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Web Publishers Eye Your Wallet

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Pat Kenealy, International Data Group's kinetic chief executive officer, has a particular fondness for analogies. To him, "Google is like a newsstand on the internet," "bloggers are like pamphleteers" and business journalism is "really just another name for information arbitrage."

Because IDG publishes 300 tech magazines, newspapers and websites -- everything from Computerworld to InfoWorld to NetworkWorld to PC World -- Kenealy has a unique vantage point from which to make sense of online media.

So when he thinks of the future, what analogy comes to mind?

Television.

"In 1955, TV was free," Kenealy said, "and two generations later most people pay for it. There was a built-in reluctance to pay for TV until it got so much better than broadcast. That's what I think will happen with the internet."

Although there is far too much synonymous content on the web for every publisher to charge for news, if Kenealy is right, you will see what has been called "the Balkanization of online media" -- a digital world where many publishers will hide their products behind gates, far from search-engine crawlers.

Just like we got used to paying extra for cable to receive better reception in urban areas, movies on demand and far more choices and channels -- in my case, don't even think of asking me to go without HBO -- Kenealy believes we will get used to paying for internet content. After all, to draw another analogy, we got used to paying $1.50 or so at some ATMs -- and that's to withdraw our own money.

Imagine a world where you could have ready access to thousands of different types of content and purchase anything you like on the spot. Although it sounds like that old Qwest TV ad for broadband, in which a clerk at a seedy hotel promises a traveler that in his room he will have access to "every movie ever made, in every language, any time, day or night," Kenealy sees it as more akin to a newsstand.

"All those magazines are there for the browsing," he said. "You leaf through a magazine you like, you buy it for $6. The newsstand gets $2; the magazine publisher gets the rest. And if you really like it, you subscribe."

The only thing slowing down the move away from free content is the sorry state of micro-transactional software. Once all the bugs are worked out, the free internet gateway in which publications generate revenue from ads will slowly morph into another, more-lucrative business model: gated content.

Full Story.

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Collaboration Events: Pakistan Open Source Summit, GNOME+Rust Hackfest, DataworksSummit Berlin

  • Pakistan Open Source Summit 2018 concludes [Ed: Not about software]
    A large number of attendees from industry, academia, government, and students participated in the summit. Portuguese Ambassador to Pakistan Dr Joao Sabido Costa was the chief guest at the opening ceremony while former Naval Chief Admiral (r) Asif Sandila graced the occasion as the chief guest at the closing ceremony.
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    Ambassador of Portugal to Pakistan Dr Joao Sabido Costa has said that events such as the Open Source Summit are excellent for spreading awareness and for creating industry-academia linkages and enhancement of the information technology. He stated this while addressing a concluding ceremony of the two-day informative ‘Pakistan Open Source Summit 2018’ attended by large number of people from industry, academia, government and students. Former naval chief Admiral (R) Asif Sandila co-chaired the concluding session. Dr Joao Sabido Costa said that the organisations should utilise open source platforms to build their IT infrastructures in future. To build open source culture in Pakistan, he recommended roadmap with future activities and timelines for spreading open source.
  • Madrid GNOME+Rust Hackfest, part 2
    Yesterday we went to the Madrid Rust Meetup, a regular meeting of rustaceans here. Martin talked about WebRender; I talked about refactoring C to port it to Rust, and then Alex talked about Rust's plans for 2018. Fun times.
  • DataworksSummit Berlin - Wednesday morning
    Data strategy - cloud strategy - business strategy: Aligning the three was one of the main themes (initially put forward in his opening keynote by CTO of Hortonworks Scott Gnau) thoughout this weeks Dataworks Summit Berlin kindly organised and hosted by Hortonworks. The event was attended by over 1000 attendees joining from 51 countries. The inspiration hat was put forward in the first keynote by Scott was to take a closer look at the data lifecycle - including the fact that a lot of data is being created (and made available) outside the control of those using it: Smart farming users are using a combination of weather data, information on soil conditions gathered through sensors out in the field in order to inform daily decisions. Manufacturing is moving towards closer monitoring of production lines to spot inefficiencies. Cities are starting to deploy systems that allow for better integration of public services. UX is being optimized through extensive automation.

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