Embarq CEO Daniel Hesse at Video on the Net
Etiquette is changing. Kids now think it's okay to break up via text message.
Convergence of markets: telco and cable, wireless and wireline, network operators v. application providers v. device providers.
Landline has inherent advantage over wireless. "You can't even hear an anvil drop."
Convergence of geography. Wireless began place-shifting voice. Now you can do same with video using SlingBox.
Simplicity rules, and simplicity causes revolutions. This is why Apple has succeeded with its walled garden, iTunes, with its very high walls.
"It is never safe to look into the future with eyes of fear." - E. H. Harriman
Four screens will be important: home phone, mobile device (not necessarily wireless), PC, TV. The PC will be the fulcrum for rest.
Convergence of business and consumer, creation of "Prosumer." Pricing parity will come between business and nonbusiness purchasers.
Wireline operates at completely different speed than wireless. We like to think of wireless as a sleeping bag. Good to have in the woods. But when you get back home, you've got that great comfortable bed. Throw the wireless phone in the closet and switch to faster land line.
Typical Barnes and Nobles store carries 130,000 titles. More than half of Amazon's book sales come from outside its top 130,000 titles. Good example of the long tail. Same thing is coming in Video. New content will be created for this long tail. The Internet will change video.
Divergence between rural and urban. Rural will not have Verizon FIOS super-fast Internet. Without a subsidy, broadband is not likely to move deeply into rural America.
"In difficult times, the boldest plans are the safest." Titus Livy.
I checked Embarq service availability and am disappointed to see it's not offered yet in Colorado or Massachusetts. But you can get it in Wyoming!
Labels: Embarq Daniel Hesse VON
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Televison Leaving the Living Room: A VON Panel
Moderator Hiawatha Bray, technology columnist for The Boston Globe: How many people actually watch TV on their cell phones or laptops?
Ted Malone, VP of SlingMedia: You can use SlingBox to load TV shows to Mac, PC, and cell phones -- not Blackberry. Don't release numbers. By 5:1 ratio, PC and Mac are major ways people watch TV when they travel. Still means hundreds of thousands watching on mobile devices. Top use is sports. Business travelers use it to access their digital video recorders. They can take their home TV with them.
Dennis Miller, general partner for Spark Capital: Veoh Networks served 16 million hours of video last month. Lots of scrutiny concerning intellectual property. Hulu from NBC is out in beta today. A lot of posturing, people suing one another in preparation for deals. Half of the studio wants to sue you, the other half wants to make a deal with you to distribute their content. A lot of unsettled law. TV is learning from music industry, looking to push content out at an attractive price point.
Michael Gordon of Limelight Networks: standard-definition on computer screens is acceptable quality, comparable to what's on TV. But there are last-mile limits on higher quality, because of internet connections. More than half of households have broadband. Hiawatha asserts that rest of world has faster broadband. Gordon: yes in South Korea, but not everywhere else. U.S. does "a pretty decent job" and will do a much better job five years from now. Also will do a better job with "digital divide," problem of internet haves and have-nots. Forecasts for broadband in 1998 and 1999 were considered foolishly optimistic, but they have happened. "It's all going to happen."
Hiawatha: This is very impressive technology, but where's the money?
Dennis Miller: It's very premature right now. YouTube founders made some money, but we're in early days of monetization of the platform. CNN was called Chicken Noodle Network in early days, not expected to make money. It was so difficult to sell advertising time on cable that Ted Turner went on air trying to sell ads. Number of players, lack of metrics make it very difficult. It's not a must-buy for advertisers now. There's a lot of attention but not a lot of revenue right now.
Hiawatha: But if everyone is watching more TV this way, why isn't it going to be a must-buy?
Miller: Advertisers are lazy. At the end of the day they want to buy their 30-second spot and go play golf. They are a very slow group of folks to move to the Promised Land. They are testing it. They all have their favorites, usually the one they've invested in. There are still a lot of places to put ads right now. Facebook is the It Girl today, it will be someone else next. None of the new social networks are considered by advertisers as places they have to be.
Ted Malone: it will be a gradual shift from TV to internet, not the throwing of a light switch.
Solid panel, but energy level has hit late-afternoon doldrums. Switching to Twitter...
Labels: SlingBox VON internet TV
Monday, October 29, 2007
BlogTV archive of "The Arts 2.0" at PodCamp
Click above to play Part I of the talk.
Click above to play Part II of the talk
Phil Campbell videoed my PodCamp Boston 2 presentation this morning, "The Arts 2.0." You can watch it in the embedded players above or at BlogTV by clicking on Part I and Part II. I'm adding to my Grazr list the suggestions that participants in the session made on how to use technology to advance the arts. I had a great time giving the presentation, and learned a lot from the discussion. Second Life did not cooperate at first, but after a fifteen-minute pause during which I talked about what's happening in the arts in SL, I was able to go in world and visit the Sistine Chapel and Paris in the 1900s, where we checked out a show by my SL artist friend Kristine Schomaker, known as Gracie Kendal in world. She was going to meet me in Paris, but because of the glitch we never connected for the talk. Zut!
PodCamp Boston 2 was a very satisfying feast of new ideas and connections. Chris Brogan and Christoper S. Penn and their team did an amazing job organizing it in the face of wild swings in attendance expectations. I especially enjoyed meeting Dean Whitbread from London, whom I follow as DeekDeekster on Twitter. We recorded an interview after lunch that I'll post on Wednesday's Audio Pod Chronicles podcast.
I'm exhausted and energized at the same time. The beat goes on tomorrow, when I will return to the Boston Convention Center for Jeff Pulver's Video on the Net (VON).
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Bryan Person & Doug Haslam: Joining Online Conversations
I hear a pleasing British accent that I recognize from her podcast, Anna Farmery of the Engaging Brand. She's making a smart comment about employee blogging, saying that the real problem is not what's written on the company blog; it's how engaged the employees are.
All this talk about what companies allow and what the don't makes me SO glad I'm not in the corporate world anymore. It's been more than 10 years since I was director of Corporate Communications at a natural gas company. If I were still there, I'd be the one making the pitch for a wide-open blogging policy, running into snarling higher-up opposition and feeling frustrated. God love the evangelists toiling away in the corporate world now!
Saturday, October 27, 2007
David Tames on Audio and Video Production Values
Lighting is second thing you can do to improve your quality. "Lighting is the thing that creates the illusion of reality." If you have the option, use natural light. Chiaroscuro uses different levels of light in the shot to create depth. Some of frame dark, some of it light. Give the light some angle and dimension. The key light is the primary light source. There can be a backlight. Always look for a way to move to better light. A flex fill helps fill in where there is harsh light.
A simple light kit for $250: Lowel Tota-Light, Lowel Umbrella for Tota, Manfrotto Nano Light Stand, and 25-foot extension cord. The umbrella turns the harsh Tota-Light soft and pleasing. Also, he sometimes uses a 150-watt Fresnels light for a backlight. It's lightweight and portable. Without equipment, try moving subject closer to a window for light. Positioning as zero-cost lighting kit.
Composition. You can dramatically increase the perceived production values through composition. This one's free. Some simple rules will help. "The Rule of Thirds:" Points of interest are in spots where two vertical and two horizontal lines cross. Upper right corner has most interest in Western culture. If you place the subject perfectly in the middle, it's peaceful, calming. It will put your audience to sleep. Good for a meditation video; put the teacher right in the middle, for stability. Putting the subject at the edge of the frame creates tension and interest. Try to line up people's eyes in the top third, so when you cut among different people, the eyes are at similar level.
Address. If someone is looking into the camera, it's Direct Address. Idiom of car salesmen and fundamentalist preachers, presidential address. Can also be very intimate. Use it to create intense intimacy. Usually in a documentary, the subject is not speaking to camera, but to the interviewer, who is off camera.
Editing. Good book by Michael Wohl on Editing Techniques with Final Cut Pro. Introductory half of book is excellent.
Adam Weiss at Podcamp Boston 2
The Museum of Science in Boston gets 1,000 listeners a day for its podcast for a total of 600,000 downloads since Adam created the podcast. It takes about half his time, and very little cost to the museum. The museum has been around for 178 years. Subscribers to the podcast come from all over the world. "It's not much trouble, and you can do some really cool things."
Audio podcasts have some advantages over video podcasts. You can listen while doing other things, like working out or driving. The bandwidth requirement is less. The formula: MP3 + RSS = podcast feed. Getting the MP3 is the hard part, because it has to sound good, make sense, and be engaging. The easiest way to do this is to plug a good USB microphone, like a Blue Snowball, into your computer and record.
The average number of subscribers to a podcast is 80.
Good places to host audio podcasts are Liberated Syndication (which is what I use) and Internet Archive, which is free but you give up the copyright.
There are three types of podcasts or radio show: Radio Show, Interview, and Lecture. Examples from "real" radio: Radio show style: "This American Life" has about 4 million weekly listeners, always near the top of the iTunes directory. Shows are highly edited. Interview style example is "Science Friday" from NPR. Lecture show example is BBC's "From Our Own Correspondent."
How much time does they take? Radio Show style takes 1 hour for each minute of show. Interview style, 3 hours for 10 minutes. Lecture, 15 minutes for 10 minutes.
Adam recommends this one as a good interview podcast: CBC Radio's "Quirks and Quarks," a science podcast.
Lectures make difficult podcasts. You can use excerpts and then link to the full lecture. An alternative is to interview the lecturer, for a lively conversation, and then offer the full lecture.
He plays two clips, one edited and one not. The edited one sounds much better. That takes time.
Labels: Adam Weiss podcasting PCB2
Big Sky 2.0: Brainstorming a Tech/Arts Workshop in Montana
Jim brought to my attention several examples of arts organizations using tech tools that I hadn't heard of yet, including a concert last month in Second Life by the London Philharmonic. I'd also never heard of holographic TV, in which 3D images can be broadcast to a real stage. He sees the benefits of connecting audiences with symphonies and other arts organizations by bringing conductors, musicians, and others into closer contact through blogs and podcasts. As we brainstormed the technology session at the Montana workshops, I enjoyed how one idea built on another. By the end, it was a case of two older guys nearly jumping up and down in their seats with enthusiasm about the future.
The great puzzle that Jim has been working on in his many arts-related leadership roles is how can arts organizations take advantage of technology's benefits and at the same time deal with threats to traditional audiences posed by new media. In places like Montana, additional factors come into play, such as vast distances. Arts leaders in small organizations often feel barely able to survive day to day, much less take time to learn a whole new set of skills.
I'm looking forward to this new project and the chance to spend some time next year in the incomparable state of Montana. Via Twitter, I've already had one offer of assistance from a fellow arts geek yearning to join me in Big Sky country, Elizabeth Dunn of the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod. She admitted she doesn't know how to ride a horse but promises that she can learn!
Thursday, October 18, 2007
If Your Avatar Falls in the Lake It Ain't Fatal
On the bus to the Pittsburgh airport, I was listening to new-marketing guru Joseph Jaffe's podcast, waiting to hear if my submission of an Experimentation Case Study would be chosen as the winner among five entries. I could have fast forwarded to find out, but I listened to every last competing entry and then--drum roll please--the decision. Joseph turned the Decider's job over to his sponsor, Real Pie Media's Kirk Skodis, who selected my submission and one other as tossups for the prize. In the end, Kirk chose the other guy, UPDATE: Adam Broitman for Virtualive.tv . [Jay Berkowitz , who submitted the story of an iPod giveaway by Omniture three years ago that successfully got the word out on their software product.]
I was delighted to come so close, especially since the comments by Joseph and Kirk on my submission were so supportive. I told them about my experiment of doing a live Second Life demonstration August 29th at the National Association of Independent Artists (NAIA) meeting in Lancaster, PA. Joseph called it "very impressive" and said he was clapping his hands at one point, going, "Hercules! Hercules! Hercules!" urging my Second Life avatar on. He said my comment that "if your avatar falls in the lake, it ain't fatal" could be a metaphor for experimentation. Kirk was impressed that I was a sincere evangelist, opening the audience's eyes to possibilities I was excited about, which is the role he and other marketers often find themselves in as they approach clients with new-media opportunities.
Joseph’s podcast, which he will rename in the next episode, always makes me think.
