Wednesday, February 28

Co-working has jumped the shark

Heh, that looks farmiliar. The Hat Factory is on boingboing, now we know coworking has jumped the shark. Let's declare this fad done and stick a fork in it.

(Those san-franciscans are so incestuous. :)

From: Boing Boing: Co-working facilities for social-hungry solo freelancers

Cool piece in Businessweek about the rising popularity of "co-working" spaces for independent, internet-age freelancers who are burnt out on working from their homes (cons: too isolating, makes you crazy, no work/life boundaries) and don't want to just work out of Starbucks (cons: too public, not networking-conducive, laptop theft, rising price of lattes). Image above, hatfactory in dogpatch, San Francisco.

I said that all in jest of course.

In all honesty... co-working is the future, if only for the simple reason that in a future where we can work and live anywhere we want we all need to get out of the house sometime.

Other interesting trends are community bike shops and tool lending libraries. You might also notice trends with car co-ops and not that these things are are as here to stay as hostels and regular libraries and that they all serve the purpose of stimulating social capital (the base of all economics) by providing providing greater social and economic mobility.

Furthermore another trend is that these things can be done increasingly for profit debunking neo-con remarks about socialism. These newer trends are in infact the finest form of democracy and the free market in action to date as many sharp economists will tell you. Do not be fooled just because money doesn't change hands as in the case of wikipedia does not mean that it's not capitalism.

It reminds me of something Brewster Kale of said of his idea of a great libarary of all the world's knowlege. To paraphrase poorly, "Who will fund this alexandria? The free market fund it, it's in businesses best intrest." ... or something like that... what he really said was way better you'll just have to google it.

The truth is there is a parrellel between a culture's economic wealth and providing many of the most basic needs... ie. it's social health. This does not mean people sitting on welfare checks as some idiots might misconstrue. This means...

1) "competing with free" is not only a fundamental prerequisite of modern business, not just intellectual property businesses like Music, but also necesities like water, food, shelter, clothing, education and an increasing array of services. In the U.S. somehow pretty much everyone has access to the necesities like water. Water is in fact free, and yet the water industry is so lucrative even a screw up like Coca-cola with Dasani can make money.


2) On some level providing free or cheap open unencumbered access to the tools that make society work is not just good business sense but maybe also a moral imperative. It's not socialist any more than wikipedia is socialist... it's just solid free market economics... give something away for free and hold something in reserve to sell for profit is a fundamental principal of doing business on the internet and the future of all business models. The trick is nowing how much to give away for free vs. how much to hold for sale and profit?

Ramble. Ramble. Ramble.

Tuesday, February 27

Washington Post on new media

From: Apple - profiles - washington post

Video: (video/quicktime Object)

Today's theme is snarky-ness. I'm blogging this just for reference. I despise it but it is interesting. So let's kick the tires.

It's a slickly edited piece from apple. It has no authenticity. It's only interesting because it give a fakey insight into the Washington Post's video journalism group. They have 50 people on staff roaming with camera's... that's interesting. But it's low on real information and insight.

I'm sure the people involved are very interesting people but apple does a nice job of making them seem like passionless boring people without original ideas... because heh, it's not about the people, it's about selling Final Cut and apple computers, and if the people are boring it makes the technology look more interesting.

"I like it when the technology just goes away and you can focus on the aesthetic." Are we on message? Yack. Fluff. Apple needs to rethink their marketing strategy. But then Apple boycott's the blogging world, and doesn't get authentic and real people. Rather ironic.

The most interesting point was what Jim brady, the Exec VP, called "appointment viewing". Apparently "appointment viewing" is the misguided idea that people will come back once a week to re-visit a story to see a new five minute video clip.

Here the opportunities for internet based distibution for media are wide open and Jim is taking the worst thing about television, that it's not space or time shiftable and recreating it on the internet in a vain homage to obsolescence. The only thing he's missing is to make their video pieces disappear after being online for an hour, which is why there content isn't a complete failure because shows stick around long enough that enough people stumble on them. And stumble is the word.

Here's a hint washington post. Throw out the interactive flash storytelling crap put the story in a nicely packaged downloadable video format like MP4 and throw it in a good subscribeable RSS/Media RSS feed with some permalinks to some supporting web page based information. It's called "subscribership"... and you should know what that is because you've been delivering newspapers to people's doors for a century. So why do you make people work so hard to follow up on stories online? Why don't you just work on a virtual baseball bat that can beat them over the head. You're version of delivery is akin to leaving the newspaper laying half way to the front porch in a puddle in the rain.

I don't know why mainstream press people are so resistant to getting a clue. I guess they've just started grasped the web1.0 idea of the "web page" and can't see anything beyond it. They think they have... but they haven't realized "flying type" is not real interactivity. RSS, metadata, microformats... beyond the web page... beyond the desktop even. Clue into it.

Tags: brand interactive-brand nprness washingtonpostness storytelling video-editing tom-kennedy apple final-cut washington-post laptop-editing video-on-the-net distribution jen-crandall journalism creative-class rob-curley appointment-viewing=bs

Weird America - World of Art Cars

This is what vlogging was made for. Getting well off the well beaten mainstream path. Weird America is my new favorite vlog as of today. I just discovered it. My only suggestion is they bring the narrator out from behind the camera... we need someone to take us on their great journeys into weird america.

Watch movie

Original post on February 02, 2007 from Weird America: (RSS feed)

Enter the world of Art Cars. This video is the first of many because we have so many Art Car friends! Weird America has been shooting these automotive extravaganzas for lotsa years - and we hope to for many many more. If you’d like to explore the Art Car world go here.
(Via Mefeedia)

Sunday, February 25

Music video remix of "Rendez-vous"

A london based agency has remixed the legendary 1976 Claude LeLouch film short "Pour un Rendez-vous" into a music video for the band Snow Patrol.

Band: Snow Patrol, "Open Your Eyes"
Dir: Robert Hales/Claude LeLouch (approx 8.5min)

From the wikipedia article:
"The band Low vs Diamond chose to use the film as the video for their song 'Life After Love' which first appeared mid 2006. Six months later, the band Snow Patrol also used the film as the video for their single "Open Your Eyes" from their fourth album Eyes Open."
While I like the music video I much prefer the original soundtrack which was just the ambient noise of a revving engine, tire squealing and shifting. Oddly though the soundtrack was recreated with a Ferrari even though the film was supposedly shot using LeLouche's Mercedes. (see picture above right). Rocketboom also did their own remix of the film in June 2005 with the original soundtrack.

It is a rare thing when the story behind the videos is as impressive as the video itself. Here are some of the details I've gathered about the original.

length: approx 8.5 minutes
director & driver: Claude LeLouche
shot: 1976, 5am, Paris
genre: cinéma vérité
equipment: gyro-stabilised camera
car: Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 (owned by LeLouch)
speed: 80+mph
landmarks: Arc de Triomphe, Opéra Garnier, Place de la Concorde, Champs-Elysées
later inspired: Getaway in Stockholm, Ghost Rider, Nissan's 350Z commercial "The Run"

Other interesting tidbits:
  • Lelouch was arrested after the film's first showing, but later released with no charges. His arrest caused the film to only be shown and shared underground for over 20 years.

  • The film was rumored (by LeLouche himself, probably to protect himself) to to be driven by a Formula One race car driver, but in 2006 it was revealed by LeLouche that he himself was the driver.

  • The car was rumored to be a Ferrari 275 GTB which indeed LeLouche did own, but it was actually shot with a giro mounted camera on his four speed automatic Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 (see picture top right) and the soundtrack came from the five speed manual Ferrari.

  • The camera only had a 10 minute film clip, so the race wasn't just for the girl, it was to finish filming before the camera ran out of film.

  • A few years ago an enthusiast Richard Symons acquired the film, remastered it and released the DVD which you can now buy at
The original film is a must see, but good luck finding it online. It keeps popping up and disappearing, most recently on Google video. I suggest just buying the original from the website, (where there is a short teaser trailer). Besides I'm sure the DVD will look absolutely brilliant on a high def TV.

My previous post: mmeiser blog: The quick tour of Paris - An early morning 8 minute long race through the streets of Paris

Original post on February 21, 2007 from (RSS feed)

(Via Mefeedia)

This American Life the show, a trailer

They're turning famed WBEZ Chicago public radio show This American Life into a TV show. It's coming to Showtime March 22nd. Showtime!? Blarg... I hope it's on the torrents so I can steal it. I wish they'd just dump that B.S. cable stuff and video podcast it so the people who want to see it can. They could reach a LOT more people and make a lot more money if they simply video podcast it and put ads in it. It would be so much more profitable in fact they could put FAR less ads in it... but then heh, I'm not saying anything that hasn't been said a million bizzilian times. Just shut up and watch the trailer.

