Tuesday, November 28

There is a limit - using obtuse technological means to solve sociological issues

From: Good Experience - How (not) to prevent people from using bus lanes

This video is hilarious. It should have simply been entitled "DRM", for this is the perfect metaphor for what DRM is. All to often we think technological means can solve sociological issues... when often the technology is completely clumsy, poorly executed, and quite simple obtuse.

The world is not a perfect place, there are exceptions to every rule, life and society will always be messy... there will always be some spam... there will always be some theft. There are no "perfect solutions"... there is only prevention, deterrence and an increased understanding of social engineering.

I find it fascinating that we look endlessly for solutions to sociological issues in technology.

The problems in the IP world are not technological ones, they are due arrogance, greed, complacency and just plain laziness. The culmination of 10+ years of complacency in the music industry. Music executives and media makers at large companies just find it easier to label their customers as criminals and treat them as criminals then to actually trusts them and try to understand them.

As is often said it's easier to hire lawyers then it is to spend money on R&D.

So, with a little innovation and a whole lot of evilness apple now has something like 75% of all online music sales. Why? The music industry created it's own tyrant. They literally handed apple the keys. It's freaking hilarious. Nice job music industry.

And yet... the music industry is no closer to having an open and competitive music market.

The real innovation is happening away from the ball.

The only other music label with any major market share is eMusic with about 10% of digital music sales. How do they do it? While eMusic is not perfect... essentially requiring a stupid monthly service fee instead of allowing people to openly buy music with a simple credit card as they need it... they do do one thing right. They sell unprotected mp3s that will work on the iPod or indeed ANY music player.

I'm torn, because on the one hand I want for these record labels to get a clue, but on the other hand...

Because all these idiotic mainstream labels are standing on the sidelines this has created huge opportunities for independent labels, musicians, and distributors as represented by CD Baby, eMusic, and above all so called "podsafe music", which is music with a simple liberal copyright license, aka. copy-left license such as those from the Creative Commons.

For all these fine institutions have done nothing has done more than the failures of the mainstream media's own endeavors.

Specifically the failure of products like Microsoft's Plays-for-sure DRM, the Zune and the iTunes music store. They have become proofs and vindication for anti-DRM advocates.

1) Plays-for-sure, Microsoft's proposed standard, because of it's complete failure... and the fact that it has become synonymous with 'plays for shit'... not only does it not play on the majority of mp3 players out there, but Microsoft themselves have abandoned it on their latest attempt at competing with the iPod, the Zune.

2) The zune, because of it's notoriety for being completely anti-consumer and obtuse.


3) the iPod/iTunes combo because it has created a gigantic monopoly that benefits no-one at all but Apple.

In conclusion...

The solution is sociological not technological.

Monday, November 27

The inherent flaw in youtube

From: BBC NEWS | Entertainment | The first superstars of web TV

Internet video is coming of age, with the best amateur film-makers attracting millions of online viewers.

Two of the web's hottest film-making teams have made videos for the BBC News website, talking about what they do and where they think it will lead.


Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla are two 19-year-old college students from Carmichael, California.

They are also two of the biggest stars on YouTube, where they go under the name of Smosh.

They started by filming a spoof music video for the Pokemon theme tune, which is now YouTube's second-most watched clip of all time, with 17 million views.

They have since branched out into their own comedy sketches, which have established the pair as firm favourites among the online video audience.

So where's the problem you ask.

1) Money Ian and Anthony have made of youtube: $0

2) Money Ian and Anthony can potentially make of youtube: $0

3) Money youtube has made of just one of Ian and Anthony's videos given 17 million page views and a conservative $5 CPM for all the ads and related traffic. $90k

4) Money google paid for youtube and needs to be made back before youtube can become a profitable enterprise for google: $1.6 billion

So... What does happen when all the stars of youtube wake up and start realizing that youtube is making hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars off of them and not sharing a penny and they have no mechanisms for making a profit or experimentation?

Provided google does start a revenue share, whatkind of percentage do you think these youtube stars are going to get? 5% mayb 50% even?

It all boils down to this.

No matter what google offers them the stars of youtube are going to wake up and realize thay can make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year if they migrate their fan base away from youtube onto an open vlog where they can place advertisements, or do paid subscription... or sell DVD's and merchandise or anything they damn well want, and take home 95% of the profits.

As they say, easy come, easy go.

Dare I say it?

Yes, I day say it.

Youtube is a fad.

One HELL of a fad, yes, but definitely a fad.

That google bought it will give it some staying power and longevity, but the masses are VERY fickle.

