Whoever knows what your interests are right now and can package them up for advertisers has the chance to make a lot of money. Of course, Google does this right now every time you declare your interests in a search box and it offers up matching ads on the side of results. But Facebook and Twitter are trying to capitalize on the shift from search to sharing. Your interests are expressed by what you follow and react to “like,” “retweet,” etc., not only what you explicitly seek out through search.
In its first 10 days, Apple’s iPad has captured almost as much online usage share as the BlackBerry or Google’s Android operating system, a Web metrics firm said today.
According to data from Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based NetApplications.com, the iPad’s share has averaged 0.03% since April 3, the day Apple started selling the media tablet. Although that number is puny compared to the major operating systems — Windows XP, for example, accounts for 64.5% of the total market — it’s within striking distance of longer-available rivals.
Research In Motion’s BlackBerry, for example, had a usage share of 0.04% for the month of March. Android, meanwhile, accounted for the same figure, split evenly between Android 1.5 and Android 1.6, NetApplications said.
Speaking at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., where the Atmosphere conference takes place, Schmidt said:
“What’s really important right now is to get the mobile architecture right. Mobile will ultimately be the way you provision most of your services. The way I like to put it is, the answer should always be mobile first. You should always put your best team and your best app on your mobile app.”
1. Users are open to ads as long as they’re relevant to their realtime experience.
2. Advertisers really want to create ads that are relevant to the realtime experience.
3. Realtime applications are starting to make serious money through advertising!
Some really hard challenges all of us face:
1. Realtime targeting is complex
2. Data is everything
3. Advertisers need to be taught how to engage in a realtime experience.
OneRiot has been at it since October (beta launch in January), and in April we expect to exceed 1/2 billion ad impressions across our network of realtime apps.
Our impressions are in the stream (e.g. on Twitter apps like UberTwitter and social desktop apps like Digsby) and they are in search (e.g. on OneRiot.com). Recently we’ve started distributing them across the wider web through traditional ad units.
What we’ve discovered is that when the ad is relevant to a trending topic, relevant to what people are talking about on the realtime web, the click thru rate goes through the roof. In other words, if iPad is trending, and we promote the hottest accessories for the iPad, realtime web users love it. Even on mobile, the CTR goes from an industry average of 0.1-0.2% to over 1% and sometimes even higher. We’ve had CTRs as high as 8% when we really nail it.
Who, in his right mind, expects Steve Jobs to let Adobe (and other) cross-platform application development tools control his (I mean the iPhone OS) future? Cross-platform tools dangle the old “write once, run everywhere” promise. But, by being cross-platform, they don’t use, they erase “uncommon” features. To Apple, this is anathema as it wants apps developers to use, to promote its differentiation. It’s that simple. Losing differentiation is death by low margins. It’s that simple. It’s business. Apple is right to keep control of its platform’s future.
I understand the fury at Adobe over Apple’s moves against Flash development on the iPhone. (And I’m sad that this particularly targeted spat may have incalculable fall-out on the rest of the Adobe-Apple relationship, which will potentially impact both companies’ customers down the road.)
It’s got a bit of the feeling of Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown, but with one key difference: in this scenario, Lucy never asked Charlie Brown to kick that football. Charlie Brown saw a bunch of other kids kicking the football and thought he could run up and kick it too.
Is it mean for Lucy to yank the football away from ol’ Chuck at the last minute? Yeah, absolutely. But it’s Lucy’s football.
“If you go down the list now where they compete, the list is pretty extensive,” said Peter Farago, vice president of marketing at Flurry Inc., a San Francisco mobile analytics firm. In addition to smartphones, Apple and Google both develop Internet browser software (Safari and Chrome), mobile operating systems (iPhone OS and Android), and both are buying mobile advertising companies (Quattro and AdMob).
Though Mr. Jobs gets the lion’s share of credit for innovation at Apple, Mr. Fadell played a key role in the company’s resurgence. He first envisioned a hard-drive-based digital music player in the 1990s and brought the idea to Seattle-based Real Networks, where he reportedly clashed with Real’s chief executive, Rob Glaser, and left after six weeks.
Mr. Fadell then approached Apple in 2001, and history was made. He first worked for Jon Rubinstein, a former Apple senior vice president who is now Palm’s chief executive, then replaced him as head of the iPod division in 2006.
Ask yourself for a moment, what is the operating system of a Google or Bing search? What is the operating system of a mobile phone call? What is the operating system of maps and directions on your phone? What is the operating system of a tweet?
On a standalone computer, operating systems like Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux manage the machine’s resources, making it possible for applications to focus on the job they do for the user. But many of the activities that are most important to us today take place in a mysterious space between individual machines. Most people take for granted that these things just work, and complain when the daily miracle of instantaneous communications and access to information breaks down for even a moment.
But peel back the covers and remember that there is an enormous, worldwide technical infrastructure that is enabling the always-on future that we rush thoughtlessly towards.
We have all of the “new” we could possibly want, but we’re distinctly lacking in execution with what we have. Clamoring for the next big thing is looking for permission to be messy. It’s easier to latch on to something new and unproven, because then you’re not accountable. Instead, man (or woman) up, and get busy wrangling the things you already have at your disposal to do something worthwhile.
On a typical hardcover, the publisher sets a suggested retail price. Let’s say it is $26. The bookseller will generally pay the publisher $13. Out of that gross revenue, the publisher pays about $3.25 to print, store and ship the book, including unsold copies returned to the publisher by booksellers.