Watch movie

Original post on February 23, 2007 from (RSS feed)

(Via Mefeedia)

Saturday, February 24

Julie Amaro

This was one of the most dugg items on today and there's over 52,000 blog posts on technorati. The outrage continues to grow as it should.

From: Police, school get failing grade in sad case of Julie Amaro -

Which of these scenarios makes more sense to you?

Scenario A: In the middle of class, a substitute teacher decided to surf for thumbnail-size porn images (an analysis of the hard drive showed that's all that ever appeared on the screen — tiny pictures).

Scenario B: A classroom computer running Windows 98 with outdated anti-virus software, no Internet filter, and no anti-spy ware software began displaying pop ups after some kids visited the wrong site.


Julie Amero was a victim of a school that couldn't be bothered to protect its computers, of a prosecutor without the technology background to understand what he was doing, a police "expert" who was not, and a jury misled by all of them. "Miscarriage of justice" doesn't begin to describe it.

I've heard plenty of people try to defend this "miscarriage of justice" saying that all the responsibility was on the teacher... that she could have "thrown a coat over the computer" or turned off the monitor but this is pure B.S.

According to all the testimony the kids had already seen the porn before she even had a chance to react. If getting help from another teacher immediately or next to immediately isn't protocol I'd like to know what is.

Sadly I smell a HUGE lawsuit against the school for negligence. Unfortunately this won't help the situation at all. This whole lawsuit is a lose, lose situation.

At the center of it are the public defender and the judge, both of whom must have been completely technically inept if not completely incompetent. In fact out of every single person involved in this case the most competent people sound like the students, whom it's more than likely got a good laugh out of the event as it's probably nothing most of them hadn't seen before. Hypocrisy and incompetence all around.... with a dash of techno-phobia for good measure.

Wallstrip Chat - Rocketboom

Interesting interview with Andrew baron and Joanne Colan of Rocketboom. Probably the best interview I've seen with them. Short sweet and to the point. Most interesting moment: Andrew shorts ZeFrank. Still I don't think there's any real anomosity there. It's just showbiz. A little rivalry is good for business.

Watch movie

Original post on February 23, 2007 from YouTube :: Videos by wallstrip: (RSS feed)

(2-23-07) The most successful webshow in the history of our world finally sits down with Author: wallstrip Keywords: howardlindzon lindsaycampbell joannecolan joanne andrewbaron rocketboom wallstrip wallstreet money finance cash Added: February 23, 2007

(Via Mefeedia)

Customer relations podcasting

Looks like I'm going to re-blog my friend Jan twice today. She's oh so on topic.

Re: The Faux Press :: Politics, Law, Media & Marketing: Bill Marriott's Got a Podcast :: Why Smoke-Free Hotels

In a recent podcast, Marriott defends the decision to eliminate smoking rooms in all his hotels.

In another (one of his first, the podcast enclosed herewith), he addresses new Federal regulations requiring U.S. citizens to show a passport when re-entering the country from Canada, Mexico and a bunch of other places.

The big guys continue to buy into the blog / vlog / podcast fray. Hey, even the President and the Department of Homeland Security have RSS feeds.


The show notes for the smoking piece are:

"We really received a lot of comments on the blog about Marriott's decision last year to take all our hotels in North America 100 percent smoke free. That includes Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, Marriott Hotels, Renaissance, Courtyard, Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites, our Fairfield Inns, and even our TownePlace Suites.

"One of our very best customers who smokes blogged back to me and said, "I'll never come back to a Marriott." Well, that's a tough pill for us to swallow. But we made this decision because we knew it's what our customers wanted. And it certainly is what our associates deserved."

This is precisely the kind of issue that is best addressed by the head honcho.

Well done, Mr. Marriott, though a more conversational tone might lend more credibility and warmth to your show.

Thanks to Joho Blog for the heads' up.

What I love about Jan is she always speaks straight to you. In this case she's speaking straight to Bill Marriott. Bill could learn a few things from Jan.

