Behavior, Content, Money – 3 Things you should never give away for free!!!

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Money Talks…

Posted by bryan on April 5, 2008 in E-Business, E-Commerce with No Comments


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Murphy’s Law on money & power (aka. Murphy’s Gold Rule):

Whoever has the gold makes the rules

 

This is in fact an age-old saying, but it is incredibly relevant today in this time of economic turmoil. Especially in the case of business start-ups and the increasingly expensive legal defenses that few companies can afford.

Following lawsuits earlier this year from insurance company Geico over the use of its trademark in competitors’ ads that rank highly in AdWords next to the search term ‘Geico’, Google faces more lawsuits at the hands of American Airlines, Rescuecom, and potentially others. MediaPost’s Wendy Davis covers the first hearing at the Federal Appeals court in Federal Court Waxes Theoretical During Google Search Case.

 

The three-judge panel grilled both the Google and Rescuecom lawyers in the opening proceedings, which ran double its allotted time. Arguments were given in support of each side’s position. Google’s lawyer Michael H. Page compared Google paid & sponsored search results to a retail store, where it is common practice to place a competitor’s products next to anothers, under one common category; while Rescuecom’s lawyer, Edmund J. Gegan, argued “We are not alleging it’s wrong to sell the right to be placed next door to something,” … “but Rescuecom searches should not yield results for competitors. “When you search on ‘Rescuecom,’ you’re only supposed to get results for ‘Rescuecom’–not for computer services,” he said.

 

We at BC$ believe this is a key moral, ethical and legal question and will be very interested in the outcome of the trials. Everyday, we are working to find a way to level the playing field for all advertisers, companies and users so that information can be accessed, ranked and displayed as fairly, transparently and accountably as possible. From the beginning, we realize that this is the way to establish trust within our system.

 

Good luck to Google in finally figuring out the same for their text-based Search Ads. We will be celebrating if that day ever comes. In any case, the trial puts the spotlight on a potential weakness in their system and the online advertising community could get a boost if the weakness is removed.


And now for something completely different (but related)…

 

Next, an interesting and increasingly significant topic is that of the pending Analog TV shutdown. In case you’ve been hiding under a rock somewhere, the US has announced that all TV communications signals will be transmitted via Digital Broadcast as of February 17th, 2009. Similar switch-over and shutdown measures have been announced in most countries all over the world. Norma Reveler of Reuters covered the issue in: Canada TV biz debates entry of U.S. cable channels.

 

Ok, we admit it, most normal people have NO CLUE about this analog shutdown or what it actually means (so don’t feel bad about the “hiding under a rock” joke, which was perhaps in poor taste). What made big news though, was the fact that the U.S. government is going to provide a meager $5 million USD to the education of its 300 million citizens on the significance of the shutdown. That’s compared to the $600 million USD-equivalent being offered by the UK government to its citizens.

 

We see this as an excellent opportunity for online and mobile video producers, aggregators, publishers and service-providers to create educational programs through their own existing online video and mobile video networks. The existing digital community would do well to share its knowledge with the general public on the issues at hand, as they relate to the Analog Shutdown.

UPDATE (2008-07-28): Apple reportedly has over $20.8 billion in cash on its balance sheet, which is fast approaching Microsoft as the company with the most cash on hand in the world.

 

UPDATE (2011-07-28): Ironically enough, exactly 3 years after my last update, it has been reported that Apple has over $75.876 billion in cash on its balance sheet, which makes it not only surpass Microsoft as the company with the most cash on hand in the world, but also the United States of America (yes more than even the supposedly wealthiest country), which had $73.768 billion in cash as defined by the 2011 Budget.

 

 

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BC$ = Behavior, Content, Money

The goal of the BC$ project is to raise awareness and make changes with respect to the three pillars of information freedom - Behavior (pursuit of interests and passions), Content (sharing/exchanging ideas in various formats), Money (fairness and accessibility) - bringing to light the fact that:

1. We regularly hand over our browser histories, search histories and daily online activities to companies that want our money, or, to benefit from our use of their services with lucrative ad deals or sales of personal information.

2. We create and/or consume interesting content on their services, but we aren't adequately rewarded for our creative efforts or loyalty.

3. We pay money to be connected online (and possibly also over mobile), yet we lose both time and money by allowing companies to market to us with unsolicited advertisements, irrelevant product offers and unfairly structured service pricing plans.

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