Thursday, November 5, 2009

This Blog Has Moved to Wordpress

Hello everyone!

I've not used this log in over a year now and apologize for any inconvenience that may have caused you. Please don't forget about me. I value you and the fact that you read my stuff.

If you liked what was on Chasing Change, you can find my continued posts by visiting:

Thank you!

Nate Riggs

Monday, March 2, 2009

Time to Refocus Before the Move

Right now, I have about 30 subscribers and I'm grateful for every one of you. In the grand scheme of things, Chasing Change is not a widely read blog just yet - and that's OK.

Truth be told, it's taken me some time to figure out what my niche really is.

So here's my niche. Going forward, I'll be focusing the laser on tow things that are very important to me and are hopefully interesting and helpful to you:

  1. Entrepreneurs. I live in Columbus, OH where entrepreneurs are driving change. In 2008, Forbes published a list of the Top 10 Up and Coming Tech Cities. While this was mostly in medical technology and driven by Battelle Memorial Institute's contributions to the market place, Columbus topped the list at number one. With available resources like TechColumbus and the Ohio TechAngels working to create an environment and culture that helps entrepreneurs bring their ideas to reality. I'll be the one tapping into that scene, bringing video interviews with the best and brightest members of Columbus's innovators. You'll also see case studies on how business owners are leveraging new web technology to drive results to their door.

  2. The New Web. Just my opinion - but terms like social media and web 2.0 are going out of style. They no longer work because they are too limiting in terms of their description of how the Internet has changed in recent years. I like New Web as a term because it's all encompassing - it's a reflection of how the web is viewed as a result of people being able to connect with people AND information. That said, 'll talk about things like how Search is changing because of platforms like Twitter and blogs. I'll talk about social networking strategies and ideas for how we can use these new communications tools.

    My goal is 4 E's:
  • Expose - Keep you up to speed on how and what New Web tools are available
  • Educate - Teach you how you can use these new communication tools and how they can work together for the best results.
  • Engage - Share ideas and strategies with you so you can find creative ways to adapt them to match your objectives and talk with you about the application.
  • Examples - Provide you with a platform to post your case studies on what worked, what didn't with your new approach and why. (Guest bloggers are always welcome. Just contact me.)
So there you have it. That's what Chasing Change will be about from now on.

Are you still interested in reading? Is there anything you would suggest as an interesting topic I could write on?

PS. I'm already in process of moving Chasing Change to a Wordpress platform. This is a good move that will provide me with more of the tools I need to make this the best it can be.

I'll let you know when that's official. If you're still on board, you'll need to re-subscribe to that feed to get your updates.

I can't stress enough - I really appreciate you reading...

(photo credit: Jane Rahman)

Microsoft's 2019 Future Vision Montage

Chris Brogan posted a link to this video on his blog today. Even when I'm busy, I always take a few minutes to watch these kind of forward thinking clips. Some of the technology I've seen clips and demos of at events, but some is new to me as well. It's worth posting here for you to check out if you didn't see his post.

At any rate, it's entertaining and will get you fired up about all the possibilities that lie ahead. I especially like the shots of the interactive print news paper. I hope that happens sooner rather than later.

Have any favorites? Anything in the video that you would like to see happen?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

This is a Great Video

It's totally worth taking a few minutes out of your day to watch the video below.

Produced by Canadian company SelfBankMobile (a unique approach to mobile-based banking might I add), this montage entitled "The Future of Technology" is a detailed summary of emerging technology and projections on future growth - all laid over a brilliant music bed from Fatboy Slim.

Check it out:

So did they miss anything? What do you think the technology landscape will look like in 2014 and in 2019 and in 2024?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Behind Mojo: An Interview with Deutsy Design’s Luke Steffen

As a follow up to last week's post on the iTunes file sharing application, Mojo, Deutsy Designs developer and founder, Luke Steffen, was kind enough to answer a few of my questions via email.

