So, the Strata conference was good, and my talk was pretty well received. Work got in the way of me hanging out at the conference for the whole three days, but I did spend about a day and some change meeting lots of smart people (including a lot of ex-Yahooers) and taking in some talks. It’s a very different vibe from eMetrics – that’s not a judgment, just an observation. Much more technical and “hands-on” in nature – a lot of it reminded me of eMetrics 2006, with a focus on tools and technologies. If you missed it, or want to relive it, you can find Strata 2011 Speaker Slides & Videos.
One personal highlight was chatting with Duncan Davidson, who is doing a lot of photography for O’Reilly events (and many others .. check out his site). The kick was that he and I were in a Palo Alto community photography class with about a dozen other people back in … oh, 2002ish maybe? And now look at him: a pro photographer, living the dream…
Tonight I did something both humbling and inspiring at the same time. I read my own blog. Like, all of it. There’s not a lot to read, really, until you reach back to 2005. There’s now lots of missing images and busted links. Such is the web, I guess. But the experience was inspiring because I found myself on several occasions thinking “wow! that was well said! Did I really say that?” and then followed by “Hmm, I don’t think I’m that smart any more.” Perhaps blogging is like exercising – if you don’t use the muscle, it atrophies?
Speaking of busted links. Back when the web was black and white with blue links, I had some content on my old neato.org site, wherein I poked at a few sound and video devices to reveal their secrets. Various nooks and crannies of the web still have pointers to that material, and still get the occasional email asking if I have the content around somewhere and can I please put it back up? So over the weekend, I did.
Dear Sprint –
Congrats on the launch of the Palm Pre. I was previously a Sprint customer and have used various Palm devices, but I stopped being a customer of both quite some time ago. Maybe the Palm Pre is an amazing device, I dunno. I hope it is.
But when I saw this ad in the newspaper, I thought — what’s the imagery trying to communicate here? Why does the Palm Pre need Apple to support it? Like the Pre needs a crutch of some kind. Is it not possible for the Pre to stand on its own?
And hey — using the product-on-white-background-with-reflection image that Apple has made so au courant? I think that’s pure marketing genius but I’m not sure.
But really, the chewed up apple is still standing, holding up the Pre. What are we supposed to be thinking here?
Long ago I mentioned what I called “vertical analytics” and how blogs may be the next analytics frontier. Fast forward to the present, and blog analytics are “been there, done that.” (The product demo I saw in a hotel room at SES never saw the light of day; the originator went on to other things – and remains active in “general” web analytics.)
I still think vertical analytics is bound to happen. Witness Atlanta-based Indie Music, whose service Band Metrics — “Analytics For The Music Industry™”, scored angel financing back in November. More than one press report about the financing used a variant of the phrase “Google Analytics of the music industry.”
Compared with some of the graybeards of Business Intelligence, the Web Analytics “industry” has not yet left adolescence. But I think many of the lessons learned in the greater web analytics field, combined with more powerful machines and a greater “popular culture” around number crunching, are going to lead to analytics for very specialized fields. At a minimum, it might move us away from generic tools that look at the Web to tools that have specific knowledge of a particular business — kinda like a specific solution for scheduling & billing for dentists vs. bringing in Oracle Applications and Accenture. What can be bad about that?
Could this be a new analytics growth opportunity, or perhaps just a land grab? Here’s a thought experiment: check out XXXanalytics.com (where XXX is whatever interesting business you can think of) and see if it’s already taken. I tried a half-dozen while composing this post and I was surprised how many were already claimed…
(Interestingly, XXXanalytics.com itself is not taken, nor is dentistanalytics.com)
When Apple’s Aperture arrived, it was the first tool especially aimed at photographers with extensive photo management needs. While praised for its vision, photographers were frustrated that support for new cameras took such a long time, seemingly requiring updates to Mac OS itself. In the meantime, Adobe’s Photoshop Lightroom offered quick support for new camera models, and it was one of the reasons many photographers switched over to Lightroom.
Now with the release of Mac OS X 10.5.2, and perhaps due to updates to iPhoto and Aperture, Apple is able to push new camera support much quicker than before:
Would we be seeing this kind of turnaround on new cameras without competition from Adobe? Hard to say — but it’s clear that Apple heard the cries of its market and responded.
Today I bought my first digital-only “CD” online.
I have the iPhone, manage my music with iTunes, and all that. But until today, I never actually purchased any music in digital-only format. Maybe I’m just old-fashioned (or just old), but I like the physical medium. I’m sure the recording industry wishes there were more of me…
Today I read that Most fans paid $0 for Radiohead album, and being a Radiohead fan, remembered I hadn’t heard “In Rainbows” yet. So it’s off to the Radiohead site, and a few british pounds later, downloaded the “album”.
It’s ten songs in 160kbps MP3 format. Not archival quality, for sure. It comes with the basic ID3 tags mostly in place, except genre. But the songs themselves — the music — just fabulous.
Since there’s no cover art, I made my own, a screen snap from the In Rainbows site. Because, you know, for Cover Flow.
She: did you ever see the music man? it’s funny
Me: i think so
She: they are singing a song about the wells fargo wagon coming to town with the packages
She: basically the ups truck
She: the whole town is singing
Me: what a wonderful time that must have been!
She: the entire town is chasing it
She: all excited over a trumpet and a box of brown sugar
What could POSSIBLY make me whip out the ol’ blog software and post something?
New Mission of Burma arrived today. Eight (8) CD singles, from their upcoming Matador album The Obliterati (out May 23, 2006).