Continuing my round-up of the speakers at last night's Video 2.0 meetup, Cruxy presented second, and were touted as the first ever official launch at a one of our events.
Cruxy allows people to upload any type of digital content and then offer it for sale. The guys up on stage were wonderfully anti-DRM and very hip to Creative Commons (literally wearing the t-shirt!). Even though this was the Video meetup, they were also quick to show that although you could sell your indie movie using their service, you could also sell PDFs, 3dsmax files, mp3s, and even group content items into "albums".
Working to be completely straight with their content producers, they're incredibly transparent about their fee structure. When you offer an item for sale, you enter your price, and they tell you how much goes to them, and how much goes to paypal right there on the page. My first thought was "CD baby, but for downloads", and I've been waiting for years for this to show up! I'm glad to see if finally coming to fruition, especially from a bunch of guys who are independent themselves and really "get it." I got a chance to talk with Nathan a bit afterwards, and they seemed much more excited about helping empower content creators than about making a buck.
They went on to show all the ways that they're giving people to embed their sales engine, so that you don't have to point people to your cruxy page, you can simply use your existing website, blog, or myspace page to generate sales. In the same way that you can embed youtube videos on your blog, you can drop in their sales widget and people can preview and buy your content right there using a credit card or paypal account. Bands can even use their tool to create an replacement music player for myspace that allows sales.
It looks extremely cool, and they've certainly got a clear revenue model. The final piece of their puzzle is that promoters (including podcasters, which made my ears perk up) will also be able to establish relationships with content creators and potentially get a cut of any sale through they system that they generate.
As for my opinion, well, let's just say I'll be recommending Cruxy to many of the bands we work with on The Alternative Music Show. If you're an artist struggling with how to sell your content online, you owe it to yourself to check Cruxy out.
Last night I attended the 2nd Video 2.0 Meetup here in NYC. The audience was a mix of startup companies in online video and content producers. Among the notables that I recognized in the audience were Andrew and Joanne from RocketBoom and some of the folks from Blip.tv .
The event is held in a screening room for the Tribeca film festival where greats like Scorsese routinely hold private screenings (there were even rumors of Scorsese himself breezing in and out of the projection room, but that may have been a joke.)
I took some pretty decent notes on each of the presenters, and surprisingly, each of these companies had something new and different to bring to the table. In my next few posts, I'll summarize each of the services and then talk a bit about why I found them interesting.
Motionbox opened the night, and were quick to differentiate themselves from other video hosting sites by working to solve the "unproduced content problem." With photos on flickr, you can easily scan through thumbnails of your friend's vacation, and zoom in on the few great pictures, but with video, you're stuck watching the whole thing.
Motionbox allows you to highlight sections of videos, and even creates permalinks to those selected clips. It's quite cool, and they hinted that "more cool stuff was coming in the fall.
They're already partnered with NBC5 in Chicago, and if you go to nbc5.com you can see where "viewers" are submitting content, and that can be integrated into the broadcast news.
Once questions began, we got the nitty-gritty on their back end. Their service is programmed in ruby on rails, and their custom player is written in FLEX on top of Flash 9. They've got about 20 folks on their team and have outside investors, although they didn't specify who or how much. I believe they mentioned that they were hiring, but I could be mistaken. It can't hurt to shoot them a resume if you're interested.
As far as monetization, they're planning a pro-product as well as ads, and you know that deals like the NBC5 partnership can’t hurt.
My opinion? I was just about to tune out and pass motionbox off as a yaytc (Yet Another Youtube Clone... it sounds like "Yahtzee!" when you say it out loud) when I heard them mention "something cool coming in the fall" a second time while talking about their ability to highlight clips. They started to taking about permissions that you can grant to your file, such as giving different people the permission to highlight and link to clips, or mix and mash it up with others.
Aha! Mix and mash?! Now this is starting to sound cool, and you can understand why they're hesitant to announce this formally until they've got it ready. This is of course just my speculation, but how awesome would it be if I could go on Motionbox and create my own "America's funniest home videos", complete with music track? Or create a full on music video using footage other people have uploaded? My ears certainly perked up at the end there, and if they've really got this up their sleeves, I don't think I'll be the only one excited about it.
There were 4 more presenters, and there's four more pieces to this round up coming, just as fast as I can type them! Stay tuned!
Not only is this the smallest flash drive I've ever seen, it's also got 2 gigs of storage space, great reviews, and is $40! You can get a few more bucks off via rebate, but we all know how reliable those are. Check out the image to see how small this thing is! You could seriously store it in your wallet! 9MB/sec speed is not top-notch, but decent.
What will happen on BlogDay?
