Hulu Beta Testing

December 31, 2007 by  
Filed under Broadcast, Media, Online, Social Networking, Technology, Videos

Hulu.com icon logoIn a largely speculative post last month, I wondered about the possibilities of Hulu, News Corp’s new online video venture.

Since then I’ve received my beta testing login details. With a great deal of excitement I went to Hulu.com to see what fantastic wonders would be presented to me.

None. If you’re in Australia, bad luck – it’s a case of look, but don’t touch.

For now, Hulu is a U.S. service only. That said, our intention is to make Hulu’s growing content lineup available worldwide. This requires clearing the rights for each show or film in each specific geography and will take time.

Being limited to North America because of distribution rights, international users are agonisingly teased by a long list of currently popular TV shows they can’t watch – Arrested Development, Family Guy, Scrubs, King of The Hill, My Name is Earl, The Office… the list goes on, and unless you have a beta login to Hulu (get on the waiting list) none of those links will get you anywhere.

With a login, choosing any episode from one of those shows takes you to the video player screen, right to the excited point of ‘Loading Video’ before slapping you in the face – rejection.

Hulu.com screen grab - Unfortunately this video is not currently available in your country or region. We apologize for the inconvenience.
But I want to take advantage of the options alongside the video player – share, embed, watch it full screen! Hopefully it’s not too long before something is up and running for Australia.

In a desperate attempt to see the video player in action, I tried some older shows in the hope they were no longer affected by distribution rights. Thankfully, even Doogie Howser episodes (Breaking Up is Hard to Doogie) from 1989 were unavailable.

ABC Now

In a continuing push to break new ground in digital media, ABC (Australia) has released ABC Now, a desktop media player for select ABC digital content.

The potential of this application is huge. When I read the description of what it would do, I couldn’t wait to try it. Unfortunately the interface isn’t entirely user-friendly at the moment, but it’s in beta, so expect something great to come.

For what is obviously planned for this media player the ABC is again demonstrating why Australians go to them for original online audio and video content – because they try to make it easily accessible.

Often they succeed in the attempt, and that’s why their podcasts and vodcasts have enjoyed such popularity. ABC digital content has succeeded because it is available. If there’s not much to choose from, people move on. The ABC’s integration online of text, audio and video content is impressive, to say the least.

If you haven’t seen it, check out an example of their in-page video player on this story.

Hulu – the News tube

Earlier this year it was announced that News Corporation was developing a YouTube killer.  It was to be their own video serving site that was going to deliver full-length TV shows in a partnership with NBC, rather than the perceived notion (misguided I think) of the worthless fare served up on YouTube.

The News Ltd paper I work for (full disclosure) went so far as to declare in March 2007 that “YouTube’s dominance of online video content is about to end”.

Hulu.com is the outworking of that effort and is now in beta, and it’s looking pretty good.

Something very few news sites are doing today is incorporating social networking opportunities into their structure.  Even less are incorporating social networking into their video content – which remains for the most part clunky and unappealing.

Hopefully Hulu will change that for News Ltd/Corp.  This aspect of the current beta player is promising.

The “embed” function allows you to set in and out points, so you can embed just a selected chunk of a video clip on your blog.

I really hope this technology gets rolled out to all News Ltd/Corp sites, because it will exponentially enhance video content accessibility.

A review of Hulu at LostRemote.

Twitter News Media

October 11, 2007 by  
Filed under Media, Online, Social Networking

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Twitter logoSomething I didn’t mention in the previous post is that Twitter can also be utilised as an advanced, and free, mobile news updating service.

The other day I discovered news feeds on Twitter. I started following the New York Times world news feed with mobile phone message updates. These consist of a headline and a URL link to the full story.

For anyone on an internet-enabled phone, this is a quick and easy way to get news updates. My mobile phone isn’t internet-enabled, so just getting the headlines wasn’t entirely useful, and the SMS messages filled the inbox within a few hours.

For the media outlet, the cost of putting headline updates on Twitter is minimal if done manually, none if the process is automated.

For the consumer there is no cost for receiving, or ‘following‘, the updates via Twitter.

They get a headline delivered. If they like it, they follow the link to your site.

Twitter for work

October 7, 2007 by  
Filed under Media, Online, Social Networking, Technology

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Twitter logoI’ve been thinking for a while, perhaps reading elsewhere, that Twitter could be applied to business communications.  Twitter messages can be read via an RSS feed, or the real-time free text messages to registered ‘followers’.

