Q: What Will Be Google TV’s Killer App?
A: “Killer app” is the kind of giddy talk that journalists use to attract eyeballs. Killer apps don’t happen in blog chatter, they happen by hacking. But I’ll bite if this is about the purpose and value of Google TV and other platforms, like web app support in Boxee, that bring open web technology to the TV.
One huge benefit is good user experience. Comcast et al lack it. Legacy remote controls, on-screen channel guides, and DVRs are not in the same league with comparable things on the open web. No skilled interaction designer or product manager would ever do work that confusing, error prone, and user hostile. For example Dish has 50,000 channels, yet the on-screen channel guide is a linear list that you scroll through from the first to the last.
TV really does need search. It also needs scrobbling, channel bookmarking, recommendations, playlists, and all the other information architecture tools that have evolved to manage the firehose of content on the open internet. The information architecture of legacy TV is oriented towards the tiny amount of content that was available before the advent of cable TV. It’s been a long time since then.
Also, content specific to the web, stuff that’s not on cable, will be a big draw. No doubt this will include porn, but also there will be the whole world of ultra niche media that powers blog traffic on the web. What’s holding back niche content on IP TV is that users can’t find or manage it. For example the other night I watched a great live set by the squawk electronica band Holy Fuck on Baeble’s Roku channel. The reason this kind of thing will have a big impact isn’t that it’s blockbuster content, like The Sopranos of Roku, but that it scales up to a very large number of niches, including political videoblogs, mommy videoblogs, etc.
This is an experiment I’m doing with Jay Dedman. He made the video, I made the music.
Jay Dedman hooked up my 2 spirit of gods music with his crazy arms videoblog entry. In the posting that started the thread, he had a licensing problem with music:
After posting my video today for Videoblogging Week 2007, commenters pointed out that I used a commercial song that I had no rights to use. Most people would be like ‘who cares?’..but in this case, it’s important. We just had a big event this past Saturday where Jon and Colette spoke about Creative Commons. If we videobloggers want respect from commercial companies (ie dont steal our stuff!)…we must respect existing copyright law. This means don’t use commercial music without permission.
time to get off the commercial media nipple once and for all.
Soundtracks for videoblogs are an ideal application of blog music. In both cases the media has to be fast, cheap, conversational and copyleft. This is an instance of remixing outside of the mashup genre, and an instance of redistribution outside of filesharing.
It’s also a case where the new medium shows how it is different in substance from the old one.
Blogging a soundtrack for a blogged video is about the same kind of thing as blogging a text comment on somebody else’s textual blog entry by a third party, except that the form of the conversation crosses boundaries from one art to another.
Catpower was the music provider in Jay’s first video, but Catpower was never involved in the thread. Since conversation is about who makes a conversational gestures as much as what they say, the stars from the old medium of offline audio need to make a deliberate effort to participate if they want to be part of the new medium.
This video was originally shared on blip.tv by jaydedman with a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license. (Donate)
Jay Dedman posted a rant of mine at the 2005 Open Media Developers Conference. In this small clip I’m arguing against participating in unauthorized distribution.