One Web day

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I met Susan Crawford when I spoke at Supernova 2008 and was impressed by her talk and passion for the idea of the One Web day. So, I have decided to support the idea of One Web day through our blog. If you are also interested in doing the same, please contact Susan as per her blog

OneWebDay is an annual global celebration of the collaborative, participatory nature of the web, scheduled for Sept. 22 each year. Sept. 22, 2008 is the third annual OneWebDay.

OneWebDay is an Earth Day for the internet. The idea behind OneWebDay is to focus attention on a key internet value (this year, online participation in democracy), focus attention on local internet concerns (connectivity, censorship, individual skills), and create a global constituency that cares about protecting and defending the internet.

OneWebDay physical events: In 2006, there were events in NYC (Craig Newmark, Scott Heiferman, Drew Schutte, Gale Brewer, at a wireless hotspot), Austin, Boston, Chicago, Urbana/Champaign, San Francisco, Charleston, Vienna (Austria), Naples (Italy), Sofia (Bulgaria), Belgrade (Serbia), Budapest (Hungary), Milan (Italy), Tokyo (Japan), Colombo (Sri Lanka), and London (England). There was a large gathering in Second Life. In Canada, CIRA (the .ca registry) committed significant financial support to promote the OneWebDay celebration in cities across the country. In 2007, Jimmy Wales spoke in Washington Square NYC and there were also events in Poland; Colombia; Bulgaria; Ecuador; Belgium; Israel; Benin; Mauritius; Chennai, India; Cambridge, MA, USA; Chicago, IL, USA; Austin, TX, USA; St. Louis, MO, USA; Ethiopia; UAE; Rarotonga, Cook Islands; and Naples, Italy.

There has been strong press coverage in Newsweek, BBC online, OhmyNews, RedHerring, CNET, The Register, and many many blog posts from around the world.

Quotes: Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist, said: “OneWebDay reminds us that the net really is a democratizing medium, that everyone gets a chance to participate. If you want, you can stick your neck out and speak truth to power.” Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, added: ““OneWebDay is about ‘one web’ . . . Let’s celebrate, and let’s constantly work to make more, better, cleaner, stronger, deeper interoperability across the planet.”

2008 plans: For 2008, we plan to expand the list of cities substantially and make sure each city can see what the others are doing. There will be a large, successful event in Washington Square in New York City at noon on that day. One hundred “OneWebDay Ambassadors” will let their networks know about OneWebDay during the 100 days leading up to OneWebDay, and 100 OneWebDay stories will be selected.

Organization: OneWebDay, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization. It has a Board made up of online luminaries (Doc Searls, David Weinberger, David Isenberg, Mary Hodder), business people (Kaarli Tasso, Allison Fine, David Johnson, Rick Whitt), a NYC PR person (Renee Edelman, Edelman), a key researcher (Gregg Vesonder, AT&T), and a former state AG (Jim Tierney, Maine). Its president is Susan Crawford, a professor at the University of Michigan Law School who is currently a Visiting Professor at Yale Law School. She is committed to working on this holiday for the next 10 years.

There is a web site (http://onewebday.org) which is a clearinghouse for OneWebDay online projects and news. Flickr pictures and posts tagged OneWebDay can be seen on the site, which has a blog and a wiki aimed at encouraging participation.

scrawford.net

DRM and the meaning of value in a multiformat content world

I am in Hong Kong conducting a workshop and this blog is based on a discussion with one of the attendees. Like most of my blogs – this blog also comes from discussion with some pretty clued on people I meet online and offline globally. Although this took a long time to write, I think it adds value to my workshop participants and also to the community as a whole. I seek your feedback on this blog

Oddly enough, there are many organizations who claim to enforce their outdated views(such as the RIAA ) and others who claim to protect our freedoms such as EFF – but I dont find much information about what should content creators do taking a pragmatic perspective

The question is: When content spans formats – what constitutes ‘value’?

