Why don’t more people care about Subbable’s arrival?

TL;DR ->  it makes AdSense obsolete. 

I tried to sell a story on Subbable earlier this week. Oh gods how I tried. ReadWrite, the Guardian’s tech section, even Variety… but I failed to generate interest, and/or communicate just how drastic of an impact Subbable can have on the YouTube space, business-wise.

To most of the press, Subbable appears as a gentle, crowd-sourced monthly pay-what-you-want subscription platform funding web shows that already exist.  Doesn’s seem that disruptive,  until you consider the allure of YouTube.  The heart of the indie YouTube dream is being free, or at least above, corporate influences. If successful, Subbable  could potentially do away with the advertising/hit-mining rat race on YouTube.  Hank Green doesn’t exactly say this in the video introducing the platform, but he might as well.

In a private chat, I got Green to elaborate:

“Advertising values all kinds of content the same, but different kinds of content delivers different amounts of value to users. We want there to be a system that rewards the creation of stuff people love, not stuff that people will spend three minutes watching when they’re bored.”

Subbable — which is unaffiliated with YouTube — changes the YouTube money-making game because it emphasizes community and a supportive fan base over viral hits with fleeting popularity & large monetary payoffs. It’s a slow, steady win as opposed to that big payday.  (It’ll be interesting to see how the addition of Minute Physics, Wheezy Waiter, and Andrew Huang  next week on Subbable will play out. )

Green never came  right out and said this during our chat but it got me thinking: if a content creator worked it out with his fans, he or she could essentially never bother monetizing their channel…EVER. There’s literally no reason now to go through Google corporate to make money. Their high ad cut and ad sales team are already  alienating users and businesses, so why bother with that hot mess? You don’t.

I, for one, still believe in that YouTube dream.

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Guide to this year’s Techweek in Chicago, as a non-dev/programmer/entrepreneur

This is a guide for people who are more interested in the cultural and societal implications of technology from a non-technical background. (I’d recommend attending all the “future of TV/media”  talks as a  beginners guide to video distribution and social media use.)

Thursday, June 27th:

The US  First Robotics Challenge, from 12pm – 4pm.

“US First’s mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.”

KIM DOTCOM WILL BE SPEAKING at “The Downloaded Era: Battle for Internet Rights“, 4pm – 4:30pm,

“The debate around how we should view the concept of intellectual property and copyright in the digital age has continued since the launch of Napster in the ’90’s until today. Why is file-sharing still so limited and how has it affected the world at large?”

Friday, June 28th: 

Funny or Die‘s “When Humor is Serious Business,” from 11:00am – 11:30am, featuring Funny or Die CEO Dick Glover. (I have an inkling what Glover will discuss, but being as I have never heard him speak, he might surprise me.)

“Funny or Die is now synonymous with Internet humor…What makes their business model so successful? How do they acquire high quality content with a low budget? What does the future of Funny or Die—and Internet entertainment in general—look like?”

Digital Art; From Easels to Pixels, 12:00pm – 12:30pm

“Art infilitrates everyday life, and every surface, object, or open space is fair game for medium. See how artists are incorporating technology into their work, whether as a means to an end or as the finished product itself. These people are innovating on what it means to be a traditional artist and the burgeoning interest in creating art meant to be consumed in digital form.”

The very ambitiously titled “How the Second City Can Become the First in Fashion,” 5:00pm – 6:00pm

“Take the tech from the West and the high-end fashion from the East and meet somewhere in the middle. Where do you end up? Chicago, of course. Combining the best of both coasts, a slew of Chicago startups are leading the pack in terms of the merging of high-tech and high-fashion.”

Saturday, June 29

In the wake of Hasting’s mysterious death and the conspiracy theories suggesting his car was hacked I feel compelled to attend “Driverless Cars: Speeding to the Future,” 12:30pm – 1:00pm

“While flying cars are still just a figment of our collective imagination, self-driving vehicles—such as the Google Car—are on the imminent horizon. Not only does this technology have the potential to prevent millions of injuries and save countless lives, it also has the power to disrupt the flow of trillions of dollars in industry revenue. Nearly everyone will be affected: suppliers, automakers, service-and-repair shops, insurers, energy companies, hospitals, and car rental companies, to name a few. Undoubtedly, there will be huge implications for all transportation and logistics—the backbone of every company’s supply and distribution chains.”

Entrepreneurship in Eastern Europe, 1:30pm – 2:00pm

“Eastern Europe’s tech scene is small but growing. Find out what Google is doing to facilitate the growth of the tech sector in Poland and beyond, what ideas are brewing in that corner of the world, and how they plan to impact the future.”

 “Is the Internet Destroying the Middle Class?,”  2:00pm – 2:30pm


Groupon’s bad writers need to be fired

008/365 | Old Tech: TRS-80 Model 100 (Not Y2K+...

This is how advanced Chicago is ^^ Image by myoldpostcards via Flickr

Groupon’s “Super Bowl Ad” was obviously a miss.  This writer explains it why, perfectly.  I, as a Chicago resident and occasional (recent) purchaser of Groupons, personally feel let down by Groupon’s failed commercial simply because Groupon is one of the few tech start-ups in this city.   Chicago is not known for tech start-ups, but Groupon is our saving grace against tech snobby East and West Coasters. Groupon is big and scary, and recently said no to $6 billion from Google. Is there another tech start-up in Chicago that defends this city’s honor? No.

“Oh, you’re a couple years behind…. no more than a decade” with a pat on the head.  “Chicago is sooo cute, with their little knock-off start-ups”… That’s what East and West Coast techies say about Chicago. Yeah. I don’t appreciate the patronizing tone either.

Now consider the recent corporate income tax increase (Jimmy Johns wants to leave because of them!), and the chance of Chicago  creating additional start-ups gets smaller and smaller.  Chicago can and should be so  more than  second fiddle to the East and West Coast.

So Groupon, when you’re on the national stage, representing this fair city, can you make sure your commercials aren’t poorly executed and/or multi-layered with personal jokes? I know you have some smart and humorous people in your ranks – as you seem to snatch up quite a few local comedians. You have no excuse, unless your excuse is…  your staff  just isn’t funny.

I am laughing out loud now, because of personal experiences with Groupon comedians. (insert link to recent local blogger complaining about a not funny groupon which I currently cannot find because of all the Super Bowl chatter)

This post may, or may not have, been written on a horse.


Thoughts on Jared Lee Loughner and Sarah Palin

I was out for the day on Saturday. I heard all about Loughner, from different people reading different sources… and as the sun went down I longed to read about Loughner myself, to watch his youtube videos myself.

I had a chance to catch up on all Loughner media today. At first it was heartbreaking, and there was crying. There was happiness when doctors reported Giffords was responsive after surgery. The joy increased when the heroic efforts of a woman, an intern and two tackling men came to light.  In the late afternoon I spent hours watching Jared Lee Loughner’s videos, trying to make sense of them, and I became exhausted. (On a side note, I am pleasantly surprised Jared Lee Loughner’s videos are still up and viewable to the public. Thanks, FBI & Google)

Now, at 9:30pm, after a nap to replenish my emotions, I am livid.

I have a love/hate relationship with Sarah Palin:  the level of fame and power she has obtained, despite her white trashiness, always mystified me.  I still believe Trig is Bristol’s – and Sarah’s fierce desire to protect her family and engage in Babygate earned some respect from me, as did punishing Bristol for her mistakes by making her go on “Dancing with the Stars” and advocating for abstinence only education (Palin has enormous balls, and keeps her family in tight lockstep!). So when the media turned to blaming Sarah Palin, my gut reaction was skeptical.  Palin obviously did the crosshairs thing because she likes guns and stuff, and knows her audience likes guns and stuff. Correlation does not equal causation, and there has been no link between Jared Lee Loughner being an avid Sarah Palin supporter – yet.

Then this happened:

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