For cover design, typesetting and copy-editing, the publisher pays about 80 cents. Marketing costs average around $1 but may go higher or lower depending on the title. Most of these costs will deline on a per-unit basis as a book sells more copies.
Let’s not forget the author, who is generally paid a 15 percent royalty on the hardcover price, which on a $26 book works out to $3.90. For big best-selling authors — and even occasionally first-time writers whose publishers have taken a risk — the author’s advance may be so large that the author effectively gets a higher slice of the gross revenue. Publishers generally assume they will write off a portion of many authors’ advances because they are not earned back in sales.
Without accounting for such write-offs, the publisher is left with $4.05, out of which it must pay overhead for editors, cover art designers, office space and electricity before taking a profit.
Here’s one from the “Seriously, you didn’t think this was a bad idea?” files: the Lower Merion School District of Ardmore, Pennsylvania, has been accused of remotely activating the webcams in its students’ laptops issued through their 1:1 program without the students’ knowledge or consent. While the case has yet to see a courtroom, it looks to be ugly for the school district and potentially detrimental to other 1:1 programs nationwide.
DynamicBooks, a new subsidiary of Macmillan, unveiled today a new digital publishing platform that allows instructors to freely customize and modify some of today’s most respected textbooks. Using the DynamicBooks’ editing tools, instructors can tailor world-class content to suit their classroom needs by editing existing content or adding new text or media assets. Once instructors “publish” their custom book, their students can choose to purchase either a fully featured digital text or a printed version of the new book.
DynamicBooks was created in close partnership with Ingram Content Group Inc. and utilizes Ingram’s successful VitalSource Bookshelf platform and Lightning Source print-on-demand capability.
Check out the graph on the left. The curves represent different ideas and different starting points. If you start with 10,000 fans and have an idea that on average nets .8 new people per generation, that means that 10,000 people will pass it on to 8000 people, and then 6400 people, etc. That’s yellow on the graph. Pretty soon, it dies out.
On the other hand, if you start with 100 people (99% less!) and the idea is twice as good (1.5 net passalong) it doesn’t take long before you overtake the other plan. (the green). That’s not even including the compounding of new people getting you people.
But wait! If your idea is just a little more viral, a 1.7 passalong, wow, huge results. Infinity, here we come. That’s the purple (of course.)
Windows Phone 7 utilizes a start screen built from tiles, all of which are dynamic and customizable. Tiles can be used as-is, as “glanceable” heads-up displays to the information you care about, or you can jump into specific topic areas, task-specific destinations, called hubs, by clicking on one. Some hubs include People, Music+Video, and Pictures. You can also promote (“pin”) apps and other things to your start screen. This means that a tile for that app will appear there, and you can of course move it around, positioning it wherever you like. The list of things you can promote is pretty vast. For example, Belfiore pointed out that you can even promote a playlist. And apps? They’re not really called apps. They’re called experiences.
Interesting … people have always had this odd tendency to “remember” the “good old days” … and look forward to the future with pessimism:
“In 1848, writer Thomas Macaulay wrote in his “The History of England” that “In spite of evidence, many will still imagine to themselves the England of the Stuarts as a more pleasant country than the England in which we live. It may at first sight seem strange that society, while constantly moving forward with eager speed, should be constantly looking backward with tender regret.””
The mobile picture is now officially a three-way dance: Apple, Google, and Microsoft. The same people who dominate desktop computing. Everybody else is screwed. Former Palm CEO Ed Colligan famously said a few years ago: “PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.” That’s precisely what’s just happened. Phones are the new PCs. PC guys are the new phone guys.
The day after Apple’s big iPad debut, Amazon reported stellar fourth-quarter results that included a 42% increase in sales and net income up a whopping 71%. Although Kindle and eBook sales still account for only a small segment of revenue — predicted to be about 5% in 2010 according to most analysts — its success continues to be a highlight.
In Amazon’s earnings release, Bezos threw a spotlight on the “millions of people” who own the e-Reader, adding, “When we have both editions, we sell 6 Kindle books for every 10 physical books.”
ScrollMotion’s been tapped to transmogrify textbooks published by McGraw-Hill, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and every standardized test-taking student’s favorite, Kaplan.
. . .
If you’ve over-analyzed the iPad keynote as much as we have, by now you’ve probably gotten the distinct sense that something felt like it was missing. One of those things, apparently, were Apple’s ideas about re-inventing the textbook.
“Most eBook readers, for whatever reason, are priced at about the level of a low-end netbook, which proves to be a significant barrier,” Mitchell said. “A tablet that is both an eBook reader and a netbook-like device would make it much more attractive to your everyday user. Plus, interactivity will bring new content and media that hasn’t been imagined yet.”
Usability is like cooking: everybody needs the results, anybody can do it reasonably well with a bit of training, and yet it takes a master to produce a gourmet outcome.
One of the discount usability movement’s basic tenets is that we need a drastic expansion in the amount of usability work done in the world, and to make this happen we need more people to take on usability assignments.
What you’re seeing in the industry’s reaction to the iPad is nothing less than future shock.
For years we’ve all held to the belief that computing had to be made simpler for the “average person.” I find it difficult to come to any conclusion other than that we have totally failed in this effort.
Secretly, I suspect, we technologists quite liked the idea that Normals would be dependent on us for our technological shamanism. Those incantations that only we can perform to heal their computers, those oracular proclamations that we make over the future and the blessings we bestow on purchasing choices.