October 28, 2007
Reflections on emerging technologies…
After I finished doing my panel at the Wildlife Festival
Hole, I was approached by a gentleman, Tom Veltre, who is
Professor at Fordham University in New York and he asked me
if I would
be willing to come to his class. Of course I would. I love
students; they are the bell weather of tomorrow.
Once upon a time, before the flood, I was a high school English
and loved the classroom experience – the interchange
was almost always interesting, if not electrifying. I consider
privilege to be asked to go to a class and was delighted to
do it. It
was a class in public relations and my contribution was to
understand the ramifications of the digital revolution we
As Fordham is a high class school – I thought it would
And it was. There was a group of seventeen students from all
world, mostly Asian and American with a soupcon of Europeans.
them were graduate students, many young working professionals
using evening classes to enhance their professional careers.
them were producers for news organizations.
As often is the case, there was a bit of wanting to know
how I happened
to have ended up in front of their class. We talked a little
webisodes I am helping produce for Discovery.com. All those
what a webisode is, raise your hand.
Only one young lady in the back of the room acknowledged
she had no
idea. So if there are any readers who don’t know: a
webisode is a
short form program made specifically for broadband and without
intention for it to play anywhere but on the web. [This was
why I got
a bit of notice at the Wildlife Film Festival; few realized
original production was being done for the web; I seemed slightly
revolutionary for a middle aged man.]
I pointed out that some networks, particularly Comedy Central,
utilizing the web to actually begin to pilot programs. If
a good idea
got a goodly number of views on line, it might actually make
it to a
television pilot. We had a good conversation about economics
fact, sometimes not thought about, that advertising is one
of the great
supporters of programming. My friend Todd Broder, who is producing
webisodes with me, just a got an order for sixty webisodes
of The Burly
Sports Show for heavy.com. The webisodes are popular with
and so with the advertisers. And they’re very funny.
What did surprise me was that I was the only one in the room
about heavy.com as the folks I was addressing, not me, are
audience for heavy.com.
I talked with them about some of the new things that are
they knew about, others they hadn’t had time to discover.
one. It’s a new software that is about to launch which
it hopes will
revolutionize video communication via the web. While that
has been around for quite some, it has not become as ubiquitous
would like. TokBox says it can make it simple with the result
will be the next YouTube.
There is a Mat Tombers place on Facebook and I update it
However, I know there are many utilizations I haven’t
found yet because
I haven’t taken the time. However, it has become so
important to so
many in so short a time that one marketing group is offering
How to develop your Facebook strategy. Facebook is all about
networking and it is important. Ballmer of Microsoft thinks
be a fad; Schmidt of Google thinks it is hugely important.
P&G gave us the soap opera, first on radio and then on
producing one just for the web. Each webisode is three minutes
and aims to grab an audience that certainly isn’t watching
soaps on television.
All this software is revolutionizing the way we connect.
It’s a brave
new world out there and it’s almost Deadwood territory.