Satellite TV Adoption in Morocco

This is slightly off the topic of wireless, but not technology and services. One of the things that amazed me was the presence of satellite dishes. Apparently they cost just under $100 to get the equipment, and there is no service charge. We saw red clay hut homes in a number of Kasbahs with electricity, but no running water (and very little furniture). The electricity in some places we visited had only been installed in the last ten years. They also had Internet access. It was simply astounding to see so many satellite dishes on homes made of clay and rock. Just down the hill from one village were women doing laundry in a river and drying their rugs on stones along the river banks.


Satellite Dishes on Rooftops in Fez

We visited a Kasbah near M'Hamid where electricity had just recently been added. They didn't seem to be using it for lights or any appliances. There were no cars in the streets - only donkeys, camels and children on foot. The homes had no floors other than the clay or earth. There were minimal furnishings - some carpets, stools, and a few cooking utensils. We did, however find a satellite dish on the roof of a home.

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iPhone in the High Atlas Mountains

We had an 8 to 10 hour drive between Marrakesh to M'Hamid. Our guides - especially Habib and Abdul - were wonderful singers, but we couldn't do Arabic music for that long. The only non-Arabic cassette that they had was U2 Boy - which is a great album, but it wasn't going to last for that long.

Each of the three of us in our car had an iPod, and they had a hook up for the stereo so we were able to listen to some of our music. I showed Abdul and Rudouin the iPhone. The touch interface fascinated them - I think it was the first time they'd seen a device like this. Two things seemed to amaze them most - a) the amount of music on a single device and b) that it was actually a phone - they just couldn't seem to get their heads around the idea that it was a phone.

Our guides had cell phones, but the more basic type with a black/white screen. They primarily used their phones for voice calls and not text messages.


Rudouin and Abdul Checking Out the iPhone on the High Atlas


My Theory on Why Ringtones Were Created

I spent a lot of time in crowded souks on my trip. The Noka ring tone was more common than any other noise I heard. Each time I heard it, I reached for my backpack to check to see if it was my phone. It drove me crazy.


AOL to Acquire Bebo

Not bad. Bebo has a good youth focus with its social network, strong presence in the UK, and is doing smart things with more professional content. Not entirely clear what AOL brings to the picture these days. I'll post again if there's anything interesting on the concall.

So <i>That's</i> Journalism...

In a 1,100 word story about the alleged prostitute who brought down NY governor Eliot Spitzer, the NY Times' two bylined reporters (with help from three others) spend about 250 words on an interview with the subject and 425 quoting from her MySpace page. Three photos accompanying the story are sourced ""

That's not how they did it back in the Dark Ages when I was a reporter.

In fairness, the Times did break the story -- and outed her -- while the Post and the Daily News both can only cite the Times' story with teeth-gnashing envy.

A Groundswell at SXSW: How The Audience Revolted Against the Speakers

[Posted by Jeremiah Owyang]

For the second year, I experienced the SXSW Interactive Festival, an event attended by thousands who have love for media, the web, and gadgets.

SXSW is a bubble of the tech elite assembling, in many ways it’s a glimpse into the future, exposed on a Petri dish today.

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Plug.IN Webinar Today

Join me and Michael Gartenberg today for what will be a lively discussion on the future of the music bidness.

JupiterResearch's Plug.IN Webinar
Digital Music Trends & Outlook
March 11th, 2008
1pm ET/10am PT

Digital music was a $1.3 billion business in 2007, but it still only comprised 10 percent of consumer music spending. Meanwhile, Apple continues to dominate both devices and downloads and Yahoo! became the third big player to drop out of on-demand subscription services.

Will digital music ever save the industry? Are downloaded singles replacing CD sales? Who are today's customers, and how is that likely to change over time? What is the role of ad-supported services, and of P2P networks? Will there be a showdown between iPods and music phones? iPods and anybody? How do you compete with, or thrive alongside Apple?

Cynical Observations of the Month

I've been waiting all day for someone to comment on the NY Times wooo-scary ad-targeting-privacy story. (Regular readers know I'm a proponent of Scott McNealy's theory of privacy.) After reading several hundred words penned by the author herself, explaining why the methodology probably doesn't work, I'm still left with these thoughts:

- This is a great justification for why Microsoft wants to buy Yahoo
- If Yahoo was really using all this information to target advertising, it'd be making a lot more money
- Why on earth did comScore do all this work for a story that comes out saying its best clients are either not very good at what they do, or are evil? Is the PR really worth it? I mean, we're in the analysis business. They're in the ratings business.

Oh boy, am I going to hear it from the usual suspects. But hey, ya gotta do this every now and then to drive up your blog traffic.

Continuing Measurement Debate: Efficiency vs. Quality

Good piece in ClickZ. I'm with Jeff Einstein; Eric Picard from Microsoft is obsessing over technical details, sometimes at the expense of missing the main point. Einstein says:

    We've been obsessed with our own ability to measure performance (regardless of the metric) since day one online. Our obsession with efficiency and scale all but eliminates the quality of the message from the consideration set, largely because quality is much more difficult to measure and formulize. We can tinker all we want with metrics and formats, but as long as we remain fixated on efficiency and scale as the keys to the kingdom, performance will continue to decline.

How valuable is your customer data?

[Posted by Dave Frankland]

I was asked a very interesting question by a client recently about how firms value their marketing database and the consumer data stored in it. I’ve asked a lot of marketers during engagements and we surveyed our Direct Marketing Council – we found that while some marketers point to incremental value that they help generate, they do not necessarily have a value on the database itself.

So are any of you out there assigning a monetary value to your database?  Is anyone accounting for it on your balance sheet? Or is it simply seen as a cost center/cost of doing business?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.