Monday, December 24, 2007

Announcement -- Change in 2008

Biz Blog Review will be taken over by a USC Business Communication Class in January 2008.

Compliments of the Season!


Biz Blog Review wishes all Compliments of the Season!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

IBM & PwC for Social Media CR?

In past posts, I've discussed social media in light of standards and corporate responsibility. I received views from various parties, such as USC's Center for Telecom Management, PwC, and others.

Then I posted a link to IBM's reports on "Navigating the Media Divide."

As business and "social media" and forms of marketing evolve...we do see the need for standards and business models that incorporate standards. But how do you approach this from an international standpoint?

For example, iMediaConnection UK published the article, "Crossing the pond with your search engine marketing strategy", where Warren Cowan -- CEO of Greenlight -- refers to the need for cultural knowledge and domain knowledge to avoid not only case study-type marketing disasters but also for translating search campaigns to multi-country campaigns. But what does this mean in terms of standards and corporate responsibility?

Translation of words in meaning may have ethical but not legal liability, or vice versa or both. In using and interpreting "search data", what's the implication? Cowan refers to differences in quality and 'competitiveness of the term' and the impact on pay-per-click. What are the implications beyond pay-per-click ie. the use of this data? Cowan also describes the difference in rankings of international search engines and the need for strong multilingual and culturally fluent talent for site creation in non-domestic English-speaking regions.

The above example is from a marketer's perspective, but what about the impact on the user ie. the companies that go on to use the data obtained from search to develop user experiences or engage with users...?

Here's another example: a software company may produce a package for virtual meetings. Within this software is the capability for the "presenter" to hand over "remote access" to any member within the audience. Depending on the "presenter's" training/view of international relations...they may opt to give remote access to someone in say Burma. Now this Burmese audience member takes control over the presenter's computer to illustrate something within the presentation....However, the potential is there for the Burmese participant to have access to Internet websites that they otherwise wouldn't be allowed to or would be banned from usually in Burma. Potentially, the "presenter" could place the company, and even the country, and not to mention the Burmese, in a position of liability...why? Because a software was produced for sale with a remote function that technically "gets around" certain restrictive international "laws". And this software may have been developed based on "search data".

On another scale, we have privacy issues, such as a Facebook feature that shares what you automatically buy online without requesting consent to do so.

Marketers are developing strategies to "Get personal with your landing pages" -- to reach out to users on a more social and personal level. Although marketers should work to improve strategies, and all of us to improves products and services, we need to do so in a responsible manner.

PwC have produced two reports with US and International Perspective on the Rise of Lifestyle Media.

If standards are to be set for the multi-level use of social media,
1. Who should take the lead and who should be involved in developing these standards?
2. What should the business model look like that incorporates these standards?
3. How should standards be considered internationally?

The Facebook Privacy Issue...

Group Info

Name:
Petition: Facebook, stop invading my privacy!
Type:
Description:
. . . . . . . . . .
(CNN did a story on this group! See below.)

Matt in New York already knows what his girlfriend got him for Christmas...

Why? Because a new Facebook feature automatically shares books, movies, or gifts you buy online with everyone you know on Facebook. Without your consent, it pops up in your News Feed--a huge invasion of privacy. (See demo below.)

CAN YOU SIGN THE PETITION TO FACEBOOK TODAY? THEN INVITE FRIENDS TO THIS GROUP!

Petition: "Facebook must respect my privacy. They should not tell my friends what I buy on other sites—or let companies use my name to endorse their products—without my explicit permission."

Sign here:
http://civ.moveon.org/facebookprivacy/?rc=fb_privacy

Then, tell your friends about this group. A lot of us love Facebook—but they need to take privacy seriously.

Facebook encourages companies to get "word-of-mouth promotion for your business" to "millions" by using the new Beacon feature that makes this happen. But the rights of Facebook users get left behind.

Facebook says its users can "opt out" of having their private purchases reported to all their friends. But that option is easily missed. And even if you do "opt out" for purchases on one site, it doesn't apply to purchases on another site—you have to keep opting out over and over again. The obvious solution is to switch to an "opt in" policy, like most other applications on Facebook.

In 2006, when Facebook users protested policies that violated privacy, Facebook's founder admitted, "We really messed this one up...we didn't build in the proper privacy controls right away." The problem got fixed. (Link below.)

SEND A SIGNAL TO FACEBOOK TODAY BY SIGNING THE PETITION! Then tell your friends about this group. The petition is here:
http://civ.moveon.org/facebookprivacy/?rc=fb_privacy

Update re: bizblogreview website

I decided to remove the website of bizblogreview since it's the blog that is mainly in use.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Social Networks and Blogs

Today I've looked at the various social networks that I signed up for, such as Facebook, MySpace, Mixx, LinkedIn, Winksite, Twitter, and docstoc, and the differences in these networks with regard to "engagement of users."

MySpace have "Tom" that is an automatic "friend" once you sign up, but that you can delete if you so wish. If you choose to keep "Tom", you will receive an email once in a while, but it's not as if you're bombarded with messages. If I want to "Cancel Account", I can do so in Account Settings.

Facebook have all their applications, third party applications, users, friends, groups, networks, but no "Facebook" intervention or active "engagement" via email or bulletins. In Account, I have the option to "Deactivate" my account.

Mixx have a statement on the "Your Mixx" that says: "Sorry, there's no recent activity from ............... You should bug them about this!" The goal is then for users to engage other users. You can also vote for and against users. Mixx have their blog and feedback but no option to cancel, delete, or deactivate an account.

LinkedIn show a "Profile Completeness" that encourages users to input more details, similar to a resume, about themselves. There's the "Get Recommended" option where users can give recommendations for each other, but the LinkedIn team don't actively coax users to participate. In searching, I didn't see an option to delete, cancel, or deactivate the LinkedIn Account.

Winksite's Founder is quite active in contacting users with assistance when signing up. What appears to be a random user may make contact (as in my case) to nudge you to make use of mobile web -- "If you're not going mobile, you're standing still." Under the section My Account, I have the option to "Delete Account."

Twitter have those involved in social media that start "following" and before you know it you've got a tail of "Followers". If you're not "Twittering", what use is this? Likewise, to interact, you should "Follow" others on the site. I am highly interested in Twitter, but find keeping up time-wise not fair to other users, so I deleted my account.

