Read this first

June 5th, 2012 No comments

I started this blog shortly after I saw my first example of video embed code in 2005.

“This is it. This is what we’ve been waiting for.”

How long have we been waiting?

In my case since 1994 when I commissioned one of the first articles ever published on the subject of Internet video for the way-ahead-of-its-time Internet Gazette (1994-1995). The Gazette was a little San Francisco-based newspaper that published more accurate predictions about the direction of the Internet than any ten years of Wired Magazine.

The Internet Video Age I imagined has come, saw and conquered so there’s really not much more to say about it.

My interest now is in generating page views that have video on them using viral methods and not one penny of advertising. As of the day of this post, we’re up to 24 million + video views. Not a lot by Facebook standards and I know some have done much more, but it’s been fun and profitable and we’re only just getting started.

The blog is done. You might find it interesting to use it has a historical archive to read about how video on the Internet developed as it was unfolding.

My active blog is here: The Ken McCarthy blog

Categories: Internet TV Tags:

iPad love

November 10th, 2010 No comments

I finally got one…

I won it in a sales contest…never would have bought one.

On the other hand, now that I have one, I’m very glad to have it.

The MacBook Air (my previous lightweight option) was a piece of ****. It was lightweight alright, in every sense of the word. I don’t know anyone who likes “the Air” but I do know many people who foam at the mouth at the very mention of it.

The iPad, in contrast, actually does what it’s supposed to do which is:

1. Let you carry out basic Internet functions (mail, browsing, audio and video)…

2. With a small, lightweight device

iPhones etc. are a little too small for real video watching as far as I’m concerned.

I’m sure someone has mentioned this somewhere already, but it not here goes:

Thanks to the iPad, we now have graduated from 24/7/365 video on demand…(who needs TV anymore?)…to PORTABLE 24/7/365 video on demand (as long as there is a wireless signal.)

That’s a pretty big leap of evolution (even though I know they’ve had something like this in South Korea for at least four years!)

What’s next?

There must be something that’s “next” but once all the world’s video is available on demand 24/7/365 on a portable and truly useful device, what could possibly be next in the video world?

Improvements in detail, in delivery, in price etc. sure, but with this device we’ve reached the Promised Land…if the Promised Land means being able to carry around a device that lets you access video on demand on any subject under the sun at any time of day or night.

Categories: Internet TV, Mobile Tags:

Social media reality check (again)

April 22nd, 2010 5 comments

Social media is hot.

It’s also one of the hottest refuges for scammers and BS artists.

I recently made the mistake of doing some pro bono work for a good cause run by amateurs. (Long story and a mistake I will never repeat.)

Throughout the process, I’ve been told I have to meet with this social marketing expert and that one, the implication being they have something of value to bring to the party that’s more important than actually getting the job done. (These folks LOVE meetings. They don’t like work.)

Meanwhile, I patiently try to explain to these wing nuts that the only currency that means anything in Internet marketing is the size of your e-mail list (prospects and customers). Not how many “friends” you have, how many people “follow” you on Twitter, or how much chatter there is about you in the blogosphere.

Hey, I like Twitter and I know people who get some good things from Facebook, but I don’t know anyone who would trade a solid e-mail list to become king of Twitter or Facebook.

Conversely, I know plenty of social media masters who are one step away from living in a “van down by the river.” (Google it. If you don’t know the Saturday Night Live routine that phrase is from, you’re in for some serious laughter.)

Anyway, after listening the the millionth and one social media “genius” I took a look at some of my own social media stats. (My social media weapon of choice being video.)

Here are my numbers:

1. I’ve pushed one video over the 2,800,000 views mark
2. I’ve pushed two over the 1,200,000 views mark
3. I’ve pushed seventeen over the 100,000 view mark (sixteen singehandedly, one in partnership)

Total cash expenditure: zero dollars.

It was all accomplished by viral marketing, also know as “word of mouth” and all these hits were kicked off with mailing to an e-mail list. No Twitter. No Facebook.

I’m sure there are social media “gurus” who could turn these stats into speaking gigs at the latest social media conferences, television appearances, and books on how to “crush it.”


I’m very unimpressed by my own accomplishments.


I’m in SALES.

How many leads did I generate? How many sales did I close? How many people did I induce to come back and buy a second and third and fourth time?

Let’s get real folks.

Social media is gravy.

You better have a meal to put it on.

Focus on what matters.

How to get an Academy Award nomination – on a budget

March 3rd, 2010 3 comments

…When all the odds are stacked against you

My friend Rick Goldsmith has just received his second nomination for an Academy Award, this time for his feature length documentary “The Most Dangerous Man in America” which he made with Judith Erhlich.

Rick’s previous nomination was for “Tell the Truth and Run.”

That was back in the days when the web was young (mid 1990s.) Rick and I put together one of the first web sites built around a movie. The site looks pretty primitive now, but pioneering things often do. (We haven’t updated it in at least ten years, but it still gets the job done!)

