Hot “truck-on-truck video” at Off the Grid

Yes Tanja Andrews, Off the Grid brought us lots of hot truck-on-truck video action too! Heheh.

To understand what I’m talking about you gotta watch the videos they shot for their fun show, Freshtopia (which is usually about healthy and sustainable living).

First video is just mostly scenery from Off the Grid.

Second video talks about dna-mutating hotdogs. Oh, more accurately, Udo, talking about such (he came all the way from Germany to Off-the-Grid).

Friday night in front of the Google TV

Our TV isn’t working (the painters moved it and I need to reconnect it, plus we don’t have TV yet so don’t have anything to watch anyway). So, Patrick had an idea: he’d show me all the cool videos he’s found on the Internet (he has time to do such).

He showed me one awesome video, Ryan vs. Dorkman, and I asked him how he found that. He said that one day he was just thinking about StarWars and went to Google Video and searched on lightsabre fight. Not looking for anything particular, he said. He was so impressed with Ryan vs. Dorkman that he did another Google search (this time on the main search engine) and found this blog post by Michael Frist (who is the guy who did that clip).

I asked Patrick “why Google video and not YouTube or Blip.tv?” He said that Google had more light sabre videos than the other video services.

I said “that’s pretty impressive, Patrick, let’s go watch some Ze Frank.”

Which we did, laughed a lot, and now are trolling for other video.

Ahh, it’s nice having a 12-year-old and no TV to watch.

Of course, I had to do this to Patrick. I went to Google video. Searched on lame video. And showed him the fifth video titled “Mac’s are Bad.” Heheh.

What you watching on your Google TV? What’s your favorite search on Google video to find cool videos? Here’s one: search for “cool car” and you’ll find some cool videos with cars in them.

Scoble family news

Patrick just got home, found out there was an Apple battery recall (Maryam questioned “you just found out, MacBoy?”) and promptly said “gotta check if my battery was recalled.” Turns out it was. So, without skipping a beat he said “we gotta go to the Apple store.” His favorite words! Lemming!

Anyway, in other Scoble news, the other day Maryam and I were talking about what’s going on in Iran (she grew up in Tehran) and she told me a story of a college student that had been imprisoned for years and was near death due to constant beatings. She told me that his only “crime” was that the Economist put a picture of him in the magazine. I told her she should blog the contrast between my experience and his. She did, and it’s powerful.

In other news she told me about the latest blog dustup. Forbes magazine printed an article that said it was better not to marry a career woman and that pissed off tons of bloggers. So much so that Forbes pulled the article and then reposted it with a contrasting view. She gave her two cents on that article. Me? Career women are the best! Heck, if Maryam didn’t have a career I’d never have met her (I was on the interview team when we hired her at Fawcette). On the other hand, she managed to steal my job at Fawcette, so maybe that advice is sound. Food for thought.

Anyway, now Maryam is getting us to clean up the house. I hate moving chores (still have a few things to unpack).

eBay shows how to recession-proof Web 2.0

I was reading Steve Rubel the other day and he said beware of the Web 2.0 business dependency on advertising for revenue.

So, I started thinking “how do you recession proof your business model?” Well, what happens when you aren’t working anymore, or you don’t have enough money? Well, last time around more of us bought more stuff second-hand off of eBay and Craig’s List instead of buying new stuff from retail stores.

Time to call eBay and find out what they are up to. I’m sitting with Greg Isaacs, director of eBay’s developer’s program, and Ali Croft, tech PR manager, and they are showing me a whole bunch of ways that a blogger or a Web 2.0 site could diversify their income stream and be ready for a recession, or another tech bust, should one come.

For one, they have an affiliate program. Add a little box to your blog and if someone finds something there that they buy, you get 40% or more of the eBay revenue they collect.

Little trick of affiliates? eBay pays more as your readers buy more. Hack? Join a bigger network and your fees could go WAY up! As I build a network I’m going to be using this big time as an incentive to get lots of small bloggers to join up. Since most bloggers have micro audiences, this will be increasingly interesting to a lot of bloggers.

But, for Web 2.0 companies? Well, you can build in eBay auctions into your business plan. Look at Mpire’s site, for instance. They are using eBay’s APIs to mashup items from eBay with their own data. If you buy something off of this site they get a cut from eBay.

One thing that’s changed since the last time I talked with Greg: they don’t charge developers fees anymore. So you can try out their APIs without paying anything. You have to join two things, the developer program and the affiliate program, but they are free to join. Lots of tutorials and getting started guides.

Is this paying off for Web 2.0 businesses? Well, I tried to get him to explain how much, say, FatLens (a Web 2.0 site that sells tickets, some of which come from eBay) was getting paid by eBay. He declined to disclose that. So, I asked him “in general, how much could a company make?” He said he has some businesses that are making more than $100,000 per month in revenue.

How are you diversifying your revenue streams?

One thing about innovators…

Dave Winer frustrates me too. Why? Cause he shows me a world I didn’t know could exist. He challenges my assumptions. And, tries to get me to join his world. The baaahhhhssssstttttaaaaarrrrrddddd!!!

I remember when he showed me RSS. I thought to myself “isn’t that nice?” I couldn’t see why I’d use it. But, he kept at it. Everytime I’d be over his house (called “the Internet Hut” by my son) he’d show me RSS again, each time from a little different angle). I still didn’t get it.

Until one day when I realized I was spending most of the day visiting blogs in my Web browser. That was when I started asking him to show me RSS again. “Hey, Dave, can you show me that world outline idea I kept ignoring again?” It was almost two years from the time he first showed me RSS to the day I “got it.”

This week it’s river of news. Lots of lightbulbs are going on about why that idea is interesting. But it took Dave cutting it up, simplifying it, and coming back to us with different views of the same idea for us to get it. He first showed me River of News years ago. The bbbaaahhhhssssstttttaaaaaarrrrrdddddd!!!

Yeah, it does look effortless. But Dave is one of those guys who is tireless. He sees a vision of how the world should be and then tries to drag us all into his world.

It pisses a lot of us off. But, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Oh, and if you ever meet a true visionary they do have this frustration with the rest of the world. I remember hearing that frustration from Douglas Engelbart, inventor of the mouse (it took us 25 years to get THAT innovation!)

Thanks to the innovators who keep showing us their world until we get it. Sorry for the friction and cluelessness when it occurs.