July 16, 2007
YouTube 4 Media Pros
The idea as I understood it was to build a community where media pros could upload and share videos, audio, images of things of interest to folks in the biz (product demos, tutorials, demo reels, etc...). In addition to sharing videos it would also include "social networking" features like blogging and the ability to build a network of friends.
It sounded like a good idea at the time, so the flyer stimulated me to check it out to see how the community was evolving. As of today it is still light on content. Mostly videos shot at NAB [including a couple of me demoing AE CS3 and PhotoshopCS3 video features - yikes I have a hard time watching myself, so I don't; but my mom loves showing this stuff off to all her friends in Boca who brag about their son's the lawyers and doctors; he may not be rich or famous, but he's on the internet :-)]
The relatively small amount of content is not necessarily a reflection on the quality of the idea or the content [although I did find the "booth babe" video to be in poor taste], but to me it highlights 2 key hurdles that characterize the state of "WebTV" today: 1) For a content consumer like myself it's a challenge to find content that is relevant to my interests. The choices can be overwhelming and/or not easy to find, and one-stop places like YouTube require considerable sifting to find content that is of interest and with production values that do not interfere with the viewing experience, 2) For the new Web-based channels like ProMediaTube, the challenge is how does their intended audience find them (or they make their audience aware of them), so they can generate revenue by selling advertising (assuming the business model is based on this) to advertisers targeting this particular audience demographic.
The good news I think is that these challenges can be solved. I don't shop a lot on Amazon, but I am more impressed each time I go there about how well they are mining the data they capture about me and other they think are like me. Another example that impressed me is Pandora,"radio from the music genome project". Whatever they've got under the hood works really well at allowing me to create my own personal radio station. I'd love a Pandora for video.
July 6, 2007
Mike & Ryan's Excellent Adventure
I can still remember the first time I stepped inside a mobile sports truck. I had gotten a freelance gig as a "runner" for a Golden Gater Productions shoot of the1983 SF Comedy Competition. I was amazed that a TV control room could fit inside a trailer. I even had fantasies about building mobile trucks for a while. Fast forward to the mid nineties after I joined Adobe. Once a year I would suggest we rent a Winnebago, pimp it out into a post-production suite and take it on the road to college campuses to evangelize the democratization of television production and post-production. Noone took me seriously. Well I am ecstatic (and jealous) that Mike Downey and Ryan Stewart are about to embark on their onAIR bus tour of "Cross Country Coding".
AIR (the app formerly code name Apollo) is one of the most exciting new technologies I've seen in a while. check out some of the cool applications being created using AIR here. Even if you're not a developer, stop by one of their stops and grab a beer, Red Bull, or coffee and get a glimpse into the future of software applications. Tell'm Steve sent you.
I love watching things grow (children, tomatos, user communities, facial hair...) and contributing to the growth as well. I think there is something special about getting in on the ground floor of anything. I'm not talking about consciously trying to be a trend seeker looking for the next big thing, but serendipitously discovering or taking interest in something that hasn't captured the interest of many people you know or been mass marketed (I will take credit for being an early evangelist of Mojitos (the best ones use fresh sugar cane juice). Xiomara in L.A. is the only place outside Miami Beach where I've had them with freshly extracted sugar cane juice. I also prefer Mount Gay instead of white rum. I also used RIT to dye my Converse Chuck Taylor's purple in 1970 (back when Converse only sold white, red, and black Chucks), but that's another story and I digress...
Jacob Rosenberg and Aanarav Sareen have gotten the ball rolling and germinated the seeds (how's that for mixing metaphors) of the Premiere Pro User Group community. The first two meetings were held in NYC and LA. It's just in its infancy, which makes it exciting to watch it grow. It reminds me in a way of the old AE Fido list that grew out of the demise of the AOL CoSA forum and has grown from a few dozen, to a few hundred, to thousands of user participating in a virtual community. I look forward to seeing the PPUG blossom.
P.S. If you know a place that makes a mean mojito, leave a comment here.