Unintentional consequences

This morning, US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, a guest on Wolf Blitzer’s Sunday morning interview show on CNN, defending the Pentagon’s development of new Web sites designed to provide information to a global audience. Blitzer asked whether these sites violated President Bush’s new edict forbidding payment to PR agencies in order to promote the administration’s political agenda. Rumsfeld responded that these sites had nothing to do with a political agenda.

Whether that’s true or not, we are going to see more unintended consequences of the Ketchum-Williams-DOE controversy. I’ve encountered one myself. I’ve been doing work for a… Read More »

Back online

Not to belabor the obvious, but after a couple days offline, my blog, e-mail server, message boards, various Web sites, and other server-based applications are back up and running. Given the severity of the problem that caused me to vanish from the Net in the first place, the recovery should have taken a week or so. That it only took from Wednesday night until Friday night is testament to the dedication of one man who didn’t have to put in the kind of effort he did.

Here’s the story.

Checking e-mail one last time before hitting the sack on Wednesday night, I realized the server was down. I called Jim Joss, who hosts my server at his… Read More »

The Web goes multimedia

Fueled by the growth in broadband access to the Net, the number of video streams increased nearly 81% in 2004, reaching 14.2 billion (with a “b”) streams. Accustream, which measures such things, expects growth to continue on the same curve this year, with some 21 billion streams (an increase of almost 50%) forecast for 2005. By 2007, the annual volume of video streams is expected to surpass 35 billion.

The adoption of broadband by consumers is also expected to keep increasing, meaning the Web is growing more and more multimedia. The value of video or audio, beyond the obvious, is that is is becoming a consumer expectation. It won’t be… Read More »

Brands and blogs

“If you want to control the message, buy an ad. If you want to have a rich (but risky) dialogue, consider a blog.”

That’s the advice from Mark Kingdon in an article appearing today in ClickZ.  Kingdon focuses on the potential for blogs in supporting a brand, noting that consumers are talking about brands in their own blogs, raising the possibility that “if businesses don’t create their own conversation forum, their brands, products, services, and reputations might be co-opted by others.”

Great brands, Kingdon notes, have always involved users. He points to the enormous success of the Harley Owner’s Group, which helped revitalize a… Read More »

No slowdown in Net growth

Ipsos-Reid is out with new figures confirming that the online population continues to grow. Japan led the way in 2004; increased Internet use brought the total online population to 80% of households. In the US, the number of Internet users grew 27% over 2003, contradicting expectations that Internet adoption had peaked following the bursting of the dot-com bubble.

Forty-two percent of the US population—162 million people—use the Net, according to the study, The Face of the Web.

According to Brian Cruikshank, Senior Vice-President of Ipsos-Insight: ???The continued growth in the Leading Edge markets provides a glimpse into the future…

Read More »

The Hobson and Holtz Report - Podcast #5: January 31, 2005

Show notes for January 31, 2005.

Download MP3 podcast

Welcome to our weekly podcast, a 71:55-minute conversation recorded live via Skype from Concord, California, USA, and Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Download the file here (MP3, 33.7MB), or sign up for the RSS feed to get it and future shows automatically. (For this, you’ll need ipodder, software that lets you subscribe to receive podcasts automatically and sync them to your digital player.)

In this week’s show:


  • 00:26 Shel and Neville on what this show’s about; brief comment on last week’s audio glitch
  • 01:28 Skype voice messaging beta test; Skype text messaging

Short Takes:

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