Check out the Indy Mogul (indymogul.com) Season 03 Promo video! 😀
Make sure you stick around for the end and watch the trailer for the upcoming test film, which will be released next Tuesday, July 14th!!!.. MUUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAA 😀
Tomorrow night, (Friday, July 13th, 7pm EST) Cruxy will host a one-of-a-kind event as Suzanne Vega returns to her avatar form for a special virtual listening party in Second Life. Vega will be celebrating the upcoming release of her new album BEAUTY & CRIME, out July 17 on Blue Note. I caught up with Jon Oakes to get the inside story. 🙂
What is Cruxy?
Cruxy is a media platform that allows any digital content creator (mostly emerging filmmakers and musicians) to promote and sell their works. Here’s a simple example: You’ve shot a short film. You put it in Mp4 format and upload it to Cruxy. We create all of the thumbnails, previews and promotional widgets for you. You set a price of $1 for others to buy a download of the film. We handle taking the money from the buyers and delivering cash to you (less a small fee that we charge).
Here’s a real world example of Cruxy in action. Some folks in the Midwest have a company called ShortTrackWorld. They go (in their cool van) to lots of small car races all over the Midwest where regular folks race their super modified race cars aroundâ€¦ you guessed it, short tracks. ShortTrackWorld films the car races and then uses a satellite link to upload the videos from the event to their Cruxy page. They sell the videos of the race event to the drivers and fans and the videos are available just hours after the race. It’s pretty cool in action. You can check out the ShortTrackWorld page on Cruxy here: www.cruxy.com/stw
Recently we’ve been more focused on helping creators get their work into virtual world environments like Second Life. We see that as the next phase and our main focus moving forward.
What is the status of Cruxy as a startup, and who is team?
We are two full timers with a coterie of supporters, contractors, advisors and well-wishers. We are financed by our personal savings accounts, some paying engagements, anxiety and sweat.
Nathan Freitas and myself, Jon Oakes, have been working together for over eight years through three different (successful!) startups. We have built a ton of different technology, products, and solutions for people ranging from the government, to major corporations, and other technology businesses, but are most excited now to be applying our skills and inspiration towards creating new economic and marketing models for creative people, as well as the entertainment industry. Through Cruxy.com, we get to work with true indie talent and give them access to our entire platform. Working with a major artist and label such as Blue Note allows us to customize aspects of our platform, and create unique solutions, which also happen to help pay the bills. Its a good setup, and allows us to see the radical changes that are happening in this business from multiple standpoints.
What’s some of the interesting technology behind Cruxy.com?
As a startup, we need to be smart about how we spend our money so we use Amazon’s S3 and EC2 services for all of our server and data delivery needs. We pay on a variable basis (we did not have to go plunk down $25k for a bunch of servers and commit to a high monthly data service fee). This is really “on demand” computing and it allows us to scale in a pay that is precisely correlated ith our traffic and demandâ€¦ rather than investing everything in infrastructure and hoping to fill up the pipe.
We’ve built a pretty robust system for syndicating media content. We built our syndication system to use the XSPF format which gives us unlimited dynamic playlisting capabilities.
We’ve also built a “virtual world widget” which allows people to distribute their music to their avatar in Second Life. They can then stream their music into their land or venue in Second Life so others can experience their music in a totally new and social way. Rather than just have a bunch of people anonymously visit a web page and listen to your stuff, with the virtual world widgets, you can hang out in your virtual environment in Second Life while a group of people check out and discuss your work.
Besides Second Life, are there other places where creators can syndicate their media?
Cruxy supports a variety of technologies that allow any media upload to our system to be republished and indexed by almost any standards-based service on the web. We’ve got flash widgets, RSS feeds, XSPF feeds, and even some microformats support. We also recently announced our deep integration with FaceBook so creators can get their work out to their FaceBook network more easily. We expect to launch this feature in August.
Looking towards the future, we see the growth of gaming and virtual worlds as online social environments to be a huge opportunity for creative artists to gain exposure and income. We fully intend to extend the Cruxy platform into these types of spaces and economic models.
What’s the story behind tomorrow’s Second Life event with Suzanne Vega?
We have built a virtual lower east side “Ludlow Street” circa 1990 environment to promote Suzanne Vega’s new album “Beauty and Crime”, which is full of songs about various aspects of New York. Suzanne will join us (in avatar form) for a live interview and take questions from her fans. Avatars who attend will also be able to watch video of some of her recent live performances and sample her new album.
Each attendee to the event will receive a Virtual World Widget that allows them to host their own listening parties and share the music with friends in their own land or club within Second Life.
What makes this event with Suzanne Vega different from her first appearance in Second Life?
We used the new Second Life voice beta software for this event. We also built the lower east side environment where avatars can come to hang out, drive taxi cabs, talk on pay phones and spray paint on walls long after the event. This event is about more than just the event… it’s about the environment where people can come whenever they want and sample the album while experiencing the New York that so inspires the album. We’ve got graffiti by Zephyr, the prolific graffiti artist of that era and guitars by Robbie Dingo, the renowwnded Second Life designer, at a LES guitar shop.
One other thing to note is that the MTV virtual lower east side is designed for the 18 to 25 crowd that might not remember New York pre-Guiliani. We wanted to recreate more of the grunge aesthetic that we so enjoyed in our 20’s in NYC.
How big is the market for what you are doing? Breakdancers and indie musicians don’t really make much money, right?
What everyone is realizing is that there is a growing appetite for independently created media content.
Cruxy is also one of those UGC filter sites. The higher end of the UGC market puts their stuff in Cruxy. We don’t get much of the teenage car surfing or flatulence type stuff (nothing against it as aâ€¦ socialâ€¦ expression, but it’s not what Cruxy is about)
Thanks Jon. Good luck with Cruxy and Suzanne Vega’s event tomorrow! 😀
“Graf art building on Virtual Ludlow Street New York”
Photo Credit: Nathan Freitas
Jonathan Oakes founded and managed his first start-up, a systems integration consultancy, at 24 years old. In 1998 Oakes co-founded ThinAirApps, where he served as CEO and Chairman leading the company to a successful acquisition by Palm Inc. in 2001. Oakes spent over two years at Palm, as Senior Director managing corporate and product strategy. Oakes earned a BA in American Studies from Skidmore College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Over the last ten years, Nathan Freitas’ career has spanned the academic, corporate, and non-profit worlds, solving difficult problems through the thoughtful application of technology. His work has been built into Palm handhelds, on display at JavaONE and SIGGRAPH, included in Wikipedia, and covered in media ranging from Boing Boing and Slashdot, to the New York Times and Howard Rheingold’s book “Smart Mobs”. He also plays a mean double bass.
Bill Cammack â€¢ New York City â€¢ Freelance Video Editor â€¢ alum.mit.edu/www/billcammack
This week, I had the pleasure of interviewing Eric Rochow, the creator and producer of Gardenfork.tv, his “internet show” or “videoblog”.
What is Gardenfork?
Gardenfork is an internet video show – iTunes video podcast about cooking, gardening, and other stuff. Other stuff can include car repair, or how to drop tree with a chainsaw. Its very eclectic; for example I’ve been doing a series of shows on BBQ, stopping at places whenever I can and interviewing BBQ experts, but then I’m also working on a show about how to repair cracks in your basement walls.
Why do you do your show?
I’ve always been one of those people who wants to tell people about a neat thing I’ve learned, an interesting fact, a cool gizmo I just read about. This stuff swirls in my head and I’m just driven to want to share what I’ve discovered. Gardenfork is a great outlet for this desire to share information that our viewers, for some reason, like to watch.
And, its just a total blast to do. The viewer feedback is just amazing, and almost instant. Once we post a new episode, we start getting viewers emailing us with comments. The connection I have with the viewers is something you can’t buy.
Here’s a review on viewer posted on the gardenfork page on iTunes:
“Eric Rochow is not a self-promoting, self-congratulatory, larger-than-life celebrity chef. He’s the average guy doing an exceptionally good job putting together a podcast that entertains, informs, and encourages.
