David RD Gratton

Category: Digital Media

Big News on Flash Video

August 21, 2007

Flash support h.264 is BIG news. Many of my colleagues said this would never happen. They said that Flash support for h.264 would open their player (.swf) to competition that would threaten Flash's rich media dominance on the web.

However, video is a critical communications format that cannot be dominated by priority codecs which are controlled by one company. This announcement, in my opinion, is the start of the end of video data format/codec wars.

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Rouxbe: a new Internet business actualling MAKING original content!

April 16, 2007

With so many companies focused on user generated content or aggregating content it is really refreshing to see a company like Rouxbe ( pronounced ROO - BE). Joe Girard the founder of Rouxbe has decided to take a different path and create original content for the Internet. As the company name indicates, Rouxbe, delivers personal culinary instruction. If you watch the Food Network like I do you, you will have noticed the decreasing focus on food preparation. The content on Rouxbe is outstanding: this is not about personality. It's about food! The production quality of the video and presentation is amazing. To Joe and his team, clearly food is about "experience". They have even gone so far as to create their own musical pairings! Rouxbe team member, Elliott Fienberg is a composer. His focus is on creating original musical pairings for each dish. You can listen to a sample of Rouxbe music here.

The video player uses a layered "drill down" approach that my company originally developed for Electronic Arts and User Friendly in 2000 and dusted off for Rouxbe in 2006. However, in the last year, the Rouxbe team has really improved the user experience from our original player and created a near perfect viewing experience for video instruction. The drill down approach enables viewers of varying skill and knowledge level to advance at their own pace without removing them from the context of what they are learning. There are distinct advantages to the Rouxbe approach versus a standard recipe site. Technique is critical to food preparation, but it is very difficult to demonstrate in text alone, even with images. Joe and his partner Dawn Thomas are accomplished and reputable chefs, who show you how with all the tricks of the trade to actually make food like the pros.

There are also plans for a social network, which I am really excited to see when it is launched.

Check out the site.

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A-List bloggers need to get out more

February 7, 2007

Sometimes I have to laugh at A-List bloggers in the tech industry chasing their own tail. They sometimes seem to be oblivious to anything or anyone else that is outside of their own circle jerk.

Two years ago I and others were posting that beyond communities of interest communities do not exist.

Virtual communities [online Social Networks] do not exist as communities unto themselves. It's true that I know individuals only online. It's true that I participate on project with groups of people on-line that I have never met before. But these communities have a common interest without exception. Virtual Communities unto themselves are not communities but modifiers to communities of interest.

And low and behold Silicon Valley pundits have now concluded that Social Networks are now a feature "for other online activities." And what are those other on-line activities? The interest/topic/purpose for the community.

So forgive me if I don't see this revelation as visionary. Dozens of us have been saying this for years.

User Data portability means more than just having an API

December 13, 2006

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Marc runs into legacy idiocy

November 30, 2006

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