Thursday, November 30, 2006

Comment on A-List Blog may result in high traffic

Like most other bloggers, I also keep track of the traffic on my blog. I credit Jeremiah, ex-Hitachi web honcho, for suggesting to keep traffic stats using Google Analytics. I noticed in stats for my blog, that almost half of traffic on Oct 24th came from one source, Scobliezer, an A-List blog by Robert Scoble. No, I am not one of those lucky ones that were mentioned by Scoble.

Most of the traffic originated from his blog entry Internet video business challenges. One of the point, he made in his post was about the high distribution cost with delivering high quality video. He mentioned that he is going to collect $10 in advertising to pay $28 in bandwidth cost.

In my opinion, development cost is one time cost for creating one high quality video but bandwidth cost is proportional to number of times that video is downloaded from fully-owned single distribution point. And there is no easy practical way to reduce the delivery cost without deploying a multi-owned multi-point distribution network. So, I wrote this in comment section (#32) of his blog entry.

Mark Cuban is right on target. I will take his idea little further.

Why not allow users who download your video to share and transfer it to other users? This way, you will not need to purchase more bandwidth to txfr video to more users.

Figure out a way to manage digital rights so that even though video can be transferred from user to user but it can’t be played without a digital license. And the license is only distributed from your site.

Combine the digital license with new relevant ads that get embedded with video.
Google (someone else info, my ad) + peer-to-peer bulk data transfer (Napster, only legal) = Ad revenue + Infrastructure cost saving.

And, this is what Scoble wrote in his comment (#34) as a response to point I raised:
Anil: using BitTorrent or other P2P distribution schemes (RedSwoosh) is very interesting to me. I’m definitely looking into those.
Time to time, though not often, I do write comments on other blogs including A-list blogs typically resulting in little or no impact on traffic to my blog.

So, what was different this time that resulted in higher traffic?

I can only guess two possibilities that caused people to click on my name and check out who I am, the idea mentioned in my comment or validation by Scoble to consider it as an interesting alternative.

Now it raises another question. When making comments on blogs, what is more important - quality, quantity, or frequency? I prefer quality over the other two.

And, hopefully this post will give a pause to someone to rethink his strategy of making irrelevant comments on blogs to promote his storage job blog.

A toilet/restroom in Hokkaido constructed using marble. It also comes with a Yamaha piano, playing on its own, to entertain you while you go about your *smelly* business!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Impressions of Storage and Service in Japan

Most of the time, I was a tourist in Japan. But once in a while I also had serious discussion with whoever spoke better English than my Japanese or put up with an interpreter who only translated selectively! Some discussions were about population trends, storage market and opportunities and service nuances. Whether it was Sapporo, Kyoto or Tokyo, I was surprised and impressed that most Japanese, I talked to, considered issues with worldwide perspective instead of what is good for Japan unlike some other places.

Storage professionals seem to be as much in demand in Japan and APAC as in North America. I wish I had some Japanese language skills, I would have easily skipped my return flight. ;-)

I also heard similar sentiments about Hitachi storage as I hear in North America about its mindshare and footprint. Main difference being that most comments in Japan were directed not at HDS but at Hitachi's disk drive unit. HGST may be the better known entity in Japan than HDS. Where is storage on its list of priorities at Hitachi? Chime in if you desire. And, what's up with everyone wanting to discuss HDS with me?

I was particularly impressed with the level of service extended to customers in Japan. I don't think I have experienced such service dedication anywhere else. One individual from auto industry put it nicely "Here you get better service because it is ingrained culturally. In US, you get good service because people get paid for it." Just makes me wonder why HDS is generally thought of as "great hardware, ok software, poor service" company.

Promotional display for ASUS-Lamborghini Golden Edition laptop in Akihabara area of Tokyo. If you are in the area, try visiting Yodobashi Camera, a huge discount electronic store. I haven't seen anything like it on this side of Pacific.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Thanksgiving in Kyoto

I hope my readers had wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. I spent my thanksgiving in Kyoto enjoying fall colors at Kiyomizudera temple and eating Puffer fish, a Japanese delicacy, for dinner.

I enjoyed my visit to wonderful Japan. It was also a nice break from laptop, cell phone, Internet, email and blog.

Now it is time to get back to storage.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Be Generous

Busy preparing for the trip to Japan. Already in holiday spirit. Need to catchup on storage stuff.

Medina House of an Hungarian guy. He reportedly received one percent stake to leave IBM and work for a startup, now we know as Microsoft.

Got photo blog inspiration from Andy Gray's Japan Photo Blog.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

What Do You Care What Other People Think?

Last few weeks, I spent some time exploring life and work of Richard Feynman (1918 - 1988), a winner of Nobel Prize in Physics, inventor of Feynman diagram for quantum field theory calculations, a member of the investigating panel on Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, and a professor at Caltech.

Why did I want to know more about Richard Feynman? He was brought to my attention by my boss. For a while, he has been commenting that I remind him of his Physics professor at Caltech. Now, I am sure not for my beautiful mind but for my eccentricities like speaking my mind and questioning status quo.

In the end, learning about Richard Feynman and his work gave me a new perspective on feedback received from others irrespective of whether it is about my blog or the ways I approach and discuss issues.

Thank you all for your opinions and feedbacks and keep them coming! And, no I am not growing up and I have no plans to quit blogging.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Data De-duplication crossing the Chasm

For last couple of days, storage blogosphere and media has been buzzing about EMC acquisition of Avamar, a data de-duplication vendor (See related entries below for the extent of coverage). It wasn't a best kept secret as rumors were circulating for a while that Avamar is being courted by EMC.

Recently, I have been studying Avamar data de-duplication technology after writing several times about data de-duplication and Data Domain. Few weeks ago, they were kind enough to send me promptly marketing and technical material. Don't know if that had to do with me being storage blogger or their openness to anyone interested.

Congratulations to Avamar for a very attractive exit. In exchange, EMC is getting a strong technology platform in real-time data de-duplication and handling both data-at-rest and data-in-transit. And it has potential to take EMC's backup, archive, replication and, contrary to popular thinking, array products to the next level.

Acquisition of Avamar by EMC, Rocksoft by ADIC, rumored IPO plans of Data Domain, and total segment revenue potentially reaching $100+ million, it appears that data de-duplication finally has crossed the chasm.

Related Entries:

Jeff Boles, Tony Asaro, Storagezilla, Storagezilla again, Mark Lewis, Byte & Switch, Dave Raffo, Beth Pariseau, Sharon Fisher, Raj Bala, Joseph Kovar, Tim Stammers