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Archive for the 'Noteworthy' Category

EFF Takes on VoloMedia Podcast Patent

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The Electronic Frontier Foundation has added the VoloMedia podcast patent to it’s “Most Wanted” style list for its Patent-Busting Project.

I wrote about this patent back when it was first announced. As expected, there is now some movement in challenging it. Specifically, the EFF is looking for examples of prior art: “evidence that the podcasting methods described in the patent were already in use before November 19, 2003.” You can read the whole story over at the EFF.

(I was only half joking when I said I was “adding podcasting/episodic media expert witness to my resume.”) We’ll see what happens.

VoloMedia Podcast Patent… Remember When?

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Via the Association for Downloadable Media (ADM) website, VoloMedia (formerly PodBridge) explained the patent just issued to them for “podcasting.” I use quotes because they say it is for “podcasting.” Patent #7,568,213 actually covers a “Method for Providing Episodic Media.” You know, like TV and soap operas. My guess is they posted it to the ADM website because no one noticed it on the VoloMedia website. Reading about this recent success just takes me down memory lane.

Remember when…

Adam Curry, Dave Winer and VoloMedia came up with that crazy idea about enclosures in RSS?

Or the time Winer, Christopher Lydon and VoloMedia really put it into practice?

Or when Doug Kaye and VoloMedia chatted and IT Conversations was born?

Or how about when Dave Slusher and VoloMedia spotted Dannie Gregoires’s RSS aggregation software using the agent name ‘podcaster’ and chimed “Podcasting! right on!” and podcasting got its name?

Wow! The memories…

I know when early on Todd Cochrane, Dawn & Drew, Dan Klass, myself and many others were trying to sort out how to podcast it was always the folks at VoloMedia who came to our aid to explain episodic media done right. Heck – they invented it!

All that initial media attention: NY Times, Wired Magazine, USA Today, CNN etc., etc. It was always our basic crew – plus the great guys & gals from VoloMedia.

You couldn’t help but bump into the VoloMedia team in the green rooms at conferences. In fact, I can’t think of a podcast conference I went to where I didn’t see their banners or leave without them forcing a VoloMedia branded shirt and pen on us.

Those VoloMedia folks are awesome! They always covered the bar bill. The stories I could tell.

Those were the days…

How about the time an overly VC funded company tried to carve out an island of potential IP defensibility and future for litigation based revenue via a broad patent?

Good times, good times….

VoloMedia can claim whatever they like, good for them. IP claims like this can be used in many ways. Nuisance litigation, acquisition value etc. etc. Prior art from many listed above will be an issue but it comes down to dollars and sense.

The big loser in my opinion is the ADM. Who in the world agreed to post this to their site? Recent “notes”, “updates” and “clarifications” aside they gave it credibility under their name as an organization, an organization supported by the very people who will likely take issue with it and litigate it. No one paid this any notice until it was on the ADM site. Well played VoloMedia. The ADM folks are all smart people, how they allowed this to happen baffles me.

What am I doing about it? I’m adding podcasting/episodic media “expert witness” to my resume. When in Rome…

Ferrari and my 550 Maranello

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I don’t talk about it much but back in 2000, I ordered a 550 Maranello from the Ferrari factory. Membership in the 12 cylinder club is unique. It was a life goal and I felt good about achieving it. At the same time, some friends bought me an infant size racing suit for my first born. As an F1 fan it was a perfect gift. The car has since been sold, but each of my 3 boys has had his picture taken in the Ferrari driver’s suit. For Father’s day I received them all mounted with the suit – awesome!

Thank you to my wife and children.

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Podango – Bankruptcy Looming?

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Without coming out and saying it in plain English, Podango has basically said get your stuff off our servers ’cause we are going under… When the President of an Internet startup says “we are encouraging you to begin taking all necessary steps to secure your data or begin moving to another hosting provider” you can read the writing on the wall. Looks like bankruptcy. Two years ago, people railed against me for my “Podcasting Is Dead” presentation. I’m not sure how many more examples I need to point to until folks realize – I was dead on. You are in the media business, forget “podcasting” – that is so 2005.

I think this also says something about the “network of shows” model Podango and several other startups were counting on. Grouping together unrelated shows in order to sell advertising across all of them simply doesn’t work. Aside from the fact that none of these companies has a dedicated sales team (something every successful content company has from day one), advertisers simply don’t see value in using a shotgun method to reach their target market. Besides, wasn’t reaching a super-targeted audience exactly what new media promised in the first place? Slapping an old business model on new media was destined to fail.

Podango was started by some great folks, primarily Lee and Doug, both stand up guys. In fact I sold technology to them a few years back. No one takes joy in situations like this, it is a tough spot. They are smart guys and will weather the storm. Look for them on the backside. I expect they’ll be back.

So who’s next? Anyone heard from Mevio (Podshow) lately?

Limited Sale On New Media Audio

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We’ve opened the New Media/Podcasting vault and have a special offer for one week only.

All the 2006, 2007 & 2008 New Media Expo content plus Podcast Academy™ bonus files!

152 files and over 150 hours of content in a once in a lifetime sale. This is audio that has not been recently available.

Starting at just $49.95!

Get the historical audio of podcast pioneers and all the information you need for your upcoming podcast production or initiative. Listen to the pros – these are the people with the experience to set you on the right course. This offer includes an amazing deal on all the 2008 New Media Expo audio – normally $149.

This is a 7 day limited offer!

Order Now!

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A Good Old Fashioned Podcast Legal Battle

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Nothing legitimizes New Media like a good old-fashioned court battle. Unfortunately, it would seem that this one is more about sour grapes (and previous competitive issues) than anything else. Regardless, it’s official; two Essex County, New Jersey Videographers are now in a legal battle over their respective Wedding focused podcast efforts.

