Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Integrated Web Collaboration And e-Commerce Platform: Glide Effortless Reviewed

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Glide, launching today, is a new web-based integrated environment that allows its users to manage, archive, publish and share music, video and images through a highly visual interface. Glide doesn't stop there. It throws in document and email facilities, basic image editing, as well as some real-time collaboration tools.



The Glide proposition is very ambitious.

The completely Flash-based environment is marketed as an integrated solution that would entice individuals and companies to store and share rich media content while creating complementary services and business opportunities all around it.

The marketing and launch strategy adopted so far has revealed a weak tool with a super cool interface. Much is yet to be added in terms of functionalities before one would be able to appreciate in full the promised benefits of using such a tool.

Glide falls short in terms of providing a simple to use tool that provides immediate benefits to the user. Nonetheless the glamorous interface, two people from Glide have had to invest over 1.5 hours of time to introduce me to the tool, and to this moment I am still unclear about how to do certain things with it.

Flash, cool animations and previews, swift sounds, drag and drop, smooth pop-up gizmo controls are all very fine, but if finding out how to import a file or deleting a set of images requires asking someone then what is the advantage?

Unfortunately, with all the respect I have for the many professionals who have long worked to develop this tool, I think Glide is a perfect model of exactly what you need not to do, if you want to attack today's online marketplaces and be successful at it.

I have followed Glide story from its early press releases up until today's launch. In the last 48 hours I have personally tested the Glide environment that is being released publicly today, and a couple of weeks ago I have also interviewed Donald Leka, CEO of Glide (audio stream and full text transcript in this very article) to get his firsthand view for where Glide is directed and what is the business model that will be supporting it.

While the time for presenting premium content as redistributable and repurposable objects consumable across a broad array of platforms and portal environments is upon us, I do have some personal doubts about Glide and its potential to do well based on the overall "attitude" and profile the company has created for itself and around its product.

Though of course I could be well proven wrong, I like to entertain the idea that Glide is a case study to analyze and follow, as it may teach us a lot of useful things while saving to some of you a great deal of money and time.

If you are interested in finding out why I see things this way, you may find some interesting learning bits in this Glide review cum interview which follows.

First of all let me tell you a bit more about the tool itself and what it does.

Leveraging the ubiquitous presence of Macromedia Flash as an efficient and application development and content delivery platform, Transmedia, the company behind Glide Effortless, has created a fully web-based collaboration and publishing work environment which has few comparable competitors, at least on the visual interface level.

The Glide interface is very visual and it makes extensive use of images and icons.

Very innovative and well executed is for example the implementation of contextual pop-up menus which allow any item to have an associated little gizmo control, which when hovered with the mouse displays the available commands applicable to that object.

Unfortunately the implementation is not always consistent and some basic operations like deleting a group of selected objects, requires a counterintuitive set of steps.

As a matter of fact the contrast between highly evolved UI elements and some rather primitive and unrefined aspects of this tool remain one of the most discouraging aspects of my technology inspection.

Glide Effortless is divided into multiple functional areas, or "environments" which include Glide Photos, Glide Music, Glide Videos, Glide Docs, Glide Contacts and Glide MailShare among others not yet fully active (Glide Docs, Glide LiveShare).

Glide employs a unique metaphor for managing the contents you upload into it: containers. Containers are just like folders though differently from them they are only "virtual" storage points that allows you to organize and group your own content in multiple ways and formats. Thus you may place a set of images in multiple containers, devoted to different tasks or reserved for sharing with specific people, without really duplicating the amount of storage space needed to host these files.


Glide provides also some basic integrated functionalities, yet in a rather primitive state, to publish a blog or personal site with the contents of a container. The generated site is all Flash-based and it sports a very glitzy look, with many elements on the home page moving and making sounds when touched. There are not yet specific controls to edit or modify these elements and in my humble view the use and application of these very fancy-looking sites may be very limited. These designs make you go "oh", but then they don't deliver in terms of ease of use, functionality and more than anything, accessibility.

Glide also integrates calendaring functions as well as a full RSS reader/aggregator accessible right within the main Glide area once logged in.


The RSS reader/aggregator allows manual addition of your own preferred feeds and makes it rather easy to switch between feeds view to scanning of individual news items. Nothing competitive with the latest stuff out there but certainly a useful addition.

