Who wants to own content October 6, 2006Posted by rajAT in media2.0, web2.0.
Jeff has an interesting post sometime back where he emphasized that content and distribution both cann’t differentiate a media house from other or even protect it.
Distribution is not king.
Content is not king.
Conversation is the kingdom.
The war is over and the army that wasn’t even fighting — the army of all of us, the ones who weren’t in charge, the ones without the arms — won. The big guys who owned the big guns still don’t know it. But they lost.
In our media 2.0, web 2.0, post-media, post-scarcity, small-is-the-new-big, open-source, gift-economy world of the empowered and connected individual, the value is no longer in maintaining an exclusive hold on things. The value is no longer in owning content or distribution.
The value is in relationships. The value is in trust.
BBC which gets widely quoted as the future media house who gets this new emerging media landscape with their various innovative ways is a tiny minscule.
The Guardian’s Mark Sweney blogs it:
The good news is that the BBC turned out to be the most commonly referenced big brand [in blogs].The bad news is that just 0.3% of the millions of blog posts analysed referred to the BBC.
What does this all mean? It means that what the BBC does, creating programmes, is just a tiny ‘atom’ in the new media world and how on earth can you grow that 0.3%?
The likes of YouTube and blogs equal cheap forms of production of content.
You can’t ‘own’ all the relationships audiences have in the web world so the best plan is to ‘atomise’ content, disintegrate, to ‘explode’ into places where they are.
I think that is so true even in the Indian context. I had a conversation with the New Media Head at Indiatimes some 8-9 months back. I asked him what is Indiatimes doing with the emerging trends like – Citizen Journalism, Blogs etc. He beamed with pride and said that we have already started a blogging platform where we invite Indiatimes users to blog. And a team of editors picks the best post and put them on the home page of Times of India also. I was quite impressed. He then went on and said that they have built a very vibrant though small community over there. At that time I thought that Indiatimes has got a winner as in people would surely like to get their post on front page of the leading news website in India. But that doesn’t happen.
Its been 8-9 months and I haven’t met a single blogger in various blogging events around the country who said that he blogs at Indiatimes.
Then the blog aggregators that I visit like Desipundit also never have linked even a single post from Indiatimes. Something is really going on.
Is this blogging hasn’t picked up in India or what ?
We all know that blogging has really picked up in India 🙂 but the anwer to that puzzle is that now no more a big media house can own this landscape. Blogs will crop up everywhere and will not be the forte of one single entity.
It was such a pleasure to hear Mr. Ajit Balakrishnan, Founder and CEO of Rediff.com, a nasdaq listed indian portal, that he doesn’t understand user generated content at all.
Goliaths are so last century :).
Day 3: TiE ISB Connect 2006 September 25, 2006Posted by rajAT in entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, media, media2.0, tieisb connect, venture capital, web2.0.
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Day three at the TiE-ISB Connect began with talks by Peter Mukherjea, CEO of Star TV and Sanjeev Kumar, Founder and CTO of Portal Player.
Noted actress Sulekha Naidu chaired the session on New Media and Entertainment. On the panel were Prem Akkaraju (Sanctuary Artist Management), Rajesh Jog (Waygate Capital), Suresh Babu (Suresh Productions), Alok Kejriwal (Contests2win.com), Raj Atluri (DFJ), Rahul Khanna (Clearstone) and Sekhar Kammula (Film director).
Blogumentary August 18, 2006Posted by rajAT in blog, blogumentary, chuck olsen, media2.0, web2.0.
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BLOGUMENTARY playfully explores the many ways blogs are influencing our media, our politics, and our relationships. Personal political writing is the foundation of our democracy, but mass media has reduced us to passive consumers instead of active citizens. Blogs return us to our roots and reengage us in democracy.
Shot in candid first-person style by director Chuck Olsen, himself an avid blogger, the film features interviews with influential bloggers including Joe Trippi, Jeff Jarvis, Dan Gillmor, John Hinderaker, Jason Kottke and Meg Hourihan. From the rise of Howard Dean to the fall of Dan Rather, from love at first blog to a friend’s suicidal blog post, “Blogumentary” is a fresh and compelling journey into our hyperconnected existence.
