Wednesday, December 27, 2006

3 wishes for 2007

1. How long before content creators are freed from the tyranny of search engines?

2. How long before DRM dies? Apple iTunes sales may be on a decline and CD sales are still strong. People like the freedom of being able to do what they want to do with their music, so they are happy to pay $14 a CD. I wish music companies stopped being an ass and just sold music, say $ 1.5 a song, do what you want with it. Otherwise, there are plenty of pirate sites to go around. The lawyers cannot shut down all.

3. I am looking for the online version of the Tonight Show or the Daily show. Amanda Congdon has gone mainstream. We have yet to see a hit polupar online video show.

Where are are video equivalents of Engadget, Gawker, Instapundit or Kotaku?

How Google can gobble digg

1. As Steve Mermelstein suggests, Google reader to have a feature that shows how many people have shared a post, which in turn depends on how many have turned on the sharing feature. However, as things stand, not many are enamoured of Google toolbar and other stuff coming out of Google’s “Save 100%” philosophy.

2. Use Google account sign-in for Google news and put up all Digg and type rate, save, share and discuss links on top. That is turn would be linked one the user’s personal page on Google.

Google can popularize the new Digg-like feature with its Tip suggestion feature that turns up after a search result.

To round things up, Google can have a Digg-type front page, also accessible via one’s gmail account.

Think about it: Gmail + Google news + GoDigg.
It is a killer application, allright.

3. If Google does not want to do all that, buy Digg out and integrate with gmail. :-)

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Media quote of 2006

This distinction also goes to the hardware side of media, in this case Seagate.

CEO Bill Watkins had this to say about the boom in storage media:

"We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn"

I am not sure your average Seagate employee would sport that badge of at the front desk.

The CEO reportedly sent a ‘Sorry’ memo to the employees lest anyone should felt let down by all that truth.

However, Watkins gets full marks for honesty.

How many CEOs can actually speak out the truth?

Imagine the CEO of MacDonalds saying, “We make people fat”, or, Bill Gates saying, “We make money because our lawyers have made sure there is no alternative.” Or, something like that. Imagine Apple saying "We sell expensive music players because our CEO looks cool on the podium."

If Peter Drucker were alive, he would smile at Watkin’s statement. The first question Drucker asked any company boss looking for advice was “What does your company do?”

Merry Christmas to you all.

The Espresso: Media innovation of 2006

I am sorry, Video and social networks have been trumped by a machine that, in future can change the face of publishing around the world.

The New York Public Library will begin using a book printing and vending machine, called the Espresso. The Espresso costs $50,000. Up to 25 libraries and bookstores in the United States will begin using it in 2007.

The Espresso can print books upto 550 pages and it costs a penny per page to produce.

I foresee a time when $10000 and below machines are produced by Chinese manufacturers and students and booklovers in developing nations, burdened by the prohitive cost of books and textbooks.

I am sure they will bring the printing costs brought lower and lower until versions of Espresso-type machines are installed in college bookstores and corner newsstands, alongwith color versions.

Print on Demand is not a new technology. Online ventures such as Lulu and Cafepress also offer a wide range of print-on-demand services.

I chose the Espresso because of the low price barrier and increased public adoption. The only thing left for me to see: how long before a similar machine lands on Indian shores. Small publishers will benefit immensely.