On the other hand Glide does not support any RSS output stream from its different environments and containers, which, in my view could have been very useful.

Glide Effortless presently provides 1.5 GB of free space as part of the service, at least in the "pro" configuration that I have been testing.

Glide can store and manage images, audio files, video clips and documents in hundreds of different formats including:

* Windows® Bitmap (*.bmp)
* Photoshop® (*.psd)

* MP3
* AU

* MPEG-1 and 2 (*.mpg / *.mpeg)
* Most AVI files (Codec-Dependent)
* DivX (*.divx)
* Flash™ (*.flv)
* QuickTime® (*.mov)
* Real (*.rm)
* Windows® Media (*.wmv)

* Microsoft® Word®, Excel®, and PowerPoint®
* Corel®, Works®, Lotus®
* Rich Text (*.rtf)
* Plain Text (*.txt)

First of all let me say, that to write fairly and objectively about Glide it would require a much larger amount of writing and for this time I am only to provide you with the basic introduction and impressions about this new technology.

Overall, Glide is an impressive new integrated environment for which I could not easily name another tool or service with similar abilities and looks.

Many are the positive and truly innovative features that characterize the interface and how it works. Some are truly fruit of genius and design excellence while some other are intelligent and effective evolutions of existing standards.


For as much innovation there is in Glide there are also a lot of things that either are still undesigned or which appear to be part of a separate much more primitive system.

Yes, I know Glide is just launching and many things will be refined in the future, but if you, Transmedia make all of this fuss about your launch and you keep boasting how great this tool is going to be, well then it is plain normal that I and others will then take you seriously to your invitation, and will check and report all that isn't working.

A key trait of Glide is that nonetheless it is so visually sophisticated and designed for immediate use I challenge any novice user to make sense of how to make basic things work, and more than that, to understand what she can do to make Glide more useful and effective beyond what GMail, Flickr, Delicious, Skype and iTunes can give you already.

If the focus is on enabling e-commerce activities and opportunities for businesses to sell and market their content assets, too little of the infrastructure that will be supporting these tasks is yet visible.

If the focus is on wanting to guarantee the secure sharing of music so that only legal music gets passed around otherwise you get a link to buy it, I don't think will get people to stand up and run for signing up to Glide. Not that I want to support illegal trading but it is fairly evident in my view that the business around music can only be made by letting more music be shared openly versus restricting and policing your actual customers.

There is in fact a lot more that should be said about this and about key traits of Glide, but I prefer to let you read or listen, what the people and the company behind Glide think and say about their product.

In this way you can have a more balanced and open framework within which to evaluate the correctedness of my initial impressions exposed so far.

I will express more of my ideas and overall impressions at the bottom of this very article, right after the interview contents.

Here for you then is my good conversation with Donald Leka, CEO of Transmedia, the company behind Glide. Over two weeks ago we spent 30 minutes together to find out what Glide was really about and how it did differentiate itself from existing solutions. Here is what we said:


Full interview transcript.

Robin Good: Hello everyone. Here is Robin Good, live from Rome in Italy again with a new very interesting guest today. I'm in contact with a Mister Donald Leka. Donald, where are you connecting from?

Donald Leka: Manhattan, New York City.

RG: Great Donald, and you are representing a company that is just launching on the market some kind of new killer application that brings together a whole universe of new opportunities. Am I correct on this?

Donald Leka: Thanks for having me Robin and yes, we think we've come up with a unique application which is uniquely compatible for people to communicate and to share files and really work together, to collaborate online. It's uniquely integrated to do these things in a way that a lot of the companies that have been in this space for some time have not seen fit to actually pursue. So we're very excited about these compatible and integrated solutions that we are going to be offering to consumers for the first time on November 15th.

RG: So on November 15th your company, Donald, which is called again?

Donald Leka: The product is called Glide Effortless.

RG: Transmedia Corporation and Glide Effortless are indeed the new products coming out of Donald Leka who has been having quite an interesting past promoting new uses of technologies for online business and marketing, but this one really stretches our imagination a little bit more because Glide Effortless is nothing else but an integrated, full-fledged office suite of applications that goes well beyond the mail and the file sharing to include video and the ability to publish and the ability to even web conference in real-time, no matter what kind of computer of operating system or web browser you are using and without having to download, install, or configure any software. How many wrong things did I say Donald?

