Friday, December 29, 2006
Michael Urlocker Examines Disruption and Disruptive Processes - Classic Disruption: Why Wal-Mart's Movie Plan Will Fail
"Cramming seldom works for disruptive innovation because it compromises on what consumers want and it restricts the growth potential of the new innovation. Whenever you see an incumbent supplier adopt a new innovation but in a way that severely restrict or impairs its use in order to preserve the old and expensive cost structure, you've got cramming. Look for words like 'hybrid', or 'best of both world's' as warning signs."
Thursday, December 21, 2006
All hands on deck trying to get ourselves out of here and operational in our mystery new location as soon as possible. For a place I'm supposed to be leaving I have no idea when I'm getting home tonight.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
First up, the Video Lives retrospective. Of course, that sort of thing doesn't really work online, mainly because if you want to go back and revisit the contributions of Ryan, Hailey or Kelly you can do so easily through the site. With that in mind, the online version skips over that bit and just plays the news items.
Due to this first point, we've been trying to break away from the "shoot once, publish many" mindset that has been a little pervasive of late. If you get a chance to watch tonight's episode on ABC2, then catch the online version you'll notice that there's a difference in the shots we've used. The structure is pretty much unchanged, but where we've gone for movement in the TV version (zoom ins, walking in shot, large expanses of moving water) we've opted for static, well balanced and tighter shots for online. Anyone with an understanding of encoding video for the web will understand why we've made that decision.
The best bit is that this extra work to set up, shoot and edit these different versions has been negligible due to the modular structure of the program. Big congrats to Kerrin Binnie for his work on the program this week (the Aus Wide presenters also produce, write links, edit and publish to TV and the web), with thanks to Jessica Askin who came along today to lend a hand with the shoot. While I'm here I should also offer congrats to Karin Fitzhardinge and Kelly Yates who produce the show out of Sydney, original EP Janet Carr (now doing Good Game), Melinda Nucifora and Georgina Robinson who've been sharing presenter duties with Kerrin through the year (good luck to both ladies as they go on to other projects next year) and everyone involved with Aus Wide in its first year in this format. We're kind of proud of the show.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
"A court ruling has given the recording industry the green light to go after individuals who link to material from their websites, blogs or MySpace pages that is protected by copyright.
A full bench of the Federal Court yesterday upheld an earlier ruling that Stephen Cooper, the operator of mp3s4free.net, as well as the internet service provider that hosted the website, were guilty of authorising copyright infringement because they provided a search engine through which a user could illegally download MP3 files.
The website did not directly host any copyright-protected music, but the court held that simply providing links to the material effectively authorised copyright infringement."
I've just linked to the Sydney Morning Herald, which I'm pretty sure is copyrighted to Fairfax Digital.
"Ms Sabiene Heindl, general manager of Music Industry Piracy Investigations (MIPI), said similar action could be taken against individuals who, like mp3s4free, used the internet to link to copyright-protected material."
Come and get me.
Full judgement here.
Oops, I just did it again! When will I learn?
Friday, December 15, 2006
[Sings] "Any individual entity that pretends to understand the rules that guide this space is under an illusion"
Then there was some of his comments regarding the viewer community in a recent interview.
(Just skip to 20:25 and listen through to 56:08. Everything on either side kind of shits me, mainly whenever Bob Parsons is talking.)
To top it off, there's the beta launch of the new ORG site, limited to the first 300 sign-ups, and the occasional comment about strange things on the horizon that he's not ready to comment on just yet.
Maybe he's just thinking ahead to what's going to happen to the site once he's done with the show, but there's definitely something being planned and slowly revealed. If nothing else, I'm fascinated to see how what has become an incredibly active and tightly knit community will survive after the locus is removed. For that matter, I'm pretty interested in this idea of the community locus and whether I'm right off track with this.
...Everything we do has unpredicted consequences. It's good to keep in mind that some outcomes are just fabulous, dumb luck. So mark my last little act of prediction in this space: I don't have a poll or a single shred of evidence to back it up, but I believe more good things are in store, and some are bound to come from the tangled, ubiquitous, personal, and possibly unpredictable Net."
Nice to end the week on a positive note.
"I consider the first ARG The Beatles’ “Sergeant Pepper” album. An alternate reality game is anything that takes your life and converts it into an entertainment space. If you look at a typical video game, it’s really about turning you into a hero; a super hero, a secret agent. It’s your ability to step outside your life and be someone else. An ARG takes those same sensibilities and applies them to your actual life.
...They embedded a bizarre series of clues and mysteries into the cover, turning you into something more than you previously thought of you were. Look at this album: There’s a phone number hidden in the bushes over there. What would happen if I called it? Your superpower is simply that you notice this cool thing that most people don’t notice."
Thursday, December 14, 2006
"BIGGEST MISTAKE OF THE YEAR: The video iPod. In my six years at LR, I don't think I've made as bad a prediction as guessing it would be a minor blip."
Despite the slightly defensive comment I received from Mr Safran at the time, I hold to this day that there are few blogs I enjoy reading more, particularly when the head honcho steps up and says "yep, I said that".
(BTW, if anyone from LR drops through via Technorati this year, I'm interested in filing international stories on the Australian media :-)
Here's the most recent effort. I don't think anyone could fault him for this year's predictions.
