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Technology Surveys of Interest May 30, 2009

Posted by stewsutton in D7 All Things Digital, Knowledge Management.
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SurveysThere were several technology usage surveys presented at the Wall Street Journal All Things Digital Conference (D7) this past week.  I took some screen snapshots that seem to be reasonably legible so I am posting links to those images here.

The first image explores how the folks that run Twitter might consider making money someday.  Monetizing Twitter is the title of the slide.  Things like banner adds, professional accounts, and text advertising are compared across different demographic populations.

This next image explores the iPhone relationship with the AT&T service provider.  The title of this survey slide is iPhone Disincentives and it asks the question “What is the reason that you don’t own or use an iPhone?”  This question stimulated some interesting conversation with the CEO of AT&T during the conference session.

This next survey slide shows how things are going in the social network space (relative to participation). Social Network Participation is surveyed across different demographic groups and across the different social network services.  Twitter, MySpace and Facebook show some interesting results.  Take a look.

I found this next survey quite interesting.  The qustion (that many seem to have opinions about) is: “If you were using MySpace more in the past, why are you using it less today?”  So take a look at this slide: Using MySpace Less

So how are the search engines focused on consumer needs stacking up against each other?  We could reasonably assume that Google has the dominate market position.  But by how much?  And how are the other guys doing?  Search By The Numbers shows how the different public-facing search engines are doing against each other.  Google has 54% of the take with Yahoo with 22% of the search engine usage.  How about the other guys?  Take a look here to see How Consumers Choose Their Search Engine

So you think you want to buy a “netbook” computer?  Well you may be in a small minority if that is your preference.  The following survey “Consumers Not Sold on Netbooks” tells a different story from what we see the manufacturing and distfribution gearing up for in the stores these days.

So with all this online content being generated outside the newspaper industry, how popular is Newspaper Content Online these days? It turns out to be quite popular and it seems to give emphasis to consumer demand for authoritative content. However the vast majority of Americans do not pay to subscribe to online content.  That seems to pose an interesting problem for the traditional newspaper companies.  How do they plan to make money on their “stuff?”  The good news here for the newspapers is that paying for content is not out of the question for those surveyed (even though most do not yet pay today).  Some Americans will clearly pay for news that they can use.  These authoritative sources just need to package news up for better consumption.  But just in case I or anybody else might have grand ideas about creating a subscription account for a blog, we may wish to consider that the vast majority will not pay for access to blogs.  That seems to have emerged as a defined “free zone” for information distribution.

The New Palm Pre May 28, 2009

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D7 Interview: Jon Rubinstein and Roger McNamee and the Palm Pre

See a shortened video introduction here.

Jon Rubinstein is a former Apple guy who’s now Palm’s executive chairman. Roger McNamee is managing director of Elevation Partners and the guy who recruited Jon for his current position. These guys make a pretty good team.  They both hold a lot of passion for the success of Palm through innovation that we have not seen in a while.

  • A bit part of that innovation is shaping up in the release of the Palm Pre.  Who is going to carry that system on their network is a big question that folks are asking.  Sprint it seems will have first position in the release of the Pre, but others are to follow quite soon. Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam this morning said that Verizon will sell the pre in about six months.

A demo is shown to the D7 audience and we all think the Pre looks pretty cool and it has a slightly different approach to user interface. One of the nice aspects of the Pre is the way that it integrates information from the cloudIt does this by creative use of alien technology 🙂

There is this concept of “pages” or “cards” that host each application in operation and it makes it pretty easy to switch between running applications.  We all watch as the Pre syncs with iTunes. – This is VERY COOL – iTunes thinks that the Pre is an “ipod”

We get a brief statement about Palm’s history of developing breakthrough devices.  Jon and Roger truly believe that the Pre is a breakthrough device and one that offers something different than the Blackberry and the iPhone.

“Palm is a new company today,” says Rubenstein.

Palm and RIM — each have very small market share. That means there’s a great opportunity for Palm to join them.

palm-pre-infoThe Palm Pre – The team has been working really hard for the last couple of years…

When all the initial iPhone contracts run out, they will all run and buy Pre’s – a statement said more in jest than in truth.

Why did you put so much money into this product?  The VC funding is very focused at making the Pre technology successful and survive the long and difficult economic downturn

You have two choices in PHONES today (feature or smart)…  Feature phones / Smart phones – price difference is narrowing Feature phones is narrowing from 100 to 80 percent of the market share

This is going to be a wide market with lots of opportunity (lot’s of white space)?

Why start a new company when you can leverage the assets of Palm

The DNA is there (the way of thinking about making new products – but we brought in a new team).

