Archive for April, 2005

April 10th, 2005

Mobile Blogging … but without my camera phone and photos

Each day there are reminders to me that I live in San Francisco. In some ways they are fun and I’d like to share them with my friends who live back on the east coast. I couldn’t manage to capture these experiences with my camera phone and MMS so I’m going to give it a shot here with just text.

I had to wait in line behind a black lab to get a drink at the water fountain in Golden Gate Park this morning. And, yes, the dog was standing on its hind legs drinking from the fountain just as a person would. I would have snapped a photo, but I didn’t have my phone with me. Maybe Jobs will integrate a camera into the Shuffle. Or not.

I was enroute to a bar to meet some friends on Friday evening. From the bus window, I saw a girl scout dressed in her uniform pulling a red wagon full of girl scout cookies. She was stopped outside an adult video store just outside of the Castro. She later appeared at the bar. I did have my phone with me, but couldn’t do much from a moving bus or in a dark bar … even with the flash turned on.

I was doing a long bike ride to celebrate a friend’s recovery from breast cancer last weekend. An all-women’s ride called the Cinderella Classic. Of course, at least 15-20 percent of the women were in costumes – wearing skirts, pajamas, crowns, glass slippers, etc. – they road 100km dressed like that. I did have my phone with me, but I don’t think that anyone really wanted to be photographed – the costumes were for their own fun.

I like the notion of mobile blogging … and it would be a great way to share more of my life in San Francisco with my grandparents in Iowa – well if they had a multi-media cell phone. Even if I could have captured these moments on my phone, I probably would have missed the experiences. I just haven’t sorted out how to use my phone that efficiently yet.

Will be fun to watch how these applications evolve. The cameras are certainly getting better. I’ve seem lots of client software from Nokia, SnapIn, that makes posting easier.

April 1st, 2005

Carriers’ Walls – Won’t Last as Long as the Incas’ Did

…or even until Verizon launches EVDO in San Francisco? Some estimates in the US already put direct transactions at nearly 25 percent of all content purchases for the cell phone.

Cellular customers in Europe have been buying direct for years. According to my European counterpart, Thomas Husson, nearly 70 percent of ring tones are sold direct. How soon until we see the same business models in the US? Will direct sales be good for the wireless carriers in the long term? I think so. They get 40 to 60 percent of content revenue today in a market that is relatively small. In an indirect market, they are likely to have a cut closer to 20 percent. But, it that’s a smaller cut of a much bigger market, then that’s not a bad thing.

Buongiorno launched in the US this week with their mobile content offerings under the DirtyHippo brand. A bit hard to imagine “fun” in a name associated with one of the most dangerous animals, but they did $106 million in revenue outside of the States last year – hard to argue that it’s not a viable business model.

Thumbplay has had some announcements.

Bango announced on March 14th.

Either these companies don’t think there is enough growth in Europe or they think the US market is ready for direct to consumer sales. I think the US market is ready – at least among early adopters.