Media

How your non-profit can earn revenue with Web 2.0: Part 5 – Product sales

How your non-profit can earn revenue with Web 2.0: Part 5 – Product sales

What bake sales once were to PTAs, online storefronts are to today's non-profits. We're used to thinking about participants in non-profit web sites as members or supporters, people we are trying to reach with a message or mobilize around a campaign. But your online community members can also be customers — customers who may be delighted to spend their dollars in a way that supports their values and your work.

YouTube views as a proxy for web success

YouTube views as a proxy for web success

We’re often asked how organizations can measure the return on investment from social media. Frank Rich’s column in today’s New York Times effectively uses YouTube views as a proxy for the overall success of the Obama and Clinton campaigns in tapping...
Wrap your brand in reflected glory

Wrap your brand in reflected glory

Someone needs to tell the folks at Glad: Unless your customers pay for the privilege of wearing your logo, don't build an online community around your brand.

How your non-profit can earn revenue with Web 2.0: Intellectual property

How your non-profit can earn revenue with Web 2.0: Intellectual property

How can nonprofits pay for their online community endeavors? One answer lies in intellectual property. The creation of a sophisticated web site involves the creation of a lot of intellectual property — property that has financial value. This blog post looks at some of the ways that property can be monetized.

Is Facebook trying to kill you?

Is Facebook trying to kill you?

From Blade Runner to the Matrix, from Star Trek’s Borg to Battlestar Galactica’s Cylons, we’ve spent a lot of time imagining the day when our super-strong, super-smart robots get tired of vacuuming and decide they want to rule the world. That’s given me an opportunity to consider a more immediate threat: Facebook. Not just Facebook, actually, but all the social networks and online communities to which we give our eyeballs, braincells, hearts and dollars. Could these online communities constitute the machine threat that sci-fi has taught us to anticipate?

You can’t download sovereignty

You can’t download sovereignty

I waited for Tivo. I waited for iTunes video downloads — and I'm coping with its still-too-limited content. I'm even scraping by without Amazon Unbox. But THIS is the last straw:

We are deeply, deeply sorry to say that due to licensing constraints, we can no longer allow access to Pandora for listeners located outside of the U.S. We will continue to work diligently to realize the vision of a truly global Pandora, but for the time being we are required to restrict its use. We are very sad to have to do this, but there is no other alternative.

Our friend Adam put us onto Pandora a couple of months ago. It is a deeply groovy, rapidly addictive web radio service that creates custom channels based on your musical preferences. It took just a tiny bit of feedback to get a great mix that plays a great range of mellow working tunes on one channel, a set of showtunes on another channel, and energetic hip-hop on a third. Most magically, each channel settles into that perfect balance of tunes you know and love, and tunes that you are thrilled to discover. For those of us who have ceded control of the radio to our children, this is a wonderful chance to explore musical genres that don't involve farm animals or princesses.

But once again, Canadian sovereignty has done me out of my online content. Part of me (the part that subscribes to Entertainment Weekly) wants us to undertake the digital-era equivalent of those currency schemes in which countries adopt the US dollar instead of going to the trouble of running their own currencies; let's just trade our precious intellectual property freedoms for a broadband hookup that delivers all the goodies available to our southern neighbours, and sign onto all the American I.P. laws so that what works there works here.

The other part of me (the part that subscribes to the New Yorker) is sick of being ingored by media companies that can't be bothered to navigate regulations they haven't written themselves. Yes, it's very convenient to get the laws changed when your mouse is about to go rogue, but sometimes companies have to figure out how to comply with laws instead of just writing new ones.

And the way I see it, there's no time like the present: with the majority of the US media empire stymied by a labour force that has recognized its own interests in digital media rights, their lawyers might as well turn their attention this way. Maybe we can catch their attention if we point out that the writers up here are covered by a different union.