Ronnie05's Blog

Education next is all about hyper personalization

Posted in Value added services and applications by Manas Ganguly on December 10, 2013

Content, Context and Semantics – Education is soon to see a wave of hyper personalization which will be tailored to every individual student’s needs and focused on learning outcomes that enable one to do something meaningful with their learning. This is a far shot from the current “one size fits all” approach of textbooks – which trips out on the individual capacity and interest of a student to absorb.

Nearly 4.9% of the world GDP is spent on education, the percentage figure higher in the G20 states and lower in the third world nations. Currently the mode of education is mostly linear in terms of learning a theory and application of the theory to get standard set of observations and answers. The learning methodology is a well versed on vertical path with no scope for horizontal discoveries along it. For instance, a discovery and learning of a particular word is not followed up by a thesaurus mode of synonyms and antonyms or the formation of the word (origins and semantics). The objective is memory by rote accessed by stress inducing examinations as against application, self-discovery and aided learning of the concepts beyond the scope of the text book syllabus.

1. Hyper personalization would refer to tweaking and timing of the content as per the learning and understanding ability of students with visual, aural, experiential and demonstrative tools and techniques.
2. Tablets, Smartphones are an ideal medium for this kind of facilitation of learning.
3. Over and above that, higher concepts such as augmented reality, location services and others could become powerful tools of ingraining education.
4. Application of learning’s across different contexts also is a key enabler tool in this process i.e dictionary access to eBooks.
5. The Semantics medium of learning – by nodal association of concepts, theories, cores and application would have a multiplicative effect on the ability of students to understand and appreciate the concepts in full.

This doesn’t mean the eventual substitution of teachers. Teachers would have to graduate from the source to the medium of curation of content and learning. All this is not going to be easy in implementation – but from a perspective of the future where exposures would be unlimited and learning itself would not be classroom dependent, hyper-personalization would be the key.

Media: the Paradigm of Passive and Active consumptions

Posted in Semantic Media and Web by Manas Ganguly on March 8, 2013

Platform owners, Content aggregators, Application makers are looking to increase the engagement quotient on the platforms. Engagement by its very definition is about activity as against passivity. Terms such as Activity and Engagement read attention spans, relevance, context, stickiness/repeats and discovery. On higher level – user generated content, user leads creation, influencing user responses and creating user stewardships is where the monies lie for the whole of the eco-system.

If Google calls itself a media company over its earlier definition of a technology company, it imagines the future right. Technology futurists are all for technology that enables active Media consumption, real time measurements of engagement and stickiness and serving up experiences which are relevant to the context of consumption. The ability to measure the consumer behavioral patterns to applied stimulus is key to a connected, converged media – this is something that i call Semantic Media. Quality of Consumer interaction with the content is a high stakes game, with billions of consumer dollars up for grabs: notwithstanding cable licensing agreements, advertising budgets, on-demand subscription fees, not to mention the future of the connected home.

media - active & passive consumption

Whats the future opportunity at hand? You have to think about TV in the 1940s-1950s and multiply the impact a couple of 100 times. Thats what the future of media and technology is worth!

Video and Content growth wave in the new Mobile economy

Posted in TV and Digital Entertainment, Value added services and applications by Manas Ganguly on November 10, 2011

A research report by Ericsson endeavours to put some numbers to global data traffic projections: Mobile broadband subscriptions are expected to reach almost 5 billion in 2016, up from the expected 900 million by the end of 2011.That would represent 60% CAGR. Total smartphone traffic is expected to triple during 2011 and increase 12 fold by 2016 (roughly equal to PC generated traffic). Growth in mobile data traffic between 2011 and 2016 is mainly expected to be driven by video. By 2016 more than 30 percent of the world’s population will live in metropolitan and urban areas with a density of more than 1,000 people per square kilometer. These areas represent less than 1 percent of the Earth’s total land area, yet they are set to generate around 60 percent of total mobile traffic. Overall, an increase in mobile broadband, new smartphones, and higher app consumption will all drive the push for more data and Smartphones alone will account for a huge part of that.

