek and claim to be "going under the hood and explaining perhaps why what Hof's writing about is happening." I haven't read the 'Fifth Wave' article since I'm not a Business 2.0 subscriber. Now let's suppose it's at least as good as Hof's article, or may be even comparable to Chris Anderson's 'The Long Tail'. In terms of impact, will ever come close? I don't think so. And that's because of Business 2.0's subscriber policy which definitely limits the reach of the thoughts of these authors. And therefore also decreases the impact Business 2.0 can make. What is Business 2.0's strategy here...?

"The Fifth Wave, is the fifth wave of computing, with first four being represented by mainframes, minicomputers, personal computers, and client-server/Internet 1.0. The fifth wave is powered by cheap commodity computing, open platforms and of course, persistent connectivity, be it broadband at home or narrowband while on the go. The remix of these three ingredients has created a platform which is the spring board of innovation."

Real and virtual social experiences

It's funny to read about how social experiences can differ if you compare the real world to the virtual world (although that's a distinction I do not really like). Enjoy Joi Ito's 'case' over here and don't forget to read the comments as well.

"Try a female character and you might notice the difference just as interesting. People abuse this difference though. At one point, I found myself being the only male character among a hundred female newbies. Another interesting thing is that, if you are observant enough, you can tell the sex and approximate age of the person behind a character. Lots of areas to do some real *cough* research in."

Simpay fails (for now)

Not good.

"Instead, Simpay’s operations will be scaled back with immediate effect. Member operators will be able to exploit Simpay’s intellectual property rights at a national level, although international interoperability remains a goal. The members will make known their individual plans in due course."

Entertainment blogs

When we started the Eccky project at Media Republic, we had some discussion on whether or not a public weblog would be a good idea. At that time there were no well know entertainment brands or products that had their own weblog. It turned out to be succesful for us, and slowly there are more companies in this industry that are beginning to understand the value a blog can bring.

"Done right, blogs offer a cheap and easy way for the filmmakers to converse with their most avid supporters, the very same folks that will get the word out about the movie in the months prior to its release. And its not just big blockbuster movies that can benefit: Posts to Zach Braff's Garden State blog (a movie released months ago) still regularly attract thousands of comments from loyal fans. That sort of community involvement and excitment usually costs tens of millions to build (if it's possible at all), so don't be surprised to see scores of these blogs popping up around your favorite flicks."

zondag 26 juni 2005

Mobile internet getting better soon

With the walled gardens gone, the mobile internet might benefit in terms of relevance and usability as a new portal and search engine war has started.

"One thing to note: This battle will directly benefit consumers, sooner rather than later. What it portends is a day when carriers won't have complete control over the content their customers access from the phone. The walled-garden strategy espoused by everyone from Vodafone to Verizon Wireless will soon be a thing of the past."

Why we want moblogging

Well, this is why:

"It lets you document your experience right on the spot," he said. "If you get dumped by your girlfriend or boyfriend, you can talk about how much they stink," without having to go home and write about it.

Free market research

I just wonder how many companies actually read user forums where things related to their brands and products are being discussed. I've met too many marketers that seem to have no interest in getting to really know their customers.

"In fact, blogs may be grabbing all the media headlines, but online communities like FlyerTalk are wielding a different kind of influence in the corporate world, providing instant feedback from those critics who marketers have called influencers. Just by logging on, companies can study, learn from and even respond to the cacophony of opinions about what they are doing wrong and what they are doing right without spending a dime on focus groups or market research."

Funny people those Koreans

25% of all Koreans have participated in a Kart Rider race at least once. Fascinating, as is the game's revenue model.

"Kart Rider's online store offers more than 100 digital items such as special $1 paint jobs and tools like 40¢ balloons that can protect a player's car by lifting it above the track when an opponent launches a missile (90¢). The most expensive car will set you back $9.80 (it handles a bit better than one costing $1.50)."

Google proof

Simple things like this really demonstrate how the world (in some respects) is changing fast. Too fast for some apparently...

"In a recent court case where the plaintiff needed to find a missing defendant, but could not, the judge scolded the plaintiff, pointing out that a simple Google search turned up the missing person's address, as well as other info that would help to find the guy."

Raar volk die Koreanen

Ok, Korea is een eind weg. Maar toch, een kwart van de bevolking heeft minstens een keer Kart Rider gespeeld, een online race spel. Het inkomstenmodel is al bijna net zo fascinerend.

"Kart Rider's online store offers more than 100 digital items such as special $1 paint jobs and tools like 40¢ balloons that can protect a player's car by lifting it above the track when an opponent launches a missile (90¢). The most expensive car will set you back $9.80 (it handles a bit better than one costing $1.50)."

Google bewijs

Het zijn vaak kleine dingen die laten zien hoeveel er verandert. En die verandering gaat soms kennelijk wat te snel.

"In a recent court case where the plaintiff needed to find a missing defendant, but could not, the judge scolded the plaintiff, pointing out that a simple Google search turned up the missing person's address, as well as other info that would help to find the guy."

zaterdag 25 juni 2005

Give us the data!

Why is it that operators still don't understand the easiest way to make money?

"A very US carrier Sprint has announced some ho-hum direction-finding and roadside assitance services, along with some functionality for enterprise users to create asset and employee tracking services -- nothing exciting, and the type of least-worst solution at which operators thrive. Why not open up the data to outside developers, figure out how to reasonably bill for it, and let people come up with some interesting applications?"

