Power of user generated content and mashups : David Gray – Sail away ..

I found this interesting .. And it’s an insight for all those who try to control media .. and shows the creativity unleashed from liberating media ..

One of David Gray’s best songs in my view is ‘Sail Away’

Benjoli(apparently 16 years of age) created this video on youtube created from scenes from X files.

Benjoli says ..

FOX, 1013, and CC all own the X-Files, I don’t. This is just for fun

x-files vid to sail away with me by david gray. I love both of them but wasnt sure if they would work together. Still, i tried it – let me know what you think =) x

Please dont sue me – this is just for fun =)

The result is a beautiful video .. I have not seen the official video so can’t compare – but I definitely liked this version.

Links from my Oxford courses: Web 2.0, IMS, user generated content, mobile web 2.0

Last week, I conducted two courses at Oxford University: Web 2.0 and user generated content (now conducted for the second time) and Mobile Web 2.0 and IMS (conducted jointly with Mark Searle)

These courses have an industry audience – i.e. not normally for the students of Oxford – and participants included senior strategists from Qualcomm, France Telecom, Nokia, Du, HP, Mobile Dhamal (India), Vodafone, BBC, three, Openwave, HP, Michael Page International and also a number of start-ups and communities

I always learn a lot from the participants and it was great to have so much feedback and many insights from the two courses.

Many thanks to Peter Holland for some great promotion of these courses and they seem to have become a permanent fixture of Oxford now.

Here are some of the links I used in this course

And also links from my blogs

Crossing the chasm with the Long Tail

Salt, Pepper and Social networking

The mathematics of Web 2.0

SEO – how to use blogs for social networking

Feedback on the book Cult of the Amateur

Communities are not web 2.0 because talk is cheap

I am not a Tag, I am a number

Mobile web 2.0: AJAX for mobile devices – why mobile AJAX will replace both J2ME and XHTML as the preferred platform for mobile applications development

The Mobile Ajax FAQ

Dick Hardt’s Identity 2.0 presentation

Finally, my book is at Mobile Web 2.0 and forumoxford is at forumoxford(free to join) – chaired by Ajit and Tomi

Crossing the chasm with the long tail: Mobile web 2.0, mobile advertising, user generated content

In this blog, I ask the question is: How does Geoffrey Moore’s Crossing the Chasm apply to a Web / Mobile Web based business? and I propose that : On the Web and the Mobile Web, you have to cross the chasm with the long tail

I was invited to be a part of the Nokia thought leadership program for the Nokia ad service facilitated by mobiadnews. This week, we had our first meeting. The group comprises some very interesting, senior people from some of the biggest companies in the world (I am not sure how much more I can blog about the attendees – but everyone in that room was very clued on – and I learnt a lot from it!). Many thanks to Nokia for inviting me.

I am interested in Mobile advertising because it is critical to the success of Mobile Web 2.0. In a nutshell, like Web 2.0, Mobile Web 2.0 involves User generated content driven by mobile devices. Obviously, the advertising model is the best way to monetise that content. I am of course a big fan of the Nokia Ad service program – mainly because it oriented to the Long tail.

I raised this (i.e. Long tail) as a critical success factor for mobile advertising services. It was not possible to elaborate in detail and I promised to blog about my reasons why. So, here we are ..

Let us first understand the advertising value chain and the flow of money in it.

Note that some of these roles are being blurred – but for the purposes of this discussion, these roles are good enough(If you can add any more insights to this value chain, please comment and I shall incorporate that)

Money starts with the ‘Brand’ the advertiser(say Nike). The brand approaches an agency. The agency works with the Media buyers – who in turn, approach the publishers(i.e. the sites /destinations where the advertisement is actually placed)

This is a well established value chain – and worked well prior to the Web.

Web 1.0 (around 2000), tried to replicate the existing advertising model to the Web. That was not very useful because the Web was behaving in a different way to the advertising industry.

