Posts from January 8, 2005

Betting on the future

Betting on the future

: At Iraq the Model, I come across an ad for a service I hadn’t seen before: Intrade, a market — not a betting service — for futures trades on events — and not just entertainment and sports. The theory is that these open markets will gather the wisdom of the crowds. The wise crowds say the 2012 Olympics will go to Paris or London over New York, Michael Jackson will get convicted of something, and there’s only a middling chance of bin Laden’s capture. What’s intresting is that they have bets going on Middle East politics and events and they advertised on an Iraqi blog. Now that’s targeting.

The ethics of tourism

The ethics of tourism

: Some are appalled at tourists reappearing in Phuket after the tsunami. But others, starting with the head of Lonely Planet, say that getting tourist dollars to those economies are vital. I was reading a story at Australia’s The Age and another Jeff Jarvis (not me, not the jazz musician, the Australian Jeff Jarvis I run across on eGoogles now and again) says:

Jeff Jarvis, a Monash University academic and tourism industry researcher whose particular interest is how the largesse of Western tourists impacts on developing countries, has no doubt. “This is a time for people to be foot soldiers for development aid – to get off the sofa and book their next holiday to Thailand or Sri Lanka,” he says. “To support the people in the bar and selling T-shirts on the beach and working in the restaurants.”

Jarvis, director of the graduate tourism program at the National Centre for Australian Studies at Monash, argues that tourism is a major force of development worldwide – and becoming ever more important. “People don’t realise what happens to the money they spend on holiday. That for them to go and spend a couple of thousand dollars in a developing country would be the equivalent of someone spending tens of thousands of dollars in Australia. Tourism can be a vital weapon in the war against poverty.”

Stern exported

Stern exported

: The Sunday Times of London writes about Howard Stern’s move to satellite.

With so much pornography entering mainstream culture via the internet, Stern

It’s not an ‘either-or’ medium, Jason, it’s an ‘and’ medium

It’s not an ‘either-or’ medium, Jason, it’s an ‘and’ medium

: Jason Calacanis — who is the single most competitive person I’ve ever met … and that roster includes Bill Gates — sends me email and a blog comment sputtering because I dared to mention CES coverage from Gizmodo and Engadget in the same blog breath, after Gizmodo got an interview with Gates (even though I gave Engadget twice the links this week and do think Engadget’s Pete Rojas et al have done a great job). He fumes:

give me a break…

we did 3-4x the traffic of gizmodo, and we did 4x the number of updates

we had 9 people at the show… nick had one

not even close to competition.. .even with the gates interview

I respond: “Relax.” And he responds:

relax? not in my vocab… :-)

you’re always pumping up Nick… so objective of you… can’t wait till you liquidate that Moreover stock and can stop kissing his ass!

I wish I were his therapist. I’d be rich, I tell you, rich!

For the full-disclosure record, I sit on Moreover’s board but do not own Moreover stock and have cashed no options. Nick’s a friend. And, yes, I admire the quality of Nick’s work. I also like, Jason. But that’s not the point. Neither is being No. 1.

Jason is misunderstanding the essence of this new medium. In big, old media — in the age of the power law — only the top guy or maybe the top two won because only the top guys could afford the printing press and the marketing budget. It’s an ‘either-or’ industry.

In this new medium, if you’re alone, you lose, for there’s no one to link to; it’s lonely at the top when you’re the only guy there. This new medium is more like a mall, where having more stores, even competitors, in the same place is better for everybody: better for the “consumers” who get more places to click to, and better for the clickees. This is an “and” medium.

So it’s good for readers that we have both Engadget and Gizmodo covering CES, not to mention Paid Content and I just found some neat stuff at UberGizmo — plus Rihooligan’s and, of course, big media. (Note that you can pretty much cover CES via the PR Newswire.)

It’s also going to be better for every player in the medium, I contend, when they set up ad networks that deliver critical mass of audience across multiple sites to marketers. So competitors will need to cooperate to make more money, or else advertisers won’t bother.

So if I were you, Jason, I’d be glad to Gizmodo and PaidContent were there alongside you — and I’d try to set up an ad network with them, rather than lash out at them. That’s so old media, man.

And when are you going to start the Valium Blog?

: Oh, and by the way, in the original post, I said that Gizmodo had Bill Gates and Engadget had the sexiest geek goddess around on video, even). Who do you think won that post?

: UPDATE: Jason next tackles Steve Jobs. And Felix Salmon tackles that.

First-class tragedy

First-class tragedy

: Australia’s The Age says visits of VIPs are interfering with tsunami relief:

World leaders visiting the region said they were shocked by the devastation, but humanitarian workers complained that their aid delivery was being hampered by the stream of VIP visitors….

In Aceh, the visits by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and US Secretary of State Colin Mr Powell have shut the only airport at Banda Aceh, the capital, for hours at a time, so incoming shipments have not been able to land and injured survivors have been forced to wait to be evacuated.

On the other hand:

“VIPs come in and see the destruction for themselves and then aid follows,” the diplomat, who asked not to be identified, said.