Friday, December 29, 2006

On Cramming

Otherwise known as "hedging your bets."

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

In case you've not already heard...

"Staff at the ABC studios in Brisbane will be moved off site within days after a report found serious concerns about the incidence of breast cancer."

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

Australia Wide Summertime!

Part of the fun that comes with the end of year drop in production is the chance to have time to do something a little different. At the moment we're out and about shooting links for our Australia Wide bulletin in the field, just to get out of the studio and have some fun. Now, this isn't really going to work due to the ethereal nature of television, but I just wanted to point out the differences we've been consciously working towards between the ABC2 version and the web version.

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.

(Click on the "Australia Wide" link)

Australia Wide on ABC2

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

I live in a mental backwater

I understand the sentiment, but I'm furious at the shortsightedness and implications.

"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, 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

Ze Frank is leading towards something

First there was yesterday's questions on the nature of the Sports Racer community's relationship with him...

"Running through syrup"

...followed by today's episode talking about the changing nature of community to navigate an increasingly confusing world, using the playground as a metaphor...


[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.

Bruce Sterling - My Final Prediction

"Reading the Pew study, it becomes clear that we're entering a new era, the post-Internet age, a world in which the Net will be everywhere, like the air we breathe, and we'll take it for granted. It will be neither the glossy nirvana of technophilic dreams nor the dystopia of traditionalist nightmares. It will look a lot like today – but with higher contrast, sharper focus, and a wide-angle lens.

...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.

Elan Lee's Alternate Reality |

The man who brought us the original ARG's speaks up.

"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

Stuff I got seriously wrong in 2006 - Lost Remote TV Blog

Let me start by saying that I seriously enjoy reading Lost Remote. Around this time last year I posted a link to Lost Remote Managing Editor Steve Safran's "Stuff I Got Seriously Wrong in 2005".

"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.

SECOND LIFE: A story too good to check - Valleywag

Clay Shirky from Valleywag suggests we don't get quite so excited about the idea of virtual life as we have been.

"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 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

The Tally Begins - Will Sony's PSP viral site get tongues wagging?

I like to check out Digg just to keep an eye on what's bouncing through the Internet's collective radar. Today I found this little beauty linking to this Kotaku article (check out that "UGC video" - frickin' morons).

"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.

I love my food hot...

...but I think this is beyond me.

The hottest chilli pepper in The Guinness Book of Records is a Red Savina habaƱero 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.

A VC: Pre-Roll Prediction

I'm the third person I've seen who's linked to this, but it's just so spot on.

"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

The Comment Challenge reset

Someone posted a comment on my Lycos Cinema post, thereby resetting the Comment Challenge. It's just a shame the comment was anonymous because I always like to know who's dropping by, especially if they take the time to post a comment.

Here's the visitor details from SiteMeter.

Domain Name ? (Network)
IP Address 24.23.199.# (Comcast Cable)
ISP Comcast Cable
Continent : North America
Country : United States (Facts)
State : California
City : Santa Cruz
Lat/Long : 37.0101, -122.0324 (Map)
Language English (United States)
Operating System Microsoft WinXP
Browser Firefox 2.0
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8.1) Gecko/20061010 Firefox/2.0
Javascript version 1.5
Resolution : 1280 x 800
Color Depth : 32 bits
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
Page Views 2
Referring URL

Visit Entry Page http://kingleonard.b...will-never-work.html
Visit Exit Page http://kingleonard.b...will-never-work.html
Out Click
Time Zone UTC-8:00
Visitor's Time Dec 10 2006 6:58:43 pm
Visit Number 4,327

So if that was you, say hi and let me know who you are this time.

Can't Stop the Indie Signal

Scott Kirsner from CinemaTech (I'm still waiting for my copy of "The Future of Web Video" to arrive) gives solace to the future of media creation by looking at the past.

"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."

Lycos Cinema - Why this will never work

So I jump to the new Lycos Cinema page from a link on Media Blog and this is what I find.

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 about a future for long form video content on the net.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

A Broadcaster's Christmas Carol

Now with added allegory...

"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.""

A Broadcaster's Christmas Carol | Terry Heaton's PoMo Blog

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

MobZombies - AR Fun for all the undead

"MobZombies explores a new dimension of handheld gaming by adding motion awareness to classic arcade style gameplay. Using a handheld device, and a custom motion sensor, players enter a virtual world infested with pixel-art zombies (a homage to vintage 8-bit console games). The goal of the game is to stay alive, running away from or planting bombs to destroy the ever-encroaching zombies.

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.

As the young people say these days...


"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.

Words To Live By...

Or at least to create media by...

"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

TV Advertising - Back to the beginning?

"On Monday Night NBC Nightly News aired just one minute and thirty seconds of commercials for the entire newscast, sponsored solely by Philips. The rest of the time: Extra coverage.

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.

The Future of News | BBC News Editors Blog

Head of TV News for the BBC, Peter Horrocks, has his say on where the Beeb should be looking in the future.

And, because I love a controversy, Jeff Jarvis' response.

Internet Video - Amateur or Pro?

Terry Heaton's response

For later reading.

Two More Awesome Remix Trailers

Toy Story remixed with Requiem for a Dream

Toy Story Requiem

Mary Poppins remixed as a Horror movie

Scary Mary

I do promise to do something other than link to YouTube videos, but these were too cool not to mention.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Hallucii - Getting off Escher's eternal staircase

Every Old Meme Is New Again | Wired News

I have an ongoing interest in memetics, so I found this article worth a read. It seems that there's some memes that just can't be killed.

"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

I am so good, there's just no way to quantify it...

Well, actually there is.

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

The War on Horror

Wanted to get this out of my system. It's funny the things that come to you in dreams.


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

The Rise of Flash Video

I will freely admit that I've been a skeptic when it's come to Flash video. However, the fact is that Flash has some things going for it that the other three big formats just can't match in the same way.

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."

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.

What do you get if you cross the Walkleys with YouTube?

First up, congratulations to my colleagues who walked away with Walkley Awards.

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'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,, 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.

Vlog Santa's back!

Just in time to save Christmas!

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.