Full Length TWiT on YouTube

I’ve mentioned in a couple of MFC episodes that YouTube are doing more and more to bring content into the site, moving away from the home video side of things, and dealing with broadcasters and networks.

I’ve not really invested too much time in watching what’s available, although I do keep my eye on what deals they’re making. It came to my attention yesterday that our hero Leo Laporte has his TWiT videos available on YouTube now as well.

  1. This means they are embeddable.
  2. They are really long, so although Leo has clearly done a deal with YouTube, it bodes well for the future.
  3. I’m impressed with all the different ways Leo is making his content available. Tivo and all that business. I just want an iTunes feed, and I’m good to go.
  4. Have we mentioned how awesome Leo is?

I posted a message on Twitter about this, and it seems like I’m not the only one who found this to be brand new information. There are plenty of videos on there though, so he must have been doing it for a while. Excellent stuff.

This Too Shall Pass

If you haven’t seen the latest music video from OK Go, then you must view it now.

I know. Wow. Right?

It’s taken me a while to be convinced that it is actually real but after reading a great behind the scenes piece on it, I’m gonna go with it. Some facts you need to know:

  • It took about a month and a half of very intense work, with people on-site all the time
  • 55-60 people worked on the project in all
  • 30 or more people to help reset the machine after each run
  • Even with all those people helping, resetting the whole machine took close to an hour
  • The video was shot by a single Steadicam
  • It took more than 60 takes, over the course of two days, to get it right

Now, the reasons this is MFC, aside from being awesome? The attention to detail that has gone into this is something that has been lacking in music videos for a long time. OK Go have, from the very start, treated their videos as a piece of art, something they know will go viral and spread that way, rather than be promoted heavily by a distributor. The songs are nothing to write home about, but the moving pictures is where it’s at.

Secondly, the video is sponsored by State Farm. They get a simple thanks at the very end, and that is all. It turns out that State Farm have also paid “an undisclosed sum” to allow the video to be embedded – as we have done in this post. Previously, OK Go videos have been banned from embed functionality, as, of course, the record industry don’t make money from them.

All in all, a great success. Even though the idea of everything just working like that still boggles my mind. If you’re keen to learn more, there are some “making of” videos available, too.

Changing Touring Forever

There’s been a story doing the rounds recently about the Billboard Top 40 Money Makers, with U2 topping the list.

I mentioned this to Mr C, as he’s a former crazy fan who now just keeps an eye on what they’re up to. He questioned the idea, and that led to a fascinating conversation. I wanted to blog some highlights, as it raises a lot of questions.

U2 360 The Claw @ Ullevi, Göteborg Sweden
Photo Credit: Andrew3000

Firstly, we all know rankings are bunkum. There are so many factors and variables between each and every item on a list that it’s mostly unfair to compare them. At least the Billboard list has a frank and open description of how they arrived at the numbers, and it mostly seems percentage based.

It’s perfectly conceivable that U2 are making the most money from their enormous world-wide tour. The ticket prices are astronomical, about £120 each, so revenue must be high. Having said that, if you compare the tour to second place Bruce Springsteen, you can see why.

The Boss sells more reasonably priced tickets, but, in simple terms, his performance is a man on a stage with a backdrop. U2 took things a step further.

I’m sure you’ve read about it by now – or maybe seen it in action! – but their 360 degree stage thing is revolutionary. It took them three years to research and develop the idea, and no one has done it before. The concept of circular stages isn’t new, but to make it so that every single person in a stadium can see the stage with no pillars obstructing their view, that took some doing.

Some basic stats about the setup – the big claw like stage thing carries 165 tonnes of equipment above U2’s heads. They must have a lot of faith in their design. That’s like 33 elephants. I wouldn’t even want one elephant dangling over my head.

The screens cost $4 million to purchase, and U2 have three. They weigh 56 tonnes. Everything is transported in 189 trucks – with three different stages so that one is always being put up, one taken down and one ready to use. They need 380 drivers and 12 buses. It’s fair to say this tour isn’t very friendly to the environment.

