Local Coupons via RSS

TechCrunch writes about Zixxo:

If you are an advertiser you can try this out for free – Zixxo is not charging anything to advertisers for all of 2006. They have fairly robust tools for creating a coupon on the site, or advertisers can upload an existing offer. Coupons can be targeted locally or nationally, and there are other great features like pause to allow an advertiser to pull a coupon during busy periods. The eventual revenue model is to charge $0.50 per coupon printed (or click to an online offer) once they begin charging.

Users can find coupons via search or browse on the site, or receive email or RSS alerts for the location and/or coupon categories of their choice. Ive registered and will receive offers within an area around my home zip code (I chose 5 miles, but this is set by the user).

Muzac and Music

The New Yorker writes:

Muzak’s audio architects do something analogous within programs, too: some customers want to establish different moods at different times of the day; some want current hits to repeat frequently, as they do on Top Forty radio stations; some want programs that are closely geared to the seasons. At some retailers, one of the biggest changes occurs at closing time, when the music becomes louder, more intense, and presumably more likely to include lyrics that could be mistaken for profanity. That’s an after-hours program, designed by Muzak’s audio architects for employees who restock the shelves.

Audio architecture is a compelling concept because the human response to musical accompaniment is powerful and involuntary. Our biggest competitor, a member of Muzaks marketing department told me, is silence.

Google and AdSense

Greg Linden suggests that the way to beat Google is to create a better AdSense.

AdSense is now about half of Google’s revenue and their future growth. Microsoft should strangle Google’s air supply, their revenue stream.

Targeting ads well to content is hard. Google AdSense does not do a great job of it yet. Advertising should be useful, relevant, and interesting content — information about products and services you want to hear about — and it is not. There is a real opportunity here to do it better.

Network 2.0

Robert Young writes:

As the major TV networks increasingly place their programming on the web, whats interesting is how little differentiation there is between the Yahoos of the world and the networks affiliates (e.g. when everything becomes a bit, the Internet is the great equalizer). It essentially becomes a game of who can offer larger audiences and better financial terms.

Wittingly or unwittingly, the major TV networks may be setting up their own affiliates to compete head-on against the major web portals (setting up your old distribution channel to compete against the new outlets is actually a smart chess move). The same competitive dynamics will also impact the traditional syndication market and home video/DVD distribution. Of course, a cynic could view all this simply as an stunt by the media companies to appease the stock market mandarins who have been baying like a pack of wild dogs.

Low-cost Cellphones

WSJ writes:

Motorola’s Indian-made C115 phone, which has a simple black-and-white screen, sells for $40, about $15 less than Nokia’s lowest-price model in the country. The difference cost Nokia sales of two million to three million units in India during the first quarter, Sandeep Malhotra, an analyst at Merrill Lynch & Co., estimated in a research note.

Late last month, Nokia launched three new cellphones for emerging markets that range in price from $54 to $90. The company estimates that 80% of the world’s next billion cellphone users will be from developing markets.

At Samsung, executives said Friday the company will develop “premium low-priced” phones, at around $100, rather than compete at the sub-$60 level.

TECH TALK: Father to Son: Memories

Dear Abhishek,

As I write this (on the Sunday before your first birthday), you are in Santa Cruz with your grandparents (Bhavanas parents). Youll be back home tonight. It is now always depressing to come home to an empty room at home and to wake up without you next to me. (Or get woken up by your mom because youve decided that 5 am is a good enough time to be awake and your mom needs a little extra sleep!) As I sit on the computer and write this out, there are so many memories of the past year that came flooding in.

Like the first few days after your birth when you didnt know how to take in milk. I wondered about how youd learn and how youd get your mothers milk. Luckily, as I should have known then, just when we thought something was an issue, youd surprise us with your learnability. (I still worry how youll ever learn to sleep on your own you need your mummy to pat you to sleep! Please surprise us soon.)

Like the day about a month ago when I saw you walk for the first time. You looked just like those babies they show in the TV ads! Walking brought you a new world to explore. Suddenly, your world became so much bigger. You had already been crawling in early November, but this ability to walk has transformed your space. Later that day, I held your little hand and we walked together from one end of the house to the other. Of course, you didnt need to hold my hand. It was just me helping you explore a bit of the world around. As Bhavana had said sometime ago when she was admonishing me for not spending enough time with you, Spend the time now with him rather than sitting on the computer. Soon, he will not need you. Maybe, I wanted to reassure myself that you still did. But in that instant as we walked, I knew you had become bigger and I had become a little older.

Like the trips that we have taken together. To Rajasthan, Chennai and Surat. (You also went once for a couple days with your mom to Pune.) It is always fun traveling with you. It gives me a lot more time with you. The Chennai trip in February was special. I took you out that afternoon since your mother was busy in another function. We went to Spencers Plaza. We spent time in Landmarks buying a small bag for you. Then, as I bought a Bluetooth dongle for myself in one of the shops, you fell in love with the small calculator at the shop. And started yelling for it. So, I went and got you that little calculator which you held closely for the next hour. You and I then had lunch together a dosa. Then, as we made our way back to where we were staying in the rickshaw, you fell asleep sitting on my lap. I didnt even realise it for some time I was talking and showing you the things around. It was the first time I had managed to put you to sleep.

Like the times when youve fallen sick, and there have been more than a few occasions. I dont worry about those too much I know you are resilient enough to overcome. But we still worry. The time recently when the pediatrician mentioned you had eczema. The name sounded so threatening. The time when we thought you were teething when you spent the entire night crying many months ago. Well, we are still waiting for your teeth to show up! The early days when you just didnt know how to fall asleep. Your mummy would hold you in innumerable positions and put you in the jhula (swing) and wed heave a collective sigh of relief when youd fall asleep. Every day.

Tomorrow: Your Mom and You

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