I don't really have much to add except that I agree with Jan. The biggest issue I have is staying "on topic". While smoking in hotels is absolutely a great topic for a podcast I really question wether the discussion of homeland security passport policy is an appropriate topic when representing a hotel in a podcast. Although, I must say, in this case I really love that Bill has the grit to discuss such an issue, and I have to acknolege that he is not any employee, he's Bill Mariott and it's his hotel he's representing so it's his right if he wants to potentially alienate customers over issues outside of the scope of his hotel chain.

Jet Blue - videoblogging for apologists

My good friend Jan over at FauxPress blogged the following about the Jet Blue's CEO posting a public apology on Youtube regarding their holding passengers hostage on a plane for some nine hours.

Thanks to Steve Bryant at NewTeeVee for pointing out another interesting executive video.

To Steve I say that Jet Blue's David Neeleman gets lots and lots of points for not reading from a script. So many folks these days are reading from scripts whose performances have left me cold. Hillary Clinton and Mr. Marriott come to mind. Not to worry, there's a learning curve to mastering authenticity, but you need a dedicated director on board to help you find and learn it.
[Note: Senator Clinton's YouTube announcement video linked from has been taken down for TOS violation. Oops.]
Furthermore, I don't need to hear, "I'm sorry." No-sir-ee. The only really meaningful response to a big-time screwup is action. Free flights, hotels, lots of free stuff for that kinda snafu. Let's see if Neeleman's words translate into motion, then re-evaluate.

Checking the JetBlue website, I found this text apology. Also found their new Bill of Rights, though the amounts of compensation do not seem high enough.

I just wanted to add two things.
  1. Welcome to the new face of the corporate to customer relations.

    Video blogging has natural advantages over regular blogging and PR channels like the press releases or VNRs (video news releases).

    It's particularly enticing as a tool for corporate apologists because it's much more direct then a VNR and much more personable (therefore more empathetic) then a written apology. I personally believe this may be the start of a change in the way companies interact with their customers.

  2. Welcome to the digital dark ages.

    Consider this emphasis. As Jan points out Senator Hillary Clinton's youtube announcement video for has been taken down for violating Youtube's terms of service.

    Normally this means a violation of copyright (the video came from CNN News), but regardless of why youtube removed it I just have one thing to say....

    It doesn't matter wether it was deliberate or accidental youtube's removal of such a video is censorship plain and simple.

    I would even argue that its being arbitrary or accidental is even worse then it's being a deliberate act. At least if it was deliberate it would inform us of youtube's policy on censorship thereby informing our choice as to whether youtube is an appropriate choice for us as individuals.

    On the other hand if youtube is going to randomly and arbitrarily remove videos then it ceases to have any value as a platform for free speech at all and should be considered merely a platform for trash we don't care about.... which... is generally how I currently regard it.

    Please, if you're going to post stuff to youtube post a public backup somewhere.

    This is what we all deserve for depending on a third party. Expect to see a lot more important reference material disappear from youtube in the future. The future of youtube is the proverbial 404. If you you really want something to stick around (if it's important to you at all) I suggest using a tool like to grab it off youtube and save a copy on your own server.

    For example, here's the Jet Blue video in MP4: JetBlue-our-promise-to-you.mp4

    I've included it for the sake of archiving it, because without it this post doesn't make much sense.

    Not only is it on my server in case it disappears from youtube in six months time, but as an MP4 it's also podcast compatible and download able.

Sunday, February 18

Youtube'r LisaNova goes to Mad TV

This just crossed the wires via the Yahoo videoblogging group. The Youtuber known as LisaNova has signed with MadTV. If I'm not mistaken she's the second youtuber to cross over to mainstream media. Youtube user "Brookers" was the first. She signed with Carson Daly Productions a few months back.

Watch LisaNova's announcement

Original post on February 12, 2007 from YouTube :: Videos by LisaNova: (RSS feed)
Just wanted to make a quick video saying thanks to Youtube and everyone who watched my videos. My first episode airs on FOX on Saturday Feb. 17th @ 11PM Author: LisaNova Keywords: LisaNova MadTV YouTube Thanks Added: February 12, 2007
I've started a guide on mefeedia for podcasters and videobloggers and youtubers who have crossed over to broadcast / mainstream media.

