Google and Podcasting

Seth has an interesting take on the Google rollout of video.

In particular, Seth states

This is exactly where I see podcasting going. If there was an easy and cheap (and possibly subscription based) way to pay for podcasting, there'd be a dramatic increase in the quality and quantity and accessibility of the stuff available for a listen

Isn't this what Apple is doing with iTunes? They already have a micro-payment model in place and working. Seems to me that charging for a podcast available via iTunes will do just this - "provide an easy and cheap ... way to pay for podcasting"

Gnomedex - Thoughts

Gnomedex 2005 - what a conference/un-conference. So many people from the AO 100, startups (Michael Tippett from NowPublic, Greg Linden from Findory, the guys from litefeeds), citizen media (JD Lasica, Our Media), Scoble, Scoble, Scoble, Scott Rafer, Mark Fletcher, serveral guys from Yahoo and large scale movement (MSFT RSS). ... I'm exhausted just thinking about it all.

Special mention has to be made about Robert Scoble - I made sure to track him down and let him know what an impact he has made. He has worked tirelessly to help bring transparency to Microsoft and I think he has succeeded in a BIG way. While he took no credit, I for one, think that the release of the MSFT RSS cf extension under Creative Commons would not have happened without him.

I made one serious mistake at lunch that I have to cop to - embarrassingly, I thought Mark Fletcher was Mark Cuban. Sorry Mark!

And to Chris Pirillo especially - what a great experience. Thanks! Your challenge (should you accept it) is to have Gnomedex 2006 be at least as good as this year.

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Clear Channel Expands Podcast Offerings

Clear Channel has announced that they are expanding the number of stations offering Podcasts. Interestingly, they provide an actual download metric:
In less than two weeks of the "Phone Tap" segment being available, 20,500 pieces of content have been delivered via podcast, download or stream from America's most listened to radio station's Web site
Based on the quote, it would appear that Clear Channel includes streaming in its' podcast counts. I'm not sure if that is good or bad, but it does seem odd. Additionally, Clear Channel is going to offer more content, rolling it out faster than they had planned
Clear Channel Radio's accelerated roll-out of its podcasting initiative will provide nearly 20 new feeds of popular on-air content from 12 more stations, with an additional 10 expected to launch later this week.
The one year chart for Clear Channel (CCU) looks like this: As many people are aware, Clear Channel is facing a number of challenges on the revenue front. They have been moving aggressively in several areas, including HD Radio and podcasting. The fact that they are accelerating their rollout shows that they consider the potential growth and future revenue worth pursuing.

Gnomedex - FeedMesh

I attended the Feedmesh BOF tonight (after Gnomedex ended for the day). The BOF was led by Bob Wyman and the audience consisted of folks from Technorati, Feedster, Google and various others. There were quite a few items discussed. Midway through, Jason Calcanis spoke up and presented a publisher-centric view of the Mesh. He really made us rethink our positions, specifically, the value of full feeds. IMHO, it was great, something we might not have encountered on the email list.

Later on, we headed over to the Seattle Public Library. I spent some time with Dave McClure of simplyHired, the team from PodcastNetwork, Doug Kaye, Steve Gillmor and many other folks.

The highlight of the night was meeting Greg Stein from Google, also the Chairman of the ASF. Greg provided some fantastic insight on the ASF and his role in the organization. His insight on Open Source and the Feedmesh were very interesting - I learned a lot about the current structure of the ASF and the value it adds.

Overall, a high-quality night. Special thanks to PubSub and Bob Wyman for leading the Feedmesh discussion (and t-shirts!)

Update: Looks like Greg Stein has an interview at Podtech.net on the way.

Gnomedex - MAKE Demo

PT from MAKE just gave the demo I've been waiting for - how to get video running on your iPod. He burned Podzilla onto several iPods, detailing how to record on an iPod and other items. The thing I found most interesting was the ability to view video on a Mini. Granted, the quality was not top-notch, but still very interesting.

How long until FireAnt/iPodder/jPodder can handle this? How long until the iPod/iRiver support this?

Good stuff.

Gnomedex - First night

Gnomedex 5.0 began tonight - what a crowd! Steve Rubel, Dan Gillmor, Doug Kaye, Adam Curry, Chris Pirillo (of course), Bob Wyman...a lot of folks.

