On vacation last week, I was away from any readily available broadband access, so I’m catching up with some of the incredible content on the web related to the Christmas Tsunami. Cheese and Crackers has one of the better aggregated collections of video content I’ve found. Definetly worth a look.
Robin Sloan has published a Flash ‘documentary’ describing the downfall of the fourth estate and their replacement by the rise of Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Friendster (you had me until that last one). The vision is interesting, and potentially accurate on some points, but I think it underestimates the value and tenacity of ‘old media.’ The conclusion is that people get what they want – gossip and false trivia. To quote Ray Davies and the Kinks – Give the people what they want… We hope everybody gets what they deserve. Click here to see the animation – it’s a bit long (~8 minutes) – but well worth it.
In one of the most interesting articles to appear in WIRED in a long while, Chris Anderson explained the concept of ‘the long tail.’ Now, he has announced a book deal on his blog. This will be a must read for me. So, what is this concept, you ask? Chris explains it like this ‘Forget squeezing millions from a few megahits at the top of the charts. The future of entertainment is in the millions of niche markets at the shallow end of the bitstream.’ Basically, instead of the traditional bell curve to define interest – very little at either end of the graph, with most interest in the middle – the long tail of the digital age sees tremendous value (read revenue) in the tiny blips of niche interest. Check out his blog, and the WIRED story. It’s eye opening.
Since most of us are on the move this holiday season, I thought I’d point this new bit of functionality Yahoo! has rolled out this week. As reported on Slashdot, the Yahoo! Maps site is now providing real-time traffic overlays on their maps. Supported mostly in major metros, this might save a step or two when planning a (yuk) trip to the mall this season. In Atlanta, the maps are using info from the GA DOT, which looks like the same info on the Georgia Navigator site. All the same, I’ll keep my Konfabulator Web Images widget showing me a set of Atlanta traffic cams all the same. And when I’m on the go (and isn’t that when we usually need traffic info?), I use the GA Navigator’s new PDA-friendly mobile version of their web site on my Treo 600.