Geef ons de data!

Misschien dat een van de telecom-experts kan uitleggen waarom operators maar niet willen begrijpen hoe ze makkelijk geld kunnen verdienen?

"A very US carrier Sprint has announced some ho-hum direction-finding and roadside assitance services, along with some functionality for enterprise users to create asset and employee tracking services -- nothing exciting, and the type of least-worst solution at which operators thrive. Why not open up the data to outside developers, figure out how to reasonably bill for it, and let people come up with some interesting applications?"

donderdag 23 juni 2005

The new chalkboard

GPS tags for news items

Adding GPS-coordinates to news items is an interesting idea, can't wait to see what other innovative uses wil pop up.

"I can't over-stress how important it is for news organizations to start thinking about this today rather than waiting for bloggers to do it and then playing catch-up. Buying a $50 GPS unit for reporters is starting to look more like an insurance investment than a capital expense."

Het nieuwe schoolbord

GPS tags voor nieuwsartikelen

GPS-coordinaten toevoegen aan nieuwsartikelen is een interessant idee, ben ook erg benieuwd wat voor een andere innovatieve toepassingen we zullen zien.

"I can't over-stress how important it is for news organizations to start thinking about this today rather than waiting for bloggers to do it and then playing catch-up. Buying a $50 GPS unit for reporters is starting to look more like an insurance investment than a capital expense."

woensdag 22 juni 2005

Ik wil glasvezel nu!

Zie vanochtend in mijn statistieken bezoekers komen via een weblog genaamd 'Dwars door Amsterdam!'. Ymerce is opgenomen in een lijst van websites/personen onder het kopje "Ook zij hebben recht op glasvezel!" Helemaal mee eens natuurlijk, kan ik m'n websites tenminste gewoon vanuit huis hosten...;-)

Covering the story of your life

I guess my family is a bit larger than I thought (based on the statistics of my photoblog) when reading BusinessWeek's conclusion on moblogging....

"The next morning, cell phone in pocket, I was a potential moblogging reporter deployed in the New York metro area. However, seeing that no dramatic news was breaking along my path, I moblogged my way to work. The results, if you care to look, are every bit as boring as thousands of other mobile postings in the blog world. But my mother and perhaps a couple other fans might find something there to like."

Het levensverslag

BusinessWeek analyseert het fenomeen van de mobloggers. Gewone mensen die met hun mobiele telefoon foto's maken van alles wat ze tegenkomen. Ik doe het al een paar jaar en ik moet zeggen dat mijn conclusie niet helemaal dezelfde is als die van BusinessWeek. Of ik heb een nog veel grotere familie dan ik al dacht..;-)

"The next morning, cell phone in pocket, I was a potential moblogging reporter deployed in the New York metro area. However, seeing that no dramatic news was breaking along my path, I moblogged my way to work. The results, if you care to look, are every bit as boring as thousands of other mobile postings in the blog world. But my mother and perhaps a couple other fans might find something there to like."

maandag 20 juni 2005

Active 24

Indien je dit leest betekent het dat mijn website na 4 dagen weer bereikbaar is. Ik heb geen idee wat er aan de hand was, maar ik heb zelden een bedrijf meegemaakt dat zo weinig begrijpt van de interneteconomie als Active 24, verantwoordelijk voor de hosting. Los van het feit dat ze haar klanten laat betalen om een storing te melden weten ze aan de telefoon ook nog te vertellen er niets aan te kunnen doen omdat er alleen gewerkt wordt tussen 9.00 en 18.00, van maandag t/m vrijdag. Benieuwd welk marketing genie die 24 heeft toegevoegd aan de bedrijfsnaam. En toen ik vanochtend dan eindelijk een excuus mail ontving (met als onderwerp: "Powerful Hosting - Surprisingly Easy") wist de heer Rob Fransen, Director Customer Services, mij te melden dat mijn website sinds zaterdagavond 20.00 weer in de lucht was. Niet dus. Oh ja, en mocht ik dit weekend (nog) een vraag hebben gesteld, ja dus, of ik dat dan nog een keer wilde doen. Ze gingen er van uit dat de algemene mail wel voldoende zou zijn. In ieder geval voldoende om een klant kwijt te raken. Verbaast me uberhaupt dat ze nog klanten hebben wanneer ik dit 3 jaar oude artikel op Emerce lees....

zondag 19 juni 2005

What are patents for?

We are so used to the concept of patents that we have accepted them as a fact of 'life'. But we might want to reconsider that, something I've been wondering about before...

"Patents, however, tend to limit those emerging markets by putting up inefficiencies in the way that make it much more expensive to experiment with the new ideas and find a way to market them. This idea isn't just backed up by theory -- but in practice as well. It's why the economies of the Netherlands and Switzerland both developed much faster in a time when they had no patents. It's good to see a more thorough exploration of these ideas -- and hopefully some of it will eventually sink into the heads of policy makers as well."

Wat is het nut van patenten?

Zo langzamerhand kunnen we ons geen maatschappij meer voorstellen waarin een patentsysteem zou ontbreken. En toch is het de moeite waard om af en toe eens stil te staan bij de vraag waarom we dat systeem eigenlijk hebben. Iets waar ik al langer over nadenk...

