Monday, June 30, 2008

Amazon Connect

Amazon is one of the most creative companies on the Internet today. Every time I turn around they are releasing a new product -- and frequently a new product area. Not long ago I did a review of Jungle Disk, a software application that makes it possible to store data to Amazon's online storage center. Amazon just isn't books and the zillions of other products people buy; it has become a true service company. If people need it, they supply it.

Amazon Connect is a new offering that allows authors of books to either create a blog for their books or to connect blogs that they may have to their related books. This is exactly what I've done. This posting should show up as the first posting that shows up here ( and on Amazon. A blog is not required to take part. One can post directly from Amazon.

What I like most about Amazon Connect is that it offers a means by which the author can continue the topics covered in the book. That was the original purpose of this blog, BTW. That is why the URL for the blog was put at the end of the book.

I think the next stage for books, such as mine, will be an even greater integration between the formal text and the more interactive environment of a blog. I'm sure Amazon will be there leading the way.


Saturday, June 14, 2008

QIK bring video streaming to the cell phone

Almost every cell phone is coming with a camera and video mode. Up to now, I've mostly seen videos taken by cell phone on the cell phone that took it. Sometimes one sees video taken on cell phones place on YouTube and the like. Today I came across QIK, a site that allows for live streaming of cell phone video. It's important to say that this happens over the cell phone network. You need not figure out how to connect to a computer. Of course, if you don't have an unlimited data plan on your cell phone, don't use this feature. It could cost you a fortune.

The quality is pretty poor. It could be used on field trips and for streaming of PTA meetings, lectures, and other activities that don't require great video or audio quality. Combine this will instant messaging and this could be a simple way to broadcast a live event with user feedback. You can make your video private. I also noted that videos can be longer than YouTube's ten minutes. I don't know if there is a limit, but at least it isn't ten minutes. QIK keeps the videos on your user account for later viewing.

This is still the cutting edge, but why not give it a try?