Category: MSN

Engagement: Google Gadgets a Yahoo! killer?

The last week has been fantastic.  Between the IAB Mixx & Expo and other events associated with Advertising Week, i’ve learned much more than i imagined.

I attended this session by Google on Ad-Innovation, where they spoke extensively about Gadgets and  other innovation on Youtube etc.  If Google Docs is Google’s attempt at hitting at Microsoft (albeit a VERY long shot), Gadgets (IMHO) is aimed square at Yahoo! by hurting their biggest stronghold (rich media & innovation) by adding longevity (users can save ads) and no hosting/serving costs in a bidded marketplace.

Engagement is clearly the new benchmark.  The Live platform is rife with gadgets developed for it and given that these can integrate across the platform on Spaces or Messenger or any other catchment area owned by Microsoft…the only person missing this party is Yahoo!

Given their dependance on rich media (and the possible impact), it will be interesting to see how they comeback.


MyMobiler: View your mobile screen on your desktop

Contrary to popular belief the concept of a free lunch does exist….we call it freeware! 🙂 

One of my favorite features on the Windows Mobile platform is the ability to use your PC mouse and keyboard to operate/input data on your mobile phone.  I recently dumped TranCreative Pocket PC Connector for  MyMobiler.  This is a short review:

Mymobiler runs over an active sync connection and allows you to:
a) View your mobile screen on your desktop.
b) Control your mobile by using desktop keyboard and mouse.

c) Copy/Paste text between mobile and desktop.

d) Capture mobile screen.

e) Drag and drop files to your mobile.

It displays your mobile screen on your PC like any another window in your taskbar and is very easy to operate. I would recommend you restrict the number of ‘Running Programs’ on your Pocket PC while using MyMobiler as it consumes moderate amounts of RAM (since it needs export the mobile screen). A stable utility…i haven’t had any connectivity issues so far.  It’s faster for me to operate Hotmail, Google Maps and Widsets using the mobile interface (sharing the PC Internet Connection simultaneously) and is a huge productivity booster.

Strongly recommended.


Remote Desktop Access

There are 10 kind of people in the world. Those who understand binary, and those who don’t.

If you happen to be of the first kind, i can confidently say that you gladly double up as a sysadmin to friends and family, not just for “best practices” / must have software, but more importantly during emergencies where computers refuse to work…nothing can be more frustrating than providing ‘blind’ telephone support and dealing with error messages that you’ve never encountered before.

Our pad in Gurgaon was pretty hooked up…a monster desktop, 3 laptops, 2 windows mobile computers, 2 smartphones and a long long list of peripheral devices hooked up around these…goes without saying that almost every gadget had multiple forms of connectivity with any/all other devices (wifi, bluetooth, usb, firewire)… and for any ideas i may have had, De had the ability to bring it to life….while we weren’t close to Googleplex capability, we’d easily excite any technology enthusiast in the region…

The most convenient mode of controlling a device on any network is when you can browse the device in first person…and essentially thats what “Remote Desktop Control” is all about. While the best application for local devices on a network is ‘Windows Remote Desktop Connection’, the best tool i’ve used to playing sysadmin for my folks back home is Crossloop.
It’s pretty light (couple of MB), extremely simple to use, doesn’t sap precious system resources nor cause conflicts with other programs running on your computer. I’ve been able to run all sorts of tasks remotely, without any issues and would strongly reccomend this to anyone looking for a remote screen sharing solution.

Update 1:
i just found out about remote desktop sharing via Windows Live Messenger (the process is outlined below) …however fails to work with folks on the Reliance network…



Democracy – A Consumer Insight

Many of you have written/mentioned in passing that I hardly ever talk about Y! and what’s next, and only mention press releases/coverage from time to time about Y!…i’ll just say that the multiple Y! blogs (starting with would do a much better job of describing what Y! is upto…also, this is a personal blog…and alot of the content here are thoughts about how the space is evolving…yeah, so on with my post…

The internet is the world’s biggest democracy…i first came up with that line back in 2004 when i was writing my SoP for an eBusiness Management course for a school in england…i didn’t go due to a multitude of reasons, but the SoP really helped me crystallize my thoughts…and this was my opening statement…

The Internet has no parallel, it is the world biggest community (11.5% of world population)*, the world’s biggest marketplace (740 million users), and is growing and evolving everyday. We have witnessed the social implications it has had on our lives and how it has revolutionised the way we do business. Today, we are witnessing the second Internet revolution, the era of Wireless Networking. This will increase the reach and growth of the Internet making it a more central part of how we live and operate. I am driven by my passion for the Internet, and am decided on being a part of this global movement, that continues to add value to our lives.