This is of course a well known question underlying the DRM arguments

My personal view is:

a) Content digitised from another format should ideally be seen as a form of viral marketing and not as a means to restrict as user(see caveats below)

b) People will always buy content in the richer or non digital format especially if they get something extra through that format (for instance a book will always have a value since it is easier to read for longer/complex topics online).

c) Formats will not cannibalise each other – for instance cinema and Vinyl records exist and indeed thrive in an era of digitization because they provide a different value/user experience to the user

d) Hence, content creators should not focus their attentions on restricting the digitization of their content but rather focus their attention on developing secondary formats or ancillary products for which people will pay – (for instance books and rock concerts) . These will complement the digital format and will provide the business model

e) The advertisement model will work for Digital content and the revenue from the advertisements belong mainly to the content creator.

In light of my views above, I used my own books as an example (and I was not clear if my thinking is correct with this analogy – and hence a place where I especially seek feedback)

I have historically blogged my books extensively. Yet, people buy them in paperback format implying that digitization does not affect content in the non digital format in a commercial sense.

Now consider this case, (a spontaneous example I used in my workshop)

a) Someone bought a copy of my book

b) They sat on a chair in front of a video camera and read it all out

c) The video recording was put on YouTube

What should I do?

Here are my options

a) Should I sue this person?

b) Should I sue YouTube OR

c) Should I view this person as a view this person as a viral advertiser? Contact the guy. Thank him. Contact YouTube and ask them for a share of advertisement revenue. In addition, also explore other video websites who will do the same. Find more such people (with time on their hands!) like the recital man – and ask them if they want to talk about my other books?

However, what I think I cannot do is – find out how to make money from these listeners/viewers directly i.e. take the revenue model which works in one format(books) and try to retrofit it and apply it ‘online’

This is the same problem with the music / video industry.

Consider this example: You bought a DVD for 10£. You digitised it and it was accessible on the Web.

You can play the DVD indefinitely for personal use. In the digitised version, the content can be played indefinitely but NOT for personal use. I.e. more than one person can access it.

The question then is – should the viewers pay (if at all) and how much?

Maybe a pay per view model can be devised. That is possible. License models have changed for example from per seat to concurrent user especially after the Web

In general, the restriction of content to a specific format is a failing business model (region coded DVDs for example).

So, my view is – if the format changes (book to digital) then the question is not of restriction but of leverage i.e. as I say above – We should not focus our attention on restricting the digitization of content but rather focus attention on developing secondary formats or ancillary products for which people will pay – (for instance books and rock concerts) . These will complement the digital format and will provide the business model

Here are some caveats

a) If the content is transferred to digital format but for personal use, most people will agree that this is OK.

b) If the content is already digitised on the Web and is available for a fee .. Then this can be seen as taking away revenue from the provider if another site starts selling the content or giving it away for free i.e. the content was intended NOT to be free in the digital format(and was not converted to digital since it was already digitised). It is however relatively easy to monitor the web – and respectable providers will remove content if you ask for any reason your content should be removed. Most people would agree that this is OK as well.

c) Where no alternate formats exist: Consider the case of my favourite content – Nat Geo Wild or David Attenborough’s flims – especially David Attenborough’s snow leopard footage – regarded as one of the most difficult to acquire . I think most people will agree that it is valuable content (try waiting in remote, cold mountains for hunting footage of an animal already on the brink of extinction). This was a three year quest! Also, there does not seem to be an alternate ‘offline’ model here(Snow leopard concerts?)

d) Degraded digital copies: Notwithstanding the above discussions re snow leopards – one could argue that a degraded digital copy(for instance a YouTube video of the snow leopard footage) would actually benefit David Attenborough and his team since it would actually increase their exposure to new viewers who would buy the DVD version of Planet Earth (and Amazon link HERE )

e) Perfect digital copies: While YouTube would be regarded as a degraded quality from the original – what happens when we have perfect copies?

