Author Archive

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.
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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.

How to create a viral video

October 1st, 2008 Comments off

Well, I have one.

A genuine viral video

How about 1,234,411 views for one page in September – with no advertising, no SEO, no nothing? Just raw viral power. 

Just in case you didn’t read that right, that’s over ONE MILLION TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND views for one page in one month.

Now that I am a genuine viral marketing "expert", here’s what I’ve learned…

Read more…