Monday, July 31, 2006

YouTube - Day of the Longtail

Via Chris Anderson's The Long Tail blog.

And here's the video

"Well, uh, can't we just start blogging back at them?"
"Well yeah, but where's the money in that?"

Heh heh. Teh funny.

Friday, July 28, 2006

The definition of irony in the Video Newsletter world

Here's what you do. First up, you publish an article by one of the most highly respected industry professionals on why the idea of "Author Once, Deliver Many" is fundamentally flawed in the current mediascape.

Then you follow it up a month later with a step-by-step article on how to do it.

Oh, how I chortled.

To be fair, they're both great articles and well worth the read. As always, DV requires registration.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Thursday, July 20, 2006

His Space: Rupert Murdoch talks about MySpace | Wired

Bookmark time!

An interesting article on the growth of MySpace, why NewsCorp bought it, why it continues to grow and what it means for business and competitors.

Interesting response from Matt Locke from

Friday, July 14, 2006

Jon Stewart on Net Neutrality | YouTube

Oh I laughed and I laughed.

YouTube - Jon Stewart on Net Neutrality

Why? Because teh internets is a series of tubes...

Media Reforms! The day after the media release before...

There's been too much coverage of this to go into detail. Suffice it to say, go read it for yourself. Start here.

Now I'm off to spend the weekend reading the Press Release and checking out the blogs of vested interest.

In a nutshell, FTA TV gets protected (no great surprise there), Pay TV gets a little more access to live sport, National Party members are placated, and industry journalists and players are once again shown that they're not really across what's actually happening out there.

Open it all up! Give a fourth TV channel, promote access to multi-channels by third parties, doesn't really matter. TV and Radio are only a generation away from losing their stranglehold completely and slipping into being just another media distributor.

This and even more hyperbole as the weeks continue.

Oh yes, the next step in the "Chisolm for Chairman" campaign took place yesterday. Between that, the legislation, a whistlestop visit from the new M.D. (nice guy. Look forward to seeing what he's got in mind for the future) and juicier powers for ACMA it's been a heady 24 hours in the industry.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

German expressionism movies | we make money not art


So I can come back later and gobble them all up.

Includes Faust, Nosferatu, The Golem, The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari, M and Destiny, hosted on the Internet Archive and Google Video.

Counting Down to the status quo!

FEDERAL Cabinet today made a decision on media reform, ahead of a formal announcement later this week...

End of the week! Only two more sleeps until we're told that nothing has changed!! FTA TV will continue to be protected while it ignores everything but its ever shrinking bottom line. In response it will argue that the answer is even greater protection and to just keep what they're already doing, only smaller. Callooh, Callay! Let the pigeons loose!!

See you Friday, media groovers.

I should'a read the most recent article.

FOREIGN and domestic companies will be able to freely invest in television and newspapers under a dramatic overhaul of media laws likely to trigger a wave of takeover activity.

Yeah, well we'll see how it all pans out, but other than PBL continuing to do its best to do away with the first two letters of its acronymistic name it's all turning out to be a wasted opportunity.

I still hold to what I said up above. FTA TV, as an industry, will likely remain a protected species.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

6 Trends that are Changing the World |

For my own archive links, here's the six elements from this month's edition of Wired magazine's "6 Trends that are Changing the World".

People Power by Chris Anderson
Video Unlimited by Eryn Brown
Made to Order by Kevin Kelleher
Carbon Killers by Eryn Brown
M&A as R&D by Josh McHugh
The Open Everything Economy by Kevin Kelleher

And because I'm feeling so disposed, another article by Chris Anderson titled "The Rise & Fall of the Hit" about the new methods of content delivery and how they're affecting the music/video distribution industries.

the show with zefrank

Once again proving that the internet is an organic being, fuelled by the power of viral transmission.

It's... something you have to see for yourself. Suffice it to say I'm now officially hooked.

This is, officially, the video content TV would never produce.

Grunt Media - Video and Podcasts, defined

I was positive I'd mentioned Video Grunt before, but obviously I haven't.

I picked up Video Grunt a while back from a Creative Cow newsletter. It's a highly informative podcast running through the basics of video, starting with aspect ratios and building from there. Unfortunately the production schedule leaves a little to be desired (taking a while to get each episode out the door) but a great example of what can be done with a bit of time and know-how.

So what happens when you start producing a podcast about video? People start asking "Hey, what's a podcast?" and so the program's creator, Craig Syverson, has decided to launch a series of podcasts explaining, strangely enough, what a podcast is.