I believe that to understand this, we have to understand how Geoffrey Moore’s Crossing the Chasm applies(or not ..) to Web based companies .

The basic idea of Crossing the Chasm is:

A company should focus on a single market, a beachhead, win domination over a small specific market and use it as a springboard to adjacent extended markets to win. .

According to Moore, the steps are:

- Target the point of attack:

- Assemble an invasion force:

- Define the battle:

- Launch the invasion:

Source: parkerhill.com summary – as below

(If you have not read the book, see a summary HERE(pdf) )

The methodology has analogies with the D-day landings in Normandy

Question is: How does Crossing the Chasm apply to a Web based business?

More importantly, does it?

These ideas certainly do apply to a manufacturing type business .. but I believe that they don’t apply to a Web business.

Who exactly do we target?(because we don’t know who the customer is)

If we don’t know the customer, what invasion force will assemble?

Where is the battle?

What are we invading?

What if we can categorise the customer, but we are not sure that they will pay?

What if ..

We landed on the beach .. only to find sand?

Sand .. is actually a good analogy ..

Many small grains .. endless .. each with low value in itself ..

And that was essentially the genius of Google ..

Change the battle plan ..

Redefine the battle ..

Its ok if you don’t know the customer individually as long as you know the customer collectively aka the Long tail

Hence, on the Web, you have to cross the chasm with the long tail

If you think about it, it makes sense .. when a market is very tiny(as the Web was initially), it is difficult for the big media agencies to give it attention. When they did, it replicated their existing model – which does not go very far as we can see with Doubleclick v.s. Google(Google acquired Doubleclick .. and one would expect at the start that it may have been the other way round i.e. the big media model will acquire the new media)

The next big frontier is ‘mobile’ – and by extension mobile advertising

The same Long tail principles apply .. with one exception ..

Because the Mobile Web is fragmented, you need to unite it across some dimension across Operators. We see this with admob and screentonic .. both of whom have individually a billion ad impressions (across Operators) on the Mobile web.

If we naturally extrapolate this, the Nokia ad service is very powerful since it follows the same principles(Long tail) and unites the customer base across devices.

In some ways, this is counterintuitive – but the evidence of admob and screentonic shows that it is successful. As an industry, we are heavily oriented towards context .. context is great .. when we can achieve it .. but I believe that the Long tail + advertisement sponsored (user generated?) content could also be very successful – even if we had limited context – because the users would gain something of value.

Mobile Web 2.0/IMS/User Generated Content/Mobile Network Operators training course ..


Hello all

I seek your thoughts on this concept .

What would you add/remove from a course like this? (mainly pitched to Operators)

As many of you know, last week, I conducted my first ever course at Oxford University on Web 2.0 and User Generated content.

It was good to meet some forumoxford members there but also good to meet BBC, MTV and T-mobile

I am now doing one more course oriented towards Mobile Web 2.0 and IMS i.e. looking at User Generated Content from a telecoms / infrastructure perspective

The course will have a dual perspective. It will approach Web 2.0 from the user perspective and also from the IMS standpoint. It will cover the basics of IMS and will then discuss how IMS would apply in a user generated content / Web 2.0 world

It would cover

• Understanding Web 2.0

• What is Mobile Web 2.0

• Significance of User generated content

• Content types: Movies, music, podcasting etc

• Business models and revenue streams

• Threats and opportunities: legal, social, trust, copyright etc

• The principles of Mobile Web 2.0

• The role of IMS in Mobile Web 2.0

• Seamless / Converged Web 2.0 services in context of IMS

• Threats and strategies for Telecoms operators from Web 2.0 companies

• Services

• IMS, OpenGardens and Web 2.0 – A competitive advantage

• Golden bit pipes

• Is IMS necessary for Web 2.0 services?

• IMS, Web 2.0 and third party APIs



• Privacy

• Security

• Context/Presence

• Consumer vs. Enterprise

Any one interested in details of this course, please email me at ajit.jaokar at futuretext.com.

I may be able to give you an early discount to this course

Image source: http://www.tmcnet.com/voip/0205/IMS-fig1.gif

Case studies: Oxford university course on Web 2.0 and User generated content ..

Hello all

As I mentioned before, I will be conducting my first ever course at Oxford university next month on Web 2.0 and user generated content

If you can suggest/add anything which I could include in the course, happy to consider it(even from your own company/case study etc)

Also, as before, if you can let anyone else know who may be interested in attending, thats great as well(Its not free but heavily subsidised by the Uni)

kind rgds


Why has the mobile entertainment industry suddenly discovered user generated content?


With the growth of mobile content around the year 2000, a group of companies emerged focussing on mobile entertainment content.

Within the value chain they sit between a rock and a hard place i.e. between the Mobile Network Operator and the content owner. They usually provide one or more functions such as a Brand/customer interface, a billing system, content aggregation etc.

Typically, mobile entertainment companies have always worked (profitably) with two main content types i.e. ringtones and single player Java/Brew games.

This has been a profitable market and the market for mobile entertainment content will continue to grow significantly.

There is little doubt about that.

Question is: what role will these companies play in a new world?

As the industry matures, these are turbulent times for this section of the value chain and perhaps a shakeout is looming.

Ringtones are maturing to truetones and the balance of power shifts to the content owner(and so does the revenue).

Games, meanwhile have not yet shown wider appeal (such as multiplayer games) and we see some market consolidation with pure games companies like Iomo and Macrospace in the UK being acquired by bigger players.

Driven market necessity, mobile entertainment companies may be forced to change their strategies. Mobile Social networking / Mobile user generated content / Mobile Web 2.0 may be the logical path.

Mobile entertainment companies are not content owners nor are they mobile network operators. And this makes them very vulnerable.

They have tried to change their position in the value chain by formulating different strategies; for instance entering games/content creation. In doing so, they will conflict with existing partners who are also trying to consolidate their position in the value chain (witness both Orange and Vodafone dropping carphone warehouse on grounds of cost cutting measures )

As they seek to embrace the new world of user generated content to balance the decline in their traditional markets(ringtones and games), they are entering a market segment they are not usually familiar with. This explains a raft of announcements tending to some form of ‘social networking’.

This is unusual because with their focus on packaged mobile entertainment content like ringtones and games(which has been profitable so far), mobile entertainment companies are typically not known for working with user generated content/social networking.

But the shifting tectonic plates of the value chain may change all that.

Indeed the cross operator connectivity of mobile entertainment companies gives them an advantage when working with user generated content and the companies who play it right this time, have much to gain.

Conversely, there will be many losers – the mortality arising from a failure to execute a mobile social networking strategy and / or a larger player like a mobile network operator or a content owner executing a better strategy.

Already, there have been some early movers. Dada (mobile blogging) and monstermob (create your own space) have announced community initiatives. Mobile Streams have launched a community called FunkySexyCool

But this will be an increasingly ruthless battleground with conflicting and changing alliances.

Mobile Streams for instance has launched its community with three Mobile network operators(Vodafone Germany, Mobilkom (A1) Austria and Sunrise Switzerland.) – and there is no reason why these operators may not want to launch social networking initiatives of their own(if they have not done so already!)

With cross operator connectivity and powerful billing systems (for example Mobile Streams Vuesia and Motricity’s Fuel , mobile entertainment companies are at an advantage when it comes to user generated content

Indeed the biggest opportunity seems to be to grow a mobile community and hope to be acquired by a web player like MySpace(or at least partner with them)

Its too early to say who the winners will be but there are likely to be many losers.

Indeed the critical aspect of user generated content led us to cover it in so much detail in mobile web 2.0 .

Almost any player in the mobile data value chain could embrace a successful mobile social networking/mobile user generated content strategy.

So .. the race is on! Watch this space!

Image source: easyringtonemaker