"Patents, however, tend to limit those emerging markets by putting up inefficiencies in the way that make it much more expensive to experiment with the new ideas and find a way to market them. This idea isn't just backed up by theory -- but in practice as well. It's why the economies of the Netherlands and Switzerland both developed much faster in a time when they had no patents. It's good to see a more thorough exploration of these ideas -- and hopefully some of it will eventually sink into the heads of policy makers as well."

donderdag 16 juni 2005

Better revenue model for movies?

Does this proof that a different revenue model (free distribution) for movies is possible, or will it only work with true hits that have a mass appeal?

"According to a recent article in Forbes ("Special Report: Star Wars") the Star Wars media empire has earned $20 billion since the original film in 1977. According to Forbes, here is the breakdown (inflation adjusted dollars):

$5.67 billion through movie theater
$9 billion for Star Wars toys
$1.5 billion for video games
$700 million for publishing
and just $2.8 Billion for video and DVD distribution.

So here is the question which you should be asking yourself. If you released full digital copies of all of the Star Wars films -- with no DRM -- allowing anyone to duplicate and distribute to their hearts contents... would sales in the toys, video games, and publishing categories increase by enough to offset the loss in sales from video and DVD?"

Beter inkomstenmodel voor films?

Bewijst dit dat een ander inkomstenmodel voor de entertainment industrie mogelijk is, of werkt het alleen voor hits die de massa aanspreken?

"According to a recent article in Forbes ("Special Report: Star Wars") the Star Wars media empire has earned $20 billion since the original film in 1977. According to Forbes, here is the breakdown (inflation adjusted dollars):

$5.67 billion through movie theater
$9 billion for Star Wars toys
$1.5 billion for video games
$700 million for publishing
and just $2.8 Billion for video and DVD distribution.

So here is the question which you should be asking yourself. If you released full digital copies of all of the Star Wars films -- with no DRM -- allowing anyone to duplicate and distribute to their hearts contents... would sales in the toys, video games, and publishing categories increase by enough to offset the loss in sales from video and DVD?"

Breaking out of the walled garden

I've always thought starting out with a walled-garden approach for offering content on mobile devices makes sense because it's easier to educate users that way. It's good to see that Vodafone understands this as well, and that they now also understand it's time for phase two...

"The surprising thing is how open operators are starting to be about the effect this is having on their portals. "Direct to consumer was 70% of our £500 million 2004 market," said Vodafone's head of commercial partnerships, Jeremy Flynn. "The portal is still vital and Live! brought the mass market. Vodafone Live! will be the showcase, but the money and margin is in facilitating off-portal services."

Muren rondom mobiele portals breken af

Het is interessant om te zien dat naarmate gebruikers beter begrijpen hoe ze van mobiele/WAP diensten gebruik kunnen maken, operators ook daadwerkelijk hun business model veranderen en afstappen van de pure 'walled-garden' aanpak. Een aanpak die overigens z'n educatieve nut wel duidelijk gehad heeft.

"The surprising thing is how open operators are starting to be about the effect this is having on their portals. "Direct to consumer was 70% of our £500 million 2004 market," said Vodafone's head of commercial partnerships, Jeremy Flynn. "The portal is still vital and Live! brought the mass market. Vodafone Live! will be the showcase, but the money and margin is in facilitating off-portal services."

dinsdag 14 juni 2005

Seth Godin in Amsterdam

Wanneer je deze weblog graag leest dan raad ik je aan om je in te schrijven voor de sessie met Seth Godin georganiseerd door 212Amsterdam.nl. Seth is wat mij betreft de 'grootste' marketingdenker van deze tijd, ben er zelf dan ook zeker bij op 6 Juli.

“Ik heb de afgelopen maanden contact met Seth onderhouden om hem naar Nederland te halen voor 212Amsterdam.nl”, aldus Jorn Moraal van frisidee.nl. “Op woensdag 6 juli komt hij dan ook naar Amsterdam. De presentatie begint om 19:00 uur. Iedere marketeer dient zich te laten inspireren door de visionair die Seth is. De kans om hem te horen spreken in Nederland komt niet vaak voor.”

zondag 12 juni 2005

User comments become journalism

Poynter discusses an interesting dilemma the Ventura County Star had to deal with. A woman revealed the name of a possible murderer in a comment on a newspaper article published online before the paper had confirmation that this person really was the murderer. I see no reason why they should have removed the comment (and they didn't), as long as it is clear to readers that this was a comment from another reader.

"Moore traded e-mails with the woman and found that she had been following the case closely and had heard enough clues to enable her to do some Internet sleuthing -- using freely accessible websites and databases -- and figure out the suspect's name in about 20 minutes. Unbound by traditional journalism rules like making sure she was right, she posted the name."

GTA in het echt

Prachtig filmpje waarbij spelers van het spel Grand Theft Auto een aantal scenes in het echt hebben 'nagedaan'.

Reactie journalistiek

Wat doe je als krant wanneer een lezer op jouw website een reactie achterlaat waarin de naam van een mogelijke moordenaar genoemd wordt zonder dat deze geverifieerd is? Niets wat mij betreft, maar bij een Amerikaanse krant werden ze aan het twijfelen gebracht.

