Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.
This IM war is about aggregees
Author: Phil Wolff Posted: 8/6/1999; 11:48:04 AM Topic: What this IM war is all about Msg #: 9225 (In response to 9220) Prev/Next: 9224 / 9226
I recall a few years' ago when Internet Telephony was the biggest thing, threatening to kill the telcos. Microsoft calmly invested in long distance carriers and cable systems. IP telephony is making inroads here and there but Microsoft will be there.
I see IM as one more access point to collect the most valuable asset of all: large lists of people and access to their disposable income.
TCI was attractive to ATT in part because they had another pipe into peoples' homes and offices, including people not using ATT long distance.
I suggest user aggregation is in and of itself a valuable and worthy goal [stating the obvious??][DaveNet?]. This collection of people forking over some combination of scarce resources (their time, money, disk space, screen real estate, bandwidth, privacy) creates its own value. You keep your aggregation by serving the aggregees.
IM serves with:
- ubiquity (I really need a word that means the ability to connect to anyone anywhere vs. being everywhere),
- richer experiences and media (new ways of finding/combining people, avatars/audio/video, collaborative surfing/filtering/feedback)
- bringing RealTime to the other dimensions of my world (sex, shopping, searching, watching TV, listening to the radio, driving my car).
The labor movements of the first half of the twentieth century started to redress some of the power imbalance between employers and workers, perhaps among classes. As an aggregee, what can you do to redress some of the imbalance of power that is sure to come as Microsoft, AOL, Yahoo!, and ATT become the aggregators of a new medium?
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