I subscribe to several other excellent marketing podcasts, including Christopher Penn and John Wall's Marketing Over Coffee, Mitch Joel's Six Pixels of Separation, Anna Farmery's The Engaging Brand, and CC Chapman’s Managing the Gray. I find Joseph to be the most intellectually adventurous of the group. He is not afraid to venture well beyond what’s known and accepted about new media and social networks, as in the sponsorships-for-gear experiment that brought Kirk Skodis to Joseph’s podcast in return for a brand-new laptop computer. The result was five solid case studies of experimentation in the contest, and strong Across the Sound podcast episodes in which Kirk and Joseph discussed the importance of experimenting in the midst of an actual experiment which sparked a lot of comment in the marketing-sphere, not all of it supportive.
The result of my modest part in Joseph’s project is a greatly renewed personal commitment to keep experimenting in my own work as an evangelist for technology to the arts. Taking risks in this new creative space is huge fun. And as long as you're learning how to do things better, you always come up a winner.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
RSS: Helping the Internet to Surf Itself
Elizabeth Perry of Pittsburgh is giving a presentation on "Helping the Internet to Surf Itself: RSS and You" at the Technology in the Arts conference at Carnegie Mellon. She's giving a well thought-out overview of RSS, introducing concept to novices in an effective manner.
She does a smart thing. Asks us to pair up with someone else and talk for five minutes about our lives while the other person writes down tags that might be of interest. These will be used to populate an RSS reader like Google News, the one I use.
I like the design of this workshop. Elizabeth gave an efficient, clear overview of RSS and feeds, then set the class loose to create a Google Reader account and start adding feeds. She then simply wanders the room, helping those who need it. By the end of the workshop, she is going to really help people understand this powerful tool. Bravo!
Expert on copyright at Technology in the Arts
How not to infringe a copyright: a defense can be that you took the idea of the work, not the work itself. De minimis use is not a protection. Think you're okay to use just a few seconds from a rap song. "We'll kill you," she says.
Ludacris case. Hip Hop group said he had stolen a hook from their song. There was no substantial similarity. She plays the two clips for us. A musicologist said the call-and-response structure is very common. They won the case, defending Ludacris.
Can you copyright a website? Yes. Beyonce does not own the Myspace Music banner on her Myspace page. It's copyrightable by Myspace. Person who put together website has copyright on the site. If you have one done, make sure you have the copyright. Get copyright from the photographer. All the elements of a website have different aspects of copyright.
How do I register my copyright? Submit an online application to the copyright office . For works created after January 1, 1978, protection lasts for life of the author plus 70 years.
If you want permission to use someone's work, ask for it. For photo of Bob Hope, you could call publication that included it.
Fair Use Doctrine: okay to use limited portion of work for commentary, criticism, news reporting, and scholarly reports. News report of a concert can show some of it, because "America loves the news." Other exceptions for libraries, universities. 2 Live Crew song parody of "Pretty Woman" was okay under fair use, court said. But after that, in a lot of sampling cases it's an automatic copyright infringement, with damages and attorney fees. Now every single second of music must be cleared. There are no legal rules on permitting a certain number of words, an eyeball in an image. Courts consider following in "fair use" cases: Purpose and character of the use - commercially motivated or nonprofit educational purpose; nature of copyrighted work.
Jeff Koons get sued all the time. "We love him," she says. Sued by a photographer. Koons argues that he was inspired by the photograph of feet of a woman. He wins for the first time in his long legal career. Signals a sea change at the 2nd Circuit, which handles most of copyright cases. Koons admits there is copyright infringement. The question is the defenses. Copyright owner has exclusive right to derivative work.
It occurs to me that live blogging an attorney whose job is to sue people for copyright infringement may be problematic. I'll ask her permission at the end of session before posting this.Digital Millennium Copyright Act. She litigated on behalf of Scholastic when last Harry Potter book got leaked on the Internet. "You heard about this law firm sending out cease and desist orders? That was me." Someone had scanned page by page the book. "There's a lot of crazy Muggles out there that rushed to download it." It was blatant copyright infringement. Sent take down notice to the web sites notifying them of infringement. Take it down or we will go to the ends of the earth, criminal laws, we will deport you, everything... It was taken down. DCMA safe harbor provides for clear removal process for alleged copyright infringement. User can give counternotice then ISP has to decide what to do.
Perfect 10, inc. v. Amazon.com . Court said it's important to have thumbnails and Google. Using "perfect 10" to search for beautiful women was declared fair use.
Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA). Under certain conditions, such as that the artist is of "recognized stature," protects work of art even if artist sells the work. Protects against destruction of the work, insulting uses of the work. It's a moral right, not a property right. The artist will be destroyed as a human being if the work is harmed. Act prevents use of one's name on any work the author did not create. David Phillips v. Pembroke Real Estate. Some courts have not been enforcing VARA. Probably won't be expanded into digital art.
Right of Publicity. Say you want to make art that makes fun of Beatles. All states have different laws on publicity. Does not protect a deceased artist usually, except California, which just changed it so deceased artists ARE protected. Let's say you have a t-shirt with photo of Marilyn Monroe. Same for a web site. Estate said it's not okay to use her image without consent. Photographer said he gets to market photograph. It's not copyright or trademark. Marilyn's estate lost the case. Would have won the case now, with new California law.
A guy running for sheriff changed his name to Andy Griffith. Andy sued. You're stealing my publicity to win an election. Court said no, no one is confused that this guy is Andy Griffith or that Andy is backing him.
Right of Privacy. Right to be left alone. Don't put naked photo of your friend online. Girls Gone Wild was sued for privacy rights. Court said no right of privacy. What's more public than flashing everyone. If you think it's okay to get on top of a truck and take your shirt, there's not protection. If you did it in your home, that would be protected. Celebrities don't have this right.
In answer to my question about using her photo for this blog entry, she says, it's a copyright infringement if no permission granted, might be covered by fair use because this is an educational institution. But nothing certain. "It's a photo of me with my shirt on?" she asks. Yes. With that, I'll go ahead and publish this post...
It's always better to use swear words and insane opinions because you'll be covered under the First Amendment, a whole different subject.
Wow. This was a terrific presentation. Bottom line is that copyright infringement is everywhere, and it's probably good to know some of the details. Whether any particular instance gets prosecuted by a lawyer as talented as Monica Pa, Esq., is another matter.
Live Blogging from Technology in the Arts
Maryanne Devine, smArts & Culture
slapcast.com - you can podcast from your phone
The Center for Arts in Natick - created a YouTube channel
MoMA.org created contest for people to put together short videos/animation on YouTube. People voted and narrowed it down for winner. It then was used to publicize The Residents: The River of Crime, an online community art project
Flickr group for Technology in the Arts conference. Maryanne takes photos of us that will be tagged for conference.
AVA Opera Blog - example of effective use of blog by an arts organization. Done by guy in organization who knew all the gossip. Danny's adventures at The Academy of Vocal Arts. Has generated a big following.
Try Twitter! A library in Arizona Twitters book recommendations. Smart.
Use Widgets. Rijkswidget from a Rijksmuseum that puts a new painting image on your desktop each day. An IM Widget on her blog lets people IM her without having IM client. People could have conversation with your box office manager, who can have more than one IM conversation at a time, if they're under 30! She also has a search widget from Google. She's using widgets that help people on her site.
Blinx widget. You go to site, type in search term and it shows all video tagged with that term. Creates a video wall based on your keyword. Example is tag Louvre. Shows tourist videos, Second Life machinima, great combination of things. Can stream the video directly to your site and engage people more. Connect people with an artist you're showing. I couldn't find the precise place at Blinx where you get the widgit and will go back later to learn more. Brilliant.
Now the class participation portion of the session. Divides us into six sections. Brainstorm a Web 2.0 technology for your organization. Five minutes. Lots of ideas bubble up from participants, many of them involving Twitter. Set up a username for your museum, so visitors can see what they're Tweeting about experience. Stream the Tweets like a stock ticker somewhere in museum.
Labels: technology arts Twitter
Hi, My Name is Len and I'm an Art Geek
I live-Twittered during the sessions yesterday, and my Twitter friend Cathryn Hrudicka suggested shifting to a blog resources post. Excellent suggestion, Cathryn! So here are some highlights:
The Art of Second Life. David Dombrosky, who is moving from the Southern Arts Foundation to succeed Cary McQueen Morrow as executive director of CAMT, was scheduled to be on this panel, but was unable to attend. I had heard him talking about his Second Life explorations on CAMT's excellent Technology in the Arts podcast, and was looking forward to meeting him. The other panelists were Nettrice Gaskins of the Massachusetts College of Art, Lauren Lamonica of Millions of Us, and Brian Newman of Re:New Media.
