The Future of the News? A Video Camera

Today, Robert Scoble just did his second live broadcast of an event he participated in, a distinguished panel discussing the future of traditional media. OK, I know you are already asleep. Only the truly geeky, geeky, longest of long tails, C-Spaners would watch such a thing. Right? Probably. But you must admit that it is an important topic. Almost a day doesn’t go by that we don’t hear about a newspaper in some city or other that is going broke. But here’s what I found most interesting about the event:

At an invent about the future of journalism, in our new media world, Scoble, laptop camera and mic pointed at the room, was THE ONLY PERSON JOURNALIZING! And he was journalizing LIVE!

Attention traditional media: HELLO?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

The future of news is a Video Camera. And two hands carrying it that are halfway interested enough in the subject actually be there. It’s not that hard. Really. Except no one’s doing it.

If an event or piece of news that you are interested in is happening, which would be your first choice, to see it or to read about it? And if you had the choice of seeing it in real time or recorded which, again, would you choose? You may not trust Wikipedia, but I do think you trust your own eyes and ears.


Perfectionism is the Enemy of Progress

OK, I can’t take credit for that line. Should I take it down? I actually learned it last week while watching Jason Calacanisfirst episode of his new show This Week in Startups, or #TWIST as I think he refers to it when you are Twittering.

As an example of this idea, he told the story of Microsoft Word. Word 1.0 basically sucked. But the key is they put it out there, and it was “good enough” to get some traction in the market. And then as each successive version came out, it got a little better and better, they fixed things, added things, and pretty soon, maybe it was a number of years, but by the time the PC revolution was reaching its crescendo, it was the best and dominant Word Processing program on the market and a cornerstone to their Amazingly successful Office Suite. I know its in vogue to hate Microsoft now a days, and maybe rightfully so, but no one can argue that its one of the greatest business success stories in American history.

The point is, if they hadn’t put it out there until it was “perfect” oh this is too ironic, you can’t make this stuff up, “WordPerfect” by Corel which then was the market leader might have continued on in first place.

I was thinking of all the amazing opportunities we have in this Telecommunications Revolution World we live in, specifically tonight of alternative bands that may have a small but devoted following sprawled out all over the world. I was thinking while I was watching Robert Scoble do a live video of a panel discussion he was on concerning Real Time Web Search. You see, Robert, or the Scobleizer, as he is known does a lot of these “off the cuff” videos live with just his Macbook and a account and channel. Many are just in his house. No pretense about a studio, etc, but so many times he is interviewing somebody really smart and interesting and I take away a lot of value from it. He even did a live video of a Facebook press conference a few weeks ago when they announced their intention to open up. That was a BIG DEAL, and as far as I know, no one else, no major or minor TV station was broadcasting it. Only Scoble and his little Macbook, this time pumped through Leo Laporte’s This Week in Technology (Twit) Network, which is another amazing story in and of itself.

I digress. I was thinking tonight that bands that fly under the radar, lets say they are playing a club in Ireland with just 50 people in the audience. Maybe they have dates all over Europe this summer like that, small venues, but enthusiastic loyal followers. But they have those same “long tail” loyal followers back in America and perhaps on every continent. Now with just a Macbook and Kyte or many other such services they can broadcast even their small club shows to a WORLD WIDE AUDIENCE. That is big. Think of how that would energize their fans, how it would engage their fans, who otherwise would be watching another band, or engaging in some other activity.

But they don’t do it. Why? Oh the quality isn’t perfect. But that’s missing the point. The “Long-Tail” audience will get an endorphin rush from the shear “aesthetic arrest” in what is happening, of how “cool” it is (the medium is the message) and forgive the low quality. The low quality might even intimate them more emotionally to the artist, and besides like Word 1.0, the quality is going to get here, soon, very, very soon. The Fiber backbone on the Continents and even under the seas connecting them has enough capacity for everyone on the planet to have a peer to peer HD connection, in real time, AT THE SAME TIME. The problem is only in the “Last Mile” which we can think the Telecom Act of 1996, at least in part for, if not all by privatizing the risks of the Telcos and socializing their profits. There you have it. Government regulation, not “de regulation” caused both the internet bust and the recent financial crisis. Yeah for big Government! Whatever, I digress again. Even Big Government(s) can’t stop the Exobyte floods that are coming, and the individual, whether he be an artist, business person, or practically any field (even politics!) will be the beneficiary of a much higher standard of living and a planet that has no limits of what it can do or where it can go. Star Trek just came out this week. Perfect, oops I said it, timing.

