We Think, The Book

Smart Mobs points to a new book by Charles Leadbeater:

Google is on the verge of bidding 1bn for Youtube, a business little more than a year old. Wikipedia continues to draw more traffic than much more established media brands, employing hundreds more people. Open source programmes such as Linux insistently chip away at corporate providers of proprietary software. Immersive multi user computer games, such as Second Life, which depend on high levels of user participation and creativity are booming. Craigslist a self help approach to searching for jobs and other useful stuff is eating into the ad revenues of newspapers. Youth magazines such as Smash Hit have been overwhelmed by the rise of social networking sites such as MySpace and Bebo. What is going on?

We-Think: the power of mass creativity is about what the rise of the likes of Wikipedia and Youtube, Linux and Craigslist means for the way we organise ourselves, not just in digital businesses but in schools and hospitals, cities and mainstream corporations. My argument is that these new forms of mass, creative collaboration announce the arrival of a society in which participation will be the key organising idea rather than consumption and work. People want to be players not just spectators, part of the action, not on the sidelines.

Mobile Monetisation

Moconews writes about a talk given by Infospace president Stephen Davis:

Davis did not have an answer for what that monetization will look like and when it will happen. But he says there is much to be learnt from the trials of monetizing broadband services, not least that a different system of quantifying mobile ads might be needed. Were talking to advertising agencies and big brands looking to buy and the traditional CPM model does not work for them. Yet they under that mob represents one of most targeted, relevant distribution channels for delivering their message so we almost need to adopt a different measurement system to quantify the value for them – particularly in US where markets are becoming much more verticalized. Were focusing on very specific segments of demographics in a way havent been able to in search, for instance.

He said Infospaces research into ad forms had found product placement to be the most accepted and least obtrusive way of monetizing content. You give the consumer a reason to experience even a two or three second banner ad or click on a product placement plug – give them an incentive like a credit or a ringtone – and then give them that content for free. Its a Pavlovs dog mentality that you can develop over the long term of content delivery. Product placement is the most accepted and least obtrusive for now. I dont know if that is long term but it works for now.

5o9 for Physical World Connection

The Pondering Primate writes:

Recently OP3 announced Coca Cola Mexico would be putting 40 million ShotCodes on Sprite bottles for camera phones to scan. Look what 5o9 can offer after the users click.

Scan a 2d code (physical world hyperlink PWH), in this case a ShotCode and get connected to an Internet site. With 5o9, your personal preferences (which you already provided) are matched up with your location and coupons are delivered to your cell phone. (I don’t know if their solution works with some of the other 2d codes)

5o9 might just have the complete solution for physical world connection commerce.

Desktop and Mobile Web

Lifeblog writes:

What bothers me is that when we talk about the mobile Web or mobile Internet it suggests a different Web than the fixed, broadband Web. My struggle comes in being able, on the one hand, to say that there is but One Web, there is only One Internet, and, on the other, discuss the Web one lives when mobile.

Well, starting today, I will call the distinction the ‘desktop Web experience’, or ‘desktop Web’, and the ‘mobile Web experience’, or, as before, ‘mobile Web’. It harks back to the foreground-background concepts defining experiencing the Web from the PC (now to referred to as ‘desktop’) and the mobile (which, due to my position, I might be ‘forced’ to call ‘multimedia computer’, or ‘MC’ – heh).

Marketing and Social Networks

The New York Times writes about the social networking sites:

These sites and dozens of smaller ones have something those marketers want: the attention of tens of millions of young people who increasingly avoid television commercials. So companies from Procter & Gamble to J. P. Morgan Chase, like so many lonely teenagers, are tricking out their online profiles and trying to make friends on the Web.

The sites are trying to move beyond banner ads and develop ways to integrate marketers into the fabric of their online communities. For example, marketers encourage the sites users to become friends with characters from their ads, and are experimenting with more elaborate campaigns that take advantage of the word-of-mouth effects of networking sites.

TECH TALK: The Rise of YouTube: Comments (Part 2)

Bambi Francisco wrote:

Although it’s widely being considered a video-sharing site, YouTube is really a social-networking site.

A Google acquisition of YouTube underscores what many observers believe about the future. Yes, it’s about video. But it’s also about a community and about reaching the so-called long tail of production and consumption opportunity on the Web.

No single company has done more than Google this year to demonstrate how strongly it values social networks and the long-tail business potential they could offer.

Buying YouTube marks the largest acquisition yet for Google. It’s also the most defensive, an acknowledgement that video (not basic search) will be the fastest-growing online opportunity for some time in the future and Google today ranks No. 8 in that segment of the market, vs. YouTube at No. 3. Moreover, because YouTube has tons of unauthorized copyrighted material on its site, buying the startup is Google’s riskiest move to date.

Robert Young commented on how the future of social networks is all about communications:

Given the importance of communications as the extensible anchor component for the future of social networks, Ill end this by providing an example of the type of enhancement that I believe would work one that should be obvious. MySpace, for instance, should offer its members the ability to communicate on the wall via video. So imagine friends in your social network leaving messages on your wall, but instead of just text and pictures, they post a video clip (yes, I know you can already post video clips as messages, but its not what I would consider an integrated video communications platform). Doing so will accomplish several strategic objectives.

First, enabling video communication will enhance novelty, thereby driving a new demand curve of stickiness. Secondly, since video messages can be counted as user-generated video content, the traffic and volume of video messages should spike, thus providing MySpace with an added source of video production & consumption that could easily surpass YouTubes traffic count. Lastly, this is the kind of functionality that would be ideal for mobile phone extension. Imagine kids using their video mobile phones to upload and download video messages its something that could easily become the next cool thing and ubiquitous.

Jeff Jarvis wrote in a post entitled Google’s Nichecasting Networks:

What YouTube brings to its deal with Google: people. Though Google depends on the wisdom of the crowd, it still respects us only in aggregate as a mass.
YouTube made the new TV social. It enabled people to recommend the good – or at least amusing stuff not just by their clicks and ratings but also by their actions: YouTube allowed us to put good videos up on our blogs. YouTube enabled us to become network programmers.

So then how does Google make money on those videos? How does it serve advertising? The same way it does now: Google does not make us come to it and its ads; Google takes its ads to where we already are. It serves ads on my own blog.

If the Google purchase of YouTube is successful, it will learn how to listen to people as individuals with taste and timely opinions and use that to enable us to find the video we each want to see wherever it is. It will make YouTube a key channel of distribution even for old, big networks (witness this deal, announced yesterday, between CBS TV and YouTube). And then Google will sell advertising on that new TV screen, powering the explosion of the new television.

Welcome to Google Nichecasting Networks.

Tom Foremski wrote:

One way to look at this deal is to say that YouTube acquired the most efficient and powerful computing platform on the planet. GOOG can offer YouTube instant economies of scale that would have taken it years to build.

In addition, Google has a business model that can monetize YouTube much better, and more quickly than anybody else. If YouTube had an IPO today, it would take it a long time to become a large thriving business, fighting off many similar competitors along the way.

GOOG can monetize YouTube far better and far more quickly than anybody else. Therefore YouTube’s valuation is likely on the low side considering the revenues Google can make from this acquisition.

What the Google/YouTube deal represents is the bet that scale on the Internet will win every time. That if you can aggregate the largest number of users, the largest number of applications, the largest number of advertisers, you will win each time.

Tomorrow: Comments (continued)

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