JTV’s New Look and A Band of Brothers Break JTV

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It’s a new day at JTV

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Justin with Piglet/Vincent

Well, not really a new day, but a new “look and feel” at Justin.tv. Today we were treated to 2 new user interfaces.

Heading to Justin.tv will take you to a portal that is similar to the old, but with some added features and some administrative changes. Now if you want to create a new name, you are asked to register with a Username, Password, Email address, Birthdate and probably the information with the biggest potential impact yet, the need to agree to the posted Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I printed them out last week, but haven’t taken the time to take a deep dive into the finer details. It’s going to be interesting to see how the Kicks and Bans by the often free handed Mods and channel owners is handled from this point on. Also, are all the names that were registered previous to this launch grandfathered in, or will we soon be seeing a request to sign the TOS and Privacy Policy with our pre-August 6 names?

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With the launch of the new site design, Linus went truly mobile — here he is on the train after work

In other developments, it appears that there is some trouble on the popular world of GGJeffy. I was not in the room, but see from the chat that Klon reportedthat Jeffy was unhappy with the new portal. I’ve remarked a few times now that although the fratboys claim that the channel placement is prioritized by popularity (number of viewers watching) that Justin is almost always #1 and Wild949 is frequently #2 although the viewer count is most often in the single digits. It appears that there is some reason they are given top billing and I would imagine it’s about agreements we don’t see or hear about. I’d imagine Jeffy won’t be able to stay away too long. He likes interacting with his fans and there is already some dismay and confusion about what is going on with his blank channel since everyone is used to him publishing even if he is not around. I suspect Jeffy will not be able to go cold turkey, but it’s entirely possible we will hear from him via USTREAM soon. If so, I hope he does some kind of publicity to get more viewers so that it can be worthwhile for him.

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A bridge in Falkenberg, Sweden

Footnote: This evening Jeffy was back. I had confidence he would return. I was busy so didn’t see any talk of why people thought he was leaving for good, but I am going to chalk it up to the usual rumors and over-reaction network at JTV. It’s not difficult to understand why things get twisted. Remember back to your days as a kid playing a game of Telephone and it’s easy to see that this virtual world is similar to playing a wicked game of Telephone on a daily basis. In the end, people seemed happy to see Jeffy back, so all is right with the world in GGJ-land.

It will be interesting to see how things develop.

What Do People Think of the New UI(s)?

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The new Registration Pop

The icon bar at the top of the page seems to be the most complained about feature. As Emmett said this past hour in the Justin.tv room — it really hasn’t changed other than now needing more screen real estate to see all of the channels. I heard people complaining that they could no longer scroll through the channels, but there is a Directory link that takes you to all the icons on one page, so that seemed to help.

Also, the new Live Portal page takes you to an iTunes-esque interface that allows you to easily scroll through all the channels without waiting for each page to load by clicking on a left or right arrow. It works, but most people do not seem to realize this exists. It’s interesting, people seem to have things that they look for on the page and don’t look much further, but the link to the 2nd portal is under Announcements as well as under Justin’s profile. I don’t really blame viewers for missing this. The screen is cluttered and there’s a lot going on now. It’s also nice to not have to see the chat room — to just be able to watch the stream and watch chat in IRC.

Smart Marketing Move, Poorly Executed

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A shot from the promo video that was airing prior to the concert

A new icon appeared today and I “heard” people asking who The Jonas Brothers were, but I didn’t care enough to spend time investigating. I had other things to do, there was a new site design to check out.

Well, it looks like I was missing all the teeny-bopper build up. The boy band, which consists of three brothers released their first album, It’s About Time, on August 8, 2006 and their second, titled simply, Jonas Brothers, is due to release tomorrow, August 7, 2007.

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Is it just me, or does the gray jacket and long hair remind you of February 9, 1964 or September 12, 1966?

This much I will say — kudos to the Jonas Brothers’ publicist for getting the word out. They trumped Justin and his site launch in a big way. What I don’t get is this — the fratboys decided to release a new portal — and a re-engineered site on a Monday — atypical of most companies in the industry, and not only did they launch a new product, but they also premiered an apparently hot boy band that appeals to teenagers that are off from school and available to tune in to see the live feed they’ve been promoting. It’s now 11:51 and I have just made it back into the site and the Jonas Brothers are continuing to loop their promo. The live feed they promote on the channel page states it was supposed to go live at 11pm EDT and be live all day tomorrow. It will be interesting to see how tomorrow goes.

