Archive for July, 2011
Of course, since Google Plus’s inception, it’s been something that any social geek worth his weight in USB cords has at least checked into. I’m no different. Whenever I see a new tool, the first thought is what can it do for my communities that I’m involved in around the media I make and participate in. It’s always a go to to talk about it amongst other social media techies, but that’s too easy. That’s a group that’s already inherently techie.
I love using my Wrestling Mayhem Show audience and friends for these experiments. While my AwesomeCast circle are typically Mac users and work in the industry in some fashion, the wrestling crew represents closer to “normal” people out there.
RAW is Hangout. So, the first experiment was Google Hangout. This had become easy to get into after a few attempts amongst friends. Years ago, we used to play with BlogTV or Ustream with Monday RAW streams. It mostly entailed one or two of us, depending on the tech, streaming to a chat room to comment on the show. With Hangout, this became a more interactive experience. Getting around 5 people in one of these watching the same program is the next best thing to everyone being in my living room. There are small variations in the streams we all get from our cable and satellite providers, but we still get a group of people all commenting on what’s happening from across Pittsburgh, other parts of PA, and Texas. It seems to enhance the experience. It doesn’t matter what you like. When you’re in a room of like minded people enjoying the same content, it’s a grander experience.
Pay Per Thread. The second experiment was “what do we do during Pay Per Views. Hangout doesn’t feel to make sense. Typically, people are paying upwards to $50 for these shows, so the RAW method would be distracting to what should be a pure wrestling show and you don’t have commercial breaks to generally converse. I opened a thread on the designated Wrestling Mayhem Show account, which you can view here. Not only did it replace the rampant twitter comments no one out there would care about, it served to include a group of our friends that ended up going to a Buffalo Wild Wings as they participated via their phones. The thread updates live as submitted, a la Google Wave, and when I saw something particularly interesting, I could mark it with a “+1″ to bookmark for that week’s show to bring back up. The whole conversation worked out to about 205 comments. Not too bad.
Mayhem Hangout Live. Lastly, the obvious choice was to includ Hangout somewhere in our shows. Again, staying with the wrestling crew, we had our normal crew in for Wrestling Mayhem Show 279, so after our break, I loaded up the Hangout to let our usual live crew, and sometimes fan guests, fill the room and “hangout” in the background of the show on the monitor. After we had whatever conversations that were earmarked for the week, we opened up the Hangout, reminding our extra new guests to be civil, to bring up anything we may have missed, or comment on what we’ve talked about. It was a great time, and created a good bit of mayhem, as is our name sake.
This Google Plus thing has just gotten started, and the “consumer grade” tools they’ve unleashed on the internet are already interesting, and Google insists this is only an early preview of the service as a whole. Hopefully we see them work out their company and fictitious name policies, and we see even more growth in the service, and how content makers can grow with them.
Return to video blogging!
We’ve worked in an old Videonics Digital Mixer, like the one I worked on in High School. See how we use it to offload more cameras and incorporate it into Wirecast.
Earlier today, I had two blog posts in mind. and they go well with the content of late of this blog. But I was given a little bit of a diversion:
So, why not see what we could get out of this, and learn a little bit more of our compatriote, DJLunchbox of the Wrestling Mayhem Show AKA Will Rutherford of on of my favorite blogs, Thoughtful Riot.
And to Google+
But you will still get those Lion and Google+ posts as well, of course…
An interesting conversation came up in a surprising way on AwesomeCast 59 about this idea that Cutting the Cord isn’t the best thing. Partly thanks to Netflix recently raising it’s rates.
I, for one, am just fine with it. I subscribe to Netflix’s 1 disc plan (and soon the seperated versions of 1 disc and streaming). Hulu Plus, and…that’s it. The rest of the wholes in content are filled with YouTube (That’s where I watch Smackdown) and DailyMotion (because apparently wrestling posting is still legal in France?)
One of the main arguments is that you don’t get everything you want, or what you expect from Cable. Or it’s easier.
We’ll consider the math some other time.
I think what’s happening is that people are having an issue with a new way of thinking about their TV. I see some that just want to sit on a channel and accept what comes up next. Some like having the choice of the tens or hundreds of channels. But I don’t think we have to live that way.
Changing the dynamic of how we experience our television is hard. We’ve grown up with TV. It was there even before we had the choice of running down to the video store and renting a VHS tape. This concept is challenging. That’s why we keep running to the thought that grandma isn’t going to get it.
Here’s the counter for the top reasons I hear that Netflix (Hulu, Amazon Prime, etc) doesn’t work for them over cable.
1. Cable’s easier. Great answer for couch potatoes. I, for one, don’t mind having to pick something different after twenty minutes or and hour. Maybe I’m more proactive. Oh, and I don’t sit through commercials as I’m drooling on myself in the chair.
2. It’s Rerun TV. this was something an NBC Exec said. I don’t mind Netflix being the Nick at Night of my generation. (as he watches X-Men Evolution and rocks Power Rangers alongside Chachi.)
