Sunday, June 29, 2008

Seesmic and the Wisdom of the Crowd

Here's a recent example of how one Sessmic user, Sukhjit2008, sought help from the Seesmic community to solve a real time problem. She wanted to buy a webcam for her parents to get them up and running on Skype. They have a Mac Mini so she went to Best Buy to look for the iSight camera but it wasn't in stock. Frustrated by not getting the help she needed from the Best Buy staff she logged onto Seesmic from a computer at the store and recorded a video message to the community asking for advise. Sukjit titled the video thread, "Loosing it at Best Buy" and within minutes she started getting replies from her Seesmic friends offering advise to help her with her purchase. Kevin Spidel posted this same video on his blog as Why Seesmic Will Change The Game

This is a great example of the wisdom of the crowd, it's problem solving though video messaging. Of course, a live video chat would be better but instant real-time is the next best thing. In this case, Sukhijt had a real problem and posted a call for help to the Seesmic community which quickly appeared from all over the world. By the end of the thread the problem is solved with her purchase of the Rocketfish™ - Webcam. We see Sukjit made it to her parents house (and after fixing her audio) she introduces them to her Seesmic friends. The last video in the thread was recorded by Bruce Prokopets who seemed quite amazed by it all and said, "this is social media at work at it's best."

The Seesmic community continues to grow as well with the recent news that, Movable Type Now Has Video Comments On Seesmic Too. The Seesmic blog said,"We now support Movable Type, WordPress, Disqus, Cocomment, Drupal (API support, plugin coming) and Dotclear (unofficial) to add video comments. The plugins are already installed in about 1500 sites and blogs."

UPDATE: See Seesmic Video Comments Go Live on MovableType Blogs on Beet.TV that includes an interview with Seesmic evangelist Cathy Brooks.

UPDATE 2: Sukjhit sent this Twitter message regarding her parents new webcam:
sukhjit sukhjit @klessblog That was cool! will be linking to it.. u may b happy to hear my mom & dad did their 1st skype call using new cam yesterday!

Related: Wisdom of Crowds from Wikipedia.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

More Death By Powerpoint

I use Powerpoint at my day job on a daily basis. It's the same old, same old. Bullet points, graphs, spreadsheets, needless animation, presenters reading their slides, etc., etc. I always recommend to people that "less is more" and using less text slides and more pictures and videos are better. I posted a great video on this subject called Life After Death by PowerPoint by Don McMillan several months ago here and this video follows a similar humorous track.

Brain Rule #10: Vision trumps all other senses. The average PowerPoint slide has 40 words. Use pictures and don't kill your audience with bullets.
More about the "Brain Rules" book and film at

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Election 2008: Larry Kless for President!

Thanks to all my supporters, friends and followers! I appreciate your confidence and I won't let you down! Tell your friends and family to vote for me. ;-)

Yeah right?! Well, my fake campaign started this morning when I saw this come up on Twitter this morning from Chris Brogan who sent this Tweet:

chrisbrogan Guess I'm running for office? Sent by @mikebush

For more on this Viral Marketing interface for election '08 prank:

You can create your own Election 2008 video here.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Streaming Media West Keynotes Announced

Today, on his Business of Online Video blog, Dan Rayburn announced the line up of the confirmed keynote speakers for Streaming Media West show, scheduled Sept. 23-25th in San Jose, California. They are: Werner Vogels, CTO of Amazon, Jordan Hoffner, Director of Content Partnerships for YouTube, Anthony Wood, CEO of Roku and Albert Cheng, EVP of Digital Media for the Disney ABC Television Group.

All keynotes are free to attend and registration is now open so you can sign up for your free exhibit hall pass online to attend the exhibitions and keynotes or purchase your conference pass.

It should be a great show. Hope to see you there!

Monday, June 23, 2008

New Blog Feature: Minime Widget Makes it More Social

A few days ago the MeBeam blog posted code on their web site that they call Minime which makes it possible for you to embed a portable Mebeam widget on your blog that allows you to have a live 4-party video chat. I've installed it here on my blog below my bio and if you'd like to add it to your blog you can get the code here.

As the MeBeam blog says,
"Please keep in mind, this is a pre-alpha release and may not work all the time. MiniMe can handle 4 people in your room, but will generate an unlimited number of sub-rooms automatically."
This new feature may or may not stay on my blog and right now I'm testing it's functionality and usability. I personally stay away from main Mebeam website as it has too many weirdo guys showing off their private parts on camera. Please let me know if you see any lewd or lascivious behavior. I don't condone it and I'll remove the Minime widget immediately.

In the meantime though, if you happen to be visiting and have a webcam stop in and chat with me or others who might be online.

Update 2/19/09: Minime removed from blog sidebar due to its instability and installed directly in this post below.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

A Wave of Seesmic Events This Week Shakes Up Video Conversations

There was a wave of Seesmic events this week that shook things up in the video conversation space starting with Seesmic's founder Loic Le Meur announcing the ability to play Seesmic videos in Twhirl, their Twitter and Friendfeed client based on Adobe Air. Release notes for version 0.8.2 are on the Thwirl blog. You can play videos and see the thread in this test version and as Loic says, "We are working hard on adding recording asap."

Duncan Riley of the Inquistr says:
"Having downloaded it my initial thoughts: this liberates Seesmic. I’ve never been a huge fan of the until previously dark layout of the Seesmic website, but with Twhirl Seesmic becomes convenient and easily accessible"
Mark 'Rizzn' Hopkins of Mashable noted that it was only a matter of time for Twhirl to incorporate Seesmic video and had this to say:
"Seesmic continues to be one of the least useful forms of shortform broadcast messaging in the concensus of the general public, but it isn’t for lack of distribution. In recent weeks, Seesmic has grown from being YouTube meets Twitter to a platform for video commenting on blogs, and now with its integration within Twhirl, it’s likely that it’s adoption will increase further."
The next Seesmic event, Seesmic Adds New Threaded Player Feature, seemed to shake things up the most creating a number of aftershocks and debate within the blogosphere. As you may be aware, Seesmic recently created a Wordpress plug-in that enables Wordpress blogs to incorporate video comments along with written comments. A partnership with Disqus, the comment startup that powers over 13,000 blogs, followed soon after making video comments a viral feature on many blogs. Adam Ostrow of Mashable broke the Disqus story and wrote and interesting post on the usefulness of video comments (Disqus Adding Video Comments; Will People Use Them?)

The way Seesmic video comments had worked until this week was that they were displayed sequentially like text-only comments with a date and time stamp. But that changed with their new threaded player with the comments now appearing as they do below as thumbnails along the bottom of the main video comment. Loic Le Meur explains how it works in the video below.

Erick Schonfeld of TechCrunch wrote his review, Seesmic Hijacks Comments With Threaded Replies saying,
"It is a pretty cool feature, but it creates a conflict with all the sites that have embedded Seesmic functionality, such as TechCrunch. We love it when people use Seesmic to comment on posts, and there is certainly something to say for threaded comments. Sometimes you want to respond to comment No. 15, but you are comment No. 74. But if these responses become swallowed within the Seesmic player itself, then it effectively gets taken out of the comment stream of that particular post. (Yes, the responses are still accessible, but people will really have to hunt for them)."
Duncan Riley on the other hand disagreed and posted this response to Erick Shonfeld's post.

Le Meur also replied with a post on his blog: We Are Not Hijacking Anything! You can read more related articles on Techmeme.

Seesmic video comments also got another boost when cocomment CEO Matt Colebourne announced that they will be adding video comments on their web site and blog network.

Finally, news that Seesmic secured a second round of funding co-led by Omidyar Network and Wellington Partners. Le Meur details his account of how the deal came together on his blog which included an interesting Tweet from investor Pierre Omidyar who also recorded a Seesmic greeting using the new threaded player. UPDATE: FYI, Pierre Omidyar is the founder and chairman of eBay. Here's another post from that tells more on Omidyar and Seesmic.

This brings Seesmic's funding to $12 million US. Le Meur said this about Seesmic's business strategy,
"Monetizing Seesmic won't occur in the next 12 months, we are focusing on the community and the platform. I believe video adsense like advertising will be huge and TV advertising dollars will finally shift online, but it will take 3 to 5 years, this is why we need funding to be there when it grows."
This wraps up my report on the major Seesmic events from this past week. If you haven't tried Sessmic yet, now is the time to join the video conversation.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Streaming Media West Registration is Open, Scheduled Sept. 23-25 in San Jose, California

I'm happy to announce that registration for the next Streaming Media West conference in San Jose, California is now open!

