Wrapping up the Summer

Wrapping up the Summer

We have arrived at the last week of August, those seven days in which we attempt to pack all that we’d hoped to do in the previous three months. For me, this week also signals the calm before the storm. Next Tuesday, I’ll be heading to San Diego for DEMOmobile 2004. (It’s a great lineup, so if you haven’t grabbed your tickets yet, you’d better do so now.) In truth, I should be polishing my opening comments and prepping my introductions, but as an inveterate procrastinator, I’m doing exactly what I always do this time of year: cleaning my desk and straightening up my office. And that means I’m uncovering lots of odds and ends that bear mentioning in this column.
For example, I found my notes from a conversation a couple of weeks ago with Evan Nisselson, founder of Digital Railroad. This new online service targets professional photographers, enabling them to easily create Web sites that showcase their work. Digital Railroad is well designed to support the workflow of preparing and selling photos online. The service further supports the buyers of photo images and nicely facilitates the relationship between photographer and buyer.
In just a short time, Digital Railroad has formed strategic partnerships with FifryCrows, a documentary photography fund and contest, and Foto8, a UK-based photo magazine. Both organizations are using Digital Railroad as its primary submission system.
While Digital Railroad targets professional photographers and photojournalists, this simple and low cost ($50 per month for the first six months) service might well attract talented photo hobbyists, giving them a reasonable market for their work for the first time.
Earlier this summer, I spent the afternoon with Stalker Software. (Not to worry: the company’s name is based on a character from the Russian sci-fi novel “Roadside Picnic“, later turned into the movie “Stalker“). In July, the company introduced version 4.2 of its CommuniGate Pro software, a unified IP-based messaging platform that supports e-mail and real-time communications, such as instant messaging and application sharing.
CommuniGate is a fully integrated system and supports dynamic clustering so that distributed services can be administered as if they were operating on a single server. These features have been winning Stalker a fan base among some significant customers in health care and education, who appreciate this easily administered, lower cost platform. You can check out the case studies and testimonials at the Stalker Software Web site.
In early August, I got a look at the new MP-3 players from GoVideo. With roots that go deep into digital media companies such as SonicBlue, Rio, and Creative Labs, a new team at GoVideo has revitalized the Rave brand and delivered two new players styled for the hip teen set. The Rave-MP ARC is a stylish model with up to 5G-bytes of audio storage. The sporty Rave-MP AMP is a lower-cost flash player with up to 256M-bytes of storage on board. The sports model –- based on design concepts from the once-best-selling Rio sports model -– carries a starting price of just $99.
GoVideo is a company to watch in consumer electronics. The company’s 20-year history, its links to consumer technology players, its Chinese electronics manufacturing parent company, and its strong relationships with distribution partners such as Wal-mart all point to a company that can push low-cost, quality consumer electronics into the mass market. You can follow GoVideo yourself at the GoVideo and Rave Web sites.
As the days of summer are fewer and fewer, I’m checking out another product, called MOBILedit. This handy piece of software, which you can find here, lets you control your mobile phone from your PC via Bluetooth, infrared, or cable connection. The software lets you move photos from your phone to PC, send ring tones, MP3s, and images from PC to the phone, and use the PC keyboard to enter SMS messages and contact data on the phone. It’s a slick idea, which I must confess I’ve not fully tested. Few PCs have built-in Bluetooth and IR, and mine is not one of them.
But, as I suspect, this is the week for procrastinating and I might have to take a drive to Fry’s.
I hope you had a summer full of interesting discoveries, too. Drop me a line at chris@demo.com to let me know what you’ve discovered.

DEMOmobile 2004

The search is under way to find the 50 products that will launch at DEMOmobile 2004, September 8-10, 2004, in La Jolla, California. DEMOmobile is a high-visibility launch platform that will set your company on the path to success. It’s the best venue for positioning new mobile and wireless products and establishing strategic relationships with the players who will lead you to success. The conference’s stringent selection process and excellent reputation serves as an endorsement for your product as it comes to market. DEMO events have helped companies like Palm, Handspring, IBM Pervasive Computing, Logitech, Mirra, Tapwave, Macromedia – even Microsoft – launch their products, create critical business relationships, and sell to thought-leading early adopters.
DEMOmobile 2003 demonstrators benefited from more than 162 million media impressions before, during, and long after the event.
Visit: http://www.idgexecforums.com/demonstrate/tour/index-demo2.html to learn more and complete an online application.

DEMOmobile 2004
September 8-10, 2004
Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines, La Jolla, CA

Chris Shipley is the executive producer of NetworkWorld’s DEMO Conferences, Editor of DEMOletter and a technology industry analyst for nearly 20 years. She can be reached at chris@demo.com. Shipley, has covered the personal technology business since 1984 and is regarded as one of the top analysts covering the technology industry today. Shipley has worked as a writer and editor for variety of technology consumer magazines, including PC Week, PC Magazine, PC/Computing, and InfoWorld, US Magazine and Working Woman. She has written two books on communications and Internet technology, has won numerous awards for journalistic excellence, and was named the #1 newsletter editor by Marketing Computers for two years in a row. To subscribe to DEMOletter please visit: http://www.idgexecforums.com/demoletter/index.html.

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