Do you own your identity online? The answer may surprise you.
Continuing in the series of exploratory articles about the virtual world phenomenon, I will now explore the opportunities in that market. I would contend that this space is just a natural evolution of the Internet model and that this phenomenon may represent, in the long run, the next step evolution in the web. So, without further ado, here’s my list: Access (aka Subscriptions) Hosting (aka Real Estate) Platform (aka Client/Server) Collaboration Event Planning Education Building/Designing Professional Services Integration Trade platforms I will now go an and elaborate on each of those points. They are divided into three broad categories: opportunities for virtual world vendors, for users, and what I would call secondary markets. Opportunities For Virtual World Vendors I would generally group the opportunities for virtual world vendors into three broad category: access, hosting, and tools. Access (aka subscriptions) At the current time, this is the opportunity that most of the existing players have been mining the most. The basic model is simple: sell monthly or hourly subscription services to users. This is really no different than the business that AOL, Compuserve, and early ISPs were into, charging a fee to access an environment. Much like those early players in…Read More
A new survey just highlighted that three quarters of teens feel that file sharing should be legal. This pretty much caps any chance for the music industry to survive under their current model. The issue here is that if kids are perceiving file sharing as something that should be legal, they will probably not grow out of it. Half of the teens that were polled had downloaded free music and gave an interesting set of reasons: Those who download music but have never paid for a download say they download because: They only like one or two songs on a CD (59%); They want to get music quickly (48%); They believe that music is too expensive to buy (46%); They want to get music for free (44%); They want songs that are not available for sale (40%); And they believe that music should be shared (38%). There is hope though. If you look at those stats, stores like the Apple iTunes Music Store or the new Napster can satisfy over 50 percent of the public. The third point, however, shows issues relating to pricing. Obviously, the Internet has had an impact here as kids are probably more aware than their…Read More
“For sale, Internet historical documents and legal trouble. Call Deja.com for details.” This is not exactly the way Deja.com presented themselves but ultimately, this may be what transpires from their recent attempt to put the Usenet archives on sale. Usenet History For those of you who have never heard of Usenet, here’s a quick definition from the Usenet FAQ: Usenet is a world-wide distributed discussion system. It consists of a set of “newsgroups” with names that are classified hierarchically by subject. “Articles” or “messages” are “posted” to these newsgroups by people on computers with the appropriate software — these articles are then broadcast to other interconnected computer systems via a wide variety of networks.Some newsgroups are “moderated”; in these newsgroups, the articles are first sent to a moderator for approval before appearing in the newsgroup. Usenet is available on a wide variety of computer systems and networks, but the bulk of modern Usenet traffic is transported over either the Internet or UUCP. To put it simply, prior to the web, Usenet was what defined the Internet as a community. It covers subjects ranging from politics to computing, arts to news, and everything in between. Usenet, to the old timers was…Read More
It’s official: it’s curtain for Napster for now. The judge in a lawsuit filed the Recording Industry Association of America ordered the service to shut its doors by midnight this Friday. The genie is out of the bottle Yet, I can’t help but believe that the shutdown of Napster will not do much in terms of limiting distribution of online music. People will now move to alternative services like Gnutella and Freenet. In other words, it’s time for the recording industry to face the music. Shawn Fawning and his crew did, in the words of the judge, create a monster but I seriously believe that if the goal of the RIAA is to stop widespread distribution of digital music, this lawsuit is a moot point. Back in March, I talked about Gnutella, a Napster-like client/server applications that escaped from AOL‘s vaults. Since then, Gnutella use has increased, largely due to the fact that Napster was being sued and that Gnutella has no controlling authority. Since no one is officially in charge of Gnutella, no one can be sued. And since the service can’t be sued, it’s a much tougher one to deal with as far as the recording industry is…Read More