Tag Archives: flickr

Dear HBO, Showtime, et. al., Your Business Model is Absurd

HBO Signature logo in the US
Image via Wikipedia

It just sort of dawned on me how completely ridiculous the whole notion of a network like HBO is in today’s digital world.

Back when HBO was born, their big offering was the chance to see lots and lots of movies for a pretty low price.  Sure, you had to wait maybe a year for it to make it there from the big screen, and you had to watch it when they decided to air it and you had to want to see the movies they had licensed.

For a time, this wasn’t a bad deal.  It was a good enough deal that millions decided to pay an extra $20 or whatever for that programming. But that was before DVRs and Hulu and Boxee and NetFlix WatchNow and all the other ways I can watch all the same basic movies HBO (et. al.) offers but I can decide when I want to watch them and it’s FREE!.

Now, HBO (et. al.) are trying to convince people that, while you can see the same movies they charge you to watch for free through other methods BUT check it out, now they have original programming. Actually, they’ve had that for decades, but now it is the centerpiece, it’s what they’re asking you to pay for – and they’re asking for the same amount of money as before.

So, to review, HBO wants me to pay them a premium above and beyond my basic cable fees to watch original dramas and comedies. Isn’t that what all the basic cable channels already do? Sure, they have ads, but that’s what DVR is for.

That leaves only two things HBO (et. al.) still offer that you can’t get on basic cable – boobs and cursing.  Is that really worth $20 a month? Really?

Oh, and that HBO show you love enough to pay for, “Flight of the Conchords?”  Yeah, HBO is premiering the new season on FunnyOrDie.com. That’s a free website they bought.

Why the hell are people paying for HBO (et. al.)? Seriously? No kidding.  Leave me a comment.

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Mumbai Madness Captured By Digital Citizens While CNN Was Blocked

Mumbai ...

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Like many others, my Thanksgiving joys were tempered by the madness in Mumbai.  While the major news organizations struggled to get information out to the public it was the public themselves who were telling the world just what was going on.

Services like Twitter, Flickr, YouTube and even good old fashioned email, combined with the massive proliferation of “smart” phones capable of capturing photo and video and transmitting it nearly instantaneouasly meant that the flow of information out of Mumbai was simply not going to be limited to what CNN was able to access.

In fact, if it weren’t for the rise of what is being refered to as “citizen journalism” who knows what the world might have missed:

“At the end of the day on Friday, CNN’s license to transmit live video in India expired, forcing the network’s correspondents to report via telephone. CNN and other channels in the United States relied on live coverage and taped reports from Indian networks.

The cameras and phones carried by people swept up in the attacks were not subject to any such rules. Mr. Shanbhag photographed one of the fires at the Taj hotel and the wreckage outside a popular cafe that was attacked on Wednesday and posted them on his Flickr stream. Some people transmitted video from inside the Taj hotel to news networks via cellphones. And reporters used cellphones to send text messages to hotel guests who had set up barricades in their rooms.” (via)

While governments spend more time and money than ever trying to monitor their citizens it is at least a bit comforting to know that some citizens are doing some monitoring of their own.

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LG Learning Sex Not Selling Like it Used To…

I consistently baffled by how big brands try to make noise in the online world.  The whole idea of “viral” videos has given them all a case of brain fever and caused them to create one stupid, misguided piece of promotion after another only to be trumped by some kid with his handicam, like this:

Yup, that’s a legit viral vid (or so the creator swears and I’m gonna believe him as it supports my point) and it has swept the nation.  It’s funny, sexy and true.  Also, authentic.

Now check out this “viral” video from LG:

This video, clearly made by professional production company, has not only failed to be fun to watch but it has failed to garner significant views – less than 15,000 over the past five days.

The lesson? Well, authenticity trumps soft-core porn and nobody likes watching a creep use a cameraphone.

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Verizon Mucks Up Flickr with Text Ads

There is a nice little post on Brand Noise about Verizon’s decision to place ads on all photo’s uploaded to Flickr using their phones. Thus turning what had been a nice service into making the consumer an unwilling participant in shilling for Verizon.

Brand Noise sums things up:

“Mobile needs to understand that it is selling experiences – not phone plans – if you mess up the vibe of those experiences you can never expect people to jump on to new services.”

Amen.

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Flickr Video – Short and Sweet

Flickr, the popular photosharing site, has just added the option to upload video to the site as well.  Wait, you say, isn’t that just YouTube?  Yup.  Only YouTube lets you upload video of any length (with the right authorization) while Fickr sets a limit of 90 seconds.

That might seem sort of crazy at first glance.  Why would someone use a highly limited service when there is a wide-open one right next door.  I think, though, that the 90 second limit is brilliant.  It gives the entire act of posting and sharing video much more casual.  Not only don’t you feel you need to post something significant, the viewer never has to worry that anything will be longer than a minute-and-a-half.  That’s a perfect limit.

Flickr Video’s 90 sec limit is a lot like Twitters 140 character limit.  Limits spur creativity.

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