Monday, June 12, 2006

Transcript (unedited) of June 12th chat - Broadcast Media and Podcasting with Christopher Penn of Financial Aid Podcast

14:53:10 Bob Zwick: hello
14:53:21 Christopher Penn: Good afternoon.
14:53:34 sujamthe: Hi Bob
14:53:38 Christopher Penn: Looks like I'm early.
14:54:09 sujamthe: Hi Chris, thanks for joining us, Richard should be here shortly and we'll start at 3pm
14:54:31 Christopher Penn: Sounds great. Looking forward to it. Is this channel available on IRC or just in the web-based client?
14:54:55 Richard Seltzer: His, Christopher and Bob and Su.
14:55:08 Richard Seltzer: We'll be getting started in about 5 minutes.
14:55:12 Christopher Penn: Good afternoon.
14:55:47 sujamthe: only web based, no IRC
15:00:11 Richard Seltzer: It's time to start. Christopher can you please introduce yourself and let us know your interest in and involvement with podcasts and broadcasts?
15:00:31 Christopher Penn: Certainly. My name is Christopher Penn, and I'm the Chief Technology Officer of the Student Loan Network.
15:00:36 Richard Seltzer: Bob -- long time no "see". Please introduce yourself. And have you been involved in podcast kinds of things lately?
15:00:41 Christopher Penn: I am also the host of the daily Financial Aid Podcast.
15:01:15 Christopher Penn: I've been involved with podcasting since Apirl 2005 when my show first went online. Today was episode 277.
15:01:40 Richard Seltzer: Christopher -- I understand that Sudha met you through an online event and that you recorded and "podcast" a speech of hers. What is your involvement in podcasting? What's the relationship of that to student loans?
15:02:01 sujamthe: I am Sudha Jamthe, I met Chris at a live event
15:02:05 Richard Seltzer: Welcome Bryan, we're just starting. Please introduce yourself and let us know your involvement in podcasting.
15:02:19 Bob Zwick: Good to be back Richard. Hi everyone. I'm a software developer and web consultant. Set up blogs & podcasts for people, just wrote a simple, simple podcast program.
15:02:21 Christopher Penn: Well, as the host and producer of the Financial Aid Podcast, I create podcasts every day.
15:02:32 sujamthe: I saw Chris in action at BarCamp Boston as he went aout recording the different talks.
15:02:34 Bryan Person: Thanks, Richard. I'm Bryan Person, and I started a podcast late last month called "New Comm Road"
15:02:43 Bryan Person: It's all about new media and online communications.
15:02:48 Richard Seltzer: Yes, and Su, what is your interest in podcasting? Have you been invovled in those kinds of online events in the past?
15:02:58 sujamthe: He recorded my talk about Technology Commercialization, but when I heard the podcast, I was blown away.
15:03:04 Richard Seltzer: Bryan -- sounds interesting. What's the URL?
15:03:05 Christopher Penn: As for the relationship between podcasting and student loans, consider this: the majority of students own iPods and listen to them.
15:03:05 Bryan Person: And coincidentally, I also know Christopher Penn.
15:03:12 Bryan Person:
15:03:29 Christopher Penn: They're my target audience for my show and my company, so I create a show centered around helping them afford college.
15:03:33 Bryan Person: And I also heard Sudha's presentation at BarCamp.
15:03:48 Richard Seltzer: Christopher and others -- maybe we should start with some definitions. I'm used to the old term "Webcast" Is podcast just a new name for that old kind of online event?
15:03:54 Christopher Penn: No.
15:04:04 Christopher Penn: Podcasting is the reliable, regular delivery of audio and video content.
15:04:11 Christopher Penn: Asynchronously.
15:04:28 sujamthe: I love Internet technology in all forms and been involved in online chats and communities since 96. I've listened to podcasts purely for the content and want to learn about the trend and its impact on broadcast media and content publishing on the web.
15:04:37 Christopher Penn: Webcasts and streams are connection-based - meaning you have to be tuned in in order to receive the content.
15:04:44 Richard Seltzer: Christopher -- so you mean there is no difference between a webcast and a podcast? And there is no relationsihp betwee iPod and podcast?
15:05:10 Christopher Penn: Podcasts are kind of like TiVo for A/V content - the content is time-shifted, so you download it whenever and listen or watch at your convenience.
15:05:19 sujamthe: Chris, be warned Richard loves to break down jargons :-)
15:05:21 Richard Seltzer: Christopher -- 10 years ago, the term webcast was used for both live and recorded version of a video online event.
15:06:00 Bryan Person: You don't need an ipod for a podcast
15:06:17 Bob Zwick: webcast now-a-days means a recorded web presentation
15:06:21 Richard Seltzer: Christopher -- Also, I'm confused a bit becasue when I accessed that podcast of Sudha, I just heard recorded voice. I didn't see any video. Is that the way ti was set up or do I maybe have the wrong settings or wrong software to see it?
15:06:25 Bryan Person: You can even listen on your computer
15:06:33 Christopher Penn: Very true, but the focus back then was on tuning in "live" - whereas podcasting's appeal is that it's content on demand.
15:06:35 sujamthe: Chris, I am one of those people who hears podcasts on the web and thought of it as oh!Mp3 files, what made this an industry?
15:06:50 Christopher Penn: Richard - no, there are two types of podcasts - audio and video.
15:07:00 Christopher Penn: Sudha's talk is an audio podcast only.
15:07:04 Richard Seltzer: I'm also confused becase recorded audio to me means Internet radio. Does podcast without video differ at all from Internet radio?
15:07:10 Christopher Penn: What made podcasting an industry? Three factors.
15:07:31 Christopher Penn: 1. Broad availability of high speed internet connections.
15:07:40 Christopher Penn: 2. Broad availability and use of portable MP3 players.
15:07:59 Christopher Penn: 3. Overcommercialization of mainstream broadcasting, reducing choice on the regular airwaves.
15:08:00 Richard Seltzer: When did podcasting become an industry? Sorry, I'm new to this. Internet radio and webccasting is all familiar stuff. But I still don't have any idea what is new and different about podcasting. Please help.
15:08:28 Christopher Penn: Podcasting became an industry the moment someone figured out that you could make money at it.
15:08:36 Christopher Penn: Figure summer of 2005.
15:08:42 Richard Seltzer: Those are three good points, making webcasting and Internet radio much more viable now than 10 years ago. But what is a podcast?
15:08:53 Christopher Penn: That's when Adam Curry founded Podshow, Inc., the first company to receive venture capital for podcasting.
15:09:05 Richard Seltzer: How are people making money from podcasts? What are the main business models?
15:09:17 Christopher Penn: What is a podcast? Three things:
15:09:27 Christopher Penn: 1. Regular content delivery.
15:09:28 sujamthe: Richard, if you hear Chris's Financial Aid Podcasts, it sounds like Internet Radio
15:09:33 Christopher Penn: 2. Content that is subscribed to - a push model, rather than a pull.
15:09:56 Richard Seltzer: Bob -- what's your take on this? Is podcast just new venture-captial friendly lingo for what we've had for a long time? If not, what's different?
15:10:02 Christopher Penn: 3. Content that is time shifted - it's created and put out there, and you download or listen to it when you want.
15:10:15 Christopher Penn: People are making money from podcasting via three models as well.
15:10:30 Christopher Penn: 1. Advertiser sponsored content. Podshow, Inc. does this with campaigns like GoDaddy and Earthlink.
15:10:34 Richard Seltzer: I'm still looking for what's different. Everything you've listed applies just as well to webcasts and Internet radio.
15:10:55 Christopher Penn: 2. Advertising medium. The Student Loan Network does this with my show, the Financial Aid Podcast at
15:11:14 Christopher Penn: 3. Pay per listen. A very few shows do this, such as Ricky Gervais' comedy show.
15:11:26 Richard Seltzer: Many people tried advertising based Internet video/audio in the past. Perhaps what's different now is the size of the audience, making that business model more viable. What what is a podcast?
15:11:28 sujamthe: Chris, more podcast companies are getting funded, podtech is new. Is it all only ad revenues?
15:11:41 Bob Zwick: Syndication
15:11:56 sujamthe: How much is the critical mass who have adapted podcasts? Does anyone know of recent stats?
15:12:18 Christopher Penn: Syndication and subscribable content. With Webcasts and Internet radio, you have to go out and retrieve audio or video. With podcasting, once you subscribe, it comes to you.
15:12:19 Richard Seltzer: Bob -- please explain. I'm a little bit familiar with RSS as a way of spreading blogs. How does it relate to podcasts?
15:12:42 Christopher Penn: People are using all three revenue models I've described.
15:12:53 sujamthe: Thanks Bob, its a new form of content syndication!
15:13:10 Richard Seltzer: With blogs RSS makes "syndication" possible, in the sense of sites making it easy to get to lots of blogs. But not syndication in the print sense with the producer of the content getting money.
15:13:35 Christopher Penn: As for critical mass - statistics vary wildly and are very difficult to determine. Some estimate between 100,000 and 500,000 listeners. Others say 6 - 10 million. Depends on who funded the study.
15:13:36 Richard Seltzer: Is there a syndication-based revenue model ofr podcasts?
15:13:37 sujamthe: Do you know any sites which make subscription money off podcasts? I'd pay for really good content, I want to hear daily like NPR news
15:13:40 Bob Zwick: if you have a Internet Radio show you have an audience that you create. If you syndicate it the information is delivered to web agencies looking for content of your type
15:14:14 Christopher Penn: Sudha - yes. Ricky Gervais sells his podcast. 7.95, I believe, for 4 episodes.
15:14:22 Richard Seltzer: And is RSS the difference between podcasts and webcasts/Internet radio? in other words, an automated way of making the content available to a borad audience that doesn't know the URL?
15:14:50 Christopher Penn: RSS is one of the differences, yes.
15:15:05 Christopher Penn: The other difference is that a lot of the content is generated specifically for the iPod.
15:15:05 Christopher Penn: The other difference is that a lot of the content is generated specifically for the iPod.
15:15:06 sujamthe: Chris, can you tell us about other players/technologis that make this syndication seamless
15:15:35 sujamthe: Bob, do you have any favorite podcasts you listen to daily?
15:15:35 Richard Seltzer: Chris -- why the iPod?
15:15:35 sujamthe: Bob, do you have any favorite podcasts you listen to daily?
15:15:39 Christopher Penn: Oh, it's not seamless, not by a long shot. The only combination that has proven to work well so far is the integration of podcasting, iTunes, and the iPod.
15:16:10 sujamthe: Richard, I have mp3 capabilities on my cell phone, but I guess ipod brought ease of use into it
15:16:17 Christopher Penn: The iPod is the most popular media player on the market. Apple has sold 42 million of them.
15:16:21 Richard Seltzer: I'm gradually getting the notion that the basic technology and the basic experience is the same with podcasting and webcasting/Internet radio.
15:17:01 Richard Seltzer: The difference seems to be the ways of reaching the audience (RSS syndication and iPod and other portable MP3 devices -- which means the size of the audience is much larger.
15:17:07 sujamthe: Chris, I gave all credit to the ipod before I saw you in action. What change did you see to get into this?
15:17:08 Christopher Penn: Rather than reinvent the wheel, I recommend you read:
15:17:52 Christopher Penn: Sudha: actually, what got me into it was purchasing an iPod in April of last year.
15:17:56 Richard Seltzer: I did a series of Webcasts for Digital Equipment back in 1995-1996. Back then the typically audience might have been a few dozen people live. Then maybe you might have gotten a few hundred more with the recorded version.
15:18:02 Bob Zwick: I listen to EdTech Talk regularly
15:18:14 Christopher Penn: I heard some of the more popular podcasts, like the Daily Source Code, Dawn and Drew, etc., and figured I could do my own.
15:18:45 Christopher Penn: Richard: by comparison, my show averages 2,300 listeners daily, with a peak listenership (show with most number of downloads) at 15,239.
15:18:51 sujamthe: Thanks Chris. I am interested in hearing your experience how you became a podcaster and what cool for you.
15:19:19 Richard Seltzer: Christopher -- what is your business model for doing podcasts? content like Sudha's speech doesn't seem related to student loans. Do you just look for content that people interested in loans might find interesting to hear?
15:19:44 sujamthe: Chris, I thought people who did podcasts had their own content to produce till I went to BarCamp.
15:20:12 Christopher Penn: Sudha's presentation was actually an anomaly. It doesn't relate to my regular show at all, but I recorded it as a courtesy to the BarCamp organizers to capture the knowledge.
15:20:42 Christopher Penn: Our business model is pretty straightforward. I provide daily information to students about financial aid, student loans, scholarships, etc. and in doing so, recommend and advocate for my company's student loan products.
15:20:47 Richard Seltzer: I can imagine that it would be far easier to record and podcast speeches that are being delivered at face-to-face events than to create content specifically for podcasting. Do you do both?
15:20:52 sujamthe: I honestly thought financial aid podcast was only for students looking for fin aid. It seems you did programming, radio style when you saw interesting content and created new shows.
15:21:10 Christopher Penn: The majority of my content is self-generated, every day at 7 AM.
15:21:40 Richard Seltzer: Christopher -- Do you record that daily content yourself? Or what is your source?
15:21:58 Richard Seltzer: And when you record, do you use some special portable gadget to do so?
15:22:06 Christopher Penn: And no, Sudha, the Financial Aid Podcast isn't limited just to students. It's created for anyone who wants personal finance information and insights into what's happening in higher education finance.
15:22:11 Bryan Person: It's not just for students.
15:22:24 sujamthe: Richard, DCI recorded my talk in Internet world in 96 and its same recording, but it doesn't compare to Chris's podcast. Honestly I am glad that old content is not so easy to access as that material will seem s outdated today, but Chris's podcasts are
15:22:26 Christopher Penn: Richard: yes. I recommend you install iTunes and visit to listen to my show.
15:22:37 sujamthe: Chris's podcasts are part of the web archives already
15:22:48 Bryan Person: Chris gives tips on how to better use your money, how to job hunt, etc.
15:23:05 Richard Seltzer: Christopher -- why would I need/want iTunes? Can't I listen otherwise?????
15:23:15 Bryan Person: And if you're looking to become a podcaster, it's a great show to listen to.
15:23:24 Christopher Penn: You certainly can. You can listen in your browser by visiting
15:23:24 Richard Seltzer: What is the relationship between iTunes and podcasting?
15:23:35 Christopher Penn: The built in audio player will automatically start today's show.
15:23:44 Bob Zwick: Richard- iTunes is an aggregator
15:23:53 Christopher Penn: iTunes is the best, in my opinion, software for downloading and listening to podcasts.
15:24:00 sujamthe: Chris, interesting! So if I want to do a Phd and want to know my funding options, I can goto your podcast? How can I know if you've covered this topic before?
15:24:33 Christopher Penn: Sudha - yes, exactly. The podcast is accompanied by show notes, essentially a daily blog that contains links and information discussed in each day's show.
