Saturday, April 29, 2006

LiveDigital's SpitCam Contest


I can't remember if I've ever blogged on Live Digital, but it's not coming up on the search box on Revverberation. Found an Adsense link to the site on CubeBreak and enjoyed a video of a midget impersonating Michael Jackson.

There's a Spit Cam contest that provides $1000 for someone who can "spit on their webcam and murder everyone else." If you sort by "votes" on the page you'll find some pretty painful rapper wanna bees.

So I think you can guess what *I* thought a "spit cam" contest was supposed to be, and what spoof I'm working on now. I just need a sheet of glass so I don't ruin my new webcam.

The Power of Web 2.0


When I was about 14 years old I saved up for my first Radio Shack mixer. I set up my own station called W3Z- the studio was my bedroom and my broadcast channel was a 200 foot wire I hung across the trees and into my neighbors house. Like any good DJ I knew my audience well. Partially because it was my neighbor, John, his brother, and sometimes his mom and dad and their maid Virgy.
My early broadcasts featured voice impersonations, prank calls to Radio Shack, live appearances by my parents screaming at me, and I’d sometimes tap into my sisters’ phone conversations and share them with my neighbors live. It was commercial free, and I’d even play music if I ran out of material – and I rarely paid royalties.
Now we have the Web 2.0. Barriers to broadcasting have dropped. Anyone can be a citizen journalist, a global DJ, and even a viral video star seen my millions on YouTube. The cost to entry is no more than my first bedroom radio station. Podcasting, videocasts, and online radio has created a global audience for anyone with a voice, a message and talent. Now I’ve found Revver. I’m still churning out the same low-quality entertainment, but instead of reaching 5 people next door via a wire, I’ve got a global audience of about twice as many people.

Expo TV: Reviewing Kids

So ExpoTV has made a name for itself with people on webcams reviewing products and services. Here's a parody by Aquadad where he reviews... his four year old son. The reason I know this is a good bit is that my 5-year-old son Patrick was glued to the screen. Mind you, Patrick doesn't even watch his own videos.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Most Offensive Video Site

Ouch. Visit at your own risk. www.mostoffensivevideo.com

Free PR advice for Revver (and worth every penny)


Revver is starting to get some media mentions, and I know a lot of the fanfare is on hold because it hsan't officially launched -- of course most of us forgot it hasn't launched. Now I appreciate that the strategy won't involve a lot of "chest beating," but I think Revver is missing out on some fantastic PR opportunities which would help it gain some critical mass (important as new entrants appear). So here's some free unsolicited PR advice. Revverites- feel free to add comments!

Revver in the TradesThe low-hanging fruit is online and media trade magazines, and that should be an important target. It should also be relatively easy since the model is so unique, and this could have started in November.
The Revver PLUS Story
Tell the story of the people and companies using Revver. It will be less self serving, and there are great examples. From a business perspective, ExpoTV is building a business on top of Revver. From a human intrigue perspective, you have a guy in NYC videotaping random women and a homeless agoraphobic in Texas giving tips about what shopping cart to pick. This should be a "lay up." A seasoned PR person I work with put it this way: "always tell stories about the little guy... like the psychotic who now has an outlet for his creativity (Wired); the mom who used to be a tv producer and now is using her videos to leverage a sitcim deal (NYT)."
Embrace the Blogosphere
Rob is the only guy interacting with Revverberation (the unofficial blog of Revver). Would love to see some more interaction with the top folks or the PR agency. We've got 3000 people a month popping by, and it's a nice channel for Revver to communicate. More importantly, get active in the consumer-generated discussions about Revver. Leverage the blogosphere like you would journalists. And activate Steve Rubel.
Contests
FireFox put Revver on the map, and more Revver-facilitated contests are a terrific strategy. Provide free ad space (and Revver ad revenue) to the contest provider and get reflected glory when the news spreads. Revver could easily hold its own contests too, without appear to be in YouTube's space... get creative. The seasoned PR guy said: "contests are proven attention getters, think Nobel, Pulitzer, Oscar."
Education
People don't understand Revver yet, and what it means to them. Eat your own dogfood. Use Revver videos to show people how it works. Or get your fans to do it.
Business Development
Get some business development activity with some more Revver "overlay" models and do some joint PR. Again- ExpoTV is the first of many models that will facilitate consumer-generated video without the headaches of hosting videos or selling ads. CubeBreak is available for joint PR, but we exceeded our 2006 PR budget by 45% on the $80 PRWeb filing.
Cure the Boring Press Room
Jazz up that horribly dull press room with some videos! Showcase some videos that the media will find interesting. Have Revver people speak on Revver-served videos. Get Revver posters to provide testimonials. Oh anything but text, text, text. Search would help too.
Leverage the Founders
You've got some terrific people that are as interesting as Revver. The founder promoted Marley, mon. The "chief scientist" was one of the top innovators under 35. The co-founder worked for Qwest (so did I for 2 years... almost sold my stock at about 65 but the stock hotline put me on hold, and then I watched the stock drop to the single digits before I jumped). Rob is a Newsweek story in and of himself. I'd put him in front of journalists in a second but I've only seen him quoted once. Nico? I'd read a book about his life. The VP of network was featured as a "who's who in high tech." This is an all Starr team. Leverage it.

