The Party Was Awesome!

Surya Dub!

We are just now recovering from the 12seconds & UserVoice launch party! It was a great time! Hundreds of friends, family, and people from the community showed up, brought food and drink, and danced their asses off. It wasn’t just our party, it was also a showcase for NextSpace, our friendly neighborhood co-working space. Let it be known… NextSpace can handle a party!

The best thing about the party was seeing so many 12seconds users in person! It’s always a bit of a shock and surprise to meet people face to face that you’ve only known through tiny video. We hear that the party bus from SF was raging before they even arrived. 

Thank you so much to everyone that turned out in person and in spirit! This was the first of many… and yes it’s true that 12 didn’t actually “launch” anything official Thursday… but don’t touch that dial, good things are on the way!

Here is a video tour of NextSpace from Scoble. He showed up early and had a look around. It was great to see him!

And here are some random 12s that were recorded during the evening… 

Mindi gets wild!


DJ 2000

Having a Wonderful Time!

The coolest f-ing person ever!

Very Cool!

Jacob was the man!

Also thank you to all the well wishers on our challenge! Yay!


12seconds / Uservoice Party

More Details here.

It’s gonna smell like High School B.O. before we’re done partying.


Get ready for Election Day

You’ve seen a lot of web-based election guides out there trying to get your attention.  Here’s one more.

As you know, we’ve been pushing pretty hard to get ready for Election ’08.  We’re partnering with Current who will be broadcasting election day news and happenings.  Part of what they’re broadcasting is going to be created by us, the 12ers of the world who know how to keep it pithy.  We’re also partnering with Flixwagon who will be providing the mobile video software.

The Night Before

Before you set out on Election Day you should set up your phone with Flixwagon.  This is mobile streaming software and it’ll allow you to catch those moments on the street.  Our main man, Jivebotic, created this guide with explicit instructions on how to set up Flixwagon for your iPhone.  Setting up for Nokia phones is easy and prompted after you register at Flixwagon.   Link your Flixwagon and 12seconds account on your settings page. Once you’ve done that, go give your final opinion on election day, at the 12second Challenge.

The next day, you’ll be one of three places: at work, voting or at an election night party…

At Work

While you’re at work, you should keep a browser open on Current.  With a tab on Current, you can get the very latest info.  However, your job isn’t just to watch the news, you need to make the news too.  Give and get reactions from people you work with by taking the 12second Challenge throughout the day or tagging any video with the word electionday (one word).  Some of those reactions will almost certainly end up on Current’s site and even on TV.


As you journey to go vote and you have a mobile device that does video please document the experience.  Find that journalist deep down inside and tell people that you’re reporting on election day for  Ask them how they’re feeling and whose going to win.  When you get to the polling place be careful not to video in states where that’s not allowed.  Here’s a guide that can tell you if you’re allowed to record your vote.  Just to give you an idea about how important it is to document our democracy, check out this site.

After you voted, tell us how it felt on 12seconds.  Anyone who tags their 12 with ivoted will get an “i voted” 12seconds award.  Make sure you also tag it with electionday so that those people over at Current can see it too.  🙂

Election Night Party

Current told us that the goal was to create the ultimate election party – a two screen event that involves Television on one screen and a way to interact with that TV, your computer, on another screen.  This will be an incredibly interactive experience.  In fact, the anchor(s) from Current will ask questions which can then be answered via webcam on the Current site, powered by 12seconds.  Some of those answers will appear on TV.  Get on TV at your election party and participate.

Tune your TV to Current on one of these channels:

Comcast (Channel 107 nationwide)
DirecTV (channel 366 nationwide)
Dish Network (channel 196 nationwide)
Verizon, AT&T, BSkyB (channel 183)
Virgin Media (channel 155)
Sky Italia (channel 130)

Thanks 12ers for kicking ass and getting out there and voting!

Flixwagon integration, Current and Halloween!

Happy Thursday (or Friday for you Kiwis out there),

12seconds integrates with Flixwagon!

