Sunday, August 20, 2006

Failed validation, 1019 errors

Just out of curiosity, I run that asiaone.com homepage through w3c validator. Failed validation, 1019 errors.

Surprise, surprise... It's the luxury of being a monopoly. People will need to come to you whether or not your site complies to web standards.

The following media sites did not pass either... but they had far less errors:
CNN faired the best with just 42 errors. Chasing it's tail is BBC homepage with only 45 errors. Just did it fun and to see how seriously we should take this web standards :)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Iran President blogs

While Singapore struggles with the use of blogs in the political arena, the President of Iran has started his very own blog. According to CTV, the President shares his life experiences and discusses the war between Iran and Iraq openly.

What's more? The President is asking for opinions on political issues online.

The juicy part of the story is found in the last two paragraphs. Apparently the President had spoken out against bloggers before.

Closer to home, the blogosphere and politics have had their clashes. A local blogger - Mr Brown - had his column in the newspapers suspended. The incident, no doubt, was political.

Does the Iranian President's blog herald a new era for the blogosphere? Have we reached a tipping point in internet history where politicians are embracing blogs? Does it legitimise bloggers?

This calls to mind an article I read recently about MySpace. The author called out to parents to set-up their own accounts on the internet website that has enthralled the youth of America. If all parents join MySpace, the website would quickly lose its "cool factor".

Would blogging, especially political commentary, lose its flavour once the politicians take hold of cyberspace?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

China media gets into web groove

The Asia Times reported that the Chinese newspapers are taking a "if you can't beat them, join them" approach to new media.

It isn't at all surprising. Chinese have been known for their keen eye on the money. With print advertising growth slowing and internet advertising encroaching, they have no choice but to "follow the scent of money".
According to the Shanghai-based iResearch, China's online advertising market totaled 1.9 billion yuan (US$238 million) in 2004, up 75.9% from 2003. And iResearch's projections may be still too conservative. The latest statistics from advertiser Ogilvy show that China's online advertising market grew 77.1% from 2004 to reach 3.1 billion yuan in 2005, ranking fourth among all media, and exceeding magazine advertising income for the first time. China's online advertising market is predicted to reach 4.6 billion yuan in 2006, up 48% from 2005, and hit 15.7 billion by 2010. - Asia Times
What's most interesting is that the Chinese are yelling for protection of intellectual property. Bloggers and websites must stop lifting articles that takes millions of yuan to create. In a country where piracy is rampant, the Chinese newspapers are crying foul.

How can we rationalise intellectual property protection in one sphere and piracy in another? At the end of the day, it really depends on who gets hurt and how much power they have to right the wrong. But does anyone have the power these days?

The internet - 2.0 and all its glory - has been about user-generated content. A lot of which is borrowed from media companies. Take a trip to YouTube and you will find plenty of movie and TV show clips. That is the paradox of user-generated content.

Is it fashionable or practical to try and put a stop to 2.0? Rupert Murdoch thinks not. Everywhere he goes, a story on how Fox is embracing new media ensues. In less than a year, he has become a hero for new media. He embraces user-generated content and hasn't got himself into sticky discussions on intellectual property rights (not that I know of).

Maybe the Chinese "get it". The AsiaTimes story clearly points to China papers embracing new media. Once they get busy with it, there will be little time to go after the content pirates. Will they innovate successfully? It will be very interesting to watch, especially from Singapore, where the media is an oligopolgy-monopoly industry with no impetus to tackle new media quickly.

For now, content piracy will be sidelined... unless, some genius finds a way to easily capture pirated content and bring them to legal justice.

Monday, August 14, 2006

No Google Maps for Singapore?

While the world is having great fun mucking around with Google Maps, we've been enjoying the enviable view from the spectator's stand. How about Yahoo!? They've been around pretty long. How about doing us Singaporeans a big favour by putting up some Yahoo! maps for play!

Who's on the street

The leading street map site in Singapore is Streetdirectory.com. This site is one of the dot com survivors. I applaud their tenacity to stay in the market. They've been trying a whole lot of things from Google Ads to hyperlocal advertising. Of late (actually it's been almost a year), they've developed an industry reputation for hunting down businesses who have been using their maps without permission/fees.

A newer, less established player in maps is can.com.sg. If I remember correctly, they launched when the dot com bubblegum blew up in our faces. Of late, the site seems to be going through revival. If you dig hard enough - you'll realise it's a quasi-government site - like so many other sites in Singapore.

Germans in town

Strangely enough, a German company is providing Singapore maps online. The site, hot-maps, provides a searchable map. Like Streetdirectory.com's maps, you need to get permission/licence to use their maps.

Opportunity to grumble or innovate?

All the maps on Singapore, however, are nothing like google maps. They are pre 2.0 - simple, static and boring. I hope my little grumble is seen as an opportunity for someone to rise the occasion. If you're up to it, I am too. Let me know, maybe I can help with the innovation.

Want to start your own Google Maps? Check out Google Maps Mania for ideas.