At this years TED Juan Eriquez gave a great talk analyzing what caused the problems that we are facing today in the economy and how we can be headed on the right track back to a growing and strong economy (remember those days). I agree with and take heart his theory that how we can create the new economic growth is to invest into science and children. The previous administration has set back America’s bio-tech efforts by almost a decade with his banning of federal funding for stem cell research. In Eriquez’s talk he urged the well to do venture capitalist types that gravitate to events like TED to invest into these growing technologies like biotechnology and robotics.
With Macworld and CES going on this week, I’ve been looking forward to this year’s SXSW. This will be my first SXSW and I’m really looking forward to getting to see some of the panels and all the going ons at SXSW. Last year a lot of new media and social networking start-ups have been hit hard and even the big technology blue chips like Microsoft have had to announce layoffs. This brings me to my point. In these troubled times (take a drink) companies that normally throw huge parties during south by southwest are expected to drastically cut their budgets or not throw parties at all. This, I find to be very sad. At a time when people throughout the tech sector face layoffs, we need free beer. It will be a true travesty of epic proportions that any nerd find themselves walking down sixth street sober. Without the social lubricating elixir of free beer and an open bar, the code monkeys of the world will curl up in their shells like a armadillo along side a dusty country road. I urge tech compaines to keep the beer flowing, if not for us but for the future of the web.
I got back from spending almost a week in Chicago visiting my sister over thanksgiving. In my normal nerd fashion we spent most of the trip going to different museums in Chicago. The Museum of Science and Industry is a must see and takes a whole day to see everything. Upgrade from general admission to see the Smart Home (cool to see a lot of different green technologies come together) and take the tour of the U-505 (worth the extra 5 bucks.) We also went to the Field Museum, made me think of “Night at the Museum” but they have some cool exhibits and there is Sue, the fully intact t-rex on display.
The Lincoln park zoo is a great free thing to do in Chicago. This time of year they do “Zoo Lights” where the zoo is light up for the holidays and there ice sculptures and other fun for the kids. We took a bus tour that went all around the city and drops you off at the John Hancock building. The only way to see everything in the city and gets you as close as possible to see Obama’s house and you learn a little history and travel into parts of Chicago you wouldn’t want to go by yourself. ( just a little weird to be on a tour bus, a the driver says “to your right you will see one of the housing projects that the south side of Chicago is so famous for.”) All and all a good trip and I got to see some snow before heading back to Texas.
It’s been two weeks since Revision 3 announces changes to its programming lineup. I personally have been missing Internet Superstar and Pop Siren. Sarah Lane, Martin Sergent, and Jay Speiden were among some of the first people hired by Revision 3 and helps formed the company in its beginning days. Rev 3 CEO Jim Louderbeck cited a weak economy and problems finding an audience with the shows Rev 3 canceled and ended distribution deals with on October 27th.
In the days following the announcement they was a strong out lash by loyal viewers angered over the death of their favorite shows on the Rev 3 network. There have been rumors about a “consulting” deal with Martin Seargent in efforts to silence some of the firestorm waged by the angered viewers but nothing has been officially announced by Rev 3.
This brings up an interesting thought about the difference between new media networks like Revision 3 and the big TV networks. In the Revision 3 network all the shows work together and there is cross promotion across the network within the shows themselves. In the old media ways, the cast of Heroes and Chuck don’t share office space like they do at Revision 3. There is a stronger family feel at Rev 3, many of the shows share the same staff and there is an all for one vibe. This makes it harder when the company feels that cuts have to be made as it did when it took this defensive action to cut shows and staff in order to better help the company weather the rough seas of the weak economy and looming recession.
Martin and Sarah are scheduled to appear on tomorrow’s TWIT. Leo has mentioned several times that he would like to hire Sarah and maybe something will be officially announced on the show.
In this down market and the outlook that it will stay like this and probably get worse better it gets better advertisers are looking to the web for innovative ways to reach consumers. It is harder and harder for advertisers to justify the large costs of network television ad campaigns and are turning to the web to reach their consumers.
In the so called “long tale” smaller online media producers are able to provide ad opportunities to very niche markets that advertisers spend huge amounts of ad dollars in attempts to reach. Its the alpha consumers that are the first ones in lines to buy the iPhone and it is those same consumers that are plugged into web video and new media. These consumers react to large corporations like comcast attempts to use social networking to improve customer service. Web video advertising comes in different forms and most likely in the pre or post roll ad where a normal TV ad is just inserted into a completed video and then distributed. More and more advertisers are dipping their toes into new media and are finding success with new and innovative ad campaigns targeted to niche markets.
This weekend is the second annual Makerfaire Austin at the Travis county fair grounds. I went last year and really liked seeing everything and whole community of Makers there. This years Makerfaire in Austin promises to be even bigger and better than last year. I’m looking forward to seeing some of the robogames competition and the eppy birds. Last year I spent most of the day walking around and visiting booths, but this year I want to go to some of the sessions.
There have been a lot of big changes going on in my life. I got a new job and I am headed back to college in a couple of weeks. I am getting back into programming and have spent the past few days working on servers and refreshing my programming skills. Right now I’m installing xcode tools on my iMac so I can try doing some coco apps. I have been to Fry’s twice in the past two days needing to pick up parts and books on PHP and Facebook programming. Back to the grindstone.
I have been going through some twitter withdrawl lately with the downtime and loss of IM intergration as Twitter goes through some scalability issues as the micro blogging service becomes more and more popular with people. I like to use Twitter through GTalk on my blackberry because I don’t have the cost of using SMS on the phone. But with the rapid growth this feature has been turned off leaving me to only use Twitter through the web interface or twitterrific on my MacBook. One of two things will happen: 1. Twitter comes back to full service 2. I buy iPhone 3G (just another reason why)
Also, tommorrow is the release of Firefox 3 and their attempt to break the record for the most downloaded program in one day. I have been using RC 2 and 3 and have really like the improvements in speed and I haven’t noticed the memory leak problems that I have had in the past with Firefox 2. Go to http://spreadfirefox.com to join in the fun.