"LONELYGIRL15: While I was correct in guessing from the start that the thing was a work of fiction, I was wrong in guessing its origin. I figured there was a big company behind it, trying out some new viral marketing thingy. Turns out it was performance art. Or maybe it’s a new viral art thingy trying to be marketing. Whatever. I’m still wrong."
Well yeah, but the whole thing kind of smelled of a set-up. Where I got it wrong was in believing that once the truth came out it would get dropped like a stale sock. I guess we shouldn't underestimate people's ability to suspend disbelief if it suits them.
Of course, I'm no stranger to off-target predictions too.
"Unlike ordinary network communications tools, which require a degree of subtlety in thinking about them... Second Life's metaphor is simplicity itself: you are a person, in a space. It's like real life. (Only, you know, more second.) As Philip Rosedale explained it to Business Week "[I]nstead of using your mouse to move an arrow or cursor, you could walk your avatar up to an Amazon.com shop, browse the shelves, buy books, and chat with any of the thousands of other people visiting the site at any given time about your favorite author over a virtual cuppa joe."
Never mind that the cursor is a terrific way to navigate information; never mind that Amazon works precisely because it dispenses with rather than embraces the cyberspace metaphor; never mind that all the "Now you can shop in 3D efforts" like the San Francisco Yellow Pages tanked because 3D is a crappy way to search..."
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
"Some marketing genius for Sony has made some lame website that is apparently written by a couple of hipsters about how much they want a PSP. Problem is, the domain is registered to some lame marketing company. Way to go Sony! The Winnar Is You!"
The idea here is not to bag Sony (I gave up on them having a clue ages ago), but rather to see how many industry pundits jump onboard over the next day or so and take a shot at Sony for it. Of the blogs I read, the current front-runner is probably "Good Morning Silicon Valley", with "Wired" and "BuzzMachine" closing fast. I could be wrong here, but the cynic in me is waiting for a blogsplosion.
[Update] Wired's off the mark! Who's next?
[Double Update] Man, I was so wrong. Barely a blip. Shows what I know.
The hottest chilli pepper in The Guinness Book of Records is a Red Savina habañero with a rating of 570,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU).
Mrs Michaud was stunned when the Dorset Naga (pepper) gave a reading of nearly 900,000SHU. A fresh sample was sent to a lab in New York used by the American Spice Trade Association and recorded a mouth-numbing 923,000SHUs.
Mrs Michaud said: “The man in the first lab was so excited — he’d never had one even half as hot as that. The second lab took a long time because they were checking it carefully as it was so outrageously high.”Mmmmm, curry time! Or is that "watch my head explode in pain" time?
Take a look down the bottom of the article for the relative Scoville levels of your favourite hot peppers.
"Pre-roll ads are going the way of popups and other intrusive ads. They won't be around in a couple years. And the online video services that use them to monetize their audience won't be around either.
Because the thing you have to understand about digital media is its pervasive and abundant. There is always somewhere else to get the same thing. Digital is write once, read everywhere. Digital media is like a virus. It spreads like crazy.
So if you want to build a business around digital media, you have to be the best place to view/consume the media. Being the only place to see it is a naive strategy that won't work. You have to make digital media easy to find, easy to watch/listen/view, easy to comment/tag/share, and easy to replicate/reblog/republish.
That's the way two way media works. If you don't understand/accept that, get out of the business because you'll be out of it sooner or later."
Monday, December 11, 2006
Here's the visitor details from SiteMeter.
|Domain Name||comcast.net ? (Network)|
|IP Address||24.23.199.# (Comcast Cable)|
|Language||English (United States)|
|Operating System||Microsoft WinXP|
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8.1) Gecko/20061010 Firefox/2.0
|Time of Visit||Dec 10 2006 9:58:43 pm|
|Last Page View||Dec 10 2006 10:01:06 pm|
|Visit Length||2 minutes 23 seconds|
|Visit Entry Page||http://kingleonard.b...will-never-work.html|
|Visit Exit Page||http://kingleonard.b...will-never-work.html|
|Visitor's Time||Dec 10 2006 6:58:43 pm|
So if that was you, say hi and let me know who you are this time.
"From its very start, the movie industry in America has been tilted against the independent filmmaker, and designed to exclude the entrepreneur. Yet almost every important cinematic innovation of the past century – from sound to color to 3-D to the widescreen Cinerama process to computer animation, digital projection, and digital cinematography – has been nudged into the mainstream by indies and outsiders."
No love for Firefox, insistence on running Win Media Player. And I'm a PC user. Imagine the Mac-heads getting no joy.
The other day I linked to an article by Steve Bryant called "If I can't reuse your media, then your media is useless". To crawl before we walk, how about we modify it to read "If I can't access your media the way I want then why do you have a job?"
By the way, I should link to this Business Week article mentioned at HowardOwens.com about a future for long form video content on the net.
Saturday, December 09, 2006
"Computers were evident in other rooms of the homes, and people sat typing and drawing and reading and watching. There was only a scattering of antennas on the chimneys of the homes.
A bone shivering chill swept over Ebenezer's body as he considered the scene before him, and he felt a want that was unfamiliar.
"What's happened to my business?" he inquired of the Spirit. "You cannot represent the present, Ghost. Where are the people watching television? What about Nielsen? What about my clients?"