f) Higher quality format: Staying with the same Planet earth theme, Planet earth actually is the first wildlife film to be filmed completely in high definition – which means when I get HDTV – guess where I am going to spend money again? In this case, I will justify it because I am personally a huge fan of this series and it provides an even better experience. Which brings us back to the argument of Vinyl and cinema – people will pay for experiences that they value

g) Content creator has the final word: While there should be no attempt to restrict the usage of content, the content creator should have the final word when it comes to the content usage in any site.

h) All this does not override existing principles such as Fair use

To conclude, I am not an expert in this space. I have asked Tim Wu and Susan Crawford

– Who I met at Supernova and whose work I follow since, for their feedback.

By the way, speaking of Susan Crawford – don’t forget One Web Day

And here is the snow leopard footage ..

Mobile Web Megatrends – watch this space ..

Mobile Web Megatrends .. Watch this space. A lot happening this week with many new speakers and topics being announced. Shaping up to be a great event!

Writing for the small screen .. m-learining

A good blog by Al Briggs on an important topic – writing for the small screen. Al’s blog – We deliver elephants is focussed on m-learning

Terrorists target hospitals in India after first bomb blasts ..

This is a new low .. Terrorists target hospitals in India after first bomb blasts ..

Image: Ten-year-old Rohit Mathurdas attended by his father.

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Excellent presentation from Paul Golding ..

This presentation from Paul Golding on Rich mobile applications and real time web UX is great and well worth having a look. I agree with the trends and I have been covering many of them here for a while. I am a bit less optimistic about Real Time but still it will happen as infrastructure catches up espeically IMS and IMS interoperability. In any case, well worth a read!

OMTP Bondi – A detailed review ..

INTRODUCTION

On July 1, 2008 – OMTP announced a new initiative called Bondi .

The aim of BONDI is to seek ways of increasing impact in the area of device security and enabling applications in the mobile web and emerging web runtime environments. The ambitious goals of Bondi is to encourage every mobile web runtime to implement a common set of interfaces for accessing key device and network resident capabilities in a secure manner.

OMTP is collaborating with existing fora like W3C and Open Ajax Alliance (OAA) and also aims to create an open environment in which source code as well as object code (Reference Implementations) can be reviewed to inform and complement the specification work. This will assist the developer community and help ensure that the specifications result in real implementations.

By its very nature, the project is ambitious but also attracts some skepticism.

I have been involved in technically project managing the gap analysis phase leading up to this project on behalf of AMF ventures (supported by an excellent team comprising Al Briggs, Alex Kerr, Jean Marc Rocci, Dean Bubley, Paul Golding , C Enrique Ortiz and others).

Due to this background, I know a lot about this project – and also about the ethos leading up to this project. In addition, Identity and Reputation systems are related to my PhD work – and of interest to me in general. Hence I will cover Bondi and other related developments in a more detailed analysis probably spanning more than one blogs.

Many thanks to Dr Nick Allott , OMTP CTO for his help with this blog .

Hopefully, you will find my analysis useful – and applicable to your work. In any case, as the browser becomes and application platform, we will encounter these issues – and hence there is a lot to learn from Bondi.

Also I like the collaborative approach. The reference implementation may be open sourced and OMTP has joined the W3C – all of which makes Bondi interesting.

Finally, we should view Bondi in a larger context – for instance network level APIs access like the recently announced GSMA 3rd Party Access initiative

BACKGROUND

As an organization, OMTP has evolved over the years – and I see the Bondi announcement as yet another step in this evolution. The constant element in its evolution has been OMTP’s emphasis on security – and Bondi continues this trend. Specifically, it addresses the problem of making the browser into a full development platform. This is interesting since it covers a key gap in the industry and works with a set of problems which we are only now beginning to encounter.

