TechCrunch50 was held at The Concourse at the San Francisco Design Center from September 8 -10. The venue walkthrough begins at the door and ends in the main hall during the presentation.
The second annual TechCrunch conference, TechCrunch50, is set to debut 52 startups next week in San Francisco. Along with the startups, TechCrunch has planned an amazing line up speakers from Silicon Valleyand Hollywood. The conference is content rich with the schedule for each of the three days, September 8 -10, running from 7:30 AM to 6:30 PM.The schedule for TechCrunch50 has just been released today and the details are availableI attended and covered TechCrunch40 last year and it was an outstanding 1st time conference with interesting companies on stage and in the demo pit. This year will be even bigger and better. The Demo Pit allows companies already launched or who didn’t make the cut for stage appearance during TechCrunch50 to demonstrate their products. A new addition this year is the Exhibit Hall. TechCrunch50 Exhibit Hall will feature 23 early stage companies and will be located in the West Hall of the venue at The San Francisco Design Center Concourse.MobileJones coverage of TechCrunch50 will include a collection of feeds from Twitter, Qik and Flickr by those attending the conference. MobileJones will, also, feature video streaming powered by Mogulus and Qik. If you are attending TechCrunch50 and would like to be added to our feed of feeds, send an email to mojo _at_ mobilejones dot com. The TechCrunch50 site for MobileJones will be launched tomorrow morning and the site plus the streaming video next week are sponsored by Mogulus, Cradlepoint, Qik, Winksite and Windows Mobile.Intersecting with TechCrunch50 is CTIA FAll in San Francisco September 10 – 12. Some of the special events around CTIA are on the schedule for mobilejones. Showstoppers which hosts invitation only events at both CTIA and CES along with MobileFocus produced by Pepcom always offer great demos of the newest devices, applications and technologies.Are you attending CTIA next week? Then check outEric Chan’s CTIA Party List to fill your social calendar.To get ready for the coverage of TechCrunch50 next week check back here tomorrow for the preview of TC50 @ mobilejones.com. The URL will launch at http://tc50.mobilejones.com during the day tomorrow. The link will be live when the site is live.
The presidential election of 2004 delivered the first recognition of bloggers into the credentialed coverage of the Democratic and Republican Nation Conventions. That year the DNC hosted 40 bloggers and the RNC let in a mere 12 bloggers. Roll the clock forward to 2008 and the RNC has credentialed nearly 200 bloggers and will not make a distinction between them and all other journalists and media organizations.
New media and social media have come of age in the political arena. Mainstream and corporate media organizations are committing to the use and integration of social media into their coverage. For example, CSPAN has just announced their Convention Hub production for both the DNC and the RNC. The Convention Hub will include the following features:
— Real-time tracking of credentialed state and national political bloggers, aggregated on the websites, to enable users to follow the latest online convention news and analysis;
— Video clips from the network’s convention coverage, embeddable, to facilitate use by political bloggers and other convention watchers;
— Linkable access to the complete C-SPAN Video Library, allowing interested users to fully search all C-SPAN video content;
— Live coverage of C-SPAN television and radio networks;
— Blogger Tips and Online Convention Video Finder tools;
— Real-time feeds from Twitter users using the hash-tags #RNC08 and #DNC08
Major developments in the ease and low cost of production have generated an explosion of indie media in 2008. Blogging has transformed into microblogging with services like Twitter and it’s open source alternative Identi.ca. Online video has transformed from YouTube to Qik and even more powerful platforms like Mogulus have provided the tools to integrate all forms of indie media into full featured interactive TV.
Many of these tools are still in beta state, but their existence along with the build out of faster mobile networks have freed the production of media from multi-million dollar broadcast studios to the mobile phones in everyone’s hand. “We the media” has arrived.
Not only are corporate media organizations coordinating and cooperating with indie media producers and bloggers, but many protagonists are by passing CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS and other news organizations to engage in conversations directly with the public and their constituents. The role model for early adoption is Representative John Culberson (R – TX). Culberson not only established a presence on Twitter, but he regularly engages in dialogue with anyone in the network who attempts to communicate with him. Further, Culberson regularly posts video from outside the House chamber on Qik. All of this Rep. Culberson does using his Nokia N95 for video and his Blackberry for Twitter. A number of Republicans have followed John’s example are now engaging with the public using mobile social media and publishing tools.
