rakhesh shows …

February 19, 2006

Creators, Synthesizers, and Consumers

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 4:30 pm

In the new paradigm of “programming” where there are a million things on at any instant, we’re going to need some new and different models of directing our attention. In the transition from atoms-to-bits, scarcity-to-plenty, etc. instead of some cigar-puffing fat-cat at a studio or label “stoking the star-maker machinery behind the popular songs” we’re going to have the ability to create dynamic affinity based “channels”. Instead of NBC, ABC, CBS, HBO, etc. which control scarce distribution across a throttled pipe… we’re going to have WMFAWC, WMNAWC, TNYJLC and a whole lot more. (The what my friends are watching channel, The what my neighbors are watching channel, The New York Jewish Lesbian Channel, etc.) I expect we’ll also have QTC (the Quentin Tarantino channel) but this won’t be media he made (necessarily) but rather media he recommends or has watched / is watching. Everyone becomes a programmer without even trying, and that programming can be socialized, shared, distributed, etc.

Instead, interestingness relies on the natural activity on and traversal through the Flickr site. It’s implementation is subtle, and Stewart has hinted that a photos interestingness score depends on putting a number of factors in a blender: the number of views, the number of times a photo has been favorited (and by whom), the number of comments on a photo, etc. I would guess that Flickr activity the day after interestingness launched didn’t change much from the day before, i.e. the cryptic nature of the algorithm (”interestingness” is the perfect, albeit arcane term) didn’t lead to a lot of deliberate gaming. But dammit, it works great. §

An interesting first post by Bradley Horowitz of Yahoo! (he began blogging today). Boy, he’s got one hell of an About page!! Somebody’s been busy! :)

For its part, Yahoo! is working with SBC and Microsoft on an IPTV/fiber-to-the-curb initiative called Project Lightspeed that uses Yahoo! software to deliver video-on-demand, instant messaging, photo collections, and music. Meanwhile, chief executive Terry Semel, who spent 24 years as an executive at Warner Bros., has recruited a crew of network personnel in Santa Monica to crack open the contractual vaults containing 50 years of rights-encumbered TV and film archives. And Yahoo! has already become the Internet home of broadcast fare like Fat Actress and The Apprentice. “They’re clearly thinking of themselves as the fifth network,” says Jeremy Allaire, founder of Brightcove, a Net video distribution startup. §

In some ways I find it discomforting that pretty soon my tv and video are going to be in the hands of computer outfits like Yahoo! and Google. That my computer us going to be the centrepiece of everything. Somehow I’ve never associated computers with stability. They crash, for goodness sakes! And they keep throwing up errors or have network problems or god knows what. While tv too has similar problems, somehow they are not as frequent or as “affecting” as those of computers. I mean, when was the last time I had to sit all nite and reformat and reprogram the tv coz some virus was beamed into it eh!?!

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