Seacrest out

YouTube is Closed (summer Friday's off maybe?)

The Online Video Bubble (CNN)


Leave it to a network to provide this sobering and somewhat "hyper skeptical" view of the online video space, titled "Is there an online video bubble." CNN.com writer Paul R. La Monica -- who doesn't look like he'd be much fun at a party -- writes this critical piece. That said, he does give Revver some airplay. We are finally getting to see hear from people of Revver.

"Our goal is not to build a big video sharing portal. Our goal is to get creators paid," Starr said, adding that he thinks there will be interest in short commercials at the end of videos because viewers won't find the ads to be as obtrusive as commercials that begin before a video.

Here is some more skepticism of the piece (to be fair, it's got some balance too):
>>But with so many sites cropping up and trying to attract financing from venture capitalists, a couple of questions need to be asked.
>>Is there really enough demand for so-called user-generated content, especially when more big media companies like CBS (Research) and Disney's (Research) ABC are putting mainstream programming online for free?
>>And more importantly, how are companies going to make any money from hosting videos of cats chasing a ball or Chinese teens lipsyncing to the Backstreet Boys?
>>Some wonder how many online video companies can actually prosper.

Sure the video online bubble will burst, there will be consolidation and the big media players will enter with money and an audience (and make many of the mistakes the publishers did when the web became big). But I'll contend that we're forever leaving a model of creator>>studio>>network>>channel model and moving to a peer-to-peer one. There will still be some fat in the middle, but much less.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Nalts' Wife to Visit Revver

Okay, Revver employees... my wife, Jo, is coming to LA next week (Monday-Wednesday) to sit in the audience of American Idol. I tried to convince her to sneak in a camera to the rehearsal, but she won't... and I doubt Revver would let me post it anyway.

I'm sending her with my beat-up Super 8 camera to get some inside footage of Revver. Stay tuned. Nicole- please let her inside. We want to see what Revver is REALLY like. She promises not to pull a Michael Moore.

ExpoTV- a note from the president


I give credit to any company brave enough to engage a blogger. ExpoTV's president wrote a nice note:

"Hi, hope you are doing well. I wanted to let you know how much we’ve been enjoying your videos. “Over Expo” was hilarious…I got completely suckered into it and my eyes almost popped out when the hammer came down. It led me to follow the trail to cubebreak, where my favorite video so far is “inside cubebreak”…a frighteningly real description of life in a start-up."

I told him about Revverberation, and let him know that the Revver fans were a little annoyed by the flood of ExpoTV videos. I was impressed with his reaction. "Thanks much; we hadn’t found your blog & it has made for instructive reading. We failed to appreciate both how much we might overload the infrastructure and that our stuff was too far outside what the community is looking for at the moment."

He also explained why my recent ExpoTV video hadn't made it online yet. I registered this week and did a product review of Revver.com as a satire (pointing out that Revver's only flaw was the flood of product reviews)... I was wondering if they'd catch it and drop it. As it turns out they don't accept reviews of website.

Yahoo TV... Anyone try it yet?


I just downloaded Yahoo TV, but it doesn't appear to be working. Maybe it's our firewall. Has anyone else tried it?

Funny Video: White House Easter Bunny Visitor


This video is hysterical. Click here (not the frame) to see it.

