December 02, 2008
Moving Panoramic Shot of American Bloggers in Africa
We had an opportunity to hang out with the founder of Virtual Africa for a few days in Cape Town. After an amazing 360 panoramic view of Table Mountain and the surrounding Cape by helicopter, he took a shot of the American visiting bloggers, which also includes three South African bloggers in this amazing shot. We'll cover them in depth in a later post.
October 30, 2008
RADUS New Media Platform Unveiled
Today, client RADUS unveiled a new media hub platform that allows anyone to simultaneously discover, search, share, and view digital-rich media across leading computer, mobile, and social networking services, including Facebook and MySpace.
The new platform was designed to address one of the major issues confronting online content delivery—the lack of a consistent user experience—cited by half of all senior industry executives surveyed as the main barrier to mass consumer adoption of digital-rich media, according to a recent Accenture Global Media Study.
RADUS transforms the way you experience digital-rich content by enabling you to view all your favorite media types under one roof while making it easy to explore new areas of interest.
Free to the public, RADUS’ new media hub streamlines content discovery and navigation, offering you quick and easy access to hundreds of mainstream and user generated news, sports, and entertainment channels from leading broadcasters, bloggers, directors, musicians, photographers, etc.
RADUS provides quick, one-click access to mainstream, vertical, and niche content and can be easily customized to suit individual needs. You can create your own personal media hub by adding your own personalized feeds, changing skins and more.
The new media hub also makes it easy to connect with friends and other users who share common interests. The RADUS widget supports dozens of leading social sites, letting you share your favorite videos, photos, and blogs on the fly. Groundbreaking widget features include comprehensive channel navigation, search, share, and content display capabilities.
Academy Award winning director Michael Moore’s latest film —SLACKER UPRISING—documenting his controversial nationwide get-out-the-vote tour during the last weeks of the 2004 Presidential Campaign is being broadcast in its entirety commercial free until election night at RADUS.com. Be sure to check it out.
September 25, 2008
Experience Wii as an Earthquake
It's amazing what you can do on YouTube with enough creative energy.
September 18, 2008
Blog World Expo in Vegas this Weekend
I'm heading to BlogWorldExpo in Las Vegas this weekend.
More from the floor, but one session not to miss if you'll be on site is the Audio / Video & Podcasting session: more than a podcast: maximizing reach & returns of your video content in Room S306.
With the rise in viewers of online content, come new strategies for production, distribution, and monetization. Have you adjusted your strategy for this shift? There are hundreds of sites where you can upload video content and even more social networks. On the panel: Damon Berger, Susan Bratton, Schlomo Rabinowitz, Tim Street and Brett Wilson.
July 22, 2008
The Conversation Launches in October
A new conference called The Conversation is coming to the Bay Area in October, focusing on the convergence of film, games, visual effects, CG animation, and Internet video. What new creative and business opportunities are emerging as these fields start to overlap and interact?
On October 17 and 18th at Berkeley's Pacific Film Archive, people will gather from the worlds of TV, film, online video, and games to talk about the convergence taking place. You'll hear about new distribution channels, new tools, and the future of visual storytelling. Topics in great detail will be posted as we get closer to the event.
* Workshop on digital cameras, digital cinematography strategies for independent filmmakers
* Set-top box systems... How do you get your content on them? (TiVo, Vudu, Roku, etc.)
* Window conflict - how will films be released in the future?
* Video Puppetry: A Performative Interface for Cutout Animation [ Maneesh Agrawala, UC Berkeley ]
* Eliot Mack: Demonstration of Lightcraft Technology green screen system
* Gail De Kosnik: How Piracy Offers a New Model for Video Archives
* Video on mobile phones: How you you get there, and are there ways to earn money?
Speakers include leading entrepreneurs from NetFlix, DreamWorks, Tippett Studio, YouTube, Heretic Films, CreateSpace, Virgin Animation, Vudu, Entertainment Technology Center, San Francisco School of Digital Filmmaking, JibJab Media, and Pixel Corps, as well as a handful of independent film producers.
July 21, 2008
Heather & Stephanie on Video
As a follow on to my blog post from this year's BlogHer recapping an on-stage discussion with bloggers Stephanie Klein and Heather Armstrong, below is a short video clip I shot on-site (the quality isn't great but the audio is good enough to follow....)
June 30, 2008
Love the Flip Ultras & New Mino
I have finally had a chance to take a look at Flip's new video series: the Ultra ($150) and the Mino ($180). The real big pitch for the Flip Mino is the fact that it is 40% thinner and lighter. Both allow you to simply plug the camcorder's signature flip-out USB arm into any PC for immediate editing and sharing. Shots of the fun and colorful Ultras below.
They apparently offer the ability to upload video directly to MySpace, YouTube and AOL video, although I haven't figured that one out yet - would be nice if it allowed you immediate posting to your blog as well without the double step process and having one of those players' logos in your blog entry.