3. It’s not new movies. Where are you getting new movies for $8 a month. Tell me. I’ll sign up. Now, I think this is a great place to make the destination. I pay for the disc a month, and that’s my “new DVD and wrestling DVD service” (they have a great selection of Shimmer, FIP, and other odd wrestling releases) Hulu isn’t doing it. Or Amazon Prime. Everything else is paying $1-$5 PER MOVIE. If I get through 3-4 a month, and I do, I’m good. And it does fill in the gaps streaming doesn’t. A small price to pay.
4. I hate physical media. See #3, I guess. This also applies to hypercondriacs.
5. Things come and go. So do they on HBO. So do they on Nick at Night. Cartoon Network. Deals are revolving all of the time. But there’s enough to distract you that you don’t notice. Think of Netflix in the way that you tolerate the movie revolutions on any other movie channel.
Well, there’s some thoughts. I enjoy the service, and have enjoyed it’s evolution, which has made regular television useless to me. Maybe it doesn’t have what I want all of the time, it has plenty of what I want right now. There is no complete answer to this!
Are you mad? Did Netflix do something naughty in your Cheerios?
Please don’t take it personally.
I mean, it is kind of weird sometimes. Maybe I really do know you. I talk to you all the time. You’re @coolguy89 and we both love wrestling. But when you drop me the friends list, I don’t know who Pumpernickel Smith is…
There are clues. Sometimes I can decipher from the mutual friends lists. I can defer that I know you from Podcamp, or as one of my old classmates from high school. That’s easy enough. But I don’t know where to put you in my list. Or Circle. Or friend Octagon.
(I should patent Friend Octagon)
Here’s something else that’s not helping. I don’t know what your cat looks like. Well. I do now. But I don’t know it’s you’re cat. Because I’m still trying to figure out who you are. Great vista of the Pittsburgh skyline, though. But I don’t think I’ve been to your place on Mt. Washington. Nice kids. But have they been to the tweetup?
So, you know. This is all a great social experiment and building with these tools is fantastic. But sometimes it’s the first impression, or first identification, that matters in simply starting the conversation.
How are you dealing with mystery friends?
I’ve been working with websites for a long time. Probably over 10 years, and currently sitting on 40 domains, and who knows how many I’ve walked away from, you could say I’ve had some experience since the days of $50 domains and NameZero got me started.
In March, I had obtained, finally, that golden goose of domain names, my name .com. MichaelSorg.com was the only one I hadn’t claimed, having collected the .net, .org, and the trilogy for MikeSorg.com/org/net as well. It was sitting on one of those parked pages asking you to make them an offer, and maybe offering email addresses for the domain. I waited. I wasn’t ready to pull $100 from my butt. So I marked the expiration days and waited…
Leading up to the domain expiration, I received scores of emails from no less than three different companies offering me a chance to bid and buy the domain. I had finally bit the bullet and setup through one of the groups for $99, the minimum “bid”. Authorized a Paypal, and thought I was good.
Again, I marked that expiration date. Woke up that day. Checked my debit card. My PayPal. And then, after seeing nothing, went to Godaddy and searched.
And there it was.
And using those trusty Revision3 discount codes (disclaimer: huge fan of Film Riot, Tekzilla, etc), grabbed my MichaelSorg.com for about $8.
I backtracked to find that my authorization was cancelled at some point by the receiver.
Fastforward to this week. We had aquired CafeSolstice.net for our recent restaurant venture, again, since someone else snagged, but was not actively using, the .com. (and there are other similarly named cafes halfway across the world.) I started noticing the same pattern of emails leading up to the expiration of CafeSolstice.com. I considered contacting someone, again since I thought there was some competition, but when I noticed how many different emailers we got, I played the hunch…
Another $8 and Rev3 discount code later. We have it.
Now, I don’t recommend this tactic when you’re trying to get that .com for your About.Me sized venture, but for the personal blogger or small business with little cash flow, this tactic seems to work out pretty well.
Next task: retrieve a .com for a certain video game blogger...let you know how that goes in 2012…
Google+ is out there, and everyone is clamouring to get an exclusive invite to the latest Facebook killer.
And it seems so very familiar…
Back in the day, “everyone” was on Myspace. I don’t know how many shows and interviews I setup via Myspace messages as this was some people’s primary point of contact. So much of our little community was there and conversing, and sometimes fighting, and the unmanageable message boards. It seemed unbeatable. Even as everyone complained about the crashes, spam, and malware the site’s open architecture of profile editing spawned.
Then Facebook came along to save us all. It was stripped of the customizability of profiles that made you remember the animated gif crazy of the late ’90′s. It was clean, and all of your smart friends jumped ship while everyone was still left in Myspace wasteland. But then your family started joining. And your class reunion started happening every day, little by little. And all of those Farmville invites. And Facebook seems to makes things different, even just moving a button or how groups look, every other day.
Here we go again with Google+. Another exclusive club where the social elitists that live on Twitter can go and stake their flag of geekiness. We laugh when we enjoy the lack of Farmville or our long lost classmates and marvel at it’s cleanliness.
But it’s coming. One day, if Google+ does prove to be the next best thing, is it going to just be inundated with the same sorts of annoyances that drive us away?
Are we going to be longing for something different when our mom his +Mom as well?
Or has Google finally given us the tools to keep those things seperate that people understand, maybe keeping us from being doomed to repeat ourselves…again…