Thursday, April 9, 2009

Clueless AP Can't Figure Out It's Own YouTube Channel

It's no news that professional journalism, especially of the print variety, is in an ever desperate crisis. The failing economy has only exacerbated the crisis as well as the desperation.

That desperation becomes ever more apparent as the brain trust at the top of mainstream news organizations lashes out at the market, grasping for a stronghold that will preserve what has already disappeared. The more desperate the move, the more evident it becomes that the (old, white, male) leadership of these organizations is completely lost in the (not so new anymore) Internet reality and are, in fact, the largest barrier to their organizations' survival.

Witness this demonstration of ineptitude by the Associated Press:

In its quest to become the RIAA of the newspaper industry, the A.P.’s executives and lawyers are beginning to match their counterparts in the music industry for cluelessness. A country radio station in Tennessee, WTNQ-FM, received a cease-and-desist letter from an A.P. vice president of affiliate relations for posting videos from the A.P.’s official Youtube channel on its Website.

The AP's official channel on YouTube.

Which displays codes for embedding the videos.

A feature that can be turned off.

What is more clueless—not knowing how to operate your own YouTube channel, attacking your affiliate for using it, or not even being aware that you have a YouTube channel? And then to think that it'd be a good idea to emulate the strategy of the music labels? You know, because that's worked out so well.

At what point do the shareholders (or members, in the case of the AP) of these organizations realize that top management is in the deep weeds and should be relieved from the angst of trying to navigate out of it?

Congrats to local journalists Trace Sharp and Christian Grantham on breaking this story and achieving national (even international) coverage of it.


Monday, February 9, 2009

Microsoft plays catch up to MobileMe with My Phone

Wow. What a mess. Sort of like Apple's MobileMe, but not. My Phone will sync Windows Mobile settings, contacts, calendar data and photos, and provide a web interface for accessing and editing that data. It will even back up and restore the entire device via the cloud. And it's free.

But, unlike MobileMe, it doesn't push updates immediately when they're made and doesn't sync at all with desktop apps like Outlook, Vista Mail or Vista Calendar. It also has no integration with Live Hotmail, so users with a Microsoft email account won't be able to sync their contact data with My Phone.

"If you have Windows Live installed on your phone," the company's site notes, "it will synchronize your Windows Live contacts with the Windows Live web site, and My Phone will synchronize your other contacts to your account on the My Phone web site."

But not with each other?

Better yet, if you need to sync with Microsoft Exchange for work, then forget about My Phone, as you can only do one or the other.

So, uh, which sync should I use? Beats me. Get an iPhone. Or an Android gPhone. Or a Palm Pre. Even a RIM Blackberry.

Oh, if that wasn't enough, it appears that the service is not based on Microsoft's Live Mesh and Windows Azure, the cloud computing platform Microsoft is gearing up to provide to third party developers, or on Microsoft Exchange. So it's yet another Microsoft platform that doesn't interoperate with the others. Nice. Great way to get those developers on board.

If this doesn't encourage people to drop Windows Mobile for some other smartphone platform, I dunno what will. In typical Microsoft fashion, though, look for major improvements with the next major release in a year or six.