free html hit counter The Thursday Signal | John Battelle's Search Blog

The Thursday Signal

By - January 28, 2010

Screen shot 2010-01-28 at 7.55.52 AM.png

The iPad announcement took two months to build up, so it’s not going away in one day. Today’s news is dominated by Monday morning quarterbacking around the device, and so far, the fanboys and tech blogosphere are, by and large, not pleased. The image at left represents a few of the stories I’ve been reading across the web. I’ve filed them away in a folder I call “Predictions Support”, as they all seem to support my thesis that the iPad would disappoint. Time will tell. And I still want one, and I’m not convinced there isn’t a counter story in there somewhere.

Meanwhile, there are a few deficits in the iPad that are material to the marketing business. First, the iPad does not support Flash. That’s just silly, unless Apple really thinks it can force marketers to create purely for its own distribution channel (or envisions the iPad as an ecosystem devoid of ads, which is possible). Second, it has no camera, though I’m sure camera devices can be added to it (and probably will be added natively in future versions). Third, as I predicted, it’s another orifice for Apple’s iTunes and App Store, so it’s not an open web device. Then there’s the unfortunate choice of name, which I think will fade over time. There are many other features (or lack thereof) that folks are finding fault with, for more, check this piece on Gizmodo.

My one line summary: The iPad was designed to consume media content in the framework of the social web, and drive Apple’s proprietary platform even deeper into the psyche of the consumer. Don’t count it out. More: Check Mate: Apple’s iPad and Google’s Next Move (O’Reilly Radar).

Other stories of interest:

Google Social Search Goes Live, Adds New Features (SEL) – Watch this space, and it’s the beginning of a sea change in how search works. My initial questions and response from Google: Google Rolling Out Social Search: But Does It Leverage Facebook?

Advertising: A Little ā€˜iā€™ to Teach About Online Privacy (NYT) – I am on the Board of the IAB and welcome this initiative. I only hope it becomes actually useful to consumers.

Top 10 Personal Branding Blogs (Lifescoop) – A good list of sites that help you dust off the brand that is you. One thing I’ve noticed is key to success in the media and marketing business is the realization that understanding your own brand is critical to helping others grow. At FM, we’ve helped scores of marketers get promoted, and we’re really proud of that.

Vivaki Ventures Is Done Chasing Equity Deals with Startups (Clickz)

Why Most Digital Ads Still Fail to Work (Ad Age)

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  • http://www.syntheticzero.com/ Mitsu

    I think a lot of the initial reaction is just to the tech specs. You have to actually watch a video of people using it to start to get a sense for what the possibilities are. (for example: http://www.engadget.com/2010/01/27/apple-ipad-first-hands-on/ ) Also, what will make this device isn’t what is available on day one, but what might be available in the longer term future as people start to make applications designed for the device. Consider this pre-iPad concept for a tablet magazine reader: http://bit.ly/4TISAT

    I was talking about this with Susan and she was imagining the creative possibilities: a version of Photoshop for the iPad that let you directly work with objects on the screen, swipe gradients and draw paths, etc., right on the pad itself. Or, a version of Second Life where you can use multitouch gestures to manipulate and move objects in the world — far, far more intuitive than using a mouse or trackpad. The possibilities for 2D and 3D interaction are endless with a well-designed multitouch interface.

    The iPad is a platform. Remember the original iPhone and how limited it was? No 3G, crappy camera, no video recording, no cut and paste, only a small set of built in apps. It is now a gigantic platform.

    (Lack of Flash I think is tied to Apple’s fear of unrestricted 3rd party apps. I hope they lift the restriction but it will be a while, I suspect, because allowing Flash means basically allowing nearly any 3rd party app via the web… there may be bandwidth concerns as well, since allowing any video streaming site would wipe out AT&T’s network — though Apple did include their own video streaming technology in iPhone OS 3.0… who knows).

  • Nq

    With the launch of the iPad tablet, Apple has managed to become the ultimate digital go-between company for high quality and high price content in a small yet very affluent segment of the population … NQ Logic encourages you to check out why Apple’s iPad is the final digital puzzle for their ultimate connected consumer strategy at http://www.nqlogic.com

  • http://culturalengineer.blogspot.com Tom

    This is not my area of expertise but as far as explaining what he believes is Apple’s strategy and approach… well it’s worth a look.

    A YouTube Video:
    “Leading out of crisis – Apple strategy – a success story?”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MTnbT0d7kc

    Ya gotta respect an economist with a German accent and charts, after all!