Monday, 6 February 2006

Wanted – A Better Gillmor Gang

I’m the first to admit I frequently listen podcasts for the guest not the host – TechNation, PodTech, Larry’s World, and more recently – Gillmor Gang.

For the latter, it wasn’t the ads that bugged me, or the hub-bub around them. I’ll fast-forward past them until a new podcast-appropriate ad format is introduced.

I completely agree with Kurtiss Hare on the ad issue:

“[Steve Gillmore] continues to rehash the same point and refuses to raise the level of discourse.”

Yes, it’s great that someone with Earthlink’s reputation is sponsoring podcasts. I’ve had mixed experiences with them (yeah for mobile phone, boo for dsl). Shoehorning radio ads into podcasts won’t change that. Especially one’s I don’t hear. Remember the fast-forward button.

While I really enjoy the high-level strategic discussion of internet and business, I’m finding Steve’s fixation on specific vendors, continual hijacking of the conversation, and insistence that 30 second off-topic ads are cool – all tiresome.

Unsubscribing from the Gillmor Gang leaves a void in my listening and I’m looking for a replacement. Something with the same format – 5 people on a conference call, same topics – companies and how they’re adapting to the changing relationship between customer and vendors, and really heated discussion.

Any suggestions?

Om & Niall’s Podsession and This Week in Tech are both close, but a little too tactial

Tuesday, 17 January 2006

A Proposal for a TiVo, iTunes, Podcast Ad Formats

30 seconds is way too long. On the TiVo, we’re fast-forwarding through the commercials and other boring bits. We’re still watching as we fast-forward (we get the brand-impression, just more quickly and without sound).

Same with podcasts. As I’ve mentioned earlier, we’re not skipping the ads, just getting through them more quickly. I know one of the podcasts I listen to is sponsored by Earthlink. The host mentions it the moment before I start fast-forwarding. I don’t need to hear Earthlink themselves waste my time – the host already told me everything I need to know. Using 3 words – “sponsored by Earthlink”.

Likewise, television advertisers need to embraces the fast-forward and create media entertaining at both speeds. Something akin to the Levi’s ads from the 80s – a big logo taking up most of the screen surrounded by entertaining animations. This would scale to smaller video devices like the iPod, PSP, and Archos while giving TiVo viewers a reason to replay.

Sunday, 19 June 2005

Exactly the Same Thing as a Treo from Earthlink

The reception on my T610 has been awful lately. A month or so back the signal was so clear people could hear the birds in my backyard. Last week, I’d be lucky to make out words under the tidal waves of static. On road trips, the T610 lost it’s signal the moment the “Wisconsin Welcomes You” sign was in view. While Jen’s Samsung E310 always kept at least one bar.

As I’ve mentioned before, the I’m heavily using Apple’s iSync and BluePhoneElite to keep my phone and Powerbook playing nice together. T-Mobile offered to replace the T610 with a comparable model. None of their current handsets support iSync via Bluetooth let alone match my ideal phone – the opposite of a Treo.

Bryce Howitson suggested an unlocked Nokia 7280. The 7280 fills all my requirements, though I’m not quite comfortable buying an unlock phone off eBay…yet. This left the Motorola RazR and the Treo 650 in the running. Emails with T-Mobile customer service confirmed neither are available through them.

It was OfficeMax’s $299 after rebate price on a Treo with Earthlink Wireless finally sold me. Eight hours after taking it out of the box, Earthlink had ported my number. During that time, I quickly remembered all the things I loved about Palm’s OS and the awkwardness of HotSync/Palm Desktop on the Mac. The Palm OS itself has matured quite a bit in the 3 years since I ditched my Visor, those two apps seem to be frozen in time.

I’ve bumped up against some oddness; Bluetooth polling seems to be more frequent than necessary – if only because it locks the Palm up completely, it’s not obvious how to record just audio, and the ‘@’ key an option-click. I’d rather it be a shift-click (like other QWERTY keyboards) or better – a key all it’s own.

Overall, I’m extremely happy with the Treo. Just as Christoper Mark Brooder said I would be.

Not only does the signal stretch well into Wisconsin, I discovered there’s something both wonderful and wrong about checking your email from a pontoon boat.

Also, if anyone wants my USB phone charger, make me an offer.