I’ll let you decide for yourself what is really going on after reading the original Star-Ledger story. Full disclosure: I have been involved in plenty of media stories that prove the rule that the media are generally only half right/accurate.

One thing all court cases need is expert witnesses. It is clear from this “spat” that both parties are in need. Feel free to contact me. As one of the true podcast pioneers involved from the very beginning I have the expertise they require. Though, I can also name 10 different ideas I developed that they have both infringed upon. Heck, maybe I should sue them both! Did they list “Podcast” as the genre in iTunes – I won’t bore you with the details but that was my hard fought public battle back in the very early podcast days. Many of us worked countless hours to develop this medium. We were working to build a platform for all to share, not something to parse into ownership segments. Unless I am missing something, it is sad that two wedding videographers will possibly set a precedent. Perhaps an Amicus Brief is appropriate? One thing that amazes me – a podcast effort that is not yet making money, is suing other financially unstable podcast entity. That tells me it is personal. Am I missing something?

GrapeRadio Wins 2008 James Beard Award

08jamesbeard.jpgAlong with my partners at GrapeRadio, I am excited to annouce that we have won the 2008 James Beard Award in the category of webcasting!

The James Beard Foundation Awards are the nation’s preeminent honors for culinary professionals. Often referred to as the “Oscars of Food and Wine” more than 60 awards are given out each year in the categories of cookbooks, restaurants and chefs, design and graphics, broadcast media, journalism, and achievement. Award winners are selected by their industry peers, with more than 600 culinary professionals involved in the voting process. This year’s award ceremony in New York was hosted by Kim Cattrall and Bobby Flay and other winners include such name as Mario Batali, Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi and Top Chef.

Thank you to all of our fans who have given us such great support over the years.

Click the image below to see our video that won the award: Stewards of the Land

GrapeRadio.com – James Beard Award Finalist v2.0

08jamesbeard.jpg For the second year in a row GrapeRadio.com has been named as a finalist for the prestigious James Beard Foundation Award. To put it in perspective, this is kind of like finding out the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences likes your “little” movie. We have been selected this year in the category of Video and Webcasting for our short documentary: Stewards of the Land.

The credit for recognition such as this belongs to my partners in the enterprise: Brian, Jay and Eric who do the day to day heavy lifting that makes GrapeRadio what it is.

Podcasting – It’s a Community Not an Industry

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Or: How To Get In On Garage Sales While They’re Hot!

Before I start, so as to avoid any confusion or misrepresentation, I feel it incumbent upon myself to once again clarify: I am bullish on podcasting. I’ve published two books on the subject [1,2], run paid live training events, presented as a speaker countless times, become a “go-to” podcasting pundit for major media, built and sold podcasting technology, run the oldest podcasting network in existence and made my entire living from podcasting since early 2005. I am among podcasting’s biggest proponents. The opportunities in podcasting are alive and well. That said, I also don’t wear rose colored glasses. I call things as I see them.

Podcasters, it is time you face the facts. If you are waiting for a podcast advertising service to ride in on a white horse and rescue you from your monetary woes, let me help you: start looking elsewhere.

This all started because of a conversation I had a few weeks back where I had the unique opportunity to have podcasting explained to me. The fellow who was running through the monetization options made advertising through ad sales networks sound like a guaranteed no brainer – an easy way to monetize. The whole time I sat there, knowing what I know, thinking this is like telling people to cash in now on garage sales while the gold rush is on.

Read more…

RawVoice White Paper – Skip It

Todd Cochrane and RawVoice posted a “white paper” regarding their statistics model today. I’ll save you the time. Skip it.

While I hoped it would shed some light on the statistics model they have repeatedly lauded over the last few years, truth be told it reads more as a “we know best” sales letter. Perhaps I am reading more into it than it deserves, but it appears Todd & Co are positioning themselves for a showdown with the ADM and others over metrics models. My guess is that with the recent updates to the Libsyn statistics engine the team at RawVoice would like to get out in front of the statistics issue, perhaps this was part of that strategy.

The folks at RawVoice can do better. They have some smart people on the team and I have no doubt that they have collected some interesting data and metrics. If their goal was to release a “white paper” then do a real one with the corresponding algorithms, detailed methodology, historic data, etc. Sure they have a paragraph or two with some examples, but a “white paper” it is not.

As a general observation I have always been a bit wary of the secretive aspects of RawVoice and their various media properties. The numbers are always generic – lots of fanfare but never any specifics. If they are doing what they claim why the secrecy? Mainstream media doesn’t even protect this info. It is easy to find out what a SuperBowl, TV series or radio ad costs. Why are RawVoice campaigns so different? Obviously it is their prerogative to keep it all buttoned up if they wish, I just find it interesting that in the open world of new media, CPM and CPA campaign numbers are so guarded.

Of course this is from the guy who has been doing public presentations for the last three years telling you exactly what we charge for sponsorships and how we sell them. I see no advantage to being secretive about it, no more so than hiding the cost of a gallon of gasoline. Things cost what they cost, no big deal.

As for the RawVoice white paper, I hope they’ll take another look at it and put out a proper one. In the long run I think it will do RawVoice and podcasting some good.


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Michael W. Geoghegan is founder and CEO of GigaVox Media, a production, consulting and technology company focused on audio/video new media.

As a pioneer of podcasting, Michael created some of the first corporate podcasts, including efforts by Disney. Michael is also creator of the 2008 James Beard Award winning "GrapeRadio" and "Reel Reviews: Films Worth Watching". He is editor-in-chief of the Podcast Academy™ book series and co-author of Podcast Solutions: The Complete Guide to Podcasting.

Michael speaks frequently on podcasting's impact on new media and its corporate applications and is often quoted by the media including in The New York Times, USA Today, CNN and Wired Magazine.