Here's the interview with Luke:

Thanks for taking some time to give my readers some background on the development of this great application. How did the idea for Mojo come about? When did you start development and why?

The idea for Mojo came about because of discussions between my roommate Robbie and myself. We both were constantly telling each other about new music we liked, but never had an easy way to transfer the music to each other. Before Mojo, in order to transfer music to another person you had very limited options available:

  1. Use some kind of instant messaging file transfer. This usually worked, but required the person with the music to initiate the transfer.

  2. Set up local file sharing via Samba or some other file transfer protocol. Most people I know wouldn't know where to start when it comes to file sharing. Plus there are a lot of other drawbacks for this method.

  3. Put the music on a flash drive and physically give the other person the music. This generally was the method we would use, however it requires you both to be together to make it work

Eventually we decided there had to be a better way to transfer music back and forth over the local network. We began designing Mojo on a trip to visit my cousins in Iowa in late 2005 and haven't stopped since.

What's Mojo's current usage and how quickly is it spreading? What are your plans to bring the application to the greater masses of iTunes users?

Mojo's current usage is a little hard to pinpoint because a large number of people only use Mojo over the local network. The number of people using Mojo over the Internet is much easier to quantify. We have over 100,000 registered users on our Jabber server. Mojo has been growing slowly but steadily over the past couple years. All our current growth has been exclusively based on word of mouth, and we plan on continuing that way for now.

Do you currently partner with Apple? If not, is a potential partnership in the future for Mojo?

No, we do not currently partner with Apple. In fact, Apple will not even post Mojo on their downloads page. This is most likely due to the file sharing nature of Mojo. We are open to possibilities for partnerships in the future, it's just not likely with Apple.

I'm a little confused on how the licensing works. Are you generating revenue today?

There is a free version of Mojo and a Pro version of Mojo. We are generating revenue from the sale of licenses for the Pro version. The free version of Mojo has a few limitations that are removed when you buy a Pro license. The major selling point for Mojo Pro is users are limited to 3 Internet buddies in the free version.

Have you had push back from the IRAA? Led by complaints from Dr. Dre and Metallica, these guys pretty much trashed Napster in the late 90's. Do you see the potential for the same thing to happen with Mojo?

We have not heard anything from the IRAA. There is a big difference between how Mojo works and how other music sharing applications such as Napster, Kazaa and Lime Wire, work. All of those music sharing applications make user's libraries available to every single person on the network. Mojo is a much more private and personal way of sharing music. You only share music with the users you have specifically added to your roster. This creates a much more responsible environment for users to safely find new music through friends and family.

What's the biggest challenge you've faced to date in launching this app?

Our biggest challenge to date has been finding enough time to work on Mojo. Starting out, both Robbie and I were in college and did not have the time or financial resources to work heavily on the project. On the technical side, I would say overcoming NATs to create direct peer-to-peer connections was and still is our biggest challenge. We have made major strides in this area using some cutting edge technologies such as STUNT (a NAT traversal technique).


I'm grateful that Luke was willing to share some background on his creation!

Have you tried Mojo yet? If so, what do you think? If not, why not?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Wake Up Jessi Hempel! Web 2.0 Isn't About a Revenue Model Just Yet

Dear Jessi Hempel of Fortune Magazine:

With all due respect to your achievements and ability to write thought provoking content for one of the largest and most respected business publications today, I feel that you've completely missed the point with your recent article, Web 2.0 is so over. Welcome to Web 3.0.

To me, your article demonstrates a clear lack of clear understanding as to the purpose and relevancy of Web 2.0. While I agree with your perspective on the lag of profitable revenue models related to social media companies such as MySpace and Facebook, here's how I would challenge your perspective:

Have You Shown Up to the Party, Jessi?
First and foremost, I always find it interesting to read articles on social media platforms produced by technology experts who have not yet engaged in the social media universe.

