Post man flu quick catch-up…

I can finally sit and type long enough without sneezing to start catching up….so…

Something worth plugging is the ‘One Child, One Laptop‘ initiative, which has had fun poked at it, but is now here. $200 gives one laptop, and from November $400 gives a laptop, and gets you one for your own kids…or yourself… The great thing, as Seth Godin points out, is that a child in the 3rd World with access to knowledge can start contributing in millions of different ways and changing things, whether it’s using a website to diagnose a family illness, or new agricultural techniques. Or realising how loans have crippled their country…

Less worthy, but also getting attention, is the post by Jason Calacanis defining Web 3.0 in his opinion. Which appears to also be a definition of Mahalo. Could this be a lovely wind-up? See the follow-up…Or Techmeme

Finally, does anyone else have problems with the Java image upload on Facebook, if you use Firefox? IE runs perfectly…

Web 3.0 – More like Web!

I understand that a lot of people find it easier to collect groups of websites together under the Web 2.0 banner, and save time explaining every facet of social networking, tagging, rounded edges etc.

But web 3.0?

So far, it seems to be the holy grail of turning the internet into a Tron 3D world where everything is accessible by an avatar floating around.

I’d debate whether 3D really is the next step. There seems to be very little which has an advantage to being in 3D besides gaming. And I think that’s probably proven by the discovery of 3DMailbox.

It’s a free email service which merges Second Life with your email account to allow you to send emails whilst your avatar relaxes on beach.

Aside from the fact my first attempts to actually run the program have been scuppered by the fact I’m on a work spec PC, rather than high-end gaming rig (Apparently my graphic card doesn’t support pixel shading in the right way, causing 3D Mailbox to crash), the trailer and information doesn’t seem to offer any reason why using an avatar to surf my email is in any way quicker, easier to better than using a traditional email program.

And if it doesn’t make my life easier, less stressful, or more productive, then that just leaves the enjoyment factor. And call me cynical but I’d rather be outside in the real world, or immersed in the likes of Rainbow 6: Vegas shooting terrorists, than playing a mix of Outlook and Second Life

Having said that, if you do get it to work, and you do find it a revolutionary way of enjoying your email experiences, do let me know.

Remember kids. If you can’t justify what you are doing in a couple of simple sentences which explain why it’s great, then go and do something else.

Online economies are changing…

Interesting changes are afoot at the world’s biggest fleamarket and online auction site.
Firstly, the charges for a number of categories will change from March 1, 2007. Listing fees are being reduced and simplified, which is nice at first glance. But, if you’re one of the many, many people who sell comics, DVDs, music and video games, then you’re in for a shock. The Final Listing Value is now up to 9%!
Ebay’s own example shows that selling many of these items will now have an increased cost to the seller, and it seems to suggest that you’re better off listing items for an unfair price to get the maximum cash, rather than offering a fair price. Could this see low-margin sellers looking elsewhere? Take a look at the examples for yourself, and note that they all assume an item needs to be listed twice to sell.

There’s also the news that Ebay is delisting ‘Real Money Transfer‘ items when they correspond to video gaming. RMT is basically the method for selling your gold or other items harvested from World of Warcraft etc, and converting them into real cash.
Interestingly, however, Second Life is exempt, due to questions about whether it is a game, or a virtual world.

The repercussions could be that low margin sellers and World of Warcraft gold farmers both start looking elsewhere to make sales. And coming at the same time, it could give a significant boost to any alternative route to market.
It also suggests that virtual money making could increasingly move towards the likes of Second Life, whose makers, Linden Labs, have already stated their intention to be behind the framework for the 3D Web 3.0.
And finally it highlights the problem of monopolies in the online world, as much as in reality. Do I accept that I’m going to be paying an extra £1 in fees for every DVD and game I sell, in addition to Paypal costs and postage? Meaning that I get less reward for the pain in the backside which is Ebay trading? In addition to the risks that sellers seem to shoulder by using Paypal?

Next stop IPTV. But what have I been using?

Currently the rising tide of IPTV has caught the imagination of most internet commentators. Indeed some misguided fools are labelling the concept ‘Web 3.0‘ in the same way as I describe going outside for a cigarette as having an ‘external conference’, or business analysts refer to sackings as ‘headcount reductions’.
Aside from the flawed concept of Web 2.0, and the even more flawed concept of ‘Web 3.0‘, there are interesting developments. The main hope appears to be Joost, with Bittorrent also in the running, and the likes of BT Vision etc.

Well, call me Marty McFly if you like, but I’ve been watching IPTV for over two years now, along with some of my colleagues, friends, and countless sports fans. In fact, I once manned a desk at a large public trade show, and watched an entire Premiership football match at the same time, thanks to the fast broadband connection. Want to join in? Go to almost any reasonably popular forum, and post a topic about wanting to watch any sports without having to subscribe to Pay-Per-View television.

Without fail, someone will mention PPLive. Although the menus are in Chinese, there are plenty of English language sites to explain how to select the channel you wish to view. And then you get streaming football, for example, sometimes with English commentaries. And at a reasonable qaulity, depending on your connection etc…

If you do want to keep up with the ‘Johnny-come-latelies’ of the internet television world, I’d recommend NewTeeVee from the GigaOm network. Part of the NewTeeVee round-up this week links to four potential P2P IPTV problems from Mark Cuban.

I’m off to fire up my Delorean.