Thursday, September 29, 2005

Keep Your Hand in the Wave

I hear tell that adept surfers (which I am not--the fact is that I've never surfed before in my life) have a sort of ability to 'connect' with the water they're riding by keeping a hand in wave they surf. They claim this connection--while not knowing where the wave will take them or where they will ultimately end up--helps them to ride the wave.

They say if you don't keep a hand in the wave, at best you'll be left behind; or, even worse, you'll end up wiping out altogether.

I see in this surfing technique a powerful metaphor for the 'subscription wave.'

Again, hearkening back to the Blog Business Summit in San Francisco, I listened to Microsoft's Dean Hachamovitch (General Manager of Microsoft's Internet Explorer team) and Robert Scoble (Technical Evangelist) at the keynote session entitled: "Why Microsoft is Betting Big on Bloggers and RSS." In the discussion, Dean rhetorically asked what the web is about. He then discussed the three major eras of web evolution, namely:

- browse
- search
- subscribe

He correctly observed how each 'wave' of technology built upon, rather than replaced the previous one.

browse ----> search ----> subscribe

I violently agreed when he said: "Once you've tried subscribe, you just don't go back!"

Throughout his remarks (which were really very engaging) he described the things I've sensed as I've dragged my hand in the subscription wave. My web experience expectations are raised. I'm realizing greater efficiencies because the content I want comes to me automatically. I'm notified when new content arrives. And, with my RSS aggregator, I can access the content even when I'm offline. It's like having TiVo for web content.

So, in the absence of all those slow-to-come market research numbers (NOTE: there are a few interesting charts and graphs worth having a look at), Microsoft isn't waiting around for the analysts to tell them a subscription tidal wave is in the making, and they're gonna ride it!

No matter how Internet Explorer 7 turns out, I believe it will surely mainstream subscription behavior in the consumer.

I don't know about you, but my hand is in the water, and there it will stay. I'm riding this wave wherever it goes!

This is one wave you can’t afford to miss.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Of Subscription Technologies and Asian Philosophers

pundit n. 1. A Brahman scholar or learned man. 2. Used as a title of respect for a learned man in India. Linguistic origins in Hindi, Sanskrit and possibly Dravidian.

This blog, named for my syndication pundit aspirations, is commissioned using the famous quote attributed to two of the great Chinese philosophers--Confucius and Lao-tzu--one of whom said:

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

A fitting description for the first entry in this ongoing journey of mine, I think.

A little over a month ago, I attended the Blog Business Summit in San Francisco. My purpose in attending was to better understand business blogs in general, and subscription technology strategies in the specific.

Among the many interesting conversations I enjoyed while attending, I had the opportunity to sit next to two bright and engaging individuals: Chris Pirillo and Rajesh Setty. During the lulls between two morning tracks, we engaged in a very interesting conversation about the need for corporations to understand and capitalize on RSS. As the ideas flew about in those few moments, I decided there and then to create this blog as my content management system (in the words of Blog Business Summit presenter and blog notable Dave Taylor) to share what I have already learned and will continue to learn in this already six month long journey of exploring the phenomenon of subscription.

Please join me and share with the blogosphere as we learn how to make subscription technologies work for companies and individuals from the industry's best (or at least most outspoken) voices on the subject.

Be sure to wear a pair of comfortable shoes for the trip.

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