"Moore traded e-mails with the woman and found that she had been following the case closely and had heard enough clues to enable her to do some Internet sleuthing -- using freely accessible websites and databases -- and figure out the suspect's name in about 20 minutes. Unbound by traditional journalism rules like making sure she was right, she posted the name."

Nokia Sensor, Bluejacking en Jabberwocky

Webwereld noemt het een "nieuwe communicatievorm", Frankwatching heeft het over een "unieke manier om gemakkelijk en snel contact te maken met interessante mensen in je directe omgeving." Het gaat hierbij om de Nokia Sensor applicatie. Ik gebruik het nu ruim een maand, een vergelijkbare applicatie, Mobiluck, al wat langer. Het Bluejacking fenomeen dat halverwege 2003 z'n intrede deed is eigenlijk een voorloper van deze applicaties. Ook Jabberwocky zal inspirerend hebben gewerkt.

Nokia Sensor is vooralsnog zeker de beste in z'n soort, maar alleen beschikbaar voor Nokia toestellen. Mobiluck is ook al op andere toestellen te installeren. Beide hebben echter het probleem dat er geen gebruikers zijn. Ik heb dit getest tijdens een OpenBC borrel vorige maand, maar ook gedurende de Les Blogs conferentie in Parijs. Ik scande honderden geavanceerde toestellen, maar niemand had het geinstalleerd. En dat terwijl 90% van de mensen met een laptop op schoot rechstreeks verslag deed van het congres en dit juist ook de mensen waren die op hun weblogs als eerste schrijven over dergelijke toepassingen. Ik geloof ook niet dat een mooie marketing campagne hier iets aan gaat veranderen. Althans, niet zonder een gelijktijdige 'bottom-up campagne', waarbij de nadruk wel eens zou kunnen liggen op de mogelijkheid van het gratis chatten op lokaties waar veel mensen bijeen zijn. Denk aan scholen, discotheken en events. Wanneer meerdere mensen binnen dezelde of aangrenzende sociale netwerken dit soort applicaties gaan gebruiken zullen ook de vele andere mooie features tot hun recht komen. Of zoals Marc net al even over de MSN zei, "het zou mooi zijn wanneer we eigen plugins kunnen ontwikkelen voor dit soort toepassingen."

zaterdag 11 juni 2005

Escaping your Google history

Given the fact I have multiple weblogs, you might think I have something to hide after reading this...

"Ironically, the most effective method to root out your past seems to be to establish a solid current online presence, so that your present self is a more "relevant" result for your name than your past achievements. That, however, is quite a chore for most people. Our pasts have usually been protected by the "security by obscurity" adage -- not necessarily under lock and key, but tucked away. Now that Google is doing its best to root out obscurity, that security is becoming increasingly exposed."

The fall of SMS

SMS won't last forever, IM on mobile phones is simply too compelling. But operators, if smart, do have choices that will let them make the most from SMS while it lasts.

"One way to avoid this threat is to move further towards offering flat-rate pricing that includes messaging. In doing so, the messaging part is looked up on as being "free," and there's less incentive to look for messaging alternatives. Another, is to focus more on developing SMS as a platform for additional applications and services. This is already starting with various premium SMS offerings, but it needs to go further to differentiate SMS as a platform from basic text messaging. Either way, though, operators who think their SMS revenue is secure probably need to start thinking again."

The power of us

Long article in BusinessWeek on the "democratization of industry" as C.K. Prahalad calls it. It's a nice overview of how the internet enables fundamental changes in the economy and society in general.

A big, hairy, monstrous organism, that is. The nearly 1 billion people online worldwide -- along with their shared knowledge, social contacts, online reputations, computing power, and more -- are rapidly becoming a collective force of unprecedented power. For the first time in human history, mass cooperation across time and space is suddenly economical.

Ontsnappen aan Google

Wanneer je dit leest zou je haast denken dat ik iets te verbergen heb gezien al mijn verschillende weblogs...

"Ironically, the most effective method to root out your past seems to be to establish a solid current online presence, so that your present self is a more "relevant" result for your name than your past achievements. That, however, is quite a chore for most people. Our pasts have usually been protected by the "security by obscurity" adage -- not necessarily under lock and key, but tucked away. Now that Google is doing its best to root out obscurity, that security is becoming increasingly exposed."

Een leven zonder SMS

SMS is eigenlijk niet meer weg te denken, maar toch gaat het niet lang meer duren voordat instant messaging op de mobiele telefoon een belangrijk deel van het huidige SMS verkeer gaat vervangen. Slimme telco's zouden middels aanpassingen in hun prijsmodel het leven van SMS (inkomsten) echter kunnen verlengen.

"One way to avoid this threat is to move further towards offering flat-rate pricing that includes messaging. In doing so, the messaging part is looked up on as being "free," and there's less incentive to look for messaging alternatives. Another, is to focus more on developing SMS as a platform for additional applications and services. This is already starting with various premium SMS offerings, but it needs to go further to differentiate SMS as a platform from basic text messaging. Either way, though, operators who think their SMS revenue is secure probably need to start thinking again."

Democratisering van de industrie

Lang artikel in BusinessWeek over de "democratisering van de industrie" zoals C.K. Prahalad het noemt. Mooi overzicht van hoe internet fundamentele veranderingen in de economie, en maatschappij in het algemeen, mogelijk maakt.

