Contextual video advertising age begins

Allan Grinshtein, president and CEO of Immense LLC, just wrote me and announced that his company rolled out over the weekend what he believes as the first contextual video advertising on the Web: Walnuts.

First customer? Blip.TV, which seems to have a nicer home page than the last time I was there. Nice channels. More over on Immense’ site.

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Telepresence: too expensive or good ROI?

I had a lot of problems last night getting my videos done for the week. I’m still learning how to use Macs and Final Cut Express HD. Ryanne makes it look so easy, but she’s in India, so I’m left to fend for myself and things that took her microseconds to do took me an hour.

Yes, my busy life has caught up to me and now I’m behind. You’ll see my editing style is stark compared to Ryanne’s. Mostly that’s due to my ineptitude. Oh, well, you’ll have to live with it until she gets back or I hire another editor (one is coming in mid-November that I’m very excited about). Or both.

Anyway, to the topic of this post. I just was reading my feeds for my link blog and found these two:

Andy Abramson says: “To me the future of video is in the light and fleet, not in the big and costly.” Translation, he thinks Cisco’s new telepresence rooms are too expensive.

Tim Bray says: “this stuff is not that far from having slam-dunk ROI.” Translation, he thinks a good case can be made for spending the $300,000 on a room or two (Cisco, by the way, is putting in more than 100 corporate-wide).

So, who is right?

Both.

Andy is right. Most of us are going to use low-end video cameras hooked up to our computers to do videoconferencing, if we even try to do it at all.

Tim is right. If you work in a big company these things will save massive amounts of time and travel costs. Flying an exec across country can run $4,000 to $20,000 (they often don’t fly coach like I do, but business class, or, even more expensively, on a private jet which costs a LOT more than what JetBlue charges). It gets worse if you’re a billionaire like Gates or Brin. Then you have to figure in the value of your time. One such trip might cost hundreds of thousands of dollars alone. So, if you can cut down on a few trips a year you’ll pay for your telepresence room in no time at all.

When my video is up in a little while you’ll see just how lifelike this new room is. And how easy it is. You dial a phone number on a phone and it connects you. That’s it. No playing with cameras. No controls. It’s awesome.

But, if you aren’t a big company I’d stay away. The costs on these things will drop like a rock over the next five years as HD technology comes down and they get more adept at building these rooms.

UPDATE: looks like the video should be up by 2 p.m.