Joost Bytes Dust?

I’m glad Mathew Ingram came out and said it. When I heard the news this week about the shake up at Joost, I also immediately wondered what was up with the company. I had a look at the compete trend data at the time and assumed that it was doing okay, the graph shows an upward movement. But now it’s occurring to me that the upward trend is probably not steep enough considering a $45Million spending budget. 100k people per month this late in the game is just not going to do it. Not even close.

I predicted the company’s demise at the peak of their buzz back in May of 2007 in a post called, “Why do Video Platforms Fail”.

1. Insubstantial library of content
2. Poor bit rates
3. Lack of innovation (clone platform)
4. No share in content ownership rights
5. No exclusivity of content distribution
6. Lack of spark/spirit for a centralized community
7. Need for users to d/l proprietary software
8. Awkward interface design
9. Overly excessive emphasis on rights protection
10. Lack of technological foresight & audience expectations

For all those reasons plus three more, I’m going to hop on the bandwagon here and assume that the company is dead. Also then, 

11. Too elitist – I’ve ben in contact with Joost on three different occasions about having Rocketboom on their platform and I was told by the content acquisition department that Rocketboom along with all other podcasts were not “the kind of content they were focusing on” (i.e. too shitty for their superior content selection). On one occasion I received an email from someone in their IT asking me to fix an RSS feed so that it would look nice in Joost. So when I wrote back to say that I would be interested in distributing Rocketboom on Joost but that we should talk about it first, I never heard back. Then later this past October I got a ping from a 3rd party Marketing company on behalf of Joost and they were looking to promote some video and wanted us to play it on Rocketboom. So when I told them I would be interested in playing their video on Rocketboom if they are interested in playing our video on their platform and I never heard back. 

12. Joost’s biggest accomplishment was generating buzz and using the “invite system” as their method to create a demand out of hyperbole and desire. This is also motivated by an elitist mentality, but I think its a neat way to build up your new platform with first adopters. In watching Joost and other companies like Seesmic use this method, I have become curious about the point at which it becomes too long to hold the site closed in this elitist state. I would suggest that Joost was closed for too long. There was a certain point after their peak buzz point last year when they should of opened it up. As a result of not doing so, they lost their momentum in the press. Seesmic, in my opinion, is at the point now where they need to open it up or its going to be too late. I personally dont like Seesmic right now – I can’t help but feel like its elitist and I have been left out (I have applied for an invite to the site on two occasions but have never gotten a response).

13. Because no one I know uses it or talks about it.

Discovering Joost is kinda like discovering a new gadget at the store that you are not impressed by:  once you pick up the box and read the specs, you sorta just put it back on the shelf and forget about it for the rest of your life.

New Tee Vee has a list of 5 ways to save Joost. I’m afraid trying to save it might be like trying to start a completely new company with a $45M debt.


Lorelai on speed

A lot of TV shows when run in syndication are sped up slightly and voices pitch corrected to sound normal (this lets the station get more commercials in).  We observed that this is an unwise techinque when applied to the fast-talking Gilmore Girls.

via neonmarg who is living it up at Sundance right now, being mistaken for Michael Moore. — lonelysandwich


How to Kill Twitter, Facebook, Myspace and Google in One Full Swoop

Ive been drinking espresso shots from Starbucks.

Seriously though, they are desired as platforms – its just that now may be the perfect time to take our data back.

First Ill start with a question and this is addressed directly to Dave Winer and of course everyone else as well. Would it be possible to extend RSS with a rel= specification in the same way that the rel=enclosure spec led to passing information about media files?

If per chance RSS could be the delivery and discovery platform, then that partially solves the decentralization of not just Twitter but the entire medium of handling personal announcements. After all, at that point, a Tweet is just a blog post in terms of metadata. Taking that a step further, it seems like we also already have the infrastructure in place to create the means of discovering followers and following via blogging (i.e. publishing platforms) and RSS as well, no? Couldn’t everything be handled entirely with XML?

The reason why this would be a very positive route it seems is because of the level of adoption of RSS that is already in place. We are talking about how to do activity like publish, ping, discover and aggregate and thats already out there.


