Online Video: Is It Really Interactive?

Although the online video experience would appear to be this mythical, multilateral, interactive video utopia, the reality is, in fact, quite different. Because while it’s certainly possible for a network of collaborative video artists to work together, online, to piece together a long-term video mosaic of participatory brilliance, the reality has often been more of an ad hoc, trivial mess of mediocrity.
There have, however, been some notable successes. One particularly good strategy has been to connect an online series with a dynamic social network. Ze Frank‘s The ORG and Epic-FU‘s The Mix, both religiously updated by the fanatically involved, have used interactivity to successfully build a fan base and create high-quality, collaborative content. Witness, as well, the growth of interactive fictional dramas. The format allows for the viewers to influence the storyline, but the actors, writers, and directors are able to smooth the story out, making it accessible beyond those who contributed.
Below are four other interactive series that have piqued my interest, either with their success in implementing an interactive model or the promise of bringing something new to the space.
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Interesting Asustek Eee PC interview: 3.8m units in 2008?

1DigiTimes recently interviewed Jonney Shih, CEO of Asustek and Jonathan Tseng, president of Asustek on the Asus Eee PC and there’s some interesting viewpoints in there, not to mention some aggressive sales numbers. The whole interview is here for your reading pleasure; see if you have the same struggle reading it as I did. (Every time the CEO answers a question, I feel like someone is shushing me… let me know if you get that reference). Some highlights:

  • The Eee PC is a secondary profit line, so low gross margins have little to no business impact on the company.
  • Asustek expects to sell at least 3.8 million Eee PCs through 2008.
  • The target audience is women and children.
  • Intended use for the Asus Eee PC is a secondary device. That sounds familiar…
  • I may have found someone shorter than me in the industry based on the DigiTimes picture of Jonney Shih. Really! Look at how big the Eee appears in comparison to him. Maybe I should strike the same pose with Eeegor and we can have a vote? I’ll have to look for him at CES for a photo opp now…

iTunes Offers Front Row Ticket to Baseball’s Best Games

I’m a baseball fan, a Mac fan, and an iTunes fan. So it’s no surprise when all three of these glorious things intersected, I was one of the first in line to partake in their combined offering.

For the same $1.99 price iTunes charges you for a typical 30-minute or 60-minute television episode, Apple is offering some of the greatest games in baseball history, be they 2 1/2 hours or 3 1/2 hours long. While full-length feature films of the same duration can go for $9.99 or $12.99, less than 2 bucks can bring the game to your computer, or in concert with AppleTV, to your big screen.

Though a diehard A’s fan still suffering scars from the 1988 World Series loss to the Dodgers, I put down $1.99 to relive Kirk Gibson’s walk-off home run against Dennis Eckersley. I paid $1.99 to see the great Nolan Ryan pitch the last of his record 7 no-hitters. And I paid $1.99 to see the Curse of Babe Ruth extended one more year as Aaron Boone sent the Yankees to the World Series, ending the Red Sox season in gut-wrenching fashion.

See thumbnails from the games below. Click any of the three to enlarge.

itunes_mlb1_125itunes_mlb2_125itunes_mlb3_125

MLB.com’s Baseball’s Best offers 11 different classic games for download, dating all the way back to 1952’s World Series which saw the Yankees prevail over the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Prefer more recent games? MLB.com also offers the American League Game of the Week and National League Game of the Week. Each game is the same $1.99, and you could subscribe to the entire season for $19.99.

With baseball offering more than a century’s worth of highlights and thrills, there’s no doubt this is just the tip of the iceberg, and iTunes has made it incredibly easy to take the ballgame home. You’re responsible for the popcorn, peanuts and Cracker Jacks, at additional charge.

Churbuck on Muni WiFi

David Churbuck: While I rather see the private marketplace do its economic magic, the cozy relationship between the Telcos and public utility commissions insures we’ll never see true free market capitalism at work.

MobileTracker’s new mobile phones round-up

With all the phones coming out every second day, I am delighted to point you to a special report compiled by my pal Jon Gales who runs MobileTracker.net, (and incidentally designed GigaOM). This is a one stop read on the very latest in cell phones – Motorola A630, Motorola MPx, Motorola MPx220, Motorola V220, Motorola V551, Motorola V710, NEC 535, Nokia 6620, Nokia 6230, Nokia 7610, Nokia N-Gage Treo 610, Sony Ericsson K700 / K700i, and Sidekick 2.