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Preview: Corante Events: Feedfest

Corante Events: Feedfest

Published: 2005-05-03T15:55:54-05:00


Phil Torrone Discusses the Syndicated Home (Alex Williams)



Two short interviews with Phil Torrone of Make magazine. Phil is a DIY guy who is always dreaming up new ways to take gadgets to new boundaries. You may notice that the end of the interviews drop off a bit. Patience, please, I am a student in the art of podcasting. The interview recording stopped on two separate tries. Luckily, Phil Torrone is one of the nicest folks you'll meet and waited patiently as I got my act together.

Thanks, Phil. Praise Murphy! :-)

Part I

(image) Download the Podcast - 19:54 - MP3.

Topics discussed:

* Make magazine and what it is. Phil uses the example of wi-fi and how it once was the domain of the alpha geek.
* Flickr photo feeds to the kitchen counter.
* Microsoft Spot Watch for getting RSS feeds.
*What else can I do with my iPod?
* Using a kite to take photos from the air
* The Media Center PC as a multimedia tool for displaying RSS feeds on your TV
* Mac OS X screen saver as 3D rendering of RSS feeds
* DIY Podcast Shower
* Orb to stream down podcasts
* The next big leap: the persistent audio space
* BitTorrent as a way independent films can be discovered
* Archived televsion shows that can be distributed much like podcasts
* The next generation of search engines -- automatic delivey

Part II

(image) Download the Podcast - 8:19 - MP3.

Topics discussed:

* All-day, podcast XM Radio/Sirius/Infinity.
* The coming of the blog TV station.
* DIY home technology. The need for more software so the TV can be used like a computer.
* The Internet refrigerator and why it is such a dismal failure.

Media Files:

Newsgator Gets A Good Feed (Alex Williams)


View The Screencast: Newsgator Gets A Good Feed


Watch where the money flows in the new feed universe and you'll see that it's gurgling in a fast moving rip tide, off into an ocean of Internet media properties, blogs and a host of service providers and technology companies that are preparing to service the enterprise as it adjusts to a world where information is dynamically consumed and published.

Where is it going? To companies like Newsgator, one of the original RSS service providers.

Newsgator announced yesterday that it had received $6 million in a third-round of funding from Masthead Venture Partners with continuing support from existing investor Mobius Venture Capital. Most of the funding is to expand Newsgator's efforts to reach into the enterprise market


A few points I cover in this screencast: Newsgator Gets A Good Feed

* You know the dynamic is changing when the VC's write their own blogs, commenting on the investments they are making. That fact alone demonstrates why Newsgator is getting funding. As blogs become more predominant in the mainstream, the way we consume information will have to change. Enterprises recognize this and see RSS and readers as a method to automatically distribute timely content.

* VC's have RSS fever. They are starting to get the whole idea of Web 2.0. David Beisel of Masthead Venture Partners writes about the his belief in RSS, the incremental web and the transformation from a static to a dynamic Internet universe.

* As RSS becomes more widespread, IT departments will seek bottom-up technologies like news readers to help their employees receive important, timely information. This information will come from blogs but also from enterprise applications such as collaboration suites, content management systems and other enterprise applications.

* Newsgator won its funding from in part its efforts at reaching widespread distribution.

* The news reader world is fast evolving, witnessed by announcements in the past week from Rojo and Onfolio.

Where The Money Flows (Alex Williams)


The debate continues about paying bloggers to blog over at Stowe's Get Real blog.

I am amazed by the passion of this argument. Marqui is a sponsor of the Feedfest series. I decided to extend this discussion by inviting people passionate about the issue to talk about. Reading the Get Real comments gives me pause but also shows a real underlying emotional base to this argument.

What it says to me? We need to talk about this issue. And we need to talk about it a lot.

In that context, we'll look at different facets of the issue, in particular, where the money flows with blogs, podcasts, news readers, RSS feeds and social networking software.

The first issue we'll look at surrounds the controversy around WordPress and its recent troubles with Google for surreptitiously hosting keyword based articles to get high search engine rankings.

