November 10, 2006
The great thing about media software is the diversity of people who are involved with it. The downside of being involved with software (and media) is that social time tends to get sucked in by the office machines – so last night at the Old Queens Head was a vain attempt to catch up with mates who have never met each other before.
From left to right we have Paul Thornton Jones of Channel 5 TV Interactive, Christian Alhert of Open Business and Creative Commons and Paul Argent Founding Partner of Milo who make lovely educational Flash media for Channel4 and the BBC. Petros (the other Founding Partner of Milo) and the beautiful Elena, also of Milo left before we got the camera out.
I’m supposed to write up what we talked about: It was along the lines of the demise of the broadcasting era, what happens to a brand when everyone can access content without the need of a mediator; what’s the role of media producers in a world of open source software; what else was there to mash up in a web2.o kinda way; is everyone using netvibes?; who’s reading blog rss feeds via their phone (erm…just Petros on that one – but I like the idea – I never thought about before – simple brilliance from a technologist – perfect); living in Forest Hill after a decade in Shorditch (Argy is now a squire); Free Wifi on Upper Street – Paul thinks he can get it from his flat..
We all spend most of our working days dealing with media technology ideas – but the opportunity to bring together marketing, commercial TV, education mentors and an open licence specialist together for a beer is perhaps a more fruitful way of thrashing out the future than the occasional conference or social networking night. Honest talk, no pretence and a desire to find a way to make great work.
I think we all left with a better empathy about the industries we participate in than any real insight on what’s around the corner. Sometimes it’s better to have a feeling about the future than a vision – it helps to take the next step somewhere, rather than work out where we should be going.
October 14, 2006
Here are some statistics too: –
How many times do people login every single day? 950,000!! You may ask how many of those are “unique?” About 670,000. It turns out most of you happen to log in about 1.4 times per day. Oh, and here’s another interesting one… how many network accounts do you all log in with on average? Also 1.4…which means 1.35 million network ID are logged in daily.
Over 3.5 million unique individuals log into Meebo every month, and on a daily basis you’re all sending and receiving a mere 57,000,000 messages. If you aggregate all of the time everyone spends in Meebo on a daily basis? 64,000,000 minutes which calculates to approximately 122 years! WOW! (click here to see a graph) It turns out you’re all sending and receiving a message just about once/minute, and you’re staying on Meebo an average of 70 minutes/session.
Impressed? That’s a lot of chatter going on.
It’s worth very little though.
Social Networks sites are almost as hot as user generated video sites. Hot, ‘cos the short term land grab for attention is driving the ad revenue – there is a shortage of media in fact – no where near enough for all the advertisers. The medium term will show a decline. Why? Sustainability. I’ll explain.
At the moment we have a shock of the new – the barriers for peer communication is at their lowest. This is great. More talk, more conversation, more commerce, as the ClueTrain passengers would tell you.
Meebo dont do indexing for meaning, but I expect they would love to dump the suitcase of conversations on Google Triumvirate desk and ask for $10+bn. The problem is, Meebo cant leverage this data. It belongs to the users and as soon as they try to sell to Google, the punters will ask for revenue share. And this applies to all the other social network systems. Thus, the short terms benifits out rank the medium to long term plans. The ability to grow the services are latent, but the owners of social network applications are not media producers.
Ah, Myspace and Murdoch.. hmm, yes – now you can see why this should arouse fear into the boardrooms of every broadcaster and media production company on the planet. Google recent $900 deal with MySpace for the adspace seemed like Murdoch’s money shot par excellence (sorry about the similie), but understand that Google now have access to useage data via the advertising program and effectively are listening in on the conversations. Well worth the price. Consdering its a multi-year deal, ensures Google have a social stream of knowledge pouring into its indexing service. Google can afford these rates, they know they’ll be making it back in the medium term.
I’ll be posting something about why YouTube is worth a lot more than $1.65bn to Google later this week, and should explain why they really dont care about the ‘content’ of media. In fact, they are after 1 thing only. As said – I’ll post this up later in the week.
