Wait...how could it be Friday already?
OK. Well...here's this weeks Featured Foto:
OK, I'll admit that's not the most exciting foto I've ever taken/posted. But this is an instance in which looks can be deceiving. The picture is Room 172 in Uris Hall at Columbia University, where last night Yaron Samid convened the
fourth (or fifth?...actually, sixth!) meeting of the NY Video 2.0 Group. It was the second meeting I've attended. About 150 intrepid souls braved a frigid NY winter evening to learn about the newest developments in the world of online video.
Now, regular readers know I've been fascinated by YouTube for months. I've created and posted over 100 videos and formed some great relationships. I've seen evidence of warmth, humor, generosity, ennui, idiocy, envy, sloth (alright already!) and many, many gratuitous acts of cruelty. That is to say, modern society is once again taking itself online, this time in video form.
Last night's group heard from five entrepreneurs (one of whom is preneuring inside a monster company). First up, Michael Smolens of dotSUB, a company bringing a Wikipedia-model of collaboration to the process of subtitling online video into roughly 50 languages. Very cool.
Second was Jeff Pulver, founder of Network2.tv, (after he co-founded Vonage, that is) a service that enables users to "create your own network" by aggregating video material and watching on anything from a browser to an iPod. With his history, I'd advise not betting against Jeff.
Next, Mark Siry of NBBC.com. No, that's not me stuttering, it's the name of a new B2B service within NBC, enabling content licensors, distributors and advertisers to "work together more effectively to monetize digital video." I'm all for that!
Then, David Dundas of YouAre.tv, which looks suspiciously like that other video site starting with You, but has actually been around longer. David's focusing his business on the indie filmmaker and promises revenue sharing with content creators. Once again, a cause close to my heart!
Finally, Aaron Cohen of Bolt.com talked about his site and his vision of a model for the future of online video. Cohen believes that while lots of companies are building widgets to enable them to increase their reach, few are focusing on what he sees as the bigger opportunity, growing page views/second. The latter is certainly a more challenging task, but Cohen believes that's where the gold is in this era he compares with 1849 California. Cohen's talk was the least promotional, most conceptual, of the evening.
All of the talks were interesting, but the most exciting element was looking around the room at the eager, enthusiastic, energetic group of VCs, entrepreneurs, vloggers, artists, geeks and dreamers. This looks like the kind of group that comes together around big ideas.
I'll be back for the Feb. 22 meeting. If you're in the NYC area, I advise you do the same.
Have a great weekend.