Perhaps on my blog here, at dembot.com, I could keep my own profile. You know that’s what Scoble got banned for right? He wanted to keep a copy of his own profile and they said no to that right quick. While he may continue to decide he likes Facebook and wants to organize his life there, lets say I decide to keep MY profile myself at www.dembot.com/profile. This is basically my about page. I could host it on any website and call it any html/xml page, or use any publishing platform that adopted the new RSS specs, if I wanted to participate in the friend thing. Perhaps Tumblr would decide to recognize the spec and then they could add a box for me to send out my little announcements, er a category I mean for my titles and descriptions when they are short, and manage my about page, er, my profile I mean. If not, I could always just create some XML myself and use a style-sheet perhaps.

When I add a bookmark to my list of favorite blogs, er, when I add a link to the profile location of one of my favorite people, that information goes into my own database, the master source of my profile data. If it were me, it would be in a MYSQL database. It would be up to me to remain up and communicating. If it were on Tumblr, that master set of info about my friends and where their profiles are located would live in Tumblr’s database.

So then, there is another step it would seem that could also be handled via RSS. Periodically, I must send out a ping to everyone that I am following to let them them know that I am following them, unless I dont want to. By having my client send a ping directly to your client P2P, via RSS, our two clients can then understand the reality of our connection and continue to periodically ping each other to check for updates.

Meanwhile, there would be many voluntary station nodes that would receive all of the public announcements and public friend relationships, bundle them up and organize them into certain ways that people liked, and they could then allow anyone else to get the latest and greatest public stream. So instead of having just one central station for the public stream, you have the public stream living on voluntary nodes all over the place. If the adoption went well, perhaps one could ping pingomatic and then Pingomatic would send out pings to all of the major voluntary nodes like Twitter, Tumblr, my home server if I wanted to be one, etc.

If you came to dembot.com/profile I might design just the layout I want of my friends pictures, the people Im following, what feeds I have in my public timeline, all that stuff.

The least amount of data needed to travel could go via RSS pings and the greater amount of data would live on my own client that made the information available to anyone that wanted it, in my case with Tumblr or Moveable Type or by mine own self, my own master as they say, er as I say.

How about rel=blazon? Maybe we could get a little rel=johnnycash action just because it would be cool and we could.

Be sure and check back for my next post, “How to Make Dark Matter”. I’ll be drinking fermented eggnog for this one!



Reblogged from Yatta for RB: Richard Blakeley and Joanne in Madison Park. Richard is the infamous Gizmodogate blogger. **spoiler alert!** He stopped by the studio the other day to talk to us about the CES incident. I believe his appearance on Rocketboom will be his first interview since CES. **end spoiler alert!**

While we’re on the topic of pranks, be sure to check out Sarah’s Meyers’ interview with legendary prankster and Apple co-founder Woz where he talks about the CES incident and his own history of being a tech world jokester.



How To Keep Twitter from Crashing in a Crisis: Decentralization

Use Tumblr! 😛 Seriously though, this is important. The answer is to make Twitter a noun. This is accomplished by decentralization. Decentralization of the servers is a good idea and will help the system from crashing but there is another kind of decentralization that must be in place in order for Twitter or any other platform to be reliable during a crisis: The decentralization of the entire social network.

Currently, everyone on Twitter must connect to Twitter to then connect back to each other. That is not good during an emergency. That is not how blogging has evolved either, or even the whole web for that matter. There are clusters of blog software users, though for the most part, its all over the place. I have a few blogs on Moveable Type for instance which are installed on my own serves, some in New York, some in California. From time to time, I turn my laptop into a server and have hosted sites on my home machines which allow you to connect directly to me, without the need for a Twitter. In other words, if Twitter wants to adapt, anyone should be able to host their own Twitter so that they connect to any other Twitter independently if they want to. See how this changes things? Sudenly Twitters are no longer action tweets, they are individual nouns, a Twitter installed here, a Twitter installed there, here a Twitter, there a Twitter everywhere a Twitter, Twitter.

Consider how Federal Express operates. Every single package you send via FedEx in the US gets shipped to Memphis. Once its tracked in Memphis, it then gets sent to it’s destination. If you live in Dallas and you send a Fed-Ex package to near-by Houston, the package will go from Dallas all the way to Memphis and then all the way back across to Houston. It sounds crazy at first but it’s very simple and leads to less confusion and less lost packages.

