Saturday, May 24, 2008

Wii launches video channel

You can now download and add a video channel to your Wii if you have it connected to the Internet.

While the initial offering is pretty limited, it definitely has a lot of potential. The other consoles have long been able to play videos, but those videos haven't really been organized into a "channel" per se. Wii effectively simplifies the organization of the videos and introduces a pretty slick player and nav to peruse the trailers, mini-documentaries, product demonstrations, and gameplay videos. Browse the game guide pages to get information about your favorite games on Wii and Nintendo DS, and you can also recommend games or view recommended games.

It uses a digest format of the most recent videos when you first load the channel, then it lets you skip ahead or choose the ones you want.

What I found most interesting was that you can even click to order games straight from your Wii, if you have the Internet Channel installed. There are not a lot of great examples out there of video shopping yet, but it is definitely interesting to see them evolve around recommendation, referral and sharing. I see this as another indication that the medium is evolving to direct response.

Check it out

Friday, May 23, 2008

Blogging is really good for you

Think about it.

All day long we write, twitter, blog and generally engage in the act of some form of expressive writing that may or may not be work-related and if we aren't Michael Arrington then we probably wonder sometimes what we get out of it.

Turns out that the more expressive, personal and creative we are the better it is, and in fact we are getting a lot more out of it personally than Michael is. We are actually getting healthier, happier, more immune and improving our mental health.

Scientific American's Jessica Wapner has wrapped it all up here and it is good, sound judgement on all our parts to do a lot more than just document the plays of the players and pontification of the pundits.

So let's drag out that thesaurus, search our souls, light a candle and take a few of our online social minutes every day to make the world a better place, and our lives a little better.

Tom Raferty Accepts offer to Join Redmonk on Twitter

I find it amazing, interesting and a sign-o-the-times that Tom Raftery just agreed on Twitter (he was recruited on Twitter, the offer was made on Twitter, and he accepted on Twitter) to join RedMonk as an industry analyst covering Greentech, cleantech, Energy Demand Management and sustainability. If you haven't already heard a ton about Tom, he definitely has his own Eire brand and has always been one to address the world's bigger issues.

From the Redmonk blog:

"Greenmonk has been an interesting journey and a real world example of burstiness. I started the blog as a personal project because I feel strongly about sustainability issues, but about six months after launching it, ComputerWorld UK contacted me to discuss partnering opportunities. IDG also sees the importance of the Green agenda, and I am grateful they took a punt on me. The partnership made me realise that Green wasn’t just a personal interest, it could be a business too. Its still early days for the green agenda, but we’re reaching a few tipping points which should drive more media traffic than ever to solid green content, research and analysis. The next big eye opener was working with Interop on Energy Camp, at David Berlind’s behest.

When I started GreenMonk I wanted to focus more on people than technology, to focus more on social media tooling, for example, and how it could encourage us to change our behaviours. Over time however I have come to a different conclusion, as stated by changed strapline, which now runs GREEN FROM THE ROOTS UP, SUSTAINABLE FROM THE TOP DOWN."

What I find more interesting is that in the few years I have know James and crew at RedMonk, they have changed my mind about the importance, function, interactivity, sophistication, knowledge and accessibility we should expect from an industry analyst or firm. The move to open source analyst firm, the constant dialogue, the usefulness of having a relationship with them, and the pure utility of analysis has taken on new meaning for me and I think we should all celebrate this shift in the industry.

Sure I can pay $20K for a whitepaper, and $100K for research and perhaps might still do that, but the direct impact of that behavior will be never be as insightful, purposeful or eventful as riding the wave with a team of experts literally at your side, and at the side of all that matters and is important.

Congratulations to Tom Raferty for following the tweets to what I am sure will be a successful venture for everyone that chooses to listen. On personal note, I found this relevant because I found out that our CEO, Rob Lane, thought I was a great candidate for the role after he tweeted on meeting media is directly impacting our lives, careers, and planet more and more each day.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Moving on from Yahoo!

Big change to smaller things...

The time has come to move on from Yahoo! and in some sense to close a chapter of large corporate evangelism and marketing work and get back to my entrepreneurial roots. Sure I may have mastered career development for others, coaching, piggybacking onto sales efforts in order to drive future agendas and influencing the product development roadmap, but I have been doing that in the context of the big huge we - and it really hasn't netted me much beyond a few points on share options and a hell of a lot of air miles.

So - at the end of the day we have a bitpakkit with solid corporate chops and a track record of playing at least a small role in some wildly successful platforms and ideas getting shipped, inspected, used and adopted - Microsoft.NET, Web Services, SOA, Flex, Yahoo! AMP! to name a few.

Over this time a few key trends on the internet have kept me very amused, engaged and leaning forward and one of the key ones is online video - video advertising, video sites, video editors, products, codecs, etc... - and I am going to jump headfirst into that space with a bit of a different spin. Why compete? Why fight the trend? Why focus on destinations? None of these ideas make any sense anymore. People go where they go, do what they do and use what they want.

Instead, I am going to focus on the meta aspects of video and its myriad uses and users - ultimately finding a home at the intersection of the content and the viewer and the relevance of that specific interaction of watching and finding relevance in what we watch. I know I have seen a million things in videos, but there is no real record of that.

Well, maybe we can change all that...maybe we can give users tools to say something, find something, point out something and even refer something to someone else and build a metacloud of user value on top of the streaming pixels that flow by in the billions per second.

Ben Watson
VP, Marketing