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First University Blog

In 2003 I pitched the idea of publishing a blog to New School’s Parsons. “Ok.”, said Sven Travis. I invited Josh KinbergAlison Lewis and Frank-Yu Lin. We started posting on November 11, 2003. I believe it was the first university blog in the U.S. if not the world. It takes some effort but you can find all the posts via a.parons.edu/~juliaset and juliaset.com on the way back machine. See: Juliaset on the Wayback Machine

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Hollywood Writers on Strike

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The major studio writers are on strike starting today. They are interested in obtaining royalties or monetary compensation for their work that airs online. I think the studios are moving slow and can not agree on how money will be made in the future are have been unwilling to commit. Most of these people have contracts with terms well into the future that were defined a long time ago and thus have terms that make no mention of use online.

Many major TV shows, including The Daily Show, may need to revert to reruns today because they depend on writers for up-to-the-minute scripts.

This is really a major shakeup for the industry. Many people expect this to go unresolved for months.

I have not heard any talk within any of my online video circles (that’s the old way of saying social networks and email) and yet I would assume that there is a lot of experience and foresight that alot of people have which could be useful to add to the conversation in helping to resolve the conflict.

News about the strike.

THIS IS THE LAST POST TO THIS BLOG!

Be sure and subscribe to my NEW RSS FEED:
http://dembot.com/rss

nn

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FireAnt Sells to Odeo

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Josh Kinberg, founder and creator of FireAnt is one person who has always been on the about page of Rocketboom. We met at school and connected over building the first blog at Parsons School of Design and always discussed online patterns and activity throughout the 2004 elections.

In particular we talked alot about the development of Rocketboom and Ant.

During that time, Josh found out about Adam Curry who was working on the same kinds of problems with audio. I remember when Josh first told me about this, we snickered in kinda of a nostalgic way, the same way you would if you just found out that Martha Quinn was building robots and programing micro-controllers.

When Josh, Kenyatta and I were building out the backend and strategy for Rocketboom, especially from August through October, 2004, Josh had come up with an elegant proof of concept for an aggregator that focused on pulling video files with an Apple Script. Nothing that Curry and Winer had missed but nonetheless, they along with almost everyone else were tunnel visioned on audio (and pdf files!?).

Perhaps one reason for the disconnect occurred because of the difference in application. Podcasters were ultimately enamored with transferring mp3 files to the shiny shiny (i.e. the ipod) automatically.

With Rocketboom however, there was no shiny shiny (i.e. the video ipod) at the time but we saw the aggregator as the killer app for bandwidth limits and thick compression settings on the delivery of large video files. Pretty files sent to computers over night while people sleep to be available in full local playback glory, scrollable, jumpable, and without delay when ready for viewing was where it would be at.

In October 2004 knowing that video enclosures would catch on very soon, when Rocketboom did launch, I made sure we had them working for the few people who used Josh’s player. I also of course noticed that there was no way to offer multiple file types in the enclosure fields and decided the only solution would be to offer multiple feeds (we launched with several).

Right around that time, Podcasting was starting to gain momentum and I always noticed how almost no one else was talking about using RSS for video. It was kinda like the Twilight Zone actually in that regard. Even through most of 2005, while podcasting was totally exploding, very few people took interest in the use of RSS with video enclosures. Perhaps it was because the news angle was mostly generated from a radio show fanatic slash tech geek-angle and the disruption they were casing to the radio industry.

There were two main public brain trusts through 2005 that existed separately on the web where on-the-pulse information about development in the nascent industry made its way in: [1] the podcasting group on Yahoo vs. [2] the Videoblogging group on Yahoo.

As for #1, my bafflement with podcasters and music fans who still deal with mp3 crap compression remains. A great beauty of the audio aggregator is that you can deliver very high quality audio files (not a problem to offer the mp3 versions too for the losers), but whatever, people used to take playback quality much more seriously in the good ‘ol days of wax and lasers.

As for #2, the excitement fueled by foresight into the implications behind a world shift in media, would soon drove user testing, adoption and good will to Ant (later served with a no-no letter on the name, btw), so FireAnt, with “the” surrounding directory of videobloggers was where the first party started.

