Amanda Gets a Brand New Gig

November 9, 2006

The image “http://www.amandacongdon.com/photo/swimsuit.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.Moni Love hipped me to this article over at Media Week which suggests that Amanda Cogdon, who’s very public flame out with Andrew Baron ended my daily love affair with RocketBoom.com, is going to get a show on HBO. According to Mike Shields, the articles author, the unconfirmed rumors could be confirmed as early as tomorrow. Go Amanda!


MS Cuts Labels into Zune Sales

November 9, 2006

Zune™ Device White I’m pretty conflicted about the news that MS has signed an agreement with Universal Music to share revenue from Zune sales. On the one hand it seems like a great way for MS to guarantee itself access to content from one the music industries largest producers. Given Universal’s size and power its unlikely that other labels wont get in line to license their stuff to the ZUNE store and get a piece of Zune sales as a bonus. On the other hand it highlights just how desperate MS has become in its heavily lampooned bid to ruin the iParty that Apple has enjoyed for the last few years.

There is great coverage out there from both perspectives; for the naysayers, check out Global Nerdy’s take on the Zune shakedown or Om Maliks thoughts on UMG muscling Zune. For a more enthusiastic take on the subject check out Mathew Ingram’s post or El Reg’s rant, neither of which call of the out right destruction of the music industry… Of course you may prefer the more balanced approach of MSM, so here a link to the NY Times article and an AP story is here.


Riya2.0: When Web Commerce goes Hollywood

November 9, 2006

Munjal Shah is a genius. Well to be more specific “Lisa and Laura” at his PR firm, are geniusi, geniuses. When was the last time you saw someone get front page promo in the WSJ and a profile on press release hit the wires (for an alpha application no less)? If you needed a sign that Bubble 2.0 was in full effect this might be a good one.
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African Innovation: Pronto Condoms

November 8, 2006

There is so much I might say about this one but then it would reveal way to much about my life (or lack thereof). The Pronto Condom is a great example of innovation at work based on needs and constraints, not process and “smarts”. South Africa has a huge problem with HIV infections, but they dont have a ton of money, huge R&D facilities or a bunch of MBA’s to “foster innovation”. And yet they seem to have found a solution to the age old problem of how to keep it up while trying to wrap it up.

According to this report difficulty getting on a condom is a huge limiting factor in condom use. Given the limited resources in South Africa, the dire problems with HIV and ingenuity of the people that they came up with this simply solution is not surprising. Note that it doent require new materials, new machines or new processes to make.

On the marking side I’m not sure the term pronto is the right association you want with your condom. Check out the amazing demo here


Blog Castes: The Real Ranking of the Blogoshpere

November 7, 2006


In ancient India, along the scenic Indus Valley, someone came up with a system of social control so good it survives to this day. It was called the Caste system and basically it codified the privileges reserved for the in-crowd and the drudgery dished out to everybody else. While the Caste system is no longer socially acceptable in most places, in a few dwindling pockets, where the light of meritocracy has yet to shine, it thrives. Rural India is one such place. The Blogosphere is another.

Despite the thousand of years that separate the beginning of the Caste system in India and the beginning of personal logs on the web, there is only one major difference between the two systems; in rural India you can never change your Caste while in the Blogosphere it only seems that way.

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Zune Wishful Thinking: Most iPod owners will buy Zune

November 3, 2006

This morning I was checking out the folks at Zunescene when I noticed the following headline:

zune
Many iPod Owners Will Buy Zune

The post pointed to this ABI Research article on a survey they did of 1,725 “consumers” and their likelihood to purchase a Zune player. Of the people who responded to the survey 58% of the “consumers” who said they had an iPod and 59% of those with a different music player, said they would buy a Zune. I love these sorts of research finds and broad claims without content. They make for great marketing statements and of course great articles, but they dont shed any light on the prospects in the market for the Zune to challenge the iPod. Lots of heat and no light.

The research brief is part of The Ecommerce Times did a follow-up on the survey and spoke to its principal analyst, Steve Wilson, who puts the Zunes market prospects in context this way:

It’ll make a big splash, but it’s going to need something else behind it to make it take hold,” he said. “It’ll ride far on the initial marketing drive, but there’s nothing unique about it that’s all that compelling.”

Now that would make an interesting headline: Microsoft to Spend Billions and have little Digital Music Impact


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