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Archive for July, 2008

Project Rethink Slideshare Presentation

July 31st, 2008 66 comments

Innovation starts with a blank, not a box.  When we get distracted with pre-existing frameworks, we often side-step true innovation.  Below is a presentation hosted on SlideShare.net.  

This slideshow was entered in the SlideShare.net World’s Best Presentation contest.  Be sure to cast your vote for Project Rethink!

TV 2.0

July 30th, 2008 47 comments

Have you heard about Move Networks?  Chances are good you haven’t, but chances are even better you have used their product. ABC started using Move Networks to handle their on demand video streaming service last year; FOX, CBS, and many others followed suit.  But what are the advantages of Move Networks?  Why does it deserve the title TV 2.0?

On Demand

There’s no doubt that as the Internet grows in popularity, so does On Demand service. The problems are not with the ideas or the media, but with their implementation.  The worst bottleneck in On Demand service is client side; bandwidth, system resources, etc.  High quality multimedia is out there, but often crippled to address the majority population, or full force to address only high bandwidth customers.

The nature of this blog is to find innovative solutions, and Move Networks has done just that. Move Networks has developed a product that lets anyone watch what they want when they want it with minimal effort from both the user and publisher–that is TV 2.0.

They are not using Adobe’s Flash Media Server, Apple’s Quicktime Streaming, or even Microsoft Silverlight. Move Networks is using standard HTTP requests over multiple TCP sessions between the client and the Web server.  In layman’s terms, you don’t need a special license–just a standard HTTP web server.

Making it easy to do more with less?  Absolutely.  The Move Networks streaming service removes the ambiguity of variable bitrate media files, or third-party streaming technologies and media servers.  With less effort from all parties involved you can deliver the most optimized media.  If your bandwidth conditions change, real time dynamic streaming prevents the “buffering” screen.

Move Networks’ technology divides the video content into smaller files called “streamlets” which are delivered continuously as the viewer watches content. Because streamlet delivery stays just ahead of the video display, you don’t have to pay for content delivered that might not be watched, such as when a viewer exits a video stream early.  No wasted bandwidth, no wasted time for the user.

– Move Networks

Bottom Line

How can you provide the best experience to your users?  Move Networks created a system that optimized the media experience to the user without the need for any additional services. Everything happens behind the scenes, and everyone is better off for it.  

Adobe Readies Voice-to-Text Metadata For Flash Video

July 23rd, 2008 35 comments

Yesterday, Adobe’s plans were revealed by Adobe VP Jim Guerard at a Beet.tv conference. In this interview, Guerard hinted towards Adobe’s plan of including automated voice-to-text metadata in flash video files to aid web-crawling software.

It’s not about the media

We live in a world where bringing new multimedia to the web is not enough.  At this point, multimedia is expected.   What’s important is that media becomes discoverable. More often than not, people are so focused on getting their rich media platforms to the web that they forget about making it discoverable.  Imagine a world where a google search returns results of an instructor’s lecture series in iTunes University, or an instructor’s YouTube Channel.  Adobe’s efforts to include automated transcripts for videos is the first step in this process.  It is important that your media remains easy to access.  With the abundance of media out there, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle.

 

Know Your Audience

July 15th, 2008 35 comments

Innovation is about the consumer. The important thing to remember is that the consumer decides the success or failure of your product. Interestingly though, you can’t always ask the consumer what they want and expect innovation. When asked about this subject, Henry Ford (of Ford Motors) said:

“If I would have asked people what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse”

So what do we do?  It is important that you know your audience.  Notice I didn’t say, “know about” your audience.  If you only know about your audience, you will only be able to give them what they are asking for.  But if you truly know your audience, you will be able to give them something they don’t know they want.

Lessons About Knowing Your Audience

Here we have 2 clips; the first is from a few years back.  This first clip is from The Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.  Here Triumph is interviewing people waiting in line for Star Wars Episode II.  It is approached with obvious humor, and seen as comedy.  The Conan O’Brien Show knows their audience and the people they are interviewing.

This next clip comes from recent television coverage of the iPhone 3G release. Here the reporter tried the same tactic as Triumph, but failed miserably. Maybe it’s easier to take insults from a toy puppet? Or maybe Apple fans have less of a sense of humor than Star Wars fans. The bottom line is, this guy did not know his audience.  (The hyphenated “i-Phone Mania” in the lower third of the news clip is only more evidence to that fact)

Another important lesson…Don’t try to insult your audience on Live TV.  Late night was smart enough to pre-record their bit.

The Future of Image Search

July 2nd, 2008 45 comments

In a recent entry on beet.tv, RJ Pittman talks about what google is doing with image search.  Pittman references what essentially amounts to an image recognition A.I. that analyzes images and pre-populates them with tags.  This is to be used concurrently with systems already in place (geotagging, etc…)

The Cloud

This actually falls very much inline with a recent entry by Seth Godin.  In this entry, The Clowd, Godin describes a system that handles much of what we do now.  Pictures are uploaded to a “cloud”. The cloud is able to analyze the picture and automatically know: who is in it, where it was taken, and how it can group with it other photos.  

This is the heart of innovation.  New systems need to make things easier on the people using them.  A new feature on the website that lets you zoom in with Ajax, or change color correction is nice–but is that the purpose of your web based photo service?  Social networking is no longer an “extra”; it has become expected.  For some it is too much of a hassle to try and network with people, the next step?  Create a system the is smart enough to handle the legwork of social networking, without compromising privacy.

Of course, if this system is created, we would need to create a new buzzword.  Geomicrophotoblogging is too long.