Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Links for 04-17-2007

Sorry for slightly wacky formatting. My script that pulls things off of delicio.us won't seem to pull today's posts for some reason.

Interesting take on Blogger "zombies" by James Governor: "you really don’t want to be in a position in the five to ten year time-frame where everyone blames you for every network security breach, even if its nothing to do with you. Just ask Microsoft."

The problem with overdoing the transparency.

Interesting stats here: Japanese is the largest language in the blogosphere with 37% of posts in Japanese. Only .16% of visits to YouTube, .2% of visits to Flickr and 4.59% of visits to Wikipedia are "participation visits". (That actually seems pretty good participation rate for Wikipedia.)

Now that's Internet time: YouTube went from zero to dominant market leader in just 6 weeks

Monday, April 16, 2007

Links for 04-16-2007

Friday, April 13, 2007

Links for 04-13-2007

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Kodak - Winds of Change

According to the person who posted this:
This is a commercial that was produced for internal use. But it has become so popular, especially with employees, that Kodak has released it for external viewing. It demonstrates that Kodak not only understands it's changing business but also has a sense of humor.

It's quite good. The cynic might be inclined to agree with this YouTube comment by luckyblank though:
Kodak's back indeed... abandoning market share, making knee-jerk marketing decisions, and so on, and so on... but they do know how to produce a funny, self-deprecating commercial when the chips are down and money's no object!

via James.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Om Malik writes in 5 lessons of the Photobucket fiasco: "Free is a tactic, not a business model, and has strings attached to it." (I'm not going to recapitulate the whole bruhaha here, but basically MySpace blocked Photobucket videos that had embedded ads.)

This is just another aspect of the "free API problem" that I wrote about last week and discussed in more detail in the context of January's Mashup Camp at MIT. Reliance on the good will of for-profit corporations is a dangerous page in anyone's business plan. If you're an arts program or a local theatre, perhaps the realities of the market are that you have to depend on the generosity of civic-minded business sponsors. But I sure wouldn't want to sell a business plan to a VC that rested on the hope that Rupert Murdoch's minions might not notice me.

Om Malik's other "rules":

Don’t depend too much on one partner, especially one you don’t have a formal relationship with. Or as one smart commentator writes, “One line of code from that 3rd party literally puts these guys out of business.”

  1. If you are going to depend on one partner, don’t make waves. Stay under the radar. I am sure bragging in Fortune didn’t help Photobucket’s case.
  2. Don’t lose sight of your own mantra. Photobucket said all along it was just a service provider, and didn’t care about page views on its own site. How it was going to scale and build its revenues, based on that model, is a tough question Photobucket didn’t ask itself in the early days.
  3. Pay to play and ensure longevity. Remember, even Google had to pay MySpace, and you the start-up are not that special.
  4. Free is a tactic, not a business model, and has strings attached to it.

[UPDATE: The facts in this particular case seem to be "fluid," but that doesn't matter for any of the basic principles involved.]

Friday, April 06, 2007

The Perils of Free APIs

HipMojo.com has an interesting post that discusses the perils of depending on a lot of the free APIs out there from the likes of Amazon.
What Alexaholic, Fraxlk, Crappo and Deflinger have proven is that only a delusional sucker would build an application on a publicly traded corporation’s API and expect to reap commercial success.  In other words, if and when you wish to use a company’s API, understand that it’s a short-lived, double-edged solution.  It’s a hobby.  If you don’t see that from Day 1, get out of the business landscape because you will regret the time and energy you spent on your project.
This is exactly the sort of thing that a bunch of us were discussing back in January at Mashup Camp as I discussed in this post of mine at the time.
if you’re serious about building a business on a mapping mashup, “free” services may not be the way to go. At the least, you should have contingency plans in place to transition to a for-fee service either within the API provider or elsewhere. Providing quality of service guarantees likely requires having backup API providers where possible in any case.
Free is nice to play around with. But if you're going to build a business (or even invest a substantial amount of time to develop), it's pretty darn risky to depend on the goodwill of a commercial entity who probably hasn't even published any definitive terms of service around their APIs.