It’s a Good News/Bad News Story for Justin.tv

There are major complaints in the the other rooms. People asking the fratboys to take down the Jonas Brother’s site. Now I ask you — what would be the motivation for Justin and team to take down the one channel that has drawn respectable numbers? It’s like the weeks after AOL moved to the unlimited pricing model in the fall of 1996. Subscribers and new customers stormed the gates and people would wait for hours to get through a busy signal to land successfully online. For subscribers it was a wonderful thing that, once they could get online, they could stay online for as long as they liked without racking up the sometimes enormous hourly fees, but with that came the frustration of not being able to get online when they wanted. AOL was being looked at by customers as though it was a utility — like the power, or gas or water — and that not being able to get online whenever they wanted was viewed as almost criminal. What a good story, people wanted to get online so badly that they were downright angry when they couldn’t.

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In a Van on the way to Times Square to purchase their own album which has just released

I see the same phenomenon with JTV tonight. They put on an act that brought in thousands — exceeding 3000 viewers at some points — and people clamored to get in. It crashed the site. Some tenured viewers, and even newer ones spent the night complaining about how things aren’t working well with JTV.

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Out on Times Square — NO ONE was asking to hear the Naked Cowboy sing tonight! 😉

My thoughts? It’s all going to be ok. It’s not a life or death situation. No one will die because they don’t get to chat with their favorite lifecaster. Teen girls got to see their favorite band live and all is right with the world — the 2-D world. Outside, a deadly conflict still rages 1/2 way around the planet, but in the world of JTV, the top of mind issue is a band of brothers of a different sort.

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The crowds were wild — screaming ensued, photos were taken and autographs signed

Traveling to Texas

I’m heading to Texas next week for a couple of days and the thought of it prompted me to take a stroll down my own musical memory lane, to the early 1990’s when I was into country music. I know! I know! I have just lost a great amount of respect with a lot of you, but I can’t apologize for my past. Country music doesn’t define me any longer and Todd Rundgren is still my hero, but if I move to Austin, Texas, the live music capital of the world, who knows what might happen.

Good thing I held onto my boots! 🙂

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I must have been in a very patriotic mood when I sprung for these babies

My favorite boots are designed and manufactured in Texas by the Rocketbuster Boots Company in El Paso, Texas. They are all works of art.

Thanks to on of DJSteen’s many Twitter’s this wekeend, I’ve now got another, more simple photo mosaic creator. It’s a cool app, but although it uses your own photo as the basis for the artwork, the mosaic is made up of stranger’s photos that reside on Flickr. It works well however, and takes a fraction of the time the program I normally use does.

Image Mosaic Generator (v2.0)

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7 Responses

  1. Hi Justo!

    Just wanted to take a moment to say “Hi!” and see how you were doing… I love your food. Being a chef in Las Vegas, I have seen and ate all kinds of food, but your stuff looks GREAT! It seems to be a great couple of weeks in your food preparation department. (Still waiting for my care package.

    You are going to Texas? I hope you will be able to keep us updated on the JTV stuff. I work swing shift, mostly 3 PM to 11 or 12 PM, so I miss most of the good stuff.

    Your blog is the first place I go before logging into JTV.

    Keep up the good work!

    By the way, I wanted to chat with you about something… I included my email, can you drop me a quick not and I will get back to you?

    Thanks and take care.

  2. Wow! You flatter me — again — Johincal! Thanks for the comments. It’s a shame you didn’t get to see the pandemonium with the Jonas Brothers, but there are a crazy amount of tips, so maybe you can catch some of it. The real wild stuff was when they went to the store to purchase their newly minted CD, but the real fun is watching their adoring fans in what is reminiscent of the Beatles-like hysteria of the 60’s.

  3. I love what you have done with the site – the changes look great. I look forward to helping bring in more viewers once a new beta code is emailed to me :0). I tell everyone about justin.tv everytime I talk now…thanks again…and keep up the good work. Jack – thecrackerjacks@gmail.com

  4. Have fun in Texas. I lived in Austin for over 10 years, so I can give you some pointers if you’d like, although I haven’t been on Sixth St. where all the live venues are in awhile.

  5. Hey crackerjacks!

    Thanks for reading me, but you probably want to direct some of this to the JTV team at the address they have posted at the site. I am JTV obsessed, but not employed or monetarily compensated by the guys and don’t have any input.

    Best of luck on your upcoming JTV stream. I’ll look forward to checking it out.

  6. Thanks Carrot! I am looking forward to the trip. I hear only good things about Austin, so I am anxious to see for myself and if things go the way I want them to, I will reach out to you for some insight into places to live, etc.

  7. Greetings, I have a pair of Stars & Stripes boots identical to the ones in you photo. Do you know what company made them or what you paid for them ? I can’t find a maker’s label anywhere on them. I bought mine in memphis on clearance when a store was goingout of biz. If you have any info on them, pls email me
    Thanks, Lundy

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