The “fire theft” motif of many Mythologies, most famously that of Perseus’ theft of the Sacred flame from Zeus, is a metaphor for Technology. We are stealing fire from the Gods. The fire is trapped inside those nanobits, or even deeper in 11 dimensional “strings” that literally transcend time and space. But if Perseus had waited until he was perfectly ready, no fire would have been stolen, and we wouldn’t even have a story to inspire, much less the technology all around us that was built, in part by the inspiration.

The “force” is the mysterious spontaneity of life itself, including the power that makes a flower blossom and the Earth to hurl around the Sun. The only way to harness that force is to let go of the desire to control it, which is the feeling of the Mind as being above nature: the heart of “perfectionism” itself.

*Update: I just began listen to TWIST #3, and the first caller who called in worked on a product for two years before he released, but by then it was too late, and Google had already come out with a similar product for free, yada, yada, yada. So another example. Jason just said, “You wanna’ get the product out there, you wanna’ iterate, you want to LEARN FROM YOUR AUDIENCE.” I love that last part. Something about it just seems to ring so true.


Set List

Working up ideas for a set list if I start doing coffee house gigs with just the acoustic and a harmonica. Every time I think of a song, I’ve been texting them in to Twitter. Here’s the list I’ve built so far:

  1. Quiet TownJosh Rouse
  2. Stop Breaking Down – The Rolling Stones
  3. Simplesmente – Bebel Gilberto
  4. Loving Cup – The Stones
  5. Horsin’ Around – Prefab Sprout
  6. Eu Nao Existe Sem Voce – Tom Jobim
  7. Disco Apocalypse – Jackson Browne
  8. Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before – The Smiths
  9. Ventilator Blues – The Stones
  10. Inanna – Stephen Pickering
  11. Aquarella do Brasil – Gal Costa
  12. Ciranda – Marcio Faraco
  13. Heart of Snow – Greta Gaines
  14. Ugly Stories – Josh Rouse
  15. Axe Gnawa – Celso Machado
  16. Rubber Ring – The Smiths
  17. London Bridges – Josh Rouse
  18. The Ocean- Richard Hawley
  19. Walking Through The Park – blues
  20. Cantando No Toro – Chico Buraque
  21. Domesticated Lovers – Josh Rouse
  22. The Clear Coast – Josh Rouse
  23. World – Paz Suay

Did Flickr Just Kill Itself?

Sponsored by Twitter’s newest ad platform:


Am I missing something? When I originally signed up for Flickr it was unlimited photos with only a limitation on the amount I could upload per month. Today I get a message saying I’ve just uploaded 200 photos and that I’ll have to pay for a pro account in order to see any but my most recent 200 photos. Is this not news? Did this change of TOS just happen recently? I realize that 24.95 is not a lot to pay per year, but it isn’t a lot to pay for Facebook or Twitter either, but what would happen to those services if they decided that you can only look at your most recent 200 items unless you paid. They’d be gone. Why am I not hearing more written about this on the internets? Flickr is the only piece of Web 2.0 credibility that Flickr has, and I think they’ve just killed it. Why not just move to Picasaweb or Photobucket? ¬†The photos that I’ve uploaded there came from my phone directly sent by MMS. Are the ones beyond the 200 mark that I can’t look at now being held hostage unless I pay the 24.95 ransom. This ¬†is bad karma all the way around. They at least should have grandfathered in existing users who signed up like I under a different understanding.

But the money is missing the point. The money is in exposure and search. Why for heaven’s sake are there no ads on Flickr? That’s their revenue model. Thoughts? Am I missing something? Am I wrong?



What May Stop Twitter? Itself.

The trouble with Twitter is not the model, its the underlying technology. The site has constantly had problems functioning smoothly since inception, even before it became mainstream, so growth is not an excuse. They’re going to have to get new management to fix it. If it can’t be fixed there’s no way this company can go forward, and FriendFeed or Facebook will take over the space. The model is great, but the execution is horrendous. ¬†It’s going to be tomorrow’s AOL or Myspace if something isn’t done, and it has to be done now.