Attended by more than 2,100 executives last year, Streaming Media West is the only show that covers both the business of online video and the technology of streaming, downloading, Webcasting, Internet TV, IPTV, and mobile video. Covering both corporate and consumer business, technology, and content issues in the enterprise, advertising, media and entertainment, broadcast, and education markets, Streaming Media West is about more than just streaming!" -
I'm also very excited about the conference this year as I'll be moderating the following two panel sessions:
Tuesday, September 23
Online Video Publishing and Marketing Strategies
Track A: (A102) 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

In the world of video publishing, how do you get started? How do you create compelling content? With so many options for live and on-demand video, how do you choose your distribution platform? How do you find your niche? Build your audience? Establish your brand? How do you create a sustainable model to monetize your content and generate income? This is an opportunity to hear some of the most well-known and respected online video publishers discuss online video publishing and marketing strategies.


Thursday, September 25
Updating and Syndicating Your Channels for New Media Distribution
Track B: (B302) 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Many traditional venues for news, information, and entertainment are in the process of transforming from their old ways to the new Web 2.0 models (syndication, tagging, comments, live chat, live streaming). Audience viewing habits have also changed and their demands for engaging social media and interactive features often drive the delivery model. Many online video publishers use different strategies, tools, and services to syndicate multimedia feeds. Learn from some of the people that are changing the way traditional media is being syndicated within their businesses.

I'll be sharing more information on these sessions in the near future but in the meantime here are some other important links:

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Skype Redesigns for Better Video Communications, 4.0 Beta 1 for Windows Only

Many blogs and news outlets are reporting on the new 4.0 beta version of Skype, the ubiquitous peer-to-peer voice and video over IP software client. I rarely use it for voice calls and primarily use it as a videoconferencing tool on both Windows and Mac platforms. While the Windows version was full of of add-ons and plug ins -- for me it got bogged down with so many options and tabs that the actual video window was hidden and I was left searching for it during a video call. The Mac OS version is completely stripped down in comparison and seems to be intuitively designed for video communications. Om Malik has a good review of the new version which is available as a Windows-only update so Mac users (like Om and me) are left out on this one.

The demo here by Director of Windows Product Management Mike Bartlett demonstrates some of the new social features of the 4.0 beta. On the Skype blog Bartlett says this about the update,
"A while ago we realised we had outgrown our home. There was so much to pack in, and Skype got a bit crowded. We learnt that people new to Skype had so much choice, they didn't always know where to start or how to find things. So we decided to move into a bigger, better home. Skype 4.0 Beta 1 for Windows...

... So what's new then? We've given video calling the screen size it finally deserves, plus we've made it really simple to use. A single click on the Video call button and you'll be seeing and talking. Video doesn't start off really small anymore - it's big and beautiful to begin with. You can also resize and move your own video window around the screen quite easily. Plus in one click, you can have an IM conversation alongside the video call."

Skype 4.0 Beta - Advanced Demo
by SkypeConversations

Another new feature is that it detects and remembers recommended hardware and troubleshoots problems related to headsets. I haven't had a chance to test it out yet but I've read some mixed reviews from people who love it and hate it and most objecting to the full screen video. Bartlett has been moderating the comments on the Skype and said,
"I assure all of you that we are listening, although it would be great if you could leave you feedback via - I assure you we will be making changes based on the feedback we receive."
I keep in mind that that Skype is free and whether a Mac OS version is available in the future or not I'll keep on Skyping.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Scoble Declares the Winner in Live Mobile Video Broadcasting Space

Admitted tech geek and über blogger Robert Scoble wrote a guest post in TechCrunch yesterday titled, Why will kill Qik and Flixwagon in cell phone video space. As an early adopter of live streaming from cell phones Scoble has tested each platform and has been a huge advocate of Qik on his blog and incorporated it into his Fast Company Live channel.

So why the sudden change?

