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Bandwidth Bastards: Breaking News!! Will QWEST Go CDN? Is Charlie Baker A Klingon? And, Is Everything Really Bigger In Texas?

Editor's note: This is a column of (often irreverent) observation and opinion, and the views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of StreamingMedia.com.

Be sure to tune in next week when the divas take on their first Podcast or Podcast #1, if you will - experience the banter on a whole new level! We will give away 2 free tickets in honor of "Inglourious Basterds" - tickets good for any Regal Theater if you are selected by the editor for submitting a comment at the bottom of this post that provides the most compelling argument for Bandwidth Bastard pick-o-the-week!

nicoontheweb: I want to start this "episode", if you will, off with a little "humor" --
"A mathematician, scientist, and engineer are each asked: "Suppose we define a horse's tail to be a leg. How many legs does a horse have?" The mathematician answers "5"; the scientist "1"; and the engineer says "But you can't do that! "

Nico McLane
Nico McLane

nicoontheweb: Ok, let's try this again...
amarnoNYC: let's talk about something a little unusual here on BB
nicoontheweb: Yes, please let's
amarnoNYC: let's talk about politics in streaming
nicoontheweb: Politics in or of?
amarnoNYC: in
amarnoNYC: Baker launches web video spot - Republican candidate targets economic woes
amarnoNYC Streaming media has enough of its own politics - we don't need government trying to mind freak us with "viral video"
nicoontheweb: Interesting... He's attempting to create video _buzz_ to show his "constituents" how forward thinking he can be, he "hopes to unseat the Democrats who reclaimed the governor’s office in 2006 after 16 years of Republican governors."
amarnoNYC : YES, that's what I was thinking It turns out that you can't escape politics in the media! Every song I hear, every book I read and every movie I see has some political agenda, even if it's just a tacit support for the dominant ideology!
nicoontheweb: This video wasn't easy to locate and now, I can't stop watching it.... It seems so alien to me for some reason.
nicoontheweb: http://www.charliebaker2010.com This is interesting, he's using the Brightcove Player.

Here is how Brightcove is helping non-profits who are turning to Brightcove because "the platform offers rich capabilities at an affordable price" - the featured customer? Obama 08! Of course!

I am not saying that anyone is making any endorsments in favor of one poltician or another, it is just humurous that they chose Obama 08 as a "featured customer" and I happened upon this page on Brightcove's website as a series of clicks over from Baker's site... everything is political... taste the irony!

