WHY DO WE NEED YET ANOTHER EDITORIAL? Because as the publisher I needed a place to rant, rage and spew my sometimes opininated views on the digital world we find ourselves living in for the year 2011. ABOUT ME: I am a gumbo of deep extensive backgrounds and career experiences across varied discliplines that I feel give me a unique if not skewed perspective on where we are in time and space, and where I think things for digitally-involved folk are headed. After 27 years of professional involvement in the digital/computer world I have heard and bought into many if not most the promises and hype of what any of this stuff means. Now I am less easily blinded to what I perceive are some of the real problems and challenges we create for ourselves, often with the best intentions. Take for example the recent advent of social networking and social media, if used inappropriately these new tools actually separate us and push us apart rather than bring us socially closer together as imagined. They also provide the unscrupulous with new means for con men and scammers to easily target unprotected victims and brand new fools. For true believers this is the battleground, and brings the challenge of holding to the best purposes and uses of innovation before these are contorted and perverted to their worst use.
Enough for today!
- The Editor
How does this all tie together?
We have a full complement of smart devices, apps that do lots of great stuff, and peripherals that bring professional level functions. There are tons of web sites covering everything we ever thought we wanted or needed to know, but I woke up with the question plaguing me “what does it all mean, and how does it all come together?
Of course the easy answers are: improved business opportunities and processes, enhanced and advanced learning systems and dynamic increased contact capacities, but all that great as it is doesn’t quite answer the question for me. I really want to know exactly why are we investing the majority of our time and money down this ever deepening and ever widening hole? Is there something significant that we gain that totally justifies all the learning and ofttimes frustration that accompanies our ongoing commitment to and investment in technology? In simple terms. “What’s in it for us?”
Fora.TV turns live event streaming into Pay-per-view,
and I don’t much like it now that I am disabled and cannot venture out to industry events, I have come to rely on live streams from those events to keep me connected to the industry I report on. I vehemently object to the sudden monetizing of streaming coverage. I understand there are related costs, but I strongly doubt that revenue is shared by the presenters and providers of the content sold. They are happy for the opportunity to get their message out there, but to throw up a toll gate at this early stage and charge the receivers is just flat-out wrong-headed.
Who to Watch in 2011?
For me there are only two companies that I think have more than a good shot to ride the crest of current innovation waves with Apple. Those two companies are Samsung and of course HP.
Samsung’s latest tablet and smartphone offerings are great alternatives to Apple’s initial iPad and current iPhone 4.
HP has before them the seemingly massive task of moving WebOS, acquired in the Palm acquisition, onto the cool tech scene and towards popularity, but it looks promising and all remain hopeful.
Web 2.0, No Mo?
It has been a long time since I’ve heard the term Web 2.0 used to describe this thing we now call social media or social networking. I am not exactly sure what happened, but something did!
Not so long ago the amazing Tim O’Reilly took credit for coining the term and subsequently fostered and facilitated major events and online forums around the concept. Then Blam, something changed! Suddenly some folks claimed they were “So over Web 2.0!”, but even these pundit/skeptics were some of the first ones to extol the virtues and benefits of Facebook and Twitter.
Fast forward to 2011, the internet is again becoming a dotcom cemetery for would-be startups hoping to ride in on the new wave, but these entreprenuers have to vault over the carcasses of countless hopefuls, many without any more chance or hope. But what I’ve Learned after over 30 years in this industry is this. There is another trend just around the corner. It is peeking it’s head out and the perceptive can get a clue. The follower lemmings will rush to the pyre.
GOODBYE GOOD OLD NEWS STAND
There is a growing concern from magazine and newspaper publishers about the challenge of providing content for mobile media while preserving their print franchises. They are at risk of losing their customers to new forms of media. Apple’s iPad success and the imminent release of new application distribution platforms from Google and other software companies threaten another shift for publishers that will have greater impact on their business models than the growth of free media on the web.
Devices like the iPad offer consumers a rich reading experience and offer publishers even more targeted advertising, but the revenue tradeoff as publishers navigate the path from print to this new world is iffy if not completely disruptive.
Today over 90% of the of magazine circulation is delivered directly through the mail. publisher revenue is declining sharply and the publications that we depend on for in-depth reporting, news and entertainment risk finding a place in the dust bin.
Publishers can’t retain customers because for years rather than innovate they tried to hold back the storm breaking over their heads and now it is full rage and print publishers face extraordinary business challenges while attempting to transform their industry and retain print consumers and subscribers. Publishers can’t afford to wait or hesitate. The game has changed and publishers are lost and bewildered.
The Big D
For mobile device manufacturers or software developer CEO’s success or failure can hinge on one crucial decision. For example, choosing a platform is a “roll of the dice” with tremendous consequences for the future of their companies. There are many alternatives each withsignificant implications and repercussions that could mean corporate life or death for even the heartiest company. Each decision also represents unreal opportunities for unimagined success. Even agile smaller companies with deep talent and great ideas have a good chance to innovate their way to the top in this rapidly evolving but very disruptive environment.