"You seek the past in what is now," the Ghost replied.
"Humbug," Broadcaster muttered. "This is nonsense! My spreadsheet still shows profit.""
Two years old, but probably more relevant after the year we've had than ever before.
Yes, I'm posting from work on a Saturday. Don't ask.
Friday, December 08, 2006
The twist is that a player's physical position controls the position of their zombie-world avatar, forcing the player to actually move around the real world to succeed in the game.
The virtual zombie-world is a simple environment -- the game's complexity comes from players having to negotiate real-world objects in order to avoid the zombies and stay alive. The scoring system is simple: the longer you can stay alive, the higher your score. Of course, the longer you stick around, the more zombies you'll encounter."
Site has pics and vid of gameplay. A great idea all round.
That's it for today. Two days of unexpected work Hell over.
"Multiverse, maker of a free MMO-creation platform, plans to announce Friday morning that it's struck a deal with Fox Licensing to turn the show into an MMORPG..."
This has the potential to be unbelievably wonderful, or horrificly bad.
"These days, people who've grown up with digital media are beginning to expect more than linking. As we've seen with YouTube, they want to appropriate the content. And as we've seen with mashups, they want to reuse and repurpose the content. Everybody wants to be part of the content creation life cycle, whether they were the ones to do the original creation or not."
Thursday, December 07, 2006
What's this have to do with online video? Muchas muchas. As advertisers flock to online, their chosen destinations are sites like YouTube, videobloggers like Ze Frank and Galacticast, and news shows like Rocketboom. And what models are those sites and shows choosing? Single advertiser sponsorships."
Absolutely, and it's something that's been suggested for a while. Of course, the length of the ad should be relative to the length of the content. There's nothing worse than heading over to the NBA video section and catching a 1 minute ad for their Fantasy League at the head of a 2 minute overview of a game.
And, because I love a controversy, Jeff Jarvis' response.
Terry Heaton's response
For later reading.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
"In the end, Kaufman's experiment might prove less about how any particular meme moves through the web, and more about the attention span of the internet. Just two years after a nearly identical experiment, enough bloggers believed the experiment to be new and relevant that the meme traveled quickly and widely."
Sunday, December 03, 2006
ITN701 Networks & Systems - 7
Overall GPA - 6.714
One subject left, a Journalism subject, KJP401 Newswriting, or as I call it, "Studying the Enemy", then I'm finished my Grad Dip.
Saturday, December 02, 2006
Left and Right sat at the bar, trading rounds as they got to know each other.
"I mean, do I look like a terrorist?" asked Left, annoyed at having been picked for a random search earlier that day. "I mean, I'm no Arab. I don't even have a tan."
"I know exactly what you mean" said Right. "This whole War on Terror's gone so far everyone's paranoid these days. I mean, just the other day I sent a box to the Cops with three heads I'd cut off a family out West. Took me ages to get the whole thing set up, because of course the family didn't want to cooperate [chuckle], then I had to make sure I'd wiped all evidence that I'd touched it. So I manage to drop it off in front of the local Police Station without being seen, cross the road and settle in to wait for someone to discover my little present. But does anyone even pick it up and give it a shake? Oh no. They call in the bomb squad, clear everyone for two blocks and detonate the whole thing. Some of my best cutting, shot straight to hell. Man, it's getting so no one trusts anyone any more."
Right took a drag from his cigarette and finished up his beer. "So," he said with a smile to a shrinking Left, "you got a family?"
Friday, December 01, 2006
Ubiquity, simplicity and interactivity/interoperability for starters.
As my reservations slowly begin to crumble and I begin to view FLV's with new eyes, fellow Adobe Community Expert Tom Green has a few things to say on the subject.
"From my perspective, I find the shift from “video as video” to “video as content,” especially on the Flash stage, to be rather fascinating. Experimenting with After Effects, I have come to the conclusion that the boundaries are blurring between what we’d call “Flash content” and “Video content” in a Flash movie clip. I have been bending video around objects, putting the FLV in a movie clip and applying Alpha transparency and the Blend modes to the movie clip. The upshot is what I call a “meta movie clip.” That is content in a Flash movie clip that is a hybrid of Flash and video content."
Digital Web Magazine - The Rise of Flash Video, Part 2
Digital Web Magazine - The Rise of Flash Video, Part 3
Best quality for watching long form video in an IPTV environment? Doubt it.
Making video work in the short term and as part of rich, interactive experiences? Sure beats hell out of Win, Real or QT.
In particular, our own Jess Daly for co-winning "Sports Feature Journalism" for the episode "One Perfect Day".
Congrats also to the Sydney Morning Herald guys for winning "Best Use of the Medium", the category we nominated for.
Of course, by now most people with an interest in media in this country already know about "The Milne Affair". Let's step past the incident for a moment, and whether the cheering crowd were chastising or supporting him (you don't think Crikey.com's not the black sheep at a journalism awards dinner?), and take a look at the fallout. In particular, this chain of events.
Last night someone (the discovery of the identity of "burtom" I'm sure will only be a matter of time) posts a video of the event on YouTube.
Not surprisingly, everyone not associated with News Limited goes crazy with the Milne story. What is perhaps surprising is that The Age, a Fairfax publication, links to the YouTube video on their site.
