Dots & Dashes

iPhone

Do not buy before they release the vaunted 3G model, which Steve Jobs will probably announce at next month’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference, and should be available by July.

Once you can surf the Web at high speed beyond wi-fi range, with a functional browser, demand will surge… In the U.S. anyway.

BlackBerry remains the device of choice for those addicted to e-mail, and Palm…will slowly slide off the map, into the horizon, never to be heard from again. What’s that aphorism, "Innovate or Die"?


News Online

Although the content may be free, the sites of the "New York Times" and "Los Angeles Times" are worthless except for the one time you read them after they go live (NYT-9PM Pacific, LAT-midnight).

For regular updates during the day, you must use other sites.

For business news, wsj.com is updated constantly, but you must subscribe to read all the content. Many people believe in cnn.com for generalized news. I find there’s too much content on that site. The Google News is almost irrelevant, since it’s built by computer. A story filed in India has as much importance as one written in New York City, which makes no sense when you’re dealing with the NYSE or the Yankees. My personal favorite is the Yahoo news. Not the one you get when you click on yahoo.com, the main homepage, but http://news.yahoo.com/. All the stories you want to know about, in a readable layout, hand-picked by human beings. It’s been my homepage for YEARS!


Gossip

PerezHilton.com

Please separate the man from the site. We’ll get to Mario in a minute.

Perez has got all the gossip you want, as soon as it becomes available. He’s rarely scooped by Harvey Levin’s TMZ and there’s a personal attitude that makes the site attractive. All those doodlings might befuddle you, but you certainly believe he created them, no underling drew them.

Perez knows that you want to both adore and trash celebrities, believe and hate. He understands the culture of gossip. That’s it just not presentation, but pure entertainment for the reader, more fulfilling than the entertainment products those featured create.

As for his entry into the music business… You’re just jealous. He’s passionate about acts, he’s got an audience, he’s a tastemaker. Are he and his picks for the ages? Doubtful, but in the Internet world, it’s all about the here and now.

As for the shameless self-promotion… He gets away with it because he’s gay. As an inherent outcast, he’s fighting for all those without standing, he’s entitled to trumpet his cause.

Amazing he’s doing it right and no one else can do it as well. Could it be that unlike the others looking for a buck, he just likes gossip THAT MUCH?

Jessica Simpson

Speaking of TMZ… The site remarked today that she’s recently been mentioned less in its pages than her supposedly pregnant sister Ashlee. Point is, there’s no underlying career with Jessica. She’s only of the moment. It’s time for her to settle down and raise a family, because her entertainment days are waning.

iTunes

Apple is not the enemy, the heads of the four families are. Sale by track is not the future, iTunes provides revenue as physical formats die. Don’t try to cripple Apple, enable those on the other side, in the future! Alas, the majors are fearful of giving up control. But that’s what got them into this mess to begin with.

Festivals

Although it’s a vast country, the U.S. cannot sustain an endless number of festivals. Furthermore, Coachella and Bonnaroo are blurring their identities by featuring Prince and Metallica as headliners respectively. Did hip-hop kill Glastonbury? Interesting debate, the granddaddy of festivals did not sell out instantly with Jay-Z as a headliner.

Also, isn’t it curious that all these festivals feature old wave, essentially classic headliners? Are any acts breaking from festivals?

Festivals are the new sheds, but they are band-aids on the underlying problem. Which is few new headliners. And even if there were great new acts, it’s tough to get eyeballs, tough to break them to superstar level.

Hip-Hop/Rock

Which is revitalized first?

Rock’s been dead longer.

Hip-hop took a page out of rock’s book, by being honest, and cutting edge.

But when hip-hop started playing to the audience, it sunk, just like when the hair bands wearing spandex started cutting Top Forty ballads rock ultimately imploded.

Both will live forever, but will either surge again? Or is there a new form of music on the horizon?

Starbucks CDs

Over.

Give Howard Schultz credit, he knows it’s about coffee. And now that coffee’s in trouble, he can’t be a dilettante elsewhere. The brand has been muddied. Physical is dying. The new one cup Clover coffee machine delivers more excitement than most of the acts featured.

Coldplay One Week Stunt

This has got old wave handlers’ fingerprints all over it.

I laud them for giving the track away, but why the time limit? When it will be available FOREVER via P2P. Give it away forever. God, if the band is lucky, new fans will discover it months, YEARS from now.

No limits. That’s the Net mantra. Enable free transferability. Just hope that you reach a ton of people, just hope that your project lives on.

Sometimes You Just Have To Wipe The Slate Clean

Backward compatibility has crippled Microsoft.

Do not worry about laggards, feel free to force everybody to jump into the future.

http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/apr2008/tc20080410_206881.htm

Customer Input

Instead of suing P2P users, if only the major labels, the industry at large, had employed salesforce.com’s ideas software to get its customers’ input.

If you don’t know you’re in bed with your customers, you’re living in the 1990s. Just Google "Dell Hell", which single-handedly brought the company’s fortunes down, primarily by focusing on the computer manufacturer’s almost useless Indian technical support service.

Ask customers what they want, engage them in a dialog. Rick Rubin is a successful producer, but when he pontificates in the "New York Times" the target music audience just rolls its eyes, if it’s paying attention at all. Rick should ask CUSTOMERS what they want.

Read this article and think about it:

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