Hide your children, put away the pets! ABC reports that a new Barbie has some strange quirk: push her button the wrong way and she may call your child a slut! Yikes-a-hooty! I think your safer with a sock doll.
I’ve been in Chicago this week at the Forrester Consumer Forum: Humanizing the Digital Experience. I’ll try to post some notes later this week, but I had to put up a few thoughts on one session that almost made me jump up a shout “Hallelujah!” Of course, I wasn’t sure how these “corporate folks” would respond to a Southern Pentecostal boy whooping and dancing.
Nicholas Negroponte spoke this morning about his vision of putting a laptop into the hands of every child in the world and how he is working to make that happen. This wasn’t just blue sky dreaming. This is a clear vision that will make a dramatic launch of putting $100 laptops into the hands on children in several countries as a precursor to a larger distribution.
Working with corporations, researchers, and country leaders, Negroponte’s One Laptop Per Child non-profit is stunning combination of problem-solving, business planning and long term visioning for our world. The implications of how this could impact learning and development as well as communication, bridge-building and more are staggering. (Not to mention the impact upon computer technology .)
But don’t waste time listening to me ramble, visit his site and find out what’s happening for yourself.
It’s official, the United States is full of Internet Addicts. Yipes! I think I better spend a few hours googling that.
The Web page was pronounced dead on October 9, 2006, after a long bought with chronic irrelevance. A large group of marketers attempted CPR and other heroic resuscitation techniques. Witnesses present at the scene told reporters that despite a few minutes of chaos, the Web page’s last moments were largely serene and peaceful.
NYT announced today that Netflix is offering a $1 million dollar prize for the person who can improve their recommendation system by at least 10 percent. To help potential winners, they’re making available “to the public 100 million of its customers’ movie ratings, a database the company says is the largest of its kind ever released.”
I think this is pretty cool. It is more of the consumer generated content trend where companies look outside their walls to the public for help in creating solutions.
Trying to keep out open source invaders, MySpace has decided to erect walls around its interface, claiming YouTube, Flickr and others are simply leeches on the MySpace body. Or as Peter Chernin says,
“If you look at virtually any Web 2.0 application, whether its YouTube, whether it’s Flickr, whether it’s Photobucket or any of the next-generation Web applications, almost all of them are really driven off the back of MySpace.”
It appears MySpace is going to make their space less friendly to outside companies by blocking external links in flash widgets and more. They also plan to develop proprietary widgets for video and other services.
As TechCrunch says, “It sounds like MySpace’s owners may not want to play a game where everyone wins.”
Too bad. We’ll see what happens. Maybe MySpace won’t take their ball go home. And if they do, hopefully someone will come and play even better ball than before.
iVillage, once the very example of websites dedicated to women, is now a perfect example of Web 1.0 thinking. Originally built around message boards, the site limits the amount of user input and customization. While the technology can easily be modified, can the administrative thinking behind the site change? can it go from a site with highly managed content to a free-wheeling customer content driven site?
NBC bought iVillage in March, Bob Wright, NBC President, recently announced that they plan to make iVillage the foundational pattern for NBCs digital efforts. Bambi Francisco of MarketWatch offers a wonderful comparison and analysis of MySpace vs iVillage and the challenges ahead for NBC.
MySpace is as close to a democratic virtual world as you can get on the Web, as its own liberating culture and subcultures allow for new talent to rise from the virtual pool of wannabes. To wit: MySpace recently struck a deal with SNOCAP so that the 3 million bands on MySpace can sell their music to their fans directly.
Ten-year-old iVillage, on the other hand, is a first-generation Internet community site, built on an earlier top-down model of what community meant to those of us who were around back in the old days of the Web — message boards. IVillage has 1,000 message boards. But they are so limiting that the only way to demonstrate self-expression, besides writing in all caps and using expletives, is to upload a photo. Additionally, iVillage is a place where news is delivered to you; where editors rule the roost; where the audience learns and takes more than they give, and where the bulk of the content is polished and scrubbed. It’s almost too perfectly maintained compared to the anarchy, mess and grunge of MySpace.
The differences remind me of my walk through the Sausalito, Calif. Art Festival a couple weeks ago. As I made my way through the very clean, organized and civil art show, I couldn’t help but think of my friends who were — at that same time — attending the raucous, eclectic and countercultural art festival called Burning Man. The two environments couldn’t be more different. One liberates our individuality, like MySpace. The other quietly asks us to conform, like iVillage.
Let’s all join together in a big network and sing in virtual harmony an ode to OneWebDay, coming September 22. A VC suggests that “It’s like earth day in that there will be celebrations of the web taking place all over the world.” Not sure if anything is going down in K-town but there’s a big shindig in NYC.
Looks like MySpace is entering the music download world. Soon they’ll be offering bands on MySpace the opportunity to sell their music downloads at whatever prices the bands decide (MySpace will charge bands a distribution fee).
By the end of the year, Mr. DeWolfe said, MySpace will offer independent bands that have not signed with a record label a chance to sell their music on the site. MySpace says it has nearly three million bands showcasing their music.
Songs can be sold on the bands’ MySpace pages and on fan pages, in MP3 digital file format, which works on most digital players including Apple’s market-dominating iPod. (New York Times)