Media Influencer

helping people break out of pigeonholes since 2003

Web 1.0 talks at Web 2.0

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This conversation between MP3.com founder and CEO Michael Robertson and YouTube CEO Chad Hurley is a classic example of Web 1.0 vs Web 2.0 mindset.

Video: MP3.com founder takes on MySpace, YouTube

Mediocracy

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Last Tuesday I went to a book launch party at a club in Pall Mall, which despite the surroundings turned out to be not so traditional an affair. The book was Mediocracy by Fabian Tassano, who observes that:

…some areas of culture are dumbing down, while others are increasingly incomprehensible. Both things are symptoms of mediocracy, a new model of society in which content is sacrificed in favour of appearance and ideological correctness.

I bought a copy of the book, which was bagged by Brian Micklethwait, who promised to blog about it first. It seems I beat him to it. I did manage to leaf through the book and found it wonderfully satirical, erudite and refreshing. It should be a companion to anybody who abhors today’s practice of using language to disguise, hollow out and spin reality. Or as Dr Madsen Pirie of Adam Smith Institute puts it:

Tassano expertly skewers politically correct pomposity and looks beyond the bland surface to the rough reality beneath.

Once Brian returns the book, I shall write more, with my favourite quotes from it. For now, pictures will have to do.

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We the consumers

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Nightline reports on the AOL and Comcast situations. Or as Nalts puts it We Are Consumers, Hear Us Roar.

via Will Video for Food

Samuel Pepys, an offline diarist

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A historical reminder that the style bloggers are most derided for, i.e. boring detailed accounts of their everyday lives, pets and people we don’t know and care even less, was not unfamiliar to Samuel Pepys, the history’s most famous diarist. From 1660 to 1669, this English Member of Parliament kept a detailed diary, which was published posthumously. Admittedly, his fame comes from providing a fascinating eyewitness account of the Great Plague and the Great Fire of London. But there are passages that are rather uninteresting. Here’s one example from July of 1663:

Up betimes to my office, and there all the morning doing business, at noon to the Change, and there met with several people, among others Captain Cox, and with him to a Coffee [House], and drank with him and some other merchants. Good discourse. Thence home and to dinner, and, after a little alone at my viol, to the office, where we sat all the afternoon, and so rose at the evening, and then home to supper and to bed, after a little musique.

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So Samuel had plenty of time to write his ‘offline’ diary and bloggers should be cut some slack. You never know, enough monkeys banging randomly on typewriters will eventually type the works of William Shakespeare. Allegedly

via MediaPost

Play Anywhere

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10 has a peek inside Microsoft Research and reveals Tom Cruise’s technology today!

Andy Wilson’s Play Anywhere prototype uses a clever combination of a projector, a camera, and a computer to develop what is probably the most intuitive human interface for digital information yet (Minority Report anyone?).

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Gotta love the geeks!

via Alex Barnett

I just remembered. I have already had an alpha geek moment over something like this here.

Video podcasts and other media mis-nomers

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This is just irritating. MediaPost reports that Podcast Users Outnumber Bloggers:

US adults who download podcasts now outnumber those who publish blogs, according to new data by Nielsen//NetRatings. More than 9.2 million Web users, or 6.6 percent of U.S. adult Web users, have downloaded an audio podcast in the last 30 days, compared to 6.7 million users (4.8 percent) who published blogs in that time, according to the research company. Nielsen//NetRatings also reported that around 5.6 million online adults (4 percent) have downloaded a video podcast in the last 30 days.

What on earth is that comparison supposed to mean? It’s like saying that people who listen to songs on the radio outnumber the book-writers. Or better yet, the song-writers. Downloading a podcast is like reading a blog, not like blogging. Therefore the comparison makes no sense. You could compare the number of people who reads blogs to those who download podcasts but I guess that’s just not so easy to assess. So let’s just compare what is measurable, instead of what actually makes sense. So media industry, dahling!

It shows a total lack of understanding of the unmediated, distributed or networked ‘media’, their audiences and interactions among them. I often point out these days that there is no such thing as the ultimate audience as your readers/listeners/viewers become your distributors and occassionally co-creators as they pass your ideas and creations along. The Nielsen//NetRatings comparison statistic highlights how pointless is to focus on aggregate numbers within a networked space.

And here is another gem:

Video podcast users were 764 percent more likely than the average user to visit StarTrek.com, a CBS Paramount site based on the 40-year-old "Star Trek" TV franchise. Video podcast users were also 630 percent more likely than average to visit Live365.com, and 624 percent more likely than average to visit Fark.com.

Video podcasts? Video blogging or vlogging, sure, but video podcast…? Let’s talk about musical essays, shall we? At least learn the lingo, damn it. And, by the way, what’s wrong with Star Trek? Not that I watch it, you understand.

