Thursday, May 26, 2005

Podcast Wars

Don't miss the latest installment of the Podcast Wars between Dave Winer and Adam Curry. In this episode Dave gives his side of the behind the scenes dealings between the two of them.

Travel Log - Boston

All in all a great trip so far. I am sure I will have some good reflections on the flight home. One problem though...

in·som·ni·a (n-smn-)
Chronic inability to fall asleep or remain asleep for an adequate length of time.
I have had a historical problem with this when I travel. It seems over the last six months or so it hasn't been an issue, until today. After getting to bed at just before midnight, I woke up wide awake at 4 AM. Several hours later here I am. Fortunately today is a bit light, but I can't tell you how nasty it is to be tired and not able to sleep.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

In Boston

NYC was fast and furious. Got to hang out with Eli Chapman one night which is always fun. We got into Boston late and got to hang out with CC Chapman who is a damn fine podcaster and a great guy. The next two days will be busy before we fly back home. Two Chapman's in as many days. Funny.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Dallas Skylink

originally uploaded by brikmaster.
The DFW airport finally got rid of the Disneyland era Peoplemover with the cool and quick Skylink. Now you can make those really short connections in Dallas. It's a big upgrade.

In New York

We have a full day in NYC and I don't expect much blogging this week, although I am sure something will strike me along the way. At any rate there should be some pics occasionally here.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

BitTorrent economics

Check out the following article entitled Mindjack, Is Piracy good? The story highlights the BitTorrent release of the new version of BattleStar Galactica and how a time gap between the UK and the US created intense interest that made the debut of the show one of the most highly watched things on the SciFi Channel in the US.

The author also briefly touches upon how scarcity has created the control necessary to prop up the legacy economics of television, which is something I like to comment on frequently. Its almost funny when they speak of how broadcasters are barriers rather than conduits for the flow of content, which is painfully true but also understandable given their business model.

The author goes on to highlight how use of on-screen icons may be a good way to capture value for advertisers. This is definitely one way to deal with capturing value in a world of distributed hyperdistribution, but I don’t think that the multiple models required to create the necessary economics for big media content are imminent or practical at this point. Rather I think that the pattern of lawsuits initiated by the RIAA will be continued in the near term by the MPAA while producers of content at the edge of the network will try to create economic value for ‘right priced’ content through low cost production, hyper-distribution and the development of audience on a scale that supports their endeavors. Periodically big media will see the value in this edge generated content and will try to re-purpose it in ways such as Adam Curry broadcasting podcasting, or in harvesting the seeds of this content and putting the big media stamp on it for a increasingly departing audience.

Friday, May 20, 2005


Dan Gillmor announced the birth of Bayosphere this week. Dan wrote the great book We the Media which I enjoyed a lot. I was excited to see what he was going to do, and I guess I expected something a little more broad than a grassroots site focusing on the Bay area (hence the name). I guess you have to start with what you know. I am assuming he is going to use the parent company to branch out after they get started ala Craigslist.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

TMobile Voicemail Upgrade Problems - Part Two

I have been getting a lot of hits on my blog recently for people searching for a variety of problems with their TMobile voicemail. When the upgrade happened, I actually called customer service to ask about the problem. I was told that there weren't any problems and they weren't getting any complaints. I think the 10 or so hits I am getting each day for search strings like "Tmobile Voicemail Upgrade" or "Tmobile Voicemail Problems" says other wise. I think I am going to throw in another call as I missed two voicemails last night...

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


Hey if you want a taste of podcasting for video go out and download FireANT. Jay Dedman & crew have released the Windows version of their ANT software. I've been anxiously awaiting this to rekindle by earlier toying around with videoblogging. I have to say that the formatting issues of video are still a real big pain in the butt, much more so than podcasting which still has a ways to go for the non-techie.

The $250 Million Radio Show #23

A very rocking version of the $250 Million Radio Show can be found here. Credits here. Please do yourself a favor and check out the first two tracks by Scarlet Symphony. These guys are going to be huge!!!!!

Monday, May 16, 2005

User Generated Content: Ego Surfing and Media Networking

I meant to post this last week but got really busy with our "any day now" launch of Rabble.

One of the keystones of our company is the idea of Location Aware Media Networking. Shawn wrote this piece that talks more in depth about the concept.

Practically speaking though, what does media networking look like?

Blogging on a consistent basis creates a lot of media. In the last year I think I have posted on average a post a day or something north of 300 - 500 posts. Originally my intention was to take more of an essay approach or a long form approach like Russell Beattie and some others including Shawn. In practice I have found that I write the occasional essay or long form piece ("Of Note" posts on the sidebar) and more often than not write short pieces that hit highlights of things I have encountered or things that reference back to the longer pieces I have written in terms of subject matter. Not quite link blogging, but somewhere in the middle. Sometimes I write about the little personal things in life that are important to me because that's what I want to do.

Because I have had several pieces picked up on some other blogs, I have had a couple of good traffic spikes associated with this blog. When you combine that with a large volume of media created from the smaller posts, you get some interesting effects that are reflected in search engines. I think it is interesting to point out this effect and the implications in the future as more people become active creators of content.

Ego Surfing

I have seen others like Stowe write about ego surfing the search engines. When I first read these posts I thought they were kind of funny and kind of silly. Over time however there is an interesting impact that I have noticed as I saw my result set rise in the rankings.

In my personal example of ego surfing my ranking as the most relevant "Derrick" on the some major search engines is as follows:

Google - 14th result
Yahoo - 3rd result
MSN - Nothing in the first 5 pages in the recently changes search engine.
Hot Bot - 14th result
Altavista - 7th result
Clusty - 42nd result

As for "Oien" I get pretty high in all of them either 1st or 3rd in all except MSN where I again am not in the first 5 pages of results. I need to go spend some time understanding their result sets as they are so different that the rest. I am sure there are some good reasons for that.

So what? I agree, short of some self centered view of fame this doesn't have any obvious value, but underneath the surface the value is more powerful. A review of people who have come to this blog over the weekend reveals some interesting data. Some examples include:

1. Somebody looking for the term "user generated world map" on Google (8th result)
2. Somebody looking for the term "tmobile callertunes verizon" on Google (6th result)
3. Somebody looking for the term "neil berkman echo" on Google (3rd result) (Neil is a friend)
4. Somebody looking for the term "voicemail doesn't work tmobile" (1st result)

At any rate on any given day something like 10-15% of the traffic to my blog is coming from these searches that may have relevance but may not either. In the above example #3 is from a mention of a friend that may or may not be useful to the person searching and #4 is about a specific post about the problem I continue to have with TMobile. The other posts are of marginal relevance, but the important thing is that I have posted a lot, and I have used some of the words they are looking for. And because of that, they might be reading this post, or something else that doesn't really answer their question.

At this point in time where there are arguably a handful (ok a REALLY big handful) of people blogging on a frequent basis, there is an inordinate amount of skewing of the result sets on most of the search engines towards results that have an intersection with these content creators who are blogging and the information people are seeking. I guess you could argue that there is some relevance based on that, and I know that I have had more than a couple of conversations with people as a result of these sort of random intersections, but generally to me these types of results miss the mark.

I have spent a lot of time thinking about the impact of this and would make the following observations:

1. Increasingly in a world of decentralized media production and consumption we will find each other through the content we create, for better or worse. As things become more and more decentralized the way people will find us will be either through a direct existing relationship, a referral, or serendipity.

2. There will be a skewing of results in the various methods of finding people whether it is through search engines or blog specific engines towards people who create a lot of content. The body of work created by bloggers becomes self perpetuating and I am not entirely certain how you balance out volume versus quality as more and more bloggers are created. I would also say that some of the most articulate and bright people I know aren't blogging. Are those voices less interesting than those who have been blogging for several years?

3. Although most of the bloggers I read blog based on an interest area or some other outgrowth of their other efforts commercial or otherwise, I believe that there will be an increasing view that blogging is at a fundamental level a personal marketing platform rather than a method of self expression. I don't think that this is necessarily an intended consequence, but is a outgrowth of the explosion of information and the use of search engines as a means to give you what the TV Guide, the library, or friends used to be able to give you, i.e. information. Sure we want to chronicle our thoughts or start a conversation, but if you actually connect with people or have your content syndicated then people will find your writings whether they are your target audience or not.

4. Rich media will undergo a similar effect when we are able to index audio and video in a comprehensive way similar to what we have with full text search and blogs. Clearly doing that is no small feat, but imagine how powerful that will be.

I'd love to hear some thoughts on this or some pointers to other discussions of this elsewhere if you have any. I am sure this will be a topic I revisit often as I think the implications are extremely profound.

Gardening Thoughts - Heirloom Tomatoes

For Mother's day last weekend, Tate and I planted a garden. We had a section of the backyard that wasn't doing much of anything so Jess had a terraced section put in to set up a pretty good sized garden. Back in my early 20s I tried my hand at growing some things and found that when I didn't kill the plants I enjoyed spending a little bit of time doing the gardening thing.

Our local market has an awesome selection of heirloom tomatoes in the summer but they usually have a pretty obscene price tag. So I decided to dedicate a big chunk of space to trying some different heirlooms. We planted Bradywine, Chiant Rose, German Green, Yellow Pear and a couple of others. I'll put some pics up later if I manage to get the to grow. If I get it even close to working I expect to have some really tasty treats this summer.

The interesting thing with this is how we as a consumer society have gone from variety to mass homogenization back to variety. We have bred the flavor out of food to make sure that they are exactly the right size and last the perfect amount of time, and look what we think they should look like. When you contrast that with the bizarre shape of heirlooms complete with imperfections and a flavor that can't be beat, I'll take the weird ones everyday. Same with my music, same with my media.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

The $250 Million Radio Show #22

The show can be found here. The credits here.

This show features some neo-psychedelic, reggae, progressive, surf-american and Celtic Rock.


I am kind of bummed for some of my friends at Warner Music Group. I don't pretend to understand where the music business is going, but it appears that the marketplace doesn't have high hopes for the traditional music business given the downward pricing pressure of the WMG IPO pre market debut and the subsequent tumble to under $16 right now. I don't get the sense that UMG would have the same experience given their commanding market share, but until the larger issues get sorted out it seems that being exposed to the pressures of the daily market swings can't be a good thing for a business that has to invest in the future to make money. Especially when that future doesn't seem obvious to anyone.


Google gobbled up Grad school thesis project/company Dodgeball. Good news for us companies in the Mososo world and the larger social social software world.

Digital Music Take 35 or is it Take 2? Yahoo!

Yahoo got into music. In a serious way. So rather than just another partial step, this may be the start of the serious development of Digital Music. I can't wait to see how this shapes up.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Blogging Birthday

Today it has been a year since I started blogging. It's been quite a journey for me.

I've found old friends, made new ones, started podcasting, played a little bit with video, and found myself doing something I hope to be doing years from now. I'd definitely recommend it to others.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Scarlet Symphony

Last Friday night during the triplet health meltdown, I snuck away to hang out with Mike Halloran. Mike is a radio god of alternative and indie music. Here is a cool blogspost that talks about the format Mike helped to pioneer.

I wanted to talk with Mike about podcasting and Rabble and other assorted stuff. I got to hang out at the radio station he is currently at 94.9 in San Diego. I didn't know it but Mike is a big fan of Shepard Fairey so the office was very decorated and I was able to get some pics for my Flickr collection.

We talked and Mike was insistent that I go out with him that night to see a band he was raving about. Now Mike isn't one to rave, but I sat with him literally 4 years ago and he told me that emo was the next big thing in music and that Dashboard Confessionals had a good chance at being the big hit of the genre. Arguably he was right on both counts. Mike was also one of the big early boosters of Blink 182. So when someone INSISTS and they have a track record you go along.

The band we saw was Scarlet Symphony. I was floored. The band was just amazing and this is coming from someone who has seen hundreds of shows and am very infrequently impressed at live shows. I don't think that the tracks they have on their site do the live show justice but I guarantee that when they get the right producer, these guys have a chance at being enormously successful. You heard it here first. Now I need to get them on my podcast...

Triplet Disease Experiments

One of the triplets, Brit, took a trip to North Dakota. He came back a week ago Sunday with a bit of a cough the following Monday. By Wednesday it was pneumonia. By Thursday/Friday the cold had spread to the other 2/3s. By yesterday his identical twin Tucker had pneumonia and Mallory was on her way. Today Brit seems to be around the bend and everyone else seems to be at the apex of the disease and are starting to improve. WOW. What a week!!!!!

Friday, May 06, 2005

Podcasting Legal Primers

As more people play around with podcasting, more people are becoming aware of the potential legal issues. Chris from Indiefeed posted a link to this article from the Collegiate Broadcasters in the AMP forums. It's good to see continued education about not getting sued. Getting sued sucks.


Unmediated had an article the other day about a new service called Cellphedia. It sounded interesting to me as it has some of the attributes that we think are found in Rabble. I signed up for it. The process goes something like this. You sign up for the service. You pick several categories of expertise to answer questions. You set a limit to the number of SMS inquiries you will get a day.

Seemed easy enough. The first day I got two messages that I didn't have time to respond to.

The second day I received 5. This wasn't so bad, except, two of them came across as MMS messages. You know, MMS like $.25 a message. Boy that ticks me off. So let me get this straight. I offer help to the 'community' and for the 'privilege' I get to pay to see the questions and possibly respond. No thanks. Sorry. My unlimited SMS subscription meant that you are taking a small slice of my time. The MMS meant you were ripping me off.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Blog Clutter

I saw a friend had put a Feedburner banner on their blog showing the number of readers they have. I like stuff like that as I am a data junkie. The more data the better. I love that about Bloglines. I have 57 people who have subscribed at one time or another. I don't suspect many of them read on a frequent basis, but it's an interesting number to me for some reason.

I also really like the HitMaps thing at the bottom of this page that I was intrigued by when Stowe put one on his site. There are people in places where I have never been that have read my blog at some time. It could have been the accidental "Next Blog" on Blogger or I might have actually said something interesting somewhere. I am guessing that it's 50/50.

All of this got me to thinking that I have a ton of crap on my blog. I like the Flickr bar, but I think I am going to be using Phlog and Zoto more, or in addition to Flickr. Hmmm. I don't listen to any of the podcasts I have links to other than AMP links, which I am listening more and more to.

I think its a good time for some springtime blog cleaning... Oh that reminds me, those Google Ad words, I think I am up to like $5.93. This one hurts me. Do I eliminate the beer money banner at the top cuz it's really not something I ever plan to make money on, or in a nod to my free hosting it's something I should have because I am a supporter of capitalism? The hard choices in life...

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Intercasting Corp Blog Update

If you haven't had a chance to check out our company blog come on over and check out the writings of my business partner Shawn Conahan. The topics are familiar to readers of this blog. You can find the IntercastingCorp blog here.

The $250 Million Radio Show #21

After a long podcasting break, show #21. You can find the file here. Credits here.

Sirius Thoughts

Dave Winer wrote this post about the Adam Curry/Sirius deal. I commented with the following:

When one thinks about the media forces that emanate from either the edge of the network or the center of the network, this is just one more example of the center of the network finding something valuable at the edge. This has happened many times before for example, Beavis and Butthead, South Park, CounterStrike (gaming), etc.

As we increasingly develop ecosystems at the edge of the network, big media will increasing look to the edge to find content that it can plug in to fill the constrained capacity that they own.

Scarcity creates the value of content in the big media world. In the world where there is no scarcity of distribution, content becomes inexpensive. This is our world.

The story is good news for those who are going to make money on it, but the real heavy work and hard lifting that will create the REAL ecosystems will continue on as it has over these last hectic months.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Adam Curry and Sirius

Adam Curry inked a deal with Sirius. Four hours of podcasting a day! Hehe.


We plan on doing some extensive traveling starting the week of May 23 and continuing into the next week. Cities should include SF, Boston and NYC. If you are a friend and want to hang out when I am coming through drop me a line. Once the schedule is set I'll post it on my RSS Calendar on this page.