Telling A Story

Atanu Dey writes:

To know is to know the story. To be able to convey meaning, you have to be able to tell a story. To teach is to be able to tell a story which makes sense to the listener, the student. To learn is to be able to listen to a story and extract meaning from it. Once upon a time is the beginning of the process of teaching and learning. Thus have I heard is how the communication of wisdom begins.

For ever since I can remember, I have associated learning with stories. Since childhood, my best teachers have been those who have had the gift of telling a good story. My grandfather was one such. In high school, our English teacher was another master of tales.

When I was struggling with the formulation of my PhD thesis, my advisor told me, Tell me a story. If you can tell a story which is interesting, you have a PhD thesis. It was indeed that simple.

Shanda’s Strategy

WSJ writes:

In November 2005, Shanda dropped a bomb: It was changing the business model for its cash-cow “massive multiplayer online role-playing games” from collecting revenue through hourly or monthly fees to a “free-to-play” system.

Under the new model, users join for free but pay to enhance their online-game experience with special weapons and accessories, a little like luxury goods for the virtual world. The most basic new sword might cost two yuan (about 25 U.S. cents), for example, as might virtual flowers for a friend.

Lately, that business model, borrowed from South Korea’s hypercompetitive games market, has fared far better than expected. Shanda’s second-quarter net profit was 10 times as high as that of the first quarter. Online-game revenue, $46.8 million, was 21% more than in the first quarter, though 20% below the second quarter of 2005.


WSJ writes:

Multitasking, a term cribbed from computers, is an information age creed that, while almost universally sworn by, is more rooted in blind faith than fact. It’s the wellspring of office gaffes, as well as the stock answer to how we do more with less when in fact we’re usually doing less with more. What now passes for multitasking was once called not paying attention.

Employers continue to seek out jugglers despite decades of research showing that humans aren’t great multitaskers.

Marketing Services Is the Future of Media

Scott Karp writes:

Media companies need to focus on leveraging their most important assets relationships, engagement, and community these are the new vehicles for marketing. Companies have these same assets with their loyal customers, but media holds the key to new customers. Its no longer about just delivering a message its about leveraging the connection that media (be it New York Times, MySpace, Boing Boing, YouTube, Digg, or Google) has with its users, who are increasingly driving the media (and in the case of MySpace ARE the media). Its about enabling people to discover and connect with brands through meaningful, entertaining, and useful content and experiences, which media companies, who should know their audience/users best, are ideally positioned to facilitate.


Business 2.0 writes:

Widgets are absolutely where the action is today. Lots of startups (including my own, so consider this full disclosure) see enormous opportunities in developing widgets – which are simply a new way to take advantage of Web services. They make the Net more fun, useful, and customizable for users. And they turn the biggest destination sites like MySpace into virtual platforms that create their own juice.

How? Consider a typical MySpace user’s page, studded with widgets that pull from video goliath YouTube or photo services such as Slide. Everyone’s a winner here: MySpace, because it becomes stickier; YouTube and Slide, because they get the traffic; and the user, because he or she gets it all on one page.

TECH TALK: The Now-New-Near Web: EventWeb (Part 3)

Ramesh Jains third post continues the discussion around Events.

Objects in common language remain vague and are understood more clearly and precisely in a specific context.

For computers, objects must be defined more precisely. In computer science one defines objects as having two important components: data associated with the object and methods that operate or access data in predefined ways. The data is usually accessed only through the methods. In programming, one first defines classes of objects where all data associated with objects is defined, along with its type, and methods that will operate on all these data fields are defines. Each object in a program is an instance of a class. Each class may have subclasses and these subclasses may inherit some data types and methods from their parent class.

An event, defined in computing environments, should be a mechanism to define three important aspects of an event clearly and explicitly. These three aspects are:
– information about the event,
– experiences related to the event, and
– structural and causal relationships with other events.

An event in computational form should represent data associated with the above aspects and processes to acquire and present these as may be needed. By providing flexible and expressive mechanisms to define these three components and associated methods, one could define events effectively. The event environment should provide tools to define any event of interest from many disparate application domains. One may first define event classes and then each event in the system may be an instance of a class.

The basic characteristics of an event will be the ID of the event, its time and location. Time and location become fundamental defining characteristics of an event. A similar event may take place at different time and space and will be considered a different event. In this sense, an event is a defined in spatio-temporal space. There are good reasons to consider events as either point events or interval events. Point events are just points in the spatio-temporal (referred to as ST) space; interval events are regions in ST space.

The informational characteristics of an event will be similar to data elements defined for objects. All informational attributes will be data of specific types and methods may be defined to access these attributes and operate on those. The information components may consider fields like participants, objects, and similar data fields commonly defined as attributes of objects. Many of these fields will have similar data types and methods.

Tomorrow: EventWeb (continued)

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