15:24:34 sujamthe: Richard, I've trid i-Tunes, without an ipod. Its good ease of use.
15:24:50 Christopher Penn: You can find the show notes at
15:25:03 Richard Seltzer: That's strange and interesting. I thought of iTunes as being just an aggregator for music for download to an iPod. Your saying that someone who doesn't have an iPod might want to install that software for listening to podcasts???
15:25:11 Christopher Penn: Correct.
15:25:21 sujamthe: Bob, do you have the URL for the podcasts you listed, otherwise, u can email Richard later.
15:25:43 sujamthe: Smart! the show notes are the searchable version text.
15:25:47 Bob Zwick: I'll email
15:25:59 Christopher Penn: Correct, Sudha. Show notes are indexed and part of the content.
15:26:32 sujamthe: I have itunes on my PC, no ipod, a cell phone with mp3 capability, though I mostly listen on the PC.
15:26:36 Richard Seltzer: Interesting the way technology morphs. Apple becomes a music company. HP a photo company. Now a music service helps implement an alternative to boradcasting...
15:27:16 Christopher Penn: The other thing that has changed since you did your Internet broadcast work, Richard,i s that the technology is broadly available to podcast.
15:27:23 sujamthe: Is video podcasting as easy?
15:27:39 Christopher Penn: Every purchaser of a Macintosh computer gets a copy of Garageband, with which they can easily make podcasts.
15:27:39 Richard Seltzer: So is iTunes acting as an RSS syndicator of podcasts? Is it also acting as a sort of podcast TV guide?
15:27:45 Bob Zwick: a mobil society demands content on demand. technology provides it.
15:27:59 Christopher Penn: PC users can download a free copy of Audacity and with nothing more than a $5 radio shack microphone, begin their own show.
15:28:13 Christopher Penn: Richard: yes. iTunes acts as both aggregator and content guide.
15:28:30 Richard Seltzer: Where is Audacity availbable?
15:28:33 Christopher Penn: Sudha: yes and no. With the right equipment, you can easily do a low budget video podcast, but the production time is longer.
15:28:48 Christopher Penn: Audacity is available at
15:29:00 Richard Seltzer: If iTunes acts as a content guide, what does one have to do to get included in their listings?
15:29:13 sujamthe: Chris, where do you see podcast industry going? Is it small guys as it started? Or there any big funded players? Why do they need funding? for marketing?
15:29:29 Christopher Penn: Richard: you add your RSS feed to their directory through a simple form.
15:29:33 Richard Seltzer: And is there some simple way to convert RealAudio files to the right format for podcasting? (And is that format MP3?)
15:29:36 Bob Zwick: I use Skype and Pamela for interview recordings
15:29:56 Christopher Penn: Sudha: podcasting as an industry is still in its infancy, though some people are already managing to make a nice living at it.
15:30:10 Richard Seltzer: Christopher -- How does your audio recording become an RSS feed? Is that what happens with something like Audacity?
15:30:24 Christopher Penn: RocketBoom, for example, the daily video podcast, is making approximately $85,000 per week in revenues.
15:30:34 Richard Seltzer: or does the RSS feed result from how you set your content up on a Web server?
15:31:11 Christopher Penn: Richard, a great outline of the whole process can be found here:
15:31:15 Richard Seltzer: Is Rocketboom generating that revenue from advertising? If so what's the size/order of magnitude of their audience?
15:31:42 Christopher Penn: Rocketboom generates their revenues from advertising. They currently have a reach of 300,000 viewers daily.
15:31:43 Richard Seltzer: Christopher -- thanks for the pointers/URLs. Obviously, I have a lot to learn.
15:31:43 Bob Zwick: RSS is made by an XML page which the link to is sent to podcasting search engines(agregators).
15:32:30 Christopher Penn: I also recommend as well.
15:33:21 Christopher Penn: as for where the i ndustry is going, the three models I described earliler will remain constant fo rthe near future.
15:33:23 sujamthe: Rocketboom with its its 3 min videos makes $85K per week! No wonder theres funding for podcast companies.
15:33:21 Christopher Penn: as for where the i ndustry is going, the three models I described earliler will remain constant fo rthe near future.
15:33:23 sujamthe: Rocketboom with its its 3 min videos makes $85K per week! No wonder theres funding for podcast companies.
15:33:43 Christopher Penn: Ad-sponsored podcasts and podcast networks like Podshow,, TPN, etc. will comprise a good amount of the money in podcasting.
15:33:59 Christopher Penn: Corporate underwriting, like my show, will form another segment.
15:34:23 Christopher Penn: And then for a very small, truly niche section of the market, paidcasts will do all right, but they must offer unique content you can't get anywhere else.
15:34:44 sujamthe: I am amazed at the grassroots creativity. Is podcast offering a new media company with new content?
15:35:42 Christopher Penn: Podcasting is the antithesis of a media company. There's no control, no authority, no central source from which content is managed. Everyone just does what they want to do, and the people who do it better than others become more popular.
15:36:01 sujamthe: Richard, Podtech is where Scoble went to (the MS blogger who wrote to us about difference of blogs and web in one of our early session)
15:36:15 Richard Seltzer: I must admit I'm mainly a text person. I use audio/video when absolutely necessary (because I have to participate in a meeting or even), but otherwise I avoid it. A word is worth a thousand pictures...
15:36:42 Christopher Penn: Except when you're driving, Richard. A good number of podcasts are listened to on commutes and "down time".
15:37:13 Richard Seltzer: Christopher -- I like the anarchy aspect. But what defines "popular"?
15:37:39 Christopher Penn: Ultimately, if you're pursuing ad sponsorship, popular is the number of subscribers you have.
15:37:42 Richard Seltzer: Christopher -- I work at home, so no commuting, and basically no down time.
15:38:08 Christopher Penn: Richard: do you ever listen to music in the background?
15:38:18 Richard Seltzer: "Subscribers." Does that mean you have to sign up to view/hear? Does it also mean you have to pay?
15:38:31 Bob Zwick: Richard - it's about your audience, not you.
15:39:00 Richard Seltzer: With text-style Web sites, insisting on users "subscribing" basically kills your audience. Why would podcasting be different in that regard?
15:39:07 Christopher Penn: Richard: no, and no. You can, just by going to listen to the show. But that requires you going there. If you subscribe - meaning you add my show to your iTunes, you'll get new episodes delivered when I make them.
15:39:18 Christopher Penn: Much in the same way people subscribe to blogs with RSS readers.
15:39:34 Christopher Penn: Do you have to pay? Not for my show, nor for 99.9% of other podcasts.
15:39:41 Richard Seltzer: Bob -- True, all too true. But it helps if you can emphatize with your audience, facing the same challenges as they are...
15:40:23 sujamthe: Chris, to you rpoint about podcasts and anachy, not media company -
15:40:27 Richard Seltzer: With blogs, you can simply go straight tot he URL. There's no need to use RSS aggregators. Is that true with podcasts as well?
15:40:33 Bob Zwick: Richard- as a profesional speaker I would think that podcasting would be a shoe-in for you.
15:40:40 Christopher Penn: Richard: correct. no need if you don't want to use one.
15:40:42 Bryan Person: yes
15:40:52 Bryan Person: You can just download the mp3 file directly.
15:41:00 sujamthe: How are media companies responding? Also, whats the funding going towards in a competitor can do without funding?
15:41:00 sujamthe: How are media companies responding? Also, whats the funding going towards in a competitor can do without funding?
15:41:10 Bryan Person: ... from the podcast's website.
15:41:25 Christopher Penn: Richard, I would suggest this. What are you doing Wednesday night, say around 7 PM? If you can, make it out to John Harvards in Framingham and attend the New England Podcasters monthly meetup.
15:41:26 Richard Seltzer: That probably means that anyone could set up a podcast favorites page -- becoming a mini, focused podcast guide.
15:41:38 Bryan Person: Yes, you could do that.
15:41:51 Christopher Penn: Go to the meetup, and speak with many of the New England Podcasters who create some of the most popular shows online.
15:42:19 Christopher Penn: Sudha: broadcast and traditional media companies are responding by taking their existing content and republishing it online.
15:42:19 Bryan Person: Yes, those of you in the Boston area should join us this Wednesday evening for our monthly meetup
15:42:29 Richard Seltzer: Thanks for the invite/pointer. I'll see if I can free up the time.
15:42:47 Bryan Person: NPR is a perfect example of a media organization that is repurposing its content into podcasts.
15:42:49 Bryan Person: Same with ESPN
15:42:50 Christopher Penn: You can find out more information at
15:43:18 Bryan Person: Though NPR also creates some podcast-only content:
15:44:01 Richard Seltzer: I used to do a weekly segment on a radio program in Lowell, both broadcast and delivered by Internet radio. But the guys who were doing the show were never able to put together a viable business model. The show closed a couple years ago. Sounds like th
15:44:55 Richard Seltzer: Sounds like the environment would be more friendly today. (I'll have to point Dave Sciuto and Bill Dubie in this direction....)
15:45:00 Bryan Person: The great thing from a podcasters' point of view is that this can be done very cheaply.
15:45:17 Bryan Person: Even a business can take a stab at it without having to invest any cash.
15:45:20 Christopher Penn: Yes - it sounds like your old show narrowly missed the boat.
15:45:21 Richard Seltzer: Bob - are you doing podcasts now? perhaps with a focus on distance education?
15:45:54 Richard Seltzer: What about repurposing our RealAudio files? Is there a simple conversion tool?
15:46:07 Bob Zwick: not focusing on education, but some educational podcsts yes.
15:46:08 Bryan Person: Podcasts can be a tremendously helpful tool for education.
15:46:32 Christopher Penn: Richard: you certainly could do that. Google will likely list plenty of audio conversion utilities.
15:46:37 Bryan Person: Some professors are using them to supplement lectures; others are doing away with the face-to-face lectures altogether.
15:46:40 Richard Seltzer: By the way, do you podcast the podcasters' meeting?
15:47:06 Christopher Penn: Richard: ironically, not always. We had segments of it in my show a couple of months ago.
15:47:22 Bryan Person: Richard, if you have an mp3 file through RealAudio, you can turn that into a podcast quite easily.
15:47:22 Bryan Person: Richard, if you have an mp3 file through RealAudio, you can turn that into a podcast quite easily.
15:47:52 Richard Seltzer: Bryan -- There are many instances of the use of "online meeting" applications for distance education. What would be different about doing the same kind of thing with a podcast?
15:48:21 Christopher Penn: Richard: here's the April meeting excerpts show notes.
15:48:25 Christopher Penn:
15:48:48 Bryan Person: Richard, a big advantage of a podcast is that you can subscribe to it.
15:49:06 Bryan Person: ANd remember, "subscribing" doesn't mean you have to pay.
15:49:25 Richard Seltzer: I'm presuming that a podcast is recorded (typically) at a single site, with a single microphone; whereas meeting software sometimes allows the integration of PowerPoint and multiple video and/or audio streams. Is that correct?
15:49:38 Bryan Person: You could add lecture RSS feed to your subscription list, and then listen to it at the time that's right for you.
15:49:55 Bob Zwick: If I like your podcast I'll add it to myYaHoo and see a list of all your broadcasts as they become available.
15:50:06 Bryan Person: That's not exactly correct, Richard.
15:50:22 Christopher Penn: Richard: typically, yes, though you could certainly aggregate content together. Boston University recently hosted Podcast Academy and has copies of the various presentations, including speakers and slides, available.
15:50:28 Richard Seltzer: Bryan -- when you "subscribe" to a podcast, what does that mean? is that just like with a blog aggregator, you go to an aggregator site and click to experience the podcast? or is a file delivered to you in some other way?
15:50:56 Bob Zwick: Richard we record confernce calls with Skype and a panel of experts.
15:51:22 Bryan Person: There is also something out there now called Skypecast, which is what Bob may be using.
15:52:03 Christopher Penn: Richard: I would recommend, as we are drawing to a close here, that the best thing you can do is go out and start your own podcast.
15:52:07 Richard Seltzer: Bob -- so in your case, you use meeting software for the live online event, and then distribute the recording as a podcast? is that right?
15:52:17 Bob Zwick: Skypecast is a live stream which can be recorded and podcasted.
15:52:19 Christopher Penn: There's no better way to learn it than to do it, and chances are you own everything you need to make one.
15:52:23 Bryan Person: Richard, subscribing means that you're adding a podcast's unique XML "feed" into your podcatcher, or aggregator.
15:52:32 Richard Seltzer: Christopher -- I'd like to give it a try.
15:52:39 Bob Zwick: Richard - correct
15:52:55 Bryan Person: iTunes is an example of a podcatcher.
15:53:02 Christopher Penn: Start with the aforementioned Wikipedia and articles, and google for "how to podcast".
15:53:08 Bryan Person: And you can set iTunes to update on its own.
15:53:46 Christopher Penn: Also be sure to listen to lots of podcasts, too. There are some terrific ones right here in New England.
15:53:55 Richard Seltzer: More good pointers. Thanks. Now I need a time-expansion gadget so I'll be able to learn all I need to learn and experiment with these new oppportunities... Maybe google can help me find that too...
15:54:05 Christopher Penn: Some examples: Bryan's show at - mine at
15:54:10 Bryan Person: Richard, if you have experience adding a blog's RSS feed to your aggregator, then "subscribing" to a podcast is easy!
15:54:20 Christopher Penn: CC Chapman at and
15:54:33 Bob Zwick: If you want to be podcsting in 10 minutes and have FTP to your site you can try my free software.
15:54:38 Bob Zwick:
15:54:42 Christopher Penn: Mrs. B's Patriot World at and Steve Runner at
15:54:48 Richard Seltzer: Are there any content aggregators who handle both blogs and podcasts?
15:55:07 Bryan Person: Richard, if you are able to come to one of our New England Podcasting meetups, there will be no shortage of people willing to give you a hand.
15:55:08 Bob Zwick: I use Yahoo
15:55:17 Christopher Penn: The M Show at and Sales Roundup at
15:55:26 Christopher Penn: lots of great shows to try out.
15:55:34 Richard Seltzer: Bob -- thanks. you always seem to have a user-friendly way to get involved in the latest tech.
15:56:06 Bob Zwick: This was made for blind people so you know it is easy to use
15:56:10 Christopher Penn: And on that note, folks, I need to get going. It's been a pleasure.
15:56:33 Richard Seltzer: All -- we're nearing the end of the hour. Thanks to all for the great info. Please post your email addresses before you leave so we can stay in touch.
15:56:33 Bob Zwick: nice to meet you Chris
15:56:56 Richard Seltzer: Sudha -- Thanks for coming up with another great topic and great "speaker".
15:56:58 Christopher Penn: You can reach me at - see you in the podosphere!
15:57:03 Bryan Person:
15:57:15 Richard Seltzer: I'm at http;//
15:57:26 Bob Zwick:
15:58:06 Bryan Person: Thanks again, everyone
15:59:02 sujamthe: Thanks everyone, bye for now

Transcript (unedited) of June 2nd chat - Ecommerce and Web 2.0 with Venkat Kolluri of Chitika

19:37:34 Richard Seltzer: We'll be starting in about 20 minutes, at 3 PM Eastern
19:38:30 sujamthe: joined
19:38:48 sujamthe: Hi, richard
19:39:47 Richard Seltzer: Hi, su.
19:59:28 Venkat: changed name
19:59:46 Venkat: Hi
19:59:59 Richard Seltzer: Welcome, Venkat. Glad you could make it.
20:00:26 Venkat: Great to be here !!
20:00:34 Richard Seltzer: It's 3 PM (here in Boston) so we might as well get
started. Venkat, please introduce youself.
20:01:32 Venkat: I am Venkat Kolluri, CEO and Co Founder of Chitika, an online
impulse merchandising company
20:01:35 Richard Seltzer: We're trying to understand new directiosn in business
on the Web. Sometimes what's new is evident. Sometimes not.
20:02:00 Richard Seltzer: From taking a quick look at I'm guessing
that what's new there is hidden.
20:02:17 Richard Seltzer: On the surface, Chikita looks like an old-style Web
20:02:38 sujamthe: Hi Everybody
20:02:44 Richard Seltzer: What goes on the behind the scenes that's different
from what we would have been back in the 90s? What can you do now that you
couldn't then?
20:02:59 Richard Seltzer: Hi, Su.
20:03:10 Richard Seltzer: Su, please dive in.
20:03:49 Richard Seltzer: Would you classify Chitkita as a "Web 2" style
business? if so, why? What's the most interesting aspect of your business?
20:04:00 sujamthe: Thanks Richards. I am also curious to find out what Chitika
does and see if Venkat can help us understand how ecommerce has changed in
recent times
20:04:17 Venkat: Richard, at Chitika we are bringing to the world of online
merchandising all the secrets that worked well for online advertising
20:04:17 Richard Seltzer: Is there any community-related activity that goes on
in the background?
20:04:28 Richard Seltzer: And what do you mean by "merchandising"?
20:04:31 Venkat: Hi Su
20:04:58 Richard Seltzer: I never knew that anything worked well for online
advertising. What did?
20:05:39 Richard Seltzer: Consider me a "devil's advocate". I'll be poking
around a bit, trying to understand what's new and interesting.
20:05:50 Venkat: Richard, although advertising and merchandising can both be
broadly grouped into the same bucket, advertisiign focuses more on the "branding
aspects" where as mmerchandising is more focused on the sales
20:06:46 Richard Seltzer: I'm lost. Can you give an example of online
merchandising? I dno't see anything for sale directly by Chikita at the Chikita
site. Is that accurate?
20:07:05 Venkat: Both parties jumped on board the Web" band wagon the 90's,
and took a "batch and blast" approach to see if that would work online
20:07:09 Richard Seltzer: Do you simply provide a venue and tools for other
companies to sell their goods and services?
20:07:20 Richard Seltzer: If so, what's new about how you do it?
20:07:35 sujamthe: Hi Venkat, I was remembering you as I heard about upromise
sale y'day. First let me hear about chitika
20:08:23 Richard Seltzer: FYI -- the links at the bottom of the chikita home
page for "About Us" etc. don't work with my browser (IE 6.0)
20:08:29 Venkat: The "batch and blast" approach bombed
20:08:51 Richard Seltzer: Venkat -- what is "batch and blast"? And what do you
do that's different?
20:09:16 Richard Seltzer: Also, (if you can clone yourself and type twice as
fast :-) I have a couple questions about upromise.
20:09:25 Venkat: But advertising is again back in business becuase new models
that are non intrusive, (like contextual advertising) got introduced to this
20:09:32 sujamthe: Venkat, isn't merchandising in ecommerce about finding the
right items to be displayed at the right place for the targeted user?
20:09:39 Richard Seltzer: I recently signed up for upromise (before I knew you
would be a "speaker" here.
20:09:44 Venkat: Exactly !! Su
20:10:03 : changed name
20:10:10 Venkat: What we recognised is that online affiliates marketers ..who
are trying to
20:10:31 Venkat: leverage web as a sales channel are still relying on brute
forces sales models
20:10:39 jim: Hi, Just interested in learning this topic
20:10:47 Richard Seltzer: Welcome, Jim. We just got started. Please introduce
yourself and let us know your interests and dive into the discussion.
20:11:06 Venkat: however, when we introduced our eMiniMalls service, using an
interactive model, the results turned out to be amazing
20:11:33 Richard Seltzer: Venkat -- I'm sorry, but the words you are using don't
mean anything to me. Can you simplify, please?
20:11:46 Venkat: Su, for merchandising to work, the marketer needs to fcus more
on the item rather than the "selller"
20:11:54 Richard Seltzer: What is "brute force sales model"? And what do you do
that's different?
20:12:04 sujamthe: Venkat, can you pl explain online impulse merchandising for
20:12:22 Richard Seltzer: Simply, what business is Chikita in? Do you sell
20:12:44 Richard Seltzer: What is "impulse merchandising"?
20:12:49 Venkat: Impulse merchandising is all about enticing the user with
interesting products, based on the context
20:13:14 Richard Seltzer: What's the basis of your business? Do you somehow have
lots of traffic -- people who are looking to buy certain kinds of goods?
20:13:22 Venkat: and using an interactive model to work with the consumer to
help find what he or he might be interested in
20:13:25 jim: Isn't impulse mechansing about arranging tempting items accessible
to users in a regular store, how does it apply online?
20:13:54 sujamthe: Venkat: Agreed, like the temptation isles of all stores,
loaded with magazines and candies
20:13:55 Richard Seltzer: Venkat -- I really am lost here. When I look at the
Chikita site, I see nothing but portal style lists of links, with no context
20:14:07 Venkat: Richard, our model is that we help nline affiliates access
thousands of onoline deals and promtions from name brand mercahtns and promote
those products
20:14:27 Richard Seltzer: Where would I see anything tempting at Chikita? And
how would I get there in the first place?
20:14:47 sujamthe: Do you offer a technology that allows ecommerce sites to make
this display of their catalogs real-time? Or I am just dreaming up something of
my own here?
20:15:00 Venkat: Any nloine publihser can joinn our netwrk and place our
eMiniMalls on their sites
20:15:34 sujamthe: so the minimalls is a hosted co-branded product off your
20:15:35 Venkat: It works similar to contextual advertising but instead of ads,
we display and promote products
20:15:44 Richard Seltzer: Apparently, then isn't the best place to
see what you do. Can you provide the URL of a site with one of your minimalls?
20:16:01 Venkat: As users click on those deals, the publisher earns revenue,
because we get paid by our merchant partners on a click basis
20:16:11 sujamthe: Venkat, now I get it. Interesting idea.
20:16:30 Venkat: Richard, you can see the eMiniMalls at:
20:16:39 Richard Seltzer: I'm slowing starting to see, I think. This sounds like
a second-generation affiliate thing.
20:16:49 sujamthe: Are these products that of other affiliates from your
network? Or they separate deals from branded product companies?
20:17:20 Venkat:
20:17:25 sujamthe: If its all your affiliate products, then its like a link
exhange from the 90s.
20:17:40 Richard Seltzer: do you mean that rather than sign up at dozens of
separate companies to be their affiliate, you sign up once at Chikita, and then
promoted items appropriate for particular pages at your site
20:17:57 Richard Seltzer: show up autotmatically (based on context) in your
20:18:39 Richard Seltzer: If it happens automatically, it's much beter than, and
more interesting than link exchanges. Is that the case?
20:19:01 Venkat: Yes Richard. We partnered with merchandise aggregators , so our
clients can access thousands of offers and promotions from our database
20:19:03 Richard Seltzer: Does the company signing up to have a minimall have to
pay a fee for it?
20:19:11 jim: Can you pl tell us what to look in this site
20:19:25 Venkat: No. it is free
20:20:20 Venkat: Jim: on that page look for the unit promoting nikon coopix
20:21:31 Richard Seltzer: Venkat -- please explain more regarding that sample
site. Yes, I see the Nikon product. but so what? what is the minimall?
20:21:53 Richard Seltzer: I'd like to see a full-blown minimall with multiple
products, if such exsits.
20:22:07 Richard Seltzer: Or do you only display one promotion at a time?
20:22:16 Venkat: Well, lets use the unit on our front page:
20:22:44 Richard Seltzer: What can I look to see the kinds of products that you
might promote at my site if I were to sign up? And can I block certain kinds of
20:22:46 Venkat: It is currently featuring the baby seat from Albee baby
20:23:11 sujamthe: I see it, the circuit city deal doesn't look like an ad, but
more like site content, but is from Chitika! Neat!
20:23:17 Venkat: If you compare this with a traditional online ad, you will
noticed several differences
20:23:27 Richard Seltzer: Venkat -- are you saying that you only run one
promotion at a time at each affiliate site? If so, why do you refer to this as a
20:23:34 Venkat: 1. It is desinged to place more emphasis on the product
20:24:11 Venkat: Clients to chose t set their eminimlass for a given product, or
a topic or choose to use the system in a contextual mode
20:24:25 Venkat: and then it will rotate through different products
20:24:34 Richard Seltzer: I don't see what you are talking about at
20:24:42 sujamthe: I thought Google took ad model one step forward with Adsense
because of this contexual placement from its network of Adsense customers. So,
though chitka is not called ad, how does it different for a site owner?
20:24:44 Richard Seltzer: I do see a blank space in the top middle of the page.
20:25:02 Venkat: Also, you will notice that unlike a regular ad, you can scroll
over the tabs in the middle t access a variety of infrmation
20:25:10 Richard Seltzer: Are you displaying content in flash??? or some other
technique that millioins of Web users typically turn off???
20:25:26 Venkat: It is javascript based
20:25:38 jim: Is Circuit city your customer? I am curious who pays Chika or is
it a rev share? With whom?
20:26:07 Richard Seltzer: The main reason I'm not understanding you point is
probably that I can't see the page the way you designed it. (Just like not being
able to click on the links at the bottom of the page). That looks like a serious
design flaw.
20:26:28 sujamthe: I agree the format is cool, has some slick programming,
20:26:29 Venkat: We struck deals with large scale merchant listing s aggregators
such as , and also directly with several merchants
20:26:40 Richard Seltzer: Venkat -- I can usually see javascript with my IE 6.0
browser. But I don't see this.
20:27:21 Venkat: Any time someone clicks on the merchant deals, we get paid for
the clicks and we pay ur client s(publishers) using the eminimalls on thier
20:27:42 Richard Seltzer: That's probably why the chikita page struck me as a
plain-old-fashioned Web portal -- all I see is lists of links.
20:27:45 Venkat: Richard can your try this
20:28:43 Richard Seltzer: Okay, there I see a Neiman Marcus offer. Why can I see
that, but cannot see the ad at chikita?
20:28:43 Venkat: Can you see the large banner unit at the top, (below the search
20:28:51 sujamthe: Richard. we saw "Nikon Coolpix P4 Review at CNET and on
clicking it we came to a new page that has a box showing a new Best Deal. It
doens't say Chitika anywhere. What do you see?
20:29:32 Venkat: Richard, now, if you mouse over the three tabs
20:29:49 Richard Seltzer: At Chikita I don't see any ad at all -- just lists of
links. And there's a blank area in the middle near the top.
20:30:23 sujamthe: The Raffaello Network deal is from Chitika, now i see your
trademark JS box :-)
20:30:30 Venkat: For some reason, your browser seems to be blocking the
eMiniMalls unit on our front page
20:30:31 Richard Seltzer: Yes, I see the effects as I move the mouse over the
tables at think2link
20:30:51 Venkat: Scroll over the search tab to access the search bx
20:31:07 Venkat: Now search for "ipod"
20:31:26 Venkat: Use the search box in the unit
20:31:52 Richard Seltzer: Interesting. (But I do wish I understood why I don't
see anything at Chikita.
20:32:13 Richard Seltzer: Welcome Jaks. Please introduce youself, let us know
your interests and dive in to the conversation.
20:32:19 jim: I have to leave, will come back and check transcript, bye folks
20:32:36 Richard Seltzer: I'm trying to undersatnd, for my own business, how
this might work.
20:32:58 Venkat: Not sure whats going on there Richard. Something to d with the
javascript i guess
20:33:10 Richard Seltzer: Is your eminimall setup compatible with Adsense? In
other words, would adding it to a page have any effect on Gooogle adsense
20:33:41 sujamthe: Venkat can you post a screenshot for Richard to see and
followup with him to see why its not working for him?
20:33:41 Richard Seltzer: Also, are any of you participating merchants in the
book publishing/selling business?
20:33:52 Venkat: Richard, lets say you have a website and you are already
monetizing the traffic to your site using traditional ad programs such as
Google, or other ad networks
20:34:22 sujamthe: Richard, thats my question too. It looks a lot like Adsense
from the concept, UI maybe different
20:34:26 Richard Seltzer: And can an affiliate (like me) choose to include or
exclude particular merchants and offers (for instance to avoid having ads for a
competitor appear on my site).
20:35:02 Venkat: Yes Su, it is similar to other online ads..but it iis mre
product oriented
20:35:06 Richard Seltzer: Yes, I use Adsense. I'd be interested in adding a
minimall thing if I understood it better.
20:35:12 Venkat: (sorry for the loose fingers)
20:35:16 Venkat: :)
20:35:35 Richard Seltzer: First, do you display only one promotion at a time?
And does that mean that the space taken up on the page remains constant?
20:35:59 Venkat: It works exactly like AdSense, but it will display products and
product deals
20:36:03 Richard Seltzer: And does the affiliate have any say over what
promotions appear?
20:36:26 Venkat: It will display one product at a time.
20:36:52 Richard Seltzer: One reason for the success of Adsense is that they
have hundreds of thousands (if not millions of participants. How many affiliates
do you have?
20:37:03 Venkat: It will rotate thru different products if you choose to, r if
you are interested in nly promoting one item, you can set the service to always
display the same item
20:37:20 Venkat: We have over 10,000 affiliates who already joined our network
20:37:37 Richard Seltzer: Like AdSense, does this mean I put code on every page
where I want this to appear?
20:37:50 Venkat: So, Richard you can chse t use this in the "selef service" mode
where you get thabe pick the items
20:38:09 Richard Seltzer: And does your software then determine what the context
is on each page and display a different offer on each page?
20:38:16 Venkat: or in the full service" mode, and our system will automatically
select matching products
20:38:49 Venkat: Advantage of using this in the "self service" mode is that it
can then be used along with AdSense
20:38:53 Richard Seltzer: FYI -- Adsense is often terrible about determining
context. At my site the ads are rarely appropriate/related.
20:39:08 Venkat: also you can get to only select and display the items of your
20:39:33 Richard Seltzer: Can I in self-service mode determine the overall
category of proeducts and then let your automation cycle through particular
products to display?
20:39:46 Venkat: We believe in giving the freedom of choice to the publisher
20:40:04 sujamthe: Adsense i supposed to find based on site content but goofs a
lot of times. How you do you find context?
20:40:13 Venkat: Yes. You and select a category
20:40:23 Richard Seltzer: Venkat -- interesting. You say that in self-service
mode it is compatible with Adsense. Does that mean that in the other mode it
20:41:13 Venkat: That si correct Richard. Google terms and conditions do nt
allow clients to use other contextual services
20:41:23 laks: I had not heard of chitika before this, I am curious to har of
teh 10,000 affiliates. What is their incentive
20:41:23 Richard Seltzer: Yes, how do you determine context? Some of my "pages"
are entire books (literally). Looking at the first paragraph won't tell you what
the page is about.
20:42:17 Richard Seltzer: I get about $300/month from Adsense. I have about 2000
pages (many book size). I get about 150,000 visitors/month.
20:42:29 Venkat: Incentive: An opportunity to supplement their current ad
revenue with revenue from merchandising revenue
20:42:54 Richard Seltzer: Is there any way to estimate what revenue I might get
from Chikita as an affiliate? (Presuming I go in self-service mode.
20:43:12 Venkat: Richard: With eMiniMalls you can continue to get your
$300/month and also earn additional revenue from our merchandising service
20:43:28 Richard Seltzer: Also, with self-service mode, do I put the same code
on every page?
20:43:52 Richard Seltzer: I'm trying to get a rough feel for what would be
reasonable to expect in additional revenue.
20:43:52 Venkat: That way you will be able to diversify and maximize your
revenue streams
20:45:21 Richard Seltzer: Do you pay on a basis similar to Adsense? (Monthly,
with a month delay?)
20:45:30 Venkat: It depends. We noticed that merchandising services like our
eMiniMalls will work best on sites with content related to products, product
reviews etc
20:46:00 Richard Seltzer: Venkat -- do you have publishers and booksellers among
your merchants?
20:46:17 Richard Seltzer: Much of my content deals with books and publishing.
20:46:27 Venkat: Payment model is very simialr to AdSense. Every click will earn
you revenue. You will get paid on a monthly basis
20:46:33 Richard Seltzer: Also is your code compatible with a WordPress blog?
20:46:52 Venkat: Yes. In fact we also have a word press pluggin
20:47:28 Richard Seltzer: I might also be interested in using your service as an
advertising medium. I publish books on CD and DVD.
20:47:59 Richard Seltzer: I've used Google Adwords, but it hasn't worked very
well for me.
20:48:13 Venkat: Essentially, we are leveraging the modle that worked well for
online advertising, adn we are now making it work for merchandiising
20:48:40 Richard Seltzer: What are your rates? Is this a space in which a small
cmpany can play (like Adwords)? Or is there a significant fixed cost?
20:49:07 Venkat: You can continue to use AdSense and also take our service out
for a spin and see if that works out for you
20:49:50 Richard Seltzer: My main problem will be trying to read content at the
Chikita site so I can learn the details, sign up etc.
20:49:54 Venkat: Richard, at this point we are only partnering with large scale
aggregators such as, Pricerunner etc
20:50:05 Richard Seltzer: is there some setting I should check in my IE browser?
20:50:11 Venkat: IN thew future we also want to offer this to individual sellers
20:50:17 Richard Seltzer: Or should I try a different browser, like Firefox?
20:50:35 Venkat: Can you try Firefox?
20:51:06 sujamthe: You have large affiliates 10K of them?
20:51:12 Richard Seltzer: I don't have Firefox right now. (I didn't have any use
for it, so I deleted it. But I can reinstall it easily and give it a try.
20:51:20 Venkat: Yes Su
20:51:57 Venkat: We launched the service late summer last year.
20:52:05 Richard Seltzer: I don't recall if you answered earlier -- do you have
publishers/booksellers among your merchandisers?
20:52:15 sujamthe: thats very impressive
20:52:40 Venkat: Richard can you please try this link:
20:53:03 Richard Seltzer: Suggestion -- it would be good to have a clear-text
explanation of your business model on your home page, with links for details, to
help people like me undestand the oppportunity.
20:53:36 Venkat: Absolutely. We are soon going to update our website
20:54:18 Richard Seltzer: Okay, at that url, I see an Amazon ad. So Amazon is
one of your partners. Anybody else in the publishing/bookselling busienss?
20:54:23 Venkat: Right now, we don't have books in our database. We are working
on launching a special eMiniMalls units specifically for books category
20:54:50 Richard Seltzer: Also, if I were to self-serve Amazon as an advertiser,
would the same Amazon offer appear on every one of my pages?
20:55:37 Richard Seltzer: That's unfortunate (that you don't have books yet).
20:55:37 Venkat: Here's the link to see all categories:
20:55:56 Richard Seltzer: So amazon ads would come up for all kinds of things
unrelated to my context...
20:56:17 Venkat: It will depend on the selected keyword
20:56:39 Richard Seltzer: In any chase, I definitely want to give this a try.
Thanks for your patience and your explanations.
20:57:06 Richard Seltzer: We're getting close to the end of the hour. All,
please post here your email addresses and URLs, so we can stay in touch.
20:57:41 Venkat: Not at all Richard. We are specially focusing on online
merchandising and we are working on bringing to the market, such interactive
services that will help online affiliate marketers
20:57:52 Richard Seltzer: I'll capture the raw transcript of this conversation,
and as soon as time allows, I'll edit it to more readable form and post it on
the Web so others can benefit from the info.
20:58:18 Venkat: Thanks Richard. It's a pleasure
20:58:21 sujamthe: Thanks Venkat
20:58:26 Venkat: Thanks Su.
20:58:52 Richard Seltzer: Thanks Venkat, and Jim and Laks and Su.