In the post he lamented,
"This is a post I didn’t want to write. Why? For the last six months I’ve been using Qik’s live video service off of my cell phone. I’m the top user there, with most views, most videos, and all that.... At the same time a company in Israel, FlixWagon, has been competing with Qik. I liked FlixWagon too... Last year I was Kyte’s top user too. Why did I switch to Qik? Because I saw that cell phone video would let me extend my brand into places no other video network was letting me get to..." (more...)
Scoble explained that,
"Qik has done something remarkable: it put a TV studio in my pocket. I can get live video onto the Internet faster than I can make a phone call (Qik takes two clicks to start streaming, a phone call takes 12 clicks on my phone’s keypad). Even better, while doing a video you can watch live and you can send text chat messages to my phone while I am filming."
He pointed out that he's received a lot of support from Qik and that his use of their live mobile streaming technology has helped him gain a lot of attention and followers. So why is Scoble now embracing another platform like

As Scoble said he's also a top user at Kyte and that for months he's tried to convince Kyte’s CEO, Daniel Graf, to get live streaming into their product. That finally changed when Scoble used Kyte to broadcast live from the set of Now he says, he's taking a second look and has detailed a number of points on why he thinks Kyte will dominate over Qik and Flixwagon.

In his opinion, Kyte has a better distribution system (embedded player with customized branding), better chat room features, ability to mix a variety of video sources, Kyte works on the iPhone and can play your own and other videos on a Nokia, Kyte is partially funded by Nokia (which may give them an engineering advantage) and has mainstream recording artists like 50 Cent, David Banner, Against Me, Mudvayne and Wyclef Jean are Kyters "which means its growth is way stronger."

Scoble's controversial post generated a lot of comments and discussion on TechCrunch, Twitter and Friendfeed. Like the following on his Twitter page:

flixwagon flixwagon @Scobleizer says we'll get our lunch eaten for us but we respectfully disagree. Stay tuned for cool new flixwagon features

Robert Scoble Scobleizer @flixwagon disagrees they'll have their lunch eaten by Kyte. Funny, @michaelf disagrees with me too about Qik's prospects. Love competition!

A sampling from his Friendfeed discussion:
  • The first to NAIL the iPhone / YouTube experience will win, Robert. - l0ckergn0me
  • Interesting...I just read you're article. From what I've reviewed basically, is that Kyte is more produced/interview content, where as Qik/FlixWagon are more random streams...I will say that Qik/Flixwagon have far better browsing options from the web. I don't want to page through 4 stream at at a time...I want to see a bunch of thumbnails and choose from that.... - clarke
  • It's that sort of thing that will finally push one of these live video services into the mainstream. Someone is going to see a political event or catch a police officer being a jerk or see someone committing a big crime... and all of the media outlets are going to direct their huge streams of viewers to the sites. This technology has too much potential in that regard. - Andrew Burd
  • Scoble says will kill Qik and Flixwagon in cell phone video space. He's wrong. http://offonatangent.blogspot.... - Steve Garfield
  • I think they offer two similar but different services, Qik seems better for live stuff and has more merit for news, magazine style use, it's better for companies or organizations than families and ordinary consumers, which is where Kyte seems more comfortable. Maybe Qik needs to start fighting on a different battlefield, Kyte seems better positioned to win the mass market...with their endorsements. http://technoboogie.squarespac... - Shawn Roos
On TechCrunch, his post generated 119 comments by Sunday evening with the majority of people saying that it's too early to call a winner and that Qik still has a chance. Others said that overall features, ease of use, integration, quality of service, video quality and customer care will help the best service prevail. There were also several interesting comments by Daniel Graf of Kyte, Ken @ Flixwagon, Bhaskar Roy of Qik and michael @ qik who simply said, "Stay tuned :)"

Oliver Thylmann wrote about this on his blog and agreed with Scoble that, will rule them all and referred to Kyte "as a full channel management application."

As mentioned above, Steve Garfield countered both on TechCrunch and on his Off On a Tangent blog, Scoble says will kill Qik and Flixwagon in cell phone video space. He's wrong, and offered his support of Qik by saying,
"Watching videos on a Nokia
As others have said in the comments, your bullet list has a few facts that need to be corrected including the fact that you can now watch Qik videos on your Nokia device. They have 3GP files.

A Broadcast Studio with Mogulus
When you combine Qik with Mogulus you get the "ability to mix videos from your webcam, live videos streaming from your web cam, recorded videos from camcorders, or from places like YouTube, along with both recorded and streamed videos from your cell phone.

Extensive Testing
I've also got Kyte, Flixwagon and Bambuser on my phone, but haven't "extensively tested" tested them as you have because Qik just works for me and the people are super.