The issue doesn't stop at the blogosphere exit sign. As blogging is changing the way the media covers the news so does it change the entire business model for how the media operates.

Just look at the world of podcasting and the media. Clear Channel, Virgin, Warner Brothers, The BBC, NPR and a host of other media players are putting their weight into podcasting.

And money will really flow now that MSN and Yahoo! have launched blogging services. Already, Volvo and Adidas have bought advertising space on the services.

What are the implications when money flows into the podcasting workd and blogosphere? That's what we plan to explore.

Should be fun.

News Readers in the Mix (Alex Williams)


I am starting to pull some excerpts from interviews I am doing on news readers and how people are using them. Scott Niessen participated in a FlashMeeting last week. He gives a clear example how You Software is using blogs, RSS and newsreaders to keep an archive of their projects and track how they are progressing.

The full interview we did with Scott and Rok Hrasnik is available for listening or viewing. We go through a series of issues.

Here are some excerpts I found of particular interest:

Scott discusses why You Software decided to:
* Make their news reader, YouSubscribe, Firefox friendly
* Integrate the ability to subscribe to podcasts in their news readers.

He also goes into why attention.xml is of real importance as it relates to the the future of news reader development.

Rok talks about a recent discussion with the people at Feedster about RSS advertising in news readers. Click through rates results are between Google AdWords and Google AdSense. The good news is that RSS advertising is far less expensive than Google text ads. This is the best time for advertisers to get into RSS advertising, Rok said.

Can't Buy Me Love (Alex Williams)


"Can't Buy Me Love," a screencast related to the issue of "paying bloggers to blog," discussion that we are covering as part of Feedfest.

Paying Bloggers To Blog (Alex Williams)


And so now I am about complete with the first segments in the Feedfest online series, which will run now until at least next Fall. It feels good to get back into the work of finding issues to cover, thinking about questions to ask and using the DIY technology that allows writers/reporters/bloggers to cover so much more than they could before, using tools like blogs, flash meeting, wiki's, podcasts and all the other tools at our disposal. In my days as a daily newspaper reporter, we'd do some research in the "morgue," our clip library. We'd use our databases to hunt down relative information. And we'd call a lot of people, dig through records at the court house and generally spend a lot of time working the beat. I'm sure reporters still spend hours doing the same work when they work at the daily, doing the cop beat. But for me, a lot has changed. I can do my research online. And I am not encumbered by "objectivity." But I still find comfort in using my journalism skills to look at the different angles to produce a complete story. I have come to realize that it is impossible to be objective about any story, be it an investigative piece or a breaking news piece. That's the value I find in blogging and the social media tools available to create shows. Especially when it deals with life and death. I'll never forget the time I covered my first fire where people actually died. The city editor for the Augusta Chronicle in Augusta, Ga., called me at the one-man bureau where I worked in Thomson, Ga. "Alex," he said. "There has been a fire out in Wilkes County. Two children died. We need a story." I made the drive out to the scene of the fire with much concern, thinking how I would cover this tragedy. I was 24. I did not want to cover this one. I arrived, smoke still smoldering from the house. It was gutted. In the back yard, a man, woman and a few others stared blankly at the charred remains of their home. I started asking questions. I met the father of the two children who had perished in the blaze. He said that he and his wife had been able to get out but they could not find the children in the smoke. When they ran outside, flames ripped out the roof. They said they could hear their children running through the house, yelling for them. Now, here's where I am going with this. In our first show, we talked about paying bloggers to blog. This seems like an odd concept to me. As a reporter, I could never imagine recognizing an advertiser in a story about a fire where two children had died. It would get in the way of the story. It would strike readers as very unusual. Now, what about columnists, who write for dailies? They often raise difficult issues that reporters can not do in their daily reporting. They critique. Now, what if that columnist said, "I am paid to write about the local car dealer." And then he wrote a column about the car dealer. What if at a later point that car dealer got nailed by the state department of environmental quality for dumping oil behind the shop, leading to the poisoning of a local aquifer that people depended on for their drinking water. What if the columnist got paid by the toxic waste dump in the neighborhood where people suffered from an unusually high level of cancer? I have to ask...would you trust what this columnist had to say? Would you have some questions about what he is telling you? What if I had to say that the local police department paid me to report. How could I cover this issue? I could not. If I was paid by the police department would that not be propaganda? Marc Canter says that bloggers are different. They write personal stories. Stephen King, CEO and president of Marqui, mirrors this statement and says that all bloggers should have disclaimers. He sees the old advertising model as a dying relic. The chinese wall between the editorial and the advertising departments should be transparent. There should be full disclosure. But in t[...]