Then, even more surprisingly, News.com.au, the employer of Milne, links to it as well as part of the apology story.
Is this the first time a major Australian media organisation has linked to YouTube in one of their stories? Not once, but twice?
Of course, if you want to see the footage in a little better quality I'll pass you onto our site.
Make it shareable and they will come... and go... but then come back.
Last year noted vlogger Chuck Olsen gave his site Minnesota Stories over to Santa Claus to answer some of the more pointed and poignant questions that have been asked about the Jolly Old Red Guy over the years.
Well, it seems like the bugger's got himself a little production support and decided to go it alone, setting up his own site for this year's edition of Vlog Santa.
"Remember, stay off the dope, and don't be a goddamn nitwit. Now, get the hell outa here."
Ho, Ho, Frickin' Ho.
Friday, November 24, 2006
Passively Multiplayer is a system for turning user data into ongoing play. Using computer and mobile phone surveillance, a user and their unique history. These resulting avatars can be viewed online, and they interact with other avatars online.
While I'm here, the article on SmartMobs.
Justin wants to experience the same visible sense of goal-oriented progress he gets in World of Warcraft when he looks at his screens and sees exactly what level his activities have earned him. What if you could get points of various kinds for various activities, and compete with your friends? What if you and your friends and their friends could constitute a sufficiently large population to add collaborative filtering to the mix -- making recommendations for things to learn, see, hear play, do?
"THE ABC's director of television, Kim Dalton, has stopped production of the network's only new children's program fornext year because he does not want to spend the money internally.
ABC staff who worked on the pilot said there was a chance the concept, in which three animal puppets look after real farm animals, would be an international hit like Bananas in Pyjamas. Bananas brought in tens of millions of dollars to the ABC."
Should just point out the article that ran the day after.
Aah, journalism in action. Don't like what they have to say today? Wait until tomorrow.
Monday, November 20, 2006
"(LonelyGirl15 Co-Creator, Miles) Beckett is clearly frustrated. "The Web isn't just a support system for hit TV shows," he says. "It's a new medium. It requires new storytelling techniques. The way the networks look at the Internet now is like the early days of TV, when announcers would just read radio scripts on camera. It was boring in the same way all this supplemental material is boring."
What's needed, he says, is content that's built specifically for the Web. It doesn't need to be lit like a film -- that would make it feel less real. The camera work should be simple. There shouldn't be a disembodied third-person camera -- a character is always filming the action. Each episode needs to be short, no more than three minutes. "You wouldn't show a sitcom at a movie theater, right?" Beckett says. "You make movies for the big screen, sitcoms for TV, and something else entirely for the Internet. That's the lesson of Lonelygirl15.""I'm a little surpried it's still going forward after the "revelation" of a few months back. Suspension of disbelief in action.
Friday, November 17, 2006
What do I have to do to get a response? Maybe it's because I haven't offered anything in payment.
No one wants to bother if there's nothing in it for them. Perhaps I need to offer to go vegetarian for a week, or do someone's laundry for a month, or offer money! Would that do it?
Note to potential sponsors - look elsewhere. No one comes here but me.
So, you've got a series of products aimed at creating video content, with a creative and skilled user base who tend to be more than a little devoted to the brand. What better than to cash in a little of your user devotion and get them to create ads for you!
The next step - the entries are being shown at moviemaker.com so people can vote for a favourite, but it will be interesting to see if the clips are able to be spread "into the wild". Similarly, it will be interesting to see how they handle the possibility of negative, disparaging or farcical interpretations, or whether they just won't qualify.
BTW, in the interests of transparency, the link above is to a sponsor of the event, BeatSuite.com. These guys sell Royalty Free music and effects and I'm in the process of deciding if I'm interested in doing a little quid pro quo with them. I'm still undecided about the business model of copyright in the world of digital reproduction, but the site is legit with a professional broadcast quality product. They even have some freebies which, based on my reading of the terms and conditions, fall under their "Standard License" (any non-broadcast use up to a maximum of 1000 copies) which is a hell of a lot better than the freebies offered at the laughingly named "Freeplay Music".
Anyway, just thought you should know.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Downside - The search was for "Adobe Premiere Tutorials". What I tended to get was "Adobe Photoshop Tutorials". Close, but not quite. Besides, it's so cool who cares if the search is a little out?
Who runs these companies?
"AUSTRALIAN football rights holders Channel 7 and Channel10 are looking to community television stations in Sydney and Brisbane to meet their obligation to broadcast eight live AFL games a week and avoid a financial black hole on Friday and Sunday nights.
It is understood the AFL consortium of Seven and Ten has drawn up contingency plans to purchase air time on TVS and the Brisbane community station Briz31 if no agreement can be reached with pay-TV provider Foxtel."
As someone who was part of the launch of Briz 31 back in 94 and who heard the snide derision that flowed down the mountain to that West End studio I can't begin to explain what I think of this. Not without risking getting this blog banned.
Monday, November 13, 2006
Who can submit a video?
Anyone resident in Australia. Please note that although you can get friends and colleagues to help you make the video, you must submit your video as an individual and not as a group or company. The exceptions to this are schools, school groups or classes. Australians living outside of Australia are welcome to contribute but the video must be set in Australia.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
When a single-engine plane crashed into an Upper East Side apartment building on Wednesday, Fox News Channel delivered early live video to its viewers from the crash site using a handheld mobile phone souped up with streaming video.
