Friday, January 16, 2009

How Twitter will (not) make money

1. Twitter cannot make money because there are not enough scoops on plane crashes and terror attacks happening on a daily basis around this 'pale blue dot' called Earth. A Twitter from a plane passenger do not a Citizen Journalism make.

2. Twitter cannot make money because try one might, the world cannot be on one single page.

3. Twitter cannot make money because friends cannot be bought. Twitter Users would not will 'sell friend connections between users and companies wanting to communicate with them'. Those of us who would, are not quite the demographic advertisers are looking for. Remember when out of work people clicked on ads for money? Remember Facebook beacon? It was going to 'change the world'.

Twitter will make money when someone like Google buys it, integrating Twitter with Gmail.

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Finding the Bill Gates and Steve Jobs of the web 2.0 era

The PC Era is now finally over.The Bill and Steve Show that entertained us for over quarter of a century is over too. "You and I have memories longer than the road ahead." Steve Jobs once said to Bill Gates. Bill has pushed himself out of Microsoft while Steve is ill and can no longer look after his baby, Apple.

Where are the rivals of the web era?
Or, to be more fashionable, the web 2.0 era?

- The Google guys seem to have no quarrel with the world, ostensibly sticking to their 'do no evil' marketing mantra.

- The web 2.0 pioneers, Joshua Schacter (, Kevin Rose (Digg), Gabe Rivera (Techmeme), Caterina Fake (Flickr), Matt Mullenwag (Wordpress), Evan Williams (Blogger), are either too young or too mild in comparison.

The Bill Gates and Steve Jobs show also featured an all-star supporting cast of Scott McNealy (Sun), Michael Dell and Mark Andreessen of Netscape, not forgetting guest roles by John Sculley, Andrew Grove (Intel) and other PC-era heavyweights. Those were the days when technology had only started to invade our homes and our lifestyles.

In today's age of blogs, Youtube, Digg, Comments for Everythings and what not, it is a shame we don't have more of these: "You Copied Us!", "How many Windows users does it take to change a bulb?"

Then, you had nerds versus everyone else.
Now, everyone claims to be a Nerd.
Everyone claims to be an expert, famous, or both, among other things.
Everyone has a blog, Twitter account, Facebook/Myspace/Orkut Profile or a Digg account.
The Nerd has gone mainstream.

Among other web 2.0 players, there is Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) who reportedly 'stole' his way to social networking riches. Zuckerberg tries to copy Steve Jobs. He tried to copy Jobs' seminal 1984 Introduction during the introduction of Facebook's ad system, Beacon: "Once in a lifetime...this is the future of advertising". As the cliche goes, rest is history.

There was a third big-time entertainer during that period, Larry Ellison.
This decade, all we got was Mark Cuban and he is nowhere as newsworthy as Ellison, despite scoring a double whammy - a blog and a team.

Any random sampling of quotes from the Bill Gates and Steve Gates tells you that Bill Gates played Kevin Smith's Silent Bob (or, muttering Bob) to Steve Jobs' opinionated Jay. Both of them are Geniuses, only one of them burns brighter than the other.

Some of my favorite quotes from Bill Gates and Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs quotes

"He'd be a broader guy if he had dropped acid once or gone off to an ashram when he was younger." - Steve Jobs on Bill Gates

What a computer is to me is the most remarkable tool that we have ever come up with. It’s the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds.

Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn't matter to me ... Going to bed at night saying we've done something wonderful... that's what matters to me.

They are shamelessly copying us. - (On Vista)

Unfortunately, people are not rebelling against Microsoft. They don’t know any better. (1994)

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something. (2005)

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. (2005)

The art of those commercials is not to be mean, but it is actually for the guys to like each other.
- Jobs On the "P.C. and Mac" commercials, at the All Things Digital Conference 5, where he shared the stage with Bill Gates, 2007

Bill Gates Quotes

Microsoft has had clear competitors in the past. It’s a good thing we have museums to document that. (2001)

Spam will be a thing of the past in two years' time. (2004)

Microsoft looks at new ideas, they don't evaluate whether the idea will move the industry forward, they ask, 'how will it help us sell more copies of Windows?' (1998)

I wish I wasn't ... There's nothing good that comes out of that. You get more visibility as a result of it.
- On Being Rich, in The Guardian, 2006

The Best quote on Gates
Bill Gates is a very rich man today ... and do you want to know why? The answer is one word: versions.
- Dave Barry

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Simpleguide to the State of the Indian Blogosphere

Some Indian bloggers are trying out to create something called "State of the Indian Blogosphere". As part of this improbable task, they have parceled out the job of categorization among different bloggers.

Why improbable?
I don't think a group of 8-10 bloggers can really categorize a million Indian blogs.

Even, the open source human-edited directory or Mahalo, the Human Edited Search Engine have trouble categorizing websites/links. In case of blogs, the problem is multiplied because for many users, a blog is a labor of love.

Pigeonholing blogs into neat categories is a mistake, big mistake.
Categorization is cruel. It is a job best left to MBA-types and guys who ran Enron, Satyam...
If you still want to do it, Ask Hitler for advice.

I read in the Indian Express a few days ago about blogger Amit Verma, profiled in the course of promotion of his upcoming fiction book. In the article, his blog is referred to as a Political Blog. I have never been a regular reader of his blog but in the course of writing this post, I jumped over. I think it is not a Political Blog, but more in the nature of "I will post what I like"/Jason Kottke type of Filter blog. Most blogs are like this one.

In case of my blog Mediavidea, I write what I think and like most bloggers I have an opinion about everything. Some of the most read posts have been on state of the nation and new media/journalism.

A blogger, Gautam Ghosh has been entrusted with the task of listing business blogs. He has Mediavidea listed under advertising (?), social media (I have written a post called "Social Media is dead in 2009", so this one is valid, you might say) and marketing (was it because I once wrote that "The Indian Government is the biggest Real Estate Agent in the World?)

Do the bloggers involved in the project even have the time or are in the habit of reading the blogs they are so hell-bent into categorizing?

Most such list-making and award type posts come under what they call 'Linkbait' in online writing parlance. I have made a couple of lists or two, but I try to make sure to inform the reader that those are subjective lists.

'Honored' by Gautam's label for my blog, I went ahead and posted the following comment on his blog a couple of days ago. Since, Gautam is busy reading all the blogs, he doesn't have the time to okay my comment.

Here's my unpublished comment:

While I thank you for including my name on this 'list' but I think we are not clear about the definition of a business blog.

Is it a blog run by businesses - small or big?

Is it a blog on business-related topic, which I assume you have done here?

Moreover, I think the categorization of all these fine fellow bloggers should have been much finer.

You have done a noble job but I think it is beyond one blogger to read all these blogs to be finally able to put labels on each - too much time, for an 'unpaid' job, wouldn't you say, Gautam?
The origins of this simple guide post are here.
Why call yourself a blog, when you have no comments?

Therein also lies problem#1 of the Indian Blogging is scene. It is very insular. It is very intolerant. It is too self-important.

In the west, many top bloggers are not journalists , Scoble, Arrington, Godin, Kottke and I guess they understand the ethos of the web better than their Indian Counterparts - Link Out. Be Honest. Be Open.

I hate to think that because many of the early bloggers in the Indian Scene are from the old media scene (they were the first to have access to the Internet in this country, my dear Watson), they tend to sport the bad habits of a profession undergoing turmoil and scathing public acrutiny around the world - laziness, insular-like, groupism and a suffocating sense of self-importance (there, I have this phrase twice in one article).

As a blogger and a founder of a small citizen journalism outfit Bighow, I am awed on a daily basis by the great things people are doing using online tools. Each day, I learn new ways of writing, reporting and using the web. Each day, I am working on building a group of online reporters.

Each day, I am student on the web.

The State of the Indian Blogosphere won't teach me a thing. At most, it would be an exercise in Personal Branding for a group of bloggers.

Everyone is trying hard to become a Brand nowadays, positioning themselves this way or other.

The state of 'groupism' in the Indian Blogosphere won't be in the curriculum of the reporters at Bighow except as a footnote about things not to do on the web.

A Simpleguide to the Biggest Moments in the Indian Blogging History

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Do we need yet another Operating System?

I am still using Win XP SP 2 and I have no issues or desires to upgrade to Microsoft new Windows 7.

Vista was a failure.

Some guys recently installed Google's Operating System for mobiles, Android on Asus EEE PC.

Among older tech companies, only Apple manages to excite its users with its products with its cult-like influence but I think we will reach a saturation point for coolness soon.

After all, even Johnny Depp and his cultivated coolness could not save the third (some say the second too) installment of the "Pirates of the Carribean).

How will Apple look without Steve Jobs?

Tech mags and papers will cover the introduction of Windows 7 because they got to fill the space and make some ad money.

Tech users will download the new O.S. for boasting rights and adding ammo to the water cooler/twitter talk,
" did you download? Yes, my download speed was..."

Meanwhile, the normal P.C. user is happy with what he has. For your normal web usage, you do not need a new operating system.

Didn't I hear someone say the other day that the days of Desktop O.S. is over?
The web is the new Operating System.

If someone needs a new operating system, it is the old technology companies.

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