From the homey feel of his kitchen to the cutaways to watch the dog chew up a stick or yawn to the occasional multiple retakes as he flubs his lines, you can’t help but to love the show. Eric doesn’t pretend to be anything he isn’t and that is a breath of fresh air in today’s world of highly processed entertainment”
I think what appeals to people is that while I can talk in ‘Web 2.0 speak’ with the best of them, I can also talk about the benefits of a big block Chevy, ( FYI: that’s a specific type of engine produced by GM with dual quad carbs ) or how to keep flea beetles off your lettuce.
“Down to earth” is a phrase I’ve heard a lot when people describe the show. Its me doing a project, and that project may or may not come out they way I intended. I leave in the mistakes, because we’re all human, we make mistakes every day.
How did you get started doing Gardenfork?
I’ve worked in creative fields all my life: video, film, photography, design; and I had pitched several cooking-gardening shows to the lifestyle cable channels. The show ideas were always well received, but because no well known personality was attached to the shows, they weren’t picked up.
Last year I was on the web and ran across a video blog, crashtestkitchen, and the lightbulb went off in my head – I could produce and distribute my own cooking-gardening show – and I didn’t need the cable networks to do it.
Then we had our friends over for dinner one night, and I handed my friend Bill my video camera and said, “We’re shooting a cooking show tonight”. I made puttanesca, which is a favorite of mine, we had fun doing it, and that energy came through on the video. I had forgotten to turn on all the lights in the kitchen, so the video is pretty dark, so I called that episode “Puttanesca In The Dark with Bill”
How do you choose what to videoblog about?
Basically, whatever I’m doing on the weekend, I try to make a show about it. Last weekend I made Rhubarb Jam and tried my hand at canning, so we shot that. It was great. Sometimes I plan ahead, sometimes its just whatever project needs doing that weekend. Now we get viewer mail asking for shows on specific topics, like building a grape arbor, so I’ll do that as well.
I have to replace the clutch in my truck soon, so that will be the subject of a two part show. You can’t show how to change out a clutch in 8 minutes.
What’s your background? How do you know how to do all this stuff? 🙂
My parents are born and bred New Yorkers, my grandfather was a buliding super in the Bronx, but I grew up mainly in Wisconsin. We did a lot of hiking, fishing, hunting. When something broke, we didn’t call the repairman, we figured out how to fix it.
When I was 14, my father bought my brother and I a 1949 Ford Pickup. It was in pieces. We learned about cars by putting one back together. At the same time I started gardening, and when I moved back to NY, I started cooking.
I now divide my time between Northwest Connecticut and New York City, both of which are fertile ground for many episodes of gardenfork.
Is producing Gardenfork.tv paying your bills?
Not yet, but in the future that is a very real possibility. More and more advertisers are moving to the web, and gardenfork viewers are a niche audience that certain advertisers very much want to connect with. The advertising wont be obtrusive, it will be along the lines of how PBS thanks its sponsors, with short pre-roll and post-roll clips.
In the very near future, your TV and your computer will be one appliance, its the ‘convergence’ everyone has been talking about, its finally happening. Gardenfork is part of this convergence of traditional TV and the Web. I wear the “media disruptor” label proudly.
Gardenfork has also helped me in business, as my multimedia company, choplogic, is now helping corporations create their own internal and external video blogs, text blogs, and community sites. My wife calls me “Husband 2.0”
Going forward, we are also in pre-production on a new internet video show, Real World Green http://realworldgreen.com, which is about practical things you can do to lower your impact on the earth. The goal is to appeal to viewers who may not relate to the current crop of ‘green’ programming that’s out there, our emphasis is on practical; less talk, more about things you can do.
Thanks Eric, and good luck with Gardenfork / RealWorldGreen! 😀
Bill Cammack â€¢ New York City â€¢ Freelance Video Editor â€¢ alum.mit.edu/www/billcammack
Neo: Whoa, deja vu.
Trinity: What did you just say?
Neo: Nothing, I just had a little deja vu.
Trinity: What did you see?
Cypher: What happened?
Neo: A black cat went past us, and then another that looked just like it.
Trinity: How much like it, was it the same cat?
Neo: Might have been, I’m not sure.
Morpheus: Switch, Apoc.
Neo: What is it?
Trinity: Deja vu is usually a glitch in the Matrix. It happens when they change something….
