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October 31, 2007 | Greg Ness: Hulu: An Experiment In Convergence?

imageMonday, NBC Universal and News Corp launched a beta version of Hulu, characterized by some news stories as big media’s attempt to wrest control of online video away from YouTube, Brightcove, Revver, Revision3 and what seems like a bazillion other online video start-ups. They are doing this by offering premium content, or to use traditional media’s terminology, “premium programming” to an online audience that wants TV delivered via the Web in a less programmed structure. In other words, Hulu presents people with the opportunity to time-shift and place-shift their viewing options.

Both News Corp and NBC Universal built their empires on programming the consumer was willing to pay for (via advertising). It appears this is an attempt to protect what has been a wonderfully profitable TV business model as traditional programming migrates to the “Wild West” Web environment.

October 31, 2007 | Nathan Voxland: New Prediction Site: Predictify.com

Predictify.com launched in early October as an attempt to provide a simpler and more open version of prediction markets such as Intrade.

October 31, 2007 | Dean Froslie: Organizations Use RSS to Tackle Employee Information Overload

The term information overload inevitably surfaces when employees talk about the deluge of printed materials, e-mail, voice mail and other technology-based messaging they face at work every day.

It’s refreshing to hear about companies that attempt to manage employee messaging – and RSS has great potential in this area. PC World highlights several companies that are using RSS to attack employee information overload.

October 29, 2007 | Greg Ness: SCADshorts Featured Content On YouTube

Here’s a reminder to visit SCADshorts and enter to win an iPod. I’ve posted about SCADshorts before, so I’ll let the site do the talkin’. SCADshorts was featured content on YouTube’s home page yesterday and this morning. SCADshorts involves the efforts of Matt Charpentier (et al.) on our staff and some of his colleagues from the Savannah School of Art and Design.

I noticed the site was moving a little slow this morning. Hey, that’s what happens when you get famous!

October 28, 2007 | Erik Uetz: ‘Downloadable Fonts’ on the Web Gains Support

ransom note fontsA few weeks ago David Hyatt, a member of the WebKit Open Source Project, announced the WebKit rendering engine now has the ability to download fonts to be used in web sites. This means web sites will be able to use any fonts a web developer chooses, not just the select few cross-platform fonts available now.

October 26, 2007 | Dean Froslie: Disaster Coverage Evolves Online

As the California wildfire devastation becomes clearer, we’re again witnessing a major news event that’s being chronicled in new, inventive ways online. Much like the Minnesota I-35 bridge collapse in August, the wildfires have received heavy coverage from traditional media supplemented by a variety of user-generated and social media efforts.

October 26, 2007 | Paul Bourdeaux: Poor Design Can Make Good Software Bad

The worst kind of bug is one that was developed into a software application by design.  To better illustrate what I am talking about, take this example from worsethanfailure.com:

As the recent father of twin babies, Philip B. was relieved to learn that his employer’s benefit provider, Sun Life Canada, made the insurance process really simple. Adding the little ones on the plan required no more than a phone call to provide birth dates, names, and that sort of thing. All seemed so easy, until the customer service rep realized what Philip was trying to do: “I’m sorry sir, but we need a different birth date for each of your kids.”

“Uhh, er,” Philip stuttered, rather puzzled, “they’re twins? They were both born on the seventh of May, so they actually do have the same birth date.”

“Oh yes, I understand,” she said, “but our system cannot handle two people with the same last name born in the same month of the same year on the same plan.”

October 25, 2007 | Sarah VanNevel: Radiohead’s Online Marketing is Music to Fans’ Ears

If you’re a fan of the British music group Radiohead, you probably know they recently released their 7th CD In Rainbows earlier this month. What you might not know is that the CD isn’t available in stores or on iTunes, but can be purchased exclusively on the band’s website.  What’s the going rate for the new disc?  Whatever you want it to be.

October 25, 2007 | Jason Gibb: Client-Side Load Balancing: The Secret to Web 2.0 Performance?

As Web 2.0 applications become more popular, the issue of performance inevitably rears its ugly head. Ajax-driven sites, by their very nature, tend to be more efficient by loading content asynchronously and updating only portions of a page. However, if the server does not respond quickly enough, even Ajax won’t help your Web app’s speed.

October 22, 2007 | Greg Ness: New Pew Report Shows Importance of Broadband Connections

The continuing growth of high-speed broadband connections to the Internet is integral to the growth of Web 2.0 according to a new report at Pew Internet & American Life Project (Broadband: What’s All The Fuss About?). Broadband users are accessing more information than ever, and they are also more likely to post content online (messages, blogs, photos, videos, etc.) than non-broadband users.

October 21, 2007 | Greg Ness: Meeting Tokens

imageNow here’s an interesting approach to preventing meetings from sucking up all useful time. Or maybe a parking meter could be installed in meeting rooms.

October 20, 2007 | Greg Ness: The CMO Needs To Sell Internally First

A number of us at Sundog have blogged before about the short tenure of CMOs at large companies (the average is now under two years). There is no doubt it is a stressful position. Competitive companies are there every day trying to steal your customers. Marketing budgets are under assault from top management and boards of directors asking for strong evidence the substantial money they are spending is a worthwhile investment. Quarterly reports (at least at public companies) while vitally important, can distract CMOs and others from implementing the necessary long-term strategies that may be required.