Flash Video

Fred Wilson writes:

I’ve noticed that two pieces of infrastructure are apparently missing in the flash video world and I am curious if anyone is building them.

The first is an easy tool to syndicate flash video to all the major video “portals”. Wallstrip is available today at eight locations/players; Revver (their default player), YouTube, Google, Yahoo!, AOL Uncut, vSocial, Veoh, and MetaCafe. I am sure they will add more locations/players as they find new places with significant audiences.

The second problem is tracking all the views on all these services and where the views are coming from. It’s simple enough (although time consuming) to visit each service, locate the video, and find out how many views it has gotten. But because most (maybe all?) of these services allow the video to be embedded elsewhere, you really don’t know where the views are coming from.

2007 Mobile Industry Predictions

WirelessDuniya points to Converge Digest:

1. CD-Quality Music Will Be The Killer Cell Phone Application

2. Mobile TV Use on Cell Phones Will Grow, but Not as Fast as CD-Quality Music

3. The Earliest and Most Frequent Users of Mobile TV Will be People Riding Trains To and From Work

4. Digital Cameras on Cell Phones Will Have Less Customer Adoption Compared with Music

5. The Entry-Level Cell Phone Market Will Be the Sweet Spot for CD-Quality Music Applications

6. India Will be the Fastest Growing Cell Phone Market for the Next Several Years

7. Simultaneous Cell Phone Applications Will Be Crucial; Those Who Don’t Offer Them Will Lose Out to Those Who Do

8. More Feature-Rich Cell Phones Will Be Key in Enabling Wireless Service Providers to Boost Their Average Revenues Per User

9. 3G Cell Phones Will Not Be All About Merely Enabling the Connected Lifestyle, but Rather Perfecting the Connected Lifestyle

10. More Collaborations Will Be Necessary to Survive and Thrive in the Cell Phone Market

Phone Features Wishlist

Tim O’Reilly has compiled a set of lists. Among some of the feature requests:

# I want my phone to sync seamlessly with my address book to remember everyone I ever communicate with, not just those I explicitly add, and to use heuristics like Google does to find the top web pages to help find the most likely addresses to remember for me. Obviously, adding someone explicitly is the highest priority form of remembering, and deleting them is the highest form of forgetting, but in between, there are all kinds of interesting options: give higher priority to people I communicate with most often; give higher priority to people I respond to most quickly; give higher priority to people with whom I spend the most minutes communicating; give higher priority to people with whom I communicate using multiple methods (see point 2 below); demote people who call me and leave messages but to whom I never respond; demote people on known telemarketer lists.

# Integrate with other non-phone communication methods (e.g. email and IM, for phones that don’t support it), and use all the same metrics as in #1 above to give me an address book that reflects my true social network.

# Give me a PC-based app that lets me manage my social network (and visualize it), in much the same way that iTunes lets me manage my music, with more sophisticated controls than are easy to cram onto a handheld device.

Small Displays

Greg Linden writes:

Much of the UI effort in mobile focuses on the hard problem of picking what information to display on tiny screens. Many of the mobile search startups are focused on this problem exclusively, but the solutions are unsatisfactory.

When I look at this problem and the effort going into it, I wonder if we are just a couple years away from a hardware solution that makes much of it obsolete.

For example, I could imagine a small, monocular-like device that I hold up to my eye. Looking through this, I could see what would appear to be a massive screen covering most or all of my field of vision, not that much different than sitting 12″ away from a 20″ flat screen display.

RSS and Newspapers

Mark Cuban writes:

If Google or Yahoo are immediate gratification for everything and anything globally, Newspapers can be the library for everything and anything locally. The attraction of Youtube isnt the quality of its content, its the breadth. You can find anything and everything. Your website can be the same. Its what we did at broadcast.com . We drowned them with volume and alternatives. We didnt care if it was audio or video of a cat screeching, 2 people playing bridge or a cousin telling jokes. We figured if there was enough choice, people would come back out of curiousity to find out what was there. Only your newspaper can do the same thing locally.

Put in URLs around reporters/columnists/whatevers along with the orangamajiggi, and teach your users that your newspaper is now putting up everything and anything that they do. Get it first, get it best with the Heralds LiveLink. Just go to this webpage, click on the Yellow and then click on Bookmarks Toolbar Folder. The Herald will then automatically send you headlines of every story we put on the net by category. We bring the news to you ! No more having to search through Google News, or searching for the latest stories, we bring it to you !

TECH TALK: Best of Tech Talk 2006: Indian Pyramid

December is a good time to look back over the year and then look ahead. We will do the same in the coming Tech Talk columns. (These are also a little easier to put together considering that I am travelling quite a bit over the next couple weeks limiting the time for original thinking. I did try and make up for that with the past two Tech Talk series on my fifteen years as an entrepreneur, and on ventures and capital.)

In a nutshell, for me 2006 was about mobility (the work we are doing in Netcore), the Emergic ecosystem (which has grown to 11 companies which I have either helped co-found or invested in), and Abhishek (now 19 months old and needing more and more of my time). In fact, on Abhishek, I shared a thought with a friend the other day earlier, I would spend time with him because my wife insisted that I needed to. Now, I spend time because I want to. [This is reminiscent of the scene in the recently released movie, Vivah, where Prem invites Poonam on to the terrace shortly after they are engaged. When she comes, he asks her if she came because he called her. She replies that she came because she wanted to.] It is amazing how children endear themselves to us, and how as they grow up, they need us less but we start wanting to be with them more.

Back to the 2006 writings. If I had to pick the Tech Talks which were for me the most important, they would be the ones I wrote in August and September on the Mobile Internet and the Now-New-Near Web. Together, they capture the essence of how I see the future around the mobile web for emerging markets like India. The Knowledge@Wharton interview also distilled some of my thoughts on the same topic. I have excerpted here a few relevant selections from these Tech Talks, starting with an outline of how I like to think of the Indian market.

I think of the device-using India as being split into three. The top of the pyramid has about 10 million users for whom the desktop computer with a reasonably good Internet connection is the link to the connected world. Their access is from home or work, or both. Their digital life is built around their computer. They all have mobile phones but usage is somewhat limited to its use as a phone and texting device. At times, the mobile serves as a modem on the go to be connected with the laptop. This segment is akin to most users in the developed markets. Think of this as a PC First segment.

The middle of the pyramid has about 30 million users for whom Internet access is primarily via cybercafes. Access is, on average, limited to a few minutes a day. Because of the lack of continuity in access, usage of the Internet is limited email, chat, jobs, matrimonial sites being the primary destinations. This audience is much younger than the top of the pyramid. They all have mobile phones. The consumption of mobile content (ringtones, wallpapers, games, ringback tones) is high in this segment. For this segment, the mobile is the key to the digital life. The buddy list resides not on Yahoo or Microsofts IM services, but on their phone. SMS, rather than email, is the preferred way to interact with buddies. Think of this as a Mobiles First segment.

The bottom of the pyramid is about 60 million in India. For this segment, there is no access to a computer in some cases by choice (like my parents), but in most cases, because of economic reasons. They cannot afford to own or access a computer. For them, voice communications via the mobile is their primary way to connect to the world. SMS usage is still limited because of language barriers. This is the segment which is now growing rapidly in India as the mobile user base grows. This segment is almost entirely pre-paid. Think of this as a Mobiles Only segment.

Tomorrow: Mobile Internet