HOME > NEWS & COMMENT
Welcome to G7uk.com
 

 
 
Tuesday 15 August 2006

BBC Newsnight video podcast

BBC Newsnight weekly video podcast

Newsnight has launched a weekly 25-minute video podcast. It’s a round-up of the best stories from the nightly show.

This seems to be one of the first downloadable files that the BBC has offered in MP4 format, so it’s iPod-compatible. Indeed, the podcast is already number one in the iTunes UK news chart and in the top ten on the worldwide news chart.

Despite the sceptics, I definitely think people are going to watch video on the move. On the train coming here I caught up with some TV I had recorded. It makes the four-hour journey much more bearable.

But the price of portable players needs to come down and the most successful ones in future will be those that play all the popular formats: Windows Media, XVid, DivX, Flash and MPEG as well as Quicktime and they will be based around removable Flash memory cards.

The new high-capacity cards that are coming along, which can deliver the data as fast as a hard drive, will revolutionise the portable player market. Hard-drives are too fragile, cables (for transferring) are annoying and no one wants to be limited by a fixed-capacity internal memory.


Filed under: Net & technology — GS @ 4:29 pm
Monday 14 August 2006

Great RSS feed reader

For quite a while I’ve been looking around for a good feed reader. I was using the one that is built into Opera, but the slow-down while it updated the feeds every so often bugged me when I was busy looking at web pages at the same time. Sadly this is just one of the problems with Opera lately. I’m using Firefox much more these days.

I tried quite a few RSS programs then, finally, found the humorously named RSS Bandit. It’s open source (free).

I like the way it presents the feeds and file enclosures and it has a nice integrated, tabbed, web browser.

RSS Bandit - RSS feed reader for Windows


Filed under: Net & technology — GS @ 3:33 am
Wednesday 9 August 2006

Correct audio recording level is a basic…

Dear Rocketboom…

Rocketboom distorted audio

Horribly distorted sound (again). Note the flattened-out peaks where the level has exceeded 0dB.

Correct sound recording level

Correct sound recording level…

Why bother producing a ‘high-definition’ version of the show when the audio is painful to listen to?


Filed under: Net & technology — GS @ 1:31 pm
Sunday 16 July 2006

Cool screen grab software

FastStone Capture

This is great. It can grab a full length web page, scrolling if necessary. Free for personal use.

I like to keep copies of the pages I design.

Also today I discovered that Opera 9 can save a web page as a self contained web archive file (.wht extension).


Filed under: Net & technology — GS @ 2:14 am
Thursday 6 July 2006

Rocketbust: the question the articles never asked about Rocketboom

Andrew Baron, the creator and producer of the videoblog show Rocketboom, and Amanda Congdon its star, have parted company according to reports.

In all the hype that surrounded Rocketboom in its first year online, there was one question that always went unanswered.

Print articles and TV reports were in awe of the show. Breathlessly, they told us how it was produced in an ordinary living room, had a quarter of a million viewers each day and yet cost just $20-$50 to make. Some even suggested that the main expense was photographic light-bulbs.

Andrew, the creator and producer of Rocketboom, was quoted as saying he spent some 8-14 hours making each five-minute episode. Which will be no surprise to anyone who has been involved in the time-consuming business of making television programmes or video.

But, as they predicted a rash of ‘user-generated’ Rocketboom-style programmes coming to a website near you, what none of these ‘anyone can do it’ reports ever asked, was how did the people behind Rocketboom pay the rent and buy food?

It was clear that making Rocketboom was a full-time job. After a year, I began to wonder. Did Rocketboom have a financial backer who had given them start-up cash? Was Andrew a rich-kid who didn’t have to worry about earning a living? Were they all on welfare?

Of course money isn’t everything, but eventually it became clear they did want to earn an income from the show.

As a video blog, Rocketboom has been a spectacular success. A phenomenon and I wholeheartedly congratulate Andrew and Amanda on what they did. But, as a business, it represents a missed opportunity of quite staggering proportions. I read they made about $80,000 from the one ad they had so far.