Scott Wilder, a cameraman for the network, had been about 20 blocks away on another assignment when the crash occurred. Wilder ran uptown and reported live from the scene using a Palm Treo smart phone that uses the existing mobile network to transmit video to the Fox News control room. From there, Fox News sent it out live on TV to supplement other video being shot by local traffic helicopters...CometVision runs on a Palm Treo 700-series PDA via the Windows Mobile operating system. The technology is able to transmit video over non-3G networks, using much less bandwidth than would normally be needed, Comet CEO Howard Becker said.
"We have it set up so you can push one button" and then it starts to work, Becker said. That includes automatically connecting to a computer at the Fox News studio, and sending an e-mail to a producer or anyone else at the network who has a link to the live stream."The telling quote...
"It'll be used more when the picture itself is of higher quality," (Fox News' vice president of newsgathering, John) Stack said. "It's OK now but it could get better. It depends on the nature of the story. If it's an important enough story, we are more forgiving of picture quality and hopefully the audience is more forgiving."
"T.S. Eliot once said that television was a device by which millions of people could share a joke alone.
I guess that makes YouTube a device by which millions of people can share their loneliness together."
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
"Most eras have distinct “ways of seeing” that end up defining the period in retrospect: the fixed perspective of Renaissance art, the scattered collages of Cubism, the rapid-fire cuts introduced by MTV and the channel-surfing of the 80’s. Our own defining view is what you might call the long zoom: the satellites tracking in on license-plate numbers in the spy movies; the
Come for the game review, stay for the concepts.
I tend to think of this as an abnormality, not having had a previous comment in at least six months (in fact Simon mentions that the reason he'd dropped by was to see if I had anything to say about Google and YouTube - not an everyday occurrence), so I pose the same challenge now. Figuring I'm the only one who actually visits and reads this blog I posit that I will have no comments within the next week, other than perhaps Simon who may pop back in to see if I've replied to his comment.
Let's see how this one goes.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
[Introduced in cartoon by regular character Ray Hightower]
"Hey folks! You may have heard how dangerous it's become for the Press to cover operations OIF and OEF. Result: The public feels increasingly disconnected from the troops in the field. Solution: Let the troops report on themselves!
Presenting the Sandbox - our command-wide milblog! Starting today, GWOT-LIT has a new home, and it's exclusively at Doonesbury.com."
And so we have a simple blog interface, based on Typepad, for service personnel, and their significant others, to tell their story.
"It all comes back to me, in dribs and drabs. In the morning, I open my eyes and think of the thoughts that have bounced around the inside of my brain-housing group. And then KM6 (my wife) chimes in. She's nervous of what the future might bring, and, her being a little more liberal than I, is worried what the world might drop on us. Her eyes meet mine, and she adds one last thought to my pondering:
"All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing."
And then she tells me that she's proud of me..."
5 days remain in the Comment challenge...
Debate as to his directorial abilities remains alive to this day, but no one can deny that the guy knows what's what. I'm looking forward to seeing the next Star Wars episodes available on GoogleTube.
Sunday, October 08, 2006
Jeff Jarvis seems to be the most recent culprit,
"Then they set up in the den with lights, a decent mic, an HD camera set to focus on Amanda and me on the couch in front of the books that make me look smart, and with two of them roaming with two more video cameras and a third shooting stills. It was a three-camera shoot! Cable networks and sitcoms don’t use three-camera shoots anymore. On top of that, it was in HDTV."
Yeah! Great. HD. So what?
This may be my ignorance here, and I'm not entirely down with the state of HD in the States, but I can't see HD being any big factor in Internet video (vlogs, vodcasts) at this point. When was the last time you saw someone, anyone, break beyond a 512x288, square pixel resolution? Even the interview mentioned by Mr Jarvis was only 480x272. The last I checked, this is well inside standard definition resolutions.
At this point I can think of only four reasons to even use a HD camera, and only one of them (2) is compelling to me.
1) Extra resolution to play with- This allows for further cropping of the image to create more cinematic aspect ratios, such as 1.85:1 or even 2.40:1. Speeds just aren't up to scratch to use the HD resolution to its full.
2) Better electronics - Just about all modern video cameras come as HD as standard with the ability to downconvert to DV SD, which is likely to be what's really happening (HDV being such a bitch to edit properly without an intermediary codec). Modern camera, better electronics, may as well make the most of it. But that ain't HD.
3) The ability to do Cross-Platform to HDTV - Always a nice option to be able to step it up should negotiations with that cable station pick up halfway through shooting, but if there's no plan for it in the Pre-Prod phase, it's really a bit of a waste.
4) The Buzz - It obviously helps to be able to say "Now shot in Hi-Definition", like old TV shows had the "Now in Colour" super over people's black & white TV sets. The difference is, there is no real HD alternative. At least with colour you could go out and buy a new colour TV set.
As always, I'm ready and willing to hear alternate views. Still 7 days in my comment challenge, so have at it!
Friday, October 06, 2006
First up, what's with Melbourne?!? Chilly Wednesday morning, dry and hot Wednesday afternoon and evening, cold, windy and overcast Thursday. Crazy town. I preferred it the last time it was there and the temperature ranged from a blustery 6 degrees, to a balmy 6 degrees. At least I had time to adjust.
Would have loved to have got to see the Picasso exhibit, but alas it wasn't to be. Apologies to Melbouorne friends, but there just wasn't time to catch up.
Irony quotient for the two days - keep in mind the title of the conference is New Realities: Beyond Broadcasting.
(In a Southbank men's room)
Me: "If I'd known you were going to play that clip I'd have worn my ZeFrank T-shirt."
Him: "Aw yeah, isn't he great? I reckon it's only a matter of time before he gets his own T.V. show."
Something doesn't strike me as being quite right here...
[EDIT] I had a thought about this and want to make a few things clear, in case someone with a connection to all this should pass by.
I'm not implying that the other participant in this conversation was some sort of hypocrite. I mean, the irony of the statement didn't strike me until late the next day so I'm hardly immune to criticism. This is just the mentality that some of us have as a result of the current mediascape; Cinema at the top, then TV, newspapers/radio battling it out for third, then the internet as the newcomer. It's hardcoded into our brains at the moment, but something we can be aware of and try to think around.
Jennifer Wilson from HWW made a comment that while talking to one of her competitors they made the distinction between television and video on demand as (and I'm going on memory here, so if the quote's not entire accurate I apologise) "if it's scheduled and you can't interact with it, it's television. If it's not scheduled and you can do what you want with it it's Video-on-Demand." The feeling here was that this was somehow wrong, that the term television is one that should be more open to interpretation. It's a feeling expressed recently by Jeff Jarvis of Blogmachine when interviewed by Amanda Congdon ("I argued, in turn, that the definition of TV is up for grabs and that (Amanda) should grab it: Don’t let the big, old guys define and own TV."). I just can't agree with either point. To me the term television is not just "video/pictures over a long distance" as the etymology of the word would indicate, but has picked up all sorts of baggage over the last 50 years. The big, old guys DO own T.V. as evidenced by that self-congratulatory exercise they went through a few weeks back to celebrate 50 years of Australian T.V. They own the infrastructure, they own the broadcast spectrum, they own the process. Even if you create video at home and it gets played at a scheduled time from a broadcast centre, it's television. I say let's avoid calling it television (for the record, I hate "vlog" and "vodcast" even more). Let's not allow names and terms to create a definition, but rather let innovation and creativity define the scope of what's possible.
In a world of broadcasting where schedule is everything, I think I've figured out why so many men are at the top of the totem pole in the live news arena. The whole thing follows the neoFreudian concept of narrative as being akin to the male sexual impulse. The day starts with a single goal in mind, slowly building momentum until the frenzied and focused moment of broadcast. Climax is short and sweet by comparison to the buildup, with the occasional disaster, and it's all nicely wrapped up at the end with a quick "how was that for you?" before getting out of Dodge as quickly as possible. The next day everything before is forgotten in the mad rush to hit the next scheduled broadcast time.
And on it goes.
If I haven't done anything about it in a year's time I want to come back here and be able to have this poke me in the eye to remind me how slack I am with using my ideas to their full potential:
Use the company's public trust to help guide some of the less adventurous into the new technology, because if they won't trust us, who will they trust? You know what that means.
The GreyPlayer. Figure it out, future-me. Don't make come up there and slap you round.
If we want to disrupt the schedule, then let's really disrupt! Create a program accesible only through an ARG, Beast style. Make the audience work, create a feeling of exclusivity. Create and foster community to assist those who can't get the clues, but want to follow the ride. Be adventurous. Make it "pirate". Will the punters hack it to pieces as hoax like they did with LG15? Guess it depends on how you front it. If they know up front that it's a game, if they know it's corp, but aimed at them, it enables the narrative to be built. Programs can go live at any time, completely unscheduled. The product isn't just repurposed, it's net only for one part, radio only for another, elements and clues dropped into TV. Disavow public knowledge of its existence, with a wink and a smile to the audience. Scare the bejeezus out of the marketing people!!!!!
The future's there if we have the proverbials to grab it.
[ADDITIONAL COMMENT] Blogs as conversation.
Ha! There's no conversation here. Sure it happens with some blogs, but for most of us it's just ranting to ourselves, posting links to stuff we find interesting for archive purposes, and knowing we can dig through in a year, two year's time and take a look at stuff we find interesting.
Don't believe me? Then comment!! I would wager that this post doesn't get a single comment within one week from today (Sunday 8th), even with me posting the challenge. There's no conversation here, just me and a bunch people using Google Images to look for that damn LotR-WoW mashup.
The new generation of Max Headroom.
"News At Seven is a system that automatically generates a virtual news show. Totally autonomous, it collects, parses, edits and organizes news stories and then passes the formatted content to an artificial anchor for presentation. Using the resources present on the web, the system goes beyond the straight text of the news stories to also retrieve relevant images and blogs with commentary on the topics to be presented.
Once it has assembled and edited its material, News At Seven presents it to the audience using a graphical game engine and text-to-speech (TTS) technology in a manner similar to the nightly news watched regularly by millions of Americans."
Too much fun, especially around the 1:50 mark (why does she keep looking off screen?)
"This is a thought-provoking list. Numbers 5 (launch quickly, perfect later) and 6 (watch what customers do, not what they say) ring a strong bell with me. Perhaps the most important element is Number 1, which identifies that real innovation is not a technology issue.
