Wired's Blog Network is reporting
that Facebook has caved into the demands of the growing crowds, and will soon the make the "is" in its now infamous status updates optional.
As in "Turbo is wishing the American Thanksgiving holiday would hurry up and get here so that he could eat lots of turkey and watch lots of football."
Apparently, over 500 anti "is" Facebook groups have sprouted up to fend off the often grammatically abused status.
Though I've tried to keep my own status updates as gramatically correct as possible, situation depending, it has at times been a bit trying.
So, "Todd is now glad 'is' will, as of tonight, not be a requisite component of his Facebook status, but hopes we quickly move ahead to some of the more important issues relevant to social networking. Is that okay by you?"
Meanwhile, for you Firefox fans out there, the Firefox 3 Beta 1 is now available for download, but recommended primarily for developers and testers and "intended for testing purposes only."
(I would presume that also, for grins, includes the testing of the new anti "is" status on Facebook.)
New features of F3B1 include improved security features, ease-of-use/installation, CSS and table rendering, and richer personalization via one-click bookmarking and smart search bookmark folders.
I was drinking my coffee and checking in on the various business and tech headlines when, lo and behold, it turns out the big news this AM was that Jeff Bezos and Amazon were looking to rekindle
the digital reading/e-book space with their new "Kindle" e-reading device.
Uh, I've seen this movie...err, read this chapter...and my lovely Nuvo Rocket reader from 2000 is still in my closet gathering dust.
Not that I don't believe that e-reading isn't an idea whose time hasn't come...I'm a big supporter, actually. In fact, the only thing I bother using my Palm Tungsten C anymore is for buying and reading e-books.
And I'm not one of these people who has some ephemeral, tactile connections to my books. My golf clubs, absolutely. My books? You can have 'em.
Read this: Books are software. I have no issue whatsoever with paying $15 for an e-book, downloading it, reading it, then chunking it. It's one less thing I have to carry out to the trash or back to the bookstore to try and sell to get my measly 15 cents on the dollar back (if I'm lucky) at the used bookstore.
And what I loved about the Nuvo RocketMedia e-reading device (a company founded by Martin Eberhard, whose new company is Tesla Motors) was the convenience. It was mostly easy to buy and download books from wherever I had an Internet connection.
And while the screen display left something to be desired, reading via the device was a pleasure. Which partially helped offset all the ribbing from people who thought I was the ultimate geek for carrying around an "e-reading" device way back in the Jurassic Age of 2000.
So I'm the geek, huh? How much time do you currently spend consuming information via an electronic interface (your PC, your mobile device, etc.) versus printed matter?
Yeah, that's what I thought.
Hey, I did pick up a copy of The New York Times over the weekend. It felt pretty primitive handling all that newsprint with all that nasty ink. I had to was my hands after finishing up the Business section.
As to the Amazon Kindle, Read/WriteWeb's Richard McManus believes there's a bigger strategic play going on, that the Kindle is "literally going to change Amazon's core business model" as it helps to start connect book communicaties, more easily enable search, etc.
That may very well be. But me, I'm just worried about Amazon turning on "One-Click" ordering for their e-books. Sheesh, and I thought I couldn't control my credit card in a Borders?
Learn more about the Kindle here.
I've been seeing lots of medical personnel recently, what between the LASIK and my annual physical (the cholesterol count for which I was absolutely scolded!)
When I read this press release we sent out from earlier in the week, though, it made me realize how lucky I am to be able to get in my car and drive down the street or highway to see my doctors.
On the island of Tristan da Cunha, more than 1,665 miles west of Cape Town, South Africa, it's not quite so easy.
In a recent partnership between IBM, Beacon Equity Partners, MedWeb, the University of Pittsburgh, and the Government of Tristan da Cunha, the players involved are trying to make a trip to the doctor just a wee bit more convenient.
