Tag Archives: rss

Beauty of Black & White

Way, way back, even before college, (in a millenium far, far away) I was heading down to Seattle to visit my cousin Art Wolfe and while I was down there a little thing called the WTO meeting occurred and the villagers were literally rioting in the streets. I saw some amazing photos from that day, but none more amazing than this award winning one by Andy Clark. I didn’t know who Andy Clark was at the time, but I soon would. Andy helped me in my early career, getting a few photos on the Reuters wire.


Blast through the next 7 years and I am having coffee with Andy, outside Reuters’ Vancouver office.  We chatted about my new career of web design, the internet and Andy mentioned that he never really had a website to call his own.

I had mentioned a content management system called Pixelpost, which was an open source and developed mainly by Europeans (how very haute couture) and wasn’t all that known in these parts.  I loved the slick user interface and I showed it to Andy and within moments I was contracted to do his website. Wow I thought, I am actually making Andy Clark’s website. This is the stuff dreams are made of. Or at least the direction I wanted to take my web design, knowing what most news photographers want in one.

And now the hard work

It took some recoding of the original source code and some help from Piotr Galas, one of the developers of Pixelpost, but six months after we had developed the concept, Andy had a categorized portfolio site he could update at his leisure. After a few tweaks and reviews from a few other sage photographers we launched the site on January 12th and the next day we had Rob Galbraith.com linking to the site.

The Result

Clarkfoto.ca had 2,000 visitors in just one day and blew through 10 gigs of bandwidth in a week.  This is a great start for a veteran photographer of the Canadian news industry, and visits have been steady 300 to 400 a week since, which makes Andy one pretty happy fellow.

“I was very pleased with how Robert took my somewhat hazy idea of what the website should look like and transformed it into to exactly what I was looking for….very nice job indeed”

Andy Clark

Andy also has a blog, which I bet he will muse about shooting cricket, leica lexicon, curling, etc. . .  but don’t listen to my bias opinion read it for yourself.

Apple Podcasting Logo

Podcasting goes Mainstream

iTunes 4.9 now with podcasting
iTunes 4.9 now with podcasting

It really wasn’t until June 28, 2005, when Apple incorporated podcasting into their now hugely popular iTunes platform that mainstream use could begin. Numbers range widely on just how many iTunes users there were at that time, but roughly their were between 25 million and 100 million users of the popular player.

Hits on Podcast
Sept. 28, 04
Oct 1, 04
Oct 18, 04
Sept, 28, 05
March, 28, 08 114,000,000

Immediately after the release of iTunes 4.9, some podcasters saw a triple and quadruple subscription to their podcast. Finally users could automatically download podcast and sync them directly with their portable device.

Apple is certainly not the inventor the podcast nor do they produce much content in the way of podcasting. But what they do and do very well is a place where the normal joe can in one click pick podcast and be able to consume when you want how you want. All the back end is provided by the podcaster and apple is only providing the directory to find it.

A lesser used podcast icon
A lesser used podcast icon

iTunes is also not the only directory for podcasts but it is certainly one of the biggest and it is a huge selling point for Apple to have this free directory available on their store.

But many podcasters suffered from their own success after Apple delivered podcasting to the mainstream, the bandwidth needed to keep up with demand became an increasing problem for some podcasters.

Claims by many service providers that they had unlimited bandwidth were met with anger and frustration by the like of Tikibartv.com a humors podcast about friends and cocktails. It was at one point the number one podcast in the United States, but keeping that number one spot was met with a lot of frustration as Kevin Gamble writes about in the tiki forum.

