Will Joost Live Up to the Hype?

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Lots of promise, the hype is there, will it make it, and what will the impacts on the corporate network be?

The folks who brought you Kazaa, and then Skype are taking a long hard look at IPTV, and will most likely shape how that media channel will look for the next 4 or 5 years. I have applied for a Joost beta key, but have yet to get one (so hint, if anyone has a joost beta key that they don’t want, let me know, no its not worth money to me).

Kazaa shaped a lot of the expectations around P2P; it was wildly popular until it was shut down for promoting illegal downloads. Skype has been wildly popular as an IP Telephone application and is also wildly popular. If anyone has a Midas touch, it could be the folks that made both of them. That is why Joost looks so promising.

As a closed system, in that users can’t upload anything, and with the realization that TV streaming over the internet is viable (how else am I going to get Battle Star Galactica, I have to go to work on Monday and it’s on at 10PM Sunday) as a media channel. Joost has a lot of promise to be the "NBC/ABC/CBS" of the internet.

With deals made with Viacom, opening the door to MTV, Nickelodeon and other channels (Like VH1 the Surreal Life good for hours of amusement), as well as companies like the BBC looking at streaming media, Joost is in a good place to take the lead.

Now comes the real question, as we stream TV at work (and we will) what will the bandwidth needs look like for a company. Or will we end up blocking it like anything else. We know that there are some interesting things that Skype does, like read BIOS information, so it will be interesting to see what kind of control Joost will need over the OS (and its good on Mac or PC) and then how it will be incorporated into the company controlled desktops.

Many companies do try to limit what a user can install, Vista helps, but most of us are still running XP. Companies will try to limit Joost, but then people being who they are will download it, attempt to install and run it. People with administrative creds will be successful, and then everyone is going to want it in the office.

Joost will cause the same problems of scalability and access that P2P applications did, but the good part about Joost is that it’s a closed system. People don’t share or upload anything into it, rather it’s a read only stream. That does not mean that people will not figure out a way to save the files to their systems, or store them on the corporate LAN. Companies need to start making policies now about streaming TV to the corporate desktop if they want to avoid excessive bandwidth, storage, and a new software package on the desktop.

The best way to address streaming media to the desktop like TV-Links (http://www.tv-links.co.uk/index.html), YouTube, Google Video and now Joost, is to have a defined corporate policy for or against it. There are always ways to block the IP ranges or Ports on proxies or firewalls, but its time to start making the policy now before streaming media takes a huge chunk out of your corporate bandwidth.



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Will Joost Live Up to the Hype?
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About Dan Morrill
Dan Morrill runs Techwag, a site all about his views on social media, education, technology, and some of the more interesting things that happen on the internet. He works at CityU of Seattle as the Program Director for the Computer Science, Information Systems and Information Security educational programs. WebProNews Writer
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