Friday, December 30, 2005
1. A year of health and survival for my wife Jessica, daughter Mallory, and sons Tate, Tucker and Brit. Tate turned 3 and Mallory, Tucker and Brit had their first birthday. We managed two family trips including a long week in Palm Springs in the spring and a trip to the Midwest in the summer. Note to self, no traveling with four small children for a little while. Soon, just not now.
2. We launched Rabble on Verizon Wireless. We had hoped to do this earlier in the year but wireless development and rollout on a carrier's network involves some serious heavy lifting. That said we are really happy with what is going on in the Rabble world and expect to make some major announcements in Q1 of next year.
3. We raised $5.5 million in a series A round. We have been really happy with how we managed the process and the decision we made to work with Avalon and Masthead. They have been supportive and helpful and we expect to reward them in the future for their trust in our vision and our execution.
4. I continued, although a bit impacted, my blogging. Work has really transformed my ability to blog about technology the way I originally intended to but continuing to maintain the discipline to sit down behind the keyboard if however infrequently or briefly is it's own reward, at least to me.
5. I continued, in an even more impacted way, podcasting. Although the legwork that it takes to do a show has been a bit too much for me, I did manage to put together 28 shows by the end of this year and hope to push out 29 by tomorrow night. At least that's the hope. On the other hand, the original inspiration for me to start podcasting was to raise awareness about copyright issues that will impact podcasting. On that front we have around 70 shows on the Association of Music Podcasting site, I spoke on a panel on copyright law at the inaugural Podcast Expo, and I am leading a session on copyright law at the inaugural Podcastercon next week. The raised awareness has been great to see and I think there are going to be some really cool developments in the distribution of music content via podcasts in the coming year.
6. My many travels this last year put me in touch with a ton of great people who I have become friends with over the last year like Tom Ryan from EMI, John Hiler from Xanga, and Adam Rugel from Odeo, to name just a few. The work it takes to maintain and increase your friendships is more than offset by the good times you have with those people you spend time with. I expect a lot more of that in the coming year.
7. I started coaching soccer for my son's soccer team. Although I must admit that I am more of a football nut than anything else(American Football), I have always felt that if you want to have an opinion on things then you have to be willing to get involved. Whether it is youth sports, school boards, or local government, I think that we have a responsibility to contribute. At least I plan to do so. We can't do much about those things we see on CNN or Fox News but we can do things to make our neighborhood a better place.
May you and yours have a joyous, healthy and prosperous 2006. Thanks for visiting.
Thursday, December 29, 2005
For the last dozen years or so I have spent Christmas in North Dakota. Very cold and very white. Last year was complete chaos as the triplets were born and Jessica has a terrible health scare after what seemed like a normal delivery.
This year was sort of the first year where we establish some of our own Christmas traditions. I don't know what the future holds but we made a first cut at some traditions. Jessica's aunt Mary came out to be with us which was awesome as she is always fun to have around and was a great help with all the kids. It can be scary being outnumbered by kids but we seemed to pull it off.
On Christmas Eve we did the family church service where the kids barely made it to the end. Afterwards we fed the triplets and put them to bed before having present opening with Tate. Late that night Santa showed up to bring the everyone their goods.
In keeping with the Swedish theme that was mentioned earlier in the post about Korv, we made a Swedish dish called Frask Pankaka. Sounds like something pretty gross? Well it is basically Swedish Quiche fried in bacon and bacon grease that is then topped with whipped cream and lingonberry sauce. That's what I am talking about. We couldn't find the lingonberries so we substituted marionberry. Here is what the dish looked like before the sweet toppings:
Thursday, December 22, 2005
We received a notice yesterday that we had been selected but didn't really know what it was at first. This is their 3rd annual list. You can find the list here. We are in some pretty good company. I am not familiar with many of the companies in pharma or biology or anything else like that, but I am familiar with Feedburner who many of my podcasting brethren are big fans of, Blue Frog, Digital Orchid, and GoTV.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
I started typing cards in (haha). After three I realized this wasn't going to work. I had heard mixed reviews on card scanners and decided to take the plunge. I ended up buying a CardScan scanner, I crossed my fingers and set everything up. Shawn laughed at me and told me that I would be scanning cards for days.
Surprisingly I blew through the stack in around an hour and have to say that the OCR was amazing. There are certainly some things that don't scan well but in most cases it worked great. I am a big fan.
I think my hesitation to use a card scanner was primarily because of the bad experience with products like Dragon naturally speaking and other voice recognition technologies, which I have to assume have also gotten better since I last checked.
So if you want a card send me your address! Or your business card. ;-)
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Occasionally I find myself in an interesting situation where on the one hand I want to distribute my podcast as widely as possible, and on the other hand we are working at Intercasting on creating tools for user generated content for mobile devices. Generally I think that most people have complimentary approaches to the market so it's at least fun enough to have a conversation.
So after chatting with Frank, I told him that I definitely wanted to add my show to their directory and that I would check out their client later.
Yesterday I decided to tinker with Mobilecast. I figured that they are probably focused more on the higher end of the handset matrix so I initially tried to download the client to my P910. Not supported. Hmmm. I checked out the list and grabbed one of our S710's from the office phone pool.
The client is pretty cool, and pretty straightforward. I dug through the music directory and found my show. I was given the option of downloading (doh!) or streaming. I selected stream and was pleasantly surprised to hear a not too bad down sampled version of my show. The audio support on handsets clearly has a way to go, but the first inkling of a start is there. I am a little busy with end of year stuff so I didn't get a chance to do much beyond that but the two questions I hope to answer later are what impact this has on a phone bill and battery life.
The most interesting thing about Melodeo to me was that during our VC fund raising process we had an encounter with one of the founders of Melodeo when they were still in the licensed content business. We, being strong believers in the user created content model, made a pretty strong argument for our type of business as opposed to the existing licensed music business. There is clearly a business for licensed content businesses but I just don't see it as a startup. I am sure it wasn't because of our meeting alone, but soon thereafter Melodeo was a mobile podcasting company.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
It has been an awesome year of joy, sleep deprivation and pure chaos. But I wouldn't change it for the world. Their mother Jessica and brother Tate have been amazing. I have been on airplanes and am so proud that they have kept it all together. As I recall year 2 was even better than year 1 with Tate so I can't wait to see what is ahead of us.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Monday, December 05, 2005
Thursday, December 01, 2005
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
In a nutshell the new upgrade has a couple of features. 1. It supports WMA. Cool for those who use that. I have MP3 files of everything I listen to. 2. It supports Podcasts via a thing they call RSS, which to me makes sense, but to many they think it is confusing and a missed opportunity. That's probably true but it seems that the frequency of releases for the PSP isn't giving them much time to let the marketing folks come up with fancy new names for things everyone else calls something standard.
One more quirk, or feature that is important to note is that when you subscribe to a podcast you don't get to download the MP3 file. Instead the PSP streams it to your player. Although this really isn't in the spirit of podcasting for some, to me it's perfectly fine as it avoids me putting a bunch of stuff on my hard drive that I have to delete later or creating a CD to fill up the landfills.
The last kind of cool thing I will mention is that every artist on AcmeNoise has a podcast link on their artist page. This functionality is really cool with the PSP as you can go around and sign up for music from your favorite bands on the site and then stream them whenever you like.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
After hanging out at the podcaster convention, and seeing a couple if video iPods, I was sure that I had to go get one of those. But I paused for a second, Why would I get a video iPod when I have this rocking device called the PSP that has a screen the size of an iPod. I spent some time working with the various client software and came to the conclusion that generally speaking, the PSP is a by far superior device for what I want/need. Back to the drawing board.
I thought for a couple of seconds about a Series 2 Tivo, but decided to wait for just a wee bit longer as I have several Tivo's in the house and I should just start to swap them out over the coming months. The Tivo to go for the PSP had me really intrigued. While looking for the Tivo to go stuff I found something called Location Free. Oh my God. Wow.
So get this, I buy a little media server that I hook up to my home network via my router. I then take my media server and plug any sort of AV device I have into the media server. This could be a DVD player, TV, Tivo, etc. Once I have this set up I have to go and make sure that I have the most current version of PSP software, which of course I have. Additionally there is a disk that comes with the server that I can use to load software onto my PC.
Once the connections are made and the software is installed I can pair my PSP or Laptop with the media server. It essentially makes a WEP key sort of connection between the device and the media server. Once the connection is made, I can stream the AV from the media server to either the PSP or the PC wherever I am in my house. So for example while Jessica was watching the Macy's parade, I was busy cooking turkey and watching the football game on my PSP in perfect quality video. This is simply insane.
But it really wouldn't rise to the level of cool that it aspires to if it was restricted to just my house. With a couple of tweaks, I can access my home TV and media anywhere in the world where I have a Wi FI connection on my PC or my PSP. This is without question an amazing thing. Bored in a hotel room in New York? Nothing on TV? How about I go to the hard drive on my HDTV Tivo at home and stream a show to my PSP? Now that's cool. CNN? No problem. Local TV back in San Diego? Easy.
Aside from the gee whiz technical aspects this type of device, and I know that there have been other pieces of client software that do stuff like this but I would argue not as elegantly, there are amazing implications for personal media services and how we consume media in the future. I am currently demoing some advance software from MP3tunes called Oboe that is essentially a music locker service that Michael is rolling out. I'll post more on that later. To me it is very much in the vein of Flickr or Google Video or whatever celestial device there is in the sky
As a user of these types of services I totally see the value in it. The problem I have is that it requires me to do something to transmit the media elsewhere. The reality for most of us is that we have machines or hard drives lying around that have all this media that it would be really cool for us to access remotely. If it was made seamless and easy then it would preclude us from having to use some centralized service. In a way it kind of speaks to the difference between centralized services and peer to peer services. I know that I have small subsets of media on every service you can imagine. But I know that I have every picture I have ever taken on a digital camera on a hard drive stashed away on an old machine. If I can get to each of them in a simple fashion my guess is that the latter is better than the former. It will be interesting to see which is true.
I can't wait to see the Sidekick III!
Monday, November 28, 2005
For those who don't know, Henry is the former lead singer of Black Flag. Black Flag was one of the main hardcore punk bands from Los Angeles. They original founders also started up the SST record label and one of the members, Keith Morris went on to found The Circle Jerks which is my favorite punk rock band.
I had seen Henry do a spoken word show in Los Angeles probably about 7 years ago. I can't believe I had waited that long for the next one. He was AMAZING. Please do yourself a favor and see him the next time he comes around. Or buy one of his books. He is a brilliant renaissance guy who not only is a great artist from the music world, but an intelligent social commentator and an occasional actor.
My brother Rodney and I did all the cooking this year with two exceptions. Shawn came over the night before for the annual "Get boozed up and cook party" which was in fact very tame and small this year. Shawn made an amazing Acorn Squash Soup. We served it the day after Thanksgiving and everyone wanted to know how he made it.
My niece Alexis did all the pumpkin pies.
Rodney and I made the following:
Herb Rubbed Turkey - 24 lbs. Same one I have been making for 12 years. It makes the most amazing gravy so I can't seem to break tradition and make something else. By the way, I made the most unbelievable gravy this year.
Vanilla Infused Sweet Potatoes
Raspberry Cranberry Sauce
Jess's moms stuffing
Cornbread stuffing with Chestnuts
Green Beans with Bacon and Cocktail Onions
I put some pictures on Flickr and Zoto of the whole clan.
Monday, November 21, 2005
If you are even a mild stats junkie, rush out and install this on your various domains and wait to see all the data goodness coming in.
I only have a couple of days worth of data to look at, and I haven't really dug in yet, but I really m amazed at the depth of data available with just a couple of embedded scripts to your website templates.
Friday, November 18, 2005
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Next week we have two new additions to what we think is a strong and impressive team that we have already assembled.
About a year or so ago I began a conversation with Debi Jones who happened to share a lot of similar interests with us as it relates to mobile blogging and social media. Our conversations were interesting and insightful and this ultimately led to a broader conversation that culminated in her joining us starting next week. We think she is going to bring some great insights to the foundations we have established and look forward to her ideas finding their way into Rabble as well as our other products currently in development.
Our other new hire starting this week is a quiet giant who I have had the pleasure to know since 1999. John Hardin is one of the brightest people I met during my time at MP3.com. Although we had an impressive number of amazingly smart engineers, John was among the cream of the crop who is widely respected among his peers here in town. John played a variety of roles at MP3.com including playing a part in the core team that developed My.Mp3. We recently plucked John from Napster where he was one of the top developers within the company. If you are going to build a strong platform for user published content, few people have the type of experience that John has given his experience in media serving and content management.
They join an assortment of other strong players including Deborah Critten, who oversaw our interactions with the labels at Mp3.com, ran our community efforts, and managed our most significant relationship with luxury brands company LVMH during the entire life of our deal with them.
On the technology side John will be joining a strong group of developers and some expected additions who will help to realize our vision of Intercasting on a handset near you. Stay tuned.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
My initial use of the product yesterday made me recall that you should never assume anything. I assumed that the PSP manager was a client application that resides on your PSP and allows you to download podcast and videoblogs and what have you for playback on your PSP. I mean I primarily use the device around the house to do a quick check of Google News, Fantasy Football Updates, and to check up on my RSS feeds. The device is like a little wi-fi web browser for me. Unfortunately my big disappointment was that the client is in fact a PC based client that you need to connect to your PC to synchronize. What a disappointment.
So after the initial let down, I started playing with the client and subscribed to KillyourFM, and loaded some podcasts and started subscribing to videoblogs. I'll spend some more time with it later today and if I have any insight will post something.
I have been really happy with the PSP and in an earlier post said that I was surprised that there was nothing that allowed content creation. I think that the lack of a device side client, at least for now, is yet another small shortcoming that I hope they fix in the future. At least on the client side, that is something you can do with software.
Monday, November 14, 2005
Sunday, November 13, 2005
It was amazing to see how fast this thing has grown up. That is truly impressive.
I loved getting to meet Kevin and Renmarie from Bandtrax as well as Julien from In Over Your Head. They were fellow co-founders of AMP before they took of to work on Podshow.
As for AMP, we had a great turnout and great reception from the various people we are working with or in the process of working with. I especially enjoyed getting to know and hang out with Matt Galligan, Chris MacDonald and Brian DeWitt. That combined with meeting others such as Ewan Spence, Eric Rice in person, David Betz, Samantha Murphy (in San Diego a week ago) and many others involved makes me psyched to be working with such a diverse and talented group of people. I expect lots of good things ahead for what we are trying to do.
Friday, November 11, 2005
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
The interesting thing to see is whether or not the various publishers decide to go back through his over 275 shows and slap him with a serious lawsuit that will liquidate the pile of capital from the Silicon Valley VCs. My guess, you can take that to the bank.
It's unfortunate if that happens as it really will be bad for podcasting in general. On the other hand, there is a great new opportunity for those who embrace this medium as a means to distribute their music.
Monday, November 07, 2005
When you think about mobile data, we are in the very very early stages. Phones are still being broadly manufactured to allow people to use the voice facility to speak with each other, not to surf the web or find their friends or other things that most people would use a computer for. Over time the usability will improve as more and more mainstream consumers start using those kinds of technologies.
When I look at what we are doing with rabble, we are focused on making the experience as strong as possible for users of this still early platform. To that end we have spent out time and resources focusing on the part that matters to people who use the phone as a primary device. What we haven't done has rolled out a website for our users. Our experience in the past has shown us that most people who are mobile data focused, don't necessarily want to mix that experience with the web. For those consumers who want to mix and match we have integrated Rabble with sites like Blogger and Live Journal because quite frankly, they do really good job for those of our users who use those tools.
We do plan on rolling out our website in the next couple of weeks. I'll be sure to post about that, but I am fairly certain that when our site goes live it will be a bit of a yawn for a bunch of our users. In the meantime I'd encourage you to check out the Rabble site where we are profiling some of our current users and their posts. It's good for some laughs.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
So in the midst of heavy travel, heavy hiring, and all the normal stuff, I am doing the laptop migration. I ended up buying a Sony VAIO. I was leaning towards an IBM T43, but the deal killer for me was I needed three things, USB 2.0, Firewire, and Bluetooth. Unfortunately the T43 didn't have the Firewire which really bummed me out as those machines are tanks. The VAIO is super light and fits my overall Sony life style (Phone, Camera, DV Cam, PSP, TVs, etc.) but it has me worried about durability. I guess I will find out soon enough.
Although I am pretty uptight about the pain it will be to migrate all my stuff, I am excited about a new clean machine with no baggage to speak of. I immediately started deleting all the nonsense that comes shipped with the machine and then downloaded Firefox. Ah, very nice. I set it as my default and start to move tomorrow. I cant wait until we have a Web OS.
Monday, October 24, 2005
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Monday, October 17, 2005
Friday, October 14, 2005
It's fascinating to see how fast a new segment of self expression has grown from a handful of people to a fairly well funded segment that has also been embraced by media incumbents and a large number of people. I thought today was my one year anniversary but actually it is two days from now so I plan on getting together a special one year podcast show. Stay tuned.
Monday, October 10, 2005
Sunday, October 09, 2005
Thursday, October 06, 2005
Ning is "A playground for building social applications". They have a framework that you can use to develop your own version of craiglist, Match, Flickr, etc. Interesting. Since I am not a developer I'll have to find someone to give me their $.02 but I'll definitely check out some of the Ning fed apps on the homepage.
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Phones - VOIP. We are in this giant 14,000 sq. foot office where we have been on a month to month lease for over a year. And we get a great deal. Because we wanted to be able to move quickly if need be we started out with Vonage. I have been using them for around 3 years and have been pretty happy. Unfortunately they aren't as good for office stuff so we move over to Junction Networks for outbound VOIP and we finally broke down and installed a POTS line for fax.
PBX - For our PBX we use Switchvox where our good friends are busy cranking away making the world of IPPBX good for normal business users like us. We use softphones so far but I imagine at some point we will get some SIP phones.
Intranet - At MP3.com we had the mother of all Intranet's known as Gotham. At Intercasting we have our own little version of that intranet brought to you by some of our former/current co-workers at MP3.com. On the Intranet we have a Wiki from Media Wiki. (The same tool that powers Wikipedia) We use a calendar that nobody is really happy with yet called WebCalendar. You can tell a marketing person didn't name that tool. I want to get a client based tool that synchs with WebCalendar. I have been playing with Sunbird but it is still a bit early for that.
For stats we use Awstats but will move to a custom solution from one of our friends known as Cheeseburger in the coming months.
We also use some geeky tools like Nagios for system monitoring and Bugzilla for bugs. I am hoping we get some kind of open source contact management and project management tools in the coming months.
Sunday, October 02, 2005
Thursday, September 29, 2005
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
I have a pretty full day of meetings and then my four week death march roadtrip ends. I have a ton of follow up work to do but will be glad to be doing it from home rather than hotel rooms and on planes.
I look forward to catching up on my reading, putting together some podcasts that are long overdue and getting to spend some much needed time with the family.
Thursday, September 22, 2005
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Two of the primary trends that we focused on when we founded our company Intercasting were the rise in self expression or consumer content creation and the evolution of the mobile device into what we refer to as a Personal Media Device or PMD. I have written several posts on my blog in the past about some of the devices I consider as advanced PMD’s. They would include the Sony Ericsson P910 and the Sidekick II.In the last several weeks I have picked up some new devices that I believe warrant a closer look as PMDs. The two newest devices I have been working with are the Sony PSP and the Nokia N90 camcorder phone. I haven’t spent enough time with the Nokia phone yet, but will be doing so over the coming days as I am attending a conference in
The PSP is at first look, one of the most amazing PMDs I have ever seen. The form factor is generally nice. The UI is fairly straightforward. The screen is beautiful. The performance is excellent for it’s primary functions.
When we look at PMDs we think of these devices as devices that have components that allow for both the consumption AND creation of content. The PSP is all consumption. From a consumption perspective though, it is simply amazing. I wasted no time in taking my toy out of the box and immediately went to the Network settings to connect my device to the local WiFi network in my house. I had read about all the cool hacks that people had created for the first version of the software, but rather than explore that, I knew that having web connectivity with a browser was one of my primary use cases and I immediately updated the software to version 2.0.
From this point on I began to explore the various consumption methods available to me. The PSP allows me to view pictures from my memory stick Duo that I have taken on my P910 camera phone. I can also view other pictures if I can get them onto that small little memory stick. I know many people are not found of the memory stick but as a die hard Sony devotee, I am invested in this platform.
In addition to viewing still pictures, I downloaded some MP3 files and really liked the audio quality on the device. I had intended to download some beefy podcasts before I wrote this piece, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. I’ll try to load up the device for my next long flight.
I am not a fan of the little DVD format UMD, but I have to admit that it is really small and the playback is really good. Overall the video quality is just amazing. I haven’t spent much time yet trying to playback any mpeg 4 files from my p910 but expect to do that in the next couple of days. The number of titles available for the device is currently small from my perspective which didn’t give me much to choose from but I ended up picking up a copy of
Gameplay is awesome. I am primarily a football/strategy game/first person shooter player and didn’t see any titles that appealed to me right now, although Madden comes out in a couple of weeks. I opted for Tony Hawk Remix 2, which is a great way to waste time flying back and forth across the country when you don’t have a power outlet for the laptop, which is my primary use of the device.
Web browsing is very gee whiz to me in that it is really cool to know that I have a readily accessible web device that I can whip out at any airport to do a quick check of webmail or go onto our company intranet for my calendar, our wiki, or our reporting area. Unfortunately it feels really slow. Painfully slow. I have had intermittent connection issues and I have been having out of memory issues when I load heavier websites. I am not entirely sure why that is as I have been using a 128 meg memory stick.
All in all a very cool device. What it is missing is anything that allows me to create content. Or at least create content easily. I conceivably could use the web interface to update my blog but the UI for text entry leaves a bit to be desired.
The PSP really showcases how you can step up media consumption from where it is today with the various Ipods to something approaching a nuclear device of consumer time wasting and media overload. What completely baffles me is why there was no thought about people using the device to capture content. I understand that a USB keyboard is coming soon, but it would have been really cool to add some things like a camera. Or Bluetooth to use with my cell phone when I can’t get wifi, which unfortunately is all too common.As I head out on the plane today with my bag of gadgets I look at each of my devices and find some great things that they each have and some missing pieces that in some configuration would be an ideal device or two for me. I love the P910 for its Opera browser and fairly easy email functionality. I also love that I can take passable quality video and pictures that I can share with others that are mobile originated. I love the instant messenger integration of my Sidekick II and the form factor of the keyboard which lends itself to good textual content origination. The web browser leave a bit to be desired and I can’t wait until they have a better camera. The PSP is the mother of all media consumption for me but that’s about it.
As we continue to see the increased awareness in the general public that we are entering an age where more and more consumers want to create content to share with others, and also consume content not originated from the center of the media network, I believe that we will see the emergence of devices that really begin to marry the best attributes of the many new devices we see in the marketplace. I don’t believe that we will ever get to the fabled one device, but I think we will increasingly find new devices that bring together a deep and useful feature set that will empower users at the edge of the network to become the media broadcast and distribution nodes that we believe is the next inevitable evolution of what we think of as media.
This summer has been amazing. I am currently sitting on an airplane on my way to
I am extremely excited that I am going to have power on both of my flights today because I know that I have an outside chance of getting caught up on a backlog of emails from the past four weeks and some time to catch up on some blog posts I have been meaning to write. I can review some agreements. I can actually do the work that results from spending time with people in face to face meetings. There has been a lot of meeting and now there is a lot of work. It’s a source of anxiety about being able to get everything done but it is also exhilarating to see things take shape.What I have found over the last two months is that a lot of what I am working on is stuff that I can’t really blog about. It is killing me to not talk about the various cool discussions we have been having and the really smart people I have made friends with over this summer. Maybe later. Suffice it to say, it has been an amazing time and a lot of the things that we envisioned when we started working on this company, and that I started exploring when I started this blog, are coming to life on a daily basis. We will obviously be able to share more company stuff down the road, but I only hope that later when I can write more freely that I don’t forget to mention some of the awesome conversations and people who I have come to call friends that I have encountered on this really cool journey.
Monday, September 19, 2005
Monday, September 12, 2005
There is a new Superfan option which is another $99 and it gives you the Red Zone Channel as well as a bunch of other stuff including a ton of games in HD. You mean I could have been watching everything in HD yesterday??? Loser. So I guess I need to sign up. Check this out if you are a football fan.
So I take the triplets for a walk in the stroller and have Tate in a backpack and we head out to our local favorite market. I pick up a really nice piece of Coho Salmon, a beer, and some sparkling water at the store for dinner later that night.
On the way back from the store I slam a good portion of the sparkling water. Once I get home I take the salmon and cover half of it with some really good cajun spices and leave the other half untouched as Tate loves salmon but not spices. While cooking I leisurely enjoy the beer and the first part of the Colts and Ravens game.
After the salmon comes out, I set up plates for Tate and a friend and I start noshing on the spicy piece. About half way through my portion, I notice that I have the worst heartburn I have ever had. I take 4 Tums. It doesn't help. It feels like a serious knot in the middle of my chest, near the diaphragm. Not good. I then start to sweat. I keep hoping that the Tums will kick in. Not happening. Jess looks at me strangely. "Are you OK?". Um, not really. This really hurts. I am thinking I am going to drive over to the hospital nearby.
I call my doctor. He asks about my heart and light headedness. Nothing. Just this really bad pain that comes in waves and some sweating. He doesnt like the sweating. He tells me to call 911. Not good. He says it's prolly not a heart thing, but minutes count. I don't like the sound of minutes count.
Several hours later I am discharged from the hospital with some serious reflux spasm thing. Glad I am alive and glad it wasn't really a big deal after all. I was really glad that I know that if things aren't going well, I have the presence of mind to not tough it out but to make sure that everything is really alright.
Monday, September 05, 2005
I had been stewing on what had happened for a number of days and then I had dinner with John Diaz in Venice last week. John, a plane crash survivor who worked with me at MP3.com has deep New Orleans roots. His family goes back several generations and his elderly parents (80s and 90s) had just been evacuated earlier that day. John was clearly shaken, and that's a lot to say for one of the most iron willed people I know.
I can't even imagine how long it is going to take to rebuild. It is truly a tragedy. My favorite places include Laffite's Blacksmith shop. Rumored to be the oldest bar in North America. The Napolean House. The best place to chill in the quarter. Note that their website is down. Cafe Du Monde. Nola. It goes on and on and on. It is so hard to believe.
What is even harder to believe is the tragedy that the many people who call this city home are going through. No jobs. No house. Nothing.
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Back in the day, pre AMP schism, we had started to form a library of music where our members can draw upon a database of music that has been cleared by the artists without any sort of heinous restrictions or over-reaching licensing. Just a straight up you can use this and we will credit you and there you have it.
So after much time and effort, we have put it live. We have a lot to put back in there, and a lot of work to do to get it going the way it should, but its a start.
Check out the library if you want to peek. If you are in a band head on over to the signup page and send some music our way. Please read the terms and conditions carefully. We want you to know we respect you.
Monday, August 29, 2005
CC Chapman - Accident Hash
Chris Rockwell - The Daily Download
Big Mike - Extra Super Action Show
Michael Butler - The Rock and Roll Geek show
CC had told me he was going to be at the SF Podcast meetup and I didn't realize it was going to be a "Podshow" heavy gathering. They had the whole crew in town. Even Ron Bloom. CC showed off their music site.
Earlier in the day I had been over at Odeo talking about AMP and other stuff. Fortunately for me that evening, the Odeo guy who showed up at the meeting was none other than Rabble their head geek. I had the opportunity to show him our Rabble.
The next day I was in LA for a couple of things and got to hang out for a couple of hours with Jason Evangelho from Insomnia Radio, arguably the biggest music podcast and a fellow AMP founder. Very good time and great to get to put a face to a name.
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Monday, August 22, 2005
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
The last two to three months have been nothing but crazy and I am longing for a quick break that isn't coming anytime soon.
I then stopped and realized a couple of things.
My wife has been really slammed the last several months as she has returned to work and is still maxed out with the triplets. She is amazing.
The triplets have become increasingly easy, although that is almost a joke to say when you consider how many little creatures they are and how quickly they are developing.
My oldest son is now a school kid. And he has been playing pee wee sports, which is really funny and really cool.
I have been dying to write things in my blog out of a compulsive need to keep up my frequency of posting, but doing this has only resulted in a number of posts that when I look back on them aren't the type of things I expected to write about when I began. I guess I need to be patient and know that it's ok to not write stuff, especially if you are doing it for the wrong reasons, i.e. frequency over quality.