Cory Doctorow: self-determination on steroids

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Cory Doctorow, science fiction writer and one of the best known bloggers in the world (Boing Boing) talks about the future, self determination, mobility and copyright.

Cory’s concluding metaphor is about dead trees in a forest. We need to be able to clear a space on the forest floor so interesting life forms can get light and grow. The dead trees are those companies that have gone through the cycle of commoditisation and need to be eliminated to make room for innovation. There is much juicy goodness, my favourites are about self-determination and content.

Self-determination is good. At cellular level… [example about rats being shot at random intervals follows.] How we got progress, democracy, how we get commerce… total determination over  your tools [eg computer programer].. no mediation, that layer where nobody’s telling you what you need to know and what you don’t need to know… what’s the pitch for wikipedia – if it’s wrong, fix it. Why do people get hooked on wikipedia because the Britannica may be more correct and exhaustive but you can’t change it, there is no self-determination in the Britannica, once it’s set, it’s fixed and you can’t make a difference to it…

People that lack self-determination have a kind of hierarchy – children, inmates prisoners, slaves – that’s what it looks like when we take away self-determination. Even budhists love self-determination. Because what could be a greater epitome of self-determination than the ability to ignore mere circumstances and decide for yourself what your mental state will be regardless of objective reality around you. That’s how important self-determination is. Of course, Moore’s Law is an outcome of self-determination…

And then Content is king [in the context of network carriers and handset manufacturers and mobile content]…

Even if I sent you to a desert island and said you get to choose – you can take your friends or your records. If you chose yor records, we’d call you a sociopath. These guys [carriers and networks] who are in the busines of selling conversations can’t figure out how much more valuable conversation is than mere content. Right? They are out of their minds!

Love it!

via Loic

Blip.tv customer uber-service

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Two of my favourite vloggers just met across the crowded vlogosphere and the result was a flurry of… compliments. For the last few months I have been bugging Kevin Nalty (and anyone who’d listen) to check out and use blip.tv as their videoblogging space. Last Friday Kevin succumbs to my passionate recommendations, which resulted in a bit of a shock to his system as the co-founder of blip.tv, Mike Hudack, immediately responds to Kevin’s emails to blip.tv support. Eventually it transpires that this customer support is happening via Mike’s blackberry as he is sitting down to dinner. This is no way detracted from the quality of the support, I might add. Kevin, apparently still in shock, says:

Obviously I told him to enjoy dinner and not to worry about it. The surprising thing is that Mike had no idea I’ve been blogging about online video sites for months. I was a random Blip customer, and I got red carpet treatment.

Mike responds proudly:

Here at blip we work as hard as we can to provide excellent support to all our users. We answer support mails on our BlackBerries. We give out our IM handles and our cell phone numbers. We do this for two reasons. First, because it’s what we love. Building blip and working with blip’s users is fun for us. Second, because it’s good business. We’re exceeding people’s expectations, and that’s just good for business.

And the final thought from the happy (and very busy) blip.tv co-founder :

You know what’s really cool? The fact that we can actually give usable customer support from the table at a Korean barbecue joint. That wasn’t possible ten years ago. It should be expected in 2006.

I completely agree. Alas, most companies don’t see it this way and new possibilities don’t seem to excite them as much as frighten them. Blip.tv is one of the businesses that I hope will appear with greater regularity in the coming months/years. Founded with an agenda or an objective that is other than just about business – the idea behind blip.tv is to help vloggers to create, publish and distribute better videos. They aim to make the vloggers happy and their blogs famous, not just promote blip.tv. That happens with good content being drawn to blip.tv for their service and support. Can you tell I am a big fan of blip.tv?

Crackberry Blackberry

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I am spending too much time with executive types with a blackberry. This is so true…

Disclosure: I may not have a blackberry but am equally addictedattached to my ‘gooseberry‘.

New York, New York

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This week I spent mostly in New York and it has been a rather erratic time for online access. However, I managed to take many pictures of the city, thus supporting my newly developed addiction to Flickr. One of my favourites is from the Royalton hotel.

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Independence day

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Too busy to blog much whilst celebrating America’s birthday. There is always Flickr for the pictures

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  • Author: Adriana
  • Published: Jul 3rd, 2006
  • Category: Travel
  • Comments: 1

In the picture(s)

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I am in New Jersey right now, looking forward to 4th July celebrations. There were spectacular fireworks last Friday on the lake where I am staying and I am sure Tuesday will be no less impressive.

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Since my trip to San Francisco a few weeks ago I have become a fan of Flickr and discovered the joys of yet another social dimension of online existence. Throughout the visit, I could trace my steps looking at Flickr pictures of the people I was meeting. As with most things generated by people online, it is not about quality of the pictures or about their ‘content’ value, which cannot be judged in isolation. They are an extension of their owners lives, with some more interesting and artistic than others. Even I am starting to see the world around me through the photo lens, last week I snapped a moment of torrential rain in NYC.

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