I’ll be attending Forbes’ MEET 2006 conference (Media | Electronic Entertainment | Technology) in Beverly Hills. The theme of the October 24-25 conference will be: Reaping Riches in the Media and Entertainment Revolution.
In this age of multitasking, Digg, YouTube, del.icio.us and so many other sources of information to keep us distracted throughout the day, it’s imperative that we find ways to concentrate on the real important tasks at hand. And judging from the comments on said article, as well as several other blogs, this is a real problem among the internet savvy population.
Discipline plays a big role in entering this flow state, since checking emails as they come in, examining the latest Digg articles, and hopping over to check out the funny YouTube video our colleagues sent, all conspire against achieving the concentration necessary to flow. Of course much of that information we check throughout the day is what keeps us on our technological toes – on the cutting edge of knowledge, so to speak.
But do we really need ALL THAT information? One thing is staying as up-to-date as possible, but it’s an entirely different thing to become practically useless because of our constant need to be “informed.”
In the end, we need to remind ourselves that all those successful people behind the websites we feel the need to check every five minutes are, more than likely, zoned in, worrying about their own gigs. And their success should tell us something.
Cuban, who sold Broadcast.com to Yahoo for several billion dollars back in the dot com era, feels that the potential for lawsuits against a wealthy YouTube owner is too high. He added that “the only reason it hasn’t been sued yet is because there is nobody with big money to sue.”
Though I agree with Cuban about the legal issues surrounding YouTube, I still feel YouTube has a fighting chance.
What I don’t like about YouTube is that since they don’t own a lot of the really good content, any of the big players could simply decide to clone them and keep control of their content. It would certainly cost less than the rumored $1.5Billion YouTube thinks it’s worth. But this doesn’t seem to be the case anyway, as YouTube has been signing distribution deals left and right. Big networks that had at first been put-off by YouTube, have now embraced the easy reach and distribution it has given them. The way I see it, if you can watch a show on TV (or HDTV), you won’t be watching it on YouTube’s poor quality versions. So for big shows (24, Lost, Heroes, etc.), YouTube acts like advertising: you get hooked on YouTube but then watch it on your regular TV/Cable.
As for advertising, Cuban also had harsh words for YouTube, asking advertiser if they really wanted to spend money to reach limited viewers (while at the same time offering opportunities to advertise on his own network, HDNet).
While it’s true that any one video gets fewer viewers than a single television show, it’s also true that it costs much less. What YouTube needs is to leverage their infrastructure to create more flexible advertising schemes.
While no big-time client would like their spots airing on unknown videos, YouTube could certainly create plans for ads to show whenever a video surpases a given number of views. So if a video gets viewed, shared or downloaded more than average, more expensive ads would start showing on them. Additionally YouTube could match certain advertisers with certain shows (so that in a video of Treasure Hunters, you’d still be show ads from MasterCard or Ask.com).
So there are several content distribution and advertising opportunities still to explore on YouTube. It’s up to them to show who the “moron” ultimately is.
After several days of server errors, it seems Revision3 is finally live, sporting a brand new and very cool look. Gone is the “Sign Up” page… which is interesting, but more on that later. According to their own About page,
“Revision3 is the first media company that gets it, born from the Internet, on-demand generation. Unlike aggregators, mash-ups, clients and web sites, Revision3 is an actual TV network for the web, creating, producing its own original entertainment and content.“
They also mention that their “content is designed for a new audience. This audience, like television, expects dependability and quality, but unlike television, wants a more gritty, edgy, highly-targeted and in-depth form of entertainment,” and offer to make their shows available on as many platforms and through as many distribution methods as possible.
So far, so good… even the content is entertaining (Ctrl-Alt-Chicken, Diggnation, NotMTV, thebroken, etc…). The quality of the videos is very good and they are available, as promised, in a variety of formats (quicktime, wmv, xvid, theora).
Founded in part by some of the Digg boys, Revision3 is sure to make a lot of noise in the internet television scene. The lack of a sign up page (which was available, though not working, in the previous iteration) really caught my attention. While Revision3 is certainly no YouTube (content is generated by Revision3, not uploaded by users), I was expecting a certain level of personalization, viral marketing and social networking – particularly because of Revision3’s ties to Digg. I’d certainly like to be able to bookmark my favorite shows, share my playlists, see what everyone else thinks about any particular show, see a show’s ratings, and share my favorite shows with my friends. But, hard as I looked, I could not even find any mention of signing up as a regular user. I’d love to know the reasons behind this.
For more on a user-centric, internet TV experience, read Google Media: How Google will change the way you experience music, television and media in general. On that article, I explained what I envisioned Google doing on the internet television front, complete with an interface mock-up of what the user experience could be like. The same concept could apply to Revision3 as well.
So there I was, wide awake in my bed, wondering if the Crestor was keeping me from catching some much needed Zzzzs, when I decided to scramble over to my HP Media Center PC and check what was new on Digg. Over on my number two display, a trusty old 17″ BenQ FP731, my RSS aggregator, KlipFolio, diligently scrolled the latest Digg news. One headline caught my eye:
I clicked and waited mere milliseconds for Digg to pop-up on my primary monitor, an awesome Gateway HD FPD2185W. I read the comments on Digg and quickly had Firefox whisking me away to chartreuse’s Beta blog. As the post came up, I decided a late-nite snack was necessary to accompany this mix of marketing savvy and Paris Hilton photos.