In the meanwhile follow the data, not the money…
September 11, 2006
Adam Gee (Commissioning Editor of Factual for Channel 4 New Media) and I spoke at the Inverness goHi festival last Thursday, and by request, here is my PowerPoint presentation.
Adam covered the opportunities for producers to showcase their work online, while I explained the commercial virtues of sharing and collaboration on digital platforms.
Many thanks to all who came along – and for putting your hands in the air in response to my questions, the applause, questions and after talk chats – you were a fantastic, welcoming audience – and made the event a great example of sharing and collaborating.
Many thanks also to Gill Mills from Icast.com who joined us for the Q&A panel session.
My apologies for the lack of illustrations in the presentation, I was called up to present just 2 days before the event and thus it shows in the slides. Judging by the questions afterwards, there seemed enough to engage in the ideas within the presentation – so again – thanks for bearing with me!
UPDATE: There’s a video of the talk on it’s way to the editing suite – which will help explain some of the slides. I’ll post the link when I hear that it’s been uploaded to the web.
If you have any questions, leave a comment below and I’ll be happy to answer them.
September 1, 2006
I’ll be talking alongside Adam Gee at the Channel4 / IdeasFactory event “Making the web work for you” in Inverness on the 7th September. Aimed at producers wishing to use web platforms to gain media coverage of their work, we’ll be discussing the online media communities such as Channel4’s FourDocs (which I project managed into existence) and the usual niche media alternatives such as YouTube, MySpace and Flickr. We’ll also discuss (I’m sure) licencing, podcasting and of course open-source collaboration – so it’s likely to be the full spectrum of pros and cons of creativity online. The event is free, so if you can make it, do pop along and say hi. Full details here.
I had a quick search for Creative Commons photo’s tagged with ‘Inverness’ on Flickr to see what activity is going on – the photo above is from Calum Davidson aka ccgd. After discovering these amazing images I read that Calum also administers the Scotland Flickr Blog – which is a stunning collection of images and a fantastic example of what we’ll be talking about on the day. In fact – I’ll use it as an example.
Ah – it’s good to practice what you preach..
September 1, 2006
Michael Simkins LLP have published a warning to advertisers regarding User Generated Content:-
“If the content does infringe third party rights then under UK law an advertiser may find itself liable for any resulting claims either jointly with the content creator or on his own account.
“UK law is as yet untested as to whether an advertiser piggybacking on user-generated content would be liable for copyright infringement. A user generated video may be a parody of an existing audio visual work, it may include music written or recorded by another, comprise footage of a concert or dramatic performance, copy or mimic cartoon characters, include actors or identifiable members of the public, depict distinctive locations or products. If any of these (or other similar) inclusions are made without appropriate permission then it may be an infringement of copyright or related rights. The content generator would certainly be liable for any infringing acts but it is not clear whether UK courts would find the advertiser to be liable.
“Copyright is infringed by anyone who copies the work (or a substantial part), issues infringing copies to the public, rents or lends it to the public, performs, shows or plays it in public or communicates it to the public. It is also infringed by anyone who authorises these acts. It is a secondary infringement of copyright to possess an infringing copy in the course of business.”
Referring to the EUCD directive, advertisers are simply users of a hosted service, and request content is taken down (either their advert or the content if it’s infringing their copyright).
The above is a solution to a problem (“It’s a split between receiving stolen goods and contributory infringement.” – Thanks Rob (who likes to point out he’s not a lawyer etc)) that doesn’t need to exist. If advertisers worked with the
User Generated authentic media communities, there be none of the anxieties of guessing where to place a commercial endorsement. Working with some tidy Creative Commons licenced media, advertisers and their creative agencies can bring the spit ‘n polish that home-brewed media desperately needs, whilst warming up the communities who are the consumer group they are interested in.
