Gotuit’s Broadband Video Portal

Richard MacManus writes:

Gotuit.com is a free service. It offers instantaneous video delivery of a variety of professional media content – e.g. mainstream music and sports.

Gotuit is strictly about professional content. It’s partnering with mainstream media video producers – e.g. Universal Music, Warner Brothers, Reuters – to serve up content across 4 main categories: Music, Sports, News, and Entertainment. It has the latest music videos (ref: Nelly Furtado screenshot below), movie previews, short films, sports news and clips, and more.

Also it has the ‘search inside the video’ feature I mentioned above. How is that done? Mark Pascarella told me that in the current broadband video market, there’s a need for “a better, richer set of data for video search”.

Internet as Hard Drive

Technology Review writes:

Online storage systems that can automatically synchronize the data on all of your computing devices, including the PCs you use at home and at work and your smart phone, are finally a reality. One industry watcher, Thomas Vander Wal, calls them “personal infoclouds”: technologies that scatter your data across the Internet and reassemble them on your preferred devices.

If you edit a photo or a document and save it on your work PC, for example, these new services will automatically update the online copy, then do the same for the copies on your work PC or even your cell phone. This month, Sharpcast introduced a service that synchronizes digital photographs, and companies such as Streamload are rolling out systems this summer that keep other types of files in sync, including commercially purchased downloads such as iTunes songs and videos.

Mobile World and Net Neutrality

NewsForge has an article by James Glass (not his real name):

Imagine you want to create a user-moderated news service like digg.com that operates on SMS. On the neutral Internet, you rent a Web server ($7-$100 per month to start), register your name, and start programming. Total time required: less then two hours in most cases. But getting a service on the non-neutral US cell phone network would be a little different:

The first step would be to contact a company known as an aggregator. This company manages your relationships with the cell phone carriers — and that’s carriers, plural, because making an agreement with just one carrier ensures that your service will fail because it cannot effectively spread via word of mouth. The first requirement from an aggregator is a service charge, which starts at $1,000 per month. Then, you must buy a shortcode (which kind of serves as your Web site name) for an additional $500-$1,000 per month. But you’re not done.

The next step is satisfying the requirements of the cell phone companies. Many of these steps, such as requiring affirmative opt-in before a subscription can start, are not burdensome, and serve to protect the carriers’ customers. Others, however, border on ludicrous. Requirements vary by carrier, but some prohibit operators from offering games or sweepstakes, or require that subscription periods can only be monthly: not daily, weekly, or yearly. Others require that content, such as ringtones, be locked so users can’t forward them from their phones to their friends’ phones.

Yahoo and Google Services

The New York Times writes:

Do Internet users prefer services that are consistent and predictable, like those offered by Yahoo, or are they more interested in Googles wow factor? These two approaches define a pivotal front in the battle for online loyalty between the major players in the Internet search business.

Both companies see e-mail and other services as ways to display more advertising and, even more important, as a way to keep their brands in front of users so they stick around for more searches.

MySpace Ecosystem

Business Week writes:

Now, MySpace is beginning to create its own ecosystem of third-party companies that are developing features and applications for the giant digital community, according to a new report from analyst Richard Greenfield of Pali Research. He says the idea is to encourage other companies to use their creativity and expertise to come up with things for MySpace users that MySpace itself hasn’t. That could be anything from letting people add to their MySpace home pages from a mobile phone or creating a slide show of their favorite MySpace photos.

TECH TALK: Good Books: The Change Function

I was enthralled by Pip Coburn’s writings on technology while he was at UBS. So, it didn’t take me much time to pick up his book, The Change Function. It is about why some technologies succeed — and others fail. The short answer:

The Change Function = f(user crisis vs. total perceived pain of adoption).

From the books description:

After years of studying countless winners and losers, Coburn has come up with a simple idea that explains why some technologies become huge hits (iPods, DVD players, Netflix), but others never reach more than a tiny audience (Segways, video phones, tablet PCs). He says that people are only willing to change when the pain of their current situation outweighs the perceived pain of trying something new.

In other words, technology demands a change in habits, and thats the leading cause of failure for countless cool inventions. Too many tech companies believe in build it and they will come — build something better and people will beat a path to your door. But, as Coburn shows, most potential users are afraid of new technologies, and they need a really great reason to change.

Here is an excerpt from the book (from Fast Company):

Technologists think we’ll gladly adopt an innovation when it’s manifestly smarter. But change is an emotion-laden process. Disrupting, game-changing technologies? No way. Most of us despise being disrupted and don’t wish to be game-changed.

The technologies that stand the best chance of winning us over are enhanced editions of products we already understand. Flat-panel televisions, for example, are much better televisions with low perceived pain of adoption. Everyone “gets” what a basic television is all about. There’s nothing to learn. At the same time, flat-panel TVs address a powerful need. True, it’s both subtle and self-fulfilling: It’s the psychic pain we feel for not having one. Since 19% of televisions sold in 2005 were flat panels, the technology appears set to hit a societal tipping point. Anyone who doesn’t have one will feel deeply embarrassed about it. If that’s not a crisis, I don’t know what is.

A technology’s success or failure is not merely fated. Instead, it demands action of one of two varieties. Technologists can identify and intensify a customer crisis. Or they can reduce the perceived pain of adoption.

Tomorrow: The Change Function (continued)

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