Friday, March 31, 2006

1.5Mbps the Same as 6Mbps

This quote from Arstechnica from Randall Stephenson, COO of AT&T, spawned a discussion on Slashdot.

""In the foreseeable future, having a 15 Mbps Internet capability is irrelevant because the backbone doesn't transport at those speeds," he told the conference attendees. Stephenson said that AT&T's field tests have shown "no discernable difference" between AT&T's 1.5 Mbps service and Comcast's 6 Mbps because the problem is not in the last mile but in the backbone.

Go here for the Slashdot thread.

I can promise you there is a difference. I recently moved into a new condo development that touted "bundled services" with "highspeed" interent access. Its a bundle of data, voice, video and security. The billing goes through the HOA.

First, I don't care about security in this situation. I will not be getting a voice solution from a POTS providers. I don't really care about TV.

So what I would do if left to my own devises is get the new 8Mbps data plan from Comcast with the basic digital TV package: one company, one tech support, one bill.

From the Comcast site:

"Or, for $10 more per month (I think that works out to be about $67 per month), you can enjoy the connection of 8Mbps/768Kbps. It's so unbelievably fast, you'll wonder how you ever surfed the Web without it."

Since I can't do that I started asking around about the service. Eventhough its a bundled package you have to deal with each company individually as well and the aggregator companies. The data rate is suppose to be 3Mbps.

Here's what it looks like:
My first call was to Fusion. I asked the nice lady on the phone what the download rates were suppose to be. At the time she thought it might be 1.5Mbps down - they have a number of communities online so she didn't really know exactly. No big deal.

I said, "Wow, that's kind of slow. Comcast is offering a new plan that gives you 8Mbps down."

She said, "But web pages don't download that fast."

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CyWorld US

Via Mashable, CyWorld launches a US site. More like Habbo Hotel than MySpace or Facebook, CyWorld is a bid deal in Korea.

From the CyWorld US site:

"Cyworld is a FREE online community that brings people together like never before. Family, coworkers, schoolmates, and best buds are all here -- playing, working and just hanging out.

Our Minihome service is a fun way to express yourself while keeping in touch with your friends (and making new ones!) Post pictures, keep a journal and lots more… in style. Join one of our clubs (or start your own) to meet other people who share your interests. Whether you’re into cars, crafts or calculus, there’s a conversation happening right now."

From the post:

Having used the Korean version of Cyworld in the past, I can attest that it’s a fascinating place. In essence, it’s a closed social network with some blog-like features and its own internal economy.

Each user has a “mini-hompy” - a pixelled room that can be decorated with furniture, wallpaper and other items. All these items must be paid for in Cyworld’s virtual currency, dotori (Korean for “acorn”).

If I remember correctly, users can buy virtual currency using their cellphones, or purchase vouchers in real-world shops. Users can also buy each other gifts. There is a huge amount of pressure to be popular and have the best hompy. Unsurprisingly, this has turned Cyworld into an enviable money-making machine - in September 2005, BusinessWeek reported that the company was making “$12.5 million on sales of $110.4 million”. It’s a high stakes game.

Well, I get the sense that the demographic will be much younger than that of MySpace, perhaps more of a rival to Habbo Hotel, the popular pixelated pre-teen hangout. And while MySpace allows you to integrate external services into your page, Cyworld is a closed platform that charges for most additional items. Clearly, this is a very different model to most US social networks, and seemingly at odds with the openness proposed by Web 2.0 and new media advocates."

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Google's Local Ads

John Battelle writes up a wine fantasy using Google Local Ad words.

From Google:

"Google AdWords is introducing local business ads, a new ad type that allows advertisers to promote location-based products and services to interested users worldwide (note: this service is available for business locations in the U.S, Canada and the U.K.). Local business ads appear with an enhanced map component on Google Local and in a text-only format on and other sites in the Google network.

Google's goal is always to offer users relevant information through our search results and advertising. Local business ads can help users by showing them products and services that are physically nearby, and help advertisers by providing a new way for them to reach more local customers."

From John Battelle:

"Not to worry, you’ve got Google Mobile Shop installed on your phone. You whip out your Treo 950, the one with the infrared UPC reader installed, and you wand it over that bottle of 2001 Clos Du Val now lovingly cradled in your arms. In less than a second a set of options is presented on the phone’s screen. It reads:

Clos Du Val Merlot, Lot 21
Stags Leap District, Napa Valley
Average Retail Price: $38 (click here for more)
Price at your store: $52 (more on this)
Click here for a list of prices at nearby stores
Click here for stores selling similar items
Click here for reviews of 2001 Clos Du Val Merlot
Click here for more on this vendor (Ecological Impact, Vendor Labor Policies…etc.) "

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Facebook vs MySpace

Om has a follow up post on the recent activity with Facebook.

From the post:

"A few days ago there was a lot of chatter over Business Week story that Facebook was on the block , as long as the buyer was ready to pony up $2 billion.

I suggested that the founders of the company should have been prudent and taken the rumored $750 million offer. My argument was that since their traffic was starting to dip, why not follow the philosophy - a bird in hand is worth two in the bush. It was no reflection of the possibilities of the network, or how much money the network could make in the future.

So what did the Comscore/MediaMetrix data reveal? From December 2005 to February 2005, MySpace added 5 million unique visitors while, Facebook’s unique visitors declines by about 2 million - or about 16%.

Anyway Paul Kedrosky says it well, when he so pithily writes, “If paying four times as much for a smaller, slower-growing site whose main users leave in lock-step graduating cohorts every year isn’t mad, then I have no idea any more what is.”

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Techcrunch Covers Feed Readers

Techcrunch has a great review of feed readers - with a handy chart!

From the post:

I examined nine web-based feed readers (for previous reviews of each of these, see the TechCrunch Index):

I did not evaluate MyYahoo, the most widely used web-based reader, or similar products like, Google IG and Netvibes because these are more virtual desktop applications or portals with RSS reading built in. Heavy RSS users need a more industrial strength application like the ones I have listed above. "

Go read the post for his findings.


Mobile Advertising Campaign Planning

Russell Buckly points to a recent survey by Marketing Sherpa, as reported by emarketer, thats says marketers want to experiment with mobile advertising.

From the post:

"Interestingly, creating branded content was towards the bottom of the list, which is where many agencies are currently focusing their plans to rescue themselves as the 30 second TV ad dies. Maybe branded content is the wrong lifeboat for this sinking ship and just perhaps mobile may be the one that’ll get you to the shore."

