When your TV is a docking station, who needs a Tivo (or Boxee)?

Posted by bryanzug - 2009/03/01

At lunch with Brian Dorsey last week, I noted how I was using my TV as more of a docking station these days.

A couple of years ago I made my way over to “Mantasyland“, and bought a 50 foot SVGA cable and some 1/8” stereo jack extensions to set things up.

While I’ve been doing the obvious Boxee/Hulu/Netflix things with it, I found myself doing something even a bit more interesting this week.

MindMeister: To Watch

I’ve been using MindMeister, the online collaborative mind mapping tool, to help me track all of those video links that I really want to watch, but never get time to throughout the day.

With MindMeister, I can just email or tweet things into my main map (which I call “Bryan’s Brain”) — so I get a great list of stuff to watch, without interrupting my flow at all.

So every night, I have this node of great video content that my FOAF filter has been saying I should pay attention to — things from my tweeps and their friends — along with stuff I find interesting as I graze the interwebs.

Subjects range from art to tech to culture to philosophy to biz, etc. When you look at it all, it’s like a free graduate education in a bunch of interesting stuff.

In thinking about it a bit this AM, it seems like this “To Watch” list is much more interesting than anything Boxee or Tivo could ever deliver.

I’m thinking about a routine where, once the kids are in bed, we might just open this node and get our brains on.



Fake Steve Jobs is Dead, Long Live Fake Steve Jobs

Posted by bryanzug - 2007/08/06

My favorite anonymous blogger of all time has been unmasked. Yesterday the New York Times revealed that Fake Steve Jobs, author of the witty and sarcastically insightful Secret Diary of Steve Jobs, is actually Daniel Lyons, a senior editor at Forbes magazine.

Scoble points to a cool insight from Scott Karp over at Publishing 2.0 on lessons to be learned by the whole thing —

Fake Steve proves that big media companies have the talent in house — they just can’t get out of their own way to experiment with disruptive innovations.

Couldn’t agree more, and to take it a bit further, I think there really is a place for anonymous posting sometimes.

The first time I ever began to appreciate the idea that there could be a place for anonymous internet posting was back in 2000 — when I participated in a lively online community for the first time. We got into a fun experiment where a pastor friend of mine used an anonymous character on a public church bulletin board to “spur on” some folks in his congregation.

It was the first time that I saw someone in a reserved organization say things that needed to be said with an over the top sarcastic wit that signaled through the noise.

It went well beyond the “nice” conversations you were “supposed” to have at church, and, funny enough, it captured a lot of attention (especially in a sub-culture where hyperbole seems to have been dropped from everyone’s literary toolkit).

The more I think about these experiences the more that I firmly believe that, while there are clearly dangers of anonymous postings (where people do not own their words), there are also clearly situations where anonymity can breed a level of honesty that can be, shall we say, quite fruitful at times.

FSB is dead — Long live FSB.



Mike Wesch discussing “Web 2.0… The Machine is Us/ing Us” video at Web2Open 4:00

Posted by bryanzug - 2007/04/17

So when I saw this video, I just about peed my pants. It’s a Ken Burn’s-esque animated screenshot/text/typography video that tells the story of the web up to today.

Just found out that the guy who made it, Michael Wesch, will be discussing the video at the Web 2.0 Expo today today at 4:00 pm.

It all takes place at the Web2Open gathering that is an unconference running in parallel (and in conjunction) with the main conference.

This is the kind of loosely coupled teaching/training that is going to take us into the next “age”.



Frozen moments in an age of technological wonder

Posted by bryanzug - 2007/04/17

There are moments that, ages from now, you will remember exactly where you were at when you heard the news.

Like last night.

I was driving back to my hotel in Palo Alto from the Web 2.0 Expo at San Francisco’s Moscone Center West. I turned on the alternative station and heard Loveline come on with Dr. Drew.

I could tell something was different as they started the show — there was a quick note that they had rescheduled the guests for the evening (two porn actresses) and were going to take calls about the Virginia Tech shooting.

What ‘Virginia Tech Shooting?’ I asked myself.

I listened for a few minutes. Not much info. I scanned the FM stations. Nothing there but entertainment. I switched to AM and moved from news site to news site, picking up details.

What a sad moment.

This AM as I listened to CNN while getting ready to head back to the conference, I heard an account from a professor in the building where most of the murders occurred.

He described hearing gunshots and barricading himself into his office. He detailed how he went to watch video on CNN’s web site to get an idea of what was happening around him.

And I am at one of the biggest tech conferences to ever focus on how we, as an industry, create things like streaming media tools, etc. — and how they [might]((http://chris.pirillo.com/2007/04/13/live-internet-video-stream/) be used.

I honestly never imagined that one — streaming video to monitor a massacre in your immediate proximity.

Stranger still is the fact that, after the Dot Com Crash, I worked at Real Networks for a year — monitoring the live performance of those CNN feeds — rallying the troops when surges brought things to a halt — triaging the system when it all went to hell.