But what if Memphis gets hit? The whole entire system goes down. In a time of crisis, you are either stuck in Memphis, stuck waiting on Memphis or stuck trying to get to Memphis.

On the other hand, the good ‘ol US Government delivery system or, snail mail, is much more, how shall we say, complex. Yet simply put, there is no centralized branch where all mail flows and thus should any one branch break, everything else can remain in full operation.

If you hosted your own Twitter, just like you host your own website, you could put your twitter anywhere. Case scenario: I have a twitter blog at dembot.com/twitter All of the friends I follow? How would we connect? You guessed it: RSS! Somebody get me a soda, Im feeling dizzy.


“What do you get when you combine the Internet traffic tsunami of a Steve Jobs MacWorld keynote with the uptime track record of Twitter? Not much Twittering, that’s for sure.” Datacenter Knowledge

“Downtime has become par for the course for Twitter during big news events (especially those pertaining to the tech industry, which makes up a sizable portion of the Twitter userbase), with the company having nearly 6 days of downtime in 2007 according to a recent report from Pingdom.” Mashable!

“The web will never be a mature live mass communications medium until this scalability problem for breaking news goes inexpensively away.” Kedrosky

“If a massive userbase is the key to success for Twitter, unfortunately they just failed.” CenterNetworks

“Now we know what Twitter’s good for: not much” Valleywag

“Twitter is currently experiencing some slowness related to the massive number of updates around Steve Job’s keynote at MacWorld.  We’re working on it and will keep you updated!” Twitter Blog

“If Twitter wants to be taken seriously in the future, in case of emergency, decentralization of the Twitter platform is key.” Andrew Baron

“FedEx Express is the largest civil aircraft fleet in the world, and the world’s largest fleet of wide bodied civil aircraft, including the Airbus A300, Airbus A310, and Boeing DC-10, MD-10 and MD-11 models. It was the launch customer for the freight version of the superjumbo Airbus 380F, but canceled its order due to production delays. It has now ordered Boeing 777F aircraft, which will be the new flagships of the FedEx fleet. FedEx Express’s ontime to delivery error rate is lower than 2 errors per 10,000.” Link.


‘Just got off the phone with Podtech – It’s a shitbag salad over there . . . Scoble’s out’

Oh Lordie. So Robert Scoble announced that he would announce announcing his move to Fast Company today. This will be great for said company, and great for Robert, congrats!

Where does this leave Podtech? Without a face. We have not heard from Podtech publicly since before the news of Roberts departure last month. The last words I heard about the company being a shitbag salad were not part of an official statement.

While I’m confirming the previous rumor that Podtech is now in fact of the Shitbag Salad variety, Im going to wait and hear what’s planned before committing them to the dead-pool. I have seen the Phoenix rise from the ashes of shitbag salads before, even though I have almost no hope.

As for Robert, Im sure he’ll make it big whatever he does for himself, though can he build a successful video network? [enter dramatic prairie dog music here] If the answer is yes, what happened at Podtech? There is a lot of reasons why we’ll just have to wait and see, especially on the content side of things. I’m optimistic for ScoCo given the established infrastructure at hand.


Robert Scoble – Hopeful, Optimistic
Podtech – Not Hopeful
Fast Company Video Network – Balmy

**Update: Robert makes THE announcement.


How to kick-start TV over IP

I originally posted this article exactly one month ago and today it seems to finally be a go:

“Lets look back to see ahead.

The implications of podcasting are AWESOME. Didn’t you think that the first time you became aware of it? The application to video and TV to me is relatively SUPER AWESOME (a level of awesomeness much greater). My all time favorite aggregator, Fire-Ant, hit the streets early on in 2004 followed by an entire year of aggregator wonderland going on underneath the surface of the web – there were so many people tooling around and companies trying to build RSS aggregators for audio and video, the world was destined to blow up and explode all over the place! The MSM saw it and reported it and the aweness of it spread throughout the first adopters online – but no awareness and no sparks with the general population.

