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Mid-Week Take Wed 19

About TIme! James over at Redmonk speaks to the evolution of the analyst industry in some of his most recent posts:

We’re going to be following up with a nod to the meme… Taking an editorial stance based on available information. We find new ways to package information so it wil me more appealing – in narratives, for example. Part of RedMonk’s business model is too package information in stories rather than reports.

This is refreshing. Are citizen analysts going to eventually drive traditional industry analysts out of business? I doubt it. But boy is technology going to ignite a more vigourous conversation about what is happening in the industry. Content (analysis) will become more freely available and accessible than it is through the costly models of traditional analysts today – and less linked to their clients (and source of revenue). And the smaller firms such as Redmonk are in a better position – both from an economics and credibility standpoint – to fuel it by driving conversations out of board rooms and into the blogsphere.

If nothing else, Redmonk deserves big points for a) blogging like they do and, b) being so clear about their business model. James’ blog is a must read.

Love Those Zines. I’m an eZine fanatic. Amongst my faves are Cuisine Mag out of New Zealand and Flavorpill (which produces are range of others in the city/design/style category).

Flavorpill’s most recent SF edition points to a new eZine with intriguing design – IntoTheStorm – which it wraps as:

With just about every rag these days offering a Face-like barometer of cool, digital ‘zine Into the Storm offers a refreshing take on style-mag journalism. The clincher is the examination of ideas and concepts rather than gadgets and parties: think Franz Ferdinand on Russian art, Nicholas Hawksmoor’s London churches, and how literature got hip again. Issue two is deliriously self-referential, subtitled “Everything Style Magazines Forgot To Tell You”. Spot-on advice includes how to create a global trend and how to talk your way into a nightclub. (“Create a diversion by faking a drug overdose or screaming class war from a megaphone.”) (KW)

The only drawback to all three (at least from my reading) is the lack of RSS feeds. These would make my life so much easier. Tip for Communicators #4 – RSS every content category you can. Create feeds and feed’em.

Speaking of RSS, take a look at the new news site sponsored Fabrica, the philanthropic arm of Benetton.

Every hour, 10×10 scans the RSS feeds of several leading international news sources, and performs an elaborate process of weighted linguistic analysis on the text contained in their top news stories. After this process, conclusions are automatically drawn about the hour’s most important words. The top 100 words are chosen, along with 100 corresponding images, culled from the source news stories.

Then hop on over to Wordcount an interactive presentation of the 86,800 most frequently used English words created by Number 27. Brilliant work. Ah, what the heck, visit here as well.

That Apple Thing. I’ve been getting lots of comments and questions on my comments on Apple. Here’s an edited response with the caveats a) I’m not a lawyer and b) haven’t been able to get a copy of the lawsuit.

Apple’s Lawsuit, if they continue with it, will be an unfortunate test of who is and isn’t media, fifth amendment rights, and the power of the blogsphere.

Apple’s ‘news power’ comes less from PR itself and mostly from the stunning products and business models it has launched (although they do some pretty smart things). More than anything Apple is riding a wave of innovation and market success – and those of us have been around long enough know that the wave does break at some point. When this happens they might wish they’d banked a little more goodwill in the blogsphere.

Having spent the last 17 years trying to keep products under wraps till launch I do empathize with Apple. But suing journalists for reporting will do nothing to stop this happening again. Sure it’s easier to pick on the little guys but this hardly sets any example for big media (who wouldn’t have been sued if they’d done it). And, I’m not sure the little guys could buy the resulting publicity. So why not focus on re-emphasizing to employees the importance of keeping products under wraps and leave it at that (I would be with Apple if they fired the employee that leaked the information).

The notion of Bloggers as Journalists is worth a longer conversation – in the blogsphere. I don’t think we should confuse the two – although someone can clearly succeed at being both. Nevertheless, they should have the same ‘rights’ to free speech, reporting with perspective, protecting sources etc… Yes! Thanks to Katie Payne for flagging this story on the Bloggs vs. Journalist debate.

That the one company that has so long stood for the right things now stands for limiting free speech is a tragedy. To anyone that owns and Apple and loves the brand, the notion that this is nothing more than a PR stunt is asinine. There are better and more subtle ways of working with the fans that feed you. Forbes said it well:

Apple’s current lawsuit alleges that “Unauthorized disclosure of product news diminishes the interest of both the mainstream and trade media in the launch of a new product.”


Can you think of another company whose product news garners more coverage–regardless of unauthorized disclosures–from the geek and mainstream media?

See you later in the week.

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