How-to Videos on Video Editing- IzzyVideos


Thanks, AquaDad for pointing out a fantastic site... IzzyVideo.com has short modules on how to make better videos on Final Cut Pro (Apple). Now Final Cut Pro isn't for everyone because it's tough to use and very expensive. But these effects make it very tempting.

Here are some interesting things about this site:
1) Izzy works full time and does this on the weekend (sound familiar?)
2) He uses his kids to make his videos (Nalts likes that).
3) The videos are extremely simple. One effect at a time, clear instructions, calm voice and a visualization of the effect and the interface. It draws on a lot of best-practices of adult-learning (I used to develop training simulations in Philly, which is where I learned big words like "adult-learning).
4) The some 27-plus tips are often user-generated questions
5) The content is free

Here's an example of one of his tips... a Matrix-like effects by delaying a video layer that has transparancy). This link opens up a video file, so don't click if your broadband can't hang.

There aren't many sites that could move to a pay-for-content model, but Izzy's stuff definitely is an example of one that could.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Mom and Dad are Giving Us Their Timeshare

Oh this is one for your Revver memoirs. Mom and Dad decided to give us their timeshare. Oh- it's in New Orleans, so it's 3 feet underwater. And there are some fees and ongoing expenses. And then there's gift tax.

You know what, folks. Why don't you hang onto that puppy actually?

Another Good FireFox Entry

Nice one...

Blinkx or Blinxk?

Just a word of caution. Be careful about inverting the k and the x when you type Blinkx.com or Blinkx.tv. It could really throw you onto some dangerous sites.

BTW, Blinkx. I admit that I squatted those, and it's not only illegal but uncool. So I'll trade you back the URLs (if you even want them) for any 2 of the following:
1) Homepage links to all Nalts videos
2) Free Blinkx t-shirts or toys
3) A case of Canadian beer
4) The cost of the domain registration
5) The letter P removed from the alphabet

Sillicon Valley Sleuth on Web 2.0's Challenges

The Sillicon Valley Sleuth wrote this piece about the hype and challenges of Web 2.0.

"The poor Web 2.0 hype just doesn't seem to get off to a proper start. Having the experience of the internet bubble, people are ready to expose the empty promises and flawed business models or tomorrow's losers far before those companies can work up any hype."

The article also shows off CubeBreak.com's "Inside CubeBreak" video, and calls it hilarious... I haven't checked YouTube's postings on the video in a while, but I'm sure my anti-fans beg to differ.

What the hell is a podcast?


Where I work, everyone's hot on Podcasts. Video is much better for those of us with eADHD, but Podcasting is still fun. Adam Curry, former MTV host, is the "pod father" who brought it to life. I met him at one of our events in Seattle and he gave me permission to call myself podson.

Podcasting is about as misunderstood as any technology. Patrick Morehead from Avenue-A Razorfish published this piece that sets the record straight.

BTW- if you want to find out just how good a Podcast can be, try one of the most popular... the Ricky Gervais show (he's the star of the U.K. version of "The Office"). I want to be him when I grow up. Or Adam, but I don't have enough hair.

The Age of Participation: Online Video MicroChannels

This Economist article captures the spirit of what it calls "The Age of Participation." If you don't have time to ingest the whole thing, here's a nice excerpt:

"This has profound implications for traditional business models in the media industry, which are based on aggregating large passive audiences and holding them captive during advertising interruptions. In the new-media era, audiences will occasionally be large, but often small, and usually tiny. Instead of a few large capital-rich media giants competing with one another for these audiences, it will be small firms and individuals competing or, more often, collaborating. Some will be making money from the content they create; others will not and will not mind, because they have other motives. “People creating stuff to build their own reputations” are at one end of this spectrum, says Philip Evans at Boston Consulting Group, and one-man superbrands such as Steven Spielberg at the other."

So what does this mean for online video?

As I said yesterday, there will be a few Visa-like enablers of online videos, but thousands of channels. For every special interest area, there will be a video site... CubeBreak for bored office workers, a channel for voyeurs, a channel for every special interest -- from knitting to car repair. None of these "micro channels" will be able to afford the infrastructure of programming, hosting, ad sales, etc. So they'll depend on the Revver's to satisfy their audiences. Viewers will benefit from custom channels that are accessible on demand. Advertisers will soak in the trend because they can reach tiny niches that were cost prohibitive otherwise. And these little stations will make a decent living selecting and creating the content.

