Everybody’s a Network

Jeff Jarvis writes:

In the future of media, which is now, everybody is a network. In the past, networks were defined by control of content or distribution. But now, you cant own all distribution and content is controlled where its created. So, I wonder, wheres the value and wheres the money in the fully networked world?

What is a network now? Your friend pointing you to something to read or watch is a network. The collection of people putting a YouTube video on their blogs makes a network. BlogAds bringing together 800 blogs for an MSNBC.com ad buy is a network. When you subscribe to a collection of feeds, or when you publish up a blogroll, or when you put a tag on your blog post, or when you use a Flickr tag that others use, you are a network.

Web-based Powerpoint Alternatives

Jon Udell writes:

discovered HTML Slidy, the latest initiative by the prolific Dave Raggett, a W3C Fellow whose other notable contributions include the essential HTML Tidy.

Given my skills and inclinations, its no surprise that Im an instant convert. To use it, you create a single XHTML file that pulls in CSS stylesheets and JavaScript code. Each slides content is wrapped in a DIV tag decorated with a class attribute of slide. Folks like me, who compose directly and easily in HTML, will love it.

Along with OperaShow, Dave Raggett acknowledges the influence of Eric Meyers S5. Using Web technology for presentations is hardly a novel idea. But now that the AJAX juggernaut is rolling, old projects are sparking new interest and spawning new offspring. According to Raggett, future plans for Slidy include a mechanism for remotely controlling distributed instances of a slideshow, using the browsers XMLHttpRequest object to listen for navigation commands.

Google’s Desktop Offensive

Business Week writes:

Desktop and the other tools fit with Google’s dual strategies of getting its brand in front of computer users in as many ways as possible, and at the same time creating ways for advertisers to get their message to specific audiences. “The key for them is to continue to leverage search, and then use their position there to garner success in other areas,” says Scott Kessler, an analyst with Standard & Poor’s.

By developing new ways to get Google in front of Web surfers, the company scores a better chance of directing people to its own search engine. Though developers will be able to develop their own Gadgets for the service, several of the new gadget features will be shortcuts to other Google products. The Google Desktop program will also still put the standard Google search bar on the desktop as well. The Notebook program will let users save links, images, and Web sites of interest, and act as a companion to users wherever they surf.

Bar Codes

WSJ writes about new uses:

A rising number of people are using new free services to connect to the mobile Internet by photographing bar codes. The codes — either conventional bar codes or digital ones — are showing up on more products, advertisements, books and even buildings. The technology is popular in Asia but previously failed to catch on in the U.S. after several attempts. Now, improving technologies and the ubiquity of camera phones are triggering a host of new bar-code services.

Nokia Corp. has built its own bar-code reader into new models of two camera phones that are scheduled to become available in the U.S. this fall. Scanbuy Inc.’s. Scanbuy Shopper, expected to be live in the next few weeks, grabs Shopping.com prices and reviews, for example, from a Universal Product Code, or UPC. Nextcode Corp. has launched ConnexTo, mobile software for reading digital bar codes that are cropping up on food packaging and posters. NeoMedia Technologies Inc., which owns mobile-ad firms, will launch its bar-code reader PaperClick later this year.

Dot-Mobi

WSJ writes that the new top-level domain could spur the wireless web:

Mobile Top Level Domain aims to change that in part by setting up a new domain name specifically for wireless Internet Web sites called dot-mobi. Just as dot-com is the domain name for many Web pages on the wired Internet, dot-mobi will become the suffix for Web pages that are formatted for cellphones and other wireless devices, the company says. Mobile Top Level Domain Chief Executive Officer Neil Edwards says the union of the Web and cellphones has so far been “a bad experience” that consumers and the mobile industry have failed to embrace. “Dot-mobi makes the Internet work on phones,” says Mr. Edwards.

Many big companies are backing this initiative because they will all benefit if the dot-mobi suffix takes roots among consumers. Wireless carriers like Vodafone could generate more revenues from data usage. For their part, Google and MSN are looking at advertising on cellphones, which is expected to be more effective than online advertising because the cellphone is perceived as a more personal device.

TECH TALK: Of Blue Oceans and Black Swans: Handling Failure

One aspect of blue oceans and black swans strategy is failure. One is likely to suffer more failures than successes. It is important to handle failure well. For me, when things dont work, I consider two things: what I did wrong, and what can I learn. Sometimes, it takes a long time to answer these two questions time helps one understand the things that wrong much more objectively.

I am of those who believe that failures can teach us more than success can. When I started out as an entrepreneur, I thought Id succeed right away. After all, I had a great education and a good set of ideas. The first two-and-a-half years were perhaps the most trying times of my life, and I was very unprepared for things going wrong. When I look back, that period in my life taught me two things: that failure is more likely that success in a business venture, and humility. It is that period I remember when I think things are going well. (As it turns out, most of my life as an entrepreneur has seen things not go well!)

Today, after all these years, I am much more balanced. Age may have something to do with it also. I am now approaching 39. But I think I have still managed to keep the same passion and excitement that I had a decade ago. A lot has to do with the kind of work one is doing and the belief one has, and the people one is working with.

We were not really taught to handle failure as part of our formal education. Even our professional lives, it is mostly about incremental successes. We work in groups, and the buck does not necessarily stop with us. There are always external factors and other people one can partially be held responsible if things go wrong. But as an entrepreneur, there is no passing the buck. The entrepreneur is completely responsible for the things that go wrong. That increases the pressure. Every day is a challenge. Many daily decisions have ramifications beyond just the immediate future. One cannot keep looking in the rear view mirror and play the what-if game.

Many times, we are quite content with the status quo and we let time pass. We do not want to do things differently because we are afraid of failure. We are hesitant to make big bold bets because we worry about what could happen if things go wrong. Failure is par for the course if we want to play for success. The bigger the bets we want to make, the greater the failures we will experience.

So, think blue oceans and black swans. Imagine the world of tomorrow and build it. In the context of India today, this is even more important we have to make up for many decades of lost time. Technology can provide leapfrog opportunities. They are there in every area. We have do it is to be willing to think different.

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