Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Killing app.

"The bursting of the high-tech bubble is moving the prevailing social mood from Internet worship to cynicism.
Yet just as the early attitude was overoptimistic, the new one could easily become unjustifiably overpessimistic."
In both cases the reason IS not an overreaction, but a misunderstanding of what the Internet means and can produce.
In most cases the genious who discovered or invented something innovative and revolutionary usually was not the one who made the biggest profit out of it.
Usually it was the one who understood or incidentally found out how to use it for a "killing Application".

The Internet is the Network of networks and its big value is in its ubiquity more than in its technological structure.
It worked when the connection was very lousy and the bandwidth very low.
It worked because people liked it and liked to use it.
100% of them.
It grew because thanks to its ubiquity it could offer possibilities to everybody, no matter where and how.

But the Internet has still a lot of unveiled possibilities to offer.
The first applications in a new invention are usually a better copy of the existing ones.
The Internet is nothing else that "dumb pipes"....with intelligence at the edges, the opposite of the pre-existing networks.
The dumb network in a world of intelligent networks.
But the Internet is much more than that.
It is a "universal content delivery", but even though the "universal" would make it already the winning application, most do not see that its innovative feature is not only in the widespread footprint but in the fact that it is the first network that can afford the delivery of "moving content" besides the usual "static content" to which we are used.

Radio, TV, Satellite, they all were means of distribution of "static content" or "one way network".
The Internet is the first "two way network", in the sense that the customer can be in the same time consumer and producer.
I can download, but I can also upload.
This small detail changes dramatichally the full picture.
And this is something the young teenager understood since long, while the big companies still do not see.
The future killer applications will probably be the one of the unknown John or Mohamed or Giovanni...

Monday, August 28, 2006

Predictions 2007-8-9...

Media is changing, because people are changing and they want different things.
Everything evolves in order to be always the same.
To catch the same number of customers or a little bit more a lot of fight must be done, new experiences, new technologies, new offers.
Technology is going fast, customers' tastes follow.
What will happen if they offered for years the same technologies?
The Market would slump as it does when the managers' choices do not rightly forecast the future, or better, if they are not able to impose on the customers what they want, or if the competition offers something better.

But in the near future the market will slump if they fail to offer what the customer really wants: to be a part of it, a part of the future.
Internet time can be slower than predicted, but it is certainly faster than what real world is used to and the number involved is certainly bigger.
Once the "Trend" used to begin in USA and then be spread to the rest of the world.
McDonald took decades to arrive to Europe, Napster just a few months.
In the future we could see exactly the opposite.
If the Pizza would have been an Internet product, it would have been widespread much sooner.

"This has profound implications for traditional business models in the media industry, which are based on aggregating large passive audiences and holding them captive during advertising interruptions. In the new-media era, audiences will occasionally be large, but often small, and usually tiny.With participatory media, the boundaries between audiences and creators become blurred and often invisible."
In a few words, people do not want to sit and look at and listen.
They want to "make the movies"
I see the serial of the future as a story which resembles more and more to a video game.
In which, when the main carachter has to make choices, it IS the viewer who decides in which direction.
It will be a movie with many endings, happy or sad.
It will be like a virtual life, the life you would like to live or you would like to try to live.
People would like to fly a plane or to climb mountains or to drive a Formula 1 car.
They cannot do it in reality. but the virtual reality will be so close to it.
What will change will be the surroundings, and they will be what we would like them to be.
Living in a dream or in a Fairy tale, or in the world we choose. Doing the things we would like to, but we are not able to...
This is what people want, and the one who will be able to offer the best version of it, will be the Media Producer of the future...

Sum ergo cogito

L’uomo e’ un essere pensante e come tale fin dagli arbori dell’umanita’ ha usato il suo cervello in primo luogo per procurarsi i mezzi per sopravvivere.
Poi, ha sentito la necessita’ di costruirsi una realta’ migliore di quella in cui viveva.
Ha cercato di vincere la paura della morte creandosi un’anima immortale e ha cercato di astrarre dalla dura realta’ quotidiana costruendosi una realta’ virtuale, in cui il futuro era quello che lui desiderava.
A questo forse servivano i primi disegni scalfiti nella roccia delle caverne.
Erano scene di caccia in cui lui era vincitore e riusciva a catturare la preda o in seguito scene di lotta in cui lui era il vincitore.
Non erano riti propiziatori o perlomeno non esclusivamente.
Erano i sogni in cui si rifugiava per trovare il coraggio di affrontare una quotidianita’ ben piu’ difficile e dura.

In una societa’ piu avanzata si sono creati i teatri in cui si rappresentava una vita in cui lo spettatore si dilettava nell’ immedesimarsi nel personaggio a lui piu’ vicino.
Si dava nome ad un’esigenza insita nella natura umana, l’esigenza di poter programmare il futuro, di poter plasmare la vita secondo i prorpi desideri (almeno virtualmente); tutto questo veniva chiamato : Intrattenimentio.

