A week of travel did not deter my fierce compulsion to curate. Thus, I offer for your consideration the week's best posts, dumped into the very leaky buckets -- namely TV/video distribution; digital business; and digital content.
If you're in L.A. on Wednesday please drop by the 2nd Screen Summit/TV Goes Social conference in Santa Monica, where I'll be moderating a session on "Curated TV."
"My Goal is to Kill off Television" joked BitTorrent inventor Bram Cohen as he introduced a new P2P live streaming technology last week. Now THAT's a headline that should get somebody's attention.
Have you heard about TV Anytime, an iOS and Android app that allows capture online video for later, offline viewing. Now the app allows users to rip DVDs from their computer desktops to mobile devices. In some ways, this is what the studio-backed UltraViolet app should permit -- e.g., rewarding people who have already bought a DVD, by allowing them to watch their content anytime, anywhere. One can only wish.
It's the season of mega-TV events, each of which seems to be setting new records for social TV and Twitter usage. First it was the Super Bowl, and now it's the Grammy's, analyzed in this very smart post from ITVT. Next up, of course: The Oscars.
Will it work? JTS.tv -- "Just the Story" -- is a subscription site for indie web series. For $4 per month, fans get some exclusive content, and ad-free versions of other web series.
I discovered a post by Eric Spiegelman of The Awl that I quite liked -- his interesting and personal view of "Four Weird Things the Internet is Doing to Our Understanding of Television." Not that I agreed with it all, but props go to thoughtful posts.
Another day, another "era" declared, this time the "era of social cinema" -- this post is really just a news report about the latest embedded movie debuting on Facebook, brought to us by a company called Milyoni. ("Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie" will not, I repeat, not, go down in history as a milestone of any sort.) On the same topic, Paul Marsden suggests that for Facebook to become a competitive distribution platform on par with Apple and Amazon, it must offer "a differentiated and compelling value proposition" enabled by the social graph.
Aereo (formerly known as Bamboom Labs) is a startup that uses micro-antennae technology to offer broadcast channels over the Internet on a subscription basis. Backed by Barry Diller and others, the business will undoubtedly draw litigation, but the team believes it has its bases covered as it launches New York as the first local market.
I've written about the "virtual self" and how the massive stream of data we generate within our digital lifestyles creates a market for user control of our own data. Now the NY Times is reporting on the topic, in particular Shane Green's company Personal
"The Collaboration Curve" is the name given to a new theory that suggests that the "network effect" can be supercharged -- "the more participants--and interactions between those participants--you add to a carefully designed and nurtured environment, the more the rate of performance improvement goes up." Check out this interesting Harvard Business Review piece.
We all love dirty little secrets, and Tom Foremski pulls the cover on one such secret that underlies much of the emerging digital business, namely the vast expanse of fake or empty social media accounts.
Tumblr is a microblogging service with half a billion page views per day, a true phenom. GigaOm offers a summary of a really fascinating technical and business case study of the business. The deeper technical dive is offered by tech site High Scalability. (Geek alert, big time!!)
Check out Gunther Sonnenfeld's super-smart post "5 really, really important shifts (not trends) in media and technology.
Lists -- we love 'em, we hate 'em -- at least I do, and Fast Company's "50 Most Innovative Companies" is no exception. I do appreciate that the list is displayed on a single page -- even display of links for the top ten by industry. Sooo much better than the slideshow format. Learned about some companies I'd never heard about, but ranking "innovation" is nutty on the merits. I'm just saying….
It's been a long time since news about initial public offerings of tech stocks has been so constant and varied -- the Godfather of all stories, of course, is the behemoth Facebook offering. Video platform provider Brightcove had a good week, with shares up 30% on its first day of trading. Will the upcoming Yelp IPO validate user-generated content as a valuable form of wealth creation?
Amazon created a flurry of noise (both pro and con) with the creation of its Amazon Studios initiative, which is a sort of crowd-sourced script marketplace. Now the online commerce behemoth is hiring more original content production executives, as the competition heats up.
The Guardian reports on the "vast digital data operation" of the Obama reelection campaign, including integration of supporters' Facebook social graph, which could be a factor in a presidential election for the first time.
In case you hadn't heard, we are in the "Age of Big Data" -- and if you dig it, you'll be employed for life, according to this article in the NY Times.
Underlying most of our digital businesses, of course, is the computer itself. Technology Review published a lovely and informative historical review of how the computer came to life, and why Alan Turing should be given credit for the "Enduring Importance" of his contributions.
DIGITAL CONTENT (AND HOLLYWOOD)
Chris Dorr posits a new business model that allows fans to authorize payment of shows they like AFTER they view them, a kind of inverted Kickstarter in a disruptively smart Tribeca post called "What if You Could Tip A Filmmaker?"
Documentarian Chris Kenneally has a new movie called "Side by Side" that examines the evolution of digital cinema, produced by Keanu Reeves (yes, that guy). North American rights have been purchased by Tribeca Film at Berlin, with a summer release on multiple platforms.
"Web TV's New Lineup" is the headline (somewhat archaic language, eh?) on the Wall St. Journal's gloss on mainstream Hollywood's migration towards the production of web-native series.
Do Movie Review Aggregators Matter? asks The Wrap, reviewing Rotten Tomatoes, MetaCritic and Movie Review Intelligence.
ARGNet does a fine job of reporting on new transmedia and alternate reality games. This week brought reports on two projects from Canada: "Guidestones" is a web series offering embedded clues, hidden story lines, and other goodies. "Bear 71" -- an interactive film from the National Film Board. The "film" puts the viewer into the Bear's point-of-view and is pretty unique.
"The Five Pillars of Transmedia" is a typically smart post from Simon Staffans.
Have you heard of Cowbird? It's a "small community of storytellers focused on a deeper, longer-lasting, more personal kind of storytelling" -- call it the "anti-update" or maybe even the not-Facebook. You must request an invitation to begin posting on your own, but anyone can read. Check it out.
Over at Facebook, the transition to the "Timeline" format continues -- I made the switch this week: Of course, the company's goal is not just a different method of displaying member content, but to generate stickiness by enabling third-party companies to produce "Timeline Apps" which in turn allow users to embed content into their timeline. Here's how FB itself puts it on the FB blog.
Linden Lab acquires text-based game studio LittleTextPeople to extend its universe beyond the bounds of Second Life.
Henry Jenkins' interviews Jared Gardner, author of "Projections: Comics and the History of 21st Century Storytelling."