This is going to take a lot to process. And there's a lot to be worked out (what does "royalty-free to members of the alliance" mean in practice? Will this be Open like Linux, or 'Open' like...brrrr...AT&T/Verizon Wireless?).
But OMG, IN YOUR FACE, iPhone (6MM handset sold US, 10MM projected by years end) and Google Android Handsets (None sold, nor to be sold soon): Nokia (1 Billion handsets in market) just got all 'Open-Source' Symbian on you.
"On Tuesday, companies including Nokia, Motorola, NTT DoCoMo, LG Electronics, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, AT&T, Texas Instruments, STMicroelectronics and Vodafone announced that they will work together to make the Symbian OS open source. They will offer it under a royalty-free license to members of a new nonprofit group called the Symbian Foundation.
Symbian is used in about 60 percent of the world's smartphones [~200MM handsets], which means that open-source software will soon drive the majority of those devices. The proprietary model behind mobile operating systems from Microsoft, Research In Motion and Apple, then, will for the first time be in the minority."
- Nancy Gohring, IDG News Services, Symbian Shifts Mobile World to Open Source, for PC World
200MM handsets in market using Symbian. Sure there will be legacy issues with handsets running older Symbian software, but c'mon. Microsoft's like "yeah, no worries. We don't see much of a change in the short term based on this announcement". That's like the Titanic's captain saying "well, in the light of news about an iceberg dead ahead, we see no need to alter our current course". Dude, did you read the FREE part? The market leader against whom MSoft is struggling for dominance in the mobile OS market [Symbian] just made their product free. Microsoft CHARGES people to use their mobile OS.
"It's unclear whether device manufacturers will want to continue paying high fees for Windows Mobile license when [Nokia] the market leader suddenly cut costs to zero." - J. Nicholas Hoover, Symbian's Open Source Gambit Ups Stakes in Mobile OS War, for Information Week
Really? Unclear whether people will want to pay for something they can have for free?
Nokia just made a BOLD MOVE.
Viral viral viral. If you read my blog, you know I hate the term. It isn't a term anyone agrees on, other than "viral marketing agencies" who are trying to sell it like special sauce. For the most part, that sauce is brown, lumpy and unpredictable, like the "gravy" you get at Applebee's. Marketers like the concept of 'viral', because to them it means "cheap media" (make a video, or app, or whatever, and distribution is FREE!), or it lets them say they "get social media" to whoever is checking off the boxes on their annual evaluation form. But nothing is viral that PEOPLE DON'T LIKE, and figuring out WHAT PEOPLE WILL LIKE is a game everyone can play, but few play well. Which is why most advertising SUCKS.
It's worth a look for two reasons: (1) it shows the power of participatory community, which is actually more interesting than the concept OR the execution, and (2) it shows how jumping onto a popular video may or may not be right for a brand. At the end of this video, do you get that this is actually a marketing vehicle for Stride gum? I didn't. And I knew it before I watched, then I even clicked through to Matt's site, looking for a logo or brand mention (the logo is there, at the bottom of the page, looking very Dad at the disco).
The story of the video as Matt tells it:
He has friend shoot video of him dancing badly in Hanoi. Stride gum sends him around the world to do the dance in a wide variety of places (normal "YouTube-viral-type-web-2.0-3.0" thing). But AFTER that video was made and posted, people sent him their own. And that gave him an idea. He re-pitched Stride with a new idea. He traveled the world again, inviting those people to join him. Participatory viral goes global.
Read more here:
http://www.wherethehellismatt.com/about.shtml (the website is sponsored by Stride)
And please practice safe viral.
Got a review copy of Adaptive Path's "Subject to Change". I'm 100 painful pages in to this 160 page book that seems so far to be at least 100 pages too long. In a nutshell: think about design. Oh - and think different. There. You don't have to buy one. The "quotes-by-interesting-people" sprinkled throughout the book only serve to show you that meaningful ideas and insightful thoughts lie elsewhere - in other books that you've probably ALREADY READ. I am forcing my way through it just to see if there's a twist that reveals this isn't just an painfully long and patronizing Adaptive Path credentials presentation. If there is, I'll glady come back and revise this entry.
Contrast that with Undoboy's new site.