I am at that interesting cross roads in a company where you move from hard core startup to quickly growing company, which is simply amazing when I reflect on how far we have come and where we plan on going.
I am on the road all of the time, and although it is going really well and I am really excited about what we are working on, its a delicate balance to make it all work.
I guess what I am trying to say, is that, things are good yet very busy, and I am both happy and thankful for where things stand today. I don't expect to be blogging as frequently as we really start to do some heavy lifting, but when I do blog, hopefully it will be better than the last couple of months.
Friday, August 12, 2005
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
It was an interesting process going through fund raising and along the way we met a bunch of really smart and interesting people. We are very excited about our new partners and expect that we can make a lot of headway in the coming months.
Monday, August 08, 2005
Friday, August 05, 2005
I think this is Tucker. It could be Brit, but I am pretty sure it is Tucker. Our triplets have slight flattening on the back of the head that at some level is a cosmetic issue, but because it could have some minor health issues we have opted to have them get the helmet. The helmet is fitted to their little skull and it helps their head get more symmetrical. I wish my parents had fixed my head when I was a baby.
The reason I am posting this though was because it was the first MMS message I have ever received. I was shocked today when my wife Jessica, who had to do the appointment without me sent me this picture from her phone to mine. She is on Cingular and I am on TMobile. (To be clear I also have a Verizon and Virgin Mobile phone, but I have been with Tmobile for years).
It's great to see carrier interop on MMS starting to happen. We obviously think we can help make picture sharing happen with Rabble, but anything that allows consumers to start to understand that what used to be known as a phone is now a media production and consumption device is goodness in our books.
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
I can't believe how young we look in this picture. Hmmmm.
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Monday, August 01, 2005
Although there are some great comments about the product from a feature standpoint, I was really excited about some of the commentary about the community, which is without question the key component to making something like Rabble a success.
From the article
So whom does Rabble attract and what sorts of content do they make? From what we have seen, the early user base is young 20-somethings who most often post images of themselves and who ask such earth-shattering questions as whether they should let their hair go curly or straight? We get a lot of new- car posts; the occasional semi-nude body advertising his/her physique; and a lot of semi- drunk gal pals taking pictures of themselves in bars, asking the eternal question of life: "Whassup?"
It's very difficult to strike the right balance of product feature set to match a demographic. We set out to create a community that would allow our target demographic to interact and create content much in the same way that they have on some of the leading youth focused blogging sites and the social networking sites. To us, the early indications are that the users understand this immediately and know what to expect, albeit in a mobile environment. Another important piece of the puzzle is to have early members of the community to take a leadership role and model the behavior norms of the other users. The reviewer understood this and commented as follows:
Trivial? Yes. Mundane? Often. Thoroughly absorbing? Absolutely. Whether someone is complaining about an intense family problem or just showing off his or her body (or how drunk they can be while still holding a phone cam), the ephemeral postings quickly can germinate into ongoing soap operas or conversations among a group of simpatico souls. Learning the hard lessons of online communities that often go bust, Rabble does an excellent job of bringing the most active and interesting content to the top. It tracks the most- frequently-subscribed channels, the most popular and frequent posters, and "cool content." It is in these areas where we find serial postings from people whose personalities come through. Rabble already has its own grassroots celebrities. "LiberalFury" is an activist chronicling his journey to Washington, D.C., while "fayble" is a young lady who is away from her boyfriend and obsessively pining away in endless posts. This reviewer is a couple of decades away from his early Twenties, and yet the angst and trivia of these posts is absorbing. Rabble also has seeded the community with minor rock bands who post images and thoughts from the road as they tour.It is still early and we have a long way to go, but we are excited by both the activity of our users as well as the interest of outside parties.
Saturday, July 30, 2005
Friday, July 29, 2005
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Monday, July 25, 2005
At our company we speak a lot about PMD's or Personal Media Devices. To us a PMD could be a Sony Ericsson P910, which is an elegant piece of mobile technology that allows a wide variety of media creation or, on the other end of the spectrum my LG-6000 running Rabble which allows me to create posts and add pictures, etc. Nothing too fancy, but when you think about what most phones can do, its definitely a hint of where we are going.
Over the last two months I have seen more and more people using the Sidekick. One of our night nurses had one. The guy running the Ferris wheel at the fair had one. A couple of friends started popping up with them. What I found most fascinating was that none of the people I saw with this device were what I would call early adopters. These people were mainstream tech users who happened to be typing on this little QWERTY keyboard. I figured I must be missing something.
To be brief, I am extremely fascinated by this device in my short time using it. It comes with a lot of functionality in a small user friendly form factor, and I can see how different features would appeal to different users. I am using it for one thing, AIM. My P910 is great for email, phone calls, reviewing docs, etc. Where it really falls down is IM. I have tried repeatedly to use one of the more popular interop mobile clients but have been really disappointed with the experience. The Sidekick has this nailed. They appear to cache sessions on both sides for those periods when you lose connectivity and then resumes the session with the stored text on either side.
