Archive for September, 2006

Online Video and Photography: More Photowalking


I’m learning a lot about photography and watching this artist cruise around SF taking pictures. It’s neat as you can watch the video, hear his insight, and then the actual final photographs will be shown on the video

Part 1: Thomas near golden gate bridge

Part 2: He discusses some of his more advanced tactics, gets wet and crawls around on the floor like a sniper

Part 3: Night shooting the golden gate, and taking pics of people

Part 4: City shooting at night (food porn discussion too)

Online Video is going to be important, here’s why:

  • It tells a unique story that text or audio can’t tell alone
  • It’s engaging (but requires most or all of your attention)
  • Online video can and wiill be distributed in the following vehicles
    • Browser (in players)
    • Mobile Devices (Like video iPod)
    • TV hybrid devices (like Tivo, Slingbox)
    • TV (someday, someone will create a channel that pulls in content from web, like Current TV)

Robert, I’d like to see the blue sky, not the washed out white background, is that possible? I know you’re just getting started.

More Resources

Dreamhost Talks to Andy and the Blogosphere Reacts


Big thanks to Dreamhost for restoring Andy’s websites, he’s coming out of hell.

You can read his horrible experience on this blog that he created in Blogger called NightmareHost.

Andy has gotten some human responses, so hopefully this will all be resolved.
Several folks blogged about it, such as myself, Julio, and Brian.

I had breakfast with Robert at a podtech session and told him how powerless Andy was, he chimed in and there was a flurry of discussion, Robert blogged about it and there are 23 comments. It seems hit and miss with dreamhost, some have problems and some do.
Robert was compared to Dreamhost using the term “Suck” (As that’s a good way to google a company or product to see how folks think of it) You can see the battle between “ScobleSucks” vs “Dreamhost” Sucks. The results: 74 Scoble, to 24,600 Dreamhost.

A potential customer turned away from Dreamhost, because he read the blog posts. Blogs impact revenue.

I don’t know if Social Media helped to pressure Dreamhost to talk to Andy again, but it’s interesting how feedback and the voice of the customer can be heard and read in near real time.

Lastly, thank you Dreamhost for restoring Andy’s service and communication to him.

Update: Josh from Steel Pixel has left a comment offering Andy and I free web hosting for two months, and also a Discount for you. This is an example of social media spreading the word (and super fast). I’m going to evaluate the offer closely.

Live Blogging From Mountain View at Podtech Breakfast


I’m sitting at PodTech’s breakfast event, it’s a focus on corporate podcasting with John Furrier, and Robert Scoble. Ran into Dave McClure, and met a lot of other interesting folks.

I’m using Google Wireless network for the first time, it asked for some authentication and pushed me to my Google/IG page. Although I’m indoors, I’m clocking about 11mbps. Here’s a few observations, pictures will go up later

  • John and I had a conversation about Zune, interesting.
  • I talked to Dave McClure about the blog ad model on techmeme, he’s been publishing on the oDesk blog.
  • Podtech was started a year ago by John Furrier, he’d publish his interviews on his blog.
  • Within a few weeks thousands of downloads were happening of his audio interviews
  • Has over 30 employees
  • Is ventured funded to build a media company to publish the voices and to document the valley.
  • Discussions about the importance of word of mouth marketing and how social media is a big impact
  • Dell support and Jeff Jarvis example, Dell didn’t look.
  • Techcrunch in the early days added images, and it helped Mike to stand out of the crowd
  • Podtech’s videos on the recent Acrobat (there are some wordpress errors FYI) announcement received more traffic than podcasts as videos really stand out.
  • Google works by lots of linking patterns, Microsoft research showed that most folks in google results never click the ‘next’ page.
  • Discussions about Second life, used for marketing purposes and even a town in east coast that re-created their city to simulate disaster planning.
  • RSS is an bottom up driven technology that empowers users.
  • Video can be used to demonstrate things that text is not able to convey.
  • Questions:
    • Q) Is videoblogging or podcasting going to get adoption levels like blogging? Each medium has it’s strengths and weaknesses
    • Q) Chapters needed in video and podcast shows , A) It makes the page more complex, but there’s a wiki coming as well.
    • Q) What’s the audience and traffic like A) Different audiences, John says: “Bloggers email and podcasers call”. iTunes audience is part of the PodTech listenership. It’s less techy. Most of the audience is Techie elite and early adopters. Create informational ‘info talk’. They didn’t go for the mass audience. 5 million downloads since then, and now they’ve added some metrics to find real listeners and its about half a million downloads a month. Audience is a tough subject, so they are looking for downloads. Many discussions around metrics will occur over the coming time (Jeremiah: Just because someone downloads a podcast to an iPod doesn’t mean they listen to, or if they do, how MANY times they listen to it). There are many ways to track analytics, perhaps looking for feedback. A new audience is emerging is called “tech aware”, which is more mainstream audience.
    • John’s Predictions
    • Niche Programing, a cross between browser, mobile, tv. Seagate is going to take advantage of this.
    • Q: How is PR not scared sh*tless about blogging and pocasting A) they are, but now they have to content with it.
    • Q: Audience: digitally savvy, C level, early adopters, Dual degree, and plus all of Scoble’s audience (which is about 30k subscribed a day plus visits)

