Recently Google announced that it’s next generation email/IM/collab tool would be scrapped (http://techcrunch.com/2010/08/04/wave-goodbye-to-google-wave/) just a year after a huge wave (see what I did there?) of PR and spin from the inventor of Google itself, Sergey Brin.
Just over a year later it has sunk. Usefully, Google are keeping the service alive for a while and have committed to open source some of the code but it raises an interesting question surrounding free software from the mighty. “If you don’t pay for the service then how can you have any comeback when it’s pulled?”.
Google famously offer us all a rich set of online applications for free and many use them in a commercial setting to run our businesses (we looked at Wave closely last year, like many others, and tested it in a live environment and whilst we didn’t adopt it as a tool we could have and I am sure many people did). So where does it leave businesses should the provider of the application decide they can’t be arced developing it any further?
It seems that risk assessment for free services just got a little trickier.
Me? I’ve always been more comfortable using paid-for applications and services that are not on the bleeding edge of early adoption and have multiple-vendor support.
This is the practice of hiring a group of mainly poor kids to ply their way through the myriad of online games (Everquake, World of Warcraft et al) collecting things of value to other gamers such as gold, potions, weapons etc. These items are then traded, via a broker, for real money to players that really can’t be arsed to go collecting or alternatively want to short-cut the tedious lower levers of these games.
The online gaming community really don’t like these “gold farmers” and tend to hound them pretty hard and even kill them (virtually) if the game allows it.
It’s quite a step to think that an online game has such a black economy, especially as most games are not actively policed that hard and rely on crowd-policing to deal with problems.
So what’s this got to do with the commercial world?
At the moment very little except to say that this is an example of entrepreneurship in terms of brokering items of value. As we start to see the rise of proper interconnected social networks who’s to say that “information farmers” cannot carve out their place in the information economy.
The more we live our life in public the more this information is freely available but time consuming to acquire.
What? Yup, we’re opening 1,500 sq ft of cool office space to anyone who wants to use it
We already have quite a few friends and clients who use our office space and we thought, “to hell with, invite everyone In”
We’ve got FREE ultra high-speed Wi-Fi, hot desks, huge LCD screens, sofas, colour printers (A3/A4), usability testing suite, a great library, parking, a massive conference table for 18 people, breakfast bar, all-day cafe (not free, sorry) plus an art gallery to refresh tired creative juices.
You will also have access to some of the best brains in the web marketing world, for FREE
We’re running this experiment until the end of year so why not drop us an email, find us on LinkedIn, visit our Facebook page or just drop in and say hello.
We’re open from 10am every working day. Our coffee pod machine is a Krups Dolce Gusto so bring along a pack of pods, mine’s a Cafe Lungo.
Even if you are not strictly creative in terms of pretty pictures, maybe you are just creative from an entrepreneur point of view, maybe you simply crave the company of bright, link-minded, people.
Sitting here with my coffee, sandwich, unfinished crossword and contemplating another of my now regular monthly trips from London to Halifax, I think it’s been a particularly productive few days.
Aaron’s presentation revealed impressive progress on the new release of Vites; not least because of a 400% speed increase, an automated transition to the use of Template Toolkit, progress towards complete documentation and the eventual goal of fully automated code testing.
Meanwhile, Sean Robinson, our new intern, has been quietly absorbing all of this in what are probably fairly alien surroundings to him during his first few days here. Sean joined me and almost the whole company in an after work drink where we were treated to the unedifying spectacle of Martin winning £120 from a bet against Leeds, virtually the home team in Halifax.
Anyway all ended with a nice meal a few episodes of Larry Sanders and a non-collapsing bed!
Pulling out of Peterborough station and I’m half-way home. See you in a month’s time everyone!