Broadband over Power Lines

ZDNet.com writes about a roundtable at the Wharton Technology Conference:

Lesson 4: Broadband over powerline technology needs evangelists. Current has two large customers, Duke Energy and TXU, and it will need those partners to convince other utilities to follow suit.

Lesson 5: Success is a slog. Translation: Don’t expect broadband over powerlines any time soon. Current had to face regulatory hurdles and is targeting broadband services market by market, says Herron. There is no number of customers that will create a snowball effect right now although Current will need more than TXU and Duke on board.

Advertisers and Brands

Business Week writes: “It’s time to remember that advertising needs brands more than the brands need advertising. A good product creates its own relationships.”

Understanding what the consumers want and bringing solutions that will inspire them is the most powerful way to support any business strategy. Putting consumers and the product at the center of the equation is fundamental to a brand’s success. Design then becomes the message and the advertising, as it’s proof of a company’s commitment to people and to innovation.

A relevant and well-designed product will make its way into the world, will be spun across the blogosphere, will be sought after and endorsed in the most emotional fashion as a reward. Indeed, advertising needs brands more than the brands need advertising. When the commercial becomes more popular than the product, you really have a problemnot least that it doesn’t serve your brand long-term.

The Future

Brenda Cooper asks if we should be optimistic:

As a people, were not very sure about tomorrow. We worry about what we will leave our kids. Deficits. Dangers inherent in genetic engineering (of people and food). Global warming. Pollution. I could make a bigger list, but we all know the bogeymen of today, and we all know some are real. We even know yesterdays fears (such as nuclear proliferation and eventual war) are still partly untamed. Our famous scientists (like Stephen Hawking) talk about the need to flee before we destroy our home. So were at least a little afraid of the future.

Being afraid of the future will help make it better. It keeps us cautious. The things we have today that make the world small (the internet, the light of accountability) may help keep it safe. Knowledge in growing, and so is access to knowledge. In the past, as knowledge shone on various civilizations, they generally got better. Recently, knowledge and education have helped third world countries develop stronger economies and more social equalities. Indias rise is at least partly related to a commitment to education. Education is one of the biggest tools in the fight against AIDS. Im willing to bet connectivity and knowledge will continue to create better places and lives. So my hope no better than that, my expectation is that the future will be better than today. There is reason for optimism to temper our fear and lift our hearts.

Media Industry Schism

Scott Karp writes:

The real divide now emerging is between companies that create original content and companies that create platforms for aggregating and distributing that content. Newspapers embody the old media world where content creation, aggregation, and distribution were inextricably linked. But the digital media revolution has made it possible to separate these functions.

For traditional media companies, original content creation still straddles both coasts, but geography is quickly becoming irrelevant as an army of newly empowered individual and small enterprise content creators are storming the web from every corner of the globe.

The radical shift in the newly disaggregated business of original content creation is that, with so much competition (one might even call it a content creation bubble) and no control over distribution, content creation is no longer an easily scalable business in fact, many players in the new content creation game are not in it to build scale business, or even to make money at all.

Web 2.0 and Mobile

BBC writes: “With a growing demand for a better browsing experience on our mobiles, there is, according to the industry, demand for Web 2.0 on the go.”

While text blogging on a mobile is still seen as a minority sport, the explosion of camera and videophones now allows us to upload pictures and videos to our homepages. It is something that is already extremely popular on the successful South Korean social network Cyworld.

The social networking craze has seen phone manufacturers, network operators and big internet names announce various tie-ins to give users access to their own content.

TECH TALK: 3GSM 2007: Key Learnings

Come February and its time for another mega event for the mobile industry 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona. This year saw 55,000 visitors and 1,300 exhibitors. I have compiled together reports from various sources to provide a snapshot of the discussion.

Perhaps the best summary of the learnings from 3GSM comes from Katherine Hannaford. She has put together a list of 30. Here are a few:

1. There was no big theme this year
3GSM 2006 saw immense hype around mobile TV, with companies queuing up to proclaim it the Next Big Thing in mobile entertainment. The fact that it’s since disappointed means that the lack of a single big hype this year isn’t necessarily a bad thing. There was lots of buzz, but spread around a bunch of subjects, which is a healthier state of affairs.

2. Mobile social networking is a hot topic
There were lots of companies – many of them startups – promising to create MySpace-like communities for mobile. Meanwhile, the big players – the actual MySpaces, Bebos and so on – were undoubtedly at 3GSM, even if they weren’t talking about their plans…People aren’t sure if mobile-only social networks will succeed, for example, or whether mobile is just an add-on to existing web communities. 2007 should give some clues.

10. The operators need to sort out their data-tariffs
If we’re all going to be downloading music, video and games onto our phones from sources other than the operator’s own portals, we don’t want to be paying through the nose in data charges. Yet although T-Mobile and 3 have launched ‘flat-rate’ tariffs in the shape of Web’n’Walk and X-Series, the other operators are dragging their heels a bit.

13. Mobile TV is still underwhelming
Research firm M:Metrics surveyed 22,000 European mobile users before the show, and found that former mobile TV viewers now outnumber current mobile TV users. 45% of the people who’ve turned off say pricing issues were a factor, while 24% cite concerns over service quality and reliability.

14. Mobile blogging is growing, with photos and videos the focus
The problem with moblogging was always the assumption that people would type posts on their mobile keypad to upload. However ninja your texting skills are, it’s not very appealing.

23. Windows Mobile is gearing up for another big push
Microsoft launched Windows Mobile 6.0 at 3GSM, with all manner of on-stand demos showing off its new features, which we’ll be looking at in more detail in the weeks ahead.

30. Everyone thinks mobile advertising will be big. Nobody knows quite how it’ll work
The advertising industry loves the thought of putting ads on phones. Not least because the young cool hipsters it likes to target aren’t as susceptible to TV and print ads. Along with online advertising, mobile is the new buzz area. Trouble is, nobody’s quite sure what kind of mobile advertising will work well, and what us users will put up with.

Tomorrow: Mobile Web

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