Posts from June 11, 2004

A place for my stuff

A place for my stuff

: I want a place on the Internet where I can store all my stuff so I can get to it from anywhere on any device to consume, modify, store, or share. This stuff could be anything — my movies, music, to-do lists, shopping lists (for the family to update), contacts, documents, search history, bookmarks, photos, preferences, voicemail, anything, everything. And it should come with the functionality necessary to execute all those verbs I listed (e.g., a nice little list-making ap).

I want the ultimate — in the words of George Carlin — place for my stuff.

Count on this: It will be a big consumer business. I said below, in the middle of another post, that this could come from phone or cable companies, from Google or Microsoft or Yahoo, or from a new company (VCs: pay attention!). A server for everyone and everyone on a server.

I’m writing this again to highlight it because I see lots of people dancing around this need and desire. See Jason Kottke’s smart post about his three wishes for TiVo, inspired by their move into Internet-delivered programming. I agree with two of his wants: He wants TiVo to make better, smarter, categorized recommendations. And he wants TiVo to create community around TV since it is, after all, a social experience.

But I disagree with his third wish: That TiVo becomes the Internet-accessible place for your stuff, complete with that list application. I wonder whether that’s not better up in the cloud because (1) you can get to it from anywhere — even multiple TVs, (2) the storage can be unlimited — see GMail, and (3) it won’t go obsolete. But I agree that I want it, too. Is technology like Christmas: If I hint enough, I’ll get it?

: I once worked with a German company called Twest.de that was going to deliver the shopping-list ap and other great little bits that treated the Internet like a life’s operating system. Wrong time, wrong platform, wrong VCs, too bad. But now the time has come.

The click vote

The click vote

: CBS Marketwatch quotes Nielsen on online political traffic and spending:

John Kerry appears to be the candidate of choice among Web surfers, but it’s still a close race. During April, about 1.6 million people visited the Democrat’s site, while 1.5 million perused GeorgeBush.com.

These numbers come from Nielsen/Net Ratings (NTRT: news, chart, profile).

Apparently, the Republicans’ online advertising isn’t doing them much good, even though the party is spending a lot more money. Re-election messages were flashed at 190 million people in April, compared to just 52 million who saw Democrat banners.

Citizens’ TV: The people’s commercials

Citizens’ TV: The people’s commercials

: In response to my Explode Your TV post below, Maury Rosenfeld emailed to tell me about the wonderful SpecSpot site, where filmmakers go to show off the commercials they’ve made on spec and on their own dime to impress the advertising community.

Any newspaper classified campaign should try this spot. Budweiser: Ditto for this one or even better this one. Canon (or any video camera maker): Grab this one. Coke: If you have any sense, go take this commercial and just run it. And MTV: Why not?

Maury explains:

Young directors are creating well thought out and well executed TV commercials, on their own dime, in order to “get discovered”. These guys usually shoot high end video, sometimes film, with “real” LA crews… they beg/borrow/steal favors, and make promises of future work (when they “make it big”)… burn through their credit cards, and, as you mentioned, they take maximum advantage of the inexpensive software: editing, audio, fx etc to make these. I’d imagine that the typical budget for one of these spots is between $500 and $5k, most closer to the former. For reference, comparable spots produced “conventionally” would cost at least $180k – $200k, and that would be hard to do. More typically, they’d be budgeted between $240k-$350k and higher.

This raises all sorts of great possibilities. We’ve seen contests to make commercials for brands within tight restraints. But why not open it up? Help your customers sell your products: Give them footage and product and prizes and attention and money. Sure, there are risks: They could put up commercials that aren’t compatible with your carefully crafted and expensive brand message. But what if one of those commercials becomes viral; what if your customers love it; what if it drives sales; what if that’s their way of telling you what your brand message really is? What could be better than hiring your customers as your agency?

I think I’ll make commercials for brands I like. I have no problem using this space to warn you away from companies I don’t like (see DoubleTree Sucks). So I’ll recommend my favorite brands: Taco Bell, Apple, Ikea, Lexus, Boss, Stern, HBO… After all, these days, we are our brands.

Now wouldn’t/shouldn’t that be a marketer’s orgasm: Citizens using their creativity to sell products to each other… for free.

: I see that Tom Biro just wrote about SpecSpot too.

The Daily Stern: Swinging the election

The Daily Stern: Swinging the election

: TOLD YA: Polls are showing the impact of the Howard Stern voter.

Now, a new poll says Stern – with an estimated weekly audience of 8.5 million – could be Kerry’s key to getting crucial swing voters on his bandwagon.

The New Democratic Network’s poll says (my emphasis):

Potentially offsetting the conservative dominance of the radio waves is Howard Stern. The nationally-syndicated radio host is listened to by 17 percent of likely voters, and nationally, they would support Kerry over Bush by a margin of 53 percent to 43 percent. In the battleground states, their preference for Kerry is even stronger, backing him by a margin of 59 percent to 37 percent. More importantly, one-quarter of all likely voting Stern listeners are swing voters. This means that four percent of likely voters this fall are swing voters who listen to Howard Stern, showing Stern