Matt\’s Cuppa

My take on tea, technology, and our environment

From The It’s-About-Time Files: New York Times, Google, and AOL

Posted by telecommatt on September 18, 2007

 

The New York Times pay for content service bites the dust

Filed under: Business, InternetAs
of midnight tonight the New York Times pay to view Select Service is no
longer. The Times began the subscription service exactly 2-years ago
and charged users $49.95 a year or $7.95 a month for the ability to
access specific content online. Overall they managed to get 227,000
paid subscribers which made for a profit of close to $10 million a year.In their announcement
the Times said more users were now coming to the site via search
engines and links on other sites than they were at the service’s
launch. These users couldn’t get to the content (since they were not
subscribers) but were unlikely to pay for it just to check out one
piece on content. By allowing everyone access, the New York Times
stands to dramatically increase their page views and make more money in
advertising revenue than they were off of subscription fees.

It’s about freaking time! Because of the prominence of NYT, I actually began excluding NYT from my Google searches since I couldn’t access the content that came up in my search results. Nor could I justify $50 a year when most stories are available via podcast.

Google Presentation – Google’s PowerPoint app goes live

Filed under: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Google Presentation

Google’s long-rumored and eagerly anticipated PowerPoint clone has finally shipped. Although we’ve only had a chance to have a first look, here are some impressions:

What it does have or do

  • Importing PowerPoint files
  • Exporting HTML file
  • 15 built-in themes
  • Text formatting
  • Basic image manipulation functionality (adding, resizing)
  • Versioning Collaboration Online presentation sharing

What it doesn’t have or do

  • Animations of any kind
  • Advanced image manipulation
  • Advanced text formatting
  • Sound
  • Video
  • Exporting PowerPoint files

Google has done a very good job of making this new Presentation application (based on code from Zenter)
fit in with Docs and Spreadsheets. It looks right at home, and the
functionality is about what you would expect from another Google App.
File versioning and collaboration functions work exactly like they do
for Docs and Spreadsheets, which is to say just fine.

Don’t get me wrong, this it big new for Google and great news for Google Docs users. But I’m just glad it’s finally launched so I don’t have to read any more of near-daily articles about how this app will be released “any day now”.

AOL launches BlueString personal media management service

Filed under: , , , , , , , ,

BlueString

AOL has announced the launch of BlueString,
an online personal media management service that allows users to upload
and store up to 5 GB of pictures, music, and videos all in one place.
BlueString users can also create and manage content right on the Web
site and even collaborate with others to make movies and multimedia
shows. Move over iLife (Oh, and Flickr. And you too, YouTube). There’s
a new kid on the block.

This is cool. It’s gotten fairly good press, and there’s even a screencast out by Demo Girl. But seriously, why didn’t this happen ages ago? It’s not as if AOL didn’t have the platform or the tech to do it. If they’d done this around the time they stopped charging access fees, they would have had a much larger invested user base. They face a huge uphill battle now to tear users away from established services like YouTube and Flickr. Anyone else remember a time when AOL billed itself as a media company?

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