Monthly Archives: September 2006

Start-ups and blogging in stealth mode

As a start-up in stealth mode, to blog or not to blog?

Over on Technological Winter Roger Kondrat, who also runs the London Web 2.0 / Bloggers meet-up, has put together an interesting post on the matter.

Worth checking. His arguments are pretty pursuasive, but it’s certainly not a black and white issue…

My two cents is: if you want to keep the cat in the bag, why not just run a topic-based blog (under a psuedonym if necessary), related to the area you’re working in? In this scenario, what’s the worst thing that can happen?

UK embraces mobile innovation?

I have to flag up our event New Directions In Mobile happening next Tues 3rd Octber, and why not be brazen about it?!

It’s bang on the money for the Beers & Innovation audience and is shaping up to kick some ass on the event circuit.

Plus the emphasis, as with all NMK events, is on debate and discussion. Also, we haven’t had a Beers & Innovation that focuses particularly on mobile as yet.

The event will look at smart thinking for operators and start-ups in this sphere, plus what’s new for mobile marketers, producers, distributors and innovators.

And we’ve some some *very* cool speakers involved.

Among them are Helen Keegan from Beep Marketing, Paul Walsh of Segala, Alfie Dennen of Moblog UK (and We’reNotAfraid.com) and Steve Flaherty of mobile innovation consultancy Ketai Culture. Plus speakers from mMetrics and Marvellous Mobile.

UK networks score with mobile video 

Two big announcements this week in this area seem relevant to the issues at stake. On September 21st, Vodafone’s Jonathan Bill told Justin Pearse of New Media Age:

“Mobile TV is now bigger than ringtones, the stalwart of mobile content… This is the coming of age for mobile TV.”

Apparently over half of all new Vodafone 3G customers choose to subscribe to mobile TV, and Bill said one of the reasons it’s so popular is that it is ubiquitous – you don’t need a specific application or phone.

According to MoCo News:

Competing UK operator Orange said that mobile TV and video combined was approaching ringtone levels, and that “the growth of mobile TV is the growth of 3G”.

[Bill’s figures are] just for the Vodafone UK business, which has about 1 million 3G customers. If most of the people who sign up for mobile TV choose the £10 per month option, that’s quite an income stream.

In turn, 3 announced 50,000 paid users had signed up for their social network site Kink Kommunity, with their user-generated mobile video-sharing service SeeMeTV passing the 12m downloads mark.

So people’s embrace of innovation and new services on mobile, hampered initially by the hiccuping baby-steps of 3G, seems to be moving up a gear.

There are more details on the event here. It’s happening next Tuesday 1-4.30pm and costs £80 for employees of companies of 20 or more and £50 for employees of companies less than 20 and self-employed / freelancers. You can book for it here.

Social media seek interns

I see AOL Europe are looking for a social media intern right now.

And so are Stormhoek – check Hugh’s post.

Both have a hefty list of requirements. And both will be very lucky if they can get someone with *all* these qualities.

The jobs look intriguing and offer exciting opportunities to the chosen candidates, but the person who is able to work for nothing is also open to a lot more opportunities, hence my problem with internships.

The talented person who hasn’t got savings or moneyed parents – they can’t go down the intern avenue. So it’s discriminatory from the outset.

Or maybe I’m wrong and they’re paying them a salary, like proper apprentices…

Beers & Innovation RSS Frontiers video

Ian Forrester of BBC Backstage was busy filming (and later contributing) at Beers & Innovation: RSS Frontiers last Thursday.

He’s wasted no time and has now posted his video of proceedings on BlipTV. You can catch Richard Edwards, Peter Nixey, Ivan Pope and some of the discussion that followed here.

Thanks Ian!

BTW, Ian has also put on the last few Geek Dinners I’ve been to – one with Marc Canter and another with Chris ‘Long Tail’ Anderson.

Plus he also co-organised the first BarCamp London that ran 2nd-3rd September. How he manages it all amazes me. I think Ian has more community focus than anyone else I’ve ever met.

Aggregators and upsetters centre-stage

I once thought of calling the next Beers & Innovation event on 17th October ‘Here Come The Aggregators’ (any excuse to slip in an oblique James Joyce reference you see…).

But I did some research and found that Mr Mashable (aka Pete Cashmore) had beat me to it, with an extra dimension to his thinking of course.

In Here Come The Edge Aggregators Pete explained that:

“an edge aggregator is a service that aggregates content from blogs and RSS feeds – Edgeio aggregates classified listings from blog posts, for instance.”

“But it isn’t going to be plain sailing for the edge aggregators. The low barrier to entry means that all these services will face defensibility issues – what’s to stop a barrage of newcomers aggregating exactly the same content?”

…the edge is a real source of value creation, but can any of these startups harness that value for themselves?”

Disruptive innovation on a larger scale
 
Aggregation is also part of the larger picture of disruptive innovation that is challenging and dismantling (among other things) patterns of media production, distribution and consumption, from Skype to YouTube, from Zopa to Digg.

But if the issues for aggregators are many, what are the issues, opportunities and milestones emerging around disruptive business models? And is the internet now, as home to the upsetters, finally reshaping business and markets more profoundly?

The view from London

Speaking at the event will be: Reevoo CEO Richard Anson, TIOTI (Tape It Off The Internet) co-founder Paul Pod, and Umair Haque of Bubblegeneration. Mike Butcher of mbites.com and tbites.com will be chairing.

We’ve got a new venue too: Albannach bar & restaurant on Trafalgar Square. You can get more details on the speakers and book your tickets here.

[PS. I meant to post on this yesterday, but the NMK site was experiencing some problems and I didn’t relish the idea of readers wanting to book arriving at a 404 error page].

Podcast search alert

I’m looking for someone to podcast Beers & Innovation next Thursday.

This time I’m hopeful someone will offer to help (no luck last time). Which is out of character for me, but I’m thinking, maybe this time there is more grounds for optimism…?

The fact that the ‘RSS Frontiers‘ event is sold out with 15 people on the waiting list could have a bearing on my state of mind. Doesn’t mean that effect is a useful one though 😉

If you want to do the honors in return you’ll get free entry, free beers and of course the chance to hear from some very interesting players in the web feeds and widget space, and be able to join in on the discussion yourself.

We can’t pay, but in additon to the above we’ll give you due credit all-round including when the file is posted on the NMK Podcast in iTunes.

Other readers – you can help too! Free free to spread the word and get potential podcasters to drop me a line as soon as poss on deirdre (dot) molloy (at) nmk.co.uk