The other features on the device include a phone (how quaint), email capability, a web browser, and a variety of PIM type features like contact management and notes as well as a camera. I would definitely use this for email if I wasn't conditioned to use my P910. The other features seem to work well, but they are not the big use case to me. For different users I could see the appeal of certain combinations of the feature set.
From a hardware perspective it is a great device. The screen easily flips, the keyboard is a good size and the overall device size isn't too bulky although it is by no means a small device. The price point of around $250 keeps it just a hair above what I would call a mainstream consumer device, but it isn't far off like many of the smart phones.
As far as a PMD, I think this device has great potential as it relates to blogging and photo blogging. I can take a quick picture of my son at soccer. Email it to my photo blogging place of choice. Pull up a web browser for blog entry, and post for all to see. Or I could use a client based application like Rabble, although Rabble isn't currently available for this device. The QWERTY keyboard lends itself to quick, yet longer form data entry although we have seen amazing amounts of text entry from standard phone keyboards. The nice combination of features from a hardware perspective would be nicely accented by similar software.
What does it need? My wishlist would be the following:
High Speed Connectivity - 3G network option
Deeper access to applications.
Open platform to other IM or Communication type software like other IM clients or Skype.
A better Camera.
All in all its a great device and I am sure that the next one is going to continue down the path of an awesome feature set path as more users discover what you can do with it.
Thursday, July 21, 2005
Is Apple Thwarting Independent Music Podcasters?
Despite the widespread proliferation of podcasts through Apple’s new iTunes version 4.9, it appears music podcasters that legally distribute independent music are being left behind and effectively locked out of the iTunes podcast directory, which is fast becoming the primary vehicle to find podcasts.
The Association of Music Podcasting (AMP) represents the largest podcasting content group in the world, with forty three members. As of this release, three weeks after the delivery of the latest version of iTunes, thirty four AMP podcast feeds remained unlisted in the iTunes directory. These podcasts were subsequently either listed in the iPodder.org directory that served as the initial basis for the iTunes client ,or were submitted within twenty-four hours of the iTunes release.
It appears Apple has placed procedural obstacles for many older, established podcasts to quickly enter its iTunes directory. Despite that brand new podcast submissions appear to be taking a reasonable amount of processing time (approximately 48 hours), many legacy podcasters have waited weeks to no presence on iTunes.
Moreover, podcasts taken from the original iPodder.org listing are barred from resubmission, with no available option to resolve the issue of podcasts "on hold."
“It’s frustrating,” says Chris MacDonald, owner of IndieFeed Podcasts, founding member and Director of Legal Affairs at AMP. “We’ve been podcasting since mid September of 2004, when this thing really got started. I have thousands and thousands of listeners; yet our fans can’t migrate to iTunes easily. We are losing loyal listeners who aren’t technically savvy or who choose not to run two podcast aggregators at a time. It’s silly to suggest Apple can’t add those feeds to their directory in a reasonable amount of time. It’s also very odd that my non-music feeds, which were provided to Apple at the same time, migrated to the iTunes directory in only two days.”
"Corporations are looking to take advantage of the roadwork that the existing podcasting community has created via an unfettered, open-choice format,” says Derrick Oien, President of AMP. Oien is one of the earliest legal music podcasters, going back to the fall of 2004. His show is among many not yet listed in the iTunes directory. Oien adds, “It appears that Apple is more concerned with molding the community to their immediate commercial needs than with embracing this open community and adhering to an effective long term strategy. We have witnessed the early evolution of podcasting at a break-neck pace, partly because podcasting’s open format rapidly adapts to fit the needs of the community at large, and successful corporations will embrace rather than attempt to control this phenomenon. AMP continues to rapidly amass a large and dedicated collective audience, and we are working with people and organizations that approach podcasting in the spirit in which it was conceived. We look forward to working with them. At some point we expect that the support we receive daily from listeners and artists will get Apple's attention."
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
One of the other guys on the board is Eric, who is the chairman & CEO of Pepperball. They make those nasty rubber bullets that basically mace you if you mess with the police.
At lunch we were talking about business stuff and other things when Eric said that the overcast skies were making it tough for his tomatoes to grow. What followed was a long conversation about the different varieties we are each growing, successes etc.
So far I am really pleased with where mine are. I have had two turn red so far and am looking at a summerful of some really good tomatoes.
Monday, July 18, 2005
Friday, July 15, 2005
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Friday, July 08, 2005
Thursday, July 07, 2005
Also if you haven't visited the Rabble website, we have finally rolled out login for existing users. Right now it is only set up for blogging synchronization, but soon you will be able to use it to do a lot of the things you do on Rabble from a PC. Except maybe carry it around in your pocket.