YouTube’s Big Bill

In the last 6 months video has really started to take off online. There’s a whole host of new video sharing sites springing up. But hosting video costs money. Lots of money.

This article: Your Tube, Whose Dime? – Forbes.com estimates that YouTube are spending $1m on hosting every month. That’s quite a lot for a startup. It also looks at how the hosting companies are making money out of it and some alternatives.

Help Me Create a Del.icio.us Network

A new feature of del.icio.us is the ability to create your own networks. It’s a replacement for the slightly confusing inbox feature.

I’d love to create a little network of like-minded people so I can keep in touch with the hot stuff that other people are bookmarking. If you use del.icio.us and would like to ‘network up’ feel free to add me to your network. And it’d be great if you could leave your ID in the blog comments. That way both me, and other readers, can hook-up in a lovely world of del.icio.us-ness.

My del.icio.us name is iaintait leave yours in the comments.

Oh yeah, it might seem a bit unmanagable at first. But the smart thing to do is to subscribe to your network RSS feed and you can keep a track of what people are up to. (Oh, and don’t forget the newish private saving feature…a welcome addition for most normal people).

Flickr Mashups

I’m pretty sure I’m way behind the curve on these (as per usual). But here’s a couple of amazing uses of the Flickr API (if you don’t know what an API is, this might help. Or then again, it might leave you baffled).

tagnauticaTagnautica – A really lovely way of navigating related tags in ‘FlickrSpace’. It’s just one of those interfaces that is so simple and just really really nice to use. You just need one search to start to explore the world of photo tags. Love it.

flaprFlapr – A flash based interface for Flickr. Don’t get me wrong. I really like the normal Flickr interface, I think it’s great. But these guys have done a really nice flash alternative. It feels snappy and responsive, and just, well…different. Try it, you might like it.

FlickrFlingFlickrFling – An online application that converts an RSS feed into images pulled from Flickr. I can’t really see the use for it, but once I started playing with it I was strangely compelled. Read more about it.

Taken from Wired’s Top 10 Flickr Mashups – there’s a few other sweet ones in there, but these three were new to me.

Longtail Recommendations

long tail on last fmSupersmart Ged (who I know from Yahoo!) pointed me to the longtail recommendations engine on last.fm. I’d been to the page but I’d never noticed the slider: have a play, it’s really good (you might need to be a user to access it). It’s a really good and simple way to demonstrate in real terms the notion of ‘long tail’ to someone who hasn’t ever seen it before.

And on the topic of all things with long tails, Chris Anderson‘s book about it is on pre-order at Amazon now.

User Generated Content

Well this is the reality of it.

This lovingly crafted piece of home-made UK hip-hop has spawned absolutely loads of mashups / remixes / re-edits. Just shows there’s nowt as queer as folk eh. Oh, and just to prove that entrepreneurialism is alive and well you can now get your own Kersal Massive hoodies, etc.

(Note to self – must get back into reading the B3ta newsletter so I’m not 3 weeks behind the rest of the world)

New MacBook Pro

I’m very lucky. I got a new computer. It’s a shiny new Intel-based MacBook Pro. I have to say I’ve not noticed that I’m getting more work done in a shorter period of time. But I’m sure I will eventually, perhaps.

My favourite feature is the built in camera and the silly little application Photo Booth. You can use the laptop like a, guess what, Photo Booth. And it’s got some hideous filters built into it that can make you look like a total freak (see below) or check out this Fickr Cluster. What fun.

Photo Booth Example

I’m sure I’ll feel the benefit of the state-of-the-art computing power at my disposal one day. But until then, bring on the easy-to-use novelty features…

There’s a serious point in here somewhere, honestly. I’m not quite sure what it is. But I think it’s something about creating easy, simple, straightforward applications on new pieces of technology: things that let people feel that they can do something new and different, that they couldn’t do with their old piece of kit.

It’s like when you get a new mobile phone. Some small part of you hopes that your world will somehow be better, different, more social. Something should improve. The adverts said so. The man in the shop said so. But typically there’s nothing noticably different – all it would take is one little application that you can fiddle with for 10 minutes and show to your mates down the pub. Then you’d feel that your investment was worth it (for a fleeting moment).

Busy not blogging

I’m faced with a daily paradox at the moment: the busier I get (sometimes doing quite interesting stuff) the less time I find that I have to blog about it. I need to get better at putting aside a few minutes a day to keep the site up to date. Or maybe I need to consider a slightly new format for the blog where I can say more in less words? Here’s a few things I’ve done in the last 2 weeks of quiet blog time:

  1. Been working with Zopa. Professionally I’m working with Zopa which is one of the most interesting projects I’ve ever had the pleasure to work on. I’m finding it fascinating and incredibly taxing in equal measures. Taking a inherently simple proposition (which has very very complex underpinnings) and making it work from both a product and a communication point of view. It’s one of the first things I’ve done recently where our work touches so much of their business. If you’ve not heard of Zopa, go check it out.
  2. Been taking swimming lessons. I’ve never been a good swimmer, but always wanted to be better. I read about a method of teaching swimming that uses principles from the Alexander Technique, so I resolved that I’d find out more about The Art of Swimming using the Shaw Method. I did. I signed up, and I’m finding it absolutely amazing. I’ll talk more when I’m finished my lessons.
  3. Had a very interesting meeting with MySpace. I’ve talked a lot on here about MySpace, and I’m going to talk some more in the next day or two, but it was great to meet some people who are actually involved in the business. I still have some reservations about what they’re doing, but there’s undoubtedly some very interesting things we can all learn…
  4. Had a long weekend of going out to parties with old friends. Behaved like an idiot 10 years younger than I am (and had a great time). Feel like an old man now. Interesting to see how 24-hour licensing now means that you can essentially go clubbing around the clock in parts of London now, and people do, and they quite often look like a mess. I’ll say no more.

Anyone got any tips on how to stay blogging during times of stress and heavy workload?

Free AppZapper

appzapper screenshotOne digital life reports on a really neat promotion run by MacZot.

They reduced the price of the Appzapper application by 5 cents for every blog that linked to the site. Mac bloggers went nuts for it and the price went down to completely free. Sensibly it didn’t stay free forever; just for a limited period / number of downloads.

What’s so smart about this?

  • The inbound links will last for a long time.
  • You can pretty much guarantee that they’ll have an amazing Google ranking as a result.
  • The people who will have got the free download will be bloggers (who are likely to talk about the product and their experience).
  • Everybody wins.
  • It cost them very little.

Smart work.