Friday, May 28, 2004

Broadband pricing goes mobile

The race for your broadband access has never been more competitive with a wealth of new low(-ish) priced offers from the major providers. From the bad old days of £50 a month access, prices are now starting around the £17-20 mark. All very positive you might think, until you check the details of the bargain basement prices.

Apeing the confusing pricing of mobile phones where the plethora of peak/off-peak, mobile-to-mobile and monthly tariffs are surely designed to confuse the unwary, broadband prices is now all about maximum download/upload levels, variable speeds and extra charges for installation/modems. This doesn't bode well in turning the whole UK broadband as such fog-like pricing structures leave consumers confused and cynical.

Friday, May 21, 2004

Breaking out in Coldplay sweats

Allegedly publicity-shy Coldplay frontman Chris Martin's recent fatherhood of baby Apple has clearly re-wired his brain. The band have recorded what can only be described as rap-meets-tat spoof song under the pseudonym 'The Nappies' which is featuring for this week only on their website

Readers can enjoy the full lyrics here which feature classic lines, such as:

"When your boobs dem got ten times the size,
The cups gone up from an A to D.
It’s bad for you but it’s fun for me."

Introduced by a glam rock mulleted George Martin, it sees the equally mulleted band performing an ode to Gwyneth and fatherhood. Proof that the band does indeed have a sense of humour, if a bizarre one at that.

Rightly or wrongly, it's what the internet was made for...

Friday, May 14, 2004

Gmail account up for sale on e-bay

As has decided to delete my most recent post about Gmail accounts being up for sale on e-bay (maybe it was a little too close to the money?), I'm going to have to put this edited version up for now while it makes it's mind up whether to actually publish it or just to delete 20 minutes work for no good reason.

The post talked about how, as a member of, you were offered a beta Gmail account, an offer which I took up (edited verdict: jury is out for now). Bizarrely a number of people are offering up their accounts for sale on e-bay - the going rate is around $20-30 and there are plenty of early bids.

It makes me wonder whether they know something we don't and a beta Gmail account is the thing to have when the big Google IPO begins if you want first dibs on those goldrush shares.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Diverse strategies in the hunt for e-commerce gold

Diverse strategies this week from two big online brands, Napster and e-bookers. Reversing recent trends from many pureplay online brands, such as lastminute and dabs, to move into offline partnerships and limited high street exposure, travel site e-bookers has retreated to online. The travel stallwart has cut 15% of its staff and closed 10 shops across Europe in a move to cut costs and move more operations onto the internet.

In the opposite camp, former illegal download phenomenon Napster, back from courtroom drama, takeover and going legal, has announced a partnership with classic traditional brand, Dixons, which will see Napster being promoted in-store and pre-installed on Dixons-brand PCs.

In an increasingly cross-media world, such moves are typical of the strategies of maturing internet brands searching for the best media positioning to maximise revenues and reduce costs. Just don't expect to see Google on your high street quite yet...