"A big, hairy, monstrous organism, that is. The nearly 1 billion people online worldwide -- along with their shared knowledge, social contacts, online reputations, computing power, and more -- are rapidly becoming a collective force of unprecedented power. For the first time in human history, mass cooperation across time and space is suddenly economical."

vrijdag 10 juni 2005

Volkskrant en het nieuwe medium TV

Toch aardig dat de Volkskrant TV nog ziet als een 'nieuw' medium. Dat belooft wat....;-) En doet mij even denken aan de quote van Chris Lydon over de New York Times: "The New York Times will realize one of these days that it is an Internet news and opinion business that just happens to print a broadsheet every day."

"De vraag wat de Volkskrant in tv-productie te zoeken heeft werd niet geheel duidelijk. Het is nog een vorm van zoeken, beaamde Volkskrant-uitgever Pieter Kok: "De Volkskrant gelooft heilig in convergentie van media en dat beeld een steeds belangrijkere rol gaat spelen. Dus experimenteren we op veel terreinen met nieuwe media."

Visible advertising

How come the Google text ads are becoming more relevant, and therefore more visible? Is it because we're learning to see them, are advertisers getting smarter?

"I do a couple of searches on Google, and the suggestions start popping up. Suddenly I notice that the results on the right (i.e., the sponsored links, or ads if you will) are more relevant and appealing to me than the so called "organic results." This is happening more frequently now than before, and I can't really explain why. I just know that I am not the only one to say this."

donderdag 9 juni 2005

Opvallende advertenties

Steeds vaker hoor je mensen over het feit dat de tekst-advertenties bij de Google zoekresultaten meer opvallen dan de gewone resultaten. Dit heeft alles te maken met het feit dat ze relevanter worden, zeker naarmate adverteerders beter begrijpen hoe ze ingezet kunnen worden.

"I do a couple of searches on Google, and the suggestions start popping up. Suddenly I notice that the results on the right (i.e., the sponsored links, or ads if you will) are more relevant and appealing to me than the so called "organic results." This is happening more frequently now than before, and I can't really explain why. I just know that I am not the only one to say this."

woensdag 8 juni 2005

Music, bands and friends

A couple of months ago I created a MySpace, hoping to understand why it is such a huge succes. I still don't really get it, but BusinessWeek tries to explain it.

Whichever company wins, it's clear that social networking is becoming a cultural phenomenon. It's evolving into a new form of media, part entertainment and part communications. Carley watches the drama of other peoples' lives on the Net, rather than on TV. At the same time, he and his friends communicate with each other in new ways, posting blog items on their MySpace pages and instant messaging when they spot a friend online. Carley recently found out that a former girlfriend was in a new relationship and moving to California by reading her MySpace site.

Muziek, bands en vrienden

Naar aanleiding van het grote succes van MySpace heb ik een paar maanden geleden ook maar zo'n pagina aangemaakt. Qua usability en layout vind ik MySpace maar niets, zeker niet vergeleken veel andere social networking sites. BusinessWeek heeft een artikel waarin ze het succes proberen te verklaren aan de hand van de focus op muziek en bands. Een veelgehoord argument, maar ik ben toch benieuwd of dat alles is.

Whichever company wins, it's clear that social networking is becoming a cultural phenomenon. It's evolving into a new form of media, part entertainment and part communications. Carley watches the drama of other peoples' lives on the Net, rather than on TV. At the same time, he and his friends communicate with each other in new ways, posting blog items on their MySpace pages and instant messaging when they spot a friend online. Carley recently found out that a former girlfriend was in a new relationship and moving to California by reading her MySpace site.

Het tweede leven

Vorige week had ik het al even over mijn tweede leven in Second Life. Marie-Claire van den Berg is er ook aan begonnen, haar ervaringen lezen alsof ik ze zelf geschreven heb. Al heb ik inmiddels wel een eigen huis gebouwd (op een heel klein eiland), voelde toch te raar om geen eigen plekje te hebben... Voor wie langs wil komen: Hera (228,48). Second Life is een aanrader voor eenieder die op een laagdrempelige manier kennis wil maken met het fenomeen van de virtuele werelden/'massive multiplayer online games'.

Internet is God

Another post with a religious twist. Chris Lydon, who started a radio station called Open Source, has written down some of the thoughts and visions he has on the internet. I liked this analogy:

"My version: one of the unspoken reasons we are drawn to the Internet is that it realizes so many of our primal old definitions of God. It’s invisible. It’s everywhere. It knows everything. Sing it now: It’s got the whole world in its hands. Its eye is on the sparrow, paraphrasing the Ethel Waters song, and I know it watches me. Why else do we keep Googling ourselves if not to be reminded that the Internet knows who I am, and who you are, too. The Internet — so closely resembling the “noosphere” that Teilhard de Chardin foresaw 50 years ago — marks a new stage of human evolution. We do not begin to see the dimensions of the new reality."

Bless me, Blog, for I've sinned

PostSecret is a weblog where people can share their confessions by sending them through regular mail. The result is entertaining.

"No fakeness? Oh, but there is. And it is the fakeness, the artifice and the performance that make this confessional worth peeking at. The secret sharers here aren't mindless flashers but practiced strippers. They don't want to get rid of their secrets. They love them. They arrange them. They tend them. They turn them into fetishes. And that's the secret of PostSecret. It isn't really a true confessional after all. It is a piece of collaborative art."