Besides the fire alarm going off, it was a great night. In general, the conference is fantastic. The mindshare around blogs/podcasting/vlogs is pretty incredible. My personal highlight was talking to Adam Curry about the next release of iTunes and the impact it will have on media.

The fact that an iTunes user can download the Daily Source Code as easily as the new 50 Cent single is going to introduce a sea-change in media. The Rocketboom folks were there also, check out their site for some video of the night.

North Olympic Discovery Marathon - Finisher!

Last week, I successfully ran the North Olympic Discovery Marathon (NODM).

Getting there

NODM starts in tiny Sequim, WA and ends in the just-a-bit-larger town of Port Angeles. We set out from SeaTac and drove for about 2.5 hours to Port Angeles, our stop for the night. The 3 or 4 block downtown area was nice, with plenty of local fare (food is always an important thing for a carbo-loading junkie).

Pre-race

We checked out several parts of the course, mainly the 20 mile area and the finish. We had been warned about the ravine (yes, ravine, not hill) at mile 20 and wanted to check it out. The area around Mile 20 seemed fine, so I figured, "how steep could the ravine be?" Boy, would I find out in the morning.

The finish line area was beautiful as it was right along the water in the Strait of San Juan de Fuca. In the distance you can see Vancouver Island. One problem though, the finish was going straight into a 40 mile an hour headwind. Hmmm, that might make finishing tough. After lunch, I asked the cashier what the weather would be like on race day. She told me it would either be windy or rainy. If the wind died down, it would rain. If it didn't rain, it would be windy. I couldn't decide which was worse, a 40 mile an hour headwind for the last 5 miles or rain for 26 miles.

Race

The race started at an incredible 9am. Most of my long runs started at 5:30ish, so am usually enjoying a mocha by then. One of our worries was the race support. If the race only had 1600 entrants, our thinking went, would we be able to depend on the water stops that are so crucial in a marathon? There were shuttles to the start and a building to wait out the start of the race. People were very friendly overall; I met people from Seattle, Alaska and more than a few locals.

Once the race began, we chatted with quite a few people. I met my first 50 Stater (plus DC), a woman who had run 15 marathons in 12 weekends and more than one Canadian. Overall, things went great until we hit the first of 3 ravines. To say they were steep (both down and up) doesn't do them justice. Imagine running 17 miles and then encountering a 200 foot drop and rise in the space of 1/8th of a mile. OUCH! By the third ravine (at mile 20), my quads were fried (coincidentally, mile 20 is also the steepest of the three ravines) and I had to turn my iPod on extra loud.

The final six miles were incredible - two miles of dirt trails in a forest and then four miles along the Strait. The threat of wind/rain never materialized and I cruised to a solid finish. My IT band seemed no worse for the wear, although I had the appetite of a hiberating Grizzly that had recently awakened.

Post-race

After an extended eat-everything-you-can-lay-your-hands-on session, we quickly showered, packed and drove back to SeaTac. A short 2 hour, completely overbooked flight on Alaska Airlines, and we were home.

Lessons learned

1. Make sure your iPod has both London Calling and Clash on Broadway. Listening to London Calling is just a great, motivating experience. Clash on Broadway has some great early punk, which always gets your feet moving. Just by chance, Complete Control was cranking when I saw the finish line a mile away. Talk about an adrenaline rush.

2. Get a good massage after your long training runs (20+). Going from a really bad case of ITBS to finishing a marathon pain-free (ok, relatively pain free) is a great thing.

FeedBurner support One-Click Subscriptions

FeedBurner announced yesterday that they are now supporting the newly created "One-click Subscription" spec for podcasts.

If you aren't familiar with this spec, the Podcast Subscription Working Group (PSWG - wiki is here) spent quite a bit of time going over different options. Several rounds of voting were held on the ipodder-dev email list. The "winning" spec is what FeedBurner is now supporting.

Personally, I'm glad that *any* decision was made. Removing the difficult aspects of listening to podcasts is an important step. The PSWG is not an IETF group, so there are of course some grumblings about it all. It is too early to tell if the spec will be widely adopted, but FeedBurner quickly adding support is a good first step.