Both have 2 GB of memory although the Ultra offers a 1 GB/30 minute model as well. Since I love great design and a huge fan of color, I'm always excited about anything that gives me a sense of 'play' in a consumer electronics device. I love the small, throw in-your-pocket size and really clear and simple UI for both shooting and playback.
In addition to the 'way back when' Ford standard black and now white, Ultras come in orange, pink and a neon-like green, although apparently the latter is exclusive to WalMart according to one of their marketing spokespeople.
Other features include: one-touch recording with 2x digital zoom, instant on-camera playback and delete, one-click emailng of videos and video greeting cards, custom editing of movie mixes with the option to set them to your own music, capturing still photos from video and a built-in tripod mount.
I haven't really had a chance to start playing yet but am heading international bound shortly, so will test over the next couple of months in real-time.
May 06, 2008
Ala Carting of Video on the Net: What Meaneth?
Writes Mark Cuban this week: Ala Carting of Video on the Net - Will it lead to disaster?
He tells us about a report by Craig Moffett of Bernstein Research entitled "And Now for the News...The Emperor Has No Clothes."
From the Report:
Ironically, we are headed down the same self-destructive road for other kinds of traditional media,as well. Five years into the video-over-the-Internet revolution, we have learned two things. First; consumers won't pay for content on the web, so it will have to be ad supported. And second; it won't be ad supported.
In the cable TV network world, half of all revenues come from affiliate (carriage) fees paid by the Comcasts and DirecTVs of the world. The other half comes from advertising. But in the TV world, a typical half hour show supports an ad load of about 8 minutes.
On the web, early evidence suggests that consumers will tune out – click away – if they are forced to watch more than 30 seconds or so of advertising up front, and maybe another 90 seconds of advertising over the next thirty minutes. Hulu.com, for example, which has already been lionized by many as the future of TV, serves two minutes of advertising for every 22 minutes of programming(i.e. the programming duration of a typical half hour show from television). Assuming identical CPMs for web video and TV, and after accounting for lost affiliate fees, a 30 minute program on the web with two minutes of advertising yields approximately 1/8th as much revenue per viewer.
Are content producers prepared to reduce production costs...by 88%?
In fact, the actual economics of web-based video are far, far worse than this. Our 88% decline ignores the corrosive impact of à la carte on traditional video economics. In the public debate in Washington, the phrase à la carte refers to the idea that a few strong networks demand the carriage of a host of weaker ones, effectively subsidizing a much larger family of channels.
April 23, 2008
Parents Guide to Video Games & Online Safety
There's an upcoming free webcast from the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), which assigns ratings for computer and video games. They've partnered with the PTA to create a new informational booklet entitled "A Parent's Guide to Video Games, Parental Controls and Online Safety." The live webcast starts at 7:00pm EST tonight, April 23. To register, click here.
April 16, 2008
A Chat with JVP's Erel Margalit
JVP's Managing Director Erel Margalit talks to our blogging group this week about start-ups and innovation in Israel.
Their Jerusalem outskirts office is not unlike a Silicon Valley-based VC office except that the printers and fax machines might be a tad older and like every other Israeli company kitchen, they're well stocked with Nescafe instant coffee. The latter is an integral part of the culture here in the same way it was 20'ish years ago.
We learn about their DreamWorks-like initiative Animation Lab, which extends beyond a typical technology play. “The line is blurred between where technology ends and content begins," noted Margalit. As the former head of MSN Israel, he has a background and perspective on digital rich content.
Erel and his team 'get' social media. We were introduced to three stealth mode companies and saw 'on-screen' demos. I can't talk about them just yet, except to say that they're dabbling in virtual worlds, interactive games, social networks and online video.
When asked about entrepreneurship and why there's so much innovation coming out of Israel, Erel says, "Israelis don't think about what they can lose but about what they can gain. Unlike Europe, they don't have a plate on their door in a town where their family and history was rooted for 1,000 years. Israel is new and full of immigrants from all over the world. So its much easier for us to take risks."
JVP is currently the king VC in Israel, having launched between 20 and 40 companies, with most of their exits in the communications and media space. "We're on our 5th fund," he added. "The key is to make a few home runs in each fund."
We got the impression that they're on track and that the climate was ripe with opportunities. Eran continued to rave about the opportunities that Israel has over Europe and the states.....and why. "Silicon Valley is very engineering driven versus the rest of the world. Not having that as a major driving force gives us an opportunity."
He sees other opportunities in Asia where they're developing a lot of interactive content. During his last trip to China, he observed that 500,000 were playing online warfare games. In LA, it was all about broadcasting entertainment. In Europe, mobile continues to take a leadership role.
I captured the tail end of his interview on video - see below (also uploaded to Flixwagon.com). Click play to tune in.