Firstly, let me give my personal ethos with respect to Openness, Security and Identity

a) Openness means the ability for customers to communicate without commercial and technological barriers. However, that does not mean ‘not secure’ or free.

b) I see a world comprising of both open and closed handsets i.e. ranging from handsets which will be completely open(but maybe supported by an insurance policy) to completely closed(for example with remote monitoring etc)

c) As the browser evolves into a full development platform and devices become more like PCs, I believe that we are going to encounter some problems which we have not seen so far. In many cases, these will be Identity and security related.

d) Sometimes we may not take browser security seriously. However, it will take only one major incident / security breach to bring this issue to forefront. It is better to act proactively but pragmatically. This is the same line of thinking I take with my advisory role at the Joint research commission at the European Union i.e. as a general principle – as mobile devices become more PC like, we will see some of the same issues on the PC

BONDI ARCHITECTURE

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The Bondi architecture is as shown above. A brief discussion about some of the components follows. It is a comprehensive approach covering many aspects pertaining to device APIs.

Policy framework : The security manager is the architectural entity responsible for securing access to device Application Programmers Interfaces (APIs) from web applications (e.g. web pages and widgets). Specifically it will embody and police a security policy encapsulating the rules concerning which web application can access which API under which circumstance.

Packaging formats and credentials: Web applications (web pages and widgets) must be able to provide an identity and associated security credential(s) that can be used to make security decisions about what the application can and can’t do. Web applications must also be able to describe their dependencies on APIs or device capabilities, in order that the application life-cycle can be effectively managed.

Policy management: In a number of cases, it is desirable to update the security policy on a device over the air: For example, when a new device API is installed (see below) or the “owner” of the security policy changes (e.g. the user changes Operators or delegates responsibility of part of the policy to a trusted third party) To address these use cases it is likely that a standardized policy management protocol will be needed. OMA DM or XML are potential protocols to implement these features.

Dynamic API: Installation interfaces - When a web browser based application runs or widget is installed it may require access to specific device APIs (e.g. send a message). This will require a set of APIs for discovery (does the specific API required already exist?) and installation (if they do not exist). The Dynamic API Installation interface allows the device capability APIs to be dynamically extended on request.

Dynamic API: Packaging format - APIs that expose device capability, where those native devices platforms are fragmented operating systems, will necessarily come in many different forms. Although the implementation of these APIs must differ (in order to reduce the web facing fragmentation), there is a strong argument for standardizing the packaging of these APIs to facilitate interoperability of provisioning and discovery.

Dynamic API: Discovery protocol – The logical extension of standardizing the packaging involves coming to a common view on the over the air protocols required for provisioning and discovery. These will provide the necessary interoperability with client resident applications and servers responsible for distributing the components.

Communications Log Interface : The communications log interface will include APIs to inspect the voice call and messaging logs that provide a history of recent phone behaviour.

Application Invocation Interface : Most APIs provided to a web application will be APIs that provide an abstract data link between web app and native device capability. In other words calling the API will not directly impact the phone user interface, user interface impact will instead be rendered by web elements. The functionality provided though the application invocation interface is different, in that calling the API will transfer UI control to a different host application. For example, through the application invocation interface it will be possible to set up a voice call through the native dialler application, which contrasts with the mechanism of setting up a call through the Telephony interface, under which circumstance the UI control will be retained by the web application directly.

Messaging Interface: The messaging interface provides function calls to send and inspect SMS, MMS and email messages.

Gallery Interface: The Gallery provides application access to media resident on the phone, including but not limited to, videos, pictures and music. Functions will be provided that allow both file level querying and investigation and presentation through a suitable media player

Persistent Data Interface : A set of file persistence function calls provides the compelling capability for a web application or widget to continue to usefully function, even if there is no internet connection, by essentially caching important data and code files.

Phone Status and Properties Interface: The behaviour of many applications can be usefully informed and optimized by querying essential phone status information. This is a potentially broad subject that will be delivered in phases, but could include useful information such as: battery level, network connection status, phone orientation, presence of camera or available memory.

Personal Information Interface: The PIM API covers access to full suite of personal information to be found on the device, including: contacts, calendar, task and notes. The API calls provided will support creation, deletion, edit and read capability.

Location Interface: Location information for the device can be provided through this interface. This interface shall support the provision of this information via a number of different implementation methods, including but not limited to: Cell ID, remote web interfaces, GPS, A-GPS, Bluetooth connected GPS devices.

User Interaction Interface : This collection of function calls will provide the capability for the application to interface with the user in manners not currently covered by web standards. This includes such things as, vibrate and tone notifications (integrated with phones sound settings), menu functions, to overload soft keys and menu functions, to allow widgets to render in controllable screen areas.

Application Settings Interface: The application settings functional group includes all APIs and facilities that relate to application settings and preferences, including (if supported): static parameters defined by the author of a web application; parameters configurable by the author or publisher of a web application to repurpose it to a specific device, locale, etc at design time, or at purchase/provisioning time; parameters read and/or modified programmatically by the application when it runs.

CONCLUSIONS

This is a comprehensive approach – and much will depend on how the industry takes up these initiatives. In any case, as the browser becomes and application platform, we will encounter these issues – and in that case, there is a lot to learn from Bondi.

carnival of the mobilists – no 133 at visionmobile ..

Carnival of the mobilists No 133 is at my good friend Andreas’s blog(vision mobile). Apologies for the delayed posting on account of travel

Can you recommend a good ad network?

Hello

Can you recommend a good ad network – I know of Adify and FM-publishing. Any else. Many thanks for your recommendation

Mobile Web Megatrends – still looking for some speakers ..

We have made some great progress with Mobile Web Megatrends confeernce .. and the web site launches in a day .. however I am still interested in some speakers in the following areas. While some of these topics will be covered by other speakers, we are still keen to speak to someone who knows these in detail

Note we are looking ONLY for speakers in the following areas at this time

• The evolution of the browser(Opera, Nokia)

• Location based services 2.0 – (Cell id databases)

• APIs – network(GSMA, OpenAjax, Bondi)

• Widgets

• Android

• Nokia S40 6th edition – the impact on mass market phones

• Flashlite

• Browser plugins

• Cloud computing

Please contact me at ajit.jaokar at futuretext.com

Full details of event as below.

The Mobile Web Megatrends is a unique one day event that addresses the

strategy and best practices relating to key current trends for the

Mobile Web.

The simple idea behind Mobile Web Megatrends is to create a small,

niche event focused on developments that are key to the Mobile Web

currently (2008/2009)

This means that the event will be much more focused and granular.. For

instance – we don’t want to talk about ‘Nokia’ but rather about Nokia

S40 6th edition which has implications for the mass market. Similarly,

Opera Mobile 9.5 is significant due to features such as implementation

of Google Gears and widgets. Thus, the event will have a much more granular,

interactive focus than other events. Some of the topics we will cover

are (note that this is an indicative list only at this stage ..)

• The evolution of the browser(Opera, Nokia)

• Location based services 2.0 – (Cell id databases)

• APIs – network(GSMA, OpenAjax, Bondi)

• Widgets

• Advertising models including analytics

• Mobile social networks

• iPhone (including iStore)

• Android

• Nokia S40 6th edition – the impact on mass market phones

• Flashlite

• Mobile Web demographics – the numbers, uptake figures, impact of

flat rate etc

• Browser plugins

• Enterprise and Mobile Web

• Cloud computing

• Emerging markets

• QR codes and

• Offline browsing

The discussion will focus on the strategy, implementation, competitive

advantages and the pitfalls of these trends.

This is a unique opportunity to get an unbiased viewpoint with the

opportunity to discuss these developments. You can clarify your

thinking from the experience of others and keep the conversation going

through an ongoing attendees only discussion forum

Watch this space for more updates .. The date will be Sep 8, the

venue will be Pacific Film Archive Theater – University of California – Berkley

and the tickets will be at only

$195

Mobile Web Megatrends is brought to you by Ajit Jaokar of futuretext

and Larry Lockhart of NextVision Media