Stealth Startup “Register For Interest” Pattern

Has anyone else noticed the Ajaxian “Register for Interest” pattern sported by the new-skool stealth startups? The new Firefox+++ project, Flock (via Ajaxian) is doing it right now.

Essentially, “This is happening in a few weeks, leave your mail, we won’t spam you, and we’ll tell you about it.”

I submit my email.

Then the page morphs and thanks you for your interest. (Not altogether different from Lazy Registration.)

And if Flock is different to the last one I tried, they’ll actually send something back.

Update: They’ve auto-mailed me an invite to join a mailing list. I guess they can’t do RSS due to auth issues, but I’m going to skip on the mailing list offer.

Podcasting is Easier than Blogging (in Theory)

One of several reasons why podcasting won’t be as big as blogging, according to Paul Scrivens :

Blogging requires a browser (if you are using a webmin interface) and an Internet connection. That’s it. Podcasting takes it a step further by requiring a microphone. I know many of you have mics on your computers, but I know a lot of people who don’t. Podcasting adds one more step to the publsihing process and if you mess up during the podcast it isn’t as easy to correct with a press of the backspace button as it is in blogging.

There are a couple of assumptions here.

Podcasting is Blogging and More But many people just publish podcasts without any shownotes. So if you have a libsyn account for instance, you can just upload the file and have it automatically pushed to an RSS feed. All you need to publish a podcast is the ability to get a file onto a server – FTP it, mail it, fax it, whatever.

Personal experience leads me to agree with the point about messing up. It’s for that reason that Adam Curry, Dave Slusher and others have led the way by demonstrating the notion of keeping things simple and not being obsessed with little glitches. Tools are still desperately required and the big breakthrough will be speech recognition, which I’m hoping will catch the end of the web 2.0 funding wave.

Podcasting requires a Microphone

Yes, but most people carry a microphone in their pocket all day long. More so than people with permanent access to a PC — 300 million+ Chinese mobile users can’t be wrong! Using a dialing gateway, you can easily create an MP3 from your phone. There’s a lot of opportunity for better services here, but the basic technology is already there. Note that none of this requires a smartphone – in theory, you just dial in, leave your message, and it’s updated to your podcast. There’s no editing, but again, that comes back to the idea of learning how to podcast without needing edits.

For those using a computer, they do need a microphone, but that’s hardly a showstopper for someone interested enough to want to podcast. To be fair, there’s actually a much bigger problem for many people: finding a quiet time and place to record a podcast.

Podcasting has arrived

It’s great to see how quickly podcasting has caught on. Two big VC deals and the American president becoming the latest podcaster (even if the term is not explicitly used; via Micropersuasion). Don’t tell me about fads – this won’t kill radio, but rest assured that podcasting has arrived.