Bloggers Spar: Canter Calls Calacanis A Fascist (Alex Williams)


Paying Blogger to Blog Listen to the full discussion with our guests: Stowe Boyd, president and chief operating officer, Corante Marc Canter, founder, Broadband Mechanics Jason Calacanis, founder, Weblogs, Inc. Stephen King, CEO, Marqui Summary: The issues surrounding paying bloggers to blog turned to name calling in our first Feedfest round table when Marc Canter called Jason Calacanis a fascist. Listen to Canter's full statement. (click here to see excerpts) Canter made the remarks in a discussion we hosted to discuss a controversial "paying bloggers to blog," practice started by Marqui, a content management company based in Vancouver, B.C. Canter is the architect behind the program and developed it for Marqui. (A disclosure of our own: Marqui is one of the sponsors for Feedfest.) Since last Fall, Calacanis and Stowe Boyd, both who joined in on the discussion, have been strident in their criticism of the Marqui campaign. They say it breaks a trust. Bloggers lose their credibility if they engage in this kind of practice. Canter points out that blogging is about freedom. You can express how you feel in any way you wish. Why did Canter call Calacanis a fascist? Canter said that Calacanis is trying to force people what to do as far as blogging is concerned. Intense? Yes. Wrong? To call anyone a fascist is a serious charge. Fascists are at the far right of the political spectrum. They're extremists. Is Calacanis a fascist for saying there should be a chinese wall between editorial and advertising? Is he a fascist for saying that trust is eroded when the editorial column is mixed with advertising? Read the chat sessions (look for the tab that says chat) for this discussion and you'll get a feel for the level of passion this issue surfaces. What you see here is that some issues just get people embroiled with fury. A lot what you hear in this discussion boils down to trust. Who do you trust? Can you trust someone who gets paid to blog? Can you trust a reporter who works for a newspaper that has paid advertisers? Can you trust a show like Feedfest that has paying sponsors? The blog world is at a turning point as more independents take on the role of being professional publishers. It's not just their voice anymore. They're also presenting an image or even writing about the voice of their advertisers and sponsors. And as they feed their views to the public, the ones consuming will increasingly ned to be aware of what they are reading. Is it authentic? Is is trustworthy? And that is at the heart of what this Feedfest discussion is all about. As people more and more consume what they want and how they want, then the publishers will have increasing opportunity to present themselves in different ways. Disclosure may just turn out to be the most important element to assure trust prospers. But even then, there will be questions. But at least people will know where you stand. Excerpts from the show: "Interesting, when Mark is losing the argument, he usually gets vulgar and starts talking about freedom," Calacanis said in response to Canter. Listen to Calacanis full statement Stephen King pointed to Boyd and Silk Road Technology's sponsorship of True Voice, a Corante show series, that Boyd is producing. He asked what is the difference between that form of advertising and what Marqui is doing with its bloggers. He also maintains that blogging is a personal medium, different than mainstream journalism. It should not be defined so people have to write according to some dogmatic formula. Listen to King's statement Canter remarked that they are seeking to be transparent. Boyd says transparency is only part of the issue. "It's like putting up a sign that says I am not going to cut my lawn," Boyd said. Listen to Boyd's statement: Calacanis says that disclosures will be mandatory. How will people trust bloggers if there is a confusion about the conflicts[...]