Docstoc have a team that engage users via email about the documents they may need. Jason Nazar, the Founder, is also actively available for questions. They then encourage users to upload documents too. Docstoc have recently added the ability to add your Facebook and LinkedIn Profiles to your Profile page. I didn't see an option in Settings or Profile to be able to delete, cancel, or deactivate the Account.

(If I've left anything out here, please let me know)

So, what do think works best?
  • The Facebook approach where users aren't contacted by the Facebook team but engage through affiliations and interests?
  • The MySpace approach that uses Tom as a kickstart and then users go from there creating their Space according to purpose and interest?
  • The Mixx approach of getting users to vote/rate each other in effect through content with a blog and feedback for engagement?
  • The LinkedIn approach of profile detail, connections, and recommendations without direct engagement?
  • The Winksite personal touch?
  • The Twitter approach through social media "engagers" and Followers?
  • The docstoc approach through personal/professional contact and relevant content?
It depends on the user doesn't it? Some users will be put off by certain approaches depending on their characters and style. Others may be more flexible to a wide range of approaches. Some may not have the time to be "personally engaged" and prefer a more indirect relationship with the social network team.

Blogs

With the opening up of Facebook and other sites where users can interact in specific discussion groups and add applications, it does raise the question on whether only a handful of mainline blogs will remain while all other discussion (ie. users that would usually blog or setup their own blogs) will continue through the social network environment like Facebook and Myspace. Some may submit their blogs (as one can now do in Facebook) but others may opt to close their blogs and just join discussion groups where the audience is.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Facebook Summing their Ads?

Last weeks we heard that Facebook is working on these three areas:

1. Social Ads (ads targeted based on member profile data and spread virally)
2. Beacon (messages in feeds), and
3. Insight (marketing data that goes deep into social demographics and pyschographics)

So this morning I thought I'd take a look at my Facebook pages to see what Ads pop up --

1. Are they targeted to my member profile?
2. Are they of more appeal to others in my network?
3. Are they relevant to my network at all?
4. In comparison, how appealing are the Ads in the groups I belong to?

To assess the Ads and my questions (for those who cannot see my entire profile), you will need to know some information:

1. I have a dog and have her in my Facebook Album, and have added the Trojan Pet application
2. I don't watch TV much but have the Movie application on my profile
3. My networks are USC and LA, but I've added some friends in the London and Manchester University network -- few UK or SA in relation to US.
4. My profile is set as "Single" and interested in "Friendship" (ie. not dating)
5. I have added the Causes (Charity) application
6. I live in the UK

Here are my findings (I may represent a sample of a population who feel this way too):

PROFILE PAGE ADS


























www.facebook.com

EDIT PROFILE, INBOX, AND MY QUESTIONS ADS














www.facebook.com


How effectively do these Ads target my profile?

Facebook, second and third (possibly more) parties share information on profiles. Users will not know what information they possess, but targeted ads are a clue. And this collection of ads shows me as a user that the information the targets are based on (if profile specific) is weak. The ads targeted at groups, such as Neuroscience Rocks or JoVE, are more appropriate to the audience - but that's a no-brainer.

Pet Owner or Trojan Pet Application

So the choice is made to target a user through the fact that they own a pet (in album) or have added the pet application. Is it sufficient to throw a puppy Eukanuba ad at them? The answer is "no". The reason is because our minds filter out irrelevant material daily. What would be more appropriate? An ad with something eye-catching related to the specific breed that that user owns.

TV Movies DVD

I've made it clear before in my "interests" on Facebook that I don't watch TV much -- so that includes "Desperate Housewives". To me, this ad is just a desperate attempt to throw something more gunky at me. Since I have the iRead and Art application, perhaps a DVD documentary on the lives of one of my authors or artists would be more appropriate.

Relationship Status

Gumtree: "Can't find a decent man?"
Facebook Flyer: "Rent a date for charity?"

Is this form of targeted advertising about dating on a profile fair game or appropriate? Do you think it appeals to the user ie. me -- you're targeting this at me I presume? This puts me off Facebook. On the otherhand, Gumtree and Charities are appealing to me for different reasons -- have you found out those reasons Facebook so that you can help "advertisers" target better and me find useful information -- I enjoy research remember?

Courses & I love Nerds

I've done a distance learning course in the UK before through ifs, so you're right there...I have an interest in distance learning. Would I do just any distance learning course? No. So how do you assess which type of distance learning course (since I've recently graduated from USC too) is worth bringing to my attention, and how do you best do this?

"I love Nerds" -- yes, I enjoy technology, so I may add this application just to see what it entails. But it depends who created the application doesn't it? Because I give them full rights then to see my profile and all those associated with my profile.

Travel, Phones, Cameras, Clothing...
If you introduced links to access or a means to make travel booking through Trainline, BA, Virgin, and the like depending on country and provider, that will be useful. Would I buy a phone or camera as a result of the Facebook ad? Not as it's currently presented to me -- nor clothing.

eFax, skinny jeans, and TV Licences...

I found this amusing in terms of profile targeting. Do many people use eFax? What are the stats compared to email in the UK vs US? I'm not in favor of fax whether e or otherwise. As for skinny jeans and diets, etc -- I'm not interested in that at all.

Why the TV Licence ad? Just because I'm UK? No licences are required for TV's in the US. I have a Licence for my UK TV, but seldom use it, so is it worth having the Licence for the TV? You can watch DVDs and Videos without needing a Licence.

Skype, Be, O2 and Apple Iphone...

Those are more applicable generally. For Skype and Iphone -- what's new? For Be and O2, what's the comparison?

To specifically answer my questions 1-4:

1. Are they targeted to my member profile? No
2. Are they of more appeal to others in my network? Maybe
3. Are they relevant to my network at all? Not really -- more UK than US
4. In comparison, how appealing are the Ads in the groups I belong to? Neuroscience Rocks and joVE have Starbucks ads, SIGN UP FOR docstoc have a XMAS Wishlist, Richard P Feynman Fan Club have Ugg Boots Sale -- more appealing. But even more appealing for the Richard P Feynman Club would be Feynman books for sale and upcoming lectures or events at Caltech.

As a user, when adding a group, I've thought how useful it would be if Facebook gave me the option to say why I'm adding the group -- and the same with leaving it. We see notices all the time of people adding and leaving groups, but never know why. From a Profile perspective, this is a useful piece of intelligence about the user. And it takes two prompt questions from Facebook -- Why are you joining? Why are you leaving?

