The YouTube Royal Wedding of Trippy and Speed

trippy speed wedding
Alli Speed and Charles Trippy at their wedding Nov. 20, 2011

Charles Trippy (CTFxC) and Alli Speed were married last night in Sarasota, Florida. They have one of the most popular “reality shows” on YouTube, dubbed “Internet Killed Television.” So it’s no surprise that Twitter exploded with tweets about the duo. Here are some highlights I shot last night, and the video includes cameos from YouTube’s most celebrated “weblebrities.” Bask in the duo’s smiles, and see their dogs Marley and Zoey walking the isles. Contrats!

Also see some of the photos from the wedding on my Nalts Flickr stream. (Addition Nov. 22: Charles and Alli Trippy’s wedding day footage, with link at end to official montage by Corey Vidal).


Quick Way to Make Web-Television Suck Less (ethernet via powerline)

I never really bought in to the concept that audio or electronic signals could travel via powerlines. But when Jim Louderback (former computer nerd publisher and fellow online-video enthusiast) told me about these little dlink powerline guys at a bar in San Fran, I grabbed his laptop and purchased them via Amazon immediately. Come to think of it, I think I was still logged into his Amazon.

Surprisingly, they made it possible for me to watch television via that other doo-diggy that streams YouTube and Hulu to my HDTV through the convenience of a light keyboard and mouse… neither of which gets hot in my lap. That’s what sucks about laptop video from a couch or bed.

Years ago I marveled that new houses were being wired with Ethernet, and with wireless modems becoming so fast and cheap, I’ve often chuckled at that waste of money. In hindsight, it was brilliant (ask Dave). The best damned wired modem can’t touch a wired signal for uploading and streaming video. Trust me: I have 5 modems. I don’t learn easily.

I don’t know how these dlink things compare to a direct ethernet connection, but the latter was not a very practical option for me. My Verizon Fios Fart modem brings my signal upstairs, and I’d have to rerun a bunch of ethernet wires back to the basement and up walls… in the case of my main television, there’s not enough crawl space to even accomplish this. Post college I had speakers in every room of the house (including bathroom), but I’ve lost my passion for cable splicing.

So these puppies are $100, plug and work, and do the trick. One small step for ethernet speed, one giant leap for web-television conversion.

P.S. The ethernet-to-TV solutions I’ve seen to date are a friggin’ joke. Glad to have a direct ethernet input, but the interfaces are absolutely retarded. Even TiVo blows for watching streaming media (just to search out a YouTube video is like using a 56K modem to watch a 700K picture). Then again maybe I need to get my TiVo hard wired like this. But the AppleTV is doing fine without a direct connection. Wuz up?

How to Turn a Viral Video Blunder Into a Public Relations Nightmare

Case study time! You’re a J.C. Penney marketer and you find out that one of your recent advertisements spawned an inappropriate parody that landed on YouTube. The mock ad, in fact, was created by a NYC production company that was working for your advertisement agency (Saatchi & Saatchi). The ad shows teenagers timing themselves going from naked to fully dressed, so they are prepared for the possibility that their parents may catch them having sex. The ad wins a presgitious Cannes Lions Award after being created and, of course, lands on YouTube (here’s a version, but it will soon vanish… search “JC Penny’s speed dating” to find it).

Now the Wall Street Journal is doing a story on the blunder, and you have employees, stockholders, media and customers watching your every move. Do you:

  1. Blame it on Saatchi & Saatchi to absolve your precious J.C. Penney name. Then maybe they’ll blame the event on their production company (Epoch Films) to protect the Saatchi name. The production company will say nothing because it either implicates itself, Saatchi or J.C. Penneys. 
  2. Decline comment. Hope it blows over.
  3. Take responsibility, indicate that the parody of its commercial was in poor judgement, and announce that the company is not yet clear as to whether anyone — in the company, its agency or production company — was knowledgable and responsible for creating or publicizing the spoof. Affirm that an investigation is underway, and that humor about teenage sex is inconsistent with J.C. Penney’s values and the company regrets the fake advertisement.
  4. Buy a new suit at Sears and start interviewing.

I’ll give you a hint. Choice number one is wrong. But that’s what happened, of course.

Should You Buy an AppleTV? Only if You’re an iTunes and YouTube Junkie

appletv review cheap amazonI’ve had an AppleTV for a while, and I was amused by New Media Minute‘s video report that is almost entirely positive on the AppleTV except for some criticism of the the manual search process (source: webvideoreport).

Don’t get me wrong. I really enjoy my AppleTV (Amazon carries the 40GB for $224, 160GB for $324… yes I put in an affiliate link, so sue me). But I only started using it after it was a desk ornament for months.

The bottom line is that if you’re an avid iTunes user (music and movies) and a YouTube junkie, you’ll wonder how you survived without this puppy. If not, you may want to buy a used one (not too less expensive), or wait for a future version which will presumably offer more functionality, content and certainly more storage and speed.

What I dig:

  1. tv in bedGroovin’ with the concept of a device that feeds on existing broadband without another annoying monthly charge. It gives me access to my downstairs Mac via my bedroom television! My wife is not as excited that I’m watching my favorite YouTubers before dozing off.
  2. I find the interface quite elegant (albeit spartan), and a recent redesign improved it and addressed some of my previous criticisms. I chew the remote, though, so I’d like one that was a little more sturdy.
  3. I love laying down while I catch up on YouTube videos, but I mostly resign to surfing the “highest rated” section because it’s so much easier than digging into my favorite creators through the clunky account options. The “top rated” section of YouTube is unfortunately also loaded with a lot of music videos that are simply ads for cell phone ringers, and the animated parodies seem to represent 50% of the top 70 list (oddly it doesn’t list the top 100).

Here’s what AppleTV needs to do before I’d recommend it for broader use…

  1. Make it easier to synch. I’m fairly computer literate but it doesn’t seem to pick up a lot of my media.
  2. Start the clock on my rentals when I start the movie. Not when I rent it.
  3. Improve the selection of movies for sale (it’s as robust as that of a fish & bait store in a small Southern town). I was at a lousy hotel in Nashville Saturday night, and the pay-per-view selection was dramatically better. Mac: Integrate with Netflix or Blockbuster and you’ll have a gem (okay- tough one to work out, but a girl can dream).
  4. YouTube via AppleTV needs a lot of work… four key considerations:

youtube on appletv

  • Allow me subscribe to more than a dozen or so creators. Show me their videos in thumbnails, and sort them by most recent. Keep these populated without as many errors (it’s buggy). To track my favorite creators I needed to set up a new account called appletvofnalts. I’m missing a lot of my favorite creators unfortunately.
  • I’d like to comment. I’m not crazy about the remote/keyboard, but I’d like the option. And I’d like to enlarge descriptions of videos so I can read them without sitting up.
  • Give the search functionality (and “related videos”) the same juice that YouTube gives it on the site. It appears these features are “watered down” for AppleTV.
  • When I find a good creator I want to subscribe. I can’t, so I end up favoriting the video in hopes I’ll remember to subscribe when I’m at my desktop.

AppleTV won’t yet replace your DVR or your cable TV, but it’s a nice alternative when you’re sick of the overcomplicated and slow Verizon Fios media box that doesn’t want to play any of the shows you recorded on the media base that’s downstairs because the poor man’s unit upstairs can’t handle HDTV. I love the access to YouTube, which represents about 80 percent of my use (followed by an occasional movie or television show).

Please take this seriously, Mac. There are a lot of us that want to see this model proliferate, and we’re ready to promote it to our YouTube audiences (for a modest price, naturally… we can’t live on food alone). More users means more content, and I look forward to being able to share recommendations and preferences with friends.