I considered my own coverage of the Republican National Convention pondering what I might add to the obsessive commentary and observations by cable news, network news and blogger pundits, wonks and journalists. The short answer is: nothing. But what I could add of value is to train and equip actors and protagonists of the RNC, itself. I can enable the creation of a view of the convention from the people who are behind-the-scenes presented and duplicated by all other media outlets. Thus was born GOP Unconventional.
Mobile Technology plays a major role in the production of GOP Unconventional. With the help of sponsors including: Cradlepoint Technology, Qik and Mogulus and using powerful mobile devices like the Nokia N95 and other smartphones GOP Unconventional will deliver workshops on the use of the technology for creating a unique and “unconventional” perspective on the event.
We are still looking for additional sponsors to support the creation of media and also to provide giveaways which will go to lucky audience members during the week of Sept. 1 – 4. Stay tuned to the site for more information on show times and how you can win some of the mobile technology we use to create GOP Uncoventional. You can follow us on Twitter too at GOPUnconvention. Twitter didn’t allow the enough letters in the id to get “al”on the end.
Word came about 2 weeks ago that I’ve been approved as media for the GOP Convention. Cool. I’m very much looking forward to meeting John Culberson, and talking about his experiences in becoming a real-time representative. Video and live streaming will certianly be part of what I plan to produce along with some mixes and remixes.
There are more than a couple of techniques that I’ve learned since CTIA on improving sound of the video which is critical. A couple of other improvements will be featured either before the convention or at the convention as they are used. You can probably imagine the areas of improvement if you’ve A) attempted to create videos with your mobile device using one of the streaming services or B) had painful experiences watching the live videos. The indie media tool kit for mobile reporting is something I plan to share once the final products are selected and tested.
I’m also looking for more sponsors for the GOP convention productions, so if your company would interested in this opportunity please contact me for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org. More about this as things progress and the new design for mobilejones.com takes shape.
Following my experience at CTIA Wireless 2008 with streaming video from a Nokia N95, I’ve sought a solution to adding an external microphone. The N95 has an input that is designed for making phone calls and adding a headset for this same purpose. It includes noise-cancelling automatic gain adjustment to make phone calls using the phone’s built-in microphone appropriately loud or soft depending upon the speaker’s voice level. The noise-canceling properties of automatic gain adjustment built into the N95’s microphone improves audio quality for phone calls by separating the speaker from the background noise which is problematic when that background noise is, in fact – not noise – but an interview subject.
Mark Squires of Nokia’s Social Media group tried to arrange a discussion for me with someone from the company’s accessories group, but I was scheduled too heavily with interviews to meet him inside the convention center. I shared with Ray Haddow who manages Blogger Outreach with the Social Media Communications group the solution developed for Reuters and their MoJo reporter’s kit, and asked if other adapters might be available.
Both Mark and Ray transformed the discussions and information from our emails into internal discussions about how Nokia might provide a solution. Afterall, the N95 as a “multimedia computer” is enjoying a symbiotic demand relationship with mobile video streaming services. All social media is creating a strata of use cases: from those who create V.I.T.A.L (video, images, text, audio & links) media for a few freinds, to those eager to add video to their toolbox for personal brand and even those who are using the N95 to report for MSM publications and networks like Shelby Highsmith for MTV Choose or Lose.
MTV’s Choose or Lose production is one example of how the combination of the N95’s 5MB video camera, and mobile streaming video services like Qik are being used to report in near-real-time on the events of the 2008 Presidential Election. Michael Scogin talked about the production and MTV’s citizen journalists during my interview with him at CTIA.
After CTIA, I connected with Michael Fortson of Qik via Twitter. We talked by phone and Twitter about the problem and need for a solution as so many of these high value on-the-spot videos were devalued by the unacceptable lack of audible audio. You can degrade the quality of the image and still have a compelling video, if the audio is excellent. The reverse is not true.
Michael pointed me to Jim Long, self-described new media guy trapped in an old media body. Jim uses an N95 to record images and videos from his vantage point of literally behind the camera. He is an NBC cameraman assigned to Washington, DC. Jim found this experiment by Steve Garfield using the N95 bundled external microphone.
And next he sent along a link to this experiment by Bloggerman. I received a pointer to this video from a few people.
And then others who have a stake in finding a solution to improving the quality of real time video through better audio also joined the conversation taking place openly on Twitter. Kartin Verclas from MobileActive and Shelby Highsmith one MTV’s citizen journalists. We all discussed the service offerings for live mobile video, the shortfall of the N95’s audio and potential solutions.
Shelby Highsmith recommended using a BT headset as a microphone, and made a video to demonstrate how the BT headset would function in a high noise environment like technology conferences, bars or restaurants. Meanwhile, I made a trip to Radio Shack and purchased two adapters for the experiment suggested by Bloggerman using the TV cable. Bloggerman stated the red cable plug must be used as it delivered the audio from among the three RCA plug set color coded red, white and yellow. But that didn’t work.
The results from my attempt to connect the N95 TV cable set to a female-to-female RCA to RCA adapter, the second adapter a male-t0-female RCA to mini 8″ connector and finally plugging in the mini 8″ microphone cable allows the use of an external mic with the N95 proved successful after, in his own experiment Shelby Highsmith chronicled in images and video the right combo. He discovered that the yellow cable connector was the correct connector, rather than the red one recommended by Bloggerman.
Important Note about the microphone you choose: it must either be a battery-powered condenser microphone or a dynamic microphone. Dynamic mics don’t require a power source, whereas condensers do and the Nokia input port does not supply power to the microphone. If a condenser is used it must be battery-powered.
I’ve tested this solution with a battery-powered Edirol C15 condenser mic and the results are promising. The real test is in the field with an interview subject. My field tests will begin next week featuring some live streaming from the polls in North Carolina’s Democratic Primary Election. Tune in to http://www.qik.com/mojo or watch my Twitter stream at http://www.twitter.com/mojosd for notification of when I’m live.
Thanks to everyone who participated in this discussion and the many experiments to narrow down the possibilities. I hope everyone who is creating mobile video streams using the N95 will find this solution helpful and we all can continue to move the production quality forward.
N95 External Microphone Solution
A version of the interview with Mark Squires, Head of Social Media Communications at Nokia. This video was also captured using an N95 8GB, but minus live streaming. It was recorded directly to the device and as is probably obvious wasn’t on a tripod. Tripods are hugely helpful in these type of recording environments. Everyone’s hand does shake at least a little.The audio codecs used by streaming services come into question when viewing the local recording as the sound is much improved. So is the solution is likely an external mic AND a better audio codec on the streaming service.If you listen closely you’ll notice that we have a scoop on Nokia’s internal blogging effort going live. Tough to prove it as it’s not public, but 800+ internal blogs is quite the undertaking. Now, I wonder about Nokia Twitter which would likely deliver the internal news service in a more efficient manner for everyone at the company.
Another mobile video captured with a Nokia N95 8GB recorded locally featuring Louis Libin who discusses the challenges with coordination of all wireless communications at both the Democratic National Convention and the Republican Natonal Convention this summer.
Supervising Producer at MTV Mobile, Michael Scogin talks about the Choose or Lose project and MTV’s future plans for citizen journalism.
Congratulations to my new favorite tech gadget company Cradlepoint for today’s acquisition bySierra Wireless. Sierra Wireless expands their product offerings from wireless data cards and embedded modules which provide connectivity to mobile networks from PCs.
My Cradlepoint PHS-300 also called a “Personal Wi-Fi Hotspot” is used to connect my Nokia N95 GSM device to the faster EVDO Rev A network. Rev A uplink connection is a zippy 1.8 MBs, in contrast to the GSM carriers in the US who top out at 700 kbs. The N95’s Wi-Fi radio makes this solution possible. Many mobile devices are beginning to ship with a set of three radios: CDMA or GSM, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It’s liberating to choose the best network for connectivity and have the compatibility problem solved by a Wi-Fi bridge. Adding mobility to the solution, the PHS-300 is battery-powered with a battery-life of 2 hours.
Pat Phelan telecom distruptor and entrepreneur of CubicTelecom first alerted me to the Cradlepoint as the right solution for capturing and streaming video over US CDMA networks.
The deal is good news for Cradlepoint and good news for Sierra Wireless who now face stiff competition from Qualcomm’s Gobi in the embedded mobile broadband connectivity market. Cradlepoint is well positioned to continue innovating with SWIP’s resources and SWIR expands it’s product suite.
