Podcast Hotel

Podcast Hotel

Podcast Hotel, a cool casual conference around independent audio and video podcast making, is happening this weekend in San Francisco. It takes place at the Swedish American Hall, a favorite venue for indie media makers. I’ll be moderating this session on Saturday:

1:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
The State of Vlogging: What’s new?
How is the community evolving? How can artists get into vlogging as a way to promote themselves and their work? We will address how enabling technologies have changed the way we view and create video content online; are broader audiences ready? Will there be increased demand as with online video sites? How will this impact news distribution in the future?

Eddie Codel, PodTech and Geek Entertainment TV

Adriana Gascoigne, bub.blicio.us
Schlomo Rabinowitz, Vloggercon/CNET
Justin Kan, Justin.tv
Josh Wolf, The Revolution will Be Televised

I’m psyched to have such an esteemed panel of online video movers and shakers. Josh Wolf is free now after achieving the status of longest jailed journalist in American history. Justin Kan has made international headlines over the past month for being the first person to “lifecast” himself. Schlomo has his short stubby fingers in more vlog pies that I can name. Adriana reports for party scenesters bub.blicio.us and worked previously at video hosting site Guba. Come on down or watch the action lifecast on justin.tv.


YouTube Prediction


With the news of YouTube’s $1.65 sellout to Google, I thought I’d take a look at an early email exchange I had with Steve Chen, one of YouTube’s founders. Back in July of last year I tried out YouTube for the first time, as I was hungry for checking out the emerging world of video sites. With in a couple of days, Steve messages me thanking me for trying out the service. This was a couple months before Webzine happened and I pitched Steve on YouTube being a sponsor. Here’s what he to say at the time:

Date: July 24, 2005

hi eddie:

good to hear back from you so quickly!

we should chat some more. i believe the next 6-12 months, we’re going to be experiencing a dramatic shift in personal publishing. i think similar to bloggers vs traditional journalists, similar to podcasters vs traditional broadcasters, we’ll be seeing a similar trend with videoblogging vs traditional media.

furthermore, i think YouTube is special in that it caters to a much wider audience than videobloggers. i see a lot of family videos of babies, friends videos of college, so on.

along these lines, i also think within the next 2 years, the web will become much richer of an experience. video codec incompatibiities will be a thing of the past. so on, so on.

in any case, i’d love to hear your feedback, on-going.

regarding the webzine 2005 — i know about the conference. however, as we’re very much still in a start-up mode that it’ll be difficult for us to drum up the funds to become a sponsor. but who knows, maybe things will change in September. 🙂


Maybe Steve meant October. 🙂 I’ll be hitting you up next year, Steve. He’s right, the web is a much richer experience. Video codec incompatibilities aren’t quite a thing of the past yet, though Flash has done much to get us closer to that day.

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Vote for my panel at SXSW 2007

SXSW 2007 The good peeps over at SXSW have a nice interactive proposed panel picker thing up now. I submitted a proposal for a web video panel titled ‘What Does the Future Hold for Video on the Internet?’. Please go vote for me and pick 9 other proposed panels (of a possible 173) that look interesting to you. Mine is under ‘web audio / webvideo’ and looks like this:

What Does the Future Hold for Video on the Internet?
We are on the cusp of a sea change in how video is produced and consumed. Cameras, processing power, bandwidth keep getting cheaper. Broadband is ubiquitous, hosting is free. Editing tools are cheap and easy to use. Can this last? Will a two-tiered Internet emerge and stifle innovation of the past 2 years? Will incumbent big media companies figure out what the Internet generation wants depriving independents from access?

Vote for me and I’ll buy you a beer next time I see you. It’s all about freedom and democracy, just like beer.

Have Money Will Vlog

Have Money Will Vlog

HMWV is a really, really cool project that some of my friends are involved in. It’s a grassroots way for creative vloggers or would-be vloggers to raise money and execute a project they’ve been itching to do. It’s a way to pay for the resources to get the video done by allowing community members (anyone who comes to the site and takes an interest) to buy into the project. A fundraising goal is set and a time period to raise that money is set (usually 30 days). If the goal is reached in time, then the project takes off. So far, HMWV has funded two projects and is on the cusp of funding a third.

This third project is called The Sustainable Route and is the brainchild of Ashley Hodson. Ashley wants to drive around the country and find out from regular people how they are engaging in sustainable practices. This really is awesome because there are a lot of people out there living sustainably in ways that most people have never heard of, much less engaged in.

The questions Ashley asks are “There is a lot to chew on these days when it comes to making simple decisions. Where is our food coming from, how do we get electricity, what is the impact of our lifestyles on the world around us? What are average people, like our selves, doing in their communities to define and work towards ’sustainability’? If you are interested in helping Ashley discover how people are answering these questions for themselves then please donate. She’s 87% of the way to the $2000 goal. I just threw down a Jackson and so should you.

If you have a project you want to get funded, check the HMWV guidelines for more info. This really is the power of the people (on the Internet) to make good shit happen. A little bit from many adds up to a lot.