Also showing: episodes from “Minnesota Stories,” the vlog edited by Olsen, featuring stories of the normal, the abnormal, and the paranormal in the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes.
Kevin Rose didd it !! August 4, 2006Posted by rajAT in digg, entrepreneur, kevin rose, media2.0, web2.0.
Business Week has done a story on digg.com founder Kevin Rose. Few excerpts from it are here
It was June 26, 4:45 a.m., and Digg founder Kevin Rose was slugging back tea and trying to keep his eyes open as he drove his Volkswagen Golf to Digg’s headquarters above the grungy offices of the SF Bay Guardian in Potrero Hill. This was the day Rose would test everything. Two years earlier, Rose had gambled on his idea to change newsgathering, letting the masses “dig up” the most interesting stories on the Web and vote them onto his online “front page” on Digg.com. Rose had given every last piece of himself to the project — all his time, all his cash, and even his girlfriend, who fought with him after he poured his savings into Digg instead of a downpayment on a house. Today, Digg, Version 3, the one that would go beyond tech news to include politics, gossip, business, and videos, was going live. At 29, Rose was on his way either to a cool $60 million or to total failure.
But for now, Rose is the “It” boy among a new wave of entrepreneurs running the hottest of the top 100 Web 2.0 companies sprinkled around the Bay Area. Together, this network of mostly Valley boys — Six Apart Ltd. co-founder Mena Trott is a rare female among them — fill SF bars like Anu and Wish and Cav and parties at their sparsely furnished lofts.
Rose’s social stock has climbed,too. He has more than 11,000 friends on MySpace. He was a runner-up in blog ValleyWag’s “Hottest Guy in the Valley” contest (think Tom Cruise’s doughier little brother), and he co-hosts a hot weekly video podcast called Diggnation. It’s like a techie version of the Saturday Night Live skit “Wayne’s World.”
At a party for the 50th show, Rose was mobbed by fans and even photographed signing a pretty brunette’s cleavage. The snapshot was posted on Flickr the next day. Video is here n here.
Clearly much has changed since 1999, and Rose and his fellow wealth punks have little in common with the sharp-talking MBAs in crisp khakis and blue button-downs who rushed the Valley as the NASDAQ climbed. In the late 1990s, entrepreneurs were the supplicants, and Sand Hill Road, dotted with venture-capital firms, was the mecca. Dot-commers relied on VCs for the millions needed to buy hardware, rent servers, hire designers, and advertise like crazy to bring in the eyeballs. For their big stakes of, say, $15 million for 20% of a company, venture capitalists received board seats, control of the management levers, and most of the equity.
Now, it’s more like: Maybe we’ll let you throw a few bucks our way — if you get it. Otherwise, get lost.
Digg is emblematic of the ethos of Web 2.0, new consumer and media sites revolving around social networking and do-it-yourself services. Others include YouTube, which serves up some 100 million requested videos a day, rivaling the audience of NBC. Then there’s Facebook, where the college crowd practically lives. The average gamer on Xfire spends an astounding 91 hours a month on the site — it’s like a part-time job. As a result, superhigh valuations are again coming out of the Valley. In a world in which Facebook turns down $600 million deals, the $580 million that Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. (NWS ) shelled out for MySpace.com in July, 2005, is widely considered to be a steal.
Rose grew up in Las Vegas. His father is an accountant, and his mom “just chills,” he says. They lived in a three-bedroom house on a cul-de-sac. Standard middle-class America. In 1999 he dropped out of the University of Las Vegas to join the action in Silicon Valley, where he took coding jobs for dotcoms. That led to his gig as the TechTV host, which transferred him to Los Angeles in 2003. But Rose was bored.
So far, Digg’s traffic just keeps growing. And Rose is picking up a bit of swagger. His shyness is fading, and his wardrobe has gotten a hipster upgrade. Girls on MySpace swarm him. But the pain of losing his girlfriend isn’t gone, and he says that no matter what happens with Digg, he won’t put business first again.
The tech bust notwithstanding, the Valley is still the only place on earth where geeks with good ideas can become celebrities overnight. But wannabes be warned: As nearly everyone found out six years ago, the fall from rock star to pariah can be just as quick — and not nearly as much fun.
Indiagoes – It just got better July 18, 2006Posted by rajAT in aggregator, betterlabs, blog, india, indiagoes, media2.0, web2.0.
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Indiagoes.com is a new generation news service that aggregates and delivers Indian news flawlessly.
Team at Indiagoes has been working hard to make our life simpler. They have added some really nifty features on their website. On of them is the auto tagging of the news item. Auto-tagging really helps in browsing the content by context. Auto-tagging also ensure standardized tags which otherwise are left to whims-fancies of the tagger.
The personalization feature is really the one which has blown me. Normaly you are asked by sites to submit your choices explicitly but Indiagoes learn it automatically. So the more you read, the more it gets tuned to your tastes. Now that is really kewl. 🙂
They have added flickr feeds of Indian content. It is also the best place to find the podcasts and videos of the Indians by the Indians.
Something that has really been missing from the blogosphere i.e. Indian blog Aggregator. Indiagoes has done that too. Kudos to the team.
So have a look at the website here – http://beta.indiagoes.com. Sneak in using the passcode – barcamphyd.
Do let me know your views on it ?
Death by Wikipedia: The Kenneth Lay Chronicles July 10, 2006Posted by rajAT in citizen journalism, media2.0, peer production, web2.0.
News organizations began reporting Lay’s death around 10 A.M.
At 10:06 A.M. Lay’s wikipedia entry said he had died “of an apparent suicide”.
At 10:08 A.M. the entry reads Lay had died “of an apparent heart attack or suicide”.
At 10:09 A.M. another author backtracked the article and said that the cause of death was “yet to be determinded”.
At 10:11 A.M. article concluded, “The guilt of ruining so many lives led him to his suicide”.
At 10:12 A.M. the article was corrected and it says the cause was a massive coronoary heart attack.
The incorrect informatin was there on the website for total 6 mins. Durinig these 6 minutes the information got updated 5 times. And finally the correct information was posted. Now whether those six minutes were crucial that depends on the information and decisions that will be taken based on information. So lets not get into a subjective debate/discussion.
The question that needs to be asked here is, “Should wikipedia be used to check breaking news”. Wikipedia never claimed that they gonna throw Reuters out of business or BBC. Britannica sure :)!!
So IMHO Frank Ahrens is trying to match apple with oranges and that is insanity.
Army of Steven Spielbergs June 8, 2006Posted by rajAT in aggregator, google, media, media2.0, video, web2.0, youtube.
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Robert young in his post on GigaOm says that Hollywood should fear Google. He points that –
Google will eventually become the dominant gatekeeper for video.his question, which used to be one of the most pressing in the minds of media executives, seems to have been put on the back-burner lately due to the meteoric rise of online video sharing sites like YouTube and social networks like MySpace (not to mention Google’s own anemic efforts on the video front thus far).
I think to some extent the behavior of media executives is justified. Till now they were competing with 3-4 media houses but suddenly they have got an army of davids who are producing and uploading videos at a frantic pace.
As we all know, Google revolutionized search by leveraging the most unique and powerful element of the web… the hyperlink.
The strategic implications of this insight, which Google used to dominate the market for text-based search, are now about to spill-over into the world of video.
The analogy page rank was a success in text and same will happen in video is not correct.
Let me explain –
First question to be answered is why people use google search? Ok, to discover the content on the web. Why anyone need to search anything on internet, what is the motivation. Two reason which normally is the case, either I am doing research (academic) or I am trying to find out something interesting (fun).
Now the video consumption on internet is generally of the latter kind i.e. fun stuff. Now what is other way of discovering such content. voila – Peer groups. Yes, peer groups. They recommend/share a video to you (buddy list) when they saw something interesting. In return you recommend/share the videos back when you see something interesting.