Companies can be helped along the self-disruption route if the following questions are raised:
- Which aspects of the current product or service are already good enough? <--stop innovating here
- Which business processes and products are tied to these 'good-enough' attributes and no longer necessary? <--eliminate the excess processes
- If we were to create a new business to deliver a new product 1-2 years from now, what would be the right focus for the product and right organizational structure?
- If we don't disrupt ourselves, will someone else? <-- the KILLER QUESTION"
Go take a look. More comment on the ABC Digital Futures convention in a bit.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Anyway, I'm down here as part of the ABC Digital Futures conference being run by ABC Radio. A great event so far. You can see what's been happening at the ABC Digital Futures blog. I'd love to get the accurate address, but this damn kiosk won't let me open a second window to go check, so I'll probably have to confirm it when I get back home on Thursday night. It's something like http://www.abcdigitalfutures.net
[Edited for accuracy. Go take a look.]
Anyway, I wanted to send off a post tonight, not because I believe that anyone actually cares about whether or not I post tonight, but rather because I can and I find the concept kinda cool. What I did want to get down was a concept that I had watching the group dynamics of the conference participants milling around during breaks. Here's what I scribbled down before the third session. Hopefully I can use this stuff down the track.
Noise <=> Fragmentation
The greater the noise in a community the greater the fragmentation to facilitate communication.
The higher the signal (to noise), even if that's just clarity of voice, facilitates larger fragments within the community.
Where does signal-noise fit in?
Even taking into the ZeFrank principle (link pending, or check my previous post on the ZeFrank favourites index) of "the dirty window".
Ex, the "The Show" controversy - took the clarity of Ze Frank's voice to break through the noise to gain attention. That required necessary clarity of voice to gain ZF's attention (yelling, hurling abuse about his subject, community notification, search).
There's more to this, I know it!!!
Is it even relevant?
Lo noise, hi signal allows large communication, but surely this requires a signal people want to hear.
One other thing that has nothing to do with this.
"Community as "steering wheel" to navigate the net".
Anyway, into the last minute. More later.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
This as-it-happens video coverage of Burning Man 2006--shot largely by Burning Man participants themselves--was made possible by TV Free Burning Man, a pirate TV station that lasted only as long as the event itself."
So what is it about this story that I love so much? Well, I'm a big fan of the fire event. Any fire event. In particular, I've got a soft spot for the Woodford Folk Festival, a similar event to the Burning Man celebration, where I covered the fire event in 1999 and live on January 1 2000 for a worldwide Millenium broadcast. I always said, perhaps with a little too much hyperbole, that the control room in the ABC O.B. truck was my Zen Temple. From there I felt connected to all the sources coming in and it was up to me to get in time with what was happening and craft the output the way the pictures wanted to naturally be. Never was that more evident to me than those two times I was able to switch the Woodford Festival fire event. (Why stop switching? Because there's not many opportunities for events like that, and eventually Directors get to a point where they feel like they should be telling you what to do so they can justify their over-inflated paycheck. Switching commercial sports just isn't fun anymore. Too much pressure.)
The other thing I love about this story is the transience of the broadcast. Any time you put "Pirate" and "Television" together in a sentence you've got me won.
Read on and learned how the Burning Man Project and Current TV got the job done.
Monday, October 02, 2006
"...the only truth you know is what you get over this tube. Right now there is a whole, an entire generation that never knew anything that didn't come out of this tube. This tube is the gospel, the ultimate revelation. This tube can make or break Presidents, Popes, Prime-Ministers. This tube is the most awesome, god damn force in the whole godless world, and woe is us if it ever falls into the hands of the wrong people."
Such wonderful words, delivered by a true master of the art. It's the sort of thing that makes me think long and hard about my career.
However, because that's depressing, suppose we transpose this speech by saying that, rather than "this Tube", he's referring to "this YouTube." How does it hold up then, with the future upon us?
Friday, September 29, 2006
Pew Internet did a quick survey (of course, when I say "quick survey" I mean "extended analytical research") of industry heavyweights to see what the concensus was on where we were headed over the next decade and a half, and this is what they came up with.
or the web site version...
“Fear of enslavement by our creations is an old fear, and a literary tritism. But I fear something worse and much more likely – that sometime after 2020 our machines will become intelligent, evolve rapidly, and end up treating us as pets. We can at least take comfort that there is one worse fate – becoming food – that mercifully is highly unlikely.”
Paul Saffo, forecaster and director of The Institute for the Future
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Talking here and now about media reforms that will probably be dogging us for the next 50 years. Lack of understanding of what's happening out there. Short-sightedness relating to where this technology will lead.
Yep, sounds like a government department.
"The ACCC would have a role in ruling on takeovers and Mr Samuel has told the inquiry he does not consider the Internet to be an extra source of news, just another way of delivering existing material.
"We think the Internet is simply a distribution channel," he said."Sounds like someone who has yet to step beyond the bookmarks that came default with IE.
"The movie Finding Nemo is the biggest selling DVD of all time in Australia. Nevertheless, when Channel Seven showed it at 6.30 last night, 1.3 million people tuned in."
