Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Notes from Web 2.0

We're here at Web 2.0 in San Francisco. I'll take some notes here:

Business Models for RSS: recreating the INBOX? Authors, as always, being left behind? Will the market sort out the compensation for each of the constituencies -- author, publisher, RSS service? Do the authors even care? NYTimes clearly cares very much, but PR Blogs -- these people don't care who benefits, their blogs are out there to garner publicity. HEP: a RSS to email gateway, that enables bidirectional communication between the author and the audience (must investigate). Extending RSS: through RSS you receive text, products, music, photos -- right now these are all flattened, then you receive the feed and have to reintroduce specificity to the data. Trusted Networks a la Ebay -- possible to decentralize it? [The network more valuable intact (entertainment value, discovery)]. People Lie. People are Lazy. First mentions of Flickr. :) Tagging by the seller sucks; tagging by the community works. Tagging when done for a non-commercial reasons no one is trying to sell anything tends to be more accurate. Humans need to do the tagging. On Flickr there is an incentive to tag, to find info later. People tagging it themselves because it will have value to them later.

I've heard the word "Kumbaya" twice now to describe something touchy-feely, let's all hold hands.

Dialing on the App Tone Ebay opened up their APIs to generate more GMS -- General Merchandise Sales -- 40% of their sales come through their APIs, not insignificant. Affliate programs are essentially a micropayment system. Guy from eBay recommends a book called "Platform Leadership" (a book about how to build a business around "complementers") To Flickr: what about Wallop? We do not want to establish or push a standard. Open APIs as a way of acquiring innovation -- see what the outside developers build and, if you're Microsoft, then copy them.

At this point the sessions began and I stopped taking notes.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Products that "Do the Rest"

From The Anatomy of Buzz by Emanuel Rosen:

Cameras were invented in the 1820s. Why did it take roughly sixty years for them to become popular? The answer, I believe , is embedded in teh slogan used by Kodak to introduce their first camera in 1888: "You press the button -- we do the rest." When they were first invented, cameras were very complicated to operate. Then George Eastman reduced their operation to a three-step process: pull the cord, advance the key, and press the button. Eastman also understood that to appeal to mass markets, he needed to offer a simple development process. So the Kodak camera came loaded with film for a hundred exposures, and when the roll was done, the customer just mailed the whole camera to the company for development. Eastman demystified the process for thousands of people who knew about photography but previously perceived it as a complex process for only professional photographers and serious hobbyists. Eastman also understood the importance of communicating the simplicity of the innovation. To write the product manual, he hired a New York advertising man but ended up crafting the copy himself (in less than five hours), because the advertising executive, according to Eastman, "utterly ignored" the simplicity of the camera. By the mid-1890s, just a few years after its introduction, one hundred thousand Kodak cameras had been sold. "The craze is spreading fearfully," the Chicago Tribune wrote about the new camera.