New Technologies

Why Did eBay Buy Skype?

wondering why eBay would buy Skype? Well, here’s John Batelle’s take on it:

Now eBay buying Skype? You kidding me? Of course that makes
sense. Who is the largest paid search advertiser in the world? eBay. (Or at
least in the top three). Why? They are a *mature business* which has reached the
stage of *paying well for acquiring customers.* Skype has tens of millions of
potential customers, AND a way for folks who are buying and selling to talk to
each other for free. But the first point is more important than the second,
trust me. Think AOL and ICQ. No brainer.

Huge Growth Projected in Podcasting

If you thought that Podcasting was a flash in the pan, you'd better think again. According to research by the Diffusion Group:

demand for time-shifted digital audio files
or "podcasts" is expected to grow from less than 15% of portable
digital music player owners in 2004 to 75% by 2010

Their report Podcasting: Fact, Fiction and Opportunity, suggests that between 2004 and 2010, suggests that the compound annual growh of podcastng between 2004 and 2010 will be 101%. The article points to the use of podcasting amongst broadcasters like ABC and NBC, who are offering downloads of recorded newscasts. If you listen to BBC Radio 4's popular news programme, Today, you will hear them mentioning that you can download podcasts of their 8.10 interview every day.

Via: Econtent Mag & Technology 360

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Interview with Blake Ross of Firefox

Over at Red Couch, Shel Israel has a really interesting interview with Blake Ross, one of the key Firefox pioneers. It's hard to believe that he is still only 19! There are some pretty neat insights into how Firefox was able to gain so much global popularity from 'humble' beginnings. From a blogging perspective, it is interesting to see how he used the blog - first, as a tool which "chronicled our work on the fledgling browser" and, more recently, the blog has "served as a hub for a series of marketing activities."

Blake Ross describes in the article what he calls the buzz pyramid:

1. Long before the mainstream or the mainstream media heard about Firefox, the blogosphere was buzzing about it daily. The blogosphere, of course, represents just a tiny fraction of Internet users, so this is the apex of the pyramid.

2. The “intermediate media” hears the buzz at the apex and reports that “everyone’s talking about Firefox.” These are outlets like c|net that sit between mainstream media and personal websites, and indeed from their tech perspective, “everyone” really is talking about Firefox-.

3. The mainstream media hears the buzz among the intermediate media and again carries the story that “everyone” is talking about Firefox. “Everyone” is still the blogosphere, but in the context of ABC, USA Today and other mainstream outlets, people interpret it to mean, well, everyone. ....

4. Word spreads throughout the mainstream and mainstream media continues to cover the story, propagating the word further. A growth cycle is created that Firefox has yet to break out of as the pyramid’s base grows ever larger.

It's interesting to see how a small minority of people could influence the many millions (26 million at last count) to download this browser. There are a number of keys to Firefox's success, but one of the main ones is its ability to give its community a number of tools that they could use to sell the product for them. The Spread Firefox website allows users the ability to download Firefox buttons, logos and other marketing tools; invites them to come up with the most original dipslays for Firefox and even offers them a free blog, where they can discuss the pro's and cons of the service.

It would seem that the company has truly embraced the Open Source Movement, from Open Source Software Development to Open Source Marketing.

Related Links
The Rise and Rise of Firefox
What is Open Source Marketing

The Rise and Rise of Firefox

Firefox2There's a great story in the latest edition of Wired, entitled The Firefox Explosion, about the spread of Firefox. It discusses the role of the 2 main men behind Firefox, Blake Ross, "an angular, hyperkinetic 19-year-old Stanford sophomore with spiky black hair" and Ben Goodger, "a stout, soft-spoken 24-year-old New Zealander." Ross, it appears, was fixing bugs for Netscape at the age of 14 and then decided to start a splinter group. When Ross went to college Goodger took over and Firefox ended up being released in late 2004.

To date there have been 25,241,830 Downloads. In 99 days!!

The article also talks about how one user, Rob Davis, fed up with Internet Explorer and enamoured with Firefox instigated a campaign to raise enough money to post an ad in the New York Times; he did, by getting 10,000 fans to donate $25. A large portion of the article is obviously taken up by the effect that Firefox's success has had on Microsoft's Internet Explorer. And boy, is it having an effect.

Related Article
Firefox - a viral marketing phenomena