Easy to understand for even the most technologically novice user. I intent to point my wife in this direction should she ever ask those three little words, "What is Podcasting?"

Friday, July 07, 2006

Craft of Lighting | DV - Columns

So long as I'm on a bit of a role, here's the link to the Rev. John Jackman's articles on lighting. This guy's the author of the book "Lighting for Digital Video and Television" so he knows his stuff. I'm pretty sure I've linked to one or two of these in the past, but this way you get the lot!

DV - Columns - Craft of Lighting

One that's in the archives, but is definitely worth having a hotline to, is his 2002 article "Lighting The Darkness". A great look at how to light night time shots. Between this and watching all seven series of Buffy (not to mention Angel and Firefly) I think I've got a shot!

DV - Lighting the Darkness | John Jackman

In case you missed it below, all these articles require registration.

The Great Divergence - Chris Meyer |

The second paragraph pretty much sums up where this article is headed;

"One of the hoped-for efficiencies of convergence was the practice of "author once, deliver many." This means trying to create one set of content that would be suitable for a large number of delivery formats-such as a design that would work both for broadcast or DVD as well as a compressed movie for the Web."

It then goes on to point out some of the factors that have failed to keep technical reality in step with developer and consumer desire, in particular the stupidity of the currently released video iPod, the "not quite ready for prime time" Flash player (although it's gotten a Hell of a lot better) and the still lagging uptake of high speed internet (and that's in the U.S.! Australia's pathetic excuse for broadband makes them look like South Korea by comparison).

A little shaky in parts, particularly where it moves from the video downside to the delivery downside, but it's a valid point. We live in a volatile media environment where everyone is trying to do their bit to be the "Universal medium" of the internet. While we live in this environment split between forward thinking digirati, luddite analogists and the vested interests in both camps, it has to be considered almost impossible to create video items that work flawlessly across all platforms. At this point in its development we live in a world of compromise.

But then, these challenges are sent to make us consider alternatives to the norm. Time to put the thinking cap back on. If anyone actually read this stuff I'd implore them to leave comments and ideas. At this point let's just chalk this up to "ideas and concepts that Leonard should revisit every six months or so."

Thursday, July 06, 2006

There is no joy in Boomville, mighty Amanda has cleared out

Things continue to unfold and unravel while my attention is turned elsewhere.

Amanda Congdon, the face of seminal vlog "Rocketboom" (isn't it interesting that I now feel that the term "seminal" can be used in conjunction vith a video blog without the need for sniggering or "quotes") has parted ways with the show. Moreover, she made the announcement on her own personal vlog.

"So here I am on "Unboomed" as I have apparently been unboomed. Apparantly my partner Andrew Baron is no longer interested in being my partner and since he owns 51% of Rocketboom and I own 49% of Rocketboom that's just something I'm gonna have to kind of live with."

(Side note:- Love the "World turned upside down." Cute metaphor in so many ways.)

According to the Rocketboom front page (and it's sure to change in a week's time when things move on),

"Amanda Congdon has decided to move to L.A. to pursue opportunities that have arisen for her in Hollywood.

We wanted to meet her demands to move production out to L.A., however, we are a small company and have not been able to figure out a way to make it work, financially and in many other ways at this time. While we continue to remain with open arms, Amanda has in fact quit and left Rocketboom. So sadly, we bid Amanda adieu and wish her all the best.

Rocketboom goes on.

Andrew Baron, the founder and creator of Rocketboom, will stay with the company in New York and will continue to produce and direct the show. We are in the daunting process of recruiting a replacement for Amanda.

While Amanda will be sorely missed, we have big plans for Rocketboom and are determined to make the show better than ever.

After Field Week and a week on hiatus, we know that you are hungry for the news! Rocketboom will be back with a news episode and an interim host this MONDAY, JULY 10."

There's also been this post where Mr Baron outlines his side of the story.

“We wanted her to get to L.A. to pursue her personal opportunities as soon as possible, but her demand to move this week without waiting any longer, without a justification, and without an adequate proposal for a plan for how the show itself would work, we were unable to uproot Rocketboom from NYC at this time.”

Man, disappointing, but interesting to see how this unfolds. For instance,

(That's Jason Calcanis, CEO of Netscape's Blog network Weblogs, Inc.)