From emarketer:

"With 2 billion mobile subscribers around the world, 20% annual subscriber growth, new networks capable of distributing video, improving handset capabilities, and rapid turnover of the handsets themselves, mobile phones may become the most pervasive devices able to access video content on a global basis," wrote David Wiser in the introduction to the Magna Global report. "With this footprint, we expect that advertising will ultimately play an important role in the mobile video world. The best opportunities to market to consumers in mobile environments will be through integrated mobile communications devices, and the industry will likely require ad-support to reach the widest possible audience."

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BellSouth vs NOLA

Daily Wirelss has a post up about the continuing struggle between BellSouth and New Orleans over the city's WiFi plans.

From the post:

"New Orleans decided last fall to convert its Tropos-based WiFi public service network, used for emergency personnel, into a free Wi-Fi service. But, as USA Today recounts this week, it has ruffled the feathers of BellSouth which says the city's network is illegal.

The city got around the state-wide ban on municipal wireless because the governor declared a state of emergency after Hurricane Katrina. But the state of emergency is expected to be lifted this year."

Previsouly covered:
Net Neutrality and Bill Smith's Parents
Jeff Pulvier's RBOC SMackdown
The Internets
BellSouth Punishes New Orleans

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Hearst Magazine get Mobile

Hearst launchs Hearts Mobile, which has coming soon information. Only one of the magazines actually is linked up. See below.

From MocoNews:

"Hearst Publications has launched mobile sites for Cosmopolitan, CosmoGIRL! and Seventeen…the sites are available on the portals Cingular and Sprint due to a team-up with Volantis, but are also available direct-to-consumer. Readers of Cosmopolitan, for example, text “cosmo” to 26766…receive back a link to the mobile site. From there, they can ‘browse and buy’ from a range of mobile consumables plus content such as fashion and beauty tips designed specifically for readers.”

Bango also provides the payment mechanisms. I expect using carrier portals as well as an independent portal will increasingly become the strategy of choice — customers will find it easy to access through their carrier but there is also a lot of benefit for the magazines to promote the service within the pages."

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Tweens Cell Phone Use

Business Week has an article up about the growing use of cell phone amoung tweens.

From the article:

"The wireless market for "tweens" -- children between the ages of 8 and 12 -- has the potential to double by 2010, according to the Yankee Group, an industry researcher. This market currently has 5.3 million wireless users, accounting for 2.6% of all wireless subscribers. Wireless providers and others see a huge, untapped opportunity.

With overall market saturation, companies are now targeting what they see as the underpenetrated tween market segment. And while it's no surprise that the likes of Verizon and Cingular are in the fray, some names outside the telecom arena are making their mark. Disney (DIS) and Hasbro (HAS) are among the companies designing cellular phones, tailoring plans, and introducing electronic gadgets that are kid- and parent-friendly.

The Firefly, which is offered by Cingular, is a smaller phone that comes with five large buttons instead of the usual numerical keypad. It only makes and receives calls, and has no text messaging or other special features. Disney and Hasbro are also adapting cell phones to meet kids' needs. Disney, in a deal with Sprint, plans to offer wireless services directed at 8- to 12-year-olds, with its Disney Mobile phone."

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Mobile TV to Generate 500m by 2010

JupiterMedia says mobile video will generate over $500m by 2010 due to mobile phones.

From the press release:

"JupiterResearch, a division of Jupitermedia Corporation (Nasdaq: JUPM), has found that 41% of mobile phone users are interested in some form of video service on their mobile phone. According to the JupiterResearch report entitled: "U.S. Wireless Forecast, 2005 to 2010," the growing demand for video will generate $501 million in revenues by 2010, up from $62 million in 2005. JupiterResearch is a leading authority on the impact of the Internet and emerging consumer technologies on business.

Adoption of mobile video on phones has been somewhat low to date with only 2% of mobile phone users claiming a subscription. However, among mobile subscribers 17% were interested in watching "live" TV on their cell phones while 11% indicated interest in short video clips. "This consumer interest bodes well for the mobile industry as vendors use different business models to try and tap into this consumer demand," said Julie Ask, Research Director at JupiterResearch. "The challenge is not interest but rather finding the correct mix of premium content and price points that is lacking in today's offerings," added Ask.

"Longer term adoption will depend more on business models and content offerings than on the technology or devices," stated David Schatsky, Senior Vice President of Research at JupiterResearch. "Our research shows that there's strong consumer interest in consuming mobile video. Consumers are just not interested in paying large fees for mediocre content," added Schatsky."

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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Local Online Advertising

Terry Heaton has a really good overview of the disparity in local vs. national online ad spends.

From the article:

"No one sees this better than Gordon Borrell, whose research and consulting business is based on counting local ad dollars spent online. One service he provides is a precise analysis of the local online ad business, and the volume of dollars being spent usually astounds executives of local media companies, most of whom are getting only a very small slice of the pie.

Borrell poses an important question when he speaks with local media companies. "Will," he asks, "the online advertising pie ever reach the local/national parity that's found with advertising overall?"
One, local media companies simply must move forward with Media 2.0 concepts that offer real value to the communities they serve. This is a difficult proposition, because a.) most existing media companies don't understand the space and b.) they're too busy defending themselves against the disruption to see the value of embracing it.

Two, the local advertising community needs to be brought up to speed on what's possible locally in the 2.0 space, and that doesn't mean spending more on some local media company's portal website.

Three, the VC community needs to see the potential in Borrell's reaching of advertising parity and help fund local online businesses that may or may not be affiliated with public media companies."

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Nation Wide WiFi will be Ad Supported

Om has a post up today about the coming national WiFi or wireless network.

From the post:

"In five years, most major metros and suburbs will have ubiquitous Wi-Fi based broadband coverage says Chuck Haas, the co-founder and chief executive officer of MetroFi, a Mountain View, Calif.,-based start-up that is rolling out metro wireless networks. He thinks most metros and suburban areas in the US will be WiFi hot-zones, by end of the decade.

Haas believes that the an ad-supported access model will work in the case of WiFi based metro broadband offerings, primarily because the cost of deploying the networks is so low. According to some estimates, it costs about $10 million to unwire a big city like Philadelphia.

This is the primary mode of monetization for Google, which has just published key patents that help the search giant monetize the wireless nets more effectively.

Patent application No. 20060058019 seeks to develop a system for dynamically modifying the appearance of browser screens on a client device when connecting to a wireless access point. Under the patent, the browser’s appearance would be modified to reflect the brand associated with the wireless access-point provider. The patent application says that Wi-Fi Internet access would be provided freely to customers in exchange for their agreement to receiving ads on their devices."