Qik is People
It's a lot like the video hosting space. When I first started videoblogging I used a couple of services that had great features, then I moved to, where in addition to having lots of features, they have a lot of great people providing support. will not kill Qik and Flixwagon in cell phone video space." - Steve Garfield /
So there you have it. The lines are drawn and the race is on for the best of breed in the mobile video broadcasting market. Bambuser is another live mobile streaming service that is more popular in Europe and has not received the attention of it's competitors but that may change as the mobile video war is waged.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Qik Comes Quick with Live Streaming on iPhone

Just a few hours after the news that Flixwagon announced they were able to stream live video from an unlocked iPhone the other popular live mobile streaming service Qik has followed suit. This story also generated a wild flurry of reports on Techmeme and my Google Reader and seems to be a sudden about face from what Qik previous stated last week. The iPhone doesn't support video recording with a native application but Qik and Flixwagon have figured out how skip recording on the device and record the live mobile broadcast stream.

Qik announced a private alpha on their web site starting next week and featured the video below by Michael Fortson who demonstrates the first live stream from an iPhone.

Qik Announces iPhone Support
"Adding to our 30 supported devices, Qik is now announcing support for the iPhone, bringing the full Qik experience to legions of iPhone fans the world over." - video description

Liz Gannes of NewTeeVee says, "Qik discovered that the camera on the iPhone was video-capable earlier this year, co-founder and VP product marketing Bhaskar Roy told us this afternoon. But the phone had no built-in encoder or video engine to actually capture video. In the past few months the company worked on building a solution, but was waiting until Steve Jobs’ iPhone 2 release on Monday to see if Apple would include a video engine itself and make Qik’s solution obsolete." But that announcement didn't happen at the WWDC so Qik decided to push their solution to market. Roy said he was surprised that his competitor released a nearly identical demo online today.

Regarding the lack of an Apple recording application on the iPhone, Kevin Lim writes on his blog,"So a lot of us have lamented over the fact that video recording just doesn’t officially exist on the iPhone. Loren Feldman of 1938 Media got pissed mad about it (warning: harsh language), while developers at Polar Bear Farm (nice!) took matters into their own hands by producing ShowTime, a beautiful video recorder for jailbroken iPhones." Lim says it makes a lot of sense to skip storing our media to local devices and store record cour content,"directly into the wonderful cloud of web servers" which is exactly what both Qik and Flixwagon do.

David Chartier of Ars Technica suggested a possible snag in Qik's plan in his post, Qik iPhone client may violate AT&T's terms of service, and that the fine print forbids video streaming on their network as it's use can "cause extreme network capacity issues and interference with the network and are therefore prohibited."

How that will play out is not yet clear, but a number of sources have cited that this could be the summer of mobile video wars between the two competitors along with other similar services. Just wait until Apple releases it's own video application.

Flixwagon Demos Live Video Streaming via on Unlocked iPhone

I'm glad to be back after several days of technical difficulties with my internet connection.

It's big news in live mobile video broadcasting today, with two big announcements for both FlixWagon and Qik.

Earlier today, Flixwagon announced that they've been able to unlock live video recording and broadcasting on the iPhone. Alan Stern of Centernetworks reported the story earlier today that appeared on Twitter, "Announcing first ever live video broadcast from iPhone with Flixwagon"
"We're happy to announce that our development team at the Flixwagon lab has successfully streamed the first-ever live high-quality video from unlocked iPhones to the web, using Flixwagon's alpha client. While we don't condone or recommend unlocking iPhones, as avid iPhone users ourselves we wanted to experiment with ways to enable flixwagon on the iPhone, until the official SDK supports video. We're going to continue working with the iPhone SDK in the future so we can offer this functionality to all users once video becomes a standard part of the iPhone."

We'll release the iPhone version to our Alpha testers in July. In the mean time, if you want to sign up for Flixwagon or get updates on future roll-outs and supported mobile devices, click here."

Andy Plesser on interviewed Sarig Reichert, co-founder Flixwagon, who shared the latest news that everyone has been waiting to hear.

Andy says, "Sarig sent me this link with a few videos broadcast with an iPhone. These videos were done in the Flixwagon labs using an unlocked iPhone. BTW: Sarig says the company is not encouraging users to unlock their iPhones. But, it evidently works."