Once Facebook make changes with Social Ads, Beacon, and Insight...we will be able to compare. Besides "adding applications", giving input on books and interests and inviting friends -- Facebook doesn't appear to ask the user to give targeted feedback in terms of their profiles that I know of. What's the challenge in engaging the user to assist second/third/more parties better?
The Farmers in Facebook will give you one perspective -- "they're not getting paid for it."







Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Facebook Sum of Social Ads

According to TechCrunch's Eric Schonfeld in liveblog from New York City, Facebook is announcing three things:

1. Social Ads (ads targeted based on member profile data and spread virally)

2. Beacon (messages in feeds), and

3. Insight (marketing data that goes deep into social demographics and pyschographics

which Facebook will provide to advertisers in an aggregated, anonymous way). These three things together make up Facebook Ads.

Social Actions + Content = Social Ads

The Big Juicy Twitter Guide

Caroline Middlebrook has produced "The Big Juicy Twitter Guide" on her blog that answers a number of questions, some of which include:

1. How does Twitter work as a mobile communication tool?
2. Is socializing with Twitter business or personal?
3. How can Twitter be used for marketing?
4. What are the platform-specific Twitter tools?
5. How can Twitter promotion go viral?

Now that Google have unveiled their groundbreaking mobile strategy - Android - allowing operators, handset makers and application developers to innovate together, how will Twitter evolve?

Friday, November 02, 2007

RBS Launches World's First Virtual Careers Recruitment Event in Second Life

iMedia Connection UK recently published an article by Catriona Campbell titled, "Second Life: What value can it add beyond PR and marketing?"

Catriona cites two specific examples that I've quoted below:

Example One – RBS Virtual Careers Recruitment Event

"RBS, the world's fourth largest financial services group, was also on the ad:tech panel, and Sion Mooney, channel development manager in the resourcing division of RBS Group HR attended. He talked exclusively about RBS launching the world's first Virtual Careers Event in Second Life on 16 October. Why? Because beyond the PR value, Second Life is allowing RBS' careers team to connect with people in geographic locations that they would otherwise have had to reach by more traditional and expensive means, such going on the road with a recruitment fair.

In the Second Life environment, candidates can pose questions to the virtual careers advisers, meet current RBS employees and see a mocked-up version of where they would be working, without having to leave their homes. Recruitment is incredibly expensive, and Sion revealed that just one successful hire would more than pay for the whole Second Life project.

The session demonstrated that Second Life is not the money pit that some brands have reportedly experienced, so long as a sales strategy is applied at the early conception phase. While it remains in the early adopters curve it won't work for everyone, but the platform is ripe for brands wishing to attract a youthful and experimental audience."

Example Two – STA Travel

"Craig Hepburn, Global Webmaster for STA Travel, told the audience how he had invested only tens of thousands of pounds in Second Life (a fraction of what some brands have spent), but by taking a sales-led strategic approach the investment has already paid for itself.

The student travel brand is using Second Life to build a social sales channel around a community of people who enjoy travelling and talking to each other about where they have been. The virtual environment that they've created allows users to place bookings through an avatar (they employ a real person in Second Life to take bookings and give advice) and on the Second Life STA island, which incorporates dorms for students, Lonely Planet travel guides and video footage and posters of recommended destinations.

Because STA Travel is a student brand, the Second Life virtual world works really well for them. Their customers love it, and they are already making money through a multitude of round the world bookings made in Second Life.

The audience was so impressed that a representative from a TV production company suggested that virtual worlds might translate well to an internet TV experience for a brand like STA. This is exactly the kind of question that needed to be asked, as investment in virtual worlds should be not considered as a standalone project or experiment, but rather should be consolidated with the brand's overall sales, marketing and PR objectives."

Source: http://www.imediaconnection.com/content/17099.asp

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Social Networks as Ad Platforms – How appealing is that to society?

With Microsoft’s $240m investment in a 1.6 percent stake of Facebook for advertising and growth opportunity purposes, I do wonder what form this will take.

Recent notable changes to Facebook include applications (among others), such as iRead, iLike and Flixster where users can upload the books, music, and movies they enjoy to rate, review, and discuss with others. A book I am currently reading didn’t feature on iRead’s selection, so I was able to upload it from Amazon.com. Sharing such interests is still a digestible form of promotion while partaking in social network.

However, if Facebook opt for a similar incentive model introduced on MySpace, such as Vivasearch (or the like), it may be detrimental to the quality of the network. Users appear to sign up with organizations like Vivasearch to earn profit by adding “friends” on MySpace.

The concept is similar to the IndieClick model where media/marketing professionals “work with advertisers and agencies to deliver relevant and targeted messaging to our discerning audience of more than twenty-eight million 16-34 year old “Influencers” and tastemakers.”

What this could smack of, depending on delivery, are those pyramid-type schemes.

In a recent study (discussed more in-depth further on) IBM interviewed executives about challenges in new content and distribution strategies. Here are the results:

Source: IBM Global Business Services - "Navigating the media divide"

Back in June 2007, FOOA (Future of Online Advertising), featured an article on “Deciphering trends in online advertising.” IndieClick is the topic of discussion in this article, but what I found of interest are:

  • Things that affect the landscape of online advertising (Digital Rights Management, disintegration of content from platform, consolidation of major players, remnant players expanding into premium markets, new forms of media, new hardware)
  • Audience’s acceptance of new forms of advertising
  • Advances in ad-serving technology
  • Flight of talent from print and television
  • Online advertising metrics

After posting Google’s Terms and Conditions to Biz Blog Review, I wondered how Google (if they had got the Facebook stake instead of Microsoft) would have approached this ad platform or “landscape”. A comparison of Microsoft-Google approaches may give us an idea of two different Facebook user social experiences/experiments in advertising.

On visiting the IBM site, I discovered the article “The fight ahead on media’s main streets” produced in February 2007 highlighting how user-generated content and open distribution platforms are shaking up the media industry:

“A new media world has arrived. Pioneered by teens and gadget-savvy professionals, it has quickly spread into virtually every consumer segment, and started to encroach on traditional media. The number of unique visitors to MySpace.com has now surpassed the 50 million mark – something akin to the number of U.S. households that tune into the Super Bowl.1 Every day, consumers around the world watch about 100 million videos on YouTube – putting that number in context, the top 15 British primetime television shows combined attract about 100 million viewers, as do the top 4 U.S. shows.2

To examine the inherent tension between new and traditional media and explore future industry scenarios, we conducted a comprehensive study that included interviews with leaders of media companies and an in-depth analysis of the factors that are shaping the industry outlook” – IBM.