Out situation is sufficiently bad that we have to “RESTART” – we have been shipping bricks – we have to get back into the game – we have to bet the investment fund – to bet huge amounts of money for success

Fred Anderson – Roger’s partner called me out of “retirement from Apple” to do this deal – this is going to be “huge” – we are just at the infancy.

It is so rare to get to start with a blank sheet of paper

With a new O/S

A whole new set of products…

Twitter as a sorce for “universal search”

This is more of a software problem than a hardware problem – competitors are apple, rim, – people leave the house with keys, wallet, and mobile device

Who is the customer? – They will be people that buy the Pre – people that use the web a lot.

The Pre’s positive feature include:

  • a built-in keyboard
  • a cool “mirror” on the back (for checking on yourself or signaling your friends from a distance using the Sun)
  • really nice integration between applications (less moving in-out between browser and application launch) – they understand how to integrate with javascript / html / and applications
  • consumers have a different choice in the Pre (it’s smaller than the iPhone and offers a different experience) – it won’t be for everybody but it has a nice format
  • The product provides an “alternative” to the iPhone and Blackberry

Semantic Web Demo – Siri May 28, 2009

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Siri is about making the interactions with the web and information much more intuitive.  It is a mashup / aggregator that understands natural language inputs and vectors outputs to specific service providers that optimize reporting information based on the type of questions.

See https://alpha.siri.com/comparison

D7 Interview: Mitchell Baker and John Lilly May 28, 2009

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duo-baker-lillyCEO of Mozilla, Mitchell Baker and chairman of Mozilla  John Lilly steward the development of Firefox, the open-source browser that challenged and then broke Microsoft’s choke hold on the browser market.

Firefox (as of April 2009) has 23% percent of Web browser market, according to Net Applications. That makes it the second most popular browser world-wide, after Internet Explorer, which holds 66.1 percent. An impressive feat. And an important one. Because by dislodging Internet Explorer from its dominant market position,

Firefox has proven not only that open-source projects often provide better software–something to which any Linux geek will attest–but that it’s possible for a particularly well done one to become an everyday consumer application.

  • 300 million people use Firefox (23% of the web users)
  • Other interfaces to the web beyond the browser may change this…

Is Firefox doing better or worse? – Firefox is growing linearly since its inception (23% is the high point so far).

Why does 75% of the web use other browsers?

The browser is actually an important “mediation layer” to the web and not just a pane of glass

Some of the things that Firefox did that have offered an advantage have been matched…

Safari bested Firefox in speed for example – tabbed browsing, quick bookmarking, Firefox is a LOT smaller (less than 100 million) is fighting with multi-billion dollar competitors – Google (Chrome), Apple (Safari),  Microsoft (IE), Opera, etc.

People are now designing for modern browsers

IE always loses on speed

If you were going to pick a business space to operate, you would not intentionally pick a location where Apple, Google, and Microsoft were competing. – People a few years ago were really looking for a high quality product that offered performance and features with simplicity – Non-profit arm that has commercial “roll-ups” –

Steve yelled “Bing” at you this morning…

As a CEO, I can get up and make a lot of noise about the technology and demand a response.

The “open source” component of Firefox gives big leverage to open source development

Volunteer coders – this is a “risk” for the non-English versions of Firefox

Do you want to check the “code” or check the “translation”

Other foreign speakers will scream about it when something is NOT RIGHT

Would I rather buy a product that is sorted out at the beginning or buy into a product that is using the volunteer army to produce the product.

How much software do you think is great?  Not much of any category is great. – And those companies that have hired experts are also producing a good percentage of that.

Internet Explorer is the “leading browser” – Mozilla folks are “describing it” as “out of date”.

Can’t run complex web apps in IE8 – things run slow there

Two paths (fast browser apps and slow browser apps) – new graphics standards support and the performance of the browser within that support.

Distribution is hard for Mozilla – but easy for Microsoft and Apple.

Google Chrome is going against Mozilla, IE, and Safari.

IT FEELS COMPLEX (the relationship with Google).

Geo location is an area where there is good cooperation

Converting Firefox to a top-quality open source product has taken some significant effort – this is the effort to establish that really “finished” look.

Apple is not a “hospitable environment” for us – they want to manage their own browser. – That makes it impossible for Firefox to be that “mediation layer” like it is on the other environments.

Golf at D7 May 27, 2009

Posted by stewsutton in D7 All Things Digital.
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We had a great round.  It was a beautiful day and an opportunity for new friendships.

Picture 3

Marty, Tom, Kevin, and Stew

Catching golf balls in the wild

Catching golf balls in the wild