On the Woes of Working on Enterprise Collaboration Software

Microsoft: “We have wikis in Sharepoint 2007!”
Translation: “We have hacked a SharePoint library to implement ~1/5 of the features that MediaWiki had in beta, and we only support the three percent of bog-standard html tags that our dancing monkey boy intern was able to implement between taking belly shots at the bars in Redmond. Have you seen the Aero-y powerpoint slide that says ‘Wiki!’ and the five shiny buttons on the edit panel yet?”

Of course, it’s my lot in life, and help (perpetually) just around the corner.

August 7th, 2007 | IT, Microsoft, Technology, Web, Wiki | No comments

Building a WMD

The WMD, aka Weichbrodt Media Display, aka Weapon of Mass Distraction.

In moving to St. Louis, we’ve somehow marched backwards in time in regard to Cable TV technology. Whereas Comcast , for all that I hated it , did in fact offer an HD DVR that I could rent for $10/mo, the otherwise enlightened Charter offers no DVR at all. This has caused great wailing and gnashing of teeth in the Weichbrodt house. As is my custom, I’ve examined the issue and offer the following analysis.

Fundamentally, there are three models for distributing media content out right now.

  1. Old Media: Get your shows through a provider. Cable, Satellite, Over-the-air. This is the traditional model.
  2. New Media: Purchase your shows through an internet distributor. iTunes, Amazon, Real, etc. Tech companies trying to bridge the gap between where consumers are and where pop content is currently published.
  3. Free Media: Share your shows via the internet. RSS, Bittorrent. Pay for bandwidth, share what you will.

Unfortunately, the content is different across the three models. Watching the Champions League match between Barcelona and Chelsea live can only be done using Old Media, while watching House can be done with all three, and watching Rocketboom can only be done with New Media & Free Media.

These models are leaky–there is overlap between what iTunes and what RSS cover, for example. Just rough models, then.

The second background item is timeshifting. The ability to watch a show despite when/where it was first released. Tivo is a popular way to do this to content from Old Media. RSS may be timeshifted due to its very definition. The trick is, some ways of timeshifting lag. Tivo doesn’t lag–as soon as the show starts, Tivo lets you timeshift. Bittorrent has a (comparitely) huge lag: a show must be broadcast, captured, encoded, and fully shared before viewing may begin.

I’ve built a spreadsheet of my options. Comment back with what you think I should do.

November 1st, 2006 | Media, Technology | 1 comment