Archives for November 2007
Lots of words today throughout both the blogs and the regular media about Kindle, Amazon’s e-book reader that was launched today. It’s a testament to Amazon’s juice that anyone’s paying attention at all – e-book readers in the past have been greeted mostly by crickets.
Is it going to keep our attention? That’s harder to say. It seems that the specs are reasonably interesting – long battery life, decent (though not exceptional) storage capacity, interesting (if fussy) form factor.
Beyond that, there’s a huge differentiator – the built-in EVDO magic means that it can be a standalone device that nevertheless has very good access to a potentially very deep well of material.
The devil, however, is always in the details. To do what Amazon is doing requires pretty heavy DRM and very controlled pathways into (and out of) the device. The main comparison has been to the iPod – but there’s a huge difference (one that Gruber’s Daring Fireball also mentioned): you can’t get your own content in there. Other than high-production-value game consoles (and even those have opened up recently), can you think of a single other successful platform that has been tied to a single content supplier?
On the Internet, content may be king… but we’ve learned in the last 4 years or more that a LOT of that content is going to be my own in some way – my own writing, or at the very least, my own collection (or playlist). Along the long tail, the things that I make myself become just as important to me as the things I can buy, and curating all of that is the primary way of interacting with the long tail. If you assume that the long tail (of text) refers only to things that can be bought… I think it’s a vision of the long tail that might seem reasonable but will confound most users.
It’s hardly news, but Matt Haughey (and the team – Josh Millard, Jessamyn West, and Paul Bausch) has build one of the web’s great online communities over the years. In the last little while, they have been quietly adding a raft of really great community-building features.
One example unveiled today: Profile Photos of MeFites – succinctly introduced by Matt: “updated nightly, a dump of everyone’s uploaded profile photo”. Doesn’t seem like much, perhaps, compared to the latest chump-biting app from Facebook (!) or whatever – but the sum of this plus the rest of the new features is far greater than the parts. In a web full of “communities” that seem to be defined as narrowly and shallowly as possible, MetaFilter is a beacon of what the “social web” can be.
The IAB and PwC have released revenue survey results for Q3 2007.
Internet advertising revenues exceeded $5.2 billion for the third quarter of 2007, representing yet another historic high for a quarter and a $1.1 billion increase, or 25.3 percent, over Q3 2006. The results, published in the IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report, are nearly 3 percent higher than Q2 2007, itself the last record-setting quarter. All three quarters in 2007 have set new highs—Q1 at $4.9 billion, Q2 at $5.1 billion, and now Q3 at $5.2 billon. Revenues for the first nine months of 2007 totaled $15.2 billion, up nearly 26 percent over the $12.1 billion recorded during the first nine months of 2006.
I just canceled my Rogers data plan. I finally had a come to reality moment, and I decided that a tiny (3Mb) data plan was actually worse than none at all. When you have a tiny plan, you are always conscious of each and every link you click on and email you download – to the point of distraction, really. And since you pay for overages at an even higher rate, a mistake can be costly. In actual practice, what that meant was that I wasn’t using my mobile data at all. So I decided to stop paying the insane service fee Rogers charges – $25 a month. I’d rather save my money than use a premium service whose very design makes it almost unusable.
I would still love to have a data plan, but one that is a lot more useful than Rogers’ current plans. I wonder if I’ll ever get the chance.