Saturday, June 09, 2007

I, Cringely . The Pulpit . Whistlebox | PBS

 Interesting profile of a start-up building on Flash, Flex, and Flash Media Server.  See the post for more details.

It would be crazy not to add a video-response capability to NerdTV, but how? Up to now there have been two ways to add video response -- one easy but far from ideal and the other very expensive and time-consuming. The first approach is to leverage YouTube or one of its competitors, mashing up some code to allow NerdTV users to submit response videos to YouTube, with those videos also embedded in the NerdTV page. This is relatively simple, free, and gets the job done, but it can be a more effective tool for sending my users to YouTube than for keeping them at NerdTV, which I would prefer.

The second alternative approach would be to write my own video-response application. This is a LOT of work. Not only do I have to write and debug all that code, I have to find a way to host the video responses and maintain the whole mess, which can easily grow to thousands of responses to my few dozen shows. That means building a database. If I am a YouTube competitor, writing my own application is a no-brainer, but I'm not a YouTube competitor. What I need is the Salesforce.com of video-response applications. I need Whistlebox.

If you are wondering why you've never heard of Whistlebox, that would probably be because to my knowledge nobody has written about it before. Whistlebox is a self-funded start-up based in Brooklyn, New York, and unless you are friends or family of the founders, it has been a big secret right up to this moment. But since I am planning to use Whistlebox for NerdTV, that secret is out.

I, Cringely . The Pulpit . Whistlebox | PBS

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