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Apple has a tried and tested approach of creating complete, yet simple ecosystems and the one it has developed for the iPhone is testament to this genius.
However, ecosystems need to evolve or they devolve to the lowest common denominator. Much has already been said about the “commoditisation” of apps to very basic one offs with gimmick appeal.
Allowing for a deeper level of engagement within an app is key to this “appolution”. And one of the most important steps forward in achieving this in my view is to open the spigot for micropayments.
Om Malik has also called for this:
I would be spending a lot more if Apple extended the API to allow for the ability to transact within apps.” Nothing like buying a song, an application or a ringtone with a simple click, only to be billed in a batch, later. Such buying habits are the reason why we believe Apple’s iPhone could prove to be an ideal micropayments platform.
Om Malik has a great session with Bill Hambrecht, tech investment banker extraordinaire, in which they discuss what the current financial fall out means for Silicon Valley and the tech industry.
I was expecting to find him deeply worried; instead he was amazingly optimistic and, most importantly, wholly confident in the Silicon Valley way of life. Disruption will always prevail, he said, despite the current crisis, the rise of China and any of our backward government policies.
“I don’t think it will have much of an impact on Silicon Valley as an operating entity,” he remarked when I asked him how the current crisis would affect Silicon Valley. “What is going to be interesting is what happens to the underwriting/IPO market.” In other words, fewer underwriters will be focus on tech companies — unless they’re really big, he said. In other words, it’s just like old times, like back when he started H&Q.
Om was writing in response to Six Apart’s release of Moveable Type Pro:
Six Apart is making the right move, for it is time for blogging to evolve…blogging is not just an act of publishing but also a communal activity. It is more than leaving comments; it is about creating connections.
He sees your personal blog acting as your digital life aggregator – an aggregation point or hub for all the various lifestreaming services or features you want to utilize wrapped or skinned with your unique identity.
The big question here is around ease of use and mass adoption. MySpace, Facebook and other services have done an incredible job in solving these two points so that anybody can very easily set up a semblance of a personalized digital life aggregator.
Does Moveable Type Pro (and hopefully soon, WordPress) go far enough in extending this metaphor for those who want to increase their independence and assert their unique identity?
In other lifestreaming news, AOL has acquired Socialthing!, which was still in private beta, and will be integrating it into the People Networks division, alongside AIM, Bebo, ICQ and others.