Donald Leka: That was very concise Robin, I think you did an excellent job. What we've built here is a portable bot for consumers as well as business users, and we have integrated file management, and file sharing. We have real time communication tools built in as well as e-commerce capabilities. The platform is designed to be device-neutral and network-neutral and really to create compatibility and seamless user interface across devices. Again the system is entirely browser-based; it works with all platforms and does not require the installation of software... to basically share files and to communicate with anyone in the world. That means you as a subscriber on Glide can communicate with people who are not subscribers on Glide, and they get the full experience without installing or configuring any software. So it removes barriers and enables people to communicate and to work easily together. That's really what we're about, is we're moving those technical barriers so people can do the things they want to do.

RG: Great, and this seamless interface, working around both personal computers, be they Linux, Macs or PC's, and also on PDA's and smart phones. How do you make that possible?

Donald Leka: Well, we have begun basically with launching on November 15 the PC version of this application and on Christmas day we're launching the Mac version, although Mac users can participate of any of the basic features available on November 15th, but you'll have full capabilities and functionalities on the Mac on December 25th, and in January of 2006 we're going to make our platform available on PDA's and cell phones. And then in the second quarter of next year we will actually make available our platform on set-top boxes and we're working with a number of partners on that. How did we do it? Well, we've been developing this product quietly for four and a half years, very quietly. We started on September 7, 2001; I went on CNN Financial News and announced the launch of the company. This was basically the bust period of the internet. And then, four days later we had 9/11, of course we're here in Manhattan. We were below 14th Street and Verizon was our internet provider, which was in one of the World Trade Center buildings and actually our developers had no internet for the first two days of, rather for the first two months of the company's product development process. So, it's been a long time that we've been working. We worked through a very cold period when the internet was not really in favor, and the notion of launching consumer services on the internet really was not considered viable when we began. But, we kept building, we kept developing, and we kept innovating for four and a half years and on November 15th we're going to be launching what we believe to be a very very exciting product that the market has been waiting for for a very long time.

RG: Great, so seamless interface across all these platforms being rolled out over time: first PC, then the Mac, and then more including set-top boxes. So what type of business model do you have in mind for this?

Donald Leka: Well, the integrated nature of our platform has allowed us to come up with effectively multiple primary revenue streams for the product, which would simply not be possible without a multipurpose integrated application such as we have built.

So, the business model on the consumer side is that we are charging... we have three packages for consumers. One is Glide Premium, which is $9.95 a month, or $99 for the year. And effectively that gives them all twelve environments in Glide as well as 2 Gigabytes of storage.

We have Glide Standard which is a little bit more utilitarian. It has most everything but it does not have more advanced video and audio conferencing tools and it comes with 750 megabytes of storage. And that's $4.95 a month or $49.95 for the year.

And finally we have Glide Free, which offers our Glide MailShare program with our file management programs built in as well as our contact manager. That's free and we make money on that through advertising.

Now, we've also integrated Glide Shops in all three packages; Glide Premium, Glide Standard, as well as Glide Free. And, we make sales commissions off of anything that is sold off of Glide Shops. We sell everything from Glide Shops, not just digital products, but apparel and other products as well.

So really we have a nicely hedged business model from our standpoint.

We make money from subscription fees, we make money from sales commissions and we make money from advertising. And this allows us to provide consumers with very fair pricing on their products because of the multiple revenue-stream nature of our business model.

RG: So will this allow independent content publishers to create their own shops and clearinghouses of specific content and utilize your platform to extend their reach and their ability to provide a way to sell their content online?

Donald Leka: That is an excellent question. That is the other 50% of our business, which is we also license our platform to businesses, big businesses as well as small businesses, to effectively manage their media files and information to manage their workflow and their collaborations and their communications and to be able to publish directly out of their internal management system of files and information to Glide Shops, with e-commerce capabilities to be able to transact their products directly to consumer facing services.

So, it's a very exciting platform in that within a single eco-system a business can manage the workflow on the back end, the collaboration, the communications and then also publish out, and transact, and provide really the most advanced consumer facing services with a great drag and drop shopping experience for consumers as well as some interesting programs that allow for viral sales.

RG: While doing research for this good conversation with you I read that at the end of September, ASCAP, the association of composers in the United States made the written agreement with your company to utilize your platform for their own commercial needs. Can you tell us more about this?

