Ed Whitacre, who built SBC, one of the babies Bell, back into "The New AT&T" has been tapped by the Obama Administration's auto task force to be chairman of the "reinvented General Motors."Seriously.
Mitch Ratcliffe blogs about the constantly changing boundary between media and life, the businesses that live on that border, and the meaning of all this change to society and the economy.
Mitch Ratcliffe is a veteran journalist, media executive and entrepreneur. He was editor of the ground-breaking Digital Media newsletter in the 1990s and a frequent contributor to ZDNet over the years. He led development of the first Web audio/video news network at ON24, sat on the board of Electric Classifieds Inc. and Match.com, and worked as an investment banker. A dedicated "portfolio career" worker, Mitch is co-founder and Chief Scientist of BuzzLogic LLC, a social network analytics and marketing communications platform developer, and works with Audible Inc. on its podcasting service, among other projects detailed <a href="http://www.ratcliffe.com/ disclosure.htm">here</a>. </p>
Amazon has some new competition for the hearts and minds of book publishers and readers, which is a very good thing. But the news that Google is poised to enter the downloadable bookselling market is of mixed value to readers and publishers, because we're headed into a format/delivery model war that will wipe out the value of many millions of books people purchase over the next year.
Here's the key to thinking about the future of writing, something straight out of the manuscript era: the humble gloss or "scholia," for those who prefer the Latin. They are the notes, in margins, footnotes at the bottom of a page (the standard starting around 1700) and later in the history of books endnotes at the back of the volume or in a separate appendix, that add interpretations, background information, commentary and definitions.
This week, "tax protesters" gathered across America to dump bagged tea into symbolic bodies of non-potable water and Ashton Kutcher challenged CNN to a Twitter follower showdown. I admire anyone who takes to the streets for their ideas and recognize the power of media, even when it is lowered to the level of counting masses of followers.
Doc Searls points to what strikes me as a shallow exercise in self-congratulation by Vanity Fair, How the Web was Won, an "oral history" of the Web told by a select few, whom VF considers winners or power brokers. As Doc says, its "far from Compleat History," but the real vacuum in the story is the total lack of the ordinary person contributing to the Web, except for the acknowledgment given to "people" by the VF-anointed masters of this universe.
After I wrote about Starbucks' internal announcement that it is launching a Digital Ventures business, I received a good deal of mail from readers about the company. Amazingly, even though Starbucks is a high-profile company, only a couple business publications picked up on the story of a new division being created.
Starbucks is turning its eye to the digital world for part of its recovery strategy, according to an email Howard Schultz sent to partners on Friday. Shultz wrote that Stephen Gillett, who has been the company's CIO, will take on a new line of business, Digital Ventures, to "expand Starbucks reach in the digital space in a way that is profitable in the current business climate – organizationally nimble, small and focused on creating new revenue streams for the company.
Responding to various recent postings about journalism, including Ethan Zuckerman, Seth Godin, Dan Gillmor, Amy Gahran and Lisa Williams. I think the economics of journalism and ethics are deeply related and we tend to talk about them separately, emphasizing the dying channels for distribution at the expense of understanding the net loss of reporting.
I have nothing to add to the discussion of Steve Jobs. Will come back?
Folks like to know where they stand, and in recent weeks people on Twitter have been, well, all a-twitter about the idea of Twitter Authority. They want to know who is most influential—a repeat of the phenomenon that swept the blogosphere a while back.
Several of my ZD Net colleagues noted the launch to Amazon's iPhone app this week. The feature that is most interesting, in my opinion, is the Amazon Remembers, which lets users snap a photo of a product with their iPhone and upload it refer to later, when shopping, and so that Amazon can attempt to match the image to products in its catalog.
The announcement that Google has settled its book scanning lawsuit with The Author's Guild raises all sorts of hopes for digital use of new and previously published books. But without some radical changes in the publishing industry, the results of the settlement are not going to make it easier to be a writer for a living.
After polling all of you about the right price for an eBook device and the kinds of documents you are buying, as well as doing a lot of research over the last couple months, it's clear that the eBooks market is growing. It's also clear that there are huge hurdles to overcome before we, as readers, migrate away from paper.
Inner8.com, a new investing intelligence site, goes live today.
The world won't end when the Large Hadron Collider makes its anticipated first collision of high-energy particles later this month, but it will produce an explosion of data. The LHC will produce as much data in a single day of experimentation as many scientists dealt with in a lifetime only a decade ago.