Through the analysis, IBM identify four business models co-existing – Traditional media (The Walt Disney Company), Walled communities (NTT DoCoMo), Content hyper-syndication (BBC with My BBC interactive media service), New platform aggregation (YouTube, MySpace, Second Life) – with a blur of the models over time as media companies experiment into 2010.

While the revenue of new media channels is expected to reach US$55 billion in 2006 with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 23 percent to 2010, traditional channels are expected to generate US$455 billion in revenue in 2006 with a CAGR of 6 percent.

The study shows the drivers of change and the catalysts of the conflict between new media and traditional channels to be:

  • Device and access rollout
  • Multichannel content innovation
  • New consumer behavior and roles
  • Faster revenue to attention alignment

According to IBM – available bandwidth, interactive media possibilities, falling prices of sophisticated media editing and recording equipment and software – “have put the tools of the trade within reach of almost any aspiring talent or wannabee. The result is a blurring and merging of the roles of producer and consumer, or a “prosumer,” as coined by Alvin Toffler.”

And what happens when media companies start experimenting with the role of the “prosumer” (producer + consumer) as “prosumermoter” (producer + consumer + promoter)?

One aspect may be the review of industry standards. IBM report:

“Government policy affects consumer pricing for access and content, piracy rules and their enforcement, network usage and competitive neutrality, business conditions for entrepreneurs, just to name a few areas. In addition, as telecommunications and media industry boundaries blur, companies are often subject to two sets of regulators, instead of one. For the foreseeable future, regulation remains a critical factor that can accelerate or derail new initiatives or strategies.”

In this analysis, IBM identifies options and provides ten recommendations for industry:

  • Put consumers at the center of your business and boardroom.
  • Convert consumer data into competitive advantage.
  • Give control to get share.
  • Deliver experiences, not just content.
  • Leverage virtual worlds.
  • Innovate business models.
  • Invest in interactive, measurable advertising services and platforms
  • Redefine partnerships, while mitigating fallout.
  • Shift investment from traditional business to new models.
  • Create a flexible business design.

In a society where consumers want to create unconstrained by distributors’ conditional access controls, IBM suggests industry incumbents should review the timing and completeness of response to “prosumers” (and partners), offering opportunity for growth and experience instead of conflict.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Welcome to Web History!

With all the changes happening in Facebook and MySpace of late, I've toggled between using Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer. Recently, Facebook have encouraged me through a notice to upgrade to Internet Explorer 7, or as a second option with another -- Mozilla Firefox. When doing so, I found myself being welcomed to Web History by Google:

If I choose to enable Web History (or even limit my searches) and install the Tool Bar, I am subject to Google Terms and Conditions (pay particular attention to 8.2 and some of the terms & conditions beneath those in CAPS at the bottom):

Google Terms of Service

Welcome to Google!

1. Your relationship with Google

1.1 Your use of Google’s products, software, services and web sites (referred to collectively as the “Services” in this document and excluding any services provided to you by Google under a separate written agreement) is subject to the terms of a legal agreement between you and Google. “Google” means Google Inc., whose principal place of business is at 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, United States. This document explains how the agreement is made up, and sets out some of the terms of that agreement.

1.2 Unless otherwise agreed in writing with Google, your agreement with Google will always include, at a minimum, the terms and conditions set out in this document. These are referred to below as the “Universal Terms”.

1.3 Your agreement with Google will also include the terms of any Legal Notices applicable to the Services, in addition to the Universal Terms. All of these are referred to below as the “Additional Terms”. Where Additional Terms apply to a Service, these will be accessible for you to read either within, or through your use of, that Service.

1.4 The Universal Terms, together with the Additional Terms, form a legally binding agreement between you and Google in relation to your use of the Services. It is important that you take the time to read them carefully. Collectively, this legal agreement is referred to below as the “Terms”.

1.5 If there is any contradiction between what the Additional Terms say and what the Universal Terms say, then the Additional Terms shall take precedence in relation to that Service.

2. Accepting the Terms

2.1 In order to use the Services, you must first agree to the Terms. You may not use the Services if you do not accept the Terms.

2.2 You can accept the Terms by:
(A) clicking to accept or agree to the Terms, where this option is made available to you by Google in the user interface for any Service; or
(B) by actually using the Services. In this case, you understand and agree that Google will treat your use of the Services as acceptance of the Terms from that point onwards.

2.3 You may not use the Services and may not accept the Terms if (a) you are not of legal age to form a binding contract with Google, or (b) you are a person barred from receiving the Services under the laws of the United States or other countries including the country in which you are resident or from which you use the Services.

2.4 Before you continue, you should print off or save a local copy of the Universal Terms for your records.

3. Language of the Terms

3.1 Where Google has provided you with a translation of the English language version of the Terms, then you agree that the translation is provided for your convenience only and that the English language versions of the Terms will govern your relationship with Google.

3.2 If there is any contradiction between what the English language version of the Terms says and what a translation says, then the English language version shall take precedence.

4. Provision of the Services by Google

4.1 Google has subsidiaries and affiliated legal entities around the world (“Subsidiaries and Affiliates”). Sometimes, these companies will be providing the Services to you on behalf of Google itself. You acknowledge and agree that Subsidiaries and Affiliates will be entitled to provide the Services to you.

4.2 Google is constantly innovating in order to provide the best possible experience for its users. You acknowledge and agree that the form and nature of the Services which Google provides may change from time to time without prior notice to you.

4.3 As part of this continuing innovation, you acknowledge and agree that Google may stop (permanently or temporarily) providing the Services (or any features within the Services) to you or to users generally at Google’s sole discretion, without prior notice to you. You may stop using the Services at any time. You do not need to specifically inform Google when you stop using the Services.

4.4 You acknowledge and agree that if Google disables access to your account, you may be prevented from accessing the Services, your account details or any files or other content which is contained in your account.

4.5 You acknowledge and agree that while Google may not currently have set a fixed upper limit on the number of transmissions you may send or receive through the Services or on the amount of storage space used for the provision of any Service, such fixed upper limits may be set by Google at any time, at Google’s discretion.

5. Use of the Services by you

5.1 In order to access certain Services, you may be required to provide information about yourself (such as identification or contact details) as part of the registration process for the Service, or as part of your continued use of the Services. You agree that any registration information you give to Google will always be accurate, correct and up to date.

