Clint on Tech: Episode 5, Interview with Phillip Torrone

At the August 6th Meet the Vloggers, Phillip Torrone graciously agreed to show up so I could interview him. My apologies for the audio quality, I forgot to grab my iPod and lavalier mic and the wind cut feature on my camera is doing weird things with the audio. We discussed a range of topics, and as always pt was entertaining and informative. Thanks so much to pt and MAKE Magazine for the interview. It’s a bit long, over 7 minutes, but trust me there wasn’t any more fat to cut.

Click here for video. [ QuickTime ]


Why can’t bloggers understand text turned to video?

Om Malik (who actually responded to my A-Listers slow down post yesterday), has missed the point of releasing products like DTV, which was released yesterday for the Mac. I’m continually amazed at bloggers, who are New Media plays, who are unable to understand the progression of video in the world of New Media and user generated content. If you were to come here and watch my back catalog of videos, you’d rightfully talk about what total shit it is. Honestly, unless you know me or you’re here to learn something from my “Clint on Tech” show, you’re not likely to find anything of value. Video diaries, which are the vast majority of vlogs being produced today, are not the future of user generated content, at least not content that’s for mass consumption. Themed content, including such illustrious genres as cooking shows, news shows, and technology shows are already here, and fiction content, which will entertain the masses, is coming.

User generated content is the long tail, which has been written about extensively. The appeal of user generated video content is the ability to generate content which exists solely in the long tail. With the barrier to entry at virtually nothing (a PC, camcorder and software can be had for as cheap as $700 or $800), the point is that the niche content that will never be produced by mass media now has an outlet. However, right now the community is just coming past the point where we’re getting over the idea that we can indeed put up whatever we want onto the Internet and people will watch it, and it’ll still be 6 months to a year before quality content with production values to rival cheap television production will be had. It’ll be another year or more after that before we can rival television for amount of quality content. Podcasting had the advantage of large amounts of out of work radio personalities, due to consolidation in radio from the likes of Clear Channel, and the talent, time and funding required to produce quality audio quality is significantly less than video. The talent is out there, but we’re still working to recruit it.

The irony in the entire situation is that in 1997 and 1998 (hell, even 2000) when blogs were just starting to attract good writers in droves, the vast majority of people would have looked at them and asked the same question they’re now asking about user generated video, “Who the hell would want to read (watch) this?” Without Radio Userland, Blogger, etc, it would have been impossible to enable the ease of publication and syndication necessary to give the bloggers, who are now accomplished writers, a platform to reach their audience. DTV, and other videoblog related items that are being released now with a dearth of content, are being released to provide the platform for publication and syndication that will be necessary to bring the droves of people into the video longtail.

Om is not alone here, Dave Winer, Steve Gillmor, and others have repeatedly poopooed video, when they not long ago were pioneering the same path. Why is it that bloggers, who were in the same position not 5 years ago, can’t seem to grasp the progression video is going to follow, when it’s so closely paralleled to the path blogging followed?


Watch Life Happen: Episode 3, Six Feet Under

*** WARNING *** Six Feet Under Spoiler in Video

This video was shot immediately after the most recent Six Feet Under aired. Six Feet Under is a television show that airs on HBO (for those not in the know). The show consistently produces the best Hollywood has to offer. I spend some time talking about our best and their best.

Click here for video. [ QuickTime ]


Slow down A-Listers!

I know I know, don’t mention the A-List. I don’t care how you define it, but at least with my A-List, which includes such people as (not linking to them since most of them are on my sidebar over there and I don’t feel like typing out a dozen links) Jeff Jarvis, David Weinberger, Om Malik, Robert Scoble, Steve Rubel, etc, I wish they’d write less. Blasphemy! It really doesn’t have anything to do with the content, it more has to do with the fact that I’d like to keep up with these people but the volume is just too great, especially if you’re busy for a week or two. I need to learn to skim better.


YouTube: Stealing Your Content?

Steve Rubel blogs about YouTube today. YouTube is interesting, but unfortunately they’re competing in a space with better alternatives, including, but not limited to, Blip.tv, OurMedia.org and Videobloggers.org, all offering free hosting. The difference? The ones I listed above don’t have license agreements which require you to sign your rights away to them in perpetuity merely for getting hosting. YouTube’s license states:

By posting or sending a User Submission, you expressly grant YouTube
a royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive, worldwide
license to use, reproduce, modify, publish, edit, translate,
distribute, perform, display, and make derivative works of such User
Submission, and your name, voice, and/or likeness as contained in your
User Submission, in whole or in part, and in any form, media or
technology, whether now known or hereafter developed, including the
unfettered right to sublicense such rights, in perpetuity throughout
the universe.

Not only that, but these guys seem mainly interested in hosting one-off Internet video. They are not making efforts to cater to the vlogging community, and the guy that’s involved with them that does frequent mailing lists I’m on is not incredibly personable. Overall, I just can’t see why you’d give away your content, giving YouTube the right to create derivative works and resell your content w/o your consent with other sites will honor whatever license you choose to release your content under.

Update:

Check out the comments below where Steve from YouTube responds to this post. This is the beauty of the blosophere and the tools that have been developed (Technorati, Pubsub, etc). I have concerns (even though I’m not a customer) and YouTube is addressing them.

To update this, in response to the concerns elicited by the vlogging community YouTube has modified their license. I hear they’re still watermarking their videos, which I would prefer they branded their player and not their video, and they’re still working to allow syndication of video. The point is people have concerns and YouTube is listening and joining the conversation, which is something every company can learn from. Kudos to YouTube.

In response to Steve, I’m not sure who I was thinking of about impersonal relations on the mailing list. Best guess I can give is that I was thinking of Charles, but I’m not exactly sure why I wrote that.


Akimbo advertising for me

Check out the ad on the right side of pvrblog.com. Akimbo’s advertising for me! Awesome.


Scoble Taking a Break

Scoble’s taking a break. Good for him. No way I could keep up with his kind of volume, well unless I decided to read and send a lot less email from/to the Yahoo! Videoblogging Group. Make sure it stays fun, Robert. Hey, if you’re in town this weekend, come out to Meet the Vloggers. I’d really like to get a photo and some video of you at the Apple Store :).


Down Again

Think I’ve fixed the problem this time. No idea why Apache is finding it necessary to spawn so many spare servers, but I’ve capped it at 10 now, which should be more than enough. For some reason I had it set at 150 (don’t know if that’s the default or if I mucked up the settings).


TigerDirect

I’m in Miami and searching for DAT72 (DDS-5) tapes. When Wayne bought this tape drive he picked up the wrong kind of tapes. So far, I’ve been unsuccessful in finding anyone who carries DAT72/DDS-5 tapes, but TigerDirect does have an outlet store down here. I’m doubtful they even carry the things, but I’ve now went through two phone calls of 20 minutes where they ended up hanging up on me and now I’m on my third call that I’ve been on hold for 30 minutes.

I don’t care how big of a retail outlet they are, there is absolutely no excuse for this kind of performance. Rick Segal writes about this kind of stuff all the time, and I thoroughly enjoy his insights. I’ve got a few of my own, and I’m going to start posting them here more regularly. If you’re a company that’s the size of TigerDirect (who does a booming catalog business), there’s no excuse to have outlet stores that are poor performers that will tarnish your brand. Their $7/hr an hour retail employees which obviously couldn’t care less about their jobs have ruined the TigerDirect brand for me, and I’m very unlikely to order from their catalog now. All the controls they’ve setup to make sure their catalog phone centers are for not if the retail stores can’t handle their phones properly.


Miami

How do people live here? It’s oppressively hot in the summer. The whole area outside Miami is all sprawl. Nothing much taller than a story. It’s been a long time since I’ve spent so long driving when I wasn’t stuck in traffic.