Media Influencer

helping people break out of pigeonholes since 2003

Power to the Persons!

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The real sense of achievement is from not mentioning Web 2.0 or social media even once!

future_unevenly_distributed.jpg

Here is version 1.0, may need to revise bits of it later – first time attempt at screencasting, new software and not used to Apple, blah blah blah…. :)

links for 2007-11-28

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Quote to remember

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UI is cute and all, but if the product doesn’t deliver, then what you’ve got left is Web 2.0.
- uncov in Songza: Beats The Shit Out Of Payin’

Deutsche Grammophon’s new web shop

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And great news for classical music fans, more bad news for CD retailers…

The DG Web Shop (dgwebshop.com), which touts an industry standard-exceeding “maximum MP3 quality at a bit-rate of 320 kilobits per second,” offers more than 2,400 classical albums. That includes about 600 currently out-of-print CDs, which only adds to the enticement. (More out-of-print items are on the way.) Complete CDs and multi-disc sets, and all the tracks contained on them, are available for download. Costs for complete CDs vary, but many are around $12; individual tracks of up to seven minutes are priced at $1.29.

This is indeed good news. The out-of-print CDs especially, as serious music aficionados will love it and online they are the ones that matter and pass the word along. The download quality is 320kpbs, which is almost 3 times better than Apple sells through iTunes. The music and film business should have made this possible, let’s say, a decade ago. Is this coming too late? Will enough people pay still a rather high price for something that can be obtained for free? Without the entertainment industry sitting on their arrogant business model, P2P would have probably stayed in the geekland. Now it’s user friendly to the point of helping the demand side supply itself, thank you very much.

The Deutsche Grammaphon site is usable enough, just make sure you go here, not to dgwebshop.com, to bypass an ‘evil Flash’ splash screen. (Someone should sit on the web designers hands when they have the urge to create full screen flash nightmares!) The searching by artist, composer and even series or album is good. And I love the format options and it is DRM-free! But as Techcrunch points out:

It may be worth noting that classical music receives less legal protection than contemporary music because only its recorded performances, not its compositions, are still under copyright.

The question remains – will the convenience of official web shops by music companies and labels outweigh the price and compete with the free bittorrent downloads? One way to tip the balance would be to go heavily for the long tail. And after that, the only hope is the Because Effect

Thanks to Mike Nutley for the heads up.

links for 2007-11-27

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Work – play, play – work, even for CEOs

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Tom Glocer is a CEO who’ll make it to the round. :)

Over the past several years, some in the British media have suggested that I should have better things to do than spend my time on Facebook or other social networking or web services. …I believe it is a very worthy investment of my “free” time to explore the latest interactions of media and technology, or indeed to write this blog when I feel I have something worthwhile to say.

Innovation is non-linear – perhaps that is why all that networked stuff works rather well. What doesn’t work is the traditional command and control but that’s another conversation. Lateral thinking is rewarded in this day and age (actually, I believe it always has been) and a good way to get cracking when thinking about new business models. So, Amazon’s ‘unique proposition’ is reader book reviews, although it makes money on selling books, eBay ’sells’ reputation, makes money on auctions, Google’s offering is reach, though it makes money on text ads. Behind every new-ish business model is lateral monetisation struggling to get out.

Growth requires innovation, and, unfortunately, innovation is not a linear process. When Columbus “discovered” the New World, he had actually set out to find a new route to India. The much admired Google similarly did not set out to invent the dominant ad monetization engine. Too much idle experimentation in the executive suite leads to a failure to execute on any plan; however, the total absence of imagination leads to plans that lead nowhere.

And now for the personal touch. Tom Glocer is spot on about the nature of expertise. Recently I noticed how people in business are starting to approach learning about social media second-hand, listening to the self-proclaimed experts* rather than jumping straight in themselves.

I believe that unless one interacts with and plays with the leading technology of the age, it is impossible to dream the big dreams, and difficult to create an environment in which creative individuals will feel at home. This does not mean that the ceo needs to program a third-party app on Facebook, but I believe it is ultimately more useful in understanding business concepts like viral marketing, crowd-sourcing or federated development to use a live example rather than wait for the Harvard Business Review article to appear in three years time.

We should all feel comfortable to follow our own paths. What counts is the results, not living-up to some outdated view of what “work” looks like in the 21st century.

Indeed. This is an area of exploration that no CEO or other executive should leave to others. If part of the job of a business leader is to see the big picture, well, there is no more distinct big picture out there than what is happening at the crossroads of the web, technology, media and human interactions within networks and outside traditional organisations and institutions.

*For the record, rather than consider myself an expert on social media or Web 2.0 or [fill in the web buzzword du jour], I’d prefer to be an ‘expert’ at shifting people’s mindset and helping them understand what is the web and what’s possible on the web.

links for 2007-11-26

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links for 2007-11-25

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London Barcamp at Google

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You know your mind is being stretched when you can get excited by a presentation of which you understand about 30% and it really shouldn’t make sense to anyone who can’t hack. You are also probably at Barcamp.

Matt Biddulph at Barcamp

Here are the crumbs:

    Long running processes
    Search the future
    worker queues/farms
    event oriented applications
    delegated response
    out of order reception
    compartmentalisation
    multiple sources of query results
    ubiquitous computing

Also:

    extreme late-binding
    data and code combined in browser, processes talking to each other
    delegate responsibility to different parts of the system, don’t have to trust or rely on one bit only

And finally:
The internet is the computer.

Another session I’ll remember was Lloyd’s talk about Tuttle Club previously known as Social Media cafe, some of it can be found here.

Some applications of note that I will be checking out are TipIt, NoseRub and DaoConsumer.

Many thanks to Ben and Ian for being such good hosts. And to Google, of course.

links for 2007-11-25

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links for 2007-11-24

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links for 2007-11-23

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