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Justin.tv Continues to Reinvent Itself

Fast Company just published this great piece on the evolutionary path of Justin.tv.

The TL;DR version: In 2007, Justin.tv began simply with Justin Kan lifecasting himself from his startup’s dorm style living quarters in the Y-scraper. It didn’t take long for Justin’s audience to start directing the show. The founders were able to get the cost to deliver one hour of video down to half a penny, so Justin.tv pivoted to an open, ad-supported live streaming platform. Traffic grew immensely, aided by some users illegally simulcasting blacked out pro sports events from around the world. A boxing promoter and UFC went on the attack, while Michael Seibel, Justin.tv’s CEO, had to answer to Congress. Overall traffic declined as video game streaming traffic increased. Taking this cue, TwitchTV was spun off to create a streaming platform built exclusively for video gamers to broadcast game competitions. With the rise of mobile apps, Socialcam soon became another successful spin-off. Socialcam is a mobile video sharing app that leverages Justin.tv’s infrastructure, now with 44 million users. Not to be outdone, Justin had to go and found yet another startup. Exec is a service that helps match users with personal assistants to get specific tasks done.

Here’s a Geek Entertainment TV episode we did in 2007 when Irina and I visited Justin.tv at the Y-scraper in their early messier lifecasting days.

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Epic Win in SF

Irina and I went down and covered the Anonymous protests of Scientology in San Francisco. This was only one of dozens or hundreds held simultaneously around the world on Feb. 10th. Not much mainstream media coverage which is fine because our coverage rules, obviously.

A fool and his freedoms are soon parted

Wow. After reading about Microsoft’s renewed assault on the rest of the world, I was reminded how brilliant Richard Stallman was in creating the GNU Public License (GPL). It was created 20 years ago to keep free software free, predicting exactly what Microsoft is trying to do today. The software patent system is totally broken and Microsoft is taking advantage of that broken system to try and kill free software. Interesting times indeed. Here’s a GETV interview we did with Richard Stallman last year at HOPE, explaining the freedoms of software creation and why they are important.

Craig Newark is the (humble) man

I was lucky enough to first meet Craig some 10 years ago through the Noend mailing list when Craig’s List was still a local San Francisco trading post. He was humble then and he is just as humble now. If there is anyone who is the poster child of how to navigate lots of attention and scrutiny, yet still stay true to your core ideals, it is Craig. Humble, mild mannered, world changing, not a sell out, safe around children and pets, that is Craig. Kudos Craig and congrats for making an appearance on one of the best shows on television! Can’t wait to see what your Colbert experience will be like as well.

And here’s a little interview we did with Craig last year at SXSW in Austin. Wow, a lot’s changed since then.


Merry Xmas!

I’m back home in northern Virginia with family and all is snug on this Christmas day. Enjoy this little video of something beautiful and bountiful that comes in pairs.

Ecobabes Save the Planet One Month at a Time

Ecobabe Lindsay Hassett

My good friend Lindsay aka Betty Biodisesel is featured on the front page of the SF Chronicle today, above the fold no less. The story? Her ecobabes calendar (she’s Miss August), a hot fundraising tool for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The online version of the article even has a poll, “Is the ecobabes calendar a respectable promotion for Sonoma County’s greenhouse gas reduction efforts?” Oh, the controversy!

I caught Lindsay on video explaining the ecobabes calendar in this GETV episode from the Bioneers conference last month.


Building Bridges

Jet Setters meet GETVers

The past couple of weeks has been quite the blast. After returning from Burning Man, my new videographer friend from Seattle, Ali and I schemed on some video together. The Fighting Kite GETV episode is the result of such schemeing. Ali taught me plenty of new Final Cut power moves for my arsenal. The pen tool! Who knew? You probably did.

This past week I was down in LA with Irina to capture a bunch of interview material for a bunch of upcoming episodes. Thanks to Micki who got us access to the Revver Hollywood style launch party for the new 1.0 version of their service. Revver is a video hosting site much like blip, veoh or ourmedia with the added benefit of revenue sharing for content creators. They tag on a single still frame ad to the end of your video and split revenues with you 50/50 for all clicks. Popular vlogs like Ze Frank and Ask a Ninja use Revver and do pretty well for themselves from what I hear. Blip.tv is planning on offering something very similar soon, though they’re not quite there yet. The idea of giving video content producers a way to make money, even small amounts of money, is a huge incentive for lots of independent creative types.
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