Tweet or Blog?

October 8, 2010

It is a tweet, since it’s no more than 140 characters.

It’s a post, since it is a long and great story about the new use of new media (English/Belgian/Dutch)

More Proof?

October 6, 2010

We took this exit already and we are well on our way to the next roadsign with the same direction. The road ahead is clear. Tablets all the way.

The iPad was launched April 3rd this year.  Apple sold 3.000.000 in the first 80 days.

The current sales rate is 4.500.000 untis per quarter. Something like this has never been done before.

Need more proof?

Content on the Move

October 1, 2010

New screens, small, medium and large, keep popping up.  Flipping through content will become a new form of entertainment experience. New content formats and user experiences will  be invented, since a simple 1:1 translation of existing content to new types of media, will not attract enough users. In the beginning of TV we could watch radio and plays. The first automobiles resembled horse carriages. It always works like that.

Experiments continue. Maximizing value is the name of the game.

Multiple media

September 28, 2010

Funny things happen in the land of the info-obese. Every morning I carefully select tweets to read. Some I retweet or post myself. These tweets appear in the sidebar of this blog too. I just read one of my tweets from this morning and thought it would be a great post in this blog as well.

Take a closer look if you please. Interesting piece of content and very nice infographic.

How’s that for multiple media?

Time will tell

September 28, 2010

This morning I had the pleasure to visit Hans Janssen, ceo of Woodwing. Woodwing, as most readers will probably know, is the de facto leader in helping publishers of magazines and newspapers to enter the post tablet digital realms. In an amazing move they have  helped TIME to publish the first iPad magazine on the same day the device was launched this spring. They keep on serving publishers around the world and new issues are launched almost every week.

I was very impressed by the Frankfurter Rundschau. I certainly hope publishers keep on experimenting and come up with new forms of content. Funny though I can not find any mention of it on their homepage.

Time will tell. Hopefully.

Whose Reality?

September 21, 2010

It has been a while since my last post. Lots of developments, lots of interesting moves, a bunch of reports, new insights and not enough time to digest it all. In short: the war for our mobile phone is on and how. All big players are moving in, some a bit panicked one might add. Nokia changed it’s top people. Facebook is said to launch a new phone. Napster is offering a service on Apple’s platforms. Microsoft is joining the music bizz. GOOG is everywhere.

It seems all these companies think that everyone of us consumers is moving away from our big screens and machines and start to move into mobile media. Yes, of course we are, but the question remains what we actually do and are willing to do, as this again brilliant piece from PewResearchCenter illustrates.

In  the area of ebooks things move even more quickly as time goes by. The launch of iPad had quite an effect on pricing strategies in the ebook department. Interesting moves at Kindle and Kobo .

And iPad is regarded more and more as the phenomenon it is: a game changer. New and competing tablets have been announced again and again. The first ones are due any moment now.

In the early days of video we endured 3 competing standards. VHS, Betamax and V2000. What a time it was and how soon it all ended. These days standards are probably not standards anymore, because it’s all digital. One thing remains however: the customer has to make a decision what to buy. A smartphone, a device to just read or an all in one?

Meanwhile in Holland an interesting report was published by the Netherlands Institute for Social Research| SCP. After examining and analyzing user behaviour the central conclusion was that usage of new media is far less than publicity about and around it suggests.

Reading this report  a famous scene from  The Kentucky Fried Movie (1977) popped up.

Background: natural disaster, heavy fighting and lots of explosions.

Forefront: a husband and wife shouting at each other: ‘Whose reality, yours or mine?’

Here’s a quote from their summary. 

Comparison of use of old and new media forms 



While it is true that new forms of media, information and medialised information are on the rise, this is not taking place at such a pace that the entire media world has been turned on its head within the space of a few years. In 2008, reading a newspaper or watching television via the Internet or a smartphone was still reserved for a small group of early adopters. The widespread perception that the new digital technologies are suddenly being used by virtually everyone is thus not valid. The new technologies require some time to become ‘domesticated’. Old media are not quickly ditched in favour of new media, contrary to what is suggested by the massive attention devoted to technological innovations in the media.
New media do appeal to certain groups – the young, the well-educated, men – more than others. While these social differences are often statistically significant, however, they are not so marked that there can be said to be a gap. Once again, the exception to this is the difference between young and older people. Young people have a much stronger preference than older people for the digital incarnations of traditional mass media; they more often read information online and also read news columns digitally (via Internet and mobile phone) more often than older people.


What happened?

September 9, 2010

I started this blog last May, almost a year after the Chicago meeting of newspaper publishers discussing the common need for paid content models, because nothing seemed to happen and I wanted to keep an eye on things. Blogging forces me to keep up my research and check out the best sources and thinkers on a more regular basis than I used to do. And it is, I must confess, lots of fun and very satisfying to write and post. Thanks to Peter Bogaards for telling me to just do it!

I gave my view on the necessity to pay creators of original content several times. The reason for my point of view is very simple and old fashioned. If people have a talent and devote a lot of time, love and energy to create something, it should be rewarding from a financial point of view as well.  At least the creators should have the possibility to make some money. It should not be common practice to be not paid or be ripped of. The creators are doing all the hard work. If creators want producers to handle it for them, OK, that’s their decision. If creators want to give away their creations for free, it’s up to them as well. Fashionable terms like ‘ information economy, knowledge economy and creative industries’ quite simply can not function properly without the basic notions, concepts and laws of economics. The same applies for people who have experience and knowledge. As a self employed consultant I all too often must experience the expectation of potential clients that I will tell them what’s happening and what the future might bring for free. Like I could buy a pair of jeans, without paying.

Of course I like the concept of sharing, the open source movement and the basic notion that information wants to be free. But that’s up to the creator(s). Not to the (mis) users.

In my blogs I shared my belief that the iPad would turn out to become a catalyst and a turning point in the road to the acceptance of paid content. Just like the iPod was for music. I am sure it will take more time than with music and that we need more compelling forms of content in the long and bumpy road to paid content, but I take my hat off for Steve Jobs and his fellow workers. Again and again!

What happened since May?

  • The iPad became an overnight success.
  • Lots of other tablets have been announced and the first competitors will be launched before the end of this month.
  • A new breed of startups became operational and pretty well funded.
  • Some of these tablets, applications and companies are stunning!
  • The first well established newspapers announced they will put up paywalls, move to tablets and eventually stop using paper.
  • The first experiments with new forms of interactive content became available. Most were boring copies of websites and paper issues, some however were very inspiring, new and fresh forms of rich, enhanced content.
  • All the big players are moving forward aggressively on this new frontier.
  • The search for new business models continues.
  • Paid content made a few baby steps. 

At least in the US and UK. In my own country the mantra seems to be: wait and see. But we all read English anyway;-)