Mobile TV: 36m Users by 2009

eMarketer has a new study predicting that there will be 36m mobile TV users by 2009.

From Media Week: ""While video on mobile phones is enjoying healthy usage worldwide, only three million U.S. users will watch any sort of video on their phones in 2006, says the report. Paid services that deliver premium video clips or live TV have only been adopted by between 300,000 and 400,000 users.

But by 2009, 36 million users will be watching video on their phones, according to eMarketer. Yet while video gains in popularity, the number of users willing to subscribe to paid premiums services will remain less than 10 million.

"Marketers shouldn't believe for a minute that either the mobile carriers or the content providers have cracked the business model, let alone the digital rights issues that will be crucial to migrate mobile TV from one market stage to the next," added John du Pre Gauntt, eMarketer senior analyst who authored the report."

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Mobile TV: MNOs May Miss the Boat

Pyramid Research has a report out about Mobile TV and the operators who are about to watch the opportunity slip by them.

From 3G:

"With Mobile TV, MNOs (mobile network operators) have a 12-18 month window of opportunity, an advantage they better not squander with inadequate pricing and quality of service," comments Nick Holland, Pyramid Research Senior Analyst and author of "Rescuing 3G With Mobile TV: Value Chain, Business Models and Monetizing 3G." MNOs provide the fastest route to market since they have a large subscriber base that demonstrates an affinity for portable electronic products. They also have a readymade system for collecting revenues for data services.

Broadcast Mobile TV does not require the operator's cellular network to work. A likely Mobile TV scenario has a hardware vendor or another third party selling Mobile TV subscriptions that use a portable digital TV receiver, standalone device, or a plug-in for existing media players (iPod, PSP, etc.).

Holland concludes, "MNOs must solidify their position in the mobile TV value chain before their role becomes minimized. They will have the main mobile video offerings in the marketplace for another year or two, just as 3G starts reaching some level of maturity. The more they build video watching patterns around the handset, the less vulnerable their position in the value chain will be."

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Net Neutrality in Danger

Daily Wireless has an exceptionally good post about the recent developments in congress over net neutrality.

From the post:

"In a blow to proponents of "Net Neutrality", Rep. Joe Barton, the Texas Republican who heads the House Energy and Commerce Committee, released new text on the proposed bill today.

Phone companies and cable TV operators alike could seek permission to launch video in communities through a national franchising process, according to the bill, which Rep. Barton said is being co-sponsored by Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill. A hearing is scheduled for Thursday at 10 am ET.

A November draft (PDF) of Barton's bill explicitly said broadband providers "may not block, or unreasonably impair or interfere with" Internet access. But the final version (PDF), simply gives the FCC the authority to set rules and publish violations.

Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, took aim at Barton's proposal on Monday.

"This legislation begins the construction of a multilayered, toll-strewn information superhighway that is out of sync with what has made the Internet work: access for all," said Wyden, who introduced his own bill earlier this month mandating Net neutrality. France you get 20 megabits/s for $36/mo. Japan charges an average of $41.00 for a 100Mbps connection. Stockholm's one-gigabit service is $120/month. Japan's Softbank BB uses Cisco Catalyst 6500 switches under the "Yahoo! BB" brand name. South Korea's government spent $24 billion building a national high-speed backbone network.

How can Korea's KT, Hong Kong Broadband Network, Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom and Japan's Softbank BB deliver ten times the speed of U.S. telcos at less cost? Because they installed next generation fiber infrastructure. It's not unlike Comcast's regional fiber backbone which uses the Cisco CRS-1 Carrier Routing System, Nortel's Edge 6500 and Level 3's optical backbone."

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Monday, March 27, 2006

Titancast and WRAL

WRAL is a real leader in the local TV world. They consistently push the technology envelope. Today, via the NAB newletter there is a review of the Decisionmark system WRAL has been using to control webcasts.

From the newsletter: (subscription required)

"Over the past six years, Decisionmark has been talking about TitanCast technology, leading up to a February 1, 2006, announcement of the launch of a pilot project, called Apollo, using Capitol Broadcasting's WRAL-TV, the CBS affiliate in Raleigh, NC. According to Decisionmark, through TitanCast, it is possible to authorize local Webcasts to only those viewers who could receive the signal with an antenna. TitanCast technology:

  • Authorizes: determines authorized channels by using Decisionmark's patented Geneva technology and broadcaster-audited and maintained Coronado data warehouse which contains technical specifications for all broadcast towers;
  • Monitors: allows each broadcaster to monitor on-line viewership compliance in real-time. (using ProximityTV technology); and
  • Reports: tracks the consumption of content and reports back to broadcasters.
Decisionmark CEO Jack Perry said at the time of the announcement: "With TitanCast, local broadcasters will finally be able to take advantage of all the capabilities presented by the Internet. The local nature of over-the-air broadcasting and the worldwide reach of the Internet are no longer mutually exclusive. Viewers will have a viable platform that grants them unparalleled convenience and accessibility to content that is available both in real time and on-demand."

According to Jim Goodmon, President of Capitol Broadcasting, TitanCast technology will offer unlimited opportunities for both the networks and the affiliates. "Decisionmark's TitanCast technology allows us to test the mutual benefits of an affiliate-friendly use of the Web to deliver programming. What I'm really excited about is the fact that it's live on the Internet although video-on-demand is what everyone is talking about."

Jack Perry has a blog: Chef Titan.


MediaFlo's Mobile TV Plans

Business Week covers MediaFlo's plans for rolling out Mobile TV.

From the article:

"Later in the year, Qualcomm plans to offer the cell-phone industry's first broadcast TV service. Called MediaFLO, it is expected to include 20 channels of near-TV-quality programs, 10 music channels, and the cell-phone equivalent of a TiVo (TIVO ) in your palm, with the ability to store programming in the memory of your phone to be played back later.

The payoff could be huge. Within four years, as many as 26 million cell-phone users could be spending $3 billion a year on video subscription services, figures technology researcher IDC.

Three years ago, as TV companies were being pushed by the federal government to trade their analog spectrum for new digital signals, Qualcomm paid about $87 million for the nationwide rights to the slice of the UHF spectrum that had been reserved for channel 55. With plans to spend up to $800 million, Qualcomm devised compression technology to jam channels into that spectrum

"If we don't do this right," Paul E. Jacobs, CEO of Qualcomm frets, "there won't be TV on cell phones for two generations."

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Umair Haque has a post up about the recent resignation of Ben Domenech at the Washington Post.

