The Fate of New Acquisitions: Whither or Wither?

By Jeremy Wagstaff I’m writing this on a Windows PC using a great piece of Microsoft software called Windows Live Writer. And that’s only part of the problem. As you no doubt know, Microsoft have announced they bought Skype, the Internet telephony company, for $8.5 billion. You’ll have to look under a lot of stones …

Continue reading ‘The Fate of New Acquisitions: Whither or Wither?’ »

Media’s Future: Retail

(This is a copy of my weekly newspaper column, distributed by Loose Wire Service) By Jeremy Wagstaff As you no doubt know, Rupert Murdoch has decided to put up a front door on the The Times’ website, demanding a modest toll for reading the online content. Needless to say this has prompted laughter among those …

Continue reading ‘Media’s Future: Retail’ »

Skype’s New Dawn?

We talk about Facebook, twitter, MySpace and Friendster as the big social networks but we keep forgetting one that is far bigger than that: Skype. This from a Bloomberg piece on Skype’s vacillating fortunes: Skype has soared in popularity since it started in 2003 and has about 548 million users worldwide—more than Facebook, MySpace and …

Continue reading ‘Skype’s New Dawn?’ »

Web 2.0 Ain’t About the Technology

Scoble makes some good points in a blog posting about why Microsoft, and more specifically his old boss Steve Ballmer, doesn’t get Web 2.0. I don’t agree with everything Robert says, but he has an understanding of this era of the web born of living and working in its eye the past seven years: “There …

Continue reading ‘Web 2.0 Ain’t About the Technology’ »

Lost in Transmission

I dread to think how much eBay is paying Waggener Edstrom to handle press relations for their Toy Crusade. At least I think that’s what is being launched — all the press stuff I received this morning, including image-laden email, attachments was all in Chinese. Oh, except for the headline. I know I should, but …

Continue reading ‘Lost in Transmission’ »

Sponsoring Theft

Are companies like eBay knowingly peddling stolen goods? Surely not, but I wonder about their advertising strategy. I get confused about how sponsored results work. You know, those textual ads that appear alongside search results or on a webpage. I mean, I thought I knew how they worked: someone buys a word and when that …

Continue reading ‘Sponsoring Theft’ »

Dud of the Week: eBay Anniversary

I shouldn’t boast too much about this, I know, since you’re all going to get horribly jealous, but I just received a very exciting email, courtesy of the nice folks over at eBay, congratulating me on an impressive year (or is it 10?) of dedicated custom: Now my friend Jim says this is the lamest …

Continue reading ‘Dud of the Week: eBay Anniversary’ »

IVR Cheat Sheets, And Dirty Tricks?

The IVR debate rumbles on. Could automated voice phone systems be better than just having a human answering the phone? Is it better to cheat the system? Paul English’s cheat sheet has appeared more than 100 TV and radio stations in a month. One company, Angel.com, has been fighting back, first with a pretty harsh …

Continue reading ‘IVR Cheat Sheets, And Dirty Tricks?’ »

Tamiflu and the Online Buying Epidemic

Sadly, this might be the way of the future: Selling prescription drugs that everyone wants in the middle of a pandemic to the highest bidder. The Register reports that people have been selling Tamiflu on eBay for up to four times its usual price: Internet auctioneer eBay has shut down sales through it service of Tamiflu, …

Continue reading ‘Tamiflu and the Online Buying Epidemic’ »

At Last, Some IM Interoperability

InformationWeek quotes AP as saying that Microsoft and Yahoo “Reach Instant Messaging Deal”:   Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc have agreed to make their two instant-messaging programs work together, a partnership that could threaten market leader America Online, people familiar with the situation said. The deal was expected to be announced early Wednesday, these people …

Continue reading ‘At Last, Some IM Interoperability’ »