Archives For technology

Apologies for the long delay between now and my previous blog post.  A lot has happened since; finished my MSc, refining MyLi’s website from prototype to market ready product and much much more.  This post is not really about any of the above but something I felt worth discussing.

Recently, I surprised myself when trying to explain to someone what my venture aims to do. It came to my attention that some are unaware of terms that I thought were common among the general public.  The word is “streaming”.  Fair enough, I understand that I am part of the MSN Messenger generation (for you “whipper-snappers” it was the ‘in’ thing before Facebook and Myspace; I go way back) and think I kept up pretty well up to today.  Streaming is a way of accessing media files by sending/receiving data across the Internet on to your computer device.
Streaming has been around a while.  I remember the days of streaming Internet radio and videos with RealPlayer, then YouTube made it more popular and so on.  At the end of the experience you do not retain any of the files unless you go ahead and purchase your own copy.
I believe that streaming has massive potential in the near future.  Technology is growing in a way that supports the case for this method of access to media, and although it has its disadvantages still, I think they’re not significant enough to put a case against it.  I have drafted out a few of the advantages and disadvantages below; please feel free to reply so that I may update this list, it might even change my stance on it.
Advantages:
  1. Enables sampling without the need to give away free copies; It’s the try before you buy model working at its best,
  2. Provides access without large download files; conserves disk storage space for files we want to access to 24/7,
  3. YouTubeLast.fmSpotifyHuluNetflix and Amazon are moving with the trend and growing popularity of streaming with millions regularly using each,
  4. Accessible anywhere with an Internet connection regardless of the computer device used,
  5. There is potential for streaming to become more appealing with Internet speeds growing meaning high quality media by this means; 4G and Fiber Optic,
  6. There are plenty of companies where you can access a lot of media for free by streaming.
Disadvantages:
  1. It requires a constant Internet connection to enjoy the full experience; no signal can be very annoying especially if you’re really getting into a song or watching a video and it stops,
  2. Likewise, buffering will always be annoying; it is typical of a slow connection to the Internet,
  3. Streaming is a term not known by most and therefore results in lost potential adoption,
  4. Not always free.  Payment models are additional hurdles for users; “Do I fork out additional money on top of what Im already spending for everything else?!”,
  5. This method has been used in the past to illegally share other media format in the past
Streaming is great for many reasons and I have named a few above.  It shows confidence in what you’re trying to sell by allowing it to be streamed you are saying, “I know people will buy it after streaming it because they will like it and want to fully experience it in HD (high-definition), off-line, on demand etc.”
The advantages are growing for streaming, in today’s economy where we pay for disk space (a 16GB tablet computer can be $100 more than an 8GB!), a lot of people are more concerned about accessing media and sampling it however suits them best.  This eliminates the need to locate the free preview and remove from your device, streaming is ‘instant’ (depending on your Internet connection speed) and if you find that what you’re streaming is not for you, you simply move on to the next one.  Simple.  I know its ‘only’ 2 steps less, but its makes all the difference.  Think about it this way, when is the last time you went into your email and begun deleting all your read or junk mail … to save space?  Email accounts have unlimited space nowadays so you don’t bother and streaming is in keeping with these tech’ behavioural patterns.  I think this is just what we do.
I believe that the main strength of streaming media is that it provides access.  The price of media today is high enough to stop us in our tracks to make an informed decision, the days of “it’s only £3.99” are long gone.  Today I find myself saying, “£3.99??  Hmmm, that’s my spotify budget/spa add-on at my gym/my train fare/lunch today…” etc.  Streaming can assist your decision, the same way when you listen to the radio and say, “I like this song, I need it for when I go to the gym”.  Streaming is one of the best ways to sample media at the moment, I’m excited to see what the future has in store for it.  It is even a way of sampling ebooks with companies such as 24symbolsGoogleBooksMyLi and Oyster coming to the scene.
Therefore, make sure that you’re not missing out with what you can do by streaming data over the Internet.  A lot has changed over the last decade (and a bit), and more so for the better.  We’re in the technological era, minus the flying car (I didn’t say flying-motorcycle).
– Eric

Popular digital services today are successful partly because of how easy they are to use.  User Interface (UI) is key to mass adoption of what you’re ‘selling’.  You typically have 30 seconds to pitch to your audience and if it’s not easy enough to understand the first time, they’re possibly gone forever.

MyLi cannot afford to have this happen.  We are focused on helping to develop the reading skills of young pupils everywhere with high quality material they can trust.  These skills affect them from the days of school throughout to the duration of their life, so its crucial that they have a good foundation to work from.  Yes, we know children just want to finish their homework as quickly as possible so they can do all the other [fun] things they wish.  This usually means that students use message boards and alike to find their information.  Both adults and these young pupils know these sources of information are nowhere near as reliable when compared to recent published material in print or e-books, but they still continue to do so because it’s quick and easy.

Education should not be difficult because it is hard to locate the right information.

And it is for these reasons that we are already planning for the next phase of MyLi.  This will include a complete revamp of the UI, a suitable workspace for our team to expand (create more jobs), app development and much more.  Our prototype has demonstrated the demand for what MyLi is offering.  However, initial tests show that there is still room to make it easier and therefore expand our service to all demographics.

We have created a campaign on Indiegogo with details of what we’re doing and need to deliver for MyLi.  So far, our prototype has only been able to show functionality and how we can be a catalyst amplifying book sales (digital and in print).

Any support for this campaign would be greatly appreciated by sharing it on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, by email, and more so if you feel moved by the cause any funding provided by yourself would be rewarded with perks according to the amount given.

If you find there are any questions we have not answered, don’t hesitate to contact us by email (info@cmy.li), telephone (0700 349 6954), facebook, twitter or just by commenting on this blog.

 

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