From the post:

"Understand that this is cheap coordination - the self-organization and regulation of complex, interdependent collective action. Further, I hope you will see that this is inevitable; it's the nearly bulletproof outcome of the economics of the edge, and market power shifting to consumers.

From an economic point of view, this is an amazing thing; I think it is almost without parallel.

Now, the most incredible part to me is that nearly every boardroom in the world still has no idea how to leverage the Snowball Effect; even "viral" marketers are really tapping just a fraction of the productive possibilities of the edge.

So in the next few months, I expect some fairly incredible things to happen at the edge."


InfoSpace LBS Search on Sprint

Infospace launches location base searching for Sprint.

From MoCoNews:

"The service has some good features:
  • Local Quick Clicks: Find local business listings and locations with maps and driving directions with minimal clicking.
  • One-Stop Searching: A single search location for Yellow Pages, White Pages, Maps, Directions, Movie Listings and more.
  • Find People by Name or Number: Search using only first and last name, or by entering a phone number to find out to whom it belongs.
  • What’s Nearby: Access details on what’s close with one click on the phone, even if the caller doesn’t know exactly where they are.
  • Click to Connect: Make phone calls with one click instead of dialing the entire number."

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Alcatel and Lucent

Daily Wireless has a run down of the merger talks and this cool map.

From the post:

"Alcatel is in merger talks with smaller U.S. rival Lucent Technologies to create the world's biggest telecoms equipment company, with combined sales of 21 billion euros ($25.33 billion), reports Reuters, Light Reading and C/Net.

A combination with Lucent would allow Paris-based Alcatel to expand its presence in the U.S. market. A merger could create a company with the clout to withstand the market power of big telecoms operators, which are also joining forces.

U.S. telecom companies include:

From Om:

"The $34 billion merger of Lucent and Alcatel, if approved, will unleash a wave of mergers in the telecom equipment sector. Will Cisco merge with Motorola? What will happen to a host of smaller companies? This and more issues are covered in my story, Life after Lucent: telecom feeding frenzy, which is up on CNN Money website."

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Telcos Should Pay Google

A great post at TechDirt discusses the net nueutrality issue and why its really backwards.

From the post:

"Tom Evslin, who's an ex-telco exec himself, points out today that you can extend this argument much further. Since these sites and services make the telcos' network that much more valuable, shouldn't the telcos pay Google, Vonage, Apple and others for adding that value that makes customers want to buy an internet connection?

In fact, as he points out, that's exactly how it works in the video business. Verizon just worked out a deal whereby they're paying CBS to be able to carry CBS on their new IPTV offering. It's hard to see how Verizon can argue that it makes sense for them to pay CBS, but that Google should pay them. In both cases, it's about adding content or services to the same network to make it valuable enough for consumers to sign up."


Data Use on Cellphones by Age

Paul Kedrosky catches a survey on AdAge on no voice usage for cell phones by age.

From the post:

"Some striking data from an AdAge article on age-related differences in cellphone use for non-voice purposes. Across news, weather, sports, movies, and search, there are huge differences between the 13(!)-17 demographic and everyone else."

From the article:

"Just 12% of children aged 8-12 have a wireless phone, but that jumps to nearly half -- 49% -- for ages 13-15, according to a Harris Interactive youth survey last year. By ages 18-21, cellphone penetration (81%) is in line with the average for all adults (80%)."

Sun's D2C Java Portal

From the press release:

"Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW - News) the creator and leading advocate of Java(TM) technology, today announced the launch of offers mobile Java technology-based applications for purchase and download, along with information for consumers about Java technology and the Java brand. Subscribers on more than 250 wireless carriers worldwide can access the new site via a web browser on any Java Powered mobile device (cell phone, PDA, etc.).

"With over three billion Java Powered mobile devices in the hands of consumers worldwide, Java technology is the smart choice for developers, carriers and consumers seeking to deliver and run the most exciting mobile content. With the creation of, Sun plans to provide a trusted site for consumers to discover, purchase and download mobile Java applications and to accelerate global awareness and market growth for the benefit of mobile carriers and developers," said Mark Herring, senior director, Java Brand Programs at Sun."

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mBlox and New Vision's D2C

mBlox and New Visions have launched an off portal music download service with a single fee for downloads.

From the press release:

"mBlox, the world's largest mobile transaction network, and New-Visions, a mobile specialist focused on providing marketing solutions to the entertainment industry, are launching the first off-portal music track download services where consumers pay 'one price' to download music with no additional operator data charges.

The operators' data charges for downloading content are often cited as the reason for the slow uptake of rich media services on mobile. Currently consumers are not only paying for the value of the content via premium billing but also for the cost of the data traffic to deliver the content. Consequently, songs that are approximately 1MB in size can cost consumers the GBP 1.50 charge for the song plus an additional GBP 8 in data charges (data charges may vary). These extra charges make the cost of downloading to mobile unacceptably high and can put consumers off downloading music or other media content."

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Friday, March 24, 2006

The Value of Online Communities

Gautam Ghosh notices some hiring practices at Google and points to this old but very good article called "The Value of Online Communities," by Shona L. Brown, Andrew Tilton, and Dennis M. Woodside from The McKinsey Quarterly, 2002 Number 1.

From the article:

"What constitutes best on-line practice? According to industry experts and our own analysis, top-performing sites excel in three key areas."

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Bon Echo: Firefox 2.0

William Computer blog has a good review of Bon Echo and where the name came from.

From the post:

"An alpha release of Mozilla Firefox 2.0 (Alpha 1) is available for the public to download. This pre-release version of Firefox 2.0 is codenamed Bon Echo, taken from a public park located in Ontario, Canada, Bon Echo Provincial Park."

He points out some of the new features. The one I like the most is the close button on tabs.

Related Links:

Wireless VoIP Demystified

Martin Sauter has a three part post with some great technical information about VoIP, specifically he talks about UMA, SIP, and IMS.

From the UMA post:

"First on the list is UMA, a 3GPP standard like GSM and UMTS, loved and feared alike by mobile operators (or carriers as you say in the U.S.). The principle of UMA is simple: It replaces the GSM radio technology on the lower protocol layers of the mobile phone with Wireless LAN. A call is then tunneled via a Wifi Access Point connected to a DSL/cable modem via the Internet and a gateway to the Mobile Switching Center (MSC) of a mobile network operator. The gateway between the Internet and the network of the mobile operator is called a UMA Network Controller and one of the companies developing such a network node is Kineto Wireless."

