Newsvine invites available

I have twenty invites to give away to check out Newsvine, the new community-organized news site which just opened up to public beta. If you’d like one, just let me know via email at

I’ve been using the site for a few weeks. I’ll post some thoughts here when I get a chance. My quick reaction is, I like it, though its early, and I’m hoping it continues to improve (and expecting it will).

Update: I should be clear that I’m offering these invites to friends and online associates whom I know and trust. That’s a request made by Newsvine on its “invite friends” page, in place, according to their reasoning, to keep the site’s community spam free. So if you know me, and you’d like to try Newsvine, let me know.

Just one of the personal uses of

I’m adding a new personal tag to my habit/space: “toread”. It’s, obviously, stuff I want to read later on. So then I’ll use the automagically generated feed of that tag to dump back into my RSS reader (making sure to set the feed *not* to expire after I open it) so that I have a one-stop place to return to read stuff that I don’t have time to dive into when I first happen upon it.

Taking it back to the social angle (although is primarily a social tool, I think it’s myriad personal uses are equally huge and vastly undervalued – or at least vastly un-discussed), I can then add a new section to this site called “what I’m reading” and use BigBold’s RSS Digest to output the feed dynamically onto this site.

The web is pretty cool right now, huh?

Tales from The Long Tail: an interview with the co-founder of Peerflix

Today’s Tales from The Long Tail link is an interview with Peerflix co-founder Billy McNair by my closest-in-geography-blogger, F-Stop Blues‘ Tim Coyle. In the interview, Peerflix is explained (if you don’t know what it is, read the interview!), and its founder talks about the service’s bright future:

Currently people mail DVD’s to one another. Do you see a point where people might download digital copies of the movies instead of mailing them? It seems to me this service might be a great way to legalize P2P trading in some aspects.

While we think that the U.S. is still a few years away from the masses downloading digital movies, Peerflix is absolutely well positioned to take advantage of that opportunity when it arises. While early adopters will move to digital files of movies within the next couple years, the mainstream American consumer probably will not be at that point for at least 3-5 years. There are a number of factors in play to move to digital movies including, for example, integration of Internet connectivity/PC/television, as most people aren’t interested in watching movies on their PC. In addition, there are bandwidth and distribution limitations.

All that being said, Peerflix has the technology today to legally enable our members to trade digital movie files via the Internet. We are waiting for the right market opportunity in terms of technology adoption, consumer preferences and legal environment to deploy this technology to our user base.

But the best part of the interview came as McNair was taking about the advantages of Peerflix over more “traditional” models like Netflix. Here, I think McNair really hits the “long tail” moment of the interview:

Peeflix is a peer to peer network and, as such, Peerflix is able to keep overhead to a minimum. Peerflix has no regional distribution centers (in fact, every household in America is a Peerflix distribution center!) or other logistical overhead. As a result, Peerflix is able to save on these significant capital costs and pass this cost savings along to our members enabling them to receive DVDs that they’d like to watch for only $0.99 each!