UPDATE: The Sustainable Route has reached their fundraising goal and will be on the road soon.

Josh Wolf jailed for standing up for my rights

Josh Wolf

My good friend Josh Wolf was jailed yesterday by a federal judge for standing up for the right of a free press, something that is guaranteed by the First Amendment. It all started when Josh filmed a protest around the G8 summit last year and posted part of it up on his blog. The mainstream media saw this and reproduced it for their newscasts without Josh’s permission. So he sent them a bill and got paid.

Then one day the FBI knocks on Josh’s door and asks for the complete unedited version of the tape that Josh has. He refuses and is eventually subpoenaed before a federal grand jury investigating the burning of a SF police car during the protest. Josh is well within his rights as a journalist to not have to give up his source material. In fact, there is a shield law in California that guarantees this. Except that this is a federal case, and the feds don’t believe in shield laws or the First Amendment. The feds claim that since the SFPD gets some federal funding that the police car in question is federal property and it’s burning is a federal crime. This is such ridiculous bullshit I don’t know where to begin. Under normal circumstances, the local police department would and should be investigating this. Since the feds have taken on the case, the normal rules don’t apply. Josh and his lawyers believe this is a witch hunt and that the feds really couldn’t care less about the burning police car. Josh has stated that he has no footage of the burning car incident and even asked the judge to see for himself. He declined.

The bottom line is the video tape is Josh’s property. He should be under no obligation to be compelled to give up this private property. By doing so, all journalists are automatically deputized by the police to collect evidence for them. That’s not Josh’s job nor should it be.

I just donated $100 to Josh’s legal defense fund and I would encourage anyone reading this to give what they can. Josh is one of the nicest and most principled people I know. Not many people will go all the way to the mat on principle. Josh is a rare exception. Unfortunately, we need more rate exceptions as our freedoms slowly erode.


  • Josh’s own blog is being updated by his mom and has the latest news on his situation
  • Free Josh Wolf blog has been setup
  • Former NY Time’s reporter Judith Miller tried to visit Josh, but was denied (video)

Presented GETV @ the Apple Store

Eddie @ Meet the VloggersLast Friday, I was one of a handful of videobloggers who presented at a Meet the Vloggers session at the Apple Store in SF organized by Josh Wolf. It went amazingly well, surprisingly. Public speaking isn’t really my bag but I’m finding it’s not hard to talk about GETV. Plus, showing a 5 minute video means I really don’t have to say much. Fellow videoblogger Jason Buckley, the genius behind Washington Interns Gone Bad, put together a highlight video of the session.

Freedom’s Just Another Word

Yes, today’s the 4th of July and it has some special significance for me. It’s not just because I’m an American citizen that still believes in liberty or that I found a horse on Flickr painted all wrong. My grandfather, who passed away several years ago, and I share the same name and we share today as our birthday. Also, I *heart* my Internet friends who made this. Thanks Susan!

Vloggercon aftermath

Saturday morning crowd

The last couple of weeks have been crazy busy and fun, with Vloggercon last weekend and RoboGames this weekend. Vloggercon was awesome on so many levels, but mainly for me it’s the people. The videoblogging community is passionate, amazingly creative, and very supportive of each other. Even in the face of stark disagreement, videoblogging humans do come together to interact with 3d flesh and blood likeness of friends we’ve only seen in 2d.

My main role for Vloggercon was making sure we had bandwidth and WiFi to feed to he hungry video uploading and downloading masses. Amazingly, we pulled in 4, yes FOUR, T-1 circuits thanks to Layer 42. That’s a 6 megabit symmetric pipe we had to play with, much more than the inhouse DSL we had for Webzine 2005. Thanks to Cliff, I dropped in a Smoothwall caching web/DHCP server to help with download performance. The caching server meant that if 20 people decided to watch Galacticast at the same time, only one copy is downloaded off the net and the other 19 are served up locally. Even though we had a phat pipe to play with, we were dealing with 400+ video freaks, so it’s never bad to optimize. Feeding the 4 T-1s, we had 3 Linksys 802.11b wireless access points which worked like a charm.

We also had two live web video streams going throughout the event thanks to Alex and Monkeybrains. We had cams in each of the main presentation rooms beaming out the live vlogger love, combined with IRC allowing 150+ people to participate remotely.

Vloggercon was also meaningful because in several ways it was like the next iteration of Webzine. Schlomo booked the Swedish American Hall for the event after seeing how well it worked for Webzine. The 3 presentation rooms roughly followed the format we used for Webzine as well. This was very much a grassroots event created by passionate individuals who believe in independent publishing, being the media, which is what Webzine is all about.

Aside from handling the Internet and WiFi infrastructure for Vloggercon, and meeting tons of amazing people whom I’d only known online, I also pinched off a couple GETV episodes with Irina. There is the Robert Scoble leaving for PodTech episode and the fun Who is Your Secret Vlogger Crush? one. Good times all around.