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Impact - A Blog by INM

Archive for 'February 2008'

    Changing the Business Case for Content

    First, Harper Collins came out with an announcement that it would offer free electronic editions of some titles online. Then author Suze Orman’s announced on Oprah that she would be offering a limited number of free copies of her latest title on the Oprah website. Now Yale University Press is the next publisher to get on board with free electronic titles.

    Why the sudden push toward giving away content? One reason may be tied to the decline that’s happening with traditional advertising models. Businesses are shifting advertising away from radio, newspaper, magazine, and even TV ads and are moving funds into new models of promotion, including using ad dollars to cover the cost of giving away some products to drive up interest in others.

    Author Chris Anderson, famous for his book "The Long Tail", expands upon this new trend in his upcoming book, which he plans to make available for free (or as free as his publisher will allow). Check out the free 6,000 word preview of his book "Free: Why $0.00 is the Future of Business" in this month's Wired Magazine.

    The Pendulum Swings Back

    Back in September, I wrote about an interesting article in Dr. Dobb’s Journal about how the pendulum is swinging back toward the delivery of desktop-like experiences. With Adobe’s official announcement of its new Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR) yesterday, the pendulum has picked up even more momentum. AIR allows application designers to think beyond the browser to cost-effectively add desktop support into their clients’ web interactions and deliver RIAs in a partially connected environment.

    Even though AIR is just out, there are already a number of early deployments that range from consumer-facing media players, games, personal shopping assistants and product configurators, through to business-oriented data-entry and dashboard tools. Big name brands like eBay, Nickelodeon, and NASDAQ are already delivering applications that leverage AIR.

    The biggest hurdle toward adoption is helping those responsible for client communications understand the potential of AIR and how to leverage it within the scope of client interactions.

    Spry 1.7 is Coming Soon

    Would it be wrong to say that just a few years ago when rich internet applications (RIAs) were starting to make serious strides on the market, Adobe was confronted with a dilemma: they would either need to promote Flex as an alternative to AJAX solutions, which would polarize the market, or to just embrace (and potentially lead) the AJAX market.

    Adobe settled on the latter, and brought forth Spry, a framework for AJAX. This was a good move, as it seems clear today that Flex and AJAX have a symbiotic relationship. Google (author of the famous Google Web Toolkit for AJAX), Yahoo (author of the equally famous Yahoo! User Interface Library toolkit), and many other mainstream players consistently use AJAX and other tools, such as Flex, in their projects.

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    Adobe Rolls Out Director 11

    This morning, at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco, CA, Adobe announced Director 11. For those familiar with Director, this won’t come as much of a surprise, as this release has been highly anticipated for awhile now. What is interesting about the announcement is where it took place, and how Adobe is repackaging Director. While Director has been strong for the creation of multimedia applications, educational software and casual games for years, it’s now being squarely pegged as the solution for interactive games and eLearning. This may be due to the fact that Adobe has discontinued Authorware, its previous gem in the eLearning sector, and that Flash is lacking the Xtras and extensibility that developers need.

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    Why AOL Acquired Yourminis

    In the very noisy announcement of Microsoft's bid to acquire Yahoo last week, very little attention was devoted to AOL's acquisition of Goowy, the company behind Yourminis. Granted, this acquisition was not of a comparable scale, but it was still a significant step for AOL in building stronger relations between its users and advertisers.

    Yourminis is a fully customizable start page (a.k.a. personal portal) similar to iGoogle that users can personalize with any number of widgets including weather forecasts, e-mail, instant messaging, games and more. Widgets can live on a web page inside a web browser, or can stand-alone on the desktop. Unlike Google's Desktop Gadgets and Yahoo's Widgets, Yourminis desktop widgets use Adobe AIR and thus don't require the installation of a large local application.

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