It’s been a very interesting year… kind of like a wild ride with endless twists and turns. Blogging, Videoblogging, Compression, Editing, Production, Pre-Production, Hosting, Conferences, Socializing IRL, Social Internet Networks, Festivals, New gadgets coming out every day to make it easier to connect with each other……
In the end, I look back across the last 365 days and I see 157 episodes and I don’t even feel like trying to count how many hours of content. :/ When I make a “ReelSolid.TV Season 01” DVD, I’ll let you know how long it takes to sit down and watch everything I posted in my first year of videoblogging:
MasamiBillShow – 5 Episodes (April 13, 2007 – April 24, 2007)
The Lab – 6 Episodes (March 16,2007 – April 20, 2007)
ReelSolid.TV – 49 Episodes (May 28, 2006 – May 11, 2007)
Eight Million Stories – 97 Episodes (November 20, 2006 – April 05, 2007)
I ended up with several shows because they’re all different topics, styles and lengths, and I didn’t want to dilute one show with another one. I thought that would be beneficial to me so that I could point people to one specific style of video that they might be interested in. At this point, I’m a fan of consolidation. Put the video where people expect to see it. Myriad shows under one brand… one focus… one RSS feed.
Steve Garfield said he subscribes to people. I’ve found out that I do the exact same thing. I don’t so much watch JetSetShow or Galacticast or SomethingToBeDesired as I tune in to see what Steve & Zadi did this week or what Rudy & Casey did or what Justin did. I would watch if it were the same thing every week or if it were different every week. I would watch whether the shows were produced daily or arrived sporadically in their RSS feeds. Similarly, I’m going to consolidate MY shows into MY RSS feed, and people can watch it if they feel like it.
A very special “thank you” shout-out goes out to my Season 01 subscribers! 😀 It means a lot to post a video and get a certain number of downloads right off the bat. It also means a lot for y’all to post *FEEDBACK* when you watch a video that you like or even one that you don’t like. I’ve had several conversations over the last two months where I started to describe one of my episodes to someone, like my Vlog Deathmatch Music Video Promo, and the person I’m telling goes “Yeah, I saw that… That was great! 😀 I especially liked the part where…….” and I’m standing there like ??? because I had received ZERO FEEDBACK from that person that they even SAW that video. To date, I have 929 views on my VDM Official Entry (Starring ActionGirl) and I have 27 comments on the page. :/ FOUR of the comments were BY ME, so either those 24 people watched that video 38.708333 times each or the amount of WATCHING far outweighs the amount of COMMENTING! 😀
Recently, much has happened to change the game, and BillCammack.com / ReelSolid.TV is going to flow with that. Stay tuned for live events, interviews, contests, forum discussions, collaborations… even AUDIO PODCASTS!!! :O Now that Season 01 of ReelSolid.TV has been spent learning the technology, the ‘business’ of videoblogging and the philosophies behind all of that, Season 02 is going to be WAY LESS about organization, structure and paperwork and WAY MORE about content creation and self-expression through video & audio… which is why I do what I do in the first place.
Thanks again, all… especially those that dove into videoblogging as soon as they realized what they could do and have made their knowledge available to other people, like on the yahoo videoblogging list and freevlog.org.
Deja vu is usually a glitch in the Matrix. It happens when they change something….
ReelSolid.TV Season 02 kicks off NOW!!! 😀
The Vlog Deathmatch Music Video Challenge ( VlogDeathmatch.com ) is going on right now. Deadline for entries is May 14th. After that, site visitors will have a week to vote for their favorite music video, and YOU could be crowned “Vlog Deathmatch Music Video Champion”! 😀
Of course… that and however much it costs for a cup of coffee will get you a cup of coffee. 🙂 There are no prizes other than joining in in a videoblogging community event, showing off your skillZ, and generally having a good time. Feel free to drop by VlogDeathmatch.com and check out the videos as they come in. Some people are focusing on their music videos, while others are doing promos to drum up interest before their actual contest entry.
It’s a no-lose situation. No entry fee, no nothing, so join up and let’s find out who’s crowned the Vlog Deathmatch Music Video Champion!!! 😀
Bill Cammack â€¢ New York City â€¢ Freelance Video Editor â€¢ alum.mit.edu/www/billcammack