Twitters (messages left on Twitter) are limited in length, much like a text message on a phone, but would be very handy for imparting brief, quick instructions to everyone in a work group immediately on their mobile phone.

via Phil Windley’s Technometria:

…using Twitter as a messaging endpoint in what Rohit Khare calls a “syndication oriented architecture,” or SynOA. Jon Udell and Rohit talked about this on IT Conversations a few weeks ago.

I’m using Twitter in a similar way in my class this semester. My students are writing servers that send updates to a Twitter account via the Twitter API. Anyone can then subscribe to those updates through RSS, via SMS, or simply by going to the Web page. Easy, simple, and pretty effective.

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Digg: A Geek’s Domain – or Hitting the front page

September 5, 2007 by  
Filed under Online, SEO, Social Networking, Technology

An interesting timeline of how the Digg’s built up. A single-author niche blog pulls 50,000, then 80,000 page views on consecutive days, up from an average of 1,000/day since being launched only 10 days beforehand.  But do the general online newsreading population use Digg, or is it just the geek’s domain?

The Digg Effect: A Deconstruction | Linux Brain Dump

Facebook

July 17, 2007 by  
Filed under Online, Other blogs, Social Networking

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This collection of links is just a few things I’ve read recently about Facebook

Apparently MySpace is no longer cool.

Facebook has grown by 273% in Australia in the last four months alone, mainly thanks to university students.

But it’s also been “invaded by tons and tons of old people“.

MySpace and Facebook popularity is counted by the number of ‘friends’ you have.  But really, how many of them are friends (best link), or is ‘friend’ just being redefined?

Online Video overdose

July 2, 2007 by  
Filed under Broadcast, Media, Online, Technology, Videos

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The most basic and free video editing software (as in, you don’t have to go download/install it because it’s already on your computer) is usually okay for basic video users.

For Windows users there’s Windows Movie Maker, while I’ve found iMovie for the Mac is an ample resource for those quick edits and exports.

If you don’t have any video software that you can use on your hard drive, or are up for a little experimentation, there are a lot of online editing solutions.  I would recommend not trying them on dialup (as I have to at home).

Mashable has put together a very comprehensive resource.

Video Toolbox: 150+ Online Video Tools and Resources

There’s more information there than anyone can reasonably be expected to digest, and the following are just the categories under which they list resources:

  • Live Video Communications
  • Online Video How-to
  • Online Video Editors
  • Online Video Converters
  • Video sharing
  • Video hosting
  • Video organization and management
  • Vidcasts & vlogging
  • Video mashups
  • Mobile video apps
  • Video search
  • Online video downloading services
  • Miscellaneous tools
  • Online TV

They also have other posts in the series, with the Online Photography Toolbox, Blogging Toolbox, and Online Productivity Toolbox.

Twitter

June 13, 2007 by  
Filed under Media, Online, Social Networking, Technology

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Social networking is all the rage at the moment.

I’ve signed up to a few popular sites to see how useful they are – and because I’m a complete nerd. I did hold off for a quite a while on signing up to some of these, but I now feel it’s almost a responsibility to be involved and try to understand them more.

I honestly haven’t put much effort into expanding my social networks across these sites yet, and hadn’t visited some for several months before writing this post.

I’m on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, MySpace, Friendster… probably something else, but I can’t remember at the moment.

You can read about Twitter in this article in The Australian yesterday, where it’s suggested Twitter may not be a complete waste of time.

“There are people who talk about their frivolous daily activities,” Owyang says.

“I remove them. For me it’s more of a business communication tool than a frivolous personal introspection tool.”

LinkedIn has been described as invaluable for professional and career networking. The following is a profile link promotion button. It will probably be part of a future redesign of earleyedition.com.

View Dave Earley's profile on LinkedIn

And Twitter has been described as inane, which of course it can be, as can blogs. But there are useful ones out there too. The badge below may be incorporated into that redesign I mentioned.


follow earleyedition at http://twitter.com

Dot

March 1, 2007 by  
Filed under Broadcast, Media, Online

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In a bit of a Dorothy Dixer, Amanda Meade writes an article in The Australian, mainly based on an interview with Ninemsn managing editor Max Uechtritz, in which he says, “I am not a doomsayer on television. Television and online will work hand in glove and coexist, collaborate and seamlessly drive traffic to each other.”

Of course the online arm of a commercial broadcaster is going to try and drive traffic back to television. Independent online broadcasting and video content will not still be trying to push an analog wheelbarrow.

