Friday, December 30, 2005

Reflecting on 2005

Taking a page from last year, I thought I would hit the highlights of this year for me:

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

Holiday Recap

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

Intercasting / Rabble Named As A Top 50 Futurecentric Company

Wow. That sounds really cool. Apparently PriceWaterHouseCoopers, Thomson Venture Economics and the National Venture Capital Association selects 50 companies each year that are "entrepreneurial companies building ideas that are shaping the future." Blush.

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

MySpace Podcasting and RSS Support

This must be the week of quiet rollouts. Jason from Insomnia Radio/Kill Your FM pinged me on Skype this morning and told me to check out that MySpace has rolled out podcasting support on their site. At the bottom of the blog their is a box for your podcast enclosure. I went ahead and added the link to my file of my last show (reminds me, time for another one) and posted. I then went to Bloglines and found nothing when I subscribed to the RSS feed. Hey they added RSS support too! We played around a bit and didn't get anywhere but I did manage to subscribe to the RSS feed in iTunes and download the show. Hmmm. Ok so maybe there is a reason they haven't announced it. Here is my Myspace RSS -

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


A company that is loosely in a similar space to Rabble called WaveMarket has launched their application Streethive on Cingular. I hadn't seen any press on it but ran across it on the Cingular deck. I will be spending some time on it tonight. I am not sure which handsets they support but I ran across it on a Nokia 6620.


Four years ago, Jessica started buying me Nutcrackers. I used to buy my dad beer steins from Germany for Xmas so this was kind of an update on that. Here is a picture of my first Nutcracker, a Santa and my latest one, a William Shakespeare nutcracker. Doesn't that rule?


Since before Tate was born we have been in the habit of sending cards out to people around the holidays. We started with family pictures but quickly shifted to pictures of our kid and now kids. Jess made an amazing card this year so I felt an extra level of need to get a list of people to send cards out to this year. I rummaged through my office and realized that I have a stack of approximately 500 business cards that weren't in my PIM. Holy crap!

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


I have a post to write later today if I get the time about business cards and technology. If you read that then you will understand that I am doing some catch up. Back at the Podcast Expo, one of the guys I ran into was from a company called Melodeo. Melodeo was interested in talking with our various podcasters in AMP because they want to have content to showcase their Mobilecast podcasting client for phones.

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

Mobile Monday San Diego

We are hosting Mobile Monday San Diego in our offices next week on the 19th. The link to the site for information on speakers etc is here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Holy Crap! It's my birthday

The Boys waiting for the show
The Boys waiting for the show,
originally uploaded by brikmaster.
I can't believe that it has been a year, but tomorrow Mallory, Tucker and Brit turn 1. It is certainly a surprise when you are doing a startup and plan on having child number 2 but end up with child # 2, 3 and 4.

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

Podcaster Con

I am leading a session on copyright law and podcasting at Podcastercon in early January. Here is the session description.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Korv Party

December 4 2005 031
December 4 2005 031,
originally uploaded by brikmaster.
This weekend I went to a sausage making party. That doesn't sound right, but it is true. It is impossible to be around a bunch of adults and spend time shoving meat into stomach casings and not make a bunch of really crude and off color jokes. This is one of the less obscene pictures I took. For the uninitiated, Korv is a rather bland Swedish sausage that is similar to bangers and it apparently is served around the holidays along with things like pickled herring and lutefisk. More pictures on my flickr page.

Thursday, December 01, 2005


Garageband just launched their consumer podcasting site at Gcast. I am uploading my last podcast up right now.