Saturday, 7 April 2001

Newsletter Issue 21, April 2001


Sam Young Newsletter

Issue 21, April 2001
Hi guys,
So here we are, rolling inexorably on toward Easter, and I can't believe that the year has gone so fast! Seems like I just blinked a couple of minutes ago at Christmas and now its April already.
I hope you all have a great Easter and get time out with your families. Enjoy the rain!
Well, as promised, a bit of a foray into the techie stuff this time, first with a look at the growth of amateurs on the net. Next we are looking at Nokia's new communicator, Adobe's new software R&D and the top 10 web trends as predicted by a US group. Check out Amateurs Rule OK and Nano-Bytes below.
Don't forget, if you want to be taken off my mailing list, click here to send me a reply e-mail and I will remove your name.

Amateurs Rule OK

In Charles Handy's book "The Empty Raincoat" he discusses nine of what he calls the paradoxes of our times. One is "The Paradox of Productivity", which he describes as "ever more and ever better work from ever fewer people". So the idea is that less people will do the paying jobs. 

A few years ago, they thought that we would share it around and get more leisure time; but we all know what we are like at sharing. The USSR is the greatest failed example of that. No. Less of us will do more. 

Handy thinks that the big growth area will be amateur and self-employment, outside of the organisations we currently have. The "do-it-yourself" economy. And why? Because "Better technology means that more and more of us can run businesses or services by ourselves." 

If Handy is correct - and it sounds logical - the under-priced and unmeasured amateur is going to become a big player in the business market. For example, Linux - a computer operating system built by enthusiasts - has a 28 per cent share of the server market if you measure market share by the number of servers running the operating system. But its market share is less than 1 per cent measured by server operating system revenues (logical. The system is free!). 



Decline in Costs 

Internet setup costs have declined significantly. In fact, nearly all business activity can be run at a lower cost than ever before. How? It's down to improved communications. It's no longer necessary for all steps in the processes to reside in one building, one country or one company. We contract the bits out that are outside our area of expertise: or we team up with companies with complementary skills to make products and deliver them to the market. 

We appear to have embraced the knowledge economy, facilitated by information technology, communications tools and networking. 



Black Spots

However, there are a couple of black spots on the net; advertising and some of the big corporates. 

Firstly, the standard advertising model is failing. We all ignore the banners and the links on pages and get on with what we are on the net to do. This advertising failure has been regularly predicted by Jakob Neilsen in his regular columns at www.useit.com and now he seems right on the button, as advertising click-thru falls and venture capital dries up. 

Secondly, too many big companies have lumbered over to the net and tried to fit their old business models to the new environment. Unfortunately they have forgotten that the internet is about simplification and lowering cost structures. As small organisations can compete on a level playing field, these large corporates are failing in ebiz. 

Mr Peterschmidt of internet company Inktomi, based in San Francisco said at Comdex this year that in San Francisco alone, 63 dotcom businesses closed in the first 45 days of 2001 and 80% of existing internet companies were expected to die next year due to lack of capital. Either the advertising returns weren't there, or their structure and planning wasn't right, so they fell over.



And together this means… 

Together, the increased availability of amateur talent, reduced production and internet entry costs and the improved communications means that we are witnessing is the mass amateurisation of media. Big business has the wrong approach. Advertising isn't pulling in the bucks. 

The Net has revolutionised media. By reducing the cost of being a media outlet and with peer-to-peer models offloading even more of the costs to the edges of the network (like Napster), many more people can participate. 

It's our world out there guys. Lets get out there and grab it.

Nano-Bytes

Nokia Handheld Communicator

Nokia is increasing the company's foray into PDAs by releasing a new mobile phone-cum-sub- notebook-computer this year. 

Titled the 9120 (imaginative, isn't it!), the communicator looks like a large format cellphone, but opens up lengthwise into a small computer. With a colour screen, its OS is Epoc, the industry standard also used by Psion and Ericsson. It has 40 Mb of memory, but is likely to be upgradeable to 90 Mb if you hold off purchase for 6 months or so. 

All for a mere snip of about $1400. But for mobility, either the communicator or the palmtop is the way to go... and of course, for us to look important...



Adobe's 3D Web Software

Users of Adobe web design tools, keep your eyes peeled for later this year!. The company is currently developing web software "Atmosphere" that will enable designers to build 3D web pages which allow surfers to step in to a site, walk around and talk to others while there.

Browsers will be able to download an Atmosphere plug-in to work with both IE and Netscape.

If you are interested in having a preview, you can download a Windows beta (Mac available later in the year) by registering at Adobe's website at http://www.adobe.com/products/atmosphere/betareg.html 

Top 10 Internet Web Trends 

The top ten trends & issues for the computer industry and users over the next couple of years have been predicted by Computer Electronics, a US non-vendor Delphi group. They are:

  1. No dominant technology, but we will remain a VERY wired world
  2. Shift in machines talking to machines, people talking to people
  3. Global internet in conflict with local legislation on commerce and content
  4. A more cross-cultural internet
  5. Increasing importance of internet as an educational & economic tool
  6. Cross-border jurisdictional issues with privacy & taxation 
  7. Need to redefine and control access
  8. Increase in cyber-crime
  9. The VERY crowded web 
  10. Difficult to determine web strategy due to continuous revolutionary change

TLAs for SMEs

Here are this newsletter's TLAs for you;

  • PDAs, Personal Digital Assistants. Palm Pilots, WAP Phones, Nokia Handhelds etc etc
  • HHBTs, Hard Hearted Business Types (cute, isn't it!)
  • ADBs, Arrogantly Dysfunctional Bureaucrats (OK, OK, enough already)
  • TUANZ, Telecommunications Users Association of New Zealand

Please feel free to email me with any TLAs that you want to get the bottom (meaning!) of.

Hot Linx
At Ocean Wildlife you will find a selection of images and stories from New Zealand and the South Pacific; http://www.oceanwildlife.com/ 

Your PC system gone nuts but you don't know what's wrong? Try this freeware system stability tool: It tests the CPU and virtually all parts of the motherboard for errors. Check it out at http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/file_description.asp?fid=7592 

This is the greatest site ever. Definitely check this one out at http://www.shibumi.org/eoti.htm 

And if you or anyone close to you is planning the big OE in the near future, check out the one stop shop for overseas travel at http://www.ebigoe.com/ 


                                Catch you again soon!! E-mail your suggestions to me here