Over the past couple of days I’ve been watching the first fruits of Robert Scoble’s much publicised move to PodTech. I have to say that I’ve not watched any of his Channel9 stuff, partly because all of that was (not surprisingly) in the somewhat less Mac friendly Windows Media format. However with the ScobleShow I was just able to plug it straight in alongside the other pod-casts I have set up in iTunes.
I kicked off with a look at the Photowalking items, where Scoble goes out and about with Thomas Hawk, someone who could probably be described as one of the stars of Flickr. Above is one of the shots that Thomas took during the walk that Scoble filmed. In terms of content, the Photowalking items were great, the main annoyance was the camera work. Whereas Thomas is able to sort out his images after the event to compensate for the lighting effects, Scoble was having real problems with the video camera as the automatics struggled to cope with the dusk lighting conditions, there are also times in the item when it really would have helped to have two cameras, since as Thomas spotted something interesting, the camera would swing round to try and catch it on video. I guess it’s the limitation of the one man and camera set up that Scoble is using, and also the fact that he is trying something new here. As Scoble says himself on his blog he’s fully expecting the show to suck for the first couple of months as he plays around and learns things. Having said that, it’s worth saying that from what I’ve seen so far it doesn’t really suck in my opinion – but it will certainly be a better viewing experience when Robert has found out a bit more what works and what doesn’t!
Anyway, the item I’ve found most interesting so far has been the visit to Printing For Less who run an internet based print operation from an office in rural Montana. The item is a great example of why in these days of high-speed internet connections and reliable courier services someone can run a successful and profitable business from what is effectively the middle of nowhere. From what we saw on the tour the staff are happy, the location is fantastic, and they are making money without having to cut corners on equipment – everybody had at least a dual screen set up, most had three screens. I can’t speak for the actual quality of the output as however cheap their prices, the fact I’d have to pay international shipping charges, plus the fact that being a US company their standard paper sizes are totally non-standard for the rest of the world resulting in anything I would want printing being a special order, I doubt it would be that cheap from here! However as an example of a successful internet business, and an interesting tour for someone who know little about commercial printing it was a great item.
So as a start, the ScobleShow is definitely an entertaining watch, and I’ll look forward to more to come in the future.