I'm a big advocate of both Flixwagon and Qik as they offer an instant online video publishing solution. So rather than overshadow one platform over the other, I've posted a Part II of this story as the next blog entry.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Jan Ozer Says Microsoft Should Embrace H.264

Streaming media author and encoding expert Jan Ozer posted a commentary on yesterday on why Microsoft should consider adding H.264 playback to Silverlight and/or Windows Media player and drop the continued development of Microsoft's VC-1 video codec . He said that there was a major buzz about this at Streaming Media East and thought it made a lot of sense but it turned out to be only a rumor that Microsoft has adamantly denied.

Jan Ozer presents a compelling case on why Microsoft should adopt H.264 and offers the following:
  1. In all his codec quality tests since 2006, VC-1 has rated last far below H.264 and on2's VP6 codec. You can look at some of the results in the presentation he gave at Streaming Media East available here. He also tested CPU utilization and found that at 720p the H.264 Baseline profile still out performed VC-1.
  2. Having a single standard like H.264 within the mobile market will help it thrive best and help lower overall costs for video-enabled phones. As for streaming, he asked, "Since VC-1 will likely fail in the device market, why continue to push in streaming? All this does is force publishers seeking to stream to both computers and devices (like NBC and the upcoming Olympics) to encode using two different codecs, needlessly increasing production costs. Since video playback in the device market is currently scattered among H.264, Flash Lite, and WMV, supporting multiple codecs is necessary today, but should it be in the future?"
  3. He says that Silverlight would also prosper by adding H.264 support and it would be a shame to lock it into a technology that doesn't even match the quality of the two Flash codecs. It's his opinion that the Microsoft would score major market points by adopting an open standard like H.264.
  4. His last point speaks to the entire video ecosystem which would benefit from one standard. He says, "Agreeing on a single codec for all streaming—computer and device—would simplify life for consumers and producers alike, and advance the streaming market."
Dan Rayburn also talked about this on his blog which included a comment by Philip Hodgetts who said,

" Despite the denials, it seems like they may be doing it anyway. Microsoft evangelist Ben Waggoner linked to this article today:

"...The IIS 7.0 Media Pack supports all media file types, including WMV, FLV, and MP4,..."and
"Built-in support for ASF, AVI, FLV, M4V, MOV, MP3, MP4, RM, RMVB, WMA, WMV..." Seems to suggest a tectonic shift in the standardization of media delivery."

Who didn't think this was going to be a big year for H.264?

On a related subjected, if you are a streaming media producer or online video publisher be sure to check Jan Ozer's mixed media publication, Critical Skills for Streaming Producers, available as a DVD disc in the form of a 340-page PDF file in book form, It's an incredible resource that covers all the phases of production and encoding complete extensive tutorials, bookmarks, videos and screencams. I did a promo of it here and I'll be sharing my review of it on this blog sometime soon.

I've learned a lot from reading Jan's articles in the various industry publications of the years and I want to extend my personal thanks to him for all his knowledge sharing. You rock Jan!

Friday, June 6, 2008

TechCrunch and VentureBeat: Qik Announces Support for Windows Microsoft Platform

Techcrunch is reporting that Qik, the popular live mobile streaming service, will announce support for Microsoft’s Windows Mobile platform today which will open it up to other mobile devices within the coming months.

Qik has gained widespread acceptance as the defacto standard for streaming live video from your mobile through it's early adoption by video bloggers like Robert Scoble and Steve Garfield. It's competitors include Flixwagon and Kyte.

Jason Kincaid of TechCrunch says, "Up until now Qik has only been available on Nokia smartphones based on the S60 platform. Qik says that they plan to gradually introduce support for all Windows Mobile phones (presumably with a camera and high speed data plans), though they haven’t offered a timeline for this. The Windows Mobile platform represents an absolutely massive increase in the potential userbase for Qik - Microsoft expects to sell 20 million licenses in 2008 alone."

MobileCrunch also has a transcript of an interview that Greg Kumparak conducted with Bhaskar Roy, Co-Founder and VP Product Management of Qik, and Jackie Danicki, Director of Product Marketing here.

Roy said people are embracing Qik and using it for a variety of applications. He said, "We are actually seeing very good pickup overall, where people are using Qik to do a number of things from citizen journalism, to lifestyle applications, to healthcare, and just sharing things with friends and family. Live adds an element which recorded and edited video can not do, which is impromptu. Whatever I’m doing right now, people can see it, and people can appreciate that."