5.2 You agree to use the Services only for purposes that are permitted by (a) the Terms and (b) any applicable law, regulation or generally accepted practices or guidelines in the relevant jurisdictions (including any laws regarding the export of data or software to and from the United States or other relevant countries).

5.3 You agree not to access (or attempt to access) any of the Services by any means other than through the interface that is provided by Google, unless you have been specifically allowed to do so in a separate agreement with Google. You specifically agree not to access (or attempt to access) any of the Services through any automated means (including use of scripts or web crawlers) and shall ensure that you comply with the instructions set out in any robots.txt file present on the Services.

5.4 You agree that you will not engage in any activity that interferes with or disrupts the Services (or the servers and networks which are connected to the Services).

5.5 Unless you have been specifically permitted to do so in a separate agreement with Google, you agree that you will not reproduce, duplicate, copy, sell, trade or resell the Services for any purpose.

5.6 You agree that you are solely responsible for (and that Google has no responsibility to you or to any third party for) any breach of your obligations under the Terms and for the consequences (including any loss or damage which Google may suffer) of any such breach.

6. Your passwords and account security

6.1 You agree and understand that you are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of passwords associated with any account you use to access the Services.

6.2 Accordingly, you agree that you will be solely responsible to Google for all activities that occur under your account.

6.3 If you become aware of any unauthorized use of your password or of your account, you agree to notify Google immediately at http://www.google.com/support/accounts/bin/answer.py?answer=48601.

7. Privacy and your personal information

7.1 For information about Google’s data protection practices, please read Google’s privacy policy at http://www.google.com/privacy.html. This policy explains how Google treats your personal information, and protects your privacy, when you use the Services.

7.2 You agree to the use of your data in accordance with Google’s privacy policies.

8. Content in the Services

8.1 You understand that all information (such as data files, written text, computer software, music, audio files or other sounds, photographs, videos or other images) which you may have access to as part of, or through your use of, the Services are the sole responsibility of the person from which such content originated. All such information is referred to below as the “Content”.

8.2 You should be aware that Content presented to you as part of the Services, including but not limited to advertisements in the Services and sponsored Content within the Services may be protected by intellectual property rights which are owned by the sponsors or advertisers who provide that Content to Google (or by other persons or companies on their behalf). You may not modify, rent, lease, loan, sell, distribute or create derivative works based on this Content (either in whole or in part) unless you have been specifically told that you may do so by Google or by the owners of that Content, in a separate agreement.

8.3 Google reserves the right (but shall have no obligation) to pre-screen, review, flag, filter, modify, refuse or remove any or all Content from any Service. For some of the Services, Google may provide tools to filter out explicit sexual content. These tools include the SafeSearch preference settings (see http://www.google.com/help/customize.html#safe). In addition, there are commercially available services and software to limit access to material that you may find objectionable.

8.4 You understand that by using the Services you may be exposed to Content that you may find offensive, indecent or objectionable and that, in this respect, you use the Services at your own risk.

8.5 You agree that you are solely responsible for (and that Google has no responsibility to you or to any third party for) any Content that you create, transmit or display while using the Services and for the consequences of your actions (including any loss or damage which Google may suffer) by doing so.

9. Proprietary rights

9.1 You acknowledge and agree that Google (or Google’s licensors) own all legal right, title and interest in and to the Services, including any intellectual property rights which subsist in the Services (whether those rights happen to be registered or not, and wherever in the world those rights may exist). You further acknowledge that the Services may contain information which is designated confidential by Google and that you shall not disclose such information without Google’s prior written consent.

9.2 Unless you have agreed otherwise in writing with Google, nothing in the Terms gives you a right to use any of Google’s trade names, trade marks, service marks, logos, domain names, and other distinctive brand features.

9.3 If you have been given an explicit right to use any of these brand features in a separate written agreement with Google, then you agree that your use of such features shall be in compliance with that agreement, any applicable provisions of the Terms, and Google's brand feature use guidelines as updated from time to time. These guidelines can be viewed online at http://www.google.com/permissions/guidelines.html (or such other URL as Google may provide for this purpose from time to time).

9.4 Other than the limited license set forth in Section 11, Google acknowledges and agrees that it obtains no right, title or interest from you (or your licensors) under these Terms in or to any Content that you submit, post, transmit or display on, or through, the Services, including any intellectual property rights which subsist in that Content (whether those rights happen to be registered or not, and wherever in the world those rights may exist). Unless you have agreed otherwise in writing with Google, you agree that you are responsible for protecting and enforcing those rights and that Google has no obligation to do so on your behalf.

9.5 You agree that you shall not remove, obscure, or alter any proprietary rights notices (including copyright and trade mark notices) which may be affixed to or contained within the Services.

9.6 Unless you have been expressly authorized to do so in writing by Google, you agree that in using the Services, you will not use any trade mark, service mark, trade name, logo of any company or organization in a way that is likely or intended to cause confusion about the owner or authorized user of such marks, names or logos.

10. License from Google

10.1 Google gives you a personal, worldwide, royalty-free, non-assignable and non-exclusive licence to use the software provided to you by Google as part of the Services as provided to you by Google (referred to as the “Software” below). This licence is for the sole purpose of enabling you to use and enjoy the benefit of the Services as provided by Google, in the manner permitted by the Terms.

10.2 You may not (and you may not permit anyone else to) copy, modify, create a derivative work of, reverse engineer, decompile or otherwise attempt to extract the source code of the Software or any part thereof, unless this is expressly permitted or required by law, or unless you have been specifically told that you may do so by Google, in writing.

10.3 Unless Google has given you specific written permission to do so, you may not assign (or grant a sub-licence of) your rights to use the Software, grant a security interest in or over your rights to use the Software, or otherwise transfer any part of your rights to use the Software.

11. Content licence from you

11.1 You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive licence to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. This licence is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services and may be revoked for certain Services as defined in the Additional Terms of those Services.

11.2 You agree that this licence includes a right for Google to make such Content available to other companies, organizations or individuals with whom Google has relationships for the provision of syndicated services, and to use such Content in connection with the provision of those services.

11.3 You understand that Google, in performing the required technical steps to provide the Services to our users, may (a) transmit or distribute your Content over various public networks and in various media; and (b) make such changes to your Content as are necessary to conform and adapt that Content to the technical requirements of connecting networks, devices, services or media. You agree that this licence shall permit Google to take these actions.