The remote telemedicine solution combines medical equipment, satellite communications, and remotely supported electronic health records that allow medical experts from anywhere in the world to assist island clinicians with medical diagnosis and emergency support.
You can learn more about this novel approach to remote medicine here.
Technorati Tags: medicine, tristan da cunha, telemedicine
This industry is most confusing.
Read/WriteWeb's Marshall Kirkpatrick spins today's New York Times piece on the future of the inbox (of which mine seems to get more and more crowded all the time).
His headline: "Yahoo! Says the Future Will Be Modeled on Facebook."
That alone was enough to crack me up. That Yahoo! is now basing its business strategy on where Facebook is going??
That's okay. All the cool kids are doing it.
But Kirkpatrick's yarn of Yahoo's coming RSS-ization of social streams via email is actually a good read.
He seems to be positing that RSS social streaming will be the underlying backbone of the new Yahoo!.
When you Yahoo!...well, everybody and their grandmother will soon know it.
Kind of like your Facebook news stream.
Or, more simply put, RSS-ize existing email applications like Yahoo! Mail and Gmail...that way the big players don't have to go off and spend all that money to create a messy social network of their own.
So it's all about RSS after all!
Meanwhile, on a completely unrelated and tangential note, our second beta of the (free) Symphony productivity suite was released yesterday, and thus far 88 percent of Symphony users are Microsoft customers.
PC World picks it up from there.
And if the sweet free suite wasn't enough for you, we now have Symphony, the YouTube video, starring Lotus' own Ron Sebastian.
Cool video, Ron.
Now, could I get that in an RSS feed into my Yahoo inbox, pul-eeez?
Technorati Tags: lotus, office, rss, social networking, symphony
I'm not feeling well today, so I won't be coming into work...possibly ever again.
Instead of coming into the office and doing my job, I am instead going to spend most of my day posting embarrassing Tinkerbell-like pictures of myself on my Facebook profile -- which surely nobody, including my boss, will see -- just to see if I still have my job by the end of the week.
No sooner did I post it than the entire world has now seen my Tinkerbell picture and my lame excuse for not coming into work, and I did get fired!
I can't imagine how that happened, considering that I posted the photo of me and my Tinkerbell wand on a very public Web site to which scores of my friends and work associates subscribe.
Though I am now out of a job, I am already fielding phone inquiries from Hollywood agents who are sitting around with way too much time on their hands due to the WGA strike, and whom are interested in possibly helping me sell my life story.
The elevator pitch goes something like this:
Mid-level banker and rabid "Peter Pan" fan takes on Tinkerbell guise to help raise awareness around the globe of the significant risks associated with self-paparazzi-dom on Facebook, and soon, in a strange life-imitates art-imitates-life turn of events, finds himself starring as "Tinkerbell" in the Broadway revival of "Peter Pan" opposite his personal hero, Cathy Rigby.
Boss, are you sure you don't want to hire me back with all my newfound celebrity?
I might just be able to help offset some of those unsecuritized debt obligations you guys are trying to clean up from the mortgage debacle.
And look, I even have a wand!
Technorati Tags: digitollywood, facebook, online privacy, social networking
Hey, first off, I just want to say I'm real sorry to all my New York Giants friends. I know you all hate to be beaten up on by a bunch of Cowboys (hee hee hee). Good game, though.
And speaking of getting beaten up on, I bet every last one of you loves your mobile phone carrier, right?
Ever since my second trip to Tokyo in the spring of 2000, when I saw my first NTT DoCoMo iMode phone in action, complete with WAP-like applications (including a virtual fishing game!), I've wondered about the perilous fate of mobile computing in the U.S.
So, apparently, is The New York Times in an article this morning entitled "Cellphone Straitjacket Is Inspiring A Rebellion."
Somebody bar the mobile tower's gates, the open mobile computing platform mob is gathering and they are ticked!
Me, I don't want much from my little Blackberry Pearl. Just be able to quickly load sports scores and look up that cool restaurant's address, or find an on-the-spot movie listing. I can do all that, mostly, but it sure can take a long time.
Though the Times' piece suggests the iPhone started the easy-to-use mobile computing battle, Google's recent Open Handset Alliance and bid for new spectrum licenses last January only added fuel to the fire.
For my money, it all comes down to the age-old battle: Walled Garden Hell, or Open Network Eden. Me, I'll take a bite out of the apple every time if it means more application (and carrier) choices.
And speaking of bites out of the apple, IBM announced its intent to acquire business intelligence and performance management software leader, Ottowa, Ontario, Canada-based Cognos, for U.S. $58 a share (around $5 billion).
You can read all the gory details here and there's an investor viewpoint deeper dive here.
Cognos will be integrated into IBM Software Group's Information Management business.
I look forward to eventually working and speaking with my new Cognos colleagues...preferably via a phone on an open mobile network.
Technorati Tags: business intelligence, cognos, information management, ibm software
Greetings from Phoenix SkyHarbor airport, where there's free wi-fi and Starbucks right next to security line leading to Gate C. Feel free to drop by for a quick chat if you happen to be in the area.
I'm on my way back from a fascinating customer forum regarding the intelligent chat world, where the discussion ranged from "How do I get more out of my chat agents?" to intelligent agents and bots. And a lot in between that I'm leaving out.
And, it seems, the advertising industry may be needing to hire some intelligent agents of its own and soon.
Our Global Business Services folks put out a new report today entitled "The End of Advertising as We Know It."
If the Starbucks grande didn't kick you into high gear, that headline certainly oughta get your attention.
In the study, the GBS team forecasts even greater disruption for the advertising industry in the next five years than over the previous 50.
Buckle up, Madison Avenue...we're takin' this new media BMW 7 series for a joy ride! Oh, and leave those CPMs and media plans at home. You won't be needing them for this particular road trip.
To examine and better understand the factors influencing the changing ad landscape, and also to start to shape future scenarios, IBM surveyed 2,400 consumers and 80 advertising executives globally.
The results suggest increasingly empowered consumers (hey, WE made the cover of Time for "Person of the Year," remember!), more self-reliant advertisers, and ever-evolving technologies that will redefine how advertising is sold, created, consumed, and tracked.
That's the executive summary. If you want to read the full report, check it out here.
Me, I've got a plane to catch and some media disruption to embrace.
I missed the whole Facebook Social Advertising is going to save mankind bit back in New York City yesterday, but I'm LOL at some of the reactions, including Nick Carr's Rough Type.
I'm towards the opposite end of the country, in the lovely desert oasis known as Phoenix, wrestling with my own interactive marketing demons.
And as I still want to soak up other reactions, and have to run to a meeting, I'll keep my own observations brief for now, as I need to let the new Facebook social advertising platform soak in like a warm mud mask at some luscious spa out here.
Firstly, it didn't escape my notice the irony that just last week the Federal Trade Commission hosted hearings about surreptitious tracking by marketers on the Intertubes.
Second, I'm not sure what Facebook's marketing slogan is (do they even have one?), but I wonder if it's nearly as lofty a goal as Google's ("Do no evil") when it comes to its core business model.
Somehow, I imagine not.
I checked out The Facebook Blog to get the lowdown straight from the source, and I must say I'm really excited about the opportunity that I'm now going to have to connect with celebrities via Facebook.
On the plane ride out to Phoenix, I was just thinking to myself that my hair was getting a little dry and brittle, and wondering if perhaps Facebook just might come up with a new celebrity connection feature that would empower me to learn firsthand which conditioner Ashley Judd uses.
And of course, the advertising relevance whereby actions I take can be shared with my friends...well, let's just say that's one big cookie monster I think I might have to Delete with a capital "D."
I'd much prefer to keep my advertising experience up close and personal.
