What Cisco’s Flip-Flop Means To You

A once $200 portable video camera (Flip Mino HD) for $87. Not too shabby.

Online-video was heavily influenced by the popular Flip cameras because they were easy to use and convert to YouTube. I was somewhat disheartened by Cisco’s decision to buy Flip in March 2009, but hey… what’s $590 million on 2009 sales of more than $36 billion, right? Large tech companies have made stranger acquisitions (IBM/PWC).

I was more surprised that Cisco, a B2B network leader, flip-flopped by shutting down Flip this spring. Many applauded the move due to Flip’s pressure from real-time gratification of video-enabled phones and less expensive camera/video hybrids. But I’d argue Flip had a sustainable niche if it continued to innovate and partner, as well as broaden the range of its cameras to include less expensive versions or slightly higher end cameras (with such features as an optional zoom lense or mic inputs).

Flip’s competitive advantage was its ultra simplicity and soup-to-nuts functionality. How many other manufacturers embed IBM and Mac-friendly software that is user-friendly and fairly functional?

I’ll go out on a limb here (with no other information than gut) and speculate that some electronic manufacturer will make an offer on Flip to acquire its brand equity, patents and software. However I imagine Cisco’s pride will make it difficult to allow the transfer. While Cisco has little use for Flip’s remaining assets, cognitive dissonance usually prevents buying something for half a billion and selling it for tens of millions (what I imagine it’s worth).

But let’s get to you. What does this mean to YOU? Right now Flips are hyper affordable, and the best bang-for-the-buck in the space. If you can live with the paranoia of Flip’s inevitable decision to stop servicing them (an irrational concern given the lifecycle of these), they’re a steal. I picked up the Flip Mino HD for $100 at Staples tonight, and it’s only $87 on Amazon. Yes- a Flip Mino HD for $87. Less than a year and a half ago (Sept. 2010) this puppy was debuted at about $200. Jan wanted me to tell you the Flip Mino HD with 8GB ($99) is a better deal. I guess it depends on how much you shoot… I usually clear the camera before it gets close to an hour.

Sure, you might prefer picking up a Canon Powershot A300IS for about the same price, and I couldn’t blame you. Nice camera. Or you could check out this buying guide and find something with better features, and even better audio.

Is the Flip the best in the portable videocamera market? Not anymore. But the reality is that it’s small, pretty darned good, inexpensive, and easy to use. And while we’ll eventually be happy with our Smart Phone videocameras, they’re still not offering great video quality or audio… and they’re a pain in the ass to use to edit and upload. Getting video off the iPhone and onto a computer is a pain in the ass. Plus I often want to operate both at the same time, and I’m not pleased with the iPhone 4 video quality. Furthermore, the iPhone’s slow speed and unpredictability of the “upload to YouTube” feature is weak… it compresses it poorly unless you’re on a wifi or local network.

The Honey Badger Doesn’t Give a Sh*t

What happens when you take a somewhat effeminate male voice and overdub a National Geographic video about honey badgers? You get this hysterical clip that examines — no judges and condemns and celebrates — the absurdly brave behavior of the Honey Badger (courtesy of the good users at Reddit).

Whether he’s eating snakes, climbing into bee hives, or chasing down poisonous animals, the Honey Badger? He just doesn’t give a sh*t. NSFW.

Props to Randallsanimals (find him on Twitter). Just as I was begging for more, I found them buried under a playlist on his channel. We have the Great White Shark, and here’s the full playlist of the great animal world of Randall.

If you dig it, give it a vote on MSNBC’s Wonder Wheel, or buy a “Honey Badge Doesn’t Care” shirt. Me? I’d prefer one that says “The Nastyass Honey Badger is Doesn’t Give a Shit and is Pretty Badass”

Jewish A Cappella Parody of Dynamite (Candlelight)

Hannukah may be over, but you can still groove to this hip hop a cappella parody, with lyrics about playing dradel by the candlelight, and the great menorah.

It’s the Jewish version of Dynamite (by Taio Cruz). No it’s not the Dalton Academy Choir performing, but the Maccabeats, an a cappella group from Yashiva University.

2011 Prediction 6-9 Trillion Display Ads Seen by 45 People

comScore today announced that in the third quarter of this year (3Q 2010) about 1.3 trillion Internet display advertisements were served to people in the U.S. (a 22% growth from the same period in 2009).

We were too lazy to register to download the report, but not so lazy as to avoid making “wild, unfounded generalizations and predications” based only on that one piece of data…

  • In 2011 6-9 trillion display ads will be seen, with a 32% growth in online-video ads.
  • More than 95% of the ads will never be seen by human eyes
  • Of the 5% of ads that are actually seen in the U.S., 54.7% of those won’t be in the U.S.
  • Just 45 people will see the ads: a staggering 95% of some previous subsegment of the 6-9 trillion ads served.
  • 76.4% of the remaining ads will be seen by high-school kids ages 12-18 who impact .04% of the gross domestic product.

Now here’s what the report will really offer, with italics in my words.

  • The story behind Facebook’s staggering growth (everything edited out of Social Networking: the movie).
  • New strategies and innovative ad sizes offered by publisher (words like “target” and “accountable” and “ROI” will be included, and some sample ad formats will show how to be advertisers can ride publishers like a drunk Texas cowboy on a wounded Mexican steer).
  • Category-level trends and insights (both industries covered: financial, travel AND consumer-packaged goods).
  • Advertising success stories of mid-sized and niche publishers (including data that’s so powerful it’s almost as real as the 3D Yogi Bear… but less interesting).
  • Tools to generate more sales leads and evaluate competition (tricks like “put together a white paper, demand registration, then call the person 5 times in the next consecutive 11 days”).