"Design Brings Happiness" he suggests, then he sells it to you in the form of his Superbastard toys. Short, sweet, to the point. Elegant.
Cut and paste a [poem, blog entry, research report, etc.] into the Wordle box. Wordle will create a visual "Word Cloud" - with relative word size based on the frequency with which that word appears in the passage.
To try it out, I cut and pasted the complete text of Ecclesiastes (King James Version) into Wordle, and this is what I got:
When I cut and pasted Summize results for Coke, this is what I got:
Try dragging a speech, a brief, or research report into it. Basically, another way to find underlying themes - but with a graphic twist. And yes, you can change font, colors, etc.
Thank you, Publishing 2.0. Scott Karp's "Google AdWords: A Brief History of Online Advertising Innovation" is a post well worth the read for a look back to when Google's global supremacy was not a foregone conclusion. In it, Karp lays out the historical context and decisions that set Skynet on their current trajectory.
At the article's conclusion, Karp says this:
"The challenge of innovation is that we are all boxed in by what we know, by our assumptions about how things work...The next Google-like innovation is right in front of us — we just need to see past our own assumptions."
"Forget what you know."
A life philosophy in four words.
From Reuters, from an on-stage interview by Ken Auletta of Google CEO Eric Schmidt:
"Speaking of the emerging market for Web-based advertising on mobile phones, Schmidt said the vast majority of Google searches on mobile phones were done on Apple Inc's year-old iPhones, which prominently feature a Web browser."
'Mobile looks like it will ultimately be the highest of ad rates,' because ads can be targeted by user location, he said."
The eBay TV ad auction marketplace died a quiet death. The only real surprise was that this DOA defensive action's demise even warranted a story. As I recall, this "coalition of the billing" was created to try to keep Google out of broadcaster knickers (Google was at the time looking for broadcasters to partner with to test their own auction-based TV model, and no-one wanted them mucking around in the special sauce. eBay was easier. Less threatening. And uncompetitive). With no real mandate, poor funding, lackluster participation and an agenda driven by fear, not innovation, I'm honestly surprised it lasted this long. Did they finally go through all the stationary they had printed up? Run out of creamers and call it a day?
Next up: Canoe. As in 'up the creek without a paddle'. The cable industry sees Canoe as "[their] solution to the growing amount of ad dollars flowing to the Web." David Verklin (ex-Aegis/Carat) had this to say:
"We will have all of this new data and features that can prove to clients that people are actually watching the ads."
Darn. He could have said a lot of things. Things like "I'm excited to examine how we can continue to improve our value proposition and provide real value for our customers and marketers?" or "Advertisers need to create more compelling viewer engagement experiences and we're here to help them make sense of the opportunities", or "Brands needs to serve their brand communities more effectively in an era of infinite choice", or "Cable and broadcast still command massive audiences and we are seeking new more creative ways to leverage those effectively for advertisers and respectfully for viewers?". Naaaah.
TV (cable and broadcast) isn't going away. Not by a long shot. Among other things, it's getting smarter and more interactive. Does the cable industry really need an industry group stuffed with folks not incented to innovate OR collaborate? Heck - I was a sales guy once. Damned if I'd have given over my best inventory - the stuff I could count on to help me hit my numbers - to a 'consortium' for the 'good of the industry'.
"Something that may concern programmers -- and damp enthusiasm: Because targeted advertising theoretically offers more bang for the marketing buck, advertisers may end up reducing their overall cable spend."
Unless there's more here than meets the eye (and there may be), Canoe, like the eBay SNAFU, strikes me as another Maginot line for an industry in need of forward motion. Canoe may last - but not in this incarnation, and not with this roster of participants.
This is the tray table I folded down on my American Airlines Flight. I felt so dirty. Like by unfolding the tray I was "opting in" to their ad. "No, no", thought I. Then I accepted a drink (seltzer, baby, everytime!), and had to put it somewhere.
Damned by my own thirst.
