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“It’s a Wonderful Web” 2013!

cb-ipadThe first edition of our “It’s a Wonderful Web” e-newsletter for 2013 is out. It includes the following articles:

  • 2013: The Year of Anything is Possible
  • Special Offers!
  • Free 1-Hour Audio: Web Radio Interview
  • Luscious Links

If you’re not already a subscriber, click here to read it online.

Howard Rheingold Parses the Video Language

Howard Rheingold was a thought-leader before the term entered the vernacular. For example, he wrote the original book on virtual community. Now, Howard is helping people to understand what he’s calling the “video vernacular” by walking his talk ie by posting a video on his vlog (video blog).

Just like us videographers used to talk about the “language of film making,” Howard is correct that the whole video language, along with all the various forms of interacting with video are going through a radical metamorphosis. Video will never be the same. Will we? Doubtful.

Howard does a tease at the end of his six and a half minute video clip for the relevance of these new forms of video to education. In any case, I appreciate Howard’s effort to help those of us who don’t swim in this cyber-crap daily to get some perspective on what’s happening.

Facebook to Become New Distribution Channel for Major Media Videos

Social media platforms are all the buzz, but I think this is a milestone worth noting: Slide today announced a deal to use Facebook to distribute videos from “major media” companies (including CBS, NBC and many more…). The geeky young face you see to the right is not only the founder/CEO of Slide, but a co-founder of PayPal.

Sure, Amazon and NetFlix (just to name two) are now distributing streaming video; but the leverage of Facebook is quite amazing. In fact, I’ve become an active Facebook user myself recently (see link lower left of this page), and I enjoy (among other things) using the quickie one-click video embed for Facebook that’s offered by YouTube. Now, fans of network TV shows will actually be able to embed episodes and who knows what else.

Stay tuned. The Video Web is regenerating with a major boost from social networking power!

Live Video Streaming for Cell Phones Hitting, well, the Main Stream

Last week, a friend on Facebook (or actually an acquaintance… someone who I’ve never met in person, but within whom I’ve done a little work via phone and email) offered a link (via Facebook) to a live video stream of a techie industry party on a rooftop over-looking Washington, DC. The amazing thing was that when I clicked the link, it actually worked. Instantly, I was face-to-face, in a virtual sense, with party-goers who were saying things like “I just thought you were taking my picture…” to which this guy says, “No, you’re live on the web” and a quasi interview ensued.

The Video Web is expanding more rapidly than even I realized… and cell phone video, live streaming cell phone video, is to blame.

If you want a more widely-respected opinion, The New York Times wrote up the whole scene in a Sunday Business section column called “Novelties.” The article, “Capturing the Moment (and More) Via Cellphone Video,” includes some even more compelling examples from the likes of LA’s NPR radio leader, KCRW and mentions two leading live webcam video streaming website platforms (which are enabling these feeds): Kyte.com which calls itself “The Universal Digital Media Platform,” offers ideas for “monetization” and offers the image above as part of its self-promotion, and Qik.com which appears to be a bit more popular with the blogging/social networking crowd, including my pal in DC.

Kyte also offers among other things, “The Kyte Premium Facebook application (which) is more than a simple widget – it’s a branded social communications platform, featuring live video streaming, multimedia chat, viral distribution capabilities and monetization opportunities.” Don’t we all need one of those?

Web Video News Story: Democracy Now host Amy Goodman Arrested


In this world of video on demand and video shooters everywhere sharing their news, it is no less shocking to have the highly-respected American journalist, syndicated columnist and author Amy Goodman arrested while doing her job, right here in the USA, at a demonstration outside the Republican National Convention. (Full disclosure: I was, many years ago, a producer for Pacifica Radio, the network of independent radio stations who produce Ms. Goodman’s “Democracy Now” broadcasts.) Perhaps even more striking (and dare I say empowering) is the fact that this story can be tracked in detail via videos on the web. For example, here is video documentation of her actual arrest:

And here is a short video interview conducted in the halls of the RNC immediately following her release from jail:By way of background, Time magazine’s website provides an overview on the demonstrations; and if you are as shocked and appalled as I am by this kind of treatment of journalists, please sign the petition at Freepress.net demanding that the charges against Amy Goodman and her producers be immediately dropped. I submit that freedom of the press is worthy of your time to support. As a journalist, I feel personally violated by this kind of intimidation of the press.

Updated Tues 9/3: The most comprehensive online coverage, video and otherwise, of the clashes and arrests by police in St. Paul may well be aggregated by Glenn Greenwald of Salon.com who goes so far as to suggest with shocking substantiation and more web videos that the FBI may well be involved in coordinating the attacks and intimidation of protesters.

More Very Useful Explanations in Plain English

I’m going to claim this might be the best resource for explaining Web 2.0 communication platforms to newbies ever! See my post below about CommonCraft, and if you’re someone who would like a better understanding of stuff like blogs, RSS, social networking, podcasting, Twitter and more, there are easy to understand and remarkably clear and enjoyable CommonCraft videos about each of these subjects on the CommonCraft YouTube channel. Enjoy!

Video Chat Portal, Seesmic Gets Celebs including Spielberg

I fooled around with the social video site Seesmic–you might think of it as a video chat portal–some time ago, and I found it boring. But now that the likes of Steven Spielberg, Karen Allen and Harrison Ford are posting video clips there too, maybe I should take another look?

And here’s a thread you can view (without signing on to Seesmic) from a UK Guardian Journalist who dialogged via video with Steven, Karen, Harrison & more: Spielberg Pops Up on Seesmic

I caught wind of this from a TechCrunch post: Don’t Screw Your Partners Over A Marketing Promotion which explains more background and some related technical issues. Most interesting to me, they refer to the appearance of these celebrities as a “promotion” without explaining that deal. Jemima Kiss, the UK journalist says “the guys behind the project” are the Picture Production Company. However, The Industry Standard’s coverage of this says, “Seesmic’s founder Loic Le Meur claims that he didn’t even know it was going to happen until right before the videos went up.”

Still, it’s clear that these celebrities are not just posting. For one thing, they all have the same background (gold curtains) on their videos so they apparently all went somewhere together and recorded their posts. These are hardly the casual, usually at-home kind of chats most Seesmic users post. Just the same, I view this development as an interesting new kind of access to some very interesting creative, innovative people, as well as more evidence of how important “The Video Web” is becoming to more and more people, including top-level leaders in the entertainment industry.

Anyone out there using Seesmic regularly and care to comment?

YouTube Video Quality & Flip Video Illustrate Latest Dynamics on The Video Web

One issue we’ve been dealing with that I think many people struggle with is how to get better quality video on YouTube. Here’s the most useful insights I’ve seen to date on this subject:

>> Read: “Hi-Res YouTube Hacks”

Some of you know that I’m impressed with the amazingly simple, little video camera called The Flip. Here’s why another thoughtful person thinks The Flip is important and perhaps indicates meaningful web video trends pointing toward our future:

>> Read: “Video Flips for the Future”

And while we are illustrating what’s cool about the rapidly expanding world of video on the web, here’s my son’s newest favorite short video, which clearly would not have been possible without “the video web” both in terms of production as well as distribution. Pretty cool, eh? Enjoy!


People in Order

Insights into Fox & Murdoch’s MySpace Video Mindset

Rupert Mudoch’s Fox big media conglomerate’s ownership of mega web upstart MySpace.com is not only controversial, but also apparently largely driven as a platform for video content. Illumination of this phenom appears in the AlwaysOn interview with Fox Interactive president Ross Levinsohn and in the BusinessWeek Online article, “Fox Feeds the Online TV Frenzy.”