Posts about vlogs

Bizarro World

There is a German Rocketboom: Ehrensenf. Remember the Bizarro World episode of Seinfeld? This is the vlog version. The star is a brunette and the language is German but it looks familiar.

Ready for your closeup

Heather Green is doing a story about online video and wants recoommendations for great video blogs (besides the obvious: Rocketboom). Go here.

Rocketboom, indeed

In this Sunday’s NY Times Arts & Leisure section, Rocketboom‘s Amanda Congdon and Andrew Baron get the star treatment they deserve in a very good — and admiring — story about vlogging.

One big bit of news therein is that Rocketboom has cut a deal with TiVo to let its customers download the vlog. Or maybe that’s the wrong way to say it: They’ll be able to record and watch Rocketboom just as easily as they can record Jon Stewart. So now the little fish swim in the same pond with the big fish. That’s what citizens’ media is all about.

Rocketboom will get half of the revenue for ads wrapped around their vlogs. That is great news. And that’s what big media’s relationship with citizens’ media should be about.

Bravo! Brava! Encore!

: Some blurbable lines from the story by Robert Mackey:

Amanda Congdon is a big star on really small screens….

What makes Rocketboom so different from most other video blogs… is that the daily episodes are consistently entertaining. With Mr. Baron, 35, the designer who created the site and films the episodes, Ms Congdon, 24, has fashioned a quirky, charming persona, with an inventive take on the news that is closer in spirit to Letterman than CNN.

The fact that she is an attractive young woman probably doesn’t hurt either….

In fact, the day Steve Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, introduced the video iPod to developers, he showed a playlist of video podcasts on his computer. Rocketboom was at the top….

And here is Mr. Mackey’s contribution to the doctrine of exploding TV:

Until now, both the television and film industries have been built on a model that requires producers to appeal to millions of people or be considered failures. If Amanda Congdon at one end of the spectrum and Charlene Rule at the other continue to add viewers at the rate they’re going, they and the best of the other vloggers might just provide a viable alternative to that lowest-common-denominator business model.

In other words, the revolution may just be vloggerized.

So bright

Brightcove, Jeremy Allaire’s new video-serving company, had lots of big news today: investments from AOL, Barry Diller’s IAC, Hearst, and Allen & Co. They also made a deal with AOL to distribute its video there. (Full disclosure: I think I’m on Brightcove’s board of advisors and I’ve introduced them to some companies.)

What I like about Brightcove — besides Allaire — is that they enable many models: ad-supported video, pay-per-view video, subscription video, and free video (that is, paid for by the producer). They make publishing and playing the video easy thanks to copious Flash (remember that Allaire sold his company to Macromedia and was there for sometime).

What will be interesting is seeing how this works with all the other means of video distribution that are popular: Bittorrent, of course; plus iTunes; plus TiVo to iPods and PCs…. There is no question that there is pentup demand for video among consumers and even more among advertisers, who’ve wanted to turn the internet into TV from day one. They want the motion and excitement of video. They also want the ease of buying TV upfront, but those days are over. Over.

Says Iconoculture‘s newsletter today:

Last month ABC and Apple started offering next-day downloads of major primetime programs. It started with Desperate Housewives and Lost for $1.99 per episode, and sparked a reaction (long in the works) from NBC/DirecTV and CBS/Comcast to offer similar content on demand for only $.99. Then, just this week, AOL/Time Warner decided to up the ante by opening up their back catalog of television content on AOL’s online network for free.

How did this on-demand flash happen? Wasn’t this level of à la carte TV consumer control and access supposed to be years off? No; not really. Consumers have already been building their own level of mix-and-match programming and TV personalization with services like BitTorrent and a flood of new independent and user-created content via the web. Learning from the music industry’s late 90’s struggles with Napster and its brethren, broadcasters and studios are offering their content before consumers get too far ahead of them.

From a TV ad and affiliate sales point of view, these developments are like reversing the rotation of the Earth, flipping the script in terms of traditional appointment viewing assumptions. What that means for the next several years is a continued shift toward far more targeted marketing campaigns and a dependence on consumers to invite ads rather than merely accept the ones pushed to them. To get those invitations, advocacy, trust, and customization are the price of entry.

My emphasis.

: Frank Barnako writes about this today and is nice enough to link to my exploding-tv posts. The newer ones are here; the older ones (from the old blog platform), starting in June last year, are here.

: Now Viacom is in talks with Google about video search and VOD. [via Thomas Hawk]

Vlog-it lives

Long-promised, Vlog-it — the lite version of Visual Communicator — is out and it costs only $49.95. Visual Communicator gives you a teleprompter on your PC and lets you drag-and-drop inserts of audio, video, graphics, and such onto your script so, as you record it, they are recorded, too, eliminating the need for post-production and editing. Unfortunately, it works only on Windows.