Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Motorola speculation

Interesting article at Engadget - Motorola may exit handset business. Is this a case of great minds think alike or fools never differ?

Friday, 18 January 2008

Friends Reunited: yesterday's news

I caught a headline in the Marketing trade journal this week - it was not that hard as it was the main splash on the front page: "ITV prepares rebrand of Friends Reunited portal". My immediate thought was "who cares?", in yoof vernacular isn't Friends Reunited "so over".

What a great pity. Here was a business that was thriving on internet buzz and word of mouth and had found a niche in the social networking space. Now, even myspace is yesterday's news though strong enough to generate another wave, with Facebook currently the channel of choice.

The owners sold out at the right time. Perhaps they had run out of steam creatively but whatever the reason, the ITV acquisition killed it stone dead as a viral success.

For Friends Reunited to succeed it does need a re-birth and clearly to their credit, ITV are on the case but I have strong doubts that such a large corporate organisation can make this succeed even before considering the particular merits of ITV itself.

Monday, 14 January 2008

It is surprising what you can do on your phone

So, you might not be able to blog successfully from your mobile (see last post) but the list of things that you can do from your phone just grows and grows. See this news reported widely on the news wires over the past week:

An Egyptian woman is seeking clarification from a court on whether her husband's declaration of divorce by text message is legally valid, a state-run newpsaper reported on Thursday. The AFP reports.

"After missing a call from her husband on her mobile phone, Iqbal Abul Nasr received a text message from him saying "I divorce you because you didn't answer your husband," Al-Akhbar said.

It was the third time Abul Nasr, an engineer from Cairo, received a divorce text message from her husband, prompting her to seek a legal decision from the a family court on the status of her marriage.

If the court declares the couple divorced, it would be the first reported case of divorce by SMS in Egypt."

I found this incredible but then I caught the final line:

"The subject of divorce by SMS has been highly debated across the Muslim world and some Islamic countries like Malaysia have banned the practice."

It has already been widely debated and even banned. I am definitely behind the times. Is this amusing or appalling?

Mobile Blogging

Dan Appelquist has beaten me to the punch on looking at the paucity of mobile blogging tools out there at the moment. It struck me that with the increasing sophistication of phones and the increasing propensity of people to blog and share through any number of networks that mobile blogging would be a no-brainer service to offer. Yet: Blogger, Typepad, Vox and Wordpress are all nowhere. The reality is that it only makes sense for the existing blogging platforms to offer this feature and being both US and web centric means that mobile is not yet high on the radar. A pity. It is one of those things which would increase both quantity and quality of blog posts in a large number of cases.

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Rotten apple

I caught this over Christmas in an article from John Naughton in the Observer - "Apple and Think Secret have settled their lawsuit, reaching an agreement that results in a positive solution for both sides [....] as part of a confidential settlement, Think Secret will no longer be published. Nick Ciarelli, ThinkSecret's publisher said, I'm pleased to have reached this amicable settlement and will now be able to move forward with my college studies and broader journalistic pursuits".

So, an independent blogger, in addition to AppleInsider and O'Grady's PowerPage, has had a significant shot fired across the bows by large corporate for daring to guess and review forthcoming product. The bigger issue for Apple has been in stopping its own employees leaking to these sites but it has gone after the publishers using its financial weight and legal clout to stop these guys publishing. There is something dreadfully wrong with that picture - doesn't it contravene or at least abuse constitutional rights in the US?

Apple is setting a lousy example here and adds further grist to the mill which exposes that it is not a "people's champion" as the branding guru's would have us believe. No problem with that but just don't seek to represent that it is the case. As the original article outlined, Apple might appear to wear velvet gloves but they are lined with lead.