You are the CEO of an online service, say in the media sharing space. One of your competitors is completing the final stages of merging into the larger company that purchased them over a year ago. Some customers (many of whom receive the service for free) are complaining about new limitations placed on the service. These limitations do not significantly impact the service provided, although the one the does was detailed long ago. This limitation is that users must use the existing, easy to obtain, authentication system of the acquiring company. Opting into this authentication system has been available for over a year and was detailed as eventually becoming the only method for signing into the service.
Now, all this said, if you’re the CEO of the competitor, what’s the best way to exploit this situation? That’s right, make it seem far, far worse than it is. Thomas Hawk, CEO of Zoomr, has done a brilliant job of generating a ton of traffic to his blog by detailign the woes of a small subset of Flickr users as they complete the integration into Yahoo. I’m not linking to his post because, frankly, he’s link baiting. Yes, some Flickr users are upset over the changes. But, with a major move like this, there are going to be some upset people. I personnally integrated my account into my existing Yahoo account (which I use for nothing but Flickr and a couple Yahoo groups) and it was dead easy; took under a minute.
Hawk’s getting more press because Scoble linked to him, further stirring the tempest in this teapot. The digg thread on this swings in both directions, but the fact that this is being driven by a direct competitor isn’t getting very much attention. The submission is at least questionable, possibly spam.
Digg – Flickr Users Are Mad as Hell About Today’s Yahoo News
I’m late to this meme, but Reason Magazine links to a clip from The Andy Griffith Show that shows just one of the many reasons that warrentless wiretapping is wrong. Remember when we all used to think about “due process”?
(Side note: If anyone knows how to embed YouTube video in WordPress blogs, I’m all ears.)
Link [via Penn Jillete’s radio show]
I was too nerdy not to do this.
Arthur C. Clarke
Well known for nonfiction science writing and for early promotion of the effort toward space travel, his fiction was often grand and visionary.
Which science fiction writer are you?
Which is a pretty cool result as I like Clarke’s work quite a bit. Not to mention, Sri Lanka might be an interesting place to retire.
First clue that you won’t be home on time.
4:38pm, new guy on Tier 2 Help Desk: “You got a sec?”
4:56pm, me: “That’s not possible.”
4:56pm, me: “.. but someone managed to do it.”
Call it a one day sales zerg.
Blizzard Entertainment® today announced that World of Warcraft®: The Burning Crusade(TM) has broken the day-one sales record to become the fastest-selling PC game ever in North America and Europe, with a worldwide total of nearly 2.4 million copies sold in the first 24 hours of availability.
“In addition to setting a new day-one PC-game sales record at our GameStop and EB Games stores, the expansion garnered more online pre-orders than any other PC game in our company’s history.” – Robert McKenzie, senior vice president of merchandising at GameStop Corp
World of Warcraft is arguably passing out “game” status to cultural touch-point, especially among the technical elites under 30. But MMOs, and games in general, still have a long way to go to rival cultural media points such as Seinfeld or American Idol, who’s audiences dwarf any base of players for a game. However, numbers like the Burning Crusade release are becoming more common and the barriers to being involved in these kinds of virtual worlds are lowering.
How long until a persistant, virtual nation or world is based on simple, approachable, pre-existing technologies? When will the barrier of buying a box disappear? Don’t want to install something? Want to check on your online assests? When the answer is “Fine, fire up a browser” the landscape could change overnight.
Still, it’s impressive to see the impact one game can have. 2.4 million copies at $39.99 USD is around $96 million USD (and no, I will not adjust for non-US sales; it’s a faux stat). In 24-hours. That’s better than most movies do in their lifecycle.
World of Warcraft(R): The Burning Crusade(TM) Shatters Day-1 Sales Record: Financial News – Yahoo! Finance
But some economists and demographers are beginning to wonder whether New Orleans will top out at about half its prestorm population of about 444,000, already in a steep decline from its peak of 627,525 in the 1960 Census. At the moment, the population is well below half, and future gains are likely to be small.
The new doubts, surprisingly, are largely not based on the widespread damage caused by the flood. Rather, crippling problems that existed long before Hurricane Katrina are mostly being blamed for the city’s failure to thrive.
A hard, but fair, look at the situation in NOLA 17 months post-Katrina by the New York Times. The basic tennet is the possibility that the current population is within a few percentage points of what the new, normal population of NOLA will be. With pre-Katrina problems such as crime and government corruption now leading the list of issues facing the remaining residents (and those who have yet to return), the culture of NOLA is in peril.
With scholorly work now coming to the mainstream with predictions like this, what is the face of NOLA to become? Is it realistic to expect to preserve every cultural aspects of the city pre-Katrina? Where does the city shrink, either geographically, culturally, or both? Who gets to decide? Who is deciding?
In short, who chooses what to lose in order to save the most?
Hard questions, but questions that need to be asked (and for which I’ll be flamed, I’m sure). Good article, check it out.
New Orleans of Future May Stay Half Its Old Size – New York Times
Beer for dogs!
“Kwispel” is the Dutch word for wagging a tail.
I would have gone for the (more pedestrian) hondbier, but I’m Dutch-American. (“Hond” is Dutch for “dog”.)
Pet shop owner creates beer for dogs
UPDATE: Sweet! There’s an American version; Happy Tail Ale. [via Popgadget]
State officials should consider raising the tax on beer for the first time since the 1960s as part of an effort to ease the state’s budget problems, according to [John Bebow, executive director of The Center for Michigan, a think tank in the Ann Arbor area].
I hereby postulate that Mr. Bebow is a snobby wine drinker and further propose that the tax on wine be increased at a rate three times that of a beer tax. Obviously, he can afford it working in a think tank (cha ching) in the Ann Arbor (CHA ching) area (CHA CHING).
And how, you may ask, did The Center for Michigan come up with this brilliant tax plan? Perhaps they’re playing to their base: check out the steering committee.