Donald Leka: This is correct. We have a number of major organizations in the United States, Fortune 1000 companies as well as big organizations like ASCAP who will be using our platform, who are already using our platform to manage their media files, their media information, their collaborations from their New York offices to their West Coast offices and offices around the world in Europe and Asia and so on. It's a quick way for them to really work together and collaborate internally as well as provide consumer facing services or member facing services to the public.

RG: Great, but now let's make sure that everyone who is listening to this can really get a grip on what is the magic you are offering, because we are using lots of buzzwords and we got very excited because both me and you, well, you a lot, me a little bit, know how interesting and fascinating is what you're building, but I doubt that everybody who is out there listening to this really got a full picture of it. So, while we're usually next to a full article that shows and explains a lot of the details of this, I haven't had the opportunity yet to put my hands on it, although I will hopefully do this in a few hours from now and I just wanted you to help me highlight, what is it so special about Glide that would motivate a small or large business to move out of the traditional service and applications they use and move on what you're offering? What are the key strengths that would motivate potential users to make the jump?

Donald Leka: Robin, this is a key question that you've asked.

You're quite right; there are a lot of buzz words out there on the market. For our company, compatibility and integration, universal compatibility as well as deep integration and the multi-purpose applications that we've built have been principles that we have pursued tirelessly for four and a half years.

And really what it provides businesses is with a single system where they can effectively manage their workflow and not lose time.

For example, on the compatibility side, we should break down some critical aspects. Not only is our system accessible from any browser or any platform, which means that a business can interact with their clients or their customers and not be concerned with are their clients or customers on the same platform they're on because their customers or clients won't have to install any software! There's a significant difference when it comes down to video conferencing and file sharing. The transcoding that's built into the system; we have many transcoding engines that we have integrated into the system and built for the system, and those transcoding engines create streaming previews, source files. They effectively act as a universal translator, so any major format of audio, video, images or documents is transcoded or converted into a browser-based (read Flash-based) preview that again now you can share with anyone, anywhere, anytime, and this is critical.

It also provides a security benefit, not just a compatibility benefit. The security benefit is that you don't have to show the source file. You can share the streaming preview.

The third benefit is going into an organization that may have multiple systems. A large company may have SQL database, they may have an Oracle database, they might have UNIX servers, they might have Windows servers. Effectively Glide can act as a common front end. What Glide does is push and pull data and it's compatible on the backend, as compatible and open on the back end as it is on the front end. So actually our system will run on Windows servers, it will run on UNIX servers, and again it's compatible with virtually any database. So, there's a tremendous flexibility and openness that we've built into the platform that allowed the other companies that our product will compete with, actually marched in the complete opposite direction, which is to create barriers, proprietary barriers, built a moat around their product, and make in effect, the end result for the end user is that it makes their lives more difficult.

RG: Good, and Glide Effortless or this is the correct name... yes, Glide Effortless is made up indeed of, if I were to count them, these are twelve different applications, going from Glide Photos, photo sharing facility to video, music sharing, documents, the ability to have a shared calendar online that is web-based, timeline management, facility management, Glide E-mail Contacts and more.

The Glide Shops you've mentioned and a few more. Now on some of this, yes, we can see that they are web-based, their accessible from different clients, although this will not be initially completely accessible for all those other platforms; apparently at least it would look like existing services like, I don't know, Gmail, or Yahoo mail, to name two popular ones are offering a great deal. For example, more space than what you're offering with your 50 or 70 Megabytes which is a drop compared to the 1 Gig or 2 Gig that these services now are offering. How do you think you can compete with people moving out of those powerful reliable established brand names and moving to this? Do you think this mail and content stuff are complementary items would further motivate people are choosing because of others. So do you think there is still some unique strength that they can not find in these other popular tools?

Donald Leka: Yes Robin. Well I think to begin with, these products that you described are not very powerful at all.

If you look at the typical e-mail account today, it really hasn't been updated in any significant way when you consider we live in a multi-media world.

You can't share large amounts of media using Gmail or Hotmail but with Glide you can share a terabyte of media files: video, audio, images, documents if you wanted to in a 5 KB e-mail.

Secondly, you don't only control the rights up to the point where you decide to send the e-mail, but you continue to own your rights and you can continue to send at any time, well after you've sent the mail to the people who receive it.