Compare this to the growth in Global consumer Internet traffic which is expected to grow 5X during 2009-14 (CISCO report). Though the time intervals for both these data points are not concurrent, it highlights the growth perspective in data/internet led networks. The same report puts the growth in Mobility based data at 39X between 2009 and 2014. Increasing Video traffic driven by live video and TV are expected to drive global consumer internet video consumption by a factor of 10X between 2009-14 (and to me that is massively understated). The growth in Internet video consumption will be prevalent across all categories of Video: Internet to PC (Long, Short and Live), Internet to TV and Ambient Video/Internet PVR.

Driven by Lifestyle requirements, Living situation and Employment status, consumption of Internet video content is accelerating at a smart pace even as Content and its discovery itself is becoming smarter. What could this mean for consumers and the service providers ?
For the consumer: They would seek for capabilities that enable them to easily and securely access content, applications and infrastructure they seek from any location or device.

For the service provider: It would mean infrastructure capabilities that are re-usable, expandable, scalable for quick time to market and better insight and control over consumer’s end to end experience. Smart content delivery networks constitute a $6bn-$15bn market for service providers by 2015. Massive internet video growth drives puts forth huge operating challenges but also very unique revenue and monetization opportunities. Content management will perhaps not be enough unless the service providers are clear on their consumer segmentation, segment focus and positioning strategies and how much money could be made on these services. Again since this sector is fairly nascent at this point of time, regulatory and anti-trust considerations could also be key influencers.

Google: From Search Giant to Media Powerhouse. What is fundamentally changing?

Posted in Internet and Search, The Technology Ecosystem by Manas Ganguly on March 26, 2011

As content bolts across both platforms and technology, doing taxonomy on media and technology companies is more complicated than it used to be.

In quest of continuous conquests and staying relevant against a rapidly commoditizing landscape, is Google changing into a Media company as against Content-based businesses? Google has maintained forever that its main business is organizing and managing content. This intent of faith is increasingly being tested as Google treads newer ground.

Prima Facie,Tablets have led the recent media-related deluge as they are fundamentally redefining the way content and media will be consumed. Google this February, announced a subscription based service called One-Pass to enable consumers to buy customized and relevant news and information for their tablets.

Perhaps the best example of Google’s media proficiency is YouTube,which is a platform that is looking more and more like a network for a postbroadcast world. YouTube’s home page, which used to be a user-generated free-for-all, now has a clear hierarchy of channels, with an array of topics — “Entertainment,” “News and Politics” and “Sports” — that doesn’t look that different from the menu guide on my cable set-top box. Al Jazeera English, which can’t seem to find carriage in the broadcast and cable universe, has found a home on YouTube, where it has become the No. 3 news channel.

Additionally, Google has secured deals with NBA, Lionsgate and is paying celebrities for launching their high profile- high traffic celebrity channels on YouTube which are content based agreements. The herculean effort of digitizing books is yet another example of how Google is not just media company but is rapidly moving into “owning content”. Google thus is working on the strategy of providing content to consumers and selling ads against it —which is unmistakably signs of Google moving into media space more than the content bit. Google, which has cracked the code on the Web advertising model, has come to realize that if content becomes just a commodity, then advertising will follow suit. Having created a healthy web eco-system around high quality content, Google is trying to arrange the bits in an innovative order and trying to monetize this high quality content.

Does it really matter?

For starters, being in the media business means looking at media a little differently than being a crawling the web for best search results with a sponsored ad thrown in. Google has long insisted that it has no plans to own or create content, and that it is a friend, not a foe, of media companies. Google in its Search avatar is a traffic generator for folks in media with websites. The Google vision till 2 years back was to be the best conduit connecting people between whatever their search is and the answer they are looking for. Thus Google was not interested in owning or creating content.The question in people’s minds would now be, how unbiased can Google be as it grows and grows and grows and stretches itself into Media. Google has always said it will never compromise the objectivity of its search results. Content based agreements with NBA, Lionsgate, Google Books and the celebrity channels on YouTube could tilt the neutrality of search results ever so lightly now.

Google’s growing reach into the content business could create conflicts similar to those faced by Microsoft in 2008 in its dual role as a provider of an operating system that others run their software applications on and a maker of applications. It is increasingly becoming clear that the company will not shy away from entering what it considers “high-value” content areas.

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Yahoo: The road forward?

