Friday, June 30, 2006

WTF - Couchsurfing takes a dive

Techcruch has reported that Couchsurfing has taken a dive. The site is down and most likely has closed it's doors for good. Being a user of couchsurfing, I am saddened to see this happen. It seems there was a series of mistakes made by the administrators of the database and now the data is gone. I really though Couchsurfing was a great site and great community of nearly 100,000 users. I used it when I travelled to europe to meet locals and get travel advice. Techcrunch has a deadpool list of startups that have failed, but this brings to home a bigger issue that we must consider. Who do you trust with your data, and who will be around to make sure it lasts?

Flickr is one service that can go by the way of couchsurfing and impact thousands of users, and there are examples of popular services like this where consumer investment is low (read free) and company funding is nonexistent. (yes Flickr is now owned by Yahoo, so it is here for now)

I just don't know what to say.......I know there will be a new site that will take it's place, but it is a sad day in the "social networking" world.

Update: For those who have not seen the service, the wayback machine has a copy of the site as of 2005 here

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Do we need another Podcast Directory?

I hate to be cynical about new technologies, but it seems that Podcasting is getting a little crowded in the directory space. With Melodeo being in the spotlight this week, it is hard to say Blubrry will make a buzz. Fresh for Gnomedex, Raw Voice, the creators behind Geek News Central, has released the web 2.0ish application in the wild. The first impressions in usability is a good one. The site looks clean an is easy to use. There doesn't seem to be a massive amount of content at this time, so it looks like a site that requires podcasters to sign up to add their podcast to the site. I say "looks like" because there is no information about what blubrry actually does. I assumed it was a podcast index site that would go out and aggregate content, but with so few offerings at launch, I think that assumption will be wrong. As you can see they are more than mysterious with their about page
About Blubrry
One network that meets your needs and keeps you independant.
So how are you going to meet my needs? And joining a network keeps me independent how? Yes I know it is beta, but when you launch a product, please tell me what it is and what it does.

Searching the web, I found an article in the

Podcast Herald,

where Todd Cochrane talks about his new service.

From reading I gather this much:

  • "Dynamic user-driven connecting place featuring "MySpace" - Style social navigation, ranking and commenting for each show"
  • "...listing requirements for podcasters...including"
  • "...One advertising spot for your podcast....
  • "..Blurbrry promo if no advertising is available..."
  • and here's the rub....."honor your commitments to advertisers and not compete with Blubrry outside the network...."
  • Like Flickr and other name catchy applications, they just couldn't find any room for that additional letter in the name (I mean come on, they don't charge by the letter when you register a domain name)
Now that has "user-generated", "social network", "folksonomy", web 2.0 buzz kill written all over it. Why would anyone want to join this network and be a part of the advertising pool if they can't subsidize with outside advertising? Talk about your walled garden, people come to sites for the content and ease of use. Yahoo, Odeo and others have made finding podcast's easy, so now others will have to compete on content.

The upside in joining blurbrry for podcast producers is a share of the revenue. The split will be 70 -30 split with the big chunk going to Podcasters. A fair deal, but you need advertising dollars in order to fund this share. The key question is how can blurbrry differentiate themselves from other podcast networks where advertisers will want to invest.

Monitization can be tricky in podcasting, and given the lack of big names on the network, I don't see a huge uptake to blurbrry.

Todd has some experience in podcasting and building networks, so I do think he has a chance to get some buzz, but over the next year I am sure we will see more networks with other types of business models hit the space and bring more competition to a already crowded market.

Good luck Todd, I just have one request. Please add more content to the site so users and producers know what it is all about.

Update: Friday June 30, 2006 4:30pm PDT

Anthony from Podcast herold sent me an email to clarify the comment I made about not being able to advertise on the outside if you join the network. He says:

One correction about Blubrry: podcasters can subsidize with outside advertising.

I think what Todd Cochrane means is that he doesn't want a conflict between the advertisers Blubrry is setting up for member podcast spots. Any previous advertising deals a podcast may have and any other ad deals are no problem and are up to the individual podcast producers.

And yes, the collective bargaining power and 70-30 split does look nice.

I took more time on the site and signed up. When you go to add a podcast to the network there is more informaiton on what the expectations of both parties are.

From the podcast sign up page:
What are the terms?

Blubrry values our relationship with you. Here are important points from our agreement with you:

At Blubrry you will always own the content that you produce.

If you produced it you own the copyright. Blubrry wants to promote your content not own it!

The Blubrry Agreement is not an exclusive commitment.

The Blubrry Agreement does not prevent you from signing up with other networks and it does not prevent you from promoting other podcasts or making paid or unpaid appearances for your show.

You give Blubrry the right to negotiate one advertising spot for your podcast.

Blubrry will negotiate advertising contracts with full disclosure of the deals, and offer them to you. You always have the right to refuse to take part in any advertising campaign.

You agree to run a non obtrusive short Blubrry promotion in your podcast if no advertising is available.

Listing on the network is free but each show will help build the network. Blubrry will promote your podcast and when there are times that you are not engaging in a paid advertising campaign we ask that you to promote Blubrry with a short promo usually in spoken form indicating your listing on

Of course we don't want you to do deals privately with vendors that advertise with Blubrry.