You can revoke rights to those very files. You can change rights. You can say to folks who only have the ability to view these files, but not to download them, and so on.

You also have the ability in Glide to track whether people have actually viewed something or have actually listened to something or looked at that document. How many times did they look at it? How many times did they download it?

So really the game here isn't about online storage, in our case we've built intelligence around the storage. It's about what you can do with those files, what you can do with that information. This is dramatically different than what is currently available on the market. Really there's nothing powerful about those applications at all.

RG: While we may have different opinions about the powerfulness of those, it remains a fact that with today's 50 MB e-mail account you can't do much even though you can send a terabyte of video, and that "is" impressive information.

I think still it would be nice not to have people worry that when they open an email account they're going to run out of space sooner than they expect. But I do take, the understanding that there is a lot more and we are, according to Transmedia view, watching a completely different type of game here than the ones offered by those more traditional mail services. And that is well taken.

I was reading also of the press releases that your file sharing service is going to be able to manage copyrighted information and prevent any illegal file-sharing. Can you tell us more about this?

Donald Leka: I would love to tell you about that. I just want to say that I have one other point. The reason that those services you've described are free is because there is not a lot there.

We believe that people do pay for value and the fact that we've provided these tools, that people can videoconference and send terabytes of information and watch videos and movies together online and again have that kind of control over their content at anytime.

We want people to be registering for the subscription services, for the premium services and for the standard packages.

Now moving onto the issue of basically protecting the content online, we've come up with a very unique process of how we protect that content.

First, if you purchase music through the Glide Music Shop, for example, you can only share in that video conference, or share within that mail that thirty second streaming preview or the full length streaming preview. And when you do that, the system is smart enough to know that while you may have purchased the music from the Glide Music Shop, the people that you're sharing it with have not purchased it. They don't own it; they don't have any rights to it. So when they receive those preview links, they receive them with all of the album art and liner notes as well as a link to purchase it.

So we believe that sharing is the most vital sales driver that has ever existed.

The system blocks the sharing of those source files, so this is not a peer-to-peer network, in fact it's a centralized system to begin with, and the rights are controlled by the content owners at all times.

So, a small record label might provide full-length streaming previews whereas a major record label might provide only thirty second previews.

As far as tracking the files we've taken it a step further. If music is uploaded that may have for example been stolen, or let's just say downloaded illegally, from a peer-to-peer network and somebody has the idea that they're going to be doing the same thing on Glide, they're in for a surprise. When they upload that music, that music is actually fingerprinted and slivers of the track are analyzed and then compared against the database of songs, millions of songs. And, that person now has that file. They can listen to that song within their own private Glide music shop account just like they can listen to it in iTunes today, or on and iPod today. However if they go to share it, they can only share again the thirty second streaming preview, and that thirty second streaming preview goes out with a link to purchase that music. If the recipient decides to purchase that music they will link to the licensed legal version of the illegally downloaded file. So we're actually turning in this case a dead asset into an asset that is generating revenue. This is the type of creativity and imagination that the music industry really has not really been looking at. And we're also helping to transform the business models in the music industry into a growth area.

Not only are we promoting sharing, but we have a program called Share and Save. That means if you share music with all of your friends, and the next morning you log into Glide, you might receive a message that says: "Congratulations, music that you have shared has been purchased. You are now entitled to a discount." So we're giving you an economic incentive to share.

RG: Good. I understand therefore that there is some kind of analysis mechanism that will check whatever type of music content I will upload out of my collection and you said it will compare it to an existing database of music that you have access to. So is this a spectral analysis of the actual music? Or is this an analysis of the music metadata that I have in my library?

Donald Leka: Let me be 100% clear. This is not an analysis of the metadata; this is analysis of the audio file itself. And, again, it's compared against that database.

The real story here, the big story here, is that we have a growth strategy for the music industry. We have again this incentive program that encourages people to share. And when the sharing, the sharing is driving transactions, is driving purchases.

But because of the integrated nature of our platform, if an artist at one of the big record label, or at a small record label, has an album release coming up and a tour slated to start running later in the month they can actually do a Glide-cast and have their fans log in for let's say a one-off price of say $3.99, and the fans can actually communicate directly with the artist.

The artist can share music that's coming up from the album, new tracks, or give access to their fans to actually pre-order the album, as well as order merchandise.

