Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Vloggercon 2006

Lately, my thoughts have turned to Vloggercon 2006 (http://www.vloggercon.com). It is funny to think back to my youth and see that what's old is new again.

In late 1977 I found myself living in Cambridge, England. It was a tumultous time for England, as massive unemployment left some 40% of youth unemployed on the dole, with no real prospects. It is widely believed that this social chaos gave birth to punk rock - which itself, proved to be a voice of disaffected working class youth. I remember seeing the music top 10 one chilly day around Christmas. To my surprise the number one record (yes, kids RECORD - not cd or mp3) had no song title or band information. Just the record label and order part number. The song title was "God Save the Queen" and the band was The Sex Pistols.

What does any of this have to do with Vloggercon you might be asking yourself at this juncture. Well, truth is I see so much of those groundbreaking moments in the late 1970s when things really did get shaken up. Punk rock paved the way for independent labels, which in turn fueled a decade of very creative underground music and film.

I feel like it is happening again after thirty some odd years.

And it is exciting. They say you can't go home again, but I think in some meaningful ways you can. What Vloggercon represents to me is that watershed moment when the voice of the little guy can break through the background noise and shake things up. It does not happen often, but it DOES happen. It is happening now, trust me, I have seen this moment a few times before.

The faces at Vloggercon 2006 will be able to say in 20 years, that we were there and that we made the difference in shaping the face of personal empowerment with an eye towards the future.

Let's make sure that we steer this ship in the direction that makes the future "reality" better than the one we inherited.

http://www.captainhumphreys.com

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Oh Yeah

Well, it has been a long time since I have logged anything on the blogosphere. The fact is, I have been completely committed to re-designing the website and fixing the myriad of download problems associated with the archive.

Today, I am happy to say the website has been cleaned up and the download problems have been solved. The speeds we are getting from our partners at blip.tv are astounding. In fact, they are so fast I use blip.tv for our main video of the day on the homepage.

Also, of note is our migration to flash. This allows us to have a single delivery method for our videos that any computer can display. The original site design, although providing every available type of video format, was also called confusing by many viewers. With Flash this is no longer an issue.

As far as the overall web design goes, my old friend Ray at redcable.com, revisited the original interface which he designed, and I crudely modified over the last three months. The Frankenstein's monster which I eventually created has been prettied up. In fact, you would never know how busy and crowded the site once looked. I hope everyone likes the changes and I will be back on this blog soon!

http://www.captainhumphreys.com

Monday, February 27, 2006

The World According to Me

The last week has been hell. So many things have been done, and all by me! When a problem arises it is always my job to figure out a solution and them implement it as soon as possible. The main problems I have tackled in the last week were finding a new hosting solution, finding a new forum solution, finding a new newsletter solution and adding Quicktime Video to the homepage.

In a few days, the website will be visited by tens of thousands of people. I have known this for some time. Our site is to be the Cool Site of the Day. Yet, weeks ago I was filled with dread at this prospect. Why? Because our current hosting solution gave us 1.5 Terabytes of "usage" per month. After that we were to pay them $0.49 per Gigabyte used OVER the 1.5 TB. What this meant is that if we had 50,000 users everyday going to the homepage we would owe the hosting company around $10,000 per month in overage charges. Well, after many weeks I finally migrated our site to our new hosting company Datagram (www.datagram.com). They are fantastic and the people there are some of the finest professionals I have ever met. So we are ready for the floodgates to open!

The old forum was crappy. I know, you don't need to keep emailing me. The old forum was a CGI afterthought our old hosting provider set up. I used it as a test, to see if anyone would use it. Well, people did - they used it to tell me I needed a better forum! Well, I setup a nice phpBB forum and everything is great. Enjoy...

Making a Quicktime version of the homepage may seem like a cakewalk, but before I could make it live I had to figure out how Quicktime streams files and how to initiate auto start of the video. After a few hours I had all the tools I needed and the Quicktime page was up.

Same with the newsletter. The guys at Datagram hooked me up with an "old school" LISTSERV style tool. I felt nostalgic setting it up, like watching an episode of Space:1999. And they say you can't go home again...

Monday, February 06, 2006

Of Mice and Men

I want to thank all of you who have taken the time to email me with your questions and thoughts on the project. My email is glenn@captainhumphreys.com. I have been receiving some very encouraging emails from out there in the infinite IP stack. What has struck me is how many of you really "get" the project and what we are trying to do.

While many of the corporate types saw the project as a joke, or possible hoax, the average cyberviewer sees the heroic voyage of The Captain as a reality. I think what the corporate types have not realized is that their declining ratings and marketshares have more to do with the souless crap they churn out than competition from the internet.

Today, there are few things on the internet that can compete with network or cable TV. However, more and more people are spending more and more time READING and POSTING thoughts in cyberspace than watching the latest corporate attempt at "drama" or "comedy" (cue laughtrack...)

