Bryan Lunduke,the engaging co-host of Jupiter Broadcasting’s The Linux Action Show, discusses emerging trends in technology and how to jump start your own online show. For those who want to shed their shyness and get into the world of online broadcasting: close your eyes and take the leap.
Hometown: Everett, WA
Current Residence: Everett, WA
Occupation: President of Radical Breeze, Online Personality & Host at
Areas of Focus: Linux, Software Development and Education
As a co-host of The Linux Action Show and one of the most successful shows on Jupiter broadcasting, what do you think it is about your show that resonates with your audience?
The Linux Action Show is a bit of a “lightning in a bottle” scenario — what makes one show popular and another flop can be a bit of a mystery. In this case, I think a lot of it comes down to the fact that we take the topics (general Linux news and reviews) very seriously while, at the same time, we don’t take ourselves seriously at all.
Watching (or listening) to an hour long show about any technology topic can be, let’s be frank, pretty boring. The chemistry between me and my co-host, and our willingness to poke fun at ourselves (and others in a, usually, tongue-in-cheek way) helps to keep things fun and a bit more engaging.
How would you describe the start up culture/ tech industry in Washington State?
Diverse and vibrant. Up near Seattle we are literally in “Microsoft’s Backyard”, so the number of start-ups and small/mid-sized firms dedicated to using Microsoft tech is, as you might expect, extremely high. Despite this, the number of start-ups (including mine, which is focused on building easy to use software development tools – Radical Breeze) with a vested interest in Linux and Open Source projects is fairly astounding.
The result is a heavy focus on “cross platform” solutions that run on many different platforms. Which is, in my opinion, a big win for everyone.
Was there a specific event that led you guys to come up with doing an online tech show? i.e, were you high school best friends, we’re you both programming your first line of code at age 4?
We – my co-host and I – started the Linux Action Show (which led to the formation of the Jupiter Broadcasting network) simply because there was nothing like it and, we felt it needed to exist. And we, quite pompously, decided we were just the guys to do it.
Luckily the two of us come from different tech backgrounds; I myself being a software developer by trade, and my co-host being a server admin. This allows us to talk about all of the various topics from two different, but complimentary, points of view.
Do you have a production checklist to use before the shows go live?
Oh heavens yes.
Over the years we’ve learned a lot of hard lessons. I’m pretty sure we’ve made every newbie mistake in the book when it comes to audio and video production — resulting in many episodes of our early shows that were simply unusable.
But we kept at it. And, nowadays, our process for producing, recording, editing and distributing a show is pretty well streamlined. We have a physical checklist, as well as a mental list of all of our past screw-ups, that keeps things running smoothly. When we started, neither of us had any background in production, so we’ve earned our chops as we went.
Do you have any advice you would give for someone who wanted to produce their own online show i.e, challenges, considerations, equipment purchase recommendations?
My main advice would be to simply go for it. If you have an idea for a show, dive in and make it. Don’t worry if it’s good or not, just sit down and record, edit and post a few episodes. See if you even like the process. It’s not for everyone.
If you start with an audio-only show, the barrier to entry is pretty low cost-wise. If you can invest in a good microphone you’re pretty much set. (You can find decent USB mic’s for pretty cheap nowadays.) If, after a few episodes, you decide this is something you want to be doing long term… then you need to invest in some serious equipment (mixers, pro mic’s, dedicated recording equipment, etc.).
What are your thoughts surrounding online video content business models for video producers today?
Producing original video content online is really just now growing out of its infancy. Mainstream advertisers are beginning to look more seriously at the world of “podcasts” and the like. Despite that, it is still an uphill battle to fully fund and sponsor many shows. This is something that every online original video content network is constantly fighting.
I think that, over the next 3 to 5 years, we’ll see this continue to steadily improve; resulting in more higher quality and original shows that are only available online (or available online first). I also expect that many cable networks will begin to utilize the online networks as a proving ground for shows, and a relatively inexpensive way to bring new content to their own audience through the licensing of that content.
A good example of the beginning of this trend: Some of our shows are available directly via TiVo set top boxes. The line between online video content and traditional cable networks is quickly becoming blurred.
What are the 2-3 biggest tech trends you see happening this year, and what are you most excited about?
The number one trend I’m seeing in Tech right now is the move to make computing more simplified. Easier to use phones and tablets, desktop operating systems being revamped with a focus on making things “less overwhelming” for new users.
The result is both exciting and horrifying. I’m a big fan of making computers and computing devices more accessible and usable… but I’m very concerned that a large portion of the industry is quickly sacrificing power at the expense of simplicity. For example: Many desktop environments are moving towards a “one application visible at a time, taking up the entire screen” approach. This has the benefit of making the desktop computing experience less distracting and far less daunting for people who are less computer savvy but, at the same time, greatly reduces the flexibility and power that many computer users expect. You could almost call this the “Tablet-ification” of all computing.
One truly great thing about many of these changes: they is prompting many people (power users especially) to look at platforms and operating systems they have not yet tried. And that is always a great thing.
What is next for you?
2011 is going to be a busy year. In fact, as I type this, we’re packing up to head to Linux Fest NorthWest where we’ll be live-streaming during the entire convention; most of which I will spend in front of the camera (it’s going to be a long few days!).
We’ve got some new shows launching at Jupiter Broadcasting over the next few months that I am incredibly excited about. Some that will be a natural evolution of the type of Geeky-Nerdy content we’ve been producing and others that will take us into new territory.