Let’s All “P” on Steve Jobs

October 2, 2006

There’s been some justifiable outrage over Apple’s recent attempts to “protect” its iPod trademark by sending Cease & Desist letters to businesses using the term “podcast” — a term which Apple itself never thought to coin because it could never envision such a thing as podcasting.

The background story is covered in two articles:

Apple files for Podcasting trademark

EXCLUSIVE: Apple Trademark Office docs point to REAL reasons for “Podcast” controversy

Personally, I don’t think Apple has a case. It’s not Apple’s term to own. Apple didn’t create it nor did Apple ever forsee it.

There have been discussions about changing the name to a variety of things: bitcast, netcast, screencast, etc. Some of these terms have already been trademarked.

I propose a simpler solution: Drop the P. Call it an odcast, call it odcasting. It’s close enough to the entrenched term “podcast” for people to almost understand it on first hearing. And if they ask, “Don’t you mean podcast?” it can easily be explained that the P was dropped to suit Apple and to liberate the technology from being linked to one company in everyone’s minds.

Let’s not wind up wth podcasts, Zencasts, Sansacasts, Zunecasts.

One term can fit all: Odcast.

The Future is Social

October 2, 2006

Computerworld is running Opinion: Why Microsoft’s Zune scares Apple to the core. These are the killer paragraphs:

2. The Zune is social and viral.

Since the iPod first came out, times have changed. The rise of social networks like MySpace.com and viral Web 2.0 sites like that of YouTube Inc. have transformed the expectations of young people about sharing and using media. In the context of these trends, Apple is old school. But the Zune, with its peer-to-peer wireless file sharing, is both social and viral.

Tweens, teens and twentysomethings have acquired the habit of feverishly sharing videos and songs. Today, they mostly have to wait until they get home and use their PCs to do so. With the Zune, students will be free to share music, videos and photos right there in class. They’ll be able to pass notes to one another. The Zune isn’t just a solitary music player. Think of it as a portable, wireless, hardware version of MySpace.

People forget how useful a Palm PDA’s IR port was! Palms were social before there was Social!