So a video on Youtube (or its clones) is tagged, gets commented, gets recommended and then shared. This helps in the easy consumption of the videos by other people. SO you open Youtube website and the most popular videos will be there on the top of the list. No need to search anything. This is a painless experience. And one doesn't have to master the keyword search. 🙂
Note that the meta data of videos that is the comments and stars ( how many stars a particular video has got) is not available to Google. They play a very important role, as they enrich the user experience by helping him in making a more informed choice. This all data is a part of deep web and Google has no access to it.
Today we have very efficient aggregators and a user doesn’t see much value in reconstructing the web. A Google search finds the content and gives you back a web page of the links that might be relevant to you i.e. reconstructing the web. But thanks to aggregators like Techmeme the need to search has gone down a bit less. Techmeme for videos will come in future which aggregates the videos from all these sources. Google could have done this but by launching there own Video site they just have killed this big opportunity.
Google should have continued what they have been doing best till now that is reconstructing the web. But by opening there own publishing platforms they have alienated other publishers.
In the end, Hollywood executives shouldn’t fear Google but the next door guy who becomes a Steven Spielberg for a day or two. 🙂
Clueless Publishers June 7, 2006Posted by rajAT in blog, book, books, google, media, media2.0, publishing, technology, web2.0.
The business of publishing books is going to get disintermediated. Even if publishers start publishing books online they cannot save their empires. It is like arranging the deck chairs on Titanic.
An author goes to a famous publishing house because a publisher has got a network already that is necessary for a mega success of the book. A publisher
2) Provide a platform for getting into international markets.
3) And most importantly prints the book.
But things on internet work a bit differently, isn't it.
So why in future an author will go to a publisher to get his book published. That is the question to be answered?
An author should ask I am the one who is creating the content. I am one who is advertising the book through blogs so why I need this guy called publisher. Note that royalties are not that big.
Publishers have lost half of their battle when Amazon started reviews on its website. Over the years book lovers all round the world have contributed significant amout of data on its website. And now Amazon has got that valuable data and not the publishers.
Authors will prefer their own blog sites. But amazon still have a fighting chance over the publishers as an internet book publishing platfrom. Simple reason is Amazon has built network goods.
How to make money by publishing books online will be figured out by someone who is more enteprising. Scott has got some ideas though.
Publishers are just unnecessarily fretting with Google; they should be spending their time thinking the next platform, if there is one.
Surely, very interesting times lie ahead of us.
(AOL – Time Warner) is Bull June 4, 2006Posted by rajAT in aol, media, media2.0, warner.
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Once touted as the mother of all mergers has been called a "Bull" by the president of Time Warner, Jeffrey Bewkes. The merger was the talk of the town in 1999. Everybody that includes all media gurus, business analysts were thrilled about this marriage. Wall Street has given the green signal by pushing the stock of the concerned entities. Those were the days of bubble. Steve Case was a hero, a new media mogul. It was said that now they own up both content (Time Warner) and distribution (AOL), they are going to sweep the market. But it all turned out to be a "Bull".
Fast forward to 2006. The synergies between the two entities (AOL-Time Warner) never took off. Blame it on technology or on people who dont want to see a choppy video on internet. What they want really want is a painless experience.
And now Time Warner has abandoned all pretense of "synergy" between its various media divisions, the failed concept that was the sole justification for its merger with AOL.
But if AOL is such a big load for Time Warner then why dont they sell that part of that business. AOL, last month has also launched a clone of YouTube known as UnCut. Does this give a signal about the differences between the two managements?
In fact the latest trend is that big content owners like Disney, ESPN, CNN have no plans to partner with internet giants (Google, Yahoo) for distributing their content. It was back in bubble when internet was considered a rocket science. But not now. Moreover, the CEO of Yahoo, Terry Semel, is not even a tech guy but a media person. All big media houses have their own internet strategies. Infact they are thinking beyond internet and very aggressive in mobile space also. This was shown by series of announcements of MVNOs – ESPN mobile, Disney Mobile etc.
This all, only shows that media industry is in a big flux. Only time will tell which marriage was "Made in Heaven". 🙂
Are books dead? June 3, 2006Posted by rajAT in blog, book, books, digital library, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, media2.0.
[Via J Jarvis] Richard Charkin, head of Macmillan publishers has shared these statistics.