Business Chat Monday June 12 wtih Christoper Penn, host of Financial Aid Podcast

Please join us at on Monday, June 12 at noon - 1 PM Pacific Time, 3 - 4 PM Eastern Time. When you arrive at that blog, click on the diamond on right to join the chat.

We'll be chatting about "Broadcast Media and Podcasts" with guest Christopher Penn, host of Financial Aid Podcast.

Co-host Sudha Jamthe says, "I have listened to Podcasts of news items on the web, am not a regular carrying an ipod. I was at BarCamp Boston, the unconference ( the weekend of June 3/4 and presented a topic "Technology Commercialization: Concept to Business". Chris was there with a tiny recorder and produced the podcast and got it live so effortlessly ( I am sure he has mastered the efforts involved and has lots to share with us).

"That experience changed my perspective towards the world of Podcasts. The ease, the cost factor and the control in the hands of new broadcasters is amazing. Especially for BarCamp, it was an unconference, all arranged by the attendees on the fly and marketed by blogs and podcasts and online mailing lists. So, podcasts of the event was like live media coverage and its helped to reach more people who had missed BarCamp Boston.

"Let's chat with Christopher and understand the changes in the world of podcasts and all the technologies and trends right from a podcaster. Chris has hosted my talk from podcast here if you want to sample it (You can save or just open the mp3 file)."

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

2 June 2006 - 3pm EDT chat "Ecommerce in Web 2.0"

Our next chat will be this Friday (not Wednesday) from 3-4 PM Eastern Time (noon to 1 PM Pacific Time).
Our guest will be Venkat Kolluri, CEO, Chitika, Inc.
Co-host Sudha Jamthe notes: “In this new era of Web 2.0, has commerce on the net changed? We hear a lot about communities in everything. With searches and ad revenues as king of e-business, has old fashioned e-commerce changed? Is merchandising on a web site the same as before? Are there are new tools and techniques for doing traditional tasks? Are there new tasks that need to be taken care of?
“Chitika is the industry’s leading impulse merchandising company. Chitika was founded in May 2003 and is based in Massachusetts. Chitika (pronounced CHIH-tih-ka) helps web publishers generate revenue using innovative publisher-side advertising and merchandising solutions and services.”
Venkat Kolluri Bio: Venkat is co-founder of Chitika and has served as President & CEO since the company’s inception. Venkat oversees all of Chitika’s operations, including it’s strategic direction and product planning, as well as corporate development. Previously, Venkat worked at Upromise, leading the Partner Services group in the Database Marketing & Analytics division. Prior to Upromise, he worked at Lycos as the Principal Technologist in the Marketing Services group and spearheaded the development and launch of several innovative Advertising and Marketing Automation products and services across the Lycos Network.
Please join us at
When you arrive at that blog, click on the diamond on the right to join the chat.
Richard Seltzer

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Transcript (unedited) of May 9th chat - Participatory Media Communities with Paul Jones

15:00:21 Richard Seltzer: It's now 3 PM (Eastern Time). Let's get started. Paul, please introduce yourself and give us a quick overview of ibiblio.
15:00:58 sujamthe: I am back here
15:01:33 Richard Seltzer: Welcome, Ruby, we're just getting started. Please introduce yourself.
15:01:53 Richard Seltzer: Paul -- what's the main purpose and function of ibiblio?
15:02:35 Paul Jones: oops away for a moment
15:02:54 Richard Seltzer: I see that ibiblio used to be known as Are you still connected with the U. of North Carolina? Is your operation an education non-profit?
15:03:04 sujamthe: Hi Ruby
15:03:07 Paul Jones: ibiblio develops and serves people and group who want to share information freely
15:03:15 Richard Seltzer: Welcome, Jeff Smith, we're just getting started. Please introduce yourself.
15:03:30 Ruby: Hi, I'm Ruby Sinreich. I am the creator/editor/boss of a local politics blog in Chapel Hill. Just here to soak up some of Paul's wisdom...
15:03:40 Paul Jones: ]we began as the first sunsite in 1992
15:03:40 Jeff Smith: Hi Richard. Hi Everyone
15:03:50 Paul Jones: halloween officially and aappropriately
15:03:56 Paul Jones: trick and treat
15:04:05 sujamthe: I am a startup advisor and one of the organizers of this chat. Hi Richard, maybe you can intro yourself too :-))
15:04:25 Richard Seltzer: Paul -- that's a very broad definition. There's all kinds of information sharing int he world. Do you specialize in text or audio or video or software? And what is your business model? Is this an all-volunteer non-profit operation? Or do you make money s
15:04:28 Jeff Smith: I'm Jeff Smith; technical director and search optimization specialist at Matrix Media Technologies in San Diego, CA
15:04:45 Paul Jones: sunsite/metalab/ibiblio are part of the university of north carolina
15:04:49 sujamthe: Hi Jeff
15:05:05 Richard Seltzer: Welcome Sayan, please introduce yourself and let us know your interests.
15:05:07 Paul Jones: particularly the school of information and library science and
15:05:17 Jeff Smith: Hi Ruby
15:05:17 sujamthe: Pal, as sunsite it was not a community, like ibililio today, right?
15:05:17 Paul Jones: the school of journalism and mass communication
15:05:34 Richard Seltzer: So, Paul, are you an employee of UNC? or what is your role?
15:05:36 Sayan: I'm Sayan and I am a graduate student at the School of Information & Library Science here at UNC
15:05:36 Paul Jones: also for a long time part of the information tech services
15:05:55 Paul Jones: i'm faculty in both schools - journalism and info science
15:06:29 Richard Seltzer: I remember way back was one of the first and largest nodes on the Internet, and a great resources for public domain etexts. Even now don't you still serve as web host for the Gutenberg Project?
15:06:30 Paul Jones: i invented the sunsite program and the first site to be sunsite back a long time agao
15:06:32 Paul Jones: ago
15:06:51 Paul Jones: now we do much more as you can see by visiting
15:07:08 Paul Jones: among the sites we facilitate by hosting and by development
15:07:13 Ruby: By way of introduction, I am also a consultant to nonprofits who want to utilize social networks and network-centric strategies into their advocacy. So I'm in terested in the topic of "Participatroy Media Communities" from many angles.
15:07:13 Richard Seltzer: Paul, interesting. I've seen the term "sunsite" many times. But I'm not sure what it means (aside from some connection with Sun Microsystems). Can you clarify?
15:07:36 Paul Jones: on SunSITE. it stands for something like
15:07:45 sujamthe: I remember older online communities where it waas newsgroups and lot of mailing list, there were quite a few with local groups attached as part of the old Boston Computer Society
15:07:55 Paul Jones: SUN Software, Information and Technology Exchange
15:08:19 Richard Seltzer: I've visited ibiblio, but still am not sure of the scope of waht you do -- some links are to other sites and some are to files at your site; and I suppose some are to non-profits hosted at your site. What's your overall goal?
15:08:24 Paul Jones: we started as a way not only to share software but to share other formats
15:08:33 sujamthe: Paul, was it a community when it started? How has it changed as ibibilio?
15:08:42 Paul Jones: in what were then developing protocols
15:08:50 Paul Jones: let me catch up a bit
15:09:08 sujamthe: ok, I'll wait
15:09:21 Paul Jones: yes over 15 years we've changed but not so much in some ways
15:09:25 Richard Seltzer: So what is your connection with Gutenberg? Are you just the host offering them Web space? Or are you responsible for making their 15,000+ books easy to find and easy to download?
15:09:45 Paul Jones: we've had funding independent of Sun for about half our life now
15:10:04 Paul Jones: we do more formats and more ambitious projects and more software development
15:10:28 Paul Jones: also we've gone from just proving a sandbox
15:10:46 Richard Seltzer: Paul -- getting to Su's questions; I'm curious too, in what sense is ibiblio a "social community"? And did it get that way on purpose, or did you wake up one day and find that that was the case?
15:10:51 Paul Jones: to providing a place while still experimental is also an archive
15:11:18 Paul Jones: waaaay back we set up a portal called launchpad
15:11:32 Paul Jones: that gave access to the newsgroups etc that su mentioned
15:11:33 Richard Seltzer: I see lots of linux related archives at ibiblio, also lots of RSS feeds. Is linux a major project for you?
15:11:45 Brian Russell: hello. I'm a podcaster and blogger at which is hosted by
15:11:47 Paul Jones: we allowed annonymous reading for example
15:11:55 Paul Jones: which seemed important
15:12:00 Richard Seltzer: Welcome Brian. Please introduce yourself and let us know your interests.
15:12:32 Paul Jones: we also provided access to all of the GNU software and eventually, once it was invented, Linux
15:12:40 Brian Russell: I live in Chapel Hill, NC and work at UNC.
15:12:51 Richard Seltzer: Jeff -- I'm curious. Is there a connection between social networking/online communicties and the kind of search engine optimization work you normally do?
15:13:00 Paul Jones: so we had a software community and an active creative community
15:13:08 Richard Seltzer: Brian -- are you connected with ibiblio?
15:13:15 Brian Russell: I'm interested in bridging the digital divide, helping others learn how to make their own media.
15:13:28 Brian Russell: No. I am not connected with ibiblio. Just a fan and a user.
15:13:41 Paul Jones: brian put on the here with help from ibib
15:14:03 Paul Jones: do we want to talk about community?
15:14:07 Jeff Smith: Absolutely. The search engines are always looking for was to base rankings on less and less manipulatable data. Usage statistics are one metric that is very difficult to manipulate on a large scale.
15:14:10 Brian Russell: PodcasterCon is an unconference created by participants.
15:14:32 sujamthe: unconference?
15:14:46 Paul Jones:
15:14:52 Brian Russell: an unconference is basically an event where the particpants determine the content
15:14:57 Richard Seltzer: Paul -- so is the heart of your "community" software developers invovled in GNU sowtware and Linux? And is your main social activity making it easy for them to share and comment on and improve on that open source software? In other words, is this a piece
15:15:00 Brian Russell: we used a wiki
15:15:10 Jeff Smith: So, creating social functions on sites is a great way to convey a high degree of user satisfaction (ie visitor stays on site longer, visits more pages after finding it via search results)
15:15:31 Paul Jones: in ancient days yes. but now we're involved in many comminuties
15:15:43 Paul Jones: say tape traders at
15:15:50 Paul Jones: say video bloggers
15:15:59 Jeff Smith: Also, as links are the main ingredient to high rankings now we're looking to more social (viral) ways of doing link development. Much better than sending out reciprocal link requests!
15:16:05 Paul Jones: distributed editting at gutenburg
15:16:10 Sayan: book readers at
15:16:24 Paul Jones: GPS explorers at
15:16:45 Paul Jones: we are involved in supporting and developing communities of all kinds
15:16:50 Richard Seltzer: Jeff -- in other words, you want to work with sites that are online community hubs in some way? If so, how would you like to work with them? For instance, what business model could come into play with a site like ibiblio?
15:17:06 sujamthe: Jeff: what do you mean by social ways of link development, how its is different from viral, refer 6 friends for a service?
15:17:22 Paul Jones: is an open source blog sphere for example
15:18:00 Richard Seltzer: Jeff -- I perceive that some of the very best community sites operate in association with universities and are, for the most part non-profit. Are there advertising models that could be non-invasive adn consistent with the site's goals and that could help
15:18:02 sujamthe: Paul, its amazing, I saw, didn't realize so many other communities
15:18:04 Paul Jones: at present we don't do social linking like say digg or annotated links like
15:18:11 Brian Russell: lyceum is based on wordpress
15:18:14 Brian Russell: btw
15:18:17 Paul Jones: most are communities
15:18:36 Paul Jones: yes on lyceum. it's WP as install once run many blogs
15:18:44 sujamthe: Pl tell us about this public domain community trend - who are these people. techies only? what makes the groups self-governing?
15:18:53 Paul Jones: most are communities of practive
15:19:20 Paul Jones: k. amongst the groups we've been involved with early on is creative commons
15:19:31 Richard Seltzer: Paul -- do you do anything special with public domain books in etext form? or do projects like Gutenberg just use your computing capacity to make their stuff available?
15:19:38 Paul Jones: the international group is their latest
15:19:52 Paul Jones: yes and yes on books
15:20:15 Paul Jones: so we pretty much give tech support to gutenburg, but
15:20:16 Richard Seltzer: Paul -- I'm not familiar with all the current buzzwords. Can you define "communities of practice" and "creative commons", please?
15:20:56 Paul Jones: yes first this. with documenting the american south or we are more handson
15:21:06 Ruby Sinreich: Those are not buzzwords.
15:21:21 Ruby Sinreich: They are standards for online community building.
15:21:23 Paul Jones: "communities of practice" = folks that get to gether to do something specific
15:21:24 Richard Seltzer: Are all the sites and projects that you help and support "non-proft"? Often there are small and on-person operations on the web that have goals similar to non-profits.
15:21:32 Ruby Sinreich:
15:21:41 Paul Jones: say surfing, say knitting, say gps explorations
15:22:23 Paul Jones: creative commons goes international with
15:22:55 Richard Seltzer: Ruby. I'm still not clear on this. "Community" is a rather general and vague term. How do you define it? (I presume that you ahve to define it precisely in order to develop "standards" for it).
15:23:25 Paul Jones: but also for your amusement see larry lessig speaking in 1998 at unc at
15:23:46 Ruby Sinreich: I don't mean standards like things you measure, but like things that are standard or basic.
15:23:55 Richard Seltzer: Jeff -- can you give an example of a "more social way of doing link development"? is this someone, like me, with a small business/personal Web site could do?
15:24:03 Paul Jones: well the nature of communities is that they tend to define and redefine themselves
15:24:32 Paul Jones: so a group may start out as info about, literally, tibetan human rights and democracy