Posted in Internet and Search by Manas Ganguly on August 6, 2009

A new era at Yahoo began the minute when Carol Bartz signed the agreement with Microsoft, giving the right to conduct searches on Yahoo’s huge network of Web sites to Microsoft in exchange for 88 percent of the revenue generated by Microsoft’s Bing. Having finally offloaded its search business to Microsoft; all Yahoo has to do is figure out what comes next.

Yahoo 2

Yahoo is first and foremost a media company and is in the business of attracting as many people to its properties in hopes of selling lucrative ad deals on those pages. While Google is has the best combined relevant search results and efficient advertising, the ads on pages model has not always worked on the internet.

The tie up with Microsoft Yahoo seems to signal that  Yahoo doesn’t have the ability or the will to take on Google directly. Carol Bartz has been arguing that the company should focus on what it does best and leave the technology to others.”We’re not a search company,” Bartz had said earlier, discussing how Yahoo is a different company than Google or Microsoft. Now that she’s made that distinction official, what is Yahoo?


It’s where people find relevant and contextual information.”It’s news, it’s sports…home page, mail. It’s a fabulous place.” (The definition thus being very diffused). That’s a content company, turning the focus to how Yahoo should produce the kind of content and services that will keep existing users coming back for more and attract new ones to the site. One wonders  if Yahoo just turned itself into a bigger version of AOL.

On the services side, some areas, like Yahoo Mail, Flickr, and Messenger, are clearly where Yahoo is unlikely to take its foot off the gas pedal. Same for Yahoo’s mobile strategy, a part of the Internet that is very much up for grabs, unlike the more mature PC-oriented Internet experience. 

So Yahoo isn’t getting out of the technology business entirely. Yahoo will continue to need ways to keep its new home page hooked into the wider world of social networking, real-time communication, and things not even thought of yet, and that will require smart, savvy engineering.On the content side, Yahoo will have to figure out whether it needs to expand its current offerings, pare down some of the less frequently used products, or tap the outsourcing strategy in this area as well. There’s been quite a lot of turnover in recent years at Yahoo, but there are probably enough people left who remember that the last time Yahoo tried to play a prominent role in designing its own content, it didn’t end well.

Is Yahoo on a path to becoming the world’s biggest content aggregation site?There’s enough guaranteed revenue in the deal to keep things quiet for a while, but it’s going to take two years–at minimum–for it to substantially shape the company. What will Yahoo look like then?


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Harnessing Open Source to power the next level of Business: The Guardian’s Open Platform initiative


In the age of open source and democratization of content it is just time before newspapers and news agencies join the open platform and social networking as a means to stay relevant. The challenge is to customize the business model around these to make money even while they reinvent the rules of the game. Guradin, The UK based newpaper has taken its first step in this direction by launching what they call the “Open Platform”. While all newspapers have a blogs, content and online presence, Guardian’s venture is different.

What guardian plans is to open up millions of of pieces of content: Stories, Photos, Slideshows and data sets to all who want to process all this data through web applications and mashups etc. In its present avataar, all this is Guradian’s core product, which Guardian shall open up to the internet for free! Why would someone do that?

Three reasons:

1. Guardian plans to use this channel to push advertising. In effect, by being a host to users, developers and applications, it is creating a captive base and it will push advertising feeds into this outlet as well. This thus becomes an extremely scalable way to increase ad inventories and at some stage Guardin will venture out into targetted advertising through API (application programming interface). That like creating a new G Mail and adsense.

2. Opening up all its content inventory would attract a whole bunch of programmers and developers to this platform which would nurture innovations around the core product. In an age where news feeds are so commoditized, innovations from an open source can pep up the channel offering. All this development at zero cost. Developers have already started throwing up interesting results. API maps matches news content with locations aroudn the world to create a crowd sourced geo tagged database of news. Content Tagger allows users to create web tag on Guardian database.

3. If nothing else works out, the effort is going to create branded content and applications, at no incremental cost. With no incremental costs again, Guardian will probably create plenty of new consumers and a new level of brand awareness.

All in all, an interesting piece of work, which would give us reasons and ideas on what works and what doesnot in terms of Monetizing efforts around the social networking platform in this age of Web 2.0 and Freetardonomics.

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