We have product personalization built into the platform.

So all of these things will drive additional revenue: not just selling albums, not just selling tickets, but also the ability to charge for interactivity between artists and fans and to sell products directly on the spot when there's a lot of excitement, when the fans are interacting directly with the artist, as well as other products, merchandise and so-on.

So we're creating an environment where the music industry can actually grow instead of going after thirteen year-old kids. I don't think anybody will be talking about thirteen year-old kids downloading illegal music. I mean, kids have been downloading illegal music, well not downloading it but making tapes and CD's long before they were downloading music. So, the point here is that the industry is growing, and if the industry is growing, everyone is happy.

RG: Got you. Today which is still a few days before your actual release of this tool, which will be November 15th, there's been press post on Slashdot regarding your tool and as usual there has been many many comments. I must say that they haven't been too much in depth and I'm sure you've had the chance to go and catch some of those. What did you think of what came out of the main part of those comments that came out on Slashdot today?

Donald Leka: Well I think that it's interesting, I think that people feel anxious; I think that no one likes to be surprised that there's something new coming that they're not aware of. I think it's a little bit unnerving for people that there could really be something so new, so different, that they were not aware of.

I think that a lot of those comments that we read, you know, these are techies, these are not consumers, these are not our market, these are not businesses, again, they are not our market.

They're used to a technology universe that is very different than ours.

Most of the technology world develops rigid products, single purpose applications, and we build multi-purpose applications based on the principles of integration and compatibility. And we take integration very far.

There are millions, millions of strands of integration between the twelve environments of Glide that you mentioned earlier.

So the product philosophy and the approach is so different, I think that some of the comments were useful for us to get a sense of what the tech world might see. Of course, none of these people who were commenting have seen the product itself.

So I think a lot of these folks are going to be pleasantly surprised when the actually see it and get to play with it.

A couple of points that I want to make is that this is an open system. This is not a closed system, but it's a civil environment where people basically can have a civil community relations.

Freedom is a wonderful thing on the internet. But anarchy, in other words everyone wants their content protected and I know that some of the people on Slashdot were concerned about online storage opposed to local storage. Well, I am not convinced that local storage is any more secure on your local PC than on an online storage facility, in fact, it is less secure. It's almost secure if they turn off their internet connection and they have no access or connection to the internet. So the issues of storage are considerable.

At the same time some of these very same people who want to protect their content are very zealous about protecting their content are some of the very same people who are downloading illegal files from the internet. So they don't seem to have the very same concern for other people's content. Glide is concerned with protecting everyone's content. The record labels content, the motion picture industry content, and your personal content and information. So that is a huge distinction.

There are synchronization features built into Glide which I think a lot of the folks in Slashdot were not aware of. Of course they can't be aware of them since they haven't seen them, but after November 15th they will be aware of it.

So overall that Slashdot article was interesting as it was a spirited discussion, a spirited debate, based on no-information. They have no information to that, and I think that after the 15th they will have access to a lot more.

RG: So we are all very curious and excited to be able to test out the tool and to report precisely whether indeed the facilities, the features, the benefits, the usability pros and cons and what we will find out. You are certainly up with a major, very ambitious challenge
and it is only my wish that you do well in this while trying to make the music and Hollywood industry grow while many think that they are doomed to fail with a strategy of protecting more and more, but it may be that there is indeed a large share of the market that wants to support this type of use. So I think it will be the market that will have a last word on this and we can really be ensured on what will happen.

But we are certainly very curious to find out again, because this is a revolutionary type of solution, very very ambitious and going against software and companies and software that have been there for a long time, trying to establish itself somehow in the same way.

You are taking a totally different approach, and I take my hat off congratulating you for your very very courageous move in this direction. I look forward to test out as much as possible of this and to report it in detail next to this podcast.

From Rome, Italy, this is all from Robin. I really don't have anything more to ask. I am just waiting the moment to jump on to it.

Will there be a free try-out version for everyone to test?
Is that correct?

Donald Leka: Yes, there will. First I want to say that I agree with you. What we have done is definitely ambitious and we have enjoyed what we have done. I think that what has unified the product development team at Transmedia in developing Glide, is that we really love what we do and the market will indeed determine whether we will succeed or fail, but one thing is for sure and that is that we have really enjoyed what we have done and we will continue to innovate and will evolve and adapt based on what the feedback will be.