Please correct me if I'm mistaken, but a quick search for your name on shows me that you have not yet created a Twitter profile. Not one single Tweet!?! How then may I ask is it that you feel compelled to offer your opinions on something you obviously have not taken the time to really understand?

Likewise, running a search on Facebook produces the same results. Again, you have no presence, at least none that is visible to the broader network. While it may be your preference to keep profile private, I would argue that doing such limits your understand of the full functionality and capabilities that the platform delivers.

To your defense, I did find your profile in my extended network on MySpace, which is connecting you to a whopping 76 other users. Really? That's all?

And what about Jessi on LinkedIn? I've found you there too, boasting 141 connections and with no relevant content on your professional track record, no recommendations regarding your work, no history - frankly, there's nothing there at all. This is not to say that it doesn't exist. I am certain that you are a sharp, able journalist who has achieved great success in your career. You've simply chosen to not show up to the social media cocktail party.

My point is this: Being a trained journalist, you should know better. How can you begin to offer your readers a perspective on something that you, by your own choice, have not invested the time to fully understand?

Web 2.0 is Not Necessarily About a Revenue Model
In the article, you site and abridged version of Tim O'Reilly's 2004 coining the term "Web 2.0". I would ask you then: What in his statement or definition makes mention of any focus on directly relating the web as a platform to a profitable revenue model?

This online social phenomenon is about a shift in the way we as humans connect and communicate with each other. It's the idea of using the web as a platform in an infinite number of ways to reach more audiences, create new opportunities and change the way we as professionals, consumers, and organizations interact. More traditional communication tools are now forced to take a back seat to the Web. I would even project that the more traditional mediums may someday fade into the history books to sit along side tools like the telegraph and Morse Code.

Further, Web 2.0 is still in it's infancy. There is not a right or wrong approach - there are only different ideas and trial and error at this stage of the game.

Because of Web 2.0, We Now Have More Access Than Ever Before
So why on earth do Web 2.0 companies need to go public? I will argue that a result of this new mindset of viewing the web as a platform, the reach and access it delivers significantly reduces the need for companies to grow via IPO. It's typical that a successful IPO also brings with it a certain loss of control over the strategic direction of a company. Process and operations can often grind to a halt while management spends valuable time seeking stock holder approval, rather than focusing on driving innovation and efficiency. Is this what has happened with YouTube? Maybe and maybe not?

I believe that the dawn of Web 2.0 has spawned a change in what determines a successful business model. Old stogy organizations that depended on hierarchy and huge overhead (some of which are now approaching Washington with open hands and begging for bail out dollars, might I add) are being replaced with organizations that operate lean, and focus on speed and agility in a dynamic market place. The old models simply cannot keep up.

In your article, you state: "MySpace's projected $600 million revenue in 2008 falls far short of parent News Corp.'s (NWS, Fortune 500) billion-dollar sales target for the site." That is absolutely true. But I challenge you to find a business that in one year, can produce $600 million dollars of annual revenue with a staff of roughly 300 employees.

Further, MySpace now boasts network volume of more than 185 Million users world wide, with an average growth rate of 230 Million users daily. Would you disagree that when Tom Anderson and Chris Dewolfe do figure out a more profitable revenue model (and I believe they will), will they not have a clear marketing advantage as a result of their network's sheer volume?

And further, Web 2.0 is much more vast than the two social platforms you so eloquently mention in your article. What about the influx of personal and company blogs in the past 5 years? What affect on the market place do you believe that has had? What about Wikipedia and it's growing relevance as a research tool populated by the people, for the people? What about social bookmarking sites like Digg and Technorati? Do you use photo sharing sites like Flickr and Shutterfly? How many Niche Networks do you hold profiles on? And what are your perspectives on Open Source application development?

I'm curious, and believe that your readers have a right to know your thoughts on the broader perspective of Web 2.0...

What do You Define as Web 3.0?
And finally, not once in your article do you ever take a stab at really offering an opinion as to what the concept of Web 3.0 really is (which is also being called the Semantic Web) .

The truth is that it is all merely speculation at this point. No one really knows what this will entail and how Web 3.0 will shake out. There's no time line and there is certainly no set date as to when and if this the transition from 2.0 to 3.0 will actually happen. All we know to date is that the programming languages and technology that will make this concept a reality "have yet to be implemented or realized."

Again Jessi, I mean you absolutely no disrespect in posting this on Chasing Change, and I welcome you to comment in your defense so that my readers will have an unbiased perspective.

We all welcome your articles and I've found many positive comments on Twitter related to your writing. But in the future, I would caution you to fully investigate what you plan to write about and make sure you cover all the bases.


Nate Riggs
Social Media Strategist

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Got Your Mojo?

One of the best things about working in search marketing is that the office environment is saturated by other of early adopters.

More heads cover more ground, and the result is that you end up with a click of people who collectively know an application, website or gadget that helps with just about anything you might need.

That's how I learned about Mojo, a grand slam of a file sharing application developed by Deusty Designs.

Watch this:

Mojo is Genius
This sharp little application brings back the music sharing nostalgia of the late 90's when the original Napster was in it's prime. With full visibility to your friends' shared iTunes libraries, the program plugs itself into your iTunes and delivers fast and seamless functionality.

Installation is simple, and there is little to no configuration needed. The default setting allows you to connect with other shared iTunes libraries that live on your server. Unfortunately, this is a killer if you're company doesn't allow that type of sharing at work. However, if you do have the luxury of file sharing in the office, Mojo really does run quietly in the background while you go about your daily list of tasks.

Making Money
If you want to venture outside of your local network for music downloads, you'll need to upgrade to a pay for play license. This seems to be a smart revenue model in my opinion. Stellar performance by the free version makes the upgraded product absolutely worth paying for.

The cost for Mojo Pro is nominal with the highest number of user licenses available at $26.95. However, what you get for the price is not well detailed on the site.

You can find a screen cast on subscriptions here, but I think that Deutsy could be more clear as to whether this is an annual fee, monthly charge, or a one-time license fee.

I bring this up because as a raving fan who would like to purchase the upgrade, this lack of description has caused a delay in my purchase. I'm willing to bet there are other potential buyers caught in the same dilemma.
Bummer for me and for Mojo.

Feature Wish List

  1. More Social Access. More detail is needed that outlines the social networking aspect of Mojo and allows you to connect with users outside your network through their email address. So how do you find other Mojo users in the first place? A possible opportunity for enhancement then, lies in providing paid users visibility to other paid Mojo subscribers. One idea might be to create a Facebook page or group, and allow a catalog of users to be built virally.

  2. Stay Logged On. We have three users in the office today and more on the way soon. Actually, this application is spreading like the flu at PTMS. The only annoying catch is that in order to rip from shared libraries, that user needs to manually activate Mojo on their machine, whether or not their iTunes library is already being shared. It would be nice if Mojo had a setting that would enable automatic start up when iTunes was shared.

  3. Downloading iTunes Purchases. When downloading, you'll notice certain shared songs or albums that appear in bright red font. As far as I can tell, Mojo will not touch any files that have been directly downloaded. While I'm guessing this is for legal reasons, negotiating some type of arrangement with iTunes to allow this functionality (even if it was provided at an additional cost to each user) would be icing on the Mojo cake.
Overall though, I highly recommend Mojo to anyone who uses iTunes. In one week, I'm up six gigs of shared music and, as I sit listening to Ella Fitzgerald and Louie Armstrong chime through "I've got My Love To Keep Me Warm", I couldn't be happier with the results.

Look next week for an email interview with Deutsy Designs President and Mojo creator Luke Steffan. Luke's been kind enough to offer to share his thoughts on next steps in the development road map for Mojo.