Posts Tagged ‘podcast’

Jono Bacon speaks to Oracle on the MySQL Community

Jono Bacon recently spoke with Luke Kowalski, Oracle VP in the Corporate Architecture Group, about community in the context of MySQL. I’ve known Jono for sometime now, and I first met Luke at the MySQL Conference & Expo 2010 – I found out that we have a common shared interest: Formula One racing! Jono is somewhat of an expert in online, opensource communities – he after all did write the definitive book that O’Reilly published titled The Art of Community.

The video has made its way online, and Jono wrote a brief (and you can watch the video within his post) about what was discussed. You can also get it as a podcast – just subscribe to Oracle Technology Network TechCasts in your podcatcher.

Its under 25-minutes to watch or listen to, and I’d highly recommend you to take a look if you care about community, MySQL and direction. Choice quote: “Oracle needs to make a firm commitment to acting within the culture and ethos of Open Source to have an effective, fulfilling relationship with the MySQL community”. Definitely watch the video.

Business models, new media, and verticals

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about business models and new media with a specific focus on verticals. I’m passionate about the open source movement, and have been involved with free software since the mid-90′s. In fact, I’ve earned my crust, all these years, thanks to open source, so I have no complaints there!

Anyway, lets talk about new media. I’m thinking specifically around podcasts, video podcasts, and even online magazines.

Online magazines

We’ve seen the demise of LinMagAU (regularly hit Slashdot, when it was running), and even the MyOSS Magazine, all labours of love. In this space, I think the most successful magazine that sits online today, is Linux Weekly News (LWN). And they do it, thanks to having a business model – affordable subscriptions (USD$5/month), or group subscriptions.

Podcasts/Video podcasts

I think one of the most successful podcasts, is the now defunct LugRadio. So popular, they even managed to create a conference around it (LugRadio Live!).

That seemed to run on pure love, with sponsors for hosting. I don’t recall any ads, and I think they did it for the fun of it. Now if you search for “Linux” in the iTunes Podcast directory, there are just under 150 related podcasts (and video podcasts, maybe), that have Linux or an open source connotation in them.

Their quality varies. Some aren’t even updated any longer. One of the most successful FLOSS podcasts, that have a business model behind it, seems to be FLOSS Weekly (part of the whole twit.tv army that Leo Laporte has). They have advertising on the TWiT network, and you can support the network via donations (one time contribution, $2/mo, $5/mo, or $10/mo recurring). This stuff works via Paypal, and I can’t imagine the $2/month recurring option makes so much sense (considering Paypal fees that go with it). Plus you can buy some merchandise (something you can do, when you’re established).

Something that has recently caught my eye, is the Ubuntu Podcast. Its a video podcast, they accept Paypal donations. It also seems like a labour of love.

Hosting

Media (audio, and video files aren’t small) hosting and delivery isn’t cheap. The TwIT network makes use of CacheFly, and they’re not cheap, though they seem to have a reliable, global CDN. The Ubuntu Podcast seem to use DreamHost, who must have affordable hosting options, as they host their videos on the site too.

And that’s the other thing – if you’re doing something in the open source vertical, you better have multiple file formats. You want to provide audio files using MP3′s, yes, because people have iPod’s, and they might want to play it in their cars, but for the purists, you need to have OGG files too. That just about doubles your storage space. Think video, and you will start to cringe.

YouTube seems like a good hosting platform, with sensible CDNs, but you’ve got a 10-minute video clip limit (which might be a good thing). Blip.tv wants to help you monetise your video, however, getting video from them in Malaysia is a painful experience, so far. TWIST uses ustream.tv – I haven’t tested them out yet.

Business plans

A lot of labours of love, work for a while, but then die in time. It seems that unless you have a kosher business model, you’re not in it for the long haul. LWN and the TwIT network seem to have got it right – you need to get some kind of income, to defray the cost of doing business.

Advertising

Are most open source people blind to ads? I recently checked my Google Analytics account and found that no Linux users clicked on any of the ads on my blog. The Windows users were kinder than the Mac users, naturally. So Google AdSense might cover things like the cost of hosting, but its not exactly a business model.

Looking for sponsors might make some sense. I don’t know what the TwIT network rates are, but Jason Calacanis has This Week in Startups, and his rate is currently at:

Each commercial is $1,000 and you can purchase them in 10 week run by emailing sponsors@thisweekinstartups.com. All sponsors must be pre-approved and have groovy products like DNAMail and Ustream (our first two products).

This is a new show, and the projections are anywhere between 10,000 – 25,000 viewers in the first six months after it debuts. At a size of nearly 1GB for an 18 minute podcast, I wonder if that’s being kind?