So in fact we look forward to comments from people from different and various chat groups out there, we learn from them, and we look to improve ourselves as we go along. After all this is just our beta launch of a new product and we are going to look forward to feedback and to continually improve it on the basis of that feedback.

Yes, there will be a... on November 14th we will make it available to the media some test accounts. There is a number of environments that will be available on the 15th and there are some environments that will be coming soon, and I think that there will be a lot to work and play with and I think you will have a lot of excitement doing it.

I really appreciated the time you have given us today and I am jelous because you are in Italy as it is one of my favourite places to visit
and I do to visit you there soon.

RG: Thank you Donald that is much appreciated and once again thanks to you,

where you want people to go find more information about Glide Effortless.

and from Robin God this is all for today and thank you again.

Donal Leka: Consumers can basically come to where they will find the product available starting on November 15th [delayed to today Nov.30th] and again we really appreciate the time...
thank you very much.

RG: Thank you Donald.

Some Personal Considerations

Today if you want to market a new innovative software or service on the Internet, you must have read the Cluetrain Manifesto. Otherwise you may as well give up.

Marketing from the top down and pretending that, especially when a product is so innovative, everyone is going to be pending from your press-release lips is the wrong way to go at it.

The right way is to ask, to pretend feedback, take notes at every comment, show and not only pretend that you "really" are concerned at making this better.

Thanks to the internet and the amount of information and communication tools we have now at our disposal, we users, have developed x-ray vision and can see now through your company better than any of your own engineers.

Start small. Don't come out pretending you can do a lunar landing in one click when too many things still need revision and testing. People get annoyed of too much promising and little delivering. They actually increasingly prefer the unpretentious approach. The one adopted by the widely successful likes of Flickr, Delicious and Skype. Where nothing is boasted, but much gets delivered.

After so many years of traditional companies marketing us things that we couldn't try and experiment with unless we bought them, now we can try and verify before we buy. Of what use is then to tell prospective customers that you are the best, the solution, when it is only them that can tell you whether that is the case or not?

Yes, the secret is in listening, asking, clearing your marketing department from pre-designated plans and enabling those who can ask, scout and inquire from your very possible customers, reviewers, analysts what they think and want from your offering.

Wake up.

Pumping up the press and giving to the elite/mainstream media early and preferred access to test your technology is counterproductive. Independent reporters and bloggers get downgraded for no good reason, and nonetheless you may get early exposure on major papers with wide distribution, the deep and permanent dismantling of your credibility and vision that few individual small voices can start up on you is largerly underestimated.

Get my view.
When I see Glide long list of separate tools and applications I ask myself whether I really want to go on in using software that separates my work and personal interest activities into feature-specific slots, not realizing that it is the reverse that I really seek.

My work and interest is all about "doing" things, it is not around object types.

I want to search, find, publish, listen, edit, share, communicate. Emailing, storing and uploading are only supporting functionalities around any of those key tasks.

If we wanted to be nice, we would use John Blossom own words and say: "Glide is probably ahead of its time but it's a reminder to content producers that today's desktop environment cannot be taken for granted."

In essence, as Glide yet fails to provide a unique experience that is significantly better and different than what already available to most of us through other free tools and web services, the people behind it need also to be reminded, that if they truly believe that the users will be the key flywheel to ignite their multiple parallel business streams, a humbler, more open and listening attitude, paired with a less splashy start, would guarantee protection for early dismissal, while securing extremely valuable feedback around which give the final profile to the tool.

It is starting small, by being open, by asking lots of questions and by not saying "we are the best", that today's new media companies can really ride successful and profitable waves.

Transmedia seems to be missing many of these strategic clues to be able to convert by itself, all of this technology into a popular, widely adopted and profitable business.

I sincerely hope to be proven wrong.

For more information see:

Readers' Comments    
2005-12-10 23:53:09


I have been using Glide for about a week. It is definitely innovative. I have been uploading and sharing QuickTime and Windows Media videos without too much effort. Still exploring though. Glide could use a help manual. They say one is on the way. Robin, keep up the good work.

2005-12-09 23:38:20

Aparaty cyfrowe

This theme is very interesting, with attention I will read next registration fees.

posted by Robin Good on Wednesday, November 30 2005, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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