September 28, 2009


Prezi is a new way to create presentations. I reckon the more I play with this, the better I'd become. That's assuming I have time to do it. This simple one I made below took about an hour including signing up. targets Australian market again

I love seeing Tourism NZ ads like this appearing on Australian websites. Nice show guys!

If you're in NZ, you probably won't see this banner ad, thanks largely to geo-coding, but i've saved the flash ad, so you can see it here. Take a look - interact with it!

Is this the New Zealand you want Australia to see?

September 11, 2009

The 2009 iPod Nano 5G

Its very interesting to read how people are recieving the news, that Apple have included an FM tuner in their latest iPod Nano (the 5G).

Here's my take.
  • It's a long overdue addition.
  • It's a great addition.
  • At first glance, it looks to help keep radio relevant in the ever fragmenting media pie.
While it appears to be doing radio a favour, Apple has actually turned the FM dial into a cash cow for iTunes.

People can 'tag' songs they hear on the radio. And guess what happens when they next sync their iPod? You'll get prompted to download those songs from iTunes.

How does this benefit radio?
Does the radio station get a slice of the purchase price? No.

PCMag made light that Apple didn't make too much of a fuss about the addition of the FM tuner at their 09/09/09 presentation. Apple made a big deal about the camera, built-in speaker, Voice Over and pedometer. Oh, and iTunes 9. But FM tuner - yes, how nice. Moving on. It's like they were obligated to include it, like having to hand in overdue homework from 3 years ago.

iPod Nano vs Digital Radio
The features of the iPod Nano FM tuner poses problems for the New Zealand and Australian radio industries. We are launching digital radio - and Apple has stolen the thunder of these "new" features: live pause, rewind and artist tagging. When the radio industry is forking out billions to introduce this new (and very expensive) technology, its a fierce marketing ploy by Apple to get consumers to buy new iPod Nanos instead of digital radios.

Radio should HATE Apple, but its obvious we need Apple considering the impact of iPods, and the sheer marketshare Apple has. So its an understandably bitter start to perhaps the most unsavoury of partnerships.

Some of the comments made at the PCMag site include:
It actually made me angry that that apple chose not to include it for so long. It smacked of arrogance that they chose to ignore how many people felt it to be important because the feature didn't fit into their own framework of how a music player 'should' be used...

I don't the absence of an FM tuner smacked of arrogance as much as it smacked of "who listens to the radio any more?" I used to listen to the radio all the time, but with advances in portable audio I now almost never do. Personally I think an AM radio would be more useful on an iPod...
I couldn't help but retort.
Remember this - In the US, the FM dial might be predominantly littered with MUSIC based radio stations, in many other countries (Apples biggest market), half the FM dial is filled with talk, sport, commentary, access, public and ethnic language broadcasters who play little music, if at all.

Apple was arrogant to ignore FM for so long. They still show this arrogance, as there is no AM radio support. Despite the low quality sound, the AM band is very valuable when it comes to 'content' and the supposed issue around 'quality' is overshadowed by the fact that AM offers unique content - much of it talk/commentary - where sound quality is a redundant argument.

So what's in it for Apple? Plenty. There's no music to tag, but you could tag the station if they offer podcasts for example. If its not blatantly obvious to you yet on why this is value - I'll spell it out. People will use THEIR product for media consumption. If it's downloading music, listening to podcasts, live radio, playing games, reading news online, watching/recording video - Apple want you to use THEIR product to do it.
Apple can't achieve world domination by being arrogant now, can they?

Meanwhile at Facebook:
Mark Ramsey: Once the glow wears off I fear Broadcasters will feel radio has been "saved" by the iPod Nano.
Me: Apple is using radio to make more money for themselves. how does this help radio?
Mark Ramsey: Richard, it helps only in that it makes radio a tad cooler to people who consider us (correctly) uncool. Yes, Apple's motivation is clear, but so what? Everything about the trends in radio - including and especially PPM - argue for more music and less of everything else. In the long run, we are working our hardest to be Apple's bitch.

September 9, 2009

Do you use Internet Explorer?

Can I politely ask you to upgrade?

Could you please download, install and start using Firefox 3 or Google Chrome? Please?
Why am I asking? What has sparked this?

Well, the spark has been a blazing inferno for quite some time, and this post has been well overdue, but today really is the day I need to publish my thoughts on this.

Here's an email I've just sent to a client, explaining why they couldn't view some rich content on their website. This will explain why.

Hi XXXXX - I have made a compromise to make sure the site loads.

Here's where the problem ultimately lies - and it's well known and documented:
Your version of Internet Explorer had trouble loading flash video (Youtube). I had a Youtube video in the XXXXXX article, but alas its caused you problems loading the site, so I had to take it out. I've just put a link there instead. A shame, really. But this is not YOUR fault.

Your website displays perfectly in EVERY other web browser, including the display of Flash video (like Youtube), widgets and other great modern web features. The most dominant browser is Internet Explorer 6 (just over 40% of all PC users use it) and is the only browser that has issues with modern web features. Problem is, that most computer users either don't know they should upgrade, or can't because their IT dept prevent them. Not surprisingly this puts a stranglehold on moving forward. So much so, that a lot of website developers and software companies now do NOT support Internet Explorer 6 or earlier versions when they develop their code. Its a movement designed to push Microsoft to fix their browser, or be left behind.
Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) was developed in 2001, with an update (IE7) in 2006. Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) was released this year, and still has issues with basic things like website dropdown menus, or flash video, but does work a damn sight better than IE6. History of Internet Explorer [link]

And this is why its a shame I had to take the video off the XXXXXX article. Your website *could* be more content rich, but with Microsoft letting you down, you, me and every other Internet Explorer user misses out. There are workarounds, but these are time consuming, and generally slow the web browsing experience, which is never a good tradeoff. I loaded our site on my Internet Explorer here at home and I saw the same issue.

I'm happy to say that 25% of your website visitors use Firefox 3, and another 10% use Safari (on Mac) - both display the site (and rich content) perfectly. At the office, I use 5 different web browsers to check compatibility - Firefox 3, Safari (for Windows), Google Chrome, Opera and Internet Explorer 8.

The quicker people upgrade, the better their experience will be. For example, we are trying to push people who visit XXXXXXX website to upgrade their browser if it detects they are using a browser older than 5 years. The site doesn't display rich content features if its an old browser - and they miss out. It's a fair call.v>

Anyway, I will leave it there - but I feel its important you know that when I am developing new web things - even publishing a simple article, THESE are the issues faced and considered every time. The problems often aren't found until pointed out through a bad user experience. Hopefully each is fixed early enough to avoid further frustration, but every day there's always the uncertainty of something else not working correctly, simply because of a badly built browser.

One other main reason for upgrading - is internet security. If your browser is not the latest version, you are at risk of a computer attack, or worse, personal attack. That's the truth.

UPGRADE LINKS - in order of preference