The article is brilliant and shows how Hilton has exploited the attention economy to advance her own career. According to chartreuse, Paris is the queen of links, gratuitously dropping brands, locations and names whenever possible.
Though she hired a publicist to get her on Page 6, she never really talked about herself. She talked about other people. She would mention the designers of her clothes, the club she was going to, who made the sweater for her dog, all without any guarantee of any return. She just threw out links.
It’s gotten to the point where people are using the tactic of rejecting Paris as a marketing tool.
What the article doesn’t go into is how to apply this to your blog (as originally promised in the misleading Digg title). I’m not sure that dropping names on your blog will guarantee you rich marketing campaigns, but everyone knows that cross-linking helps boost where you appear in Google search results. So the best way to do a Paris Hilton on your blog is probably to link to other blogs of interest to your readers or articles and hopefully get some links back in return.
If you pay attention to other bloggers (and your content/banter/mojo is smart), they’ll eventually pay attention to you. Smart comments on popular blogs will also boost your “attentioness” on the Internet. But as usual, the best way is to provide smart, useful content for your readers. Unless you’re Google or Digg or YouTube or Paris and are simply a platform for the sale and promotion of attention.
This article comes to you thanks to WordPress blogs, Dreamhost hosting (use promo code 29OFF for $29 off any hosting plan), the Microsoft Windows XP operating system (at least until I get an Apple MacBook Pro), Sysinternals utilities and the wonderfully elusive CreateShortcut util by Jeff Key.
Amazingly enough, second among the search results was the following text:
“ESPN: On late Thursday night Andre Agassi bowed out of the US Open…
… following his third round loss to Benjamin Becker.”
Interesting… the article is dated September 01, 2006, and as I recall Agassi won last night’s second round match against Baghdatis. Agassi won’t get to play is third round match against Becker for a couple more days.
I’m not a Mac developer (don’t even own a Mac yet) but I have an idea that could solve the problem:
The Mac’s Touchpad already detects a number of events like scrolling, two-finger scrolling, tap and double-tap. So theoreticaly one could hack the thouchpad’s software to detect taps on the right side of the touchpad as right-clicks… don’t you think?
Leave a comment if you know of any utilities that do this, or if Apple’s driver allows it already.
UPDATE: I went to the local Apple Store and opened the Touchpad preferences… These allow you (among other things) to tap on the touchpad to simulate a button click and also to place two fingers on the touchpad while clicking the button below the touchpad to simulate a right-click. Not quite what I asked for, but close enough.
It’s a simple idea: every Apple Store should have one computer running Windows XP via Parallels Desktop software.
Why? I believe it would help convince wannabe-switchers to take that final step and purchase a Mac.
When the first MacIntels came out, I began seriously thinking about switching from my all XP set-up. Running the Vista Beta simply made the decision easier (it lasted only two weeks on my laptop before I happily went back to XP SP2).
I depend on XP for part of my work, since I do all my software development on Microsoft’s Visual programming languages. The rest of my work revolves around the internet and Web2.0, for which the MacIntels suit me just fine.
But try finding an Apple Store where you can try out Windows… I haven’t received so many funny looks since the day my sister dyed my hair orange while I slept out in the sun.
I eventually stumbled into Apple’s Lincoln Road store on Miami Beach, where XP was being installed on an iMac (via BootCamp). As weird as it may seem, it’s quite reassuring to see XP boot up on these alien machines.
But there’s still this sense of secrecy around XP in the Apple Stores… Parallels Desktop software was unavailable on the shelves (but they had copies out in the back, they said). The next week, they were on display only to misteriously disappear the next day.
Apple needs to understand that running XP can only boost sales of their computers. Ideally, they should have a computer running XP and several important applications that may or may not be available on the Mac platform.
Now I just need to wait for the Core 2 Duo laptops…
More on the web: see “On Getting Closer to a Mac Tipping Point” for additional views on the subject.
I’ll begin this series on usability mistakes with a perfect example of “how to waste your customer’s time and turn them away.”
DADAmobile is a web service for downloading games, ringtones and other content to your mobile phone. I was trying to download a game for my Treo 650 mobile phone when I encountered the following:
The first screen looks promising. It gives a description of the game you’re about to download and offers an informative selection of mobile phone brands. Just click on your particular brand of cellphone and off you go…
I clicked on Palm and was now given the choice to choose between Palm models, the Treo 600 or the Treo 650, complete with pictures of both models. So far so good.
Selecting my mobile model (Treo 650), I thought I’d be shown download instructions (or, worst case, subscription instructions). Instead, I got the following screen, telling me that “Sorry but your phone doesn’t support the content requested.” (sic)
Now, if they’re smart enough to tell me now that my phone won’t run the game I selected, they should be smart enough to tell me so before I waste my time on their website.
In this particular case, the software logic is already there. It’s not like they need to hire a programmer and rework their website. They simply need to move the code that checks for phone compatibility a few steps before its current location.
Check the flow of your website and make sure you optimize the places where you branch out or exit. In the above example, not only would DADAmobile save their customers time and aggravation, they would also save bandwidth by not serving two additional pages.