App stores are not the future, the web has won

I have already given the Windows Mobile App Store the thumbs down and put the boot into the Apple App store. So its clear I believe there a fad and other factors will take over very soon.

What's reassuring is that Google also see the problems with App stores and in this interview with found via Jyri, they describe the problem. Boiled down to a sentence, the web is the platform.

Apple customers may have downloaded 1.5bn applications from its AppStore in the past year for their iPhones and iPod touches, but the service does not represent the future for the mobile industry, according to Google.

Vic Gundotra, Google Engineering vice president and developer evangelist, (pictured centre) told the Mobilebeat conference in San Francisco on Thursday that the web had won and users of mobile phones would get their information and entertainment from browsers in future.

“We believe the web has won and over the next several years, the browser, for economic reasons almost, will become the platform that matters and certainly that’s where Google is investing.”

Mr Gundotra won some support from the rest of the panel. Michael Abbott, head of application software for Palm, said advances in the browser being introduced through HTML5 standards meant that web applications could tap features of particular phones such as their accelerometers.

Once again I need to give some credit to Chris Messina for waking me up to the fact that the web has won. Google and Palm have also put out products and services which operate on this fact. And today at a presentation from Aza Ruskin, I quized him about Ubiquity and the notion of browser vs the OS. I didn't push hard or even mention Google Chrome OS but he came back to me with a lot of interesting thoughts about barriers around personal content rather that a barrier between online and offline content. Would have liked to have explored but it was clear that Aza Ruskin was also talking like the web had won.

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In a world of abundance

Matt Mason gave pretty much the same talk at Thinking Digital and I've been wanting to link or post the video ever since. I love that classic quote, Pirates are the most innovate people.

Here's the main takeaway headlines from Matt's talk,

  1. If you want to beat pirates, copy them.
  2. Good business is the best art.
  3. Don't let legal ruin a good remix without talking to marketing first.
  4. Abudance is better that advertising
  5. Some good experiences will always be scarce.
  6. In an economy based on abundance, your business model needs to be a virtuous circle.

And I'd like to add I just paid for a digital download of Matt's book The Pirates Dilemma. I bought it for about 3 pounds which seems fair to me. About the same price as a expensive coffee or decent sandwich at lunch time. As Matt, Cory and Tim Oreilly has put it before, The problem isn’t piracy, it’s obscurity. Well hopefully the video and this blog post might have helped Matt become less obscure.

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Persona Editor: Outlines+Xpointer

Marc Canter gets a lot of flack and I can't understand why. In the talk above he presents his vision for Persona Editor, something he's been working on for the last 5 years. While he talks about it I'm thinking its a outline with static data or dynamic data. The dynamic data is actually like a xpath or better still a xpointer to a node or collection of nodes. So for example Marc uses a example where he aggregates 3 of his blogs into one outline which he calls all his blogs. Where it gets confusing is once you create these outlines, they can feed and inform other structures such as widgets, dashboards, pages, etc which are static. But it can also inform dynamic structures such as open social and apis which allow writes (aka 2way api).

So in the blog example, you could define the blogs and then write them into something like Facebook or Blogger. The identity stuff is even more mind blowing and as the Q&A's point out there are some seriously scary privacy concerns to be worked out. So as a summary its a really good idea and I do wish someone would create it. I'm actually thinking Xpointer could actually really make this whole thing work too. It strikes me as something I could/would use and it would help me bring together abstract pieces of data around the web and locally. If it does what I'm thinking correctly, I could wire up Tomboy notes with Persona Editor and make it inform a Basecamp whiteboard or the same in reverse. Now that would be powerful.

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Media City UK? Its not about the buildings

Media City UK

The current state of Media City UK? Well its coming along very quickly and nicely. I had planned to take some photos myself but the day I went down there it was wet and not very nice. Obviously the buildings are nice, but its the change of culture which I'm doing my bit to change which interests me more. Unfortunately this is shared by everyone.

Ariel with TimB on the cover

Take the recent issue of Ariel (BBC's internal newspaper) Tim-Berners Lee on the front cover with a question will internet kill tv? First up should this even be a question at all? Secondly the article says goto page 7? and you get a little bit more and nothing much else. Greatly disappointing! I stand by the notion of broadcast being dead or at least on its last legs. How a public broadcaster can move beyond its broadcasting roots interests me and I think the result of that culture change could happen in Media City.

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