In June of 2005, everything changed. When Apple released podcasting for iTunes, the concept of podcasting took a big step up in terms of its pervasiveness. If you lived through this (if you are reading my blog, then it is likely that you did) you will remember that there was probably an aggregator that suited you besides Fire-Ant and that there were a lot more with promise out there.

But no one would do it like Apple would. Argue all you want, Apple is loved because their products have the best interface design and the best look and feel.

The iPod. Mp3 players were hawt – I had the first 32mb Rio PMP 300, no skip! – but Apple did it better. Apple nailed the look and feel over interface and design and took it to the major market place.

The iPhone. Shut it, dont get me started. Best interface. Best look and feel.

In context, its easy to see where Apple **could** fit in with iTV. The one they have now is a stake in the ground but so far, no tent. You think they dont know this? I think many companies don’t know what their problems are, but Apple knows what to do with this box. Especially when it comes to interface and design and taking this phenom to market.

When the Apple set top box first came out, I died and saw the world change to bliss in a flash… but yea, it didn’t really pan out. Ever since then, Ive been waiting. Not waiting for the market. I havent been waiting for some new technology or time itself or anything like that. Ive been waiting for Apple to come out with the version of iTV that is the iPod of mp3 players, the iTunes of music downloads, the iTV of the Internet and TV. They know what to do, the question is when? This January the time will be right. One plug. One button. Boom.

In this photo of Steve Jobs holding the iTV, you can tell by his expression that he will control the entire world soon.


 — <a href="http://rocketboom.tumblr.com">rocketboom</a>"

English 1050 – Thought & Writing

Google alert! Today we got hit with another school assignment. We usually show up at the beginning of the semester in Journalism class – Is Rocketboom journalism? Tonight, it’s English 1050 and the question is regarding “Fake News”.

This will be an easy one for me but I’ll wait and see what the other students have to say before weighing in. I will note however, in case anyone in particular is listening, “There is a catch.”

The Assignment:
Examine the following two sites:

How do they fit the “Fake News” genre? What does this genre consist of, and what are its parameters? Your assignment is to write a genre description (based on the way the Norton does this) for this particular form. Post this to your blog and then read and comment to at least two group members to see how their responses compared to yours. If there are differences in how members view this genre, are they substantial?


Twitter is Dead, Weep!

I am SO sorry for writing this, I L-O-V-E Twitter. Love it! I’m just so sorry to say, Tumblr replaces it. It’s that simple. Tumblr is to the iPhone what Twitter is to the pager. I know, I know. I love Twitter and I have been obsessed with it for almost a year now so I KNOW what Twitter is supposed to be, thank you – it’s SUPPOSED to be like a pager, that’s the DNA of what Twitter needs to be to do “microblogging”…I once said. And Pownce (which I love too!) and Jaiku (which I neglect, Im so sorry!), are all not what I’m talking about either, Twitter does best what those other apps do.

Tumblr, on the other hand, is enhanced in the right way and thus, unfortunately, and yet also for the better, replaces the need for Twitter all-together. This is going to be hard for people to see because Pownce could be seen as an attempt to enhance Twitter but actually Powence further illuminated the superior simplicity of Twitter, i.e. that the kind of enhancement doesn’t work. Perhaps unwittingly, and more likely just consequently, Tumblr enhances Twitter in the right kind of way.

Ahem, allow me to explain.

Everything about the way in which I became acclimated to Tumblr happened as it did with Twitter, but unexpectedly because I have been looking at Tumblr differently. I also see Tumblr for it’s more obvious use as a reblogging platform. The Reblog software that Eyebeam made never really worked out for me. I installed the Moveable Type plugin (I really do love MT!!) on a couple of different releases over the years (including the latest one), and while Reblog is okay at organizing potential posts, it usually takes longer to reblog a post then posting straight-up to MT. It’s pretty clunky and nasty, I have to say, even though I LOVE! Eyebeam too. I could never use it and have ever since dreamed of this killer app of a blogging feature.

In theory, there is also the obvious problem of reblogging that leads to simply ripping posts and hot-linking images – the activity is often considered unruly behavior. But for someone like myself who likes to refer to a lot of posts, especially while embedding lots of videos and images, Tumblr is for sure the killer app for referencing and reblogging. Not only does it make posting cool finds easy, it actually fosters more linkbacks. You know you love links to your blog, you link whore you. That’s right, you know who I’m talkin’ to.