Fenwick and West
Hosted at Fenwick and West

John Furrier
John Furrier Prepared
Maryam and Jeremiah
Greeted by Maryam Scoble
Podtech Briefing
We gathered Podtech Briefing

And talked with the Xilinx Crew

Blog 2.0
“Do you have a Blog? No, I have a Blog 2.0!”

Excellent Tips: 10 Things That Will Make Or Break Your Website (plus one more)


Great summary of all the key learnings from the Future of Web Apps conference in SF, I think this is well categorized and hits many of the major points. Read and print out 10 Things That Will Make Or Break Your Website. I’d like to extend this list just slightly

  1. EASY is the most important feature of any website, web app, or program
  2. Visual design and copy are extremely important.
  3. Open up your data as much possible.
  4. Test, test, test.
  5. Release features early and often.
  6. Be special
  7. Don’t be special.
  8. If you plan on developing a successful webapp, plan for scalability
  9. Watch, pay attention to, or implement right away:
  10. User generated content and social software trends

I’d like to add the following:

11) Revenue. I sound evil, but it’s true, and something every investor, partner, and your father in law will ask about. As I understand it there are six potential revenue models: Advertising, Premium, Transaction, Consultation, Partnering and Acquisition. While I agree the best sites come from passion (I make no direct dollars from this passion web strategy blog) putting food on the table for your family is important.

Resources: My notes from the conference are here for day 1 and day 2, I can really appreciate the work that AUinteractive did for these top 10 points.

Understanding Amazon’s EC3 (Cloud Computing)


I just learned from Julio about Amazon’s next major move called Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) – Limited Beta. You know about Amazon’s entery into Online Data Storage right? Smugmug pays them $27,000 a month as a storage utility, it’s a pay as you go model.

“Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) is a web service that provides resizable compute capacity in the cloud. It is designed to make web-scale computing easier for developers.

Just as Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) enables storage in the cloud, Amazon EC2 enables “compute” in the cloud. Amazon EC2’s simple web service interface allows you to obtain and configure capacity with minimal friction. It provides you with complete control of your computing resources and lets you run on Amazon’s proven computing environment. Amazon EC2 reduces the time required to obtain and boot new server instances to minutes, allowing you to quickly scale capacity, both up and down, as your computing requirements change. Amazon EC2 changes the economics of computing by allowing you to pay only for capacity that you actually use.”

Making IT a Utlity (like Power, Gas, Cable)
They are building a complete outsourcing of your IT department for consumers, small business, and in some cases medium sized businesses. Perhaps soon they will provide helpdesk support (pay per minute), rent desktops and laptops (pay per minute) or even access to applications (like photoshop) via a web tunnel or some type of pay-per-minute usage fee.

Want to learn more about Online Data Storage? I’ve predicted these things happening here (I know I push this post, but it’s not because I want traffic, but it’s because there are some important changes happening)

More Resources

Dreamhost, kindly respond to Andy!


I’ve been hearing from friend Andy about his nightmares with Dreamhost (in fact I’m a customer too, partly due to his recommendations). He manages multiple websites and they’ve been shut down today. Andy doesn’t believe he’s at fault, and is asking for a dialogue with Dreamhost, and now they’ve clammed up.

Having worked closely with Andy for some time, I highly suspect that he’s pretty careful about how he manages his websites, and I suspect this is a simple misunderstanding. I hate having to do this to a company, but I really want to encourage a conversations between Andy and Dreamhost.

Folks, imagine if your blog or websites was taken down, locked, and they refused to talk to you, how would you feel?

Dreamhost friends, please respond to Andy, it’s really an appropriate professional courtesy, thanks in advance!


Big Update:

Apparently Dreamhost has contacted Andy and will be restoring service. !!!