Brian Bailey Preface to the Revised Edition

Channel 9 for the rest of us

Late in the evening, as my birthday came to a close, I received one last birthday present - Robert Scoble launched his brand-new show! Yes, the ScobleShow went live with 7(!) videos as well as an old-fashioned, audio-only podcast. Of course, Scoble didn't come right out and say he was trying to launch on my birthday, but when you connect the dots, read the blog, and watch the two late night early morning videos, it's pretty obvious :) I feel bad now because I tried to get The Blogging Church published on his birthday, but it just didn't work out. Ha!

The shortest video is 5 minutes and the longest is 34! It's a really impressive, diverse group to launch with: Jonathan Schwartz, CEO of Sun, photographer Thomas Hawk, SAP, Tim Bray, Jeremy Wright, JotSpot, SmugMug, and Printing for Less. Scoble's love for what he's doing, fascination with new things, grand curiosity, and respect for the people he's talking to you will make this show a huge success. It would be hard to match his enthusiasm, knowledge, or Outlook contacts.

Scoble is asking for feedback, so here are my thoughts. The videos themselves are very well done, entertaining and enlightening. I would have launched with the Jonathan Schwartz and Thomas Hawk videos to give people a taste, and then added one a day for the next week, but I can't think of anything else I would change. Most of the following concerns the show's website and promotion.

1. The RSS feed and How to Subscribe should be much more prominent.

2. I'm sure more and more people will soon get the show via RSS, but I find it interesting that the number of comments per episode goes down as you go further down the page. It will interesting to solve the problem of how to draw interest to all of the videos, not just the ones above the fold.

3. I've seen the show referred to as "The Scoble Show" and "ScobleShow". I hope they settle on "The Scoble Show". For media, why limit yourself to a URL-driven, Web 2.0 name?

4. The show's tagline doesn't do it justice. "Robert Scoble with geeks, technology, and developers." How about, "The Scoble Show: The geeks, leaders, and generally cool people behind the latest stuff." If Scoble's name needs to be in the description as well, perhaps "Robert Scoble's unscripted conversations with the geeks, leaders, and really cool people behind what's next."

5. If the videos continue to fall into certain categories (Demo, CEO, For Geeks Only), it would be helpful to visually distinguish those on the page and group them as they collect. A person might even want to subscribe to a feed of just one type of interview.

6. I know more video formats are on the way, but would it make sense to offer the videos as an MP3 as well? Obviously, the demos wouldn't work, but most people don't have the ability to watch video on the go and an audio version would greatly expand the potential audience.

7. I would incorporate a Scoble picture into the show page.

8. The new PodTech homepage is a challenge as it presents a lot of information and content without any guidance or context, other than what's on top and bigger must be more important. I understand all of this is a work in progress though, so it's fine for the launch.

9. The posts on the Scoble Show page all show "More..." links to read the full post, but there's only 1-2 additional sentences in most cases. If that's customizable, I would expand that somewhat so you can get the whole clip description on the page without having to click through.

10. This is a minor geek thing, but the Scoble Show posts show up on the show's page and on the PodTech homepage as well. However, on the PodTech homepage, the number of comments is not accurate (they all show "No Comments" when most of the clips have 5-10).

11. A final thing. PodTech's John Furrier posted about the new site and new show, encouraging people to check it out and let him know what they thought. Four people left comments throughout the day, but someone from PodTech has yet to respond, which can make it more difficult to get a conversation and sense of community started.

Congratulations on the launch, Robert! You should be very proud. I know you have a lot of killer stuff on the way and I can't wait!