How does Twitter compare to Facebook and LinkedIn?
As readers of this site know, I strongly believe that we are now in the middle of a major overall shift in economic trend that hasn’t been seen since the introduction of the paper bill in late 1700s england. Seen under this lens, I’m starting to think that there may be some truths to the claims that some of the traditional industries are making that their business is getting hurt by new technology. Their business is getting hurt but it’s not because of any particular evil on the part of Internet companies. The truth is that the reason those industries are starting to suffer from the propagation of Internet technology is that their traditional business models were based on inneficiencies in the market. The Music Industry Take, for example, the music industry. Traditionally, the music industry has been based on aggregating multiple songs on a piece of media. Every few decades, they would benefit from the introduction of a new technology (for example, shifing from LPs to 8-tracks, then to cassette tapes, then to CDs) as people had to basically purchase the same good over and over again when they upgraded their equipment. Then came the concept of a digital…Read More
The New York Times has a story in today’s business section about Gawker, which is trying to set up a model of advertising-supported weblogs. The article talks about a story, published on IwantMedia, which gave a little more of a view into Gawker’s financial model. Bloggers are paid $2500 a month plus bonuses, based on the site’s performance. Expectation seems to be that each site will make around $75,000 a year (that would come out to $6250 per month). With those bits of information, I decided to investigate how blogging compares to journalism as a career. My methodology was relatively simple. I would take a sample of sites and figure out the word count for each entry, get an average word count for that day and then build several models. For each day, I would pick up the first entry posted on that day (in other words, the last one in the list of entries for that day), copy all the words for that entry in Word and use the Word Count feature in Word (which can be found under Tools) to get a word count on that entry. I would do the same for the first 12 entries, since…Read More
Yesterday, I highlighted the modular by design approach and what modules are. Today, we delve in, looking at the first industry to get impacted: the music industry. When Napster introduced the concept of sharing songs, it was not so much the idea of sharing that was wreaking havoc on the music industry; it was the fact that albums were now being sliced and diced. Traditionally, the music industry has been organizing around the concept of album sales. When developing a new music album (which is only a compilation of several music tracks,) the music industry decided to bundle some good songs, along with some so-so and sometimes some bad ones. The idea is that they would promote a few songs in the media and use those as a way to sell albums. Where the economic breakdown happens is that not all songs have the same value. As a result, the idea that a hit song is worth the same amount as a B-side falls apart. So if you take the current album-related economics model, you end up with a product of 10-15 tracks, which retails for somewhere between 15 and 20 dollars. Based on that concept, one can argue that…Read More
So Apple launches an online music store. It looks very nice when put side by side with the competition. For starters, there doesn’t seem to be any monthly fee and all tracks are the same price. This seems like a good idea until you start reading the fine print… according to Apple, the tracks you download are high-quality AAC music files. AAC files? what are those? A quick search on the Apple site reveals that AAC stands for Advanced Audio Coding and that’s a format that works on well, it works on the mac and on the iPod. If you want to carry that anywhere else, you can’t. OK, well, I’m a programmer and that’s a new sound format, maybe I can write a decoder. So where’s the format. Oh, here it is. What, I have to pay to read the standard? What if I wanted to develop a free decoder? Oh, right, I would have to pay for that too! Oh well, back to my regular MP3 collection then. At least I can use it either on my PC, mac, and existing MP3 player. I don’t have to be locked into a particular OS, use a particular player or…Read More