Newspapers – Online Video provider of choice

February 14, 2007 by  
Filed under Broadcast, Media, News, Online, Podcasts, Print, Videos

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A US report was released yesterday showing newspaper sites grossed US$81 million in local video advertising compared to US$32 million for local TV sites.

Yes, the ‘owners’ of video, TV, are being beaten to the online visual punch by their print rivals.

It’s also predicted online video advertising revenue will make up one-third of ALL online ads by 2012.

It’s no surprise then that TIME Magazine is launching an in-house studio to develop online video content.

The distinction between print, radio, and television will continue to blur as they all produce similar content for online consumption.

Sources:
LostRemote – Time to build a video studio
LostRemote – Newspapers beating TV sites to video revenue

No printed NYT in 5 years?

February 11, 2007 by  
Filed under Media, Online, Print

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New York Times Chairman and Publisher Arthur Sulzberger said, “I really don’t know whether we’ll be printing the Times in five years, and you know what? I don’t care either. The Internet is a wonderful place to be, and we’re leading there.”

I’m sure they will still be printing in five years, but it’s a pretty telling quote from one of the most respected papers in the world, which has also spent a great deal of time developing their web presence into one of the best online news sites.

Outstanding Ash

November 23, 2006 by  
Filed under News, Videos

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I suspect they’re putting something in the water at Ashgrove State School. Driving by today, their school notice billboard now reads, “Congrats – Primary video production – 2nd place in Australia”.

It’s either something in the water or their information technology teachers, who provide a weekly computer education lesson for each class, are good. Very good. At least good enough for one of them to receive a Smart Classrooms ICT Teacher award.

Oh, and you can read all about the history of the school, if you like. They could market a t-shirt at their next school fete.

A.S.S. : established in 1877!

School 2.0

November 20, 2006 by  
Filed under Media, News, Podcasts

Driving the quiet streets of Brisbane in the last week, two school notice billboards caught my attention.

The first, from Our Lady of the Assumption in Enoggera, told how the Year Fours were almost done with their podcasts. Podcasts! My first thought is simply, “Cool.” Then logic kicks in and I think, “Wait, is that really important? Shouldn’t they be doing grammar or mathematics or something?” And then, finally, I kick logic in the teeth and say, “Learning the skills needed to work in a multimedia environment is probably the most important training those kids can get, and at such a young age, they’re off to a good start!” You’ve got to give credit to the teacher who came up with that project. The Year Four page at the school’s site doesn’t yet show the podcasts, but I’ll be keen to check them out if they do post them.

The second billboard was from the primary school I attended during my only year of primary education in Australia, Ashgrove State School. They took out Primary first place in the best web-based student newspaper category for their Kid’s eZine. It’s fairly basic in design and writing, with most of the stories about 100 words in length, but a great achievement for 6-10 year olds! My only suggestion to them would be to put dates on their stories so people know how current they are. My favourite story was one about Ashgrove sports teams written by four of the boys. In it they ask the question, why do Ashgrove sports teams achieve so much? The answer, they decide, is that “the coaches don’t yell, they encourage their teams with firm but quiet talk.” Great stuff.

This sort of information on school noticeboards is much more interesting than the usual “Congratulations Jack and Jane – State Finals”. Apart from Jack and Jane who may get a sense of pride seeing their name by a main road, the general public haven’t learnt much about any of the school’s (possibly) great programs. These boards actually caught my attention and made me interested in what the kids were achieving, underscored by what’s obviously an interesting and fun program. And what they’re doing is great. As I said before, giving young children practical training in a multimedia environment is setting them up for the future.

UPDATE: The title of the post, School 2.0, refers to the now commonly used term Web 2.0, the “supposed second generation of Internet-based services … that emphasize online collaboration and sharing among users” (from Wikipedia).

YouTube, meet Google

October 10, 2006 by  
Filed under Media, News

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Wow, it’s actually gone through – Google buys YouTube for $1.6billion. YouTube has gone from less than 1million visitors per month in August 2005, to 19 million visitors in August 2006.

Crikey – Google buys YouTube for a cool $US1.65 billion

Pajamas Media: GoogTube!:The $1.6 Billion Boys

LostRemote – Lessons learned from YouTube

LostRemote – Details of the Google-YouTube deal

LostRemote – Google buys YouTube

Google makes video play with YouTube buy | Tech News on ZDNet

Google buys YouTube for $1.65 billion – MSNBC

BBC NEWS | Business | Google buys YouTube for $1.65bn

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