February 2007

Global community dream

In an hour Honda F1’s earthdream campaign goes live. It costs $100million to run an F1 team for a year: are they going to try to get 1 million people to buy a pixel at $100… I’d pitch for 10 million at $10. By asking individuals to put their name on a pixel, and make an environmental commitment, they’re building a large global community. I wonder what they’ll use it for?

music, media, and money

Before this week’s announcement that Microsoft will have to pay Alcatel Lucent $1.5 billion for MP3 patent infringements, (Microsoft thought they already had a licence), The FT was already reporting how the music business is changing – it’s in such a huge state of flux that “As the head of one of the largest record labels observes: “My job used to be getting hits and signing great artists. Now we’e in a battle trying to figure out how to stay in business.”

Which reminded me of a post in my old Radio blog, Music Morphs, from 2004:
“New Spin on the Music Business. A Harvard professor outlines a radical plan for compensating recording artists in the digital age. He wants to pay for music with taxes on Internet access and MP3 players. [Wired News]

“It’s a problem than needs cracking – and it’ll go one of two ways… 1) universal acceptance of an additional cost or 2) nowhere, sadly.

“But if the piper doesn’t get paid, the music can’t be free (pipers need to eat)… so we’ll end up with 3) encription & charges for music.”

Since then, two new things have happened:

1) The emergence of new music channels like Last FM(player at the foot of this page 😉 secondlife, and myspace, which suggest that artists can distribute & promote their music without the support of a major music label.


2) European governments are starting to ban propriatary music standards, because they’re anti-competitive. (Scandinavia, France ). DRM software seems to be eminently hackable anyway, so far. (BluRay and Apple hack stories plucked from Google news) so how much use is a digital rights management strategy anyway – the more successful it was, the more it becomes a target for hackers.

All of which might lead you to think that this is another example of ‘community-led marketing wins out’. I’m not so sure.

Is this the endgame: artists use community & social networks to give their material a first airing. It’s also a fertile hunting   A&R folk, who can do what they’ve always done. Spot new marketable talent, and lift them to a level they could never reach on their own. The music business should be looking at how to reduce distribution, sales & marketing costs through digital channels, and charging for their branded equity: content, promotional materials, and live music.

Customer 2.0: marketing meets transparency in search of trust

Web2.0 was coined in 2004 by O’Reilley media – so you’d think that 3 years on, business would recognise the symptoms (and cost savings) of Customer2.0

You’d be wrong.

What happens when you mashup Customer 2.0 with Business 1.0?

A train-wreck, usually.

And this blog is here to celebrate businesses that recognise the value of meeting Customer 2.0’s needs and expectations – and of course, just occasionally, noting when Business gets it wrong.

The catalyst for this now blog is the launch of phuser – a *very* Web2.0 messaging service. I’m supporting the team, and blogging their customers’ experiences. So please expect phuser experiences to thread themselves through posts.

Are widgets the next big thing?

’tis said they will be the big thing of 2007…

I remember Dave Winer saying (somewhere!) that his goal was to write blogging software that could be set up in 11 seconds… which is pretty much the same speed goal that widgets have: drag & drop tolls for those scared of looking under their blog’s hood. (& who can blame them!)

So now there’s some widgets on here, courtesy of snipperoo a UK company. Their beta service works, though the flow through the site isn’t yet as smooth as it could be. For starters, here’s Hugh Macleod’s Gaping Void a well known, Scobelized, who through his work with Stormhoek wines (I think) broke the big Threshers Wine Voucher story Christmas 2006.

Return of the advertising marketplace

Interesting to read in the mainstream press that the online advertising marketplace has returned in the shape of AdECN

Back in the bubble, circa 2000, there were several competing companies – the forerunners of Adwords, really, in that they allowed buyers to bid for ad slots. And would you believe that, since most websites were corporate brochures, much of the available media was in community spaces.

Plus ca change!