Friday, June 23, 2006

Mike Arrington and the bloody death of Web 2.0

A quick snippet of Mike Arrington at the Under the Radar Conference (2006) voicing what's happened with Web 2.0.

Find a satisfying bit of humor, here: http://www.jumpcut.com/view?id=0359B34A031611DB817A865CEB87FBE1

Kids Can Podcast Too, It's Easy

The link below is my daughter Cameron's podcast. She was 9 when she recorded this show -- her first. She talks about music, geography, and politics. Still the most fun I've had podcasting so far.

Click here to listen

Left Column Marketing, Why it's Going On

A respected collegue recently asked me for advice in terms of advertising barter with a company he wants to be connected with. The company is AlwaysOn. The alwayson-network.com houses a great database of movers and shakers, and his company sells email marketing software. Since users, even business and other consumers when they are shopping, are numb to the skyscapers and pop-up instrusions, though people buy through them, eventually, sure, after millions of eyeballs pass by them without thought. When you search for something you want, the results are vendor web sites and editorial (left column) content. More and more, there is greater credibility in the user-generated, specialized left column content, opportunities to connect directly on a theme or feature. Left column. Get in there. It's going on.

In the Category of Cool

BloggerCon is being webcast live! Right now! Check it out. Very nice. I can listen at my desk. Fantastic. Thank you Dave and thank you Brian Oberkirch for those sweet tunes.

Find it here: http://smartstr.wm.llnwd.net/smartstr_liveces

Don't forget to fill out the survey about the conference so that future shows are the best they can be.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Pitch Me, Please

I signed up for a rash of unconferences last month, v/bloggercon, UTR, Barcamp SF and others. I love the people who come to these conferences, fewer ties and more people from different walks of life; a better respresentation of the "users". And while some of the commercializing gets out of control, I still believe that the capitalists and organization drivers are in the right place to move their products. They are gauging response with people who have time and inclination to try their products, getting direct feedback and finding partners, distributors and customers for mostly all of the right reasons.

There has been an argument posed that the unconference is for the users, not for the companies. But, as a user, let me be hardly the first to say that I want to learn about the companies, their technology and how I can use their products (email me here if you want to show me your stuff). I want to see it. I do. I'll use your pen or wear your t-shirt too, technology is cool. What about a "Pitch Me" conference? It'd be the ununconference. One in which we support this movement we're all part of, and lucky to be part of.

Friday, June 16, 2006

The future of shopping is "super"

Last night I had dinner with the CEO of an IPTV-focused shopping service and we talked about many things, including cross-platforming his service, and it's unique business model, onto the Internet. "The Web bores me," he said.

With a background in film, the former TiVo and EA employee was relaying a concept I heard repeatedly at Under the Radar. It is the notion that the challenge of software as we mourn the death of Web 2.0, evidently a violent one per Mike Arrington, is to stop creating 6 billion new devices with new models of use (phone navigation versus Web navigation versus cable system menus and so on) and rather, to marry compelling services with the standing behavior of the consumer. Serve the buyer. My dinner accompanyment stated that their company's system (one I'll talk about once it's out of stealth mode) "allows users to do more without learning a new technology or menu structures". At the other end of this argument are companies like United Keys, who are talking with large PC manufacturers about replacing keyboards with a software-driven LED type scenario. As stated on the United Keys website:

"The bottleneck of PC computing is the laborious nature of hierarchical command structures," said Chris Shipley, executive producer of the DEMO conferences. "It limits the user experience and leads to feature underutilization."
Denmark West, EVP of Strategy and Business Development for MTV, sat with Rafe Needleman at the Under the Radar conference and asked him what MTV is looking forward to. Mr. West said that MTV is looking to "super" serve the audience. To me, that means more than 'every option available under the sun' and instead 'any option you will find useful'. Will that be more intelligent underlying software or new devices such as United Keys, in customized user installations of software we already use or in algorythims which identify conditions and patterns and respond accordingly?

All, I'd say. Without regulation and with the intelligence and technology barrier so low, we're still parallel developing all kinds of things, racing to super serve the consumers. I'm officially finished wanting to win this race. The glory isn't in getting the sale, enabling the debt and filling the whole with non-biodegradable materials. The glory is in being socially conscience.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Under the Radar 2006: "Showing" Digital Media

Live from the show...complete with American Idol-style text voting enabled by Mozes (cool, Andy!), Broadbandsports.com, Flukiest, Grouper and Tagworld presented in the first session of the Digital Media track. These companies focus on the "showing" of video and pictures. Stowe Boyd (panelist) highlighted a Burst Media statistic that 3 of 5 teenagers on social apps once a week and mentioned the end of traditional network broadcast. Other panelists included a representative from Adobe Systems/Macromedia's Corporate Development department since 1993 and Stephen Horowitz, Media Group at Yahoo!

Yahoo! launched a user-generated video upload service (currently free, like many others) on May 31, 2006. Mr. Horowitz talked about the previous fear of cannibalization, which has been a trend with the head content providers, and loss of broadcast revenue anxiety changing to a monetization-friendly model. No hints on how. This everything-is-free thing really makes me suspicious and scares me. I'm afraid that I'll place my media there and not be able to get it back out, archive it, etc. without paying or becoming dependent (i.e. have to go to login on top of the 50,000 other sites I log into each day, meaning that these companies won't release an API so that the eventual unified login technology happens).