15:24:37 Jeff Smith: Richard - there is probably not a way, with advertising restrictions being what they are, that .edu sites can work in that way.
15:25:06 Paul Jones: and then some members decide they need to create an AIDs related site for Tibetans and visitors to Dharmasala
15:25:28 Paul Jones: the some others will work on that say
15:25:32 Richard Seltzer: Paul -- thants for the links/references. I'll track those down afterwards. (No time now). FYI -- I'll post an edited version of the transcript of this chat so we can go back and check such things, and point other people to the discussion who weren't ab
15:25:39 Jeff Smith: Jeff- Ok, here's an example of a social way of doing link development: We're developing a site, just like myspace, but for a large specific niche. The main differences are that we make some of our users money and we offer more of a rating based system.
15:26:23 Jeff Smith: The social link part is that we offer them code they can place on their blog, site, other sites' profiles, etc to get themselves "ranked" elsewhere and that links back to us.
15:26:27 Paul Jones: how about a site called FaceSpaceDiggilicousrrr
15:26:30 Jeff Smith: Sorry, didn't mean to put "Jeff-"
15:26:45 Brian Russell: I think Jeff has hit on precisely why not for profit sites (individuals and groups) are on the forefront of social networks. Commerce isn't clouding our innovation.
15:27:00 Paul Jones: it would combine face book, myspace, digg, flickr, flappr, and delicious
15:27:08 sujamthe: Ruby, I just saw your site and curious, whats network centric activism?
15:27:16 Brian Russell: because not for profits usually don't advertise we concentrate on movement buildign and education
15:27:39 Brian Russell: IMHO
15:27:43 Jeff Smith: So, what we would have paid thousands of dollars for we end up getting for free AND we've been able to give users a way to promote themselves and add unique content to their own sites.
15:27:46 Paul Jones: jeff how would that work on a highly hetrogenous site like ibiblio?
15:28:05 Jeff Smith: Brian, I'd have to say that MySpace is on the forefront.. would you?
15:28:12 sujamthe: Jeff, isn't it same as the prior model of companies asking to link to them as "powered by so and so"?
15:28:20 Ruby Sinreich: Well I don't want to fork this discussion even further, but network-centric advocacy is an an approach that puts activists first, allowing them to build and use their own social networks,a nd to lead movements from the bottom up.
15:28:20 Richard Seltzer: Brian -- interesting. I always throught of commerce as providing incentive for innovation, rather than clouding it. There are always far more things that you could do than you have time and resources to do. Commercial helps you sort out which to focus o
15:28:38 Jeff Smith: Suja - Similar, however this is dynamic content.
15:29:02 Jeff Smith: Our control panel makes it like AdSense
15:29:14 Brian Russell: jeff - in the mainstream MySpace may have the most users. Not sure if this equals forfront or not
15:29:18 Jeff Smith: they can customize everything to match and select which types of pictures to display, etc.
15:29:20 Paul Jones: i see
15:29:23 sujamthe: jeff, whats changes dynamically?
15:29:39 Richard Seltzer: Jeff -- do you have a Web page on which you explain your concept? It's a bit too complex for me to grasp on the fly like this.
15:29:41 Jeff Smith: Paul - I'm not exactly sure; it depends on teh goals of the site.
15:29:45 Paul Jones: not all innovation is driven by profit motive as even Jeff is telling us
15:30:06 Ruby Sinreich: Yes, Paul!
15:30:09 Paul Jones: see in particular Yochai Benkler's Wealth of Networks
15:30:10 Ruby Sinreich: Amen.
15:30:18 Jeff Smith: Richard - Actually, the site will be on our testing server in about 7 days. It should go live in about 3-4 weeks.
15:30:22 sujamthe: Paul, true, but profit motives is what brings in capital to scale it.
15:30:40 Paul Jones: Yochai talks intelligently about non-market production
15:30:49 Ruby Sinreich: A lot of key social technologies don't need capital.
15:30:50 Jeff Smith: Paul - Absolutely agree. It just requires resources.
15:30:53 Paul Jones: which is not opposed to market production
15:31:01 Jeff Smith: Different organizations obtain them different ways.
15:31:10 Ruby Sinreich: Resources = not just money.
15:31:11 Paul Jones: but is situated beside and interacting with the market
15:31:16 Ruby Sinreich: Are you all familiar with open source software?
15:31:24 Jeff Smith: Ruby - correct
15:31:29 Jeff Smith: Yes
15:31:30 Richard Seltzer: Paul -- It's my sense that there are several different stages to innovation. There's the early brainstorming phase, when you want untrrammelled creativity. Then once you have a thousand ideas on the table, you need to sort through them to determine whic
15:31:37 sujamthe: Agree, open source movement has diff motivation.
15:31:41 Ruby Sinreich: they have developed some amazingly powerful tools using non-monetary resources (ie: smart peopel who wantto help each other)
15:31:43 Paul Jones: yes OSS is one example in which non-market and market interact
15:31:43 Brian Russell: Richard - by clouding I mean priorities on commercial sites are different than not for profit sites and set you down a different path of decisions.
15:31:55 sujamthe: I am amazed at what motivates social communities like the ones Paul hosts?
15:32:31 Paul Jones: we've gotten a bit from ibibl
15:32:47 Paul Jones: hang on i've got a call from Khartoom
15:32:49 Paul Jones: literally
15:33:12 Richard Seltzer: Ruby -- for instance, open source projects like Linux, can go far in terms of development. But to take it to the next stage, to make it available for use by the non-technical public, you need a commercial incentive -- that's where companies like Red Hat
15:33:16 Paul Jones: back
15:33:34 Paul Jones: things don;t look to market driven there at the moment ;->
15:33:58 Richard Seltzer: Paul -- Khartoum? That's impressive. But a call? A physical phone call? You could have done that a little classier... :-)
15:34:02 Paul Jones: i would avoid deterministic frameworks like stages
15:34:05 Ruby Sinreich: What about Firefox?
15:34:06 Paul Jones: skype
15:34:17 Brian Russell: thunderbird
15:34:32 Brian Russell: Open Office
15:34:33 sujamthe: Riuby, sorry I missed if you already explained netcentric campaigns
15:34:34 Paul Jones: yes market opportunities arise from non-market
15:34:40 Ruby Sinreich: OSS can bu just as user-friendly and accesible as commercial software. cometimes more so.
15:34:45 Paul Jones: byt not necessarily in stages
15:34:52 Ruby Sinreich: I did, Su. Scoll up. :-)
15:35:02 Paul Jones: skype to khrtoom
15:35:10 Richard Seltzer: Paul and Ruby -- I'm getting the sense that when you talk about "community" you primarily mean a community of software developers working on open software projects. Is that the case?
15:35:21 Ruby Sinreich: that's one kind of community.
15:35:35 Ruby Sinreich: i often think of the community of people who participate on my local politics blog.
15:35:47 Ruby Sinreich: or the community of friends I have on flickr, for example.
15:35:49 Paul Jones: only one type of community of practice
15:35:53 Paul Jones: folks that do something
15:36:02 Ruby Sinreich: Yep.
15:36:02 Paul Jones: and build something
15:36:08 Richard Seltzer: Paul and Ruby -- if you experience is primarily with sosftware developer communities, are any of the lessons you have learned from that community development applicable to profit-making businesses and non-technical users of the Internet?
15:36:13 Paul Jones: and yes there are market opportunities there
15:36:48 Paul Jones: well, the cluetrain folks have the more or less early take on web 2.0
15:36:59 Ruby Sinreich: I'm not interested in profit-making businesses, personally. My primary experiences are with nonprofits that advocate for certain causes.
15:37:17 Paul Jones: so that is one interaction between
15:37:22 Paul Jones: profit is fine by me
15:37:25 Ruby Sinreich: Ditto, Paul.
15:37:27 Richard Seltzer: Paul and Ruby -- when you think of a "community" how many people are you talking about? less than a dozen? more than a dozen? hundreds? thousands? millions? are different capabilities important for supporting communities of radically different size?
15:37:48 Paul Jones: both can interact and benefit
15:38:02 Paul Jones: getting a darfur report in the background
15:38:09 Sayan: and they can scale up from being small to hundred...
15:38:24 Ruby Sinreich: there is no limit to how small or lareg a community can be, it depends on what its function is.
15:38:38 Ruby Sinreich: social networks usually top out around 150 and then get unweildy.
15:39:14 Richard Seltzer: Ruby -- My take is a bit different. I think of a "non-profit" as basically bureaucracy driven -- starting from the bureaucratic hoops one has to jump through to satisfy government tax-related definitions of non-profit. Small operations (say one-person c
15:39:29 sujamthe: Interesting enough, the cluetrain folks were here at the older version of this chat in Feb 2000
15:39:48 Paul Jones: well tha;s one way to do it
15:40:00 Ruby Sinreich: "non-profit" is a description of an organization's tax status, but doesn't really describe what it is.
15:40:24 Paul Jones: but remember america always amazed europeans because we all volunteer so much
15:40:34 sujamthe: Paul, what are the market opportunites you see?
15:40:39 Ruby Sinreich: a nonprofit or nongovernmental organizaion is simply a collection of people who want to incorporate for an altruistic purpose instead of making money.
15:40:39 Paul Jones: and we always form and join organizations
15:40:40 Richard Seltzer: Yes, the principles of Cluetrain are basic princiiples of interaction on the Internet and good business practice on the Intenret and respecting customers and doing what you can to serve your audience. Nothing non-profit about it.
15:40:50 Paul Jones: in OSS for example
15:41:07 Paul Jones: you saw Cygnus early on interacting with GNU
15:41:25 sujamthe: I see this trend of communities evolving beyond the OSS world, and can think of market opportunities for specific businesses if they took it in the spirit of the community
15:41:34 Ruby Sinreich: I think of teh Cluetrain Manifesto as network-centric marketing.
15:41:39 Paul Jones: you see many interactions with Linux from Red Hat to Ubantu
15:41:40 Paul Jones: the last being almost a humanitarian project
15:41:54 Ruby Sinreich: Nonprofits can adapt cluetrain ideas by replacing the work "customer" with "supporter"
15:41:57 Paul Jones: marketing is message communitcation
15:42:07 Richard Seltzer: Ruby -- the key word there is "incorporate". Small companies don't need to do that, don't need to tie themselves up that way. (Sorry. Personal prejudice of mine. I see too many traditioanl non-profits wasting lots of time and energy raising money, when
15:42:16 Ruby Sinreich: sorry, the wor_D_
15:42:21 Paul Jones: IBM interacting with Apache is another example
15:42:43 Ruby Sinreich: i don't see what incorporating has to do with it. some communities do, some don't.
15:43:04 Ruby Sinreich: BTW Richard, your posts are getting cut off after 2 lines.
15:43:13 Brian Russell: Nice chatting with ya'll. I need to go back to work.
15:43:17 Brian Russell: :)
15:43:26 sujamthe: incorporation is more for legal protection where money is involved.
15:43:30 Paul Jones: i agree incorporating is one way to deal with problems and challenges
15:43:35 Richard Seltzer: Ruby -- thanks for letting me know about the cut offs.
15:43:36 Paul Jones: yes
15:43:54 Richard Seltzer: I see all of what I type here on the "host" page I'm using and didn't know others didn't.
15:43:57 sujamthe: Thanks for coming Brian, you can come back and read the transcripts, Richard will edit so we can read diff threads of discussions.