Oh I’m just teasing comScore. But about the lower-case C…

Today Show’s Viral Video Doesn’t Go Viral

Sure we like Mike Tompkins (YouTube’s pbpproductions). Sure his Dynamite a cappella remix was cool.

His appearance on yesterday’s NBC Today Show produced this, “Today Goes Viral.” While it’s one of the most-discussed videos in Canada (and we love our Canadian Tubers), it’s not exactly living up the the viral title at 15K views so far. But it is the #163rd most-viewed “News & Politics” video in Mexico today, so…

I recall when a media/journalism professor showed a newscaster’s coverage of a tricycle race, and pointed out how the reporter was making herself part of the story… by eventually riding one of the tricycles on camera. His lesson was to cover the news, not try to be part of it. Fortunately the Today show stays well safe of that criticism here.

Of course it’s nice to see Ann Curry get autotuned after hearing her in ImprovEverywhere singing without a safety net.

May I make a suggestion for a holiday YouTube/NBC collaboration?

My Best Video of 2010: Epic Kid Song Mix

I was excited to be in last week’s BarelyPolitical “Man Bat & Catwoman video” with Obama Girl, and post Mark’s obscenely-funny faux “behind the scenes.” It was great to be in Gay Leprechaun by Mediocrefilms. Fantastic to play the knife on Annoying Orange too.

But as far as my own videos go, this “Shnibl” remix video is the peak of my 2010. I can’t stop watching it. The backstory: My 6-year-old son, Charlie, grabbed an old camera yesterday, and did a little song and vlog called “Shnibl Show.” It made no sense, and that was its charm. After showing it to my wife and older kids last night (Katie and Patrick), we all roared with cathartic laughter we needed. Then I tweeted the following… and then there was this surprising response:

Last night's tweets led to this spontaneous collaboration of an ear worm.

So who is this masked man we call “songadaymann,” who sent me this lovely remix of Charlie’s song? He’s Jonathan Mann, also known for SongaTron and via his YouTube channel Rock Cookie Bottom. He’s been writing since he was 12 (just 6 years after my little Charlie), as he shares in his own fascinating bio video.

Most recently you may know Jonathan from his daily songs — the Paul Krugman tune as seen on TV, and the iPhone 4 Antenna Song played by Steve Jobs before his Antennagate press conference in July (2010) and wildly covered during the media hysteria that was iPhone4G’s launch.

Sure I knew about Jonathan, but I never imagined he new me — much less that he followed me on Twitter. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine he’d a) see my Tweet, b) turn Charlie’s little jingle into a killer remix in hours. And it’s friggin’ awesome. It’s like Beatles meets Partridge Family meets hip hop. I had considered writing MysteryGuitarMan (who wrote the Nalts theme song), but was pretty confident he’s too busy and high profile for such a silly thing. Plus I didn’t want to try to hard… I was kinda hoping one would just appear.

This just in- Katinatreesee does the shnibl choir!

What do ya think? While I have your attention, I’d value your feedback in comments (I’m back to reading ’em) on my new YouTube channel design. It may not lok like it, but I’ve been fussing with it for about 6 hours (solo).

T-Mobile Airport A Cappella: Everything But ImprovEverywhere

Hard to criticize this lovely video featuring surprised passengers in Heathrow Airport being surprised by a cappella songs in every genre. Part of T-Mobile’s Life’s For Sharing campaign.
I just wish they’d partnered with or acknowledged Charlie Todd (author of Causing a Scene) because he kinda invented (or at least popularized) this type of video.

Did Falcon Heene “Out” His Parents on CNN?

Thanks, Stalkerofnalts for pointing out this video. I heard Falcon Heene answer CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, but couldn’t make it out. When you replay the clip, it’s clear... “you guys said we do this for a show” (or something close to that).

Did Falcon just out his parents? Will someone will be interviewing the kid off camera without his parents? I mean I don’t think you can fake the grief I saw on the parents face, but it was as if Richard Heene wanted to say something else.

I assumed he was about to breakdown and admit he was partially responsible. You know… for losing his temper, and having an unsupervised balloon he thought big enough to take his kid off into the sky. That kind of thing.

But mostly it was “the kid likes to hide,” or “he’s always lagging behind,” or “my silly wife doesn’t know how to teather…. I’ll teather her ass when the last of the CNN crew goes home.” You know- that kinda thing.

The CNN interview left me firmly convinced, by virtue of the authenticity of the parents emotions, that it was far from a hoax. But what does “fly Falcoln fly” say? It was a show? Could this simply be a flashback to Wifeswap? Camera crews and all… he’s 6, right?

How to Pretend You Care About Politics

“Talk about how sad it is that people refuse to get involved in politics,” says Dan Carlyle, Today Now’s Political Correspondent. “Blaming others for being uninformed is always a great way to seem informed yourself.”

That was part of Carlyle’s advice for people who would like to pretend they give a shit about November’s U.S. election. Carlyle Carlyle provided that advice to Today Now! Host Jim Haggerty and his lovely Co-Host Tracy Gill interview Carlyle, and are subject to his “phone fakeout” when asked about healthcare.

Carlyle also urges us to return from “fake voting” on election day with a poll anecdote that is specific, but not so specific that someone could check it out. “‘I ended up in line right behind my old college roommate‘ works. But ‘the roof caved in’ doesn’t.”

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Today Now!: How To Pretend You Give A Shit About The Election