Tag Archives: Personal computer

Fewer PCs And Fewer Cords

I saw two articles in the last day that might not seem to have much to do with one another but in my mind point to the ongoing changes in the media world.

English: Desktop computer Français : ordinateu...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The first is from the Gartner folks along with IDC and it’s their quarterly report on PC shipments. Not surprisingly, the numbers aren’t good.  They are reporting around an 11% decline in shipments which continues a downward trend from last quarter.  There are a number of reasons to which analysts attribute this trend but the one with which I agree the most is the thinking that we’re now consuming media mostly on tablets.  PC’s are something that are used for heavy lifting – video editing, lengthy writing, spreadsheets, etc.   Families aren’t buying multiple units for the home any more (at one point we had four PC’s here for school work, business, and leisure usage among the family).

The second piece has to do with cord-cutting and comes from the folks at eMarketer:

Research company GfK surveyed US households with TVs and found that in 2013, 19.3% of respondents had broadcast TV only and did not subscribe to any pay TV service. That’s a 37.9% increase from 2010 when only 14% of households shunned pay TV services and relied solely on broadcast TV…The study suggested that while wider online video viewing and more internet-connected TV options may have boosted cord-cutting, basic cost savings is at the real heart of the move toward broadcast-only TV. The study found that 60% of those who cancelled their pay TV service cited cost-cutting as the reason.

I disagree with the notion that it’s the cost alone.  I think it’s more the cost/value equation (the expense to get the programming live vs. the cost of other sources on a delay) coupled with the wider penetration of tablets as cited in the first piece.  The market favors tablets over low-end computers, content producers are doing a better job of populating that channel, even to the detriment of their traditional distributors, and the business model (selling ads against an audience that’s viewing simultaneously) has been seriously disrupted.

I’m watching to see who moves to accept the new world and who denies that things are moving.  It’s sort if a climate-change analogy in my mind.  You can deny it right up until the ice pack mets and floods you out or you can take preemptive measures and move to higher ground.  Which are you doing?

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Filed under digital media, What's Going On

Working Backwards To The Web

When I work with clients on how they’re going to approach digital, I’ve been telling them something a bit different lately.  While I still believe that a company’s website is the primary point of contact, how that site is designed and built needs to be very different   They -and you- need to be thinking mobile first and working backwards to the web.  Sites that aren’t optimized for smartphones and tablets as a primary access channel are going to be out of date very quickly.  How do I know?  Check this out:

Underscoring the mobile migration story, IDC … issues a report … arguing that the number of people in the U.S. accessing the Internet from PC will decrease in coming years. The 240 million consumers currently using desktop and laptop PCs to go online will shrink to 225 million by 2016, they contend. In 2015, the tipping point will be reached where more people will come to the Internet through a device than through a traditional PC (emphasis added).

Think about how you use media these days.  You’re probably watching TV with a second screen somewhere nearby, and more often these days that means a tablet.  More people are likely to leave home without their wallet or keys than without their phone.  The desktop computer and even the laptop is an afterthought – something with which we do work but don’t necessarily consumer media or interact with brands.

Here’s a nagging thought to keep in mind.  Click through rates on mobile ads are awful – even worse than the pitiful rates we see on banner ads.  If it weren’t for the “fat finger” effect (people hit ads accidentally), I suspect these rates would be even worse.  How are you going to overcome that?  Have you been experimenting with mobile search and learning what makes it different from web SEM?  Maybe now is a good time to do so.  Is your site optimized for mobile access?  Maybe we should chat?

Working backwards to the web isn’t really working backwards.  It’s a forward look into the future.  Thoughts?

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Filed under Consulting, digital media

Babel

Odd places for a Microsoft Windows Crash

Image by romkey via Flickr

I’m sorry I didn’t get a post up yesterday.  The day sort of got away from me due to a death in the family.  Fortunately, it was an old PC and not a person.  Unfortunately, it was the one serving as the host for all the printing on my network.  No big deal, right?  Install the printer on another PC on the network and all is well.  Well, not so much.

