New Media Brands

Ajit at Open Gardens writes:

Forbes lists the fastest growing brands. This is a FAR more interesting list than the usual Coke and Mc Donalds. It’s also indicative of the power of new media .. 7 out of 10 are new media brands!

1 Apple Over 400 million songs have been purchased at the iTunes store.

2 BlackBerry Users average a 53-minute-a-day productivity gain, says Research in Motion.

3 Google World’s largest search engine sorts through 8 billion Web pages.

4 Amazon.com New service lets users pay $79 annually for unlimited shipping.

5 Yahoo New online music subscription service gives access to 1 million songs.

6 Ebay 150 million users are registered at the online auction site.

7 Red Bull Sponsors extreme-sports athletes and parties on college campuses.

8 Starbucks Opened four stores a day on average in 2004.

9 Pixar The Incredibles is the bestselling DVD of 2005 to date.

10 Coach Business in Japan now accounts for 22% of company sales.

Phones and Computers

Oliver Starr writes: “I believe that as phone technologies continue to advance, coupled with faster and faster networks being deployed, that the PC is going to become a fundamentally different device. Your phone will carry a “system on a stick” that houses your operating environment, programs, visual preferences etc. and your data will be safely stored remotely in virtually infinite and redundant data storage. Whenever you need capabilities (like a large monitor or keyboard) that exceed the current phone setup (though not for much longer with flexible OLED displays that could roll into the handset and brilliant optical keyboards that simply need a flat uniformly colored surface to work when voice recognition isn’t sufficient), all you’ll do is place your phone near a generic public computing terminal and via the system on your phone and a wireless local networking protocol, probably UWB, the terminal becomes YOUR computer. Best of all, when you’re done and you walk away (with your phone of course), the means for anyone else to access the files, or any other personal item has disappeared – no need to remember to erase anything, no need to worry about covering your tracks…everything lives in the handset.”

Microformats

Dion Hinchcliffe writes:

Information is often the most useful in bite-sized pieces. Storing information in convenient, tidy bundles sometimes called microcontent is still uncommon but this is changing quickly. Indeed, Web 2.0 trends will only increase the popularity of microformats that support discrete bits of lightly formatted information. This is one reason why Web 2.0 concepts strongly encourage small pieces, loosely joined: Monolithic specifications generally make for information that’s trapped inert behind large, hard to consume, and brittle walls of formatting. Microformats seek to add just enough structure to make the information easy to create and use as well as eminently repurposable.

So what microformats exist today? Quite few, and they really are tiny. Many of them are nothing more than an attribute added to an existing HTML tag. The quintessential microformat is XFN, the people relationships metadata profile. It specifies that you add information to a rel attribute in your anchor tags so that your relationships with those you link to on the Web can be provided. It helps increase sense of community on the Web and allows people to build tools that leverage this information, such as RubHub, an XFN relationships lookup engine.

Collaboration via Internet

The New York Times writes:

The second round of Internet innovation appears to be here. Companies large and small experienced soaring productivity in the 90’s as the Web made worlds of information available at the click of a mouse, and the Internet drastically reduced the cost of communicating and doing business with someone on the next floor or the next continent. That cost-cutting payoff continues to spread. But in the next wave, companies are embracing the potential of networked computing to let workers share their knowledge more efficiently as they nurture new ideas, new products and new ways to digitally automate all sorts of tasks.

Companies are drawing on collaborative models that first blossomed in nonbusiness settings, from online games to open-source software projects to the so-called wiki encyclopedias and blogs to speed up innovation. This networked collaboration is creating new opportunities and disrupting industries. New styles of work and, in business schools, new theories of innovation are rising.

“The big payoff for the future will be in helping knowledge workers to be more inventive and creative, and to get those innovations into the marketplace,” said Erik Brynjolfsson, a professor of managerial economics at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “That’s where a wealthy nation like the United States is ultimately going to have to seek its competitive advantage.”

Shanda’s Plans

Fortune writes about Shanda’s plans to go beyond online gaming with its set-top box:

Although industry analysts expect China’s online gaming industry will continue to expand by 35% a year for the next five years, Shanda is looking to diversify into other forms of interactive online entertainment. For a company used to doubling in size every year, 35% growth isn’t good enough. “If we want to keep Shanda growing very quickly,” Chen says, “we have to expand, to broaden our demographics.”

Like a character in one of his games, Chen wants to stay ahead of hungry competitors nipping at his heels, perhaps even slay one or two of them. So he has lined up 48 content partners to offer a wide variety of entertainment products appealing to many segments of the population. Chen imagines teenagers playing fantasy games, parents playing educational games with their children, grandparents playing chess or mahjong online, and whole families singing karaoke in front of their TV sets. “Maybe you can’t overcome the piracy problem on the content side,” Chen says, “but you can control the channel side and charge for it.”

TECH TALK: Web 2.0: Conference Highlights (Part 3)

This is what Fred Wilson had to say on the emerging future as he was making his way to the Web 2.0 conference:

One of the central tenets of Web 2.0 thinking is that lightweight “point solutions” that can be stitched together by the consumer are preferable to end to end solutions that are stitched together by the service provider.

I had a conversation with veteran web entrepreneur who challenged that assumption yesterday.

His view, one that I have to admit made me sit back and think, is that the early adopters (geeks) of the web 2.0 world prefer to stitch together point solutions, but that the mainstream web user will prefer an end to end solution.

Further, his view is that the leading portals; Google (I know they aren’t a portal, they are a starbucks store), Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, IAC, etc will stitch together end to end solutions with a combined build and buy strategy.

And it follows from this analysis, that the portals will end up winning the masses and leaving the point solutions either as assets to be purchased or to waste away and die.

Richard MacManus wrote:

Mary Meeker called where we’re at now a “boom-let”. We’ve gone from boom to bust to boom-let (presumably a precursor to the next boom). She thinks the first 10 years of Web were just the warm-up act for what will happen next. She’s particularly bullish on mobile technologies, which definitely haven’t matured yet. Mary mentioned in her speech here at the conference that 2009 would be the year of 3G.

Susan Mernit thinks the upcoming.org sale to Yahoo! marks the beginning of a boom. She sees the recent acquisitions of Google and Yahoo! as a sign they’re building “the base tool set/platform for a consumer-driven Web 2.0.” I agree with that and it shows the Web 2.0 ‘space’ is heating up big time. But does that make it a bubble yet, or will it take more mature broadband and mobile technologies to push it into a market-driven frenzy?

Richard had more to say about Mary Meekers talk:

“Korea is goto place to figure out where the Internet is going”
Innovation coming out of China – 5,6,7 yrs time
we’re at “boom-let” stage now (after boom and bust)
market valuations of top 5 companies huge (google, yahoo, ebay, yahoo japan, amazon), compared to 2000.
entering 2 most profound cycles ever: PC Internet (broadband) –> Mobile Internet
3G won’t hit big until 2009
3.6-1 mobile phone to internet user ratio in Japan (0.8-1 in US). The point is “we’re [US] not leading in this space”]
87% Skype usage is outside North America
70% revenue from mobile comes from sms and mms. Content will be revenue earner on bb Internet. So when mobile and bb collide, it will be interesting to see how it plays out.
LOTS of data in this talk!
“essence of this presentation is how important communications is” and convergence of bb and mobile etc.
Mobile-PC becoming new client-server model?

Tomorrow: Conference Highlights (continued)

Continue reading TECH TALK: Web 2.0: Conference Highlights (Part 3)