Thursday, March 13, 2008

What if semantic print were to exist?

Today's news about Yahoo embracing Semantic Web got me thinking. What if semantic print were to exist?

From Techcrunch post:

"Yahoo’s support for semantic web standards like RDF and microformats (hCard, hCalendar, hReview, hAtom and XFN) is exactly the incentive websites need to adopt them. Instead of semantic silos scattered across the Web (think Twine), Yahoo will be pulling all the semantic information together when available, as a search engine should."

What I mean by semantic print is application of RDF & microformats like standards applied to components that make up a print publication (flyers, brochures, newspapers, magazines, etc...) Just like semantic web promises to make search engines and mash ups better among others, semantic print would allow content repurposing, new packaging/print products and cost efficiencies in print production.

Google's interactive ads is also a step in this direction where by content also carries intent/action. On the production side there are a lot of print content management systems (Alfresco, Quark Publishing System, Documentum) out there promises this, but no clear winner exists yet in this space.

I guess evolution happens out of chaos only and not every information in the world can be structured.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

What if newspapers go purely "distribution" model

After my initial comment about distribution vs destination, I realized what if such a theory is applied to traditional print media?

Traditional print houses have a lot of investment in infrastructure to support editorial, product and delivery. And report after report suggests news print market is shrinking. Idea is to leverage that investment by offering that infrastructure to bloggers, influencers (if there is such a thing), evangelists, what not whose primary channel is web and would like to add print as well.

  1. Independent journalists add another medium to their work > reach more masses
  2. Opens the door for content monetization besides ad based revenue. Posts/articles that cost less to produce and are time critical may be delivered via web while ones that need lots of research, has high quality editorial analysis and is not time critical may go purely print for which customers have to pay.

Distribution vs Destination

After reading about new YouTube API and Hulu launch, I guess I realized difference between distribution & destination.

As I understand it, a web service is "destination" where people stay there, like It essentially is a portal which have original editorial and may aggregate external content. Techcrunch noted with new YouTube APIs there is a strong indication that YouTube wants to be in hosting and distribution business as opposed to destination.

On the "distribution" side, Hulu CEO Jason Kilar notes that he is happy to know that that somebody who’s consuming the full episode of 30 Rock was within Yahoo. I guess the main motivation behind "distribution" business model is it is hard to create new destination. a good analogy from physical world is how many malls one can open. So it is in best interest of content providers that they keep open mind towards having somebody else host their content. Of course, one needs to make sure that balance doenst tilt all the way like what Steve Jobs did to music industry.

Half-Assed Startup: Work on a startup while working full time

Excellent points to consider from Venture Hacks. I can attest to most of these.
  • You need a co-founder and some cheerleaders < you'll hit a motivation wall
  • Pick a day or two per week where you always work, ideally in the same room as your co-founders < keeping a fixed schedule helps
  • Have a boat-burning target - a goal when you can go full steam. < dive in full-time?
  • Pick an idea that is tractable < No extraneous features
  • Understand that your first version is probably going to suck
  • If you’re going to screw off at work (everyone does), spend it getting smarter about the stuff you don’t know < stealing time
  • Be sure you own your startup

Friday, March 7, 2008

My work @ Quark Labs

Wanted to send out a quick note. 2 of the the projects that I conceived and developed are live @ Quark Labs. I will be adding more information soon. Stay tuned.

Shared Picture Map for QuarkXPress 7:
Shared Picture Map is a QuarkXPress XTension and Apple Aperture/iPhoto plugins that allows both the applications to exchange images and layouts.

QuarkViewer for QuarkXPress 7:
QuarkViewer is an XTensions module for QuarkXPress 7.3.x that allows users to export QuarkXPress layout pages for viewing in Microsoft Silverlight player. QuarkViewer may run as a pure desktop application or a Web application.

Hello World App using iPhone SDK

Got my hands dirty with iPhone SDK. Here is the code to display Hello World.

UIView *mainView = [[UIView alloc] initWithFrame: [[UIScreen mainScreen] bounds]];
UITextView *textView = [[UITextView alloc] initWithFrame: CGRectMake(10.0f, 10.0f, 320.0f, 480.0f)];

[textView setEditable:YES];
[window addSubview: mainView];
[mainView addSubview:textView];
[textView setText:@"Hello World"];

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

What if newspapers were delivered electronically on weekdays and in print on Sunday?

Being entrepreneurial, I keep thinking about ideas to solve current and future problems. I thought its high time to document those and hence I am starting "what if" posts with this one.

What if newspapers were delivered electronically on weekdays and in print on Sunday?

Of course problem I am trying to solve is dying print media. How many of us read newspapers any more? Google News, blogs, aggregators (such as Techmeme) are where we get our news from. Recently I got to hear from an IT director at a leading print magazine - he mentioned that they are trying to be a media company. This was the first for me, but it does make sense. Now-a-days audio, video is at par with print and is a must.

Coming back to solution. I must add this is inspired by Scott Karp's post on Publishing 2.0 blog. What if publishing houses deliver more of editorial edition and less of news (late breaking :) and that too either saturday or sunday? This product would be somewhere in middle of editorial section of a daily newspaper and a weekly/bimonthly magazine. Ads would be more for brand awareness as opposed to "call for action". This way one can get some time on weekend to take a step back from internet news world and see it from pure editorial perspective. Further such a product should be customizable by the end user. Say I would like to read more about technology and health. Even better if they can let one pick the writers. Say for example I like to read Scott Karp and Michael Arrington, so have their blogs included in this product.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Tips for building Facebook apps

  1. It's never too late to create a winning app
  2. Simplicity & clarity are key to app success
  3. Aim for speed & flexibility in launch and iterations
  4. Community cooperation leads to success (in other words, the most successful students shared the most)
  5. Individual opinion about apps are worthless, you need to get out there and see what happens
  6. Copying success is a cheap / fast way to succeed
  7. Metrics do matter, but today's tools are too weak
  8. You CAN learn to create a winning app
  9. Success comes from the CHAOS / CONTROL Cycle
  10. Mass Interpersonal Persuasion is finally here

From teachers @ Stanford

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Brian Lara Cricket 2oo7 Xbox Controller Map

I own Xbox 360 in US. Of course its NTSC format and Brian Lara Cricket 2007 isnt released here. Being a cricket fanatic, I so desperately needed to play it that I bought PC version, put it on my MacBook Pro (Vista via Boot camp) and used my Xbox Controller (via wireless gaming receiver) to play the game. Now I had no way of knowing which controller key does what so I asked a friend of mine in UK to send screen shots of the Xbox game. Posting them here for future reference.

Attacking shot/Abort runRun up/Normal deliveryChange field type
Lofted shotRight-breaking deliveryChange field type
Defensive shotLeft-breaking deliveryThrow to keeper/Field variant
RunSlow delivery/Top spinnerThrow to bowler/Field variant
Move left/Attacking sweepSwing left
Move right/Lofted sweepSwing right
LT+X,B,ADance down wicketSpecial delivery 1

Special delivery 2

Cricket 025

Cricket 026

Cricket 027