Cross-over - a guide to videobloggers, youtubers and podcasters who've crossed over to mainstream media.

I know there are quite a few podcasters and a few other videobloggers who've made the leap and would appreciate any reminders if you know someone I've missed.

(Via Mefeedia)

Transparent City

I don't have the translation but I love the premise of this video not to mention the graphics. The transparent society. Oh so pretty, oh so scarry. What do we gain, what do we loose? How do we re-define public and private space not only in cyberspace but in the new world order.

Perhaps someone will leave a translation and some background info in the comments.

Watch movie

Original post on February 06, 2007 from No fat clips!!!: (RSS feed)

There's a new web portal about your town, in town. So, if you're German, say bye bye to your privacy.The nice piece of eye candiness has been directed by Marc Raymond Wilkins at BigFish Filmproduktion.

C'è un nuovo portale sulla tua città, in città. Perciò, se sei tedesco, dì pure addio alla tua privacy...Un bel pezzo di zucchero oculare, diretto da Marc Raymond Wilkins presso BigFish Filmproduktion.

(Via Mefeedia)

Friday, February 16

In a World Where Everyone Creates...

From Andy Carvin. The dangerous stuff. A brainstorm, bluesky with Zadi Diaz and David Weinberger on NPR's evolving roll with the people formerly known as the audience.

Watch movie

Original post on February 16, 2007 from Andy Carvin's Waste of Bandwidth: (RSS feed)

Watch the videoJeff Jarvis, David Weinberger and Zadi Diaz discuss the evolution of the relationship between NPR and the people formally known as the audience, who are now content creators in their own right. -andy

(Via Mefeedia)

Knights of Cydonia

Definitely one of the best music videos I've seen in a very long time.

Watch movie

Original post on December 18, 2006 from Alex Maccise: (RSS feed)

Joseph Kahn directs this brilliant music video for the English rock band Muse, stars actors Russ Bain, Richard Brake and Cassandra Bell Via Wifi Blanes

(Via Mefeedia)

Thursday, February 15

Mr. Jobs tear down this wall!

OK, let's keep this simple.

If Steve Jobs is not a hypocrite and was indeed genuine in his open letter about his willingness to sell music without DRM then Apple needs to allow independent artists and labels the opportunity to sell their music through the Apple Music Store without DRM.

I'm not even going to discuss Apple's position on MacOS running on Intel boxes, nor the closed nature of the new iPhone, and above all the distribution of Pixar movies with DRM but I've got to call B.S. on steve Jobs open letter titled "thoughts on music".

It's not because I don't believe what he wrote. I absolutely agree with it! Indeed it is a beautiful letter full of sentiments of the majority of all digital music lovers for as far back as five years.

The cruxt of the matter is this. An *open letter* is the last attempt of a desperate customer... it is the act of a desperate person... a person who doesn't have control or power to make change.

An open letter is an appeal to the common good when no other action can be taken.

One must ask as a precursor of this letter, is Steve Jobs so powerless that all he can do is write an open letter and post it to the web like all us everyday people and bloggers... or is there something he can do more with his vast resources and power as the CEO of both a media company, Pixar, and the CEO of the largest digital music reseller in the world, Apple?

The answer to that question is YES, there is most definitely something Steve Jobs can do to back up his open letter, to put his money where is mouth is. Something quite obvious in fact.

Now that Steve Jobs has said it... now that he's declared himself anti-drm... now that he's called for the major four music labels to stop living a lie and sell digital music without DRM it's time for him to put his money where his mouth is and start allowing independent musicians and labels to sell music through the Apple Music Store without DRM.

Everything in the Apple music store is NOT from the big four labels. Steve Jobs does NOT need their permission to sell other music without DRM as his letter seems to imply or at the very least ignore. It's time for Apple to allow independent artists and labels already selling music in the Apple Music Store the opportunity to sell music without DRM.

I've been stymied as to why more bloggers have not asked this question, but now I now find that I've got some good company. Richard MacManus at the EFF and Jon Lech Johansen (famous for cracking the DVD encryption) are in agreement with me.

From the EFF post.