From the SIP post:

"The basic architecture of SIP is simple: A SIP server in the network forms the central element of a VoIP network. VoIP clients are either software clients on PCs or notebooks or standalone devices like phones with an Ethernet port. When connected to an IP network their first task is to register their IP address with the SIP server. To call another device, a SIP client then sends a request to the SIP server. The SIP server then retrieves the IP address of the destination device from its database and contacts the destination device. If the destination device is willing to accept the call, the server informs the originator of the IP address of the destination device and a direct IP connection is established between the two parties."

From the IMS post:

"IMS standardizes a service framework and a protocol between the IMS core and application servers that allows third parties to create new services based on IMS and SIP commands. Such services are for example instant messaging, presence, voice mail, video mail, location based services, short dialing numbers, private dialing plans, music and video streaming, push to talk, etc."

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Virtual Convergence

Wired has an interesting article about the eventual convergence of virtual worlds.

From the article:

"Within a decade, then, the notion of separate game worlds will probably seem like a quaint artifact of the frontier days of virtual reality. You'll still be able to engage in radically different experiences - from slaying orcs to cybersex - but they'll occur within a common architecture. The question is whether the underpinnings of this unified metaverse will be a proprietary product, like Windows, or an inclusive, open standard, like email and the Web. (The Open Source Metaverse Project is currently working on such a nonproprietary platform.)

One way or another, consolidation is all but inevitable. A single, pervasive environment will emerge, uniting the separate powers of today's virtual societies. And then we really will have built the Matrix."

Also on Slashdot:

" This is one of the silliest things I've heard in a long time for a multitude of reasons. "
WidescreenFreak (830043)

" I seriously doubt it."
Shivetya (243324)

" Yet another person who needs to spend less time re-reading Snowcrash and more time in the real world."
winkydink (650484)

"It's called Real Life. Graphics and sound are EXCELLENT.

There's a lot of time spent mindlessly earning gold though, and the biggest problem with it is the lack of a save feature."
raehl (609729)

"So gaming worlds are going to coalesce just like instant messenger serviced did years ag... oh, nevermind

The Six M's of Mobile TV

Tomi T Ahonen has a nice artile up talking about Mobile TV. He lists six M's of successful mobile TV integration.

From the article:

The first of the Six M's is Movement, escaping the fixed place.
The second of the Six M's is Moment, expanding the concept of time.
The third attribute is Me, expressing oneself.
The fourth M is Multi-user, or extending into the community.
The fifth of the Six M's is Money, expending financial resources.
The last of the Six M's is Machines – empowering automation and gadgets.

Go read the article for it to make more sense.

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More Bad News for Broadcasters

From Terry and Lost Remote, a Forrester study show even more problems ahead for TV advertising.

From Terry:

"A new study from Forrester predicts that 2007 will be the year that the television industry experiences an actual full-year decline in ad revenues. This conclusion was reached by speaking with 133 major advertisers, people who control over $20 billion in annual ad purchases."

From ClickZ:

"Forrester analyst Josh Bernoff, who authored the study, noted the argument put forth by many in television that increased spending on the Web will come out of marketers' direct marketing budgets, leaving the traditional ad mix relatively unaffected. He said the results of the ANA study do not bear that out.

"I think advertisers are telling us, 'No, that's not how we think of it,'" said Bernoff. "They have a media mix, and it includes TV... and it includes Internet. They're saying they're going to take money out of television and put it into [online] advertising. They're not going to take money out of direct marketing and put it into advertising."

More Terry:

"This tracks with what I hear in my travels and in discussions with those in a position to know. The 30-second spot is headed for the tar pits, and, as I've noted countless times, that's big trouble for broadcasting. But here's the real nut of it all. Revenue isn't the problem for television; audience is the problem. Local broadcasters and networks both would do well to accept that and move forward with strategies to find and engage the people who used to passively participate in our money tree."

From Lost Remote:

"That's no surprise, but here are some estimates: 24 percent of marketers surveyed said they plan to cut their TV budgets by at least a quarter once DVR penetration reaches 30-million households. Meanwhile, 80 percent said they'll spend more in internet advertising, especially paid search."

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Crown Castle's Big Play

Forbes has a great article up about Crown Castle's Modeo play.

From the article:

"Modeo and Qualcomm's Mediaflo are separate networks with their own wireless spectrum. They will broadcast to any device equipped with the right chips, most likely transmitting live sports and news, leaving the on-demand video requests to the carriers' own 3G networks. Crown Castle plans to use a standard popular in Europe and Asia called Digital Video Broadcast for Handhelds, or DVB-H.

Crown Castle has so far invested $30 million of its own cash in Modeo, but Kelly is hedging his risk by hiring Allen & Co. to raise $500 million in other people's money. Crown can maintain a controlling stake as long as Modeo's equity value continues to increase with each new city added.

Qualcomm says it will spend $800 million in cash to build its Mediaflo service and network. It already beat out Crown Castle to operate Verizon (nyse: VZ - news - people ) Wireless' broadcast video service, which will be the first of its kind when it likely debuts in 2007.

Kelly refuses to accept defeat with the Verizon deal, saying there is plenty of time to sign agreements before consumers adopt the technology in earnest next year. "We got much closer to that business than I ever thought we would," says Michael Schueppert, president of the Modeo unit."

More Modeo:
Michael Schueppert: Modeo and the Future of DVB-H
Crown Castle Annouces Modeo
DVB-H Making Some Waves
DVB-H vs. MediaFlo

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So its been all over but MIT Ad Lab has a great round up of past related posts so here it is - the urinal game.

More great direct to urinal posts:

Riya - Over One Million in Two Days

I haven't stopped by HousePigCow in a while but a post today says that over the past two days over one million pictures have been uploaded to Riya. That's amazing.

Tyra also has a new picture up:)

2/3 Broadband for Active US Users

From the article:

"Last week, Nielsen//NetRatings announced that the number of active broadband users from home increased 28 percent year-over-year, from 74.3 million in February 2005 to 95.5 million in February 2006. Broadband composition among the U.S. active online population has seen vigorous growth during the past three years, increasing at least ten percentage points annually and hitting an all-time high of 68 percent for active Internet users in February 2006.

Since February 2003, the average PC time per person among active Web users has increased approximately five hours from 25 and a half hours a month to 30 and a half hours a month.

