Is Dr. Horrible So Horrible?

Bonus: I will buy a free iTunes copy of the Dr. Horrible series to the person who guesses the numbers I asked for in this previous post.

I have to start this out by saying that I am a huge Joss Whedon (Firefly, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, etc.) fan. Who knows how much attention I would have paid otherwise, but there are some really key issues at play here.

Anyway, back to Joss. He put together a Web Video play during the writer’s strike. Here’s the preview:

As Tim Street pointed out, this could be the start of something big here. Read his piece. Tim’s a smart guy.

Here’s another piece from Wired.

Some real fascinating elements here that some people might miss:

  • This content is currently free at www.drhorrible.com. Yes, I just bought what I could have streamed for free. Tim Street just bought what he could have streamed for free. People buy what they can stream for free – it’s part of the bigger picture here – one that content producers should never forget.
  • Not only are there iTunes sales going on today, but a DVD will be coming out later. Some people will buy the content twice. Yes, some people will pay multiple times for content they can get for free. Heck, I predict here musical tracks on iTunes audio before the end of the month.
  • Despite sales and views (the streaming server has been down for most of the morning), this short-form piece is missing the boat on construction for this medium. Read Tim Street’s 2nd piece and realize that he is right. You don’t have to be perfect in the space to see some results.
  • Talent is still talent. Neil Patrick Harris, Felicia Day and Nathan Fillion do what they do well (in Act 1 at least) – and that is as important as Whedon’s writing. Sometimes, you need to spend money on the talent. Ever wondered why Revision3 is doing so well?

We’ll see what happens with the Dr. Horrible story (and back story), and I sure hope Joss and the gang make a ton of cash on this Internet Musical.

And I hope we all learn a few things along the way ourselves.

Cause a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do … (watch Act 1).

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Would Somebody Please Let Me PAY For Service – Twitter, GrandCentral.com, Ustream.tv, Mogulus, Bueller, Anyone …

This isn’t just a complaint article here – this is a serious statement about the biggest problem with this social media web 2.0 “place.”

We’ll start off with the biggie:

Everybody and their Mother loves to complain about Twitter’s downtime. Yup, it’s a pain in the butt. But, if you consider that fact that these guys are running this MASSIVE texting infrastructure without a charging us a dime, you gotta wonder how they didn’t go down in flames a long time ago. We’re not paying for it – who is?

(Hint, them rich VCs and super nice Angels eventually do want their money back at some point – and with interest)

Enough people have said enough times that they wouldn’t mind paying for some uptime.

Please let us.

Imagine what Twitter could do if they actually had revenue. There ain’t a phone company on the planet that don’t charge for what you’re giving away for free (and it’s a HUGE industry). I pray your business plan isn’t just giving away for free what everyone else charges for.

When I was at Google last week (more details coming), I mentioned to a few people half-jokingly that I’d love to find someone down there who could let me pay for my GrandCentral.com account (remember my whole FROOMED piece last year?) Everybody laughed away my idiot idea that someone might want to pay Google for service.

Obviously, Google ain’t Froomed but one can only dream of the services they might provide if they let me pay for it.

Anyway, the reason for this post …

Anybody following this knows I just started getting into the live video thing.

I like it. I like it a lot. I’ve already started pricing light kits.

This morning I got a note from one of you asking what my plans were now that they’re going to do the whole lower thirds text ad insert thing.

Don’t know.

Very annoying.

I make more money when I don’t share my content with Other People’s Completely Unrelated Ads (OPCUAs). Don’t mind paying for the chance to do so either.

You can’t do that when you make a profit.

I’d be more than willing to pay 100x what you’d make on those clicks to have an ad-free player at Ustream.tv. Any chances? I doubt it. Why take money from my credit card when you can make pennies per thousand people for clicks to Jessica Simpson Wallpaper and Animated Smiley Face Pointers.

I got all excited when Mogulus announced their (“coming”) White Label option earlier this year. I contacted them asking for pricing and I got a response that sounded more “hey, we needed to announce something, we have no idea” than “Information coming soon.” I hope I’m wrong but i seldom am on these things.

(Mogulus, prove me wrong, I’d love to update this posting).

I get the whole “audience is more important than profits right now” meme. I can argue that at times but the fact of the matter is this.

There are a whole bunch of us who don’t mind paying for service.

There are a whole bunch of us who would pay good money to use the very products you’ve crippled because you don’t want to charge for them.

I’m not the smartest businessman in the world but I’m pretty sure that there is money in people willing to pay you for what you already have – but are giving away for free.

Customers are standing by …

Please don’t let the legacy of Web 2.0 be “we didn’t believe people were willing to pay …”

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My “Beta” Test At Training Via Ustream.tv

Above is an embedded video. If you can’t “see” it, go ahead and click through to see the video. It was a beta test of a live training I did using UStream.tv. More on that later in this article.

For those who are curious, here is a quick look at my screens via a Qik.com recording (embedded below).

So, why would I do something like this via a “traditional” webinar? Well, UStream is insanely easy to “get” – you go to the site and push the play button. Webinars still aren’t that easy yet.

The ability to do video and the like is also something very tricky to do in webinars.

The downsides? You’ll notice the screen resolution ain’t much. Screencasting requires a lot of power so to do this right, you have to do it from a small screen.

So, my question is this, what do you think of the technology? Would you watch training this way?

I took a poll live during the event and this did well, but I’d love your thoughts as well.

That was fun – we’ll do it again …

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