DISCLAIMER: Please be patient, during launch we’ll probably have some technical difficulties — our engineers have been up all night optimizing databases and getting things turned on. If you’re not having a good experience, please check back later in the day.
The first shows have just launched on FastCompany.tv:
1. FastCompany Live.
The first is a show done totally on cell phones. If you’ve been watching my Qik channel, you’ve been getting a preview.
The second is a new version of my show. This time done with high-end microphones and much better camera equipment. Oh, and a camera operator (that’d be my producer, Rocky Barbanica) instead of me trying to do everything.
CenterNetworks was the first site to write about our new network. Mashable followed quickly afterward.
The first four shows are ones we’re pretty proud of:
0. A welcome video that we filmed yesterday.
1. The Innovator. Interview with John Kao who taught business at Harvard University for 14 years and now consults with companies about how to get more innovative. BusinessWeek named his book one of the most important business books of 2007, too.
2. Getting Friendly with MySpace’s CEO. Chris DeWolfe invites us into his office to talk about MySpace and how it’ll keep Facebook from taking over its world.
3. First Look at Microsoft’s Stunning WorldWide Telescope. This is the thing that made me tear up when I saw it because it’s the most impressive thing I’ve seen Microsoft do in years. We visit Curtis Wong’s office to get an in-depth look.
4. Meeting with Amazon’s Web Services Evangelist. Many of you know about Amazon’s Web Services, like S3 or EC2, but I wanted to introduce them to the broader Fast Company audience, so we visited Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle and talked with Jeff Barr, Amazon’s Web Services Evangelist, about the impact that they’ve had on business.
Some things that haven’t yet shipped that will soon:
1. Shel Israel’s program, Global Neighborhoods. We’re still working on that and will start that in a couple of weeks. He’s been to tons of companies including General Motors, Ford, Intel, and Seesmic and we’re working to build an interesting program for you that’ll focus on social media’s impact on culture and business.
2. My blog’s redesign. We’re working on that, but it might take a month more to get it complete and make sure it really works well before turning it on.
3. High-resolution videos. I want higher-resolution videos to be available (we’re shooting and editing most of our stuff in 720p HD, but only delivering smaller sizes right now — that’ll change thanks to our use of Twistage, which is a new company in San Francisco that’s providing the video backend and player technology we’re using).
4. RSS Feeds that work with iTunes. That’s the first thing to fix after the developers get some sleep (they were up most of Sunday night working on this).
4. A bunch of other stuff. I have a long list of things to add to the site. Schedules for our live videos and other stuff. Ways for you to upload your own videos to the site. And tons more.
I also wanted to thank our sponsor, Seagate. We’re not only using their hard drives to edit and store our videos on (and they are massive files) but they’ve put financial muscle behind the show so that we can not only pay our bills, but travel around the world — in April I’ll be visiting Amsterdam and Israel.
QUESTION: How is this different from the shows that you’ve done at Microsoft and PodTech?
ANSWER: Professional microphones. Heheh. Seriously, we just got some really nice new equipment. No more tapes! And we have Rocky doing two-camera shoots now. Look for the production values to continue going up (we had to use Rocky’s older equipment for some of the first shows).
We’ll also broaden the content. We’re working with the editors of Fast Company magazine to get content that’s not just about the tech industry. John Kao’s interview is a good example of the kinds of things we’d like to do in the future.
QUESTION: Where’s the tour of Microsoft Research that you were bragging about?
ANSWER: Coming in the next two weeks. We have a ton of stuff and we’ll run a new video every day or so.
QUESTION: What happened to Shel Israel’s show, why isn’t it up now?
ANSWER: We just ran out of time and wanted to make sure that we could deliver a great show. That’ll start soon.
QUESTION: Why do the RSS feeds suck?
ANSWER: They will be fixed soon so that they work on iPhones and have full-text.
QUESTION: Why does your blog still say you work for PodTech?
ANSWER: Because I was lazy. Actually, the truth is I forgot about it, and I don’t have control of my sidebar and I was hoping that the redesign of my blog would be ready. We’ll get that fixed soon.
QUESTION: Where’s the video downloads so I can put these things on my iPhone?
ANSWER: Those are coming soon, sorry for not having them ready yet.
QUESTION: Why watch this show instead of, say, Rocketboom, Geek Brief.TV, or Diggnation (three of my favorite online video shows)?
ANSWER: You should watch all of us! Seriously, we’ll focus on innovative entrepreneurs, business ideas, new businesses. How will we be different from CNBC? Depth. Most of the time when you see a company on TV the entrepreneurs can’t really give you a full-blown demo because they only get a few minutes. On the Internet we don’t have such pressures to make things short and exciting (a producer at CNBC, when I was on that during the Consumer Electronics Show, told me “we don’t care about gadgets.” On FastCompany.TV? We care).
QUESTION: Who do you most want to interview?
ANSWER: Steve Jobs, because then I’d be a hero to my 14-year-old son who loves Apple stuff.
But seriously, I like meeting people building new things that we didn’t expect. I hope to interview Google’s Android team soon, to get a look at what they are trying to do, for instance.
QUESTION: Will you be adding more shows?
ANSWER: Yes, but slowly. For a few reasons. First, we don’t have venture capital funding us, so we’ve got to make sure we can support new investment. Second, I want to make the quality of everything on the network higher than anything out there before we start expanding. But, yes, we want to start developing new shows, so please let us know if you have something in mind.
And please do let me know what you think, good or bad.