In geek speak, it's called "computing in the cloud" To most people it's more clearly understood as using the web browser to deliver experiences and functionalities comparable to desktop applications is expanding by leaps and bounds. The following guest post on TechCrunch by Matthew Gertner explains what's going on in this space with refreshing clarity, and also includes a geek-friendly tip about how easy it can be to create a separate little stand-alone browser-type application for Gmail.
Enhancements to the Video Web: The Mini-Camcorder Du Jour & Intelligent Video Conversations
A couple of quick blog bites (vs sound bites) from the NYTimes website which indicate continually brighter days ahead for what I affectionately call The Video Web:
First of all, my fave tech writer David Pogue not only reviewed my Christmas present (see posts and demo video below), The Flip Ultra, but his latest "State of the Art" column, "Camcorder Brings Zen to the Shoot" pretty much nails it. It also informed me--and I had no idea about this--that the Flip is now garnering a rich 17% of all US camcorder sales and "has been the best-selling camcorder on Amazon.comsince the day of its debut. For Pogue's finely articulated perspective, click here.
The other item is what appears to be a new feature on the NYT website, which is Bloggingheads.tv "diavlogs." Language-wise this is a double-derivative term. I'll bet most people don't even know that the term "blog" is derived from "web log" let alone that a "vlog" is a video blog. Just the same I welcome this combination that creates a new kind of conversation. (kind of rolls off the tongue) I've been thinking and occasionally saying that the use of webcams and the ease of the current state of video conferencing should be put to more use. Little did I know that this kind of video dialog, oh OK, diavlog was being so widely distributed. And then imagine my delight when I found at least these two commentators talking about the Barak Obama race speech being more articulate and interesting than most of those duds on cable TV news shows. Right on. It was also nice to see the NYTimes editing down and providing a solid 4-minute excerpt of what appears to be an almost hour-long original conversation on BloggingHeads.TV At least the whole thing is there for you if you want it.
I have to add that the intelligence of this BloggingHeads conversation is in stark contrast to my experience experimenting with the Seesmic.com video "conversation" website which is mentioned in the Davos post below. That turned out to be an interesting attempt from a technological point-of-view, but extremely boring overall. Even Seesmic's specially produced (and apparently funded) posts were disappointing (to say the least). Sorry. I liked their bushy-eyed enthusiasm, but there's good web video and a lot that is not so good. Like everything else...
On my less optimistic days, I feel like we've gone from "nothing on" crappy TV programming, to "too much on" kitchen sink internet video programming. But fortunately those days are few because of how much uplifting and inspiring stuff is out there.
Recently, rather than bottom feeding, I've been top feeding with some of the best online video programming anywhere.
Tonight I was browsing some great Talks at Google on YouTube (from obvious Google execs, to fascinating authors, to presidential candidates). And earlier this weekend, I caught a link (on an Amazon author blog no less) to yet another amazing one of the extraordinarily inspiring TED talks. Truly great stuff. These are also available via iTunes and, for me, has made having a video iPod worthwhile.
Here's the latest TED talk that blew my mind. If you've ever wondered the meaning of all the left-brain, right-brain talk this will clear it up and uplift you as well, at least it did me:
By the way, if you're interested in getting a full taste of the TED conference, I highly recommend the DVD, The Future We Will Create: Inside the World of TED. It's a kind of greatest hits, behind the scenes look at the 2006 TED conference. Also, inspiring and uplifting.