He added that Qik has some very unique interactive features highlighting that,"The best part is that when I’m streaming live I can actually interact with my audience. Whoever is watching that video can chat with me, and that chat shows up on my phone. It creates an engaged interaction with me and my viewers, something that you just can not get with an edited or an on-demand type of video… After you’re done, the stream is automatically archived, and you can download it, edit it, and repost it somewhere else. We’re not taking that capability away from users, but we’re providing the capability to stream it live. If you want to edit it, you’ll have the tools to do that as well."

Below is a Qik video Mike Arrington recorded of Bhaskar Roy discussing the service with the Qik software running on a Samsung BlackJack.

In a related story by VentureBeat, Qik comes to Windows Mobile. Not Qik enough for 3G iPhone, MG Siegler says the timing is poor for Qik and that "This announcement comes just days before Apple’s WWDC event where it is expected to unveil the 3G iPhone. This device will simply overshadow all other mobile announcements in the industry for quite some time. Another potential problem for Qik are the rumors of video streaming capabilities being a central part of this new iPhone. While it’s no sure bet, there have been signs that such functionality could be a key component of an iChat application Apple is working on for the device."

Siegler added that Qik has been non-committal to support the iPhone and,"With the 3G iPhone, it could be an issue of being ready to support it or being left in the dust. Especially with competitors like Flixwagon and Kyte out there. Flixwagon in particular may be poised to break out beyond the elite tech crowd that Qik is currently popular in."

Regardless of how things play out, Qik truly is a remarkable technology that's less than a year old and has the potential to explode with possibly millions of new users through it's partnership with Microsoft. Hopefully it will be able scale it's service to meet the demand and not fall into the same downtime issues that Twitter has experienced of late.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Pop17: Behind the Scenes of Live Broadcast

Jim Kukral brought this video to my attention (via Twitter) by Pop17 producer and lifecaster Sarah Austin (formerly Meyers) that takes a peak behind the scenes of her live broadcast on Mogulus.

She says, "I have been getting a lot of emails recently asking me how I make my live show. I’m lucky to have the help of Mogulus and their studio. I also use an N95 phone which I broadcast on to Flixwagon when outside of the studio. Some of the equipment I use for the live show is not necessary, but adds an extra layer to the production quality compared to streaming right off your laptop (which I also do sometimes as well)"

As Sarah says, she uses professional audio gear, like Sennheiser lav mics, an audio mixer, a mini DV camera, fluorescent news lights, green screens with the Ultimatte DV for chroma keying, just to name a few.

Here's a nice write up on the Ultimatte DV with photos and description. You can also check out B&H Photo for great prices on audio and video gear (and no sales tax!) or Markertek for deals.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Streaming Media East 2008: Viral Video in Action, Nalts Takes a Fall!

Just when I was ready to move on from my coverage of Streaming Media East, and start planning for Streaming Media West, I found one more story that had to be told. This video was blowing up all over blogosphere and I had to share here. It involved industry blogger and viral video genius, Kevin Nalts, who moderated a panel discussion about creating and promotion viral videos and as he says on his blog, "So I took a deliberate spill while hosting a panel at Streaming Media East called “Creating and Promoting Amateur Videos.” Paul Kontonis, CEO of For Your Imagination, screamed like a teenage girl, but was one of few people that realized it was a joke."

Nalts added that, "The fall is 1 minutes and 9 seconds in. Warning: Per my YouTube video today explaining this, when you do a pratfall that people think is real, you’ve backed yourself into a corner. If you say “I was just kidding,” you simple make it look like you’re saving face. So I didn’t bother to explain."

Here's his YouTube video below that immortalizes the pratfall.

Also, here's the official video below, produced by Scribe Media, along with the session description from the conference program.

Creating and Promoting Amateur and Viral Videos
Track A: (A103) 1:45 PM - 2:30 PM
The session explores what makes a video viral and how marketers and amateurs can promote their video using online video sites and blogs. Proven industry experts reveal what works and what doesn't — often counterintuitive advice that has helped them garner millions of viewers for one-hit wonders and serialized content. Come see firsthand examples from some of the best viral videos creators on the web and learn how they have created an online audience.

