Sunday, December 31, 2006

Here's to '06

2006 was billed as the breakout year for web video and was it ever.

2006 was the year when Google launched Google Video, relaunched it, reached 2nd place in video traffic, and then bought 1st place for 1.6 Billion dollars.

2006 was the year that CBS and ABC started streaming their primetime shows online and in watchable quality.

2006 was the year that web video revived the stone dead Saturday Night Live and kept The Office on the air.

2006 was the year when two guys making videos on their couch raised more than a million bucks to start a web video studio.

We talk about the "You Tube era"... that era is comprised of not even the entirety of 2006.

Will web video be like e-commerce and change the way we use the web? Will it be like flash intros and just fade away? We'll find out in '07... stay tuned.

Happy New Year.

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Friday, December 29, 2006

A new start in the new year

It's been nearly a month since I've updated my blog, and that means it's not serving it's purpose.

Queensbound Seven is supposed to be a forum in which I think out loud about the emerging web video industry, join the ongoing conversation about new media, and interact with others about my ideas.

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you know that I've been pouring a great deal of my energy in the last few months into Wallstrip. It's a daily show, and writing, directing and producing has left me little time to blog.

My first job out of college was as operations manager for a large graduation photography company. Our busy season was (obviously) April-June. Every year, when we got to the season, all the upkeep of my personal life would fade away: my credit card bills went unopened, my apartment uncleaned, daily workouts abandoned. To my friends and family, I just disappeared. There was just the work.

That's my instinct. I'm the kind of person who likes to dive head first into a project, slap the blinders on and live my work.

Over the years, I've gotten much better. My priorities have shifted - I'm married, I have a lot more responsibility, and shutting off my life affects other people. Besides, it's just not healthy. You lose all your perspective and the job suffers along with the rest of your life.

Getting better means fighting my instincts. It's easy for something like this blog to get lost in the shuffle when I get really busy. But busy times are when this blog is most useful.

Wallstrip isn't simply a show I produce, it's a show that's distributed based on the BrightRED strategies I develop and fine tune on this blog. Right now I am putting many of the ideas I talk about here to work in the real world, and that's the time when the thought becomes a hypothesis and the hypothesis becomes a theory.

BrightRED has evolved to the point where every single project we pitch contains at least one element that stretches beyond the boundaries of conventional video and integrates net native characteristics into content and form. We may not be solving all the problems in web video, but we're actually trying things every day.

For our clients, what matters is the result of each campaign - the growth of each show. But for us, it's about the evolution of the form, and our position as leaders in that evolution. To get there takes some hard thinking about what can be and what might be - along with some experience in what actually is. My work isn't done when Wallstrip gains audience share, or when we acheive the goals set for one of our commercial campaigns. It's just as critical that I use this blog to analyze what we're doing, compare it to what others are doing, and think about what no one is doing.

In the past few months, I've come to believe that search is the single most important form of distribution for web video, and while that idea has shaped my thinking about every new project I take on, I've never even mentioned it on Queensbound Seven! So what am I going to do about it?

In the coming weeks, your going to see a few changes here. First off, I'm going to be converting the blog to a wordpress platform. I want the added functionality, and I'm a little sick of clogspot. So you'll see a new look and a new user experience.

Secondly, I'll be adding a store to the blog. I'm very interested in affiliate marketing, and I want to create an affiliate store for Queensbound Seven to, well, try it out for myself. I want to build a store based on products that I like and use, and sell them using the medium that I'm comfortable with: video

And finally, I'm going to be posting at least one "thinking out loud" post each week. I may post every day, I may only post once, but I'm going to add at least 52 valuable posts to this archive by the end of 2007. I don't make declarations like that very often, mostly because I feel terribly humiliated if I can't live up to them. But that's exactly why I'm putting this in print, because it's important to me that I do it. And I want to feel disappointed and embarrassed if I don't.

So there you have it. My end of the year manifesto. I usually try to keep the personal stuff to a minimun here, but it is a personal blog, so you have to indulge me every once in a while.

Stay tuned for my New Years challenge to the web video community - Seven problems we've got to solve in '07.


Friday, December 01, 2006

Somebody's Watching Me

I just grabbed theattention trust recorder, something I've been meaning to do since we interviewed Seth.

A nice easy firefox extension install later, I am now perpetually creating an .xml file of my clickstream, both on my hardrive and at the Root Vaults, where I can play with my data and learn more about my online identity.

Extremely important with a tool like this, turning it OFF is really easy. On click and the green diamond on my toolbar becomes a red box, and my stream goes unrecorded.

Engaging in this exercise made me realize how many different ways you can use rss to look at me online:

Anyone who wants to can set their RSS reader to:

watch my daily show

read this blog

see what sites I'm bookmarking, and who's tagging with my name

see what people are saying about this blog

see what people are saying about wallstrip

Who's going to monitor all those things? Probably just me and the FBI. My wife? Please. And anyone else, well that would just be creepy.

In The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat, the title case study is about a man who lost his ability to interpret what he saw. He had no trouble seeing, and described abstract shapes perfectly. But when it came to interepreting and contextualizing that data, he was at a loss. An autistic brain can only analyze what is concrete. Conversely, his brain could only think in the abstract, and so he couldn't discern by site the difference between his wife's head and his bowler.

Right now, attention tracking is sort of like that man's brain. Once we develop tools to contextualize and interpret that data, an observation like, "Adam seems blue today" will be something that can be concluded not only by seeing me and interacting with me in person, but also from my web presence. That's pretty cool.