|This article originally appeared in 24hrs Vancouver on May 28, 2008.|
When Leo Laporte’s tv show, The Lab with Leo was canclled earlier this year by Rogers Television, he didn’t get on the phone and try to shop it to another network. Instead, he rented out a second floor of his workspace in Pentaluma, California and created his own network – online.
Such is broadcasting in 2008. You don’t need a traditional network to get your message out. Leo spent $30 000 on equipment for his studio and created his own.
Digg creator, Kevin Rose, did the same thing. When TechTV moved away from technology and the web to focus on gaming, he left the traditional network and created his own, Revision3. In 2007 Revision3 distributed 25 million copies of their 17 shows, many of them starring old TechTV personalities.
They used to say the revolution will be televised. We’ll have to update the battle cry a bit – the revolution is being streamed.
Video is not the next frontier for the web, it’s the current frontier. Bloggers no longer write their entries, they tape them and post them as video blogs, or vlogs.
You don’t have to spend 30 grand to get your own video empire on the internet, as little as $100 can get you the new Creative Vado, a handheld video camera no bigger than your cell phone. It has easy one button access for shooting video, and is primed to get your content online instantly. Along the bottom, a simple USB plug slides out so you can hook up to your computer easily and with one click get your project on YouTube.
Grab a webcam and visit a website like Ustream, or StickCam and you can have a live show where you can interact with viewers in a chatroom. StickCam is what Leo uses for his TWiT Live Network, I use Ustream and the built in iSight in my MacBook to stream live from the 95Crave studios each afternoon.
Robert Scoble is, arguably, the most prolific blogger on the web. He has embraced video as part of something he calls “the world wide talkshow.” He uses a Nokia N95 cell phone and Qik.com to stream video from his phone live to the internet.
Scoble interviews many of the leading web innovators on a daily basis, some of them unscheduled. He famously approached Henry Kissinger at a conference in Switzerland and startled his subject with “Hello! You’re live on the internet.” While Scoble is streaming with his phone, he can interact with viewers on the screen of his phone through a chat room.
Stephen Jagger from Reachd runs seminars helping small business maximize their websites, which includes adding video.
“Get a camera, any camera,” Stephen urges. “You’re the expert, educate your customers. Just do something.”
One of Stephen’s clients is real estate agent Ian Watt. Ian uses his video camera to vlog from the car between appointments. He announces new listings, reviews the marketplace and complains about lazy realtors using lockboxes.
Video is helping Ian show off his personality and giving prospective clients a deeper look at who he is and what he does.
Will it help his business? Most likely. Before Gary Vaynerchuk added a wine vlog to his parent’s store, Wine Library, they were selling $4 million a year.
Since the vlog was added sales have ballooned to $50M and Gary is making appearances on Ellen, and Conan.
• Reachd is running a 3 hour Intro to Online Video seminar tonight. They’ll talk you through the basics of using sites like Vimeo, YouTube, and TubeMogul to get your message out, and help you create that message. Registration is $200, and you’ll also get a free Flip video camera.
• Amanda Congdon was one of the web’s first video stars as the host of the vlog, Rocketboom. She left her show to go mainstream in 2006 after being quickly courted by both ABC and HBO. Neither worked out and she’s back on the web with a new creation called Sometimes Daily.
• Even old networks are coming to the web with video. CTV offers on demand streaming, but many of the US networks block their signal for Canadians. If you want to watch tv online, visit SurfTheChannel.com – it has everything.
• 24hrs and The Tyee have teamed up to bring transparency to municipal politics. The recent candidates debate for Vision Vancouver wasn’t broadcast on any traditional network, but a complete video of the debate has been archived on YouTube and TheTyee.ca
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