Internet is God

Nog een post met religieus tintje. Chris Lydon, die een radiostation gestart is onder de naam Open Source, heeft op z'n weblog wat gedachten opgeschreven m.b.t. zijn visie op het internet welke tevens het startpunt was voor zijn radiostation. Met name deze vergelijking vond ik wel aardig.

"My version: one of the unspoken reasons we are drawn to the Internet is that it realizes so many of our primal old definitions of God. It’s invisible. It’s everywhere. It knows everything. Sing it now: It’s got the whole world in its hands. Its eye is on the sparrow, paraphrasing the Ethel Waters song, and I know it watches me. Why else do we keep Googling ourselves if not to be reminded that the Internet knows who I am, and who you are, too. The Internet — so closely resembling the “noosphere” that Teilhard de Chardin foresaw 50 years ago — marks a new stage of human evolution. We do not begin to see the dimensions of the new reality."

Biechten als digitale kunst

PostSecret is een weblog waar mensen hun verhaal kwijt kunnen door een kaartje via de echte post te sturen. Deze drempel werkt als een prima filter. Het resultaat is op z'n minst vermakelijk.

"No fakeness? Oh, but there is. And it is the fakeness, the artifice and the performance that make this confessional worth peeking at. The secret sharers here aren't mindless flashers but practiced strippers. They don't want to get rid of their secrets. They love them. They arrange them. They tend them. They turn them into fetishes. And that's the secret of PostSecret. It isn't really a true confessional after all. It is a piece of collaborative art."

dinsdag 7 juni 2005

If it's data, it will move over the Internet

Interesting analysis on why Wal-Mart decided to withdraw from the mail-order movie rental business. But if this decision is so obvious, why did they start this business in the first place?

"THAT doesn't mean that paper and discs have no future, but it's not a very bright one when it comes to transmitting news, information or entertainment. The day may come when not only DVD's by mail but traditional mail itself becomes obsolete. If some of us can make do with mobile phones, dispensing with land lines altogether, is it so far-fetched that some day people won't even bother to have mailboxes? Paper junk mail, ghettoized to a postal system that carries little else, may go the way of telegrams, leaving delivery services to focus on packages that require physical delivery. You can't download a shirt, after all. That day hasn't yet arrived, but maybe the folks at Wal-Mart know something that the rest of us only pretend to know: if it's data, it will move over the Internet. And maybe, just maybe, it's time to stop pretending otherwise."

Royal blogging

Great story in Wired on the former Cambodian king, now 82 years old and an active blogger with impact.

"Sihanouk's website, which incorporates his blog in French, Khmer or English, attracts about 1,000 visitors daily from around the world. After serving as king, president and prime minister at various times, he now calls himself "a senior citizen who hasn't any official power," but his views remain relevant enough to be summarized in the Cambodian press for the benefit of the many Cambodians who are too poor to have internet access."

Post of internet

Interessante analyse van Wal-Mart's beslissing om zich terug te trekken uit de DVD-via-de-post business. De les die ze geleerd hebben is relevant voor veel sectoren, maar wat ik niet echt begrijp is waarom ze zo kort geleden in deze business gestapt zijn terwijl nu de keuze om te stoppen voor de hand ligt? Hadden ze niet eerder kunnen bedenken dat internet een ideaal distributiemechanisme zou gaan worden? Het is niet dat de signalen er nog niet waren...

"THAT doesn't mean that paper and discs have no future, but it's not a very bright one when it comes to transmitting news, information or entertainment. The day may come when not only DVD's by mail but traditional mail itself becomes obsolete. If some of us can make do with mobile phones, dispensing with land lines altogether, is it so far-fetched that some day people won't even bother to have mailboxes? Paper junk mail, ghettoized to a postal system that carries little else, may go the way of telegrams, leaving delivery services to focus on packages that require physical delivery. You can't download a shirt, after all. That day hasn't yet arrived, but maybe the folks at Wal-Mart know something that the rest of us only pretend to know: if it's data, it will move over the Internet. And maybe, just maybe, it's time to stop pretending otherwise."

Koninklijk bloggen

Mooi verhaal over de voormalige koning van Cambodja. Nu 82 en een actieve blogger met impact.

"Sihanouk's website, which incorporates his blog in French, Khmer or English, attracts about 1,000 visitors daily from around the world. After serving as king, president and prime minister at various times, he now calls himself "a senior citizen who hasn't any official power," but his views remain relevant enough to be summarized in the Cambodian press for the benefit of the many Cambodians who are too poor to have internet access."

zondag 5 juni 2005

Virtual gaming, real profits

Although I have little time to play it myself, I watch developments around Second Life with great interest. It's just too fascinating. The New York Times has a rather superficial article on the real world economics of games like these, but I really liked this quote about someone's second life that resembles his 'first' life.

"But Mr. Ainsworth found his moneymaking options in The Sims "very limited"; he switched to Second Life, a virtual world that is less a game than a three-dimensional environment in which players can do whatever they choose. There, he has leveraged his real-life experience - he is a developer and contractor - into an online business. In 14 locations in Second Life's virtual world, he owns enough "land" to rent space to nearly 50 retailers, who in turn earn virtual money selling everything from jewelry to clothing to art (all nonexistent, of course). Mr. Ainsworth converts his game profits into real money on sites like eBay, Ige and gamingopenmarket, which charge a small fee, and he includes that income on his tax returns."