"The correlated growth in average PC time per person is the result of broadband users' greater satisfaction with their online experience," said Jon Gibs, senior director of media, Nielsen//NetRatings. "The 'always on' nature of a broadband connection allows the Internet to become more entrenched in consumers' lives. In broadband consumers' minds, activities such as checking account balances, downloading music, watching streaming video and checking email become just another application of the PC rather than a separate activity that happens when they log on to the Internet."

Big Easy WiFi

From TechDirt:

"I wrote about how Tropos was powering a WiFi mesh network in the devastated city of New Orleans, and commented that despite reservations about the applicability of WiFi to Wide Area deployments, the nature of the emergency was such that a mesh network was the best choice possible to get the city re-connected ASAP.

We also commented on how the mesh network was providing service up to 512Kbps, which went against a state law limiting municipal services to 128Kbps or less.

The telco lobbyists are seeking enforcement of the legislation they probably wrote in the first place, and seeking to shut down the muni WiFi in the Big Easy. The New Orleans mayor and CIO say they will not comply with an order to shut off the network - preferring jail to disconnecting their citizens."


Thursday, March 23, 2006

Magazines Thinking about Mobile

From min online, a recent survey by Media Industry Newsletter and IWantMedia of magazine publishers.

Highlights from the article:

Are you currently deploying any of your magazine content on a mobile application?
Yes: 25%
No: 75%

Have you or do you plan to launch a mobile version of your site for access via phone WAP browser?
Yes: 19%
No: 53%
We plan to: 28%

Do you anticipate mobile extensions of your magazine generating substantial revenue or serving primarily as a branding vehicle?
Substantial revenue: 12%
Marginal revenue: 36%
Just a brand extension: 52%

Are your sales teams currently selling mobile ad space?
Yes: 16%
No: 77%
Don’t know: 7%

Do you maintain a direct relationship with mobile carriers, or do you license to a publisher who maintains the relationship?
License: 49%
Direct: 51%


danah boyd on MySpace

I missed this the other day but here it is now. danah boyd's essay on MySpace.

Also, go read super public.

From the essay:

"If MySpace falters in the next 1-2 years, it will be because of this moral panic. Before all of you competitors get motivated to exacerbate the moral panic, think again. If the moral panic succeeds:

  1. Youth will lose (even more) freedom of speech. How far will the curtailment of the First Amendment go?
  2. All users will lose the safety and opportunities of pseudonymity, particularly around political speech and particularly internationally.
  3. Internet companies will be required to confirm the real life identity of all users. At their own cost.
  4. International growth on social communities will be massively curtailed because it is much harder to confirm non-US populations.
  5. Internet companies will lose the protections of common carrier which will have ramifications in all sorts of directions.
  6. Internet companies will see a massive increase in subpoenas and will be forced to turn over data on their users which will in turn destroy the trust relationship between companies and users.
  7. There will be a much greater barrier for new communities to form and for startups to build out new social environments.
  8. International companies will be far better positioned to create new social technologies because they won't have to abide by American laws even if American citizens use their technology (assuming the servers are hosted outside of the US). Unless, of course, we decide to block sites on a nation-wide basis...."


DVB-H in Sydney

From CNET:

"Over the past year, DVB-H technology has been tested in Sydney and around the world for delivery of pre-encoded content. However, the Games trial marks the first time the technology has been used to simultaneously encode and broadcast multiple video channels and data information in real time. That's a big step forward given that a major market for such technology is the broadcasting of live sports events.

Technical issues could quickly grow DVB-H to become more than just a novelty. The current most popular method of distributing videos to mobiles - as downloads via third-generation mobile networks - was recently called into question by UK research firm Analysys, which said 3G networks could run out of bandwidth by 2007 if 40 percent of their subscribers watched just eight minutes of video a day.

DVB-H, by contrast, uses a completely different set of radio spectrum and a one-way broadcast delivery method that is not constrained in the same ways as session-based 3G services. That has made it a popular target for mobile service providers, who have tested DVB-H based mobile TV services in numerous overseas trials. Nokia, Motorola, Siemens, Samsung and other mobile manufacturers are working with Microsoft and chipmakers like Broadcom and Intel to integrate DVB-H chips into their devices."

See also:
Mobile TV Overview
DVB-H in Europe
Nokia Mobile TV Test Results
Michael Schueppert: Modeo and the Future of DVB-H
Qualcomm's DVB-H Chip
DVB-H 3GSM Favorite

Mobile TV Spectrum Review
Satellite Backbones for Mobile TV
Mobile DTV Alliance
Crown Castle Annouces Modeo
DVB-H Making Some Waves
DVB-H vs. MediaFlo

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Commercials Seen as Less Effective


"Nearly four in five marketers surveyed believe that television advertising is less effective than it was just two years ago, according to a study released Wednesday.

That's bad news for a nervous TV industry, which is worried about what the growth in digital video recorder usage and video on demand will mean for the economic underpinnings of the business.

Almost 70 percent of advertisers say they believe that DVRs and video on demand will reduce or destroy the effectiveness of traditional 30-second commercials, the survey found.

"Television networks continue to publish research that traditional TV advertising is potent as ever, but national advertisers aren't buying it and are seeking alternatives to enhance their budgets and move them beyond the customary 30-second spot," said Josh Bernoff, Forrester vice president."


Dell Buys Alienware

From Lost Remote, Dell buys Alienware.

The statement by Nelson Gonzales, president of Alienware Systems:

We believe that this acquisition will offer our customers the best of both worlds --- an Alienware that takes advantage of the world-class business practices and operational efficiencies that have made Dell one of the most respected companies in the world, while preserving the DNA of the Alienware brand and product strategy portfolio. The Alienware and Dell executive management teams have agreed that this acquisition could only succeed if Alienware is structured as a separate division which will continue to make its own product development, planning, marketing and customer support decisions."

From PC World:

So what level of gaming glory does ten grand get you? Well, the XPS 600 Renegade will feature an Intel Pentium 965 Extreme Edition dual-core processor that's been overclocked from 3.46GHz to 4.26GHz (and warranted by Dell for a year). It's also Dell's first PC equipped with Quad-SLI technology (four nVidia GeForce 7900 GPUs, for a total of 2GB graphics memory) which should enable high-frame rate, high-definition gaming at resolutions up to 2560 by 1600. Further high-end components include 2GB of DDR2 SDRAM, two hard disks (a 400GB 7200-RPM drive and 160GB 10,000-RPM Raptor drive) plus a Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty sound card with front drive bay module. "

From Lost Remote:

"No word on the price, but Alienware computers are high-priced, high-margin machines. Dell is forced to compete on price for its standard computers (and some complain its customer service has suffered as a result), so it's noteworthy that it's taking on this venture. It's a bit like how Toyota came out with Lexus so it would have a luxury brand not associated with its stogy image."

