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January 06, 2005

Revolution of the ants

Pankaj points me to the post by Fred Wilson on how everything is opening up and there is a huge democratic force working silently.  Not a day goes by when you don't hear this democracy or that democracy. 

The revolution of the ants.  Technology is not consolidating power into the hands of the very few.  The opposite is happening.  Everyone is getting in on the action.  Technology is opening the doors like never before.  And so we are building an architecture of participation that enables this to happen even faster.  That’s what next.

These are echoing some of the points  Chris Anderson is elaborating on LongTail.

There are many other common threads and dots connect far and wide  -

Architecture of participation
Long Tail
Amateur to professional transition, this is a big march going on silently
Citizen journalism
Brand called you
Blogging as a wrapper for "I" - ultimate expression tool and most empowering tool ever built
Open source as manifested in its spirit
Death of command-and-control mentality  and the future of work
Decentralization as the future model for commerce

If you look who is successfully exploiting this, then the same usual suspect names show up - Google, Ebay, Amazon etc.  Joining them would be companies who are going to help users become something !  journalists (Six Apart ?),  media artists ( Flickr ?),  broadcaster (podcasting ?) and there will be many more. 

These types of companies will not always be funded by your regular venture funds, these are lightweight operations and will need micro-investment models. Something which Omidyar Network is pioneering. It's shocking to me that there aren't many venture funds like that.  World needs more funds like that, not because they are light weight but because they convey a strong positive image about the business.

I think LongTail concept should make a case for the need of new type of venture financing. Something which borrows ideas from micro-credit innovation but applies to the generation of future flickr, delicious, bloglines etc.  Obviously the connecting threads will be open source, architecture of participation, syndication, Google Adsense and other api slap-ons.

Where this will finally leads us to is anybody's guess. What is crystal clear is that one after another, traditional power aggregators are loosing their grip on their power instruments. Be it journalism, music industry, movie industry, proprietary software, industry analysts and many more on the cross-hair.

Net of this come out from the acknowledgment that every individual is in fact a company. Suddenly the cliched term B2C  is no more B2C but it has become B2B. Every business of consumer is now a business with another business.

January 6, 2005 in Emerging Technologies | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 05, 2005

Numbers dont match up

According to Pew Research: 8 million American adults say they have created blogs

According to this : Livejournal has 5.5 million users and the combined company (Six Journals !) will have 6.5 million users. 

Doing the basic arithmetic this means Blogger has only 1.5million users.  This is when not counting wordpress, b2, pmachine, Godzilla spaces and so many others. 

What gives Om ? Something doesn't add up here.  What am I missing here ?


Did some more fact-findings on these blog numbers and its definitely not easing the confusion. How can Livejournal jump to 5.5 million from ~1mill in the span of 5 months !


Excellent analysis of the blog tool market  here at Elise.com

January 5, 2005 in Emerging Technologies | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Giants will be sluggish

At one time, it looked as if the effect of the open-source phenomenon on the software industry would be limited to Linux and a handful of other programs. But new companies are going after parts of the industry many felt would be untouched by open source. Take SugarCRM Inc. The Cupertino (Calif.) startup is tackling the industry giants that sell systems for customer relationship management. Likewise, Sourcefire Inc. in Columbia, Md., is selling software that detects hackers trying to break into computer networks.

JBoss and SugarCRM getting good press coverage. Headline sums up nicely. Expect the giants to stay sluggish. This year we will get to see open source clones. Clones of successful open source business models thereby increasing the pressure on proprietary software vendors. Customer should be happy, all this means more choices. That never hurts.

January 5, 2005 in Open source | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Typepad getting whacked

Looks like Typepad server is getting DDOS'ed. On one side I couldn't post my long piece and effectively loosing all of it. I should learn first to save it before previewing it. Its rather lame on Typepad's part not to save the post before previewing it.

Anyways in my inbox I received 8 trackback emails. Looks like somebody is having a shot at Typepad right now.

IP Address:
URL: http://rocozeguvwx.com/
Title: wzeaa
Weblog: seaxy

Oh without spammers how will I get a living definition of good and evil. Google should go and hire all spammers. That way the world will be without any evil-doers.

January 5, 2005 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 03, 2005

Tough choices for IBM

Bill Burham on tough choices ahead for  IBM:

but it is clear that thanks to deals like Oracle/Peoplesoft and trends like open source, the software world is changing and the status quo won’t survive over the long term.

Couldn't agree more to this software-world- is- changing stand.  Margin squeeze and open source will change this business forever.  This is not your father's software business anymore.  Status quo won't survive over the long term - here long term could mean year 2005.  All the software  industry adjustment we expected during 2002 will happen in year 2005.  Expect major vendor alignment/realignment  and more discussion on : what is a software business anyways ?

Sweet  thing is to  finally  see open source becoming a standard item on the strategy map ! You have to answer three things when pitched against open source:

how to sell into the open source market
how to cut cost using open source  software
how to protect your business from open source phenomena

Every software company on this planet has to ask those three questions in order to survive.

January 3, 2005 in Economics of IT | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 02, 2005

Advice to college students

Joel comes out with another interesting essay, basically an advice to college grads :-

  1. Learn how to write before graduating.
  2. Learn C before graduating.
  3. Learn microeconomics before graduating.
  4. Don't blow off non-CS classes just because they're boring.
  5. Take programming-intensive courses.
  6. Stop worrying about all the jobs going to India.
  7. No matter what you do, get a good summer internship.

Thanks to blogging now I know what I didn't learn during graduation. Refer to point 1 :)

January 2, 2005 in Entrepreneurship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 01, 2005


Steve Sloan thoughts on edupodding are convincing. Not sure its disruptive yet. Lot of small things have to go together.

Is podcasting a disruptive technology for education? It may be too soon to tell. But, after less than a week in existence, a Google search on "Edupodder" turned up over 410 hits. [ This one is in the UK.] There seems to be real interest in this technology in education.

My own experience with IT Conversations , was mostly about educating myself in an informal manner.  ( Doug has been doing great work compiling those interviews. Thanks Doug !).

I don't see any reason why podcasting cant be used in a formal education process.  If you expand on this trend and connect the dots then the future of education looks very democratic. Eventually this problem of education will become a problem of digital divide.  Just take these projects together  - Google library project, MIT Openware and Edupodding
and you have a pretty disruptive development.

Will be following this development.  You should too, its about the future of education .

More links:

Educational Blogger's Network
Learning Commons
iPodder Education Node

Update:  D'Arcy Norman corrected the url for Learning commons. Sorry about that.  Right link to check out the archive section for podcasting is this. Plenty of good stuff there.

Doh !, fixed the incorrect link.  Typepad's  html authoring interface doesnt allow link edit and that can be embarrasing sometimes ! Thanks Norman.

January 1, 2005 in Emerging Technologies | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack


India is really taking this SMS thing  very far.  Now  police in this  north Indian state is allowing  citizens to file their FIR (first  information report -  process to initiate  legal  process  against somebody) .

This country is definitely is stretching in different directions. On one hand you cannot get the FIR done by normal procedure and on the other hand they are allowing cutting edge interface to automate this process.  I hope they shake the infamous bureaucracy in the process.

Another interesting news was the reason why I couldn't wish everybody in India by calling them. It seems most of the cellphones were out of order as record number of SMS messages (~ 10 million) crashed the VSNL network !


This just reiterates the old line of thinking that India is  one heck of a contradiction. Check this to get a sense of that. 

January 1, 2005 in Emerging Technologies | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack