Archive for February, 2004

“Stealing from the blogosphere”: ETCON Disney talk

Tuesday, February 10th, 2004

Disney people are talking about how collaborative tools are used internally. In other words, it’s not just about personal publishing and opinions, it’s about efficiency and replacing paper.

Rather than pay for proprietary software (Foxpro DB with web front end). Smartly, they installed MT as a weblog, called them “shift logs”, and incorporated an RSS aggregator on each desktop inside Outlook.

As a content and broadcast company, ratings and quotes about the company are interesting – RSS aggregators help them do this.

“RSS feeds are for much more than weblog syndication”

Client side aggregation needs to move to server side aggregation

Need for authentication.

Macromedia FlashCast ETCON Talk

Tuesday, February 10th, 2004

Ongoing notes from Macromedia’s Flashcast talk:

(Also, check Tim Appnel’s weblog (I co-wrote these notes with him using SubEthaEdit).)
Authors: Timothy Appnel, Jim Coyer

MACROMEDIA FLASHCAST

example shown on Nokia 6600 (is this a Symbian phone?)

“Channel” concept
(more like TV, less like document/web metaphor)

Navigational Model:
left and right for channel change
up and down within a channel

Examples:
Sports
news
photos

**info pushed to the phone automatically
how?

Target Market
digital phone base, (to move Flash from just PC’s connected to the Internet)

Characteristics of mobile versus Internet:
limited battery, slow connections, short attention span, slow CPU

Mobile browsing doesn’t work
3% in Europe, less in the US
long wait between clicks

Trends
phones becoming open platforms

Experience matters
Mobile and Device Partners
NTT DoCoMo
Flash enabled:
505i handsets
505iS handsets

Push-based
UDP, SMS, polling
subscription based model
Integration with SMS and voice

Claim: “Can run on BREW, J2ME, Symbian”

Operator Benefits
Subscriptions are good business
Control network traffic
Turn on your subscribers

Model:
Closed Circuit | Branded Content (??)
Pay per view
Premium Content
Basic Content

Example:
Enterprise Portal | Starbucks Channel
World Cup Finals
Disney/BBC
Unbranded

FlashCast Server in network
Channel Provider (FlashCast Programming in studio w/ Flash MX)

Architecture
Subscriber
Operator
Feed DB
FC Network Server
FC DataServer
Native
XPath
XSL
RSS
Channel Provider
Web service
XML via HTTP

Tech: availability in 1-2 months
Claim: Carrier relationship in place

QUESTION: A would-be alpha geek can’t install something on their phone now?

Developer version due come March. An extension of FlashLite. Different in terms of target audience. Flash authors can use the same tools. The latest version gives you extra tools for creating this type of content — optimizing, templates etc.

End-to-end solution for operators (Utilizes Flash)
New cateogry of data services (Full screen, subscription)
Rich subscriber experiences (SMS integration)
Branding
Developer community/Flash ecosystem

QUESTION: What is the size of one of these apps?

The Word Spy

Tuesday, February 10th, 2004

The web accelerates things.

It took days to get a message across the country when horses carried the mail, but email is near instantaneous. It took days to send product information out to potential customers, but the web provides it in miliseconds, and any time of the day. It took new books and new magazines to spread new words around the world, but now email, instant messaging, chat rooms, and other collaborative online tools make language evolve and spread far faster than it has.

At the O’Reilly Emerging Technology Conference, Tim O’Reilly gave a keynote about several new innovations on his radar. One of them is The Word Spy. The Word Spy catalogs new words that have emerged in the world’s English, and in its words, performs lexpionage – the sleuthing of new words and phrases. Wardrobe malfunction? It’s there. Jump the shark? Yep. Check it out.

Nextel’s Focus on the “best customers” – enterprise

Wednesday, February 4th, 2004

Forbes has an interesting article on Nextel and how it’s successfully penetrating the enterprise and government segments.

Many still think Nextel is the carrier of only “blue-collar” workers, but this article hits that one solidly: to start with, 10% of its customers are goverment, but Nextel’s CEO sees that going to 20% in 2004. Secondly, 90% of its 12.3M users are business customers, who pay $71 a month (versus $50).

Beyond this, Nextel enjoys only 1.4% churn, versus AT&T’s 3.3% (I don’t know that of other operators).

Nextel seems to be doing many things right for businesses, undoubtedly a result of their decision to cater to specific industry segments: self-service management portals, federated address books, a simple application distribution method, packet-based data billing, and its industry leading Push to Talk capability. Customer service, according to this article, is one major source of competitive advantage – a component of the mix that often gets overlooked. It was interesting to learn that Nextel delivers this by hiring customer service personnel from the industry segments they target. Smart.

LinkedIn

Monday, February 2nd, 2004

I just joined LinkedIn, a site that allows people to see (and reference) their connections to others. What’s so interesting about LinkedIn is that it allows you to see not only your “connections,” but also the entire extended network of connections built by other members. Critically, in order to contact those Connections, you have to ask permission from your Connection.

I look forward to seeing how well it maintains trust as I try it out, but it seems to capture both the trust and permission aspect of networking correctly, while still allowing members to see the people in the network. And of course, all of the aspects of the web’s metadata are there: searching and industry categorization of people makes it potentially very useful for exploring ideas or businesses.

freethink

Monday, February 2nd, 2004

freethink is a new weblog setup by my good friend Tim Kane. Patterned after a newsletter he and Bill Casebeer started in the early 90s, Tim seeks to resurrect the classic discussions around books, current events, politics, philosophy, and technology. Tim kicked it off with a review of Jared Diamond’s The Third Chimpanzee.

Folklore.org

Sunday, February 1st, 2004

“A website about collective storytelling,” Folklore.org tells stories about the Macintosh and the people that created it. The site is maintained by Andy Hertzfeld, one of the main authors of the Mac core system software, and now leading development at the Open Source Applications Foundation.