It’s pretty amazing to get nominated for an Academy Award, even more amazing for it to happen twice.. especially for films made on a limited budget and on serious subjects.
Read more…

At last, a reason for HD: Prairie Home Companion

January 9th, 2010 No comments

I like the way HD looks, but for the longest time it seemed like overkill.

I mean do we really need digital transmission and HD quality on our television sets? Really?

But here’s a use of HD that is truly exciting: real time transmission of live performances to theater audiences around the world.

A variation of this has existed for a long time (ex. championship boxing matches), but this is a much more interesting use.

The next best thing to being there

The pioneer of this new approach seems to have been the NY Metropolitan Opera.

Make senses.

Opera is expensive to produce and it’s near impossible to take a Met show on the road which means hard core opera fans (and there are few thing more hard core than a hard core opera fan) were deprived of the Met experience.

Prairie Home Companion is another logical candidate

Much of Prairie Home Companion’s charm is the fact that it’s a LIVE show, but of course, a live show can only be in one place at a time.

Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of fans listen to the show on the radio every week. It will be interesting to see how this works. I have a feeling it will be a hit. It’s great to people watch, eat popcorn and laugh along with a good show.

YouTube 1 billion views a day

October 31st, 2009 Comments off

These days, it’s looks like I’m posting every three months. C’est la vie.

The Internet video revolution has come, saw and conquered. What’s left to say?

Well, occasionally things happen that deserve attention.

Here are two big ones that jumped out at me while I was in the UK:

1. YouTube hits 1 billion video downloads a day

Holy smokes!  There are only about 1 billion Internet users. Does this mean that everyone on the Internet is watching an average of at least 1 video a day on YouTube?

I guess it does and then there are people who watch 50 or more a day. Me, for example. It’s not hard to do.

I don’t watch TV. Why bother when I can call up anything I want whenever I want? TV is doomed.

2. The Internet creams TV

Speaking of the UK, the amount of money spent by advertisers on Internet advertising in that country just exceeded the amount spent on TV advertising. The numbers are 1.75 billion for online advertising vs. 1.64 for TV advertising. More evidence that…TV is doomed.

And this is only the beginning.  Looks like the things I predicted when I started this blog four years ago are starting to come to pass.

Speaking of beginnings, I’ve been going over to the UK occasionally for years but something “clicked” for me on my latest trip and after tidying up some business here, I’m heading right back.

Next year, I’m planning on spending a few months there as I do in New Orleans ever year.

One of the reasons I’m going back to the UK so soon is that a bunch of my Internet marketing friends are attending the UFC fights in Manchester. System grad Lloyd Irvin has a team in the competition. To fill out an already busy week, I’m bringing New Orleans jazz poet Chuck Perkins over to do some gigs in that poetry and music loving city to help open the door for other New Orleans musicians looking for new markets to perform in.

Never a dull moment.

Interestingly, all the guys who are coming over for the fights and the seminar are heavy users of Internet video – that’d be Lloyd, me, Greg Davis and Ben Moskel.

Heavy users of video in our marketing – and we’re all doing well. Coincidence? I don’t think so.


Categories: Internet TV, Travel Tags:

Monetizing videos – long videos

July 18th, 2009 Comments off

Monetizing videos – long videos

We're coming up on the fourth anniversary of the System Video Blog so I took some time to go over the past four years worth of articles. I'm happy to say in all that time, we never steered you wrong. 

We said Internet video was going to explode, take over the Internet and shake things up in TV Land and that's pretty much what's happened.  

Speaking of NOT on target, in the early days of Internet video (remember way back then?),  legions of newly minted Internet video experts would loudly tell anyone who would listen that Internet videos had to be short or no one would watch them.

"Viewership drops off dramatically after two minutes."

The idiocy of this pronouncement always galled me…

Read more…

Categories: Internet TV Tags:

Hacker makes clueless company $590 million

March 22nd, 2009 Comments off

Hard to believe, but it's been three years since I wrote about a little company called Pure Digital and its
interesting – but dumb – idea for disposable video cameras.

While it was cool to be able to buy a video camera for $29, being able to use it only once was not cool

That's where the hacker came in.

Read more…

Categories: Internet TV Tags:

“Attention jazz fans…”

January 3rd, 2009 Comments off

Can you put your offering in a headline with the formula "Attention (fill in the blank)"?

If not, you may have what I call a "diffused" (widely scattered) audience.

Not that "diffused" and "difficult" start with the
same four letters. 

Read more…

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

11,000,000+ video views in 2008

December 29th, 2008 Comments off

I'd didn't have much time for blogging this year.

Instead I spent my free time making and promoting videos.

(Hint: Making and promoting Internet videos pays better than blogging.)

Results: We crossed the 11,000,000 video view mark for 2008 yesterday. No one is more shocked than me.

Total costs to host, serve and promote?

Read more…

Categories: Internet TV Tags: