Daylife.com New York based news site, backed by Craig Newmark of Craigslist, is now up and running. It combines Web 2.0 elements with conventional news aggregation into a visually unique format. The cover page with rotating big pictures is very cool. It reflects some of the biggest stories happening.
Daylife.com has thousands of automatically created pages, news articles and blog posts. It does a very good job of associating text and rich media content to other content. They feature a snapshot of the world’s top stories, by category, updated every few minutes from the international news publications. Also you can save stuff you find interesting in a section called My World.
“We gather stories of all shapes and sizes from countless perspectives around the world, and then present them in a rich browseable landscape, helping you make connections you never knew existed”, they say. News collection is automated, although the stories that appear on the home page are chosen by human editors.
Daylife is competing with is entering the market other aggregation sites came out a year ago with their products. Gather.com, Inform.com, NewsVine Topix and Digg, all have competing products. Google News reigns over all of them.
Mozilla is making millions sending traffic to Google
The open-source Mozilla Foundation made $53 million in 2005 just sending traffic from the Firefox browser search box to Google’s search. Searchers don’t even have to click on a single ad for Mozilla. Every time a Firefox user types a query into the one-inch search box embedded in its browser Mozilla gets paid. It’s a traffic-for-cash deal they signed with Google.
Mozilla released Firefox in November 2004, and since then haven been 279 million browser downloads, 14 percent of the market share (79 percent is Explorer, and 4.3 percent Safari). Now try to imagine the 2006 numbers…
Turner Broadcasting set up a team for new web ideas
Turner Broadcasting has set up a small unit to develop new web ideas and build up niche sites. This team has launched CNN Pipeline, VeryFunnyAds and ACC Select. “We’re building businesses outside our core that allow us to compete for other pools of money”, explains a top executive.
It’s a low cost niche approach. They understand that the web is not merely an extension of TV, and they want to avoid old media thinking and slow product launches.
Allow users broadcast live video and be the next MySpace
A new video site called like Stickam.com is building up a business allowing users broadcast live video and conduct face-to-face video chats with other users, often from their bedrooms and all without monitoring by any. In addition Stickam’s users can design their own pages and upload video clips.
“Web cams are a magnet for sexual predators. The only thing you get from the combination of Web cams and young people are problems,” said to The New York Times Parry Aftab, executive director of the child protection organization WiredSafety.org.
Other social networks have decided against allowing conversations over live video because of the potential for abuse and opposition from child-safety advocates.
But new video-sharing sites in particular are filling niches abandoned by YouTube / Google. Letting people do whatever they want is one way for these sites to differentiate themselves.
260,000 registered users
Some people think Stickam could be the next MySpace, and that people would migrate to even controversial video sites if they have features that MySpace and YouTube did not.
Stickam, based in Los Angeles and founded by a video conferencing company, says it has 260,000 registered users, and is adding 2,000 to 3,000 each day. Its first product was a program that let users bring a live Web cam feed directly onto their MySpace pages and other social networks and bulletin boards, but in October, MySpace blocked the Stickam service.
One major media company has embraced Stickam. Warner Brothers Records opened a page on the service for two of its artists, Jamie Kennedy and Stu Stone, and trained a Web cam on them as they recorded a music video. More than 9,500 users watched the event and chatted with the performers during breaks in filming.
Apple reinvents the phone with a breakthrough device
Apple introduced this week iPhone, combining three products, according to Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO: “A revolutionary mobile phone, a widescreen iPod with touch controls, and a breakthrough Internet communications device with desktop-class email, web browsing, searching, and maps — into one smDaylife.com, Mozilla making millions sending traffic to Google, Turner Broadcasting set up a team for new web ideas and Allow users broadcast live video and be the next MySpaceall and lightweight handheld device.”
Cingular, the largest wireless carrier in the U.S., will be Apple’s exclusive U.S. carrier partner for Apple’s iPhone, priced at $499 when it comes with 4 gig.
“iPhone is a revolutionary and magical product that is literally five years ahead of any other mobile phone,” added Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We are all born with the ultimate pointing device—our fingers—and iPhone uses them to create the most revolutionary user interface since the mouse.”
Apple TV connects iTunes with your TV set, allowing to buy shows and movies
Apple has unveiled Apple TV, a $299 product which enables consumers to stream iTunes content, including 250 movies and 350 television shows, music and podcasts, from computers to TVs.
The device, available on February, plugs directly into television sets and uses the company’s wireless AirPort router to stream content from as many as five desktop or laptop computers. Apple TV’s first obstacle is that is has not as much content as cable can deliver.
Like other Apple products, it looks good, with a user-friendly interface. And the ability to view photos on the TV screen is another nice feature for Apple TV. It is a nice product, but cable companies will not lose any sleep over it: a few will drop it cable service to buy only iTunes contents. Apple TV is a sort of cable TV a la carte, which handles high-definition video and has a 40 gig hard drive.
Networks’ real pros versus Youtube’s amateurs
Jeff Jarvis, owner of Buzz Machine blog and a veteran of the TV networks, tried to show the effort that goes into a simple interview in network news: four pros who spent hours setting up and taking down a shoot and who put great effort into getting it just right. He wanted to make fun of the TV convention, and did a clip following the YouTube style.
“My video quality is crap and my editing is amateurish”, he wrote. Network’s guys “are real pros and they do their jobs extremely well”, he added. See the clip he shoot and the interesting debate he generated.
Hi-def DVD battle decided by porn industry?
Porn may decide DVD format war. Watch this interview on CNBC with the porn king, Vivid Entertainment CEO, who says that while Sony Blu-Ray is the better technology, Sony is not cooperation with the adult film industry.
According to the experts, it was porn that decided the VHS – Betamax war, and drove VCR adoption. Now it is driving Video-On-Demand and internet downloading, and it could decide the hi-def DVD war, going to HD-DVD by default.
Effective online video ads must follow some un-written rules
It is not so easy to produce effective online video ads in terms of awareness. Dynamic Logic has conducted a study measuring user reaction to 108 pre-roll ads. So what worked? The top-performing ads have several things in common.
- The brand is central to the creative.
- Links to additional information online are offered up.
- Ads still deliver a compelling message with the sound off.
- They fit with existing offline ad campaigns.
- They use the campaign display ad while playing
First version of Digg was created for $200
Kevin Rose, Digg’s founder, had his big idea in 2003, and he went to Elance.com. He posted there his project, and look for a PHP programmer, paying for $10 hr. This is how he built up his first version of Digg.com, for $200 bucks.
Now he can sell it for tens of millions of dollars. Elance.com connects freelance programmer, designers and writers with available projects.
The CW starts streaming shows
CW channel has started streaming free on CWTV.com its main shows. It follows up the idea started by ABC and CBS offering in the U.S. full episodes online for free, presented with limited commercials.
By the way, according to Nielsen-Netratings data for October and November, ABC.com is leading network sites in unique streams. Its primetime shows attracted 3.1 million in October and 3 million in November, compared to CBS.com’s 1.2 milion and 1.9 million, and Fox.com’s 640,000 and 676,000.
Hillary and Obama used the Internet video
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama used the Internet and its video capabilities to announce their presidential ambitions. Hillary and Obama broadcasted via their websites their intentions to form an exploratory committee, the first step in considering a run for president.
The African-American politician did a deal with Brightcove for a broadband channel all his own.
Brightcove raises $59.5 million
The online video platform and network Brightcove has landed a massive $59.5 million round of investment. Among the investors, The New York Times. “This investment in Brightcove will enable us to grow our business at a critical juncture in the adoption of Internet TV,”said Jeremy Allaire, Brightcove founder and chief executive officer.
“With the new funds we will be expanding internationally, deepening our service offering to give media partners better tools to distribute and monetize video online, and empowering consumers to interact with that content in exciting new ways.”
Allaire says he’ll continue to partner “aggressively” with both major and emerging media companies. “If the Google/YouTube deal was any indication, 2007 is clearly going to be a major year for online video, and also a year of consolidation as many of the hundreds of online video startups seek a place in the new ecosystem.” he writes.
Real Networks debuts new Film.com
Real Networks launched this month its new film and entertainment news Film.com, featuring film previews, movie trailers, DVD releases, and coverage of television programming and celebrity news. Real Networks introduced the new Film.com at Sundance Festival, where reporters for the website posted daily exclusive video reports and commentary.
According to the press release, the new Film.com (originally founded in 1994) has assembled a team of writers from across the United States to enhance the site’s video and entertainment information.
An entirely new way to tell the news is launched this weekend: the Wii News Channel. It is for Wii users with an online connection. They will be able to get AP news and pictures (and soon video we guess), with the news displayed on an interactive map. It is very cool, and an innovative way to distribute information.
People getting news through their gaming consoles is a breakthrough: a captive audience and a niche market all at once. Now imagine offering local content on that map. There is a user-generated video on YouTube about the Wii News Channel.
Broadband video expands the audience for networks
Broadband video is the hot space for ad revenue right now, Nielsen Analytics says. It extends the reach of traditional television and provides a perfect place to target advertising to a young, affluent, highly educated consumer with access to high-speed Internet.
Stations and networks are starting to understand it. There is no audience cannibalization at all. Concerns that allowing consumers to view those popular programs and others over the Internet would cut into the number of people watching them on television are unfounded, the study found.
\"Video on PCs and iPods actually is expanding the audience for broadcast and cable programs,\" the study said. \"Internet broadband expands the market for programming by offering the potential for watching shows at the office, and in non-traditional locations, such as coffee shops equipped with WiFi connections.\"
Moreover, the audience watching shows over broadband is highly attractive for advertisers, who spend about $70 billion a year on TV commercials.
Online video ads cannot be skipped
\"The broadband consumer is really the sweet spot for TV -- younger, more affluent, better educated and tech savvy,\" Larry Gerbrandt, general manager and senior vice president of Nielsen Analytics, said in an interview to Reuters.
Gerbrandt said advertisers could find yet another advantage running commercials over broadband -- they cannot be skipped, unlike those that run on TV sets with digital video recorders.
\"Over time, you would hope the viewers even realize that they can click on a link, interact with an ad message, and come back and watch the programming,\" he said.
European start-up improving YouTube’s features
European entrepreneurs are taking the start-up culture pioneered in Silicon Valley, according to the NY Times. Some analysts say that these new companies are generally more sophisticated than their American competitors.
The start of this year is Niklas Zennstrom, the Swedish co-founder of KaZaa and Skype, who is now involved in Joost, the new name of The Venice Project, a company that intends to provide a peer-to-peer approach to distributing video online.
Significant projects in the video field are Vpod and Sevenload, technically more advanced than YouTube, according to many. Sevendoad adds the features of Flickr to its YouTube style video site.
Other European start-ups include Rebtel and Truphone, which are offering low-cost Internet calls to cell phone users. Another European start-up, JaJa, is also pursuing the market.
Netflix tries to rewrite the rules of movie-rental biz adding streaming
Netflix, the DVD rentals by e-mail start-up, now with six million clients, has taken a radically different approach to Internet movies. They started to stream in real time from the Internet to your computer the desired movies. This service is now free for Netflix DVD-by-mail subscribers.
The movie watching is measured by time, not by individual movie title. The hours of movie watching you get each month depends on which DVD-by-mail plan you have. You get one hour of online movies per dollar of your monthly fee. Movie surfing like this has never been possible before.
So far, only 1,000 movies and TV shows are on the Play list, being 70,000 the number of total DVDs available from Netflix.
Movies arrive in one of three resolutions, depending solely on the speed of your broadband Internet connection. In the Basic version (0,5 megabits per second), the image is blurry and somewhat unsatisfying, like bad VHS. At Good (1Mb/second), the picture looks about like regular TV. At High (1.6Mb/second), it seems like a DVD: razor-sharp image, superb color and shadows, perfect smooth motion.
To avoid a technical meltdown, Netflix is rolling out this service in phase to 250,000 customers at a time.
Very funny parodies of Steve Jobs and iPhone
Watch the parody of Steve Jobs iPhone speech. MadTV pokes fun at the often evangelical feel at MacWorld conference. It is very funny.