The Revolution is Here

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CalacanisREV.jpgThis week the L.A. Times posted an article about "Kevin Pollak's Chat Show" that is required reading for anyone with even a minor interest in video on the Web. If you missed it, don't feel bad -- I'm not sure the Times ever even linked it from the home page. It was just a little blip in this week's mediascape and was quickly buried by Michael Jackson's final media barrage.

The article focuses on Kevin Pollack, because he is the name, "A veteran of three decades in show business," and it barely glosses over "his production partner," Jason Calacanis, who has a show of his own, "This Week in Startups," which airs on the same platform.

Jason is a bit of a polarizing figure. He founded Weblogs Inc. and sold it to AOL for a reported $25 million. The subscribers to his email blast number in the tens of thousands, but he still feels compelled at times to address "the haters." As someone who has followed Jason's career for a while now -- I think I may have been the first to ever put him on TV back in 1996 when I was a producer at MSNBC -- I can tell you that what Jason is doing over at the Maholo studios IS the revolution. And while I can't speak for Kevin, I can speculate -- probably pretty accurately -- about where Jason is headed.

If the name Josh Harris rings a bell, it might be from the documentary We Live in Public which won the Grand Jury prize at Sundance this year. Josh was the founder of a company called Pseudo.com, a live audio and video webcasting Web site. And though I haven't seen the film, I did spend time at Pseudo's facilities, back when Jason had a little Web-only chat show on Pseudo called "The Silicon Alley Reporter," which evolved alongside his magazine of the same name. 

Pseudo was amazing. It was a 90s version of Warhol's factory. Josh Harris was visionary. An artist -- but hardly starving, having founded and sold Jupiter Research. Pseudo was an art party that happened all the time, especially when shows were taping. But even when a show wasn't taping, the DJs were still spinning and people still lingered. But Pseudo was also, all those years ago, what everyone expected video to become on the Web. It was like a small-scale broadcast network, with a slate of shows that "aired" exclusively on the Internet. You could watch them live, or watch them later.

But Pseudo was too early, and the technology had not yet caught up. The videos were minuscule. And herky-jerky. And gosh, it was hard enough to download images on that old dial-up connection, much less video.

And now, Jason Calacanis is picking up where Josh Harris left off. He was there for Pseudo. He was tight with Josh. Josh made his millions then started Pseudo. Jason made his millions and is positioned to have a Pseudo of his own.

The revolution is here ... and it will be televised.

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This page contains a single entry by Gabrielle Pascoe published on June 27, 2009 4:53 AM.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Gabrielle Pascoe published on June 27, 2009 4:53 AM.

Don't Be a Twit was the previous entry in this blog.

Fat Mail is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.