A.M. Arno
A.M. Arno
amarnoNYC: Oooooh! I want to make an anti-political "viral"video ....It'll document the world around me to ensure that my own beliefs can'tenter the frame.
nicoontheweb: Really... I think I will make a viral video too, and I will be sure to get a sponsor! Here's what Brightcove did for "Featured Customer: "Obama 08" ... and perhaps they can help Mr. Baker out too! Hey, what 's the difference? Republican, Democrat, Evil Warlord, Manson Family, Branch Davidian, AlAnon... Whoever you are, experience the joy of a platform and a player that will:
  • Inspire support for your cause
  • Recruit new members and volunteers
  • Disseminate messages more broadly
  • Train staff and volunteers across geographies
nicoontheweb : I love the word "disseminate" - It all sounds so Borg-ian! Resistance is futile, the Brightcove player will assimilate you!
amarnoNYC: And it'll be in one long take, so that I can't be accused of using editing to privilege some images over others!
amarnoNYC: It will be GREAT -and anyone who wants to see the fruits of my labor will have to give me their email address so I can use it to market to them shamelessly and thus continue to profit off the common man much like politicians before me
amarnoNYC: Of course, as soon as you place the camera somewhere, you're making a value judgment about what's worth seeing and what's not. You're privileging what's in front of the camera over what's behind it....and that's political
nicoontheweb: Maybe there IS no escaping politics even in streaming media let's just say that maybe before anyone gets in front of a camera... they should have a public speaking coach! Or a personality, Baker seems like a fine person, but video shot like this is so boring! I make no emotional connection with him, on any level... So, is it just that I am not the right target audience?
amarnoNYC: A semblance of a personality would be nice! From a marketing perspective you want "eyeballs" as we say here in the content end of things. You have to be smart about who you put in front of the camera-make sure that whomever you’re putting out there to represent your company/cause/product is both relatable AND has enough charisma to entertain...
nicoontheweb: You know what I find so funny - having a background in "Enterprise", I've seen so many "C" level leaders get in front of a room full of people,and they know that they are being Broadcast live, and they just have no sense of humor or personality. This is a problem, you know that having a sense of humor is a sign of wisdom, I often wonder how some of these executives get that high up on the ladder without a personality, and if they were all so brilliant in Finance, why is the economy and our culture in need of a total "reset"? On another note, good ole Wiki cites: Arthur Koestler, who argues that humour results when two different frames of reference are set up and a collision is engineered between them. Like Packets! See, streaming media is very "amusing" by the very nature of its engineering!
amarnoNYC: Speaking of Smart Nico, What is SmartBoost, you sent me a link and I am not quite sure I get it?
nicoontheweb: It's exciting, I tell you what... Zeugma offers variable bandwidth on demand for consumers!! “The industry has been talking about a ‘turbo button’ for almost a decade, but it hasn’t really been deployed,” said Kevin Walsh, vice president of marketing for Zeugma.
amarnoNYC: Is this going to be the answer to my bandwidth issues from last week?
nicoontheweb: Uhmmm, maybe ... If you live in TEXAS!! It is deployed by Hill Country Telephone, an independent telco in Texas, and is "generally available" - whatever that means.
amarnoNYC: ??? "providing the ability for subscribers to self-provision temporary bandwidth increases."
nicoontheweb: A consumer that wants to download a NetFlix or AppleTV movie can decide on the spur of a moment to boost bandwidth to get the movie immediately, while someone who works from home every Friday can schedule additional bandwidth for that one day.
nicoontheweb: "Another use case, which is almost analogous to a cell phone model, is that a family which is at work and at school during the day may decide they want most of their bandwidth during the evenings and weekends," Walsh said. "There are a lot of different potential use cases and models or packages a service provider might offer to make it attractive."
amarnoNYC: what is keeping this from going national???
nicoontheweb: Federal restrictions on access to dropping new fiber, and it does take time and money to deploy this kind of hardware across a network, a lot of work and project management, planning... That's why we see an Independent Telco in Texas deploying this and not AT&T or Verizon for that matter. I live in the heart of NYC and still can't even get Verizon FiOs.
nicoontheweb: local issues
nicoontheweb: predatory pricing... etc, etc... blah blah blah!
amarnoNYC: aaaaaaaaah back to last week’s issues!
nicoontheweb: So, we look to Tier 1 facilities to peer out the US
nicoontheweb: But, a roll out of technology like this, is a step in the right direction, even if its in Texas - but they do like things bigger there ...including their bandwidth, I suppose!
amarnoNYC: So how can online viewing be increasing when bandwidth is not??
nicoontheweb: Well, in other areas of big telco madness, we find QWEST, of all telcos, actually getting a boost in their Q2 profit from, get this, web video??? Unlike larger phone companies AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc., Qwest does not have its own video service that competes with cable, though it does resell DirecTV Group Inc.'s satellite service.
nicoontheweb: the carrier benefited from a round of cost-cutting and gains in its broadband and video units. The company posted earnings of $212 million, compared with $180 million a year earlier. Overall, company revenue declined 8.6% in the quarter, but broadband and video services grew 7% and 18%, respectively.
nicoontheweb Here is where QWEST gets very interesting: CEO Ed Mueller said the company is looking into creating some sort of "HOV lane" for subscribers who want to get high-definition video through their Internet connection....The "HOV" service might help video providers by storing movies locally on Qwest's network, shortening the distance that data need to travel over the Internet, Mueller suggested in an interview. There is a lot of energy and thought going into what QWEST will do, I wouldn't be surprised to see a QWEST booth at the next-next Streaming Media Conference if this continues, at least SM West http://o.aolcdn.com/cdn.webmail.aol.com/resources/core/images/smile.gif
amarnoNYC:surprise, surprise! I have been telling people this for over a year now
nicoontheweb: So, I guess people ARE watching more video online
amarnoNYC: Branded entertainment and interactive entertainment is the way to go
nicoontheweb: This report was just released this month
nicoontheweb: As the audience for online video continues to grow, a leading edge of internet users are migrating their
viewing from their computer screens to their TV screens.
No duh?
amarnoNYC:yes, basically it’s saying that the material that was once meant for the tech savvy is now mainstreaming
nicoontheweb: Over the past year, the share of online women who visit video sharing sites has grown substantially—from 46% in 2008 to 59% in the latest survey. That compares with 57% of male internet users who reported online video viewing in 2008 and 65% in 2009.
nicoontheweb: according to the report written by Mary Madden of The Pew Internet & American Life Project... A "fact tank". How can we equate "survey results" with "facts"? A fact is a piece of information about circumstances that exist or events that have occurred. A survey isn't "pieces" of information, there are pre-fabricated sets of questions and possible responses... when you take a survey, you are just jumping in a predefined bucket. And do you really need a whole tank to store facts?
amarnoNYC: This isn’t surprising Nico, if you stop and think about how accessible broadband and simple video equipment is to the masses, I think when we think about online video we think of the "viral" genre, but I know college professors at my old Grand School that post class lectures online, church that will stream their weekly religious service for parishioners overseas or who are ill, not to mention the dramatic rise in "how-to" videos online. But, I was just telling Tom here at this end of the office that despite the great rise in internet media - streaming television is the future...
nicoontheweb: Or, IPTV as we call it – and technically, a good deal of what we think of as "TV" today is brought to you via IPTV
amarnoNYC: IPTV?
nicoontheweb: In NYC on Time Warner Cable, if you go to Channel 999 you will see some familiar data - a lot of Set top boxes have this built in diagnostics channel, sometimes you'll find it under 998... it varies by provider.
nicoontheweb: You go to that channel and you will see your set top box IP address, your MAC address and often some information about your connectivity on the spectrum...
amarnoNYC: Like SONY's Playstation
nicoontheweb: Well, if you know where to look, you can kinda go in and poke around to see how things work, it really is magical if you don't know how it all works on the inside! http://o.aolcdn.com/cdn.webmail.aol.com/resources/core/images/smile.gif
amarnoNYC: your home video, gaming, and internet are all integrated
nicoontheweb: and successful content will always be king
nicoontheweb: Did you see the wedding video that went viral this week....
amarnoNYC: I am still confused about the obsession with people trying to "create" viral video -as we were discussing previously - there is no "formula" for good viral entertainment
nicoontheweb: It's ironic, many marketers still don't understand what makes a video go viral
amarnoNYC: This is a great slide show presented this month on viral video marketing:

amarnoNYC: but if you’re a marketing or Ad agent who is social media savvy *cough* like me *cough* there are a few standards you should keep in mind when your goal is to make something you HOPE will go viral
nicoontheweb: Such as?
amarnoNYC: create a video that is simple enough to be remixed over and over again by others. A great example is the Dramatic Look with the gopher:

amarnoNYC:I can watch this thing all day and the variations it’s spawned are even funnier!!
amarnoNYC: Make it short: 15-30 seconds is ideal; break down long stories into bite-sized clips
amarnoNYC:Do not make an outright ad, if itfeels like an ad, viewers won’t share it unless it’s really amazing. SAMSUNG did a stellar job of this with 38 Animals, 1 cool screen, 8 different uses: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ev-opyE2AeU
amarnoNYC: And check out the remixes done by fans:

nicoontheweb: you keep on dancing on that cell phone you crazy little chicken!
amarnoNYC: Another key things to keep in mind when planning "viral" video is to give a viewer no choice but to investigate further. "UFO Haiti" has over 9 MILLION views: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=up5jmbSjWkw
nicoontheweb: Well, here is what happens when a big, fancy agency tries to "make" a viral video - or as one blogger says "New Fedex Video? What’s the opposite of viral?!"
nicoontheweb: http://www.onemarketmedia.com/blog/2009/07/new-fedex-video-whats-the-opposite-of-viral/
nicoontheweb: Only 5,170 views
amarnoNYC: this is great!
nicoontheweb: Hilarious FedEx infomercial parody
amarnoNYC: but it FEELS produced
nicoontheweb: That turns me off right there
amarnoNYC: and that is what the turn off is
nicoontheweb: They are calling their own video campaign a "Hilarious FedEx infomercial parody"
nicoontheweb: that kind of nips it in the bud
amarnoNYC: well I will give them points for creativity at least

nicoontheweb: Here is the channel page: http://www.youtube.com/user/getinfotained
amarnoNYC: can't think of many companies that have parodied themselves
nicoontheweb: And they are teetering at around 5,400 views...
amarnoNYC: Like I said, when it is "produced" it feels like a marketing attempt -and thus it turns people off
nicoontheweb: But, when you just search on YouTube for FedEx, here is the #1 rated clip: VIDEO #2 of FedEx Cargo Jet Crashing in Tokyo, Japan
nicoontheweb: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iiGDd2QGNUQ
nicoontheweb: 281,195 views
nicoontheweb: Then there is this guy, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCVhwTi9tBA
nicoontheweb: And he got 45,318 views
nicoontheweb: This video is most popular with:
Gender Age
Male 45-54
Male 35-44
Female 45-54
nicoontheweb : Now that's real! And I feel like I may have caught something... achoo! Wow! That's Viral!
amarnoNYC: ahahahahahha
amarnoNYC: great!
nicoontheweb: Of course, that was from 2008, but I think I have made a point!
amarnoNYC: But this is a great example- obviously not professionally done
nicoontheweb: So, why are producers having such a hard time making videos that can GO viral - that don't look over produced but work online
nicoontheweb: Here is a most popular clip today on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lL4ZI6yPILg
amarnoNYC: I think it's because so often producers put content or people in front of the camera that just aren’t at all INTERESTING
nicoontheweb: And as we say time and time again, content is king! Get a personality, a sense of humor and you can take your audience anywhere...
nicoontheweb: Makes me wonder if the "Most Popular" and "Most Viewed" clips we see on YouTube are "organically" pushed to the top or ...
nicoontheweb : She has a SPONSOR... !! The girl with the magic Uke is a "product"...
amarnoNYC : It would not surprise me
icoontheweb< HP!! 43,173 views - they were smart, they have their marketing monkeys go online and dig up a personality to wrap around their product, it's like eavesdropping or getting into a clique with the cool kids!
amarnoNYC: much like the "good housekeeping seal" that everyone swears by -can be bought for something like 30-50K
amarnoNYC: I'm a marketer and I can't put my trust in YouTube
nicoontheweb: You really have to "tweak" your search parameters to find UGC
nicoontheweb: real UGC , that people gravitate to because the content or personality is so compelling...
amarnoNYC: and most people don't even know what a UGC us is
amarnoNYC: let alone how to tweak it
amarnoNYC: uh-huh I have to give them credit for being so forward with their marketing because it's all about location, location, location and You Tube is an ideal place to throw up a logo.
nicoontheweb: or just throw up
amarnoNYC: On that note...
nicoontheweb: Bastard out!

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