Virtueel spel, echt geld

Ik kom helaas te weinig toe aan mijn tweede leven, maar ik volg de ontwikkelingen rond Second Life met veel interesse. Erg fascinerend. The New York Times kijkt, enigzins oppervlakkig, naar hoe mensen echt geld verdienen met het spelen van dit soort 'massive multiplayer online games' en vooral deze quote over iemand wiens tweede leven gebaseerd is op z'n 'eerste' vond ik erg aardig.

"But Mr. Ainsworth found his moneymaking options in The Sims "very limited"; he switched to Second Life, a virtual world that is less a game than a three-dimensional environment in which players can do whatever they choose. There, he has leveraged his real-life experience - he is a developer and contractor - into an online business. In 14 locations in Second Life's virtual world, he owns enough "land" to rent space to nearly 50 retailers, who in turn earn virtual money selling everything from jewelry to clothing to art (all nonexistent, of course). Mr. Ainsworth converts his game profits into real money on sites like eBay, Ige and gamingopenmarket, which charge a small fee, and he includes that income on his tax returns."

Why corporate blogging makes sense

Microsoft clearly demonstrates why corporate blogging makes sense and works.

"Corporate customers are brought in to help with product designs early on. Engineers are now routinely dispatched to the field to see how customers use technology and what they want. More than a thousand engineers and product managers in Mr. Rudder's unit have started blogs in the last couple of years to explain what Microsoft is doing and to field comments and criticism from customers and programmers outside the company."

Like it's 1999

Why do websites today still look so much like websites from the late nineties?

"I wonder if we're about to get stuck here as well? As we enter a broadband world, with better browsers and all sorts of tools to improve the experience, is everyone going to be stuck emulating what succeeded in 1999?"

Waarom een corporate blog?

Wanneer ik aan bedrijven probeer uit te leggen waarom ze hun werknemers zouden moeten stimuleren om een blog te starten verwijs ik vaak naar Microsoft. Het is een erg goed voorbeeld van 'corporate blogging done right' aangezien de blogs fungeren als een belangrijke schakel tussen de markt en het bedrijf.

"Corporate customers are brought in to help with product designs early on. Engineers are now routinely dispatched to the field to see how customers use technology and what they want. More than a thousand engineers and product managers in Mr. Rudder's unit have started blogs in the last couple of years to explain what Microsoft is doing and to field comments and criticism from customers and programmers outside the company."

Like it's 1999

Waarom lijken de websites van vandaag nog zo sterk op die van de eind jaren negentig?

"I wonder if we're about to get stuck here as well? As we enter a broadband world, with better browsers and all sorts of tools to improve the experience, is everyone going to be stuck emulating what succeeded in 1999?"

vrijdag 3 juni 2005

Mobile banking break-throughs

But not in 'our' world. There's more innovation in countries where there is no pre-existing banking infrastructure, something we've also seen in telecoms. And it are exactly those developments that have paved the way for mobile banking in a way we hardly see in Europe for instance.

"Although many Western research companies still stick to the idea that mobile usage remains the preserve of the relatively well off, many countries in Africa are showing through prepaid, handset sharing and the sheer desire to own a mobile despite having very little income, that mobile service can reach all parts of the populace. The great advantage for m-banking in African countries is that the conflicts between the stakeholders simply don't exist in the same way as in Europe and the West. Most of those players have little or no current business in the area, and see m-banking as an opportunity, rather than a threat, to their business models."

Mobiel bankieren breekt door

Maar niet in Europa. Landen zonder bestaande financiƫle infrastructuur kennen veel meer innovatie op dit gebied, eerder zagen we dat ook al in de telecom. Sterker nog, die ontwikkelingen hebben de weg vrijgemaakt voor mobiel bankieren zoals wij het hier niet of nauwelijks kennen.

"Although many Western research companies still stick to the idea that mobile usage remains the preserve of the relatively well off, many countries in Africa are showing through prepaid, handset sharing and the sheer desire to own a mobile despite having very little income, that mobile service can reach all parts of the populace. The great advantage for m-banking in African countries is that the conflicts between the stakeholders simply don't exist in the same way as in Europe and the West. Most of those players have little or no current business in the area, and see m-banking as an opportunity, rather than a threat, to their business models."

Nee tegen 'triviale' softwarepatenten

Wat mij betreft houden we het 'nee' m.b.t. Europa er nog even in... Maar deze keer graag een 'nee' tegen de mogelijkheid voor het patenteren van triviale softwareuitvindingen. Het is goed dat staatssecretaris Van Gennip dat ook zo ziet, het is jammer dat ze dit punt niet harder wil spelen.

"Grote bedrijven claimen op dit moment van honderden softwarevindingen het octrooi. Veel octrooien leveren geen bijdrage aan de stand van de techniek, beargumenteert een speciale adviescommissie. Van Gennip herkent zich in dat beeld. Tegenstanders vrezen dat patenten softwarevernieuwing en kleinere softwareontwikkelaars belemmeren en ze verwachten het ontstaan van een 'Amerikaanse' claimcultuur."

donderdag 2 juni 2005

MoSoSo's

Russel from The Mobile Technology Weblog takes a look at mobile social software. It's easy to come up with great ideas in this area, but they almost always fail. Someday however...

"The basic idea of a MoSoSo is to overlay a location and time element to the idea of digital networking. So it enables you to find people in your vicinity and at that time for social, sexual/dating or business networking. It's worth noting that the time variable is often overlooked in analysis of MoSoSo dynamics."

Hompy

Joi Ito explains a bit about the succes of Hompy, a sort of homepage that 10 out of 45 million Koreans have. Also read his thoughts on why the blogging landscape in Korea differs from 'ours', he thinks OhmyNews might have something to do with that.

"According to articles in the press, there are 5-6 million blogs. These are not to be confused with hompy. Hompy (a derivative of home page) are personal home pages with photo albums, guest books, avatars, background skins, and background music. There are approximately 10 million hompy pages. In a city with a population of 10 million and a country with a population of 45 million, that's quite impressive. Companies seem to be making money selling background music and items for hompy pages. Most of the posts are focused on photos and one line comments on pages of friends. They are generally closed communities and are focused more on real-time presence-like communication rather than diary or dialog."

MoSoSo's

The Mobile Technology Weblog heeft een analyse gemaakt van de perfecte 'mobile social software' applicatie. Het is makkelijk om innovatieve (en relevante) concepten te verzinnen op dit gebied, de executie blijkt echter erg lastig zoals Russel terecht zegt. Maar ik denk niet dat het lang gaat duren voordat een dergelijke applicatie door gaat breken, met name wanneer jongeren doorkrijgen dat het een gratis alternatief is om met elkaar te chatten. Zolang ze maar bij elkaar in de buurt zijn (school, club, events, etc.).

"The basic idea of a MoSoSo is to overlay a location and time element to the idea of digital networking. So it enables you to find people in your vicinity and at that time for social, sexual/dating or business networking. It's worth noting that the time variable is often overlooked in analysis of MoSoSo dynamics."

Hompy

Een tijdje terug was ik op het Les Blogs congres in Parijs en daar hoorde ik voor het eerst over Hompy. 10 van de 45 miljoen Koreanen hebben een Hompy homepage, je zou ze kunnen omschrijven als een ver geevolueerde versie van de CU2 pagina's die we in Nederland kennen. Joi Ito is er wat verder ingedoken en hij heeft ook een interessante theorie om te verklaren dat er weinig opinierende weblogs zijn in Korea. Het succes van OhmyNews zou daar de oorzaak van kunnen zijn, een initiatief dat mij ook al een paar jaar fascineert.

"According to articles in the press, there are 5-6 million blogs. These are not to be confused with hompy. Hompy (a derivative of home page) are personal home pages with photo albums, guest books, avatars, background skins, and background music. There are approximately 10 million hompy pages. In a city with a population of 10 million and a country with a population of 45 million, that's quite impressive. Companies seem to be making money selling background music and items for hompy pages. Most of the posts are focused on photos and one line comments on pages of friends. They are generally closed communities and are focused more on real-time presence-like communication rather than diary or dialog."

woensdag 1 juni 2005

The showroom business model

The retail business model might be changing, and revenues will not be primarily based on a percentage of sales, but more and more on fees for displaying and demonstrating products. A model that incorporates the best from both the offline and online world.

"According to Anthony Lee, Epicenter's chief executive, Internet and catalogue retailers can use Epicenter to establish a place where their customers can feel, and in some cases try on, merchandise. The Epicenter design also offers the low overhead and reduced need for sales staff that online and catalogue retailers are accustomed to."

Advertisers want something different

Times are still difficult for traditional advertising agencies, The New York Times takes a look. A lady from Publicis explains it all quite well.

"Creativity used to be, 'Think inside the box.' Then it was, 'Think outside the box.' Now, there's no box," said Linda Kaplan Thaler, chief executive of Kaplan Thaler, part of the Publicis Groupe."

Het showroom model

Het retail business model lijkt te gaan veranderen, waarbij inkomsten niet zozeer gebaseerd zullen zijn op een percentage van de verkoopprijs, maar vaker zullen bestaan uit vergoedingen voor het demonstreren van producten. Een model dat het beste uit de online en offline wereld verenigt.

"According to Anthony Lee, Epicenter's chief executive, Internet and catalogue retailers can use Epicenter to establish a place where their customers can feel, and in some cases try on, merchandise. The Epicenter design also offers the low overhead and reduced need for sales staff that online and catalogue retailers are accustomed to."

Adverteerders willen iets anders

Traditionele reclamebureaus hebben het al jaren moeilijk met de vele nieuwe mogelijkheden om consumenten te laten interacteren met merken. Nog te vaak vervallen ze in oude gewoontes. De 30-seconden commercial. Dit artikel uit The New York Times gaat wat verder de diepte in over dit onderwerp, een dame van Publicis weet het goed te verwoorden:

"Creativity used to be, 'Think inside the box.' Then it was, 'Think outside the box.' Now, there's no box," said Linda Kaplan Thaler, chief executive of Kaplan Thaler, part of the Publicis Groupe."

En nog een kort advies van Atmosphere's (BBDO) CEO:

"You can look at that and say, 'Oh, my God! The sky is falling,' " he added, "or you can look at it as a huge opportunity to create content for your clients that does engage."