Someone will have to help us find these videos, of course. Collect call to Google Video. Will you accept the charge?

A Toast to Revver's Finest Posters

Is immitation is flattery or copyright infringement? Well, here are a few homages to some of Revver's finest posters... MarquisdeJolie, idonothingallday, Aquadad and Dwestlake. They're Nalts videos in the style of some of the notorious uploaders.
James Jarvis: I hate the VA


idonothingallday: playground lady


Ghost Boy- Aquadad

Red Chair- Dwestlake

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Revverberation on YouTube


Okay I'm going to try to go easier on YouTube-- especially now that I know it's a couple guys in their late twenties that started it (somehow I envisioned it as some spin off from Comcast or something). But I can't resist sharing this article titled "Showing YouTube the Money" from Blogma (a CNET publication by News.com). It calls YouTube the "rebel video site" and explores the viability of introducing ads. The real reason I'm sharing it is because the article quotes Revverberation (pardon the grand standing, and know that I was a CNET fan before they quoted me, okay?).

Now here's the thing. In my day job I oversee online advertising for a big company you've heard of but I can't write about. There are a few considerations in selecting media:
1) Demographics & Reach: Are my target customers on the site in good quantities?
2) Recall: Do people remember seeing my ads (if I'm going for "branding")?
3) Conversion: Did people convert- did they click the ad, and more importantly did they take some measurable action as a result?
4) Site quality: We don't advertise on controversial sites- our brand would be tainted by the context.

So would I advertise on Revver or YouTube? Probably not with a healthcare product. But if I was running online marketing for shoes, electronics, music or something more tied to the YouTube audience, I'd do it.

Now the big question- would I as a YouTube viewer mind advertising? Of course. It's only fair since I'm not paying to watch. But it can't be obnoxious. The fair model is a video or single-frame advertisement AROUND the video or AFTER the video. We can also accept short-form advertisements before, say, every 5th video. Anything else will drive folks off, which doesn't help the advertisers either. Again- the million-dollar question is... "is the video content worth sitting through the ad?"

Revver is Visa


Read carefully today, folks. This is an important post because I've had a little "Revverlation." I was reading about the YouTube guys and thinking about Revver vs. YouTube.

News alert. Revver isn't a competitor to YouTube anymore than Visa is a competitor to Target stores. For months we've been using Revverberation to encourage Revver to develop a better front end for Revver.com visitors. Why haven't they? Not neglect. It's by design. If Visa started creating retail stores would Best Buy and Amazon still accept Visa or would they do all in their power to move to MasterCard and Amex?

As cool as Revver is, it's not a destination. It's plumbing. It enables content providers to earn ad revenue from their videos regardless of where they live: Revver.com, MySpace, CubeBreak, and maybe one day... YouTube itself (though I doubt the latter because YouTube will likely be a victim of its success and try to build its own Revver, taking it dangerously off course).

To my knowledge no other vehicle exists like this, which makes Revver more Web 2.0... remember it wasn't the Pets.coms that survived the first bubble burst it was the eBays. And if Revver pulls this off it can be distributor agnostic. No threat to networks or distributors. A quiet enabler that handles all the crap work (hosting, coding, ad selling, support, etc.) and lets other folks figure out how to make videos, decide what videos are good and display and organize them for viewers.

Revver has a website. But looking at Revver.com to understand its business model is like staring at the checkout counter's card scanner and trying to understand how Visa works.

So here's something to chew on. Revver won't make happy investors by enabling one amateur at a time. It needs volume (which is why ExBloTv makes sense). But if Revver can figure out how to make a tiny lil' fee on even 10% of the videos that are watched via the web, it will print money. Mind you, there is enough room for multiple "video ad enablers" just like there are multiple players in the credit card space. But there will be one dominant one, and if Revver keeps focus during the next 6-12 months it will be them.

Someone archive this post please. One day we'll read it and decide it's brilliant or the most oversighted post this decade.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Who's Who at Revver

Found this PDF that featuresbrief bios on the folks behind Revver. Thought you might be intererested.

Daily Motion


A Revverberation reader sent this site, Daily Motion, in for consideration. Haven't gone deep, but it looks interesting. Nice channels section. I just wish some of the new entries would do something different than allowing people to post and watch. The space is getting more crowded with less and less differentiation between new models. Maybe there's something here I've missed?