11.4 You confirm and warrant to Google that you have all the rights, power and authority necessary to grant the above licence.

12. Software updates

12.1 The Software which you use may automatically download and install updates from time to time from Google. These updates are designed to improve, enhance and further develop the Services and may take the form of bug fixes, enhanced functions, new software modules and completely new versions. You agree to receive such updates (and permit Google to deliver these to you) as part of your use of the Services.

13. Ending your relationship with Google

13.1 The Terms will continue to apply until terminated by either you or Google as set out below.

13.2 If you want to terminate your legal agreement with Google, you may do so by (a) notifying Google at any time and (b) closing your accounts for all of the Services which you use, where Google has made this option available to you. Your notice should be sent, in writing, to Google’s address which is set out at the beginning of these Terms.

13.3 Google may at any time, terminate its legal agreement with you if:
(A) you have breached any provision of the Terms (or have acted in manner which clearly shows that you do not intend to, or are unable to comply with the provisions of the Terms); or
(B) Google is required to do so by law (for example, where the provision of the Services to you is, or becomes, unlawful); or
(C) the partner with whom Google offered the Services to you has terminated its relationship with Google or ceased to offer the Services to you; or
(D) Google is transitioning to no longer providing the Services to users in the country in which you are resident or from which you use the service; or
(E) the provision of the Services to you by Google is, in Google’s opinion, no longer commercially viable.

13.4 Nothing in this Section shall affect Google’s rights regarding provision of Services under Section 4 of the Terms.

13.5 When these Terms come to an end, all of the legal rights, obligations and liabilities that you and Google have benefited from, been subject to (or which have accrued over time whilst the Terms have been in force) or which are expressed to continue indefinitely, shall be unaffected by this cessation, and the provisions of paragraph 20.7 shall continue to apply to such rights, obligations and liabilities indefinitely.

14. EXCLUSION OF WARRANTIES

14.1 NOTHING IN THESE TERMS, INCLUDING SECTIONS 14 AND 15, SHALL EXCLUDE OR LIMIT GOOGLE’S WARRANTY OR LIABILITY FOR LOSSES WHICH MAY NOT BE LAWFULLY EXCLUDED OR LIMITED BY APPLICABLE LAW. SOME JURISDICTIONS DO NOT ALLOW THE EXCLUSION OF CERTAIN WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OR THE LIMITATION OR EXCLUSION OF LIABILITY FOR LOSS OR DAMAGE CAUSED BY NEGLIGENCE, BREACH OF CONTRACT OR BREACH OF IMPLIED TERMS, OR INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES. ACCORDINGLY, ONLY THE LIMITATIONS WHICH ARE LAWFUL IN YOUR JURISDICTION WILL APPLY TO YOU AND OUR LIABILITY WILL BE LIMITED TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW.

14.2 YOU EXPRESSLY UNDERSTAND AND AGREE THAT YOUR USE OF THE SERVICES IS AT YOUR SOLE RISK AND THAT THE SERVICES ARE PROVIDED "AS IS" AND “AS AVAILABLE.”

14.3 IN PARTICULAR, GOOGLE, ITS SUBSIDIARIES AND AFFILIATES, AND ITS LICENSORS DO NOT REPRESENT OR WARRANT TO YOU THAT:
(A) YOUR USE OF THE SERVICES WILL MEET YOUR REQUIREMENTS,
(B) YOUR USE OF THE SERVICES WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED, TIMELY, SECURE OR FREE FROM ERROR,
(C) ANY INFORMATION OBTAINED BY YOU AS A RESULT OF YOUR USE OF THE SERVICES WILL BE ACCURATE OR RELIABLE, AND
(D) THAT DEFECTS IN THE OPERATION OR FUNCTIONALITY OF ANY SOFTWARE PROVIDED TO YOU AS PART OF THE SERVICES WILL BE CORRECTED.

14.4 ANY MATERIAL DOWNLOADED OR OTHERWISE OBTAINED THROUGH THE USE OF THE SERVICES IS DONE AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION AND RISK AND THAT YOU WILL BE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGE TO YOUR COMPUTER SYSTEM OR OTHER DEVICE OR LOSS OF DATA THAT RESULTS FROM THE DOWNLOAD OF ANY SUCH MATERIAL.

14.5 NO ADVICE OR INFORMATION, WHETHER ORAL OR WRITTEN, OBTAINED BY YOU FROM GOOGLE OR THROUGH OR FROM THE SERVICES SHALL CREATE ANY WARRANTY NOT EXPRESSLY STATED IN THE TERMS.

14.6 GOOGLE FURTHER EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES AND CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, WHETHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES AND CONDITIONS OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NON-INFRINGEMENT.

15. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY

15.1 SUBJECT TO OVERALL PROVISION IN PARAGRAPH 14.1 ABOVE, YOU EXPRESSLY UNDERSTAND AND AGREE THAT GOOGLE, ITS SUBSIDIARIES AND AFFILIATES, AND ITS LICENSORS SHALL NOT BE LIABLE TO YOU FOR:
(A) ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL CONSEQUENTIAL OR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES WHICH MAY BE INCURRED BY YOU, HOWEVER CAUSED AND UNDER ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY.. THIS SHALL INCLUDE, BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO, ANY LOSS OF PROFIT (WHETHER INCURRED DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY), ANY LOSS OF GOODWILL OR BUSINESS REPUTATION, ANY LOSS OF DATA SUFFERED, COST OF PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES, OR OTHER INTANGIBLE LOSS;
(B) ANY LOSS OR DAMAGE WHICH MAY BE INCURRED BY YOU, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO LOSS OR DAMAGE AS A RESULT OF:
(I) ANY RELIANCE PLACED BY YOU ON THE COMPLETENESS, ACCURACY OR EXISTENCE OF ANY ADVERTISING, OR AS A RESULT OF ANY RELATIONSHIP OR TRANSACTION BETWEEN YOU AND ANY ADVERTISER OR SPONSOR WHOSE ADVERTISING APPEARS ON THE SERVICES;
(II) ANY CHANGES WHICH GOOGLE MAY MAKE TO THE SERVICES, OR FOR ANY PERMANENT OR TEMPORARY CESSATION IN THE PROVISION OF THE SERVICES (OR ANY FEATURES WITHIN THE SERVICES);
(III) THE DELETION OF, CORRUPTION OF, OR FAILURE TO STORE, ANY CONTENT AND OTHER COMMUNICATIONS DATA MAINTAINED OR TRANSMITTED BY OR THROUGH YOUR USE OF THE SERVICES;
(III) YOUR FAILURE TO PROVIDE GOOGLE WITH ACCURATE ACCOUNT INFORMATION;
(IV) YOUR FAILURE TO KEEP YOUR PASSWORD OR ACCOUNT DETAILS SECURE AND CONFIDENTIAL;

15.2 THE LIMITATIONS ON GOOGLE’S LIABILITY TO YOU IN PARAGRAPH 15.1 ABOVE SHALL APPLY WHETHER OR NOT GOOGLE HAS BEEN ADVISED OF OR SHOULD HAVE BEEN AWARE OF THE POSSIBILITY OF ANY SUCH LOSSES ARISING.