When asked about continued support of USB modems which compete with SWIR like the Novatel I own, Gary Oliverio, vp of marketing, said,
Our mission is to make sure we support as many handsets and modems as we can…we’ll be the Mobile Broadband Router division of SWIR, and will remain intact as an organization. Of course, we’ll continue to innovate with new clever products, features, and ideas!
The current list of supported cards and devices is as follows.
- Sprint: Novatel U727, Novatel U720, Sierra 595U, Franklin CDU-550, Franklin CDU-680 & EX720-with adapter
- Verizon: Pantech UM150, Novatel 720U, Sierra 595U & V740-with adapter
- AT&T: AT&T USBConnect 881, Sierra AirCard 881U & Option GT Max 3.6 Express (with adapter)
- Sprint: LG Musiq,Motorola RAZR V3c, Motorola RAZR2, Motorola Q (Not Q9c), Palm 700w, Palm 700p, Palm 755p, RIM Blackberry 8703e, RIM Blackberry 8830, Samsung A920, Samsung i830, Sanyo Katana 2, Sanyo M1
- Verizon: LG VX7200, LG VX8000, Motorola RAZR V3c, Palm 700p, RIM Blackberry 8703e
- AT&T: Motorola RAZR v3xx, Motorola Q v9h, Samsung SGH-A707, Samsung Blackjack
The PHS-300 was the perfect solution for increasing upload speeds by using the EVDO Rev A network and enhances the quality of streamed video as I produced during CTIA last week. The last remaining piece to the puzzle is use of an external mic. This solution is being addressed by Nokia and I’m hoping to report on it very soon.
Check out the press release for the details – Sierra Wireless Announces Acquisition of Cradlepoint, Inc. (pdf)
In less than a week, CTIA 2008 kicks off in Las Vegas. The conference is self-proclaimed as the largest wireless conference in the world. Some might argue that “the conference formally known as 3GSM” is bigger. I’m not sure. What I can say for sure is that the big boys from the wireless industry are getting together in the desert, and this uptight overly formalized event needs a big dose of Social Media.
CTIA is an organization primarily representing the America’s carriers by a bevy of lobbyists and lawyers. It isn’t the free wheeling environment of SXSW, and certainly not the event where social media practitioners preach to the converted. All of which I believe makes it the idea event to go all out with social media and indy production. So, next week in Las Vegas Bena Roberts, founder and chief editor of the awesome blog GoMo News and I, as the newly appointed US Editor for GoMo will bring a compelling social media experience to the conference.
We kick off with an invitation only party Sunday night, March 30th at the Hard Rock Cafe to unveil our mobile video broadcast studio. An RV brightly marked will cruise up to the Las Vegas Conference Center and pick up our interviewees who will be whisked away from the saturated towers serving the CC. We’ll set up to stream from the RV and go live with a variety of pioneering people and innovative companies along side the big brands that fuel mobile content and services.
Watch GoMo News for all the up to date information on where and how to watch the broadcasts. The Sprint EDVO Rev. A network with it’s 1.8MB upload capability will provide the bandwidth we need and a couple of Nokia N95s will be the video capture devices. How are we using N95s on a CDMA network? I’ll reveal that during the week. In addition, Flixwagon is a sponsor of GoMo News on Wheels! and will be used as the service to stream from the device, store the videos and alert Twitterfollowers or Flixwagon fans that a new video is LIVE.
The interviews and product demos are designed to be informative and conversational. Our audience will be invited to join in with their own questions through chat during the broadcast. We want to encourage respectful participation and exchange. Ask your own questions, and I’ll pass along as many as I can. As a preview, Tuesday, April 1st between 9:15 and 9:30 AM I’m interviewing Louis Libin, who serves as Chairman, Political Conventions Communications Committee. The Committee is responsible for coordinating all the wireless users for the Democratic and Republican Presidentials Conventions and events surrounding the conventions. The users include the broadcasters, Law Enforcement, the organizing committees and others.
We start March 30th approximately 9PM Mountain Daylight Time, MDT, (GMT -7). See you there.
We are grateful to GoMo News on Wheels! sponsors: Flixwagon, mPulse, MCN, and Smaato. And to the GoMo News Blender sponsor JumpTap.