Video on the Internet

The New York Times writes:

First of all: yes, the world has gone batty over video. Thirty-second clips, three-minute spoofs, half-hour sitcoms, TV dramas that havent been shown in decades, rap videos, Hollywood blockbusters and feeds from TV news outlets big and small are flooding online. The term video itself is already starting to sound old the equivalent of songs before the advent of MP3s and downloads.

The good news and my second point is that theres gold in them there hills. Video delivered over the Internet is clearly shaping up to be an actual business that advertisers are interested in. The broadcasting (netcasting?) of television programs and clips on the Web moves the debate away from Internet-versus-TV because if TV executives put their best material online and get paid for it, the proposition becomes Internet-cum-TV.

China’s Booming Online Sales

SeekingAlpha has an article by Shaun Rein: “B2C and C2C e-commerce has taken time to gain a foothold in China. However, the combination of new forms of payment systems like Alibaba’s Alipay, an increase in credit card use, and an optimistic Chinese youth population willing to borrow against a bright future indicates that e-commerce might have finally found the growth engines needed to take off in the Middle Kingdom.”

One Web

Tom Hume writes:

It seems to me that the one web vs mobile web battle is idealism vs pragmatism, and the two don’t need to be mutually exclusive in the long term. There’s where we want to be, and there’s the reality of delivering services in the near future.

What doesn’t help is that upgrade cycles in mobile are slower than in the fixed web. We’ve all been brought up to think that releasing a new browser can get it into the hands of a large chunk of your audience within months, thanks to our experiences with Netscape, IE et al downloading software over the web. This doesn’t hold when it comes to mobile: browser software is tightly bound into the actual hardware, you’re looking at average 12-18 month cycles for consumers to upgrade their handsets, and need a couple of these cycles to get a large chunk of your audience over to any new technology.

So if a genius or company of geniuses solves the “one web vs mobile web” problem tomorrow with an incredible software product (and I haven’t seen a product which would qualify for this), we still have 2-3 years of dealing with the reality of what’s out there today before we can all be idealists.

Mobiles in India

The New York Times writes:

India has become the fastest-growing cellular market in the world, adding a net 5.9 million cellular subscribers in August, the Cellular Operators Association of India said this week. The gain outstripped China’s increase of 5.19 million subscribers.

Large areas of India remain too poor or remote to have cellphone service, even though the middle class is growing in many cities.

As poverty slowly eases, the explosive growth in cellphone use is expected to continue in this nation of 1.1 billion people. Factors like low calling charges and cheap handsets are also behind the subscriber gains.

India’s charges per minute are said to be the lowest in the world, as service providers offer deals that include a lifetime of unlimited incoming calls for a one-time fee of 1,000 rupees ($21.75).

Sync

EngTech writes:

This is the setup I am trying to sync:

* Microsoft Outlook at work for professional scheduling
* Google Calendar for personal scheduling
* Gmail for email addresses
* Microsoft Outlook at home for contacts and addresses
* Nokia 6682 for access to contacts/calendar on the go (or any mobile phone that has software to synchronize with Microsoft Outlook, ie: all of them)
* iPod for access to contacts/calendar on the go

ScheduleWorld wasnt something I used before I tried to do this, but it is the glue that holds it all together.

TECH TALK: The Now-New-Near Web: The Near Web

The Near Web can be thought of as incremental in Space. It is the Web that is around where we are physically present. It is a world of shops, malls, schools, hospitals, traffic, and much more. In India, much of this Web does not have an electronic presence. It needs to be created. In this context, I want to share two ideas that I had mentioned some time ago PIN-News and IndiaMirror.

PIN-News is about building a bottom-up community information system. It is built around PIN codes. Neighbourhood events can be posted on to specific pages, organised in a weblog-format. By using standardized forms to do the post, it is possible to capture the information in XML format and use a matching engine to send out alerts to people. For example, if I am interested in book exhibitions or special offers, I can set up an alert on a few PIN codes around my home and workplace. When the book shops in the area do their updates, I can be immediately alerted. PIN-News thus fills the gap in communicating dynamic information to people who are most likely to benefit from it.

Think of a Mirror World, by geographical area, categorised PIN code. (Everybody knows the PIN of where they live and work. Think of it as an About.com for the physical world — only it is managed in a distributed manner. Our goals in doing IndiaMirror are the following:

1. Create a revenue model from the local small buyers and sellers — a MicroGoogle
2. Be a utility in the lives of people — used daily
3. Create a platform which can be used to discuss and solve local issues and problems
4. Build an Information Marketplace platform
5. Enable people to create their own blogs and RSS feeds (via DIY forms). People can do their own updates – publishing
6. Create a weblog/wiki/RSS for every PIN in India. Everything goes into a backend database
7. The RSS Aggregator delivers RSS feeds to people�s mailboxes. People can subscribe for specific events – which are delivered to their computer or cellphone
8. Imagine if each physical object has a virtual presence (for example, a theatre could provide updates on movies and bookings; local shops can provide updates on what’s new in terms of sales, etc.)
9. People can also create a directory of local resources and landmarks. During elections this can be used to discuss the candidates contesting.

This is an innovative grassroots exercise in getting person-to-person publishing and syndication. It bridges information gaps. Think of it as an “information marketplace”. What is required is a mix of seeing the new technologies that are coming up, and applying them to fulfill needs of today’s non-consumers.
We now have the devices and the digital infrastructure to make the Near Web a reality.

Tomorrow: Citizen Media and Physical World Hyperlinks

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