Flixwagon is the amazing service that let’s you stream live video to the web from your mobile phone.  It’s completely amazing technology and we’re excited to be working with Flixwagon.  You can link your 12seconds account to your Flixwagon account and then the first twelve seconds of every Flixwagon session will go automatically to 12seconds!  Flixwagon works with “jailbroken” iPhones and a whole bunch of Nokia Phones (Series 60 Symbian like the N95).  We’re hoping the service will be available on Friday for some weekend mobile testing/fun and then for election day coverage, citizen journalist style.

Election Day is a seriously BIG DAY

As you might know, we’re working with Current on all the election day activities.  Current will be taking a feed for election day content and broadcasting some of it on TV.  Current has reach into like 50 million households so it’s pretty exciting to think that some of our 12ers will be on TV.  Also, Current is going to do a crazy mashup of all kinds of social media that day (clearly 12seconds is going to be the best part of it).  If anyone wants to be on our Election Day team, contact jivebotic.  It would be cool if we were out there doing our part monitoring, getting opinions and getting reactions on this important election day.

Some community notes…


  • Hopetakesflight is giving us 12second previews of an incredible new documentary.  We highly suggest clicking the play button on their channel!
  • We’re going to be launching a new Terms of Service.  Yeah we’re getting more legit.  But, don’t worry we’re still going to act immature on a regular basis.  When we launch it, it’ll pop up at you and ask for your blessings.
  • We’re doing a lot of “serious” challenge questions as we come up to the election in the US even thoughsome of us are trying to change the subject.  After this week, we’d like to do one 12er-sponsored question a week.  That 12er will pick the question and the winner.  If you’d like to be that person, hit up jivebotic.
  • Does anyone think this is a good idea?
  • Friday is Halloween.  Need I say more?  We want to see some crazy, scary, fun, creepy stuff.  So, share the fun with everyone.

Keep it real,


Uploads! Downloads!

Another great week!  Here’s what’s going on…

Upload/Download Feature

It’s one of the most requested features and one which we’ve been remiss in adding.  The ability to upload a video file to your channel.  Let’s say you took a great video from your Flip.  You no longer need to email it to your mobile email address.  You can now upload it directly from the site.  Just look for the upload button on your individual “home” page.  In addition, we’re providing the ability to download your files as well (thanks Jeremy for the suggestion).
note: you can upload most video file types and downloads will be in .mov and .flv formats.

BBC News | Have Your Say Challenge!

The folks over at BBC Have Your Say are excited about the participation of all the 12ers in some of our debate challenges.  So, they want to do their own challenge.  Thus, today’s challenge is sponsored by the BBC News.  There’s a great chance that some of your challenge entries will end up on BBC TV!  We’re pretty excited and would appreciate your participation.  The Challenge Question is: “Economic downturn – how bad can it get?  Give some examples.”
note: if you don’t feel comfortable with the thought of being on TV you might want to sit out of this challenge.

Citizen Journalism and Election Day Coverage

When you launch a service you never know how it will be used.  12seconds gets a lot of attention from news services like Current or the BBC because it is so easy for people to cover an event or give an opinion.  Citizen Journalism is pretty important for the health of a democracy.  For this reason, we’re going to put a lot of effort into Election Day.  Where appropriate (and legal) we’d like 12ers covering reactions, parties, exit polls and emotions on November 4th all over the world.  We’re assembling a team of people and will feature their content on Election Day.  If you’d be willing to be part of this team, please contact Jivebotic.

Two more things:

  1. Renato has volunteered to be our European Community Evangelist.  He’s a Beatbox master.  Add him & get to know him!  Thanks, Renato!
  2. Bateatsbat is a freakin’ genius.

With love and pithiness,


Passion is recession proof.

Tonight I was standing outside the Synagogue holding my son, Marlon, who was conveniently unable to sit through Yom Kippur services.  I was reading this Techcrunch article which featured Ron Conway giving advice to his startups in these dire economic times (I’ve gotten very good at holding Marlon in one hand and my iPhone in the other).  Maybe it’s just the nature of the holiday but I began feeling very thankful for what I had in the non-iPhone hand.  I also started to think about applying some of the logic that Ron Conway described.

He gave a lot of advice about tightening up, focusing on monetization and making sure you had “enough” to last for a while.  I’ve been doing plenty of complaining about raising money lately and everyone has told me that it’s nearly impossible to do so in this market, particularly for consumer-focused internet companies that have an as-of-yet-determined business model.