15:44:02 Paul Jones: but one can still make $$$ unincorporated as many third world economies prove
15:44:09 Richard Seltzer: Of course, my greatest insights appear on line 3 :-)
15:44:10 Paul Jones: and BTW underground economies
15:44:17 Ruby Sinreich: :-)
15:44:50 Paul Jones: can we post images here? (big sandstrom in khartoom
15:45:05 Richard Seltzer: I'm still a bit fuzzy on the word "community"
15:45:25 sujamthe: no images, send a url for it
15:45:32 Paul Jones: that's because you want a solid def of a negotiated meaning
15:45:41 Richard Seltzer: Paul -- No. We can't post images here. But give me a URL and I'll include a link (or even the phicture) in the transcript.
15:45:45 Paul Jones: not online so later if appropriate
15:46:01 Paul Jones: the perils of multitasking
15:46:09 Richard Seltzer: Paul -- you could email at photo at
15:46:36 sujamthe: I am trying to get to some key understanding of whats changed now to cause these communities to form?
15:46:39 Richard Seltzer: I sense that there many different degrees of community interaction.
15:47:03 Richard Seltzer: Basic is letting people ask questions and posting their questiosn and your answers on your Web page.
15:47:14 Richard Seltzer: The automated form of that basic interaction is a blog.
15:47:35 Sayan: suja.. i think the tools to interact within and outside the community have become available, easy to use and usually free
15:47:35 Richard Seltzer: Next is a chat or forum, when more than two people interact on the same subject.
15:47:36 Paul Jones: ibiblio isn''t limitied to commiunities thos
15:47:49 sujamthe: I've been part of Bostobn Computer Society and know people can volunteer passionately and do wonderful work. But creating something thats sustains itself, doesn't it require a company? whats the variable that makes these communities survive and perform
15:47:50 Paul Jones: passionate individuals also have projects
15:48:02 Richard Seltzer: Next is a series of interactions -- the same set of people returning with some regularity to talk about the same subject.
15:48:11 Paul Jones: for example 10 years ago Roger McGuinn started putting
15:48:20 sujamthe: Thanks sayan, you mean, I can setup a wiki and allow a community to build?
15:48:37 sujamthe: I have an example of a successful community
15:48:37 Richard Seltzer: Next is goal-oriented continuing discussion -- where the people involved are actually coming to a decision and will take action of some kind together.
15:48:51 Paul Jones: a different folksong on the net every month
15:49:06 Paul Jones: now he has over 100 songs
15:49:19 Richard Seltzer: Next is something like "continuous devleopment: or "continuous improvement" as with open-ended, growing software and political projects.
15:49:22 Sayan: suja.. if u already have friends as seed members of a community , instead of writing individual mails... u can start contributing to a blog/wiki
15:49:29 Paul Jones: and he sells CDs and sells out concerts
15:49:31 sujamthe: my friend paul english started a cheatsheet to get to the operator in 800 numbers and its evolved into a community volunteer driven and maintains the list.
15:49:54 Jeff Smith: Suja, that ?
15:49:56 Paul Jones: yes on community. the tech only facilitates the people
15:49:59 sujamthe: It appears motivation is access to those short-cuts, but theres something more.
15:50:11 Richard Seltzer: Su -- Can you give a quick definition of a wiki and how that relates to "communityh"?
15:50:15 Paul Jones: imagine a blank craig's list!
15:50:21 sujamthe: Do you see anything else common ora driving factor forming these communities?
15:50:31 Richard Seltzer: Paul -- in what sense is ibiblio related to "wiki" style development?
15:50:35 Paul Jones: passion
15:50:49 Paul Jones: passion as an answer to su
15:51:04 Richard Seltzer: It's possible that a more concrete definition of social community would focus on the software it is built around.
15:51:10 Paul Jones: now to richard. wiki is a specific tech
15:51:18 sujamthe: wiki is a tool like a blog, but allows users to come edit a web site.
15:51:38 Richard Seltzer: I'm thinking forum/chat, blog, etc. And maybe "wiki" now (if I had a clearer idea of what that meant).
15:51:45 Paul Jones: wikis are on ibiblio but they really do require an active core of people to keep alive
15:51:48 sujamthe: passion for a cause thats the initial goal of the community?
15:52:16 Paul Jones: not a goal but a driver to the goal
15:52:22 Sayan: yes
15:52:22 sujamthe: Richard you know wikipedia, wiki tools are available for people to allow others to write.
15:52:23 Richard Seltzer: What' makes a "wiki" work? What makes it grow to a community?
15:52:37 Paul Jones: if you wanted to create a community of folks interested in cream of wheat
15:52:55 Paul Jones: and no one cared enough to post or work on the site etc
15:53:01 Paul Jones: then you get zip
15:53:01 sujamthe: Many user groups have wikis to allow members to post their bio and if they'd attend a meeting, remember the Boston Innovation Group wiki?
15:53:08 Richard Seltzer: I understand that wikipedia grew up around the 1911 edition of the Encyclopedia Britiannica, with volunteers adding to that, and then refining one anothers contributions.
15:53:09 Paul Jones: you may have all the goals you want
15:53:32 Paul Jones: if people if only a few if only you say are passionate about cream of wheat
15:53:39 Richard Seltzer: Do you need a large and useful document, and a group of people who really care about that document, to built a wiki community?
15:53:49 Paul Jones: passionalte enough to work and contribute and build
15:54:01 Paul Jones: you may attract others who share that passion
15:54:10 sujamthe: Paul, good point. Thats where many companies who adopted chat and forum failed as they couldn't build community.
15:54:27 Richard Seltzer: Paul -- I understand the need for passion. But don't you also need core document to begin with?
15:54:34 sujamthe: Even today most think of community as the people already on their site.
15:54:36 Paul Jones: not really.
15:54:40 Ruby Sinreich: Richardm i don't think you need a docuemnt. Just people who have passion and knowledge or ideas.
15:54:46 sujamthe: Paul, a pratical question -
15:54:55 Richard Seltzer: Don't you need a seed? (and isn't a large useful text the most natural seed?)
15:54:59 Jeff Smith: Depending on the commerciallness of the topic of your wiki or the topics covered in your wiki you need more moderating.
15:55:00 Paul Jones: as jenny preece says in her Online Communities book:
15:55:08 Ruby Sinreich: No, just a topic.
15:55:21 Paul Jones: you need people (i'd say passionate people), purpose, and policy
15:55:37 Jeff Smith: "Just people who have passion and knowledge or ideas." Aggree
15:55:39 Jeff Smith: Agree
15:55:40 Sayan: topic and a willingness to build up from scratch if need be
15:55:41 Ruby Sinreich: Rivhard, it seems you are assuming users are only re-active, they can also be pro-active.
15:55:51 Richard Seltzer: Jeff -- I'd think that a core document and wiki style adding and editing might accomplish your goals.
15:55:58 Paul Jones: that helps a lot but sometimes it will develop in the interactions
15:56:04 sujamthe: Richard and I have been organizing this chat since 1996, I am more involved now in this blogchat format. We have a loyal base of users who are on our mailing list, some come if it suits their timing to the chat, many come and read the transcripts -
15:56:10 Paul Jones: if you are looking for a wiki cookbook
15:56:20 sujamthe: Richard religiously edits so the threads are readable.
15:56:22 Paul Jones: then youcan say that
15:56:38 Paul Jones: thank gawd for richard!
15:56:40 sujamthe: For some topics, people email ahead of time with comments if they can't make it.
15:56:43 Richard Seltzer: Ruby -- No. I imagine a wiki community consisting of many very interested and active people. it's just easier for me to imagine them sticking together and working together is there's a core document.
15:56:45 Paul Jones: typing is not writing
15:56:52 Paul Jones: speaking is not writing
15:57:05 Jeff Smith: I think for starters you need a goal with a Wiki. If you define a goal then the users can help shape the wiki to meet that goal.
15:57:14 Paul Jones: this highly interactive commnuication is good in this form but
15:57:23 Jeff Smith: IE to have the largest recipe database online.
15:57:25 Jeff Smith: ,et c
15:57:27 Paul Jones: reading it later it's hard ot make sense
15:57:44 Sayan: some wikis start off with just a blank structure,,, which people fill in the gaps and add content
15:57:55 sujamthe: Paul, now, is this a community? Is it possible to make it a wiki or some other tool based system to let a community drive its goals. Currently Richard and I set the goals on learning web trends and evolvng b-models, can this be a self-driving community?
15:57:57 Paul Jones: right jeff. purpose, policy, people
15:58:08 Richard Seltzer: Paul -- Okay. This will be a challenge, to reconstitute the threads of this discussion in readable from. But that's what we always do.
15:58:23 sujamthe: Whats the formula to make it happen? More to decide if it fits the participatory community model?
15:58:28 Richard Seltzer: I only hope I can do it well this time, because the discussion has been very intersting.
15:59:08 Paul Jones: how to describe a commnuity model is a lot like describing the ideal government
15:59:17 Paul Jones: it varies by culture
15:59:23 Richard Seltzer: I guess what I'm looking for is a model for building a useful and productie community. I suspect wiki based, and with a core document.
15:59:37 Paul Jones: but preece's 3 ps are fairly useful
15:59:44 Richard Seltzer: Paul -- and many people have tried to describe the ideal govenment...
16:00:02 Paul Jones: plato is the worst
16:00:19 Paul Jones: no one has it perfect but they keep tuning
16:00:36 Richard Seltzer: In any case, we're at the end of the hour. Thanks to all. Please post your email addresses and URL so we can stay in touch.
16:00:47 Paul Jones: i suspect we're not done getting government right
16:00:50 Paul Jones: ;->
16:00:52 Richard Seltzer: Thanks very much Paul in particular, as our guest speaker.
16:01:03 Ruby Sinreich: Thanks Richard & Su for putting this together.
16:01:04 Paul Jones: hope you can read my typing
16:01:11 Richard Seltzer: Please let us know if you have topics and speakers you'd like to suggest for future sessions.
16:01:14 Paul Jones: thanks for inviting me. it's been fun
16:01:20 Paul Jones: will do
16:01:24 Jeff Smith: Thanks everyone
16:01:27 sujamthe: Thanks everybody. Thanks Paul
16:01:30 Paul Jones: sorry to miss su in cambridge
16:01:32 Sayan: this was very interesting and fun ! thanks !
16:01:38 Richard Seltzer: Thanks to all. Do please post contact info before leaving.
16:01:44 sujamthe: Paul, pl tell people about your conference topic and time at harvard
16:01:57 Paul Jones:
16:01:59 Jeff Smith: Jeff Smith
16:02:02 sujamthe: I am so soooooooory I'l miss it :-(
16:02:09 Ruby Sinreich: You can find me at there are links there to my other things.
16:02:14 Sayan: Sayan Chakraborty
16:02:16 Richard Seltzer: Richard Seltzer
16:02:18 Paul Jones: beyond broadcast
16:02:32 Richard Seltzer: Thanks again.
16:02:39 Paul Jones: friday and saturday at the berkman center at harvard law
16:02:56 Paul Jones: paul jones <>
16:03:02 Ruby Sinreich: Bye y'all.
16:03:16 Paul Jones: sea ewe l8r
16:04:01 Sayan: Bye !
16:04:18 sujamthe: Pal, say hi to Bill Gannon, and tell him about this chat, I've xchanged emails with him and would like to invite him here sometime in future.
16:04:32 sujamthe: Bye everybody

