Monday, August 31, 2009

Quick Checklist for Outdoor Recording

There is nothing wrong with spontaneous recording. If you have an event or new story that you have the opportunity to record (safely) then don't waste time, power up, aim and record.

A checklist does not have to be a big deal. it is just a way to make sure that you have what you need when you need it. This is especially true if you are recording away from home.

Basic Equipment

You can carry as much as you want or as little as you need. These are my suggested essentials.

Camcorder. A no brainier right? It happen to me. I thought I had packed everything. I get to my destination and there is no camcorder. I had to go buy a new one in a strange city at a price that was doable but not financially comfortable.

Lens Cloth. I can't tell you how often I'm searching for something that will not scratch the lens to get that speck of dust off. Videos have been ruined because that that dastardly speck. Have one in the wallet and one in the camera bag.

Batteries charged the night before, or bring a A/C plug or have spare batteries. No fooling; you will be in the middle of a great shot and you see the battery indicator flashing going, going, gone. It hurts when you know that is it and there is no more juice.

Storage. If you have a hard drive camcorder or recording on memory cards and you are running out of storage space consider shifting to the next level down, if possible. For example on my JVC Envirio I can record in Fine, Normal or Web.

I can gain some extra recording time by downshifting into Normal recording. Web on my camcorder on one of my camcorders means 320x240. I don't record in that format anymore. For those of you recording on memory cards it does not hurt to have extras in a case or your wallet..

Microphone/Headphones. If your camcorder has external jacks make use of them. An external microphone will have better sound, especially for interviews. Headphones allow you to monitor and possibly correct recording problems. Most inexpensive equipment do not have external jacks but there are exceptions.

Tripod. yes, I know. many camcorders has OIS (Optical Image Stabilization). That is a wonderful thing if your camcorder has that feature. Many don't. There is a natural limit to how steady you can hold a camcorder in your hand. I have an inexpensive table tripod for my Kodak Zi6 and a more substantial one for the JVC. They really can make the difference between a shoddy video and a good one.

A Non-Photography Carry Bag. Nothing screams come take me and my stuff like a Photo bag. If the camera bag is small enough place it in a plain backpack or large purse.

Do this the night before and you will removed a pound of regret from your shoulders.

Related Posts

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The EOScars and Examples of DSLR Videos

I had a good time at the virtual Videoblogger Meet-up. It is a chance to connect with people all over the world talking about technology, storytelling, who is doing what and what are we drooling about on the equipment frontier.

No surprise everybody is keeping eyes on the hybrid upper level DSLR (digital single lens reflex still cameras) Video convergence.

This is where serendipity kicks in; I was looking for something else and I discovered this site specifically for video shot by the Canon 5D MkII and all of it's future progeny.

I am in love. I have deep envy. No, this is straight up camera lust. The video is beautiful. Really tried to concentrate on the quality of the video and not the action in it. I weaved back and forth.

Yes. If I had a serious justification for spending that kind of money I'd do it in a heartbeat. As it is I don't have time to record and edit on the plain vanilla stuff so this would be a lovely, beautiful waste of money. This is the General by David Stephenson and writer Amy Wilson for

The good news is that I can watch others experiment with recording with a DSLR camera and where that leads in the future of video recording. On the site are examples of videos shot in 1080p by professional photographers and videographers.

There is stunning work at the site and it will you do you good to peep in and be inspired.

Related Posts

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Center for Digital Storytelling - Telling Our Stories

The Center for Digital Storytelling (CDS) helps people move the story from the inside out. Which is why we tell stories in the first place.

We can't contain our knowledge of the world. It is true that some of us have the capacity to keep our mouths shut. For the rest of us, the story must be transferred to the next keeper of the memory.

Center for Digital Storytelling

This section of the website contains examples of stories and memories released to benefit the recipient. These are people like you and I. There is a power in well done narratives. Stories don't have to be perfect, slick or technologically stupendous.

They just have to be told.

CDS gives workshops and presentations on helping teachers, non-profit and non-governmental organizations and other groups on how to tell stories.

You might want to take a look at a chapter of the Digital Storytelling Cookbook which contains a lot of good advice and tips. You also have the option to purchase the full book to help support the center.

Related Posts

Friday, August 28, 2009

Screenr - Online Screencasting Application

Screencasting is a great way to show folks how to solve a computer problem, a resource or a product demonstration. There are a lot of screencasting tools and Screenr is one that I learned about from the Rapid eLearning Blog

Screenr Intro Page

The company behind Screenr is Articulate. They make e-learning products. I have been spending quality time at the Rapid eLearning Blog so that is how I found out about Screenr.

Basically is is an online application that allows you to record computer screen activity and save it as a Flash video. It is similar in concept to TechSmith's Jing.

The Twitter part is a wee bit deceptive. You do need a Twitter account to use Screenr. You record your video and upload to the Screenr site using your Twitter log-in as your identification. Screenr will also provide an embed code or a Tweet link to your video.

So no, you cannot view videos on the Twitter main page. This is a very good thing. Nobody should want to open that Pandora's box of possibilities. (Update 6/15/2012 - The box has been opened. You can display videos in your Twitter posts.You will have to check to see if you can add Screenr videos.)

You can share the video on your blog or other places on the Internet. I like the concept and when I get a chance I will dive in and explore.

Personal Bias Alert 

I have to say I don't like giving out one company's log-in information to another. That is a personal privacy issue that I have with many newer products and services. I've seen bogus log-in screen that I knew led some folks into trouble. Can you spell data mining?

I wish there was an alternate way to log-in.

Related Posts

Thursday, August 27, 2009

New Blog Glitches and Holy Crap

I've said this before but free ain't necessarily free. That new blog smell is wearing off and the glitches are making themselves to home.

The images embedded in my template are acting a little wonky. I apologize but the Salt Mine is tooting the horn.

I'll do what I can but yes, it is not pretty.

5:19am Update:

Actually it was much easier than I thought. I have got to spend more time reading the excellent Blogger tutorials Amanda provides at Blogger Busters.

Too hip, gotta go.

Jawbone.TV - Watching The Next Wave of Storytelling

Update: Jawbone.TV has re-incarnated into a new site with new staff. I'll do an update in a new post but this is a historical look at what the site looked like was when I visited.

There has been corporate storytelling for years. Advertising, copy writing and promotion all use elements of storytelling to get our attention and motivate consumers to action.

Sometimes it is done extremely poorly, think of any recent PETA advertisements, or sometimes it is so well done it become a part of the cultural memory. main page is a portal for creative storytelling. The site looks at how stories are made, the tools used and the methods of how consumers are taking in those stories. Distribution now includes web video, mobile video content, comics, gaming and advertorials wrapped in various media.

There are features on artists like Fredo Viola, a look at David Lynch's Interview Project and 360 degrees of YellowBird's interactive recording techniques. is visually rich. Since their debut in June 2009 they have been working steady to demonstrate the intersections of various media and the connections to various related communities.

Hmm. Must be something in the air. ;-) Anyway slide on over and spend some quality time.

Other Posts of Interest

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Lorraine Grula and

When I'm looking for business video or information product sites it becomes frustrating because the amount of flim-flam is staggering. I seem to keep saying that because it true.

It feels like walking in a bar on the rough side of town. So I entered cautiously thinking I wasn't gong to stay long at

I was wrong. Lorraine Grula has been working in videos as a producer of corporate videos, documentaries and commercials. She has the grunt work and professional level skills to get the job done.

On her site there is a huge amount of free content. I encourage folks to dive into the Archives. Visitors to are free to explore and check out her content. If they are interested they can sign up for her video production tutorials.

Lorraine Grula
They also have the option to check out and learn about her production service for those people that want to have video on their website but do not have the skills or the time to do so.

This could be a viable option and something to think about if you are not quite ready to take the leap but think video can help your business.

Related Posts

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Creating Information Products and the Blogger Marketer Divide

Update 6/15/2012 This post has been updated to remove a broken video embed code and minor tweaking. I also renamed the post because there is no longer a video to view. Such is life. Prepare for change.
Tubetorial is a website that has videos and screencasts on Internet Marketing, Web Development and Content Issues. I viewed a video on steps to create an information product.

The screencast was well done, the point were clearly expressed and the narration was spot on. The information presented was truthful, valid and when it comes to writing either copy writing or non-fiction articles it did the job.

I have multiple feelings about this topic and I have some bias so bear with me a bit.

There is this tool called a blog. This tool is used by many kinds of people. Writers, Bloggers, Crafters, Business people and Internet Marketers to name a few.

We use this blog tool and have different reasons for using blogs. We have different expectations on the results. I know there have been contention between Bloggers and Internet Marketers. There probably will always be a uncomfortable relations between the two groups.

My Perceptions on The Divide:

On the Blogger Side:
  • Bloggers write for their audience.
  • Bloggers produce content that their audience finds interesting. The content may or may not support their non-blogging business.
  • Bloggers may or may not choose to make money off of their blog.
  • Bloggers can and do make money from the blog but the focus is on the content and the relationship.
On the Internet Marketer Side:
  • Internet Marketers hope to attract an audience.
  • They have products and services they want to sell.
  • The blog is the vehicle for selling the product.
  • They may or may not want an on-going relationship but that is secondary to selling.
  • Internet Marketers create and sell content that their audience wants based upon needs.
The intersection is we both use blogs to communicate to our audiences. For the record, I am a Blogger. There are certain ever evolving points of view that I hold with the blogging community.

Have I Ever Purchased an Information Product?

Yes, I have. But only when I felt that the person knew the topic thoroughly, did not force me to sign in before I could investigate the blog or website.  I was allowed time to decide if I wanted a relationship between me and the content/writer.

I have to feel comfortable that the vendor wasn't going to skin me and sell my e-mail address down the river.

The Nexus Point 

There are Bloggers who make use of the skills and techniques used by Internet Marketers. Internet Marketers are bouncing in and out of blogs, researching keywords and checking out blog competition in certain topic areas to craft products and services.

There are times when the Blogger and Internet Marketer are the same person. I am not against anybody making money. Nope, not me.

I am against some of the shady, skanky, low down and bordering repulsive practices no one approves of such as seeding comments with links to spam sites, creating content with no conception of what you are talking about and flat out theft of other people's content.

Sometimes those cretins are associated with the term internet marketing. This is where a bit of the hostility comes from.

So as some of us in the blogging community are reviewing our practices and what is acceptable and not acceptable I would hope that the same conversation is happening in the Internet Marketing community as well.

Again, I don't have a problem with ethical Internet Marketers who are transparent, have a product that is well done and respects their visitors. It is the crumb bums that I don't like.

Let the peace process begin.

Other Posts of Interest

Monday, August 24, 2009

Michael Verdi, Talkbot.TV and Machinima

Michael Verdi is one of the creators of FreeVlog. He is also a master creator of Machinima. I could try explaining what Machinima is but I think it would help if you saw an example.

From this is host Aren Mandela doing his rendition of I Miss You:

According to
Machinima (muh-sheen-eh-mah) is filmmaking within a real-time, 3D virtual environment, often using 3D video-game technologies.

In an expanded definition, it is the convergence of filmmaking, animation and game development. Machinima is real-world filmmaking techniques applied within an interactive virtual space where characters and events can be either controlled by humans, scripts or artificial intelligence.
It is one thing to go out into the world and record. It is a totally different experience having to create the world first.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Does Your SD Memory Card Have Any Class?

Have you looked at your memory card lately? I'm not making a value judgment. I never gave a second thought to looking at a Secure Digital(SD) memory card or the packaging.

I usually looked to see if it was a SD or a Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) card, what was the capacity and how much did it cost. Ah, but one day my eyes dropped down and looked at the packaging. I saw the word class.

Kingstone 2GB Class 2

What Does That Mean and Why Should I Care? 
 SD Association Class Chart

I went to the SD Association website and I got an answer. Memory cards are designed for specific purposes and products.

For example, the memory card in your cell phone might operate at a different speed than the one in your camcorder. They could both be 4GB cards but one will work faster than the other.

The class number refers to how fast data moves from the device to the card.

Kingston Video CardThe symbols on the package tells the story. This memory card is specifically designed for photography and camcorder use. It is a high capacity card. Not all devices accept these cards. You do have to check the camera specifications to make sure. This memory card in the photo is a Class 4 card which means that it has a data transfer speed guaranteed at 4MB per second.

So if your camcorder has a transfer speed of 6MB per second or a Class 6 card and you stick a Class 4 card it will work but you are not using the full recording ability of your camcorder.

Real World Test

So you are looking at the weekly Fry's or your are standing in Office Max. There is a sale on memory cards; 16GB for $8. You are thinking, score. Except why is the card selling so cheap? It could be a store brand. It could be a closeout of a prior version. That is why you should take the time and look at the packaging.

Older SD cards will have speeds like 50x but they will not have a class number. Your device may or may not accept the older version of a SD memory cards.

SDHC memory cards will have a class number and on the packaging generally the suggested use of the memory card.

One More Thing 

SDHC cards do not play nice with older computer SD memory readers and older memory card readers. You might need to buy a SDHC reader. So know your equipment.

Bottom line, if there is a sale there is nothing wrong about buying a slower SDHC memory card just understand it might affect your camcorder recording performance.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Lightpanel Micro - LED Lighting

Update 6/15/2012: There are other companies that produce and sell equivalent light for film, video and still photography. There is an on-going legal yacking about how Lightpanels is trying to block others from creating or selling their own version of the device.  They don't want to stop just one company. They want a total lock on the LED photography light business. 

Original Post:

This happens to me in both the real and virtual world. I'm walking down the street, I turn a corner and make a discovery. For those of us that need a portable lighting source for still photos and videos the Litepanel Micro is an interesting solution.

Lightpanel Micro Light Panel

From the website I learned that this is a small LED light source that runs on AA batteries. It has a dimmer switch. There is no heat and there is no flicker.

This is the commercial from the website:

I know I've been situations where I wished I had this kind of lighting. It does open possibilities. I can see in conference situations where you need a portable light source. You could use it as your primary light or as a fill light.

This product will also challenge us to be respectful and not turn that sucker on in situations that are not appropriate to be illuminated. There are more details and the technical specs at the Litepanel website where you can download a .pdf about the lamp.

The Price of the Lightpanel Micro

Yes, there is a cost. I did a search on the website for local vendors. Primarily sold at photo and professional video stores the vendors seem to be selling the Lightpanel Micro for $297.

Ouch for those of us on a budget! Woohoo for those with disposable income!

On the flip side, this could be an excellent investment if you know that you will be recording in home studio or outdoor light challenging situations. The unit does come with a filter holder, tungsten filter and you can purchase A/C power connector which seems be about $50 or so.

Actual Users Responses
  • Ian Pack is a photographer in the UK who is testing out the Litepanel Micro. He is also shooting video and seems to like it.
  • Jeffrey Franks and Max show you what the Litepanel Micros and a lot of creativity can do.
  • PDN Gear Guide has a review, generally positive but there is a concern about the plastic construction.
  • Scott Gribble was looking for a lighting replacement and the Micro works for him.

Related Posts

Friday, August 21, 2009

Exploring Tools Page

There are all kinds of video file formats. The computer video and now mobile phone video formats are growing. There are times when you will need to convert from one video file format to another.

If you can't find a converter in a commercial software package that will help you convert from MP4 to 3gg then you might want to visit Tools page.

Videohelp Software Tools Page
It is not just video converters. There are encoders, decoders, DVD authoring software, video editing programs and more.

This website really is for intermediate/advanced computer users or those folks that have the patience to figure things out. There are tutorials and guides but some of them are out of date. That doesn't mean the software doesn't work but you will have to make adjustments depending on your current operating system and the version of the software.

Look at the screenshots, to see if you want to work with what is being presented.

You want to read the description of the tool and then visit the author's website. Is the author still there? Is there a support for the software?

And certainly before you download anything please have some sort of spyware/malware protection. There be pirates everywhere.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ira Glass on Storytelling

If you don't know about This American Life from Chicago Public Radio shame on you. Go there now and listen to one story, it doesn't matte which one. There is craftsmanship. There is a connection.

There is Ira Glass.

For those of us trying to create narrative videos we need to listen to him every chance we get when he talks about storytelling. Fortunately the videos that were posted on (Where I can't find them, really I searched.) are posted on YouTube.

This is the first video on junking the rules you were taught. Really this will help you make better videos. It doesn't matter the tool that you use, pencil, typewriter, computer or camera what matters is the story.

Albertina's Story - The Day I Made Him Stop

Storytelling is not just for entertainment. It can be used for documentation, empowerment and self-defense. This video was created in May 2008 in South Africa as part of the JASS Workshop on Digital Storytelling.

This is Albertina and the name of the video is The Day I Made Him Stop.

When we tell our stories our way there is no distortion or confusion. When we record them on video and share them we pass the story down the road to help someone else.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Atomic Learning Windows Movie Maker 2 Video Tutorials

Microsoft's Windows Movie Maker 2 is an easy video editing program. If you use Windows XP or Vista you have the program on your computer. If you have never used it or don't understand certain concepts like splitting a video or how to nudge a clip I think I have the deal of the day for you.

Atomic Learning has a free Windows Movie Maker 2 video tutorial on the software.

Atomic Learning Tutorial on Windows Movie Maker 2
It covers the basics that you need to edit and produce videos in the .wmv (Windows Movie Video) format. The videos are in the Flash video format so most viewers should have no problems viewing the screencast tutorials.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sorry for the Glitch - Comments Are Active

I'm still in Alpha mode so I didn't realize folks were trying to comment. I kicked the cog and the wuzafrazit. All is well.

Suggestions, corrections and ideas are most welcomed. Unless you are trying to extend the length of a member I do not happen to possess. For you, and sadly for everybody else, there is comment moderation.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Example of Photos and Videos Using Movica

Papa John is well known as an expert in Windows Movie Maker and Microsoft Photo Story, which is a program that animates still images.

'Standard' Opening Clip for Photo Stories from PapaJohn on Vimeo.

This is just an example of how you can use two very simple software programs to create an amazing effect.

I do want to say that he is using an open source program called Movica to create this video. Papa John has a Movica information page you might want to check out but Movica is not a beginner's software program.

YouTube Reporter Center - Tutorials on Citizen Journalism

The YouTube Reporter Center is a collection of videos from traditional and independent media sources on how to find, report and share the story.

You can view reporter Scott Simon from NPR explain how to present the story, Tavis Smiley on interviewing and PolitiFact's guide to fact checking.

Special shout out to the Reuters video and placing their Handbook of Journalism online. This is good stuff!

In the Handbook you can find:
  • Journalistic values of Reuters journalists - yes, transparency!
  • A style guide on how to use words, terminology and usage.
  • If you really want to dive into video journalism you can find out exactly what Reuters does and does not do in their video guidelines.
Even if you are not a journalist the Reuters style guide can help to minimize those typographical pain in the behind errors we make from time to time.

Other Posts of Interest

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Video Aspect Ratios and Buying A Camcorder

When you are buying a camcorder there are a lot of things to consider. This is a small part of the purchase but understanding aspect ratios can help you select the right camcorder.

The definition of an aspect ratio is the length and width of the video or the screen shape of the device that will display your video. There are other aspect ratios for movies and other fields; this post deals with aspect ratio as it relates to web video.

Consumers now have two specific aspect ratios to consider.

The analog television and computer video standard aspect ratio is 4 units long and 3 units tall. This is expressed as a 4:3 aspect ratio and is represented by a square.

Computer video aspect ratio
This is the shape of traditional analog television and computer screens, some media players and game devices.

Digital televisions and newer consumer electronics in the widescreen format use an aspect ratio of 16 units long and 9 units tall. This is expressed as a 16:9 aspect ratio is is represented by a rectangle.

Digital widescreen aspect ratio

Why Is This Important?

If you are going to buy a web camcorder or a consumer level digital camcorder one of the factors to consider is how your viewers are going to see the video. You want to get the best camcorder you can afford and record in the format you plan to display to your viewers.

Internet Only?

A camcorder that records in standard definition would be fine for Internet viewing. If you don't need or want to record in high definition you can save money buying a standard definition camcorder.

Connect the Camcorder To A Digital Television?

Eeep! A video recorded in the standard definition that you view on a digital television might be stretched to fit or you might see a heavy black boarder to maintain the aspect ratio of the video. It might not look so good.

There are workarounds like exporting a version of the video 640x360 for playback on a digital TV. If you are going to use a digital television to view videos on a regular basis then you might want to record in high definition format.

Output Video in Multiple Formats Like iTunes, PSP, YouTube or Selling DVDs?

Then you want to record in high definition and create versions for different media devices. You want to work with the best quality video as possible. High definition camcorders are becoming the standard so prices are coming down. The good news is that many high definition camcorders have a dual record modes that includes standard definition recording.

Cheat Sheet

Before you purchase a camcorder look at the specifications or specs. You can find it generally on the vendor's web site or directly on the seller's page. If you see 640x480, Standard Definition or VGA that means that the camcorder records in standard definition.

Examples of camcorders that record in standard definition are the Creative Vado, RCA Small Wonder or the Canon FS21, These camcorders generally cost less than the high definition siblings.

If the camcorder records in 1280x720, 720p, or high definition listed in the product specification then you are looking at a camcorder that records in the widescreen format. Examples of camcorders that record in this format are the Kodak Zi8, Panasonic HDC-HS300 or the Canon Vixia HF200.

Other Resources:

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Newseum's Video Blogs

The Newseum is a museum of Journalism in Washington, DC. It is also a functional broadcast studio and education center. The Newseum has a section on the website for their video blogs.

The purpose of the video blogs is to educate the public about journalism and promote the museum. I think that if you want to build support for your organization or non-profit you have to do outreach. The Newseum certainly is doing that by the programs and in-house activities.

I wish that the Newseum would allow embedding of certain videos. Particularly the one about the Five Freedoms.

They could do more outreach by creating videos that talk about modern day concerns the public has about journalism and how they reflect back to the history of reporting. They have the source material.

Now take it one step further, allow others to post your video content. It would be a means to promote the center, its activities and why The Newseum is important.

Just a thought.

Friday, August 14, 2009

David S. Kessler - Shadow Wolrld

I am a big fan of David S. Kessler's work. It is more like a video sculpture of a way of life that seems to be dying but in fact it isn't disappearing anytime soon.

The constant actor is the Market-Frankfort El that cuts through the city and the lives of the people living in a hard up section of Philadelphia.

Shadow World - episode 5 - world champion from David S Kessler on Vimeo.

He has had various websites and blogs; the current one that seem to be active is Shadow World. I don't know how David identifies himself now days. To me he is just great artist that I learn ten things from his videos and come back and learn ten more.

Shadow World - episode 1 - resumes from David S Kessler on Vimeo.
He is certainly a filmmaker. Artist. Ethnographer. Be sure to visit his video archives.

Other Posts of Interest

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Pre-Planning Your Video - Monkey

Pre-planning a video can say you a lot of time and frustration. Me, I like to just do it but as I've gained more experience I've learned the hard way that even a little pre-planning can save you a boat load of grief.

This video is from Dave Rotan from Monkey See. It is portal for professional and user generated informational videos. In this video, David is explaining how planning can make your video presentation clear and effective.

Take the time to explore the other Monkey tutorial videos such as:

KDMC - Exporting Your Movie Tutorial

The Knight Digital Media Center has tutorials for those interested in journalism, citizen journalism or fact based video.

I found a tutorial on exporting video. This video export tutorial was created in 2007. I mention the date because technology has a wicked way of changing how to do perform tasks.

On the list of tutorial pages it state that the tutorial was update in May 2009 but on the actual pages it has a creation date of May 16, 2007. I don't know what was updated or not.

This tutorial is focused on the Macintosh platform of software.

Things That I Noticed:

First you don't know which version of the software program the tutorial is referencing in in the example. There is iMovie 6, 7, 8, 9, iMovie HD. There is Final Cut Pro and Final Cut Express.

What am I looking at? How is it different between the different versions? If there is no difference could that be made clear before starting?

Choosing a Codec.

You have got to explain, even briefly what a codec is and why it is important. One paragraph. It can be done. Something like:
A video codec is a device or software that enables a video to be compressed or decompress for use in digital media players and personal computers. In this instance, you are preparing the video for the QuickTime format at a reduced file size while maintaining a certain level of video quality.
Ok, maybe two paragraphs.

Now to be fair, this concept might have been covered in a journalism tech class or workshop. But codecs are the pesky kind of things that can make users crazy trying to figure out why the QuickTime movie will not play in their Windows Media Player. *

Or conversely, a heathen PC user sends you a .wmv movie that you can't open in QuickTime.**

The tutorial? Overall I would say that this tutorial is basic if you are comfortable about using your Mac software and you understand that you can make decisions about the quality/file size of the video you need for your intended audience.

Each choice will have pluses and minuses. This tutorial is ok but if it is revised I hope that it is done as a screencast and as a step by step photo instructions page.

Slightly Off Topic Answers, skip it if you already know this:

*QuickTime is not supported by PC Windows Media Player software. Microsoft currently does not support that file format or the codec needed to play the movie. Users would need to have QuickTime for Windows or iTunes on their system in order to view the movie.

**Mac users, you will need to get Flip4Mac or use a conversion program to convert the .wmv movie into a file format that your media player will accept based on the codecs you have on your system.

Other Posts of Interest

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

BlipTV Learning Center

In addition to being a web host and online video distribution channel has a Learning Center for new web series vloggers and those new to web video.
  • Concept - shows examples of the variousl vlog that have been created. It also talks about what makes a show and what you need to consider if you are planning a web series.
  • Tools including Camcorders, Audio and Lighting
  • Distribution tips, like keywords, tags and RSS feeds
Some of these items are specific but other are spot on no matter what service you use.
    Other Posts of Interest

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

YouTube Help and Support Page

Ah the Tubes are filled with new content every day. Most folks never get past the uploading screen but there is good reason to dive in deeper. For that you will need to make a side trip to the Google/YouTube Support Page.

For example, do you know how to add captions to a YouTube video? For some of you that have less than perfect audio I think it is a good idea.

Well, no it would be a better idea to have good audio and still have captions. Either way YouTube has made it easier to place captions on a video. Note, I said easier and not necessarily easy.

YouTube has a glossary of terms you might need to understand in order to get up to speed on certain instructions or YouTube specific features.

You can find out what video file formats are acceptable for YouTube upload so that you don't waste time and effort on trying to upload a non-supported file format.

If you are a newbie or you didn't know about the Help and Support Center you should check it out.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Lumiere Videos Collection at

Ah yes, Lumiere Videos. There are forms of video creativity that do not involve storytelling. It is the observation of the experience before the lens of the camera.

It is the hardest and the easier form of videoblogging.

  • 60 seconds maximum
  • Fixed camera
  • No audio
  • No zoom
  • No edit
  • No effects
You have to take the time to see your environment stripped out sound yet a story, passively is being told. But not by you. The viewer brings their experience and makes their own story.

Feeling burnt out? Make a Lumiere.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Quick Copyright Status from ALA Library Copyright Digital Slider

I have to tell you plowing through the U.S. government copyright web site is not for the faint of heart. The information there. They do give you the basic facts but they do skimp on the graphics that would make the concepts more clear.

Fortunately Michael Brewer and the American Library Association's Office of Information Technology has come up with a visual way to understand what works are in the public domain and what works maybe under copyright protection. Check out the Library Copyright Digital Slider.

June 2012 Update: The Copyright Slider has been replaced by other tools at the American Library Associations Copyright Advisory Network. web site. This post remains but there are new tools you can use.

American Library Associations Digital Copyright SliderThe Good News:

Public Domain means that the content, also referred to as "the work" (text, book, movie, music, etc.) is no longer protected by U.S. government copyright and can be used by any person for any reason. So a movie made in 1916 could be incorporated into your video without asking for permission.

It get better. Works created by the U.S. government for the benefit of the citizens are also in the public domain. Those NASA photos and movies, you can use them. That old timey sex education movie made by the Department of Defense for soldiers in World War 2?

You can use it and there is no date restriction. So if there is a rocket launch that would fit in your video you can use it. However attribution is a wonderful thing so cite your sources in your closing credits.

Where It Gets Tricky:

Anything after 1923 you will have to investigate. According to the Digital Slider, if the work was not renewed for copyright protection between 1923 and 1977 you are good to go. But you have to find out about the status of a work before you use it.

The U.S. Copyright Office is happy to help but it will cost you money.

And it gets trickier when a work does enter into public domain status and someone copyrights their version. Their implementation is copyrighted but the source material is still in the public domain. You can use the content and create your own interpretation of the work.

For example. The story of Cinderella has been told by many cultures and was created long before Walt Disney picked up a pencil to draw the animation.

You can tell a "Cinderella" story but you cannot use the movie, music or character likenesses of the Disney animated version. You have to create your own interpretation. To be on the safe side, leave Cindy out of it.

Yes, I know - Fair Use. A discussion for another time.

I'm not a lawyer. If it is really important to get it right you might have to consult one. But this is a good way to figure out if you can or cannot pop that musty dusty of a tune into your video.

Related Posts

Looking Back At The Columbian Migration Project

Updated 08/09/2014: is no more. was sold to Maker Studios. Maker Studios was purchased by Disney. Many of the videos posted by independent videobloggers have been lost. This is a historical post for old timers that remember.

When we talk one to one we tend to listen a wee bit better. We pay attention and hear other lives that gives us a broader understanding of the world. Videoblogging can help to expand our world view.

This is Rocio talking about how she found her way to America:

This was a videoblogger supported project back in 2006-2007. The community provided assistance to help Maria Clara Gomez with the funds to interview Colombians in the United States and in Columbia. It was called the Colombia Migration Project.

It is an example of sharing between cultures, collaborative financial with small amounts of money and what you can do with a camera and an idea.

Other Posts of Interest

SciVee Tips for Making Videos

SciVee is trying to make transparent the concepts of Science and they want to reach everyone from elementary school to those in Ph.D land. One of the ways to do that is by video.

This is a 4:48 minute video of Co-founder Phil Bourne talking about SciVee, the mission and the contents of the site.

The concepts of making a basic WebCam or WebCamcorder video are kind of constant. The Make Video tips page gives you an idea of the tools you can use on SciVee or almost any other video distribution site.

Some of the Standard Tip on Making Video:

  • If a talking head video keep it under 10 minutes. (I disagree, say it in 3-5 if you can.)
  • Make sure the audio is good without any background noises such as computer fans, refrigerators or overhead planes.
  • You need light, lots and lots of light. If you are using a WebCam or WebCamcorder you need even more light than you think you do.
Other SciVee Video Resources:
As the tips on SciVee point out, you don't need to go upscale to make a web video. Master the basic skills and the rest will come later.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Flash Kit Loops - For When A Lit Bit is Just Enough

If you don't need a full song or your just trying to set the mood with a bit of music then you should take a look at Flash Kit - Loops. This site has been around forever and a day and it is packed with all kinds of musical loops.

Flashkit Music LoopsLooking for Goth, Metal, R&B, World Beat or the End of Life as We Know It? They got it or have something that sounds like it. You can preview the track, find out the length, sample rate and the guideline of the creator of the loop.

There are three levels as I understand them:
  • Freeware, use as you see fit but hey, give some link love to the creator of the loop.
  • Linkware, you have to provide a link and/or attribution to the creator of the loop.
  • Shareware, this is a purchase or conditional use. Find out exactly what you need to do before using the loop.
Flash Kit has SoundFX as well. So if you need a music bump or transition this is one of the web grand daddies of musical loops.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Media Berkman Podcasts and Videos

The Berkman Center for Internet & Society Podcasts has the kind of discussions of new media that is not on your commercial radio stations perhaps not even on some of your NPR stations as well.

This is the About Us page description:
MediaBerkman features conversations with and talks by leading cyber-scholars, entrepreneurs, activists, and policymakers as they explore topics such as the factors that influence knowledge creation and dissemination in the digital age; the character of power as the worlds of governance, business, citizenship and the media meet the internet; and the opportunities, role and limitations of new technologies in learning.
Yes, there are lawyer involved. The Berkman Center is located at Harvard Law School.

You can listen to audio podcasts and occasionally see videos on the events and topics of the day on a range of topics including advocacy, user engagement and global voices in journalism.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Rules for the Revolution Podcast - Colette Vogele

Colette Vogele is an Intellectual Property Attorney. She communicates on topics relating to new media at Rules for the Revolution.

Not going to dive in on Fair Use at the moment or how corporation are trying to lock down and monetize every element of the culture. The rules need to be flexible and fair to content generators and remixers. I do not advocate theft. Really, I don't.

But creativity does not happen in isolation. It isn't a can of dog food. You should check out the podcasts to get a perspective on the discussions about copyright,

Ok, while I clean up my bias track you can review the archive of her podcasts.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Soundsnap - A Music Source for Videos

Music plays a such a large part in our lives it is no wonder that we would want to include music in our videos. This is an area that you do have to be careful. You can't use any tune you happen to have (in generational order) on Vinyl, 8-Track, Cassette, CD, or mp3s.

On the one hand is the right livelihood of musicians, artists and performers. Musicians need compensation; they need to be paid!

On the other hand, getting an invitation to stand before a judge to explain what he/she doesn't care to understand as attorneys from the RIAA, ASCAP and BMI glare at you like cougars waiting to pounce on a deer is not a good thing.

Soundsnap Log In might be an option for you. But first, before you download music or Sound FX from any website you need to understand the terms of service, the music license and what you can and cannot do with the content.

I am not a lawyer. I don't want to be a lawyer. This is my best understanding of the Terms of Use (also known as Terms of Service). You need to read them for yourself because if you download the music you will be bound by them.

My Understanding:
  • You have to be 13 years or older to use the content on the website.
  • You have to create a user account to gain access to the musical content. has a limited free access, 5 downloads a month and a premium access where you can get what you want when you want.
  • You are free to use the music and to transform the music for non-commercial and commercial use.
  • You cannot, however download the music and then sell that same song to another person.
Music, Loops and SoundFX

At you can download songs in a variety of genres, music loops for intros, games transitions or SoundFX, such as animals, heartbeats and pile drivers. You can mix or match but again, if you use the free option, you are limited to 5 items a month.

There is a search box where you can filter your selection. You can preview the sound before making a commitment. The content is available as .wav, .mp3 or .aiff but not all sound formats are available for each music, loop or SoundFX.

So If I Want Premium Stuff How Much?

Yeah, I had a little trouble with finding that information. I didn't want to register at this time. You can register to get the free account and I assume that they will inform you of the cost of the premium service once you complete registration.

Or you do what I did, check out the Educational option where I learned that the regular price for one month is $29 U.S. and for the Educational option (with proof) it is $29 U.S. for three months.

So there you have it, music for your video for as much or as little as you can afford. Again check it out for yourself and see if you can find your perfect beat.

Podcasting Legal Guide at Creative Commons

A big honking document that might answer some of your questions about podcasting such as:
Although directed to audio podcasters there is much that videobloggers/web video creators should pay close attention.

In addition, you should camp out for a few days at the Stanford University's Fair Use website. Excellent resources written in plain English.

Related Posts

Monday, August 3, 2009

Daily Motion - International Video Web Host and Distribution

Daily Motion is popular outside of the U.S. for uploading videos and distributing but there are some Yanks that use is as their primary video upload spot. I viewed the U.S. version of the site.

It has user generated videos in addition to picking up feeds from websites and content providers like

There is an under spoken reality about the surviving 2009 video web hosts. It cost a lot of money to offer free video web hosting and distribution of videos. Many of the free distribution sites are accepting corporate, broadcast and other types of content or pay for play advertorials.

English language version of Daily Motion

That means that user generated videos are being pushed into the corners or it might be harder to find. You still can locate them at Daily Motion but you might not want to have your video placed next to Horndog Production's, Bath Time. No disrespect intended.

If you are posting the video to your blog it might not matter. If you are sending folks to Daily Motion directly to view the video or they come via a search engine then yes can be a concern.

This is an international website with the home base in Paris, France. Some of videos are not as puritanical as what floats by on American based distribution sites.

Keep that in mind as you check Daily Motion out. Let me put it another way. Really look at the thumbnails photos and read the descriptions before you click that link.

You will see advertisements or experience a pop-up ad or two. It is a web host option. It may or may not meet your needs.

Other Posts of Interest

Boris Willis and 10 Dance Vlogging Tips

I'm serious about each one teach one. I had never even thought about the dance vlogging community.

It makes so much sense. I stumbled into this information doing research for another post. I will certainly do more research into the dance vlogging community. Here is the starting point that all can benefit from.

Top three tips:
  1. Have a vision.
  2. Vlogging is personal and performative.
  3. Understand how the web is used.
Boris also talks about video quality, web host and being consistent.

I discovered Boris Willis at Move The Frame where he shares his tips on making dance videos.

One more from Boris that had my heart in my throat. Capital Spring 2. Seventeen seconds into the video you will understand why I got a little nervous:

Boris has the videos posted at Dance A Day where you can see an archive of his dances.

Other Dance Videos

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Mediabistro On Demand Videos

If you are a business person, however you define that term, and you don't necessarily want to create videos but you do want to know what all of the hubbub about web video then I think I have an affordable resource for you.

What Is Mediabistro?

It is a portal for those folks in the media, aka print, television, journalism or those folks that interact with the industry. Mediabistro has a lot of media specific blogs, puts out a daily recap newsletter on what happened in mainstream media and they do offer classes; real world and online on media skills. It is actually more than that but you can check the other stuff out for yourself.

Mediabistro's On Demand Videos

Mediabistro has online classes. They also have video on media specific topics, like web video. To get an overview you might want to start with How Online Video is Changing the Internet, Part 1.

Here is the description:
Video on the web is rapidly expanding beyond the "clip culture" of amateur videos of skateboarding dogs. This Crash Course walks you through the latest trends in the continuing convergence of video, internet, print, mobile, and other media.
First of all, let's not be hating on the skateboarding dogs. They taught lessons on how a video becomes viral and gave hope to many a pooch that they too could have their special day at the fire hydrant. There is room and bandwidth for all types of videos.

In the preview you get an understanding of the focus of the overview. You are also able to see an outline of the contents, the video length and the size of the video file. You will also have access to the pdf Crib sheet that will give you the list of sources cited in the video.

Should You Pony Up $19?

Yes. Because for one month you would have access to additional On Demand videos. If you need more time you can re-up for another month or purchase a years subscription. It is a visually concise way to get up to speed.

Concerns and Quibbles:

This is a more than a quibble. You must specifically tell them to stop the subscription, otherwise you will be charged each month or re-billed again for a year's subscription. Mediabistro does inform you of this before, during and after you purchase your subscription.

Before I subscribed I did not know when the video was produced. Information and concepts change quickly. I would like to know that before I plunk down the money.

After I subscribed the video seemed to have been created in 2007. Some of the predictions and the person they thought to be a front runner in the election did not work out they way they anticipated.

However for $19 for a month's access to all of the On Demand videos it is a fair deal. I really liked the one on fact checking. Very helpful.

Was it spot on? Well, no. There was an item on the in the video on viability of video tagging. I wish! I wish it were that easy to punch in a keyword at a search engine, tell it you are only searching for a specific kind of video and have a tag cloud appear with just video choices.

I wish there was a way to say "show me all videos that have just walnut based pesto that start at 00:15 into the video. " Nope, not yet.

On the whole, it wasn't bad. It does open up the door to a lot of concepts; if you have no prior experience with web video. If you are a newbie, or thinking about web video for business use then give it a go.

Transparency Camp West - 2008 Videos and 2009 Event

TransparencyCamp West is an Unconference where the participants decide on what they want to talk about and learn. Last year this included folks inside of the government, techies, journalists stone geeks and social advocates. This year the TCW will be held on the Google campus.

I don't think you'd have a bat's chance in hell in getting in at this late date. The good news is that you can watch the videos of the prior year event. Jay Dedman and Ryanne Hodson recorded interviews with some of the folks from the Sunlight Foundation and with some of the participants.

CNet Video on Selecting A Web Host

Tom Merritt pumps in a lot of good starting point questions on this short how to video on selecting a web host.

In this video he is specifically talking about hosting a web site but in addition to the questions that need to be asked are ones pertaining to video and traffic.

You also want to check the following additional resources on web hosting:

Blip.TV - Web Hosting

YouTube is not the only web host or online video distribution site. There are reasons you want to investigate what the other kids on the block have to offer. One of those web hosts is

I am not knocking YouTube, I'm just saying in the spirit of free enterprise you owe it to yourself to take a look at the other contenders.

Blip.TV is a web host. As with many web hosting sites, the first step is to become a member. You can have a free membership or if you need more features you can purchase a Pro Account.

You can upload your videos to and then obtain the embed code you need to have videos appear on your web site. The embed code will be in the Flash video format but there are other options if you need them.

This is similar to what YouTube or almost any web hosting site.

What I like about is that there is not freaking logo in the lower right corner. I really like the Terms of Service where they do not try to take or claim any ownership of my video.

Should you choose to want to have advertising on related advertising content on your video that is cool with them, you share in that revenue.

They have just expanded their distribution network with, Vimeo and YouTube. What does that mean? Well, you post your video on They will share it with other video distribution services. They already have in the network iTunes, Yahoo Video and others.

So, instead of running around having multiple accounts you can have just one. Want to check your statistics. You can view statistics from the dashboard.

Yes, I'm a girl. Guess I should have fessed that up front. What can I say, I like the service.

Business and Public Relations Web Video Resources

This is the fourth segment virtual handout on the BlogHer 2009 Web Video/Videoblogging session of the Geek Lab. There is a lot of pure bunkum that is being perpetrated in this area. Lurk, observe and do not give your money until you are sure that the person or company has demonstrated experience.

This means that if you see a tacky looking slide show and they claim to be “video experts” who will teach you how to create video for a price, move along. Also Search engine optimization is not the same as producing good content be it text, audio, photos or video.

The flim flam is excessively high so be very picky about these type of content providers. What I am trying to say is the true goal is the same for all types of web video; to communicate a message.

You first need to understand what you want the video to do for you. Yes, I know for a fraction of you the goal is to make money.

I have to tell you most successful money generating people I have met, and I do know some Benjamin packing people, have in common is that they have a product or service that they believe in AND that there is a clear benefit to the consumer.

The benefit has a value of X . Honestly the focus has to be on what can you do for your potential customer before she or he commits to buying your service or product.

What Has This Got to do with Web Video for Business?

This is your opportunity to by pass your local TV and radio stations who will not sell you time to promote your product and service.

This is your time to help your customers understand what your product can do for them and explain it on your terms. Your occasional or ongoing series of videos can help make that decision.

Cori Chavez's goal is to help small business people using video with the equipment that they have. Her focus may be to be known as an expert. I don't know. But the videos on her blog do not talk about her knowledge. They demonstrate help and assistance to the viewers and potential customers.

Videos can help in product support or demonstrating how to use, wear or incorporate a product into a consumer's lifestyle. At BlogHer I received a DVD from a woman who is promoting Pilates for desk jockeys. When my box of stuff arrives I'll put in the name of the video.

Now I'm do not have an exercise blog, and I am not the first person you think of when it comes to physical fitness. But if someone asks me about desk based back and abs exercises I now have a resource for them to check out. I do know folks with back and fitness problems.

I can refer them to the website that if they have good sense, demonstrate one or two exercises that would cause a person to buy the DVD. This is Social Media 101.

Are you catching my drift? The business videos you create have to support the needs of your potential clients and customers. Not how great the product is or could be for them.

Oh, yeah, one more thing. Do not lie of deceive people. It is wrong. People will talk. And not everybody gets to go to the Country Club prison.

  • Upper Level Digital Camcorder
  • Prosumer Camcorder
  • External good quality microphones, tripods, lighting.
  • Hiring professional assistance to start.
There are many kinds of business videos. These are business video examples and I make no judgment or endorsement of the products or services presented.

Cisco Systems Business Video Portal

David C. Skul - video on YouTube on 5 Tips for Effective Web 2.0 Marketing. I then backtracked to his website to find out about his services and other resources that I will post below.

Gerry Oginski at The Lawyer's Video Studio is promoting the use of video for lawyers.

IRS video explaining the benefits of Retirement plans with captioning.

Megs Concession Supply has videos that demonstrate concession food machines and products.

Poor Specimen.TV caters to surfing enthusiasts and those that remember back in the day of the surf film. You purchase and view videos online. is a portal for real estate videos and real estate video services.

As you can see the video quality is all over the place. Yes thousands of folks are trying web video for business but only a few are doing it correctly. There will always be room for quality. Content rules but quality for business video is equally important. Like the Instructional tutorials you gotta have a plan. These following people can help.

Creating Business Video Resources

Bill Myers Online
– working on independent distribution before the Internet and has adapted to the changes. Review the sample articles and videos for free.

Cori Chavez at New Video Monday is targeting small business owners who want to use video. A new effort but she does have good video content.

David Skul's page on business and marketing web videos. Both articles and video content.

Web Video University's blog where you can sample videos and the quality of the instructor, Dave Kaminski work.

Finding Documentary, Journalism and Reporting Resources

This is the third section of the BlogHer 2009 Video Geek Lab. This one concerns resources for those of you interested in documentary videography, citizen journalism,video activism and presenting fact based videos.
  • Web Camcorder - you will have to work harder on the video but it can be done.
  • Digital Video Camcorder - upper level with more controls and features.
  • Prosumer Level Camcorder
  • Audio/Microphone Concerns
  • Tripod/Monopod
You might need better quality equipment and a bit more skills to create different versions for distribution. In addition, you might need to learn some of the techniques of traditional and web based journalism.

News University – free and paid web classes on journalism issues, storytelling techniques and new media. You will also want to hang out at the Poynter Institute for Visual Journalism page.

Online Journalism Review - Tips for shooting better online video (2007). Technology has improved since this article but it is still solid information. You should also read What Are The Ethics of Online Journalism and How To Write for the Web because slapping a video on a blog is not always the complete story.

Many of us will find ourselves interviewing people. Here are some tips from Serena Carpenter:

Audio and storytelling resources at Please read Curtis Fox, Elizabeth Arnold and Studs Turkel on the many paths to storytelling. You will also find information about microphones and recoding software.

Knight Digital Media Center - Camcorder information specifically for those people interested in journalism.

For journalism, social media and related information visit Serena Carpenter, Amy Gahran and Amy's posts at

Other Posts of Interest