L’intrattenimento ha percorso una lunga strada, da performance dal vivo e’ diventato Cinema, poi televisione.
Ma l’avvento di nuove tecnologie come il computer ha permesso di cambiare radicalmente la natura dell’intrattenimento, di rendere piu’ realistica la realta’ virtuale, di coinvolgere lo spettatore nella storia, fino al punto da permettergli di immedesimarsi nel protagonista della storia e, nei video games, di “vivere” la vita virtuale.

La Tv su IP, la TV su Internet sara’ il mondo onirico dello spettatore, che non sara’ piu’ semplice “spettatore”, ma protagonista della storia, perche’ potra’ modificare il suo evolversi, potra’ correggere lo svolgersi degli eventi a suo piacere, potra’ insomma vivere la vicenda che piu’ lo “intratterra’”.

Il mondo dei Media dovra’ cambiare e grazie alle milioni di possibilita’ offerte dalla realta’ virtuale, l’uomo ritrovera’ il suo “individualismo” nella scelta dell’”intrattenimento” a lui piu’ consono.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

What IPTV will be.

The word TV could be misleading, since the IP and the traditional TV will substantially be different, because different IS the transport of content and different IS the substance of content.
IPTV will be similar to the traditional TV in the sense that will be a display of content prepared and sent from a central server to many "clients".
The servers of course can be millions and the "clients" billions.
In this it will be different from any P2P or "search and download".
There will be a schedule and the audience will choose the more suitable time to connect in order to have the wanted content.
Till now not so much different from traditional TV.
But what will IPTV mean as improvement compared to the traditional TV?

1) Footprint. Any Producer theorethically from any part of this world can reach any consumer on any country of this world.
Traditional TV and Satellite TV are restricted to a limited footprint coverage.
This will have a huge imoprtance, because very specialized programs and content will find the reason and meaning to exist.
And specialized content means specialized producers.
While in a restricted area is difficult to find the minimum number of listeners and viewer of certain programs, on a large scale like the one offered by the full world footprint, it will be easy to find the minimum number that allows enough revenue for the broadcasting of a transmission .

2) Low Cost. The Internet as a tranportation way can beat any other for cost and availability. Can beat also any other as possible customers' number.
Internet capacity and traffic are growing rapidly.

3) High quality pictures and music. Also magnetic storage capacity is growing rapidly and that is the right direction of IPTV.
More than a low bandwidth streaming it will be a high quality downloading.
Download when it is broadcasted and store it to see later. Just any TV transmission.
Displays are improving slowly, but improving.
And with them the need of high quality videos and audios.
You cannot display a low quality movie on a high quality display.
And if you are used to enjoy good quality music and videos, you simply cannot enjoy a tiny screen and bad resolution...

4) Interactivity. Internet delivery is likely to facilitate evolution of TV (HDTV).
And the most important feature will be the interactivity. (The real interactive TV, ...)
Also commercials will be different.
More as "movies as commercials" than "commercials in the movies".
The customer wants to be entertained and be an active part of the enertainment.
This is quite clear if we look at the type of entertainment most popular among Internet users: video games, emailing, forums, chat lines.
In a society which kills individualism, where individuals are seen as consumers, where socializing gets everyday more difficult, the Internet is the new mean to regain one own's identity, one own's share in the game, in the communication.

On one side what is called "long tail" and on the other side the possibility to interact give the consumer the voice he has lost with the other entertainments, one way means: traditional TV, Radio, Cinema.
IPTV will win in the short run, because it is the answer to the demand of the individual of today.
It will be many things, but the most valuable and important will be giving space to the single man on the road and in its own way the real democratic dlivery of human production...

Since the rates of change are:

technology: fast
consumer habits: slow
industry dogmas: slowest

The question is:

Will it beat Internet Time?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Is IPTV a waste of Internet bandwidth?

Is IPTV a waste of Internet bandwidth?
1) If you need high bandwidth then it will be available only to the lucky few who can afford it.
2) Who is going to pay for it?
3) Seen as traditional TV it has no value as an expensive copy. I have enough of my son in law at Christmas, why should I have the chance to see him again at Easter, Summer Holydays and so on...?
4) Seen as a new way of broadcasting IS NOT a waste of bandwidth.

The Internet will allow a new kind of TV:

1) Local storage and replay (a la Napster) is likely to dominate.
2) Streaming real time multimedia will be a minor factor.
3) Internet delivery is likely to facilitate evolution of TV (HDTV, interactive TV, ...)

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Wisdom of my mother

"Don't ever touch those tinned foods that come from abroad.
I don't trust foreigners. I believe what my mother used to say:" They eat what they can and can what they can't..."