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HeyCosmo is one of the presenting companies at the DEMO launch conference. You may remember HeyCosmo from our review last year. The company has relaunched with a new set of applications. I met with CEO James Im last week and he walked me through one of their applications, Blaster.
Blaster is voice sms for groups. It’s a pretty useful application. Let’s say you plan to have a party with 10 of your friends to celebrate the Giants winning the Superbowl. You want to know which bar your friends would like to meet at. You can setup a "blast" to your friends with your options. Blaster then calls each one of your friends, reads your text and offers suggestions. Your friends select their choice and that’s it. The Web application (also a Facebook app) monitors the replies in real-time so you can tell who has replied.
My example is very basic – Blaster can be used for surveys as well. It’s much easier to quickly poll your friends via voice about meeting than to setup an invitation with a service like Evite. I grabbed James for a quick demo of Blaster at DEMO today:
Tonight I attended what I believe is the 2nd largest NY (tech) Meetup group – the NY Video Meetup. The group continues to get larger month over month and I am guessing 200ish came out tonight. Tonight’s presenters were: HeyCosmo, Joost, 5min and blip.tv. I am assuming that the Ustream recorded show will be available later this evening.
Before I provide some comments on the demos, tonight I had the chance to meet one of the hottest video show hosts today, Gary Vaynerchuk. Gary runs a daily video show called WineLibrary.TV. I wrote about Gary on my Vimeo vs. Viddler post and Gary has been on mainstream tv (Tonight Show and Ellen) recently and his video shows continue to explode in visitors.
So many times when techies talk about video bloggers it’s always the same crowd. There are plenty of great video bloggers outside the tech market. If you plan to get into the video blogging space, check out WLTV. Gary has 50k+ viewers daily and what’s more important is that each day he has 300+ comments on his video. And what’s great is that even though Gary owns a large wine store, he never “forces” viewers to buy from him (yet I am sure they do!). Anyway it was great to meet him this evening.
And now on with the recap.
First up was HeyCosmo. The demo was pretty tough to sit through yet it worked, which means the product sells itself. The guy who presented (I didn’t catch his name) is the brother of the CEO who was unable to make it so I can’t be too negative about the presentation :). He was hilarious. HeyCosmo offers a variety of applications on a community video platform. One of the demo’d apps was a live texas holdem app. I have to say, it’s hot. Each player uses a webcam and so it’s as close to sitting at the same table as possible. They are working on Sudoko which is in development currently. I am working on getting some invites for CN readers.
David Clark, North American VP presented Joost and if you haven’t tried Joost recently, I would suggest you give them another try. The app has lots of improvements from say early summer versions. David noted that they are a small company with big ambitions and they want to create a product that people love to use. Currently they host 15,000 shows and just launched a Facebook widget. I asked about their thoughts on Hulu and David responded, “We like Hulu – and we are looking to move to live and Web down the road as well”.
The Joost advertising platform combines all of the current Inernet technologies serving approximately 1.5 minutes of video ads per hour along with other interactive ads. From a peer-to-peer standpoint, currently 70% of the bandwidth comes from p2p and 30% from their server farm.
By now I am guessing most of the CN readers have seen the Israeli actor who discusses how to get VC funding – if not, I have embedded it at the end of this post. 5min is currently located in Israel but is planning to open a NY office in a month. They currently have one million unique visitors for October with 700-1000 uploaded videos per month. Their motto is “helping each other to share knowledge”. The idea is simple – you are an expert at something. You create a video about that knowledge that’s less than 5 minutes in length and upload it to 5min.
Their business model is to get “sponsored knowledge” where say Absolut would sponsor videos on how to create a great martini or LA Fitness might sponsor videos on how to lose the freshman 15. It’s an innovative revenue model.
Co-founder Justin Day presented Blip.tv. Blip has really picked up steam since their partnership with Rocketboom earlier this summer. Basically Blip is for show creators who create episodic content. Not much else to say here – though Alec from For Your Imagination noted that with Blip you can “replace” a video which is something you can’t do on most of the other services.
Check out my photos on Flickr