I wanted to write an epic (for me) blog post because lately, they've been getting a little micro and personal for broad interest and reader-value.This post is all about the future and big Internet trends (!) I think the future is client apps working with web services. Clearly client apps have been around forever - but they are still The Future.
I scored a big victory today because Andy told me that he had added Mattishness to his Bloglines list - and Andy's a busy guy.In light of this development, I was reading Andy's blog and followed a link to Sawickipedia - a few posts down I found a post about new opportunities in ad-supported online music business models - you know, what if advertising came with RealPlayer? ;) And then I thought, what does 'ad-supported music' remind me of? I know - the Kazaa/Gator bundle!
What's so powerful about client apps? Attention - there has been some good punditry around the idea of Attention Markets, including by Alex Iskold. Basically, the Internet is already enormous and seems to be growing faster than it is possible to index; simultaneously, people are getting busier and busier. Net, how is a poor marketer supposed to capture valuable attention these days? Client Apps!
Turns out Alex Iskold put his money where is mouth is and started AdaptiveBlue a Firefox extension that provides contextual information around the stuff you're looking at on web pages - and if that stuff happens to be a product stocked by Amazon, so much the better. AdaptiveBlue gets your attention by living in your browser, they don't have to wait for you to choose to navigate to their comparison shopping site. I think it's genius.
I have previously written about 2 new companies that get your attention by shoving themselves on to your desktop - Orolix a Brazilian social-ISP, and Ripl, a new college network from Seattle.
At this point, I want to pause and address the mindless run-everything-in-your browser crowd. Separate client apps can be written much more elegantly,and you don't have to take my word for it, just read this masterly examination of Meebo. So on a macro level, Microsoft is really killin' it with the Ray Ozzie client app-web service continuum plan.