Rocky Barbanica and I are getting around the Valley doing research for our upcoming Building43 community (which is for people fanatical about the Internet and, more specifically, people fanatical about building the Internet). Just in the past week we’ve gotten to SmugMug, Google, Facebook, and a few other places. We’ve also met with people at tons of businesses like Zappos, Tiny Pictures, and other places.
We’re listening to what people are trying to build next on the Internet. We’re also checking out tons of new technologies that we might want to build into Building43.com (we’re aiming at a May release). Do we go with a forum from Ning, or one from friendfeed, or both? Do we go with a video widget from Kyte or YouTube or something else? Do we use 12seconds.tv or Seesmic to get you to contribute videos to Building43. Etc. Etc. We’d love your feedback here about what you’d love to see.
One thing we’re playing around with having much more of on Building43 is how-to videos, in addition to the usual interviews I do with CEOs and innovators — do you think there’s a need for that? I do, particularly as I look at most business sites and see how few are using the latest technologies. Yesterday I did one with Kevin Marks who is a developer advocate at Google for Open Social and other stuff, like Google’s FriendConnect. He showed me how to put FriendConnect onto my blog (I’m working with a separate team at Rackspace on my blog and will have the ability to do some cool new stuff soon here).
One little trick on Blip.tv that I’ve discovered is that they hide the original source file into a link. These source files are far higher resolution than the Flash versions that get played if you just visit Blip with your browser. For instance, take a look at this MPEG4 file of Kevin Marks. If it plays on your computer it is stunningly high resolution (I shot it on my Canon 5D MK II in 1080P, downsampled it in Apple’s iMovie, and uploaded it to Blip via TubeMogul. Damn, the quality looks pretty close to my original file). Thank you Blip for exposing these files in a way that we all can get to them. Here’s the high res video of SmugMug’s Don MacAskill (I shot this one on Canon’s “low res” mode of 640×480, which makes file sizes a lot smaller so I can fit more video onto one memory card. Even this video, though, took about 1 GB on my 32GB memory card in my Canon 5D MKII camera).
Anyway, this is a long way to say that if you are fanatical about building the Internet I’d like to meet with you and see what you’re doing.
In the meantime, you might check out these videos — I’m learning how to use the Canon 5D Mark II DSLR to make videos, so sorry for the clicking noises as I manually focus, Rocky’s working on fixing that for us today since these cameras let us do a new kind of video. We’re also building a live TV studio so we can join in Leo Laporte’s growing network with high quality late-night video.
Here’s Kevin Marks at Google showing you in a few minutes how to make your blog more social.
Here’s Don MacAskill, CEO of SmugMug, showing off how they are making large multi-gigapixel photos and introduces us to the first SmugMug user group.
UPDATE: People are asking me what lens and camera I used. I’m using a Canon 5D Mark II camera. Costs about $3,000. Along with a 24 F 2.8 fixed length lens (we call them “primes”). I did not use any steadying device. The microphone? It’s the one built into the camera. Nothing special. Just used automatic mode. In future I’ll do manual white balance and exposure locks and I’ll get better at focusing. Plus we’re playing around with microphones that are isolated away from the camera so you won’t hear the clicking noises as I manually focus lenses and such.