There really is no need to stack up the legal risk when you have a non-zero sum relationship between online collaborators. While commercial voices compete for attention over the glut of community media offerings, and losing by having to slip an advert in the least obtrusive moment, the effortless collaboration based upon every participants ability to satisfy their own comfort zone has yet to be presented. Collaboration is not about hierarchies, it’s about what you can offer. Suitable offerings result in suitable collaborations.
Image by the master of appropriation and copyright juggler – Jeff Koons. “Stacked Animals, ed. #150/200” 2003.#
August 23, 2006
If ‘Net Neutrality!’ needs promotion, then this is one way. Spread the
word song and dance.
Much of the ‘crisis’ over the the prioritising of data packets is understandably a technical concern. Both the Wikipedia entry on the subject and the cited website by Tim Wu are worth studying. The economics are focused on giant technology players gleaning preferential treatment (or not) on the Internet. What doesn’t seem to be discussed is the relationship to Information Theory.
Every network has operational concerns and external influencing obstacles ranging from terrorism to tollbooths; the Internet is unlikely to ever to be free (as in problem free) as it too takes on the same dynamics as any transport networks.
Just as with the above Internet celebrity song and dance routine, the amount of data actually required, not desired, should be the focus of improvements to the use of the Internet. Networks like efficiency and if the Inernet fails to deliver to the users then the users will find another system to adopt. From canals to railways to roads, different forms of networks bring specific results and problems. There’s no such thing as a free-way.
At present, with the rise of video distribution, this has kept the Telcoms excited – lots of data being moved around. With the attraction of VoIP, a realtime data exchange, the arguements arise over what needs priorotising. If Microsoft Office ever gets to realtime business being contucted over the communication networks (as opposed to document writing and sending), then yes – you’ll see commerce ‘bunging up the tubes.’
But this is mapping the current use of media over a system and expecting the processes of communication not to be refined. Look at txting, emoticons and rss feeds. These light data communications are the effecient forms of transfering information and they’re capable of being rich in personal expression.
Just as the transport networks in London are plagued by overcrowding, the rise of the cyclist has increased commerce where it didn’t exist before. Cyclists find a freedom in being able to go anywhere and more importantly stop anywhere – this leads to bars and cafes and shopping areas being accessed by new customers thus creating new communities.
What has been realised with the Internet is that ‘the communities are the network’ and the relationships between participants will be maintained by their own needs not regulations that support commerce that is no longer persued.
I’ll finish with the post with a documentary-in-the-making called ‘In Your Car No-one Can Hear You Scream!’, that investiagtes London’s traffic. Both the documentary and the comments posted on the YouTube page are worth reading and relating to our Internet neutrality debate.
August 22, 2006
Yup – that about right. In fact – all business managment should use cell shaded images to describe processes and activities. Now thats a string to Pixar’s bow I would love to see.
Seriously, much of the process in software is captured in either UML or ‘textual documentation’, both have verydifferent ontologies. Add the Visio aesthetic or even Omnigraffle and you begin to translate ideas for the better or worse.
Creative Director of Digitas, David Armano has been working on a bunch of diagrams to enagage the whole gammut of participants in a software development. Though they’re bright, cheerful and optimistic – software development at it’s best is about reflexity and recursiveness.
It’s all in the briefing and the planning.
In a networked world, development teams for both communication and programmers need a direction, not a destination.
August 12, 2006
I’ve not made the wiki open for anyone to edit as it’s purely for my own notes, but anyone is free to go and see what I’m thinking about/researching; only conclusions and observations will be rendered here.
August 11, 2006
Viddler will be popular..
“The keystone feature here is the ability to add tags and comments tied to particular points in a video. Those tags are then searchable, so if I want to find the particular point in one of my videos that I tagged “touchdown,” that’s easy to do. I can also have a conversation with other users regarding a particular moment in a video and choose to embed the video on another site in it’s entirety or only from a particular point I select.”
“Videos are served as streaming files, so they can’t be downloaded and will thus be preserved from copyright violation.”
…if the interface is latency free.