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Localization, Dow Jones and The Human Network

July 18, 2007 at 12:00 pm PST

With this internet thing seemingly around to stay, a lot of people are struggling with the business model for newspapers and magazines. The potential sale of Dow Jones, as well as RIF’s at our local San Francisco Chronicle and San Jose Mercury News have highlighted this for me of late. Some blame Google Ads or Craig Newmark for the decline in newspaper revenue. Others say that the news business model is flawed and that printing presses are a thing of the past and that there is no business sense in giving away content for free.On their home page, Wall Street Journal* (Dow Jones newspaper) gives you the gist of the news, but you have to pay to get the full story. Back in May, Walter E. Hussman, Jr., the publisher of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, bemoaned the business model of giving away content for free. His op-ed (in the you-have-to-pay-to-read Wall Street Journal, of course) was entitled “How to Sink a Newspaper” and his lead paragraph states, “One has to wonder how many of the newspaper industry’s current problems are self-inflicted. Take free news. News has become ubiquitous, free, and as a result, a commodity. Anytime you are trying to sell something that becomes a commodity, you have lost much of the value in providing that product or service.” Read More »

Blogging and Your Colonoscopy

July 13, 2007 at 12:00 pm PST

Nice article on executives blogging in the WSJ today. I’ve since been downgraded from a high-ranking executive by the paper, but, alas, sometimes reality is harsh. I wonder if my arch-nemesis Murdoch is behind this!! : )Blogging has made the cover of business magazines and it seems there is nearly the same amount of people talking and writing about blogs as people blogging (this entry is both, of course), so blogging is still hot. What we talked about at our New Media Summit last month was that the traditional way to communicate with readers is changing. We’ve (the collective we) been talking about personalized news and papers for a long time and blogging and syndication gets us one step closer…we get pushed to us what we want to read.You can look at the right nav bar of this blog and see what blogs many of us at Cisco are reading (please note I am an avid reader of Fake Steve Jobs blog, but it is not listed on our blog roll…I know it is beneath Fake Steve to request to be added, but if he were to do so how could I say no). However, the fact is, and as noted above, we can have whatever content pushed to us…which is the beauty of the technology behind the content of blogging that nobody really talks about. Read More »

Cisco’s “Take Your Children to Work Day”

July 12, 2007 at 12:00 pm PST

Children of Cisco* employees (age 8 and older, I believe) were invited to come to work with their parents today. There is a big tent in the side parking lot next to our HQ building and our CEO John Chambers talked to the children and parents earlier this morning. I’m usually a forgiveness rather than permission type guy and I would have used my super-cool Web 2.0 phone (Nokia E61i -- just got it yesterday…so far, so good) to video part of his talk, but it was an internal event and I didn’t think it would be fair to take advantage. I did take a picture of the banner welcoming the kids…(see below).I’m a new parent…my five-month old son is coming in to work later for a little ice cream gathering for our team (no age restrictions) -- but what I don’t understand about this event, however, is why aren’t the kids working? This is “take your kids TO WORK” day, right? The only kid I’ve heard or seen working so far is Nicky Palka, son of the inimitable Marty Palka in our Investor Relations group who gives us our each-morning market update. Nicky gave the update this morning and did a great job. Other than that, the kids I’ve seen haven’t been that productive. Maybe it’s a legal or HR thing? Read More »

Vegas and the Network: Lucky Number Seven

July 9, 2007 at 12:00 pm PST

I thought I should highlight a once in a lifetime occurence. This past Saturday was 07-07-07…a date that won’t happen for another hundred years. The number “7,” of course, is known for being lucky which is why so many couples rushed out and got married this past Saturday. My theory is not because it was seen as lucky, but because the groom could easily remember his anniversary date.”Seven,” of course, is lucky in Las Vegas as “7″ is a good number in a game of craps…and slot machines. There are seven days in the week and on the 7th day, we rest, so that is good. In baseball, we have the 7th inning stretch. 7 was Mickey Mantle’s number and also the favorite name for a child for George Costanza. There are also seven colors in a rainbow, seven ancient wonders of the world, seven deadly sins, Steven Covey gives us seven habits and James Bond, of course, is 007. Seven is a prime number and also the number of spots on a common ladybug. There were seven brides for seven brothers and a seven year itch, but seven is also significant to Cisco and networks. There are seven layers of the network in the OSI modelRead More »

What is Real Broadband?

July 6, 2007 at 12:00 pm PST

I’ve asked this question before, (and, more than once) but what made me think of it again was Pew’s report on Broadband Usage in the U.S. that was released today. (Adobe document). Pew is a great organization and there are some compelling data and charts in the report -- you should really check it out. What I couldn’t find — and, I’ll be honest, I didn’t read the 14 page report word for word, but I did search for “Mbps” and “broadband definition” — was how they defined broadband. My best guess is anybody with always-on, high-speed internet connectivity. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a great start. But, what is “high-speed”? As I’ve said before, the FCC defines high-speed as 200Kpbs. So, I can only assume that Pew is measuring this as high-speed. On this measurement, the U.S. is doing just fine, thank you. On a REAL broadband measurement, when we’re dealing in Mbps, not Kpbs, the picture isn’t so rosy, as my colleague Jeff Campbell says here, “Japan at 61 Mbps, France at 17 Mbps and Canada at 7 Mbps.” Read More »