I think this is because people, on some basic level, need to be inspired and encouraged in their daily lives. We all need something to shoot for, and slick dramas about how great it is being a cop, or silly comedies about vagina/penis/defecation hardly register on the inspiration VU meter.

So, if the corporations no longer inspire and help give meaning to our lives, people will turn towards each other. The internet facilitates this. Just think, me a nobody wrote these words, and many other "nobodies" are reading them. And Time Warner had nothing to do with it. Wonderful!

Many emails have come my way congratulating me on the subversive and revolutionary nature of the project. Many emails ask if I am aware that we are attempting to bypass the corporate distribution channels? The emails ask if I realize what this would mean in the future for the corporations and for the people.

The answer is, of course I do.

I have felt for twenty years now that TV and cable had become forums where the lowest aspirations of human society were being explored. Titillation for the sake of instant ratings. But the corporations that exploit the debased side of our minds haven't really thought this thing through. Eventually, instant titillation and debauchery will become so commonplace, that quality and thoughtful entertainment will become the forbidden fruit. At that point these corporate dinosaurs get with the program or they will lose their audience to someone else who "gets it."

I hope that the Captain Humphreys Project is not only entertaining, but will also serve as an inspiration to a few generations of people who have cynically been fed the lie that all our heroes are dead. A MAN ALONE. AROUND THE WORLD. I say, NO. Without heroes, without something noble to aspire to, life is diminished to some sort of animalistic level of "existing."

Let us really live. Every person has a dream. We, at Captain Humphreys encourage you to realize and live yours. While you still are alive and can do it. It is in that spirit that we launched this project, and it is in that spirit that we continue the journey...

http:///www.captainhumphreys.com

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Website Update & Misery

Well, it has been a hellish week for me. The bulk of the website improvements went live in the last seven days. Add to that the Rocketboom.com promotion and you have...Misery for Glenn!

Of course, the rest of the team just looked on as "magically" things came online. I was lucky, being that any tiny problem had to be addressed immediately! What fortune! But I tell you, dear readers, just putting the band page together took 4 hours. That is NOT including setting up the online store and preparing the songs and song samples for consumption. And you know the praise I got? I will tell you...complaints about wording in the bio and problems for MAC users with playing the samples on the store and on our site.

Because I am dedicated to the details I also concluded that MAC users were having problems with our video archive page. I was right in this assumption. The fix took another 5 hours from my day. I am happy to say that MAC users can now navigate the site and not be troubled with issues that were brought to my attention

All of this craziness has pushed back the date of my first video blog on this page. Time allowing, I am shooting for next week.

http://www.captainhumphreys.com

Monday, January 23, 2006

The Next Phase

Now the exciting dawn of Humpcasting! Our daily video feeds are up and running. We also have a free download of FireANT so that our users can have our Humpcasts downloaded to their PSPs or iPods automatically. I hope all you guys like our new stuff, I know I am very happy with our quick progress.

We are in the process of issuing a press release and announcing some key partnerships that will bring this site to the very top. The Captain is happily working on a final boat design as well as a map of his proposed trip. I will be putting them up as soon as they are done. We are also available on Ifilm and Google Video. Hopefully, as the water of eyeballs rise on this site, the boat of viewership will rise throughout the World Wide Web. The the rest will be history...

I am in the process of setting up a camera on my laptop so that I will be able to make my own videos from my own wretched world. These WRETCH-O-CAMS will bring you small snippets of "joy" from my own private underworld of leeching madness and delusional revelations. I vow to tell the real story behind the story! Keep reading this column for the blessed date of these videocasts!

http://www.captainhumphreys.com

Thursday, January 12, 2006

And so it goes...

I have been amazed that we are getting emails from the regular folks surfing the web. The plan was to start really promoting the site in a month, after the content creation schedule was operating at peak efficiency. To my surprise, people are already finding us and it seems they like what they see! I think our success will be tied to the average internet surfer wanting to experience the journey that will be the Captain Humphreys Project. What else is out there in the current pop culture terrain that can compare? Sure, there are plenty of shows that bring us the vacuous lives of marginal dolts willing to humiliate themselves for a brief period of fame. That fame is becoming briefer, and the moronic robots being shown are becoming increasingly offensive. What Captain Humphreys is trying to do is take an internal and external journey for the ages. One man in one tiny boat against the backdrop of a huge ocean all within the confines of his psyche. This is a classic epic. A far cry from illiterate and smelly looking teens combing over each other's bedrooms in search of birth control devices and semen stains for a tranqualized audience. Our team is not trying to demean or soil our fanbase, indeed, we aspire to bring a sense of wonder, excitement and a love of life to the world at large. My God, what more could anyone ask for? This is why I am already excited that people are finding our site BEFORE we have even started actively promoting it. These are great omens for things to come! http://www.captainhumphreys.com