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Robert Scoble Archive
It seems like the big pre-SXSW bitchfest this past weekend was around whether anonymous commenters are good or bad, whether they are trolls and whether they are the scum of the earth and should be shot with a nerf gun until they give up who they really are. AOL tech blog Techcrunch switched from using the Y Combinated Disqus comments system over to using Facebook comments. Let me just say this as Allen not as anonymous commenter 2382389A, the move was made to get more traffic to Techcrunch. Period. (nothing wrong with wanting to make money)
Robert Scoble nearly died (I think his caps lock key got jammed too) after reading some post by Steve Cheney. There seems to be two main issues going on within the posts regarding Facebook comments and trolls stories:
- Are anonymous comments bad or good
- Should we be willing to let Facebook control how we use the Internet outside of the walls of Facebook.com (I will save this discussion for another day)
It seems whenever the discussion of “internet commenting trolls” comes up, I always get into an offline discussion about which came first on a blog – shitty content or the trolls? In most cases mice and rats don’t just show up – they come when you put food out there for them. The conversation usually ends up with everyone agreeing that the trolls show up when shitty content is placed out there for them.
Microsoft briefly posted an Office 2010 technical preview site but quickly removed it as it appeared to be posted early in error. There’s still a Google cache of the site which you can review.
Here’s the overview of the Office 2010 Web Applications version:
Office Web Applications, the online companion to Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote applications, allow you to access documents from anywhere. You can even simultaneously share and work on documents with others online. View documents across PCs, mobile phones, and the Web without compromising document fidelity. Create new documents and do basic editing using the familiar Office interface. By offering more ways to access files from almost anywhere, Office Web Applications enable you to get things done according to your schedule.
The Microsoft employee in the video, Monica Mendoza, is very lucky it seems – first she was able to go work in Europe then take a trip to Las Vegas. If the video doesn’t work below – click here to view it.
After talking to a few of my friends who use Google Docs heavily, they say the demo video and images make Office 2010 look much more powerful. We’ve covered online office provider Zoho many times on CN – it will be interesting to get their take on the Office 2010 release.
I can only guess this is what Robert Scoble was very excited about on Friendfeed last week but said he was embargoed until today.
This afternoon early adopter Robert Scoble posted a message on FriendFeed asking if a kitten would die if he deleted his Twitter account. The second part of his question was a comment noting, "I’m wondering cause more and more of my early adopter friends are moving to other services (I am watching)." Interestingly enough, Robert says his early adopter friends are moving back to Facebook.
Early adopters tend to move from service to service and, in many cases, help build the service to a level that helps build momentum. From simple feedback to very involved testing, the group helps typically for no pay and for the good of the industry. While there are parts of the early adopter set that frustrate me, overall they are a very important piece to building a Web 2.0/social networking business.
What should early adopters expect when helping to build a new service? Is it reasonable to expect things like being pimped over users who just joined the service? Or do early adopters know their role and are content enough to just know that they helped get the service to a strong foundation?
What’s going on in the news/daily show videoblogging space? Check out this list of activity over the last couple of months:
- CBS’ Wallstrip closes
- Mobuzz closes
- CBS’ Moblogic closes
- Leah D’Emilio leaves Mahalo Daily; apparently show reduced to 1x/week Youtube recap
- WebbAlert closes
- Scoble leaves FastCompanyTV
I’ve heard a lot of chatter that daily news review shows are having trouble growing their audiences because the news is typically always a day behind. In today’s "real time" required market, it makes sense that people aren’t interested in checking out the news they already read on a blog the day before. Yet some of the shows listed above are interview and segment shows, not daily video shows and they have also closed up shop.
I’ve also noticed several videobloggers willing to shill for any company that will pay. While overall online advertising is down, video advertising is supposed to be the one area of growth. I assume that most advertisers would rather spend their money on Hulu than on a small daily video show.
Are there any daily news/interview online video shows that are able to consistently generate a large audience and/or revenue?
When I left home for the first time, mother told me to get a kit together in case of an emergency. A flashlight, small amount of cash, bandages, a couple cans of food, batteries, water, etc. Thankfully I’ve never had to use the kit to-date.
Over the past couple of weeks I’ve learned that there’s a new kit on the market that is way more important than any kit previously offered for an emergency. This new kit appears to be named the, "Scoble Emergency Preparedness Kit".
As you can imagine, sites like Twitter and FriendFeed have taken over the way the Web works. Fast Company videoblogger Robert Scoble calls this movement the "realtime web" and apparently it will be the end to all other forms of emergency reporting. While I can’t be sure, it seems like the more people that use this kit, the more likely we are to prevent anything bad from happening anywhere in the world.
Item #1 – Twitter account
Goes without saying but you must have a Twitter account enabled and verified. It’s important to follow and be followed by the Scobleizer account. This is important because in the event of an emergency you can get your news directly to Scoble who will get it out to all Twitters worldwide.
Item #2 – Friendfeed account
This is almost as important as item #1. You want to create an account on Friendfeed, and be on the ready. The moment an emergency hits, you are absolutely to create a room to discuss the emergency and use it as a base of operations. You should also announce the room on both Friendfeed and Twitter. Learn from Scoble’s mistake with regards to US Airways Flight #1549 so you are ready should the need arise.
Item #3 – Smart Phone With Highspeed Mobile Access
It’s important that you get your news, photos and videos into the appropriate units of the realtime web. To do this, you will need a smart phone with a good highspeed mobile plan. The best phone is clearly the Palm Pre for this type of usage but for now you can go with a Nokia N95 or a Samsung Ace. My suggestion is to get more than one battery so when you are out using the phone to document, you will never run out of time. Verify that you can post to items #1 and #2 from your mobile as quickly as possible. Don’t worry if everyone uses your photos and videos without credit or payment – in the real-time web, scraping is welcomed!
Item #4 – Group Twitter Tool
You will want to get a group Twitter tool like CrowdStatus or Tweetdeck. The key here is to watch all of the other Twitter users who are in your emergency group (I am group #10813B) and then as tweets come in related to the emergency, you can retweet them out. The more retweets you can do, the better. And it’s completely ok to retweet a retweet – we call that reretweet.
From what we understand the kit is currently available worldwide. You must have all of the items to make the kit complete. Ordering is, of course, via the Twitter payment system.
The company behind the kit is looking for feedback on items to add for version 2 launching this spring. Leave your thoughts about future additions in the comments as the company is watching for feedback.
Edelman VP Steve Rubel wrote a post yesterday where he discussed why text is still the "king" of the Web. The article is worth reading because the points Rubel makes are solid. He says text is scannable, you can SEO the heck out of text, easier for workers to
slack off reading text vs. video, easier for mobile access and lastly, text is easier to share versus video.
Rubel also discusses blogger Robert Scoble’s disappointment that his videos don’t show up on Techmeme but his text posts do. Scoble went on to say that his videos typically don’t generate a lot of inbound links or conversations on the new crop of chat services. I took a look at why Scoble’s videos might not generate the same attention as his text posts.
This week he’s posted some good articles about how to find a job. But the question is, why don’t his videos get the same attention as his text posts. I’ve posted 400+ videos and typically find similar results. When I post demo videos from a meetup, they don’t get many views. When I post interviews, they typically do better but rarely "awesome" in terms of traffic or discussion. However my videos where I am in the video itself discussing a subject do very well. It’s typically hard to make an interview or demo that exciting – but I feel they are important so I continue to provide the content.
In Robert’s case, part of the issue is brand fragmentation. Robert works for FastCompany magazine and runs the FastCompany.tv online video section yet he posts many videos on his own blog. I imagine that his FC audience is a bit different than his blog audience and perhaps the blog audience isn’t interested in his discussions with various CEOs and other technology executives. By linking to the video content, readers would also have a chance to engage with additional content on the FC video site.
In looking at the FastCompany.tv site, a slight rework might be in order. There are three main sections of video content on the site: ScobleizerTV, WorkFastTV and FastCompanyLive. WorkFastTV hasn’t been updated since October and FastCompanyLive hasn’t been updated in a month. Yet all of this fresh material only lives on his blog. I just don’t understand why FC allows this pattern to continue. It makes the FC site appear stale when there’s no reason for it. If the WorkFast is no longer being produced, move it off to the right so it’s not the first thing viewers see when loading the site.
From a technical standpoint, there are a variety of changes they could make to the Drupal installation to help with better site optimization which I think would also help in increasing discussion, linking and overall traffic. I also think the site could be improved to make the experience a bit warmer – remember, with text it’s quick-in, quick-out. With video, you are going to sit on the page for a longer time, make the experience something that makes the user want to hang around.
My suggestion would be to keep all videos on FastCompany.tv and point to them from Scoble’s blog. From my perspective it feels like an overall video strategy would help Robert get his video views up and also increase the amount of discussion that takes place around the videos. The strategy will help to reduce the brand fragmentation and increase the views because readers and viewers will know where to look for videos.
While I typically try to stay away from discussing an individual, in this case I think this discussion can benefit anyone trying to run multiple sites with video and text.
Update: I was able to catchup with Gary Vaynerchuk from Wine Library TV and asked him about the move today. He said, “I love REV3 and the people there and sometimes you need to adjust to the market and see what works and doesn’t and I love those guys and wish all of them super well and hope they Kill it and do nothing but awesome things! As for Wine Library Tv I will continue to Crush it on winelibrarytv.com everyday!”
Update 2: On the TWIT podcast last night, Mahalo CEO Jason Calacanis said regarding the staff size at Revision3, “30 (staff) is kind of high for that kind of company.”
Revision3 has announced some major show changes today. Epic-Fu will no longer be carried by Revision3 at the end of December and the Wine Library TV show will be removed as of today. Several other shows have also been cut. CEO Jim Louderback also noted that they are working on a variety of new shows that may hit the lineup soon. Wine Library TV joined the lineup back in June with a slimmed down version of their daily show. Louderback notes the huge popularity of Diggnation as one of their “winners”.
Mashable is also reporting that some staff members at Revision3 were fired today including their head of business development Damon Berger. It’s important to note that we will never know the real reason for these people being let go.
In other online video news, Robert Scoble has announced that he is “restructuring” his WorkFastTV show which is broadcast live from the Revision3 offices. No further details have been provided about this restructuring. I think the show has made some good overall progress since I provided my initial commentary and suggestions for improvement this summer. I’d like to see them make the site a bit more friendly. Remember that with video you could be sitting on the site for quite a while, make the appearance relaxing and engaging.