I was the guy who woke up the Real news chief when the space shuttle broke up on re-entry in 2003. The team I was on monitored the video readiness as the U.S. prepared to invade Iraq and the fall(?) of Bagdad.

Sigh — may you live in interesting times is both a blessing and a curse.



Web 2.0 Expo Target Sessions for Monday

Posted by bryanzug - 2007/04/16

Here’s the sessions I’m scoping out for Monday at the Web 2.0 expo —



Dove targets ‘beauty propoganda’ and blurs the lines of education, conversation, marketing, and provocation

Posted by bryanzug - 2006/10/31

Perusing the meme this AM, I came across this Advertising Age article on Dove generating more results/buzz from this viral YouTube video than through a Super Bowl ad.

With not a penny of paid media and in less than a month, “Dove Evolution,” a 75-second viral film created by Ogilvy & Mather, Toronto, for the Unilever brand has reaped more than 1.7 million views on YouTube and has gotten significant play on TV talk shows “Ellen” and “The View” as well as on “Entertainment Tonight.” It’s also brought the biggest-ever traffic spike to CampaignForRealBeauty.com, three times more than Dove’s Super Bowl ad and resulting publicity last year, according to Alexa.com. By those measures, “Evolution” is the biggest online-buzz generator in the U.S. personal-care and beauty industries, topping this year’s effort from Omnicom Group’s Tribal DDB on behalf of the Philips Norelco Bodygroom shaver. And that’s before the campaign began rolling out to 10 additional countries in Europe, Asia and Latin America last week.

When you watch the video, it’s easy to see why this is so sticky — very compelling conversation going on there about ‘truth/beauty’ done in a very lowfi way (even though it is an ad).

As the father of a 3 year old girl, Dove just won me over with a combination of marketing, education, conversation and provocation on the issue of ‘beauty propoganda’.

Somehow I get the feeling that this is what education is going to look like in the future — lots of blurred lines — all requiring engaged citizens who will need to sort it all out.



Shall We Roll Our Own YouTube for BarCamp Vancouver?

Posted by bryanzug - 2006/07/28

UPDATE: We’re starting a planning discussion of this via the comments below. You can track it via this RSS Feed for this post.

Was chatting yesterday with Roland Tanglao of Bryght. He’s one of the organisers of BarCamp Vancouver. Talked about me going up there to work on a video web cast of the event.

After the initial live video feed idea (which is cool in itself — there may be an internet 2 feed we can access), things got very interesting.

I pointed to this ‘roll your own open source YouTube’ post from Flash Insider (a summary of this original concept from Daniel’s Random Mutterings).

“Why don’t we roll our own YouTube” says I… “That would get the geeks excited!”

Wheels turn — “What about storage costs?”

S3” we nearly chattered simultaneously (Amazon is looking cool to devs these days).

So now Roland and I are hot on the idea — what about you?

Calling geeks (esp. Amazon’s Jeff Barr), can you help us make this happen? What a viral proof of concept that would be, eh?



Amnesty International: “It’s not happening here but it’s happening now”

Posted by bryanzug - 2006/06/13

Posting this here because it is such a great combination of design that provokes me beyond complacency. Caught this reference on 37 signals the other day to a new ad campaign Amnesty International is running in Switzerland.

Amnesty International it's not happening here but it's happening now example

Series is titled “It’s not happening here but it’s happening now”

wow.

Images are close-ups of currently occurring tortures and violence with transparent backgrounds that are inserted into bus/strain stop shelters.

Effect brings the given event right there to your doorstep so to speak — very engaging.



Brightcove to TiVo: Screencasting just got epic

Posted by bryanzug - 2006/05/10

Another paradigm shifting announcement yesterday in the world of web video. Online video service Brightcove inked a deal with TiVo to bring Brightcove video to TiVo’s.

From the article —

“If it’s on Brightcove, you’ll be able to watch it on your TV using TiVo,” Jeremy Alliare, Brightcove’s CEO, said in a statement.

Now, if you are unfamiliar with Jeremy, he’s the guy that created Cold Fusion, Adobe’s (formerly Macromedia’s) easy to use server scripting language and was Macromedia’ former CTO.

What this might mean for eLearning is that, if you put a video on Brightcove, depending on the details, you may also be able to distribute it to TiVo.

If this is true, mark the day — screencasting just got epic.

Thanks to Prismix (a flex blog) for calling this one out.



Tidal Shifts Once Again: Warner Bros. to sell movies via BitTorrent

Posted by bryanzug - 2006/05/09

This Reuters story on Yahoo News this AM confirms that “Warner Bros. to sell movies via BitTorrent“. This is easily the most commercial use of BitTorrent to date and, with one fell swoop, pushes it into the mainstream.

What this means for eLearning is that BitTorrent is about to move from being an edge technology to distribute media — particularly video.

If, as Dave Winer suggests and rumor has it, that next version OS’s from MS and Apple have BitTorrent baked in — I would venture to say that it will transpearantly become the defacto large file distribution standard — for anything semi-popular anyway.

With this tipping point clearly approaching, it’s time to start thinking about builiding BitTorrent into our eLearning and conetne management web applications.



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