I already had no room. Getting the "can you hear me now guy" in my lap - boy, what a treat. Did business class and First get this crap, too? No clue. But boy - a few hours of this smug gal and the irritating pitch hack dude - wow - do I HATE them now. VZW's media agency probably got a great deal - can't you hear the pitch? "Just think - high value target audience, limited visual distractions - and if they're delayed? JACKPOT, BABY! They may be trapped without food or water for hours on the tarmac at SFO, but you'll OWN them!" (And the green jacket: wtf? Niiiice propping.). With rising aviation fuel prices, I gotta imagine this will only get worse. I have nasty visions of being delayed at O'Hare in a cabin stickered up like a NASCAR vehicle, begging for the only food and drink on board: Brawndo and piss-flavored Chex snack bags. For $14 dollars. Exact change, please.
Hey - here's some "360 marketing" - put a person on the transcontinental flight who CLEANS THE BATHROOM after each use. NOW I like your brand. Barring that, put "can you hear me now" guy's face on the toilet paper.
Opinion piece by Keith Boesky (ex-Eidos president) over on Gamasutra poses the question "Will Apple reinvent the mobile games space?" While he doesn't mention N-Gage or Google Android OS, he raises some interesting points re: the financial implications/business opportunity for publishers, and the possibility for a "new age of gaming" where developers can build apps in their garage for love and for cheap again.
The complete article here: http://tinyurl.com/5ywycy
I've been gaming since the early 80's (coding on my Tandy Corp Model I, level II) and in my experience, the mobile gaming experience on communications devices has sucked for years. Most games were either crap or bad ports or both. There are some promising publishers (THQ? Glu? Jamdat - oh wait...EA mobile) out there, but no-one's created the "must-have" mobile game.
Big name publishers have looked at mobile as a hedge/defensive move/portfolio asset - not a serious focus. console/PC titles earn bank, not mobile. And unfortunately, investing for the future is hard when you've got quarterly numbers to make.
Carriers cripple the process with their soup of devices and form factors, tech and non-transparent dev/QA "testing" environments. Want a game on their system? Dumb it down to work on the devices with broadest penetration. Or better, create a version that works on whatever latest device they're selling. Which by definition won't have a big audience. Minimizing revenue. Oh - and they like exclusive windows. Or they won't promote it. No promotion = bad deck placement. You see where this goes.
Independent developers didn't have the resources or portfolios to weather this crap. So they've been doing web stuff. Java, Flash. Facebook Apps.
Which brings us back to the Apple iPhone SDK release. And Google Android OS. And Nokia's new-look N-Gage. Apple's advantage out of the gate is homogenous devices and an iTunes delivery system, but...Nokia is working to open up its game dev systems (SDK's and API's), and devices should begin shipping soon with Google's Android OS.
What form will the mobile Tetris, Pong or GTA take? TBD...
Phoebe E. did a little informal poll of online music sites and services - mix of new and old:
Why is it the folks you "friend-ed" on Facebook, to simply not offend, that turnout to be the ones with no social graces? who feel no compunction in pinging you with a chipper "what's up" via Facebook IM, whenever you log in? AAAggggghhh.
Reading Michale Coe's "Breaking the Maya Code". Fascinating book not only for its tale of the decipherment of Mayan hieroglyphic writings over time, but also (a) the challenge of fostering innovation and change from within a system, and (b) the challenge of driving innovation or change in a system from without. Even in a system ostensibly looking for answers to puzzles it hasn't solved.
Realizing there IS an issue to be addressed seems the first and most important step - because when one gets comfortable with the "way things are", it's amazing how easy it becomes to explain away the cracks - or not see them at all.
Coe, quoting Pope: "There is a touch of magic about unknown writing, especially when it comes from the remote past." Understanding lost systems of communication aren't just puzzles to solve, says Pope, but the keys to greater knowledge, "opening a treasure vault of human history through which for countless centuries no human mind has wandered."
Mobile phone novels were hot last year. But reading an entire novel on your cell phone scrEen, no matter how cool it sounds, can be really tasking. That's why, in March, a Japanese printing company debuted its first cell phone picture book.
The picture book will be read page by page, like a kamishibai—no scrolling, just clicking from page to page. It will include both popular children's titles and original content. You can buy them online for 100-200 yen each. The company hopes to have 50 titles and 10,000 downloads by September.
A recent interchange where music culture met TinyURL:
>TinyURL.com saved the world.
>>>On 6/3/08 12:28 PM, "CM" wrote:
>>> Line break killed your link.
>>> TinyURL: http://xrl.in/5y