I totally applaud Eyebeam for getting Reblog out there long ago and I am basically pissed as hell at all the rest of you for letting the world go on this long without this obvious solution for reblogging. You bastards! But I love you too, very much so, so its okay.

Over the last several nights I decided to go deep and I spent alot of time exploring some of the other tumblr blogs. The only way to discover new blogs is from following reblogged posts back through the credits. I like that it’s hard to “spam-add”. ‘Seems like a very small and spirited group. ‘Lots of images, lots of little “tweets”, lots of rants, the token Japanese porn sub-faction, and mostly people who seem to be friends who are sharing little thoughts back and forth in a rich way.

I’m now following 78 tumblr blogs. I probably know about ten of you out there, the rest I just find interesting enough for reposts to the Rocketboom Tumblr Blog. This is about as easy as blogging gets: I was just scrolling through my tweets, er, tumbls, and found this really awesome image someone just posted. I clicked on the “reblog” button and now I have the image on my blog. One click Charlie.

But back to the followers and following. For the last couple of months I wasnt following anyone until I noticed a few people were following me. I currently have 37 tumblrs following me, most of which I have added back and account towards the 78 people that I follow. I think you know that it’s pretty lame to be following more than follow you, but whatever, I’m here to curate so just keep up yer yappin.

I think you also know from experience with Twitter what it feels like to try and keep up with 100 people’s tweets, or even a 1000. My Personal Twitter feed has around 500 people that I follow and the Rocketboom Twitter feeds holds about 1500.

While 1500 is even a low number compared to some of the full on junkies, this is really a lot of information to keep up with. Way too much to keep up with for the non Scobleized. I have to decide to sorta step into the rushing river of Twitter and try to take in as much as I can while Im there and then get out. The rest continues to rush downstream without me. Its not really worthwhile to go too far back into the past to “catch up”.

Last night, it happened on Tumblr. I entered in, took in all of the tumblr posts from my followings, explored some interesting stuff that I wasn’t looking for (i.e. pseudo information (*another post – one day)), reblogged a couple of things, and then got out. The rest began to rush by.

It’s so easy and fun to post while you are there, people are just clicking away, post after post after post – usually just leaving a quick jot or a comment to accompany the news or video that they are posting about. This was when I realized in a moment it was Twitter plus everything else I want in blogging. Its the right way to tie blogging, microblogging and reblogging into just one blog thing, blogging. The method, the interface, the functionality, the design, the portability the TIME SAVING factor, the social aspect all contribute. Did I mention I’m impressed? Did I mention that I love you too? I really do.

And again I know whats so special about Twitter you ass hole, the design and interface, the people involved, the good vibes – Im right there with you. If there was an earthquake or bomb or any kind of rumor, it would carry through Tumblr in exactly the same way it carries through Twitter and just as fast. The difference? The experience would be richer.

As a platform for posting, it’s also more valuable as an archive and perpetually contributes to all of my google juice, etc. For after all, its not a tweet or a an alpha-numeric beep, it IS a blog post and has a lot more value than a message from a pager. Though obviously not a rule-of-platform-thumb, If you are going to spend your every waking hour churning out content, Scoble!, ‘might as well get some better link cred for that instead of giving it all away to the Twitter.com domain name.

My last note on this topic for now because you will be hearing a lot more about this from me later, is the issue of the number of people who use Tumblr. As far as I can tell it’s fairy small. Ive seen a couple of people with over a thousand followers but Im suspecting most people have under a couple of hundred. All in all, the social part is just getting going so buckle-up, its a good time for study.

*See also:
Ben Gold conducted an interview with Maro Arment, Chief Scientist and one of the two employees that comprise, Tumblr.

**For a visual on what posting is like, see this Rocketboom video from last week, 2min in:



The ROCKETBOOM Tumblr Blog is kicking so I’ll be pointing to the whimsical kind of stuff
(like the recent posts before this one), over there. Every time I sit down to write a news script for Rocketboom, I find all kinds of awesome stuff that never makes it in. Ellie is also contributing a huge amount to the RB Blog.