We agree wholeheartedly with Jobs, since EFF has been making exactly the same points for several years now. As a first step in putting his music store where his mouth is, we urge him to take immediate steps to remove the DRM on the independent label content in the iTunes Store. Why wait for the major record labels? Many independent labels and artists already recognize that DRM is a dumb idea for digital music, as demonstrated by the availability of their music on eMusic. Apple should let them make that music available without DRM in the iTunes Store now.

From Jon

It should not take Apple?s iTunes team more than 2-3 days to implement a solution for not wrapping content with FairPlay when the content owner does not mandate DRM. This could be done in a completely transparent way and would not be confusing to the users.

Actions speak louder than words, Steve.

The bottom line is it's time for Steve jobs to sh*t or get off the pot. He's said it. Now it's time for him to back it up by allowing independent artists and labels to sell their music in the iTunes music store without DRM.

I feel like this is in a very real way a Reagan / Berlin Wall moment in digital culture.

Mr. Jobs tear down this wall!

From: AppleInsider | Jobs gains support from Yahoo, Monster on DRM issue

In an immediate response to the Apple cofounder's February 6th letter, Electronic Frontier Foundation urged Jobs to put "his music store where his mouth is" by promptly stripping the company's proprietary Fairplay DRM protection from independent music on the iTunes Store for which it is not required.

Jon Lech Johansen, an infamous DVD protection cracker known as DVD Jon, seconded the motion and even did some background research on the matter.

"It should not take Apple?s iTunes team more than 2-3 days to implement a solution for not wrapping content with FairPlay when the content owner does not mandate DRM," he said. "Actions speak louder than words, Steve."

Sunday, February 11

Apple vs. Warner Music, who do you believe?

From: / Companies / Media & internet - Digital music rights furore deepens

"Edgar Bronfman, Warner Music?s chief executive, on Thursday slapped down Steve Jobs?s suggestion that record companies do away with copyright protections for digital music in order to spur the market?s growth.

Mr Bronfman, speaking to investors as Warner announced its earnings, called Mr Jobs?s argument ?completely without logic or merit? and said his company was committed to the continued use of copyright protections, known as digital rights management, in the same way that software makers and film studios safeguard their intellectual property.

Mr Bronfman is the first head of one of the major record companies to publicly reject the Apple chief executive?s suggestion, which was published as an open letter on Tuesday. Several, however, have privately fumed about the idea, calling it disingenuous.

The goal of making it easier to play music on different devices, they said, could be easily achieved if Apple would licence its own DRM software, known as FairPlay, to competitors ? something that European regulators are pressing it to do.

As the dispute dragged on, Warner?s earnings reflected the shaky state of a music industry struggling to offset a continued erosion in the CD business with new digital sales. For the quarter, Warner?s revenue fell 11 per cent from $1.04bn to $928m while its net income slid 74 per cent to $18. At midday, its shares had dropped more than 5 per cent to $20.31.

While digital revenues increased 45 per cent to $100m from the same quarter a year ago, they dipped $4m from the previous quarter, underscoring some analysts? concerns that the furious growth in digital music sales was beginning to moderate."

It's still early in the process, but do you believe the guy on the sinking ship or the guy who's ship has full sail. Forgeting "logic" for a second, has more *merit*?

Tuesday, February 6

Apple's take on Windows Vista security

Apple wasted no time in making a commercial to poke some fun at Microsoft Windows Vista security.

Cancel or Allow? Cancel or Allow? :)
(video/quicktime Object)

Superbowl commercials fun

I'm having way more fun than I should be having on mefeedia today sifting through the superbowl commercials. It's not just the same old crap either. Techcrunch pointed out that a few startups including meebo, plaxo and technoratti got together and made some Superbowl commercial spoofs. My favorite was Meebo's parody of the famous Volkswagen commercial, Developers wanted. I posted it below.

I made a handy guide to all the best superbowl commercials on mefeedia so everything is easy to find and watch.

Meebo: Developers Wanted

Watch movie

Original post on January 31, 2007 from YouTube :: Videos by SuperDotComAdsXLI: (RSS feed)

A classic Volkswagen advertisement with a meebo twist! Developers, not drivers, wanted. Author: SuperDotComAdsXLI Keywords: Superbowl supersunday football commercials startup meebo meez multiply plaxo rockyou technorati Volkswagen Added: January 31, 2007

(Via Mefeedia)