16. Copyright and trade mark policies

16.1 It is Google’s policy to respond to notices of alleged copyright infringement that comply with applicable international intellectual property law (including, in the United States, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act) and to terminating the accounts of repeat infringers. Details of Google’s policy can be found at http://www.google.com/dmca.html.

16.2 Google operates a trade mark complaints procedure in respect of Google’s advertising business, details of which can be found at http://www.google.com/tm_complaint.html.

17. Advertisements

17.1 Some of the Services are supported by advertising revenue and may display advertisements and promotions. These advertisements may be targeted to the content of information stored on the Services, queries made through the Services or other information.

17.2 The manner, mode and extent of advertising by Google on the Services are subject to change without specific notice to you.

17.3 In consideration for Google granting you access to and use of the Services, you agree that Google may place such advertising on the Services.

18. Other content

18.1 The Services may include hyperlinks to other web sites or content or resources. Google may have no control over any web sites or resources which are provided by companies or persons other than Google.

18.2 You acknowledge and agree that Google is not responsible for the availability of any such external sites or resources, and does not endorse any advertising, products or other materials on or available from such web sites or resources.

18.3 You acknowledge and agree that Google is not liable for any loss or damage which may be incurred by you as a result of the availability of those external sites or resources, or as a result of any reliance placed by you on the completeness, accuracy or existence of any advertising, products or other materials on, or available from, such web sites or resources.

19. Changes to the Terms

19.1 Google may make changes to the Universal Terms or Additional Terms from time to time. When these changes are made, Google will make a new copy of the Universal Terms available at http://www.google.com/accounts/TOS?hl=en and any new Additional Terms will be made available to you from within, or through, the affected Services.

19.2 You understand and agree that if you use the Services after the date on which the Universal Terms or Additional Terms have changed, Google will treat your use as acceptance of the updated Universal Terms or Additional Terms.

20. General legal terms

20.1 Sometimes when you use the Services, you may (as a result of, or through your use of the Services) use a service or download a piece of software, or purchase goods, which are provided by another person or company. Your use of these other services, software or goods may be subject to separate terms between you and the company or person concerned. If so, the Terms do not affect your legal relationship with these other companies or individuals.

20.2 The Terms constitute the whole legal agreement between you and Google and govern your use of the Services (but excluding any services which Google may provide to you under a separate written agreement), and completely replace any prior agreements between you and Google in relation to the Services.

20.3 You agree that Google may provide you with notices, including those regarding changes to the Terms, by email, regular mail, or postings on the Services.

20.4 You agree that if Google does not exercise or enforce any legal right or remedy which is contained in the Terms (or which Google has the benefit of under any applicable law), this will not be taken to be a formal waiver of Google’s rights and that those rights or remedies will still be available to Google.

20.5 If any court of law, having the jurisdiction to decide on this matter, rules that any provision of these Terms is invalid, then that provision will be removed from the Terms without affecting the rest of the Terms. The remaining provisions of the Terms will continue to be valid and enforceable.

20.6 You acknowledge and agree that each member of the group of companies of which Google is the parent shall be third party beneficiaries to the Terms and that such other companies shall be entitled to directly enforce, and rely upon, any provision of the Terms which confers a benefit on (or rights in favor of) them. Other than this, no other person or company shall be third party beneficiaries to the Terms.

20.7 The Terms, and your relationship with Google under the Terms, shall be governed by the laws of the State of California without regard to its conflict of laws provisions. You and Google agree to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts located within the county of Santa Clara, California to resolve any legal matter arising from the Terms. Notwithstanding this, you agree that Google shall still be allowed to apply for injunctive remedies (or an equivalent type of urgent legal relief) in any jurisdiction.


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With IE flipping up the "Send Error Report" notice, it made reading these terms and conditions quite a challenge.

Monday, October 15, 2007

What's the meaning of Green Internet Services?

Yesterday I was researching e-book sites and knowledge sharing when I found a number of interesting things.

The first is an Ebook Share site where members can vote for "Which file host is faster?" Here's yesterday's results:



Out of all members on the Ebook Share site, 582 members bothered to vote and the results indicate that MiHD is the fastest file hosting service. So does fast mean eco-friendly?

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I Googled for the solution (as you do) and I found EcoMatrix - "We provide a Eco friendly web hosting solutions and our servers are run on alternative energy sources and supplied by "GREEN" enviornmently conscious companies."

What are the eco-friendly web hosting solutions?

The alternate energy sources the servers are run on and the companies that EcoMatrix do business with.

Then I discovered Athenaem: Ecological Hosting with a far more extensive Green Mission:

Our Mission

We aim to operate the business based on our own ethics and principles.

To be the provider of choice for green Internet services.

Our Ethics

We are a debt free company operating entirely in the black on our bank account.

We use recycled paper for most of our office printing needs and aim to increase the use of recycled materials as more quality products become available.

We recycle used office paper and card.

We continually appraise our suppliers and our own procedures to reduce the amount of paper we use (e.g. email invoices, online banking, reusing envelopes, using online government systems for VAT returns etc).

We do not like waste and will not swap things just for the sake of it.

We try and specify computer equipment to last as long as possible without breaking the bank and always try to reuse equipment in a different role if it becomes no longer sufficiently powerful for its original purpose.

We always try to be open, honest and fair in our operation & procedures and to treat our customers as people, not just a number in a database.

The owner is a strict vegetarian and chooses to use green energy to supply electricity for his own home and office use.