PayPal Mobile

A number of reviews for the PayPal mobile option.


"There are two parts to the service: the mobile extension of its standard person-to-person payments, which can be initiated via SMS or an IVR call, and PayPal then calls back with an IVR prompt asking for a PIN number to confirm the transaction before notifying the recipient. The other is called “Text to Buy”, and as advertised, it lets users buy stuff via a text message. It works in the same way: users SMS an item code to PayPal, which then calls back to confirm, then the item is shipped to a user’s home address.

What’s holding back mobile payments currently, for the most part, is that operator revenue share. But that’s not a technical issue or even a societal one, just a flawed business model. PayPal’s real impact in mobile, rather than its actual product, may be to force that onerous revenue share down to more acceptable levels. But any mobile payment system can’t ignore mobile content, and that’s where the biggest opportunity is. But it’s also the one place where a system will butt heads with operators — so you have to wonder if PayPal’s avoided it intentionally."

Tech Crunch:

"This spells trouble for existing mobile payment provider TextPayMe. PayPal’s solution is fully baked, easy to use, and has some great features that take this beyond a way to text your friends money.

Russell Beattie:

"This is pretty huge. There’s a ton online already - go to PayPal, sign in, add a new phone to your profile and mark it as mobile. The site will offer you the chance to confirm the phone so you can use it to make payments, then you enter a pin number, and an IVR system will call your phone and prompt you to type in the PIN, then you can send money. There’s a a whole new section of PayPal for mobile online now, flash demos are still pending."

From MocoNews:

Our collection of stories of Paypal’s mobile efforts in the last two years:


IPTV Round Up

As usual Daily Wireless covers all of the recent IPTV developments.

From the post:

How big a gamble are phone carriers taking with television? It depends who you ask. American carriers have lost more than 5 million telephone customers to cable rivals Time Warner, Comcast and Cox during the last year as cable firms move into the VoIP marketplace, says America's Network.

Siemens executives said in December the global market for IPTV could hit $1 billion by 2009, with China expected to account for a quarter of the spending.

By the end of 2007, ATT/SBC expects to reach 17 million households with FTTN and nearly 1 million with FTTP. In 2005, SBC said it expected that its total capital expenditures will be at the high end of its 2004 guidance range of $5 billion to $5.5 billion. AT&T, with BellSouth, will have 70 million landline subscribers.

Research firm Parks Associates (above) estimates 70 million users around the world will embrace IPTV by 2010, up from 5 million last year. The IPTV market is expected to grow as much as 25% annually. Infonetics Research says there will be 13 million IPTV users in North America by 2009."

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Embarqing on a MVNO

Via TechDirt, Sprint's new spin off, Embarq, will also offer a MVNO.

From RCR News:

"Sprint Nextel Corp.’s local phone service spin-off, Embarq, plans to launch a mobile virtual network operator later this year, according to Embarq’s chief executive officer-to-be, Dan Hesse.

Hesse told attendees during a keynote address at the TelecomNext conference of Embarq’s MVNO intentions, which he said would include dual-mode devices that would allow customers to seamlessly roam between wide area and local area wireless networks. Similar plans were announced by cable companies looking to launch wireless services using Sprint Nextel’s network."

From TechDirt:

"Obviously there's a trend among global telecom providers to divest themselves of legacy voice-centric phone networks, but why, then, have the fixed-line company -- which has been spun out -- offer the branded wireless service? Shouldn't the remaining wireless company resell wired service if the bundle is so important? Indeed this is the strategy Vodafone is pursuing. The Embarq news is also reminiscent of when AT&T flipped out after they took AT&T Wireless public and grabbed the IPO money, then realized they were let out of the wireless business. Shouldn't they think through these things a little more before they spin these things off only to put them back together in some way?"

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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Who is the Dick on My Site?

Another great presentation from Dick of Identity 2.0 delivered at The Emerging Technology conference. Go watch it.

Mix06: Bill Gates, Aber Whitcom, Ashley Highfield and Tim O'Reilly

Microsoft has the transcript from Bill Gate's Mix06 keynote address.

From the transcript:

Bill Gates: "Many of the things we're going to talk about are really falling into two categories. First, it's the experience through the browser, and as you've seen there's a lot of substantial change there including some tools that we've just come up with that you'll get your hands on that will make that substantially richer than ever before. And then, second, is beyond the browser, where you are actually exchanging data with rich code, the client is not on a phone, or a Media Center PC, or any of the target devices."

Aber Whitcom, CTO, MySpace: "I thought I'd start by bragging about some of our numbers. Business is booming, MySpace has 65 million registered members, and that's growing at 260,000 members every day. In February we had 38 million unique views, and 23 billion page views. In fact, Media Metrics tells us that we're the No. 2-trafficked site on the Internet, passing Google, eBay, and just recently MSN."

Ashley Highfield, BBC: "Just as a little comparison, it costs us around about 7 million pounds a year to distribute one of our TV channels over the airwaves, over digital terrestrial. It's about a tenth that much, about 700,000 to distribute a channel over satellite. And using the latest technologies, peer-to-peer and multicasting, we can get that cost down by another factor of ten down to around about 70,000. So if the audience is there and the demand is really there, then for us the Internet, just looking at that, that television slice, is a hugely compelling platform for us."

Tim O'Reilly: "So moving on to another aspect of Web 2.0, one point that I have made repeatedly is that one of the key concepts that's different about network applications is that they get better the more people use them. Every time somebody makes the link on a Web site, and I think it was Scoble who made this point originally, at least in my awareness, they are contributing to a site like Google or any search engine, because it's the users making links that is the raw material of the whole search Web. And in a similar way, every time somebody tags a photo in Flickr or a Web site in, they're basically making the application better for everyone else."

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Scobleizer Meets Aber Whitcomb CTO of MySpace

Scobleizer spoke with MySpace CTO Aber Whitcomb at a MySpace party at Mix06.

From the post:

"I asked him how MySpace got so popular. He cited a few things:
  1. They made sure influentials in Hollywood (stars, bands) were among the first users.
  2. They listen to their users and add features frequently (usually noticeable new features every week).
  3. They let the users tell them what to do. He mentioned that other services, like Friendster, tried to tell their users what not to do.
  4. When MySpace visitors first log on they already had a friend: the founder Tom. That was in contrast to other services where you had to work to find your first friend. His page also gave you a template to get started."

