In brainstorming for tomorrow’s panel on Social Media and Music tomorrow tonight (Sept. 11) at Kleiner Perkins in LA (I’m co-moderating with Jackie Peters), I came up with the below list of concepts, products, and applications that peer into the future of music and the Web. More info on the panel is here. Please feel free to add more context / suggestions in the comment section below:
Several months ago I realized that the iTunes on my MBP was no longer updating the podcasts to which I subscribe and, well, I could no longer connect to the iTunes Music store. As a lifelong skeptic of the iTunes product (and a devoutly stubborn consumer of only non-Apple mp3 and portable media players and phones) I immediately looked elsewhere instead of seeking some ass-backward solution that likely would have required me to download one of the hundreds of iTunes “upgrades” released each year.
This took my back to an old friend, Odeo, which I remembered to have an easily navigable and fully-loaded index of audio and video netcasts. I noticed a new beta version was being offered and I immediately signed up to find an attractive UI and easy-to-use embedded players and download tabs, as well as new subscription tabs. Now, I still keep my Zune — yes, that’s what I use — updated with podcasts via my PC at work, but when I’m not at work — or when I’m WATCHING on my work PC — I use Odeo. Hey, I also through a bit of extra faith into the product because it was originally launched by Blogger founder (and later Twitter co-founder) Ev Williams.
There are a few things I WOULD like to see on Odeo — I have a login and limited profile. I’d like to have the option to make my profile public and — similar to Last.fm — network with my friends to share recommendations and fave listens and keep tabs on what those in my network watch/listen to so that I can discover new netcasts of interest without having to look too hard. Also, I’ve noticed that Odeo can be a bit slow — quite often i wait around for the Olbermann netcast, only to find it arrive late at night tagged “4 hours ago.”
Do you use Odeo? Have you tried it since the relaunch? What else have you tried as a netcast portal?
The full list (and [purported] methodology) is here.
Coolest thing about the list? It drew me back to NowPublic for the first time in months and I really like the re-design. Last year NowPublic’s partnered with AP and more recently, believe it or not, NP acquired Guy Kawasaki’s Truemors. Most attractive about their redesign is the dynamically updating homepage… much more inviting as a reader and contributor.
UPDATE: Sean Bonner wrote a great post exposing the true annoyance of such link-baiting tactics as engineered (in this instance) by PR firm morris+king to exemplify how filling a page with self-referential links (all of the names on the list refer not to that individual’s web site, but to a nowpublic.com member page, created especially for this campaign) and baiting such “influentials” to spread the word and linkylove spam is ugly and should be seen through. THIS is where the rel=”nofollow” comes handy. By adding that tag to the end of a URI, search engine robots and crawlers are flagged to not weigh the reference of a hyperlink to the rank or relevance of the destination.
SpeedMatters.org recently concluded a survey exemplifying the embarrassing brick wall (likely agreed upon by telco and cable monopolists and duopolists) keeping out broadband Internet speeds at low levels relative to the rest of the world. At 2.3Mbps average download speeds, last mile connectivity has only inched up in the past year, according to the report (PDF), and it would be decades before we experienced the speeds and functionality experienced by internet users in Japan, who connect at over 60Mbps.
Evident in the unscientific studies is the sharp increase in business districts in which connectivity is often an expensive T1 connection, as opposed to publicly available high speed broadband (which here in LA, is mainly limited to AT&T and Comcast, although competitors such as Speakeasy are able to offer better service at slightly higher rates). California ranks 25th in SpeedMatters’ survey of median download speeds. how does your state rank?
I’ve documented the U.S.’s position on broadband ubiquity and connectivity many times, as well as it’s position in relation to other OECD countries throughout here and here. I first profiled SpeedMatters.org (a project of the Communications Workers of America union) here and encourage everyone to participate in their call to action: