Amazon.com today announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire Zappos.com. a leader in online apparel and footwear sales that strives to provide shoppers with the best possible service and selection. The acquisition brings together two companies who share a passion for serving customers and whose customers benefit from cultures of innovation and long term thinking.
This incident is indicative of what kinds of trouble can emerge when we reframe “content” as “service.” As numerous pundits have noted, the physical book analogy would be Amazon breaking into your home and taking away a book you’d purchased (leaving you a refund on your desk, of course). But a Kindle book isn’t a physical book–it’s a service, one that (as the Kindle license makes clear) you don’t really own.
Barnes and Noble just revealed that it’s upcoming e-reader is the one from Plastic Logic that we’ve long heard about. Which means the Kindle may have a decent competitor on the scene. After all, Plastic Logic’s e-reader is the most interesting-looking and sounding one yet–it’s design is super-minimalist thanks to its touchscreen, it’s supposedly a very slender device indeed, and it has a whopping 8.5 by 11-inch electronic ink display that rivals the Kindle DX’s. Its built to support the EPub format, also used by Sony, which is how B&N plans on releasing the texts from its e-bookstore.
“We Live in Public”. It’s an apt tagline for our times, and the title of Ondi Timoner
’s Sundance Grand Jury Prize winning documentary which premieres in New York on April 5th. The film captures the heyday of internet pioneer Josh Harris, who amongst other things founded the world’s first web TV network, Pseudo.com
. “We Live in Public” documents a series of strange performance art experiments that explored, in extreme ways, what it meant to live in full scrutiny of the whole world, all the time. For more, watch the film’s trailer below.
Results show a 5x increase in unaided brand awareness over TV advertising where a game included a Zappos.com
ad. Other key findings according to the release: over 80% correctly linked Zappos.com as the advertiser who “allowed them to play the game for free” (who knew gamers were such a grateful lot?), while 56% had a more favorable impression of Zappos.com because of their trade-off of watching an ad for free game play.
The Pixelhotel project is one of the city’s attempts, as 2009 European Capital of Culture, to lure tourists to Linz by using creative and sustainable approaches to architecture. The locations chosen for redesign are unorthodox, from a cabinetmaker’s workshop and a ship to an art gallery. Each unique unit has its own specific aesthetic to make it a one-of-a-kind hotel experience. Lacking regular hotel infrastructure, the units provide minimal amenities only, as a way of encouraging tourists to go out and explore Linz. Prices range from EUR 87 for a single room to EUR 147 for a double.
The OfficePOD focuses on employers who want to give their staff the option of working at home. The unit is a 2.1-by-2.1-metre structure that can be installed in less than a day and typically requires no planning consent. Designed to maximize efficiency in its use of space, the OfficePOD features innovative storage and desktop solutions using high-quality materials chosen for their visual, physical and environmental characteristics. Recycled and recyclable products have been used wherever possible and natural materials chosen over man-made.