Moderator:Kevin Nalts, Product Director, Industry blogger,
Presenters:Paul Kontonis, CEO, Co-Founder, For Your Imagination
J. Crowley, Founder, Black20
Ben Relles, Founder and CEO,
Kip "Kipkay" Kedersha, Viral Video Producer, Metacafe Top Producer

About Nalts: "Kevin Nalts is one of the most-viewed YouTube comedians with more than 650 short online videos seen more than 25 million times. By day he's a Marketing Director at a Fortune 100 company, and he speaks, writes and consults in the area of online marketing and viral video. (more...) " - from

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

My 100th Blog Post and The Start of Something New

This is my 100th blog post and I want to take this opportunity to thank you all. A big heartfelt thanks to my readers, community members, friends, followers, colleagues and to everyone who has stopped by my blog to read, comment, watch a video or share something.

I started this blog 8 months ago as a way to share my knowledge, ideas, interests and experience within my niche of online video. It has become my main channel of distribution for news and information related to streaming media, collaboration, videoconferencing and online tools for video production and publishing . I've tried to keep the content relevant and share what I've found interesting and worthwhile to read. I've been a video professional in the corporate setting and for many years and I've been wanting to step out on my own and do something different, something new, something my own, something that I've created along the lines of online video consulting for consumers, independent producers, non-profits and corporate clients.

This blog has helped me connect with so may people in a variety of online communities and also help me develop my voice and online strategy. I'm proud to announce that I've founded two new business ventures called and I working on the web presence for them now and they'll help me extend the focus of this blog.

One of my first projects for this new venture will be to program and moderate two panel discussions at the next Streaming Media West Conference in San Jose, California from Sept. 23-25th. The two sessions will focus on online video publishing strategies.

Since this is the start of something new for me, or a work in progress, I can only say tuned for details.

Many thanks to you all for your support.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Streaming Media East 2008: Live Broadcasting Over Mobile and Wi-Fi Networks

Here's one more Streaming Media East video from the collection videos available from the conference courtesy of Scribe Media. This panel session also focused on live broadcasting over the internet with demonstrations using both Mogulus and Qik. Several videos were recorded live during the session by Max Haot available here, Bhaskar Roy's are here and Steve Garfield's are here courtesy of

Another video by José Castillo is available here courtesy of ThinkJose who says, "Steve from moderated a great panel at Streaming Media East 08 on mobile video. Using both and to show off his Nokia N95 skills he surprised us all when he left the room mid-panel and went on a tour of the show. This was a highlight of the show for me!"Publish Post

Live Broadcasting Over Mobile and Wi-Fi Networks
Track C: (C104) 2:45 PM - 3:30 PM

While big media tests the waters of mobile broadcasting, many web video producers are already out there doing it live from the street with a cell phone. Others are joining in and experimenting with two-way broadcasts via streaming video over cell phone networks and via Wi-Fi, wherever they are. Viewers can chat while the broadcast is going on and affect and sometimes even direct the content being produced. Come to this session to hear Steve Garfield talk with other pioneers in the live broadcasting space about their experiences on the forefront of this new technology for sharing their stories over the web.

Moderator:Steve Garfield, Mobile Video Journalist,
Presenters:Max Haot, Founder, CEO, Mogulus
Bhaskar Roy, Co-Foudner,

Streaming Media East 2008 - Lifecasting: The New Broadcasting Platform

I wanted to highlight a few more videos before moving on from Streaming Media East. This was one of the panel discussions I did watch briefy as live broadcast as several of the panelists streamed it live. I previously blogged about it here and it includes videos by Steve Garfield using Qik and Sarah (Meyers) Austin using Flixwagon.

From Streaming Media East final program:

Lifecasting: The New Broadcasting Platform

How did lifecasting videos get so hot? In the early days of television, live was the second choice, because of potential pitfalls, cost of production, and a host of other problems. And yet, in the world of internet video, lifecasting—using internet video to share moments of our lives or to broadcast personal events and happenings—is the new hot thing. With platforms like, Zannel, Mogulus, Stickcam, and many others now available, lots of new options and opportunities exist. Come see some of the hot and upcoming mobile lifecasting options in action and learn if lifecasting will become just a fad or the next big thing.

Moderator:Jose Castillo, President, thinkjose
Presenters:Scott Monty, Consigliere, crayon
Sarah Austin, Founder,
Steve Garfield, Mobile Video Journalist,
Sarig Reichert, Co-founder & VP BD, Flixwagon