We understand that TV's not dead, and likely will never drop completely off the perch (despite the naysayers), but it makes for an interesting thought. Logic dictates that, even if you want to treat Sunday evening as the family get-together time, you'd put on the DVD to avoid the commercials. But perhaps we're overlooking something here. Perhaps people, for certain events, enjoy the scheduled nature of television because it's a reminder that they're taking part in a mass event, that they're not alone, sitting insulated in their living room, but rather belong to a community, even if that's a community of television watchers.
More thinking required.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
17/03/06 - Episode 1 Right from number 1 we get the "Sports Racers" theme song.
20/03/06 - Episode 2 The first use of "...thinking so you don't have to."
27/03/06 The episodes start to take their current shape, and the gauntlet is thrown down to Rocketboom.
30/03/06 The day before Ze's birthday. Mmmm, depressing.
03/04/06 "You can't throw, I can't catch so let's just roll the ball..."
06/04/06 The introduction of Ze's Power Move!!!
07/04/06 Dirty Space News! The introduction of Ze's infantile humour. In my opinion he starts to loosen up a lot after this episode.
18/04/06 "We remain engaged in a global war!" Rocketboom shot 2, Sex Ed.
20/04/06 Ze's tired, the League of Awesomeness, thoughts on MoveOn.org, AT&T.
27/04/06 "Those Brooklyn Stairs" (Are the new viewers gone yet?), Rocketboom shot 3, seamless integration of advertising.
28/04/06 Ze's cranky, the Rocketboom "Poop Poop" joust.
05/05/06 Anti-Intellectualism, MySpace.
08/05/06 A trip to Austria, the paper internet, "Hi I'm Ze, what's something I like that's gay?"
09/05/06 Simple German Phrases, a walk in Austria.
10/05/06 Barcelona, Airport signs.
11/05/06 "How do you work this thing?", "How do you spank a giant baby?"
15/05/06 "Hindsight is 20/20".
16/05/06 Talking to the League of Awesomeness, the Earth Sandwich.
22/05/06 Ze sings the explanation on how to work the "King of the Comments", earth sandwich part 2.
24/05/06 "Why does everything have to change?"
06/06/06 I think I'm an adult, political parties, MySpace, wanker 2.0.
16/06/06 The show that got pulled off the site. Man, he's so wasted. Or tired. Yeah, that's it he's just tired.
21/06/06 Institutional recourse, dealing with Delta airlines, re-enactment for speculative illustration only.
23/06/06 Fabuloso Friday, Fabuloso Chess, a brief history of the comments.
26/06/06 Monday Gloomies
30/06/06 The "I Knows Me Some Ugly Myspace Competition".
05/07/06 Explaining metaphors, July 4th explained for foreigners, the history of the Hot Dog.
11/07/06 Brain Crack, "Where the fuck do ideas come from?"
I came in just before this episode, and this was the first one that really made me take notice that something special was going on here, that this wasn't your average "idiot with a camera".
12/07/06 Mushrooms, hallucinogens, challenging default symbolic architectures.
14/07/06 "I Knows Me Some Ugly", reinventing the concept of "good taste and bad taste".
This one really changed my idea of where I was coming from with media creation and what was happening in the mediascape around me.
19/07/06 Israel, Lebanon, Hezbollah, and Bush says shit!
Without doubt my favourite episode.
24/07/06 Just a fun episode. Cell phones, NASA, Hooker robots.
27/07/06 YouTube gets sued, how it all relates to copyright. Take note, because...
28/07/06 The copyright debate gets "a little more complicated than that," experts, and how to learn.
04/08/06 "In Case You Missed It" day, SugarTits cereal, the ORG, taking a shot at Tax Reform.
08/08/06 100th episode, white facial hair, Ze reminisces...
As someone with more white hairs than I care to acknowledge, and a horrendously geeky background, I relate so much.
10/08/06 Ze explains terrorism, in the wake of the failed British airline attack.
14/08/06 Baseball as allegory - Hilarious.
15/08/06 Check in on your New Years Resolutions, Army Theme Park, the Chess resignation.
17/08/06 The 10 Stages of the Illness Communication Exaggeration Curve.
24/08/06 The call for Sports Racer intros, Ze explains L.A.
28/08/06 Compression of information, the understanding of noise to signal, surrounded by dirty glass.
Another thought changer that made me reconsider my own position on "signal to noise" in consumer-created content.
29/08/06 Jon-Benet, John Carr, Branding (not hot metal burned into flesh).
31/08/06 Senator Ted Stevens and the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006.
07/09/06 Ze breaks early and talks about where he was on 9/11 2001.
08/09/06 Ride The Fire Eagle Danger Day, sophistication of al-Qaeda recordings, foreign detention centres.
14/09/06 "I guess I'd call it Intellectual Comedy."
18/09/06 The birth of "Happy Week", and "Dress Up Your Vacuum".
19/09/06 The birth of the "Ray Remixes", being selfish by making others happy.
And that puts us at halfway.
Anyway, I realise that I'm the only person that comes by here, unless it's to look for my link to the WoW-LotR mashup via Google Images, but in the end I really put these up so I can find them again quickly and easily down the track.
However, should Ze happen to notice this post via Technorati, Icerocket, or whatever, I just want to say thanks. Really. Just thanks. You can figure out what for. Now fire up and see what you can come up with for the home stretch!