To be running for eighteen months, with 300,000 viewers per day, five days per week, and make only that, is just mind-boggling. With Google ads you can make $500 a year from a website that only gets 50 visitors a day…

History is littered with the tales of people who had great ideas or creativity, but failed to do what was necessary to turn those into an income. Rocketboom gave away its product under a creative commons licence. Its website and show usually carried no ads. It seems to me that the only valuable asset is the ‘brand’ and Amanda Congdon is a huge part of that.

Now the bubble has burst. Occasionally Rocketboom was brilliant (Amanda dancing in Russia), but often it was a bit too off-the-wall and left us scratching our heads in bemusement. Andrew was an expert on the RSS distribution side of things, with the result that Rocketboom was the first to make it big. It was a novelty and highly popular for that reason. That iconic combination of Amanda and the map… They captured a moment in time and I fear that moment is now over.

If I was Amanda, I would start making a new online show right now while she is so much in the public eye. If I was Andrew, I would sell the Rocketboom show, archives (which don’t have a lot of value because they are so topical) and domain name and split the money with Amanda, while they still have the chance to make some money from this. Otherwise Rocketboom is going to begin a slow fade into history without making either of them rich.

The worst thing would be to get tied up in a legal case for several years, by which time there will be nothing left to carve up. Time is of the essence for both of them…


Filed under: Net & technology — GS @ 11:17 am
Thursday 22 June 2006

Bunnies that say what many of us are thinking

Two rabbits review some of the world’s best-known vloggers.


Filed under: Net & technology,Video-making — GS @ 4:10 pm
Wednesday 3 May 2006

The BBC, public participation and ‘user generated’ content

How serious is the BBC about public participation and user-generated content? Not very serious, I would say…

The BBC has always looked on the public as material to be used in its programmes and now it looks on photographs and videos that come from that public as material to be used in its programmes. So not much change…

The old joke is that the official BBC tie has small checks (cheques). But, for many people these days, the BBC means no cheques…

My experience, as a former magazine writer/photographer and now web developer, is that the Corporation is always on the look out for free content. I’m tired of producers and researchers asking to use my photographs for free. There’s never any money. With a remit to encourage creativity and promote culture in Britain, the BBC is the last organisation that should be doing this.

Then there’s the raw deal that independent TV production companies have experienced over the years… If this is the BBC’s attitude to fellow professionals, then pardon me for being just a little bit cynical about the Beeb’s enthusiasm for material from the public.

READ THE SMALL PRINT

Before you supply any photos or videos, as a member of the public, read the terms. You’re giving the BBC:

‘a royalty-free, non-exclusive licence to publish and otherwise use the material in any way that we want, and in any media worldwide. This may include the transmission of the material by our overseas partners’

In the case of video, it says they may not even be able to credit you. Wonderful — no payment and not even a name-check either. Isn’t there some European law that entitles everyone to be identified as the author of his or her work?

I hope the public will wake up to this soon. I believe that the companies that deal unfairly now will pay later once people get over the novelty of seeing their video on screen and realise that they have been ‘used’.

It really pays to keep people happy these days. The video blogger or photographer who has a good experience of providing footage to a company, may continue to do so for years to come. But leave someone with a bad taste in their mouth and there will be no more material from that source in the future.

Guess which of these is the best business model?

UPDATE: LoadedPun has the story of a video blogger who helped CNN make a report for TV but then was told he would have to pay $1000 if he wanted to include the final video on his blog. In fact, so far, he hasn’t even been able to see the report!

Maybe this guy will think twice before getting involved with CNN again? Piss off enough videobloggers, who then tell everyone else, and soon no one will want to work with CNN. It seems that yet another big media company hasn’t quite woken up to the way things are changing?

 
Pages (8): « First ... « 3 4 5 [6] 7 8 » < PREVIOUS  |  NEXT >
 
 
News & Comment

Pages (8): « First ... « 3 4 5 [6] 7 8 »
 
< PREVIOUS  |  NEXT >
 
 
 

Audio Buildings Bygone Manc Computing consumer Crime Documentary Environment Food & cookery Fun g7uktalk Gay General Health History LGBT Manchester Net & technology Personal Photography Politics Production Rushes Science Shopping software Strange The media TV & film Video-making Wildlife With video

 
xx
HOME > NEWS & COMMENT
 
Home
 

© Copyright g7uk.com 1999-2016