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VOIP to Take $35 Billion from Telcos

An article from Telecom Magazine sites a recent Juniper study that can't be good for the RBOCS.

From the article:

"According to a new report from Juniper Research, VoIP revenue from this sector -- worldwide -- is projected to reach an annual US$18 bn by 2010.

Other projections that Juniper throws into the business VoIP mix is that small business broadband connections will reach 40 million lines by 2010 and that hosted VoIP business revenue will reach US$7.6 bn.

Despite this new VoIP revenue stream, telcos will still make a net loss in revenue -- courtesy of VoIP’s arrival -- to the tune of an annual US$36 bn. This loss, presumably, is largely down to the fading away of telcos’ more lucrative leased line revenue, although Juniper does not say so explicitly in its press statement.

“VoIP has the potential to transform business communications in terms of call costs, cost of operations and integration with business processes,” says Barry Butler, report author. “However, as with other IP-based platforms, IP is a disruptive technology which will reshape the business communications service provider community.”


Advertising RIP and Predictions

Interesting article at Club of Amsterdam by Scott G. He states that ads have gotten to pervasive and will soon cease to be effective. But, he also makes some predictions.

From the article:

"When I first wrote about the ways advertising messages were being placed inside almost every activity in the universe, I ended the article with some predictions that many people found outlandish, including:
  • Debit card scanners in TV sets, so you can order during a commercial with the flick of your remote.
  • Barcodes in songs, so you can download from iTunes or Real Rhapsody by swiping your XM or Sirius player with your Visa or MasterCard.
  • Credit cards built into wristwatches.
  • Interactive ads, where you get to star in a five-minute escape from reality.
  • Holographic projections of commercials from postage stamps, car and house keys, magazine covers, etc.
  • Microchips embedded under your skin, so YOU will be the receiver for TV, radio, satellite, telephone, and global positioning system signals"

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Mobile Beats Computer

Russell at MobHappy rates mobiles over computers for various tasks.

From the post:

"Of course, I know that mobiles are generally used when you’re out and about and don’t have a computer with you. But if you were to put them head-to-head, what would happen?

Personally, here’s where mobile wins:

  • Alarms
  • Voice call (even then I’ll use Skype if the other person is available on their computer)
  • SMS (again if I can’t see they’re there on IM)
  • Calculator (but spreadsheet wins if it’s more complex)
  • Camera (I can take still shots with my computer cam)
One day, I believe that the mobile will replace the computer."

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More Jason Calacanis Social Networking

Jason is still talking about social networks. From his post:

"The big problem with social networks is the business model. It is clear that users are not willing to pay for social networking sites like MySpace, Facebook, and Friendster. If any of these sites started charging they would be replaced with a free option. That leaves advertising as the business model.

However, when people are on social networks they have two choices:

1. Interact with people: flirt, find a date, find a mate, hook up, make friends, etc.
2. Click on advertisements.

Very few advertisers are going to be able to beat out the desire for people to hook up--unless of course they have a better way to hook people up with other people. For example an advertisement on MySpace for that says "meet people in your zip code" might actually convert well since folks are in the "hook up" mindset."

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Yahoo Voice Launches

Yahoo's voice app launched yesterday.

From Daily Wireless:

Yahoo Tuesday launched a PC phone service used in conjunction with its Yahoo! Messenger service. Those signing up can receive unlimited domestic calls for $2.99 a month or $29.90 a year. You can also purchase prepaid voice credit in $10 and $25 increments.

Yahoo will charge 2 cents a minute for domestic calls, on top of the monthly $2.99 fee. Per-minute charges to 180 other countries will vary. It won't charge to receive calls.

Yahoo is undercutting Internet telephone leader Skype by about $1 monthly for such PC-to-phone service."

From TechCrunch:

"Phone Out on Yahoo is a little cheaper than Skype on average (Skype rates, in Euros, are here). Phone In is also cheaper - Skype charges 30 Euros per year for their comparable product. Skype has video calls, of course, and Yahoo doesn’t. Neither company frustratingly, allows for call recording (Gizmo has this feature and I love it).

Yahoo licenses GIPS VoiceEngine Multimedia infrastructure for the back end VOIP technology."

From Om:

"Clearly, the Yahoo has made a strong bid to integrate most of its communications properties into the IM client. I like the fact that you can send emails, make calls, or even send text messages from the same client. These and more such enhancements are the best way for IM services to differentiate from the new, more slick web-based IM aggregators such as Meebo, and still retain unique brand presence."

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3.5G and Beyond

This is a cool chart from

Mobile In-Game Ads

From MocoNews, in-game ads hit the mobile platform.

From the post:

"IGA Worldwide and Exit Games have formed a partnership to integrate advertising in mobile games.

“Neutron, Exit Games’ leading multi-player solution for mobile phones, will be integrated with IGA Worldwide’s ad-serving platform the Radial Network, to enable advertisers to reach consumers via mobile games…Using Neutron game publishers can create in-game advertising that can be dynamically updated (DIGA) for mobile phone games running Java, BREW or Adobe Flash Lite. By using the Radial Network advertisers will be able to update, change, geo-target and receive detailed reports on their mobile campaigns.”

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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

BT Vision

From informitv, the vision behind BT Vision.

From the post:

"Customers will be able to choose from a range of on-demand film, music and television programming. The service will come with a digital video recorder to store up to 80 hours of programming and will provide a selection of ‘catch-up TV’ shows from the previous week.

It is presented as “a world first, combining access to digital-terrestrial channels through the aerial with broadband-powered video-on-demand.” This is described as a “unique combination,” although hybrid broadcast and broadband services are expected to be available in many countries.

The set-top box is being provided by Philips, with software supplied by Microsoft."

From the BT Vision site:

"Later this year we're launching a brand new digital TV service in the UK that's set to inject a bit of vision into your TV. Our next generation TV service will be a doddle to use. It's rammed full of entertainment and best of all there's no compulsory subscription, so you only pay for what you want to watch. BT Vision will be available first to all new and existing BT Broadband customers.

Access to over 30 Freeview channels through your TV aerial (subject to coverage)

Entertainment on demand
A huge library of movies, comedy, music and kids shows that you can order and watch at the touch of a button. And remember there is no compulsory subscription so you can decide how you pay.

Catch-up TV
You'll be able to watch a selection of last week's shows you may have missed

Digital Video Recorder
Store up to 80 hours of programming - without tapes, timers or disks

Communication services
In the future you'll be able to use instant messaging, chat and video telephony all through your TV. You'll be able to control your BT Vision service via the internet whenever you're online"