Jimmy Page said “Some guitars fight you, others the music just spills out.” ¬†Twitter, the site itself, just seems to fight you, like its annoyed you are even there. Whatever they’ve got to do to fix, they must do it now, even if it meant shutting the site down for a week and doing a complete overhaul. It would be worth it. It could mean billions. Jason Calacanis is right, they could be the dial tone of the internet. They are on the verge of it right now, and that’s why it must be fixed. No excuses. At least I wouldn’t want any if I were the one who’d given them $25million.

Tech Uncategorized

Advice to Myspace: Open Up Immediately

#1 When I take a photo with my phone and beam it to Flickr it needs to push it to my Myspace Library, my Facebook library and every other of my social media places (It already pushes it to my blog and tweets it via FriendFeed.) And this needs to work in reverse also. If I post a picture to Myspace it needs to push it out to Facebook, tweet it, to my Flickr library, my blog, everywhere I have a Social media presence.

#2 If I write a blog post, it needs to automatically post it to my Myspace Blog. If I write a Blog Post inside of Myspace it needs to push it to my regular blog, tweet it and send it to the Facebook stream.

#3 When someone messages me, sends a friend request, makes a comment it needs to notify all my other places, including an SMS to my cell phone. Of course this has to be granular so you don’t get SMS’s all the time, but that’s a no brainer. Likewise I need to be able to return messages, comments, make friend requests, approve them etc. from my phone and every other place on the web or network. Let’s say I meet someone at a party and they have a myspace page too. I should be able to add them right there on the spot from my phone. Lets say I’m a musician playing a club. Everyone in the audience should be able to add me from their phones and I can auto add them back right there from my guitar. If I’m broadcasting that show on Kyte or Qik people should be able to tune into my Myspace page to see it. For that matter all these video services need to talk to each other. If I make a video of that show on Qik or Kyte it needs to automatically progagate to Youtube, Myspace, My blog, tweet it out and notify my Myspace friends.

All these services must communicate and work together to survive, even eventually Facebook. The Social Web demands it. Web 2.0 vendors are not competing with the other vendors in their “space.” They are competing with themselves to enhance their particular strengths and shed themselves of their weaknesses. Starve the living daylights out of your weaknesses. Feed your opportunities. Peter Drucker says, “Don’t solve problems, seek opportunity.” The opportunity for social web companies is to earn people’s trust by being completely open in every possible way to the other companies that do certain things better. These companies will return the favor by opening up to the particular strengths Myspace and others can offer its users.

You are not competing for users. You are competing with yourself for trust from society. They are not “users” they are your partners.

Myspace has a particular advantage over Facebook in powncing on this opportunity and opening up completely and immediately. Their users don’t have the privacy expectations that Facebook’s users have. As a matter of fact their users don’t have any expectations of Myspace because, in actuality, they have no users. There are a bunch of accounts, but no one’s using them. But they could turn that on a dime by making these changes and become very relevant and vivacious again.

The goal is not to conquer the World. The goal is to interact with the World in a useful way, to be a part of the World’s community, offering the World your particular creative strengths, point of view, and services. In that way you add spice to the World’s personality and more importantly value, so that every facet of society benefits from the Communications Revolution, growing and contributing to a higher standard of living for all. From such noble efforts Golden Ages are born.

Right now our Society, which is now the World, is in a Wasteland mentality. “The center cannot hold” as Yeats said. This was exactly the situation the World was in, in the 11th century, the Dark Ages. It’s time for a new Renaissance. The only catalysts for this are the Microelectronics Revolution which began in the late 60’s and the Communications Revolution which began in the 90’s. They are the unstoppable bullet. Inertia is the impenetrable wall. What will happen when they meet? The battle is not over a platform. The platform is the infinite bandwidth of the fiber optic network. Each hair’s width glass fiber is capable of carrying an infinite number of colors of light, each color of light an infinite amount of information at light speed.

There is no battle anymore. In its place there is an opportunity to be a trusted steward, a trusted guide for the social graph to the unlimited Cornucopia that the Universe has always had and that technology is opening the door to, at en ever increasing rate. “Listen to the Technology,” the great Carver Mead says. “What is it telling you?”


(thanks to @techcrunch for digging and for writing a better headline as
professional journalists, successful ones like them, can probably do in
their sleep. My original headline was("Myspace's Solution is So Simple")

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