"You're on the top of the talent pool on the Web and you should get compensated for what you've done. You don't have a huge window of opportunity--you need to act now and you should get paid *now*. This is what I told Peter when I recruited him from Gizmodo, Elizabeth when I tried to (and failed) recruit her from Gawker, and this is the same advice I told Scoble months ago before he left Microsoft (he says my discussion with him helped him make the jump).
When you're the talent you build brand equity, you cash in on that brand and then you take it to the next level. You are at that very moment right now.. you need to make the jump to the next level.

So, my offer to you is do your daily report for Netscape and we'll pay you whatever you need to get paid AND you can own all of the rights to your video forever (just give us like a six month exclusive window on Netscape). We will set you up with our kick-ass studios, get you an office, and I've got a full-time video editor at your disposal (i.e. they can go with you anywhere). Also, we'll set up a travel budget so you can go cover whatever stories you want.

You're a star baby... it's time to be treated like one."

Best of luck to all involved. Any way you look at it, it's the end of something new and the start of something old. Both Ms Congdon and Mr Baron are intelligent, innovative people with bright futures so there will definitely be a tomorrow for them both. Let's see how this one develops over the next few weeks.

[UPDATE] I love reading analysis from Lost Remote's Steve Safran and he's decided to weigh in on the news.

"Raise your hands if you’re surprised that the "Rocketboom" implosion happened just as money entered into the equation. The 51-49 split of the show was fine, as long as 51 percent of nothing was still nothing. Then the site started on the road to revenue. Of course money is at the heart of this. Nothing breaks up a relationship like money. "

I do hope that's supposed to be "Shark". Then it would make sense. Then again, I guess "Snark" has a certain meaning to it as well.

And to continue the "He Said, She Said", a reply of sorts from Ms Congdon to the comments by Mr Baron mentioned above.

"I am disheartened by Andrew Baron's decision to spread misinformation. He knows I cannot move to LA without a job...but insists on spinning things this way to shore up his assertion that I am "walking away" from Rocketboom. I did not walk away. I did not accept Andrew's idea of "partnership"."

Amanda UnBoomed: For the Record

If nothing else, it does go to prove that soap doesn't necessarily halt viral transmission.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Ten tips digital growth | The Australian

Two weeks without a post and this is the best headline I can find.

"Ten Tips Digital Growth"

Well duuhhh!!!

Anyway, it seems like Ten, after having sat in the background and just bubbled along doing their thing without a lot of "NineMSN" or "Yahoo7" Hoo Haa are taking the next step. The TV company that made itself viable by tapping into the youth demographic have hired Damian Smith, formerly of search engine LookSmart and Sydney software firm Nuix (depending on who you're reading at the time).

"He will begin at Ten next Monday, July 10, and will report to Ten's chief executive officer Grant Blackley.
Mr Smith will aggregate and expand the network's existing digital media capabilities, Mr Blackley said."

Digital Media capabilities, of which people keep looping in Big Brother and the phenomenal success they've had in this field. Now, let's be fair for a second. The Big Brother site (and no, I'm not linking to it - find it yourself) isn't really part of Channel 10. It's a separate program site that Ten has a vested interest in.

That said, Ten's been quietly doing their own thing, providing download content from their site including full programs of shows like "Thank God You're Here" (now removed from the site because it's finished its season). Now with someone specifically heading this sort of area and driving it forward it will be interesting to see whether Ten makes the leap from "television station with a website" to "21st Century Media organisation" in the way that the other commercial stations have yet to achieve.

Final note before I disappear again.

"The network said it would also look to offer more downloadable and streamed versions of its programs, after the popularity of the Thank God You're Here season finale which was made available as a free download for two weeks last month."

I'd love to see some figures on just how popular that download was. I checked it out at the time and even at H.264 iPod specs it was around 300Mb. I'm fascinated to know whether people are really keen to sit and watch a postage stamp on their computer screens at their convenience. In other words, does the convenience of "On Demand" beat out the noise of decreased viewer experience? We know people are happy to sit and watch short form content on their screens, but just taking a TV show and moving it from the medium where it works best is another thing entirely. Then again, over 1,000,000 iTunes downloaders can't be wrong. Time to have a rethink, which is a real pity. I'd hate to think that the future of this content is just to take existing formats and try and shoehorn them into a different viewer experience. It stunts the ability for video content in this environment to develop its own format and for content producers to step outside the square.

Enough from me. I had all last week to say something and now I'm back at work I won't shut up.