During my two day teaching stint in Espoo last week, I asked students which topic interested them most. I was not surprised that quite a few were interested in freemium. It is, after all, shaking up whole industries (especially media). The buzz words are that content is free but platforms that offer support are not.
Om Malik gives an interesting slant on the platform idea today. Om notes that some companies confuse the ideas of platform building with using a given medium. Platforms are key, but the media we choose are just tools to connect. So Amazon’s kindle is a medium, not a big deal in itself. Amazon could at some point give away kindles in order to connect with its clients better on book sales. Same with DVD’s for Netflix in home movie delivery. Netflix dumped DVD’s (pretty much) when it discovered that streaming is a more effective medium to connect with people in their homes. Here is a link to Om’s post.
The terminology is still evolving so there is some confusion. But the key idea is simple enough. More types of digital media and platforms mean more opportunities to connect. That is why support for connection building is a growth market. But a medium in itself (like a device) does not provide that support. Nor does content itself (like this blog). One has to match the right medium with quality content to create better support for connection building. Then you get an explosive new market.
FOLLOW - Matt Ingram writes that one type of connecting service is still not well developed. These are services that consistently makes good recommendations about which news stories are worth following. Here is a link to Matt’s article. Matt argues that Facebook and Twitter are ahead of the pack because of their “social graphing” tools. I guess Matt is right, but can’t we do better?