(This was something Royal and I hit upon yesterday when talking about the Q1/Q2 VC outlook for the year.)
Unfortunately, I have to take the drastic step of disabling trackbacks. The amount of trackback spam has become unmanagable (you bastards!)
Dave Sifry has posted some very interesting stats on the size of the Blogosphere
Clearly, blogs (and RSS in general) aren't going away. The challenges of keeping up with the growth look enormous.
Adding insult to injury: After releasing a stealth DRM application that has spawned a new series of exploits, there are now reports that parts of the Sony Rootkit DRM were built on top of the LAME encoder, which is open source technology.
In the "I can't make up stuff like this department", Sony actually said that the rootkit was
...an important tool to protect our intellectual property rights and those of our artists.
One might conclude that it is important for Sony to protect their IP, and only their IP. Too bad the LAME encoder is LGPL -- if only Sony had taken the time to read my post on Open Source Licenses and Intellectual Property.
This is pretty amazing if you think about a few things:
* The video library on iTunes has only 2,000 titles, compared to 2 million songs
* There are only a few big "hits" in the video section: Lost, Desperate Housewives
* A good portion of the traffic is probably word of mouth, as Apple's media campaign has barely begun
I ran into Clint Sharp at the airport last week and he had good things to say about the the Video iPod (and that is coming from a guy that knows the vlogging space very well).
If I own a network affiliate (ABC, NBC, etc), this development has me worried. If I don't control the distribution of exclusive content anymore, what is my value add? How does this affect the value of my FCC license?
The impact of time-shifted media isn't limited to audio only - the shift in video will be very interesting to watch over the next year or so.
Russell has a great post about hooking up his new Video iPod to a TV and watching DiggNation, which he was really into:
..they were geeks and we’re geeks and it was *on TV*. It was probably one the best shows I’ve seen “on TV” in a long time
As to the future of time-shifted, open source media:
...there’s finally a mass-market, consumer friendly way of viewing these videos somewhere besides your PC, and that’s going to change *everything*.
At the PDC this week and none other than Miguel de Icaza walks by. Pretty amazing guy - he is the creator of Ximian, Gnome and Mono. Quite a crowd gathered around him, asking him lots of questions about how the open source model for Mono works, etc. Some folks are skeptical - seems like they haven't dug into the Open Source model yet :-)
The Wall Street Journal reports that Technorati is cutting deals that provide some time-based exclusivity on pings. Essentially, Technorati has made agreements whereby they receive pings before any other service. This allows Technorati to have the most up-to-date information relative to its' competitors.
David Sifry, chief executive of Technorati, says his company gets an edge from exclusive deals in which some blog-hosting companies ping Technorati before anyone else.
Business Week mentions it also.
On the Feedmesh list, Bob Wyman posted some thoughts about time-based exclusivity for pings and suffice to say he doesn't like it.
...this means that we’ll see barriers to entry that will remove any hope of new entrants into the space – they won’t be able to afford to buy the pings. Also, we’ll see that whoever is able to buy the most or fastest pings will end up “winning” in the marketplace even if the technical services they provide are inferior. This is not a good thing.
I have no idea how prevalent this practice is with Technorati. One can hardly blame them for trying to get an edge over competing services. However, I am surprised that anyone would agree to such a deal. Technorati's performance has degraded so terribly that the site is now unreliable. One example -- while I was at Barcamp, I noticed my posts would take literally 6 or more hours to show up (yes, I was pinging them and my tags were done correctly). It is more likely that the time-based exclusivity is actually slowing down the distribution of a blog's content, which is not good for any publisher.