I think we're likely to see the migration away from Youtube over the coming years starting with the best and brightest stars that bring them the most traffic unless youtube offers them some serious revenue share AND... youtube must open up to the great world of iPod's, PSP's, and other portable media players and video podcasting which is going to increasingly threaten it's closed business model of web only video.

I speak of no killer app, and I speak of no rapid decline in youtube. All I say is this. Remember mp3.com. Yeah? Well that's youtube five years from now if google isn't very careful about taking the culture of creatures on youtube and turning disenfranchising it by treating it like a culture of consumers whose eyeballs are available to the highest bidder.

Audiences are no longer captive. They owe no loyalty to even the most hard core social networking sites as Orkut, Friendster and many, many others have found out.

This generation is increasingly savy, they get while the getting is good and move along. Youtube is to rigid of a playground, too much of a clay sandbox for the best and brightest of video producers.

Increasingly I'm find more and more of my favorite video makers have started their own domain, their own brand, and their own video blog... and they're using youtube the way traditional media companies are using youtube... purely for product marketing.

Tuesday, November 14

MobuzzTV got Hacked

Not many details, but a reminder that all is not always a hug fest in vloglandia. Mobuzztv.com got on the 9th. They were back up the next day to leave this brief video message, but have not posted a new video as of this posting. :(

In Anil's own words in the comments.

"They wiped the server, destroying everything. No message left.."

I just want to give them a shout out and say, I miss you guys. Get well soon.

(big group hug)


Re: MobuzzTV Vlog: We got Hacked?

Hopefully they'll get some PR out of this and rebound quickly do to RSS subscriptions keeping them connected.

I'll try to follow up when they post their next video.

Monday, November 13

Rocketboom's Congdon Headed for HBO Comedy

Big news. Congratulations Amanda!

I hope Amanda won't forget about vlogging... and that HBO will find some great ways to bring Amanda back to the videoblogging world.

From: Rocketboom's Congdon Headed for HBO Comedy

Amanda Congdon, co-founder and former host of the comedy video blog Rocketboom.com, is developing a comedy program for HBO.

Details of the project are still being hammered out, but Congdon said she's aiming for a multiplatform property that will be integrated with original video content online. She intends to write and star in the series.

'HBO is exactly the place where I want to be,' Congdon said. 'I'm most interested in playing in that new dimension with two parallel levels of programming, online and on TV.'

Congdon has worked as an actor onstage and in commercials. She remains an owner of Rocketboom but is now concentrating on the HBO project and her www.amandaacrossamerica.com video blog. That project, chronicling her cross-country trek, revolves around environmental issues and is sponsored by the National Resources Defense Council, Environmental Countdown and Ford Motor Co. She recently signed with Endeavor for representation.

Wednesday, November 8

The opensource wikitchen (wiki kitchen)

I've seen the future and it is web3.0. Open source, wikis and social media are starting to have revolutionary implications in the real world.


From: mmmff: WikiTchen

Sunday, November 5

Crowdfunding / people-powered film / community driven financing

Regarding His Fans Greenlight the Project, Robert Greenwald Tapped a New Funding Source: The Audience
by William Booth, Washington Post, Sunday, August 20, 2006

From: NETRIBUTION - People-powered film financing raises $267,000 from 4 emails in 9 days

Adam P Davies and I have recently begun work on a new film funding book - an update to the One With The Pig on the Front. One of the things I'm most interested in this time round, following on from the Cluetrain stuff, is community-driven financing, and in particular how filmmakers who communicate directly with their audience online can bypass conventional sales and financing methods to some extent.

Tell me if this isn't what videoblogging is all about.

Well Robert Greenwald, who Stephen Applebaum interviewed for his Wal Mart documentary earlier this year, recently completed Iraq for Sale which gets a showing at the Leeds Film Festival next week. Struggling to complete the finance on the film, with producer Jim
Gillam, Greenwald emailed everyone who had previously bought copies of the film. Four emails and nine days
later, just over 3000 people had raised more than $267,000, which in
turn released another conditional $100,000 from a philanthropist. Film financed, industry reinvented, job done. I hope to case study this in full in the book, but meantime, here's a Wall Street Journal article telling more.

From Michael Sullivan Crowdfunding.com | People-powered film funding

This article was brought to my attention tonight and it's a GREAT example of Crowdfunding.

Smart use of the Internet to raise money!

Four emails and nine days later, just over 3000 people had raised more than $267,000

Call it community driven financing, crowdfunding, people-powered film or whatever you like but we're starting to see a repetive theme where a whole industry of middle men are being bypassed... where the audience and the artists are connecting directly to fund projects in art, music, film and media.

Read more about Crowdfunding on Wikipedia.