On average across the world people spend 6.5 hours a week reading. The most of amount time spent reading is in India (10.7 hours), the least Korea (3.1 hours). UK is very near the bottom at 5.3 hours, Germany and USA a little higher at 5.7 hours.
The Chinese listen to radio less than any other nation (2.1 hours a week), Argentina the most (20.8 hours).
On average people now spend more time on the Internet for leisure (not work) than reading – 8.9 vs 6.5 hours. Mexico uses the Intenet for leisure least (6.3 hours) and Taiwan the most (12.6 hours).
Internet use reduces the time people have for reading by around 20%.
40% of Europeans do not read books.
More people use the Internet for leisure than read books in the developed world.
And people wonder why publishers are spending so much time and effort on digital development.
First of all, it is great to know that we Indians are spending maximum in devouring books. Literacy rate of India is seeing a steady rise over the last decade or so.
The most connected country in the world that is Korea is spending least time reading books. Now there lies the juice. Does this mean that internet is going to kill the books as we know. Has it become an outmoded means of communicating information.
Well Jeff Jarvis thinks so. He has pointed out many problems with the books.
- They are frozen in time without the means of being updated and corrected.
- They have no link to related knowledge, debates, and sources.
- They create, at best, a one-way relationship with a reader.
- They try to teach readers but don’t teach authors.
- They tend to be too damned long because they have to be long enough to be books.
- They are expensive to produce.
- They depend on scarce shelf space.
- They depend on blockbuster economics.
- They can’t afford to serve the real mass of niches.
- They are subject to gatekeepers’ whims.
- They aren’t searchable.
- They aren’t linkable.
- They have no metadata.
- They carry no conversation.
- They are thrown out when there’s no space for them anymore.
In the end – We need to kill the book to save books.
I couldn't agree more.
PS: It is a great opportunity for the entrepreneurs. 🙂
Peer Production: Boon or Bane June 3, 2006Posted by rajAT in blog, citizen journalism, collectivism, digg, media2.0, peer production, technology, web2.0, wikipedia, youtube.
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Nick Carr and Jaron Lanier say that rise of digital collectivism is nothing less than a resurgence of the idea that the collective is all-wise. They argue that this is different from meritocracy where the best gets awarded. Nick is of the opinion that the peer produced goods will be mediocre. But as these average goods are available for free that undermines the economic incentives for creating something that is better than mediocre.
Nick points out that markets are good at setting prices for commodities as markets filter out individual biases. There are things where markets are not good like writing books, encyclopedia entries or editing newspapers or magazines. Let me try to expain Nick’s argument by an example – It says that Wikipedia is a mediocre product as compared to Britannica encyclopedia or any other encyclopedia. Now that there is a free mediocre product i.e. Wikipedia in the market people will not buy Britannica anymore. The sales of Britannica will drop and Britannica will take its encyclopedia product off from the market. So, how Britannica should survive in the wake of wikepedia? If Wikipedia is mediocre then I think there is an opportunity for Britannica to tap in. People are always ready to pay premium for the best knowledge. I really don’t think that this behavior will change in future also. The knowledge worker viz consultant, lawyer, doctor faces this competition daily but does he feel threatened from a consultant who is providing his services free of cost. No. Because the costly consultant knows that the cost is not the differentiator but the specialized knowledge that he is having. And that is going to attract the client.
If Britannica thinks that they have a superior product than Wikipedia, they shouldn’t fret. In fact they should see wikipedia as its free version. Let me give you some real life example. Couple of my friends got hooked to wikipedia. They were spending tones of time reading articles on it and they ended up buying Britannica and Microsoft Encarta. I asked them why they have bought two encyclopedias – They said Encarta got lots of multimedia content and Britannica got lots of wonderful long articles. And now they have best of both the worlds. Now if they want to check on a particular thing they first saw it on Wikipedia and then on the regular encyclopedia. Society overall has benefited by having a wikipedia. It gives people a choice and people are smart enough to figure out what is good for them.