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Open Phone movement for community built phone 05/10/2006 New can-do club wants to build better cell phone

Thought this was a nice addition to our chat y'day about participatory media communities.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Click below to join our chattoday

Sunday, May 07, 2006

May 9th noon PDT chat - Participatory Media Communities

What: Blogcom chat "Participatroy Media Communities"
Guest: Paul Jones, director of Paul Jones director of ibiblio known as “The Public’s Library — a large contributor-run digital library.” Paul also has on-going research interest in Open source and Sharing Communities and Information policy issues.
When: Tues May 9th 3pm EDT

Web 2.0 sure has an unique trend that people seem more empowered and are interacting as online communities.

The open source movement has been around for while and its more than online communities with a disciplined set of smart people developing ad building upon each other work building out the public domain. Now we can find equivalent of every possible commercial software in the open source world.

We hear lot of talk about social communities following friendster and It seems to be teens or young crowd of a certain profile.

Whats not be talked about much, is the public domain communities that have taken the open source model and built out participatory communities on topics ranging over a wide spectrum. Its a community of geographically diverse people and they follow the discipline of formingand adhering to the rules of the community in forming online content.

wikipedia,, several other wiki based communities all form under this category.

Whats their magic? What do they teach us? What is the change that has caused people to galavanize such communities online and where is it going? where is it taking us?