The Transient Web


Steve Rubel, of Edelman and Micropersuasion fame, has written this interesting piece on "The Transient Web."

Revverberation.com's favorite quote:
"A year ago if you wanted to watch videos you turned to Real Player. Today it's YouTube, Revver, OurMedia or Google Video."


Do you realize how cool this is? Rubel is like the Paris Hilton of the web. He wears it, and suddenly it's "in."

Bait & Switch: Hot Legs or Balding Guy?

Per my last post, sex sells. So here's a new trick that is, of course, unsustainable. It's called the "Bait and Switch" Thumbnail (tm).

You see a pretty girl below, right? But click it and you'll see my balding face.

Sex Sells... Even on Revver

I got some data on CubeBreak's affiliate revenue that shows what I expected. Sex sells. The most popular videos were sex related, with "Nothing But Net" getting some 60-plus ad clicks in just days. Then I noticed that MarquideJolie's "Naked Girls" got more than 100 views since it was posted last night, while surrounding videos are in the single digits. That's not coincidence, and it's obviously a result of people having RSS feeds tied to some of the keywords he used- naked, hot, sexy, naked, girls, cute, women. (I think I just tripled the value of my Google Adsense words by just mentioning those words- click the ads above if they're discusting please).
Now sex isn't my niche. But I think we've figured out the magic recipe for Revver. It's 20-30 seconds long, and it's funny and sexy. "Naked Girls" hits it square in the bulleseye.
So I decided to add a section featuring IDoNothingAllDay's videos. It's called "Hot Women of NYC." If any of my family members are reading this, it's not my footage and the guy asks for permission before stalking these people, okay
Nothing But Net

Naked Girls

Far Right Records: Folk Songs of the Far Right Wing

Regardless of your political stance, I think you'll find this one pretty fun.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Search-engine Optimize Video Titles and Keywords


A regular Revverberation reader writes, "Oh guru of Google, couldn't you boost your stats by focussing (titles and tags) by taking a look at Search Engine Watch (or websites of that ilk) and finding out what the trends in searches have been?"

How true. And how I've neglected this. I tend to use the title to prompt curiousity, but indeed a video title and tags are what helps the Google and Yahoo search "Spiders" find it. If you've tried Googling your own Revver userID you'll see that Revver manages to get you decent organic (free) listings.

So what do people search? I look no farther than Yahoo's free "keyword analyzer" tool on Overture.com.

If you search video, you'll find the most frequently searched terms are "music video," video game," "funny video" and sex videos (porn, sex, adult, xxx). In March alone more than 600,000 typed "funny video" into Yahoo (which means this number is closer to about 1,500,000 in total since Google has the lion's share .

Eventually the audio content will be transcribed and searchable, and that will resort in much more accurate searches.

The Silent Revverberation Readers

About 100-150 people visit Revverberation a day. Almost exactly 30 are regular visitors. But only about 5 of those regular visitors actually post. So who are the rest? Mystery visitors that stop by once for reasons we don't know. 25 people that visit routinely but are silent.

Break the silence, folks. Who are you?

Favorite Revver Posters?

So now that ExpoTV has slammed almost 500 commercials into Revver, it's time to start selecting videos by submitter (not just thumbnail and title). It's the only way to find good stuff that is fresh.

That got me thinking... who are the best submitters? I see that MarquisdeJolie has skyrocketed to 411. Prince Charles is at 388. Deadtroll has only 31, but he gets lots of views. Idonothingallday has about 70. I'm cracking 100 soon as Nalts. Some of the frequent Revverberation posters like Dwestlake and AquaDad have fewer than a dozen. MrPregnant came out of nowhere and is at a pretty serious run rate. ViralVideos is pretty good, but it looks like mostly pirated stuff. Fawzi was active for a while with posts and Revverberate.com, but has been quiet.

So here's the question... if I want to find good stuff, are there names of submitters I should start with? Anyone we've missed?

Anal Retentative About Revver Viewer


Okay I know it's just me. And I don't lose sleep over it or anything, but I confess... I'm slightly bothered by the poor placement of the Revver logo on the video frame. It's just slightly off... notice the grey doesn't match and the black line is slightly off? I'll be okay if it's never fixed. But I can't stop my eyes from looking at it from time to time. Just can't.