That was 2004, 3 years in a conventional landscape (30 in cyberspace)…those numbers have already clawed up to a billion users globally (15% of global population…growing at 10% a year)…media moguls across the globe are now watching the wireless revolution evolve and attain critical mass…wi-fi and wi-lan are available in india, mobile access continues to grow at 5MM new users in india alone, mobile VAS revenues exceed P2P… we are all witnessing faster evolution of our species thanks to the ever widening proliferation of media and technology…the key trend we’re seeing is, the company that builds the best ecosystem, that allows for the fairest democracy, and that allows the user to be the real winner will eventually win…
Google made online advertising democratic when they first launched ad-sense…they weren’t the first online ad-network, but were the first the allow virtually everyone to run ads on their site and make money of it…in retrospect, the manner in which fastclick, and the other networks treated small webmasters was pathetic, and thats why they paid the price…Google continues to grow, and in no small part due to the number of webmasters across the globe that run their ads, swear by their practices and, how their system allows advertiser, webmaster & user to win… the online ecosystem is built (and continues to grow)…Google is not aiming to be a destination….Google wants to be the platform…and has done everything it needs to do, to be the center of the world’s biggest ecosystem…
Don’t for a moment write Microsoft out of this game…they’re still very rich (USD 30BN in cash, billions in profit every quarter) and if you read between the lines of last weeks $3 windows student license announcement for developing economies…you find that they are the only company on earth that could aim at doubling the number of PC owners in the next 8 years… almost all of us use Windows, and alot of their products across the productivity (windows, office 2007, mobile) and entertainment axis (mediacenter, xbox360) are leaps and bounds ahead of the competition… we’re only too used to personalising our computing experience…the key here is we can personalise it because MS has built the ecosystem… even though some of their tactics can be mildly termed aggressive, that’s just business right? …. in the words of kevin kelly, the infinite game is played to keep playing, and to win at every level you play at….

Today we can install almost anything we find on the internet on a windows machine…and thats what affords us options, choices, freedoms which in turn empower us….we can now share our ideas with the world (this blog being a classic case), get feedback, collaborate and jointly evolve…this is the role that technology & media combined are playing in the evolution of mankind… technology was always supposed to be open, to be free, shared, transparent…and media today makes it viable… web 2.0 is the biggest attempt and success story ever towards socialization of media & technology … its anyones guess about which company will eventually prevail… but the one thing i can say with absolutely no hesitation is that the consumer will win (and is already winning) … we’re really really really lucky to live in this day and age… subsidised by media, empowered by technology… democratic, free and liberated!

This is just ONE more reason why i LOVE the internet…


Gootube has met its match

Simple math.

Quality of Video is directly proportionate to volume of Streams.
TV Programming is high quality. (NBC + News Corp produce adequate content globally to keep every demographic entertained)
Y! + MSN + AOL = Huge Captive Audience (30% of online video is viewed on Y! alone)
Y! (and the others) have a lot of respect for rights & IP
UGC quality still lags commercially produced content. (I illustrated this point in my post titled….the funniest phone review EVER)
A certain portion of the USD 1.65BN bid for youtube was premium to prevent the competition from getting their hands on a portion of it… a huge portion of this was for audience (since google video had poor adoption)
So Gootube now has a USD 1BN Viacom lawsuit to deal with (obviously factored in during acquisition), NBC + NewsCorp + Y! + MSN + AOL, Joost, Apple TV (will eventually converge), Grouper and the rest of the long tail of online video.

Excess pride in a nascent, evolutionary and shifting mediascape is dangerous.

I must add…all views on my blog are mine alone….i am not a spokesperson for any of the companies listed above…and as much as i’d like to believe i know enough, there’s still a long long long way to go 🙂


The Coolest Video Site of them all

Some sites rock….but some, blow your mind away!  I’ve been using StumbleUpon for a couple of years now, and nobody i’ve ever referred it to has complained*.  Essentially, stumbleupon is a tool that allows you to channel surf websites, bringing you sites that would interest you to instead of you having to actively seek them out. Channel surfing ensures you spend more time online, expend less energy and have more fun. Stumble is funded by Sherpalo.
Television is a braindead medium (it’s not called the idiot box for nothing), and is ideally suited to the doofus next door who isn’t looking at seeking out information, he’s looking for information to come to him…Stumbleupon does just that…it filters, prioritizes and delivers sites that would be relevant to you on the basis of your expressed interests, surfing habits, ratings and pages being surfed by other people like you…and the most you use it, the most accurate it gets! And so, in the medium term, it stands to be a game changer….loved by the geek and the doofus alike!
Stumbleupon Video takes its proprietary algos and applies it to videos…which it aggregates from multiple sites and then serves on its own interface, the best part of which is the background fades out when the video plays to reduce the stress on your eyes…you need to use it to believe it!
Also, one really nifty feature is being able to search for a new video while seeing another…the only other site that offers that is MSN Soapbox.

* – The only complaint i’ve got about Stumble has been from De. Between search, newsletters and RSS feeds he had enough of an information overload problem, and Stumble is exponentially increasing exposure to new sites/articles etc he just HAS TO SEE.