Lauren told the inspiring story of how the young creators of the Four Eyed Monsters movie used Second Life and other social media to gain an audience of several hundred thousand for their film. She took the risk of doing a live demo of Second Life, and sure enough, the SL artist she was planning to talk with, Filthy Fluno, didn't show up. Another risk: someone might show up from your live audience, which is what I did, using my laptop from the side of the room. Hercules Randall landed at Millionsofus and sent a few text chat messages to Lauren's avatar, including "Call on that guy sitting over there on the side; he has a good question to ask." She took it in stride, but I realized the next time I do a live SL demo it could happen to me, and it could be a "griefer" making this more than interesting.
Nettrice, who teaches students in a SL classroom, had this bit of advice: don't do anything in Second Life that you can't do in real life. Otherwise, you're missing the potential of the medium. She had a band of her real life students milling about in a SL room. She said her students are more open with critiquing artwork in SL than RL, and they are completely comfortable with the interface. The future of education?
The MacArthur Foundation is doing a year-long investigation of philanthropy in virtual worlds. Millions of Us from time to time makes its handsome New Globe Theatre available for nonprofits. In response to that Tweet I received a message from Drew Stein, CEO of Involve that they "launched a non profit initiative last quarter to help non profits best use SL and partner them with corp spnsrs." (That, BTW, was a good example of the joy of live Twittering, to get a response from outside the conference on content that I was sharing.)
MIT's Technology Review has an article on Google Earth and Second Life. Harvard has a course on cyberlaw in Second life.
Social Networking and the Arts. Alan Levine, chief officer of the Kennedy Center, gave a useful big picture on social networking, but he irritated me with a flip and uninformed dismissal of Twitter. He surfed to the Public Timeline of Twitter, which showed he's not using it himself, and said something like, "can you believe someone would sit all day and watch this?" I raised my hand and suggested that the real value of Twitter is gathering people to follow who are smart and can point me to fascinating ideas and links, a sort of human RSS feed. I did not mention that I was live Twittering his session and sparking Tweets from fellow cultists sharing my indignation.
To his credit, Levine is trying to get the Kennedy Center to include reviews of patrons on its site, but so far the forces of status quo prevail. A guy in the audience said, "that's like telling people they can't talk about the show while they're standing in the lobby." This looked to me like a classic example of how far the arts have to go before we really take advantage of social networking and connections with audience.
Open Source Tools. Sarah Schnadt, webmaster of the Chicago Artist Resource, and Heather Joy Helbach-Olds of the Artist Trust in Washington state, sang the praises of Drupal as a way to design effective web sites. Sarah also talked about ArtistLink in Boston, also done with Drupal. The Chicago site was impressive, but too orange for my taste and that of Twitterer Stephen E. Streight who Tweeted, "Bro, those bright orange glarings burned my retinas. I'll be sending you the eye doctor bill. Penetrated my sunglasses even!" George Shoemaker of the Utah Arts Council, sitting next to me, pointed me to a well-done Silicon Valley arts resources site, Artsopolis.
Three excellent general resources for nonprofits using Open Source: TechSoup, IdealWare, and NTen.
Keynote Speaker. Jake Barton, founder of Local Projects, is simply amazing. He spoke to the whole group yesterday afternoon, showing various projects that use new media tools to tell collaborative stories and create uniquely potent new public spaces. Check out his web site for a feast of pleasures. A sample is a storytelling trailer highlighting miners in the Southwest.
He recommended a classic book on museums, Stephen Weil's Making Museums Matter.
The room fell completely silent as Jake talked about his media work for the National September 11 Museum and Memorial. He said the site will be like a web page, constantly updated with real content from individuals involved or affected by the attacks.
After all this Art Geek inspiration, I ran into a kindred soul back at the Omni William Penn, Elizabeth Dunn, of the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod. We had a wonderful dinner together at the hotel, sharing many common experiences related to the travails of bringing the power of technology to arts organizations and artists. Turns out she's also a Twitterer, naturally, and a blogger who knows how to write well about a subject I care about.
This took way longer than I had planned, so I'll be racing out of the hotel to make the next session, Interactive Marketing with Web 2.0 . No time to doublecheck links or typing, so apologies for any errors. See you on Twitter!