Perhaps we will never know but I feel very strongly that Josh’s development of the initial player gave Apple their best look at what I always hoped they would acquire, but instead, built themselves. In a single moment in October of 2005 with the release of the video iPod and video podcasting in iTunes, Apple opened up the concept of video online to the masses (er, you know what I mean) and essentially took a great deal of FireAnt’s steam. Coincidentally, the prior release of Apple’s audio podcasting client in iTunes stole the same kind of steam from Odeo so it makes since that these two companies would come together for a return match. The space may be ready for more alternatives.

Apple’s strategy for growth was and continues to remain stealth and secretive, closed and proprietary. They probably get away with it because their products are so good. But Apple’s aggregating features have never been as good as FireAnt’s which strated off as open sourse and remained open on the frontend.

I consider Josh to be a major pioneer in the space for being one of the first, if not the first to create a video specific aggregator, going on to win the support of the videoblogging community, growing a business from an early 2.0-like application, sustaining the onslaught of a changing industry, managing a difficult set of personalities, dealing with alot of legal nonsense and then orchestrating a very delicate acquisition. Way to go Josh. Cant wait to see what’s next!

Many others have written about this story too.

nn

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JoCo Live

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Joanne is hosting a new live streaming show called Hollywood Now. Tonight she is interviewing some of the cast from Heroes, one of the most popular TV shows out there.

For her debut on Monday, Joanne interviewed R&B artist, JoJo and over 5000 people were watching live. I have not heard of another case where this many people were on all at once. Surely there must be some?

I was in one room that had a full 500 people in it and the chat was insane. As soon as I typed in the word “Hi everybody” it scrolled off the page before I could even read it.

There was an incredible moment where JoJo was singing a chorus “Yea, Yeah, Yeah” and then sang: “Everybody sing with me, Yeah, Yeah, Yea.. . .”

Everyone was entering in “yeah yeah yeah” in the chat – it was a hyper crazy collaborative experience that actually worked. Thousand of yeah’s scrolling to the live music. Pretty cool.

First time? You should give yourself a good 15 or 20 minutes to get the PalTalk player installed and find the room. Not an easy task, but well worth it in this case.

Next week she’ll be interviewing cast from Entourage.
Tonight and every Wednesday at 8pm ET – Link.

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China Online

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“Chinese military hackers have prepared a detailed plan to disable America’s aircraft battle carrier fleet with a devastating cyber attack, according to a Pentagon report obtained by The Times.”Link.

I like to keep checking back on ‘China’s effect on the internet’ and ‘internet’s effect on China’. Both of these terms in Google have nothing but posts from me and David Weinberger.

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Priority Web Traffic OK’d

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Net Neutrality takes a serious blow.

“The Justice Department on Thursday said Internet service providers should be allowed to charge a fee for priority Web traffic.”

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Social Graph

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Barcamp Block

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I’m off to San Francisco and then 37° 26′ 34 N, 122° 9′ 40 W and surrounding blocks for Barcamp Block.

Everytime I see the Golden Gate Bridge I wonder how Joseph Strauss convinced everyone that it could be done. It would of been interesting to see how he got everyone to sign off on the idea.

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Stewart/Cobert Subpoenaed by YouTube

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Regarding the suit against YouTube brought on by Viacom (MTV, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central, etc.), Larry Neumeister from the Associated Press writes: “YouTube didn’t say exactly what it intended to gain from questioning the Comedy Central comedians. Colbert hosts “The Colbert Report,” a spin-off of “The Daily Show,” which is hosted by Stewart.”

It seems clear to me that YouTube would like the court to hear Stewart and Colbert’s perception of the harm vs. gain argument. It’s hard to imagine that the widespread distribution of the Daily Show on YouTube could harm or take away from the show’s value compared to the massive PR gain that drives traffic back to their program along with elevating their cultural relevance.

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Rocketboom No Longer Using Pligg

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Pligg is for sale. Though I mentioned before that we adopted Pligg on Rocketboom, we actually wound up adapting some of Pligg for Moveable Type, and forked off the rest.

Jamie got almost everything we needed so far into just a couple of pages.

I actually just started participating in Digg myself. Im slowly ramping up but I feel a major swing coming on. I think YouTube and Digg are my top two favorite websites on the internet right now.

nn