Let us have a look at newspapers and magazines. Will Ohmynews or NowPublic will replace NYT or BBC well I don’t think so. Citizen journalism will perform an important role in our society and they give a refreshing new choice to the people. The established media houses because of certain restrictions, generally don’t report things in full. This could be because they are related to one political party or because of the nationalist agenda. Citizen journalists don’t have any such prejudices and give unbiased view of the situation. And it is great to have this alternative available. Similar reasons can be given for consumer generated videos and pictures. We cannot compare the pictures present in Flickr by the ones that get published in National Geographic. But people would like to see both. No video on YouTube can be compared to any oscar winning movie.
Jaron Lanier argues that American Idol can’t give you a John Lennon. I am not sure of American Idol but the singers who won in Indian Idol are signed by big music houses. In fact some of the singers who won in other popular singing competitions got nominated as best playback singers in Filmfare awards (Indian Oscars). Shows like Indian idols give such a great platform to the budding stars and motivates millions of other people too. And this also puts pressure on the existing established singers to give their best. As a result, the society gets benefited.
In the end, I will say that connected production or peer production or whatever you want to call it is a great boon to the society. It challenges the authority of the existing established players who have to come with more innovative ways to survive and sustain. People are going to buy / favor / consume the product which is the best.
Peer production has just raised the bar.
Flickrpreneur June 1, 2006Posted by rajAT in advertising, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, fun, marketing, media2.0, web2.0.
[Via Marketallica]Russell Davies have posted the pictures of these books on Flickr. He has come up with an ingenious way of recommending books to users. He uploads the picture of his books and then added some notes to them. This could be a great product placement idea on flickr. Marketallica is very excited about the concept so am I. 🙂
It says for entrepreneur minds, maybe it is inspiring to develop application that makes it easy to add affiliate programs' link on photos. Then, Flickr, you should encourage and constitute flickrpreneur concept and make big money.
This concept can be a key for brands as it can help a product getting snowballed in a community. Viral medium works best online :).Tomi Ahonen has stressed it quite a lot in his award winning book Communities Dominate Brands.
I hope marketing gurus are listening ?
India and Citizen Journalism May 27, 2006Posted by rajAT in blog, citizen journalism, digg, india, media2.0, mom2.0, web2.0.
Last evening, I gave an overview of Web 2.0 to my mother. I told her that now people can have their own digital diaries on internet. They can express their opinion on any topic and can share it with other people. This whole phenomenon is called Blogging. She said, "It is little weird my dear, Diaries are supposed to be personal". I told her that people write their views on politics, technology, sports etc. Some of them are personal also people write about their break offs with their girl friends and boy friends but then privacy was a 20th century problem. She couldn’t really come on terms with the privacy part.
After that I started showing her some blogs. Ajit Jaokar's OpenGardens was open on my laptop. She read open gardens and exclaimed, "Rajat show me this one". The word gardens have attracted her. My mom loves gardening and her Bonsai are very famous. I chuckled and said this is not about gardening but a mobile blog. She was not happy on listening this.
After that I started telling her that Media is no longer one way. It has become a lot more participative. She was quietly thinking and I was looking at her. She then said this means that now anybody can become a reporter. I was like YESSSS!!! I have not uttered a word about citizen journalism and she got there on her own. I got very excited and told her about that the best source of information on IRAQ is not CNN or BBC but a blog. People all over the world go to that website for unbiased information on IRAQ. Next thing on my radar was Ohmynews.com. I told her that all the news items published here are submitted by common people and not journalists. This gives so much power to common people like us as now we have a big forum to express our views. I told her that now we don't need a team of senior editors to decide which is bigger news and which new item should not be printed. Thanks to Digg.com where people decide which news goes on the top and which goes on the bottom. This is WE in WEB.
She was very impressed on listening to all this. And I ended my little lecture by saying that these changes are as big as the invention of printing press.
But after that I started thinking about why citizen journalism is so easy for Indians to get. This was 3rd or 4th time when I have given an overview of Web 2.0 to a person who uses internet barely. All of them jumped at citizen journalism. I think people especially Indians have lacked forums where they are heard, a place where they can go and speak about the problems like corruption, bureaucracy that have crippled the society. I can forsee a very bigger change that our society is going to witness in near future.