To facilitate advertising to multiple podcasters, it can become destructive if blubrry members make special deals with clients who are advertising thru the Blubrry Network. See the terms and conditions for more details.

Advertisers expect a commitment.

Let's say that you sign up to be a part of a three- month advertising campaign. The contract with the advertiser is for a three-month commitment. You are expected to produce your podcast regularly and remain a part of the Blubrry network during those three months.

No one wants "cease and desist" letter.

Therefore, if you use copyrighted material in your podcast you must have permission, and you must be following the terms of the permission the copyright is giving you.

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Scoble The Exit Interview

Scoble has left the building.....Good luck Robert on your new adventure.

On you last day at M$ I moved you from my MS folder to the Bloggies folder in Bloglines. You are now right next to scripting news......Keep up the good word

read more | digg story

The first OS X Leopard (10.5) Video

Digg Article:
Not much to the video, but we love to hear Apple is working on new OS.

"Of course this falls under rumors. This is supposed to be a video of Mac OS X (10.5) Leopard. You be the judge."

read more | digg story

Google Book Search - 1, Publishers - 0

It looks like Google's Book Search Program just earned a little validation. German publishers have dropped thier copyright suit against google. Now lets see if this will influence publisher's here in America.

Read the article here

You can also listen to the debate between Google and the AAP that took place earlier this month here.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Bloggercon IV

Day one at bloggercon was very successful. As a small blogger, I was able to get a lot out of all the sessions and meet some really great people. The blogging community is great about coming together and sharing ideas. Dave Winer's "unconference" format works very good and everyone is the speaker and the audience.

I will have more to write about each session, but for now I am enjoying day 2. Many people are here and you can find them and their photos.

The live stream and mp3 files can be found here.

Thanks Dave and Doc and all those who made bloggercon work.

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Friday, June 23, 2006


Bloggercon IV is about to begin here in San Francisco. Last night's kick off party was great. I met some great bloggers that I have been reading for awhile now.

Dave Winer has kicked off the conference with a traditional song. The Hoki poki was suggested and sung by the crowd. This is a unique conference in the fact that it is interactive and the audience is the panel. Everyone has a voice and it is not about companies trying to sell you something, but bloggers discussing technology and issues.

Updates will come as the sessions roll.

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Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Battle Over Books - LAPL and Wired Magazine

The Talk that took place on monday is now available here

For additional information you can view Lawrence Lessig's presentation here

Monday, June 12, 2006

Google vs. the world

The google book search debate was great. The arguments were well laid out and I found the debate to be on point at most times. I recorded much of the debate and some commentary afterwards. It will take a day or 2 to edit, but I am excited about the audio I recorded.

I had an opportunity to meet Lawrence Lessig and it was truly an honor. Check back in a day or 2 to hear the audio.

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Google Book search Debate

I am at the central library downtown to listen to a debate between publishers and authors and Google about the program to scan all the books in the world. Larry Lessig will be involved and it should be a good debate for fair use and the control of words and knowledge as we know it.

There have been some good debates and discussions on this issue in the blogosphere and I think Lessigs position of fair use make a compelling argument. I hope I can learn more from tonights discution.

I will see if I can blog a summary whilst the discussion is going on. For now I am going to enjoy the beauty and architenture of the Central Library.

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Sunday, June 11, 2006

Vloggercon 2006

Vloggercon was happening this weekend in San Francisco and it sure seems to be a success. One of the valuable offerings this year was the live video streams of all the sessions and the real time chat for online attendees. Being a Video Blogging conference this was a great idea. The chat feature worked as remote participants were able to ask questions and get involved.

Video blogging and podcasting are making it easy for the average person to get involved. If you want to report or just teach or offer commentary, Video and audio that is easy to produce and distribute is the future. Not to say the Main Stream Media is going away soon, they will just have more competition, which I hope will make them better.

Good job to all the organizers of vloggercon. I appreciate the effort and value to remote participants.

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Saturday, June 10, 2006

World Cup Fever

The World Cup is finally here. With months of anticipation the opening game was not a disapointment. Germany vs. Costa Rica was a great match to watch and I hope it has set the tone of games to come. Being in America, we are disadvantaged by the time difference and thus the games being played during the morning and afternoon. I have a "No Scores" policy for anyone that I talk to during the day because I want to see the Games via my trusty Tivo. Everyone has seem to caught the World Cup fever, so it is hard not to hear whats going on, but I am sticking to my policy, because noing the outcome of the game makes it no fun to watch.

Germany looked good yesterday. Their defense is suspect, but they should make it far this year. I think Italy has a good chance to take it this year but Brazil seems to be the perrinial favorite.

In any event, the next month should be exciting and we will have some temporary football fans here in the us at least for the summer.

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Thursday, June 08, 2006

Time off

As you can see I have not been posting lately. Mostly busy, but also wanted to take time off from writing and just enjoy life. This next month is busy, but I will get a chance to get to go to Bloggercon IV. I hope to take more time this summer to enjoy camping and hanging out at the beach.

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