In one long moment In August 31st, bloggers from all over the world will post a recommendation of 5 new Blogs, Preferably, Blogs different from their own culture, point of view and attitude. On this day, blog surfers will find themselves leaping and discovering new, unknown Blogs, celebrating the discovery of new people and new bloggers.
- Copyblogger gives "Copywriting tips for online marketing success." I love copyblogger because it's unapologetic about its purpose. While Brian writes amazingly helpful tips on how to structure headlines, write content, and generate buzz and publicity, he's busy doing it himself right there on copyblogger, and you can see it working. I've already picked up quite a few gems from him myself!
- Images of Life
- I added this little photoblog to my daily read list a few weeks back just to see the amazing images come through. Some of the most amazing portraits and nature shots you'll ever find, and Courtney is always busy creating more (and is available for hire if you're in the Utah County area)
- information aesthetics
- I'm constantly working with databases and datasets, creating ways to add information, and occasionally, extract it. Extracting it is the hard part, as it's equal parts engineering and design. Often, an access report is woefully deficient, but it's what we've got, right? Wrong! Information Aesthetics show you what you can really do with data. Each day, Andrew finds more tools, tricks, and just plain cool ways of turning dry data into inspiring infographics and even, dare I say it, art.
- Omar's been on my blogroll forever, but I figured I'd highlight him here, as he's been a bit more active lately. He's one of the smart folks inside Microsoft working on the "live" series of products. When I first caught up with him, they were making some changes to hotmail to keep up with gmail, and they've been stepping it up ever since. It's great to be able to peek behind the curtain a bit and see what's got the people that work at microsoft excited.
- I recently tuned-in to brooklynvegan when looking for blogs that covered the music scene here in NYC. Keeping up with everything and looking for great bands to feature on The Alternative Music Show (AlternativeMusicShow.com) can be a big job, but brooklynvegan (whose real name I couldn't dig up!) covers so much stuff that I barely have time to read it all. It's amazing to have such a great compilation of music news from NYC all in one spot.
(A replica of Hermione's time-turner from the Harry Potter 3. )
Why is it that all the events I want to attend here in NYC happen on the same Wednesday evening?
Tonight, I'll be heading to the Video 2.0 event, but that means I'll not only be missing yet another NYC podcasters meetup, but I'm also going to miss a NYLUG (New York Linux Users Group) presentation with Ajai Khattri talking about Gentoo Linux.
If these events were Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, I'd love to be at all three!
While I'm wishing for the magic ability to be everywhere at once, I'm bummed that I'm going to have to miss MarCamp - the ad-hoc, barcamp style marketing conference on Sept. 26th. If you're out on the west coast and involved in podcasting, blogging, or any type of marketing, I'd really suggest making it to this event. I know a bunch of people are heading out that way a bit early for the Portable Media Expo, and it would make a great first stop!
Phew! That's a lot of events, and a lot of links! Wish me luck, it's going to be a fun month!
It could be that I'm always downloading files from my gmail and not really paying attention to the other options, but this just jumped out at me today!
I was able to listen to this podsafe music submission for The Alternative Music Show right on gmail in a very google-video-esque player. It streamed perfectly, and I was able to slide back and forth through the song (unlike the rinky-dink flash player at the podsafe music network)
Cool as hell. Rey, my officemate and good friend looked at this and said simply: "This is why Google are geniuses."
I'll be in Boston for "podcamp" the barcamp inspired podcasting un-conference Sept 9-10. Anyone in the area and want to meet up?
UPDATE: Yeah, I said next weekend the first time I posted this. I'm a dummy! I meant 3 weekends from now. I really need to use a calendar when I do this stuff
Sara's and my 2 year anniversary is tomorrow, so to commerate the occasion, I woke up a bit early this morning and made crepes. They're one of Sara's favorite foods, and we had them on our honeymoon down in New Orleans. I've never attempted them before, so it was a bit of an adventure, but they came out great!
Here's the basic recipe I followed:
I was also helped along by this excellent step-by-step howto:
I made the sweetened version, and then whipped up 3 semi-impromptu fillings: a bananas foster, fresh strawberries in a strawberry sauce, and a tart raspberry sauce. It's amazing how throwing some fruit in a sauce pan with sugar can create such tasty things!
After quite a few people letting me know that they weren't the biggest fan of the Del.icio.us links showing up here in my main feed, I've decided to pull them.
If you did like seeing what I found interesting on the net, you can subscribe to my delicious links feed here:
I'll also be posting stuff over at Digg, here's my link feed there:
Del.icio.us holds my external bookmarks, all the things I want to keep track of, and digg is a bit more ephemeral, tracking what's popular right now. Although both services are extremely similar, I use both in different ways.
Poking around on myspace today, I saw that Sara had voted on eventful for Wil Wheaton to come and speak in NYC. We're big fans of his writing and would love to see him if he came out this way. I just added my vote.