China WAP Stats

China Web2.0 Review summarises:

# As of March 2007, there were about 39 million active wap users in China, they used mobile handsets to access WAP sites in last six months. About 90% among them are internet users as well, they access internet via PC in last six months.
# Most of the WAP users (over 60%) live in east of China, the concentration rate of WAP users are higher than that of internet users and mobile subscribers.
# About 9.7 million, or about one forth of total WAP users, live in Guangdong Province.
# 57% users will use WAP at least once a week.
# 26% users pay RMB 11-20 yuan per month for WAP usage, 23% users pay 21-50 yuan and 20% users pay 6-10 yuan.

Webification of Advertising

Phil Wainewright writes:

Today, were starting to understand that the Internet is going to fundamentally alter the way businesses promote their wares to prospective customers. So the entire online ad business is getting snapped up at (literally) any price. Even though the buyers have no clue what it is theyre trying to buy. All they know is that if they dont buy it, someone else will.

What theyre really trying to buy into is the webification of advertising. The same way that the internal combustion engine took the horseless carriage and turned it into something no one had ever anticipated, the Web is turning advertising into something we could never previously have imagined. Before the Web came along, advertising was a totally disconnected activity. Advertisers never had any certainty that their ads would be seen by any of their prospective customers, and even if they were, it was virtually impossible to assess how effectively they grabbed their attention.

Helio’s Ocean Design

Technology Review writes about the design of the new mobile phone from Helio: “The Ocean is hefty by today’s sleek standards, pill-shaped in a market of rectangular things. The company’s future will hinge on how much the intended audience appreciates those departures from conventional design. It will hinge on the layout of the device’s QWERTY keyboard. It will hinge on the simplicity of the messaging and search interface (for instance, the way it allows users to start typing from idle mode). And it will hinge on–the hinges. The Ocean (which will sell for $295, plus a monthly fee of $65 to $135 for rich-media subscriptions and varying allotments of voice minutes) sports a pair of them; operated by a novel three-way spring, they enable a keyboard to slide out from one side of the device and a numerical keypad to slide out from another.”

Popfly

John Montgomery writes about Microsoft’s Popfly service for mashups:

# It’s easy to get. All you really need is Firefox 2 or IE 6 or 7. Oh, and Silverlight, but that’s pretty easy to get.
# It’s easy to use. People have talked about wanting programming to be like connecting Lego blocks; Popfly gets pretty close.
# You can create mashups with it. This is kind of its purpose, but it’s neat nonetheless.
# You can create web pages with it. We “borrowed” the Office Live team’s page editor technology.
# You can use it with Visual Studio. If you’re a VS user, you can get Popfly Explorer and start to share projects with your friends on Popfly.

Micro-Blogging and Twitter

Mark Glaser has an excellent tutorial: “Micro-blogging allows you to write brief text updates about your life on the go, and send them to friends and interested observers via text messaging, instant messaging, email or the web. The most popular service is called Twitter , which was developed last year and became popular among techno-gurus at the 2007 South by Southwest Conference in Austin, Texas. Part of the magic of Twitter is that it limits you to 140 characters per post, forcing you to make pithy statements on the fly.”

TECH TALK: Facebook: The Platform (Part 2)

Splashcast Media, one of the companies creating applications for Facebook, had this to say about the platform: Facebook is announcing the opening of what its calling The Platform a system for 3rd party companies to program their services for use inside of Facebook user pages. As part of the announcement, about 30 preselected companies that have integrated with The Platform ahead of time are being showcased to demonstrate what kinds of things are being made possible. This goes beyond the ability to post media from outside into Facebook and it goes beyond the previous Facebook API (also called The Platform) – outside companies are now being allowed to deploy advanced functionality inside the Facebook site…Some monetization in Facebook will be permitted, so long as its not done on the same pages where Microsoft ads are being run. More may be possible in the future. That is a remarkable differentiator compared to other, similar websites that maintain tight control over monetization in their ecosystems. This is one of the big unknowns in regards to Facebook opening up but there is every indication that this will be a real game changer. When companies cant monetize their presence in larger ecosystems, then innovation becomes far less affordable. If Facebook does allow meaningful monetization to occur, they could serve as a lifeline to hundreds of small companies that will then take risks, develop innovative new products and change the face of the web.

Fortune added:

From here on it will be wide open. Anyone will have access to Facebook’s so-called “markup language,” which is intended to be usable even by those with rudimentary programming skills. So kids in dorm rooms will be able to create simple applications to coordinate TV-watching or trips to the cafeteria with their friends. And some creative amateur coders are likely to come up with amazing new things to do inside Facebook. Companies, too, will find many ways that Facebook applications can improve productivity and collaboration.

The company will impose no limitations on what kinds of applications others can create, except that they be legal. Says Zuckerberg: “They can sell sponsorships, they can have ads, they can sell things, they can link off to another site – we are just agnostic.” He promises that Facebook will not give its own applications any special privileges or exclusive access to its members.

TechCrunch thinks of Facebook’s approach as the opposite of MySpace: The payoff is two way. Not only do developers get deep access to Facebooks twenty million users, Facebook also becomes a rich platform for third party applications…Facebooks strategy is almost the polar opposite from MySpace. While MySpace frets over third party widgets, alternatively shutting them down or acquiring them, Facebook is now opening up its core functions to all outside developers.

GigaOM had this to say: This move is more than catching up with MySpace and Bebo and what have you by adding outside widgets; Facebook has become a primary relationship and identity broker for millions of people. Now outsiders can capitalize on that information in a safe way, pulling from users expressed interests in their profiles, building on their stated intention to attend events, or simply giving them more dedicated tools for expressing themselves. The outside apps will be woven into a structure thats already been built and is utilized every day…Admittedly, there is some reinventing the wheel going on. Wasnt the browser declared to be the new OS just, like, two years ago?

Tomorrow: The Early Days

Continue reading