I'm already leaving ample digital footprints via my Google search query strings (the search history for which I've had turned off for over a year now!), and the idea that everybody and their grandmother will be able to start marketing to me via my Facebook bread crumb trail...well, it sounds good, but I also thought "1984" was a book of fiction by George Orwell until I suddenly found myself smack dab in America in 2007.
Remember that scene in "Minority Report" where the digital billboard automagically responds and changes content based on peoples' biometric scan?
I'm no Tom Cruise (although it's my understanding he uses Goldwell Definition Style & Shine Gel), but the lines between fact and fiction seem to be getting fuzzier and fuzzier.
Which is why I recommend to all my friends Dolce & Gabbana. Because the Dolce & Gabbana man is "a little hedonistic" but "pays considerable attention to details," and "loves everything that doesn't schematize him."
Including, of course, the new Facebook Social Advertising network.
comScore ran some numbers
on the first 29 days of the new Radiohead album, "In Rainbows," that the band offered up for direct downloading via its Website with consumers given the opportunity to pay as much or as little (including nothing) as they wanted.
Based on the first month's numbers, 2 out of 5 downloaders were wiling to pay, with 40% of U.S. folks opting to pay and 36% of non-U.S. denizens opting to do so.
(This listener attempted to go to the site and download "In Rainbows" in the first couple of days, and was going to pay $10 U.S. but couldn't break through the overloaded bit stream.)
The average price per paid download was $6.00, but dropped to $2.26 when you figured in all the freeloaders.
At $2.26 a pop, that adds up to a little over a million buckaroonis.
At $15.00 a pop, for a CD, that would have amounted to about $6.4M.
However, this is only the first month, and one would expect the costss for production are largely flat and most cost would now amount to bandwidth, server maintenance and energy (oh, and accounting!)
All I got to say to all the freeloaders out there is this: If you like the Radiohead album, fork over some cash, ya cheapskates!
Even if it's only a few bucks, it'll help keep the Radiohead direct sales lights on and their servers humming.
Meanwhile, perhaps there's some other opportunities for those 600K non-paying customers: "The Radiohead Freeloaders Fan Club."
Think of all the dinero that could be made selling "Radiohead Freeloaders" T-shirts at $30 a pop!
Let me pull out the calculator....That's 600,000 X $30....Hey, that's a cool $18,000,000.
Who needs to sell albums!!!???
The members of the Writers Guild of America went on strike overnight, and I'm none the happier for it.
I went to see "American Gangster" over the weekend. Steven Zaillian was the credited screenwriter, based on an article by Mark Jacobson.
Good movie, great story.
Very professionally written, produced, and directed, with solid performances by Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe.
It got me to thinking about the writer's strike.
Whenever I need to get medical procedures of any sort, I prefer to go to a professional (like, you know, an actual doctor).
Whenever I attempt to figure out how to manage my money, I prefer to go to a professional (financial services adviser).
When I go to a movie or watch TV, I prefer to see those programs produced by professionals.
The last writers strike in 1988 cost the industry an estimated $500M and lasted 5 months.
At dispute, among other things, were the payment writers would receive for DVD versions of films they had written (remembering DVDs had just been introduced into the market).
That issue continues, as writers fight for an increased share (from 4 cents to 8) of DVD proceeds, as well as to gain a bigger share of revenue from work delivered via the Internet, mobile phones, and other IP-based media.
The current contract allows writers 1.2% of revenues from shows streamed online for one-time viewing, but they receive nothing for content downloaded from sites like iTunes.
If an entire film supported by advertising is shown free on the Web, writers currently receive no money because the showing can be spun by the studios as "promotional."
Though many would argue that the economic rules are still being written for the new digital media -- and they would be correct -- there's no doubt in my mind that writers should receive their fair share.
Not getting paid at all for online viewing of their material is hardly fair.
If the industry can't find a way to pay professional writers a few cents on the download, we deserve to be stuck in "Survivor" and "Real World" reruns for many years to come.
Technorati Tags: digital media, digitollywood, wga, writers strike