I've been asking people at this show and vloggercon 1) where is the export button for these "free" service or do I lose control of my media and 2) where are the access levels for podcast and video production workflow, not JUST categorization or groups.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Vloggercon(text)

The beginnings of technology adoption bring together wide groups of interested parties. This is a good thing. And a serious challenge for organizers of events such as vloggercon in San Francisco (2006).

I missed day one of the show but heard terrible things about missing the mark for attendees from respectable tech people who had attended. I hoped for the best and went for day two anyhow.

My conclusions were that a clear perforation should have been made between technology and consumer attendees. The technologists were bored. The newbies were asking for help. Hands-on, tutorial style help so that they could learn to vlog. Rather, there was far too much social stroking and talking about "What an important thing called vlogging is, man," and how It's hippy dippy community, man"We all need to join arms and make a big happy people fence" like that old Coca Cola commerical. There were questions from the panelists like "Why do you vlog?", "What it is that you are passionate about?", "Why do you mashup?", "What does it all mean?".

Why, why, why? But people really wanted to know how, how, how! The why is a given and there are too many whys. Wonderful whys. But we are the leaders here. We are a bit short of evangelizing, we should be organizing. Concentrate on the how, we are low on how. The ourmedia.org Learning Center helps both (wow!) and they also have the best I've seen compiled for usable, mashable media. Marc Canter and Lasica are brilliant. Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you have created. Give me the how and I'll show you what it can mean. Yes, we can put together digital scrapbooks and they will be touching, generations beyond us will thankfully enjoy and expand them. But there are seriously impactful social, educational and political changes to be made and vlogging is going to enable us all to move to the next level.

Politics and congresspeople are a joke to almost everyone I know. Friends on both sides of the fence (and underneath it) who feel passionately about legislation and civic management don't even vote. Schools are lagging in technology. There are too many dating sites and not enough services concentrated on different, and more important types of social interaction or global improvement. We need to take our eye off the ball and focus on the field.

In my client's office this morning I received a call from KRON4 inviting me to a seminar about effective advertising. He said that he'd like to discuss with me how businesses are making the most of TV outdoor and radio ads. I asked him if he was going to talk about vlogging. "About what?" he said. In 6 months time, that will not be the response from a TV station. In another 6 months, the same curiosity and transition that that journalists are making into and around blogging will be what major label broadcast TV guys (and gals) will be doing too. And vloggercon will become more on target. I hope to see some more focused vlogging meetups on the local level, whereby we can really grow the medium.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Social network aggregator, a lot of dimes

Where is the aggregate social network, for Pete's sake!

Not so long ago, I talked with John Merrells from sxip about unified registration and the compilation of user identities across the digital land but surely right behind that is the need to also aggregate other personal and professional information contained within the deeply specific preferences and data contained in social network services. I was so excited to see GoingOn get it on, and out and public, but when I come to the site, and few people are actually there or participating yet -- we must assume they are reading blogs from their various readers, writing their own blogs from their various blog publishing platforms, doing their 9 to 5 thing but not at, as the name leads us to want, "Always"-- and not at the same time, "On."

Where is the social network aggregator? I log in once, it has multi access like individual systems do, but it's multi-system. I 'm abreast to the changes in blog and media postings, new users, comments and users hanging out I could chat with. Some people can see me, sometimes, others have full access to the Lisa. It could be called "SocialEyes. See or be seen." playing lightly on the growing vlogging community. It would be multi-platform and totally customizable. Trillian-like. Rich like Flickr. Easy like Skype. Open like Socialtext. Come on, give me what we want. Or do I have to make it myself just to save myself from the little game I play? The game is, "how fast can I (remember) and then type my login for any given site."

I only have 5 or 6 passwords, sometimes I have to type them all. If I had a dime for each login I actively use, even. And as for filling out profiles, if I had a dime for each one of those I've done and another dime for how many of those are not updated because my address or preferences have changed, well that's a lot of dimes. Not only don't I have those dimes, but I'm losing dimes every minute I have to spend logging in or creating and editing profiles. And I have to choose who to hang out around. Why do I have to choose? If I'm missing some technology that solves this problem, please send me a comment. I will send a dime in return.

Video bullies

"The net neutrality crowd calls this nonsense and argues that setting up a fast lane on the Internet will only wreck its open and democratic character."

That's from Jessica Holzer's recent read from Forbes.com, an article about the 135-page bill in legislation right now to allow telcos the ability to deliver video in ways the rest of us won't be able to (yet). Don't worry. It won't be like that forever.Toshiba's HDD video camera

"The defeat of the amendment, on a 269-151 vote that fell largely along party lines, more or less dashes the hopes of a big coalition of Internet companies and Democratic groups that strict "network neutrality" regulations will become law this year, since such legislation has only slightly better odds of passing the Republican Senate."

You can hear JD Lasica's comments on net neutrality during NPR's All Things Considered, aired yesterday.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Don't be afraid of the Darknet

Read Darknet, by JD LasicaI am finally reading JD Lasica's Darknet, an educated vigilante conversation accessible to understanding even to those who aren't in the space. And for those who are, it's a nice chewy account of what's been and what can be in the underground Internet. JD's approach is like no one I know; he's a little off and it gets your attention. Lisa likes the slightly offbeat. I first learned of Lasica while working with Marc Canter (founder of Broadband Mechanics; who can't love this guy to whom we owe thanks for Ms. Pacman, Macromedia Director and an anti-orthodox project process which has often looked chaotic but nearly as often produced brilliant work).

Read Darknet and send me comments about the Internet underground, the communal digital pockets you like. More colonization.