Kevin Gamble plays Johnny Johnny on Tikibar TV
Kevin Gamble plays Johnny Johnny on Tikibar TV

“I gotta be honest, when we started hunting for bandwidth, all sorts of places looked good (and we tried a few cheap ones in desperation) and by the time we got to Libsyn, I was a little jaded – lots of sites say “UNLIMITED BANDWIDTH!” but then they have this fine print that usually says “note: unlimited bandwidth does not include files of any kind”. Or something. So when we found Libsyn, I was like “suuuure, unlimited. We’ll see how long THAT lasts”. Well, we’re still here, and Libsyn hasn’t pulled the plug yet. So that’s why I’m plugging THEM. Because they’re nice and they keep us streaming! So if you want to start that all important cat-podcast… or… catcast… check out Libsyn No, we’re not sponsored. They’re just really nice guys and if they go offline we’ll be real sad.”
~ Kevin Gamble, November 20, 2005 Plays “Johnny Johnny” Head Bartender at the Tikibar tv ~

Podshow Logo circa 2008
Podshow Logo circa 2008

The industry responded by the creation of podcasting networks, Adam Curry, now named the godfather of the podcast, started one in October 2004 called Podshow Inc. (rebranded to the name Mevio in 2008) In August 2005 Podshow Inc. was given 8.85 millions dollars in venture capital and with in 12 months Podshow Inc. had raised 15 million in venture capital. These numbers aren’t small potatoes anymore, but what Podshow Inc. and many others have done is allowed husband and wife podcast teams like Geekbrief.tv to operate out of their own home and provided with server and bandwidth issues along with selling advertising to the show and providing support for sponsors.

Geekbrief.tv is based in Dallas, Texas and is operated by Luria Petrucci (aka Cali Lewis)and her Husband Neal Campbell (they divorced in 2010)  out of their apartment. They use normal AT&T Broadband from home and work off MacPro’s in the home studio and the MacBook Pro on the road.

Luria Petrucci aka Cali Lewis
Luria Petrucci aka Cali Lewis

Cali Lewis is not her real name but both her and Neil thought they would have a problem with people remember and knowing Luria Petrucci. It is hard to know where Luria stops and Cali begins, but the podcast is created around a theme of the Cali Lewis presenting Geek Brief tips through the Geek Intelligence Agency, which is more or less the viewership of the show.

But that is really where the fantasy stops and the news broadcast begins; to be a show which bring happy shinny technology news to it 200,000 to 300,00 views four times a week for approximately 3 years which has developed into solid and creditable following around the world. The couples next project is to take their podcasting show on the road covering all 50 states (Don’t worry they are flying to Hawaii) in something called the big trip.

Part three will cover the cost of podcasting

The History of Podcasting

First generation ipod Released October 2001
First generation ipod October 2001

In the ever evolving world of digital media, podcasting is at the forefront of this current media revolution. People are consuming more and more information from the media on a daily basis, but most are missing their regularly scheduled program.

Yet, most are still able to watch their current shows, catch up on the latest tech news and serve up the best content then can through podcasting.

For those who don’t know what podcasting is, or where it got its name, well, you can thank Steve Jobs for some of that.

When he unveiled the iPod in October 23, 2001 it was heralded as an ultra portable device in a portable age; and the word iPod rolled off the tongue as easy as money flowed into apple coffers. It fit well into its strategy of iMac, iBook, brands. Podcasting borrowed from the name in that: one, it was portable and two, it was broadcasting or media. The name didn’t infringe on any trademarks owned by Apple and gave them free advertising.

Adam Curry
Adam Curry speaks at Gnomedex

Originally, podcasting was just in audio format and it was audio that had already been recorded and was now available for download on the internet. You had to, however, download each and every episode or file yourself and you were never really told when a new version of your favorite show was available. RSS feed syndication had been invented by Netscape in 1999 and was in use, podcasting, didn’t have widespread usage. Although podcasting now uses the RSS feed syndication thanks to Adam Curry who first made podcasting viable format of delivery.

But it was still difficult to get your podcast on your ipod. There were some applications (eg. iPodder was one, but is now named Juiced after a cease and desist letter from Apple over trademark license infringement) and most early adopters were tech savvy enough to make it work, but mainstream usage was still far away.

Part two will cover the ethics of podcasting