Maybe we’ve all been focusing on the wrong thing?  Maybe our little burrito-funded startup is onto something?  12seconds came out of a group called “the geeks.”  It’s like a Santa Cruz social club that meets every once in a while to drink beers.  It’s the kind of group where you can talk about Twitter without having to explain it.  Beach had a cool idea and a bunch of us decided to build it.  Why not?

As an entrepreneur you face a lot of barriers.  First, there are a lot of people who will tell you that your idea kinda sucks.  Next, you will try to assemble some super team that can get it done.  After that, you’ll try to make it a legal entity and create a cap table that everyone agrees to.  Once everyone feels good about that you’ll try to build some of it and raise money.  Oh you’ll argue about using basecamp and google groups and you’ll reconsider your brand and naming, create email accounts, stickers and buttons.  You’ll talk about all the things you’re going to do “once you get funded.”  But then you don’t and everything stops.

12seconds has gone way farther than any non-funded startup I’ve ever been a part of.  We haven’t “succeeded” yet but we’re rockin’ 100K uniques in our second month and even though we’ll have a couple ups and downs our traffic is showing sustained growth.

By accident, we did something different with 12seconds.  We weren’t so much a company as we were a community.  We tapped into a larger pool of people who all had something to give.  Some gave a lot and others gave when they had time.  We built a community of contributors.  No one ever asked what the payoff would be.  Everyone expected some stock but most made it clear that the stock wasn’t why they were doing it.  They did it because they wanted to be a part of it.  It was passion.  The passion to build something they believed in.  To launch it.  To see it done.

You’re thinking that 12seconds is a bunch of hippie/surfers from Santa Cruz.  Believe me, every single person on our team would love to be wealthy.  But, I’m willing to wager (my zero dollars) that most successful entrepreneurs were more passionate about seeing their ideas come to life then the monetary rewards associated with their success. This isn’t to say that monetary rewards aren’t a close second

Here’s what I have to say in these difficult economic times…

There is no better time to create a community of friends who can come together and execute on your brilliant idea.  Don’t let the roadblocks of fundraising get in your way.  Remove the roadblock by allowing many people to share in your dream.  Don’t get hung up on share allocation or valuation.  Throw a wider net and get everyone who has something to contribute involved.

Why do you raise funds?  To pay people.  Every single person at 12seconds has another job or consults.  No one gets paid.  Yes, we’d all love to work on 12seconds full time.  Perhaps one day we will raise money and get paid.  But the lack of funding is not and will not be the barrier that stops us.

If you have an idea or a startup and need some encouragement then get in your car and come down Santa Cruz and hang out with us.  If you want to be involved in what we’re doing, great.  If you just want some help on your thing, we’re here for you.  But, whatever you do, don’t get too wrapped up in negativity.  Your idea is great before, during and after economic turmoil.

You can find me on 12seconds or email me anytime.

Don’t be discouraged.  Create community and succeed together.

Thanks to our whole Team12, Quiddities, StageTwo Consulting, United Layer, NextSpace and Gunderson Dettmer. Let’s keep kicking ass.

So Much To Talk About

We’ve been going so fast lately that it’s all a bit of a blur. There’s a ton of stuff we’ve been working on and even more in the pipeline. We’re very focused on improving the site, the technology, and the user experience. For us, it can’t be simple enough. It can never be fun enough! 12seconds should be as easy, fast, reliable, and super as possible. Super!

Here’s a bit of a recap of what we’ve done in the past few days:

We can’t say all that’s coming up next for us, but we’re really excited about it and are looking forward to sharing it with you. Is that coy enough? 🙂
We can tell you that we’re focused on bugs and fixing a bunch of things that need attention. We even ordered a Logitech WebCam (QuickCam Pro 9000) to try and figure out why browsers seem to crash when Logitech hardware is being used. Don’t worry, we’ll figure it out! We love you and totally appreciate your patience. If you have any issues or any problems please visit our page on getsatisfaction or if you have any suggestions or feature requests, let us know on our UserVoice page:
Thanks again for using the site and keep it up! Yip!
Oh and if you have invites… make sure you use ’em up! Get your friends on 12seconds!