So it comes down to finding sponsors, who believe in what you’re doing. And donations might work (it works for No Agenda with John C. Dvorak and Adam Curry, and it seems to work for the TwIT network of shows).

Subscriptions work, if you have premium content (LWN), that people can sample for free a week later.

So, what are the up front costs?

Quite simply:

  • A good mic [for audio podcasts]
  • A (cheap) video camera (Flipcams seem to work even these days) [for video podcasts]
  • Hosting [this requires a lot of thought - remember that bandwidth isn't as luxurious all around the world]

It looks like there might be some time involved in post-production. The tools are available fairly easily, on most operating systems that you’re on (though I hear, iMovie on the Mac is about the best for video on the cheap).

And yes, I’ve not figured out where to host podcasts or video podcasts yet….

Podcast hosting options?

I’ve been looking around to find a host for podcasts, while toying with the idea of hosting it in Malaysia on my box as well. Self hosting has the advantage that its free, but at the same time, it may not be as fast for others outside the country, and then I’ve got to worry about it being a bandwidth hog.

I’ve been looking at PodBean, as well as libsyn. They all tend to have the same feature set: storage space that grows on a monthly basis, unmetered bandwidth, all starting at about USD$5/month. PodBean seems to offer just that little bit more, it seems, with video podcasting being supported just as well (this is a reason why the self-hosting mechanism isn’t one I’m after).

So, do you podcast? What do you use? Why?

Podcast directory not available in iTunes Malaysia

You know what’s disgusting? I knew that I couldn’t purchase music at the iTunes Store (see A plea to Apple), but yesterday I found out I couldn’t even look at the podcast directory. In fact, no Malaysian using the Malaysian store can. Podcasts are free Apple.


iTunes podcast directory not available in Malaysia?
The item you’ve requested is not currently available in the Malaysian Store

And here I was wondering why there aren’t more Malaysian podcasts. Do you listen to a Malaysian podcast? Tell me what it is.

In fact, can anyone tell me if they have access to the AppStore but not the music/podcast store? That means… do Singaporeans get access to podcasts? Music? Thanks.

On Ma.gnolia, and data recovery

There’s a good podcast from Chris Messina and Larry Halff, about what really happened at Ma.gnolia. If you’re at all interested in what happened (i.e. how did they lose all their bookmark data), don’t hesitate to watch the video. I took some quick notes:

  • half a terabyte database file got corrupted
  • a mysql 5 database
  • everything was running even though there was corruption, and eventually, the site went down
  • backup system also failed, as it didn’t backup the data from mysql
  • backup was just backing up corrupted data (file sync over a firewire network was the backup mechanism)
  • a Rails application, he now recommends clouds over running your own infrastructure for startups
  • a couple of xserves (for database, etc.) and four intel mac minis as front end web servers
  • the site didn’t actually make any money

So I don’t know if Baron can rescue Ma.gnolia, per se, but I think the problem was largely:

Doing a file sync over the Firewire network, as the backup mechanism

You can’t safely backup MySQL that way. I don’t know what mechanism was used, but it sounds like rsync, and as much as I love rsync, I wouldn’t use it to backup a live running MySQL database that way.

With two servers, there should have been MySQL replication.

I’m curious if the data recovery Baron talks about is that of using the utility ddrescue? After all, ddrescue gets the raw data off the block device, without even trying to mount it. After that, you can attempt to recover the MySQL data off disk. In fact, I was surprised that the Ubuntu folk have a very nice Data Recovery page – no information about extracting MySQL databases, but its nothing a little hackery won’t get you.

I tried to ping Larry on Twitter, to ask what engine they were using… No response, per se. Good luck, and I hope the users get their data back, in time!

MySQL Rocks: Wen Huang, in Makati City, Philippines

I’m at the Sun Tech Days in beautiful Philippines, and all I can say is the energy is tremendous. I’m hearing there are about 1,400 attendees, and this number might grow tomorrow.

Armed with a video camera, I decided to take a few video snapshots. My first victimguest on my yet to be named videocast is Wen Huang, Product Manager for NetBeans, at Sun Microsystems.

Wen Huang has been a MySQL user since 1999, and had a past life as a web developer in various web shops, some large, some small. One commonality he had at all his jobs though is that they always use MySQL.

He’s an action junkie, preferring to have the latest version of the MySQL database all the time, and can’t wait for MySQL 5.1 when it comes out. Do remember that there exists a NetBeans with Glassfish and MySQL bundle. I’ve also blogged about this before, don’t hesitate to read my review titled NetBeans 6.1 with GlassFish, MySQL bundle.

So there you have it. Go forth, and try the great bundle, as its an all-in-one install of an IDE, an application server, and a database server.


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