We have gained Vegetarian Society approval to promote added confidence in our services for our vegetarian clients.

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Irrespective of company size or industy type, using GREEN INTERNET SERVICES may mean the same or different things to various people according to their commitment to environmental causes.

For some, it may be the kind of food they order over the internet from a store that is envirnomentally conscious, through the transport they use, to those that they select for online banking and contracts in business. For others, it may be of lesser meaning and importance.

Internet services are used in every industry with such dependence. If being more environmentally-conscious and caring truly matters to us, then what does it mean to be Internet Green?

Internet Green Strategy:

1. How many eco-friendly involvements/causes do the CEO, VP's and executives support?

2. What types of eco-programs are your company involved with or sponsoring?

3. What is the eco-friendly rating of each vendor/supplier your company does business with? And how many eco-friendly vendors/suppliers does your company do business with?

4. How are your employees rewarded for eco-friendly behavior? Or what incentives are offered to employees for involvement in eco-friendly programs or activities?

5. What incentives are shared between partners or affilliates for eco-friendly behavior? What collaborative/exchange benefits can be gained from eco-schemes?

6. What energy sources are your servers and "systems" run on? And, when (where and how) can energy be conserved?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

BT's Fon Wi-Fi for Everyone?

If you're signed up for BT Broadband Options, you can opt in to join the Wi-Fi community and share in the hotspots. Option 1 and 2 isn't unlimited, but Option 3 is. The line rental is the standard £11/month with £7.95/month Option 3 charge (April cost). These are London, UK, hotspots:








How does it work?

"Membership of the BT FON Wi-Fi community is included with BT Total Broadband. All you need to do is say I'M IN. Then your BT home hub is automatically set up to become part of the BT FON network. This means that other members of the community can securely log on to their own Broadband account when they are in range of your hub's Wi-Fi signal In return for this, you can log on to your Total Broadband account whenever you are in range of either another member of the BT FON community's Wi-Fi signal or BT Openzones" -- beta.bt.com

And there's a support forum:




And, you can tell a friend:
"Don't keep BT FON to yourself. Get your friends to take part. The more people who join BT FON, the more places we can get Wi-Fi out of the home. Add their email addresses below to invite them to take part."

The snag with these options and communities is that they're local, and Option 3 is really required to experience the full benefit worth the cost. International travelers may not be included and may find the experience costly (that's if temporary opt-ins eventually exist). If BT partnered with broadband providers in other countries for international hotspot "collaboration-sharing", that would be beneficial. Currently, it's not necessarily a model that works for everyone.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

MIXX is Public and US Local!

















Today Mixx went public for business and have also explained on their blog that they're currently US local:

"Rest assured that we are working on the international angle, and we’ll let you know as soon as it’s ready to go! In the meantime, if you hear anything about a Greta von Magnusson and a can of spray paint, please give us a call."

Thank you, Mixx!




Monday, October 08, 2007

What's Twitter's Success? More answers for Jeff Jarvis

Jemima Kiss of MediaGuardian interviewed Ev Williams, Founder of Twitter, to understand its success. Williams explains that even his mother doesn't understand the tool! But, it's taken on a life of its own...

And Williams sold Blogger to Google. So, what's in store for Twitter? Google...or teaming up with others like docstoc.com where users can share ideas, comment on documents, or refer a friend to needy information at the right time?

What's Twitter?
Group Text Messaging or Micro-Blogging
How's the tool evolving?
It's in its infancy to become a functional, personal tool - "Users need a critical mass of friends, and then the real conversations begin."
What's the attraction?
"Dedicated users share ideas, ask questions, suggest meetings and post useful links and stories...charming details of day-to-day lives that would otherwise be lost."
What are these "shared ideas..." called?
Tweets
How old is Twitter?
17 months
How many users Tweet?
350,000
What's Twitter's goal?
To grow the core service because of the practical benefits of socializing

Users can Tweet all friends to tell them what time they'll be at an event. Williams says that Woot.com started using Twitter to inform followers of bargains before they sold out. Mainstream news sites use Twitter for automated distribution of links to news stories and TV channels like MTV are experimenting with giving stars their own Twitter channel during music video awards...a way of reaching fans. Other uses of Twitter? A real-time sports result tool for race results such as Nascar...

What lies ahead for Twitter's success?
  • The 140 character limit is an advantage in a time when we're bombarded by information
  • The development of a group feature for browsing users' history
  • The monetizing of the service with branded channels for companies like Woot

Exploring Twitter... Twit Wiki Communities...Williams concludes that, "Rather than attach advertising to a personal communication channel, we want to make it a benefit so that there are people or entities you want to follow. We think those things have potential, so as the userbase grows we'll flesh out which of those things work and the business model and revenue will fit in."





iPod Moments - Media Guage?

Today's MediaGuardian features an interesting article by Jeff Jarvis - buzzmachine.com - describing "iPod moments" as a type of media guage with questions such as:

When will television reach its iPod moment?
When we download video more than we watch broadcasts - "Then TV will face the upheaval music has barely survived."

When will newspapers reach their iPod moment?
With the emergence of a "relatively mass-market device on which reading a newspaper (and watching and listening to it) will seem quite normal" - web browser.

According to Jarvis, the iPod Touch and iPhone are just that...an iPod moment...except Apple got the timing right in the UK by launching iPod Touch first, but bungled it in the US by introducing iPod Touch after the iPhone's entry. What's the difference?

In the US, the iPhone is viewed as a phone with a few added features. By contrast, the British view the iPhone as a whole computer with wi-fi connectivity, and a web browser with ability to download and display, and capability to capture and share all media - text, photo, audio, video, interactivity.

Jarvis contends that, "Everything you can do on the web you can do with media on the iPhone, anywhere, any time." So, what's the challenge to newspapers and journalists?

The same challenge that's existed since the first commercial browser was released 13 years ago, says Jarvis, except more urgently we seek answers to these five iPod moment questions:

1. How do we use the device to give people the news and links whenever, wherever, and however they want?
MobileWeb?

2. How do we do this (1.) with efficiency?
MobileWeb infrastructure and networks?

3. How do we make it local and relevant?
MobileWeb infrastructure and networks?
Twitter?

4. How do we take advantage of the two-way relationship we have now, enabling people with these gadgets to share what they know?
Incentives and social platforms/networks?
Twitter?

5. How do we make money doing it?
One example is crowdsourcing (winnowing wisdom from the wash)...another the Twitter model...