During the past few months, we've been researching deeply into the financial markets, but not in the way stockbrokers and analysts do. We want to find out how banks are using the web, and paint a picture of what the industry will look like in five, 10, and 20 years. Read More
Casual Internet users, we apologize. If you had difficulty accessing your favorite websites or email at approximately 1pm EST this afternoon, it was surely on account of the swarms of music geeks, Apple fans and tech aficionados (Feedbackers are required to be all three!), all huddled in front of their computer screens, anxiously awaiting the semi-annual revelations from our turtleneck-and-jeans wearing oracle of smart, stylish gadgetry, The Steve. Among the many involuntary ‘oohs’ and ‘ahs’ over streamlined iPods, updated software packages and a revamped AppleTV, was an added feature to iTunes 10 that makes so much sense, we may instantly wonder how we ever lived without it. Get a load of Ping…
Steve Jobs described it as ‘Facebook and Twitter, meet iTunes’.
The capabilities of Ping include:
- Social music discovery: you can share music you’re listening to and see music your friends are listening to
- Follow and be followed: you can follow, and be followed by, friends and artists
- Share your thoughts and opinions
- Custom song and album charts: See top 10 lists customized by what your followers are listening to
- Over 17,000 concert listings: You can see upcoming concerts, and share concerts you are attending
- Easy integration with the iPhone/iPod Touch
- Available immediately
Our first thought? “Sorry, MySpace. It was nice knowing you…” Our second thought: Could anyone but Apple do this? Doubtful. When you have over 160 million active accounts already using iTunes, it’s easy to see how this could catch on. And before you cite Facebook’s half-billion users, consider that iTunes number doesn’t include the millions who download the software just as a music player/organizer/podcast feeder and never buy anything.
From the following screenshots, you can get a look at Ping, and see that it integrates seamlessly with the iPhone/iPod Touch.
The first screen shows an artist’s page, own-able by the performers themselves, which you can easily imagine would be a boon to the fan relations of all acts, big and especially small:
Next, the individual profile page, where you can share your musical taste with your friends and followers, even showing them what shows you’ll be going to. This represents a tremendous opportunity, again for artists, but also for fan meetups and peer networking:
Finally, the ubiquitous “feed” page, where you see the most recent updates from the people you follow, what they’re listening to and what they’re buying:
Still think “how did we live without this?” is a bit hyperbolic? Let us know your thoughts while we furiously refresh the iTunes download page.
Anna is out of the office traveling for client meetings in Madison, WI with Jeff and Dean, so this week’s picks are brought to you by intern Brad!
Experts Agree: Gen Y Will Not Grow Out of Social Networking
The Pew Internet and American Life Project have brought to light the consensus that the digital generation will still be consuming and participating in social media by 2020. A poll found that 67% of 371 experts agreed that Generation Y is likely to stay active in the social networking scene for quite some time.
Gowalla: We’re still in the location race
Even as FourSquare is outgrowing Gowalla by a huge factor, Gowalla insists that it still has something to contribute in the geo-location race. This week, it announced promotions with the Livestrong foundation (in association with Nike stores) and Threadless to offer its users free prizes for following both organizations on the service.
Prince: “The Internet Is Over”
Music icon Prince has again exercised his ability to speak his mind suggesting quite directly that the Internet is dying. His refusal to work with music distribution channels such as iTunes and Amazon, based on the lack of an advance for his work, harkens back to his intention to file lawsuits with sites like YouTube, eBay and the Pirate Bay.
Digg v4 hands on: A better Digg, but is it enough?
Details of Digg’s newest version have been leaking out and the general reception seems to be that it’s a step in the right direction. Over 20,000 users were invited to join the closed beta test this week to try out the new Digg that changes its focus from the community as a whole to a circle of friends as a news sharing group.
— Brad (@bcarr)