When Mr C last saw U2, say ten years ago, tickets cost £25 but there was nothing like the scale of technology going on. Is all their ticket sale revenue going in their pockets, or is some of it to recoup the costs of three years R&D? Mr C made a good point that if he was paying over 100 quid for a ticket, he’d be more accepting of it if there’s real tech costs to be paid. Less so if U2 are just being greedy.

It also looks as though the band are patenting the stage design, so if other artists choose to use it in the future, they’ll gain money from that as well. It certainly is a revolutionary thing, but I’m not sure how popular it has been or will be in the future.

We know that with digital music making less money, artists are looking at touring as one of the main ways to earn a living. Is the U2 model the way forward? Or is their position on the rankings misleading?

Not for Vegetarians

Everyone has been talking about this, so I guess I should too. I tried to resist but it is impossible to ignore.

More information is available via Kottke. When it’s cold outside, people are using sausages on their touchscreens so they don’t have to take their gloves off. I find the whole idea kinda gross and would much rather use something like the Etip Gloves.

That seems like a much more elegant solution to me, but thinking outside the box should always be encouraged. Even if it does involve sausages.

It Doesn’t Work Like That Anymore

The first episode of 2010 has a brand new look, and covers a wide range of topics that have caught my eye over the past week month.

It Doesn’t Work Like That Anymore

From the Apple iPad, to the Amazon Kindle and everything in between, MFC gets a fresh look for 2010. Topics in this show also include how to keep wiki sites in business, and what would happen if you printed Twitter.

Length: 10:53

Transcript

Hello, good day and welcome. This is Media. Future. Change. Episode 6. I’m mixing things up for our first episode of 2010. Yes, I know it’s February and I didn’t do a show yet this year. Hush. Instead of the Audio/Text/Video format of old, I’m going to count down ten stories that have caught my eye this week, er… month. Let’s waste no time talking about it, though, and get right on with the good stuff.
Continue reading “It Doesn’t Work Like That Anymore”

How to Report the News

This video was brought to our attention by Stu Maschwitz on Twitter, and it is really just amazing. I’m not a huge fan of Charlie Brooker in terms of watchability, but he does seem to have life (and in particular the news) sussed out:

What are the chances that news teams might sit up and take notice of how formulaic they are? Not high, I’d imagine. Perhaps there is something to the fact that you know what to expect from a news item that makes it easy to digest. Or easier to ignore.

Selective Reading

I’m currently listening to some old episodes of Net@Night, one of the TWiT stable of podcasts, and Leo Laporte was talking about feed readers. The episode is about a year old now, and even back then he was discussing the fact that everyone gets their news from Twitter, they choose a few key sites to visit every now and then, and that having a news reader is just too much information.

In fact, one particular line of thinking he had made me stop in my tracks. People wanted to have all the information, they wanted to collect everything, but now they’re starting to realise they just can’t do it.

That’s me! I want everything! I collect everything! That’s why I’m listening to episodes that are a year old.

So, Leo says he’s not really using a feed reader anymore, and simply because Leo said it, that means I shouldn’t be either. But I’m not sure I’m ready to give it up.

In our Sidepodcast community, a couple of people have recently said that they no longer check the news, they rely on what is being linked to within the comments. This is all well and good, and very flattering to the community, but if we all stopped doing that, there would be no links in the comments at all. Someone has to be going through all the feeds, don’t they?

The conversation on N@N slid over to podcasting, with Leo and Amber suggesting that downloads are always going to be an option but in this day and age, for someone throwing so much information at their listeners (and Leo should know about that!) the best option is to do live streaming. That way people can dip in and out at their own leisure, see what’s happening, and if they’re interested in it.

The important news will always come to the surface, it cycles round, a little like watching your Twitter stream. One of your friends is bound to tweet that big breaking news story eventually.

I just can’t reconcile this in my head. I know I don’t have enough time to consume everything I want, but I’m not ready to give up control yet.