The deceased machine ran an old version of Windows – the new one runs XP (which is now an old version of Windows…).  While all the Windows machines on the net can print without issue, the MacBook that’s my primary computer can’t.  Oh sure – it sees the printer, it spools to the printer, but something seems to get lost in the translation since the printer just pauses and stays there.  Which of course got me thinking about business. Continue reading

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Filed under What's Going On

Unplugged

Kate the Desktop Computer

Image by Gino Carteciano via Flickr

I have seen the future and it’s disconnected! From what? From the wall, from the wire, and maybe from you if you’re a content creator who’s not thinking ahead. I used to write this on my desktop PC; today I’m writing it on my laptop; tomorrow, I could be writing it on a tablet or my phone (which I do sometimes now in a pinch). Fortunately for me, the CMS I use (WordPress) has versions optimized for each device. It’s not quite so easy, however, if you’re producing content rather than software, especially video content, and that’s going to be a critical fix on your “to do” list if it’s not already. Continue reading

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The Reserve Tank

I’m writing this post from my back-up computer.  Actually, it’s the back-up to my back-up and I’ve fired it up because I’m using my real back-up to do my work since my main desktop died.  Turns out there are really excellent reasons to turn your computer off at night besides the environmental concerns and those reasons involve fried capacitors (mmm…fried!).  But that’s not our subject this morning nor is a rant about the evil machines that run our lives. Continue reading

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Thinking Personally

I spent yesterday at the OMMA Mobile conference. Very interesting although it kind of felt like everything old is new again in some ways. Much of what we’ve gone through in the development of the web is being repeated in mobile, including the reluctance of marketers to embrace a medium that is way more developed than most of them understand.  Mobile devices (I don’t like to think of them as phones since that’s very limiting) are personal, PC‘s are not. There are several times as many mobile devices as there are phones and more and more of them have high speed data access and can run applications.  There was a ton of great research presented and I’ll have more on that at some other time. Continue reading

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Filed under Reality checks

2020?

The latest bit from the respected Pew/Internet study is out.  It’s long (138 pages) but contains some interesting nuggets:

  • The mobile device will be the primary connection tool to the Internet for most people in the world in 2020.  I still don’t know why we think of mobile devices as phones that compute.  They’re really little computers that have voice capability, as does your PC if you have a mic and Skype.
  • The transparency of people and organizations will increase, but that will not necessarily yield more personal integrity, social tolerance, or forgiveness.  More on this below.
  • Voice recognition and touch user-interfaces with the Internet will be more prevalent and accepted by 2020.  Umm – maybe even by 2010?  Seen that new iPhone thing, folks?
  • Those working to enforce intellectual property law and copyright protection will remain in a continuing “arms race,” with the “crackers” who will find ways to copy and share content without payment.  I’ve been on the “enforcer” side and it’s a losing battle, believe me.  All the music industry did for 10 years was destroy itself and the fact that they finally have a digital business model of sorts isn’t helping.  We need to think about better models, not imposing old ones.
  • The divisions between personal time and work time and between physical and virtual reality will be further erased for everyone who’s connected, and the results will be mixed in terms of social relations.

Sadly, 55% disagreed with the following:

Social tolerance has advanced significantly due in great part to the Internet.
In 2020, people are more tolerant than they are today, thanks to wider exposure to others and their views that has been brought about by the Internet and other information and communication technologies. The greater tolerance shows up in several metrics, including declining levels of violence, lower levels of sectarian strife, and reduced incidence of overt acts of bigotry and hate crimes.

Not a very optimistic point of view and I, for one, think that the next few years here will change “the experts'” thinking on this.   Not only is it good when people have differing points of view but also that they express them.  I’m not so Pollyanna-ish to believe that everyone will meet in the middle one day but I do think people can learn to coexist peacefully even if they don’t agree with their neighbors on everything.

What do you think?  Before you answer, think BACK 10 years to the digital world.  Would you have believed we’d be where we are today?

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